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In just the first part of this year, there have been several new entries into the robot mower market. Some of these have been for home use and others have been aimed toward commercial use. In fact, the number of new mowers hitting the market or being announced has made it rather difficult to keep up with all the new developments and technology.
So it seems perfectly fitting that there is a new mower making waves and it’s called the Blade from EcoFlow. The Blade made a splash at the CES show this year and was deemed one of the best robots and innovations by ZDNet. With that being said, this mower shows a lot of promise, but let’s dive in and look at what technology and capabilities it has to learn if it lives up to the hype.
Who is EcoFlow?
Unlike many robot mowers which come from known home and commercial garden equipment manufacturers, EcoFlow is considered a tech startup.
Based in China, EcoFlow is best known as a power station manufacturer. These power stations are meant to power entire homes when there is a power outage. They are portable and contain advanced rechargeable batteries.
So EcoFlow may not be a lawn and garden company, but they are well versed in technology and have a strong reputation for offering innovative products.
Their Blade robot mower is being launched almost like a Kickstarter campaign, with early adopters getting a discounted price of $2,599. However, it should be noted, the design and testing of the unit are already completed and production has started. So the initial price is more of a pre-order situation before an official launch.
What Makes The EcoFlow Blade Different
The first thing you’ll notice about the Blade is its unique styling. Most robot mowers have a closed design where the entire mower is covered by a body or shell. Those shell coverings may have some design elements, such as mowers from Ambrogio, but the Blade goes a step further.
The mower has a more open design, reminiscent of an open-wheeled off-road vehicle with its suspension arms exposed. It’s a striking look and very futuristic.
One drawback of this design can be cleaning. As with all robot mowers, the area under the body can become quite clogged with clippings over time. This requires cleaning of the underside, generally with a hose.
But with an open design like the Blade, this cleaning becomes a bit more complicated. The unit is still waterproof, so a hose will work. But it looks like cleaning will be a bit more involved with the Blade than traditionally styled mowers.
EchoFlow Blade Technology
The EcoFlow Blade boasts some new technology in order to make setting up the mower easier than other models on the market.
To begin, it uses no perimeter wire and instead relies on GPS and RTK (real-time kinematics) to stay on target and provide accurate cutting.
We’ve reviewed other mowers like this and while they are very impressive, wireless mowers still require a clear view of the sky without any obstructions to work perfectly. So it’s important to consider your specific lawn and surrounding terrain and tree cover to ensure it’s a good fit.
The Blade also has an onboard camera for real-time obstacle detection along with a suite of LiDAR sensors.
As with most wireless mowers, the Blade comes with a companion app to be used on your phone or tablet. This app has a unique feature when it comes to setting up the Blade, which we’ll cover in the next section.
Setting Up The Blade
Being wireless, the Blade can be set up in about an hour assuming everything goes smoothly and your lawn has good GPS reception.
However, being wireless means the charging station needs a clear view of the surrounding sky. Most people like to tuck their charging stations away in a corner or some other shady place. That’s possible with a guidewire, but not with a wireless system.
You may need to experiment with different spots for the charging station before you find a spot that has both good reception and one that is hidden away enough to not stick out or be an obstacle.
You’ll also need to assemble and install a small GPS antenna. This is very easy and the app walks you through the entire process with an animated guide.
The rest of the setup is almost all done via the app. This is one area where we really like the Blade’s technology.
To set up your lawn boundaries and cutting area, the app works as a remote control. You then guide the Blade around your lawn using controls on the app. Along the way, it makes notes of the boundaries and coordinates.
Once you’ve completed guiding the mower around the lawn via the app, it’s ready to be used.
This is a very hands-on and easy way to set up the mower. It was also sort of fun, almost like driving a remote control car.
EcoFlow Blade Mowing Performance
All that technology can be great, but the mower also has to perform well doing what it was intended to do, and that’s cutting grass.
Most robot mowers these days have good performance and the makers have figured out how to get a good cut using the cutting systems unique to these mowers.
The Blade is no different and we found it to cut extremely well, even in taller grass. We tried it on grass that was above what the documentation recommended and there were no issues. The mower never bogged down and the grass was cut evenly with virtually zero visible residual clippings.
The advantage of a robot mower is that your grass should never get that long to begin with. So for most normal situations, the cutting will be perfect.
One nice feature of the Blade is that the mowing height can be adjusted right from the app and at any time. It can also be set differently for different zones you set up via the app.
Most mowers still use a mechanical adjustment for height, so being able to control it via the app definitely felt like a premium feature. It’s also a great feature for those people who may not want to fiddle with the underside of the mower.
We did notice the Blade to be louder than other similar-sized robot mowers we’ve tested. We think this is due to the more open design of the Blade compared to the closed shell of most other mowers. A closed shell seems to capture the sound and direct it downward. The Blade’s open design allows for more sound to escape.
It’s not loud by any means compared to a gas-powered mower, but it is louder than other electric robot mowers.
EcoFlow Blade Specs
Price: $2,599 pre-order – $2,899 retail
Cutting Width – 10.2 inches
Cutting Height – .8 to 3.0 inches
Run time – 240 minutes per charge
Guidance – Wireless. GPS/RTK with LiDAR sensing technology
Where to Buy
Unlike many robot mowers that have recently been announced, the Blade mower is actually available to buy! You can get it on the EcoFlow website or Amazon. There’s usually a sale on their website and both locations offer free shipping.
EcoFlow Blade Final Review
We were impressed with the EcoFlow Blade considering it’s the first model of robot mower from a company that doesn’t specialize in lawn and garden equipment.
We’ve talked about how wireless mowers can be both good and bad but EcoFlow uses a unique set of technologies to try to minimize the drawbacks of a wireless system as much as possible.
If your lawn is a good candidate for the mower’s wireless technology, you’ll find the setup to be a breeze and can be done in an hour or less and without much effort at all. EcoFlow does provide a quiz on their website to help determine if your lawn is a good candidate for their mower.
Overall, it’s a strong mower and has all the features people now expect in a modern robot mower. The price is slightly higher than other models in this same category from well-known makers like Husqvarna. So the value proposition may not be there just yet, although the Blade does have certain app features other mowers don’t.
But if your lawn is a good candidate for this wireless technology and you like the striking exterior design, the Blade may be one of the easiest and fastest robot mowers we’ve come across to set up and start mowing.