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Battery tech improves trimmers, chain saws

Backyard cleanup has never been so efficient, quiet

Battery technology has been steadily improving in recent years, and with the coming of lithium ion, tool manufacturers have been quick to incorporate these ever lighter and more powerful batteries into tools of all types. We've become accustomed to manufacturers replacing the electrical cord with a battery in just about every conceivable shop tool, from drills and saws to lights and test equipment. But it's only been fairly recently that batteries have become powerful enough to really make a useful dent in another arena: tools powered by gas engines. That's led to a new generation of tools for the weekend warrior and even the professional that really helps with backyard cleanup chores. Battery-powered yard tools eliminate all the starting and maintenance hassles associated with gas motors; they eliminate emissions; and they greatly reduce noise and vibration. I recently tried out two new entries in this growing market. Both tools could easily find a place in anyone's tool s...