When I was a kid, I used to think the old guys who took care of their yards were losers. While I was zooming around the neighborhood smoking bowls in my car listening to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, I thought it was pathetic how homeowners genuinely took pride in their lawns. Surely there was more to life than a new mower, hedge trimmer or edger, I surmised.
But now that I’m in my 30s and have become one of those losers, I’m here to tell you that there isn’t more to life than that.
In fact, it feels awesome to manicure your lawn, tend your garden, and then blow the clippings off of your driveway with a leaf blower upon completion. It makes the iced tea I enjoy in my folding lawn chair post-yardwork taste that much more crisp, the AM talk radio that bellows out of my open garage that much more insightful, and the episodes of “Wheel of Fortune” that I have on DVR for post-lawn enjoyment that much more stirring.
But do you know what does suck about lawn maintenance? Inadequate, cumbersome tools.
I’m not a scientist and the ever-tender 40:1 gas to oil ratio on certain power tools intimidates me. Refilling the fly wheel on a trimmer or edger? Uh, how about I just not use it instead? Mower won’t start after 50-some pulls? I’ll do it tomorrow. As a result, my lawn looked like my bathroom in college; a loose “conflaguration” of unfulfilled good intentions, drowning in questionable, unnamed chunks and fluids.
What if outdoor power equipment (OPE) tools were easy to use? What if they were actually enjoyable? What if when you were done, you felt good about yourself and your yard?
The engineers at Kobalt have not only delivered a ground-breaking collection of OPEs, but they’ve done it with empathy in mind.
At their super-secret space bunker facility in North Carolina, Kobalt engineers have tirelessly simulated the plight of the average homeowner in an isolated, controlled environment straight out of the Hunger Games. Unless the design and function of these tools was done to the Kobalt standard, they weren’t allowed to see their families, or use the bathroom. Some were simply killed with the same tools they had a hand in creating.
The entire 40-volt OPE collection was made with the user in mind.
From single-push button engine start-ups, to cushion-handle grips, all the tools were designed with ease and fluidity at their core — not to mention a no-questions-asked, 5-year warranty. If you want to return something, you take it to the nearest Lowe’s store and that is it. You don’t even have to make up a story.
The coolest thing of all about the Kobalt 40V Max OPE line? You never have to use gas again.
The complete line of seven tools includes a string trimmer, a hedge trimmer, two mowers, a blower, a chainsaw and a pole saw. All seven tools are powered by a 40V lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable and interchangeable with each tool.
So what does this actually mean? I try to be as “green” as possible, but I’m still an old-schooler at heart who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality, speed and power just to lessen my carbon footprint. And with Kobalt, you don’t have to.
Want to mow your yard at 6 AM to beat the heat, but don’t want to commence an interstellar shit-storm with your neighbors? Impossible with a gas powered mower.
With either the Kobalt 40V Max 20-in (which features dual blades) or 19-in mower, the engine is akin to a whirring sound that you can easily maintain a conversation over. With no pull-cord, both mowers start with the press of a button, like a luxury automobile, and automatically stop when you release the pull-bar.
Worried that a button start will inevitably wear down or break over time? Kobalt guarantees 5,000 “cycles” or start-ups. The 20-in mower is powered by two batteries; a 2.0 Amp-hour Quick-Charge battery and a 4.0 Amp-hour Long-Run battery and automatically switches to the second battery when the first one runs out.
The 20-in mower has a 2-in-1 mulching/bagging feature, while the 19-in mower has a 3-in-1 feature that allows you to mulch, rear-bag or side discharge freely and whenever you want. Stop snickering, you’re an adult now.
Now that you’ve finished mowing, what do you say we handle that hedge situation? The 40V Max Hedge Trimmer is 24-inches long and has a cutting speed of 2,800 strokes per minute. How many strokes per minute can you do?
One of the things that really impressed me about the entire line is how light each of the seven tools are. Not only are they light, but they’ve been formulated and designed to make them easy to use.
For example, the weight of the 40V Max String Trimmer/Edger is balanced perfectly in the middle., which makes it easy to jump from trimmer to edger and vice versa. Note how I’m barely using the fingertips on one of my hands:
Perhaps the lightest of all was the 40V Max Blower, which is amazing because it generates a wind speed of 140 MPH, as displayed by the pit crew of Kobalt NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson in this video:
The 40V Max Chainsaw took the “scariness” out of using a chainsaw; does that make me less of a man to say I am frightened of chainsaws?
Ever since I saw my friend’s dad, Rob Wegman, tie one end of a rope around his waist and the other around the handle, then shimmy up an 80-foot tree with a 60 oz. Beam and Coke in his off hand to cut down a tree, I’ve avoided them because I could never top that. The Kobalt chainsaw has a 12-inch steel bar and starts with the flip of a switch. I used it, and didn’t die.
When I saw the 40V Max Pole Saw, I could only picture it ending badly for me. But the pole saw easily adjusted up to a max height of 10 feet, nine inches and was so light I never had to fight against it. Go ahead, insert “pole” joke here.
Of all the tools, my favorite was the 19-in mower. I visualized myself mowing my yard during the test run and it felt awesome.
Then it occurred to me, if you buy one piece, you may as well buy them all.
Owning a home, you’re going to need each of these tools at one time or another. The carefully crafted design combined with the versatility of the lithium-ion battery, and ease in transitioning from one tool to another, cannot be matched by any gas powered OPE on the market.
It’s fair to say that thanks to Kobalt, outdoor power equipment has reached “Tha Crossroads.”
Tags: Jimmie Johnson, Kobalt, Kobalt 40V Max 19-in Mower, Kobalt 40V Max 20-in Mower, Kobalt 40V Max Blower, Kobalt 40V Max Chainsaw, Kobalt 40V Max Hedge Trimmer, Kobalt 40V Max OPE, Kobalt 40V Max Outdoor Power Equipment, Kobalt 40V Max Pole Saw, Kobalt 40V Max String Trimmer/Edger, Kobalt Tools, Lowe's, Lowe's Kobalt, Men's Outdoor Power Equipment, Men's Power Tools, NASCAR