Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials

Outdoor power equipment can make yard work much easier and more enjoyable. It also cuts down the time you spend working in the yard to give you more time to spend enjoying your yard. In this video, we’ve pulled together the essential outdoor power tools to get you started taming the great outdoors.

Tools

Steps

  1. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 1

    Leaf blowers are either gas-powered or electric-powered.

  2. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 2

    Electric leaf blowers don’t require gas, but may require an extension cord for bigger lawns.

  3. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 3

    String trimmers also come in gas or electric. They are used for trimming along borders that a lawn mower can’t reach.

  4. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 4

    String trimmers can be used to grind up dead leaves in a compost pile as well.

  5. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 5

    Hedge trimmers are great for leveling out bushes.

  6. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 6

    The mini tiller/cultivator is something you should use for starting gardens or if you plan to grow a small crop.

  7. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 7

    It’s a good habit to clean off outdoor tools so that they are ready for your next planned project.

  8. Outdoor Power Equipment Essentials - Step 8

    This mini tiller/cultivator has an attachment for a garden edger. Make sure the power is turned off and the spark plug disconnected before changing parts.


Read Video Transcript

When you have a yard and a garden to take care of, you need all the help you can get. While a lawnmower is probably the most basic piece of outdoor power equipment used by homeowners, there are several other pieces of equipment that are essential to getting the job done quickly and easily.

Today we’re going to show you four pieces of equipment every do-it-yourself yard and gardener should have in his or her arsenal. Well … four and a half really, including a leaf blower, a string trimmer, a hedge trimmer and a tiller/cultivator that also doubles as a garden edger. So let’s get started.

But first, when operating any piece of outdoor power equipment, always make sure to wear both hearing and eye protection. These machines can be loud and over time can damage your hearing.

Whoever invented the leaf blower was a genius in my book. It was probably someone who was tired of raking leaves and decided there must be a better way. Leaf blowers come in both gas powered and corded models, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. Obviously electric models don’t require gas. However, they do require an extension cord, which can be cumbersome when you’re working out in the yard away from an electrical outlet. If you have a lot of leaves to rake each year, this gas powered model is your best bet.

A quick pull of the starter cord and we’re off and running and will have a large pile of leaves in no time. Now that sure beats raking. And if we need to blow off the deck or the driveway … no problem.

The next essential outdoor power tool is the string trimmer. Like the leaf blower, your choices include both gas and electric models, and the pros and cons of each are basically the same as we discussed for leaf blowers. This gas powered beauty has plenty of power and will help us get the job done in no time.

In addition to maintaining the engine, we’ll also need to maintain the spool, which holds the nylon trimming line. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully whenever you are servicing the tool. That should do it, now we’re ready to trim around trees, garden boarders and anywhere else where our mower can’t reach. We can also use it to grind up leaves in our compost pile.

A hedge trimmer is one piece of power equipment where we opted for the electric model instead of the gas. Why? Because the hedges we need to maintain are all located near outdoor electrical outlets making it easy to get power to the tool.

This handy tool sure beats trimming bushes with hedge shears. And it allows us to shape the bush much easier. The primary safety consideration here is making sure we keep our hands and the extension cord away from the blade.

The last piece of outdoor power equipment we’re going to look at today is this mini tiller/cultivator. It’s just the right size for our small garden and it can even fit into our raised beds, which we couldn’t do with a larger tiller.

Unlike larger tillers that are self-propelled, our mini tiller is propelled manually by pulling the tiller backwards. The rotation of the times makes it easy though. And look at the results it delivers, powdery-smooth soil that is ready for planting. It’s also great for mixing in amendments to existing soil.

As with any piece of outdoor power equipment, it’s a good idea to hose it off after you’re finished so it’s ready to go next time you need it.

The great part about this machine is that it has an attachment for a garden edger. First, make sure the engine is off and the spark plug is disconnected. Then clean and remove the tiller tines. This cutting disc and wheel will help us make an attractive garden edge. It also works as a sidewalk edger, too.

We’ll there you have it. The essential outdoor power tools that every homeowner needs to keep their yards and gardens in tip-top shape. And they’re all available at your local, independent home improvement retailer.

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