Traditionally, farm and yard tools like mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, chain saws and more have been powered by gasoline engines. But technology rarely stands still. And improvements in batteries have led to the development of capable electric tools suitable for many farming needs.
Whether corded or battery-powered, electric tools and machines offer many advantages compared to gasoline models. But there are also disadvantages to keep in mindâ€”at least until electric models develop to the point where they can stand on equal footing with gasoline models from a pure power perspective.
Are you interested in investing in electric farm and yard tools? Letâ€™s explore some of the primary pros and cons offered by ever-improving gasoline alternatives:
Gasoline engines put out exhaust containing pollutants like carbon monoxide. But electric tools donâ€™t release emissions while operating.
The air around you stays cleaner while working. And you donâ€™t need to worry about breathing fumes.
Electric tools tend to be quieter than their gasoline counterparts. An electric chainsaw, for example, doesnâ€™t make any noise at all when itâ€™s not actively cutting. Your ears (and your neighbors) will appreciate the diminished volume.
A huge advantage of electric tools is the reduced maintenance requirements compared to gasoline models. An electric motor doesnâ€™t need oil changes, spark plugs or various filters. As much simpler machines, they save time for busy farmers.
The pull-cord starters often found on small gasoline engines can be difficult and frustrating to use. Fortunately, electric tools donâ€™t need them!
Picture the ease of flipping a light switch. Thatâ€™s the beauty of electricity, available at the push of a button.
Electric tools continually show improvement, that’s true. But as a general rule, they still lack the strength and power of gasoline models. These models may struggle under challenging circumstances (such as mowing an overgrown field or cutting a huge hardwood log into sections).
When using electric power, you may have to allot more time (and battery charges) to complete power-intensive projects.
While there are certainly exceptions, itâ€™s generally accepted that quality electric tools will be more expensive than comparable gasoline counterparts. However, you may be able to offset this added upfront cost through reduced maintenance expenses in the long run.
May require extra batteries
When a gasoline engine runs out of fuel, you fill up the tank and itâ€™s ready to go again. When a battery runs dry, it needs to be recharged. And that takes time.
To avoid running out of power in the middle of a project, youâ€™ll need to keep multiple batteries on hand. Youâ€™ll also need to pay attention to keep them charged.
Potentially reduced portability
Some electric tools are corded and draw their power from an electrical outlet. And that limits their portability.
Depending on the specific tool and project, this might not be an issue. But itâ€™s hard to take a log splitter out to your woodlot if itâ€™s a corded model designed for use near an electrical outlet.
The next time youâ€™re ready to invest in new farm tools, consider whether electric options might suit your needs. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, why not give it a go?