Greenworks 21-Inch 13 Amp Corded Lawn Mower 25112, reviews, comments

Greenworks, 13 Amp, 21-Inch 3 in 1, Rear Bag, Mulch or Side Discharge, Converts Easily from Rear Bag to Mulch or Side Discharge Electric Lawn Mower, Model # 25112

Edit 8/15/2017 - I'm updating this to 5 stars because even given the issues below, I would buy this product again over any competitors I could find in this product category. I've used this for 4 years now and it still works the same as it did new. I remarked below on poor cut quality in some scenarios where blade speed can fall too low which is still a problem, but this really only occurs when mulching. Cutting thick or tall grass with the discharge open improves the pace and cut quality in this scenario but there are limitations, mowing fields is still going to produce a crappy cut no matter what you use.

Let's get a few things out of the way, these do not impact the product score, as they are common to all products in this category:

1. This is a corded mower. Dealing with the cord is sometimes a pain. If you have a lot of trees or obstacles you may want to consider something else.
2. Maximum power is limited to a 120V outlet and what can safely make it out an extension cord (about 1650W, for reference 1HP is ~745W).
3. With no batteries to wear out or engines to refuel/re oil, this is very cheap to operate. Running this mower at peak output generally costs 8-25c/hour. You also hit an advantage in purchase price as gas or cordless units with the same features generally cost 50-100% more.
4. Short of hitting something, bogging down an electric motor generally allows it to produce more power and speed back up again (unlike a gasoline engine).

So, what's good about this? Well:

1. 21" Steel deck. The actual blade is 19.5" leaving you a little less than an inch on either side of the deck that won't be cut. You can get a much closer cut with this than the B&D plastic models that have a very thick plastic housing. It's also going to survive rocks/sticks much better than the plastic ones. Both the discharge cover and bag seem to attach easily and solidly. It also makes it look more like a lawn mower and less like a big kid's toy.

2. Light (<55lbs). Since you're not carrying your power source onboard it will be lighter than any other mower in this size class (compare to 75-90lb for gas or battery electric). Larger rear wheels give easy maneuverability. Single lever height adjust works well and is spring loaded so you can raise or lower it with one hand.

3. 3 in one operation - A lot of electric mowers whether they're cordless or corded are limited on power, most get around this by using more efficient blade designs that generate less lift but mulching can be slower. With a reasonably well manicured lawn it doesn't matter much, but cut quality and performance drop off a lot if mulching tall or really thick grass. Since this model has a side discharge that remains an option for thick grass and improves cut speed significantly without wasting your clippings, quite a few electrics don't have a discharge option.

The bad?

1. Wheels/axles could be shielded a little bit so the cord doesn't tend to wrap around it and go under.

2. Mulching anything thick is slow, mowing through thick grass can take quite a bit of time (and tends to clump the output.) I think this is more related to the blade design, when you move fast through thick patches it will cut but leave a few standing, if it had more lift I think it would draw these up (and also help propel the discharge better). Unfortunately the blade seems to have proprietary mounting holes so that's hard to do.

Now, into the nitty-gritty:

This mower is powered by a brushed DC electric motor (Globe 7080). Brushed DC motors are lighter and cheaper than AC synchronous motors or induction motors. However they're generally less durable or efficient.

The Globe 7080 has a peak efficiency (their spec) of 68%. Peak efficiency at 3500RPM (590W output at 7.3A), Peak power at 2245RPM (860W output at 13A). Here's why that's a problem:

Mowers are generally limited (by agreement) to a maximum blade tip speed of 19000 feet per minute (for safety of items that may be thrown from the mower). Higher blade speeds give more lift helping the grass get lifted into the cutting path and making cleaner cuts. At max efficiency RPM the blade is moving about 17,800FPM on this mower. If you start cutting too fast you'll bog it down. Because it's electric it picks up torque so it will keep spinning but you don't hit peak power until about 11,600FPM. This is far too slow and you'll start seeing missed cuts and ragged lines (I noticed this in actual usage).

So since you can't really cut that slow, maximum usable power is closer to 600-650W, or less than 1HP. By comparison, a Honda GCV160 engine at 3600RPM (a common governer setting for push mowers) outputs about 3425W, falling to around 2800W at 3000RPM.

Obviously there are electrical supply limitations to a mower like this. It's perfectly serviceable but nothing amazing, if they ran a brushless motor in here it would undoubtedly cost more but the efficiency could be much higher (>85%) and could be designed for peak power much closer to the ideal blade speed.

Here's the specs on the motor, some were given others were hand calculated.

Globe 7080 series (120VDC)

Voltage 120VDC
No-Load RPM 4490 RPM
No-Load Current 2.0A (provided) 1.16A (measured)
Stall Torque 7.316nm
Stall Current 26.0A
Torque Const 0.305nm/A
Speed Const 37.4 RPM/Volt

Max Efficiency 68%
Torque 1.61 nm
Speed 3500 RPM
Current 7.3 A
Power Output 590 W
Blade Tip Speed 17868 FPM

Maximum Power (assume 50% full stall torque)
Torque 3.658 nm
Speed 2245 RPM
Current 11.99 A (+2A no load) - 14A
Power In 1680 W
Power Out 860 W
Calc Eff 51.2%
Blade Tip Speed 11460 FPM

I give it 5 stars with a caveat -- does it cut well and bag well and do a nice job? Yes. Is it meant for heavy and hogging kind of stuff? NO! This is a lawnmower for little yards that are in decent shape (like mine) - it is not a wussy when it comes to cutting high grass and weeds, but you might want to consider a heavier duty application if you're going to be running over small limbs and rocks and such. One reviewer took the top off of his and discovered that a lot of grass clippings and debris gets up under the hood and around the motor. I took the top off (you will need a long shafted Phillips head screwdriver) to take a look for myself. The first thing that strikes you is that the motor looks small and the connections are rather delicate - and then there is the stuff that got in there. I cannot imagine this set up being one that would last a real long time if that motor got clogged up with debris or if it was abused. I am a building engineer and do maintenance wok for a living - getting the top off and doing a little clean up after each cutting is not a big deal for me. But. If you are the kind of guy or gal that just wants to plug it in, use it, and leave it outside - I don't think this is the mower for you. Don't take my word for it - take the top off of one and let your eyes make the decision. Is it a good machine for light work? Yes. Is it built to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'?...Uh, no. If you want one to abuse - I'd get a little more stout application. This one will work for me, so I am OK with it as it is. If you do take the top off, put some anti seize on the screws before you put them back in and stuff the screw holes with some cotton balls or something to keep the dirt from filling them up. I'm not sorry I bought it - it works fine, but I know how many people treat lawn equipment :) This is not the Hulk Hogan of the lawnmower world <G> Oh, one more thing...the height adjustment on this thing is the best I have ever come across - genius :) It's a good electric - not a bush hogger.

After 5 hard, occasionally abusive seasons that included hitting rocks and stumps, my 20-inch Greenworks finally started to die, making sounds like a failed main bearing. I liked it so much that I decided to replace it with another Greenworks. Twelve to 13 Amps doesn't seem like much of a difference, but the bigger mower definitely has more cutting power.

I just moved to a new house, where I thought a self-propelled gasoline mower might be more suitable. I bought a Subaru, which mercifully died after less than 2 hours of use. It was heavy, awkward to use, and couldn't handle heavy grass as well as the Greenworks.

These tips apply to both models:

1) Place a rubber bumper on top of the safety switch, then strap it down with a zip tie or hose clamp. The mower will now start just by pulling on the power handle. Not as safe as the federally-mandated safety switch arrangement, but still quite safe; if you're dumb enough to work on the blade with the mower plugged in, you deserve the consequences.
2) Wrap the handle with bicycle handlebar tape. The foam padding is fairly delicate, and will tear fairly easily.
3) After every use, put the mower on its side, and wash the cutting chamber thoroughly to flush out grass clippings. Let it dry on its side, in the sun.

My only complaint is that a week after I bought mine, Amazon cut the price by $30 — this mower is a steal at $142.

UPDATE, August 2, 2017 : It's not worth dropping a star, but I recently discovered that the 21" model has been decontented slightly compared with the 20" model that I bought many years ago. The older mower had ball bearings in the wheels, while the wheels on the 21" model have cheap plastic sleeves. I somewhat improved the situation by wrapping .0005" brass shim stock around each axle, then greasing with heavy marine grease. The wheels don't wobble now, and they turn much more smoothly.

I was a bit hesitant about ordering this mower since it had only one review at the time but I am so very glad that I took the plunge and did so.

I have used it 4 times now to mow about 1/4 of an acre of St Augustine grass and it has performed consistently every time - even when the grass was pretty long the first time I used it. I've used it with the bag (which attaches very easily) with the mulching plug and, for a few minutes, with the side chute. All work well. I use the mulching plug attachment most since I believe in returning the clippings to the lawn.

Here's what I loved about this mower:

Weight: Our last mower was a gas, self-propelled Honda and even without the bag attachment it was getting to be a chore to use. This mower is not self-propelled but it is unbelievably light to move around. I usually carry the extension cables in one hand and push the mower in the other when moving from back yard to front and it is not a major effort at all. Our front yard has a slight slope to it and the self-propelled used to struggle with this, as did I, but this one is light enough to make that part so much easier.

Deck : The Greenworks line at this time has all metal decks. I was a bit concerned about grass clippings clinging to the underneath and resulting in rust and the manual does say that you need to wipe off the underneath after use to prevent rust. I have only used this when the grass is dry (easy in Texas) and every time that I checked the clippings had not clung to the underneath of the deck.

Exhaust: There is none!! I am sure our last mower was belching enough CO into the air to put me into a regular funk after lawn work. This one, obviously, has no exhaust and, I have to admit, there I get a kick out of the fact that I have stopped pouring fumes into the air every week!

Wheel Height: Adjustable one handed and glides smoothly. I love it after struggling with each wheel on our old Honda.

Start up: I must be getting old but yanking on the cord multiple times to get the gas mower going was becoming something I dreaded. This one starts quickly at the press of a button, is super quiet and I don't feel bad mowing at 8 AM if that is what I need to do.

And here's what I don't like:

Plastic screws: The screws that allow you to fold down the handle on the mower is connected using a plastic screw and lever system. I have my doubts that this will last very long since I fold it down after every use. However, I have little doubt that if and when it breaks I can come up with another system to keep the handlebar in place.

Deck size: While certainly large enough to not be a big pain, the fact that it is a few inches narrower than our Honda requires a lot more walking. BUT it is walking without fumes in your face and with a lighter machine so it does balance out.

Cables: This is a corded machine. I have read that using a certain grade of extension cord is important and the user's manual states this as well. I have one extension cord at the right grade and one that is a bit lower. The mower does fine when I have to double up the cords and use the 'inferior' one but if you want to follow the instructions to the letter you need to double check that. Also the cables are a pain the first few times you mow. I learned eventually to start close to where the cord was plugged in and always turn the machine in the direction away from the cord when turning around. Otherwise having to reorganize the cord was an absolute nuisance. Trees are a bit tricky but by the third time I had the method down and it was frustration free.

All in all, this is an excellent corded mower and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Edit in August 2012: Still a great mower but the plastic screw in the handle fold down mechanism came loose and fell off while mowing. I've replaced it with a basic, but probably more sturdy, metal nut.
If mowing at the highest height possible (3.5 inches) it cuts St Augustine visibly unevenly. I keep it at 3 inches and all is good.
The cords are still fairly maddening. So if you don't handle frustration well you may want to look at a battery powered rechargeable version instead. I prefer not to have to eventually add a big battery to a landfill so I am still happy with my mower! :)

Bought this mower about six months ago after my old corded black and decker passed away. That older mower mainly died due to an extension cord problem. The short 14 gauge cord �faded’ over time (resistance went up) and was no longer able to provide the Amps the mower needed. This �brown out’ condition kills the life span of the electric motor. I bought a new 12 gauge cord for that mower and the speed and torque picked up but the damage was done. When I got this Greenworks mower I decided to take no chances and picked up a 10 gauge electrical cord. Yes it is heavier and bulkier, but not too bad. With this cord and sharp blade this mower performs pretty close if not equal to a gas mower. (Which I own too). The test to claim that is that you can tell by the RPM dip you hear when you hit tall grass. Just took 6-8 inch overgrown grass down to 2”. and this mower did Its job. No complaints yet.

Don't be scared; This electric mower works really great! After moving from a townhouse with landscapers, to a house with a half acre, it was back to mowing the grass after a 20 year absence. I purchased a 16 year old Toro lawnmower with a 6 plus HP last year;and it gave out this spring. When my wife suggested getting an electric; I had bad flashbacks to my late dad's electric mower. My brothers and I would rather push a hand reel mower. I was going to purchase the highly rated Honda ( What Home Depot was renting me for $35 a day ), but was hesitant to spend the $350 plus dollars.Then I read the reviews on this one, and decided to take a chance. Good choice. I do not mind the cord. The mower is very lightweight compared to my old Toro. It easily cuts my grass without winding down at all. Even the morning dew at 9am didn't bother this mower. The other great thing is that I got this mower for less than half the price of the gas Honda. Now all I need is this mower to give me several years worth of service. Life is good. Purchased May of 2017.

For the money, this mower isn't all bad. Clearly having to lug around a cord is a significant downside, but you know that going in. The upside is you don't have to worry about charging batteries and maintaining them over winter or dealing with gas and oil in a traditional mower. I bought this mower as a sort of a back-up to my riding mower and as a way to bag my grass on the rare occasion I'd like to do that. So far I've only used this mower three times, so I can't speak to longevity. The only real downside besides the cord would be that it doesn't have as much power as a traditional gas-powered mower. I've had underpowered gas mowers before and I'd have to say this has even less than those. I would equate this to maybe a 4hp traditional mower. It will get the job done as long as you don't wait too long between mowings. Another plus I noticed on this mower is that it does a good job of mulching the grass if you decide not to bag it--definitely better than my ZTR mower.

First day reviews are always risky, but this product looks pretty good. First, the product was delivered a day early and all in one shipment although Amazon had split the order with the mower scheduled to arrive a day later than the accessories. But, that's Amazon, they do what they can, when they can. I got the order confirmation at 5:30 p.m. on Monday and everything was here via UPS at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, less than 48 hours. But, that's customer service.

On to the product. First, no assembly required. Remove the cardboard spacers, lift the unit out of the box, decide how you want the discharge to work, everything snaps in or out, set up the handle, pretty intuitive, adjust the cutting height, one lever, plug it in and you're in business.

I ordered the package with the 100' 12/3 cord and the cord reel. The cord seems fine, pliable and easy to handle and lighted at the ends so that you know that you're getting power. The reel was a little disappointing, but at the price it's hard to complain. The main thing is to accept that its purpose is to store the cord, not to help you manage it in use. It barely stores the 100' #12 cord to say nothing of anything more and only if carefully wound. I think that probably the catch that holds the end of the cord to the reel will fail fairly quickly, but hopefully that will not be a major issue. So, you're probably going to strip the cord off the reel and go to work. It is worthwhile to spend a few minutes winding the cord carefully back onto the reel and then be able to carry it easily and store it compactly as opposed to a loosely coiled cord. Given the mower shape and the cord reel I can store both in the space formerly occupied by just by my old mower.

I have been familiar with electric lawnmowers since the 1950s; my parents never owned a gas mower. Corded electric mowers are hard to beat for an area that can be reached with a 100' cord from well-spaced outlets. No gas and oil, no exhaust, no tune-ups or mechanical maintenance, less noise, etc. Using this machine today was an interesting experience. My old machine was about 7-8 years old and on its last legs. Clearly not just an electric motor on a platform with a spinning blade as the brand name that it replaces seems to have been, this unit is lighter in weight than my old machine and appears to be engineered to do this specific job. I have a fairly rough semi-natural lot, perhaps semi-neglected would be more accurate. Yard work is the bane of my life; the stuff always grows back. I routinely cut grass, or whatever it may be, that should have been cut weeks ago, do light semi-brush cutting, deep leaf mulching, including those left over from last fall and maybe before, etc., whenever I get to it. I did all of those things today, faster than before with better results, with rpm drops by the motor of seemingly not more than about 10%, and with no feeling that I was abusing the mower.

We'll see how it goes in the longer run. I will change the review and the rating if all does not go as I hope over time.

So far, I am very impressed with this lawn mower! I have been using this for ~6 months and overall it is a great product. Super light weight, easy to start, push and maneuver. Sure, I needed to learn how to dance with the electric cord, but that's my issue not the machines! and, even that has really not been a problem. I will say, the straighter the run, the easier and faster it will be. The more curves, flower beds, etc, the more you will need to switch with the electric cord. Would recommend to anyone who has a smaller/medium yard, still enjoys working outside and taking care of the grass/lawn but doesn't want the hassle of gas, plugs/filters, etc.
I would really enjoy this with a battery operation, but in my experience, the batteries only last 15-20 minutes.....

Had this about a year. Performs great, nopoblems starting. You gotta mess with the cord but if you know how to be smarter than the cord, you should not have to touch it but a couple times while you mow. I live on Daytona beach , Florida and have some thick grass this holds up well.

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