High Lift Mower Blade Review

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  • Updated 8 months ago

I was lucky enough to finally get the new high lift blade for the 21” SP mower after almost 6 months of waiting.  The first impressions of the blade are mixed.  I took the blade right out of the box and put it on the mower as it came from Ego (without sharpening it).  The first thing I noticed about the blade is that it makes the mower spin faster than the standard blade, even under no load.   I also noticed that there was a vibration with the blade (which could be the reason for the blade making the mower spin faster).  I also noticed that the blade produces much more noise than the standard blade.  When I switched back the standard blade the vibration disappeared and the mower spun at the normal speed.  I would like Ego to comment if this is normal or if perhaps I have a defective blade.  I will be contacting Ego to exchange the blade but don’t know if I will have to wait another 6 months to get the replacement.

I live in Virginia and my lawn is a mix of Kentucky blue grass and fine fescue.  I conducted the test at 4:00PM when the grass was dry.  While mowing I switched between both blades to accurately compare the performance of both under the same grass conditions.  When the mower was set a level 4 there was not much a difference in the vacuum performance between the two blades.  However, when I switched it to level 3 there appeared to be an increase in suction with the new blade.  It also broke up leaves and twigs slightly better than the standard blade (but is not comparable to the performance Honda).  I believe most of the performance difference is due to the increased spin of the blade.  The increased spin of the blade also shortened the battery life.  Normally I can cut 3⁄4 acre and still have plenty of power left in the 7.5amp battery.  The light turned red about 3⁄4 of the way through the lawn.  I am fine with the shorter battery life if the performance is better.  While the blade is designed to improve bagging performance I also tried it mulching.  I am pleased to say that there was an improvement in the mulching performance compared to the standard blade.  It still left some residual clippings on the lawn but it appeared to cut the grass more even than the standard blade.  I think this was due to the vacuuming of the grass verses “pushing over” blades with the standard blade. 

Overall, I am pleased with the performance of the mower with the new blade but am not sure if it is due to the blade itself or the increased RPM of the mower when using the blade.  I would love it if there was a way to increase the RPM of the mower with the standard blade to really compare the two blades.  I still have a concern about the vibration and if it will potentially damage the mower long term.   I would like to hear others have the same issue with the blade or if it just me.   I will update this review if/when I am able to get a replacement blade from Ego. 

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Eric55

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Posted 11 months ago

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Craig E.

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Thanks!  Great review and questions!
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Eric, if the blade causes vibrations it must have an imbalance. Are you able to accurately check the balance of the blade? Balancing it could be as simple as filing some material off one side.

The increased speed is likely due to the increased load the blade puts on the motor. The motor is probably sensing extra drag and ramping up slightly the same way it would when encountering thick grass with the standard blade.

Great to hear the mulching performance is on par with, or better than, the standard blade. Thanks for the review!
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Eric55

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Blue,
Thanks for the feedback.  I have the blade sharpening kit which includes the tool to check balance.  However since it was a brand new blade I did not want to mess with the blade.  I wanted to get some feedback from Ego and others to see if this was a common problem.  I was worried that once I touched the blade It would be my fault for it being out of balance.  I am trying to eliminate any variables while testing the blade.  By the way I am fine with the increased speed, just not the vibration. 

P.S. - Is EGO going to give you a prize when you hit 100K points?
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szwoopp, Champion

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Perhaps a ninja parade

(Edited)
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SCDC, Champion

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Hey Eric,

I've learned from using my EGO mower around 3 years.  I sharpen and balance the blade even when new  :)

As far as Blue's reward?

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szwoopp, Champion

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SCDC is right.  I used my HL blade a few times right out of the box as it seemed fairly sharp.  Swapped it our yesterday with the standard blade and checked the balance to see if it was the possible cause of vibration and noise increase over the standard blade and found this.  
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(a)Typical Engineer

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That looks rather out of balance to me.  Here's a pic of the AB2101 that I cut down to fit my 20" gen 1 mower.

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szwoopp, Champion

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Agree.  Hoping for a little less vibrations from it once I level out the blade when sharpening it.
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SCDC, Champion

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This is great stuff.  I sort of verifies something that I've always thought.  If we had the option to increase the motor speed (knowing it would sacrifice run time), we would get better results with mulching. 

I have a feeling that with the next version, they may allow us some options on motor speed. 
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summetj

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I sharpened my HL blade out of the box and made sure it was balanced after doing so. I did not see any extra vibration when using it.  I remember reading of at least one other person who saw vibrations "out of the box", so I would definitely check the balance on the blade you have.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Eric
From whom did you purchase the blade ?
I have one on order with Amazon (2-5 week wait)
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Theresa Pipes

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I got mine in mid July, and it took Amazon nearly two months to get it here. It has helped both mulching and bagging. But I feel it could be better still. I would buy a super mulch blade if they offered one. I also would get an Oregon blade if they made one to work with Ego. Ego sure dropped the ball with performance blades. 
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Eric55

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I purchased my blade from Amazon and it took nearly 6 weeks to be delivered.  Home Depot was saying the blade was out of stock.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Thanks - just wanted to make sure I was standing in the right line.
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(a)Typical Engineer

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I can sort of understanding not wanting to sharpen it, but you should at least check if it is out of balance.
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Eric55

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All,
Thanks for your suggestions and feedback.  At lunch break today I did pull the blade off and checked the balance with an Arnold blade balance tool.  To the naked eye it looked fine but since the forum has been so helpful I acted like a good engineer and pulled out the micrometer to get exact specs.  The balance was off by 3/16 of an inch from plane.  In comparison the standard blade was off approximately by the same amount and experiences no vibration. Therefore I thought this was likely in specifications.  I did some precise grinding and was able to get the balance within 1/16" from plane.  This did reduce the vibration some but did not make it disappear.  I called customer service (and got through in less than 5 minutes, yeah!).  After going through some basic trouble shooting (was the blade tight, was it installed upside down, etc) they thought that the blade might be bent and plan on sending me a replacement blade when they arrive back in stock.  However this could take up to another 6 weeks.  I will update the report when I get the new blade.  If anybody else is able to get a blade please let me know if you experience similar performance and/or problems. 
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Theresa Pipes

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My HL blade was balanced well, but I did some filing because it felt less than sharp. I counted the strokes since I don't have a real balance tool, and checked it best I could. So far a good result. Still leaves some mulched grass behind, but much better with or without the bag. I mulch the back, and often have to bag the front as it is thicker and grows faster. (no malamute out front!)
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Michael G

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Eric55 thanks for the review. I ordered mine from Amazon on May 22nd and it was delivered today. So I'll be testing it out this weekend. 

I'll check the balance (I usually use a nail or putty knife) and watch for speed change from stock blade.

Mike
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Theresa Pipes

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Wow, I ordered mine early June, won't ship until maybe mid July. I was wondering, Oregon blades are really good, could I get one of those if it would fit? Getting pretty desperate for some suction power, so much of the fescue just folds over and doesn't come back up when you go over it. I sure don't like the idea of mowing the lawn two or three times over in hopes of an even cut.. What a mess this company is!
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Generic mower blades won't fit.
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David

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Can anybody guesstimate the reduced run time - all other things being the same (amount of grass/area). I am thinking of a HL blade but would not want to run out off battery at 3/4 mow. I'm all ready at 15-20% battery after a mow (with 7.5Ah battery)
(Edited)
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Dave .

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Got the blade today. 

I didn't need to sharpen it--surprise.

It's well balanced--no more vibration than the original, but it sounds more "powerful",thanks to increased air flow.  It sounds a bit louder but nothing I'd describe as objectionable by any means.

Cut quality is fine.

Vacuuming ability at the second to the lowest height is much better than the std blade, so it's well worth the money ($24 with tax) if you bag.  If you mulch, I don't know what the value proposition would be.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Thanks for the feedback, Dave. So you are bagging with the HL blade? The cut being fine, as in better than with the standard blade?
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Dave .

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Yes, I'm using the HL blade strictly for bagging.  Mulching performance with EGO mowers, using any blade isn't satisfactory to me.  I usually bag anyway, so it's not a biggie for me.  If I had a very large yard(s), then I'd have to have a good mulcher.
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jps

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The original poster Eric stated that the new blade caused the mower to run at a higher RPM. Is it possible that the new blade design puts more drag on the mower causing the mower to always run in 'turbo' mode the same way it does when it hits a patch of thick grass? That would explain some owners' shorter battery life. Would any of the new blade owners care to comment?
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Dave .

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the HL blade spins on my 21SP at the usual RPM.  It's not turning at the speed that the mower is capable of to power through heavy, tall grass.
(Edited)
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Michael G

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Eric55 - FYI I did a mulching test on some leaves with the standard and high-lift blades. Look at my response to this post ( https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/20-inch-high-lift-mower-blade-initial-impressions ). My conclusion is the standard blade was better.

Mike
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Dave .

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I was FINALLY able to clean off dirt and grass clippings from my sidewalks, now that I've got the HL blade installed.  Happy dance!  :)
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Portia Holliday

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This cleaning the sidewalks is nice. I need a blower for this, but have no plans to get one. Also I will need good Auction for Fall leaf clean up.
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(a)Typical Engineer

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I used my 20" gen 1 with modified HL blade (cut down AB2101) to vacuum up the driveway after making a mess with the trimmer, and while it didn't pick-up everything, it vacuumed up at least 80%.  Overall I'm very pleased with the vacuum benefit that the HL provides (even at the cost of reduced run time).
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Theresa Pipes

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I agree about the reduced run time vs. vacuum benefit. If you have to go and clean up after the mower it makes more jobs, like raking, and blowing off the cement mow strip. It still doesn't do a great job as compared to a cheap gas mower-- in terms of vacuum power. But the new blade is a great step in the right direction. I hope they keep improving blades and offering some choices.
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SCDC, Champion

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I'm not going to start a new thread, since this one is great.  I finally used my high lift blade yesterday.  My results were... well... mixed.

If you want to vacuum your lawn, this beast will suck the worms out of the ground.  If you want to mulch, pass, a ton of uncut grass patches you will have to mow over a few times to get them cut up.  (EGO has well documented this is no mulching blade, they are right).  The most amazing part was the battery drain.

Normally it takes about 10Ah of battery to do all of my lawn work, which includes weed eating, blowing and mowing.

Using the high lift blade it took a whopping 20.5Ah of battery! 

This fall I won't care, as this thing will suck up all of those annoying leaves, week after week.  But for summer grass cutting I'll be sticking with the regular blade.

It was nice to see my lawn with every last thing vacuumed off of the ground, you could almost see a sparkle  :)
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Craig E.

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21", right? Oddly, I think the HL blade mulches well on the 20" steel deck...
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SCDC, Champion

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21”. Correct. I even cut on level 2 so that I it would be close enough to the ground to recirculate. FYI, warm weather grass gets cut quite low. My centipede about 1.5 to 2 inches.