Not Mulching

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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  • (Edited)
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I have an EGO 21" Self Propelled recently purchased from Home Depot.  I read and watched many reviews and was very excited to have a seemingly powerful and well designed lawn mower.  I've used it a few times now, once with the bag, twice with the mulching plug.  The mower bags grass nicely, but the mulching performance is very poor.

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.

Any suggestions?



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AJ

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Posted 4 years ago

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Tim Krehbiel

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After a 6 week wait and over a dozen phone calls, I finally got the 21" SP mower I ordered (Home depot is the worst). Like most of you, I noticed the blade produces virtually zero vacuum.    

Is it possible to just swap the blade to a more standard, generic blade sold everywhere?  The stock Ego blade seems thin and light, and has almost no pitch, which I assume is for power consumption issues.  I have multiple batteries for multiple ego products, so run time isn't a concern for me.  The mounting of the blade on the bottom of the Ego seems pretty standard.  Will any 21" blade fit? Any hazards mounting a different mulching blade?  
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Exrace

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You would have to size it up length and depth of the pitch but the mounting hole would need to be exact as any thing slight bit off center you will have a nice ground compactor! (vibration). I would be curious what you find. Others might have some input as well.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I'm pretty sure a member here found a suitable aftermarket blade a while ago, but I didn't pay much attention since I have the older 20" mower.

The big thing with mower blades is they're made with fairly hard steel that doesn't drill easily. Unless you have the proper tooling to cut hard steel the center hole will need to be a very close fit, like Ex said.
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Tim Krehbiel

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Just following up about blades.... I'm not sure what size center hole is "standard", but the ego blade has a 17mm Dia center hole. My gas mower (old weed eater brand) has a 16mm center hole, so it will not fit. Anyone know what a universal fit blade will have?

On a side note, the 21" ego mower blade measures just a bit over 20" wide. I'd guess about 20 1/8. My weed eater mower is a 19", yet the blade is about 19 7/8" wide. What's with that? Seems like ego cheated just a bit with their 21" size. Either that, or weed eater seriously undersold their 19" mower.
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Exrace

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I have been looking at different blades and found this site: http://www.oregonproducts.com/pro/products/oep/blades/blades.htm

When you measure the blade length is measured on a diagonal.

The hole size is 17mm (.664 inch) for those looking.

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Andy

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I have decided to return the mower back to Home Depot as I can't live with the mediocre mulching performance.  
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Dave .

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I can certainly understand that.
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AJ

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I regret to say that I have decided to return the EGO mower to Home Depot.  It's going back today.  I've tried the various tricks for mowing patterns, but I either have to mow at a snail's pace or overlap by 50% in order to mulch the grass.  For $600 that is unacceptable.

I will keep watching and hope that EGO will solve the mulching issue in the next version of this lawn mower.
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Rob

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You have to do what you have to do. I had to return mine also. It's not fun but at over $600, you aren't getting what you are paying for. Nowhere near it.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Yep, it either works for you or it doesn't.
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Steve Valdes

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I don't blame you. We deal with this issue day in and day out and it sucks. We will be looking for a better solution asap.
(Edited)
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James Peden

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I had two Worx cordless mowers before the EGO SP. The first Worx cut as badly as the EGO. The second Worx (which wasn't self-propelled like the first one) mulched beautifully with a two part blade. We sold it as well as the first one to help pay for the the EGO. Everything about the EGO is superior, except it's grass cutting is so poor. It needs a blade like the the Worx WG772  which is also 56V but charges very slowly compared to EGO. I wrote support and suggested the get the Worx EG772 mulching blade and copy it. It would solve everybody's problem.
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Dave .

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If by "two part blade" you are referring to a design similar to Honda's, I've been saying that since I got on this forum months ago.  My Harmony mower did a fantastic job of mulching because it has  two blades--one over the other.  People here argued with me that that design isn't why the Honda mulches so well and the Ego is so bad at it, having one blade.
(Edited)
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bloomz

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Looks like the Worx blade is only 19"
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David HD, Champion

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I actually just returned my 21" Self-Propelled EGO lawn mower to HD this week.  Like James, I totally agreed that the EGO 21" lawn mower is a "superior" machine with built quality, battery life, and ease of use.  However, when it comes to "mulch" cutting on a thick lawn, it struggles to cut the grass without leaving a "noticeable" trail of clippings on the left side of the lawn mower - at least on my lawn, can not speak for everyone else.

As a result, I bought a Honda lawn mower with twin-cutting blades, and immediately put this new machine to the test.  Right away, I did not see any major issues with my clippings, as the "twin-blades" cut the grass so small that the clippings blend right in with the yard (see picture below).  The one time I did bag my clippings with the EGO, it did a very good job with my yard.  However, I "mulch" cut 98% of the time so having a lawn mower that can handle this job is very important to me.

Understand that I still own an EGO 15" trimmer and 530 CFM leaf blower, with great success.  I absolutely love these two EGO power tools, and will recommend these products to everyone.  Will seriously consider their new snow blower this fall as well, so I have a lot of confidence in their products.  Will wait to see what new upgrades are coming in the future with their lawn mowers.

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Gerry Litvin

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David,
   I also still have my 530 CFM leaf blower but returned the 21" Non SP mower due to the same issue that you had with it. So I now need to get a new mower.  Your lawn appears to look very nice now with no trail of clippings. Which Honda model # did you get? Did you get it at HD.
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David HD, Champion

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Thank you, I take great pride in caring for my lawn - some of my neighbors think I am a Lawn Nut, yet they always asked me for advices on when to fertilize and how short they should cut their grass ... LOL.

That said; I bought the Honda HRR216K9VLA model, with a 21" cutting path, and an "electric" start key from Home Depot.  It's definitely heavier than the EGO lawn mower, but most gas lawn mowers are heavy by design.
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bloomz

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I said this before but since ran it thru the "mulching test" for the last couple weeks., with the plug in.

I really have no problem with it, yeah sometimes at the end of a row there's a small pile of grass droppings, but a quick over it again and they're gone.

And, I put it to the real test when I used my hedge trimmer to brutalize a few overgrown shrubs I have, then raked then into a pile and ran over them with the mower - and they basically disappeared, including some small bamboo shoots, which left just the bare stems.

I'm still slightly disappointed that it doesn't lift leaves up and they have to be raked to the surface, but by and large the convenience and actual pleasure of using this mower over rules those slight inconveniences.

IMNSHO mine mulches fine, but needs more lift which I hope will be supplied with the high lift blade. 

Slight lines along the wheel rows to me are milking mice, not that big of deal at all, it's SO easy to just run over them again if they bother me.  My gas mulching Honda (double blades) left the same trails.
(Edited)
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Dave .

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David, I came within a hairs-breath of getting that same Honda mower (even though I had a perfectly good Harmony w/ twin blades).  I took a big hit in cutting performance by getting the Ego and ONLY got and kept it because there are no fumes, etc.  The Ego is far more flimsy--you can see the wheels come off the ground  unevenly when you twist the handle in the gentlest of manners.   The Xenoy deck on my Honda was plastic, yet it never got damaged, nor did it flex. I wonder if I spent my money wisely, in buying the Ego 21SP.   Their other products I find perfect for my needs.  Not so much the mower.
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Tim Krehbiel

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Honda definitely makes some nice cutting mowers, but I'm a little surprised you found the build quality to be better than ego's.  When I was shopping for them, I was consistently disappointed with the build quality of the Hondas and Toros.  Every one of them still use those thin black steel tubes for a push handle, which is just archaic compared to the slick collapsible and fold-able aluminum handle ego has. Similarly, I thought the levers and dead-man bars on the Hondas and Toros weren't nearly as nice as the egos, since the ego bars and levers just run a switch, while the Hondas and Toros are always attached to a long steel cable full of friction.  The Ego height adjustment is also much nicer than the individual wheel adjustments found on the others.  

I think Honda and Toro could learn a thing or two from the design of the ego mower. Similarly, Ego could probably learn a few things about mulching from the other two. 
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David HD, Champion

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David, since I bought my EGO on the Home Depot credit card, I was able to return the mower without incident.  Therefore, I decided to move forward with the Honda mower instead.  I have been using it now for 3 weeks, with 2 cuts per week since my lawn is growing really fast due to the rain.  So far, I am very pleased with this mower and it's mulching capability.  Matter of fact, I just cut my lawn today and once again, no clipping trails on my yard at all - and my turf is pretty darn thick (see the picture).  Like you, I was torn about keeping the EGO mower but I had to do what was best for my lawn.  I don't enjoy going back to a gas mower, but I am willing to make compromises - since I still have the EGO trimmer and leaf blower.


Bloomz, I don't have the same experience you do with your Honda lawn mower.  My new mower does not have any clipping trails, when I cut my grass.  Like my previous posts, I really love EGO products and really wish I was not so "particular" with mulch cutting my grass, but my lawn did not agree with the EGO 21" SP mower.  I know many people are happy with their mowers and that is great, but I was not so lucky.  Their other products are great and I am really happy with them.  Waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on their new "snow blower" and the "backpack leaf blower"  Next year, I might even switch out my old electric "hedge trimmer" and replace it with the EGO one.


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David HD, Champion

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Hey Tim, sorry if I did not communicate clearly.  In my previous post, I indicated that I LOVE the "built" quality of the EGO mower.  I agree with you that all mowers should be built similarly to the EGO lawn mower.  For me, a good "mulch" cutting mower was very important to my lawn and unfortunately, the EGO did not meet my expectation.  As for the Honda, they could be better in their built quality but I am willing to compromise for a good "mulch" cut.  If I can merge these 2 mowers into one "mean lean cutting machine," that is battery operated instead of gas, you know I will be ALL OVER IT!!!!  : )
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Steve breech

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http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ne...#

Despite the manufacturer’s claims of “superior performance whether you are mulching, bagging the or using the side-discharge chute,” the EGO LM2000 was mediocre on all three tasks. But in truth, great cutting isn’t the forte of electric push mowers. The Black & Decker CM1936, $400, the next-best model overall, was a notch better for cutting evenness in mulch mode. Another, the Lowe’s-exclusive Kobalt KM1940-06, $350, mulched comparably to the EGO and also has superb handling. But no model has done better than so-so in bagging or side-discharge mode.
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Dave .

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Tim, I had my Honda Harmony well over 10 years, and it was in such good shape that easily got $200 for it when I bought the Ego this year.  I found nothing lacking in build quality.  Don't get me started on all the things on the Ego that I could nitpick, when it comes to quality.   Oh, wait, let me get started: the blade is garbage.  Ego has had tons of issues with  the green plastic clips that secure the handles (supposedly fixed now). I'll stop, before I get typing cramps.
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Ken, Champion

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The "tons of issues" with the clips was that the original clips were loose and could sometimes pop open. That was corrected a couple of years ago and free replacement clips are available to anyone who bought the early production run of the first mower.
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Dave .

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I ALREADY said the issue was fixed.
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Ken, Champion

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No, you said "supposedly" fixed, which implies you think it may not have been. So to be clear: The problem was limited to an early run of the first mower and was fixed a long time ago, and for those who had the problem the clamps were replaced.
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Jacob

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I've got hundreds of hours on my 20"mower. Handle clips are original to the mower. Glad to see you always resort to complaining dave . Always a joy to read your posts.
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Rob

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Glad to see you're still doing what you do best, complaining about people who complain.
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Jacob

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Touche Rob. Touche
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Dave .

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So...since YOU didn't have a problem, no one has had any problems with clips.   Gotcha.  No wonder Ego personnel likes you two "Champions" so much and have attacked me when I stood up for myself after snide comments from one of you "Champions".  Makes perfect sense.
(Edited)
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David Cline

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Dave, attacking the people who volunteer our time here to help others isn't beneficial to anyone.

The moderation of this site is very loose and you are free to complain and candidly share negative thoughts and criticism about Ego products. No one has ever been banned for criticizing products, but frequently posting just to attack others without contributing anything helpful is probably the quickest way to be the first ban.
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Ken, Champion

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Dave and Rob, the problem is that 90 percent of your posts are nothing but complaining, sometimes about tools you no longer even own. When your names pop up in a thread we know what the tone of your posts will be before we even read them, and that tone isn't going to be constructive.

Many of your complaints have been valid, but you've moved far beyond being constructive or helpful, to the point that some have questioned whether you're plants from rival companies. I don't believe you are, but you need to take a step back and consider how you're coming across, especially when you seem to spend more time coming here to promote rival products. As David Cline wrote, you offer nothing helpful, just bile.

There are plenty of other commenters here with complaints about various things. None of them have your negative attitudes, and some of them are bending over backwards to find solutions and be helpful.

It's disappointing you hate the mowers so much, and I'm thankful that I live in a climate where the 20-inch has worked very well for me. But if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't.

At this point I would recommend selling the mower on Craigslist and move on, lesson learned.
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Rob

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Nice bait but I am not biting. You're not important enough for me to care.

I still own the 20" mower and use it weekly. Same goes for the old blower. My mower's cutting height seems to have dropped though.
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Ken, Champion

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Well, there you go.
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Dave .

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Ken, here is an example of one of your not-so-useful comments (ah, YOU are volunteering.  but others are not??):  "No, you said "supposedly" fixed, which implies you think it may not have been."   First of all, your assumption is wrong.  Secondly, don't try to speak for me.   thanks.   Your posts are condescending and not useful when attacking me.   JUST STOP.   Stick to the topic of the post.  I'm sure everyone will thank you if you do that.
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Dave .

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Ken, here is an example of one of your not-so-useful comments (ah, YOU are volunteering.  but others are not??):  "No, you said "supposedly" fixed, which implies you think it may not have been."   First of all, your assumption is wrong.  Secondly, don't try to speak for me.   thanks.   Your posts are condescending and not useful when attacking me.   JUST STOP.   Stick to the topic of the post.  I'm sure everyone will thank you if you do that.
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Ken, Champion

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It's not an assumption, and I'm not "trying to speak" for you. Words have meaning. Maybe you didn't intend to mean what you implied, but when you tell someone that a problem has "supposedly" been fixed, it has a definite implication of doubt that it has.

And in that context, my post was useful to others who may not know the history of the problem with the handles and they have for sure been fixed, not "supposedly," quite some time ago.

I'm not attacking you, but I will comment if I disagree with one of your posts. And I will not "just stop" if I see incorrect or misleading information posted. This forum is designed for just such discussions.

And what I wrote was very much on topic with respect to replying to your post. Your comment about handle clamps in a thread about mulching ... well, that wasn't exactly on topic, was it?
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Rob

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Seriously people. Champions need to start acting like it. I don't think Champs should be attacking people over their posts.

It's not roses and buttercups with these products. As a customer you have the right to say what you will. So stop trying to sensor peoples' posts.

Either help the poster or leave them be.
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Tim Krehbiel

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I'm actually shocked Ego lets us criticize them as much as we do. 

As a customer, you have a right to complain, but not necessarily here.  Ego also has a right to censor what you say. You're in their backyard.  They maintain these forums for us, and they have the right to censor whatever they want to, for whatever reason. This isn't a public place, they could shut the whole thing down tomorrow if they felt like it.  So lets mind our manners here.  

I'm not aware of any other manufacturer that hosts forums and then allows users to bash their products repeatedly.  Some minor complaining is typically allowed, as companies want to hear about flaws in their products, so long as it's constructive conversation.  But in my experience, there is also a "line".   Habitual negative nancies are usually banned when it gets repetitive. At least that's been my previous experience.  

So thanks, Ego, for giving us a place to complain about your mower that doesn't suck (literally).   I do wish the moderators would step in a little earlier though, before an entire thread gets derailed.  
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bloomz

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I wonder how Dave defines "has had tons of issues "

Does that mean 2000 pounds of issues?

The sourness has been noted by some of us other than the volunteers that choose to feely answer questions and be helpful up in here.

If you don't like the environment here - the door is just a click away.

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keenanj

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Mulches fine for me. I have some thick grass in spots and I have to go over it twice if I want to 'trophy' the lawn. However, I've had that with EVERY other mower I've ever owned. I have always mulched and it's always been a thing that some of the lines get mowed in the middle. I have not noticed the Ego being worse. That being said, there are reasons to think that at $600 it should be better at everything. For me, the performance is as good as any $400 mower out there, plus it's quiet, it's cleaner, it's easier to maintain, it's cheaper to maintain, it is better for the earth, the battery (a big hunk of the $600) is now part of my snow blower regime. In other words, I am seeing the positive side of a big investment. Damn, it even folds up and has headlights. 
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Impossible!!! How much did they pay you to say that? :-P
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keenanj

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HA. I wish they paid. It may be the type of grass I have but it's a lot like my old Toro. I was a landscaper for a while, and this mower does about what any lawn mower does. If you want a nice looking lawn, bag and fertilize. If you want a nice looking lawn that's healthy, mulch and spot a couple of the rough spots. Again, at $600 people have high expectations, and I get that. I am just looking from a different perspective. Also, my experience is different-I am on hilly/mountainous terrain and rarely can go at the speeds that everyone else might be at as I am either climbing or self-braking. I owned a BMW car for a while that was ridiculously expensive. At that price, I expected it to do my laundry and get me a promotion at work. It was miserable because no amount of its awesomeness could justify the price and I ended up hating it. Again, my perspective on this mower is that it needs to be good, and as mentioned all the bonuses make it great. 
(Edited)
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Dave .

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ah, my Honda Harmony didn't require multiple passes.  It too, was on the expensive side for a home-owner style mower.  Twin blades were prolly the reason it mulched so well.
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Jacob

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Get a twin blade and try it on your mower. It will probably fit. Won't fit my 20". Lets try to be part of the solution. We are all in this together. Ego is the manufacturer, but we have every right do make it better.
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Rob

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Wow, cutting at night only. Sorta ruins the idea of showing it off. The people in my neighborhood are used to seeing me with it now but in the first year people would come up to me all the time and ask about it. They would be wondering why they were only 50 feet away seeing Me obviously cutting grass but didn't hear anything.
(Edited)
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Jacob

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If that was meant for me then, yup. For 3 years now.
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bloomz

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I cut at night once, it was cool.
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Dave .

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WHile the mower is quieter than a gas mower, it is easy to hear (at least mine is) it from 50 feet away.  Are you in a very noisy area?  There are homes behind me that have electric garden equipment and I can hear when they are using them.  Not objectionable mind you--but certainly audible.

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Rob

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The distance may have been a bit of an exaggeration but the point is valid. You expect a lot noise when you see someone mowing. I am often startled when a bird makes a loud, unexpected noise while I'm mowing.
And no, I don't live in a noisy area but all my neighbors have gas mowers and I can hear them while I am mowing a block away.
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Dave .

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Yeah, gas blowers, mowers, and the like are certainly a major source of noise pollution.  In nearby Los Gatos I would assume that it's illegal to use gas blowers, as every blower we see there (we are there 2-3 times a week) is cordless.  It would be nice if my city could adopt such an ordinance.
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Exrace

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Last time I cut grass in the dark the crickets that start up at night here in Upstate NY were louder than my mower. ;)
(Edited)
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bloomz

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Just mulched my yard, and it was a big longer than optional.

Had to go back over a couple row ends - no biggy.

Worked fine

'nuf said

Apologies if I missed the info. here somewhere (long thread), but just needed a quick answer -

I am thinking of buying the 21" self-propelled, and I have more than an acre to cut with it.

The side-discharge issues with the rear plug (constantly falls off, a known issue, apparently) is an extreme issue to me, but I've seen others suggest to just mulch and I think, ok, I guess it doesn't matter as long as it's cut.

Now I'm seeing issues with the mulching. There's no way I'm bagging with that much grass to cut.

Anyway, since I normally side discharge, and live out in the country, I don't care about grass clippings on the lawn, but I see a lot of fuss here about the mulching mode leaving long grass clippings on the lawn/having to cut the lawn twice (no way am I cutting that much lawn twice).

So, just to confirm, this "mulching trail"/"long grass clipping" issue being left on the lawn, what's left behind is no worse than what you get when using side discharge right?

If I don't care about cut grass left on top (which I imagine is no worse than what's left by side discharge?) then I don't need to cut the grass twice in mulch mode do I?

That's the only thing I care about, if I can't use side discharge mode from the chute falling off, just tell me I can still cut the lawn just as easily in mulch mode without issues.

(I also have some thick septic tank grass areas.)

P.S. - I would also like to be cutting at full speed (full self-propel speed) the entire time, in mulch mode if necessary, through some occasionally thick grass (but cut once a week) without having to go over areas twice, as well.
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bloomz

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I have no problem with my side discharge chute falling off.  It stays in place just fine.


Maybe they fixed it before I got my mower?

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David Cline

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I am not sure FULL speed on the self-propel would yield great results with any mower, certainly none I have ever owned or used. While it depends a great deal on grass type, length, and depth of cut, I wouldn't go much over half-speed in the best of conditions. Full speed is great for transporting a full bag of clippings to a dump location, but it is a pretty brisk pace.

If you are willing to overlap passes in the thicker areas, you shouldn't need to cut a second time to get good results. Unless you buy one and try it for yourself during rapid growing season it is hard for anyone to predict how well it will work for your specific needs. But that is exactly what the return period is for.
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Jacob

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Well get ready to mow for 5 to 8 hrs per week :). I mow as much as your talking about... its great exercise.
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szwoopp, Champion

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90 day return policy at HD.  With all of the varied experiences/opinions here, I would say that is the only way to see if the mower works/mulches to your satisfaction. 
I personally have had no problems with the mulching feature, so I have never tried the bag or chute and can not comment on their performance.

Bloomz:

"I have no problem with my side discharge chute falling off.  It stays in place just fine."

That's good to hear. I was referring to this thread anyway where it was acknowledged as an issue seemingly.

https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/side_discharge_chute_wont_stay_on?topic-reply-list%5Bs...

"Thanks for all of your comments.  We feel that this thread has played itself out and we are now closing this topic.  Those who choose to use the side discharge are aware of the issues associated with it. We thank you for all of the conversation."

***

I am hearing about this 90 day return period for Home Depot from several people, and have seen it elsewhere.

Can anyone confirm (especially officially) if this is an in-stone (not hopefully/you get a good store/manager) satisfaction guaranteed thing at Home Depot?

And specifically Home Depot Canada.

I didn't see anything about being able to return used tools to Home Depot on their HD.ca website (or HD.com for that matter), if you don't like them. Just that there is a return period of 90 days.

Is this a special EGO-backed tools only satisfaction guaranteed (for 90 days) at Home Depot or is this more general? I hear this a lot here but I don't exactly see that on their site..

Googling this policy on RedFlagDeals turned up mixed results for people on these returns being accepted.

***

Return period questions aside, and maybe this is a dumb question/is obvious based on the above pictures, but no one really answered, the "mulching issues" where a trail is left behind on the grass, mentioned above, that trail of grass should be no worse than what the side discharge grass is like right? And it's still cutting all the grass but it's just that it's leaving cut grass on top?

[If so, then that's fine with me. I have no need of anything beyond side-discharging my grass but based on the other thread linked where the chute may fall off, I'm concerned I won't be able to, but if I can't do that but "mulch mode" cuts all the same grass just as easily then I suppose that could be ok.}
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David Cline

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I have not heard of anyone having issues returning anything to Home Depot. They used to give refunds on products they never sold.

They do limit reruns on gas-powered equipment, but I have not heard a single case of Ego being treated like gas-powered equipment.
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David HD, Champion

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DC, I have not either since joining this forum.  I had an EGO return to HD without any complication at all - it was quite easy.  That said; HD has a printed section on their receipt, to indicate the "length of time" you have for your return.  So you don't have to search "long and hard" to know after every purchase - unless you did not save a copy of your "purchase" receipt ... :-)
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Never had an issue returning anything to HD Canada within the 90 days. As DHD points out, the return info is usually on the receipt. Be sure to have the receipt emailed to you... very convenient if you pay with cash or debit. No need for the receipt if using a credit card, HD keeps credit card purchases on file.
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Ken, Champion

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Also, EGO Southwestern Ontario, keep in mind the link you posted was to a discussion of the side discharge chute on a previous generation of lawn mower. The 21-inch self-propelled is a different beast. I don't own it, so I can speak for how the side discharge chute works on it, but I haven't read any complaints here (although most people here mulch).

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