(NBC) - Blowing in, just in time for Father's Day, are improved cordless yard tools.
Consumer Reports power tool tester Peter Sawchuk says they're a great gift because they're less messy than the ones powered by petroleum, and easier to operate than the electric versions. "For smaller applications, and the fact that you don't have a cord, the fact that you don't have gasoline to worry about, those are big pluses," he says.
The bigger bonus, though, is better batter technology. Especially the lithium-ion battery, which is gaining in popularity. "They tend to be lighter and more powerful and most of them recharge quickly," Sawchuk points out.
Recharging takes less than an hour, and some manufacturers offer batteries that are interchangeable, so after you've trimmed the hedges, you just take out the battery and pop it into the next tool.
You get about 20 minutes off a full charge, and there's always the option of having a second battery handy.