I love Pellenc battery powered tools so it was only natural that i eventually try an Etesia mower. The glowing reviews they get from people on LJN and the excellent customer service provided from Etesia UK enforced my feeling that i must try one of their mowers on extended demo.
I decided to try out the Etesia biocut ME53C which is a 21" mulch mower with the option for rear discharge (not into a collector however).I chose this one because i wanted to witness the very best mulching that an Etesia pedestrian mower could do and i gathered that the dedicated mulcher would be the best in the range. The mower was provided by Golf & Turf Machinery Ltd from Wakefield, was delivered to me on Thursday morning and will be picked up tomorrow.
I got to use it for quite a few hours on Thursday but have had limited time to do any mowing since because of the snow. The above lawn won't win any medals for it's condition but the Etesia mulched the 4cm of wet grass that i took off with ease. Even though the grass was wet (it was'nt raining at the time though) the machine has done an amazing job of making the clippings disappear.
This picture shows the underside of the deck once i had finished mowing. Notice the black removable mulch insert and the lack of any grass accumulation on the sides of the deck. Etesia have undoubtedly got the design of the deck and blade spot on.
This picture shows the view behind the rubber flap at the rear of the machine. Mulch insert is seen on the right with the gearbox and drive belt on the left.
Here we have the mulch plug removed from the machine and the tools i needed to remove the two screws and one nut. It did require lifting the machine up at one side and the nut was quite fiddly to get off as the hole it is found in gets bunged up solid with grass.
This photo shows the view under the rear rubber flap with the mulch insert removed. The insides of the deck and the blade can be seenas well as the path the grass takes when working in rear discharge mode. I tried the machine in this mode and it did a very fine job of some long wet grass. The gearbox, pulley and belt do get covered in quite a lot of grass when rear dropping but this did'nt seem to be a problem at the time and would be something i would keep an eye on.
On this picture you can see the height control arrangement which is turned one way or the other depending on if you want the height shorter or longer. I used quite a low setting on this lawn. The height adjustment is continuous and therefore can be changed my millimeters at a time.
The handles are very ergonomically designed, fully adjustable and can be folded down completely to fit in the boot of a car. The speed control is obscured in this photo but is a 3 speed affair and easy to change between speeds. It is essential for good mulching that engine speed is kept to maximum whilst forward speed is independently changeable. The speeds offered for this mower should be perfect for most working conditions encountered.
For all you petrol heads, special mention must be made of the engine. This mower is powered by a Kohler (a new one for me) 173cc which is a fraction under 6hp i think. It has adequate power, never stalled once and was reasonably quiet. Maybe not quite as nice as a Honda but much better than a Briggs in my opinion.
As you can tell i like this mower very much and it complements my Honda Pro roller mower perfectly. I was amazed by the way it makes grass clippings disappear into the sward and the lightness of the machine (only 43kg). This made it possible to push the machine whilst mowing instead of always having it in drive. This is a refreshing change to the honda which is over 60kg - you'll never see me pushing that except for down hills!
The only things i don't like about it is it does'nt stripe (obviously), the wheels could be a little fatter to spread the weight and grass has the habit of accumulating on top of the gearrbox when the mulch insert is removed.
I have 99% made my mind up about purchasing one of these. The only thing holding me back is wanting to try another Etesia (the duocut 18") as i have heard it mulches as well as this mower.
Hope i have'nt over done it on the photo's.