Earthwise Electric Lawnmower: So Far, So Good

After a long, unually cool (some may say “cold”) winter here in southeast Texas, spring has sprung with almost a vengance.  Just within the past few days, many of the fruit trees and decorative-type bloomers have popped into full glory.

Some of plants that I had carted into the garage time after time are now starting to show flowers.  Likewise, the grass, and even more so the weeds, in my back and front yards, are putting forth great effort.

My house sits on a 5,000 sq. ft. lot, and with the detached garage, driveway, stamped cement patio, and tiled fountain base (something the previous owners must have liked, but not exactly my style), the actual lawn areas are not that big.  They are also patchy and seem to be a home for moles.  Both the front and back have a comfortable charm to them, and with some work,  I’m pretty sure that I can get them looking better.

Because the lawn areas are not large, I decided to get an electric lawnmower.  I just like the idea of not having to deal with keeping a can of gas around, and also having a mower that puts out smelly exhaust didn’t appeal to me.  I read quite a few online reviews of cordless and corded mowers, and there seemed to be quite a few complaints about batteries with the cordless mowers.  Some reviewers complained about batteries losing charge, and others mentioned that replacement batteries were difficult to come by for the mowers that they had purchased.

After reading more reviews about corded mowers, I decided upon the Earthwise 18-inch corded mower.  They make a 20-inch size too, but I decided that getting between bushes and other small spaces was more important for me than cutting off a couple more inches of grass.

I thought I’d write my own review of the mower and add more later, just to see, as time goes by, whether I made a good choice or not.

I ordered my Earthwise from Sears for $189.99.  I got free shipping, but add the tax and the total was $205.  It’s nearly ready to use straight out of the box.  You basically unfold the handle; it bolts together easily without even needing a wrench.  The side discharge cover easily pops into place.

You will need an outdoor extension cord.  The motor is 12 amps, so you need one to carry that or better.  I had been given a 40-ft. one for Christmas, and though there is an outlet on the back and the front of the house, that cord wasn’t quite long enough.  I bought another 50-ft. cord and now can get to the far corners with plenty of cord to spare.

Of course, all the grass and weeds are tender now, so they are easy to cut, but the mower did a great job of mulching up some small piles of leaves without hesitation.  It weighs 48 pounds, but takes very little effort to push.  There’s a height adjustment lever with various settings that’s easy to change with just one hand.

Probably the biggest concern in buying this mower was the cord.  However, it doesn’t take long to get used to it.  The best idea is to keep moving away from the outlet and the cord.  Holding a couple of feet of slack cord in my hand as I mow also has helped me keep the cord up, and that way there’s less chance of it getting anywhere near the blade.  You do have to pay attention to the cord, but I figure that’s still better than dealing with gas cans or batteries.

So far, I think I’ve made a good choice in this mower.  We’ll see after I’ve used it more if that holds true.

Update (May 30, 2010)

Mower with the flap intact

With the flap partially hacked off

I’ve made one modification to this mower.  I got tired of the rubber flap on the back of the mower dragging into the undercarriage of the mower when I backed up.  It never seemed to get hit by the blade, but it just made pulling the mower backwards more difficult, and I was worried that the blade might cut into it.  Yesterday, I finally was bothered enough that I took the nearest thing I could find–a hedge trimmer–and just whacked it off about halfway down.  No problem backing up any more.

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