Best garden gadgets for your summer 2014 yard upgrade
With battery powered everything around the home, from phones and computers to speakers and alarms, why shouldn't the garden be the same? Until now batteries have been slow to charge and limited in life when it comes to garden work. But the latest cordless garden power tools are finally good enough to replace noisy and smelly petrol and the annoying cable anchored corded kit.
We've rounded up the cordless garden gear that will make keeping your garden tidy for summer a freeing, cheap to run and environmentally friendly experience.
Husqvarna Automower 305 robot lawnmower
For those that don't take pleasure in gardening, don’t have the time, or just enjoy the power of being a robot's overlord, the Husqvarna robot mower is for you.
And for those not sure about letting a robot loose near their prized begonias there's a money back promise if you're not happy with it.
The Husqvarna is quiet enough to work at night, can survive the rain, cuts evenly without track marks and can even handle hills. It'll cut between 20mm and 60mm in height and features an anti-theft alarm and activation pin code.
The Automower 305 cuts little and often so as to avoid messy grass everywhere, and to promote lawn health. Then when it needs a charge it'll return to its station and juice itself up. All while you sit back and enjoy you barbeque laughing manically as your robot slave does your bidding, if you like.
Bosch Rotak 32 LI Ergoflex lawnmower
For those that like to mow themselves, there's still cordless options. Bosch, a king among power tool manufacturers, has pointed its battery powered tool experience at grass. The result is this 36-volt lithium-ion powered mower which is capable of cutting up to a tennis court size of grass (300 metres square) on a charge, so about 30 minutes in ideal conditions, says Bosch.
A great thing about this mower is that it'll be at full charge in 90 minutes or at 80 per cent in 45 minutes. The mower bag can hold 36 litres of grass and the beast can cut in three different heights from 30mm to 60mm. Enough for most gardens, that aren't massive, then.
Stihl MSA 160 C-BQ electric chainsaw
This is the first cordless battery powered chainsaw from German manufacturer Stihl. Recognised as one of the best makes of chainsaw, Stihl say this model boasts low-vibration, low-kickback and quiet running from its 12-inch blade.
The battery, which is sold separately, is a 36-volt beast which can be charged with a normal Al 100 charger, AL 300 quick charger or AL 500 hi-speed charger. Speed of charge all depends on how much you want to spend. Using the recommended AP 180 battery should deliver a good 40 minutes of use.
Black & Decker STC1815-GB 18V lithium cordless strimmer
Edging can be a bit of a hassle, especially with a cable constantly getting in the way. Since it's a relatively straightforward system running a strimmer it lends itself well to battery power.
This 18-volt Black & Decker strimmer, with E-Drive high torque technology, promises to make short work of most growth. It also sports a 25cm cutting range and auto-loading spool.
Users should get a hefty 44 minutes on a charge that takes 3.75 hours to get to full. Thanks to the lithium-ion Black & Decker claims even after sitting in the shed for 90 days it'll still have retained 80 per cent of its charge.
Makita BUB182Z 18V Li-ion body only cordless blower
Down from £100 on Amazon at the time of writing this deal gets you the great brand, Makita. The cordless blower uses an 18-volt lithium-ion battery, which needs to be bought along with charger separately. The whole kit comes in at around £180.
That gets you a blower that also sucks despite weighing a light 1.6kg. It'll blow and suck at different air flows depending on the noise level you need to maintain, or the power you need for a particular job. And since it's Makita it'll probably last you a lifetime.
The Makita charges to full in 22-minutes and runs for up to 75 minutes on Low, and 12 minutes on High, a 25-minute Medium setting.