12 outdoor power tools | Living the Country Life
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12 outdoor power tools

These handy tools save time working in the yard, and also save your back.
  • Aerator

    Loosen compacted soil, allowing your lawn's roots to thrive. A power core-aerating machine can be a good investment if your lawn is more than 10,000 square feet. For smaller lawns, you may be ahead to rent an aerator.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Auger

    Whether you're planting bulbs or plants, a garden auger makes quick work out of digging holes. Smaller models like the one shown here attach to your household drill. You can also buy or rent larger power augers for planting trees and shrubs.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Blower

    Leave your rake in the shed and give your back a break with a blower. Backpack-type models may be more comfortable for tackling large jobs, but handheld models are more lightweight. Gas-powered blowers are more powerful than battery-powered, but they're also heavier. Find a blower that doubles as a vacuum for even more cleaning power. You can also use blowers to quickly clean out your gutters.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Chain saw

    If you have trees, you need a chain saw. Choose a model that's big enough to handle the maintenance and clean-up chores on your acreage, yet still lightweight enough for you to safely manage. Gas- and battery-powered and electric models are available.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Chipper/shredder

    A chipper/shredder can make mulch or speed along the composting process for you. If you only have leaves to deal with, a shredder will do the job, but if you plan on tackling branches, you'll need a wood chipper. Some shredders double as vacuums, so you can suck up the leaves and shred them with one tool.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Cultivator

    Like a mini-tiller, this garden helper loosens soil and helps cultivate around plants and shrubs. It's so small you can take it right into the garden and use it in between plants. Put down that hoe and let this tool do the work for you!

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Hedge trimmer

    Sculpt a beautiful, straight line of shrubs, or get creative with their shape! Get a model with a heavy-duty blade that will cut thick branches, so you only need one tool to get the job done. You'll have to decide between an electric model, which is more powerful, or a battery-powered trimmer, which has unlimited range.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Mower

    Of course you need a mower! And since you live in the country and have lots of grass to mow, a riding mower is your best bet. Zero-turn mowers are designed to cut close to obstacles, which cuts down on the need for trimming.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Pole saw

    Pruning overhead branches with a manual pole saw is backbreaking work. With a battery- or gas-powered model, all you have to do is hold it steady. You can find saws like this anywhere from 8 to 27 feet in length, with blades ranging from 6 to 17 inches. Take your own abilities and the size of your trees into consideration before making a purchase.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Power washer

    Nothing gets rid of dirt, grease and manure like a power washer. You can use these handy tools to clean your deck, wash the siding on your house, and blast mud from tractors. Be careful, though, because some power washers are so strong they'll blast the paint right off your house. (That's great if you're preparing to repaint!) Learn about the advantages of cold- and hot-water models below.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • String trimmer

    You must have a string trimmer to keep your lawn looking manicured. These handy tools keep grass from getting too tall around retaining walls, outbuildings, birdbaths and other objects. Be careful when using them around trees and shrubs to avoid harming them. Choose from battery-powered or electric models.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012
  • Tiller

    If you have a large garden, or if your soil is especially hard or tough, you'll want to go with a rear-tine tiller, which has the motor in front and the tines in back. Till your garden, work in compost, and make quick work of hard soil with one of these gas-powered time-savers.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: July 30, 2012

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