Neely Bower takes pride in her yard, keeping it neatly landscaped all year round. Neely Bower "It's relaxing. It's hard work, but it's relaxing." Consumer Reports ShopSmart says for women who do lots of yard work, having the right tools is key. Editor Lisa Lee Freeman and yard equipment expert Peter Sawchuk have some great options that get the job done. Gas-powered mowers are heavy, noisy, and require a lot of maintenance. Instead, consider an electric mower like this 450-dollar one from Black and Decker. Lisa Freeman "With an electric mower, you press the button and you're good to go. And it's super quiet, too." Keeping your lawn leaf-free can be challenging. And a full-sized leaf blower can weigh almost 25 pounds! A lightweight backpack leaf blower like this 280-dollar one from Stihl makes the job much easier! Lisa Freeman "Oh, that's easy." Gas-powered string trimmers are also heavy and hard to start. This battery-powered one from Ryobi does a great job for 130 dollars. All you have to do is push a button and pull the trigger. If you're serious about yard work, but don't want to deal with a chainsaw … … ShopSmart has another option from Black and Decker. Lisa Freeman "It's basically a mini-electric chain saw and even though it's small and compact and easy to use, you can prune trees and shrubs. You can even cut firewood and fallen branches. And it's a lot less scary than a regular chain saw." A bonus - the blade is hidden, so it's safer, too. With these tools, your yard will soon be the envy of the block. ."
More On Your Side Stories
- Time to make health coverage choices
- Consumer Reports wanted to bring some science to the matter to find out just how much force it takes for the iPhone 6 to bend and not bend back.
- Tips on how to get the most money for the stuff you no longer need.
- BPA or bisphenol A has been banned by the Federal government because it's linked to serious health problems.
- Consumer Reports just put two dozen of the most popular brands and styles through rigorous wind, rain, and climate tests to find the best for your house.
- Walmart is known for value, some strategies to try when shopping the discount chain.
- Sales of portable generators spike every time the power gets knocked out, a good one can keep the basics running.
- Instead of Apple TV, Roku, or another set-top box for streaming video to your TV, consider a Blu-ray player.
- Consumer Reports tests car seats for kids to find the safest ones.
- Full-Sized pickups are notorious gas guzzlers but Consumer Reports has found some real winners.