Consumer Reports: 5 Reasons to Buy Battery-Powered Lawn Tools

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

Reasons #1 and #2: Battery-powered lawn tools are more reliable and more efficient

Battery-powered lawn tools Consumer Reports
Battery-powered lawn mower | Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Consumer Reports is known for member surveys that help CR’s editors understand what consumers think. These member surveys help the editors better understand consumer perceptions of product functionality, value, reliability, design, etc.

Member survey data shows consumers find battery-powered lawn tools more reliable than gas-powered ones. CR has routinely given every battery-powered trimmer they’ve evaluated a “Very Good” or “Excellent” rating using this data. By contrast, only about 50% of the gas-powered options earned that rating. Several earned only a “Fair” rating.

Assessing leaf blower data, CR found that most were Very Good or Excellent, but not a single gas-powered brand earned that distinction. Some scored an average Good, while many received a Fair or Poor. And though battery-powered and gas-powered lawn mowers were about on par ratings-wise, battery-powered mowers outperformed gas-powered ones in another area. Battery-powered mowers (and indeed all battery-powered lawn tools) come with longer warranties, allowing you to save money with repairs rather than replacements.

Battery-powered equipment is also more efficient because motors require less energy to activate and keep it running. When you use a gas-powered engine, you’re generating heat in addition to the energy needed to power the equipment. That heat isn’t used and is wasted. And if not adequately dispersed, that heat could cause equipment problems.

Reasons #3 and #4: They have zero emissions when operating 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 heavily regulated as cars are today. Their designs are also less efficient, making them inherently 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 be by driving a 2017 Toyota Camry for 1,100 miles.

So whether you clear your lawn of leaves while dinner is on the stove or drive from New York to Iowa, you’ll be generating the same amount of pollution. However, if you pick a battery-powered leaf blower, you’ll produce zero emissions during its operation.

You’ll also pollute significantly less when you recharge the batteries. Whether you’re consuming gas or electricity, you’ll generate some GHGs. But with charging, that amount is far less. Further, many electricity companies derive at least some of their power from renewables. If your provider uses renewables, you’ll generate even less pollution when you charge.

Want to save money while reducing your carbon footprint? You’ll need only one interchangeable battery by buying equipment from the platform. That often means you’re not scrambling to buy different batteries at different price points.

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

It’s hard not to spill at least a little gasoline when refilling a gas can or refueling your equipment. 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 health outcomes for your community. And though a few drops might not seem like a big deal, consider that everyone with a yard is spilling a few drops periodically. That adds up and can cause serious environmental damage.

Of course, when you use battery-powered lawn tools, you don’t have to worry about the possibility of gas spills. Nor do you need to worry about emissions when operating. And not only will you pollute less when recharging, but you’ll also use more efficient and reliable equipment.

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

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