Two 20v battery lawnmower vs 40v battery lawnmower

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,544
3,091
136
Last year I got a good deal on a Worx Powershare electric lawnmower. The Powershare system claims that you can use two 20v batteries to make 40v equivalent power. I find the mower to be lacking in power compared to the gas mower I had before. Sometimes I end up killing the mower when I go over dips in the grass, and I can really hear the blade struggle against thicker grass. I was wondering whether a mower with a dedicated 40v battery like this Ryobi would be more powerful or are they the same level of power?
 

iRONic

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2006
7,003
2,300
136
Depending on the size of your lawn…

I cannot even imagine using a battery powered lawnmower. I get why people do though.
 

iRONic

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2006
7,003
2,300
136
Sounds like your only problem was letting the grass get too tall for the 20v mower.

A new mower will have a new blade & upgraded power. If it's within your budget go for it.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,599
708
126
Generally, I would not expect two 20V powered unit to be any different than a dedicated 40V unless the 20V system stays 20V (parallel wired rather than series).

I'm not sure how the motors are driven in these, if at 40V the motor spins at higher speed and lower at 20V or if it's fixed speed, variable torque. That would answer your question.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,544
3,091
136
Generally, I would not expect two 20V powered unit to be any different than a dedicated 40V unless the 20V system stays 20V (parallel wired rather than series).

I'm not sure how the motors are driven in these, if at 40V the motor spins at higher speed and lower at 20V or if it's fixed speed, variable torque. That would answer your question.
Seems that specs on these are lacking to make that determination.
 
Nov 17, 2019
11,073
6,617
136
I think this is the one I have. They have several similar versions and the model numbers seem to change:



Works OK, but will bog down in heavier grass. But then my gasser would too.

I don't mow a lot with a walk behind any more. No where near what I used to. Do most of it with a rider, but this works well for areas close to the house.

This one holds two 40V 6AH batteries and when one dies, you flip a plug to switch to the other. Between them, it's last longer than I do these days.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,520
7,724
126
For a postage stamp, an old school reel mower works fantastically. It's easy to use, and properly maintained, you won't get a better cut from any other machine. No batteries, no fuel, simple mechanicals. The two drawbacks are sticks will stop it dead, and it punishes laziness. You'll only let the grass get too long once :^D
 
Nov 17, 2019
11,073
6,617
136
^^^ They cost almost as much as a battery mower now.


One thing about a battery mower people might not consider. If the deck gets a buildup of grass, you can flip it over to clean without worrying about gas and oil spilling out.

Same for changing the blade. Pull the batteries and there is zero chance of it starting unlike a gas mower if you forget to pull the plug wire.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,520
7,724
126
^^^ They cost almost as much as a battery mower now.
Yea, I think they cost more than they should, but it's a pretty niche product. They have to make their money somehow. Everything after the purchase price is free though. They're also unbelievably easy to use on the right ground. No harder than pushing a vacuum around on carpet.

I used to mow a 1ac lot with one. That's minus house, minus trees, minus... But it was still a good bit of pushing. I had to give that up. I have too many trees dropping too many sticks, and a a real lack of motivation after doing physical work in the summer sun all day. For a half acre lot or less, I wouldn't consider using anything else.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,599
708
126
^^^ They cost almost as much as a battery mower now.


One thing about a battery mower people might not consider. If the deck gets a buildup of grass, you can flip it over to clean without worrying about gas and oil spilling out.

Same for changing the blade. Pull the batteries and there is zero chance of it starting unlike a gas mower if you forget to pull the plug wire.
What? My gas mower is going to magically start without being pulled?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
8,113
1,465
126
^^^ They cost almost as much as a battery mower now.


One thing about a battery mower people might not consider. If the deck gets a buildup of grass, you can flip it over to clean without worrying about gas and oil spilling out.

Same for changing the blade. Pull the batteries and there is zero chance of it starting unlike a gas mower if you forget to pull the plug wire.
You must have a really old mower if you had that concern because the EPA has required sealing gas and oil caps for decades. They have a one way valve to let air in so the tank doesn't develop a vacuum. If it leaks tipping it over on its side, you need a new gas cap.

Chance of it starting? I can see one possibility there. If I were to put my cordless impact driver or wrench on it to get the nut off (which I do), and it wasn't chocked well to keep from spinning the blade, and then after the blade started spinning, my mind took a vacation and I just let it keep spinning till it started, except most push mowers (also going on decades now) have that deadman mechanism where there's at least a blade brake and sometimes ignition coil cutout as well.

It hasn't happened yet, but I mostly use a riding mower now, push mower doesn't cover enough area to need the blade changed out to sharpen more than once in a blue moon.

I should mention that decades ago, as a kid I mowed yards for spending money so I mowed a heck of a lot of yards and never had a problem, except that time that someone stole my mower. Grrrr!
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
8,113
1,465
126
I'm not aware of any mower that uses 2 x 20V batteries, but would run on only one of them at 20V then use two at 40V combined. They all use them in series for 40V, AFAIK.

A mower that uses two 18V (aka 20V) batteries in series does not necessarily lack any power compared to a 40V via-single-battery counterpart, but in practice they are built to a price point and the more expensive ones that rival a weak ICE mower, use a 40V battery or even higher voltage.

That doesn't mean you can't get a weak 40V single-battery mower too. You get what you pay for, even if some of what you pay for is the brand name. Generally speaking, a cordless mower costs around twice as much as the ICE counterpart, to have power approaching the ICE but not beating it.

Has the blade gotten dull? Are you keeping the deck clean? Have you tried just mowing slower? That is what I would do, if I already owned a lower tier cordless mower and had a very small lot. and mow more often at the highest height you can accept.

Check out some youtube videos, there's bound to be some that compare the performance of various cordless mowers. I doubt that the $400 Ryobi is enough of an increase in performance to be worth buying as a replacement/upgrade.
 

hardhat

Senior member
Dec 4, 2011
423
114
116
I have a Kobalt 40v electric mower and experience the same issues as your 2x20v battery mower. Long grass, the battery will lose charge too fast or stop if you are attempting to go too fast. The mower I have is actually supposed to use two 40v batteries in series, but it doesn't function correctly. It will exhaust one battery without switching over to the other.

Overall the experience is more cumbersome than a traditional ICE mower because the batteries aren't able to supply the power or endurance that I would like, but I still wouldn't really want to go back to gas as that mower had constant issues as well. At least the electric is straightforward enough its issues are very predictable.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,544
3,091
136
I have a Kobalt 40v electric mower and experience the same issues as your 2x20v battery mower. Long grass, the battery will lose charge too fast or stop if you are attempting to go too fast. The mower I have is actually supposed to use two 40v batteries in series, but it doesn't function correctly. It will exhaust one battery without switching over to the other.

Overall the experience is more cumbersome than a traditional ICE mower because the batteries aren't able to supply the power or endurance that I would like, but I still wouldn't really want to go back to gas as that mower had constant issues as well. At least the electric is straightforward enough its issues are very predictable.
Even with the inconveniences of an electric mower I would not go back to gas. I hated mowing with gas, having to get the damn thing tuned up every year, having to drain the gasoline for winter, having to have a can of gas in my garage, coming inside smelling like exhaust. Yuck.
 

deadlyapp

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2004
6,599
708
126
Even with the inconveniences of an electric mower I would not go back to gas. I hated mowing with gas, having to get the damn thing tuned up every year, having to drain the gasoline for winter, having to have a can of gas in my garage, coming inside smelling like exhaust. Yuck.
Maybe it's because I live in a southern state, but I've never felt the need for a yearly tune up or having to drain the gas.

Keeping a gas can is very low on my totem pole of cares considering I have several other things also that need gasoline and I can always dump it into my truck every 3-6 months to get fresh gas.
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
11,739
2,671
136
You must have a really old mower if you had that concern because the EPA has required sealing gas and oil caps for decades. They have a one way valve to let air in so the tank doesn't develop a vacuum. If it leaks tipping it over on its side, you need a new gas cap.

Chance of it starting? I can see one possibility there. If I were to put my cordless impact driver or wrench on it to get the nut off (which I do), and it wasn't chocked well to keep from spinning the blade, and then after the blade started spinning, my mind took a vacation and I just let it keep spinning till it started, except most push mowers (also going on decades now) have that deadman mechanism where there's at least a blade brake and sometimes ignition coil cutout as well.

It hasn't happened yet, but I mostly use a riding mower now, push mower doesn't cover enough area to need the blade changed out to sharpen more than once in a blue moon.

I should mention that decades ago, as a kid I mowed yards for spending money so I mowed a heck of a lot of yards and never had a problem, except that time that someone stole my mower. Grrrr!
Those old style Briggs gas caps have small vent holes. If mower is turned over to the right, gas within a filled tank will come out

The oil can get past the valves and that results in a big blast of smoke if you had turned a old school's Briggs engine to the left(facing forward)
 
  • Like
Reactions: lxskllr

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
8,113
1,465
126
^ The vent hole is supposed to be a one way valve on anything made in the past several years, stays closed until engine vac pulls air in. If it is stuck open, might try to clean it or just get a new cap.

I run my outdoor equipment, outdoors, so don't care that much about a small blast of smoke. I've never had any oil or gas leakage enough to make me think twice about flipping a mower to change blades or clean the deck.

I've never needed to do much in the way of a tuneup either, besides changing the spark plugs every decade or so, and cleaning the air prefilter pad every couple years, and the filter itself, beating it cleaner when the prefilter is cleaned, and replacing same time as spark plugs. I recall adjusting the valve lash on my riding mower once upon a time ago, when it was about 20 years old, and the carb on my snow blower when it was about 10 yrs... could have cleaned it out and maybe needed a rebuild but was faster to just slap on a sub-$15 amazon clone carb.
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
11,739
2,671
136
^ The vent hole is supposed to be a one way valve on anything made in the past several years, stays closed until engine vac pulls air in. If it is stuck open, might try to clean it or just get a new cap.

I run my outdoor equipment, outdoors, so don't care that much about a small blast of smoke. I've never had any oil or gas leakage enough to make me think twice about flipping a mower to change blades or clean the deck.

I've never needed to do much in the way of a tuneup either, besides changing the spark plugs every decade or so, and cleaning the air prefilter pad every couple years, and the filter itself, beating it cleaner when the prefilter is cleaned, and replacing same time as spark plugs. I recall adjusting the valve lash on my riding mower once upon a time ago, when it was about 20 years old, and the carb on my snow blower when it was about 10 yrs... could have cleaned it out and maybe needed a rebuild but was faster to just slap on a sub-$15 amazon clone carb.
Why are you hopelessly stuck on the "past several years", mowers are durable goods and many that land on Craiglist or get dumped are generally like the following:

Such a Briggs design is also featured on Project Farm, thus it hasn't been forgotten yet by the public.

The person you were original conversing with also is an older person who likely owned one with similar design features, and I myself own a few of them from collecting them off the freebie list of craiglsist.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
8,113
1,465
126
Why are you hopelessly stuck on the "past several years", mowers are durable goods and many that land on Craiglist or get dumped are generally like the following:

By past several years, I mean that I don't know the exact date of the EPA requirement, but probably about a quarter century. Put a piece of tape over the vent hole if you can't wait till the next time you mow until you run it dry and don't feel like dumping the tank, which only takes a minute.

That's a lot of years to learn to swap a blade or clean the deck without making a mess. I managed and don't see the issue as being worth mentioning. Spill a little once and observe why. I also manage to drink liquid out of cups without spilling it everywhere. :)
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
11,739
2,671
136
By past several years, I mean that I don't know the exact date of the EPA requirement, but probably about a quarter century. Put a piece of tape over the vent hole if you can't wait till the next time you mow until you run it dry and don't feel like dumping the tank, which only takes a minute.

That's a lot of years to learn to swap a blade or clean the deck without making a mess. I managed and don't see the issue as being worth mentioning. Spill a little once and observe why. I also manage to drink liquid out of cups without spilling it everywhere. :)
Then why does this guy, on 2010 Honda, advises using a plastic bag to prevent fuel leaks on a cap that does not have holes but is still "vented".

Same here.
 

KeithP

Diamond Member
Jun 15, 2000
5,660
198
106
I switched to an electric mower a few of years ago. I first went with Ryobi (40v). While it cut the grass okay it didn't seem to have much suction. I have a large Magnolia tree (leaves are thick/heavy) in my yard and the Ryobi didn't do a good job of sucking up the leaves when I cut the grass.

I returned the Ryobi and bought an Ego. Granted, the Ego was about $125 more at the time, but it was worth it in my opinion. Very happy with my Ego.

-kp
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
8,113
1,465
126
Then why does this guy, on 2010 Honda, advises using a plastic bag to prevent fuel leaks on a cap that does not have holes but is still "vented".

Same here.

Probably because the cap needed cleaned or replaced. Do what works for you, as will I.