Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Perky Pet Bird Feeder
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

A squirrel proof bird feeder is an absolute necessity if you want to enjoy watching birds in your back yard.  In this review I will compare the Pesky Pet bird feeder with a bird feeder cage.  This is the first time ever that I’ve really attempted any bird watching and I was surprised at how difficult and messy squirrels could make of this seemingly enjoyable and simple hobby. One of my main concerns with squirrels is not just that they will eat the bird feed and make a mess, but I am also afraid that my cat, Noche, will get a hold of one of these pesky, large rodents. These squirrels are almost half her size and could carry rabies and any other number of diseases so I am unsure who might get the worst of the battle if she succeeds in catching one.  She keeps trying and the squirrels don’t seem to see her as much of a deterrent to their quest for the bird seed. They are not afraid to challenge her to a game of chase, so I would just as soon limit their reasons for tempting their fate. Unlike the Wasp Traps, a squirrel proof bird feeder should not only keep squirrels out, but prevent them from even trying. I will go ahead and tell you about my experience with two different bird feeders and which one has been the most successful at keeping out the squirrels.

A Bird Feeder Cage

More Expensive Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Option

Bird Feeder CageThe first and most expensive option of the two squirrel proof bird feeders that I tried is the bird feeder cage, pictured left. One of the advantages of a bird cage is that little birds can go inside and feel protected from predators. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to keep the squirrels out. One day I walked outside just in time to see a big fat squirrel had turned himself into Houdini, contorted his pudgy body into the shape of a pancake and slithered inside of the cage. I scared him out of there in nothing flat, but he made one heckuva mess. He also managed to get quite a few bird seeds to fall on the ground which incited a feast for all of his friends and family and put Noche on high-alert. I have tried installing the bird feeder cage into other areas of the yard where squirrels are less likely to be able to reach it. I tried attaching the bird feeder up high in the yard on a metal pole, thinking there was no way for them to be able to climb its slippery surface. This ended up making the biggest mess of them all. Though I never saw the squirrels actually get to the bird feeder, evidently these little geniuses figured out they could get to the seed by shaking on the pole and making it fall to the ground. What’s worse is that the next day the bottom of the cage completely fell out. It is fastened together two spring loaded, circular tabs which give way if you put enough force on them. This could just be a poorly designed model, but if you do want a bird cage feeder, I highly recommend testing the robustness of the mechanism which holds it together. By all means, try and position the bird feeder cage where squirrels are not able to jimmy their way inside.

 

Perky Pet Bird Feeder

Less Expensive Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder Option

squirrel proof bird feederThe Perky Pet Bird Feeder is a clever, little feat of engineering ingenuity. Realizing that squirrels need something to hang-on to, the inventor has designed it so the feed ports on the bird feeder have little doors that close down over the seed with the weight of the squirrel.  In other words, even if the squirrel gets to the bird feeder, he cannot get to the seeds.  The squirrel will eventually become discouraged and give up. Unfortunately, just as was the case with the more expensive option, the squirrel might be able to shake some seed out of the feeder by hanging and swinging on it. In my case, the Perky Pet bird feeder was the most successful of the two options. It’s smaller, lighter size gives the squirrels less surface to hang-on to. As you can see from the photo, the squirrel proof bird feeder is positioned in the same place as the bird cage feeder above. Squirrels could reach it, but they would have to hang on which would close the doors and keep them from getting to the seed. Even though they can reach the feeder from my deck stairs, they seem to have given up altogether trying to get a hold of it and shake off the seeds. They do, however, continue to  find seeds that have fallen to the ground, keeping Noche occupied and determined to play chase with them.

Conclusion: Which Bird Feeder is the most Squirrel-Proof?

I think the position of the bird feeder is probably the most important thing for keeping squirrels from making a mess of your bird watching hobby. In my case, placing the Perky Pet bird feeder by the deck stair way was just enough to keep them out. The bird feeder cage when placed in the same location allowed a squirrel to Houdini his way inside and probably the stress of his weight is  what resulted in the damage to the cage fasteners. I give the Perky Pet bird feeder a slight edge for its small, convenient size and clever design. The squirrel proof bird feeder that works best for you might vary according to your needs.

 

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Solar Powered Water Fountain

Solar Powered Water Fountain Pros and Cons

Solar Powered Water Fountain
Anself Solar-power Fountain

A solar powered water fountain can be a great addition to your pond, swimming pool, bird bath, or anywhere in your backyard where there is standing water. Moving water adds life and fun to your outdoor environment. The key to getting water to move is that you need a water pump. The problem with traditional water pumps is that you need to either place them where you have a powered outlet or you need to cleverly install them where the cables cannot be seen in your yard. Also, traditional powered water pumps require electricity, consume energy and therefore cost money to run.  Wouldn’t it be great if they made solar-powered water pumps that you could place anywhere and didn’t need any cabling or electricity to run. The good news is that they do make them, they are pretty inexpensive, and they work pretty well. Below are my advantages and disadvantages on these inexpensive solar powered water fountains.  There may be more expensive models which trade-off cost for some of the disadvantages I’ve outlined below. This review is on inexpensive solar water fountains ranging from $15.00 to $40.00.

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Pentair Pool Pump

Pentair Pool Pump

A Review

Pentair Pool Pump

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From what I had read and heard about pool pumps prior to making the investment, the Pentair Pool Pump is the Cadillac of all pumps. It took me a while to get my brain wrapped around the features and timer for making the very best use of this product, but after having used it for a summer, I am beginning to agree. In fact, this is one of the best purchases I have made for my pool, right next to the Saltwater Pool System nearly 2 summers prior. Unfortunately, it also took me some time to get my mind wrapped around paying so much for a pool pump. Because my pool is very far and uphill from my pump-room, I tend to be very hard on pumps. My last pool pump cost around $465.00 installed and lasted about 5 years.  The Pentair Pool Pump is in a whole new price league. I paid just under $900.00 for it on Amazon.  I got some quotes from pool installers and the installation cost was double that, so you can be sure that Amazon is giving you a great deal. However, if you are looking into this pump please look at the model and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples to what I am reviewing here. Here is my model and link for the actual product: Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed High Performance Pool Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase – Energy Star Certified

Now that I have established the model number of the pump I am reviewing here, let me give you a basic overview of what makes this pump different than the rest. The Pentair Pool Pump is a variable speed pump. By variable speed, I don’t just mean that it has just 2 or 3 settings of speeds from low to high, or even 5, 6, or 10 settings. What variable speed means is that will run literally at any speed between its lowest and highest possible RPM of power. So, let’s talk about the power and range of the Pentair 011018 Intelliflo Pump:

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How to get rid of Wasps

How to get rid of Wasps
– A Review on Trapstik

how to get rid of wasps
TrapStik for Wasps

How do you Rate the TrapStik? 

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How to get rid of wasps is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The answer depends on the type of wasps, location, and situation. I have had great success removing wasps from the row of hedges along side of our swimming pool late in the summer simply by spraying them with a couple of cans of wasp spray. Other times, I was able to control wasps by hanging up a couple of Wasp Traps with Wasp Attractant around the perimeter of the yard. This summer, we had a different problem: Wasps were gaining entry into the bottom of our porch through an open hole. Dozens were coming in by the hour I tried using wasp spray and tried using wasp attractant, but none of these things seemed to make a dent in the wasp population flying in and out of the porch hole. Finally, I sprayed the hole shut with insulation foam. The wasps appeared to not be able to get anymore, but it didn’t stop them from trying. The area was now a complete mess, swarming with wasps who were bound and determined to get inside the bottom of our backyard porch. Finally, I found something that appears to be working.

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Cordless Hedge Trimmer makes easy work of Difficult Jobs

cordless hedge trimmer
The Kobalt 40V Lithium Ion Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Before I purchased the Kobalt cordless hedge trimmer, I found myself searching for a battery powered chain saw and I’m not sure why. While a cordless hedge trimmer does resemble a gas-powered chainsaw with it’s inch long spikes minus the chain, it is completely different in form, function, and purpose. When I think of chainsaws I think of a heavy duty piece of machinery designed to saw through massive tree trunks. I have a hard time believing any battery powered chainsaw is going to have enough power and endurance to get through a thick tree trunk. The Kobalt 40V lithium powered hedge trimmer comes with 24″ duel action blades that can easily cut through tree branches and trim hedges and shrubs around the home and it does the job far more quietly than a chainsaw.

How do you rate the Kobal Hedge Trimmer? 

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Why a Cordless Hedge Trimmer is better than a Gas Trimmer

While I have not tried any other battery-powered hedge trimmer brands, the Kobalt 40v Lithium-Ion hedge trimmer, in my opinion, puts any gas-powered tool to shame for most jobs around the house. While it is true that gas gives you more power and the ability to do larger jobs, the Kobalt cordless hedge trimmer provides you with a lightweight tool that is sure to get more use due to its convenience, ease-of-use, and instant-on operation. In the time it would take me to merely think about gassing-up and starting up an old gas hog, I could just about have the entire pear tree in my back yard pruned and trimmed. Because the Kobalt cordless hedge trimmer is so light-weight and easy to handle, it instantly creates trimming opportunities that might otherwise be pushed aside or forsaken for too much trouble and effort. In short, a cordless hedge trimmer makes you more productive

Uses for the Kobalt Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Because it is light-weight, I don’t mind taking the Kobalt cordless trimmer with me up a ladder to prune the higher-up limbs on our trees. It cuts through most tree limbs in one-pass though it is light-weight enough that I don’t have to worry if I miss a few here and there – I simply go over them again. My wife has used our Kobalt cordless hedge trimmer to reshape bushes, hedges and trim an entire row of butterfly bushes along our backyard.  The key advantages here are ease-of-use and convenience. It is literally probably more work to clean up the branches and mess afterwards than it is to actually trim and cut down limbs, branches and re-shape rows of bushes.

Compatibility with other Kobalt Tools

The Kobalt battery-powered hedge trimmer uses the same 40V battery as my other Kobalt Tools: Kobalt Lawn Mower and Battery Powered Leaf Blower.  Now, owning all three Kobalt tools, I have more batteries and more chargers than I will ever need. If I have one and only one complaint It might be that Kobalt should offer its customers an option to buy their tools without the battery.

Demonstration of the Kobalt Cordless Hedge Trimmer

The convenience and light-weight operation of battery-powered tools has encouraged me to do a lot of little extra yard work that I normally wouldn’t have done. Whenever I see something around the lawn that needs a little trimming, I know that my cordless hedge trimmer is only the press-of-a-button away from making me instantly productive. If I see a few grass blades on the driveway that I normally would have let go, I don’t hesitate to put a battery in the leaf blower and get them cleaned up. When my grass was growing twice as long in the early summer, I mowed more frequently than I normally would have thanks to the easy, light-weight operation of the Kobalt Battery Powered Lawn Mower.

If you are really into keeping a neatly groomed lawn and garden, I cannot recommend the Kobalt cordless hedge trimmer enough. On the other hand, if you don’t care much for doing yard work and extra trimming around the house, that is probably the best reason of all to get a cordless hedge trimmer.


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Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower

Battery Powered Leaf BlowerBattery Powered Leaf Blower

The Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower is the third in a series of cordless lawn and garden tools I’ve bought from Kobalt. Last year, I bought the Kobalt Battery Powered Mower and have been pleased with both its performance and reliability thus far. Next, I purchased the Kobalt Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer. So far, I have been impressed with this light weight chain-saw substitute, but I have not had enough experience with it to complete a review. I hope to give the hedge trimmer some use in the next few days and will review it soon, so check back soon. One thing all of these cordless tools from Kobalt have in common is that you can buy them from here: Lowes Sells Kobalt Tools. Now, back to the Kobalt leaf blower. Before, I get into the specifics of this product, let me do something I rarely do and give you a quick run-down on the pros and cons of the Kobalt battery powered leaf blower:

Pros and Cons of the Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower

Pros

  • Convenient – no cords. Quick charge.
  • Affordable for a lithium ion re-chargeable tool.
  • Light Weight and small for portable, easy storage.
  • Easy to Handle – nice ergonomics.

Cons

  • Weaker air flow  than with other corded and gas blowers – Only good for grass blades, leafs and other light-weight, dry debris.
  • Kobalt forces you to buy both the battery and charger whether you need them or not. With my hedge trimmer and mower, I have more than I can use.

Do the Cons outweigh the Pros?

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Arnold Power Rake Review

Arnold Power RakeA Better Way to Rake Your Lawn

The Arnold power rake is a dethatcher blade specifically built for 21″ and 22″ push-behind, lawn mowers.  The purpose of a power-rake, of course, is to ease the pain and burden on your back and hands associated with manually raking up your dead grass and thatch. A good power rake is a tool that can be rented from an equipment shop and costs hundreds of dollars to buy. A power rake or dethatcher blade is a very inexpensive part that you replace with your lawnmower blade in a matter of minutes. The Arnold power rake, unlike other dethatcher blades which use metal tines, has a number of rigid, orange plastic tines which are spread out across the length and width of the dethatcher blade. The plastic tines, according to user reviews, do not risk doing as much damage to the lawn as the traditional, metal-tine dethatcher blades. There are other dethatcher blade sizes made by Arnold, but the 21-22″ size is probably the most common and happened to be the one that fits both of my lawn mowers. As you can see by the photo, the Arnold power rake is quite a bit different than most dethatcher blades. I bought this blade because it got better ratings from users than the traditional thatcher blades.

Why Power Rake Your Lawn?

I can see a couple of good reasons for power-raking your lawn as opposed to doing the manual, back-breaking, old-fashioned, annual, Spring hand-raking. One, after the dead cold chill of winter, spring raking becomes necessary for removing the dead grass and debris from the grass and giving your lawn plenty of fresh air and room to breath and produce new, green grass. My north-facing front yard happens to face the brutal cold winters of Colorado. Not only is the climate hard on the grass, but the debris and salt from shoveling snow off the driveway gets left on the lawn. It is going to take more than hand-raking to clean up the harmful substances on the lawn, even if it means mowing at a very low setting. It becomes absolutely necessary for me to rake up the dead grass and remove the harmful chemicals and soot from the driveway as efficiently as possible.  The second reason is that hand-raking is never as easy as it looks and usually turns into a seemingly endless job. Whenever I begin my spring lawn raking, I always tell myself, I will just concentrate on the dry spots and won’t bother to even rake the areas that are already green. Once I get started, I can never seem to stop. There seems to be an endless amount of thatch to remove and once I get done with the dry spots, I feel as though I’ve neglected the rest of the lawn that is green. So, I usually end up raking the entire lawn and it becomes very tiresome after a while. Getting started with a rake is easy, but finishing the job is not. The Arnold rake makes it possible to bypass the rake entirely. The job is as easy as mowing your lawn once or twice. The final reason, of course, is that a good, professional power rake will do a much better job than human, back-breaking, manual hand raking. So, the question then becomes, ‘can a simple replacement dethatcher blade do a better job than you can do with your old fashioned rake? I decided to look at power rake reviews and the one that looked the best was, Arnold.

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Costco KitchenAid Grill

Costco KitchenAid GrillThe 2013 Model 304 Costco KitchenAid Grill is a great looking outdoor appliance, but how well does the cooking and overall performance of this expensive beast measure up to it’s attractive appearance?  Since we had a larger deck built this April, I figured it was time to splurge on a bigger and better grill to take advantage of the extra room.  I looked at the heavy, durable Weber Grills for $600 at Home Depot and Lowes, but was disappointed that they only had 3 + 1 burners. For $700, the Costco Kitchenaid Grill has a total of 5 burners, including the side unit and looks and feels every bit as rugged, durable and sturdy as the Weber grills. The Kitchenaid is an attractive grill made with heavy-gauged, brushed, stainless steel.

Costco KitchenAid Grill

Assembly

At 130 lbs, this was by far the biggest and heaviest grill I’ve ever owned and it was no small task loading into our Home Depot rental truck and taking it home. The grill is well packaged inside a crate. Fortunately, the wheels made it possible to move it even while it was still inside the box. It took as long getting the grill unpackaged as it did assembling it. The Costco Kitchenaid, for the most part, is pre-assembled. You only need to add a few knobs and a couple of hoses and attach your propane tank and you’re ready to grill. The downside of a preassembled appliance is that you really will need a truck or van to take it home. Costco does not offer delivery. With the grill assembled, I was anxious to fire it up and test all of the burners.

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Gas Grill Rotisserie

Gas Grill RotisserieA gas grill rotisserie has been on my wish list for a long time – too long as it turns out. The first time I attempted to cook a large pot roast on the gas grill without a rotisserie, it didn’t come out so well. Parts of the roast were tough and over-charred while other parts were extremely rare. A whole chicken is extremely difficult to cook on a gas grill. Chickens are very juicy with delicate skin on the outside which is very easy to burn. Black, burnt chicken skin doesn’t taste so good. I was able to get better at roasting large meats on the gas grill, by charring them for the first 15 minutes then turning off 1 or two burns and cooking slowing on the high rack with indirect heat. It works okay, but is still not very convenient. I’ve known for a long time that they make universal grill spits (rotisseries), but for $75.00 to $100.00, I was in no hurry to actually try one. That is, until Walmart came to the rescue.
I found this grill rotisserie at Walmart for just $25.00, about 1/3rd the price of the advertised Weber grill rotisserie specials I’ve seen advertised online. The truth is, this one looks like the very same gas grill rotisserie at a fraction of the price. For only $25.00 I was a little skeptical of the quality, but figured the risk at that price is very little.

A Gas Grill Rotisserie Makes a Perfect Roast

What’s in the Box?

The Electric Rotisserie unit consists of six parts and could not possibly be easier to install and use. There is a left and right bracket which installs on your grill. There is an electric motor with cord; two long rods which screw together for the spit; two forked prongs for holding the meat together and and a screw-on sleeve for holding it into proper place on the grill. Plug the unit into a three-pronged 110v electrical socket, insert spit through meat, then inside motor housing; and place handle on other end of grill. Once it’s positioned securely turn on the switch and watch your roast rotate perfectly on the grill. It’s that simple.

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Char Broil Electric Grill

Char Broil Electric GrillI bought this impressive looking Char Broil electric grill for Mom on Mother’s day this year. It turns out Dad will appreciate this mother’s day gift every bit as much if not more, without having to wait for Father’s day. The Patio Bistro is a well made machine ; runs on 100% electricity and has a large enough cooking surface to grill a meal for an entire, small family. My parents own a home with a small yard and patio and didn’t want to deal with the hassles of buying and replacing propane tanks. Electric grills have one major convenience: They are completely, 100% plug and play. There are not a tremendous amount of electric grills to choose from. After some research, the Char-Broil electric grill became my choice for a couple of reasons: First, it has rated high for cooking outdoors without drying out the meat. Second, but not least of the two buying reasons is the Char-Broil is one of the only electric grills you can actually find in your local stores. The rest of the electric grills I reviewed all had to be ordered online. I didn’t have time for that, so I chose the Char Broil Patio Bistro.

Char Broil Electric Grill verses Other Brands

Unlike other, cheaper electric grills, the Patio Bistro, Charbroil Electric Grill uses infra-red heating technology to prevent your food from drying out while cooking. The round surface of the Patio Bistro is thick and sturdy and very easy to distinguish from other, cheaper, outdoor electric grills and will accommodate 8 to 12 hamburgers, depending on how large you like to make your patties. There are a couple of other key features the Char Broil has over many of the other electric grills I previewed online: a Temperature Display and wheels for rolling it around just like a real, gas grill! Perhaps, the most important feature of them all is that the Electric Patio Bistro has 1720 watts of grilling power, which is 220 greater than any other product in this price range. The Patio Bistro will plug into any 120V wall outlet. Nothing is perfect, of the hundreds of users who rated this unit there were some complaints.

Char Broil Electric Grill Experience

Assembling

One of the few complaints with Char Broil’s patio bistro is that it is difficult to assemble. When I opened up the box and saw that it had relatively few parts, it didn’t seem difficult at all, especially in comparison of a recent, dual-chamber Compost Bin I put together for my wife a  few weeks ago. The instructions and assembly are straight forward enough, but I did struggle a little bit with the limitation of two hands and trying to use the wrong bolts at the very beginning of the process (my own fault).  With the help of a second person and careful reading of instructions, the Patio Bistro is not all that difficult to assemble. I had it together in about 1 hour.

Operation and Performance

The instructions recommend preparing the unit by heating it up all the way for 20 minutes. This was a good way to test the performance of the Char Broil electric grill before bringing it over to my parents. We took it out on our back deck and turned the knob on all the way. I did have to verify on the instructions it was turned on to its highest setting. The direction and number placement of the heating knob seemed a little counter intuitive, but maybe that’s just me. At any rate, we tried this unit out fully at my Mom’s house for Mother’s Day dinner. We had a nice little dinner that included a mixture of polish kielbasa  blood sausage, German smoked sausage and brats.  With the electric grill turned up to about 450 degrees, we put put the blood sausage in a cast iron pan on top of the char broil grill. There was plenty of room left to layer the German sausage and brats around the pan. Everything was cooked perfectly and even. There was literally no burning or over compensation of one side of the grill to the next as you would get with most propane grills. The dinner came out perfect and that was in great part thanks to the Char Broil Patio Bistro Grill. Not much else to say. Highly recommended for anyone who needs an outdoor grill and doesn’t have time to hassle with propane or worrying about burning their food outside.

How do you rate the Char-Broil Grill?


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Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer


Ryobi Lithium ion 40-Volt Grass Trimmer

The Ryobi RY40210, 40-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless String Trimmer/Edger is a beast. I have struggled with a Black & Decker, Ni-Cad, cordless grass trimmer for the last 7 years. My main complaints were low-power and short battery-life. Still, I tolerated it because I enjoyed the convenience of cordless, no-gas, easy and less, time-consuming start-up times. My third complaint, however, is something I have with 95% of all grass trimmers: the string line doesn’t always feed properly and seems to disappear way too quickly. My prior, gas-powered trimmer was way too heavy and burdensome, so I actually considered getting another electric, corded weed trimmer. Then, I asked myself a question: Do they make a lithium, ion cordless grass trimmer that is as powerful and impressive as the Milwaukee Impact Driver and Drill I purchased last February? Wouldn’t a battery-powered weed eater that was powerful and long-lasting enough be the perfect solution? Do they make such a thing?

Battery Powered Trimmers vs. Electrical Cord Grass Trimmers

The Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer is replacing my Black and Decker Hedge Hog which just doesn’t hold much of a charge any more. My initial guess was that it would be more difficult to keep a grass trimmer running long and powerful enough since it requires more consistent operation than a drill or impact driver. With a drill or driver, you’re using only quick bursts of power where-as a grass trimmer requires long, sustained operation. I did some research and was surprised to find that there are a number of lithium-ion powered grass trimmers on the market that advertise a full 20-40 minutes of uninterrupted, full-power, grass-trimming operation. My Ni-Cad, Black and Decker only lasted 10 minutes per battery and was never all that powerful at full charge. But, if I could get a high-powered, long-lasting cordless trimmer, I concluded that was the superior way to go! Besides, I really only needed a good 30 minutes of full power to get a flawlessly trimmed lawn…or, so I thought. That was before I discovered the 40-Volt RY40210 trimmer by Ryobi.

Long Lasting Lithium Battery Power

To tell you the truth, I am unsure how long this battery will last because I have yet to even come close exhausting it. I spent at least 45 minutes using it on full power the first day I used it. After 45 minutes, the battery indicator was still at full charge. Length of battery-charge was not the first thing that impressed me with the Ryobi grass trimmer, however.

40-Volt Lithium Ion Battery offers Unprecedented High Powered Performance

I was almost shocked by the high-speed growl when I first pulled the trigger switch all the way down on the RY40210. I cannot imagine a gas engine providing more horsepower. The Ryobi gives you an incredible amount of RPM – more than you’ll ever need for basic grass trimming tasks. In fact, I was so taken-aback by the sheer, raw power of the 40-Volt engine that it took me a while to actually learn how well it operates.

Setup an Operation of the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer

Thanks to my absent minded ways, the Ryobi grass trimmer did probably take me longer to assemble than the average person. Still, it was a relatively easy and pain free experience and I was up and running in about 25 minutes. The remarkable power of this unit fascinated me so much that I didn’t read the instructions as clearly as I should have. I didn’t realize that I needed to release the power trigger a full, 2 seconds in order to allow the string to feed. Consequently, I ended up losing all the string inside the reel. Dreadfully, I had to open the spool and that is when I had the old familiar mess of tangled line. Once I got the thing re-strung and working properly, I began to get the hang of using the machine properly. The Ryobi RY40210 pivots for edging and has a wheel to help guide you along the edge of your line. I must say it works far better than any other dual-purpose grass trimmer that I’ve used for edging in the past. As a grass trimmer, standard, long blades of grass and weeds are no challenge for the powerful 40-Volt motor of the RY40210. Nothing can get in the way of this machine. When I think back to those down the aisle at Home Depot, who picked out gas trimmers that cost $100 more, I can’t help but to think they made a huge mistake. All is not perfect with the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium ION Trimmer, however:

I still have my doubts and concerns with the old-fashioned, spool and string. I get the cold sweats every time I have to think about re-stringing a weed trimmer. This one appears to be no different than the other one that I had problems with, but then again, that could be said about any trimmer. My other slight, complaint is the weight and size of the 40-volt battery. There is a reason it lasts so long and provides so much power and you can feel it on your back after you’ve used it for a significant length of time. On the other hand, could the weight of the battery possibly be any worse than lugging around a gas engine? Last, I am disappointed that Ryobi does not make a more powerful grass blower for use with the 40-Volt battery. It would be the perfect compliment to the extra charge that is still available to me after trimming the lawn. Ryobi does make a leaf blower that works with the 40-Volt battery, but actual users complain that the power of the unit is disappointing and completely under utilizes the strong capabilities of such a strong, impressive lithium ion battery.

Conclusion and Final thoughts on the Ryobi RY40210 Grass Trimmer

If not for the few complaints above, I would give the Ryobi 40-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Grass Trimmer a perfect, 5 stars. Still, I cannot imagine a grass trimmer/weed-eater/lawn edger that would satisfy my needs better than this one. I’ll take a high-powered, long-lasting battery over a cord or gas engine any day. The Ryobi Lithium-Powered Weed Eater and Edger is one of the better outdoor tools I’ve purchased in many years. I highly recommend.

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Scotts Lawn Mower

Is Scotts Still Making Lawn Mowers?

Review

scotts lawn mower

I was looking for lawn mowers online a while ago when I read some confusing and somewhat conflicting information about Scotts Lawn Mowers. I knew that the Scotts Lawn Mower at one time was made by Murray. I also knew that the Scotts Gas Powered Mowers used the popular Briggs & Stratton engine. What I didn’t know was that the John Deere Tractor Company purchased Scotts and began designing the mowers themselves. This would seem like a natural fit, especially for the Ride on Lawn Mowers which share much of the looks and characteristics of tractors and have given many homeowners of large lawns some of the enjoyment of being a farmer. John Deere is one of the few American companies left known for making high quality machinery. Not having a large enough lawn to need a Ride on Lawn Mower, I thought I would look into the regular push-behind Gas Powered Scotts Lawn Mower. I got tired of replacing broken parts on the last couple of lawn mowers I owned. My previous Briggs & Stratton needed a new carburetor. So, I wanted to find something well made. I found plenty of the non-powered, push-reel lawn mowers by Scotts, but there were few, if any Gas Powered Scotts Mowers to be found! I stumbled upon a website that explained that John Deere decided to stop making the gas powered lawn mowers.  So, I thought, ‘hmmm..why not buy the real thing? A John Deere Lawn Mower would be an excellent quality mower, right? Not so fast, John Deere only makes a Ride on Lawn Mower!

Scotts Lawn Mower: Reel Push

In my search for a Scotts mower, I heard such raving reviews about their push behind reel mowers, that if  not for my mulching requirement, I would buy one of these to replace my gas powered mower. However, I am still considering a Scotts push-behind reel mower for my small back yard. Users say that the blades are incredibly well made; sharp, durable, strong and do a great job of making an evenly manicured lawn.

John Deere Ride-On Lawn Mower

Before, I explain what I eventually bought for my larger front yard, I have to tell you about my shopping diversion. I became so impressed reading about the life-lasting quality of John Deer Ride On Mowers that I wished I had a large enough yard to justify buying one.

Yardman Lawn Mowers

I have a couple of friends with large acreage lawns, but rather than the John Deere brand, they were using Yardman Lawn Mowers. Like John Deere, Yardman Lawn Mowers are made in the USA. The Yardman Lawn Mower is also based on the Briggs & Stratton engine, so perhaps it would make a suitable alternative to the extinct Scotts Gas Powered brands? While, they seem to be known more for Ride-On Lawn Mowers, the Yardman does make some high quality push-behind, gas-powered mowers. They range from $275 – $350 for a 19” to 21” model at Sears.  I gave some serious consideration to a Yardman Lawn Mower like the ones below:

Which Lawn Mower did I buy?

I reluctantly took my old lawn mower into my local repair shop in Arvada to see what it would cost to repair it. I was told it would be about $50. That seemed reasonable, but then the sales person told me had several ‘near-new’ mowers he could sell me for that same price of repairing the old one. For $70.00 I got what seemed like a brand new Briggs & Stratton 21” Mulching Mower. The salesman explained to me that technically most of these refurbished mowers have been used one time for home sales, shows, etc. Judging by its appearance, he told me that the mower had never been used. I bought it and love it; it is far superior to my old lawn mower in every way and it starts effortlessly on the first try, without the need to choke. After a long rest in the winter, I got it out this weekend, and it started up after only 3 or 4 easy  pulls. $70 is a bargain. The John Deere or Yardman Lawn Mower can wait until I either get a bigger lawn or buy some cheap land somewhere just so I can satisfy the itch to pretend I’m a farmer.

Husqvarna Lawn Mower

If you want a quality piece of machinery for your front and back yard, the Husqvarna Lawn Mower is one that learned about just after my shopping experience above. Husqvarna Lawn Mowers come equipped with either a high quality Honda or Briggs & Stratton Engine. Husqvarna is a high quality lawn mower; well worth your consideration:


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