I was standing on the train last week next to two ladies who were discussing the merits of their new hedgecutters. Both, however, agreed that their trimmers were so heavy that they had to get their husbands to use them or call in a gardener, one also complained that the noise was so terrible that even
the builders extending their new kitchen (in their 'old' house of 23 years) had complained to them.
It struck me that these problems could be allieviated by the use of a miniature turboshaft* engine rather than the more conventional 2-stroke engine currently fitted.This also prevents problems associated with battery oparated ones (eg. only having a few batteries and having to wait for them to charge rather than being able to top up with more fuel without the wait for power to be put into the fuel, or that batteries run flat gradually).
The advantages include the high power to weight ratio compared to reciprocating engines (although I am stuggling to find data to compare the two), relatively small size and the inherent coolness of having a jet engine in your hedgecutter/chainsaw/strimmer/[insert power-tool here].
Disadvantages of course include the very hot exhaust stream and relatively high maintenance.
I mentioned that sound was a problem too: I believe that the sound of a jet engine is more of a loud high-pitched whine than the relatively low pitched 'brrrrrrrrrr' of a reciprocating engine and would suggest that current ear protection, which generally absorbs high frequencies best, should be better at reducing the sound of the turboshaft garden tools than those powered by the latter means. Anyone so far away that the sound of power-gardening was previously irritating can now delight in the beautiful sound of whirling turbine whine and accompanying roar.
I will also take this opportunity to mention that miniature turbojets are currently made for model aircraft entusiasts, so this is by no means a technologically impossible idea: this only requires one more impeller.
*F.Y.I.: A turboshaft engine is just like an ordinary turbojet, but the power is taken from another impeller in the exhaust which can then be put through a reduction box to give optimum speed/torque for the application. These are often found in 'jet' powered helicopters. See [link].