5 reasons to buy battery operated lawn tools


Warmer weather means it’s time for lawn care again. But if you’re pulling out your old gas-powered lawn mower, you might want to think twice. Ditching your old equipment for battery-operated lawn tools has many benefits. And a new Consumer Reports article names five.

Battery Lawn Mower | Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Consumer Reports is known for its member surveys that help CR editors understand what consumers are thinking. These member surveys help publishers better understand consumer perceptions of functionality, value, reliability, design, and more.

Membership survey data shows that consumers find battery-powered lawn tools more reliable than gas-powered ones. CR has consistently given each battery-powered mower a “Very Good” or “Excellent” rating using this data. By contrast, only about 50 percent of gas-powered options earned this rating. Several received only a “Fair” rating.

Evaluating data on leaf blowers, CR found that most were very good or excellent, but not a single gas-powered brand earned this distinction. Some received a good average score, while many received a fair or poor score. And while battery-powered and gas-powered lawn mowers were roughly equivalent, battery-powered mowers outperformed gas-powered ones in another area. Battery-powered mowers (and indeed all battery-powered lawn tools) come with longer warranties, saving you money on repairs rather than replacements.

Battery-powered equipment is also more efficient because the motors require less energy to activate and run it. When you use a gasoline engine, you generate heat in addition to the energy needed to power the equipment. This heat is not used and is wasted. And if not properly dispersed, this heat can cause equipment problems.

Reasons #3 and #4: They have zero emissions when running and reduce emissions when charging

Like gas-powered cars, gas-powered lawn tools produce significant greenhouse gases (GHGs). In fact, they produce more because they’re not as regulated as cars are today. Their designs are also less efficient, which inherently makes them dirtier. Consumer Reports cites the example that if you run a gas-powered leaf blower for an hour, you’ll produce as many GHGs as you would driving a 2017 Toyota Camry for 1,100 miles.

So whether you’re ridding your lawn of leaves while dinner’s on the stove or driving from New York to Iowa, you’ll be generating the same amount of pollution. However, if you choose a battery-powered leaf blower, you won’t produce any emissions while it’s running.

You will also pollute much less when you recharge the batteries. Whether you use gas or electricity, you will generate GHGs. But with the load, this amount is much less. Additionally, many power companies get at least some of their electricity from renewables. If your supplier uses renewable energy, you will generate even less pollution when you recharge.

Do you want to save money while reducing your carbon footprint? You will only need one interchangeable battery by purchasing hardware on the platform. This often means you’re not rushing to buy different batteries at different prices.

Reason #5: You won’t have to worry about gasoline spills

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It’s hard not to spill at least a little gas when filling a gas can or refueling your gear. And when you spill gasoline, even a few drops, you release multiple toxic chemicals into the ground.

Not only can gas spills kill your lawn and foliage, but these chemicals can also eventually seep into groundwater, with dangerous consequences for the health of your community. And while a few drops might not seem like a big deal, consider that everyone with a garden periodically spills a few drops. This adds up and can cause serious environmental damage.

Of course, when using battery operated lawn tools, you don’t have to worry about the possibility of gas spills. You also don’t have to worry about emissions during use. And not only will you pollute less when recharging, but you will also use more efficient and reliable equipment.

For these reasons, it’s best to make your next lawn tool a battery-operated one.

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