Picture this: it’s a beautiful Sunday morning. You’re on the porch, enjoying the sunlight shining while listening to the birds, when all of a sudden you hear your neighbor’s loud gas powered leaf blower whining in his front yard. Not only do these loud, gas guzzling, yard tools ruin our peaceful mornings, they cause more harm to the environment than you would think.
There are many pros to electric yard tools:
- Convenience: There’s no need to buy or store gasoline, no oil changes or changing filters. Just plug in or recharge batteries in a standard electrical outlet.
- Easy to handle: They’re lightweight compared to gas powered tools.
- More efficient: Electric tools use less energy to do a similar amount of work, and waste less heat, which translates into more direct power.
- Lower carbon footprint: Electric tools can reduce your emissions and protect the environment. The National Resources Defense Council found that “Lawn tools with a two-stroke engine can spew 20 to nearly 300 times the emissions of a car.”
The latest generation of electrical yard tools are also surprisingly powerful, and their battery life makes them practical for most homeowners. With these positives, now is the time to make the switch from gas to electric, starting with the most popular yard tools:
According to the California Air Resource Board, “Running a commercial leaf blower for an hour can produce as many pollutants as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry 1,100 miles.” That’s a lot of pollution, but are electric blowers up to the task? It depends on how long you need to run them.
Most electric leaf blowers run from 20 to 30 minutes on a single charge, depending on speed setting. The highest rated electric leaf blower delivers 90 minutes of operation at medium speed before charging. While gas powered leaf blowers last longer per tankful and are more powerful overall, electric leaf blowers charge fast and save money on gas. They are well suited to getting rid of fallen leaves in your front yard. Switching to a cheaper, quieter, lightweight electric leaf blower will get the job done while saving the environment.
Highly rated by customers: EGO Power+ Lithium Ion Cordless Electric Leaf Blower
Electric String Trimmer
Whether it’s battery powered or has a cord, electric string trimmers are significantly quieter and easier to handle than gas powered versions of the yard tool. They’ll run for about 30 to 50 minutes, on average, and work well for areas of up to an acre of land. With a corded string trimmer, you’re limited to how far the cord can stretch, so they are better suited to small yards, but they weigh even less and have no constraints for run time.
Highly rated by customers: EGO Power+ ST1502 Electric String Trimmer
The US Environmental Protection Agency has found that lawn-mower emissions contribute substantially to total air pollution in metropolitan areas. Not only that, over 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled each year when fueling mowers.
According to the National Gardening Association, electric mowers reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and methane by 99 percent. These battery powered models work best for yards smaller than half an acre, and can run anywhere from 30-50 minutes on a single charge. Buying an additional battery can double your run time for larger lawns.
Weighing in at about 50 to 60 pounds, battery powered lawn mowers are also significantly easier to maneuver than gas powered versions, which weigh on average over 90 pounds.
Highly rated by customers: EGO Power+ Select Cut LM2135SP Cordless Electric Lawn Mower
Gas chainsaws produce 106-120 decibels of noise, almost double the level considered tolerable for human hearing. Starting with just the touch of a button, electric chainsaws are significantly quieter, practical, and easy to maintain. Battery powered chainsaws don’t have the mojo to cut down mature trees, but are still powerful enough for yard work like trimming limbs and cutting small longs. Another advantage to electric chainsaws is they don’t need gas to run. Most gas powered chainsaws require a mixture of fuel and oil, which adds expense to their day-to-day operation. Electric chainsaws will save time, money, and your ear drums.
Highly rated by customers: Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit
As gas prices rise to record levels, this could be the summer to eliminate the guzzlers in your yard, and give your neighbors their mornings back!
This article was researched and written by Samantha Malley, a summer 2022 intern at Sense who is a rising junior at Brandeis University.