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.

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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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