Ego LM2102SP Review
Pros: Extensive runtime, rapid recharge, massive cutting deck width
Cons: Fairly expensive, more mower than some may need
Compare Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ego is an all-around leader in the class and for good reason. The machine is simply head and shoulders better than the competition in every critical evaluation. This mower cuts a wide swath in a wide range of heights and does so for a period of time that is at the top of the class. This puppy will mulch or bag, run fast or slow, it will self-propel or it can be manually pushed. Moreover, it is easy to use and a cinch to fold up and store for later use.
When one is investigating mowers, we think that an analysis of the mowing function is pretty darn important. At 35 percent, we weight this metric to account for the lion's share of the product's overall score. The components of this metric are an assessment of the mowers' range of cutting heights, the width of the cutting deck and the ability of the motor to keep the blade efficiently cutting in a variety of grass heights. We should say that we measure the cutting deck differently than the manufacturers who list the outside deck width. Conversely, we make a more practical measurement between the front wheels as this is generally the maximum amount that the mower can cut without leaving an uncut strip of grass between one row and the next.
The Ego crushes the mowing metric tests. It's six settings cover a huge range of cutting heights from 1 3/8" to 4 1/8". The inside wheel width allows for ~18" of cutting rows. Finally, the 56-volt power source provides a staggering amount of power, such that the blade showed no hesitation mulching knee high weeds.
One of the features that sets the Ego apart from the competition is its beefy 56-volt, 5 amp-hour battery. The assessment of batteries is distilled to two tests, the combined outcome of which are weight to account for 25% of the total score of the machine. The first is how long the battery will deliver power to the motor. We call this runtime. The second is how long it takes to recharge a fully depleted battery. Due to complications in assessing runtime uniformly while actually cutting grass, we run these machines without a load. What this means is that the motor is on and the blade is spinning, but no grass is cut. We then take the loadless runtime value and use it in a model that estimates the total square footage that the mower will trim. While the model's accuracy will vary depending on the length and density of the grass (to name just a few variables affecting outcomes), the relative differences between mowers will remain reasonably accurate.
The Ego will cut an estimated 14,275 sq.ft. of grass. This square footage estimate is exceptional and is only distantly approached by push mowers not using a significant portion of their power on propelling the mower. Further bolstering the Ego's performance is the rapid recharge time of 57 minutes. While much of this mower's runtime performance can be chalked up to the size of its battery, the size of the battery makes the recharge time is all the more impressive. Many mowers with far shorter runtimes don't come close to the Ego's sub one hour recharge time.
Having gained a firm grasp on the mowing and battery characteristics, the next obvious question to answer is how well these machines handle. In an attempt to solidify the ambiguity of this concept, we narrow the handling metric down to how easy it is to push, follow or otherwise maneuver the mower, how comfortable the bail is when gripped, and finally how well the starting mechanism functions.
This analysis is where the Ego's near-flawless showing stutter stepped a bit. While the start button works just fine and the motor starts without hesitation, our testers found that the self-propulsion of the mower caused some issues when in tighter terrain such as corners. The rub here is that the slowest setting on the mower's drive control is still a bit too fast. When the testers resorted to manually pushing the mower they found that the drive system presented some resistance. Additionally, the bail spring is a bit stiff, producing a bit of discomfort. That said, the Ego performs a good or better than the majority of the competition.
Ease of Use
Where the handling metric captures the practical functionality for the mower, the ease of use metric addresses those extra features that, when all else is satisfied, shape the user's experience. Namely, we look at the noise produced by the mower, the position and usefulness of the battery life indicator, and finally, the battery release mechanism.
The over-achieving Ego is at the top of the class in this metric as well. First off, at 71 dBA measured at the handle bar, it's one of the more quiet units under review. The battery life indicator is located on the top of the battery compartment, which makes it easy enough to read while mowing. Despite the bulk of the battery, the removal of the cell is a cinch. Finally, when it comes time to fold or unfold this machine, the Ego continues to shine. The designers of this mower should really give themselves a pat on the back because they pretty much nailed this configuration.
We find the Ego 56V to be a good value. For us, value is essentially the return one gets on their investment. In this case, the return will be performance. The investment is one's hard earned cash. While the price of this mower is not trivial, we think that one gets an above average return.
The Ego is an exceptional lawn mower. It's no exaggeration to say that model is a standard setter in most metrics. While it is a beefy machine that thrives when put to the tougher tasks, it does well on run of the mill tasks as well. Moreover, the Ego will fit in most people's shed or garage as it folds up and neatly stands on end, effectively minimizing the storage footprint. If you want a do it all mower and don't want to get a haircut in the process, look no further than the Ego LM2102SP.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is commited to honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year. We buy all the products ourselves. We won't accept manufacturer's freebies. No ads. No "sponsored" content. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing.Learn More