10 Go-to Fall Landscaping Tools
Fall cleanup will be less of a chore when you have the right tools on hand. These handy tools will become treasured friends by the end of the season.
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Centurion Pro Series Monster Lopper
These heavy-duty Centurion loppers ($61) come with an innovative guillotine-style cutting mechanism that cuts through two-inch-thick branches with ease. The Link-Force double-gear drive makes cutting 50 percent easier, while cushioned non-slip grips allow for more comfort and better control.
A non-stick, low-friction coating helps keep the blade from gumming up. With these loppers, I don’t have to worry about tackling a branch so thick it might wreck the cutting mechanism of smaller loppers.
DeWalt Battery-Operated Brushless Pole Saw
This DeWalt pole saw ($149) has a low-kickback, self-oiling eight-inch bar and chain with enough brushless motor power to cut through 16-inch limbs. The 20-volt battery can perform 96 cuts per charge on 4×4 pressure-treated pine. With a maximum reach of 15 feet and an angled head for easy and safe cutting, this pole saw will make late-season branch removal less of a chore.
Centurion Steel Bypass Pruning Shears
A good pair of pruning shears is always needed, especially in fall when yard cleanup chores are in full gear. These Centurion 192 Steel Bypass Pruners ($11) are a bargain, offering heavy-duty hardened steel blades for long life and rust resistance. The precision-grounded bypass pruners slice through stems up to 5/8-inch thick without gumming up, thanks to the low-friction coating.
Earthwise Electric Chipper
With a 15-amp electric motor and plug-in power source, this Earthwise mulcher chipper ($154) has enough muscle to handle up to 1-3/4-in.-diameter branches.
In fall, any branches are likely to be secondary to leaves. That’s why this unit also functions as a portable mulcher that can be wheeled right to the leaf pile. A 1.2-bushel collection bin makes it easy to feed the mulcher/chipper, which also comes with a chute-and-tamper tool to keep hands safe.
Ego 56-Volt Battery Operated Blower
This leaf blower hits the trifecta: it’s compact, lightweight and packs a punch. The weather-resistant Ego 56-volt cordless blower ($100) offers a lot to boast about: a high-efficiency brushless motor, turbine fan engineering, variable speed of 250 to 480 CFM (cubic feet per minute), and a turbo button for a quick boost of force. The battery and charger are sold separately.
Honda NeXite Variable Speed
Mowing season over? Not by a long shot! If you’re going to mow in fall, you might as well have a self-propelled mulching mower like this Honda HRX217VKA ($629), which makes quick work of leaf-littered lawns.
The Honda’s MicroCut twin blades offer four cutting surfaces for better shredding. And the Versamow system allows you to easily change the mode of operation without tools, from mulching to bagging to discharging or shredding leaves. Also, the Select Drive can be set from 0.1 mph to 4 mph.
Corona RazorTooth Pruning Saw
Loppers or a bow saw will take care of good size branches, but they’re not as helpful in cramped quarters. That’s where a pruning saw comes in.
This Corona RazorTooth 10-inch folding pruning saw ($24) earns its name with its teeth, sharpened on three sides before hardening. Then they’re treated with a friction-reducing coating so the saw glides through wood. You’ll be surprised how quickly it cuts through branches.
Worx 24-inch Battery-Powered Hedge Trimmer
No matter how careful you are, sooner or later you’re probably going to nip the electrical cord on your hedge trimmer. That is, unless you own a battery-powered hedge trimmer like this one from Worx ($200).
It comes with a 56-volt max lithium battery for gas-like power. The dual-action cutting blades make clean cuts with less vibration. It also has a full-wrap handle so you can cut vertically, then twist it the other way for horizontal trimming.
A wheelbarrow is a good friend any time of year, but particularly in fall, when you need to tote bags of leaves, garden supplies, firewood, soil, mulch and other items. The type of wheelbarrow is important. Lightweight poly wheelbarrows can easily handle leaves, but heavier loads can be problematic over time.
A Kobalt wheelbarrow with metal bin ($100) is a better bet for lots of tasks, including hauling heavier landscape items. But a dual-wheel unit ($149) is a wise investment if you’re pushing a lot of soil, rocks or firewood because it’s harder to tip over. The flat-free tires save on maintenance headaches, too.
We saved the most obvious for last: leaf rakes. You really need two kinds for fall cleanup — a wide-fanned leaf rake ($20) with 30-inch spread to quickly rake large swaths of leaves, and a metal-tine leaf rake ($25) with 22- to 24-inch spread for general raking and dethatching.
If you have tight corners and narrow spaces, you might also want to add a narrow shrub rake ($13) with eight- to 12-inch fans to reach confined areas.
All prices and links were current as of publication.