Pros: Quiet, clean, cheap
Cons: Still having some initial problems
We have just used our Neuton CE 6.2 for the first time. Those who are shopping for this item should be aware that it is different from the earlier Neuton mower, and not just in that it is wider. The blade has been redesigned to raise the grass better and to mulch better. The poor mulching on the smaller Neuton was a common complaint we read when shopping for our new mower. We have been very satisfied with the mulching performance so far.
This morning we had a problem with the safety key. The Neuton comes with a key that must be inserted under the cover before the mower will start. It also serves as a circuit breaker if needed. The problem we have is not with the circuit tripping, however. When mowing, the safety key is working its way out of it's slot in the mower, causing the mower to dip into the yellow on the battery indicator, and the blade to slow down, then once the key either works its way out or is getting poor enough connection to trip the breaker then the mower stops. Called Neuton- their customer service is really easy to reach most of the time, usually little or not wait to speak to someone. (Although their hours are pretty short- they close at 5 eastern time, it is pretty easy to get a hold of them if they are open.) They suggested that we use a pair of pliers and squeeze together the brackets that hold the safety key in. After doing that repeatedly with little results (key works its way out about every 10 feet or so, worse on hills), we called back and they offered to replace the mower. We will probably try that. I love the mower. It is quiet, easy to push despite the heavier weight of the 6.2 model, and of course it smells much better, too- just fresh cut grass. We mow very high- about 3 inches tall to conserve water and help the lawn fight the weeds off and the Neuton has a nice high setting. Unfortunately the problem we had this morning eventually prevented use of the mower without stopping every couple of steps and my husband ended up just using the last of the tank of gas in the gas mower to do the back yard. Will probably take a couple weeks to get the new mower- shipping from Neuton is kind of slow, took about 2 weeks to get the mower but they said when I ordered it that it could be 3 to 4 so I assume it does take longer for some areas.
Customer service says that this is a problem that a few of the mowers have had but that it is not a common problem. For now I gave the product four stars, because the little we've seen between stops and starts it works great! If it wasn't for this problem would have given 5 easy. Will update once we have the new one or the issue resolved.
Update 07/07/07: We recieved our new mower a couple weeks ago. Immediately it was clear that the circuit board was attached closer to the cover so that the safety key sits much more securely. We have mowed twice now with it and we love it! The mulching performance is still fine- although when we first used the new mower we had been without a mower for over a week and the grass had really gotten thick and high. After using it with the mulching plug for a while we switched to the side discharge because the underside of the deck was becoming clogged often with all the extra grass. Had no problems after that.
I upgraded score to 5 stars now that we have one that is working properly. Gave 4 stars for Ease of Use because of course it is not self propelled, but otherwise is much easier to operate than a traditional mower, no priming or difficult starting. We have recieved many comments from our neighbors while out mowing, its a great conversation starter and really gets people thinking about green issues in lawn care.