One of the “luxuries” of being a home owner is having a yard — having the space to grill, garden, and maybe even build a moat (it is your castle, after all). Sadly, that yard is just waiting for you to turn your back so it can start creeping and growing past its carefully manicured boundaries. You need an arsenal to fight back; luckily, the weapons are a lot of fun, one of the many stress-relieving, get-it-done perks of being a man. Below are just the tools to help your yard from turning into a Discovery Channel episode of “Life after People”.
Typically they’re more powerful, don’t need cords and last as long as you’ve got gas in the shed. But that gas isn’t cheap these days, they aren’t very clean on the emissions front, and the racket they make can drive your neighbors nuts.
Husqvarna 450 E Series Chain Saw
When it comes time to clear some trees or hack up that one that came down over the winter, a good chain saw will be a must. Husqvarna is the choice of many top arborists, and their 450E will be more than enough saw for you. Its X-Torq engine saves gas and has 60% lower emissions than competitors, helping both your pocket and the environment. Be sure to get the requisite chaps and eye/ear protection.
ECHO GT-225 Commercial String Trimmer
It runs hard and comes with a five-year warranty. Weeds will quiver knowing that you own it.
Stihl SH 86 C-E Blower
Stihl is another go-to brand for professional landscapers and arborists. Their SH C-E is a shredder vac that converts to a blower depending on your leaf annihilating needs. Four-spring anti-vibration technology and soft grips will leave you actually able to crack a cold one when the job’s done.
Honda 21-inch Smart Drive Variable Speed Self-Propelled Deck Mower GCV190
This Honda doesn’t just have a variable self propulsion drive train that either saves or cheats you of a leg workout. Its twin blades have seven different height settings to allow you that backyard putting green you’ve always wanted. Most conveniently, it features Honda’s 4-in-1 Versamow system to provide mulching, bagging, discharge, and leaf shredding.
Snapper NXT2346 Lawn Tractor
When the yard is just too big for a push mower, or you just want to sit down while getting that perfect basketweave pattern in your lawn, the lawn tractor is the only way to go. Snapper’s NXT2346 is truly the luxury end of the lawn tractors. It has three blades that’ll level 46 inches at a pass, an infinitely variable transmission so you don’t have worry about shifting, and push button start. 23 horsepower makes it no slouch, either. We were unable to confirm whether it has a cup holder… but that’s an easy mod, really.
Poulan Pro PP2822 Dual Sided Hedge Trimmer
The Pro PP2822 from Poulan will finally allow you to get those hedges under control. Its 28cc engine and 22-inch blade are more than enough for most domestic jobs. A new swivel position handle allows for a “more comfortable and secure grip”, always a good thing.
DON’T FORGET TRUSTY HAND TOOLS
While electric landscaping used to be only for postage-stamp-sized plots, improvements in battery technology has made its tools an enticing option. Many of them are cordless, taking advantage of rechargeable and replaceable batteries. They have zero emissions (no comment on the power plant that produces the electricity) and are far quieter than gas-powered options. In short: there’s a lot to like.
Toro Ultra Blower
Like its gas-powered counterpart, the Toro Ultra is a 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, and shredder, perfect for easy multitasking during yard clean up. Its 12-amp variable speed motor can put out air speeds up to 235 MPH and an air volume of 390cfm. We’re pretty sure that’s impressive.
Black & Decker CM1936 Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
If you have a lawn that’s one-third of an acre or less, the Black & Decker CM1936 is up to the task. It cuts a little narrower than the gas powered Honda at 19 inches, but it’s also not spewing emissions, runs quieter and doesn’t require gas. An Energy-Star-rated charger powers up its removable 36V battery.
Husqvarna 316E Electric Chain Saw
You won’t be clearing acreage with the 316E, but for most normal landscaping this 16-inch saw is more than enough. Low vibration and noise from the 13-amp electric motor make it a little more pleasant to operate as well (though true lumberjacks may be disappointed by the lack of din). Same recommendations hold true as before, though: always use chaps and ear/eye protection.
Stihl FSA 85 Electric Trimmer
Perfect for the city or dense-suburban dweller, the FSA 85 has a 36-volt Lithium-Ion battery that runs five times more quiet than its gas powered equivalent, saving your and your neighbor’s ears as you edge and wack away. Don’t expect a decrease in performance as the battery depletes, either; it runs at 100% until it there’s no juice left.
The Hustler Zeon is truly an industry leader — the first ever zero-turn electric mower to hit the market. It can mow over an acre on a single charge, and is built strongly, with a welded steel deck and tubular frame to keep its 42-inch cutting blades solidly in place. Like the rest of the electric landscaping tools, it’s emission free, and far quieter (34% more so) than Zeon’s gas equivalent. Of course, it also costs a pretty penny.
Black & Decker 18-Volt 22-Inch Cordless Electronic Hedge Trimmer
Honestly, who want to be dancing around a cord while wielding a 22-inch finger removing machine? This Black & Decker hedge trimmer can trim up to 1,200 sq ft on a single charge. The removable NiCad battery is easily replaced if need be, and at just over six pounds, it’ll be best friends with your arms.