Fall Clean Up Made Easier

Not all weekend warriors have muscles to match. But don’t let that stop you from having a picture-perfect yard.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart has a round-up of equipment that will make yard work a breeze — or at least a little less back-breaking!

Neely Bower takes pride in her yard, keeping it neatly landscaped all year round.

Bower says, "It's relaxing. It's hard work, but it's relaxing."

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says for women who do lots of yard work, having the right tools is key.

Editor Lisa Lee Freeman and yard equipment expert Peter Sawchuk have some great options that get the job done.

Gas-powered mowers are heavy, noisy, and require a lot of maintenance.

Instead, consider an electric mower like the SPCM1936 450-dollar one from Black and Decker.

Lisa Freeman of Consumer Reports says, “With an electric mower, you press the button and you’re good to go. And it’s super quiet, too.”

Keeping your lawn leaf-free can be challenging. And a full-sized leaf blower can weigh almost 25 pounds! A lightweight backpack leaf blower like this 280-dollar one from Stihl makes the job much easier!

Gas-powered string trimmers are also heavy and hard to start. This battery-powered one from Ryobi does a great job for 130 dollars.

All you have to do is push a button and pull the trigger.

If you’re serious about yard work, but don’t want to deal with a chainsaw …

… ShopSmart has another option from Black and Decker.

Freeman says, “It’s basically a mini-electric chain saw and even though it’s small and compact and easy to use, you can prune trees and shrubs. You can even cut firewood and fallen branches. And it’s a lot less scary than a regular chain saw.”

A bonus — the blade is hidden, so it’s safer, too. With these tools, your yard will soon be the envy of the block.

That chain saw substitute is a Black & Decker lopper, model number LP1000. It costs 75 dollars. If you already own any gas-powered yard equipment, you know that mixing gas and oil to fuel it can be a messy job. Consumer Reports recommends TruFuel.

It costs about six dollars a quart, but is conveniently premixed and ethanol-free, which helps prevent problems starting.

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