Preamble - I have never been a slave to lawn culture. The poisons and finicky business of removing every weed has never been my thing. It's been more than a decade since I cut any grass of my own and 8 years since I've started any lawnmower.
My customers sometimes need to have grass cut, and that's why I bought a lawnmower.
I have been planning to buy this machine for quite a while. I bought on Saturday, largely because I developed a customer who needed a large area done. We have had a very wet spring and the owner's big Kabota lawn tractor would tear up the soil.
I have seen a few companies cutting grass in front of apartment buildings, using weed whackers, because their ride on equipment is too heavy.
It took four hours of trudging over hill and vale to finish this large cut. Just a 4 hour hike would have been plenty of exercise, even without pushing 70 pounds of machine and clippings.
I made $200, which goes a long way towards the purchase price of $575 plus taxes. At this rate, it will take me another 9 hours to recoup the investment. Some people walk for exercise. I expect to be paid. ☺
It was quite tiring. I feel like I have run a small marathon.
It performed well in a variety of situations. There were some fairly steep slopes and some areas of very thick grass.
I started cutting with the deck in the #3, mid position. (There are 5 choices for cut length.) It was very easy to overload the machine at this setting.The heavy load, slowed the machine and activated the yellow warning light several times. It worked much better when set to #4, the second highest position.
For over half of this large lawn, I was able to walk at a relatively brisk pace. In the tallest and thickest areas, I moved slower or only cut about a 10 inch swath. It will be much easier next time.
As with all of my tool purchases, I researched this one quite well. I have judged all other cordless mowers that come near this price point, to be inferior.
I did this job using the larger 4 amp hour battery that came with the mower and two of my other 2 amp hour batteries. The large battery is supposed to last 45 minutes under regular cutting conditions. The 2 amp hour batteries, which came with the chainsaw, hedge cutter, weed whacker and blower, are said to last 22 1/2 minutes.
I went through batteries much quicker, using 13 in total. Four charges on the 4 amp and Nine charges on the 2 amp batteries. Total run time was about 220 minutes. That much charge could last 382 minutes. This was a very hard run.
Batteries can easily become overheated in heavy cutting conditions. This is particularly true for the smaller batteries.
A yellow warning light goes on and automatic shut down happens if the operator doesn't slow down.
In order to manage battery temperature, I started with a fully charged one and cut the tallest grass for a couple of minutes. Then I moved on to areas of thinner grass where the battery would be worked less hard and the cooling system would be able to bring the temperature down.
The very thickest and wettest areas under the fruittrees, were done only with the 4 amp hour battery. Even with the large one, I brought it to the danger zone a couple of times.
There are plenty of trees and other obstacles to be worked around. After a hard run which raises battery temperature, I used the mower around these obstacles so that it had a chance to cool down.
I don't think battery temperature is going to be much of a problem for me in the future, since most jobs will entail far less heavy cutting.
The only other time that battery temperature has been a concern, is when I use the chainsaw with a 2 amp hour battery for bucking large logs. When cutting 12 inch oak, I found that I could do 6-9 cuts before bringing the battery to the critical temperature.
The 4 amp hour battery fits the chainsaw, as well as the other E-go tools. I would never use it in the hedge cutter, since that machine is already heavy enough when held at shoulder height. But the large battery will be very useful in the chainsaw when large trunks are cut up. The lighter 2 amp batteries will always be used when I'm cutting small branches and need to maneuver the saw.
Not your typical 2 minute YouTube review.
this is timely as we are just looking around for a cordless electric...Kobalt was at the top of our list so far http://www.lowes.com/pd_632477-95404-KM2180B-06_0__ I wonder how the E-go compares? I liked that this Kobalt had a metal deck and came with two 80v batteries that could also be interchanged with their chainsaw and other tools and looks like it does a pretty high cut...there are seven settings and the seventh seems like five inches or so.
I thought we could get by without a lawnmower now that we have a smaller yard that will slowly give over to food production but for a few years anyway there will be mowing and we've always intended to buy an electric one if we had the money and we do at the moment.
Glad to hear a review of the E-go...
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
The Kobalt seems to be a rebranded Greenworks mower. Store brands are often made this way. Go onto Amazon.com and check the price of the Greenworks mower kit with 2 batteries, for comparison.
My only issues are weight and flimsy handles that don't seem as ergonomicly designed as other mowers. Portability is very important to me. The E-go headlight can be used independently of the mower, as a portable outdoor lighting source. Battery life is in the hundreds of hours, when used for light only. My cabin has no electricity, so this may become my yard light and a very unique wall sconce.
I have the Greenworks chainsaw and blower. The saw is too big for most of my applications and a more cumbersome design than the E-go. Chain replacement and adjustments are much more time consuming. The same goes for the blower, but I do use the blower quite a bit. Unless you really need a larger blower, chainsaw or weedwhacker, the interchangeable batteries won't be used to their full advantage.
The worst mower that gets a lot of promotion, is the Ryobi. When I showed up at Home Depot to get my mower, 3 salespeople on 2 visits, tried to move me towards the Ryobi and Echo mowers. Both are effectively store brands and both use inferior Ryobi battery technology that is a couple generations behind competitors. Both have flimsy handles. These inferior products are given much more shelf space than better machines. The level of product ignorance and general ineptitude that I've experienced at Home Depot is astounding. The garden tool area is dominated by kids and people who have come out of retirement. The only qualifications are that they need a job and will work for low wages. One sales guy rattled off a list of features and benefits of both the E-go and Echo, that was an amalgam of information from both brochures. In the end, he concluded that the inferior Echo machine was better. Store brand. You must do your own research. Employees are there to fetch things off the top shelf and to push store brands. Education is limited to brochures and sometimes, company supplied videos.
I had two batteries charging continuously while doing this job. Despite pushing the limits, I was unable to exhaust the batteries before more were charged. It's a 20 second operation, so there was maybe five minutes spent switching batteries on this big job. My drink container sits by the chargers.
I should have mentioned that the entire job was done in mulching mode. This consumes more power than using the side discharge. The customer wanted the stuff to be mulched so that he wouldn't have a crop hay sitting on the new grass. Future cuts will use the side discharge and it will be on shorter, drier grass. Speed will increase while battery life also increases.
I don't expect to use the bagger very often, unless people need mulch for the garden. Baggers are also useful if there are animals to be fed. The only way that I could ever justify a big lawn area for myself, would be if I were cutting a small portion every day to feed to livestock.
I hit the same lawn again today. Cut 2/3 of it 2 hours 20 minutes. The last third is slower growing and will be done 10 days from now, when everything will be cut again. Now that the grass had dried a bit, lugging is not an issue.
The headlights work independent of the mower blade. They continue to work when the machine is folded and stood on end. Great for illuminating outdoor activities and for lighting my off grid cabin. An engineer at E-go, said the lights will work for 300 hours on a charge, when used only for light.
An extra battery can easily ride along, to places far from the chargers. It sits on a rock or post, until needed. A long strip of grass leading to the chargers is cut last. I always cut a strip in both directions, when returning to the charge station. Down time related to battery changing, was probably 3 minutes today. Starts and stops are much quicker than with a gas machine.
Dale Hodgins wrote:The Kobalt seems to be a rebranded Greenworks mower. Store brands are often made this way.
Kobalt, a Lowes and JH Williams(SnapOn) partnership has their cordless tool line independently made by Chervon. Greenworks is a Canadian company who's tools are independently made by Changzhou Globe Tools, who also makes the PowerWorks brand. Neither are rebrands.
I have GWs chainsaw and weed trimmer. I'll look for the appropriate threads to post my observations.
Dale thank you for your observations on that brand of mower. I've been considering buying the one I have the most batteries for(GW) but have such a huge lawn I wasn't sure how a battery powered mower would hold up. I look forward to your continued posts!
I had a close up look at the Kobalt batteries, and they appear to be the same as my Greenworks batteries.
I think the Greenworks mower will be good. My 80 volt Greenworks chainsaw and blower are working fine. The chainsaw sees very little use, mostly because the E-go chainsaw is so handy for the size of wood that is typical on my jobs.
There may be an electric car in my future. My brother and 2 others that I know, have the Nissan leaf. They are coming out with a van soon. Given a suitable inverter, one of these cars could charge dozens of batteries and run saws,jackhammers, etc. at work sites.
The 80 volt GW chainsaw had just come out so I decided to wait until the pros started putting out their tests and recommendations. I LOVE the 40 volt! I cut 2 cords of wood with it last year and I'm going to abuse it cutting about 10 this year. Somehow I ended up with 4 batteries and 3 chargers so at this time I haven't run out of juice yet!
I have about an acre of lawn and really wanted to use a reel mower for the exercise by doing a little bit every day but I need to research those mowers more. I need a tough one with all the weeds and uneven ground I'd be pushing it over. If I do get a battery powered mower I'll probably get the 16" blade GW one since both batteries are the same.
Some machines have self drive. This sounds good, but is only useful where conditions are uniform. There are areas under cedar trees, where the grass is thin and I can move through much faster than with the self drive. On very thick grass, the machine would be drawn through too fast. Tight areas around trees, flower beds etc need a gentle hand. I wasn't interested in self drive because of this and the loss of battery life. The Echo mower has it, but it has flimsy handles and a Ryobi battery. For me, self drive would be like using automotive cruise control in city traffic.
I used it as an emergency light last night. There was no real emergency.
All of the lights were turned off in a 300 sq ft space. The headlights were shone on the white ceiling. It wasn't as bright as normal, but certainly adequate for getting around. There was just enough light for playing cards. This will definitely become my primary light at the cabin. Headlamps and flashlights may still be used, but this one will be left on from dusk til dawn.
There isn't any grass to cut at the farm.
I hope to find a shaft drive waterpump that can be matched with the mower shaft. Water only needs to be lifted 20 feet.
The machine runs at
3300 rpm or 55 rotations per second, under mild load. It draws 600 watts.
The draw is greater, while cutting. It cuts for 45 minutes.
600w × 0.75 hr= 450 watt hours. I'll have to check these figures against the manual, since customer service didn't know the draw under load.
This will move a lot of water. I won't know how much, until a suitable pump is found, but there is half a kilowatt hour of electricity available for a 20 ft lift.
I'm using the lawn mower in a basement today. There is no electricity, and I need light. The headlights work pretty well. It's difficult to show LED lighting in photographs , but it's bright enough for me to work. Works best when I elevate the front of the machine , so that none of the light is wasted Illuminating a bright spot on the floor. It seems to work best when the light is focused on a white wall or ceiling.
This flashlight is heavier than most, but it's not likely to be dropped on the floor and the battery last for hundreds of hours.
Yesterday was a very hot day, so I postponed grass cutting until 6 p.m. The job was finished at 11 p.m.
It was quite dark at the end. The headlight did its job. When I got there, I did all of my edges first , and took the usual steps to drive wildlife toward those edges. Large blocks with few trees were saved for night cutting. It was very cool and I worked with my shirt off , without the risk of sunburn. There were a few mosquitoes, a rare sight in Victoria.
My ads for the grass cutting have not been very successful , and I've been busy doing other things. Still, it's not all bad. The machine was paid off after 15 hours of work. I am charging $45 per hour , so my five hour walk paid $225. With the machine paid for, there is very little expense. No fuel and virtually no maintenance. I bought it based on one customer who needs regular service. I'm averaging about $250 a week at his place, so this one job justified the purchase.
It was so dark that I lost the machine once, when I walked over to the battery chargers. I generally switch out two batteries at once. I pushed the LED button on both batteries and they provided just enough light for me too find the mower in the dark. It must look strange from a distance. A light moving back and forth over the grass, but without the normal noise of a mower. Perhaps there will be reports of UFOs or that might be unidentified grounded object.
Last week, a friend asked if I'd like to go for a walk. I was tired, and replied "I charge $45 an hour to go for walks." ☺It sure is nice to not be breathing horrible fumes during these extended walks.
There are two spots where things can be carried on this machine. I doubt that the designers planned it that way, but the battery and a 2 liter drink container fit perfectly. This comes in handy on larger jobs.
I have now paid for the machine about four times. This has led to a small amount of spin off work with my other tools
How is that battery holding up after a year Dale, have you noticed any loss in mowing time?
Ideally I would like to go electric for all my tools but the battery compatibility issue is a problem as I don't always have space in my work vehicle. I would buy a cordless stihl hedge cutter but having a battery for all the tools would be a great advantage.
I have three tools that run on that Stihl battery that David mentioned. It has never given any trouble, and those machines are awesome. Hand-held hedge cutter, long reach hedge cutter and long reach pole chainsaw. When I bought them 2 years ago, it seemed like a lot of money, then I had an awesome week of pruning hedges, and my customers effectively paid for everything. That's how it works when you buy really good quality tools. When you buy junk tools, you have to pay for them.
The battery that came with the lawn mower, is still working great. It gets used more often in the blower and chainsaw. I have five tools and 5 batteries that all are interchangeable. The larger battery is very handy, when there's a chance of overheating one of the smaller batteries that come with those machines.
Batteries automatically shut down, to prevent damage when they reach a certain temperature. On hot days, I store them in the shade.
Thank you both, didn't realise the viking brand was for mowers when I was looking at the stihl website. I can honestly say I have never heard of viking. Completely agree with buying good quality tools they really do pay for themselves.
The heat issue is very good to know as well, luckly in this case it's rare for it to get very hot here.
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