Robot mowers

Mowing your lawn takes time, but a new trend is letting homeowners take that time back. Robot lawn care is slowly spreading across the United States. These auto mowers dock at charging stations near your home and constantly mow your lawn quietly and efficiently at all times of day, keeping it trim and looking like a golf course.

Electric mowers

Making your lawn look attractive doesn't have to be a noisy, exhausting experience. With the new electric lawn mowers on the market, you can trim your grass with less noise, less mess and less exertion.

The benefits of electric mowers

One of the most noticeable features of an electric lawn mower is the noise level - they're 75 percent quieter than gasoline-powered mowers, something your neighbors will no doubt appreciate.

Convenience is another big advantage an electric mower offers. You'll never have to worry about running out of gas in the middle of the yard, or deal with the mess of the filling the tank.

And as parents and pet owners know, keeping the gas can away from kids and dogs can be a challenge, making electric mowers a safer choice.

Only pennies per use

Electric mowers are also very economical to use - they cost less to purchase than high-end gas mowers, and they cost only pennies to use each time, compared to the several dollars you'll pay for gasoline. The typical electric mower uses about $3 in electricity each year.

And just because electric mowers use less energy and don't pollute as much, doesn't mean you'll have to sacrifice any added features. Most electric mowers on the market today are mulching mowers, and most offer add-on features like extended handles or bagging units.

Corded vs. cordless

If you decide to buy an electric lawn mower, you'll have to choose between a corded or a cordless model. A corded mower will generally be less expensive, and they're great for small yards. You might think dragging the cord around would be awkward, but it's no harder than using a vacuum cleaner indoors.

The main thing you'll have to look out for is children and pets tripping over the cord. You'll also want to make sure the outlet you use has a ground fault circuit interrupter.

Cordless mowers are very convenient. Most newer models come with an on-board battery charger and indicator lights - all you have to do is plug it in. The charger will automatically shut down when the battery is fully charged.

One thing to keep in mind with a cordless mower is the size of your yard. Most manufacturers will have charts that tell you how long the batteries last and how much grass you can mow in that time.

Some brands offer two levels of battery power - a 24-volt battery for small to medium-size lawns, or a 36-volt model for larger lawns.

Recharging time is another factor to consider when choosing or using a cordless electric mower. The battery may take at least 16-20 hours to fully recharge - the more powerful the motor, the longer the recharging time.

And keep in mind that a larger battery will be heavier - but it will still be lighter weight than a gasoline mower with a full tank.