Crossing Broad Product Review: The Electric, Zero-Turn Riding Mower Changed My Life

via EGO

Finally took the plunge and bought a riding mower. EGO Z6 Zero-Turn.

Look at this thing. It’s a beast:

Pagan calls this a “grass Prius,” but he’s full of shit. This thing purrs. It’s 100% battery powered, so no gas, no belts, no spark plugs, and no oil. You open up a back panel and slot up to six of these bad boys, like ammunition for a laser gun in a first-person shooter. I took the Z6 out for a spin in the cul de sac and reached a pretty sick top speed before doing a couple of donuts. It turns on a dime. No noticeable wear and tear on the grass either, because it’s agile and dexterous and not too heavy. It’s like the gazelle of lawnmowers.

I threw that above photo on Twitter and people seemed genuinely curious for a review, with the biggest question being some form of “how much lawn can I mow before it runs out of battery?” EGO advertises two acres on a full charge, but “full charge” is nebulous because you can run 4-6 batteries in the machine. It also varies based on how you want to operate the thing. There are three modes – control, standard, and sport, which give you different speed and handling capabilities, and then you can set the blade speed as well. All of those options change how much power is being drawn from the batteries. My lawn is a little more than an acre, and it sits on this gradual slope that’s incredibly annoying, so I put it in “standard” with the default blade speed, did 85% of my lawn, and was down to 53% remaining. From there, I stopped the riding mower, pulled a battery out, stuck it in a small EGO push mower, and finished the other 15%, which are narrow slopes that I can’t reach with the Z6.

What’s cool is that you can switch out the batteries into different tools by just pulling them out of the back and sliding them into the next thing you wanna use. They’re fully interchangeable:

This plugs into your wall, kind of like an electric car, but the only thing that sucks is that it requires a lot of electricity to charge. You’re going to want to find an outlet that’s on a dedicated circuit (if that’s the right terminology), because when this thing was plugged in, we turned the microwave on and overloaded the circuit. Now we’ve got cold leftovers and an extension cord running from our microwave to the wall, which feels a little white trashy, so just take a look at your electrical setup before charging this bad boy. If you’ve got an outlet in your garage that’s not connected to anything else, you’re good to go.

The thing about the riding mower is that it signals a philosophical shift in suburban male adulthood. I used to be one of those idiots who thought the riding mower was for lazy asses who didn’t have the guts to get the job done with their feet and a push mower. If you have a five-acre property or live on a farm, that’s different, but there were too many slobs out there on the John Deere performing the lawnmowing version of overkill. Wasting gas. It was too much machinery for the job, like trying to kill a fly with a jackhammer. My thought was always something like “I’m gonna do this with a push mower, get some exercise, no big deal.” Then I ended up with a back yard that looks like this:

What happens is you get older and you realize that the most important thing is time. You invest in the riding mower and it pays dividends in time. It used to take me two days and 3 hours to finish my lawn with a push mower and then the follow-up trim work, but the EGO cut that time by 80%. Now I have two more hours every week to write shitty blog posts.

But seriously though, if you give yourself an extra two hours a week over the course of the mowing season, say early May to some time in October, that’s about 48 hours net that you’ve eliminated entirely. Two full days worth of saved time. And you figure most suburban dads with lawns probably have kids, and parents know the one thing you definitely do not have enough of is, again, time. Anything that’s efficient enough to provide that in return is a worthy purchase, even if the price tags on these things are steep.

(as a quick aside, this is one of life’s many mindfucks, because when you’re young you have time, but no money, and when you’re older you have money, but no time)

If you’re on the fence though, just take the plunge. Get the riding mower. If it’s gas, that’s cool too. Nothing wrong with a John Deere or Cub Cadet or any of the classic models. This isn’t some advertisement for saving the environment, though the benefits of simple maintenance and a vapor-less garage are noticeable. I’ve got full mix of EGO and Kobalt tools and the only non-battery thing I need is a canister of chainsaw lubricant.

This has been a review of the EGO Z6 Zero Turn riding mower. Now let’s get it back to the Eagles.


disclaimer: I did not get paid by EGO to write this, but will happily accept cash or check