For gardening jobs such as mowing or edging the lawn, trimming a hedge or collecting leaves, we can give ourselves a bit of a workout by using hand tools, such as push mowers, edging tools, shears and leaf grabbers. But when we need a bit more oomph, we turn to power tools.
Power tools can be petrol, corded (electric) or cordless (powered by a rechargeable battery). In recent years, cordless tools have come to the fore and are now the preferred option for many of us. Cordless garden tools don't need refilling with smelly petrol and don't need to be near a power source, trailing a long cable that is easily tripped over or cut through, and they tend to be lighter and quieter.
Whereas cordless tools once offered a disappointing battery life, most now use lithium-ion batteries, which hold their charge better, don't degrade in storage and can be quickly recharged (you can also buy a spare battery so that you never run out of power).
Most brands now offer batteries that can now be used across all of the garden tools in a specific range, and often tools in their DIY ranges as well. Some tools usefully show how much charge or run time they have left, either on the battery or charger.
Cordless garden tools
There are lots of options for cordless mowers from all the big power tool manufacturers. They combine light and light electric motors with the latest battery technology, with no annoying cord to trip (or mow) over. Check the area covered or running time of the model you are considering to make sure it is suitable for your size of lawn.
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Read our in-depth guide to finding and buying the best cordless mower.
Stihl RMA 235 cordless lawnmower
The Stihl RMA 235 is a great cordless mower, with a sturdy and professional feel. And as it is very quiet, it won't disturb the neighbours on lazy Sunday mornings.
The mower comes with its own Stihl AK20 battery and charger included and covers a cutting range of 300 square metres (or a 24m x 12m lawn). The larger, optional AK30 battery runs to 400 square metres.
Weighing only 14kg and with a with a 33cm wide blade, with an included foldable handlebar and carry handle, it’s lightweight and easy to lift and store away.
A grass trimmer or strimmer is useful for trimming areas of the garden that a lawn mower can't reach, such as up against a fence, around the legs of garden furniture, and for clearing an overgrown area. You can also use it for edging a lawn. A cordless strimmer gives you lots of freedom around the garden and the battery should see you through most strimming jobs.
Many cordless strimmers have adjustable, flexible or interchangeable heads to enable you to reach tricky areas comfortably, and an automatic line feed which means you won’t have to fiddle with the spool when fresh cord is required.
Read our advice on choosing and buying the best cordless strimmer.
Bosch Cordless Grass Trimmer EasyGrassCut 18V-26
This cordless strimmer is part of the Bosch Easy Garden Tools range, which has been created with small and medium-sized gardens in mind. It has a balanced design and is lightweight, weighing in at just 2.2kg, but has a powerful motor for easy and comfortable trimming. It has a cutting diameter of 26cm.
The strimmer can be switched easily into its edging mode, called EdgeSimple, with a quick tap and twist of the handle – and is said to be powerful enough to trim the edges of up to six tennis courts in one charge
It is supplied both with and without a battery, which can be used across the entire Bosch home and garden cordless range.
Cordless hedge trimmer
A cordless hedge trimmer makes quick work of trimming a hedge and is generally a lightweight option. It also means that you don't need to be near a power source – useful if your hedge is at the end of the garden. It also gives you the freedom to climb up a ladder without worrying about getting dangerously tangled up in a cord on the way up or down.
Read our full round-up of cordless hedge trimmers for more high-quality power tools.
Ryobi RY18HT55A-0 18V ONE+ Cordless 55cm Hedge Trimmer
This 55cm hedge trimmer is part of Ryobi's ONE + range – sharing the same battery and charger across the ONE+ range. The 'hedge sweep' attachment to the blade means it will skim the surface of your hedge, ensuring that the cuttings slip from the blade and fall to the ground (rather than remaining in the bush) – giving a seamless finish. This hedgetrimmer also makes light work of thick, tough stems.
Cordless garden saw
A cordless garden saw is a useful tool for making light work of pruning trees without the need to plug into a power source or avoid slicing through a long cord. And if it is on a pole, so much the better – no ladder or climbing required.
Spear & Jackson 20cm cordless pole saw - 18V
You can keep your feet firmly on the ground with this cordless pole pruner saw – the telescopic handle can extend to 2.35cm and it has an angled blade head. It also has a high quality Oregon chain and shoulder strap for added comfort and stability. Includes a battery and charger.
Cordless leaf blower vac
A cordless leaf blower and/or vac makes light work of clearing up leaves in your garden or drive – even if they are soggy. Be sure to make leaf mould with the leaves afterwards.
Makita DUB363ZV Brushless Blower and Vacuum
Cordless garden shears
Bosch ISIO Shape and Edge Cordless Shear - 3.6V
This handy, compact and multifunctional tool is ideal for shaping shrubs and topiary. It has a lightweight and ergonomic design for comfort and effortless cutting, an anti-blocking system and a runtime of 50 minutes. It can also be used for trimming lawn edges. Weighing only 550g, it is lightweight and compact for easy storage.
Veronica Peerless is a trained horticulturalist and garden designer.