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Cordless Power Tools Are Hard to Resist

The lawn mower starts with a flip of a lever-- easier than starting a car. The mowing level can also be quickly and easily adjusted.

Vicki Parsons of south Brandon, owner of Neem Tree Farms, editor of Bay Soundings and also a good friend called to tell me about the new cordless power tools she had purchased to try for an article. "You might want to write a column about them, too," she said.

I really wasn't too interested. I just bought a new chainsaw last year. But after she offered to bring them all to my house and show me, including the lawn mower, I had to at least agree to come to her house and see them.

I dressed in my garden clothes and borrowed David's leather gloves. I was ready for a workout. They really couldn't be as easy to use as she said.

The lawn mower was actually a tad bit harder to push than the one we have. Ah, but to start it was easier than starting a car-just open the lever and it purrs! Vicki was so impressed she was happy to trade it for her riding mower. The lawn mower costs about $400 so I can resist that for the present. But she says it raises and lowers as easy as it starts. So I may well have one some day and won't mind the price, mostly because of the following EPA information.

Vicki Parsons uses the cordless lawn trimmer.
  • It is estimated that the few ounces of fuel spilled during refueling lawn and garden equipment totals about 17 million gallons a year.
  • The exchange of 1,000 gasoline-powdered lawn mowers for electric mowers has the potential of reducing VOC (volatileorganic compound) emissions by 9.8 tons a year, which is the equivalent of removing 230 cars from the highways.
  • These tools use 70% less energy than gasoline products and produce ZERO harmful emissions.

Also because winding and unwinding that long extension cord is a pain and trying not to cut it is a safety hazard.

Vicki let me try the trimmer as well. The beauty of this is that you can pick it up and do a small job in less time than it takes to haul our the extension cord. Also, bumping is not needed to keep the string in place. I'll keep using what I have for now, but someday...

What I really covet is the chainsaw. It is much smaller and lighter than mine- only 6.2 pounds-- and makes neater cuts. The low-kickback bar and chain is short, but it cuts branches up to 8 inches in diameter.

Vicki is as tiny as she looks in the photo. "I can't handle one of those big ones," she says. She has good help ever since Luke Weaver came and offered to trade some chainsaw work for neem plants and products and she hired him permanently. "He can handle the big saw, but he prefers the smaller cordless one now. He can hold it even above his head for higher cuts," she says.

He had done extensive trimming back of her mature neem trees after the frost damage and they are already showing new growth. He had also cut and stacked an amazing woodpile for the Parson's wood stove.

This chainsaw is smaller and lighter than my electric one and quickly cuts through this 6 inch limb. It will cut limbs up to 8 inches in diameter.

"Another thing I like about this chainsaw is that you can get it out and cut enough dead wood or prune enough to fill a trash can or two and not make it a big job," Vicki says.

Each of the tools come with two battery packs that are easily and quickly interchangeable among all of these 18 volt system tools and take 35% less energy than common charges. The chainsaw, for instance, will make 150 1 inch cuts on one charge. They come with a 2 year warranty and a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

I've used my big cord-attached chainsaw several times since I tried that small one and every time the temptation grows. I wonder how long it will take to wear out the one I have or my resistance, whichever goes first.

The chainsaw costs $99.99 and all of these tools are available at Home Depot. For me all the extras they offer will be well worth the cost.