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How Do I Choose the Best Lawn Mower Battery?

Almost all riding lawn mowers rely on electric starters.
Industrial grade lawnmowers may require batteries that cannot be found at hardware stores.
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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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A lawn mower battery may be needed for two very different reasons. A majority of lawn mowers are powered by small internal combustion engines. If these lawn mowers use batteries, they use them in the same fashion that automobiles use batteries, for starting power and to run a few small devices. Rechargeable electric lawnmowers have gained in popularity in recent years, and use batteries as their sole source of power. When choosing a battery for a lawn mower, it is critical to choose a battery appropriate for the type of mower that it will be used in.

The stereotypical gasoline-powered lawnmower has a simple cord-powered starter. Larger mowers, and almost all riding mowers, however, rely on electric starters. These starters need a lead-acid lawn mower battery that delivers a great deal of power in a short period of time. Most of these batteries are twelve volts, but some models use smaller six volt batteries. Matching the size and voltage requirements of a lawn mower battery is critical, and the old battery or the owner's manual should be consulted. Lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries should never be substituted for lead-acid batteries.

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When comparing different lead-acid batteries, the most important factors to consider are probably the warranty on the battery and the price. The ability of a lawn mower battery to withstand cold-weather conditions need only be considered if the riding lawnmower will also be used to blow snow or plow. Mowers that see no winter service can make do with batteries that are not designed to start engines in the cold.

Electrically-powered lawnmowers demand different things from it's lawn mower battery. A battery that will power a mower needs to have a large storage capacity and be able to handle frequent charging. In some cases, electric mowers use lead-acid batteries, not least of all because they are cheap. When shopping for such a battery, look for deep-cycle batteries. These batteries, unlike starter batteries, deliver less peak current but can provide a steady current for a longer period of time. They are also much more durable.

More advanced electric mowers may use lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries. These batteries excel at delivering power for a longer period of time. Unlike lead-acid batteries, however, they are not generally produced in generic shapes and sizes. This means that when shopping for this type of lawn mower battery, simply order the appropriate battery from the manufacturer.

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anon357837
Post 4

Deep cycle batteries should never be used for starting! They do not release the energy in a quick burst that a starter needs, thus your starter will be trying to pull more amps than it is receiving and can and will cause damage to your starter.

ysmina
Post 3

Lead-acid batteries are no good in my opinion. They seem to dry out when they're not used. I have to run the mower a few times in the winter to keep the batteries in shape.

serenesurface
Post 2

@turkay1-- Of course there are different types of deep-cycle batteries. You need to look for one specifically for a riding lawn mower. If you go to a physical store that sells lawn mower batteries and tell them your brand and type of lawn mower and ask for a deep-cycle one, they should find it for you.

There are also some other things you can do to extend the life of your batteries. When you're not using the mower, you should remove the batteries from the mower. You can also purchase a lawn mower battery charger and keep the batteries on the charger when it's not in use. This is what I do and my batteries last three years.

candyquilt
Post 1

I don't understand the different kind of lawn mower batteries. All I know is that they're too expensive and die too quickly.

I've had to buy a brand new battery for my lawn mower every single year for the past three years. It's a small lawn tractor and I just buy the same brand of battery that came with the lawn mower when I first bought it.

Will just any deep-cycle battery fit my lawn mower or are there different types of those?

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