How to Save on Electric Outdoor Power Gear

Electric string trimmers, lawn mowers and leaf blowers now pack the power to go head to head with gas models.

Consumer Reports
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In addition to being quieter and easier to start, electric tools have another advantage over gas-powered models: Electric gear from the same manufacturer can share the same battery and, if you buy strategically, you can save money by skipping extra batteries and chargers.

That’s welcome news because in Consumer Reports’ tests of string trimmers, lawn mowers and leaf blowers, electric lawn tools finally pack the power to go head to head with gas models. If you’re ready to make the switch, follow the tips below to get the most bang for your buck when buying electric power gear.

Consider the Whole Tool Suite

“People naturally want to buy into the same battery system,” says David Trezza, who oversees string trimmer testing at Consumer Reports. That makes perfect sense. If you already own the Troy-Bilt TB510 electric lawn mower, $500, and need a leaf blower, you can snag the Troy-Bilt TB4300, $279, for the lower price of $179 if you buy it without the battery and charger. Buying into a brand’s platform with a single tool gives you the battery and charger to power most of its other products and brings down the cost of adding more tools to your collection.

Buy the Most Used Tool First

If you plan to buy electric replacements for all your yard tools, “it’s a good idea to start by buying the tool that’s most important to you,” says Frank Spinelli, who oversees Consumer Reports’ lawn mower tests. As with gas-powered tools, it’s rare that all the tools from a single manufacturer do well enough in our tests to recommend.

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