New Fuel Technologies: How Battery Is Superior to Traditional Fuel

Traditionally, when power was needed for a job, petrol tools were the go-to. This was particularly relevant within the trade industry, especially when working outdoors, as battery power was seen as not being up to the job.

The compromise was corded tools, but they can be impractical when working on-site, in gardens and during renovation projects when mains electricity supplies are difficult to come by.

But times are changing. With targets for low emissions, and improving health and safety, battery power is seen as being much more eco- and health-friendly, with no fumes and the ability to use renewable energy to charge the batteries.

And with brands such as Milwaukee leading the forefront in developing battery-powered tools which still give you the power of traditional petrol alternatives, it is clear that battery is seen as the future.

Powerful batteries which last for hours and can be swapped out when they run out, as well as chargers which can optimise the charge rate for your battery, are now available.


Why are petrol tools popular?

Users choose petrol as it is seen as a reliable source of power. When fuel is running low, simply top the engine up with more petrol. It is almost immediate, continuous use.

Petrol also equals power, traditionally. So, when a tool is needed for a big job and there are targets for keeping time, users often opt for petrol believing it to be the superior option.

But there are also several frustrations with petrol power. As well as emissions affecting the health and safety of users (and the planet), their power often means there are issues with excess vibrations, weight, and bulkiness.

Using corded power limited these annoyances slightly, but only to be replaced with frustrations when using extension cords and generators.

Battery power is the answer to all of the above, and modern technology means battery-powered tools give you the same power and performance as traditional fuel.


Why Choose Battery Powred Tools

Battery isn’t just better for the environment; it can also make using tools easier and smoother.


1. Low fumes and emissions

Anything which uses fuel, whether petrol or diesel, produces emissions. There are two reasons why this isn’t ideal when using power tools.

Firstly, users must limit their time around these fumes, particularly when working in enclosed spaces with poor airflow. This is crucial for the health and safety of all workforces but does mean the project faces downtime issues and prolonged periods spent on particular jobs.

A report by EGO Challenge 2025 found that 89% of all UK councils still use petrol-powered tools to maintain public areas

Many projects now have low emissions targets, with the Government introducing net-zero targets for new buildings and major renovations. Challenge 2025 called on the Government to ban some petrol-powered garden tools, such as lawnmowers, as their emissions have been described as ‘toxic’. 66% of professionals surveyed have experienced injuries or health issues linked to using petrol-powered tools.

California is looking to pass legislation to completely ban petrol-powered gardening tools by 2024. The California Air Resources Board found that one hour of petrol-powered leaf blower use was the equivalent of driving 1,100 miles.

Battery-powered tools with zero emissions, such as the Milwaukee MX Fuel™ range, are suitable for use indoors or underground thanks to the lack of fumes.


2. Improved noise and vibration emissions

The lack of engine (and general improvement in tool technology, such as using brushless motors) means that as well as a reduction in fuel emissions, noise and vibration is also reduced.

Employers need to move away from tools which vibrate at a level which can cause long-term muscular, vascular, and hearing damage. By law, employers need to ensure that measures to reduce vibrations are applied. Using tools which are low in vibration could reduce a lot of this surveillance and monitoring.


3. No fuel maintenance

With the use of petrol-powered tools also comes the need for petrol. Unfortunately, the fuel needs to be maintained, and always ready for use.

For example, the wrong mix of gas and oil can cause engine failure. Petrol older than 30 days shouldn’t be used, and petrol shouldn’t be stored in an engine for a prolonged time, especially if using the new E10 petrol which has replaced E5. Petrol-powered tools must be stored correctly when not in use, which includes draining the tank.

However, with a battery, just replace it with another battery when it runs out of power. You can then charge the first one for use after, so they’re reusable. You still have limited downtime when the time comes to refuel. But with quick charge times and longer running times, there is a good chance that as long as you have a battery ready to replace it with, you won’t experience any waiting around.

The battery should be removed after use, but it is easier (and safer) to store batteries than fuel.


4. No regular maintenance

You should always check any power tool before use to ensure everything is safe to use. However, with traditional fuel comes the additional maintenance on spark plugs, air filters, carburettors, and pull cords. 2-stroke engines also require regular maintenance to function correctly.

These don’t exist on a battery-powered tool. With fewer possibilities of something going wrong, it could mean increased longevity of a product, resulting in fewer outgoing costs and reduced tool waste and disposal.


5. Fewer ongoing costs

Once the battery is purchased, the cost of ongoing is covered. And, with fuel prices so unpredictable, this could mean it is easier to stick to budgets and limit additional spending on projects.

This keeps costs low if you’re hiring the power tools, too. You don’t have to budget for additional fuel prices or work out how much fuel you will require so none is wasted.


6. Lack of cords

Electric-powered tools aren’t exactly new, but they have traditionally been corded. This can pose risks when working on-site:

  • Power cords can fray or become damaged, with the tool then being unsafe to use
  • You need a power source, which can be difficult when working remotely (and can sometimes result in even more cords, in the form of extension leads)
  • Cords can’t be used in wet environments
  • You need to monitor the cord so it doesn’t tangle or come close to the tools, which can be difficult in busy areas and is an additional thing to oversee alongside the work being done.

With a battery, there are no cords. You get the benefits of traditional fuel tools, without the headaches and hindrances.


7. No need to start engines

Priming, choking, pull starting, and flooding. All terms familiar with trying to start up the engine of a traditional fuel power tool.

With a battery, there is often just a power button or switch. There will be safety buffers in place to prevent the accidental switch-on of tools, but without an engine to start up, there are considerably fewer steps and frustrations to get the ball rolling.

For example, the battery-powered Milwaukee MX Fuel™ Cut-Off Saw has a 3-second push-button start, and then you’re good to go.


8. It is the future

The Milwaukee MX Fuel™ range is just one revolutionary in the performance it provides with battery power. But cordless tools aren’t an extremely new phenomenon, so with the technology will only come improvements.

With petrol and diesel cars being phased out by 2030, and petrol-powered garden tools being banned around the world in California, Berlin, and other European countries, it is clear we are moving away from traditional fuels.

So, investing in battery-powered tools, or ensuring your team is trained up to use hired battery tools, makes sense and will be a great safeguard towards future changes in the industry.



Battery Powered Tool Hire

Here at Speedy, we have invested in a huge fleet of battery-powered tools for both DIY and Trade use. From rotary hammer drills and impact drivers to cordless work lights and the cordless accessories you need to make all battery-powered tools continue working for you, trust Speedy to deliver. 


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