If you haven’t tried a cordless garden tool, now is the time. Over the last few years, power tool companies—such as Ryobi, Black & Decker, Craftsman, and Husqvarna—have been coming out with their own cordless string trimmers, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and hedge trimmer among other tools. As they continue to work out the kinks in the technology, they’ve figured out how to get lithium-ion batteries to last longer and with more gusto. Cleaner, lighter, quieter, and more convenient, cordless tools are transforming yard maintenance.
Full disclosure here: I am terrible at gas motors. I lack the knack to start a gas-powered lawn mower or pressure washer—the machines seem to sense my fear. For that reason, I have spent many years using manual hedge and grass trimmers. I even opted for a push reel lawn motor that did a terrible job cutting the grass in my bumpy back yard. And that is why I love using a whole range of cordless garden tools that start with only the click of a charged battery sliding into place and the flip of a button. Plus, the cordless tools are lighter when free of a gas tank and easier to maneuver when liberated from a power cord. They are generally quieter, too, which makes my neighbors happy I’m sure.
The only down side of using cordless tools is the need to charge the batteries after each use. If you miss this step, as I have learned, you'll find yourself very frustrated when you start trimming an overgrown lilac and the power fizzles out after the first few seconds. Luckily, most batteries charge back up within an hour. Another downside? Cordless tools are so quick and easy to use, that it’s hard to stop. I’ve over-trimmed shrubs simply because it felt like I was carving a butter sculpture. And I’ve wondered around the yard with the string trimmer pining for more rogue blades of grass to cut to size. Hardly frustrations at all.