When purchasing a lawn mower, it is important to consider efficiency so you can get the job done and move on to more important things, like spending time with your family. From push mowers, to self-propelled mowers, to riding tractors, you'll find many choices, including fuel options such as gas- or diesel-powered mowers. When determining the fuel type for your mower, you should consider a number of things in addition to efficiency.
1. Parts and Maintenance
A gasoline-powered lawn mower is the standard fuel-powered mower you find at your garden or landscaping supply store. While these mowers are of good quality and are able to get the job done, they also require regular maintenance in the form of spark plug replacement, oil changes and filter cleaning. If you store your gas-powered lawn mower over the winter months when your grass is dormant, you may also discover that you have a hard time starting the mower the following season, as the carburetor begins to gum up over lengthy periods without use. With a diesel-powered motor, you'll have less maintenance, as they do not have the same parts. Diesel mowers do not have spark plugs, plug wires, rotors, distributor caps or carburetors like a gas mower. Diesels have no problem starting after being stored for a few months and the engine is water-cooled, meaning it runs more efficiently with less maintenance.
2. Emissions and Efficiency
When you purchase home and garden products, you want to consider the health of your family and landscape, as well as the health of the environment. Purchasing a lawn mower is no exception. Diesel lawn mowers have a hefty price tag compared to gas mowers; however, these mowers expel fewer emissions and are more fuel efficient than gas lawn mowers. This is due to the high energy density of diesel fuel compared to gas. It is estimated that a diesel mower saves you as many as 700 gallons of fuel for every 1,000 hours of use compared to a gas mower, according to Green Industry Pros. While a diesel mower may cost more up front, it saves you money in the long run, while also emitting less carbon monoxide than a gas lawn mower.
3. Power to Get the Job Done
No one wants to spend their entire Saturday or Sunday mowing grass when you could be enjoying more relaxing family activities. This is why it is important to consider horsepower when purchasing a lawn mower. In general, diesel lawn mowers provide more power compared to gas engines. If you have a very small yard and very little turf to mow, a gas lawn mower may suit your needs. However, if you have a large yard, lots of hills or if you are dealing with tall, wet grass, diesel is the better option. A gas mower requires the engine to be at full throttle to climb hills or pull a load of brush if you are dealing with a riding lawn mower. You may also notice that your engine stalls. A diesel lawn mower produces an equal amount of power at 1500 rpms compared to 3000 rpms, making it a more powerful engine, according to Hoye Tractor Parts.
4. Special Features
Gas and diesel lawn mowers are relatively equal when it comes to special features that make your mowing job easier. For example, a gas-powered lawn mower may offer features such as mulching or bagging or side discharge of your grass clippings. Both gas and diesel push mowers may offer features such as self-propelling, making your mower easier to maneuver around turns and up hills. Electric start buttons eliminate the pull-string start features, which may require several attempts. Diesel lawn mowers, especially riding tractors, offer additional features that allow you to expand the use of your mower, including different types of blades and scoop attachments.
- David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images