Every so often, saving immense time and money down the road proves to be worth every cent of a piece of equipment’s seemingly steep upfront price. The Echo CLM-58V4AH cordless electric mower wastes no time acquitting itself of its admittedly lofty initial cost by doing just about anything that would ordinarily call for nothing less than a gas-powered mower and doing it every inch as well with zero emissions, virtually no noise pollution and a minute fraction of the regular maintenance. Yes, you will shell out upward of $600 if you choose to take advantage of its dual onboard battery storage by picking up a tag-team partner to go along with the included 4Ah battery. Then again, think about what you get out of that add-on: enough juice and cutting power to mow up to an acre of high, robust grass without doubting for a second that this battery-powered titan will make it across the finish line before its well runs dry.
- High-performance 58V brushless motor for superior durability and runtime
- Dual onboard battery storage
- Quick-release handles enable easy, compact vertical storage
- Three adjustable handle heights
- Seven cutting height positions
- Switch between bagging and mulching your clippings
- Motor automatically adapts speed as it senses thickness of grass
- Five-year warranty
To be absolutely clear, I wouldn’t recommend sticking solely with the Echo CLM-58V4AH’s included 4Ah lithium-ion battery. Doing so would tragically waste the endurance its dual onboard battery storage has to offer. Putting down an extra $150 or so for a spare power supply doubles your available mowing time, offering more than enough juice to take down up to an acre of turf with charge to spare. Considering each battery takes no more than 45 minutes to reach a full charge, you could be ready for an afternoon of mowing in the time it takes to watch two back-to-back episodes of “NCIS.”
Trust me, the 58V brushless motor those batteries fire up kicks out some serious torque with incredible efficiency you have to experience firsthand to believe. Pushing the Echo CLM-58V4AH is like watching a lean, undersized Major League shortstop who somehow has a habit of cranking tape-measure home runs. You can’t help but bask in satisfying awe at the way its nine-inch wheels seem to float its exceptionally broad, lightweight 23-inch composite deck along its path and sheer cutting power that just shouldn’t emanate from any machine under 60 pounds that operates so quietly. Echo’s deceptively durable materials absolutely nail the bullseye of ideal proportions needed to keep a mower with such a prodigious cutting swath so easy to maneuver.
Ease Of Use
Herein lies two of my few criticisms of the Echo CLM-58V4AH’s total package: first, while I appreciate the adaptability an impressive range of seven height settings offers me, I still have yet to understand why anyone would build a mower with separate adjustment controls for each wheel. It might be meant as a convenient option to angle the blade in unique ways to better trim hard-to-reach spots, but this design choice more often amounts to needless extra time spent raising or lowering the deck when controlling the cutting level could have just as easily been delegated to a single lever.
Second, self-propulsion would have been a nice touch. Don’t get me wrong: the Echo CLM-58V4AH is fantastically light on its feet. However, its intuitive knack for varying the blade speed as it “senses” thicker and taller grass beneath it would have been even more effective paired with a variable-speed transmission and rear or front-wheel drive to dial in an optimal forward pace.
Those relatively inconsequential quibbles aside? Mowing may never feel easier than it does walking behind an Echo CLM-58V4AH. The combination push-button and lever starting mechanism coaxes the engine to life with a satisfyingly smooth “VROOOM” and not a single shoulder-wrenching yank of a stubborn cord. Once it gets going, it won’t take long for it to dawn on you that nothing weighing under 60 pounds should be able to take up to six inches of high grass down to size so swiftly.
Cut Quality & Options
In the interest of judiciously managing its battery life, the Echo CLM-58V4AH’s intuitive motor habitually defaults to a fairly low-speed setting. Upon hitting a patch of noticeably thicker, taller greenery, it deftly ratchets up the blade’s velocity and scarcely wavers at all from its slick, clean cuts. The result is a quintessential carpet-like finish from one corner of your yard to the next with hardly a square foot of grass needing even a quick touch-up. Strangely, there’s only one downside worth noting: this is one of the rare mowers I have ever encountered without a side-discharge disposal option. Not that I have anything against mulching or bagging, but that strikes me as an odd industry-standard feature to eschew.
The Echo CLM-58V4AH is practically a zero-maintenance mower. The only upkeep you should need to bother yourself with from one season to the next entails keeping the blades sharp and the underside of the deck bereft of dirt, mud, debris and buildup of stray clippings. For everything else, Echo covers this baby with as comprehensive a five-year warranty as anyone is liable to get from any “mainstream” manufacturer.
Worried about a dangerously curious tyke accidentally firing up your Echo CLM-58V4AH while exploring the garage? No need. The starting mechanism may be fantastically simple, but it still requires inserting a key and holding down the bailout lever to breathe life into the engine. A blade brake would have been a welcome addition as a practical failsafe to keep the motor running even when the blade needs to be stopped for obstacle avoidance purposes, but this is still an immensely safe mower.
This incredible machine is worth every last penny and then some. The notion that no electric lawn mower will ever measure up to the versatile cutting potential of a gas-powered machine is steadily falling into the realm of outdated mythology. Indeed, you could pick up the latter for around the same price. You would also be paying for the privilege of shelling out hundreds of dollars for fuel, oil and spark plugs each season to perform the same duties the Echo CLM-58V4AH is ready, willing and able to handle after setting aside 45 minutes to charge its battery. Make it a whopping hour-and-a-half if you happen to have two completely drained power packs and an unruly yard guaranteed to take a full measure of both. This is every advantage of a gas mower with none of the drawbacks. I would give it a full season, at most, before you declare this one of the smartest investments you’ve ever made in your home’s curb appeal.
- Sizable 23.5-inch composite deck
- Starts reliably with push of a button, one pulled lever
- Pleasantly quiet
- Lightweight body handles smoothly
- Two batteries will power up to an acre of mowing
- No side-discharge
- No blade brake
- No self-propulsion
- High price
- Separate height adjustments for each wheel