Ah, summer: the promise of hot weather, cold beverages… and plenty of yard work. But just like grilling the perfect summer meal, you can make yard work easy – dare we say, fun? – by having the right tools. For the best-looking yard (and the best time taking care of it), these are the four outdoor power tools you need this summer:
1. Lawn Mower
Unless you live in a desert, you will likely be cutting grass this summer. And chances are, you’ve already started. The health and appearance of your grass, as well as how much you enjoy cutting, all depend on the mower you choose.
For typical homeowners, a gas or electric push mower is a great choice and much more affordable than a riding mower. The most basic push mowers are not self-propelled and are perfect for flat yards up to ¼ acre in size. If it’s convenience you’re after, consider a self-propelled push mower. These are particularly good for sloped yards or yards larger than ¼ acre in size -- though, you can use a push mower on any size yard you feel comfortable with. When it comes to push mowers, you have decisions to make. The first and most important being:
Gas or Electric
Gas lawn mowers have been around for decades, and they’re still a popular choice. However, technological advancements have made cordless electric lawn mowers a compelling option for anyone looking for effective, eco-friendly lawn equipment. Bonus: electric lawn mowers save you money over time. While the initial purchase price of battery-powered mowers skews higher than gas powered mowers, they break even with gas mowers quickly and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Most cordless electric mowers cut up to half an acre on a single charge, depending on the grass length. (Check the manufacturer’s estimates and consider purchasing an extra battery so you can always have one fully charged when needed.) Reduced noise, vibration, and environmental impact are all benefits to consider with this option (all without sacrificing quality cuts).
2. String Trimmer
String trimmers (also called weed eaters, weed whackers, and grass trimmers) make life so much easier when it’s time to trim the grass that your mower can’t reach. Trimming hard-to-reach areas is crucial for giving your lawn a clean, finished look. Here are some important things to consider:
When choosing between gas and electric string trimmers, begin with accounting for the size of your lawn and the kind of obstacles you’ll be trimming around. For small yards, a corded or cordless electric string trimmer is a great option, but if you’re trimming around and under obstacles like a swing set or trampoline, the cord on a corded electric trimmer may present more trouble than you want. In that case, definitely go cordless—gas or battery-powered.
For larger yards, you should consider a gas-powered string trimmer or one that is battery-powered with a longer runtime to get the job done. Modern lithium-ion battery technology makes longer runtimes possible for cordless electric lawn equipment. Investing in an extra battery can give you added flexibility and productivity with your yard.
Another consideration: if you already own a cordless electric mower, consider purchasing a string trimmer from the same brand that shares interchangeable batteries. The perfect example is the Senix X5 Cordless Series which features six different outdoor power tools that all work with an interchangeable, premium 58V rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. (That also means if you purchase one spare battery, you have a spare for them all!)
Ease of Use
The first matter of user-friendliness is finding a grass trimmer that you can carry and maneuver comfortably. Pay attention to the tool’s weight and keep that in mind when selecting optional attachments. Heavy attachments won’t do you any good if you can’t lift them.
Look for a string trimmer that is ergonomic, so you can easily trim at the correct angle without being fatigued. Some trimmers have an adjustable-length shaft or handle for extra comfort and ease of use. Additionally, you can choose between a string trimmer with a straight shaft or a curved shaft, depending on what is best for you. If you’re not sure, consider a straight shaft trimmer, which is a more premium option that lasts longer with higher durability.
Finally, note how easy it is to feed and load replacement string. String trimmers cut with fast-moving string, and that string eventually needs to be refilled. Some models require manual loading and some offer pre-wound string refills. Regardless, be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations on string gauges for the health of the trimmer motor.
3. Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers are good for much more than leaves. Be the envy of the block this summer by using your leaf blower to clear grass clippings & other debris from your driveway, porch, steps, and walkways. (Bonus: you’ll be ready to roll when those leaves do begin to fall.) Like lawn mowers, there are a couple of key factors to consider when choosing a leaf blower:
Handheld or Backpack
The most popular leaf blowers for homeowners are handheld. Handheld blowers are compact and self-contained, making them a practical choice for a variety of jobs.
With backpack leaf blowers, you carry the motor in a backpack-like shoulder harness and hold the blower tube in your hand. Backpack models are often heavier (and more powerful) than handheld models, but the backpack harness makes them a good option for large yards or long stretches of continuous use.
Gas or Electric
Many leaf blowers are gas-powered. Four-stroke (or 4-cycle) engines are designed to be more fuel-efficient, saving you money without the hassle of mixing oil and gas. The 4-stroke engine takes straight gasoline, and it’s quieter too. If you need the power of gas but want the ease of a quieter, lower-vibration 4-cycle engine, check out the Senix 4QL Gas Powered Blower (bonus – it has a vacuum function too)!
Corded electric blowers require less maintenance than gas powered blowers, and they tend to be the most lightweight option (no gas engine or battery pack). However, the cord’s length can be limiting. This option is great for small yards and jobs like blowing out gutters.
Cordless electric blowers also require less maintenance than gas-powered blowers, but all the freedom of being cordless. Modern battery-powered blowers produce plenty of power as well, even as much as some mid-range gas models. If you’re clearing a large area (think ahead to fall and how much space you’ll be clearing of leaves), definitely consider purchasing an extra battery. You will likely need to swap out for a charged battery (or just clear the area in stages between re-charging), but check the manufacturer’s guide on battery life. And again, consider selecting a model from the same brand as any other battery-powered outdoor equipment you might own. (For example, Senix offers a Leaf Blower and Grass Trimmer Combo Kit.)
4. Tiller or Cultivator
Combine the power of a tiller/cultivator with those long summer days, and you can check big things off of your landscaping bucket list – like finally tilling the ground so you can plant grass seed this fall, or prepping that neglected section of the yard for a gorgeous flower bed. Your main consideration here is the power source.
Gas or Electric
If you prefer a gas-powered tiller or cultivator, consider the Senix 4QL gas powered tiller/cultivator with a 4-cycle engine and no need to mix gas and oil. The full crank engine design provides longer engine life, lower vibration, and easy maintenance. The aggressive 6 tines reach up to 15 inches tilling width and 8 inches tilling depth. Cushioned handle grips provide increased user comfort, and the lightweight design allows for easy transportation between gardens and yards.
Cordless electric tillers and cultivators also pack a punch when they’re powered by modern lithium-ion battery technology. For example, the Senix X6 Cordless 58V Garden Tiller/Cultivator features a powerful brushless motor and comes with a 58-volt 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery and CHX6 fast charger. Four durable steel tines reach up to 12 inches tilling width and 8 inches tilling depth with four height adjustment settings. A fold-down handle and lightweight design make for effortless operation, easy transport, and compact storage.
Every Senix product is designed for ease of use and premium performance, all at an affordable price. Our innovative technology includes corded electric, cordless battery-operated, and gas-powered equipment that helps you make the most of your summer yard work.