Initial mower review.... The goods... and the really bads...

  • 5
  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Implemented
Intro:  I've had this mower for a couple of weeks now and have a few runs on it.  Two minor cuts and today a very heavy wet cut (been gone for a few days, it's been raining, and the grass went crazy).

Location / Grass:  South Carolina.  Home of the heat and humidity (95 degrees, 50-60 percent humidity is not uncommon).  The "good" grass here is bermuda.  Those that have it as a typical grass type love it.  Those that have it as "weed" are in pure hell.  It thrives in the sun and heat and does not need much water.  This is a unique grass that "dies" (everything above surface goes brown and dies) every "winter" (after it hits 40-50's or so).  It comes back from the root every year and is one of the most hardcore grasses out there.  Sprinkle sand across the ground and it will cover the with runners and new roots in no time.  You HAVE to edge driveways and sidewalks or it will grow right across the top of a driveway.  Properly maintained and cut short, it is so bad*** it chokes out weeds.  Ideally, it's cut at about 1" or so during the spring or as short as you can without scalping the dirt, then go a bit higher during the summer when it gets hot.  The shorter you mow it, the more dense, thicker, and healthier it is.

Power
  • Idea: Being also into remote control cars (including electric), the whole battery thing GOOOOD.
  • Implementation:  Good to moderate.
  • Pros: The voltage supplies a good amount of power to the motor.  Even on my thick grass, it does not bog down.  The battery pack is for me sufficient.  Ability to swap with other EGO units, smart.  Not sure how many people notice, but the fact you built the mower for a physically bigger sized battery than the current largest one, good call ;)
  • Cons:  Moderately poor to horrible 30 minute charger design.  The way the battery docks into the charger is okay at best, but needs an easier "eject" function.  I've already called out in another thread the quite significant issues with the charger in the fact these batteries are not meant to be stored at either empty or full charge.  In the brilliance of this new battery mower design, this was a horrible oversight.  Huge plus: the warranty, huge negative: you as the manufacture will pay for this design flaw yourselves due to battery replacements. 

Storage
  • Idea:  Horizontal storage taking up to possibly on 25% of the space of your old mower:  BRILLIANT!  About time!  I recouped nearly half of my storage shed and can move the cushions from all my deck furniture all inside!
  • Implementation: #@%(*&$  SERIOUSLY?????? 
  • Pros:  Tons less storage space, fantastic, enough said
  • Cons:  The handle on the front of the deck, seriously?  Brilliant top engineers to design this state of the art new machine, and perhaps you handed of the handle design over to a junior high school intern?  You have a huge front gap of 6" that doesn't exist on nearly almost all of the other mowers on the market because of this ridiculous overhang in front of the unit.  I can think of 3 places just at initial glance that would have been EASILY a better location.  Bonus: you sell more trimmers because we're now forced to use them every time we mow and in places we've never had to trim before because the mower blade no longer can reach!  Also, the design of the side clips to keep the handles extended are very poor.  4 or 5 times every mow I have to reach down and close them because they keep popping open.

Other minor complains/issues:
  • Do you guys/gals seriously never cut wet grass?  Miss a big ole pile o' wet smelly dog fun stuff when cleaning up before mowing?  Not sealing the bottom of the deck so the unit could be carefully cleaned with water is a very poor idea in my opinion.  You didn't need to make it industrial pressure washer proof, but making it so the average joe could easily clean the deck would have really been a good idea.  Yes, I know the band-aids like spraying wd-40, etc, but that doesn't address the real issue.
  • Why can I tell the rough battery percentage on the charger, but why didn't you include a very simple (even if a 4 LED system) on the battery or mower itself?
  • One handle height adjustments, SO NICE!  However, I had 10-12 adjustments on my old cheap push gas mower.  This just doesn't cut it, right now #2 is too short and #3 is too long.  I'm kind of stuck needing something in the middle with no fix.

End result:  
Pro: Absolutely innovative, brilliant, moderately decently priced, solid replacement solution to your old gas powered needs.
Con: No other way to put it, fire the person or group of people responsible for coordinating consumer feedback prior to final product design and manufacturing, or implement one if you didn't (seems the more likely scenario).  The things I've posted are not rocket science and I've seen quite of number of other threads with similar ideas.  Some of these moderate to severe design flaws should have EASILY been found with appropriate levels of consumer testing.

Buy it again:  Yeah probably, but sure wish they would have had a v2 with these fixes already available.  I already have the without battery trimmer on my way and already know of some complaints and praise before it even arrives :D
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Eric

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Posted 5 years ago

  • 5
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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Official Response
Eric, thank you for taking the time for your detailed review. Regarding the difficulty you are experiencing with your charger, please call customer service at 1-855-346-5656 so we can help you from there. And please note that a fully charged battery will self-regulate to 30% charge after a month, so you have no need to worry about charge levels during storage.

(Edited)
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Eric

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Yes, unfortunately that feature is nearly pointless and way too late.  That is something that should be done after every use, not after a month.  These batteries are designed to be stored at a relatively specific capacity, cool, and dry.  See the info I posted here:
https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/charger_changes_update_for_better_battery_life
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Eric

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In regards to this, here is a perfect example.  3 is too long to maintain healthy bermuda here, and 2 is too short right now in the heat.  The thing is with this grass, the lower you can cut it and maintain a green, the thicker and healthier it grows.  If you mow it tall, it thins out, starts reaching for light, and has issues.




(Edited)
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SCDC, Champion

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I have to disagree about the con being the handle design.  Think of the handle of being a lever.  The longer it is, the easier it is to tilt and move the mower.  The angles are nice for my 6'1 height and I like the weird handle shape.  My 5'6 hobbit height daughter likes it also, sure it's long, but try to navigate the mower with the handle down.  Ahh the physics of a lever.  Just like nails, can't remove one with a small hammer, get a long lever type nail remover.  Pop them right out.  All about leverage.

Other concerns about battery seem to be well addressed.  After a full charge, take it out of the charger and put on a shelf in the house.  Good temperature and it will self regulate to a proper storage voltage.  I think they are well designed.

Cutting height.  This one has got me a bit.  I have the EXACT same 1/2' issue.  I'm thinking about using my vice to bend the blade, it is thin metal and should be able to mold easily.  I don't want to use the washer method, as I see a serious problem with that.  The OEM setup, the blade mounting plate does not come in contact with the upper motor mount.  With washers, the washer does.  With these speeds, it will heat up and weld itself up there and may permanently damage the mower.  They really should have considered a 2 1/2" position as it seems to be the sweet spot for all warm weather grasses.  The 1 and 2 positions are basically useless without a perfectly flat lawn.  Fescue isn't picky, you can set it at 4 and go.

Very nice post and well thought out, thank you for the good read!

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Eric

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Thanks for the feedback, but I think you may be confused on two of my points so just a follow up response:

1) The handle I'm referring to is the one on the front of the deck, not the one you use to push the mower.  Putting a handle on the front of the mower deck causes you to loose 6" of cutting space roughly in front of the unit where a traditional mower would be able to reach.

2) "Good temperature and it will self regulate to a proper storage voltage" - Absolutely 100% wrong, sorry.  Batteries do not "self regulate" to a proper voltage, they have to be charged or drained to that proper voltage BEFORE storage, something the stock charger is not capable of doing (short of watching it and pulling it off roughly when the lights hit the first sign of 50%). Storage also is anything more than 12-24 hours, so ideally unless you're cutting every day this should be a normal process.  Again, look up proper care of li-po/li-fe/li-ion batteries or the other thread I posted about the battery/charger issues.  They HAVE TO BE STORED at cool temperatures and at 40% charge roughly after every use if done properly.  Storing them drained, full charge, or in warmer temperatures is EXTREMELY detrimental to the capacity and lifespan of the battery.  There is no room for debate on this, it's a fact.  Again, just a quick google search on storage/charging will yield more info than you ever wanted.  The charger and recommended process by the manufacture is poor and will cost them RMA's for batteries in the future.
(Edited)
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SCDC, Champion

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Hi Eric,

1.  Then I complete misunderstood the response from Ego, now I'm a little ticked off.  Those 4ah batteries are not cheap and I purchased an extra.  The charger should have a setting or button you can push for "storage".  Or some sort of self regulation.  I'm 100% with you on that one.

2.  The handle on the front is worthless and used up space, completely with you on that one.

Thank you for correcting me, and your points are spot on.

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Jacob

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I agree on the front handle. Unless it is there for some other purpose internal to the mower, then whoever thought it was a good idea really F'd up and should be fired. i want to take my saw to it and remove it. but that will no doubt void my warranty. 
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Ed

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If you want to drain the battery for storage just leave the headlights on after mowing
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SCDC, Champion

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I have already decided the best thing is to drain it, and charge until 1st bar on charger is solid, then pull.  Yours is a much safer way to drain the battery than mine  :)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I just came across this older thread and wanted to shed some light on the battery maintenance issue.

Eric, you are correct; lithium cells do not automatically discharge to a proper storage voltage. However, the Ego battery PACK is designed to discharge its cells to a proper storage voltage after a sedentary period of one month. It is not the CELL that performs this action, it is the pack electronics that do. It is a very sophisticated system, one that earned my business after researching.

Knowing, like you, that cells are better stored in a semi-depleted state, my personal approach is to charge the pack just before cutting the lawn and not recharge it immediately afterwards. In my case, this drains the pack to roughly 50% capacity before storage and the pack only sees a full charge level for a short while before mowing.

I hope that helps.
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Meatus Upkill

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...I thought I read a thread somewhere that said I should keep the battery in the charger. Is this false information? I was thinking perhaps buying another charger just to keep my second battery "safe"...
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Eric

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From their corporate / support perspective, no problem.

From the science, research, and many years of working usage of the technology.... yes it's a bad idea.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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In my opinion, for the masses who don't study lithium ion charging, discharging and storage philosophy, I think the Ego long term storage mode is a solid 90% solution.

Especially when compared to their competition. Wait, let me take that back... as far as battery and charger tech goes, Ego has no competition. :-)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Meatus, you can keep the batteries on the charger if you want, but there's no need for it. The pack will discharge to 30% capacity for long term storage whether it's on a charger or not.
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Jason

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Correct me if I'm wrong Blue: if the battery is stored on the charger wouldn't the charger prevent the pack's discharge?  Or does the charger shutdown after the battery reaches 100% & doesn't attempt to charge until a disconnect/reconnect cycle?
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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Hi Jason, the charger will shutdown after the battery reaches 100% and doesn't attempt to charge until a disconnect/reconnect cycle.
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Jason

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Excellent! I was a little concerned since I mow at most 1-2x/week. Thank you Jennifer!