I'm MUCH enamored of Cheap

Actually, I consider it more "cost effective".

I'm reminded by the 40v Black and Decker mower I've had, still boxed, on my front porch for more than a year.  I opened it up and started using it a few days ago.  It is a light weight thing obviously destined for a short life.  We will see.  But, it is highly useful for getting into places my bigger (and very expensive) Kubota will not reach.  Since I got the Kubota a couple of years ago, I have been unable to easily mow a strip under my clothes line.  With my ever increasing PV, I find the need to do more mowing in tight places.

I bought the Black and Decker mower because I've been highly satisfied with Black and Decker 20v tools.  I started about 5 years ago with a string trimmer.  It took me a while to develop an affection for it.  But, then, I started branching out to other B&D 20v tools.  First a 8" pole saw, then a 10" regular chain saw.  Later, a 1/4" drill, a small circular saw, finally a hedge trimmer.  All share batteries and chargers and all fit needs that I have.  All are relatively light weight tools but function well for me though lives are relatively short.  I was a bit reluctant to get the mower because it uses different batteries and a different charger.

A few uses for the 20v tools:
The pole saws are by far the most useful.  I now do most of my firewood cutting with them.  The reach allows me to cut high branches that are threatening roofs, roads, and casting shade on PV.  Also, I can reach into a daunting thicket and more easily start whittling away while minimizing getting scratched up.  The 8" chain allows me to cut perhaps 80% of my firewood.  It is the ideal Christmas Tree cutting tool.  Trees can be cut near the ground without getting close to the trunk.  Lives are short, maybe 30-50 battery charges; the motors, gearing and connections wear out.  I've been through 5+ of the saws.  Costs are ~$80 +/-.  A battery lasts 5-10 minutes which is a nice work period for me.  Sometimes, I carry several batteries and cut as long as an hour.

The 10" regular chain saw serves well for easily accessed and larger wood.  The bigger motor seems more durable than that of the pole saws.

Without a definite need in mind, I decided to try a circular saw.  I think 4.5" compared to ~7" for a common circular saw.  I've found the circular saw wonderful for cutting PVC pipe especially out in field.  It makes quick and square cuts on up to about 1.5" pipe and conduit.  FAR quicker and easier than my previously used hacksaws.  And cuts are more square.  It also does well on plywood and 1" lumber; I haven't used it on 2" lumber.

Similarly, I recently decided to try a hedger.  I quickly found it does extremely well on Greenbriar.   Greenbriar is a very common thorny thick vine that grows in thickets where ever it is protected from mowing/shredding.  It can be likened to "vegetative barbed wire".  I found it too tough to be easily cut with a string trimmer.  With the (pole) hedger, I can reach into a thicket and cut the Greenbriar near the ground and then cut it into shorter pieces where it grows up into brush.  With the Greenbriar threat removed, brush is much more easily cut.  It is the right tool for Greenbriar.

The drills are of obvious use.  Drilling holes, driving screws.

I now have 5+ chargers; they are scattered in convenient locations around the place.  Generally, I'm never far from a charger where I can swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged battery.

If I get some interest in this post, I will take and add some photos.


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