The Best Cordless Lawn Garden Tool Systems – One Battery To Rule Them All.

This article is going to look at the cordless electric Lawn and & Garden tools systems available for 2018.

Cordless-electric outdoor power equipment has evolved to the point where it is a good choice over gas-powered yard tools. In fact cordless electric yard tools now outsell the gas equivalents. It’s now time to take a serious look at what’s available and what is the best for you. I see hundreds of articles expounding the virtues of this cordless mower and that cordless string trimmer or blower but almost no reviews that include the complete line of tools each brand’s battery covers.

It doesn’t make a lot of economic sense for you to buy the best of each the way these articles want you to do, for example, an EGO string Trimmer, a Troy-Bilt leaf blower and a DeWalt chainsaw. You end up spending $150-$200 extra for each tool just for batteries. It’s really advantageous when you can have just two or three of the same batteries that will work in all your cordless yard tools. Some of the battery systems I will list will even work in your cordless hand tools!

Hi, I’m Paul Sikkema. Don’t know me? Check out this About Page or my YouTube page #mycountryacre #todaysmower #movingsnow

A few things to remember when shopping for cordless Lawn and & Garden Tool Systems.

Battery voltage is not a measure of performance. A 36-40 system can be just as powerful as a 56-80 volt system. Battery capacity in amp-hours (AH) and the battery voltage (V or Volts) together gives you the power available. Amp Hour x Volts = Watt Hour. For example, a 5 AH battery will last twice as long as a 2.5 AH for the same voltage. But a 40 volt 5 AH battery will give you about the same power available as an 80 volt 2.5 AH.  Watt Hour is the easiest way to compare different batteries and battery system. Watt Hour is not always listed in the specs but is printed on the battery itself.

The efficiency of the electric motor will also determine how long a battery lasts. Most of the current reliable brands have switched to the high-efficiency brushless motors and a few have gone to the patented  CORE system. Many of the systems now come with 1 hour quick chargers so you can be using one battery and have another one charging quickly. If you are trying to rotate them too fast through the charger thermal overload protection will keep them from overheating and ruining the battery.

Remember, the cost of the initial product includes the battery and charger so that is like buying the item and 3 or more years of gas, oil, and filters all up front. Once you have a product or two with batteries you can buy just the “bare tool” without the extra batteries and charger. That will save you considerable money. So, the initial cost is higher but when you look at total operating costs, not just purchase price cordless electric starts to make real sense. Typically a hedge trimmer or string trimmer costs just 2 cents per hour to operate—which is about 95 cents per hour less than a comparable gas unit. What does that mean? If the battery-powered unit cost $100 more than the cost of a comparable gas-powered unit it will start paying for itself around the 100-hour mark. If you have more than one tool using the same battery the savings over gas-powered will show up quicker.

Lots of marketing terms:

Smart Cut Technology, ARC Lithium Design, MaxLithium, Brushless Motors and Smart Lithium Battery Tech. These are marketing terms and the engineering is not specific to that one tool or brand.  Brushless systems now have speed/load sensors built-in that increase the torque/speed when the load is greater and reduce the power/speed when the load is light – saving battery life.   The Lithium batteries and chargers used in these kits have overload and overcharging tech built-in so they don’t explode or melt down your workbench. Most cells are wrapped to pull heat away from the cell. I’m not aware that any of the chargers have built-in battery cycling, cell balancing and or battery peaking tech.

One more little marketing detail on voltage. Here in the U.S., the brands are allowed to “fudge” the voltage label. For example, maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload on a fully charged battery) is 20, 56, 60, and 80 volts. So, that is the number they typically use on the label – i.e., Pro 80V or 40V MAX. Nominal (actual working) voltage is 18, 46, 54 and 72 volts.  – i.e., a 58-volt battery is not better than a 56 volt. This will also affect the Watt-Hour label on the battery. Some manufacturers are using peak voltage to figure Watt Hours. The actual battery capacity is less.

It’s important to look at the whole package: the battery in conjunction with the motor and the tool being used, along with the ergonomics and overall engineering. It’s not simply a matter of how big the battery is.

An essential line of lawn & garden cordless tools, in my opinion, would include: Just my opinion –

  • String Trimmer for weekly trimming .065-.080 line. This works well for most suburban yards. Most brushless systems now use .080 or higher.  If you have rock or brick landscape borders or chain link fence you may want a string trimmer with thicker .080 or .095 line.
  • Debris/Leaf Blower strong enough to move leaves on your lawn. Today many of the brands have leaf blowers that are as strong as a handheld gas blower. (400 cfm plus)
  • Hedge Trimmer. Great for bushes, hedges and even trimming off prairie grass in the spring.
  • Pole Saw. 10-12 foot reach is nice.

In addition, the following would make the tool line even more versatile. 

  • 16-inch Walk-Behind Trim Mower. Most riding mowers can get close enough to obstructions that a 16 inch trim mower is all you need.
  • Chain Saw. If you have lots of older, mature trees an electric chainsaw is very convenient for making dropped limbs small enough to handle. At this time there are only a few brands that have chainsaws heavy-duty enough for cutting a cord of firewood.

Additional tools that would be nice but most of us don’t have to have:

  • Heavy duty string trimmer .80 line or larger. The larger line allows you to clear that strip of tall weeds and grass you forgot out behind the shed.
  • Walk-Behind Mower at least 19 inches. Some of the brands now have 19 and 21-inch walk behind mowers that are capable of mowing your small yard. (40-60 minute runtime) Some even have metal decks and are self-propelled
  • Garden Weeder/Tiller
  • Backpack Blower
  • Jaw Saw

So let’s take a look at the complete line of tools the different brands offer and the performance of each line as a whole. I’ve broken the list down into two groups – Residential and Commercial. Note: some of the brands offer more than one line – I’ve just included the latest system.

Residential Cordless Systems

Update: I just posted an article on four cordless string trimmers I’ve tested. I’ll include the trimmers here and you read all about my findings here:  Brushless String Trimmer Shootout! DeWalt Flex-Volt, Toro PowerPlex, Stihl AP, Troy-Bilt CORE

Please click on the link to read more and buy! I make a small commision when you purchase from Amazon and The Home Depot. There is no order or preference to this list.

1. Toro PowerPlex Brushless

I have six string trimmers from different brands I use for long-term testing but when I want to trim my yard I almost always grab the Toro PowerPlex. With the battery, it’s under 9 lbs and has plenty of power to trim my landscaping on my one-acre lawn. I have over 600 linear feet of landscape beds, chain link fence, and trees to trim around. I can trim the entire property twice on one charge of the T90 battery.

This system is missing a walk-behind mower. If you want to go total-electric look at the DeWalt 20 volt, Troy-Bilt CORE, Stihl AP, Ryobi 40 volt and EGO Power+

Toro PowerPlex 40 volt system. Buy Here: Amazon is the best choice 

2. Stihl Cordless System

Like many of the brands in this article Stihl is a very well know name that makes high-quality products. Currently, they offer three lines of cordless systems. I tested the commercial AP Series and I highly recommend it if you want the very best on the market.  Stihl is dealer only so you have to go to a local dealer to figure out if it is the best system for you.

Note: Stihl is not available online – you have to buy Stihl through your local dealer.

  • Cordless Lawnmower
  • Trimmers
  • Blowers
  • Hedge Trimmers
  • Pole Pruners
  • Cut-off machine
  • All sizes of batteries including all-day backpack style.

DeWalt

DeWalt has three lawn and garden systems, the 20V MAX for residential, 60V FLEXVOLT for construction professionals, and the 40V MAX Professional Landscaper

3. DeWalt 60V FLEXVOLT

This line is new for 2017 and unique in that the batteries will also work with your 20V MAX and FLEXVOLT tools.

4. DeWalt 20V MAX Residential Cordless System

This line is a good choice if you trim every time you mow.

5. Kobalt 80-Volt Max Residential Cordless System

  • Kobalt 80-Volt Max 16-in Straight Brushless Cordless String Trimmer >.080 line
  • Kobalt 80-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 500-CFM 125-MPH Heavy-Duty Brushless Cordless Electric Leaf Blower
  • Kobalt 80-Volt Max 26-in Dual Cordless Hedge Trimmer
  • Kobalt 80-Volt Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 18-in Brushless Cordless Electric Chainsaw
  • Kobalt 80-Volt Max-Volt Brushless Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 21-in Deck Width Cordless Electric Push Lawn Mower

6. Ryobi Outdoor Products Residential Cordless System

I just want to point out that Ryobi has an absolutely mind-boggling array of tools in their 18 volt ONE + system. The lawn & garden tools are good for small lawns but they have some specialty tools that no one else has. For example RYOBI ONE+ 18-VOLT CHEMICAL SPRAYER at The Home Depot. This is the handiest tool for applying Round-up or Weed-B-Gone.

I’m not going to list the entire line of ONE+ but you can read more here: Ryobi ONE+ System at The Home Depot

7. Ryobi 40 V Residential Cordless System

Ryobi 48 V Riding Mower

There is only one yard tool in the Ryobi 480 line but it’s important that I list it here.

8. EGO Power+ System at The Home Depot Residential Cordless System

EGO Power + has gotten a lot of press over the last year and it is a good residential system but please remember – What I think or what Tools In Action or thesweethome.com thinks is the best is not always the best for you. If you are already committed to a battery platform or your neighbor loves his system don’t feel you have to buy what we say is the best. Feel free to ask comments below and I’ll help you decide.

Troy-Bilt CORE Residential Cordless System

Troy-Bilt CORE has gotten NO press but I have to say it’s the “sleeper” system of all the residential cordless lawn & garden systems for 2017. Troy-Bilt markets to residential customers but the CORE system was designed as a commercial cordless power platform. It uses the patented CORE motors that are the strongest brushless electric motors currently used.  In addition, they are some of the highest efficiency electric motors so they can use smaller amp-hour batteries for the same amount of work. The CORE motors have a lifetime warranty.

Husqvarna

Husqvarna has a great line of commercial cordless yard tools including a 26 AH back-pack battery

Milwaukee

Milwaukee has a small line of M18 Fuel Commercial cordless yard tools that use the same battery as their power/hand tools. Don’t let the 18 volts fool you. Higher voltage does not mean better performance. Milwaukee understands battery tech and brushless motor tech and their 18 volt is more powerful than most 56 volt and higher systems. They just introduced a chainsaw to go with this system and when it’s available I’ll put a link in here. What’s interesting is the price is very comparable to the residential systems.

SnowJoe/SunJoe Residential Cordless System at The Home Depot

Snow Joe – Sun Joe Shop at Amazon

SunJoe/SnowJoe has a line of cordless that includes a 2-stage self-propelled snow blower but they are missing one important piece in their system – a string trimmer. If your yard is too big for a cordless trimmer or you don’t need one then the Snow Joe line makes sense. By the way, the 2-stage snow blower throws snow very well and it’s extremely quiet.

  • Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Cordless 16-Inch Lawn Mower w/ Brushless Motor
  • Sun Joe iON 40V 4.0 Ah Cordless 3-in-1 Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher with Brushless Motor
  • Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Multi-Angle Cordless 8-Inch Pole Chain Saw
  • Sun Joe iON 40-Volt Cordless 16-Inch Chain Saw w/ Brushless Motor
  • Sun Joe iON 40V Hybrid Cordless or Electric 16-Inch Lawn Mower – Corded and Cordless!
  • Sun Joe iON 40V 4.0 Ah Cordless 12-Inch Garden Tiller/Cultivator
  • Snow Joe iON PRO Series 21-Inch Cordless Single Stage Brushless Snow Blower – non-self-propelled
  • Snow Joe iON 80V Max 5.0 Ah Cordless Self-Propelled (Two-Stage) 3-Speed + Reverse Snow Blower w/ Dual Port Charger

Black & Decker Residential Cordless System

Black & Decker has just introduced 60V MAX walk-behind mower. No word yet if there will be a yard system with trimmers, etc that will go with it.

The primary battery for the yard tools at this time is the 40V MAX* Lithium.

Black & Decker, Stanley and DeWalt are all the same company. Both B&D and DeWalt have 20V MAX tools but they are not compatible with each other. But the 20 V MAX B&D cordless tool line use the same batteries as lawn tools.

Black & Decker 40 V MAX line at Amazon

Black & Decker 20 V MAX line at Amazon

Snapper Cordless System

Snapper has two lines – a 60 volt and 82-volt system. The price is surprisingly competitive!

Snapper 60 volt Outdoor Tools at Amazon. The 82-volt system is the newest model.

Snapper 82 volt Outdoor Tools. at Amazon. RECOMMENDED!

Remember it’s the battery’s Watt-hour rating that matters, not the voltage. The batteries may seem small but they have the same Watt-hours as 40 volt with twice the AH.

 

Commercial Cordless Systems

I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing the commercial systems in this article. I’ll list the brands I am aware of and give you a quick summary of the system they offer. If you want a commercial grade system Green Industry Pro Magazine has a very good article here: Battle of the Batteries

DeWalt 40V MAX (dedicated 40V commercial system – not compatible with 20V and Flex-Volt)

DeWalt has a nice solid line of 40-volt commercial outdoor tools including an extended reach hedge trimmer! Check them out at the link above.

Cub Cadet CORE at Tractor Supply

I’m not sure if the Cub Cadet cordless system is considered commercial duty but I’ll put them here.  Cub Cadet decided to produce a modular system. One powerhead that fits a string trimmer, blower, and hedge trimmer.

Shindaiwa

As a homeowner, you probably have never heard of Shindaiwa but it is one of the heaviest duty commercial lines available.  They have a 56-volt commercial string trimmer, blower, and hedge trimmer.

Other manufacturers currently making commercial cordless lawn & garden tools: These are all dealer only items.

GreenWorks Pro

Oregon

Mean Green

Makita

Stihl

Echo Professional Grade 58V

Husqvarna

Bosch Professional

Hitachi-Koki

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John Wildharber
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John Wildharber

I’m curious about authors or any other opinion of Jonsered. Costco now has their full line. I’m debating between that and Ego like.

Cas
Guest

Hi Paul, I purchased the Kobalt 80 V Trimmer with 2 batteries.. We are trying to go to batteries as much as possible.. We have a residential yard , about 1/3 acre. With a LOT of leaves and acorns. My son is looking at a back pack battery blower for us for Christmas. but said that he was told the Kobalt backpack it is out of stock until March 2019. My wife said she definitely can’t use the gas backpack we already have but a battery one she could do. Looking for a suggestion as to how we can still… Read more »

Bill Mulligan
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Bill Mulligan

Pretty comprehensive. I myself have gone with the ryobi one+system simple for the sheer volume of tools. It’s not just about lawn care but total home maintenance. Of course having a small tractor with bucket and pto make the bigger stuff manageable.

Justin
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Justin

Hi Paul, While I trust your advice was sound, I ended up going with the Milwaukee. I figured I would be investing in a chainsaw and blower along with a circular saw and hammer drill in the future and I liked the idea of being able to use the 18V 9.0ah batteries in the all of the tools. In terms of the trimmer – it has far more power than I had anticipated. It chopped down all of the tall weeds and grass I threw at it with plenty of power to spare. You should consider a formal review of… Read more »

Justin
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Justin

Hi Paul, Thanks for the amazing post. I hope the blog is still active. I have found it to be helpful but still have a couple of questions for you. I am debating between a few different products and would like your opinion. 1. EGO 15-inch 56V Lithium-Ion Electric Cordless String Trimmer w/Rapid Reload Head with Battery and Charger ST1502SF (this comes with two 56V batteries – one 2.0ah, one 2.5ah) 2. Toro 14-inch PowerPlex 40V Max Brushless DC String Trimmer 2.5ah Model 51482 3. WORX 56V 13″ CORDLESS STRING TRIMMER & WHEELED EDGER WG191 (comes with two 56V batteries… Read more »

Tom
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Tom

I just bought a 40v Ryobi mower from Home Depot. I did not even take it out of the box yet so I cant speak to how well it works. But I have 2 lawns to cut, so I wanted to purchase an additional battery as there is a storage spot on the mower for the extra battery. I can just switch em up and go. However, my Home Depot only had 2.6AH 40v replacement batteries for Ryobi, and my mower comes with a 5AH battery. So I asked one of the workers if the 2.6AH battery will work on… Read more »

Don
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Don

Good Stuff. Thank you.
I have a Kobalt 80V strong trimmer that works great. (but is a bit heavy, and line is limited — i think they eliminated the chain saw)
Looking to get a 14″ + or- Chain Saw and a backpack blower. (Hedge trimmer may be down the line). Thoughts on great chain saw/backpack blower providers? Large (3 acre) yard, that is one third wooded.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Hi Paul, any experience with Greenworks 40v or 80v tools?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Paul,
Looking for the best 40-60v cordless dual line trimmer that gives me the best overall raings on operation power, battery life, charging time, possibility for attachments, warranty etc…just the best overall machine. Thanks for your help.

Sally Waxgiser
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Sally Waxgiser

What do you think about the ECHO 58 volt system? I didn’t see where you have commented on it.

Sara
Guest
Sara

Hi Paul, I just bought a house and new to gardening and all of these tools. For my yard, I think I will need a leaf blower (3 trees), trimmer/edger and a hedge trimmer for now. I have a small lawn (the total lot size is less than .25 acres with house occupying most of the area). Which brand of tools and what power will be sufficient for my needs? Thanks.

=William von Rentzell
Guest

I have 3 different battery systems; my 24v sealed lead acid battery packs for my Neuton 14″ mower, my 40v Li-Ion battery packs for my Snow Joe 18″ snow blower, and my 18v Lithium packs for my Ryobi One + string trimmer and 22″ hedge trimer. I have to say the last item listed is the best purchase I’ve made in yard equipment. I picked the Snow Joe over the Ryobi snow blower because of the lower battery capacity with Ryobi in 2014. The One + tools were bought 1 and 2 years ago respectively. The Neuton; I bought my… Read more »

Dan Jones
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Dan Jones

Paul: I bought a Troy Bilt Trimmer after reading your reviews. I was very impressed with the battery life and power, but I just returned my second unit due to the battery housing being so flimsy. The first one cracked while I was hitting the head on the ground to release some trimmer line and the downward force on the head created enough upward force on the battery housing that it cracked. Amazon was good enough to replace the product, but when I opened the box of the replacement unit, the battery housing was loose. I had to return it… Read more »

Yang
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Yang

Hi Paul,
I wish I read your article before I bought 32V WORX GT 2.0. I have 2 questions. Per your article in US, maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload on a fully charged battery) is 20, 56, 60, and 80 volts. why WORX production said 32V? 2nd can I use 32 V battery in 20V tool that also WORX product? Thanks.

Greg
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Greg

Thanks for the reply! That Ego link I gave is actually a brushless motor. I confess I returned the greenworks pro, and bought the Ego yesterday, before I saw your reply. I haven’t used it, but just playing with it in the house, I have a good comparison of it and the greenworks pro. The trigger looks identical, but feels so much better on the Ego. The motor starts right away, compared to a delay on the greenworks pro. It feels really nice and easy to control the speed. Some nitpicks, like another reviewer said, the handle is weird, but… Read more »

Sandra
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Sandra

Lots of useful pointers here, thank you. I’m wondering about the use of two lines- I take it this is really desirable for heavier usage? I gather that an automatic feed system is ‘superior’ to the bump system. Opinion? Thank you!

Rich Cunningham
Guest

when checking trimmer ratings !Dewalt isn’t mentioned in the top 5 I was considering the 20 v 5amp dual string . the ratings seem to mention black7 DECKER 136 single string and 65 versus 80 / these reports are getting more confusing .brushless ,brushes single string 65 ,80 or 95 what to do close eyes and grab one???

Rich Cunningham
Guest

Dewalt 2o v or Robi 40v weed wacker is the dealt worth the $40 more

Sally
Guest
Sally

Yes, thanks for this Blog as it is hard to wade througt the manufacturers’ specs and make sense from it. For instance, I am on the DeWalt website and comparing three string trimmers. They are the FleVolt 60 Max system, Lithiom-Ion XR Brushless 40V Max (4 amp hrs) and the same one with 6 amp hrs (concerned with weight). The last one is the heaviest at 13.0lbs while the Flex Volt one is only 12 lbs. My concern is the Flex Volt one has only 3 amp hrs and you say this is the best measure of running time. The… Read more »

Aaron
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Aaron

Paul, This is a great overview! Thanks for the time and effort you put into this. There isn’t nearly enough useful information out there on battery powered lawn tools like this. I’m very curious as to what your thoughts on are on my options. At this point i want to get the following tools, listed in order of usefulness to me: trimmer, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, blower. I also wouldn’t mind getting/may someday get: polesaw; construction tools such as, reciprocating saw, oscillating multi-tool. I only have a Ryobi 18v One+ drill, driver and 10″ trimmer so i’m not heavily invested in… Read more »

Dan Jones
Guest
Dan Jones

Great information Paul. I started to be very interested in the Troy Bilt system, but then I read a few reviews on Amazon and now I am wondering. Poor battery life and the recommended trimmer line size is not available are a couple of the issues raised. What do you say to that?

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hi Paul – thanks for the help on another thread with the lawn mower. Loving the Craftsman Pro Series so far. Now I’m looking at what my best bet is for a cordless string trimmer… and also probably a hedge trimmer and leaf blower on the same battery system. I have about 1.5 cleared acres, and about 15 or so trees… but about half of those are big poplars, with a lot of exposed roots that need a fair amount of attention with a string trimmer. The house is also a ranch, so a lot of perimeter to trim, with… Read more »

Robert
Guest
Robert

Paul,
Well my research and dealer visit came up with another brand that is supposed to be commercial grade and superior to the others we spoke of. Do you have an opinion on the Shindaiwa battery operated hedge trimmer and blowers? I saw them today and was impressed. Thanks.

Robert Hughes
Guest
Robert Hughes

Paul: I am looking to possibly start using a battery operated hedge trimmer followed by the blower and when my lawn mower goes, a battery operated lawn mower. I have looked at the EGO and Stihl. The EGO hedge trimmer I felt was too long and heavy awkward at 24″. The Stihl had an 18″, 20″ and 22″. The Stihl does not have a self propelled lawn mower EGO does. However yesterday I hit on the Troy Bilt system and was impressed. The EGO bothers me a bit in that if the product needs repair I have not received a… Read more »

Sally
Guest
Sally

Thanks for the suggestions.
Is it worth getting an older 18 volt drill/driver repaired? It died several years ago and I replaced it with another 18 volt one on sale, but I do not like it as well. I do really like the new 20 volt drill/driver set and it is much lighter.
Would you recommend an extended warranty? I have never had good luck with first year anything…

Sally
Guest
Sally

Thanks for the article.Very timely for me. I am currently thinking about getting rid of two of my chainsaws, a very old, very lightweight 14″ Stihl (nice for limbing) and a regular Craftsman 16″. I want to keep my Husqvarna 455 Rancher. My local repairman says I have no business owning all these chainsaws (70 yr old, 130 lb, 5′, 3″ Grandmother). But, I live alone on a small farm (10 ac) in the country and do have need of chainsaws from time to time. I am very satisfied with the Craftsman twin cylinder 48″ (some fancy trany) lawn mower… Read more »

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