Are Lawn Mower Batteries Deep Cycle?

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If you have a riding lawn mower, making the battery last is essential. After all, we all want to get the lawn done quickly and start properly. But are deep cycle batteries the answer? And if you use decide to use one of these batteries, which type is best?

Electric lawn mowers use two types of deep cycle batteries: lead acid and lithium. Lad acid batteries like AGM and gel are low cost but need regular maintenance. Lithium batteries are more expensive but have greater capacity and longer charge cycles.

A deep cycle battery can be recharged and discharged several times. A single discharge is equal to one cycle. These batteries store power and are used in lawn mowers and other equipment.

What Deep Cycle Batteries Do Lawn Mowers Use?

So to answer the question, “are lawn mower batteries deep cycle?” yes. But there are different types of deep cycle batteries. Which one you use has a direct effect on performance.

There are three types of lawn mower batteries: flooded lead acid, AGM and lithium. Well, technically just two because AGM is a type of lead acid battery, though more advanced.

Flooded Lead Acid Battery

Flooded lead acid (FLA) are the standard batteries used in lawn mowers. Lead acid batteries are cheap to make so they are affordable. You do not have to worry about compatibility either.

While FLA are low cost, it requires a lot of maintenance. The battery needs plenty of ventilation for safety reasons and must be attended to regularly. For someone new to lawn mowers and battery care, it might be too much.

Flooded lead acid batteries also have a limited depth of discharge (DOD), around 50%. What I mean is that you should never let the battery power drop down to 0%.

When the capacity drops below 50%, you should recharge it. If you don’t, it will shorten the battery’s life cycle. So you only get to use half the capacity. If you have a sizable lawn, constant recharging can be tedious.

Sealed Lead Acid Battery

There are two types of sealed lead acid batteries (SLA), gel and AGM. AGM is the one used in most lawn mowers because it offers a lot of benefits over a standard lead acid battery. Ir costs more but provides better performance.

My pick is the ML-U1-CCAHR 12V 320CCA Battery It has a long lifespan and works with many types of riding lawn mowers.

  • AGM batteries have a DOD of 70% or higher. Charging time is faster too so you can get more work done.
  • No maintenance required.
  • Durable. AGM batteries can handle temperature change and a few bumps. You can expect both to happen when you use a lawn mower, which makes AGM ideal for them.
  • AGM batteries have a low self-discharge rate so you can store it for long periods without causing damage.

As the name makes clear, these batteries are sealed. Unlike FLA you don’t have to worry about leaks while you mow the lawn. You can check out this guide I wrote for more information about AGM batteries.

Lithium Batteries

When it comes to performance and safety, lithium batteries are the best. What sets them apart from lead acid is the BMS (battery management system) which prevents overloading, overcharging, short circuit and other potential hazards.

In other words, lithium batteries do not need maintenance. Once installed you can let the battery run without worry.

Speaking of running, lithium batteries have the best depth discharge rate at 85-100%. Not all of them let you run it down to 0%, but many do. Even a 95% DOD is better than AGM or an FLA.

Lithium batteries charge faster. So not only do you get to use more power, but recharging is way quicker than lead acid. Lithium is also the lightest deep cycle battery out there. If you want to keep the weight of your riding lawn mower down, this is important.

These features do not come cheap. Lithium is the most expensive lawn mower battery out there. If you don’t mind paying a premium and want the best performance, then you should go with lithium.

If you want to try lithium batteries, a good option is the YTX12-BS/YTX14-BS 12V. It is long lasting and works well and needs no maintenance.

How Long Does a Lawn Mower Deep Cycle Battery Last?

A typical lithium battery is good for 2000 charging cycles. For the average lawn mower getting average use, this is good for 5 years or more. In contrast, AGM batteries usually have 1000 charging cycles, and FLA batteries around 500.

This lifespan is based on several assumptions. First it assumes the battery is properly maintained. Second, the battery is used only as suggested in the manual. Third, your lawn mower sees average usage.

  • If you mow the lawn daily, the battery will run out faster, lithium or not. Not using the battery for long periods can also damage lead acid, but not lithium or AGM.
  • While AGM and lithium do not need any maintenance, there are things you can do to improve performance. Keep these up and those deep cycle batteries will last longer.
  • Fully charge a new deep cycle battery before using it. This is necessary for lead acid, AGM and lithium.
  • If the battery will not be used for months, remove it from the lawn mower.
  • Always use the right charger. If you have an AGM battery, use an AGM charger. Same goes with lithium. Using the wrong one can damage the battery.
  • Do not let the capacity drop to 0%. Most lead acid batteries have a 50% DOD. For AGM it is 70% and lithium 85% and up. Check the operating manual to be certain.

What to Look For in a Deep Cycle Battery

The first step is to check what battery your lawn mower supports. When the time comes to replace the battery, use only the type the manufacturer recommends.

The C Rating tells you how long the battery can be discharged.

Amp hour (ah) indicates how long the battery can run. Keep in mind a lot of factors affect this such as the lawn mower usage, the grass you are trimming and so on.

The voltage indicates which one the battery uses. Most lawn mowers use 12V batteries, but smaller models might be able to run on 6V.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the battery not charging?

Try another charger. If it works, then the old charger was damaged. Only use a charger that is compatible with the battery. Otherwise you risk damaging the battery. If you tried a new charger and it still does not work, the battery is dead. You need to get a replacement.

Do riding lawn mowers use a deep cycle battery?

Yes, because their startup requirements are similar to those of trucks and cars. But the CCA requirement is lower than that of a car or truck.

What is the difference between lawn mower and car deep cycle batteries?

Lawn mower batteries are larger, but in terms of built, they are similar. But due to the difference in scale, you cannot use a lawn mower battery in a vehicle.

How long can a lawn mower battery last?

Around 3-5 years at least. This assumes the lawn mower is well maintained and the battery is used properly. Frequent use will shorten battery life however. Do keep in mind that not using the battery for long periods – or long intervals between uses – can damage the battery too.

Do all lawn mowers use a 12V battery?

Most of them yes. Whether it is a lead acid, lithium or AGM, almost all of them use 12 volts. There are a few exceptions that use 6 volts, but 12V is the standard.

Is a higher amp hour (ah) better for a lawn mower?

The higher the ah, the more power the battery can store. This also means a longer running time. The drawback is that higher ah batteries cost more and weigh more.

Is it better to use an AGM or lithium battery for my lawn mower?

Most use AGM batteries because they are more affordable and provide sufficient power. But if you want the best battery and maximum power, it is worth investing in a lithium battery.