Best electric tools: gardening tools with cordless convenience

Battery power is rapidly replacing petrol and electric cables when it comes to gardening tools. Here are the best of the best

Best cordless gardening tools 2018

T3 could start a garden centre with the amount of gear we’ve recently been putting through its paces and the big trend this year is tools with cordless, battery-powered convenience. With summer underway, you'll be on the hunt for something to make your mowing, strimming, hedging, sawing, trimming and shredding easier. So we thought it would be extra helpful if we told you what we've found to be the best of the best when it comes to electric tools for your garden. 

The best electric garden tools for every job

1. Greenworks G40LM35K2X

The best cordless lawnmower

Power: 40v
Deck size: 35cm
Weight: 13.7kgs
Run time: 25 mins
Reasons to buy
+Easy to manoeuvre+Effective cutting+Near silent motor
Reasons to avoid
-Only for the smaller lawn-Fiddly start mechanism

We’ve sampled two cordless Greenworks lawnmowers to date – one expensive and one fairly cheap – and both have been top choices. However, if you have a typical urban sized lawn and don’t wish to disturb the neighbours then this budget-priced model is our ultimate recommendation. 

It comes with a 35cm cutting deck, a 40-litre collapsible mesh grass collector, five cutting heights (20mm to 80mm) and an interchangeable, high-performance 40v Li-ion battery that keeps the extraordinarily quiet motor running at full tilt right up to the last drop of juice. At just 13.7kgs, it’s also a doddle to push around. 

Oh, and it cuts bloody well, too. Obviously, or it wouldn’t be here.

Robomow RS635

(Image credit: Robomow)

2. Robomow RS635

The best robot mower

Mowing width: 56cm
Mowing height: 20-80mm
Maximum lawn area: 5,000m sq
Slopes: 36%
Battery type: 26v lithium
Charge time: 90-110 mins
Average runtime: 80 mins
Coverage per charge: not stated
Noise level: 66-74db
Dimensions: 73.5x66x31cm
Weight: 20kg
Reasons to buy
+Good for rough areas+Big blade size+Up to 36 percent slopes
Reasons to avoid

If you just can't be bothered with all that pushing, how about a robot mower? OUr pick of the blade-carrying droids is the Robomow RS635. 

It's built for big gardens with hard-to-reach or rough grass, with a big blade size – 56cm – so it can get through a lot of cutting in a short period of time, taking on swards up to 3,600 square metres in size, and grass that's up to 80mm long.

The RS635 can scale 20 degree slopes, lasts up to 100 minutes between charges, and isn't any too noisy either. It's the dream purchase for anyone who wants a well-kept lawn but simply cannot be arsed to mow it themselves.

Gtech ST20

3. Gtech ST20

Best cordless strimmer

Power: 18v
Type: Cordless
Cutting area: 23cm
Edging?: Yes
Weight: 1.75kg
Heavy duty option?: No
Reasons to buy
+Exceptionally light+Cordless convenience+Great blade system and free blades for life
Reasons to avoid
-Quite a slow charger

Sometimes a product comes along that just works. Like this. If strimming is your thing – not ours, frankly – and you’re looking for an ultra lightweight cordless option that won’t snarl up and jam, then the Gtech is right up your garden path. 

It’s comfortable for long stretches at the border and goes on snipping for up to 30 minutes on a full charge. Better still, instead of an annoying spool of nylon string, it uses a single Flymo-style mower blade that does the job just as well but without the hassle. Even better, Gtech will happily provide you with said blades for the life of the product. 

Now that’s what I’m talking about. 

4. Stihl HSA56

The best hedge trimmer

Power: 36V
Type: Cordless
Cutting size: 45cm
Telescopic: No
Swappable cutters: No
Weight: 3.7kg including battery
Reasons to buy
+Great performance+Typical Stihl quality
Reasons to avoid
-Blade is smaller than many-Included battery isn't Stihl's best

Given that hedges are a boundary plant about as far away from a plug socket as you can get, a cordless hedge trimmer makes a ton of sense. Teutonic garden champ Stihl produces this, the best cordless hedge trimmer around.  

It runs for about 40 minutes on the smaller AK10 battery its provided with or you can up the ante by opting for the more powerful AK20 instead, which will provide at least 75 minutes of hedgy snip snip. It’s light, easy to use and looks good, to boot. 

5. Ryobi OBL1820S

Best cordless leaf blower

Weight: 3kgs
Power source: Battery (10 minutes per charge)
Vacuum: No
Air speed: 150mph
Reasons to buy
+Very light+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Vibrates a lot-Battery and charger sold separately

Given that you’re likely to use a leaf blower just once or twice a year, it makes sense to go for a budget model and a cordless if at all possible. 

This model has just one speed and the supplied battery only last about 10 minutes but boy can it blow. It’s really light and very well balanced, too, and perfect for clearing the driveway, garden and pathways of leaves or spring petals. 

I would advise opting for the longer-lasting and more expensive 5.0aH battery, which should provide more than double the running time. That said, even the bog standard battery is enough for a quick whiz around most abodes.

6. Bosch AXT 25 TC

Best garden shredder (electric, but not cordless)

Weight: 30.5kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 45mm
Collection box: 53 litres
Reasons to buy
+Superbly efficient+Very quiet+Well designed
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy and ungainly

This is corded, as there are no cordless shredders that I've tried yet. Now, you know the scenario. You’ve just clipped back the apple tree and now you have a mountain of foliage to somehow get rid of. You could spend hours snipping each cutting into tiny pieces so it vaguely fits in the council’s green collection bin, fill the car with it – followed by another hour with the vac – or buy a shredder. 

This top performing Bosch swallows both wood and leafy material, chops it up into tiny pieces and then deposits the remnants into the 53-litre collection bin beneath. Bish, bash, bosh. Now simply scatter the chips over your flowerbeds. Presto, healthier flowers. What’s not to like? 

7. Greenworks GD40CS40

Best cordless electric chainsaw

Power: 40v
Bar length: 40cm
Weight: 5.1kgs
Battery included as standard?: No
Reasons to buy
+Excellent performance+Good run time+Comes with fitted chain
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy

Chainsaws and electricity cables are dangerous bedfellows, which is why we much prefer the cordless option. This Greenworks model is our top pick for efficient log splitting, tree felling and branch decapitating. It’s powered by a large 40-volt G-Max Li-Ion battery that runs for around 25 minutes on a full 90-minute charge; plenty of time to annihilate the Pussy Willow, poor thing. 

Despite the weight, this mean baby will saw a log, branch or trunk up to and beyond 30cm in diameter without so much as a hiccup or even a small splutter.

Worx WG163

8. Worx WG163

Best cordless lawn edger

Cutting width: 30cm
Power: 20V
Weight: 2.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Trims hard-to-reach spots+Includes two batteries
Reasons to avoid
-Not great at dealing with weed infestations

Don’t confuse a lawn edger with a grass trimmer; one trims grass round obstacles and along borders, the other cuts through grass roots creating a tidy vertical edge. 

The Worx WG163 , however, is not just an excellent edger, it's a two-in-one device that's also a grass trimmer. It offers quick, hassle-free conversion between the modes. 

Two li-ion batteries mean near indefinite edging can be yours, while the 90-degree pivoting head makes it easier to trim tricky spots – handy if you have lawn furniture or a tricky-shaped garden. A handy auto line feed for the strimmer means you won’t get slowed down mid-landscaping. 


(Image credit: Karcher)

9. Karcher Grass & Shrub Shear

Best for cordless border and pruning tasks

Cutting width: 12/20cm
Power: 18V
Weight: 1.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Two switchable blades+Cordless
Reasons to avoid
-No long handle

Are you particular about your lawn edging and hanker after perfectly pruned herbaceous borders? If so you’ll find the Karcher Grass and Shrub Shear a precision revelation. It delivers crisp and clean lawn edges as well as tackling precise pruning chores with aplomb.

Featuring two different blades it’s hugely versatile, with the 12cm option ideal for those lawn edges, while a 20cm blade can take on your troublesome shrubs, no problem. Best of all, it’s cordless, which means no more fretting about chomping through power cables as you do your thing.

A simple screw-in system means changing those blades is a doddle. But there’s more: the Grass and Shrub Shear is also part of Karcher’s 18V Battery Universe range. Each product in the collection is compatible with the same versatile battery and features real-time battery technology, whereby an LED display accurately shows the remaining run or charge time. 

Getting yourself one of these gadgets, plus a sold-separately spare battery means you can keep on trimming and pruning for 30 minutes longer, and all without having to charge. This gadget is lighter than you’d expect too, which means you’ll have blinding borders and perfect shrubs without sore wrists.

10. Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus

Best cordless plant-watering system

Reasons to buy
+Automatic watering+Saves time and effort+Comes with a light sensor
Reasons to avoid
-Requires AA batteries

Remember the time you asked your neighbour to water your lawn just once a day in the evening while you were away, only to return to the Serengeti? Those days are gone, my friend, and your saviour is this unassuming dark yellow block from the house of Hozelock. 

Simply attach it to your outside tap, plug a hose in the other side – attached to a sprinkler, obviously – and select when you want the garden to be doused. It also comes with a light sensor that will switch it on at dawn for, say, 20 minutes, and the same again at dusk. Believe us, come summer holiday time, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. Especially since falling out with the neighbour.

There are a few technically better watering systems than this, but the battery-powered convenience is hard to fault.