Last fall Greenworks announced a second generation of their 60V mower. Just like last time, my first reaction was to stand by my trusty old mower. But looking at the list of new features made me want to see how the 2nd generation 60V mower stacked up to the 1st generation as soon as it became available.
So here's where Renaissance Dad is going to stray from my normal formula. I'm going to show the main differences in picture format, and then I'll discuss some key features below. Bear with me. Things are about to get crazy.
Change 1 - Dual battery port. Greenworks returned to the 40V lawnmower roots with a dual battery port in the gen 2, and the improvement is appreciated. You can drop a second battery in for larger jobs, and once the first battery is depleted, it will kick over to the second battery. This is not only helpful for larger yards, but also times when you need to mow over your yard more than once (think cutting lower and lower in order to overseed)
|Gen 2 with space for two batteries|
Change 2 - Easy fold handles. Gen 1 has two spring loaded pins at the base that need to be pulled out and twisted to raise and lower the handle. This was quite cumbersome, and I often mowed with a lower handle after my daughter used it just because it was a pain to raise and lower. Gen 2 has two spring lever holes halfway up the handle, making it convenient and easy to raise and lower the handle. This is a tremendous improvement.
|Gen 1 with pins close to ground to adjust handles|
|Gen 2 with easy adjust handles|
Change 3 - Handles versus levers. Gen 2 moved the push button from the side to the center of the handle and replaced gen 1’s wire levers with paddles that can be controlled by either hand. Having all the controls located close together right where your hands need to be anyway makes starting and stopping the mower a lot more convenient.
|Gen 1 with wire controls|
|Gen 2 with levers for motor and self-propel|
Change 4 - Speed Control. The speed control for gen 1 was on the side of the handle. This didn't seem to be a problem, except when I mowed close to bushes that scraped the handle and changed the speed of the mower. Gen 2 moved the speed lever to the center of the handle, just below the start button. It’s convenient and less likely to get moved, unless I'm trying to push the mower with my belly, at which point I deserve to have erratic speed.
|Gen 1 Start and Speed Control|
|Gen 2 Start and Speed Control|
Change 4.5 - Additional controls on the handle (see photo above). Gen 2 added a battery meter on the handle, so I can see the level of each battery in the mower. Additionally, the gen 2 added a "Turbo" button. Both gen 1 and gen 2 have a feature where the mower will move down to a slower speed when the blade is not working as hard. This helps conserve battery power. But with gen 1, there were always times when I wished I could force the mower into high gear to go through a thick patch of grass or a tough section of the yard. This "Turbo" button makes that dream come true.
Change 5 - Handles. Gen 1 has tube handles that tighten together with a bolt halfway down. This is the way most mowers with folding handles tackle the construction, but the problem is that the bolt never stays tight, resulting in a wobbly handle. Gen 2 created straight, large diameter metal tube handles made from a single tube. The result is a more rigid, less-likely-to-go-wonky-on-you handle.
|Gen 1 handles with tightening bolt|
|Gen 2 with solid tube handles|
Change 6 - Charger. Normally I don't pay much attention to the chargers. It's not really part of the tool. But the new charger has a feature that made me pretty excited. There is a fan that keeps the battery cool during the charging process. Fantastic feature that made me think, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Change 7 - Headlights!!! I saved the most exciting change for last. Six years ago I posted that Greenworks should add LED headlights to their mower for nighttime mowing—very necessary in Phoenix during the summer (check my original Greenworks post - it is there in writing for all the world to see). This did not come with the gen 1 mower but was added to the gen 2. Some people have asked why you’d ever need headlights on a mower. Those people don’t live in a place where summer temperatures don’t dip below 100 degrees until well after the sun goes down. (The super quiet electric mower also means that my neighbors won’t mind if I’m mowing at midnight.)
|I'm not running over dog poop or kids' shoes in the dark|
So, I had been completely content with my gen 1 Greenworks mower. In fact, I still am. But I am impressed that the engineers at Greenworks were able to take a machine that I was so happy with and make some tremendous improvements. I never used my gen 1 mower and thought, "Gee, these handles are just terrible" or "I really wish I had levers instead of wire controls." But the eight changes that I listed above were all changes that made this mower an amazing improvement over what was already a phenomenal piece of machinery.
And since Greenworks listened to me six years ago when I said that this mower should have headlights, I would like to recommend something for the next generation: A radio control unit.
|Me with my wished-for gen 3 feature (from Honey I Shrunk the Kids)|