When we reviewed the original EGO 56V cordless lawn mower we knew we had entered a definitive period where the battery-powered mower was finally hitting the mainstream market. Though these are premium-priced products, sales seemed to confirm our initial impressions. At the time, our only question was how long it would take EGO to incorporate a self-propelled option that was both practical and efficient enough to drive the mower without robbing valuable battery energy. It appears EGO has accomplished this with the EGO self-propelled lawn mower (model LM2100SP), and they’re first to market. We got a sneak peek at this mower during the 2015 GIE Expo in Kentucky, but now we finally had one in our hands for testing.
The EGO 56V self-propelled lawn mower uses the same technology of the original 56V lawnmower, but the form factor has been changed. The self-propelled model now features a more conventional look, with the motor assembly rising above the center of the deck. It looks more like a machine in our opinion—and that familiarity is probably going to be more appealing to consumers. You’ve still got the same great features of the original EGO 56V lawnmower, but now you have an integrated variable speed “cruise control” that will do most of the driving for you. It’s hard not to be impressed by a battery-powered solution that has just stolen the last gotta-have feature retained by many of its gas-powered compadres. This company is definitely hitting the industry hard this year with this mower coming on the heels of the EGO 15 in string trimmer and the new EGO 16-inch cordless chainsaw.
- Rapid charging in under an hour
- Adjustable pace self-propelled drive that works with you
- Simple height and handle adjustments
- Cuts up to 1/2 acre on a charge
- Quiet at 80 dB(A)
- Kit presents a good value at $499
- Plastic deck
We’ve been big fans of the EGO self-propelled lawn mower since it was released, and now we have some cold, hard facts to back up our belief in it. Considering it made its debut in 2016 and really hasn’t been modified since then, the LM2102SP is a working example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It excels in cutting performance and works pretty quietly while doing so. Plus, since its become a hundred bucks cheaper since its initial release, it presents a good value at $499 when kitted with a 7.5Ah, 56V Power+ battery and rapid charger.
Editor’s note: We did some additional testing on this model and several others since this review first published. Check out the updated results here!
EGO Self-propelled Lawn Mower Features
The EGO self-propelled lawn mower is just as quiet as the original 56V model. The addition of the self-propelled motor adds a slight whine when you engage the throttle, but compared to the sound of a traditional 2-cycle lawn mower, it might as well be silent. In fact, when the lawn mower first arrived, I popped in the battery and started it up in my living room—try that with a gas model, and you’ll likely be sleeping on the couch! The kit version includes a 7.5 Ah “ARC Lithium” battery and 60-minute rapid charger, giving you up to 60 minutes of run-time when performing light cutting. The “ARC” in the lithium-battery name refers to the shape which dissipates heat while providing a completely sealed design that’s coated in black epoxy to prevent damage from the weather or even drops. This is one tough battery.
If you have an extra 5.0 Ah battery pack from an EGO 56V cordless chainsaw you can likely mow even larger areas non-stop and simply swap the batteries back and forth from the charger.
The new mower has a 21″ cutting deck, giving it an extra inch of diameter over the original EGO Power+ mower. That may not seem like much, but one inch extended over the course of an entire lawn makes a difference. Plus, most self-propelled gas lawn mowers fall in the 21″ to 22″ category, so EGO is now on par with cutting size as well. When using the battery-powered drive system, the EGO self-propelled lawn mower will move at speeds from 1.8 MPH to 3.6 MPH simply by setting the sliding speed control lever on the left and then grasping the side-mounted trigger handle with your left hand. The lower speeds are perfect for cutting while the maximum speed is perfect for when you need to put away the lawn mower when your work is finished. All drive energy is provided by a rear-mounted motor that gear-drives the left rear wheel. Speaking of wheels, EGO upgraded the wheel bearings on this new mower, giving it a smoother push and further reducing friction—all things that increase the mower’s run-time and ease-of-use.
The 21″ EGO Power+ lawn mower has the familiar EGO push button which interacts with the bail lever to start the mower. It also continues to be one of the most compact models on the market, with the same collapsing and folding handle system that yields a package that can be vertically stored in a 37.5 x 22.5 x 16.6 in. space.
The mower is IPX4-rated which means it can be splashed with water in any direction for up to 5 minutes. The practical result of that rating means that you don’t have to worry if you’re mowing, or even if you need to transport the mower in the bed of your truck, and it starts to rain. Working with a truly cordless battery-powered lawnmower is something that will change your entire perspective on how you can get this kind of work done. For Pros, you can use the EGO Power+ 21″ self-propelled lawn mower to take care of smaller areas or even in places where noise abatement is necessary. It’s a great supplement to a zero turn mower, and one that stores on the front or back of a trailer quite easily. Finally, while I don’t think mowing in the dark is most people’s “thing”, the dramatic reduction in noise and the presence of twin dual-LED headlights mean that you at least have that option. Below you can see the LED headlight on the new EGO self-propelled lawn mower (left) compared to those of the original model on the right.
Using the EGO 56V Self-propelled Lawn Mower
The advantage of the EGO self-propelled lawn mower is that it takes nothing to grab it and get work done. Since it’s powered by a 7.5 Ah ARC lithium-ion battery, you’ve got absolutely zero prep time to get it up and running. There’s no oil, no gas, and starting is instantaneous. As we live in Florida, we got to start a little early on our mowing, though the winter months did a number on the quality of our grass this season.
The EGO self-propelled lawn mower can run on any of the available battery packs, but the more you give it the longer it runs and the more power it has available to help it overcome tougher turf. We ran it with both a 5.0 Ah battery and the included 7.5 Ah ARC Lithium battery and got nearly an hour of run-time off the larger battery pack. On a 1/8-acre lot, the EGO 7.5 Ah battery pack let the EGO 56V 21″ mower make quick work of the front, side, and back yards. It was interesting to watch the visible light on the back panel of the EGO mower and note the ability of the 7.5 Ah pack to handle a lot more aggressive grass without “turning red”—something that a smaller pack will tend to do, indicating that it’s heating up and/or running lower on energy.
We ran the mower in mulching mode across thick turf grass that had grown for several weeks (We’re out of season even here in Florida, so building up enough grass to cut took some time). To mulch you ensure the plastic plug is inserted. This lets the blades “double cut” the grass, turning it into finer pieces that help provide nutrients back into the soil. Battery life was excellent, allowing us to mow for more than 52 minutes even though the grass was a tad higher (and less tame due to the season) than we’d normally see. For a different type of test, we also operated the EGO self-propelled mower on a really damaged lawn which included fallen leaves, small twigs, and tons of acorns. For this test we inserted the bag and removed the mulch plug so we could see how well the internal vortex created by the blades would lift material into the container. If that’s not a difficult test, I’m not sure what is. After several bags were emptied, we determined that the mower did a fine job of cutting through the bigger material and pulling the cut grass and leaves into the bag for disposal. You’ll get even better results on a well maintained (and regularly cut) lawn. The EGO self-propelled mower cuts quickly, and the blades are nice and sharp. Plan on sharpening the blades twice a season for best results. We tested it on both dry grass and damp turf with little to no difficulty. Overall, I prefer using this mower with the mulch plug inserted.
We started having our 12 year old son mow the grass last year with the original EGO 56V cordless lawn mower. He was tickled to try out the self-propelled model, and to be honest, it’s a little like cheating. The handle lowers to the same convenient height, allowing for use by shorter individuals. The speed of cut is fantastic—even in the lowest setting (which is what I’d recommend using for best results). Like any self-propelled mower, it takes some time to get used to the controls and develop a feel for “letting off the throttle” when you come to the end of a cut or need to turn the mower. After a few passes, however, it all starts to come naturally—even for a 12-year-old! Our only problem is that our youngest son now wants to get into the game…and with the self-propelled system we can no longer use the excuse that it’s too hard to push!
The EGO Power+ 56V self propelled lawn mower is priced at $599. We know that’s not cheap, so if you don’t need the self-propelled system, the LM2101 version shaves $100 off the price but keeps the other features (it looks nearly identical). Still, if you factor in gas at $1.75/gallon, winterization & maintenance to keep your mower going, and the sheer joy of having a grab-and-go mowing solution, the EGO self propelled lawn mower might just be your favorite purchase this year. You spend a lot of time mowing your lawn—you might as well enjoy it! Get more information from the EGO Power+ website.
This review was originally published on March 9, 2016. We’ve updated it to reflect the EGO Self-Propelled Lawn Mower’s performance in our recent “Best Battery-Powered Lawn Mower Shootout.”