Gas vs. Electric Toro TimeCutter: Which is Better?

If you haven’t heard, Toro released a new 60V electric TimeCutter – a modern twist on their classic gas-powered Toro TimeCutter SS4225. 

Bottom Line: While the gas-powered Toro TimeCutter is better for commercial use or very large yards, the new 60V electric TimeCutter is better overall – providing a quieter, easier ride and even moving a bit faster.

Luckily, I got my hands on both mowers for a nice side-by-side comparison of both gas and electric Toro TimeCutters. While they look nearly identical, they have some stark differences that you should be aware of before you pull the trigger. Let’s dive in:

If you want to read more about my favorite Toro mowers – read this.

Which TimeCutter is more powerful – gas or electric?

While you might expect the gas version of the Toro TimeCutter, the Toro TimeCutter SS4225 (our full review here), to be more powerful – I think you’d be surprised. I’ve tested the TimeCutter against other zero-turns like the Cub Cadet ZT1 and it’s proven to be one of the most powerful mowers each time. 

But the electric TimeCutter, the 60V eTimeCutter, felt just as strong. I tested both of these in my backyard and my neighbors backyard and cut grass, wet grass, went over sticks, and even mulched leaves. The eTimeCutter did a bang up job. 

While I think that on the upper end of power the gas version is probably more powerful, you wouldn’t notice a difference in power between the two mowers on a day-to-day basis. Basically, if you’re a normal homeowner and use the electric version of the TimeCutter, you’ll be fine. 

One important note – my friend and I did a drag race comparison of the two mowers and the electric one is faster by about 1.5 MPH. It has some serious zip and acceleration that blew my hat off my head (not kidding). 

The gas Toro TimeCutter is more comfortable

As much as I wanted the electric TimeCutter to be more comfortable – it just wasn’t. The gas TimeCutter SS4225 comes with armrests and a crazy suspension system called MyRIDE. The MyRIDE suspension system connects the footplate and the chair in one unit. The unit is connected to a core suspension spring that is pretty bouncy – but in a good way. Basically it has the seated component of the mower separated from the rest of the mower in a way that I’ve never seen before. 

It only makes sense when you’ve stepped onto the mower. Once you’re on it, you can really appreciate the MyRIDE suspension system’s ability to make the bumps and turbulence basically nothing. If you’ve ever been in a car with a great suspension system, like a Ford Raptor or similar, you will get the same feeling. 

What about the eTimeCutter?

The eTimeCutter surprisingly doesn’t have much of a suspension system at all and doesn’t have arm rests. Boo! It looks like the eTimeCutter was built on the body of last year’s gas-powered TimeCutter – the same frame and suspension system they’ve used for the past few years. Not bad, but not the upgrade that the gas version got. 

The battery system on the new eTimeCutter is great

The eTimeCutter comes with 4 60V 10 Ah batteries, which is a ton. These are huge and come with cool handles that allow you to pull it out of the back of the mower with ease. It takes a lot of battery to run a zero-turn, so I’m not surprised to see the massive batteries on this one. 

You can get around two acres of cut time with the batteries fully charged. Obviously if you compare this to gas, the gas mower reigns supreme as you can just quickly fill it up with more gas. 

But when it comes to run-time, it doesn’t matter as much as you would think. If you have a 42 inch zero turn mower, then you probably aren’t mowing more than two acres at a time. For example, if you have a three acre property, I wouldn’t use anything less than a 52 inch zero turn like the Ariens IKON XD 52.

So – if you have between 1-2 acres, I recommend the electric version just because it is easier to maintain. 

My overall recommendation: Gas or electric TimeCutter zero-turn? 

The recommendation is dynamic: if you are a normal homeowner, the eTimeCutter is supreme because it requires no maintenance and is just as good for under two acres. If you have more than two acres or are a professional landscaper, then the gas version is better.

But if you are meeting the requirements to get a gas mower, why wouldn’t you go with a bigger one from someone like John Deere or Husqvarna?

What we look for in zero-turn mowers

A few things to look for in zero-turn mowers are blade size, transmission, accessory capabilities and cost. 

Cutting width

Blade size and cutting width are important to keep consistent with the size of your lawn. Obviously longer blades are best for larger lawns, but begin to sacrifice a little bit of the agility afforded by a smaller blade. 

Transmission type

Transmission is also an important consideration for a zero-turn mower. Most zero turn mowers do not have manual transmissions, but have either automatic or hydrostatic transmissions. Automatic works just like an automatic car does with a gas pedal and belts. Hydrostatic transmissions use fluid to transfer their power to the blades and the rest of the engine. I prefer and recommend hydrostatic transmissions because they typically require less maintenance and have a longer life (plus it sounds cooler).

Cost and value

Cost is generally of the utmost importance as well. Zero-turn mowers are expensive. In fact, you can buy an old Honda Civic for less than most zero turn mowers. Expect to spend no less than $3,000 for a zero turn mower. Keep in mind that these will last a long time and save you a ton of weekend time when compared to a riding tractor or push mower. Zero turn mowers are an upfront investment, but reap a huge return over time.

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