Switching to Electric Yard Equipment

  • If you own a landscape you’ve likely used power equipment to care of that landscape. Lawn mowers, string trimmers, edgers, hedgers, chainsaws or leaf blowers are mandatory for most home landscapes. This type of equipment has a well-deserved reputation of being among the worst sources of air pollution around.

    The problem revolves around that type of engine most of these types of equipment use. The 2-stroke engine, named for the fact it completes a cycle in two movements of the piston, is simple, small, light, and inexpensive. But because of the inefficient way it burns fuel, leaving about 30 percent of its gas and oil unused, it pushes a lot of pollution out the exhaust port.

  • In recent tests by online automotive magazine Edmunds, these engines were shown to emit about 300 times more hydrocarbon emissions than a 2011 For F-150 Raptor, a full-sized pickup truck. And worse, where a vehicle has a tailpipe aimed out the back, you have to stand directly over a piece of landscape equipment breathing in that machine’s exhaust. The good news is that there is now an excellent alternative; cordless electric.

  • Battery powered equipment has come a very long way in the last ten years. Previous iterations of cordless landscape equipment never seemed up to the task, underpowered and short battery life. But the newer models have greatly improved its older shortcomings. Today’s cordless equipment has performance that is comparable to older gas-powered models, meaning they really are just as good at the job, but without the exhaust fumes.

    Newer batteries last much longer than in the past and charge up fully much faster. But the advantages don’t stop with no more hauling gas in a container or mixing gas and oil. Electric motors are quieter, so no more waking up the neighbors, or having them wake you up, while running a string trimmer at 7am on a Saturday morning. They are lighter, making them easier to use. No more priming the engine with that little pump and pulling, pulling, pulling and pulling….to get them started, they turn on with the flip of a switch or a pull of a trigger. And if you’re not actively using the machine, it isn’t running, no idling an engine between areas since an electric engine just isn’t running if you aren’t pulling the trigger. And to top it off, they are far easier to maintain. No more spark plugs or air filters to replace, but for the occasional lubrication of a few moving parts you should get a couple years of maintenance-free use out of these cordless machines.

  • Here at Conservation Garden Park we made the switch exclusively to battery powered equipment last year and our staff loves the better visitor experience from the quieter equipment and lack of strong smell clinging to their clothes after running older gas-powered engines. All the old performance drawbacks to cordless electric landscape equipment have improved enough to have caught up with the old stand-by gas engines. That combined with all the things that make cordless better; quiet operation, less maintenance, easy start and less air pollution means it is finally time to consider going cordless for your home landscape.