Mulching Tip for 21" mowers

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   I have found that if you mow your yard in a square pattern instead of straight back and forth rows, you can eliminate the look of rows of poorly mulched clippings left behind along the left side of your 21" mower. Starting on the outside edge of your yard with the left side of the mower facing the inside of the square. Keep going in a square until you finish in the middle of your yard. As you cut, just overlap a couple inches on the right side so it will recut the clippings that came from the left side of the mower on the previous pass. When your done you won't see any rows of clippings left behind. It worked for me. This tip is just a work around and is not a cure for this mowers poor mulching ability and lack of suction/lift. 
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Gerry Litvin

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  • still undecided

Posted 4 years ago

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Blue Angel, Champion

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Although this issue does exist for some owners, I do feel the need to point out not only the stellar reviews these mowers have received by popular channels (we're all aware), but also the impressive reviews posted by customers on Home Depot's website.

As of now, the reviews for the Self Propelled model, both as a kit and bare tool:



And for the push model, both in kit and bare tool form:



I'm not trying to downplay the issue, just trying to keep things in perspective... well over 95% of reviewers would recommend these mowers.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Gerry, I honestly don't know if exchanging for a new one is worth a try or not.

In a case like this it's impossible to tell how widespread the issue actually is. There's a chance that some people have the issue and don't realize it, or don't care, or simply don't have a lawn thick enough to cause it. I can tell you, based on the way the average person in my neighborhood (doesn't) care for their lawn, most of them would likely give any battery mower a 5 star review simply because it's more convenient than what they were using before. The less effort involved in "caring" for their property the better!

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't know if there's a variation in the mowers themselves, or whether the issue is dependent on some blend of subjectivity and mowing conditions... I tend to think the latter is more likely. I doubt the CR report was covering anything up, they likely just didn't have conditions that demonstrated the problem.

It would be VERY interesting if two 21"'mower owners, one with the issue and one without, could trade mowers and see if the issue follows the mower or stays with the environment.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Building on what Rob said regarding Champions, it's not easy sometimes to keep a positive and constructive conversation going without sounding like a mindless cheerleader. I certainly enjoy taking part here and I wouldn't do it if that were not the case.

I know that trying to put a positive spin on a thread focusing on an issue is not really helping solve the problem, I apologize for that. Perhaps the best thing to do would have been to simply start a new thread about the HD reviews? Looking back it does somewhat appear to be a hijack of the topic.

Anyway, I do try to feed a constructive environment, and Gerry's original post was indeed very constructive.
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David Cline

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Exchanging the mower would be a very informative data point if the new mower performed better. However the only contributor here that has tried two different mowers, Steve, saw similar performance from both.
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AJ

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I would be very surprised if any two mowers produced different results.  My understanding is that the motor is computer controlled so the speed of rotation is likely very close across all mowers.  And the shape of the blades is likely within a few thousandth's of an inch.

I suspect that the difference is in the type of grass.  My lawn is a variety of fescue with very fine blades.  Does it make sense that thin blades of grass require move suction to pick up because individual blades of grass have less surface area?
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Blue Angel, Champion

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My gut feeling is the same, AJ, that it's more of an environment thing than a mower-to-mower variation.
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Exrace

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I would be curious if the underside of the deck has something that is disturbing air flow. Maybe the insert for the mulching option? I have the 21 SP on the way and will defiantly be troubleshooting this myself.
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Dave .

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Although some others on this board have argued the point, I still contend that a mower with dual blades is inherently better at mulching.   My Honda Harmony mower had two blades and it pulverized the grass into very tiny bits.   The Ego 21SP cuts each blade just one time--hardly "mulching", eh?
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Exrace

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I have a 20 year old Honda with a single blade that mulches well...wonder if the blade will fit the Ego? Have to give up on the old girl as the steel deck is slowing returning to the raw materials the deck was made out of...rusting away. Engine is still perfect!  :)
(Edited)
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David Cline

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I've had a Honda that could be retrofitted with a dual blade and one that couldn't but I tried to anyway. Two blades aren't better than one if the deck isn't designed for dual blades.
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Dave .

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I guess part of the reason my Honda Harmony easily sold for $200 after roughly 14 years of use, was that the deck was a super-tough plastic, which goes by the trade name Xenoy.  No dings are cracks and it was very slippery so grass was easily to rinse off of the underside when the occasion arose.
(Edited)
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John S

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Gerry - Thanks for sharing the tip.  I can't wait to try your technique this weekend.

I read reviews about the lift issue before I bought my LM2101.  However, I decided the positive attributes in the feedback out weighed that issue.  Overall, I've very pleased with all my purchases (lawnmower, blower, hedge trimmer & string trimmer).  The LM doesn't pick up leaves embedded in my Florida St. Augustine grass so I occasionally need to rake leaves that would normally be picked up by a good mulching gas mower.  However, on the safety side I never have issues with dangerous projectiles such as stones, etc.

Gerry - Thanks again for taking time to share your idea.

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Lawrence DIYer

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I think Exrace is on the right track.

I just got my 21" SP this morning and noticed the trail of clippings. After reading the postings here, I started wondering if the problem doesn't exist or is less pronounced on the 20" model, what is the difference? I mean, what is the distance from the tip of the blade to the housing for each model? Does the 21" model have a bigger gap, so that it allows more grass clippings to avoid the blade? If so, maybe what we need is a 21 1/2" blade?!? Or better yet, make a ring insert that has a near-zero clearance to the blade.

Yes, we can overlap the trail of clippings to get rid of them, but doesn't that turn a 21" mower into a 19" mower? This also takes more time, and if you happen to only have one battery and run out before you finish, it can be annoying.

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