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The photos below show the results. Grass was dry - watered Friday early morning and I just finished mowing the lawn now on Sunday afternoon. Cut height was 4 - right in the middle - which is the same as it was when I mowed the grass 5 days ago. Mowing pace was slow walking.
The only way I can get this mower to mulch is to walk at a crawling pace. Literally. A normal walking pace results in rows of long clippings deposited to the left side of the mower. So I either have to crawl or re-mow the clippings - essentially mowing the lawn twice.
1. Extremely slow crawl seems to work. (But your battery may run out do to much longer cutting time needed.)
2. Cutting the lawn twice also helps quite a bit.
3. Raise your cutting height to 5 or 6. This will help with your line of clippings even if this is not your desired cutting height.
4. Cut the lawn every 2 or 3 days so it doesn't have a chance to grow much.
5. Using the bag does work nicely as long as you have a place to dump your clippings. You also lose all the benefits of mulching!
6. Return it to Home Depot and get a Honda. Your grass mulching performance and ability to pick up debris and mulch it to, should greatly improve. However, you will then have to deal with gas, oil, filter, spark plug and much more maintenance.
7. Hope that EGO can come up with an answer that works for these issues (poor mulching and poor suction) before your return policy time limit expires at Home Depot.
I will probably go with suggestion #6 as I do not really like 1-5. I hope that suggestion #7 comes through soon as I really do love every other thing about this mower.
Here is mine, cutting off nearly half the blade (way too much for a single cut) after over a week of growth when the grass was wet:
Even though the wet clippings clumped to one side, they were still mulched into pretty small pieces. I've never seen this when cutting dry grass or not taking off more than 1/3 of the blade. For my grass that typically means mowing roughly every 5-6 days.
Make sure the underside of your deck is clean and the blade is freshly sharpened. And of course don't try to take off more than 1/3 of the height (with any mower—it's very bad for the health of your grass!)
I used a silicone type spray on the underside of the deck. It didn't work that well. I just received an order of plastic scrapers to see if they at least work well with the fine stuff that accumulates that can't really be brushed off.
Heavy-Duty Industrial Strength Scour Pad (3-Pack)
And then a finer scrub pad (similar to the rough side of a dish sponge) to gently clean the plastic:
Commercial Size Heavy Duty Scour Pad
I didn't have the time to finish, but the top half shows the results I was getting without using water:
Cleaning with water is fine as long as it's zero pressure. So spraying with a hose is a definite no-no, but a wet sponge isn't a problem. That said, I routinely sprayed the underside of the deck on my 20" with a 25 degree nozzle on a 1700 PSI pressure washer and it still runs perfectly. But I don't recommend this.
I used my 21 SP for the first time June 18th and noticed this left side clippings issue others have reported. I studied the bottom of the mower and noticed that the blade of this mower does not sit very deep in the mower deck...mine the blade is almost flush with the lower edge of the deck.
Wondering if the blade depth into the deck and the height your cutting grass has anything to do with keeping the grass suspended and mulching the clippings?
Another part of this is if you look at the base of the 20" and the base of the 21" the deck is much deeper right before the drop out for the grass catcher on the 21. David Cline's photo in this topic shows that quite clearly - the 20 is very shallow compared to the 21. The grass starts to fall and exits "stage left" on the mower deck. (and you wonder why I used staging tape!)
Theory is if blade has more lift (more lift means shorter battery life) the grass would stay suspended and possibly get cut again.
Ego...any chance we can get a blade to test this theory? I love this mower and would hate to return due to this defect.
I have owned my 20 inch mower for nearly two years now and I see that as being true for the mower(they wouldn't even release larger tires to possible raise the mowing height of the 20 inch model).
They didn't actually fix the feeding issue that arose on the 12" trimmer, instead they released the 15" version .
Expecting any changes on the 21" mower is to wait for new 22" Ego in a couple years.
The included blade is a very efficient "3-in-1" type design. By efficient I mean aerodynamically efficient, in that the mower spends less energy pushing the blade through the air while cutting. This also seems to have the side effect of creating less airflow under the deck to keep clippings suspended for mulching. That's my understanding of the issue, anyway.
Assuming that there's no fatal flaw with the design of the mower deck itself (I somehow don't think that's the case), Ego very well COULD improve the mulching performance of the mower by releasing a more aggressive 3-in1 blade design.
This new blade would be less efficient, which would reduce run times and maybe even push the mower into overload easier in dense turf. However, I would imagine there are lots of people who would gladly trade a little run time for better cutting performance. I can't help but think there are tons of customers who don't need the 45-60 minute run times of the mowers the way they are.
Three reasons why this would be a good idea (in my opinion):
1. It has the potential to "fix" the issue for current owners who experience it (not everyone does).
2. The mower could continue to be sold "as is" with the current blade. The new blade would be an optional accessory that doesn't affect the advertised run times of the mower, and a thorough explanation of the new blade design and its effects could be included on the label of the new blade (reduced run time, increased noise etc.).
3. It would be a heck of a lot cheaper than redesigning the mower, which I think we all know is not going to happen.
Heck, if this was to happen I would encourage Ego to release the high lift bagging blade as well so owners have three options at their disposal. And to heck with Home Depot if they don't want to carry them in store... at least make them available online through HD or Amazon, and don't forget about us little folk up here north of the border!!! :-)
Now I must repeat, this is all assuming that a blade change is capable of correcting the issue. If there are other factors in play it might not be feasible. This is a definite possibility since the 21" blade appears to have a very similar design to the 20" mower's blade, and it mulched better according to those who have owned both.
Just my 2 cents
Options are good to have, and seldom does a single solution satisfy all equally. :-)
Update on Tape Mod:
I did another test this time with the 1/2" tape lip covering the bottom half of the mower deck.
The extra coverage looked to keep the grass suspended a bit better and the dropping of clippings was less. I could get clippings to drop but I had to travel at a real fast walk pace.
Next test will be using stiff cardboard to start making a template for the rubber I am going to try.
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