There are several factors you will want to consider when it comes to choosing between propane and electric surface preparation equipment. Maybe you value choosing equipment that is environmentally less harmful than other options. Propane as a fuel source, for example, tends to be “greener.” Perhaps you also prefer to stay within a certain budget, or maybe you are concerned about covering a large area in a small amount of time. 

While some elements will vary significantly between propane and electric equipment, other attributes—at least, on the surface—may seem identical. But both equipment types can be great options for different reasons. Consider the following analysis when making your decision. 

Which Is More Efficient?

Whatever your case, whether propane or electric, among the most practical questions to consider is whether the equipment you are using is sufficient to handle the work that lies ahead. After all, you can debate between two types of equipment all day. But if one type is fundamentally ill-equipped for your specific job, it would be hard to justify choosing it simply for its benefits.   


One great benefit of using propane powered equipment—that some may overlook when purchasing—is the lack of cord. When your equipment is independent of a cord, it opens the possibilities for surface prepping outside projects and areas that span several hundred feet like manufacturing plants and warehouses. Another advantage of using propane machines is their speed. The faster you can operate—and operate well—the easier it is to ensure surface coverage within your necessary timeframe. 

In the vein of being faster, propane is likelier to enable you to start your job immediately upon arrival. With propane equipment, you do not need access to the site’s main power and, subsequently, the aid of an electrician.

However, some propane machines can be bulky and heavy, making it difficult to transport them from job to job. That said, you might want weight on your side if you’re using certain machines. Propane floor burnishers, for example, make for a higher concrete shine thanks to their heavy-duty makeup.


Looking to perform a job that requires attention to surfaces across several room and floor types? It’s possible electric equipment is your best bet. While it may be restricted by the length of the cord, an electric product like a concrete floor grinder may bring you less of a headache. Typically, electric grinders can be quieter to run – making them perfect for indoor commercial work that creates little interruption for businesses. Electric equipment also does not require ventilation, contrary to propane counterparts. 

However, if you choose to electric, you will likely need access to the main power. You may find yourself depending on an electrician—who may not know your equipment well—to wire you up for the job. Of course, you could always bring your own generator. But between the towing trailer and the fuel for the generator, you may find that the investment is quite steep. 

What About Cost?

From the cost of the product itself, including shipping, to the amount of energy it uses, you likely want to make sure the surface prep equipment you’re buying is worth the cash you’re shelling out for it. When it comes to overall cost, analyzing propane vs. electric equipment is a little like splitting hairs.

Let’s look at some real-life examples from our catalog to get a better idea – the Husqvarna PG 690 Electric Floor Grinder vs. the Husqvarna PG 690 Propane Floor Grinder:

While pricing may be competitive for the equipment and machinery, there are findings that suggest propane products—just as with heating and home appliances—is more likely to be energy efficient than their electric counterparts. So, if long-term cost is something that is on your mind—that is, for example, if you are a shop owner looking for a permanent solution—propane may be your preferred option to own. If, however, you are renting your equipment for a one- or two-time job, you may find little difference in how cost influences your decision.

Runyon Surface Prep and Propane Conversion Systems

At Runyon Surface Prep, we specialize in making your job easier and more efficient with an array of must-have products for surface preparation. From trowels to grinders and epoxy and polyaspartic coatings for varying surfaces, our catalog is built to serve your needs.

In fact, we can now convert the MULTIQUIP LD6 RIDE-ON TROWEL power unit to a propane unit. We are among the only companies providing a conversion for this 6-foot, fully hydrostatic ride-on trowel. Whatever your project, we have the resources and knowledge necessary to help you find what you need.