Choosing the Best Lithium Lawn Mower Battery – Everything You Need to Know
Table of Contents
- Choosing the Best Lithium Lawn Mower Battery – Everything You Need to Know
- How are Lawn Mowers Powered?
- Which Lithium Lawn Mower Battery is Best?
- How Long do Lithium Ion Batteries Last?
- Lawn Mower Lithium Ion Battery Charging Tips
Okay, picture the scene: It’s spring. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s finally warm enough to venture outdoors and tackle the overgrown grass in your backyard that hasn’t been mowed since Fall. You dust off the mower, jump on, push the starter and…nothing. The battery is as flat as a pancake. Annoying, right?
Having a ride on lawn mower is all well and good, but like any other vehicle, or any other piece of machinery for that matter, it needs to be maintained and looked after. Failing to maintain it will only result in more work, and more expense for you later down the line. One of the most common issues that ride on lawn mower owners face, is problems with the battery.
Unless you want your garden to resemble an overgrown jungle, regular mowing of the grass is essential. If your lawn mower’s battery is constantly going flat, or losing its charge far too quickly, how can you be expected to do that? The simple answer is you can’t.
A lithium lawn mower battery is first choice for many, but what is the best, and how can they be maintained? Here’s a detailed lawn mower lithium ion battery guide.
How are Lawn Mowers Powered?
Before we can help you address your mowing woes, we first need to help you understand how your mower gets its power in the first place.
Contrary to popular belief, lawn mowers don’t simply work by magic, or run on unicorn dust, they instead get their power in one of three different ways. They are as follows:
Though now considered to be dated, especially as the world transitions away from fossil fuels and looks for greener, more sustainable energy solutions, some lawn mowers out there run solely on gasoline.
In reality, these devices are very similar to cars as far as the mechanics go, except for the fact that they don’t have a battery. You simply, and we use that term very loosely indeed, operate a pull started cord to get the engine going.
Now far more common that gas-powered lawn mowers, we have electrically-operated lawn mowers instead.
Electric lawn mowers, especially the push-behind, hand operated lawn mowers, are more common in gardens all over the globe. They get their power either from being plugged directly into the mains via a power cord, or a battery, such as a lithium lawn mower battery.
Mains-powered mowers are becoming much rarer now, as more and more people are looking to go cordless when it comes to their household appliances. Considering lawn mower power cords often get in the way, and considering the fact that there’s a risk you could trip over it, or even cut through it, it’s easy to see why battery-powered mowers are now in vogue, as it were.
Battery operated mowers are generally quieter, lighter, and better for the environment as they use less power. The only downside is that push-behind mowers that run on a lawn mower lithium ion battery, are no good for large yards and gardens.
Electric and gas combination
Despite the fact that all-electric lawn mowers are proving more common, if you own a ride on mower, chances are it’s a hybrid of both gas and electric mowers. Think of them as the Prius’ of the mowing world, only, you know, actually popular.
Ride on mowers often combine both gasoline and batteries, just like most vehicles. The advantage here is that they have much more power than a regular gasoline power, and the battery holds its charge for longer as there is less demand.
As far as the batteries that are used are concerned, you’ll find that nearly always, it’s lithium ion batteries that are preferred, and for good reason.
Which Lithium Lawn Mower Battery is Best?
If you are indeed looking for a new battery for your lawn mower, you’ve obviously already figured out that lithium batteries are the way to go.
Lithium batteries last much longer than lead acid batteries, they charge quicker, they run for far more cycles, they’re easier to maintain, and of course, they’re much better for the environment. As far as which lawn mower lithium ion battery is best however, we strongly recommended LiFePO4 batteries.
LiFePO4 batteries are a form of lithium battery, which utilize iron phosphate (FePO4) for the cathode material. While similar to regular lithium batteries, LiFePO4 batteries tend to last longer, and have lower energy densities. This means that they can’t be used with smaller electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and fitness trackers, but are perfect for larger items such as golf carts and buggies, boats, RVs, and of course, ride on lawn mowers.
LiFePO4 batteries utilize newer tech, and have an iron phosphate cathode, rather than lithium cobalt dioxide, or lithium manganese oxide like regular lithium batteries. The phosphate cathode also means that they have a much longer life cycle, so they will last longer. For keen gardeners out there, that is of course, great news.
How Long do Lithium Ion Batteries Last?
While we can’t give you an exact figure for how long these batteries last, what we can do is give you a pretty accurate estimate based upon scientific evidence and what we already know.
One of the main reasons why a lawn mower lithium ion battery is so popular for lawn mower owners is because they last so long. There’s nothing worse than constantly having to replace a battery every couple of years, while also spending a lot of time and money caring for, and maintaining it. With lead acid batteries, that is unfortunately what tends to happen.
Lead acid batteries typically last 2 – 4 years, maybe a year or two more if the stars align, and you look after it. Having to replace a battery every couple of years is not only a lot of hassle, it’s also a lot of expense.
A lithium lawn mower battery on the other hand, will last considerably longer than its lead acid counterpart. A typical 12-volt LiFePO4 battery for example, will last for upwards of 10 years with a little care and maintenance. That’s more than 5,000 cycles. Sure, they’re a little more costly at first, but in the long run you’ll save a considerable amount of money and time.
Lawn Mower Lithium Ion Battery Charging Tips
At risk of sounding patronising, charging up a lithium ion battery is actually not as simple or as straightforward as you might have expected.
To ensure that your lawn mower battery remains in tip top condition, here are several charging tips for you to follow.
Always charge your battery before mowing season
While your mowing season will of course vary depending on where in the world you live, for most people, spring signifies the beginning of mowing season for another year.
While it can be tempting to wait until spring to break out the mower, the best thing you can do to ensure the battery remains as healthy as possible is instead charge it in the winter.
Lithium batteries drain and discharge just like regular batteries, albeit at a much slower rate, but even so, you must ensure that you keep them charged and prevent them from draining dry completely.
If you allow your lithium batteries to go completely dead too frequently, this will reduce their lifespan and the charge capacity, rendering them less efficient.
Before you break out the mower for another year of grass cutting, make sure you charge the battery in the winter to around 80% when the mower is going to be out of action for several months.
Never overcharge a lithium lawn mower battery
To some people, it can be tempting to put your batteries on charge every time you finish using them, to make sure they have plenty of charge every time. However, that too can damage the battery. Overcharging the battery can be just as bad as undercharging it.
Most good quality LiFePO4 lithium batteries have overcharge protection in the form of a BMS (battery management system). This means that the battery cannot be overcharged. In any event, don’t get into the habit of charging your battery after every single use, let it drop down to around 20% first.
Ensure your battery terminals are clean
Another top tip when it comes to maintaining your lithium lawn mower battery is to make sure your battery terminals are clean.
If your terminals are dirty this can affect the flow of current when the mower is in use. When you install your battery pack, make sure you check the terminals and carefully give them a quick clean.
Always buy from a reputable battery supplier
While there are plenty of battery suppliers to choose from, it’s essential that you buy from trusted and reputable suppliers. This not only means you’re getting the best value for money, it also means you’re getting the best lithium lawn mower battery.
MANLY for example, have years of experience under their belts, they have a proven track record, they have thousands of happy customers, and the batteries they provide are safe, reliable, efficient, and of premium quality.
If you’re looking for cost-effective batteries of a premium quality, MANLY Battery come very highly recommended indeed.