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  Reply # 978202 31-Jan-2014 16:08 Send private message

We use an electric Flymo, it does a great job, however you do need to rake up the lawn every few months to deal with thatching. It is certainly better for the garden as hot exhaust etc can damage some plants and its cleaner and certainly quieter.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

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  Reply # 978346 31-Jan-2014 20:34 Send private message

Niel: ... mains power mowers use cheap motors with not enough torque. EnviroMower ... has a DC motor with a lot of torque ...  I know the original Pb battery would struggle with that and lasts only 1h, but LiFePO4 is amazing ...
Above (w. LiFePO4) sounds pretty good if a practical option for you. Otherwise - we have a Victa Lawnmaster ESP300A 1000W (Bunnings), 12in cutting width 3.3W/mm, (I think a narrower cut-width than timmmay's) but we have a sloping section with steps so wanted something light to carry. The capacity of the catcher is low. Our "lawns" total 100+m2. Had it about 3yrs. Did blow the cord through flexing near the control, but have put that part of the cord through concertina washing machine pipe and the problem may have been caused by not clipping the cord in a support hook provided on the handle.
 

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  Reply # 978364 31-Jan-2014 22:34 Send private message

lapimate:
Niel: ... mains power mowers use cheap motors with not enough torque. EnviroMower ... has a DC motor with a lot of torque ...  I know the original Pb battery would struggle with that and lasts only 1h, but LiFePO4 is amazing ...
Above (w. LiFePO4) sounds pretty good if a practical option for you. Otherwise - we have a Victa Lawnmaster ESP300A 1000W (Bunnings), 12in cutting width 3.3W/mm, (I think a narrower cut-width than timmmay's) but we have a sloping section with steps so wanted something light to carry. The capacity of the catcher is low. Our "lawns" total 100+m2. Had it about 3yrs. Did blow the cord through flexing near the control, but have put that part of the cord through concertina washing machine pipe and the problem may have been caused by not clipping the cord in a support hook provided on the handle.
 


Yip, the EnviroMower is just 500W but that DC motor is what makes the difference.  Making your own LiFePO4 battery pack is about $200 for the cells and certainly not an option for most, but just posting it so people know what can be done if products are made with the right parts.  It is not about megawatt motors or horsepower, it is about the right design.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  Reply # 978380 31-Jan-2014 23:40 Send private message

hang on a sec ... u want to drag a 30m cable up and down the lawn how many times?

borrow a 30m extension cable (to get the actual weight) tie it to your office chair go up and down the lawn ... if you are cool with that fine ... I just about died moving the cord once to get the electric mulcher to the trees ... all my other stuff are wireless (petrol and battery powered)

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  Reply # 978398 1-Feb-2014 06:12 Send private message

I've had battery powered power tools - line trimmers and such. Never again. There's no way I'd buy a heavy battery powered electric mower. Get one with a cord or get petrol.

I use a 20m cord for my mower, on a flat section. It makes no difference if it's 5m or 50m, other than having to get them out and put them back again. The weight is irrelevant in practice.

This isn't a complicated subject. The mower I recommended works great. Anyone in Wellington wants to try it you're welcome to come mow my lawn!




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  Reply # 978401 1-Feb-2014 06:49 Send private message

joker97: hang on a sec ... u want to drag a 30m cable up and down the lawn how many times?

borrow a 30m extension cable (to get the actual weight) tie it to your office chair go up and down the lawn ... if you are cool with that fine ... I just about died moving the cord once to get the electric mulcher to the trees ... all my other stuff are wireless (petrol and battery powered)


Moving a 30 Meter power cord requires about the same effort as carrying a cellphone in the pocket.




Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

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Reply # 978409 1-Feb-2014 08:20 Send private message

KiwiNZ: Moving a 30 Meter power cord requires about the same effort as carrying a cellphone in the pocket.

You've seen the cell phones of the 80's?  Better have a big pocket!

Agree.  Power leads are only heavy when they get stuck or resistance.  So it depends on what you have.

Anyone in East Auckland want to try my LiFePO4 mower, looks like I might have to cut twice a week because of the chicken poop I've spread on the lawn.  This morning I'm doing the 5th cut on the 1st battery charge, each cut takes about 30 minutes.  And with a bad back I pick-up the mower chest-height to get it out of the shed, estimate it is about 10kg.




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  Reply # 978410 1-Feb-2014 08:22 Send private message

joker97: hang on a sec ... u want to drag a 30m cable up and down the lawn how many times?

You are dragging only 15m at most if you lay the power cable from the centre of the area which is why you probably need 2 leads.  Or 7.5m average.




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  Reply # 978415 1-Feb-2014 09:31 Send private message

+1 for the Enviromower. Got one for my dad about 8 years ago. Perhaps 3 years ago it needed a new battery (its a couple of small 12v batteries in a housing to make a 24v pack). I simply bought a couple batteries thru trademe and swaped them out. Since he was red zoned out of his place I've been using the same mower at my place for the last 2 years.

Biggest issue with battery powered unit is having the power pack charged when you need to use it. Petrol or corded electric are ready to go at any time

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  Reply # 978446 1-Feb-2014 10:17 Send private message

MurrayM: I have moved into a house with a very small lawn (about 40 square metres) and I need to get a lawn mower for it.

I bought a very cheap hand mower from The Warehouse, but it's so light that it pretty much just bounces over the lawn and I have to go over each part of the lawn a dozen times or more just to cut anything!  It's mostly plastic and aluminium.

When I was young I used to use an old hand mower and it did a good job, but it was iron and heavy and didn't have a catcher.

I visited a garden shop and the shop assistant tried to put me off hand mowers ("you have to get the blades professionally sharpened and that costs a lot") and on to an electric mower ("only a bit more expensive than a hand mower and you get a catcher and you can sharpen the blades yourself with a file").



We use a hand mower - and have done so for decades.  If the blades needed sharpening, then sure - unless you're a DIYer, then you might need to get it professionally sharpened, but I've actually never sharpened ours - to some extent they are self-sharpening.  Ours will cut with one pass (but for neatness I like to go over twice with 50% overlap different directions - but I do this when using a motor mower anyway).  They usually come with a catcher (except the extreme budget models), but most of the time I prefer to not use a catcher and just let the clippings mulch down.
In about 24 years, I've bought two hand mowers - not expensive ones, IIRC in the $100-$150 price range, Lawnmaster from Mitre 10 etc.
Our section has about 300m2 grassed areas, but it's landscaped/sloping, and that's on 5 different levels.  Motor mowers are heavy to lift between levels, electric cords get tangled in trees /shrubs etc.  Battery might be okay for a very small area, but I wouldn't buy one for our needs.
Unless the one you bought was particularly poor quality, then it sounds like it was just poorly adjusted or faulty - I don't think that lack of weight is the main issue.  They don't make them like they used to (heavy cast iron construction, made to last forever with expectation that you'd replace any worn/broken parts), but seem to last about 10 years for us - at $15 / year I can't complain. Apart from adjustment, the usual issue making them hard to use is the pinion gear on each side and/or the pawl through the shaft jamming due to dust etc, resulting in the mower not reliably "engaging" on one or both sides when pushed forwards.  The pinion gears are usually nylon, they will eventually self-destruct if the pawl is jamming.  About once a year, I just remove the wheels (circlip pliers needed), give the gear a clean, lubricate the pawl - it's a 5 minute job.
Mowing the lawns is about a 15 minute job - or less.  We will use a motor mower if we've been away for a few weeks and the grass is long - trying to cut 6 inch grass with a push mower is like trying to shave with a pocket knife.


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  Reply # 978548 1-Feb-2014 15:41 Send private message

I have a Bosch battery mower with a whopping LiOn battery that weighs as much as the mower itself. I chose it because it's a lot lighter all up than the enviromower and petrol mowers - I have to carry it up and down steps (and it has a handle for carrying!), and I didn't want to carry leads up and down the hill. Does a great job, battery lasts a long time, though it's twice the price of a budget petrol mower.




 

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  Reply # 978597 1-Feb-2014 17:33 Send private message

TinyTim: battery lasts a long time

Because EnviroMower and others (and most electric scooters) use lead batteries which have an Ah rating for discharge over 20h, never intended for 1h discharge, so you barely get half the energy out and damage the battery and the motor slows down as you use it.  LiPo batteries can deliver the power, but they still have a power slope as they discharge and safety issues despite what manufacturers try to tell you (and Boeing!).  LiFePO4 has virtually no power slope, designed for ultra fast discharge, by far much safer than LiPo, has about 4x the cycle life of LiPo, close to 100% charging efficiency (lead-acid can be as bad as 50%), and has become an affordable alternative if you source it from the right place.  If only the lawnmower manufacturers would decide to make quality, long lasting products again.

And now I should probably stop ranting.




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  Reply # 978682 1-Feb-2014 21:37 Send private message

Niel:  If only the lawnmower manufacturers would decide to make quality, long lasting products again.

And now I should probably stop ranting.


Amen to that for a whole range of products.  

The problem being in the cut and thrust of marketing most people buy on price plus most sales people especially in the big box stores don't know their product very well.

What this all means is, the better product very often doesn't sell because:

1  It's dearer than the other products and to the uninformed there is no difference, and or

2  The sales people don't do a very good job of explaining the differences.





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  Reply # 978700 1-Feb-2014 22:22 Send private message

Have you considered roundup?




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 979427 3-Feb-2014 14:50 Send private message

Come on this is Geekzone, how about a Robot lawn mower?
http://www.husqvarna.com/nz/products/robotic-mowers/husqvarna-robotic-mowers-for-homeowners/

I've ordered one of these, no more mowing lawns for me.

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