LM2021 Review, POWER+ 20" LAWN MOWER WITH STEEL DECK

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
Review time...

I have a batch of first gen equipment and it was time to swap, so all new 4th/5th gen?

20" steel mower, backpack blower, and the new mutli-tool systems.

First up and most important, the LM2021 mower.

The good:

Glad to see they implemented nearly all the changes I recommended since the first model.  No more lost key.  No more huge nose on the front of the mower that makes it difficult to move. Etc.

Motor wise, the new brushless is substantially different from the first gen.  The first gen (for lack of better way to describe it) sounded like a very loud weed wacker.  Was it quieter than a gas mower, absolutely, but nothing that was mind blowing.  This new motor is substantially quieter in operation, like the blower on lowest setting.  It also has a sucking/hissing sound like a dyson vacuum cleaner.  Power wise, I haven't been able to stress it much due to some major design limitations (we'll get to that in a minute), but it appears to pack quite a bit more punch.  I purposely put it in the dirt and sections where it should bog a bit and it kept rolling through.  As expected, this all looks good.

Much more solid of a unit due to the steel deck, but it's not too heavy.  It still feels substantially less weight than a gas model, but still has the ease of maneuverability like the previous plastic/poly models.  Should hold up well long term and allow for a bit more ease of cleaning.

The bad:

Possibly wheels, to be determined.  I was concerned with nearly 100% plastic wheels on the old model, but they held up incredibly well.  A common issue with gas mowers due to weight, is the wheels developing a horrible wobble to them.  I HOPE with the added weight of the metal deck that this does not become an issue now with this model.

Same lazy, head in the sand, designers built some of the electronics.  There is so much tech already built into the mower and battery, yet EGO continues to completely ignore customer requests for something other than GREEN GOOD RED BAD.  I can get this option in a $5 flashlight EGO, come on.  This technology exists in the current model, in the chargers, and numerous other applications, could very easily and very inexpensively added, but they are too lazy or are just ignoring customer requests.  I don't need a 10" LCD panel with RPM's, temperature, humidity, time, soccer scores, my heart-rate, oh and by the way the battery status... Just give me a percentage, or we'd even settle for 4-10 LED lights showing a countdown.  Nothing stinks more than trying to finish a job, only to have 1/3 left to do in the front yard and RED CIRCLE OF DEATH appears.

Let's be honest, there is no 100% appeasing everyone when it comes to ride height.  Us southern guys/gals will state that we need to scrape the dirt while drinking sweet tea, and the notherners ZERMEHGERD CANT CUT LESS THAN 8" HIGH OR WE WILL ALL DIE (hehe, born and raised there, simmer down, it's a good joke).  That being said, again so many possibilities for greatness, so many lazy engineers.  This unit cuts at 1.5-1.75" MINIMUM which is WAY too high for the spring dense grasses like bermuda.  Basically bermuda and other southern grasses basically die off on the surface but the roots stay alive.  Early spring, everything starts to "sprout" from the soil again.  In order to ensure the lawn grows OUT and not UP, in turn filling in nice in thick, you want to cut it often and low.  I cut with my old mower 6 or so days ago, we've had good rain and the grass is filling in, and in lowest setting the new mower barely touched the tips of the grass.  It should have cut a good .5-.75 off ideally.  The new lift system is MUCH better than the old, and they had so many options to put in more settings!  There are HUGE gaps where if they put a slightly smaller lever and thicker metal, they could have put 10 settings on this thing!  There is no mechanical reason not to have done so!  So moral of the story here is, due to lazy engineers, those of us with thick short lawns need to be prepared to waste excess time mowing the lawn every couple of days throughout the spring to get a healthy lawn re-started, buy a different mower, or get ready to start some modifications out of the box to get it to work where it should be.


So the summary, looks great, will perform well, still need to fire some of the designers who ignore the obvious :D



Part of the new fleet:


Too long for early spring bermuda:


Shortest setting:


So much possibility wasted!


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Eric

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Posted 2 years ago

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TK

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Wonders why the change to a steel deck? How much is the added weight? Thanks
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Eric

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To be honest, not 100% sure.  The manual on the website and that shipped with the mower do not match the part number, so I'm not positive the information is correct.  If it is correct, it doesn't appear to be a huge change in weight.  Moving and lifting it it feels like more, but that could be psychological.
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Mr. J

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Thank you for the information on the new mower. Just wonder, has the mulching improved over the other models?
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Eric

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Can't comment yet, will once the grass gets longer and into a real mulching mode.
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ClarkM

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Grow...Faster...
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Eric

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Mulching I can not comment, but I can definitely say the power is MUCH higher than the gen1.  Spots my gen1 would have bogged down and gone yellow light, this one didn't even change RPM.  Power is drastically increased from what I can tell.
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David HD, Champion

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I would be very curious to it's ability to mulch cut, as I do mostly mulch cut on my lawn all season long - except the first Spring cut and last Fall cut. Please keep us posted ... :-)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Thanks for a good first look at the new steel deck mower!

You aren't the first to complain about the minimum height being too tall.  I wonder if there's more to it than what we can see?  I.E. some other legal/functional/mechanical reason for keeping the blade higher off the ground?  Dunno, but it seems like it would be easy to make it cut lower.

Agreed 120% on the battery power indicator.  When Ego first launched I figured they would introduce a new battery design two years in to entice upgrades.  Here we are in the fourth season and still, the one universal complaint about Ego, mentioned in the vast majority of all product reviews, is the two-stage battery power indicator.  A three or four stage indicator could be implemented without even changing the three color LED already used in the battery.

Why Ego, why?
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TK

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scwoopp, I agree..  Many just want to be right with their theory.
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Jacob

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Get a reel mower if you need that kind of accuracy. Seriously.
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Eric

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Amazing... people flipped their (#%@(*&# over the original model because it didn't cut high enough, pitchforks and all, knowing that when the bought the mower to start with. That half inch, (less variance I'm talking about), and built to spec, was the life and death of their lawn. However, those of us that just want it to cut as advertised (and yes, specs were looked at) because we have turf grasses, we're just being picky and unrealistic and should just buy a different product.

Amazing how people can hop on the "get over it" bandwagon, until it impacts them directly then somehow it's a major problem.  This is the case even after being shown WHY it actually matters to those of us that have turf.

And no problem that I've probably called out a QA, design, or documentation issue.  I'm just pursuing my "theory" (of facts).

Fact: The mower can and does work, but it needs modification to do what it claims it can do out of the box, but doesn't.  Somehow I'm the problem here... 
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The tread on the tires is about 1/8" deep, so if you figure that sinks into the lawn instead of elevating the mower you're down another 3mm... only off by 4mm now. ;-)
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szwoopp, Champion

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Eric I was just asking as it made no sense to me.
Asked and answered. Have at it until it satisfies what you need.
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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Eric, positive or negative, it’s thoughtful feedback like this that makes this community great.
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Eric

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No problem Amber.  End of the day the brand is great, but still new and hopefully ready to continuously improve.
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TK

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Tune in for the next episode....
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TK

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Ok, so the blade ANGLE is like an airplane prop with a fixed angle of pitch. The greater the pitch the more air you draw.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Amber is referring to the angle of the axis the blade spins on. The axis isn't perpendicular to the ground, it's tilted towards the front of the mower slightly so the leading edge of the blade cuts slightly closer to the ground than the trailing edge.

She's saying the front of the blade is the closest point to the ground and the cutting height should be measured there, not at the side or rear of the deck.
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Dave .

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What kind of gas mowers are you talking about that have wheel wobble?  I've had mowers with more than 10 years on them without wheel wobble.  Are you talking about el-cheapo brands?
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Eric

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Troy Bilt with Honda motors, etc.
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Eric

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Update and new items...

I forgot to mention this originally.  It's semi cosmetic, I can fix it, but it's the little things that make "joe consumer" irritated when they spend 2-3x the price of a normal mower.  On the folding engagement handle, the pin is too big or the holes are too small.  Normally you squeeze the handle, but in this case once it's lined up, you have to pull the handle in the wrong direction where you normally wouldn't, in order to force it into the hole all the way.  Won't take me but a minute or two with a dremmel, but simple things like this should easily be found during the design and QA testing.  If they had performed extremely basic QA function testing, they would have immediately realized the parts didn't match up properly.  The shine isn't glare from the sun, it's where the surface has already worn away and the metal is getting scrapped away as it's forced in.  Simple fix on my part, but something that shouldn't happen.



So back to the height issues.  I inspected the unit and found no signs of any breakage, bending, or anything that would accidentally lead to excess height my mower has.  It is certainly possible the rod was not bent at the right angle (and honestly I fully expect this to be the explanation the "experts" come back with).  None the less, on my mower, I found the undocumented "setting zero" that is missing in the manual ;) A little dremmel work to create a notch and to move the handle lower than it should go and I have 29mm ride height (1/2" from where setting one is, but only 1mm height wise from where the spec should be).  Grass is much happier.



So for those poking fun because they don't get it, here is the difference between a healthy spring bermuda grass vs an unhealthy.  The line in the middle you can see is the property line.  The grass in the picture gets the exact same water (my sprinkler system throws into their yard), same fertilizer (I go into their yard a bit), etc.  These pictures are 12" away from each other. Healthy bermuda will actually choke out weeds. Also, if it gets longer, I can cut 2 inches off without issue. If they do that next door in another month or two, it will cut nearly 100% of the green off and be left with a completely brown lawn that has to then try to recover. In about a month when the rest of the lawn finishes filling in heavy, I will go up one setting on the mower. When it gets dry and we hit 95-105, I will go up another. As I said, this isn't like keeping of kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye. ;)



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Blue Angel, Champion

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Looking good, Eric.  Nice job on "setting zero". :-)
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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Ooo, that shorter nose would be nice. 
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Eric

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Not sure if you meant notch or nose, but yes either way :D  The silly long nose handle was a huge fail in the original design IMO, part of my call out on the gen1.  I was really glad to see that gone.  If you mean notch, just check and see if your mower is anywhere near spec before modification heh.
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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I meant nose for sure. 
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rob shoaf

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I had the same issue getting the pins to engage more than just a bit on the handle locking mechanism also.  Eventually with fussing around they engage but took a few tries and pins would pop out and handle tilt up at first.
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Eric

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Latest updates.  Grass is getting longer, super thick, I'm now up to the official "1" slot vs my modifications (1- Actual 38mm -- Manual 30mm), I still haven't bothered to sharpen the blade from stock, and I still haven't once had it bog down.  Power is still greatly improved over gen1.

Mulching, I'd say a TENTATIVE thumbs up-ish.  I was in Munich for a week and it's been raining, so I had to actually cut about 2" off of bermuda in spots, so this is quite a bit of grass.  Overall (even with a stock blade), it seemed to have a lot less clumps and long clippings that I would have expected.  But this is just once so far, so again I'll give it a hypothetical thumbs up in mulching for now until I get repeated results.

Still nothing about the QA issues, the fact it doesn't meet the spec sheet, but assume I never will.  My mods will work for my use and I'll just continue to warn users getting the new mowers that they might not get what they should expect if they have turf grass.
(Edited)