About 18 months ago we started a new daily roundup of the best green and alternative energy deals, focusing on outdoor equipment, solar power and the like. In that time our sister site Electrek has grown in leaps and bounds as interest in this category has taken off. Curious what all the fuss was about, I’ve spent the last few weeks toying around with GreenWorks’ 60V lineup that includes a mower, leaf blower and string trimmer.
As someone that isn’t particularly well-versed in outdoor tools, I was anxious to see if this alternative to my inventory of gas equipment would fit the bill. Spoiler, it did and in my case, it’s far superior.
When it comes to GreenWorks, I was truly starting out as a beginner. I’m not particularly familiar with electric tools and the nuances of voltage and how it effects performance. Furthermore, living in the midwest, my community and the retailers there-in rely heavily on diesel and other fossil fuels, so I’m without a local source of education, as well.
GreenWorks offers four different groups of lawn equipment, divided by voltage: 20, 40, 60 and 80. I’ve been using the 60V Pro offerings, which seems like the best fit for users that want enough power for potentially difficult tasks outside of commercial applications.
I was supplied with the 21-inch GreenWorks Pro lawn mower, a cordless blower and string trimmer for my demo. That essentially replaces my incumbent gas tools that I already owned from Stihl, so I felt comfortable comparing the two from a weekend warrior perspective.
Each product ships with its own battery and charger (although you can buy individually without, too). Despite all offering 60V of power, I quickly learned that each battery had a different Ah rating. This dictates how long each battery is capable of pushing out 60V, so as you’d guess the lawn mower arrived with the higher 5Ah power pack. I also received 2.5Ah and 2Ah batteries with the other products, which are interchangeable across the entire lineup with varying run-times. As you might imagine, the string trimmer battery isn’t going to mow acres of grass but it will finish those last few rows off.
GreenWorks Pro 60V 21-inch Cordless Lawn Mower |
The 21-inch 60V mower comes nearly pre-assembled, like most GreenWorks products, save for attaching the metal arms. I was unsure of what to expect in terms of build quality, particularly fearing a number of plastic parts that don’t seem conducive to a long-lasting lawn mower experience. Thankfully, most everything on GreenWork’s lawn mower is made of metal aside from the clippings bag and wheels. In less than 10-minutes my new mower was assembled and ready to rock, a pleasant surprise for this homeowner that despises assembly.
GreenWorks includes the aforementioned 60V battery and charger with this product. Up to 60-minutes of run-time is quoted on the spec sheet, and I found that to be generally accurate in my testing. The brushless motor does kick into an over-drive mode when met with resistance, which seems to cut down on battery life fairly quickly. You shouldn’t need too much overdrive unless you skip a week or two.
A recurring theme in this hands-on will be ease-of-use. I love that a simple push of a button on the handlebar brings this mower (and all GreenWorks products) to life. There’s no fooling around with the gas or checking the oil, as long as the battery is fully-charged, you’re good to go. Along those same lines is the instantly noticeable lack of vibration and lower decibel levels. In a commerical-worthy moment, my neighbor walked by during the maiden voyage and wondered aloud why the mower was so quiet. For me, it’s a defining characteristic of this mower that makes it worth a look for any perspective buyer.
Over my few weeks of testing, I found that GreenWorks checks all of the boxes you’d hope in a lawn mower. The seven position, 21-inch deck is comparable to the gas alternative in my garage, with the mulching and bagging features generally performing as promised. I live on just over half an acre of land, which typically results in around 70-75 minutes of lawn mowing. True to form, I’d need to swap out the batteries over halfway through to complete the job, lining up with GreenWorks’ own estimates. If buying the lawn mower only, I’d strongly recommend springing for a second battery.
GreenWorks Pro 60V String Trimmer |
Much like the mower, GreenWorks ships its string trimmer in nearly assembled fashion. All that’s needed is a connection of the two-piece straight arm and a full battery charge, then you’re up and running. A 2Ah battery is included with this product, as it takes the least amount of power between the three tools reviewed here. You can expect around 40-minutes of run-time on a full-charge, although I never ran into any issue with having enough battery life.
A quiet motor and low-vibration experience highlight GreenWorks’ string trimmer. Two things that cannot be said for its gas-driven brethren. One of the necessities that I truly despise about my two-stroke trimmer is the oil and gas mixing that must take place periodically. Aside from dealing with the fumes and stink, I have at times missed on the recommended 50:1 equation and needed my engine to be serviced as a result. Those worries do not exist in the care-free GreenWorks ecosystem.
GreenWorks lists the trimmer at $199 and it’s sold exclusively at Lowe’s. This is a bit pricier than some alternatives from competitors like WORX, but it’s difficult to stray from the ecosystem once you’ve made the investment as batteries are swappable amongst the entire 60V lineup.
GreenWorks Pro 60V Cordless Brushless Axial Blower |
While the mower is my favorite product in the GreenWorks lineup that I tested, the most useful is the blower. Thanks to its instant start and lightweight design, I found myself cleaning off the driveway and sidewalk on a regular basis. It’s capable of pushing up to 40mph speeds for nearly 45-mintues at a time. Add in the variable speed trigger with cruise control and GreenWorks has created my dream yard cleaning solution.
It ships with a 60V 2.5Ah battery that is interchangeable with the rest of the lineup. And at less than eight-pounds with the power supply attached, it’s pretty easy to haul around from location to location. My one complaint here is that the plastic shell does lend itself to more of a toy feel as opposed to a tool but that didn’t effect performance in my testing. The Spider-Man like webbing on the side isn’t my favorite design cue, either.
Overall, the brushless blower is the easiest for me to recommend out of the GreenWorks 60V lineup. It is also listed at $199 and sells via Lowe’s. You’ll find the same concerns as the string trimmer above, as alternatives on the market are more competitively priced. But for ease-of-use, this product gets a resounding yes as a must-have purchase this fall season.
As I stated off the top, my experience in the lawn tool game isn’t exactly at pro levels. But I believe that says a lot about the GreenWorks ecosystem and how easy I found it to navigate. There are more startup costs associated with going all electric, but the long-term gains are unquestioned. Cutting down on fuel, plus the overall ease of use make this an easy transition if you’re willing. And best of all, you’re not screwing over the environment. Which is an advantage that shouldn’t be overlooked.
You can learn more about the entire GreenWorks 60V Pro lineup here, which includes other products like chainsaws, hedge trimmers and backpack blowers. Be sure to keep an eye our daily Green Deals roundup as we regularly feature deals on these and other similar products.
As for me, I’ll be sticking with GreenWorks for the foreseeable future. It’s the ease of use that has me convinced that 2017 is the year to drop gas outdoor tools for good. Not to mention that bit about helping the environment.
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