Power Tools

A power tool is any yard care tool that comes with either an electric or a gasoline engine. There are many fine companies out there offering quality power tools for the yardener. We can't include them all. What we can do however, is include a representative sample and then give you all the right questions to ask. Then you can go out into the wilderness of power tool land and make the best selection for the price you can afford.
If you know of a power tool category that we have missed, let us know. You can contact us via our question asking page.

Well, it has finally happened.  I have been shown that I am getting old and not keeping up with new research.  This is probably not the first time, but I really blew it by relying on information I have been using for 20 years.  Fortunately, Mike Horn sent me the following e-mail to straighten me out and I share it with you.

“Just read your article on maintaining tools and I have to take exception to your advice on draining gas from power equipment before putting it away for the winter. You stated that a person should drain the gas and run the piece of equipment dry. Doing this will cause 1) condensation to form in the fuel tank and, 2) drying out of the diaphragms in the carburators and causing them to fail.

What is the correct way to winterize your power tools? Buy a fuel stabilization product such as Sta-Bil. Add the Sta-Bil to your gas can according to directions and fill your power tool. Then run the power tool for several minutes to make sure that the stabilized gas goes throughout the entire fuel system. Then, re-fill the tank to the top with more stabilized fuel. This will keep condensation from forming in the tank and keep the diaphragms from drying out.


Toro lawn mower


I have a chainsaw that is over 20 years old that runs and starts as new without ever having a carb issue. For the homeowner who uses his power tools on an occasional basis (once a week or longer) an even better idea is to add Sta-Bil to the fuel during the season. And try to avoid using gasoline that contains ethanol in your power tools.”

When Mike pulled my chain I checked the issue out with the Briggs and Stratton gas engine manufacturer, and they confirmed Mike’s recommendations.  I did learn however that there are two camps when it comes to 2 stroke gas engines such as those used on a string trimmer.  Some “experts” say to follow Mike’s advice.  Another group feel that any gas left in a 2 stroke gas tank is not good and recommend the gas be removed and then spritz some WD-40 oil into the tank to prevent rusting.

There is one critical point that I’m sure Mike is aware of, but didn’t think to mention it.  That is that when you leave gas with gas stabilizer in your mower tank, it must be fresh gas with fresh stabilizer.  If you have half a tank of gas in the mower, you do not get the benefits by simply adding stabilizer to that old gas; the gas must be fresh.  So for all your power tools you still empty the tank and run it dry, and then you add the new gas with fresh stabilizer.  Thanks Mike for the head’s up.



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