Too frequent maintenance required to keep 21SP mower in near-new shape

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I wheeled the 21SP into my shop to get it clean and resharpen the blade.  Total time was just over an hour.  It needs sharpening at LEAST 4 times as often as a Honda blade. 
Seriously.  More silent cursing of Ego for their materials choices.  So part of that hour, devoted to sharpening the blade was time I wouldn't have had to spend if the blade was made of a harder metal.  I KNOW that, because in decades of owning other mowers, I didn't need to sharpen the blade more than every couple of years, mowing the same lawn I have now.

The second process was laborious: removing caked on grass from the deck by: 1) gently spraying water to loosen the grass, using a spray bottle since Ego has declared this mower to wimpy to handle high pressure spray from a garden hose, 2) scraping, scraping, scraping with a heavy duty plastic brush, 3) wiping out all traces of grass from the deck, 4) drying the deck, 5) applying automotive paste wax, and 6) buffing the wax. I silently cursed Ego for making this mower to fragile to handle a quick hose-down like your typical mower.  I could hose my gas mower's deck out in less than a minute.  This makes the second time I've applied wax since spring time.



Here's what I'd like Ego to consider in forthcoming mower models:

1.  Switch out the materials used for the deck, as it's too flexible and too easily damaged, relative to the Xenoy decks that Honda used in their mowers for a time.  The Xenoy deck-types of mowers are essentially as rigid as a steel deck version.   The Ego mower is VERY flexible--not confidence inspiring and makes is harder to guide.

2.  For the love of god, use better (read: "harder") metal for your blades (that goes for the hedge trimmer blade, also).   I shouldn't have to sharpen a mower blade this often.

3.  Please make your next generation of mowers with enclosed "rigidity cells" on the bottom of the mower, so it's not so darn difficult and time consuming to get the underside of the mower clean.

4.  How about a stainless drive shaft?  The shaft rusts incredibly quickly, and severely.   C'mon guys, this thing is used OUTSIDE.  Don't make it out of plain steel.   Or at least PAINT it with appropriately durable paint, eh??

There are 11 triangular deep indentations that fill up with grass. Here's a photo of that section I think should be covered:


Finally, how about you speed up the motor so we get better lift and all around improvement in cutting, knowing that battery tech should improve enough that you will be able to provide run-times equal or better than those currently available.  ie, give us a bit of "future proofing".  And not to be forgotten--increase durability so that hitting objects that don't faze a gas mower, won't damage the Ego mower so badly that it needs to go in for repairs.   They  are not cell phones--a mower should be able to handle being cleaned by a garden hose and it shouldn't break if one hits a typical annoyance in the grass such as a sprinkler head or small rock or a root.  Just because it's electric, doesn't mean it has to be inferior in so many ways to a gas mower.

One more thing: to all you Ego denizens, if you don't like my opinions of Ego products, try to act civilized by not attacking me personally, eh?  You can state your case if you disagree, but you should be able to do that without personal comments.
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Dave .

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jacob

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Yep. Agreed.
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Jacob

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It takes me about 20 seconds to sharpen my blade. Ive gotten alot of practice by now :).so that part doesn't bother me
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SCDC, Champion

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Actually a well thought out post, of which EGO should look at for improving their product.  The blade, it doesn't take long to sharpen, but we've all complained about the metal hardness.
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Jacob

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Ive never complained about the hardness. :)
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Jacob

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About all the nooks and crannies. Fill them in with spray foam. Im thinking about it maybe fill with something else that pours in and hardens. But too much maintenance? There is alot more with gas mowers.

If they fluoronated the decks, that gives a bit of non stick to the surface, but wears off. OR just make them out of PEEK (polyether etherketone) and charge 5k for the deck lol.

I haven't ever waxed my deck. Maybe because I mow dewy grass I never have to deal with caked on grass, because i have to clean it off every 300' pass (150' each way). Wet grass slides right off. But if you want 0 maintenance mowing? Only thing that comes to mind is hiring someone else to do it.

But yeah. Things can be made better. I hate those nooks and crannies.
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Dave .

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My gas mower REALLY took almost NO maintenance.  Spark plug went for years and years AND years.  Keeping the mower clean took almost no time.  Maybe I was lucky, but it started easily, ran great...I just didn't like exhaust fumes and the noise.  Other than that, it was awesome.   So much so that I sold it for $200 after more than 10 years of use.  I'd change the oil about every 3 years (my lawns are small--less than 20 minutes to mow both).  As mentioned in my prior post, I'd sharpen no more than every several years.   Can't get away with that on this Ego.   They should improve the blades.
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Jacob

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I think most are missing one key element here about the blade. Your gas mower didn't require such a sharp blade. Hell you wouldnt notice it if it was dull. But when performance and runtime is based on blade sharpness, it really becomes the thing to blame it on. I can guarantee that if this blade was on a gas mower, you could sharpen it once a year because a gas mower would just run the motor harder to do the job.
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Ken, Champion

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I don't see the need to clean the triangular nooks and crannies, at least beyond generally hosing them out every once in a while. They don't affect mower performance at all if they're dirty, and they face the ground, so they aren't an eyesore.

As far as the driveshaft, I'm wondering whether Ego chose steel over stainless steel because of hardness? I think Jennifer posted at one point that the surface rust wasn't a concern. But maybe one of our resident engineers who knows more about metallurgy can weigh in.
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Dave .

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When the grass drops out in my nice CLEAN shed, it's a nuisance, causing me to clean up a mess that shouldn't be happening.
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Paul Simonds

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Hosing down doesn't seem to bother my mower
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Dave .

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I hear you, but Ego advises against it.  Should the mower need repairs, I don't want a repair center claiming that I did damage to the mower that isn't covered by the warranty.
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Geoff O

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What damage could hosing do that any repair center could pinpoint as such?
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Can't really disagree with anything you're saying Dave, however:

1. The driveshaft corrosion is just cosmetic, but a new mower shouldn't have rusty metal parts.
2. The deck flexibility could be a personal thing maybe? I don't have the 21" mower, but my 20" certainly doesn't feel too flexible.

The blades could absolutely be a better grade of steel. From day one people have noticed they need more frequent sharpening than what they were used to with their old mowers.
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David Cline

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I really wish that a harder blade were available, either from Ego or an Ego-approved third party. But keep in mind that the one good thing about softer metal is that it is much quicker and easier to sharpen, even though it has to be done more often.

I've found that a handheld blade sharpener (www.amazon.com/dp/B00VTO5N2G/) works quite well with just a few passes, where I'm not sure something like this would work at all on a harder blade. It doesn't completely eliminate the chore of removing and sharpening the blade, but it does make it a fairly painless 2 minute task.
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Tom Jacques

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I ran my 21" SP all last season and the blade didn't require sharping.  But before this season I bought a second blade.  So I'm still using the OEM blade and have a spare.  Re cleaning, it took me about 15 minutes to use a plastic putty blade and a damp shop rag to fully clean my mower top to bottom.  But I would love to just blast it with a hose like I did with my John Deere mower.  1st world problems.  I'll cope.  
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SCDC, Champion

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(Not EGO approved)

I've hosed off my mowers several times a year, carefully.  I don't hose the area/cover where the battery goes in.  On the bottom I do not hose near the motor shaft.  Only the outer edges.  I then tilt the mower and let the sun dry it.  Before putting up, I run it for a few minutes over my driveway to dry it out.

2nd warning  (This is not approved and can void your warranty)

:)  Have a great summer!
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Jerry

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A thought on mower blade hardness. A softer blade is soft is likely to bend if it hits a hard object, such as a rock or tree root. A harder blade is more brittle and more likely to break or shatter (and send sharp pieces of blade flying out of the mower) if it hits a hard object. Also, my understanding is that EGO blades are a little thinner than standard gas mower blades to increase the efficiency and battery life. This would also have an impact on how hard or soft they need to make the metal to keep them from breaking if hitting a hard object.

In other words, it may be that the softness of the metal in EGO blades is necessary for safety reasons.

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