CommunityPam's House Blend

House Blend product endorsement – Neuton Cordless Electric Mower

[This is an irregular feature on the Blend, a sort of Epinions on products that Kate and I like. No compensation is involved. I’m just passing on info based on actual use in real-world conditions.]

This week, Kate and I give a thumbs up to the Neuton Cordless Electric Mower.

At my old house, it was a flat yard in back, and not that large. All I needed was Sears reel mower that I’ve had for years. Here in the new place, it is a small, irregularly shaped lot (about .2 of an acre), with a hilly front and a backyard with a downslope toward the house. Over the last year, we have attempted to kill off most of the grass that was in the back, and added a pebble path and put down timbers and mulch. Lots of digging…

Amateur landscaping hour. It did stop the erosion problem, though.

This year, the rest of that above grass is gone and it’s all mulch. However, the front and side yards still require some mowing, though the prior owners did a great job of landscaping away most of the grass in the front. There is a pretty steep drop off down to the property line of our neighbor on the side. That has to be mowed and it’s a b*tch with that reel mower, so we decided to see if going electric would tackle it.

We went to the local home improvement stores, but all of the mowers there are corded. I figured there had to be a cordless version, so I surfed the web and found the DR site, which has gas-powered and electric lawn care devices. Online ordering was a breeze, and since there was a six-month free trial, we really had nothing to lose by trying it out.

It arrived in only a couple of days, and, as usual, Kate was all excited to take this on as her project, but we both put it together. Assembly wasn’t difficult, but as you all probably know, the instructions for these kinds of things suck. It’s clearly written by someone for whom English is a second language. Even the diagrams were not all that helpful, but as U said, the assembly is fairly self-explanatory.

Charge up for the battery is overnight, and it’s a pretty large one, but we’re fortunate that there’s an outlet in our garage near a shelf so it was out of the way. It easily drops in.

Both of us tried it out, and the operation is smooth. On the hill, Kate reported that it was tough going there; the grass is thicker and pushing it along was a chore, but clearly not as hard as the reel mower. She didn’t find that she had to go over any areas twice though. Only once has the charge run out before she was finished (there had been a lot of rain and the grass grew a lot between mowings) and even then, she was almost done when it quit.

The bag attachment that came with it works well and is easy to empty. You can also get an edger attachment/spare battery package. The electric hedge trimmer we got with it pretty much sucks. Its charge doesn’t last long at all, and our shrubs burned through it in a lot less than that. It really didn’t cut well. I would hate to see the performance of the chainsaw, which they also sell.

The good:
* DR ships the thing like lightning
* it beats the non-motorized, old-fashioned reel mower we had
* it doesn’t have a cord that you have to drag around
* operation is much more quiet than a gas mower
* no nasty gas fumes
* no maintenance, aside from cleaning clippings
* handles fold down so it’s easy to store

The not so good:
* it’s fairly easy to assemble, but the instructions are ESL godawful
* it’s not so quiet that you can mow at 6AM on a weekend
* while lighter than a gas mower, it’s still tough going on a hill and is not self-propelling
* battery needs to be unplugged after a charge if you’re waiting a while between cuts, or its life is shortened

The bad:
* the battery doesn’t last very long (hour or so), so if you have a larger yard, you’ll need a second battery.
* it can get clogged and stall if the grass is very thick or wet; Kate from time to time has had to clear if of clippings before continuing on with the rest of the lawn
* the cordless hedge trimmer product blows donkey

Here’s the product description for the mower:

Stop struggling with your hard-starting gas lawn mower. The NEUTON® Cordless Electric Mower gives you the superior cut of a gas mower, but uses today’s rechargeable battery technology. It starts instantly with the gentle squeeze of the handlebar and runs for up to 1 hour on a single charge. Plus, because it doesn’t use gas or oil, the NEUTON® never needs a tune-up. This quiet, lightweight lawn mower glides easily across your lawn and is easy for anyone to use, young or old. Battery charger included.

Length with bag: 44″
Length without bag: 30″
Overall width: 18″
Height (to handlebar): 38-1/2″
Weight without battery: 33 lbs.
Weight with battery: 48 lbs.
Battery: 24-volt, 10-amp hour, sealed lead/acid type, with built-in carrying handle and charging receptacle
Motor: 24-volt, 21-amp permanent magnet electric motor
Run Time: Mow for up to 60 minutes on a single charge
Warranty: 1 year residential use; 90 days commercial use

6-Month Risk-Free Trial: any product purchased directly from DR® Power Equipment may be returned within six months of its ship date.

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