Sunday, September 25, 2022

Musings from Dennis: the Greenworks Pro 21 battery-powered mower has let me down

This is my (mostly) weekly column in which I round up my weekly musings about whatever’s on my mind. Sometimes it will have nothing to do with Apple, and this week it only does peripherally.

Two years ago, I wrote a review of the Greenworks Pro 21. At the time I noted that I found the battery powered-mower found the Greenworks Pro to be a powerful lawn mower with decent, if not great, battery life.

However, since then I’ve been very disappointed as the life of the batteries — the older ones, but new ones I’ve purchased — have diminished so considerably that I can’t recommend purchasing the Greenworks 21 to anyone with a big yard.

But first some background: why a battery powered lawnmower? Reason one: I want to “go green” in all aspects of life that I can. Reason two: I’m tired of fighting with a gas-powered mower. I’ve found that after about a year of use, they get ornery. 

The Pro 21 is a self-propelled cordless push lawn mower that the folks at Greenworks says offers up to 50 minutes of runtime with a fully charged 5.0 Ah battery set-up (two batteries in the mower). In my initial review, I  said I got 51 minutes of mine by not engaging the self-propelled system. This will give you a better workout if you’re push mowing for exercise, but is also more tiring. 

This season I’m only getting about 20 minutes of mowing even with two batteries installed. At first, I thought I needed new batteries (thought at $129 a battery, they should certainly last through more than two mowing seasons), so I bought more. 

But when a combo of new two batteries, the battery life was still a terrible 20 minutes. That was without using the self-propelled feature, having the blades raised high enough to prevent the mower from struggling on high grass, and following all the Greenworks’ support advice.

It takes me almost two hours to mow my almost two-acre lawn. I now have enough batteries I can mow it in a single day even with swapping out batteries even 20 minutes. I also have too much money invested in the Greenworks system to ditch it and go back to a gas-powered mower.

However, I certainly won’t be buying, as I once intended, a Greenworks weed eater and chainsaw. And unless you have a yard that you can mow in about 40 minutes (or unless you really like buying and swapping out batteries), I must rescind my 2020 recommendation of the Greenworks Pro 21 mower.

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Have a great weekend.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.