Cordless Lawn Mower & battery pack comparision charts

videobruce

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Background;
Coming from a 23 year old Black & Decker CMM1200 Lead-Acid (Gel Cell) battery powered mower, I started looking for a replacement a year ago. I never had any intention of even remotely considered a gas powered mower. This mower has seen 5 battery changes, 3 blade changes and 3 wheel changes along with 2 safety recalls that updated the charger circuit and the dead-mans switches (that I never had a problem with). The mower is still fine, I clean it after most uses, especially in the Spring. It gets taken in the basement for the Winter from a detached garage (the batteries are not easily removable). My city properties lawn (measured in feet, not acres) is about 3500 sq. feet.

I have always been mechanically & electrical/electronically inclined, in this case my concern was and is the battery packs. I have literally read hundreds of one & two star reviews (mostly thru Amazon, I ignore 5 star) and found that the battery and run time is the number one issue. Being somewhat familiar with Li-Ion packs, thou I never had any of this capacity, I was aware of the shortcomings including the do's & don'ts which according to those reviewers probably 75% of them do not. Since these replacement packs run from $100 up to around $400 (depending on capacity), the concern is valid.
I have also worked in the maintenance department of a local, private high school for a few years that included 'grounds' work using gas powered tools including trimmers, push & riding mowers.

Having stated that, THE place to go for some needed battery education (thou somewhat advanced) is BatteryUniversity courtesy of Cadex Electronics;
https://batteryuniversity.com/index.php/learn/

Summing that up;
1. Fully charging and discharging a Li-Ion pack is one of the worse things one can do. Especially draining it down to the point the device in use shuts down.
2. Charging it fully when it will sit, unused a long period of time is the 2nd bad practice. Storage condition should be around 40% (between 30 & 50%)

Anyway, attached are two spreadsheets one is a list of common, popular and initially 'interesting' choices for mowers. All but a few are NOT self propelled since I feel these are light enough, it's not needed. That and the fact the self propelled feature;
adds around $100 to the cost,
is extra weight,
more of a draw on the battery pack,
something more to go wrong.

I have include the very newly introduced Toro cordless 60v mowers (2 basic models with slight variations) to the list and the ones under the Craftsman name now sold thru Lowes. I have NOT included the 'Kobalt' name since these are being discontinued thru Lowes.
I will add; "Global Tool Works" (Group China) is the actual manufacturer for the names of Snapper, Greenworks, Kobalt and Stihl (among others). Greenworks is NOT a manufacture.
Also, Snapper discontinued their 60v line in favor of a 48v replacements.
The sources for all of this are from;
Manufactures web sites,
Manuals & parts lists,
Retail sites (Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.)
Actual phones calls to the various importers confirming data and tiring to fill in the blanks (easier said then done).

The 2nd list shows various battery packs for these mowers and some generic Chinese no-name substitutes. Yes, I know, these are risky, but may be worth a try since the cost of the 'brand' version is kinda expensive. Note the prices are the lowest common prices I found and the watt hour figure came from multiplying idle voltage by amperage (except where noted). W/Hr is the most important number, not voltage. Voltage is more of a selling point. There actually are at least 2 models that are listed at 120 volts DC which in my opinion is overkill and really unsafe. (It's called marketing). Watt hour is more important relating to run time.

Please note:
Since this forum limits file types, the Windows extension of these two spreadsheet files has been changed to .txt (text format). These are in the OpenOffice ".odt" spreadsheet format (a free open source office suite better than Office & Excel).
It's compatible with MS Office by;
changing the extension to .odt,
right click & choose "Open with" Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you use).
 

Attachments

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videobruce

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To expand on the above, I have tried Greenworks 60v & Ryobi 40v models. As of this entry, it looks as I will keep the Ryobi. It was $100 less than GW's, it's far easier to clean the area abound the blade, the battery pack can be removed from the charger without using excessive force with the GW (NO, I'm not exaggerating) and the warranty is a year longer. It is a 'plastic' like deck, but so was the B&D and that's 23 years old. There are a few worn thru and scratched/scuffed areas, but operation is not affected.
All three has or in the case of B&D had local service which is a huge plus. I wish I had a dollar for every review that whined about no local service. What you didn't check first?? :rolleyes: Other tan local service I also checked for a parts list and asked about replacement cost for common and possible problem parts, especially ones that are expensive.

Testing these two mowers I found some interesting patterns as to charging. The main problem with MOST of these cordless mowers is the lack of a active on-board charge state indication. Stopping the mower every 5 minutes, opening the battery compartment, pressing the button on the pack just to find out the SOC (state of charge) is rediculus. I only found two mowers (one is included in the previous chart) that does have a separate readout as to battery state. I never had that problem with a lead acid powered mower since you can hear the motor slow down when the battery is dyeing. Li-Ion powered motors run normal speed until they can't. It's on or off.
As to Ryobi, it's ironic, when the pack is in the charger, the LED array is active showing the charge status progress. If it works there, why not on the mower?? What's more interesting is the charger reports after just over 3 hours that the pack is charged, but the pack reports it's at the 'above 75%' charge state. It takes another 45 minutes ti fully top off the pack. Ryobi confirms what I suspected that the original packs for that mower it's been out since 2013 I believe) were 2.5 a/hr, not the 5a/hr that is used now, confusing the charger circuit.

Both of these chargers seem to follow a similar pattern, thou GW's pack indicator isn't lit during charging. AC current slowly tapers off to less than 1 watt when the pack reaches 100% charge state (using a 'Kill-A'Watt' equivalent meter). Both chargers get hot, the Ryobi suffers from very poor vent design with only a set of vents at the bottom of the base. There are what appeared to be vents on the sides, but they are NOT actual vents! No idea what they were thinking here. :thumbdown:
They have come out with a new, two piece model (separate power supply) which I would figure will solve that problem.

The packs themselves were only warm after use and when in the charger, except the Ryobi that was very warm from the heat off the charger itself, not from the charging process. Both systems are a slower charge rate which is good for longevity, but a disadvantage if the run time isn't long enough for the lawn to be cut. Fast charging most any battery technology shortens life due to stressing the pack. IOW's; no free ride.
Again, see BatteryUniversity's link I provided. :wink:

Lastly all of the mowers except for Ego are brushless (AFAIK). Brushless motors are around 10% more efficient. One of many reasons why I didn't choose Ego.
 

MowerMike

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FYI, Ego does sell a cordless lawn mower model with a brushless motor. It has a steel deck and is considerably more expensive than the base models with a brushed motor and plastic deck.

Also, lithium-ion battery packs contain circuitry that prevents them from becoming completely discharged during use.
 
Last edited:

videobruce

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May 15, 2019
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Correct on both;
I believe that is Ego's only brushless & steel deck version and is their most expensive (or close to it) model. They are one of the very few importers that aren't all brushless. At those prices, it makes them overpriced (and overrated) alone with the excessive use of 'plastic' like materials AFAIC.

As to internal battery pack protection circuity, depending on the pack and the associated charger, I have read numerous reports of packs not being able to be recharged due to the internal voltage was too low for the charger to recognize. That requires 'jump starting' the pack as one would do the same to a auto battery. While somewhat easy for anyone versed in electronics (or the like), it shouldn't be done by 'joe sixpack'.

Greenhouse (Global Tool Works) pack PCB;
Greenworks 2ah pack 15S1P CB small.JPG
 
Last edited:

dougmacm

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Background;
Anyway, attached are two spreadsheets one is a list of common, popular and initially 'interesting' choices for mowers. All but a few are NOT self propelled since I feel these are light enough, it's not needed. That and the fact the self propelled feature;
adds around $100 to the cost,
is extra weight,
more of a draw on the battery pack,
something more to go wrong.

I have include the very newly introduced Toro cordless 60v mowers (2 basic models with slight variations) to the list and the ones under the Craftsman name now sold thru Lowes. I have NOT included the 'Kobalt' name since these are being discontinued thru Lowes.
I will add; "Global Tool Works" (Group China) is the actual manufacturer for the names of Snapper, Greenworks, Kobalt and Stihl (among others). Greenworks is NOT a manufacture.
Also, Snapper discontinued their 60v line in favor of a 48v replacements.
The sources for all of this are from;
Manufactures web sites,
Manuals & parts lists,
Retail sites (Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.)
Actual phones calls to the various importers confirming data and tiring to fill in the blanks (easier said then done).

The 2nd list shows various battery packs for these mowers and some generic Chinese no-name substitutes. Yes, I know, these are risky, but may be worth a try since the cost of the 'brand' version is kinda expensive. Note the prices are the lowest common prices I found and the watt hour figure came from multiplying idle voltage by amperage (except where noted). W/Hr is the most important number, not voltage. Voltage is more of a selling point. There actually are at least 2 models that are listed at 120 volts DC which in my opinion is overkill and really unsafe. (It's called marketing). Watt hour is more important relating to run time.

Please note:
Since this forum limits file types, the Windows extension of these two spreadsheet files has been changed to .txt (text format). These are in the OpenOffice ".odt" spreadsheet format (a free open source office suite better than Office & Excel).
It's compatible with MS Office by;
changing the extension to .odt,
right click & choose "Open with" Excel (or whatever spreadsheet program you use).
I'd really like to look at your two spreadsheets, but can't get them to open. I even tried to follow your instructions, but either my computer or my version of MS Office does not allow me to do what you say to do.

Don't think I've ever tried but have on other forums ... this site really will not allow you to attach a pdf or word doc ??

Doug
 

videobruce

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Those are not 'spreadsheet' formats. The correct extension is .ods not .odt (I can't edit that post) .odt is a text document. Sorry about that. :frown:

Do you have them saved somewhere? If not, do so. When you choose the 'Open with' context option after you change the extension, what happens?
The original extension is .ods (OpenOffice Calculator program format). You can change the extension to .xls or one of the dozen or so other extensions M$ uses (rediculus number :thumbdown: ) and try that.

Or, you can use AOO (Apache OpenOffice) and junk that POS M$ suite of crap;
https://www.openoffice.org/download/

I haven't had to use any M$ program for well over 18 years other than their O/S. There are always alternatives, many are free. :smile: BTW, there is a portable version of that s/w package available.
 

MowerMike

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I tried opening it using the latest version of Corel Quattro Pro, but it did not work. It will open with a trial version of Excel on my new PC, but I don't want to activate it and end up have to pay money to MS. I have set Quattro Pro as my default program for all spreadsheet formats, including Excel. Later today I may fire up my old XP PC which has an older version of Excel, and see if it can open your spreadsheets.
 

dougmacm

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I've got an older version of Office Enterprise (2007 I think) on all my computers so the M$ system is not making any $$ off of me.

I just don't get the option to change the ".txt" to something else when I open or try to save these documents.

If I open a word or excel document, I have options to save it as something else but not this.

Doug
 

MowerMike

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Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Threads
70
Messages
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I've got an older version of Office Enterprise (2007 I think) on all my computers so the M$ system is not making any $$ off of me.

I just don't get the option to change the ".txt" to something else when I open or try to save these documents.

If I open a word or excel document, I have options to save it as something else but not this.

Doug
After you download the files to your computer hard drive, just right click on them and select Rename. The filename will appear in an edit box, and you can change the extension from txt to ods or whatever.
 

dougmacm

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Joined
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Threads
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Messages
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After you download the files to your computer hard drive, just right click on them and select Rename. The filename will appear in an edit box, and you can change the extension from txt to ods or whatever.
I just don't get the option to change the ".txt" to something else when I open or try to save these documents.

as I said before, I just don't get the option to change the ".txt" to something else when I open or try to save / rename these documents.

I did try re-naming by adding a ".xls" to the end of one of them, but it just became part of the name instead of changing the file type.

I also have Win XP & 7 computers here at work and could not change the file type in these systems either.

Doug
 
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