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Electric Lawn Mowers and Blade Swath

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Messages at the AllAboutLawns.com forums occasionally raise interesting and unique questions about lawn care that you won't find anywhere else. Recently a homeowner wondered about the cutting swath size of electric lawn mowers. Typically people sort lawn mowers by fuel source, ease of use, and the specific mowing demand by acreage and grass seed type on their property. It can become a tricky proposition in mixing and matching mower qualities to determine the ultimate solution. You'll probably have to compromise.

According to Consumer Reports, if you're really looking for a wide swath mower, your best solution is probably a gas-powered mower or lawn tractor. Obviously, the wider the available cutting swath, the easier the job -- if you have a broad lawn. But many people choose electric mowers for their low-emission, low-sound characteristics. And electric mowers, sad to say, have narrower cutting swaths than their gas-guzzling cousins.

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Electric Lawn Mower Limitations

Corded electric lawn mowers are also limited in range to their power source by cord length. At best, you're looking at about a 19-inch grass-cutting swath for the more robust electric lawn mowers. Gas-fired mowers come with 21-inch or greater swath options.

While cordless electric lawn mowers do exist, they can be much harder on the user, weighing 30 pounds or more than corded units because of their hefty batteries -- and their swath is generally limited to 16 inches. In sum, they're probably not the best unit to consider in terms of cutting swath and ease of use if your lawn area exceeds a quarter acre.

If it's really swath size that governs your choice, a lawn tractor is your best option if you have a lot of mowing to do -- a half-acre or larger lawn surface. You can find models with 40-44 inch swath widths.

**Note from the webmaster: The forums have been temporarily removed from AllAboutLawns due to a high level of spam. We are currently working on a new forum that will allow readers to continue posting photos and receiving advice from forum moderator Dawn West and other lawn enthusiasts.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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