Is AGM or Gel Better for You?

In the world of battery technologies, the AGM vs. Gel debate is always an interesting one. First, let’s go back to the beginning and understand what we’re dealing with.


Valve Regulated Lead-Acid Batteries, also known as sealed lead-acid batteries, has two subtypes: AGM and Gel.

The AGM, or absorbed glass mat batteries, use a technology in which a glass mat holds the electrolyte between the plates. The second type is the Gel battery. This battery uses a silica gel that suspends the electrolyte between the plates. There are many similarities between the two types of batteries, but they are not the same.

They Walk Alike, They Talk Alike…

Both the AGM and the Gel batteries use technologies intended to hold the electrolyte in place between the battery plates. This means there’s no leaking in the event the battery casing breaks.

They can both be mounted in any position without decreasing the effectiveness of the battery.

They are both deep cycle batteries with a low rate of self-discharge, and they are both safe to transport as well as use in a non-ventilated area.

They both sound pretty great, so where’s the issue? Well, this is where things get interesting.

Why the debate?

While their similarities are all excellent features to have in a battery, it’s their differences that really make them stars in their own galaxy. As with most debates over which widget is better, it usually comes down to which widget fits your needs the best. Invariably, your personal set of needs is what will decide which side of the debate you’ll land on. So what are the differences between these two batteries that have caused such an uproar? Let’s find out!

AGM Batteries

The absorbed glass mat battery is definitely the better seller of the two batteries in question. That may have something to do with the fact that it is the cheaper option in the VRLA category.

It could also have something to do with the fact that AGM batteries are excellent when you need a burst of amps. They recharge with a typical battery charger or alternator, instead of using specialized equipment.

AGM batteries offer a great life cycle expectancy as long as they are kept charged and maintained. AGM batteries are great for applications that need starter power and can handle vibration, such as ATVs and motorcycles.

Gel batteries

In the interest of full disclosure, gel batteries do tend to cost more and do not offer the same level of power per battery size as the AGM battery. They have some charging issues as well.

For instance, they recharge in a very specific way and only by a specialized charger. Failure to do so will result in early battery death. You can use an alternator to charge the battery but you will need to install a regulator. Rest assured gel battery manufacturers are working on this technology and it’s just a matter of time before these issues are a thing of the past.

That being said, gel batteries are excellent when used for slow discharge applications. Gel batteries are perfect for things like battery-powered wheelchairs, golf carts, and other applications that need consistent power and not a burst of power.

Which battery wins?

The true winner of the battery debate depends on your personal needs and battery’s application. As long as you are maintaining your battery properly and making your decision solely on what you need the battery to do, the true winner of the debate will be you.

The Pros and Cons: Electric vs. Gas Powered Lawn Mowers

It is a question as old as time. The electric mower or the gas-powered mower? There are pros and cons to both, however, the answer to which one is better lies with you!

Electric Mower


  • Quiet
  • Low maintenance
  • Great for small lawns
  • Lightweight so anyone can use it
  • Easy to start
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Expensive
  • Corded Models have limited reach and can cause a tripping hazard
  • Electrical problems can occur in wet areas
  • Cordless models have a shorter runtime
  • Cannot handle tall or thick areas of grass efficiently

Gas Powered Mowers


  • Relatively inexpensive
  • No charging means you can take the mower anywhere
  • Longer runtime
  • Great for any sized lawn
  • Great for areas with tall and thick grass types
  • Relatively safe


  • Can be very loud
  • Requires significant maintenance
  • Not as environmentally friendly because of carbon emissions
  • Heavier weight
  • Can be difficult to start
  • Requires a pre-start routine (check oil and gas levels)

Understand your options

These basic pros and cons in conjunction with your lawnmower needs should help you make an educated decision that you will be happy with. However, there are a few more things to consider. Owning an electric mower doesn’t mean that you can simply use it and put it away. You will still need to clean it after each use and pay close attention to the battery.Batteries left unattended will fade quickly. You will want to remember to keep it clean, keep it charged (even during the winter months), and don’t allow it to sit in extreme temperatures for long periods of time. Failure to do these things will leave you with an inoperable mower come the spring. While gas mowers require more overall attention when in use, they are much easier to put away for the winter and forget about.

Next Steps

Considering that a well-maintained mower should last anywhere from 8 to 10 years, it’s important to make sure you are completely comfortable with your decision.

Start by making a list of what your needs are and the kind of yard you have. Is it a small yard that is easy to mow? In that case, an electric mower might just be what you need.

Do you have a large backyard with thick clumps of crabgrass? Maybe you should seriously consider a gas powered mower. What are your physical requirements? Do you need something lightweight and easy to start? Would you prefer something with more power?

All of these questions will help point you in the right direction. Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of your lawn needs you can take a look at the different models in each category and find the mower for you.

The good news is that both gas powered and electric mowers are improving year after year so you are certain to find just the right mower

Do You Know These Bizarre Golf Rules?

Golf. It’s the summer past time just about everyone can find a way to enjoy. From being the sport of choice for some of the world’s most powerful leaders to those who like to take along and drive the cart, golf has become much more than a hobby. It has become the catalyst that brokered major deals, stopped international incidents, and created lifelong friendships.

You’d think that with the ease the world has taken to the sport that it would be pretty straightforward. Hit the ball toward the hole in the ground in as few strokes as possible. (Oh, and try not to lose your ball.) But, for those experienced golfers, you know that golf is far from simple.

In fact, the USGA’s rulebook is 600 pages long, and full of some of the oddest rules you’d never even consider while choosing your club. Let’s take a look at a few of golf’s weirdest rules.

The Air Rule

“If a gust of wind moves your ball, you can play it from its new position. But if artificially propelled air moves your ball, you must replace it without penalty.” – USGA decision 18-1/2.

Wait, what? That’s right, the wind is your friend, but if someone comes along with a giant fan that moves your ball, you must return it to where it started from. The mind races with all of the hilarious cartoon style antics that must have occurred to give way to a rule such as this!

The Orange Rule

“If your ball is lodged in an orange, you cannot take relief without penalty.” – USGA decision 23/10.

We’re sorry, but did they really mean orange? Are there really so many golf courses with orange trees that this needed to become an actual rule? What happens if you don’t want to take the penalty? Do you just hit the ball while it’s still inside the orange? What if the orange is still in the tree? Do we just chuck the club at it? There are so many questions that arise from this one sentence rule.

The Cactus Rule

“If your ball comes to rest next to a cactus, you may wrap an arm or leg in a towel to protect yourself from the needles when you play your shot. But you can’t cover the cactus with a towel.” – USGA decision 1-2/10.


The Flying Insect Rule

“If the player’s ball lies in a hazard, the insect is considered to be in the hazard and the player may not touch or physically remove the insect from the ball (Rule 13-4c). However, as the insect is animate and capable of moving on its own, the player may take action, such as waving his hand, a club or towel, to encourage the insect to move.” – USGA decision 13-4c/16.5.

Boy, would we have loved to be a fly on the wall during the discussion of adding this rule!

The Water Bottle Rule

“You cannot place a water bottle on a green and use it as a level to determine how a putt will break.” – USGA decision 14-3/12.5.

We mere mortals who are NOT playing on the PGA circuit need some tricks up our sleeve. Oh well.

The Spit Rule

“You may spit on your clubface before playing a shot to clean it, but not if you’re trying to reduce spin to hit a straighter shot.” – USGA decision 4-2/4

All we can say to that is, “Don’t judge us! Our clubs are VERY dirty!”

The Clubhead Fell Off Rule

“If the clubhead falls off during the backswing, and you complete the swing but miss the ball it does not count as a stroke. If the clubhead falls off during the downswing and you complete the swing but miss the ball, it counts as a stroke.” – USGA decisions 14/2 and 14/3.

As if the game wasn’t challenging enough, now you want to penalize us for equipment malfunctions? Come on golf, we’re friends. Can’t we call a mulligan?

The Clubhouse Rule

“If a shot ends up in the clubhouse, and the clubhouse is not out-of-bounds, you can open a door or window and play the next shot without penalty.” – USGA decision 24-2b/14.

Ok USGA, now you’re just pulling our legs! Either this is a joke rule or someone on the rules committee just wants to play golf like a frat boy from Animal House. Either way, we’re in!

If at first you were confused as to how the USGA could possibly come up with 600 pages of rules, well, now you know! Who knew the game of golf could be so strict? Right down to when you can swat at a fly! We’re not sure if knowing these rules will help improve your golf game or not, but one thing’s for certain. The next time you’re loading up your golf cart, you’ll remember these rules and decide to leave your giant fan and cactus towels at home.

Battery 101: How To Maintain Marine Batteries in the Offseason

Batteries not cared for, especially when not in use, are batteries wasted. They need to be maintained, cleaned, and kept charged. (This goes for all types of batteries, not just marine batteries.) Batteries that aren’t kept cleaned and maintained, end up with sulfated plates. Sulfation happens when a battery is starved of a full charge.

Here are some tips on caring for your marine battery during the offseason.

Decide on storage

If you’ve never removed your battery from your boat to store it for the winter, you’re not alone. Quite a few people leave the battery in the boat, as long as the boat itself is being stored somewhere dry and preferably above freezing temperatures. For those that live where it’s cold and remove the battery completely, you’ll want to make sure the battery is kept in a dry environment and away from extreme temperatures.

Don’t leave the battery connected

Unless your battery will be hooked up to a trickle charger for the winter months, it’s not a good idea to leave it connected to anything.

By leaving the battery connected to the boat you run the risk of increased corrosion and an increased rate of discharge. Dirt and debris can find great hiding places when the battery is left to sit.

You may think you have everything cleaned and ready for the winter, but there’s always something you can’t see unless you remove the battery completely. This is also a good time to check out connectors and wiring as well. If there are repairs to be made, now is the time to find out.

Check the charge

Check the charge on the battery to make sure you are not storing a battery that is only partially charged. A non-fully charged battery will die an early death over the winter. If the battery is not fully charged you’ll want to make sure that you juice it up and then keep checking it during the offseason.

If you aren’t using a trickle charger you’ll want to make sure you monitor your periodic charging very closely. When charging your battery you’ll want to ensure proper ventilation and make sure you never walk away and leave it for long periods of time. Depending on how much of a charge the battery needs, the process could go quickly and if you’re not there things could go bad fast!

Clean the battery

Cleaning the battery reduces corrosion and discharge rates. The best way to go about this is to make sure the battery is completely disconnected and moved away from the boat.

Using warm water and baking soda, clean the battery casing and terminals will a wire cleaning brush or even an old toothbrush. Once you have all of the dirt and corrosion removed, wipe away the baking soda and dirt with a clean towel, making sure to get the battery and the terminals completely dry. Dirt is a conductor that can easily increase the batteries rate of self discharge, so make sure you get it all.

As with all batteries, marine batteries are powerful and need to be treated with an air of safety. While working with your battery, make sure you are wearing gloves and protective eyewear. By taking care of the battery the right way, you can feel confident when you hit the water next season. It’ll be like you never missed a beat.