I love the progress being made in the rechargeable tool arena. We are finally getting to the point where performance is excellent, and all the other “green” benefits don’t make you feel like you’ve had to compromise.
Advantages of Switching to “Green” (Battery-powered) Tools vs. Traditional Ones
What are The Green Tools for My Garden?
Battery driven tools for home and garden are considered to be green since they preserve the environmental integrity. You may find plenty of gardening tools like the chainsaws, lawnmowers, snow thrower, blower, cultivator, trimmer, and vacuum etc. For home applications, you can find the air compressor, compact drill, back-pack blower, pressure washer, pole-saw, etc.
The most impressive feature of these tools is their “power”. For example, a battery-powered lawnmower works at multiple positions height adjustments for shaping your garden. A gas driven lawnmower has almost the same capability. Both of them can cut through thick Bermuda grass and handle unevenness of ground with equal efficiency.
The construction of a green tool may differ slightly from the traditional tool in its part and component design. However, the strength of functional components remains almost the same. It is easy to control the green tool due to the reduced vibrations. Energy from motor torque and wheel speed are oriented to power the functional parts like cutter, mower, blower, and trimmer.
Green tools are relatively compact in size and hence easy to transport. Charging the battery from a power source can keep the working for hours with the same level of efficiency from start to the finish.
How Safe is the green tools
Green tools are safe from accidental fire (unlike gasoline tools). You can get better control over their movement across narrow spaces, slopes, and wet surfaces.
For example, a battery-driven hedge-trimmer has a handle rotation of 180-degree with a jam-release option and protection from kickback. Gasoline driven trimmer may have a higher level of kickback force. Hence, it takes experience and patience to handle such a tool. Often you may have to call a professional to handle it. The battery-driven tool is easy to handle and try the DIY methods.
The probability of accidental injuries from belts and chains is low in battery driven tools. It’s because they are well shielded. They come with safety levers connected to the handle. They shut off automatically once you lose control over the tool or accidentally drop it.
The probability of electric shock and accidental burns is also low in green-tools due to protective layers and low heating parts. Modern tools come with sensors which automatically shut down the motor when heat increases above the threshold limit.
Green-tools are relatively light in weight. Hence, you can get a better footing and body balance while operating them. There are no fuel or oil leaks from the parts. Hence, the grip on the handle is always tight and safe from slips.
Do Green Tools have sufficient power as the gasoline-driven tools?
It takes a bit of analysis and comparison to give the right answer to this question. There are also specific parameters you need to consider. For example, size of garden/lawn/tree, volume, and intensity of work and duration of work are some of them.
After assessing the parameters, you decide the right tool with the right specifications. For example, let’s talk about the hedge trimmer. You need to consider the blade type and size, pivoting head, power requirement, cutting capacity, and the angles of trimming, etc.
Then you choose a green tool and a traditional tool with similar technical and functional parameters. When you do the comparison, the probability of choosing green-tool is much higher due to the combination of power, control, and safety. It’s also the ease of handling, stress-free working, and free flow of work which make you choose the green tool.
The brushless motor mounted on a pressure washer works with equal efficiency at 40-50 Volts supply from a battery. It generates the same pressure, temperature, and jet power for the water as a gasoline tool. Moreover, it gives you the benefit of safety and ease of operation.
You may consider any other similar tool and do a technical and functional comparison. The results are obviously self-evident.
How durable and enduring are the Green tool parts and components
Durability and endurance of a tool are obviously related to the stress-bearing and load-bearing capacity. The load is mostly related to the target object on which you use the tool. It could be a lawn, tree, wooden log, floor, carpet, furniture, etc.
Load increases with surface area, thickness (density), material type, and other related parameters of the target object. It creates more stress on the tool. The first part which comes into direct contact with the object takes the maximum load and stress. The blade is the part in most of the cutting, trimming, plowing, and mowing tools. Next part is the motor which takes the load and stress.
The stress from these two components gets transferred to the other parts and components in the mechanical assembly. Material which makes the functional and supporting is the very important factor that decides the durability and endurance parameters.
Stainless steel, copper, zinc, and alloys make the metallic parts. Density, diameter, length, width, weight, and tensile strength, of these metals, are equivalent to the traditional equipment parts. Auto shutoff and protective shields reduce the probability of overheating and wearing of parts.
You can use the green-tools on wet and dry objects without the risk of damages to the parts over an extended period. The frequency of part repair and replacement is relatively low compared to traditional tools.
What is the equivalence of power with gas driven tools
The main source of power is the motor. It gets transferred onto the wheel, belt and to the part which comes into contact with the target object. We need a specific tool for assessment. So, let’s consider a cultivator with an 8amp motor.
Efficient power transmission with adjustable depth and width, swing capacity, adjustable handle, and tine-diameter are the benefits you get from a green cultivator. When you consider a gasoline driven tool with a similar configuration, the output is almost the same.
Extra benefits of green cultivator are the control, balance, and ease of handling. The volume of stress on your hands (consider 15 minutes of continuous working time) is relatively low while handling green tools compared to the gasoline tools.
Vibrations and noise generated by the green tools are relatively low. Hence, the percentage of energy loss is also less. That means energy transfer from an 8amp green motor to the functional parts is more compared to the gasoline-driven tools. So, you can expect them to work over an extended period with the same efficiency.
Energy loss due to overheating and part wear out is also less for green tools. So, the output generated by the tool per unit is time will be obviously more. So, the comparison of two equally powered tools (green Vs gas) may give you results that are marginally in favor of green tools.
Can I use the Green (Battery-powered) for tree surgery (trimming, pruning, crown reduction, etc)
The simple answer is YES. Let’s consider the example of a green chainsaw. It consists of an 18” bar with metal buckling spikes, high power battery, and brushless motor. It is equivalent to a 50CC gasoline powered engine.
The number of cuts per minute, rotation angle, cutting thickness and depth, and pressure enduring capacity are as high as the gasoline-driven tools. You can use it for cutting/pruning branches, and reducing the crown.
The tool can handle multiple types of cones like an upright oval, columnar, spreading, and free form. It can cut through the columnar layers with the highest precision possible to that range and capacity tool. Many of the horticulturists recommend green chainsaw because it preserves the life of the tree. All the cutting and shaping operations don’t disturb the lifelines of the tree.
Similarly, you can consider the other green tools like the pole-saw, pruning saw, and lopper. All of them work with the help of efficient brushless motors, sturdy metallic parts, and shaft extensions.
Tool-less chain-tensioning is one of the key parameters which help in working on tall trees with thicker branches and limbs. Accuracy level is high and the output power is optimum. It won’t cause any damages to the trees during the operations.
How do Green (Battery-powered) chainsaws work
The most striking feature of a green-saw is its cutting performance per minute. It works efficiently with little or no noise and high safety parameters.
The brushless motor powers the saw through the low kickback chain. Tension is maintained within the optimum levels from the start of operation after pressing the safety lock. The slip-on scabbard provides complete safety from injuries and bumper spike impact.
The rear handle of the chainsaw is designed to provide maximum support and balance while operating. It is perfectly in alignment with the front-handle for ease of operation. It allows you to apply extra pressure onto the guide-bar and the blade with no risks of kickback.
Chain tension knob allows you to adjust the level according to the target object density and material type. Higher the tension, lower the pressure you need to apply. The assembly body is relatively light in weight. At the same time, it is designed to provide maximum stability during the operation.
Power transfer from the motor onto the chain happens consistently through the rotation of the mechanical parts like the crankshaft, gear, and the centrifugal clutch. The rotation of chain around the guide-bar pushes the blade into action. Chain oil keeps it lubricated and reduces friction between the chain and blade.
How does a Green (Battery-powered) lawnmower work
An el3ectric lawnmower has a powerful motor that runs at a specific RPM with belt-pulleys which connect to the blades. The horsepower of the motor determines the RPM. The standards mowers have an RPP value between 3K and 15K with a motor of 1.5HP.
The model could be single or twin blade. The toothed belts connect to the blades that are synchronized with each other. The chassis provides core support to the moving metal parts of the mower and balances the motor assembly.
Cutting path, height, and the thickness of grass it can cut are some of the key features on which a green lawnmower gets evaluated. Zoysia and Kentucky bluegrass are stated to be the thickest grass you can grow in your garden. An efficient green lawnmower can cut through the grass with the adjustable height according to your needs.
The motor torque can be varied with the control gear while cutting the grass. Some of the machines have manual speed changing options, while the others have automated sensors which vary the speed.
The silencer attached to the engine assembly keeps the volume of noise within the lowest possible levels. Hence, you can mow your lawn at any time during the day or night without causing any sort of disturbance to the family and neighbors.
How does a Green (Battery-powered) pressure washer work
The electric motor drives an electric pump for mixing water and detergent in the predefined ratio. Water flows through the inlet into the pump and the high-pressure hose. The pressure rating of the hose determines how fast the water outlet works. The pump pushes water at a high pressure at values higher than 2000PSI. The entire mechanism is controlled by a trigger gun switch.
Water inlet pipe directly connects to the external source. The detergent pipe is generally connected to an internal storage unit. You may choose between cold water and hot water pressure washer system depending on your need. The water temperature may vary from 125-degrees to 160-degree Fahrenheit.
Modern greenwashers allow you to vary the pressure from the standard 2K PSI to higher values, depending on their size and motor capacity. The spinning rate of the central shaft determines the pressure value.
Efficiently designed green pressure washers utilize less water to deliver more work. It could be achieved by increasing the pressure or temperature factors. Intelligent modern systems have sensors which detect the washable surface and vary the two parameters accordingly.
Battery operated pressure washers are designed for safety from electric shocks. The parts are designed for water protection and resistance to rusting and corrosion.
What is the ratio between output power and battery storage capacity
The output power of a green electric device depends on the motor capacity and the efficiency of the connecting and rotating parts. In case of cutting and trimming tools, the speed of the blade its efficiency determines the output power.
In case of pressure washers, vacuum, extraction cleaners, and others the output power depends on the pressure and temperature of water, air or vacuum. The battery storage is measured in ampere-hours for the energy. The other units are Watt-hour and Kilowatt-hour, depending on its capacity.
The phase shift controller inbuilt into every engine determines the ratio. The standard value is 2.1V per unit cell of the battery. It may vary depending on the motor power and the storage capacity. The key factors which influence the ratio could be internal resistance, temperature, and the condition and age of the battery and the mechanical moving parts.
The depth of discharge, terminal voltage, and the open-circuit voltage are the other parameters which determine the ratio. If the cut-off voltage is high, the ratio will also be high. The number of cycles completed by a battery before it reaches the minimum depth of discharge determines the battery efficiency. If it is higher, the output power per unit of energy storage will be higher.
How often do I charge the batteries
You need to charge the barriers before they run dry completely. The frequency of charging depends on how long you are using the device and for what purpose.
If the output power per unit time is low or moderate for a task, the battery can retain its charge for an extended time. You should also consider the standby battery drain which could be due to design and construction constraints of the device. So, you can’t assume the battery will retain the charge when the device is off.
For example, you can consider a battery-driven lawnmower. It is recommended that you charge the battery every time you use it. You need not do it whenever you take a break during the cutting task. Frequent charging can reduce the lifespan of the battery parts and corrode the interiors due to oxidation of lead or acid that is stored within.
The battery level indicator may have three or more colors of indicators. Normally yellow may denote minimum level while the red may indicate dangerously low. Green color shows optimum level, while brown or other colors may show the full battery.
The best-recommended way of charging is when the indicator reaches the yellow line. Then you can sustain the lifespan of the device within the most efficient levels.
What are the maintenance procedures for Green (Battery-powered) tools (related to individual tools?)
Regular cleaning of moving parts is the primary maintenance procedure. You need to do every time it after using the device. You may use a vacuum, cotton cloth, brush or the combination of all to clean. You may use the OEM recommended liquids on the tools for which water cleaning may not be advisable.
Check the blades, chains, belts, and other moving parts for rust deposits or corrosion. You can remove the rust with sandpaper or a recommended brush. You may have to replace the corroded parts since repairing may not provide a long-term solution.
Lubrication of parts is another part of maintenance. It is applicable to the chainsaws, mowers, power washers, and other electrical devices with mechanical moving parts. Lubrication reduces friction between moving parts and prevents corrosion. OEM recommended grade oil is the most efficient and effective way of lubrication. Replacement of battery acid is the other generic maintenance procedure.
An electric chainsaw needs regular checks of oil filters, electrical parts, and the motor. Tighten the loose screws and replace the damaged parts.
Regular tuning of motor and mower deck parts can keep them efficient and long-running. Removal of dirt and dust from the ventilating parts is a must.
Fine tuning of the pump, heating unit, and the motor are the weekly maintenance procedures you need to follow for enhanced life and efficient performance.
What are the maintenance and repair costs of Green (Battery-powered) tools
You need to compare the repair and maintenance costs of green tools with the costs you incur on the breakdown. You can also compare them with the same costs for a gasoline driven tool.
- Cleaning: The cleaning costs are relatively lower because there is no formation of soot due to fuel burning. You have to take care of extracting the dirt, dust, and oil/lubricant residues that may be resident on the internal and moving parts. It is also obviously less than the price you pay for the replacement of rusted components. Cleaning also involves removal of rust.
- Periodic Maintenance: Periodic maintenance may include lubrication of parts, fastening of loose screws and fitments, replacement of corroded and worn out parts, etc.
- Repairs: The cost of repairs after breakdown could be unpredictable. It depends on the intensity of the defect or the damage to parts and components. Repairs also involve replacement or parts like the chain, belt, switch, etc.
The net costs related to the three procedures for a green tool will always be less the cost of the traditional tool. It is a practical statistical data which you can always judge from your own records. You can also talk to the green tool experts who have had years of working experience.
When can I follow DIY procedures for repair/maintenance and when do I need an expert mechanic
You can follow the DIY procedures related to regular maintenance procedures of cleaning, oil replacement, and rust removal. They are simple and easy to perform since they don’t have the risks of damaging the sensitive components or parts. The recommended way is to use the OEM recommended cleaning liquids and cleaning tools. Following the steps specified in the user manual can save you time and money.
You may also follow the DIY procedure for lubricating the moving parts, screws, and nuts, and the other mechanical assembly parts. It is recommended that you use the OEM certified parts for the replacement to enhance the lifespan of the device.
A breakdown repair during the warranty period requires an expert to attend the resolve the issue. It is to ensure avoiding additional expenses and risk of breaking the warranty.
An expert repairer will be required even when the breakdown is related to the motor, pump, or other sensitive electrical parts. For example, there could be a burnout of the electrical cables or internal damages to the motor coil or shaft. You will never know how to repair or replace the parts safely. Then you will need to take the help of an expert serviceman.
What environmental issues do Green (Battery-powered) tools solve and how?
Avoiding air pollution is the first environmental benefit of using the green tool. The second benefit is saving on the expensive gasoline fuel. According to a practical experiment, the cost of charging a battery on the electrical device is relatively lower compared to the cost of fuel. Saving on fuel may not look like an environmental cause. However, when you look at it from a micro level, it is the saving of the environment which could have got polluted with those extra drops of gasoline extraction.
The other aspect of environmental protection is the avoiding of fumes from gasoline tool that can heat up the immediate surroundings and the soil.
The other benefit is obviously the avoiding of sound pollution. The gasoline tools (ex: mowers) may generate sounds of 100decibels or more. It may cause health issues to the people in the surroundings and you like the equipment user. An electric tool works with the sound levels that are within the safety levels. Many of the devices make sound only from the blade or pressure valve assembly, while the motor works almost silently. Electrical tools don’t have any kind of gasoline spills that may pollute the soil. Hence, it is safer to work with battery operated electrical devices for the environment around your home and garden and also beyond.