What’s better: Gas or electric-powered lawn and garden tools?


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MACOMB, Ill. — As we enter the debate on gas-powered versus electric outdoor tools, it truly is based upon the user, their needs and the scale of their landscape. If you’re weighing options for future yard tools, here are some considerations:

Electric tools are quieter. After spending most of my life listening to the rumble of two-cycle engines, the abrupt silence between running the equipment of an electric tool is jarring. I can speak to others when working with an electric chainsaw or hedge trimmer instead of yelling or shutting off the gas engine. If you live in a neighborhood with nearby neighbors, the lower decibel levels may be worth the investment. It is still recommended to wear ear protection.

The vibration is reduced. With many gas-powered lawn and garden tools, I find my hands and arms shaky even slightly numb after prolonged use. The vibration running through electric tools is greatly reduced. I’ve still gotten blisters running electric lawn equipment, so don’t ditch the gloves.

Electric tools can be more convenient in many cases. The ability to pick up an electric tool and quickly get to work without having to fill up a gas tank, check oil, or fiddle with a choke is a great benefit. Conversely, battery management is important as a dead battery requires the operator to wait until it is charged.

Reliable power. Gas-powered tools have reliable power (no charging batteries). If someone knows their way around small engines, they can repair them easily.

Electric outdoor tools are not low-cost. For many Americans, the tool itself may be in their price range, but batteries are expensive and that has made it hard for people to spend money on them. Especially if they already have a gas-powered version of the same tool.

How big is your yard? Electric-powered landscape tools are great in a typical home landscape setting, but when working on large projects or tracts of land away from plug-ins, gas-powered tools may still be the way to go.

Should I buy gas or electric yard tools? This is a question I have been asking myself lately at the hardware store as I stare at a wall of electric outdoor tools and then turn around and stare at a wall of gas-powered tools. Hopefully, you dear reader, have escaped the hordes on this Black Friday unscathed and perhaps have a brand-new toy, er… I mean, tool to help you out in the yard.

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