The Electric Revolution of Gardening Tools is Here

The Electric Revolution Of Gardening Tools Is Here

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The electric revolution of gardening tools is here.  

If you go to your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, or Farm & Fleet store, you will find multiple brands of battery electric gardening tools that will do almost any gardening job as well or better than your old corded or gas-powered tools.

After watching so many people endlessly pushing leaves around with leaf blowers, I had resolved to never buy one. I’m over 80 years old and we used to just rake the leaves. What’s wrong with that? In the summer, we live on a lake in Northern Wisconsin and our property is mostly forest, where we let the leaves fall and lie where they may. However, we do have walkways where we need to clear the leaves, and my wife was determined to get a leaf blower. As green energy advocates and owners of an electric car, electric bikes, and an electric golf cart, it had to be electric. We went to our local Ace Hardware in little Eagle River 10 miles north of us to see what they had in stock.

There were three brands of electric leaf blowers in the aisle. We settled on a Craftsman Leaf Blower (see Figure 1). It is lightweight and uses a tiny lightweight battery. However, it has a quite strong blower and the 15-minute run time is adequate for my wife.

Figure 1: Granddaughter with lightweight Craftsman electric leaf blower. Three Lakes, Wisconsin. June 17, 2024. Fritz Hasler photo.

In the same aisle, there was a double heavyweight EGO battery pack attached to a high-performance leaf blower (see Figure 2) that will run for two hours. The batteries are quite heavy, but a professional would have a pack on his back with the blower motor if he was using gas.

Figure 2: Ace Hardware employee with EGO high-performance professional leaf blower and batteries on a pack. June 17, 2024. Eagle River, Wisconsin. Fritz Hasler photo.

If you are a professional and need to work all day, you will need multiple sets of batteries. You will also need a charger for each battery. When your workday is done, you want to put each battery on its charger and forget it until the next day. You don’t want to be tending battery charging all night. This would be a fairly large first-time expense, but you no longer have to buy gas. If it is similar to my electric car, the cost of electricity is about ⅓ the cost of buying gas. If you buy the same brand, the batteries are compatible with all your tools. One set of batteries will work in all of them. With multiple batteries, you don’t have to stop work when your battery gets low, you just switch to a second or third battery.

In my local Farm & Fleet store in Rhinelander, 26 miles southwest of me, there were four different brands of electric lawnmowers to choose from, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Electric lawnmowers in Farm & Fleet store. Rhinelander, Wisconsin. June 17, 2024. Fritz Hasler photo.

However, now no job is too big for electric tools. In Figure 4, we see a riding 30” electric lawnmower that will run for an hour before needing a 4-hour charge. However, it is just a “Cub,” there are bigger riding mowers with longer run times for bigger jobs.

Figure 4: Electric riding lawnmower at Farm & Fleet. Rhinelander, Wisconsin. June 17, 2024. Fritz Hasler photo.

You no longer have to go to the gas station to refill your gallon gas can and spill part of the stinky fuel on your tools while filling them. Electric tools are whisper quiet, so you no longer have to wear ear protection. You no longer have to wait until later in the day to use them so you don’t wake up the neighbors. You no longer have to wait until your wife is gone so you don’t rattle her brain while leaf blowing, lawn mowing, etc., near the house. Furthermore, you can dump all your corded electric and compressor-powered pneumatic tools like drivers, skill-saws, nail-guns, winches, etc. and now buy battery electric tools that use those same batteries to power them.

If you care about global warming and air pollution, your battery electric tools along with your electric car, heat pump water heater, etc. will let you do your little bit to address the problem.

There is also no tool that hasn’t been electrified. That includes snowblowers, chainsaws, and outboard motors (oops, not a gardening tool). The reason I brought that up is that I’ve had gas chainsaws, old lawnmowers, and old outboard motors that I could never get to start. Electric tools and motors always start, if you remember to keep the batteries charged.

Speaking of electric chainsaws, see the Stihl mini electric chainsaw with a 12” bar shown in Figure 5. It’s not going to do serious cutting, but will do just fine for those bushes that have grown up on your property line.

Figure 5: Stihl mini electric chainsaw with a 12” bar at Ace Hardware. Eagle River, Wisconsin. Fritz Hasler photo.

A Stihl MSA 300C electric chainsaw with an 18” bar is shown in Figure 6 with battery. It can also be equipped with a 20” bar. It’s not going to cut down an old-growth white pine, but it would be plenty for most residential tree removals. The saw is $809, the battery is ~$300, and the charger costs ~$120. Together, it would be ~$1,329. The saw weighs 14.1 lb and the battery weighs ~4 lb. At ~18 lb total, it is a pretty hefty saw. The run time is 44 minutes.

Figure 6: Left and top: Stihl electric chainsaw with an 18” bar. Bottom right: 7.2 Ah 1.8 kg (4 pound) battery at Ace Hardware. Eagle River, Wisconsin. Fritz Hasler photos.

You can see that for weekend warriors or professional use, you can now find the perfect electric gardening tool for you at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware or Farm & Fleet store.

Bottom line: When it’s time to replace that old lawnmower, or you just can’t get your chainsaw to start, Go Electric! Better yet, go now to your local hardware store and replace one of your gas tools. You can put your old tool on Facebook or eBay or just put it on the curb with a sign that says: Free to Good Home! Better yet, junk it, so that there won’t be a next owner burning fossil fuel.

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