Essential Lawn Care Tools And Equipment [2019]

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Good Luck Finding The Right Lawn Care Equipment!

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It can be a complicated process finding the right lawn care tools and equipment.

Fortunately, I have made this process simpler by providing six essential items for lawn care.

Having completed over 16,000 lawn and gardening jobs has put me in a good position to provide some advice and tips on selecting the right products for any home gardener to follow.

Where possible I have offered two products, a premium and budget item so that all buyers can be accommodated.

Electric powered products are also becoming more and more popular due to their ease of use and green credentials, so I also touch on a few electric products I consider worthy of selection.

1. Lawn Mowers

OK, so you don't have to be Einstein to work out the number one most important lawn care tool.

The gas mower is the tried and trusted tool of trade when it comes to mowing.

After using self-propelled mowers during my time as a contractor I don't think I could go back to a push mower.

I would also only mulch mow and most mowers now come with a dedicated mulching blade or are mulch mowing capable.

Mulch mowing saves time and is much better for your lawn.

See my buying guide on mulch mowing mowers here.

If you have a small to medium size yard in a built up area or don't like having to manage gas, there are excellent electric mowers now available.

My mulch mower guide also highlights some electric mower options.

Honda HRX Series Mulch mower

Premium Mower - Honda HRX

Providing my premium option for a lawn mower is a no brainer.

Having used 3 Honda self propelled mowers during my time as a lawn care contractor made this decision easy. 

There are plenty of other mowers that have all the features the Honda's do but what separates the Honda's from the rest is superb engine quality and power and the ability to be easy to start every time.

Yep, sure I appreciate they are great mulchers and their self-propelled system works really well but what I appreciated the most was that every time I pulled the cord the mower started.

The Honda HRX is in the premium end of the range but it is a superb product.

Most Honda mowers will be able to mulch so consider their full range and prices if the HRX is out of your budget.

PRICE

$709.00

Feedback

21 Reviews

Troy Bilt self propelled mower

 Value Mower - Troy Built Self Propelled

Not everyone has the budget for a self-propelled Honda.

The Troy Built Self Propelled is a worthy alternative that is self driven allowing for less mowing fatigue.

It still has the same features as the Honda with a little less polish.

Whilst not quite the same size engine as the Honda, the 163cc  Briggs and Stratton engine is still adequate.

This engine also has its own tricks for easy starting with a sensor that checks engine temperature and adjusts the fuel mixture accordingly.

Being quite tall I particularly like the adjustable handle and large rear wheels for easy maneuvering.

PRICE Price not available

Customer Feedback 182 Reviews

2. Weed Eaters

Part of keeping lawns at their premium best is trimming edges.

This might be along a path, around a tree or next to a building.

You could use an old school hand edger, but this is tedious work and not that helpful around trees and soft areas.

It's hard to go past a weed eater for their versatility and performance.

It is worth noting that a dedicated weed eater is one option for edges but a weed eater that takes attachments is another alternative providing flexibility and sometimes money savings.

I personally used a Shindaiwa multi head that I was able to attach a weed eater, a hedger, a pole saw and an edger.

This was one of my favorite tools as it was so versatile and was an excellent back up to my main weed eater.

For more information on multi-tools you can read an article I wrote here.

Tanaka Gas Weed Eater

Premium Weed Eater - Tanaka Gas 

For a dedicated weed eater Tanaka's 26cc unit provides a nice power to weight ratio at a reasonable price.

I like a two-cycle engine for a weed eater because they are responsive and powerful which is particularly useful when you want to do some heavier work like slashing.

The Tanaka just gets the job done with power and a reliable engine.

After all it's a commercial grade product.

What does set this unit apart from the competition is its warranty of 7 years. That's right 7. When my current Tanaka wears out, this it what I'm going back for.

Price

Price not available

Customer Feedback

250 Reviews

Hitachi gas weed eater

Value Weed eater  - Hitachi Gas

Often there is light and day between a premium and budget product in lawn care equipment, but not in the case of the Hitachi weed eater

One indication of the quality of this product is the equal class leading warranty of 7 years.

But... 

It's no coincidence that it's the same as the Tanaka as both units are owned by the same company.

Whilst not quite as powerful as the Tanaka (22.5cc) it has excellent build quality.

Oh, it's also significantly cheaper even with the big warranty.

Price

$144.00 Price

Customer Feedback

164 Reviews

3. Leaf Blowers

If you have a small yard a leaf blower is probably not necessary.

A good garden rake and outdoor broom will suffice.

But for those of us with larger properties a leaf blower makes for a quick and easy job.

If you live in a built up area and are not keen on the noise aspect an electric blower might be a better option as they tend to be 30% quieter.

Corded electric blowers even have comparable performance specs as their gas equivalents.

For my recommended products I'm going with hand held blowers.

Back pack blowers tend to be for commercial applications and beyond the scope of this article.

Tanaka leaf blower

Premium Leaf Blower - Tanaka Gas 

Like my weed eater,  Tanaka is also my pick for a gas blower.

I know this product well and having owned two of them during my lawn care time I have a good reference point.

Competition is tight in the hand held gas blower market and I could easily have picked another 3 or 4 options.

But.... like the weed eater you get a 7 hear warranty it just gives you piece of mind.

Piece in that if something goes wrong you have a good period of coverage and piece of mind that the manufacturer believes in their product enough to warrant a 7-year warranty.

I found this product easy to use and not too heavy which is important as you can be holding these things for a while.

Price

$149.99

Customer Feedback

319 Reviews

Green works 7amp Corded Leaf Blower

Value Leaf Blower  - Greenworks Corded

Researching the Greenworks corded blower resulted in some surprising results.

For such a low price this unit really packs some performance specs.

It out performs most hand held gas blowers CFM rating at 530 so no problems there.

It's also lighter than most gas blowers so that also gets a tick.

And most importantly customer satisfaction is high with over 80% of users giving it a 4 stars or more.

My two issues with this product would be having to use a cord and its longevity if using a lot. 

If you think you will use a blower a lot I would consider a gas  or premium cordless option.

Price

$17.98

Customer Feedback

2,741 Reviews

4. Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is hardly an exciting topic to discuss but is important.

Gas powered tools can be really loud and leaf blowers for example can get over 100dB.

Once you get over 85Db you start to leave yourself vulnerable to noise damage.

Fortunately, ear protection need not be expensive and if you want to review this in more detail see my article on hearing protection for lawn care here.

If you just want the cheapest option go for some well fitting disposable ear plugs.

Mpow ear muffs

Value Hearing Protection - Mpow 

I personally don't like spending too much on ear muffs.

I just lose them too easily.

Mpow earmuffs are one such option that provide excellent hearing protection and comfort at a good price.

It's not going to break you financially if you lose a pair.

With excellent customer feed back and a great price what's not to like?

They have an NRR rating of 28Db which should be fine for most lawn care jobs.

Price

$10.19

Customer Feedback

3,658 Reviews

3M Work Tunes bluetooth ear muffs

Ear Muffs With Bluetooth  - 3M Work Tunes

Being a lawn care contractor can be lonely work sometimes.

Long hours with ear muffs on mowing grass etc.

If you are going to be putting in the hours you might as well have the ability to listen to some tunes.

These Bluetooth earmuffs from 3M are just the thing with the ability to sync to your phone wirelessly.

Oh! Cutting those wires is a joy.

Trying to fit buds under earmuffs is a pain and it used to hurt my ears after a while.

Price

$68.42

Customer Feedback

1,659 Reviews

5. Riding Mowers

Riding mowers are not essential for most folk but if you have a lot of lawn to mow then they quickly become an essential item.

If you don't have the budget to spend on a riding mower, consider a good quality self-propelled mower.

The Honda HRX range as I have previously discussed would be an excellent choice for their ease of starting, reliability and excellent drive train.

The Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower is an affordable zero-turn mower which I prefer over the traditional "tractor" style.

Zero turns are more agile around trees and objects because they turn off the rear wheels rather than the front.

This allows for quick and tight movement when required such as around a tree.

They are significantly quicker than the tractor style.

Oh, this extra speed also means they are generallay more expensive.

Troy Bilt Mustang Zero Turn Riding Mower

Value Riding Mower  - Troy Bilt Mustang 42" 

If you can fit a zero turn in your budget it will be considerably more enjoyable and efficient at cutting grass than a lawn tractor.

Each rear wheel provides drive and you also steer from the rear wheels which takes a short time to adjust to.

The Troy-Bilt Riding Mower gets power to the rear wheels from a 20HP Kohler engine which are fine and in many brands of ride on mowers.

The 20HP engine is fairly small by riding mower standards so don't take this option if you have a large property or lots of hills.

In fact the majority of drive trains for riding mowers are supplied by a third part manufacturer.

The main areas that distinguish each model are the mower bodies and cutting decks.

Make sure they are well constructed and I also prefer to minimize anything that doesn't involve mowing such as lights, plastic panels and other bling. They just end up getting ripped off or don't work properly.

Steering off the rear allows for quick turns around objects.

Do yourself a favor, buy the mulch kit and fit it up.

If your grass is long for the first cut mow the grass first then fit up the mulch kit.

Mulching works at its best when you cut dry grass that's not too tall.

So cut more regularly without letting the grass grow too high. 

Using your new riding mower will significantly cut your mow time down so mowing more frequently shouldn't be an issue.

Price

$2,671.68

6. Hedgers

It's very rare to have a lawn without all the other gardening elements such as trees, shrubs and hedges.

After a good seasons growth some trimming is usually required to be able to mow around or near these items.

For trimming a few hedges a set of hand held hedge shears may be all that is required.

I have always used Fiskars for my hand held tools as their products are well-made for the money.

If you have a lot of hedging and trimming than a hand held product might be too slow.

This is where a powered option comes in.

These days there are both gas and electric options available.

The electric options can definitely be a viable option, consider if you need a corded product or cordless option.

I wrote a buying guide on hedge trimmers that provides more detail on this matter. Access here.

Tanaka gas hedger

Premium Hegde Trimmer - Tanaka 21"  

Most folk would not know about the brand Tanaka.

In professional lawn care circles they are a well regarded, commercial grade product.

After nine years of operation as a lawn care and gardening operator I never had to replace my Tanaka hedge trimmer.

As a domestic buyer of this product you get a class leading 7 year warranty.

There're no bells and whistles with this product it just does a great job of hedging with a reliable "Japanese" quality engine.

I dug up the Tanaka 21" version as my suggestion for home-owners as the price is excellent for this type of product.

Price

$199.99

Customer Feedback

91 Reviews

DeWalt 20Volt cordless hedger

Electric Hedge Trimmer - DeWalt Cordless 

Battery powered outdoor products have come along way through better battery technology.

The DeWalt 20 volt cordless is a good example of an outdoor battery powered product that can provide an alternative to a gas engine.

With an extra inch of cutting length than the Tanaka the DeWalt hedger has up to 70 mins of cutting time.

The time limit is the obvious limitation when buying battery powered options so consider if the duration is an issue.

The cost of batteries also pushes the price up making them similar if not more than a gas equivalent.

If either of my selections is not in your budget consider the Greenworks corded hedger at a very modest price. (see below)

Price

Price not available

Customer Feedback

212 Reviews

Considerations When Purchasing Lawn Care Equipment

Product Frequency Of Use

Consider how much you will use the lawn equipment you are intending to purchase.

I always advise to buy commercial grade products if you intend to use a product a lot.

On the other hand a cheaper  priced item may all that is required when you only need a product once or twice a year.

A corded leaf blower is a good example of this. 

There are some excellent low cost corded leaf blowers on the market that will be find for infrequent use that wont break the bank.

Blow Me Down!- Find The Best Electric Leaf Blower [2019]

Gas VS Electric?

Better battery technology has pushed cordless out door equipment into the realms of possibility when selecting products for lawn care.

Battery operated units are ideal for small to medium properties.

They remove the hassle of gas and mixing for two cycle engines.

They are an excellent "green" alternative with low emissions and reduced noise when in operation.

You are limited by run time and the "power" rating of the battery.

Gas products are better for large properties that require long run times.

Two cycle engines have excellent performance and power.

 

More Information.

Answers to some frequently asked questions.


The Final Word On Lawn Care Tools

Getting the right lawn care equipment depends on how you are going to use it and what your budget is.

An electric product might be suitable and more affordable if you only have a small to medium area to look after.

Gas powered products are ideal for lots of work and larger yards.

A zero turn riding mower will be an important garden tool if you have a big yard with lots of trees etc.

I hope my guide has helped you in finidng the right lawn tool product.

All the best.  Big Gav

 

You might also like some other articles I have written on lawn care.

Best mulching mower [2019]

Best Gas Weed Eater 2019 - Interactive Buying Guide

Best Gas Leaf Blowers 2019 - Interactive Buying Guide

Find The Best Hearing Protection For Lawn Mowing [2019]