>> How to choose the best oil for your lawn mower

Friday, February 12, 2021
adding oil to lawnmower

How to choose the best oil for your lawn mower


Just as you should regularly change the oil in your car or truck or chainsaw, the same should be done for your lawnmower.

If you want to have the best looking lawns in the street, you'll need your lawn mower to have a sharp blade and to be filled with the best oil so that while you are pushing the damn thing, the engine operates well.

You could be tempted to think of your lawnmower as being 'just a lawnmower' so any kind of automotive car oil will do but that could mean the difference between extending the life of your lawn mower or causing it to clog and become inoperable. This is especially so if your mower doesn't get used very often. 

So if you want the 'good oil' on what to put in your grass cutter, read on.

What kind of oil do I need to use in my lawnmower?


The temperature of the climate in which you will operate the lawnmower will have an influence on your oil needs.

Lawnmower engine experts Briggs and Stratton advise that "Engines on most outdoor power equipment operate well with 5W30 Synthetic oil

For equipment operated in hot temperatures, Vanguard 15W50 Synthetic oil provides the best protection."

What that means for you as the oil user is that you need to check what range your engine will run on. The easiest way to do this is to check your engine's user manual for the manufacturer's recommendation. If you have lost the manual or never had one, then use a search engine to find a PDF of it. 

A general rule of thumb though is that engines on most outdoor power equipment operate well with 5W30 Synthetic oil.

Here's a handy guide produced by the engineers at Briggs and Stratton to help you decide:


Once you have found the right kind of oil, it's now time to consider what brand of oil you want to use. 

Cheap and cheerful or bespoke oil made for an exact kind of engine? 

We typically recommend you avoid the cheapest range of any tool or safety gear or oil and most certainly do the same with lawnmower oil - we suggest you used tried and trusted brands - because these oils have been road-tested in many machines being pushed many thousands of miles. 

If those brands didn't cut it, they wouldn't survive in the market. If you don't believe me, read this tale of how Slitz turned a quality beer into a joke and ran their brand into the ground.

One rule of thumb to bear in mind is that the older your engine is, it's more likely that it will suit the traditional SAE30 oil ranges.

Recommended oil: Briggs and Stratton Small Engine 30W

If you want tried, trusted and true, Briggs and Stratton oil is for you

There's a reason this is one of the world's best known brands. 

Quality.

best small engine oil

Briggs and Stratton is arguably the biggest named player in the lawnmower engine market (Husqvarna is probably second). Their engines are known for 'going and going' so much so that several other 'big name brands' simply use the Briggs and Stratton engine on their own branded push machines as a selling point.

So, the biggest name in lawnmower technology is sure to have a quality oil product for their machines and their version of 30W for small engines is most likely what your engine would benefit from.

We think this review from a genuine user on Amazon is just perfect:

"Bought a brand new lawnmower, and didn't want hubs to blow this one up too because he forgot to put oil in it."

Classic and it's always worth a reminder that if buying a new lawnmower, you need to add oil before you use it or you will destroy the engine.


Can I use synthetic oil in my lawnmower?


Yes, you can use synthetic oil in a lawnmower. Oils like Amsoil are designed for more modern engines.

Synthetic oil is a small engine lubricant full of chemical compounds that are artificially made using chemically modified petroleum components.

The benefit of using synthetic oil is they tend to offer better viscosity, wear and deposit control, and low-temperature fluidity.

This means that if you regularly use synthetic oil in your lawnmower (over the long term) then you greatly increase the chances of long service life and reduce the need to replace your lawnmower at year 6 instead of year 10 (excuse the hyperbole!).

So the regular use of synthetic oils in your engine reduces the chances of it failing and thus in the process, extends its service life.

The only real downside to using this kind of oil is that it is usually priced significantly higher than standard oils.

Check out this example from Pennzoil for example, their 530-30 Full Synthetic can price over 50 bucks!

Using Toro Synthetic oil with a lawnmower


Designed to work across a range of extreme conditions, Toro synthetic oil will handle the heat and the cold to help you get your lawns cut.

It will work especially well with new model mowers that are designed to work with this type of oil.

toro synthetic small engine oil

Toro is a massive brand worldwide, in addition, to push lawn mowers they produce golf cars, ride on mowers, spray equipment, diggers, bunk rakes, and top dressers.

So they know engines and they know oil so you can be sure the oil is engineered and tested to meet the needs of their machines.

This means due to its quality, Toro oil will do most lawn mowers a favor in terms of performance. It certainly meets the performance requirements of brands such as Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Honda, Tecumseh, and Craftsman!

How often should I replace my lawnmower oil?


Many car owners change their car's oil once a year as part of an annual tune-up up. It lengthens the life of the engine as its parts are protected from wear.

For smaller engines, the comparison is the same - many lawn mowers will change their oil once a year in the spring when the grass starts to grow long and the mower is used more regularly. 

This is tied into the use of the mower - your mower can have varying needs depending on use hours. A lawn that's mown for half an hour once a month, may only need a change once a year but a weekly mower of a larger lawn may require two changes. 

A ride on mower is probably more likely to benefit from a change at 100 hours of run time and annually. 

If you feel your engine isn't performing well, a change may help. As we always recommend, your user instruction manual should be able to give you advice - and it will be good advice too because the dudes and dudettes who made the engine have tested it to the ground in the lab so they will know how their machine works under so many conditions. 

How to remove old oil from a lawnmower


When it comes to changing lawn mower oil, there are certainly a few tips and tricks that you can do to make sure you have an oil splash free transfer.

So now you've understood the reasons why you need to regularly change your engine's oil, the next question might be how!

Items you may need to change the oil:
  • A pan or contain to catch the old oil 
  • some old rags or cloths 
  • A wrench with appropriate socket size for the oil drain nu 
  • Engine oil that suits your needs 
  • Funnel 
  • Siphon or oil kit system if you are going to siphon rather than drain

Location of the oil change



The first thing to do is consider the location where you will drain the oil already inside the mower.

Naturally, you'll want to avoid doing this operation on your grass lawn or near your garden in case of spillage.

To that end, concrete surface such as a driveway is ideal. You'll, of course, want to lay down newspaper or cardboard to catch any oil drops that may collect to avoid staining the concrete.

Warm the engine before you drain the oil


It is best to have turned the lawnmower's engine over for a few minutes before you drain the oil. This is because particles that have collected will be floating around in the old oil.

Take care that when draining the oil that the engine parts are not too hot - you may need to use gloves if you have run the engine for a while. It's also now time to disconnect the spark plug to prevent any accidental ignition of the engine.

There are two ways to remove the oil:

1. Using the oil drain
2. Using a siphon pump

Locate the oil drain plug on the underside of the push mower


Clean the general area with an old cloth to prevent any external debris from falling into the crankcase when you open the drain plug.

Tilt the mower deck and then position some newspaper and an oil pan or jug beneath the mower.

Then take a socket wrench to run the plug counterclockwise. This allows the oil to drain into your collection device. Once the oil has fully drained, secure the drain plug by twisting clockwise and tightening gently with the wrench.

If your mower has an oil filter, it's the opportune time to replace it as well.


Removing the engine oil with a siphon kit


If your preference is to siphon via the oil entry point rather than drain, a siphon kit might be just the ticket.

Once you have your siphon at the ready, place one end of its tube into the oil fill hole and make sure it has reached the bottom of the reservoir. The other end of the tubing needs to be placed into a container that will not knock over during the process.

Engage your siphon and do your best to empty as much of the used oil as you can.

Tilting the engine on its side slightly can help pool the last of the oil and the tube can be manipulated into a position to collect the last of the oil.

These kits can also be used to transfer fuel from your car or fuel container directly into the lawn mower's fuel pump. A handy way to make an efficient transfer!

Once you have completed the siphoning, you are ready to add some new oil. And what could you use?


So you've got your oil, it's now time to add it to the engine.

How to add oil to your lawnmower

This is the easy part of lawn mower maintenance! 

  1. Open the oil dipstick and remove it and check that you do actually need oil! 
  2. If the reservoir is empty, add the manufacturer's recommended amount. 
  3. You can pour the oil directly from the container or use a plastic funnel (or one you have fashioned from some scrap paper). If you make a mess, wipe the oil up with an old rag or paper towel.
  4. Screw the dipstick back in place and run the engine for 30 seconds so the oil can get around the engine's internal parts. 
  5. Unscrew the dipstick again so you can check the level - hopefully, the oil is bang on the 'full' line. If you have underfilled, top-up. If you have grossly overfilled you may wish to remove some oil. 

Nice work, you've replaced your engine oil. 

How much oil should I add to the lawn mower?

Lawn mowers come in varying sizes but generally speaking, you can break them down into two sizes, walk-behind mowers or ride on.

  • For walk-behind mowers, the oil capacity is about 15oz or 18oz.
  • Riding mowers tend to have an oil capacity of around 48oz or 64 oz.

As we need to keep stating, the exact amount for your engine will be found in the user manual and if you don't have it do hand, google it - they often can be found in a PDF format at the manufacturer's website.

What happens if I add too much oil?


Too much oil in the sump can be too much for the engine to handle. It might start to burn white or gray smoke. If you see this happening, it's time to change the oil. Drain it and then add the correct amount.

Too much oil can also prevent the engine from starting properly and there is nothing more frustrating on a Sunday afternoon if you can start your mower, especially if you are the cause!

An excess of oil can also potentially mean that it gets aerated and thus its performance declines.

You can check if you have too much oil but using the dipstick. If the oil is over the full line, you'll need to remove some oil.

How to dispose of lawnmower oil environmentally


If you have collected the used push lawn mower oil, please do not dump it down the drain or garbage bin. For the sake of the environment, there are plenty of places that will take your old oil.

Many services centers, dealerships, and gas stations will do this. Some mechanics do so as well for the 'locals'.

It's good to be green.


Is lawnmower oil the same as car / auto oil?


You might be eyeing up that bottle of Castrol car oil you have in your shed with an eye to adding it to your push lawn mower as it could save you a trip to the hardware store.

So can you use motor oil?

Technically speaking, yes. Four stroke small engines can use car oil. However, motor oil is generally designed for the hot and heavy conditions of a car that will be driven for long periods. 

A smaller engine will benefit from oil that is designed for it - this is why most brands and manufacturers recommend oils like Toro or Briggs and Stratton's version of SAE 30W.

If you have a two stroke engine (say a Honda), then you must absolutely only add two stroke oil to the fuel.  Two-cycle motors simply cannot use motor oil.

You'll also be wise to not use oil designed for big engine / heavy duty machines for small engines - you probably do not may have a viscosity that could actually cause a clog or even disable your unit.

Can I use 10w40 oil in my lawn mower engine?


10w40 can be used in a small engine and most users do not report an increase in consumption. It's related to the viscosity of the oil and manner it will operate in cold or hot temperatures. 

How to change a lawn mower oil filter?

change oil filter for a lawn mower

If your lawnmower has an oil filter, you will need to change this once in a while so that it can continue to do its job of helping to keep your engine oil clean and free of gunk.

Once you have selected the correct filter for your engine (OEM or branded) follow these steps.

Locate the oil filter and twist it counterclockwise until the oil filter can be removed. 

If you cannot free it with your hands, you can use a pipe wrench or filter wrench.

Observe if there is dirt or other debris on the seal and clean it off with a rag (we love old towels for this).

Take your fresh engine oil, rub the clean sealing gasket with oil so that it appears clean and well-lubricated.

Take your new filter, remove it from the packaging and place it into the filter adapter and gently screw it in by hand. When you feel it's snugly in, tighten firmly with a wrench but do not over tighten it as you could cause some damage. 

Here's a handy video tutorial on how to change the filter on a riding mower - the principle is the same for the push mower:


Two stroke oil engines - add oil to the gas directly


If you have a two stroke lawn mower then you are going to do things a lot differently than as described. You will need to add the oil directly to the gas, just the same as you would a petrol chainsaw.

When fueling your lawnmower, you'll need to add the correct two stroke oil in the correct ratio to the fuel, before you add the mixture to the engine. How much to oil add to the petrol? As always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

I've got a brand new lawn mower, what do I do with the oil?


If you have brought a new lawnmower (even a battery powered one), it will not have oil in it, and if you run it without, you will break your engines internal working parts in pretty good time! So, get some oil and get it in. Run the engine, check the level is filled properly, and go cut some grass!

Using glyphosate weed killer safely around the home & garden

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
best weed killer glyphosate


Using glyphosate to kill weeds effectively and safely in your garden


Glyphosate (Glyphosphate) is a herbicide that when applied leaves of plants it will kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. 

It is one of the most effective weed killers on the market and is perfect for use around the family home and garden.

Perhaps the most famous branded version of glyphosate is Roundup which was made popular by Monsanto.

It's considered a nonselective weed killer so it isn't picky about what plants it will work on so if you accidentally spray it on your lawn like I did last summer (I swear I picked up the prickle poison!) then it will kill your entire lawn. Thus when using glyphosate, you need to be careful about spray drift onto flowers or bushes.

It is arguably the most commonly used herbicide in the world:

Why is glyphosate so effective as a weed killer?


Glyphosate (or glyphosphate) is a clever little chemical when it comes to killing plants. It works by preventing the plant from making certain proteins that are required for growth by cutting off its food supply. 

When the plant cannot function as it normally would, it slowly begins to die. 

The roots also die, meaning there is little chance of the plant regenerating.

How to safely use glyphosate


At small quantities, glyphosate is very safe for use around the home but commonsense rules about safe application practices should of course apply. There's no point unfairly exposing yourself to chemicals is there? 

So when using weedkillers like glyphosate you should follow these safety practices:

  • Work in good weather only - a wind free day is best, because spray drift will possibly kill plants you may not intend to die!
  • Wear clothing that covers the whole length of your arms and legs.
  • Use goggles, gloves, and a face mask to limit exposure, especially if you are spraying about shoulder height
  • When mixing the herbicide, you really should use some plastic gloves to protect against spillage.
  • Do not touch plants that have been sprayed with the herbicide
  • After application, safely dispose of your plastic gloves and then wash your hands and face with hot water. Have a hot shower if you can. 

How long does it take for glyphosate to work on plants?


It takes around two weeks to really start to show that it's working but starts working on killing the weed as soon as it enters the plant's system.

You will notice that the plants you have placed it on are slowly starting to go yellow as they die.

The herbicide works best when the air temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and finally, there should be no rainfall for at least two days after application.

If you are watering flowers or the vegetable garden, be mindful of getting water where you may have sprayed.

how long does glyphosate take to kill weeds
Dying lawn grass

How do I apply weed killer like glyphosate?


If you have a large volume of weeds to cull, it's best to use a pump sprayer that has a wand attachment to help you target where you spray and to assist with wide coverage. 

In our personal experience, a sprayer with a shoulder attachment is a really good option because a gallon of mixed concentrate can suddenly start to feel really heavy on the shoulder blade!

If you are doing some spot work, then a hand held spray bottle will help with the surgical placement of the weed killer. 

You can also use sprayers that connect to your garden hose which means you do not have to mix up the chemicals. You just connect your hose, spray and then walk away!

When is the best time to use glyphosate?


It works best when the temperature is warm and there is no rain likely. If it rains shortly after spraying, it may not adhere to the plant and be washed off and you'll need to reapply it to the target area.

Who discovered glyphosate?


Glyphosate was first synthesized in 1950 by Swiss chemist Henry Martin but his work was never formally published. It wasn't until the 1960s when it was patented for use as a chemical chelator.

Its use as an effective herbicide was discovered popularized by Monsanto in the 1970s, leading to its popular use around the world for helping with cropping and home maintenance under the Round Up brand.

best weed killer spray

How safe is it to use glyphosate?


This product has been approved for use in many countries around the world under approval from responsible regulatory regimes that have recognized the benefits of its use when considered against potential hazards. 

Though there has been a lot of debate, the general scientific consensus is that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans or genotoxic which means damaging to genetic material or DNA.

In short, it's largely safe unless you are exposed to large quantities for a lengthy period. 

This chemical does, however, kill bees so for any amateur bee keepers out there, we'd recommend you do not use this product near your hives.

And as for most chemicals, do not add this product to waterways such as home fish ponds as it will kill your fish. 

How long does glyphosate last on the ground?


While it may be detected on the ground, glyphosphate is not active for a long period. It degrades relatively quickly by the soil's microorganisms. Because of this, it's unlikely there will be enough glyphosate in the soil to cause plants to die.

So yes, glyphosate can be detected in the soil for quite some time after application, however, it has no practical effect as a herbicide. This means when it is used between cropping seasons, it won't have an effect on the new plantings.

Many tests have been completed which demonstrate that glyphosphate does not transfer to crops that are subsequently planted after its use.

How to sharpen a lawn mower blade safely

Monday, December 28, 2020
sharpened lawn mower blade

Guide on how to safely sharpen your lawn mower blade

If you are like me, you like to use your lawn mower as a bit of a mulcher machine.

For though twigs and shit. 

You got chop 'em up right?

Maybe you like to monster some stray branches or other plant material such as flax (which can go all stringy and cut stuck around the blade) and you simply run over them with the mower to get rid of the waste.

If you do this enough times coupled with hitting the odd stone or when you accidentally manoeuvre the blade onto concrete or brick you've got a blunt blade which makes doing the lawns even harder.

And if you're blade is blunt, the grass isn't being cut as well as it should - meaning more work for you, especially if the grass is wet.



How to sharpen a lawn mower blade by hand with a file


  • Mark which is the downward facing side of the blade with a Sharpie marker or similar. This is so you do not accidentally re-attach it upside down.
  • Remove your blade from the mower and clamp the blade in a vice.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear, especially safety eyewear.
  • Sharpen the blade with a file. Your strokes should go from the inside edge to the out. 
  • You should aim to sharpen at a 45 degree angle. 
  • Your mower blade is sharp enough when it feels like a butter knife - that's suitable enough to cut with, given the force that occurs when it rotates under engine speed. 
  • Reinstall the blade the correct way up. If we have to say, we have to say it!
A standard file is all you need. 

How to sharpen a lawn mower blade with a drill 


You can use your home handyman drill to sharpen your blade, with the right sharpening attachment.

Usually made of the abrasive corundum (a crystalline form of aluminum oxide), these sharpening aids can be found fairly cheaply on Amazon.

sharpen lawnmower blade with a drill

  • Note which is the downward facing side of the blade with a marker. This is so you do not accidentally re-attach it upside down.
  • Remove your blade from the mower and clamp the blade in a vice with the cutting part of the blade face up. 
  • Add the attachment into the drill. 
  • Put your safety glasses on
  • Line the bevel of the drill up to the blade. This will guide you as you use the drill. 
  • Use a light degree of pressure. 
  • Flip the blade over in the clamp and repeat.
  • Balance your blade

This video tutorial shows an excellent method on how to sharpen the blade safely:



You can also use a rotary tool such as a Dremel, angle grinder or a belt sander to sharpen the blade in the same fashion. Just use the tools in a safety conscious fashion and you'll be fine. 

How sharp should mower blades be?


Blades should be sharpened so they are like a pair of scissors or butter knife, and not like a boning knife. A knife-edge blade will get dull much faster than a correctly sharpened lawn mower blade.

What angle should mower blades be sharpened?


Most blades leave the factory with the blade sharpened at a 45-degree angle.

You should aim for the same.

If you are ever in a lawnmower store, have a feel of the blade - you'll note it is not honed down razor-sharp like say a shaving knife!

Can I sharpen a lawnmower without removing the blade?


No matter how you choose to sharpen your blade, the first thing to do is to disconnect the spark plug by removing the spark plug wire.

This is to prevent the engine from accidentally starting if the blades generate enough pressure to turn the engine - either when removing it or sharpening. 

Yes, you can. It's a little tricky but can be managed. 

As usual, disconnect the spark plug first. 

Turn the mower on it the side so that the air filter and carburettor are facing up (to avoid oil spillage), grab your file and file the blade at 45 degrees. Make sure you do even strokes on either side.

This is a quick and dirty way to sharpen the blade. You do run the risk of sharpening unevenly and make the blade unbalance. 

We recommend you take the blade off, your call though, like most of us, you don't have all day to get the lawns done.

How to balance your blade properly (as all things should be)


After you have sharpened the blade, you can test its balance with a blade-balancing tool. If you don't have such a tool you can try the classic trick of hammering a nail partway into a wall and hang the blade from it (using the centre hole). If the blade hangs horizontally, it is perfectly balanced. 

If one side lowers, you can lighten that side with your file or grinder. It's usually recommended that Material should only be removed from the end of the blade, in the sail area.

How often should I sharpen the mower blade?


Many users sharpen the blades at the beginning of every grass growing season. 

It never hurts to check and give it a tune-up if you frequently use the mower, especially if you've caught a few rocks or mulched some wood with it.

My blade is pretty damaged, what can I do?

damaged lawn mower blade

If your blade has done a diligent service but it's full of cuts and nicks it's probably time to replace it.

You can find plenty of replacements on Amazon. They are usually measured in inches, so make sure the size your order matches that of your machine!

If you are resolute about the blade, you can give it a sharpen but you'll need to accept the blade simply will not cut as efficiently as a well maintained one.

Can I put a mulching blade on my mower?


If you want your lawn mower to do some heavy action mulching - you might want to consider attaching a blade designed to mulch grass (rather than simply cutting the grass).  When using such a blade, it is usually recommended that you leave the grass to be a little bit longer than you would an ordinary blade. 

You will probably also find you need to sharpen a mulching blader more regularly than a regular blade as they come into contact with the grass more.

Thinking of checking out a cordless electric mower? We've got you covered.

Promise us though that you will never sharpen a blade like this guy pictured below. Sure, he has ear cover and his eyes protected but one false move and he's cut himself so bad, he won't be pushing a lawnmower for a while:

unsafe way to sharpen a lawnmower blade

Best safety glasses for working around the home

Sunday, December 27, 2020
eye safety glasses review

How the best safety glasses will save your eyes


I saw this picture of these safety glasses on Reddit and I was like, YES, this is why one should wear a good pair of eyewear when doing home repairs and maintenance.

When using electric tools, anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and hot metal parts spinning around at 1000s of RPM can fly directly into your face.

Much like a chainsaw that kicks back, these projectiles can rip apart your face in seconds.

Have you ever had a drill bit snap off a tool and fly off? I have but thankfully not at my head.

So we can imagine that dude that had his eyesight saved by wearing his protective eyewear, there's many a happy craftsman who still has his eyes because he was smart and put on his goggles.

If you want to keep your eyes safe in your head, then we suggest you have a think about buying some protective eyeglasses.

These are actually some of the cheapest safety equipment you can buy, so why take a risk and not use them?

Early bird recommendation: the NoCry glasses with Clear Anti Fog Scratch Resistant Wrap-Around Lenses

What to look for in a pair of safety glasses?

There are several things to think about when buying safety glasses in terms of how you will use them:

  • Only ever wear 'personal protective equipment' glasses that have been manufactured to a recognized safety standard. If you buy cheap and nasty, you run the risk that they will not reduce the chance of harm occurring. 
  • This means you want to look out for glasses that are advertised as having "impact-resistant lenses" as they may not be suitable for your DIY purposes. 
  • Filter out UV light radiation - really handy attribute if you are working outside. 
  • Are easily washed in warm water and can be dried with a soft cloth
  • Polycarbonate construction suggests the unit will be sturdy
  • Fog resistant by way of a double coated lens
  • non slip nose pads are useful

NoCry Safety Glasses 

These babies are some of Amazon's most popular sellers - likely because they are cheap, are made to safety standards and they look pretty good when worn.

The NoCry Safety Glasses are manufactured with strong and durable polycarbonate wraparound construction. designed with one thing in mind, to keep your eyeballs safe from direct and peripheral threat so serve as a great example of personal protective equipment in action.

The lenses are double coated and untinted which hopefully means little to no fogging up or optical distortion which is great for when doing hard physical labor.

These glasses protect your eyes from 90-100% of harmful UV radiation due to the 380nm UV protection lens coating - which is the highest industry standard for all UV protection in clear PPE eyewear lenses.

The side and nose pieces may be adjusted to give you a perfect fit without the slipping - no matter the face type or head size. You'll be able to wear them all day as their contoured design shape will hugs your cheekbone area, reducing pressure on your face. they are also very light and the soft rubber nose piece will let them sit lightly on your face.

They won't feel bulky or awkward even after hours and hours at the workshop turning a nice piece of wood.

Check out the price on Amazon.

If there is one slight drawback it's that this unit will not fit over your spectacles/glasses - not to worry though as NoCry have developed a pair that just that:

best protective eyewear for glasses

Many big name brands have got into the PPE safety glasses gig because why not, there's money to be made in having your customers be safe - after all customers who use tools need to buy new tools and replacement parts and they won't be doing that if they find themselves with a drill bit in their eye.

And it turns out, Dewalt make a pretty handy pair of personal protective eyewear:
Dewalt's glasses feature :
  • Rubber tipped temples to deliver a secure and comfortable fit
  • Tough, polycarbonate lenses which provide impact resistance
  • Telescoping temples can adjust for a comfortable fit
  • Cushioned brow protection for extra coverage protection
  • Ratcheting temples that adjust for a proper fit

Here is a glowing review from a user of these glasses who bought them on Amazon:

"Awesome pair of protective goggles. I fog up glasses all the time and never believed in "anti" fog lenses. I have yet to experience normal, everyday "excessive" workday fogging. 

Unless I'm sweating and not cleaning my lenses or I work in a cold place and move to a warm place, these glasses don't fog up. I worked in the coal industry operating a roof bolter which is a very hot job that requires safety glasses all day and these are THE BEST I've ever had. "

With a review like that, how can you go wrong? Check out the nice price on Amazon.

Can I get prescription safety glasses?


For those that need to wear ordinary glasses when working with tools and machinery, then prescription safety glasses can be a solution.

Many glasses are easily covered by eyewear, however, if you need to wear protective gear for a long time, the two units on the head can become bothersome so prescriptive safety glasses come into play.

Can I use safety glasses for sport?


While these kinds of glasses are generally designed to prevent injury from flying debris, you can use them for sporting pursuits to protect against flying balls - many racketball and squash players will use them just fine. 

However, if playing more of a contact sport, you'll need specs that won't come off. 

Replacement Fireplace Blower Fans for Heat N Glo: Review

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Best Fireplace Blower Replacement Kits

Best Fireplace Blower Replacement Kits 


Winter can be cold cold cold and if your Heat N Glo needs a replacement fan, you'd be best placed to get the best kind of replacement fan that you can. 

The good news, with some quick skills the installation of the fan, can be a rather pain free process. ensuring you can warm your family home again.

The GFK-160 fireplace blower fan kit includes dual blower unit and 3-prong power cord.

The GFK160 blower fan is a dual blower kit designed to fit a number of fireplaces.

This replacement part is also suitable for the following heating units:

  • Heat N Glo
  • Hearth and Home
  • Quadra Fire
  • Hearth and Home
  • Majestic

The replacement blower kit includes all of the components you'll need to successfully install a blower into your fireplace for the first time.

The GFK-160 kit is designed using a thermostatic on/off switch, which will automatically turn the blower on and off at set temperatures. Because of this feature, the GFK-160 kit can be used with or without a designated blower wall switch. 

This blower follows Tim 'The Toolman' Taylor's heart as it features 160+ CFM of airflow, so will you'll feel the difference in heat output!

A fireplace blower kit is an efficient and affordable way for you to finally take advantage of your fireplace's wasted heat energy. 

A properly installed blower kit will last for years and provide your home with energy-saving heat.

This blower kit takes cooler air from the room and makes sure it gets warmed up nice and toasty. 

blower kit -cold to hot air

The kit is pre-wired for easy installation but always consult with a professional if you experience problems during the installation.

A review from Amazon shows a happy buyer "Very happy with the price and the function of this blower."
Here's a handy video which will show how to easily install your replacement fan:

Review: Dewalt DCE511B Jobsite Fan for 2021

best work fan for job site - dewalt

The Dewalt job site cordless fan is one of the most popular fans on the market


A hard-working unit, this fan will run off the Dewalt battery system for hours, almost effortlessly - meaning it is a nice and quiet unit. 

Obviously, its rugged design means it works just as well outdoors and indoors and it can take the bolts and jolts that are the usual hazard on work sites

It's not so big that it can't be easily stored away when not in use and it on the pack of your ute or pick up with no worries. 

You can plug in the standard 120-volt cord or connect a Dewalt battery (20-volt maximum)  to it. As the reviews below show, you will get plenty of 'air time' with this Dewalt fan

Here's the specifications from Dewalt:
  • Corded or cordless use (the extension cord will need to be bought separately) 
  • Multiple hanging arrangement options - freestanding, hang hooks, and standard wall mount 
  • Variable speed control - wide-range so you control the speed you want; Airflow - 500 
  • Testing to IP54 standards - meaning it has 'ingress protection' from dust, dirt, splashes of water etc.
The unit has three blades which are 7 inches long and they will turn and turn all day to keep the air moving to keep you cool and to also help expunge unwanted smells such as smoke from soldering or other discharges. 

You can even use it to help dry painted walls, drywall (plasterboard), and plaster mud.

worksite fan battery powered dewalt

But if you want to know if the Dewalt fan truly is worth your time and money, check out these reviews from actual users who have ponied up their cash on Amazon:

"Love this fan so far. The fan pivots back more than 90° as you may see from my picture. I was concerned the bigger flexvolt battery wouldn’t fit in it but it does with ease. I’m currently conducting a run till dead test to see how long it will run at high-speed with Dewalt’s strongest battery the flex volt 9.0 AH battery. Seems pretty well-made, however, I’m going to hang on to the box to carry it in just to protect it.

I hope the DeWALT comes out with a carrying case for this. The hooks pull out from the base allowing you to hang the fan on the job site, which is a nice touch. As many have already posted you can plug it in but not while you have a battery in the battery socket. To use AC will need an extension cord with a female plug on one end just as the DeWALT power pack inverter uses."

"I am very Happy with this unit after day one. I placed a DCB203 20V Max 2.0AH Compact XR Li-Ion Battery Pack (Smallest they make) into the Fan, turned it on low at 10:45am. At 10:28 PM then unit is still running. On Low speed, you can not even hear the unit running. Will be running the unit on Medium speed this weekend, same battery."

So it will run all day. 

"This thing is made STRONG. This last week at the market I was pulling it down and it slipped. It fell from about 6ft and hit concrete. Didn't even scratch it. I'm not saying drop it on purpose but I thought for sure it would have been damaged if work at all. And it turned in and worked perfect! I love this fan!

It's tough and durable. 

This is the 2nd fan I've bought. I love it! I use it for a weekly Farmers market tent. I hang it from the frame and it keep my customers cool while they shop. My original purchase was for the fan, battery set and charger. A full charge battery will run this fan on high from 8:30am-2:00pm and still have over half charge. It creates a nice breeze. Made 100* market days much more bearable. Highly recommend this little workhorse."

It does the business required. 

"I purchased this fan for the specific purpose of having some kind of cooling device available during a power outage. As such, I wanted to know exactly how much cooling time I would get from one battery. I'm using a 60-volt, 6.0 Ah "flex-volt" battery; however, my 20 volt, 4.0 Ah battery also (obviously) works.

I turned on the variable speed fan to half speed; it's VERY quiet. The design of these batteries is such that they don't slowly wear down--instead, they just quit when the voltage drops too much--so, I suppose it could quit at any moment. But, after twelve hours, the fan is still going strong, and the battery still has 2 of its 3 charge level lights on (3 lights would be a full charge). I have to tell you, I am damned impressed! Well done, Dewalt!"

If that doesn't convince you, check out the unit on Amazon.

Dewalt not only make fans, drills and other tools - they make quality safety glasses!

Best battery powered lawn mower for yard work in 2021

Sunday, December 13, 2020
best cordless gas free lawn mower


Choosing a battery powered push lawn mower for home use in 2021


Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways to cut grass.

  • You've got your standard push mower that runs on gas
  • You've got manual mowers where you gotta push them along
  • You've got electric mowers that plug into the mains
  • Using a pair of scissors if you have a lot of time...

And in this modern world, you've got battery powered lawnmowers.

A battery-powered lawn mower? Really?

Yep, today's technologies mean there are batteries powerful enough to turn the blades to cut grass. If cars can drive around town all day on battery power, lawn mowers can cut grass!

Here's our top three picks which are Amazon best sellers:


While petrolheads and Obi-Wan might love maintaining their engines by adding oil and replacing spark plugs, there's many a person out there who simply wants to mow the lawns as quickly and without any stress or maintenance fuss.

An electric mower is ideal for those who are slowing down in life and don't want to have to pull start a mower 15 times before it kicks into life or run over the cable and cutting it!

With an electric lawn mower, you charge the battery, turn the mower on, and you are cutting your grass in no time.

A cordless electric mower is ideal for mowing small and medium-sized yards and lawns. With no petrol or cords to worry about, they are very portable due to their lightness. A self-propelled mower also makes this chore even easier.

How long does cordless lawn mower battery last?


While you might be able to mow your lawns in 30 minutes, a quality battery should last up to at least an hour, ideally 90 minutes.

Such a range should give you enough time to do the front and back and maybe your neighbor's lawns and the curbside berm too!!

What is the best battery powered lawn mower in 2019?


As you might have suspected, the major brands such as Dewalt, Black and Dekker, Ego and Ryobi have done their best to capitalize on the battery innovation market and so there is a fairly broad range of products to choose from.

You can cast your purchase decision into price and performance meaning you'll be able to find a mower to suit your budget.

That said, battery performance is the key measure on which you should make your purchase decision. At a bare minimum, you will want to consider a battery that when fully charged will last at least an hour. If you have a larger lawn, you'll probably want 90 minutes (usually a 7.5 Ah battery will reach perform at this level).

You'll also want to consider the kind of battery and to cut to the chase, you'll want to make sure your mower features a lithium-ion battery. They are lighter than traditional lead-based batteries meaning they are easier to push about. They also charge quickly and efficiently and will also have a longer life span. 

While batteries that are quick to charge are ideal, I reason that if you mow your lawn and then charge the battery, you'll be ready to cut next time you need to - and if that's the case, it doesn't matter how long it takes to charge the battery. Unless of course, you forget to charge it... but wait, most mowers will come with two batteries...

So with that in mind, here are some options that you may wish to consider:

greenworks cordless lawnmower best

Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower featuring a 4.0 AH battery 

A stylish looking mower, this sharp cutter from Greenworks has the following specifications:

  • Up to 60 minutes of run time with a fully charged 4.0AH Battery
  • 4.0AH battery and charger included. 
  • Has a maximum cutting height 1-3/8 inches and a minimum cutting height of 3-1/4 inches
  • Greenworks brushless motor provides your tool with longer run-time, more torque and more power. This has the benefit of less wear and tear, extending the life-time of the mower.
  • Smart Cut Load sensing technology. Versatile 3-in-1 discharge capabilities allow for rear discharge, mulching and side discharge


Greenworks boast that this 21-inch cordless lawn mower features a durable steel deck, large 10-inch rear wheels, and Smart Cut(TM) load sensing technology. Load sensing tech means the lawn mower can tell when it's got to do some hard work (longer grass) and will amp up the power from the battery to the engine. Even though it's a handy feature, all practiced lawn mowers know you just need to simply slow down your pushing rate when tasked with tall or thick overgrown grass to minimize the chance of an engine cut out. 

Lightweight and easy to use (heck, it's a lawn mower), it has a single lever height adjustment and 3-in-1 operation for mulching, bagging, and discharging. It's so light, you can easily store this vertically, meaning more floor space in your shed!

Designed for durability and heavy-duty jobs, it features a brushless motor that delivers the power and performance of a 160cc gas engine. 

A real con perhaps is that this machine is not self-propelled. 

Don't take the manufacturer's word on all this guff, however.

Here are some genuine reviews from buyers on Amazon who have bought and used this mower. This is the real test of judgment, people with skin in the game:

'Mower was light enough to lug it down alone to the basement for Winter and back up for Spring. Absolutely no preparation needed (no gas burn off, stabilizer, spark plugs, filters, etc.), aside from blowing off old grass clippings and covering for dust (cover interchanged with snow blower).'

'No messy, smelly gas or oil needed. No nauseating exhaust! The electric motor is far quieter than a gas engine; my toddlers fell asleep fine during my mowing. There are none of the headaches of maintaining a gasoline engine: buy/store/pour jugs of gasoline, buy and keep engine oil topped off, buy fuel stabilizers, deal with spills, clean/replace spark plugs, burn off excess gasoline for off-season storage, etc.'

'The mower is very easy to push (note it’s not self-powered), so I speed-walked most of the time. It’s easy to turn 180-degrees for parallel mowing. The blades cut very near to the outer edge of the wheels (see attached picture), so there’s minimal need for overlap. There’s a rubber rear skirt to protect you from any rock or debris projectiles, which is a godsend for my large yard, full of landscape stones and sweet gum tree spike-balls.'

'The GreenWorks is superior quality in every respect, I don't even know where to begin. The single lever height adjustment is something I didn't consider that important when comparing alternatives, but something you really appreciate once you have it. The variable speed on the mower is really an awesome feature. When going through light grass you save energy, and when going through heavy grass it makes the mower not stall. The gasoline-powered mower would stall almost every lap on the lower part of our property, where the grass seems to grow thicker. The electric mower has not stalled even once, ever. By the same token, starting the mower with a button instead of pulling the cord is a dream too.'

'My experience with the mower and the blower which I purchased together has been just great. They mow and blow just like my old gas powered tools. I'm never going back to gas!!'

'Cuts grass as tall as the motor housing. Be prepared to go slow though. When I did manage to kill it in thick grass nearly as tall as the motor (well above the front wheels), it likes to wait a few seconds before starting again. Starts right up (until the battery is out of juice).'

'To turn on, you push and hold the green button on the upper-right of the handle, then grasp the green lever arm together with the handle bar, then let go of the button. When you release lever, the mower turns off completely; there is no idle. To restart, you’ll need to repeat the hold-button and grasp-lever routine. There is no cord-yanking involved.'

'I purchased the mower with the 4ah 80v battery. This is the best lawn mower I have had. We live in Costa Rica and mow the lawn year round, our property is about 1/4 acre and has a steep hill. The battery lasts as long or as longer as a tank of gas on the mower it replaces, that was a Poulan Pro 6.25 hp with California compliant emissions.'

If those reviews, float your boat, check out the price on Amazon.

snapper briggs stratton lawn mower cordless


Snapper Electric Cordless 19-Inch Lawnmower Kit with two batteries & a rapid Charger

A popular seller on Amazon, the beauty of this mower is it features a Briggs and Stratton lithium ion battery!

The Snapper XD 82V Max* 19” Cordless walk mower is built for durability and ease of use. The 19” and 21” walk models feature a steel 3-in-1 mowing deck, providing mulch, side discharge or bagging options.

You can get the job done efficiently by being able to mow up to 45-minutes** off a single charge of a 2 Ah battery. If you desire long run times, you'll need to swap out with a with separate 4Ah or 5Ah battery).

The Snapper is a very quiet, efficiently operating machine making it a good choice for anyone that just wants to get the lawns done with little fuss. 








  • Powered by a Briggs & Stratton 82V Max Lithium-Ion 2Ah, 4Ah, or 5Ah battery.
  • 3-in-1 steel mowing deck is ready to mulch, bag or side discharge. The included large grass bagger fits about 2.1 cubic feet of grass clippings.
  • Compact vertical storage capability allows you to store your mower out of the way.
  • Features easy push button starting mode and a brush less motor meaning less maintenance for you.
  • Single lever height-of-cut adjustment allowing you to choose from 7 different cutting heights.
  • Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 82-volts. Nominal voltage is 72.


  • snapper cordless lawnmower

    Again, those specs look solid enough and merit consideration for purchase, but what about the road testers, the weekend warriors who have walked many miles behind the Snapper?


    'First off, everything about this mower SCREAMS quality and durability. Batteries??? OMG. I am wondering if they're not actually ZPMs from Stargate Atlantis!

    For those of you who cannot appreciate the reference, suffice to say, they are a very good size, and have a real good quality heft to them- along with a little button to show you how much power is left. There are two of them, and they charge in less than 30 mins.

    Use one up, charge it while you use the other, or weed whack, or take a break. The choice is yours. And btw, the battery does not slowly lose power and then slowly taper off to a barely spinning blade: It goes full strength until it's depleted. I really like that.'

    'This mower cut like a champ. One pass was enough. there was NOTHING left standing. Not a blade of grass, not a weed.'

    'I was using the rear bagger, which functioned superbly. Why the bagger? Because I was certain the mulching mode would be a joke. I mean, an electric mower that mulches? Sure. When pigs fly.
    Well, the pigs have flown the coop. This thing also mulches very well.'

    'Did the whole front yard and part of the backyard on the first battery, and I am particular. I should have taken pictures of my backyard...lotta weeds, thick stalks, and weed bushes. The Snapper absolutely DESTROYED them. Keep in mind that the low setting IS pretty low. You might want to start off at the second or third lowest setting and see what your cut looks like.'

    'The batteries charge extremely fast and last the whole 45 minutes each, when they're dead, they're dead. No power loss toward the end.'

    'It effortlessly cuts my thick grass, is very easy to push and maneuver, and I'm really enjoying how quiet it is compared to my previous gas mower. I couldn't be happier with all aspects of this mower and its performance.'

    So, see for yourself how impressive it is on Amazon.

    DEWALT DCMW290H1 40V MAX 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower



    best dewalt 40v battery lawnmower


    We love Dewalt. It's a tried and true brand. Have you tried their work site fan? Mint. 

    Anyways, the DEWALT DCMW290H1 40V MAX 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower features a powerful 40V MAX brushless motor that can cut up to 1/4 acre. 

    The mower is a 3-in-1 battery powered lawn mower which means you can mulch, bag, and discharge clippings out the back. 

    Its metal deck gives it durability which is great for those wary of the trend to plastic models. 

    This lawn mower also features a single-lever height-adjust system so you can easily change blade height. The handle also folds to allow for compact storage.

    As you would expect from the Dewalt system, the battery is compatible with their line of 40V MAX DEWALT outdoor power equipment.

    Here are the specifications:

    • Powerful Brushless motor for high power output
    • 3-IN-1: mulching, bagging, and rear discharging all-in-one
    • Heavy duty 20 in. Metal deck
    • Single lever Height adjust ranging from 1.5 - 3.4 in
    • Folding handle and lift handles make for easy transport and compact storage

    The battery is very simply able to be taken out for charging:

    easy to change battery dewalt lawn mower

    Here's some reviews from people who have pushed the Dewalt across their yard:

    'I really like this mower. I have generally been skeptical of battery-powered large appliances, having never owned anything rechargeable larger than a cordless hammer drill. A weed whacker and leaf blower converted me enough to risk buying my first electric mower. It worked like a charm right out of the box.'

    'I charged the battery overnight and mowed the front and back of my modest quarter-acre block *just* before the battery died. I've since mowed again twice with the same result and it handled it well both times. very easy to stop and start light and with small rubber wheels so it's easy to push and turn, it has several simple but effective safety features, all controls are large, robust and easy to operate even with gloves on. No more hard starts, strenuous cord pulling, cans of gas in the shed or oil dripping on the floor.'

    'Able to mow my back yard on a single charge easily. Lightweight mower folds up for easy storage and transport. Built-in safety features is a nice bonus.'

    'This is an amazing piece of equipment. I couldn’t be happier. Hardly any setup right out of the box. Cuts better than my past gas mowers. Runs smooth and quiet. I’ll never go back to gas. I also have string trimmer, chainsaw, and handheld blower. The whole line is awesome. What's the best lawn mower battery charger?'

    If those honest reviews sound like you could be onto a winner, check out the options on Amazon.

    Battery powered lawn mower maintenance tips







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