This $499 lawn mower is cordless, self-propelling, and uses a rechargeable battery - I can mow my quarter-acre lawn in 45 minutes
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- A high-quality cordless lawn mower is powerful enough to cut through high, thick grass, has the battery capacity to clip your whole yard (or at least most of it, if you have a lot of space) in one charge, and is self-propelled so you can put in minimal effort.
- I like the EGO 21 in. Cordless Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Mower Kit because it comes with a 7.5Ah 56-volt battery that runs for up to 60 minutes and a rapid charger that recharges the battery in 60 minutes.
- Though its at a relatively low price point for its category (currently $499 at Home Depot), the mower has several high-end features - including LED headlights - and is backed by a five-year warranty.
I have a quarter acre of grass around my house, and I don't like mowing any of it.Part of it has to do with laziness, but it's also hard to perform my homeowner duties when I know I'm wasting resources on a task that's mostly rooted in aesthetics. Fortunately, electric mowers are getting better and better, so now I can clip my lawn with minimal noise, air pollution, and effort.
One of the top names in the cordless outdoor power equipment industry is EGO. Since 1993, the company has focused on developing top-of-the-line cordless technology with powerful 56-volt ARC Lithium batteries for both residential and commercial outdoor use. I recently had the opportunity to test out its 21-inch Cordless Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Mower. Here are my experiences with it.
The EGO Cordless Walk-Behind Mower (currently $499 at The Home Depot) is available with and without several features. It's part of the Power+ line, of which there are several similar styles of varying specs and price points. For this review, I tested EGO's most popular option - the model LM2100SP.
The mower itself features a 21-inch polymer composite deck and an adjustable rear-wheel drive self-propel system, and the kit comes with a Power+ 7.5Ah 56-volt battery and rapid charge system. Here are some other important specs:
- 6 cut heights ranging from 1.5-inches to 4-inches, adjustable with a single lever
- 2800 rpm no-load speed
- 63-pound weight (without the battery)
- 20-inch blade
- 7-inch front wheels and 9-inch rear wheels
- 3 handlebar positions
- Push-button start
- LED headlights
- Designed for yards between a quarter and half an acre
- Variable speed from 1.8 to 3.6 miles per hour
- IPX4 splash resistance
- 2-bushel grass bag capacity
If you want the full specs, check out the product page at HomeDepot.com.
The mower came in two boxes: one small box for the battery and one giant 70-pound box with the mower folded up inside.Set-up is incredibly simple and took me about 10 minutes. You just press the quick-adjust lever to unfold the handle and bring it to your preferred position. Next, if you plan to collect clippings, you assemble the grass bag and attach it to the mower, which only takes a few minutes. I prefer to mulch so I attached the mulch insert, which basically just blocks the bagging chute. There is also a side-discharge chute attachment.
Before running the mower, you'll want to charge the battery. The charger is a bit loud, but it's also incredibly fast. You can charge the 7.5Ah battery in about 60 minutes, so at least the annoyance will only be an hour long.
What makes the mower stand out
I've used a wide array of walk-behind mowers: gas, corded, and first-gen cordless. But this was the easiest, most intuitive walk-behind mower I've ever used - it made mowing my quarter-acre, dare I say, enjoyable.
As a busy person, I generally wait until people start to talk about my scraggly lawn before I do anything about it. So, the grass was fairly long each time I had to use the EGO. Even though I generally kept the self-propel lever on the lowest speed, it never took more than 45 minutes to finish the job. And the blades clipped the lawn on the first pass so there weren't any stray grass blades left standing.
The red low-battery LED comes on when the battery is at 15% juice or lower. In my experience, I haven't reached the low battery point; when I pop the battery into the charger, it's usually at about 25%. This seems consistent with the manufacturer's claim that the battery has a 60-minute run time. Using a battery-powered unit also means cutting down on harmful fumes produced by traditional gas-guzzling machines, so this is a much more eco-friendly option too.
If you have other EGO outdoor power equipment, you can use the same battery with any of the tools. So after you're done mowing, if you still have enough battery power, you can remove the battery from the mower and insert it into the EGO String Trimmer (currently $229 at The Home Depot) to get small spots the mower couldn't reach.
I don't have a garage or shed to store the mower in so I carry it down to our basement. The unit folds up easily to make transport and storage simple.To get a truer experience of the mower, I had landscaper Marcel Dumond, owner of Gecko Lawns in Lansing, Michigan, take the mower for a test drive and give me his professional opinion. He found a lot to like about the EGO. He was impressed with how nicely it folds up and how lightweight it is, which made it easy to transport and maneuver. Dumond noted that the design is attractive and he appreciated how quickly the mower moved.
Cons to consider
On the other hand, Dumond found that the mower lacked power. He had to go slower in higher grass and compared it to a less-expensive gas-powered mower. "This is a good mower for your average homeowner with half an acre or less of land, but I wouldn't recommend it for a business," he told me. Fair enough.
There are also too many steps to start the mower, engage the self-propelling function, and switch speeds, in Dumond's opinion. He didn't like that you have to push a button and squeeze the bail switch lever to initially get the EGO going, then squeeze another trigger to engage the self-propel function. Adjusting the speed of the self-propulsion system is done with yet another lever, which isn't conveniently located for quick speed adjustments. Dumond would have much preferred a single handle that controlled the self-propel speed based on how hard you squeeze it.
And let's say you have more than half an acre of land and want to use this mower. The smart solution would be to buy an extra battery so you can keep mowing while the other charges. Unfortunately, a second 7.5Ah 56V battery is only a little bit cheaper than the entire mower kit at $383.21 currently on Home Depot's website.
Fortunately, if you decide the added cost isn't worth it, the charger recharges the battery in an hour so you don't have to wait too long before finishing up your lawn or backyard.
The bottom line
Overall, the EGO 21 in. Cordless Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Mower is the best walk-behind mower I've used.
It has enough power to take on the long, thick grass in my lawn and the high-capacity battery has the juice I need to finish my quarter acre. The mower also runs quietly so I don't feel guilty for trimming the grass early on weekend mornings. It also provides an eco-friendly way of getting the job done since it uses a battery and not gas.
If you have less than half an acre of lawn like I do and don't want to spend a lot of time or effort managing it, I'd strongly recommend using this EGO mower to take care of unsightly scraggly grass before the neighbors complain.Pros: Self-propelled, up to 60 minutes of run time, charges in 60 minutes, runs quietly, folds up for compact storage
Cons: Extra batteries are just as expensive as the whole kit itself, poor positioning of the self-propel speed-control lever
Buy the EGO 21 in. Cordless Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Mower Kit (Model No. LM2102SP) from The Home Depot for $499
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