Product Review: EGO Electric Lawn Mower

Executive Summary

Pros

  • Convenience
  • Power
  • Reliability
  • Five-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Reduced noise
  • Performance
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Easy to start and use
  • Batteries are interchangeable among all EGO products

Cons

  • Price
  • Not ideal for larger yards
  • Not intended for commercial applications

Introduction

Ego Electric Lown Mower - Moxiemen, Inc.

Before

I’ve been in the market for a new lawn mower for the past three years, ever since my old gas-powered Snapper began it’s descent into a less than reliable grass-cutting machine. I’d previously given serious consideration to investing in an electric lawn mower for the sheer convenience of a maintenance-free, gas-free yard tool, but in the end I passed on the idea because at the time they were considered to be under-powered, offered an unacceptably short battery life and required excessively long charging times.

Last year I discovered the EGO Power Plus electric lawn mower. When I discovered the EGO line of lawn care equipment, I was intrigued by the technology. This was the first electric lawn mower on the market powered by a 56 volt lithium ion battery, and the 30 minute charging time made the EGO an attractive option. Still, I was skeptical of the idea of an electric lawn mower in general – could it really do as good of a job as the gas engines that have been around forever?

Ego Electric Lawn Mower - Moxiemen, inc.

Ego Electric Lawn Mower

I was definitely interested in the EGO electric lawn mower, but the $499 price tag scared me off a bit. It was a lot to invest in an experiment. After all, if it didn’t work like it was supposed to, I would basically be stuck with it. So instead, I opted to purchase the EGO Power Plus Hedge Trimmer to see how the technology worked out and continued to nurse along the old Snapper for another summer.

The hedge trimmer turned out to be a great value and well worth the $199 retail price. It functioned as advertised, and I found to be as powerful as any other hedge trimmers I’ve used in the past. With a cutting capacity of up to 3/4″ branches, it may very well be even more powerful than some gas trimmers on the market. This spring, based on my experience with the EGO Hedge Trimmer, I made the decision to invest in the EGO electric lawn mower.

My experience with the EGO Power Plus 56v Electric Lawn Mower

As luck would have it, I was recently afforded the opportunity to test out the EGO electric lawn mower for the purposes of this review. In full disclosure, I am not at the time of this writing affiliated with EGO, its parent company, or Home Depot, where these products are sold. I was not paid for the review and I will receive no compensation whatsoever in the event a person makes a purchase based on this review.

Initial Impressions

The item arrived packaged neatly and is about 90% assembled right out of the box. It probably took longer to empty contents of the box than it did to start it up. The lawnmower arrives packaged in its folded, compact position. Simply extend out the handle, install the battery and grass catcher if desired and fire it up.

The product is light. At 62 pounds, the EGO’s weight is consistent with that of its smaller gas powered counterparts, and as much as 40% lighter than some of the bigger gas models on the market.

Appearance

Ego Electric Lawn Mower - Moxiemen, inc.

No, it’s not a RC Car!

It looks cool. The EGO electric lawn mower nicely utilizes a combination of grays, blacks and bright greens that definitely offer an aesthetic upgrade over the traditional fire-engine-red that lawn mower manufacturers have utilized for decades. The battery is housed under a clear acrylic green shield that gives this electric lawn mower a futuristic look.

Function

For the purpose of this review, I didn’t go easy on this electric lawn mower and I worked it a lot harder than I normally would.

The mower deck is easily adjustable using a lever on the left side of the unit. My 13 year old daughter was able to adjust the deck through the five settings with relative ease. We set the deck to the lowest possible cutting height.

This was the first cut of the season for my lawn. As such, there were various piles of leaves and small branches that had accumulated over the course of the previous winter. Normally I would clean those items up before mowing, but in the interest of truly testing the product thoroughly, they were left alone. To make it even a little bit tougher, the grass catcher and mulcher attachment were intentionally left off the machine.

EGO Electric Lawn Mower 6

Ego Electric Lawn Mower, After - Moxiemen, inc.

After

The EGO electric lawn mower worked as well as any of it’s gas powered counterparts. It cut right through the thick grass, leaves and sticks as well as I could have hoped it would. It bogged down in spots where the leaves were especially dense, but that experience is consistent with other gas lawn mowers I’ve used. The 20″ mower deck powered right through and left a evenly cut patch of grass in its wake.

At 62 pounds, it is light enough that a 13 year old girl can use it with ease. It’s light enough that the fact that it’s not self-propelled isn’t a drawback.

Noise Factor

The machine starts with the simple push of a button and pulling back of the safety bar. When it starts, it makes a whirring noise akin to that of a standard vacuum cleaner. I estimate it’s roughly a third to half as noisy as a traditional gas-powered lawn mower (although EGO claims it’s only 20% quieter). From about 30+ feet away, it simply sounds like a high powered fan. If you’re inside of your house, you can barely hear it.

Battery Life

My lawn is small and requires about 20-30 minutes to completely mow all the grass with a standard lawn mower. The EGO electric lawn mower completed about 90% of the job before the red indicator light came on to suggest that the battery’s charge was close to depletion. This was largely due to the mower deck’s lowest possible setting and the additional workload from the excessive leaves and sticks in the yard. I swapped the battery with the one from my trimmer and easily finished the job. In more standard circumstances, the lawn mower would have completed the task on a single charge, and in fact it has in subsequent uses.

That said, the 2nd battery was a nice luxury to have. It should also be noted that the EGO Power Plus Rapid Charger worked as advertised, charging the 4.0 Amp Lithium Ion Battery the mower came with to capacity in about 26 minutes.

Convenience

As advertised, the handle folds up swiftly and the unit can be stored upright. If you lean it against a wall, it barely consumes two square feet of floor space.
The low maintenance aspect of electric lawn mowers is one of the most attractive aspects of this product. There are no fluids to change, no gas to mix, and no filters to replace. The only wear item is the blade, which is understandable.

Smell

Since the EGO electric lawn mower uses lithium ion technology, it is odorless in operation. The lack of gas fumes may not matter to some, but for me it was a very positive attribute of this product.

Conclusion

If you’re in the market for a new lawn mower, consider going electric. Between the convenience, the noise and environmental aspects, and the fact that the technology has finally been developed to generate the power and battery life necessary to make the products viable, electric lawn mowers are worthy of consideration. And despite the $499.99 price tag, while higher than some lower end mowers, the EGO Power Plus Electric Lawn Mower is a excellent value.

The Underlying Issue with Mass Shootings that no one is Talking About

By now you’ve heard about the actions of one deranged psychopath in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. This is a tragedy, and my heart aches for the people who were killed, injured or otherwise affected.

Having said that, there is an underlying issue with this tragic event, and mass shootings in general that no one is talking about, and that’s the demand in this country for absolute safety.

An article on Yahoo this afternoon contained the following quote:

“We don’t understand America’s need for guns,” said Philip Alpers, director of the University of Sydney’s GunPolicy.org project that compares gun laws across the world. “It is very puzzling for non-Americans.”

I doubt Mr. Alpers will ever see this, but it’s really not difficult to understand. However it does require a rudimentary grasp of American history – which sadly even many Americans don’t seem to possess.

This country was founded upon the principle of an armed society and government by the people. To understand why, you have to examine the tyranny and oppression of the British government from which we fought to separate. The guiding principle is that an armed community will be better prepared to defend itself, and will be properly equipped to keep the government in line.

Say what you want about the second part, but the fact remains that there are many repressive governments in the world – and the imbalance of power in those countries is vast compared to the freedoms we enjoy in the US. Imagine living in constant fear that the slightest hint of non-conformity meant imprisonment or even death (North Korea), or a land where anything short of absolute religious indoctrination meant a stoning or beheading. This is not just a dangerous ideal – there are parts of the world where these ‘punishments’ are routinely carried out. Or imagine the constant fear of living in a place where only a few dozen miles away the Islamic State had just besieged and massacred innocent people by the 10’s of thousands in a neighboring city. Imagine gathering up your family and fleeing your home, your possessions and your city because you have no way to defend yourself.

But you don’t have that here. And it’s reasonable to speculate that maybe you have an armed society to thank for at least part of that.

How effective would the IS be if they encountered 50,000 armed civilians at every turn? Could Kim Jong Un operate such a unilateral dictatorship in the United States? No. Because someone would have offed him long before he could demand every man in that country wear the same stupid haircut as him.

How successful would the Nazis have been in the 1930’s, when they employed blitzkrieg military tactics to overwhelm most of Europe? What if they’d encountered armed citizenry in Poland, France, Greece, Czechoslovakia, or any other of the countries they overran?

The sad part of this from a societal perspective is had the attack in Charleston not been so blatantly racially motivated in a time where racial tensions are getting worse by the week, this would just be another mass shooting by another deranged psychopath.


MoxieMen Incorporated has at times had a diverse array of clients on our roster, and all in all a member of just about every race, gender and sexual orientation has been a MoxieMen client at one time or another. But there are two individuals in particular who come to mind when it comes to the notion of living under the constant threat of violence.

The native countries of the two gentlemen in question are sworn enemies, so naturally I didn’t tell them about one another while they were both clients at the same time. One of the men was Dan, who lives in Israel near Jerusalem but had spent 10 years stateside in his early adult life. The other, a man named Mahmoud – as you can probably guess from the context of this paragraph, is from Gaza. Mahmoud now lives in the Detroit area with his wife and four kids and has been in the US legally for a long time. I never asked, but he is likely a naturalized citizen by now.

To make things worse, this was in 2013, when tensions between Israel and Palestine almost led to all-out war. As such, rocket attacks and raids left 44 people dead including non-combatants ranging in age from two to 61 years old (source). 38 of the dead were Palestinians.

As I got to know the two men individually, the conversations eventually turned to the cultural differences between the Middle East and America. And while the discussions were generally light and cordial, I had the opportunity to ask both of them individually what the biggest difference was between their homeland and the US. Their answer was EXACTLY the same: Safety. Mahmoud’s words: “It’s safe here”.

It’s safe here. There aren’t nuclear weapons pointed at us from virtually every direction. The people in our border cities don’t live under the constant threat of mortar and rockets being lobbed over the fence at us. The Islamic State isn’t going to crash our borders and march from city to city beheading and burning us alive.

In a population of 320 million people, there are going to be some psychopaths. And every once in a while, one of these psychopaths will snap, and tragedy will strike. And while the increased media coverage and exposure of these events makes it seem as if the frequency of such attacks is increasing, the truth is that the number of mass shootings has remained static (source: USA Today). In fact, that same USA Today article states that there are on average 20 mass shootings annually that involve at least four deaths. In other words, you only hear about the really bad ones.

If a person happens to be at the mall, or the movie theater, or in school, or on their college campus, or at McDonalds, their church or anywhere else tragedy happens to strike at that moment, there’s probably not a lot that person can do to defend themselves in those particular circumstances.

In the interest of objectivity, I want to fully acknowledge that I have never been in an ‘active shooter’ situation. Nor has my immediate or extended family ever been affected by such as event. I am open to the possibility that I might feel differently had I experienced such a tragedy personally.

But in the overwhelming majority of the time, it’s safe here despite the absence of absolute safety. Please know that absolute safety doesn’t exist and isn’t possible. So stop demanding it.

Don’t Fear Failure

There’s a lot of conversation these days about failure – to the point saturation. Online publications such as Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur have published dozens if not hundreds of articles on the topic of failure, ranging from general info to anecdotal pieces by wildly successful individuals such as Mark Cuban and Gary Vaynerchuk. Here in Michigan, there’s a forum called Failure:Lab where individuals give presentations on past failures. If one didn’t know better, the concept of ‘failure’ – whether it’s personal or professional in nature – is being romanticized in a effort to un-demonize the phenomenon of falling short of a goal.

It’s true that there’s no teacher like experience. As Vern Law, the famous baseball player is known for pointing out, “Experience is a hard teacher because it gives the test first and the lesson afterward”.

The truth is, people aren’t afraid of failure. They’re afraid of the consequences of having failed. That, depending on your circumstances, could mean any number of things.

For some people, failure means a change in lifestyle. For example, the financial consequences of a failed business might mean losing a home or cars or not having the money for private schools that the kids are enrolled in. For others it could be an ego thing.

For MoxieMen, being in business is about the clients for whom we’re able to help make money. It’s about the fact that they have come to rely on our services to do better by their own customers, clients, patients and patrons. It’s about keeping their businesses healthy so that they can take care of their own employees and families. It’s about the vendors who allow MoxieMen to provide the level of service and results to do amazing things. It’s about the contractors who’ve come to rely on MoxieMen for income. If MoxieMen fails, they will all eventually be fine of course. But it would leave a hole for them to fill and I don’t want them to experience any unnecessary hardships.

For me personally, being in business is about freedom. The freedom of having a wife that can stay home with our two young sons. The freedom of a flexible schedule. The freedom to decline project work that is not a good fit. The freedom to pursue victory.

Victory. Everyone is different. What does ‘victory’ mean to you? Every day we stay in business proves every person wrong who ever said I couldn’t do this, subliminally or otherwise. Every day in business denies those same naysayers the satisfaction of predicting my personal and professional failure, even if it has more to do with their own insecurities than anything else. That’s victory. Victory is pushing forward every time that the evil cloud of self-doubt rears its ugly head and has to be swatted back down. Victory is quieting every negative voice in my head that tries to convince me that those people were right – you can’t do this.

But victory is more than just an eff-you to anyone who didn’t believe in me. As satisfying as it can be, the truth is victory is so much more than that. Victory is as much vindication to all the people who have been supportive – who’ve believed in and supported this. For as many detractors as there have been, there have been at least twice as many cheerleaders, champions, mentors and supporters. Victory is more for them then it is for me. Victory is the pride in my 13 year old daughter’s tone when she tells her friends about how her dad ‘has his own business‘. I could go on and on.

So don’t fear failure. Instead, put safeguards in place to soften the blow if things don’t work out. Failure doesn’t need to equal financial ruin, or outright embarrassment. Ensure that no matter what happens, you’ll mostly be fine, even if you have to recover for a bit.