21” not mulching

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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I’ve been running an emission free lawn care company for 5 years. I used to use Echo mowers from Home Depot and LOVED them. Unfortunately, they disappeared from the stores and are impossible to find. I decided to try the Ego 21” mowers and am extremely disappointed with the quality of the cut. The mowers leave clipping everywhere. Wet or dry grass, this mower does not mulch. As a test I replaced the blade with an aftermarket mulching blade (had to do some modifications) but it fit. The mower cut perfectly! Only problem was, the blade was too heavy and the motor shuts off prematurely. Clearly the stock blades are the problem and there are no replacement blades to solve this.

Time to fix this Ego. If you’re charging this much for a mower I shouldnt have to be playing around with blades to get a decent cut. There are so many threads about this problem. Time to crate a decent blade already.
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Demian Beland-Trudeau

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  • extremely disappointed

Posted 1 year ago

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SCDC, Champion

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I have this problem with the 21" and have gone to bagging. The 20" mower, while not as powerful, really mulches well. 

My other weird thing is that the 21" always grabs leaves in the front wheel.  It's a wonderful mower that badly needs a blade redesign.
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Prairiedog

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Our 21 mulches our acreage adequately. I think the key is being able to slow down and let the mower do its work. While I am certainly commending you for doing a great thing with your company, Egos are meant for home use, not heavy commercial where you have to push through jobs fast to get on to the next client, and you are using the blade far more heavily than a homeowner mowing once or twice a week. Not sure it is fair to blame this mower design for not meeting a demand it wasn't intended for. I'd love to see Ego build a commercial line for folks like you.
(Edited)
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Jack Morgan

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that's 3300W to the blades for a honda gcv160.  Torque is nothing without speed so while the electric can match torque of gas at a low speed it can't at a speed that will actually cut grass.  Take a look at the blade on an ego vs a honda mower - it's about half the size and a quarter the weight.  One person tried using a gas mower blade on the ego and it overheated the motor.  So, the gas has far more power.  I would love to use a cordless mower, but unless you cut the grass every few days (in my climate) and it's bone dry, and you bag,or rake and bag, or go over the lawn 4 times - forget it.  
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Ken, Champion

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Regardless of blade speed, Ego's 21-inch self-propelled mower mulches my yard quite well. I never bag. This is the zoysia grass in front of my house right after a mow about three weeks ago:

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Prairiedog

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Ken, I apologize, I have been misattributing this photo to Oregon Mike, I think. Sorry! It's lovely.
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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We all kind of blend together after awhile. LOL
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Prairiedog

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lol!
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Michael G

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I agree with the mulching blade design. EGO needs step up and change the geometry and use a harder steel. Let's get a CFD analysis done EGO : )

Any reports on the mulch-cut quality of the new two battery mower yet? Maybe this would be a commercial solution?
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szwoopp, Champion

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There are others using ego mowers commercially so your experience is not common to all
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SCDC, Champion

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I'm all in with EGO, I have this title that says Champion.  But it doesn't mean i'm like an Apple Fanboi.  I see problems with EGO products, but they are not show stoppers.  It's a fantastic, high end line of electric tools that offer very compatible replacement to the pains of dealing with combustion engines.  I'm not an environmental kook who things everything gas and oil is evil.  If I could deal without pull strings and the headaches of gas engine upkeep, let alone those big puffs of smoke that sometimes happen.  I would probably still be gas.

But, I also believe in a balance.  You can't breath exhaust, so you want as little of it around you as possible, for your own health!

EGO has great customer service who really do strive to please everyone (those who are honest about their problems).

I hope all manufacturers of Electric tools find better battery tech to where they can extend the warranties longer.  
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Agreed. I have the original 20” and am happy with it, I have never used the 21” model. There are enough people concerned with mulching that there has to be something to it. Far too common.

The real puzzler is that there are people who report great cut quality, which leads me to believe the mower CAN cut well, but the margin of varying scenarios under which it will perform well is narrower than it is for other mowers.
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Bill Menzel

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When I  had my 21" self-propelled lawn mower, I mowed my thick Kentucky blue grass at 3.5".  I had it on the lowest speed setting for it to mulch to my satisfaction.  Now, when I use my dual battery (7.5ah) mower, I can mulch at a higher speed setting.  I think this happens because of the increase in torque and more proficient power.  I never mow when the grass is wet.
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Ken, Champion

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The reason Ego offers terms for a commercial warranty is because they can't control how purchasers use their products, but they can differentiate the terms for the warranty if they're being used commercially.

Some people are using the mowers commercially, regardless of whether they were really designed for that or not.
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Ben

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I can definitely tell there are clippings left over. For my lawn I don't care because they are minimal. However I'd you're a guru or doing it professionally then yeah it would be a problem. Perhaps higher end commercial products will be a future line for them. Issue is these things are nearly commercial expensive as is so a commercial line may not fare well in pricepoint.
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Prairiedog

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They have a commercial line. There is a fellow on here who runs a business powered by ego.
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Brian G

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I am a new owner of the 21” EGO. I had a 21” gas self-propelled mulcher for a few years then gave it up for a neighborhood lawn service. After a couple years, the wear and tear of the big machines was ruining my lawn. So I made the move back to self-cutting and opted for the new EGO. While it’s light and easy to use, performance-wise it doesn’t have near the suction or mulching power of my previous gas mower. I must say I am disappointed.

I live in Michigan and have a hearty Kentucky Bluegrass lawn. It’s high summer now so I mow at a higher level, taking about 1-1/2” off every 5-7 days in the afternoon or evening when the lawn is dry. Still, the new EGO can’t seem to keep up and dispenses regular lines of clippings along the cut rows on my lawn. It’s bad enough when the clippings are fresh and green, but then they dry out leaving yellow lines across the lawn.

I even go so far as to cut 3/4 rows by mowing back over the last thin row of clippings left, but it seems to worsen the result by leaving random blades uncut. It seems that when these excess clippings are flowing under the mower deck, the mower does not lift and cut all the underlying grass blades so there are random uncut blades of grass sticking up along the row of just-mowed grass.

I can tell you that this only happened with my previous mower when I would try to cut too much grass off and/or the lawn was wet. But never would it leave random uncut blades of grass. My previous mower would also suck up and disintegrate twigs and leaves. I had to watch for rocks and acorns. This EGO rolls right over twigs, unless they’re leafy.

I will admit that I have not tried to cut more frequently or walk much slower, but I also don’t want to do that and shouldn’t have to.

I have researched this some before coming here and have heard of other EGO owners with similar issues try switching and adding blades mostly without satisfactory results. In fact, I did purchase and install a so-called “high lift” blade from EGO with no discernible difference.

I don’t expect that much can be done with my present EGO mower and that EGO, if they recognize this as a performance issue, will need to make improvements to the base power of the mower in some future model. They’ve got the right package, it’s probably just underpowered.
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szwoopp, Champion

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At times and in certain areas of my lawn, my mower has left a line on the left side.
The problem with mowing back and forth is that even if you overlap, the left side switches and thus the line is not cleaned up.

Try mowing in a counter clockwise pattern.  Then the left side stays constant and the mower can clean it up and if it leaves a line again you will automatically pick it up on the next lap.

Works for me.
Alternative would be to give the dual battery mower a try LM2142.  Users have reported that it elimanated the problem for them.
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Brian G

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Thanks for the reply.

As I described, running back over the clippings seems to worsen the low suction problem leaving random uncut blades of grass. So it's either clippings or uncut grass.

It may go away if I cut more than once a week and walk more slowly. I really like using the mower, but not that much. 

Realistically, this mower seems better suited for a less robust lawn. It's just not up to cutting lush Kentucky Blue, at least not mine.

This would explain the alternative suggestion of buying a new, more powerful(?) lawn mower, albeit to replace a brand new mower. That doesn't seem a sensible option.

Bottom line, I have what I paid for and hope that this post will help others in their decision.
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szwoopp, Champion

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I live in the Chicago area and have a KBG mix and do not have the problems you describe.  Have you tried a counter clockwise pattern instead of a back and forth row pattern ?

If you have had the mower - 90 days or less (1 year with an HD card purchase) you can return it to HD and purchase the dual battery version to see if it solves your problem.