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Best Small Battery-Powered Garden Tools

By: Jennifer HowellJennifer Howell
Try one of these small battery-powered garden tools to finish garden tasks in a flash!

Small battery-powered tools for the garden

I may have said this before (or several times), but I really love a good battery-powered garden tool. I no longer regret an impulse purchase of 300 spring bulbs — I can plant them in about an hour with my trusty bulb auger drill. Spring garden cleanup doesn’t scare me — my beloved hand-held shears and I knock it out in no time.

Make garden chores easier with battery tools

Lithium batteries are more powerful than ever, and not only are they used in large garden tools like lawnmowers, but also in small hand tools. With a power upgrade from a manual tool, you can zip through all kinds of garden work that is otherwise tedious and slow. Battery-powered versions of hand-held tools are godsends for folks with arthritis or limited hand strength, and they can prevent injury during tasks that cause wear on your hands from gripping and repetitive motion.

Looking for a way to make your own garden tasks less work? Try these five helpful small battery-powered tools.

A note of caution when using battery-powered garden tools!

Always read the instructions and handle cutting tools carefully. A power tool doesn’t know the difference between your finger and a branch!

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Battery tools grass shear: Do fine detail work with the grass shear

Battery-powered hand-held trimmer

I use this hand-held trimmer for everything that needs a trim, but it is especially good for shearing plants with lots of little stems, like coreopsis (Coreopsis spp. and hybrids) or boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). This WORX® 20V Shrubber Trimmer is lightweight and maneuverable with one hand, yet it still has plenty of power to cut through stems up to ½ inch in diameter. Mine has two interchangeable blades: The grass shear works great to deadhead perennials, such as garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), above, or dianthus (Dianthus spp.and hybrids). I use it with an upward motion like haircutting clippers. The double-sided hedge shear allows me to cut both directions in a swift, fluid motion to carve a smooth, even shape, either flat or rounded, for an evergreen hedge or spirea (Spiraea spp. and hybrids).

What a hand-held trimmer is best for

  • Perennial cleanup
  • Deadheading
  • Pruning shrubs and hedges
  • Trimming grass
  • Shaping a topiary

More Tools We Recommend:
Stihl HSA 26 Garden Trimmer
Craftsman V20 Hand-Held Trimmer
Milwaukee M18 Fuel 8" Hedge Trimmer

battery tools bulb auger: This tool’s auxiliary handle can be positioned on the left or right side. It comes with its own auger with a snap pin to lock it in place.

Battery-powered bulb auger

If you plant a lot of spring-flowering bulbs, you know the value of a bulb auger operated by a cordless drill. You can carve out a planting hole in seconds, even in hard ground. I use mine more often for planting annuals and small perennials than for bulbs. Got a gallon-size shrub to plant? No problem — just auger several holes together. I like that the excavated soil is broken up by the auger, which makes refilling with soil around the bulb or transplant fast and easy.

Be careful when using a bulb auger with a cordless drill: Grip the tool firmly and brace the handle against your knee to prevent it from torquing your wrist if it hits a rock or hard patch of soil. Look for drill models with an auxiliary handle for better stability like this Craftsman® V20 Auger Drill.

What a battery-powered bulb auger is best for

  • Planting bulbs
  • Planting annuals and perennials
  • Breaking up potting mix in containers

More Tools We Recommend:
Power Planter 3x30" Bulb Auger (fits with any cordless drill)
SuperHandy Earth Auger

battery tools hand pruner: This tool comes with two batteries, a charger, eye protection and maintenance tools in a carrying case.

Battery-powered hand pruners

After pruning a large shrub or row of grapevines, your hands might be a bit sore. That’s when you’ll wish for battery-powered hand pruners. Just pull the trigger and the blades slice through branches up to 1¼ inches in diameter. It’s great for reaching into tight spots where you don’t have the space to open the handles of a manual pruners or the leverage to cut a large branch.

Though it takes a bit to get a feel for the timing of the trigger to the cutting action, once you develop a rhythm, you’ll be able to tackle a big job in no time. If you have hand-strength issues, this can be a game changer. We like the IMOUM LIVE Brushless Electric Pruning Shears model above.

What battery-powered hand pruners are best for

  • Repetitive pruning projects, such as a vineyard or rose garden
  • When branches are large in diameter and you need extra strength to cut

More Tools We Recommend:
DeWalt 20V Max Cordless Pruning Shears
Milwaukee Cordless Pruning Shears
WORX NITRO Pruning Shears

Battery tools chainsaw: A 4-inch blade is perfect for light pruning. The compact battery has a 25-minute run time.

Mini battery-powered chainsaw

It may look cute, but make no mistake: A mini chainsaw like the Stihl GTA 26 Mini Chainsaw model above will cut a 6-inch diameter branch or log with ease so you should handle it carefully. It is lighter and more manageable than a regular chainsaw. I like that it will fit into tight spaces between branches where it’s hard to even maneuver a hand saw. While you might be tempted to use one of these small chainsaws with one hand, always follow the instructions and place a free hand on the gripping surface above the trigger handle for extra control and to make sure it doesn’t kick back.

What mini chainsaw is best for

  • Sawing branches too thick to cut with pruners or loppers
  • Awkward spots where a large chainsaw won’t fit

More Tools We Recommend:
WORX 20V 5" Mini Chainsaw
NaTiddy 6" Cordless Chainsaw
Milwaukee 18V Cordless Pruning Saw
Wild Badger Power 40V 16" Cordless Chainsaw

Battery-powered garden tools WORX sprayer: If you have other WORX tools, the 20V batteries are interchangeable, so you can purchase the sprayer without the battery to save money.

Battery-powered lawn sprayer

Have you ever worn yourself out from manually pumping a sprayer to pressurize it? You’ll love a battery-powered version like the WORX® 2-Gal. Lawn Sprayer above. The sprayer is pressurized with the simple push of a button, and the compressor automatically kicks on when the pressure gets low so you always have a steady spray. No pumping necessary. A quality lithium battery sprayer is a good investment for multiple purposes — just be sure to clean the sprayer thoroughly between uses. Or keep a separate, labeled sprayer for herbicides so you don’t accidentally damage plants with any residues left in the tank.

What lawn sprayer is best for

Any spraying job:

  • Cleaners
  • Sanitizers
  • Antitranspirants
  • Water-based sealants
  • Pesticides for weeds, insects or fungal diseases

More Tools We Recommend:
Scott's 2-gal Battery Pump Sprayer
HIFAY 2L Rechargeable Sprayer
Haushof 5L Battery-powered Sprayer

Published: Feb. 16, 2024

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work in the garden. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.


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issue 175 january february 2024

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