Great deals on pressure washers, smartwatches, and more
- Pressure washers come in two basic types: gas-powered and electric. Each has its own sets of pros and cons. For example, gas-powered washers are louder than their electric counterparts. But they are also more powerful and aren’t limited by the length of their electric cords.
- Renting a pressure washer allows you to skip the hassle of upkeep and storage. However, if you buy one, it will pay for itself in a few years, as long as you take care of it.
Smartwatches are gaining in popularity.
They often also include built-in sensors—including accelerometers, barometers, and heart rate monitors—to track your physical activity. You can even use your watch to make mobile payments at the cashier.
And yes, they also tell time.
- Smartphones come in all sorts of varieties, from simple to swanky. They range in price from $200-$700+. But beyond your price, you should also consider which operating system will work best for you. Just like your computer and smartphone, smartwatches run on operating systems with distinct and separate apps.
- Some smartwatches have quirky shortcomings, such as hard-to-use chargers. A number of them can be paired with only a limited number of mobile devices.
A good string trimmer will quickly obliterate any unsightly grass that’s encroaching on the clean lines of your property’s driveway, footpaths, and fence posts. This time of year, you can also find them on sale.
- Modern string trimmers address a variety of lawn-grooming issues with better performance and convenience for less money. Typically, gas-powered trimmers are more powerful and may be more effective at tackling substantial weeds and tall grass growth. Corded string trimmers can be easier to maneuver, and a good choice for lighter duty landscaping tasks. Newer battery-powered models have power almost equal to gas trimmers, but they're just as heavy and more expensive.
- You don’t need an expensive, professional-grade string trimmer. For regular jobs, gas trimmers and most electric trimmers can dispense with run-of-the-mill grass and weeds just fine.
- When you’re deciding which best suits your needs, make sure you try it out. Handle a string trimmer in the store to check its balance. After adjusting the front handle for a comfortable reach, hold the trimmer in the cutting position with both hands. Its weight should feel evenly distributed from top to bottom or slightly heavier at the top. Be sure the controls work smoothly and are easy to reach.
A cordless drill is often the most important power tool you’ll buy. But before you purchase one, be sure you’re getting the right tool for whatever job is at hand: heavy-duty, general-use, or light-duty.
You won’t find drills labeled this way for sale, so make sure you look at the chuck size to determine its intended use. The chuck is the three-pronged clamp that secures bits at the business end of any drill. The bigger the chuck, the more powerful the drill.
- Make sure that you take note of the battery power. Most cordless drills these days run on lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. They deliver more power and longer run times. Because batteries have such a direct impact on performance, their capabilities figure heavily into CR’s cordless-drill testing program.
- Cordless drills are sold in three configurations: as a stand-alone tool with one or two batteries and a dedicated charger. As part of a collection of cordless tools from a single brand, called a kit. As a bare tool, with no battery or charger.
- Make sure you select the option that’s right for you. If you want only a drill and don’t own any other power tools with compatible batteries, go for a stand-alone tool. The bare tool is the least expensive but the worst value.