Should We Ban Small Gas Engines? Comments From Our Survey

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We ran a survey to learn what people think about bans on small gas engine equipment like chainsaws, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. You can view the results of our small off-road engine ban study here.

At the end of the survey, we asked respondents to share any final thoughts on small engine bans in the USA and/or Canada. 525 people from 1172 left a comment. Here are their responses. 

The links to other articles in the comments have been added.

Comments From Our Survey

survey question 11

Depending on what you need the equipment for, some electric are too weak and need multiple batteries. Bans are unacceptable.

Battery equipment is too heavy for practical use chainsaws. We bought a battery arborist saw and our arms are falling off.

Batteries are ok in the city, but certain jobs require gas engines. Like on farms, ranches, and in forestry, etc.

The entitled fat cats flying around the globe for PR shots need to stop before even dreaming of banning small gas engines will make any difference whatsoever. I know the rules don’t apply to the elite, just us peons.

Good option but should not be mandated. Will never work for large properties.

This is ridiculous, the technology isn’t there, and they aren’t reliable for regular and heavy use. You can’t just ban stuff that lasts for 40 years and force extra costs on people.

Green idiots are out of control. It’s all bullshit and everything will come to an end. People should be more concerned about gross lawlessness; murder, theft, illegitimate children, perverted sexual practices, gross pride… These are the things that should be eliminated from society… not gasoline engines.

I live in a rural area that would require far too many extension cords to be used on my 10 acres. You don’t care about those of us that NEED small gas-powered engines for our property.

Not everyone lives in a city. Bans affect rural customers more than city people as we don’t have a choice on charging batteries out in the bush or on a ranch doing fence lines or trails.

This environmental crap is false, there is no climate emergency, carbon is only .003 to .004 percent, and doing all this electrification does very little to help the environment. Climate change is natural as the climate gets warmer and cooler, we need cheap fuels for heat for cold winters, and more people die from cold than heat.

Tried electric chainsaws – doesn’t cut it when cutting all day and larger trees.

I have a large yard and battery power just doesn’t have the life to get it done. The technology of batteries needs to improve. Stop using slave labor for materials.

How is it better for the environment, to manufacture new electric outdoor tools/batteries, than using existing well-tuned equipment?

This is silly. I live in a rural area and small gas engines are always in use. There are environmentally friendly options for fuel. I use Aspen 2. No harmful vapors and keeps engines cleaner. It also has a longer shelf life than gasoline… educate yourself.

Airplanes are the biggest problem. Crazy idea to ban small engines.

Small electric power tools have appropriate uses but government should not be subsidizing one or the other or forcing the use of one over the other.

This ban is all BS. If you’re in the country away from cities or suburbs battery operated equipment doesn’t have the power or range yet to get the job done as the properties are much too large for these battery tools to handle.

Banning small engine gas powered equipment is absolutely useless, as well as ridiculous. Small engine equipment produces such little pollution that banning it would do more harm than good. There are many instances where gas powered equipment outshines modern battery operated equipment. For example, in remote areas such as bush country where electricity to charge batteries is non-existent. Many people such as farmers, hunters, backpackers, and fishermen access or live in these areas. Battery powered equipment could be a life-or-death matter if it doesn’t work. No matter the temperature gas powered equipment will work as long as it has proper fuel and is maintained. Batteries are affected by extreme cold and or heat. In emergency situations, gasoline can be used to start a fire which could keep a person alive.

We have had enough of tyranny in the guise of environmentalism. Ban the politicians that fly around the world on jets.

Banning small engines is useless compared to what battery manufacturers pollute the environment with. Ban private jets.

The move to electric tools and power sources is nothing but a political move. It does not actually help the environment at all. In fact, it hurts it more. Just in a slightly different way.

Carbon-caused climate change is a crock of defecation.

How do you plan to fight fires with battery powered equipment and not a charging station in sight. We don’t have the infrastructure for this nonsense.

This is nonsense. I have acreage, and I will not go electric. It is just too much of a hassle. We are being punished here with a carbon tax. Meanwhile, India and China continue to use coal and pollute. We’re not on a level playing field anymore.

Outright bans on equipment aren’t helpful, they encourage the un-environmentally friendly mining of resources to replace equipment that is not yet at its end of life. If electric is right for a person’s or company’s needs you bet it has been considered when replacing old gear as the maintenance costs alone would offset increased purchase pricing.

I will not replace my gas powered equipment until it no longer runs and I repair my own, so probably never as I do not see any sense in throwing away perfectly good items just to appease some people.

How about ban mining for rare minerals?

I have mostly battery operated forest and garden equipment now. Phasing out most ICE equipment remaining as time and finances permit. No turning back now unless a magic fuel appears.

There are other more important issues than small engines.

Question number 4 was loaded and biased. For the record I see no benefits in a small gas engine ban, however, I was forced to make a selection that did not align with my views.

Ridiculous to tackle one of the smallest parts of the big equation first. A total waste of time and money.

Start with private jets, billionaires with 30 houses, 70 cars and 12 jets then we can have a discussion.

Battery powered equipment is great for many things but it’s not the answer to everything.

Complete bans on small engines must be stopped! There will always be a few jobs where small engines are the only power source that’s practical. If a battery tool does the job at hand just as well and is what you want to use there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t let the government take options away from those of us who do the jobs that make the world turn. It will only make our lives more difficult. Meanwhile, they waste resources and money hand over fist and think nothing of it. This is the type of law we must push back against!

This is another way to make people more dependent on the government and less able to maintain any form of rural lifestyle. WEF bullshit!!!

If you are in the bush close to where I live, recharging an electrically powered tool is not an option, unless I bring my generator set along. Gee, that’s progress.

There are larger polluters than publicly owned small engines.

My property is too large to mow with an electric mower. Also, many trees on my property need regular clean-up and trimming.

Batteries are worse for environment and more mining and more waste we can’t get rid of.

This is no more than a power move to control the freedom of people across the globe. I think it’s been a political play since 1965 and will continue till the people start opposing the political and influential in power today. We must get control of our republic in Canada and the US now.

The government is doing everything it can to decimate our country.

Ever tried to mow/weed whack 2 acres of grass with battery equipment? You want to ban lawnmowers but not assault rifles?

A ban on internal combustion engines of any size is a joke. The damage caused by refining materials to make electric vehicles, and equipment is far more than that of internal combustion. The “pollution” from combustion, gives trees a job, a trees function is to clean the air…this is all a political stunt to take more and more money away from the people. Our infrastructure is not sustainable for everyone to have electric equipment. Furthermore, electric equipment does not provide enough power to produce the energy needed to make new. A ban on gas powered equipment, makes the owners become criminals without even knowing it. Same as the gun grab. This is a joke. Whoever is pushing this garbage needs to stop.

There are currently no viable replacements for some equipment such as commercial chain saws. I do believe that recreational vehicles such as pleasure boats and off road vehicles should be electrified.

I have a few battery powered items. One is a high-end string trimmer. I can get the job done with one charge providing the grass is light. Otherwise, it’s two charges. I could buy a 2nd battery but for now one is OK. Bought a new snowblower last fall and was asked if I would consider a battery powered unit. No, we live on the Canadian prairies. We face continuous extreme cold temps and lots of snow. I don’t believe a battery powered blower would cut it.

As of now, battery operated chainsaws for arborists are not in a state to replace gas powered chainsaws, especially in the 40cc to 92cc class chainsaw which would be unfeasible in today’s technology.

The pollution from battery production is likely more than the small engines they replace. Waste of time and resources.

Battery power is not any better for the environment, just look at the mass devastation caused by mining the materials needed.

Tried battery. Extremely frustrated. I was assured the batteries would last long enough for me to do my tasks. It was not even close and extra batteries are prohibitively expensive. I went out and bought some new gas powered Stihl equipment and it should last me through the electric silliness.

Just another ridiculous overreach. No matter what the government does it will never do any good they are a joke.

Electric equipment does not currently do the job of gas. They don’t add to any air quality issues. It also would make smaller businesses fold.

Some gas powered equipment is just necessary because of conditions and production, chainsaws, outboard motors, small generators and others where electric just won’t work long enough.

Ban the World Economic Forum.

The mining of materials for battery operated vehicles and equipment and the waste generated from end of service batteries will be a greater environmental disaster than gas and oil have ever created.

I work in road construction – hot asphalt paving is far more damaging than 10,000 chainsaws. Gas chainsaws are what sustain my heat in winter. Batteries simply are not up to the task of cutting firewood in freezing temperatures. And no, in Ontario we have the highest electricity rates in all the developed world, so it is not affordable to use electric. And there is no natural gas hook up. I would love to get a biomass boiler to replace but the cost is incredible and regulations are near unworkable here as well.

A waste of government (MY) money and time – much more important issues.

Idiotic. Where are you supposed to charge the batteries in the bush? With a gas or diesel-powered generator?

Leave things the way they are there is no such thing as clean or green energy. There’s a lot of waste from batteries and other so called green energy.

Using an electric mower for big lawns wouldn’t last all day. Gasoline is not going away for a long time while the government is getting taxes from the fuel market.

As a farmer who heats with wood, I need a reliable and effective chainsaw and log splitter. If electric can do it, I’ll go to it. But until then, will have to stick with my gas tools.

There are so many major problems in cities in North America, this is just feel-good pandering. Deal with major pollution emitters, drugs, crime, and housing instead of this little issue. This is addressing a non-existing issue.

Small engine bans will only benefit alternate power source providers, not consumers or end users. Batteries are less environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.

In my opinion, this is nickel-and-dime stuff as long as other parts of the world have no pollution standards of any kind. I have a chain saw that is 38 years old and works wonderfully. I have a ride-on mower that is 37 years old. I have a weed eater that is 25 years old. Would we as consumers be guaranteed that batteries will be available for 25 years for our new equipment? (I think not).

Get rid of the eco nuts or plant them really deep. I live in a rural area, an electric chainsaw is not much good for cutting a winter supply of firewood.

Unnecessary. I will continue to seek out and use gas powered lawn and garden equipment regardless of laws in place.

Modern gasoline engines emit such little pollution that no restriction is necessary.

Sounds like a waste of time and resources for minimal environmental impact.

Creating and storing energy is just as bad environmentally as gas engines. This is another idiotic, unattainable goal of a bunch of people that have no idea what it takes to produce all of the products they use.

Is only for image, one large cargo ship or cruise ship burn more tied to the dock than all gas engine in a small city.

This is a suggestion that if implemented would have no benefit other than increasing the cost of living for the already overtaxed population.

Electric and battery powered equipment is of no value to rural and off-grid lifestyles.

Green energy is a joke all new equipment is still based on fossil fuels and extraction of carbon materials from the earth.

Let the market decide the small engine’s fate! Where I live the power goes out regularly and it’s cold! We need reliable energy sources that can produce! I’ll use battery operated if it makes sense!

Banning is stupid, always has been. Better to offer up more advanced and cost effective mobile electric solutions and the gas engine problem will disappear. The mobile-electric tech just isn’t ready for full scale gas replacement, not by a long shot! So banning corners the consumer into technology that just isn’t ready, stupidly expensive and doesn’t fit the bill of small engine needs.

There is a cost for everything. I certainly can’t afford to replace everything I use.

Gas takes 1 minute to refill and keep going. Can’t cut logs for 8 hours in the woods with a mile long extension cord or would need 15 batteries. Lithium is very difficult to put out if something goes wrong and it catches fire and very unclean to mine as well. How environmentally friendly is that?

Gas chainsaws, pressure washers and various other construction tools are still far superior to electric options.

What a ridiculous plan, just as bad as banning natural gas stoves.

Give your head a shake, one jet ride to Europe would cause more pollution and noise than all the chainsaws in New York city in a year. Ban air travel if anything.

Batteries are more toxic in the long run. The amount of fuels that are burned to mine the minerals used to make them the amount of electricity used in the process to manufacture them and then the amount of energy trying to find new ways to dispose of them environmentally when they’re actually pretty toxic. And also, the fire risks of lithium batteries when people leave them on chargers.

The ‘green’ movement gives me great concern over the mining for materials to make batteries. The pendulum always swings too far and takes too long to correct.

A ban would be really hard on people who rely on small gas engines and I would never vote for a government who did it.

Electricity cannot replace petroleum in every circumstance. No common sense anymore.

Banning small gas engines, without comparable replacements, is premature. Yes, I can get an electric mower to do the same work, but it’s not as efficient. For example: Maneuvering around trees and dragging a cord is more difficult, thus less efficient.

If you are replacing something that doesn’t need replacing (it’s not worn out) is also less efficient. We paid $ for the mower expecting to get so many hours for that price. Force me to replace it prematurely increases my cost, without a benefit.

Should slowly transition.

Battery powered cannot replace gas. Nice idea, but technology is nowhere near ready.

I’m good with a twenty-year plan nothing less or more.

Using electric in the city is doable, but using it on a farm or in the forest for logging totally useless unless you have a way to recharge batteries like a gas generator.

Electric is another scam. This is nonsense!

Far bigger problems for government to worry about. This is just low hanging fruit.

Just plain stupid.

Such dubious environmental rules as this ban should be vehemently rejected, and the politicians pushing them removed from power.

A small gas engine ban would make rural land care and even suburban yard care very time consuming. Expensive as well as difficult.

It’s too soon the tech isn’t there yet and you will further screw the economy and the average person.

Small engine bans would put me out of a job!

One of the dumbest ideas governments have come up with. The stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.

Get the politicians to stop flying around the globe for photo ops and I’ll consider it. I’m not totally opposed to change, but the current technology does not even come close to being equal at this point. I’ve tried plenty of battery operated tools and there is no comparison.

This is insane. As a firefighter, the added use of additional lithium-ion battery chargers is terrifying due to the increased risk of fire.

Forcing us to fill landfills with good equipment does not help the environment.

Cut down on people commuting from great distances in vehicles and idling in drive-thrus before eliminating small engines.

Small engine bans accomplish nothing. Meanwhile, China starts up another coal-fired generator. 2 strokes rule!

This is stupid. We already have too many regulations. We need less, not more. I own 3 chain saws, 2 gas and 1 battery powered. The battery powered on is great for small jobs, but when it’s time for cutting full size trees into firewood it just doesn’t keep up.

How about stopping this nonsense, why not limit or stop people from flying around the world in private air planes.

What an utter load of bullshit virtue signaling.

The technology is NOT there yet for conversion to electric. Won’t be efficient for a long time. I live in the country.

It should be implemented promptly due to the unnecessary accidents, noise, and environmental pollution it has caused. However, it should also be gradually abolished with a focus on recycling and replacement.

Large property requires a range of equipment. Decades of use on the same equipment with maintenance.

Large capacity battery power for large properties is difficult and perhaps impractical.

Stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Residential ban would make sense, but to ban commercial applications would be foolish.

Stop mandating change. If the technology is worthwhile, people will transition.

Small engine bans will only accomplish adding cost to equipment, increased power supply requirements, potential risk due to runaway battery fires, increased yard maintenance costs from contractors, and likely soon to be increased insurances costs due to fire risks associated with the battery powered equipment. Not to mention the likely upcoming environmental disaster from all the used batteries that no one is talking about. Just like wind turbine blades.

Other things should be banned before small engines.

Too much government intervention. Rules made by city folk who have absolutely no idea. Battery power is not cleaner in the long run.

Useless if fossil fuels are used to generate the power for electric or battery powered tools.

The impact of mining for battery components is worse than just using the energy we already have available.

Deal with China if you really want to change the world’s pollution problems.

Idiocy. How can I cut timber for 8 hours with a battery chainsaw that only runs for 30 minutes at full power? No electric outlets in the forest.

I have already had battery powered lawnmower and it didn’t last five years. It ended up in the landfill. My used gas mower is six years old and will likely last another 20 years and only sips gas. If people do not like noise pollution, may they should consider a rural home environment as cities will be noisy no matter what.

Battery powered tools are too costly with poor performance. Stihl advertises 30 min run time for their chainsaw batteries. That’s equivalent to two small tanks of gas on gas saw. At $300 per battery, needing probably 3 batteries, makes the tool cost an additional $900 to do any simple jobs. Those batteries may even fail filling up dumps or recycling plants. Recycling these batteries uses more energy resulting in more carbon into the atmosphere.

We are exporting the problem to third world countries. The word I will say is Cobalt. The mining of the minerals required for these batteries are much more devastating to the environment and to people.

They haven’t perfected any electric alternatives that can get job done as efficiently as gas powered. U can’t take an electric chainsaw woodcutting all day and get any work done.

Motorcycles and loud tailpipe cars make more noise than gas tools and lawnmowers.

The majority of small engines for the home utility market are only designed to last 50 hours. Maybe forcing manufacturing to a higher quality standard is a better bet for the environment. Transitioning from gas to battery without improving quality and therefore longevity will not reduce environmental impacts overall, as most equipment is landfilled far sooner than it should be regardless of how it’s powered.

Ban in the city maybe, but in the country absolutely not.

Not a good solution. The current battery technology can’t replace gas engines in every situation. A ban is not a solution.

I’m all for free market capitalism. Offer both gas and battery, and let consumers decide what they want.

I’m not ok with bans costing me more money – either to replace equipment I’ve already purchased or to have to use a potentially inferior tool (costing time) or an inferior fuel (costing money).

Small engines are more practical outside of the city… But batteries cannot be used in the woods if there’s nowhere to charge them… Still need gas.

Governments do not have money. Incentives come off the backs of the working poor by increased taxation.

When Government officials stop 75 gas-burning vehicle convoys and jet setting all over the world, only then is this about helping the environment in any meaningful way!

Some survey questions are presumptive of harm caused by gas equipment. I see no significant harm whatsoever. Indeed, switching to electric powered tools will cause multiple environmental harms.

Question 4 is a leading question, there should never be a ban on small gasoline engines.

I strongly support a ban.

If we do start to implement these regulations, we need a little longer time to transition.

At the very least 2 stroke engines should be banned.

I can understand reducing the use of small gas powered engines in the commercial landscaping businesses but it would be a hardship if implemented for homeowners. Gas leafblowers should be mostly outlawed.

I’m in favor of banning small gas engines now. Support government measures to encourage people to ban the use of small gas engines.

I don’t have any ideas, but I do support the idea of protecting the environment and reducing pollution.

Use alternative fuels, such as propane or natural gas. These fuels are cleaner-burning than gasoline and can be used in many small engines with minimal modifications. However, they may not be as widely available or convenient as gasoline.

With the strengthening of environmental regulations, companies that manufacture and sell small engines will need to adjust their strategies. This may include developing more environmentally friendly products, finding new sales channels, or seeking government subsidies.

These bans are good for some things I guess but I think people should use what’s easier on them. I do all my work myself cause can’t afford to hire anyone to do what I’ve been doing myself for years.

For the sake of our hometown and children’s health, I strongly agree to prohibit the use of small gas engines. I hope that the use of small gas engines can be banned as soon as possible. I unconditionally support the adoption of better environmental protection technology.

I don’t really want a ban on small fuel engines that would materially disrupt my work.

Banning small fuel engines would probably reduce the noise of my life and work greatly. But it also means that some workers will face unemployment, which will bring financial troubles to working families.

Banning small fuel engines would improve air quality and allow our children to breathe fewer harmful substances into our bodies.

Although banning the use of small gas engines will bring minimal air pollution and the environment to the air and life, some families do not have more funds to buy electric small equipment, which will bring trouble for some families.

We all need to be good stewards of our environment but the whole global crisis is a total hoax to get your money and control you!! The world has been in heating and cooling cycles for eons!! Fact!! Just do your best to be efficient!

Battery power works ok, but it doesn’t last very long. Also, the price for this battery powered equipment is through the roof in Canada. 1 tank of fuel lasts at least twice as long as the battery’s if the chain is sharpened properly. Plus, these new fuel-injected saws and blowers are very efficient.

I have been wondering when they were going to get around to doing something with small engines. I think there is enough technology out there to make small engines cleaner.

A small engine ban is just stupid! Why do we allow our government to dictate what we do and do not? Government is for the people and by the people, not to take away our choices.

When Air Force One becomes an EV, I might think about it. More damage-making EVs than internal combustion engines cause.

Should We Ban Small Gas Engines?

These are not the entire 525 responses. One or two-word comments were filtered out (eg. “OK”, “No bans”, “Idiotic”, etc.). And some comments were edited for clarity/spelling/grammar.

The overwhelming number of comments were against government bans on gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, though the overall position of the respondents to was closer to 50% for and 50% against. It shows that those who are against the bans are more passionately against them than those who are for them are for them!

The major, major majority of those who were ‘very concerned’ or ‘moderately concerned’ about the environmental impact of small gas engines did not leave a comment, while the reverse was true of those who were not concerned.

You are welcome to leave your comments down below.


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