If you’re into gardening and outdoor activity, you probably have a full garage of various appliances and tools. Chainsaws, leaf blowers and vacuums, snow blowers, shredders, tillers, and other equipment make gardening much easier. What they need is power. Given the variety of options, you may be thinking, what’s better: a quiet generator 6,500-watt, a versatile standalone battery, or original batteries cordless tools come with? All these options have their pros and cons and need some explanation.
Ways to Power Equipment Away from an Outlet
If you cannot just throw an extension cord to your working site, you need to think of alternative ways of powering your electric tools. Generally, there are three of them:
- Original batteries. Every cordless tool has one. The advantage is that tools remain mobile. And if you have multiple appliances of the same brand, the batteries are probably compatible across devices. Yet these tools are often weaker, the battery makes them heavier, and the working time is limited.
- Power station. Usually, it’s a standalone battery that can power several tools at the same time. It’s versatile, eco-friendly, quiet, and many of them come with solar panels, so they can recharge on their own. Great as it sounds, there are some drawbacks. Usually, these stations have lower capacity, and it takes long to recharge them with the solar panel.
- Generator. It enables you to use corded tools wherever you want them, especially with a durable extension cord. It requires fuel (for this use, gas is the best option), produces exhaust, and makes noise. Yet generators have so many pros that they are arguably the best way to power electric tools for your garden.
Generators: Pros and Cons
As generators deserve a special place, let’s see why having one is a great idea for your gardening activity. Here are but some of their pros:
- Versatility. You use a generator to power your chainsaw or tiller, backup your household power supply, or have an outdoor party with electric equipment.
- Affordability. A generator does not take too much fuel; neither does it cost too much (though there are advanced, expensive models). But its necessity is hard to overrate.
- Strength. You can easily find a generator that provides enough wattage to supply your household (even if in economy mode), let alone some gardening tools.
- Long-running time. Batteries need to be recharged soon; a generator works for much longer, especially even if you don’t use it all the time.
- Portability. Yes, the other options we listed are portable as well.
- It allows you to use corded tools. These are usually more affordable and powerful than cordless ones. As we’ve said, it will require a solid, durable extension cord, but this pays as well.
When Does It Make Sense to Use a Generator?
If we focus on your regular gardening activity, there are situations when using a generator is more relevant than going for battery-powered tools. Let’s see some of them.
- You use corded equipment and don’t plan to go cordless. Then, a generator is the only option to use at a distance from the nearest outlet.
- You plan work sessions that last several hours. The batteries simply won’t have enough time to recharge.
- Even with cordless tools, you can recharge replacement batteries right at the working site without leaving it (for safety or urgency reasons).
What Generator Will Be Fine?
Usually, a medium-capacity generator is enough for gardening. We recommend choosing among models capable of producing 5,000 W or more. These generators can power multiple tools simultaneously and can be used for other purposes mentioned. Also, make sure the generator is well protected from humidity and dust; it’s better to have a canopy to protect it from rain.
Many generators come with an inverter which makes them more expensive. While gardening tools are usually not as sensitive to stream stability as computers or TVs, you’ll still benefit from reduced fuel consumption and prolonged run time. But again, for gardening tools, an inverter isn’t that necessary.
With all the advantages of generators, you may have reasons to buy a cordless set with compatible batteries, for example. But first, look at what you really need: what works are necessary, which tools you already have, and which ones you plan to purchase and use. We hope these tips help you to choose the right equipment to power your garden tools.