Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ozito Eco 320 electric lawn mower runs on the smell of an oily rag.

My Victa lawn mower has been good to me. It lasted over 25 years with minor repairs I did myself along the way. That's pretty impressive. But the time came to get a new lawn mower. The starter cord ring wore out so I couldn't start the mower. It would still work, but I just can't start it.

I only have a small area in the backyard and the council's naturestrip. I do wish they'd mow their own property, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon. I decided I wanted a change. I really wanted an electric mower. Not a big unit, but something that was small due to the smaller area I have to mow.

I visited the local Bunnings and found the Ozito ECO 320 lawn mower. When I looked at it compared to the other more expensive units, it really looked like a toy. However I felt what I really wanted was not much more than a whipper snipper on wheels. I thought at $129 it wasn't to much to lose if it didn't last long. I bought the Ozito, took it home and assembled it.

That was in August 2009. It is now May 2010 and the Ozito is still going strong. It does the job I want.

Whilst the smaller cutting area means a little more work, and handling the electric cord can be a real nuisance at times, it is a breeze to start and I never have to go and buy petrol for it. I'd buy petrol 3-4 times a year plus oil, which probably totalled about $30 a year.

The other day I decided to work out how much the Ozito cost to mow my two areas of lawn. When running, the Ozito consumes around 450W of energy. Each area takes around 15 minutes. There are times I start and stop, but for the purpose of the calculation I've decided to simply say it takes 30 minutes to mow the lawn. Using the energy cost calculator it works out the cost is around 5 cents. If I mow the lawn on average once a month that's less than a dollar a year. (Actually I also noted the cost according to the power meter which I thought was wrong. For the naturestrip the cost was around a cent and for the back lawn around two cents.)

When I purchased the Ozito I also did a bit of research on mowing lawns. One interesting outcome was I learnt that by raising the height of cutting the lawn and perhaps mowing a little more regularly, you could mow the grass back into the lawn. That meant there was no need to use the grass catcher. This summer for the first time our back lawn remained green for the summer. It usually ends up as dirt. Others commented on how our lawn was still green when theirs had died. I'm pretty sure leaving the lawn slightly longer and mowing the lawn back in as feed probably made the lawn stronger.

I'm very happy with the Ozito ECO 320. I'm not sure how long it will last, but if it lasts 4-5 years it will pay for itself. It has a two year warranty, so by that stage it will have half paid for itself in fuel savings.

- Kelvin Eldridge

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