Even the best backpack leaf blowers have one crucial flaw. As powerful as they are for clearing leaves or, in early spring, wintertime debris, their very design typically requires a 90-degree bend in the blower tube somewhere between the engine and the outlet. That bend reduces usable airflow and power. But a new Ryobi backpack Consumer Reports added to its leaf blower Ratings straightens out that design quirk.
While people across the northern part of the nation were coping with multiple snow storms, the Consumer Reports mower test team was down in Fort Myers, Florida, for six weeks of testing walk-behind mowers, lawn tractors, and other mowing gear. The results of our tests of 120 mowers just posted and over the coming days and weeks we'll be reporting on the highlights from our tests including new mower features that make it easier to cut the grass.
There are life coaches and love coaches, career coaches and retirement coaches. Now you can hire a coach to help you cultivate a plan for your home's landscape. Along with lawn reductions, edible gardens, outdoor rooms, and sustainable practices, garden coaching is one of the trends covered in Consumer Reports' latest feature on lawn and yard care.
Briggs & Stratton has announced the recall of 5,400 Ariens 920014 Snow-Throw snow blowers. A carburetor-bowl nut can allow fuel to escape from recalled units, creating a fire hazard. The Ariens 920014 appears in Consumer Reports' snow blower Ratings.
OWT Industries has recalled 254,600 Homelite electric leaf blowers and 131,500 Expert Gardener leaf blowers because objects drawn into the blower during vacuum mode can break through the plastic housing, posing a laceration hazard.
A hose that reportedly fits in your pocket, a robot that cleans grills, and a gel-infused memory-foam pillow are a few of the new products and claims that Consumer Reports' staffers spotted at the preview to the International Home and Housewares Show in New York City. At least one has made it into our testing program. All are coming soon to a store near you.
Super Bowl Sunday always has some drama—sibling rivalries, halftime wardrobe malfunctions, a nail-biting finish—and then there's the food. Feeding a crowd takes some planning, and grilling while entertaining and watching the game isn't so easy. Pizza that's inadvertently grilled on its cardboard tray, burgers that shrink to bite size, and flaring flames that turn chicken into char can put a damper on the festivities.
If you live up north, you're likely thinking more about snow blowers and generators than string trimmers. But for readers in warmer climes, the yard work never ends so we've just added 15 new string trimmers to our Ratings. One especially notable entry is the first battery-powered electric we've seen with the power of a two-cycle gas trimmer.
Grilling season used to begin Memorial Day and end when those last burgers came off the grill on Labor Day. No more. Nearly two-thirds of grill owners polled said they grill year round, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an industry group. And if you spend much of the winter shoveling snow—hello Rochester—year-round grilling brings outdoor living inside, just when you need it. Here are five tips from manufacturers on grilling in cold weather.
If you think leaving the hospital means you're home for good, think again. About twenty percent of heart attack and pneumonia patients, and a quarter of heart failure patients, find themselves back in the hospital within 30 days, according to our updated hospital Ratings. And our new analysis shows that those rates aren't getting better.
Of the dozens of deaths attributed to Hurricane Sandy, many were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from generators being run in garages, basements, porches and other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Unfortunately, the rush to power a home without lights, heat or a running refrigerator, can leave little time to protect yourself and your home from the generator itself. Before the next emergency, here are five known hazards you can prevent.
The lobby at last January's North American International Auto Show featured a Craftsman CTX lawn tractor touting an 8-mile-per-hour ground speed, a race car compared to the usual tractor, plus a feature more common to automobiles, traction control. The trend of mowers sporting car features is growing, according to what we saw at the annual Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+Expo).
Master Forge gas grills, sold exclusively at Lowe's home improvement stores, are being recalled due to concerns over the grill's fuel hose. The Consumer Products Safety Commission says improperly installed hoses may melt and pose a fire and burn hazard to consumers.
Anyone who has a walk-behind lawn mower with electric start tends to like that feature, with two exceptions. Electric start doesn't relieve you of the need to maintain the mower. and the little battery powering the electric start periodically needs recharging. If you didn't think to do it before storing the mower for the winter, early-spring temperatures in some parts of the country aren't warm enough for an overnight charge to work in your garage. That used to mean a few weeks of pull-starting until Honda came up with a better way.
Until they saw Forrest Gump cutting his lawn, most folks who grew up on smaller properties hadn't heard of a rear-engine rider. But as charming as the film may be, the 1962 Snapper machine that the title character made famous has long been overdue for an upgrade. Snapper showed us the difference 50 years makes at the recent Green Industry and Equipment Expo in Louisville.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: