What are battery-powered lawn mowers like and how are they different from corded or explosion-proof ones?

When it comes to the care of parks, gardens and other landscaping projects, the trade offers the user a series of very useful machines and tools . Among these, and given their importance, lawnmowers occupy a preferential place.

A must in every home that prides itself on maintaining a garden in perfect condition, lawnmowers are cutting and pruning machines that perform the hard task of grass maintenance and weeding in a short time .

From the point of view of the basic principle of operation, we can talk about two types of lawn mowers : motorized and non-motorized. Although they are not the most popular, motorless or manual mowers are the ideal choice for those who have a small garden and are looking for an inexpensive tool , completely silent and free from the worries that can be caused by handling a cable or the need to have a nearby electrical outlet or fuel container within reach.

 

However, the powerful group of powered lawn mowers is the one that offers variety and generally best incorporates all the technological advances in search of the most ambitious results. Depending on the type of energy supplied by the motor of these machines, they can be classified into three large groups:

Although each of these machines has its recommended applications, the most traditional ones have always been those with the combustion engine and the electric ones with cable. Those who have a large garden or who carry out work in squares, parks or public walks are well aware of the strength, the roar and the smell of fuel that emanates from an exploding machine. The neighbors and passersby who are in the vicinity of the cutting work also know this …

On the other hand, many users of cable cutters enjoy the noble services of their machine, but they are forced to a work area no greater than 30 meters from the electrical outlet in use and why not, more than once they have stumbled accidentally with the cable.

So if we think again about the performance of a manual lawn mower , one that offers a quiet and worry-free work, but we have a surface a little larger than a small garden and we want more power to carry out the task in a few minutes, then it is good to know that we have at our disposal a machine that will be able to satisfy all our needs: the battery- powered lawn mower .

With a battery- powered mower, lawn maintenance and weed cutting can be done over a much larger area, without the effort that a manual machine would entail. Nor will we have to worry about picking up the cable and avoiding not only that it gets in our way, but also that it gets tangled in trees or on our feet causing us to fall, simply because battery- powered mowersthey have no cable. The same applies to the need to find an outlet in the immediate vicinity of the work area, since they do not require electrical current. What’s more, we don’t even have to endure the more than 100 decibels of noise caused by an exploding machine (when the maximum permissible by government health agencies is 85 decibels) or that uncomfortable fuel “fragrance” that will soon flood our home.

cordless (battery-powered) lawn mower has advantages over the other corded or blast models, which we present in this white paper, and it does not have any of the aforementioned drawbacks. So, let’s get to know these machines better.

Main components

A typical battery-powered lawn mower has an elegant design similar to that of a household vacuum cleaner and consists of the main parts detailed in the figure below.

  1. On / off switch
  2. Upper thrust arch
  3. Thrust Arch Supports
  4. Carry handle
  5. Central cutting height adjustment
  6. Ejection gate
  7. Grass collection basket
  8. Compartment for the battery / s

These are generally machines that weigh between 16-19 kg (depending on the model and manufacturer) and have an autonomy of 30-60 minutes. The basket where the grass is collected has a capacity of approximately 40 liters and various cutting heights can be achieved, for example between 25 and 75 mm. In addition, the handles are often foldable, so that when not in use, the tool can be conveniently stored in tight spaces.

Batteries

What is most striking, however, about cordless lawnmowers are the batteries and the potential they present behind the advancements of modern technology. Depending on the manufacturer and the machine model, batteries respond to different technologies. In a previous article by On Machines and Tools we developed the various types of batteries for power tools and also presented a guide on how to choose them .

The standard for lawn mowers is represented by lead-acid batteries. Therefore, the machines generally incorporate between one and three 12 V lead-acid batteries (in order to obtain a voltage of 12, 24 and 36 V, respectively). However, the actual voltage (or power) delivered to the motor will depend on the amperage. For example, a 12V mower with high amperage may have more cutting power than a 36V with low amperage. Some manufacturers of battery-powered lawnmowersLead-acid batteries include the charger in the same machine, so it is connected to the electrical network for a full charge time that can take between 12 and 24 hours. This is one of the drawbacks of lead-acid batteries, not to mention the environmental pollution they pose when they are disposed of.

That is why the great advance in this matter is constituted by the innovative “universal” battery kits that we already presented in a video in De Máquinas y Tools.

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries and chargers

Being heavy-duty machines compared to, for example, a polisher , lawnmowers benefit greatly from modern lithium batteries and their corresponding chargers.

Manufacturers using this technology in their cordless lawn mowers typically use two 18V lithium batteries each (ie 36V total) and a global amperage of 3Ah. Furthermore, many of these batteries , as well as their chargers, are universal, meaning that they can be used with a wide range of other cordless tools from the same manufacturer that have this technology. The process is so efficient that the machine’s two batteries can be fully charged in just 1 hour.

Let’s look at an example of a lithium-ion battery lawn mower in full action.

One for all: advantages of “universal” technology

To understand the enormous savings in time and money that it means to have cordless machines and tools that incorporate universal or “smart” batteries and chargers capable of being used in many other tools , imagine the following situation.

  1. We want to build a small wooden box in our garden to store all the gardening tools and implements. For construction we will need, among others, a good screwdriver / screwdriver drill , a jigsaw , a saber saw , an angle grinder and an orbital sander .
  2. Once we have the box installed, we can store all the tools there and take care of essential gardening tasks with the help of our cordless machines, for example: cutting the grass with a lawnmower , giving a perfect finish to this cut with an edger , pruning shrubs with a hedge trimmer , cutting branches with a pruner, and cleaning up debris from these tasks with a leaf blower .

It seems like an impossible job to achieve in a short time, but if all these tools come from the same manufacturer and use universal batteries / chargers , then it will be very simple and fast to build the box and then dedicate ourselves to gardening work always using the same battery set. -charger whenever we need it.

More promising technologies on the market

The advent of universal batteries / chargers is one of the great advances that new cordless machines and tools present . But there is still more.

Robotic lawn mowers

The continuous search for automation and less dependence on labor has also reached machinery for landscaping activities and robotic lawnmowers have already appeared that make our presence unnecessary.

These innovative robot machines work in any type of climate and terrain, being suitable for slopes between 35 and 45%. If they encounter any obstacles in their way, they have the ability to automatically redirect and “know” when your lithium-ion battery needs a recharge. To do this, they go to the charger (called “charging station”) and connect to charge in just over an hour. The blade system provides efficient operation and extremely low power consumption, allowing the robotic mower to operate at a fraction of the cost of traditional lawn mowers. And since it is a cordless electric machine, it does not produce harmful emissions.

The sophistication of robotics applied to lawnmowers also includes an application for smartphones with GPS tracking that is already being incorporated into some models. This provides the user with a convenient menu that allows, among other functions, to send “Start”, “Stop” and “Park” commands of the machine remotely and even, if necessary, from anywhere in the world. In fact, the application also includes an anti-theft alarm that even allows us to track the location of the machine in case it disappears from our garden by the work of strange hands.

As you might imagine, the cost of these robotic lawn mowers is for the moment exclusive to the home user, but without a doubt, over the years, it will be within everyone’s reach.

Solar batteries

Although they are still mostly in full development, a few manufacturers have already launched high performance cordless lawn mowers whose battery works with a dual charging system, either by electric power or by means of a small solar panel of approximately 25 W that can be purchased as an optional accessory. This solar panel can fully recharge the battery in 2-3 sunny days or 4-5 cloudy days. Many robotic lawnmowers feature this dual recharging technology.

The next step will then be to refine the solar panels to allow a shorter recharge time, so that the market for fuel-fueled machinery used in landscaping tasks can gradually shift to clean technologies, with zero carbon dioxide emissions and a lot of operation. more silence.

As a final point in this note, let us briefly summarize the characteristics of each of the technologies that incorporate motor lawn mowers , in order to provide a comparison that will help a decision by the future user.

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