Want to buy gas for a buck a gallon? Well, you can but you won’t find it at a service station. It’s available at the electrical outlet in the garage or shop.
Nearly ten years ago we switched from plug-in carpentry tools to battery (cordless) equivalents. We loved them for their power, effectiveness, quietness, and ease of use. So, when battery-powered yard tools came on the market we gradually switched.
In 2018 we ditched our gas lawn mower and replaced it with a battery unit….with concern. Would it have the power of our gas machine to chew through tall grass and weeds? Would it have enough battery storage to mow the entire lawn?
We quickly learned our concerns were false. The mower chewed through tough prairie grass and buzzed off our traditional lawn with ease. We liked it so much we bought another one so we could both mow simultaneously. Then came a trimmer, chain saw, and snow blower that all run on the same battery system. We love them all and believe gas-powered equivalents are on the road to obsolescence.
How about operating costs? Experts at our utility, Alliant Energy, told us that one gallon of gasoline has the energy equivalent of 33.7-kilowatt hours of electricity. As of mid-June 2022, gasoline average cost pushed to $4.60+ a gallon in Cedar Rapids. 33.7 kWh of electricity costs, on average in Iowa, $1.03.
Operating our battery tools costs a quarter of our old gas equivalents.
Benefits of Electric Tools
But, there’s more than cost savings with battery-operated tools. Here are aspects we love about our mowers, trimmers, saws, and snowblowers:
- No rope to pull to start the machine. We save the shoulders! Just press a switch.
- No filters or oil to change.
- No need to buy and store gasoline. Fuel is always at hand at the electrical outlet.
- No fumes to breathe while operating.
- No noisy internal gas explosions. Battery electric machines are quiet.
- Easy to fold and store.
So, what are the downsides of battery-operated tools? We had to think about that and came up with only one thing. They may cost more than gas machines, and batteries are expensive. However, the batteries last a long time, perhaps as many as 2000 charge/discharge cycles.
The cost of electricity varies from place to place. Utilities print the kilowatt-hour charge on monthly bills. To calculate the cost of 33.7 kWh of electricity multiply that number by your per kWh cost and add in any taxes or service fees. Almost certainly it will cost less to charge a battery than to buy gas.
Have a cranky old gas mower? We suggest replacing it with a battery-powered equivalent.