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Go green: battery-powered lawn tools vs gas-powered

Consumer Reports makes their top picks on battery-operated lawn tools.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — All of those gasoline-powered tools that make our outdoor spaces spectacular can take a toll on the planet, emitting significant amounts of noise, not to mention carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

A good alternative, according to Consumer Reports: battery-powered tools which can help the planet without sacrificing your lawn.

“Every year we test more battery tools, and every year we find fewer reasons to recommend buying gas models," said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

Battery-powered motors are more efficient and produce zero emissions. Consider this: a commercial gas-powered leaf blower running just an hour produces about as much pollution as driving a 2017 Toyota Camry 1,100 miles.

“Battery-powered tools reducing air pollution, but they can also reduce the noise pollution you might encounter in a typical suburban neighborhood, so your neighbors might thank you, too,” said Hope.

You’ll also be free of all those gasoline spills, refills, and hassles. And there’s less maintenance: No oil changes, spark plugs, or messy gas cans to deal with. With battery-powered tools, all you do is recharge.

Ready for a green upgrade? Consumer Reports says this EGO Lawn Mower earned very good ratings when it comes to close, even, carpet-like cutting.

Want to blow your leaves without blowing your neighbors ears off? This BEST BUY Stihl leaf blower clears leaves fast and quietly.

And finally, say goodbye to pull-cord starting with this Ryobi Chainsaw. CR’s tests found it cuts as quickly as many lighter-duty gasoline saws.

The downside to battery-powered tools is that they can cost more and replacement batteries can be expensive; however, CR’s reliability surveys have found many battery-powered tools are just as reliable and sometimes more reliable than their gasoline counterparts. And as battery-powered products have improved, so have their warranties. Many brands have started offering lengthier warranties of two or three years as opposed to one year.