Mowing with a Corded Electric Lawn Mower – Best Practices
If you look at the reviews for corded lawn mowers you’ll see that a lot of people talk about dealing with the extension cord. Most people have no trouble with it after they’ve tried it a few times and if they plan their mowing.
Table of contents
In this post I’m going to go over both the basic planning of how to mow with a corded lawnmower so that you do not cause your extension cord to be cut and then how you can actually still mow with a crosshatch pattern if you’re looking for a baseball infield green.
The basic premise of mowing with a corded lawnmower is to start close to the cord and mow away from it. Now that does not mean to mow directly away from it. You start close to the outlet and go back and forth moving away with each row of mowing. That’s the basics of it. Now in order to expand upon that and see that you still have many options let’s look at how you could mow in a different pattern each week because that is the healthiest way to mow your lawn.
If you have a rectangular shaped yard no matter how you mow you will want to mow one row near where the outlet is located. This gives you a clean area to lay down your cord for whatever pattern you’re going to mow. Now if you want to do a classic crosshatch where you mow one direction one week and then the next week you mow at 90° to that it is still possible with the corded electric mower.
Below is a basic diagram. Its not as easy drawing on a computer as it is on paper. A mouse just doesn’t move like a pencil. The little symbol on the porch is an outlet and the orange squiggle is supposed to be an extension cord.
Mowing a Crosshatch Pattern
What you do is you start by mowing your single, or double, pass near the outlet and then you stretch your cord to one end or the other and then lay your cord out at that end and then start mowing at a 45° angle to your initial path. Now if you’ve dragged your cord to the far left side of that path and you’ve laid it out then as you mow you will be able to go at 45° angle all the way across your yard and never run into your cord. You’ll come near it each time you approach the initial path but you should not run over it.
Next week what you want to do is just go to the other end. If you started one week on the left you would stretch your cord out to the right and then mow at 45° to your initial path making sure that you’re about 90° to your pass from last week. By following this method you will be able to keep your lawn the healthiest.
The reason this keeps your lawn healthier is because the way the blades hit the grass each time is changed thereby strengthening the root system not weakening it in one direction. This is the reason that baseball fields are mowed this way it makes the grass stronger. If you really wanted the full crosshatch effect you would mow the whole yard one direction at a slightly higher blade setting then do it all again at a 1/2 to 3/4 inch shorter setting.
Once you become accustomed to mowing with an electric mower that has a cord then you will be able to mow your yard in an advanced way as compared to the basics of just going back and forth away from the cord. As stated before most people get used to the cord rather quickly. I have seen some bad examples of people mowing with cords but if you look at these diagrams and understand them you should have no trouble. On additional tip that some mentioned in reviews was to actually put the cord over your shoulder. That way it is always behind you while mowing.
Electric Lawn Mowers do not draw as much power as some other power tools and even the biggest of the mowers should work fine on any properly wired outlet. The largest motor I could find was drawing 13 Amps. Its always a good idea to at least make sure your outlets are wired correctly and a simple tester like this one is all you need for that.
Of course, you should ideally be using a GFCI outlet wired with 12 gauge copper wire if you are going to install new outlets for additional mowing options. Be sure and read the Extension Cord PDF linked at the top of the page and check out some of my mower reviews.
I hope this post has been helpful for those that are on the fence about a corded electric lawn mower. If the cord was holding you back maybe this will make it easy to understand that the cord is not a big deal. If you want electric because you wish to have a smaller environmental impact a corded mower is a greener choice than one with a battery.
To cleaner quieter mowing,
You are welcome. I hope the animated images were understandable. Make sure and read the article about extension cords. That is critical for your mower.
Though your article has been up a number of years, finding it today was very helpful to me today. Knew there had to be a more efficient way to manage the cord than what I started off doing.
This is really great advice for a beginning mower, thanks!