EcoFlow Blade3.0 / 5
The EcoFlow Blade robotic lawnmower will save you a lot of trouble this summer, given you're willing to handle the cost and have the right kind of lawn.
With many appliances becoming "smart" every year — often needlessly — it's refreshing to see a lawn mowing solution that would save homeowners hours per week. EcoFlow specializes in portable power stations, solar, and other smart devices, and the Blade is its first attempt at a robotic lawnmower.
Coming in at just under $3,000, the Blade has many features built in to stand the test of many seasons chopping grass. With LiDAR obstacle avoidance sensors, wire-free boundaries, route planning, and a 10-inch cutting distance, it's perfectly made for people with medium-sized and flat lawns.
EcoFlow Blade - Setup and app
Out of the box, the EcoFlow Blade comes with the mower itself, a power adapter, a GNSS antenna, the charging station, cables and pegs, and other accessories for setup. Setup, ideally, is the most difficult part of using the Blade.
To start, determine where you want to put your charging station and connect it to your nearest outdoor plug. From here, the GNSS antenna should be installed in a good spot, around 7 feet from any trees or walls. The guide included in the box as well as the video series EcoFlow has made, are helpful. In fact, we recommend watching the tutorial videos before purchasing to verify if the mower is for you.
Now, before securing everything in place, install the EcoFlow app, and it'll guide you through connecting to your WiFi, measuring signal strength, and getting started on mapping out your lawn. You may have to move around the antenna or charging station to find the most optimal spot for the mower to work.
At this point, you should fix the charging station on the ground using the screws provided. It's also important to hold down any wiring on the lawn with the supplied pegs to prevent the Blade from cutting its power source.
As for mapping out the property, ensure you are thorough and patient in this process, as it can take some time. However, it's worth it if you want the Blade to get into your lawn's nooks and crannies.
The app is well-designed, and you can adjust all the appropriate settings, such as deck height, automated mowing times, volume, and more.
EcoFlow Blade - Connection issues
Our testing of the Blade was severely limited by the characteristics of our lawn, impacting connection and use.
EcoFlow warns on its website that potential buyers should review the online checklist to see if their lawn is compatible with the Blade. The checklist asks for your lawn size, tree height, tree shadow area, and whether you have multiple lawns.
If you have tall trees, large lawns, or multiple ones spread far apart, EcoFlow does not recommend the Blade and tells users to "Stay updated with news on the next-gen mower." This is all to say that our lawn had too many nearby trees and too many slopes to be an ideal testing ground for the Blade.
Firstly, the mower appears to struggle at slopes greater than 5-10 degrees, making the nearly 45-degree hill in our front lawn an impossible task.
The trees in our backyard proved difficult when installing the GNSS antenna, so we had difficulty maintaining a stable connection. Extreme measures were taken as we attempted to put the antenna on our roof to ensure a better connection, but these efforts did not help.
EcoFlow Blade - Lawn mowing and performance
That said, the few times the Blade worked, we saw a good performance. It mowed our backyard in around twenty minutes on quiet mode, with the mowing deck adjusted to 3 inches. The quiet mode worked extremely well but went slower than others. We recommend this mode if you have the Blade scheduled in the mornings or evenings.
The app allowed us to fully map and mow our backyard with almost perfect accuracy. Upon reviewing a time-lapse, it appeared that the Blade missed a small spot, but this could also be chalked up to human error since the user must draw out the mowing area by remote-controlling the Blade. The remote control from the app can make it difficult to properly map certain corners or details on a lawn with more complex features.
However, the quality of the mowing was good, and the automation that the Blade brings makes it easier than ever to stay on top of grass cutting throughout the seasons. The deck can adjust between 0.8 and 3.0 inches, so we recommend you cut your grass to size before implementing the Blade into your lawn care setup.
The Blade has an IPX5 water resistance rating, making it easy to clean the bottom with a hose. This also helps it survive rainfall, but the Blade has a rain sensor to return to the charging station if it rains in the middle of a cut to prevent damage or improper mowing.
The Blade's omnidirectional wheels aid its movement on the grass. However, that makes it a bit cumbersome to manually drag the Blade back to the charger during a disruption.
The Blade will call out if it hits a slope that's too high or bumps into something it cannot navigate. Ensure the mowing route is always clear before activating the Blade, and keep animals or children off the lawn.
Progress, but for a limited demographic.
Even if you don't have many smart appliances or automation in your home, we think the Blade can be used by anyone who fits its demographic. Although, this demographic is limited to homeowners with flat, medium-sized lawns with minimal trees.
It's a small audience, but we can imagine the time and energy saved by transitioning to a robotic lawnmower is enormous on a yearly scale. It's exciting to see the robotic lawnmower industry come to life, and we look forward to reviewing the technology as it develops to become more reliable on different types of lawns.
EcoFlow Blade Pros
- IPX5 water resistance rating for easy cleaning and rain survival
- Well-designed app with adjustable settings for customization
- Wire-free boundaries and route planning for easy setup
EcoFlow Blade Cons
- Limited compatibility with certain lawn characteristics
- Remote control mapping can be challenging for complex lawns
- Difficulties with connection in areas with nearby trees
- Limited demographic