Selecting Cordless Electric Power Tools


Flashlight Enthusiast
Nov 16, 2002
I bought a Ryobi 54" 115 AH zero turn electric riding lawn mower this spring. It has worked well for me.

I am now looking around at replacing some other equipment. My gasoline snow blower is having issues and rather than spend money on it, I am considering an electric snow blower. Toro has a 26 " 60 volt snow blower.

How important is the voltage for equipment like this? If/when I invest in some additional tools like this, I am inclined to buy tools that can share the same batteries. For example, Toro has lawn mowers and other tools that use the 60V max batteries.

I have eyed up Ryobi's tools. I ahve focused on their 40 volt devices. I know that Dewalt and others make similar devices. I may eventually get the following devices:

-Chain Saw

-String Trimmer


-Lawn Mower

I know that at least to some degree it is an issue of marketing. Bigger numbers sound better. So, a 60 volt mower sounds better than a 40 volt mower. I also know that brand loyalty is important to some, perhaps many, people.

For the tool hounds here, have you invested in one specific brand/battery system and, if so, how well has that worked out for you?

It is also possible that I will have to end up in two different systems. Maybe 60 volt Toro for snow blower and lawn mower. But, 40 volt Ryobi for chain saw, leaf blower and string trimmer.


Oct 1, 2004
It is not totally about the voltage but the overall wattage that can be efficiently delivered and on things with motors brushless motors are a lot better more efficient and longer lasting. I've invested in Dewalt 20v so far probably won't bother with an electric mower as a gas powered one is about the same price and I don't have to pay for expensive batteries ever on it and it is easy to put more gas in it and keep on going on a large and overgrown yard.
The tools you have chosen can be run off 20v well if you use larger batteries 5A and up but blowers if used heavily may eat batteries like mad along with the lawn mower and a chain saw if used a lot. I suggest you estimate the length of time you need to run each of those tools and look at reviews on them to see if the batteries can manage that task or not.


Feb 29, 2004
All other things being equal, higher voltages mean less current to do the same amount of work that demands more current from lower voltage. Less current is easier on cells and power electronics and Should™ result in longer battery pack runtime and lifespanes.

But all other things are not equal in this world, not by a long shot.

I own a number of Ryobi 40V yard tools.
  • Positives: they're inexpensive and there's a good variety of tools available now.
  • Negatives: the battery packs seem to last the duration of the warranty and no longer, are prone to overheating, and are quite expensive to purchase
I've purchased two tools that came with three total 2.6Ah battery packs - all of which have subsequently failed just outside of warranty. Over the years I have purchased two subsequent tools that came with newer 3Ah and 4Ah battery packs.

Of the tools you've listed, I own String Trimmer, Blower, Lawn Mower. The string trimmer is probably the best of the 3 - it's got the Wheaties™ to do the job on my ~⅛ acre lot; it cannot however switch-hit as an edger unless you want to freehand the job. The blower is just a tad short of being a real leaf blower - good for blowing off sidewalks and driveways but blowing leaves around on grass is a slow affair. The lawn mower is lightweight and quiet and the 1st-gen brushless motor really does make the most of battery power; the cut quality can be a tad meh the height adjustment is a bit sketch after several seasons and I wish it had a side-discharge for those weeks when I'm mowing 2 weeks worth of growth.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Sep 30, 2007
I've seen a cordless lawn mower and a cordless weed whacker, they seem to use low powered motors, take a few seconds to spin up and use momentum to cut stuff.

I agree about the power, but these things use new rules to get the job done.

Voltage is electrical potential. If your device is using 100 watts and you use a 20 volt battery, you're drawing 5 amps from the battery, if you're using a 100 volt battery, you're drawing 1 amp from the battery.

Dewalt has some 20 volt/60 volt batteries. You can plug it into a 20 volt device or a 60 volt device depending on what Dewalt thinks will work better. I bet you've noticed that some devices use two batteries. That's probably to double the voltage and reduce the current to extend the battery run time.

I usually tell people to read or watch reviews, but you usually don't see "long term" reviews. =\

I don't know if a snow blower is a good tool to use on batteries. I think you'd need a lot of power to move the snow! Does gasoline provide a lot of drawback? Gasoline can provide a lot of power, like 10-15 horsepower, which would help you with moving the snow. That kind of power is tough to do with a battery.

Maybe Tesla can make us a really expensive snow blower. =P


Dec 20, 2012
Northern New Jersey
I don't have any experience with 40 volt tools.
A friend of mine had a 40V Ryobi trimmer, and a year later he said the battery didn't hold much of a charge. He kept it outside in a shed. It is possible that it would have done better if it was inside his temperature moderated garage.

I have a number of 18V Ryobi tools. I started with Ryobi, because Home Depot is the nearest big box store to me, and they are less expensive than Milwaukie. The reason I stayed with Ryobi, is for battery compatibility. If I was to cross brands, then the batteries I already have won't fit the other brand. I built a deck with my nephew a few years ago. I was impressed with how well the Li-Ion tools performed. We had my Ryobi drill/driver, and a Milwaukee impact driver. They had comparable run times.

Now if and when I make the 40V jump, then I will have the option to change brands. In the meantime, I have a 35-40 y/o 9HP gas powered ride on mower that bogs a little when the gas is thick and wet. I can't imagine that a battery powered ride on mower would handle that condition too well, especially after the battery/ies are a few years old.

I have a 110V electric chain saw, and chain pole saw. I really do not want to deal with 2 cycle engines, and would like the portability of a battery powered set. I haven't used my chain saw but once in the last 10 years, and the pole saw, 3 times in the last 15 years, all three times was to help someone else. I've considered, that I'd like to have a battery powered chain saw for its portability, just to be prepared. I've considered that I have a small light weight generator that I can use in an emergency to make the chain saw, essentially portable.