Although technology seems to be advancing almost daily, it’s still difficult to branch out and try it.

When it comes to outdoor landscaping and gardening tools, there always are “new and improved” tools and toys promising to make the job easier, quicker, greener or more efficient.

So how do we know whether to branch out and take a chance on a new gadget when out trusty standbys are doing just fine?

It really is a gamble. You can do some research, read reviews or ask others who have tried the new technology.

Just this spring, I decided it was time to get a new lawn mower. The technology was much improved. Since I love to do the mowing, and lately have had a few physical issues that made it a little more difficult, I wanted to try something new — a battery-powered mower.

Both the salesperson and my husband advised against this new-fangled model, bringing up unknowns such as power, quality, battery life and durability. It was risky but I decided to “go for it.”

I really wanted a mower with a push-button start, a lighter push and something that would reduce fumes and need no gas and oil. I decided on a mower with a dual-battery system so I’d have a better chance of not running out of a charge before I finished mowing.

So far, I love it! It’s light, which makes it easy to push and turn. It has a push-button start and is so quiet, it purrs. The dual-battery system is more than enough to complete my front and backyard. And best of all, I get a great cut.

There seems to be plenty of power for my yard. I do mow fairly often, so I haven’t had to test it in really high turf.

I won’t be able to attest to its battery life and durability for at least a few years, but I am optimistic.

I would probably not suggest a battery-powered mower for rugged terrain or for those who let their grass get really tall before mowing. These two factors are hard even on the heavy-duty gas models. But for an average size, regularly groomed yard, I think it’s a winner.

And for women who find heavy mowers difficult to push, it may be the mower for you.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at

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