Get into the Earth Day spirit by upgrading your power tools to all-electric

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Did you know that when it comes to internal combustion engines, the EPA estimates that just one hour of lawn mower use produces about the same amount of emissions as 11 hours of driving. a modern car? Mowers don’t have catalytic converters, so they’re dirty smog machines, creating up to 5% of our country’s air pollution. And according to an industry group called the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, it’s not just mowers. There are 100 million gas-powered mowers, trimmers, blowers, tillers, etc., in America’s tool sheds, and 54 million of us mow each week during the growing season. It’s a real problem.

But it’s a problem with a real solution. Many of us at Autoblog owning and using the electric lawn equipment that has joined the gas-powered machines in the aisles of big-box stores. And comparing our notes, we discovered that we all really like these tools. Here are some recommendations.

Ego battery tools

I have a house on an acre, with a low-pitched roof that constantly needs to be cleared of debris. So I bought a leaf blower and an Ego trimmer. The 530 cubic feet per minute blower clears the patio and walkways and moves a mountain of maple leaves. The string trimmer can tidy up nearly an entire acre on a single battery, and it automatically spools in new string—line spooling was a pain in the ass with previous string trimmers.

Recently a small tree must have fallen. I pulled out my grumpy old gas chainsaw and then spent over an hour running it. The saw generated a cloud of blue smoke. Made me appreciate power tools even more.

You can still buy the basic trimmer/blower pack I bought, but Ego’s store on Amazon now has over 50 products – entire lines of blowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers, trimmers , multi-head tools, snow blowers, mowers and battery systems with packs up to 10 amp-hours. (I have two 2.5Ah batteries.) There is also a range of heavier duty commercial grade tools. Ego even has a 42-inch zero-turn ride-on mower that’s good for up to two acres.

Two years ago, Consumer Reports did a comparison between an Ego walk-behind mower and a gasoline-powered Honda model. The Ego held firm.

Amazon offers battery-powered garden tools from many other manufacturers: Greenworks, Sun Joe, Makita, Black and Decker, and Snapper, to name a few. Many of them are probably good too. — Greg Rasa, editor


RYOBI ONE+ 100 MPH 280 CFM Variable Speed ​​18V – $169.99

I took this one about a year ago. It’s a safe bet and I use the 18 volt battery for other things like my Ryobi drill. The leaf blower is light, cordless and not very noisy. I get about 15-20 minutes of full power use which is fine. I can clean up grass clippings and get the patio back to good shape, which is why I got it. It’s good on pavement for moving leaves, but for large-scale fall cleanup in the upper Midwest or New England, you’ll need something stronger. If you already have a Ryobi battery, you can get the leaf blower even cheaper. — Greg Migliore, editor


CRAFTSMAN Electric Chainsaw, 16-inch, 12 Amp – $79

It’s my electric chainsaw. It’s wired, and I haven’t sawed an extension cord yet. I have lots of aging trees in front of my house that drop huge branches during storms. This lightweight chainsaw does a quick and relatively quiet job of it, providing me with tons of free firewood. I like that I don’t inhale any fumes besides sawdust, but I still have to fill the tank with bar and chain oil (many of these oils are plant-based). It’s easy for an idiot like me to adjust the chain tension and clean up after the cutting day is over. — John Beltz Snyder, Editor of Autoblog Green


Greenworks 16 Inch Reel Lawn Mower with Grass Box – Starting at $199.95

I don’t live in California, so the ban on gas-powered lawn equipment doesn’t directly affect me, but when I was recently looking for a lawn mower, I still didn’t want to buy and store lawn mowers. gasoline, so I opted for a push mower. I also liked the idea of ​​turning the chore of cutting the grass into a workout. I have to point out that I have a small yard, so if you have a serious acreage to maintain, you’ll want to look elsewhere, like this battery-powered mower from Greenworks. But I’ve had this reel mower for three seasons now and it still works well.

I will, at some point, have to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to sharpen blades, but for now it still cuts grass blades like it did out of the box. It’s not a silent experience, but I like the tinny sound it produces. Be on the lookout for the sticks as they will stop the blade and it can be quite jarring, but only momentarily as this is an easy to release mower. It goes without saying, but keep pets and children away when using this tool. — Eddie Sabatini, Production Manager


Greenworks Pro 80V 21-inch Push Lawn Mower – $494.27

It’s an open secret that a manufacturer actually builds several different versions of their basic design for an electric lawn mower under more than one brand name. I happen to own a blue mower sold by Lowes under its Kobalt brand. It’s an 80 volt mower and it works exceptionally well. I chose it because it was on sale at Lowes, but if I was buying right now, I would opt for this model from Greenworks. It’s basically the same as the mower I own – except for the color, and I like green better anyway – so I’m confident it will perform just as well.

The 80-volt rig offers more than enough power for my lawn, which is a fairly typical size for a suburban yard, and even the 2Ah batteries will last about three full mowings. Amazon offers two configurations for this Greenworks mower, one with two 2Ah batteries and one with a single 4Ah battery. These add up to the same capacity, so you can just choose whichever is cheaper. Batteries can also be purchased separately and will work in all 80 volt tools from this brand. — Jeremy Korzeniewski, consumer writer


BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Trimmer/Edger Combo – $89 (25% off)

I bought this Black+Decker trimmer (when did everyone stop calling them weeders?) about 2 years ago, and it’s the only one I’ve been using since. This particular listing is the one I took advantage of, and it’s a bit of a starter kit, which is great because it not only includes the tool itself, but an extra spool of string, battery charger and 2 batteries. The batteries have enough power that I could perform a maintenance level cut on the higher of its two power settings without even draining a battery. On the rare occasions when I need the second one, I quickly remove it from the magazine and immediately get back to work.

The power is perfectly sufficient to cut all sorts of standard midwestern weeds, and after recently purchasing a competing brand of grass trimmer owned by my dad, I was surprised to find that this Black + Decker version was surprisingly lightweight in comparison, making it easy to use one-handed to reach the lowest weeds in my front yard drainage ditch.

I’m perfectly happy with this as my only weed whipping solution, however, I will say its edge ability should probably only be used for maintenance type situations. If you’re really looking to squeeze through an overgrown lawn, you’ll probably need something sturdier. — Erik Maier, multimedia producer


RYOBI Lawn Mower 20 in. 40V Brushless Cordless Walk-Behind – $392.77

I picked up an older equivalent of this mower about a year and a half ago after moving into a house with a relatively small lawn (~6,500 square feet). The property is relatively flat, so I didn’t need a self-propelled unit, and even with the relatively small battery, it will still do my entire lawn on a single charge. Also, the batteries interchange with Ryobi’s other 40V gear, so when I picked up a leaf blower (the same one Greg pointed out, in this case), I doubled my available juice.

It’s much quieter than any petrol mower I’ve ever used, to the point where I don’t even bother with hearing protection; it’s like pushing a mid-sized box fan around the yard. This is a great advantage for me because one of my neighbors works at night and I don’t have to worry about waking him up if I decide to mow in the middle of the day. It’s lightweight and easily folds down to about deck size when not in use, and it’s virtually maintenance-free. Couldn’t be happier. — Byron Hurd, Associate Editor


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