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Review: Black & Decker battery-powered mower
Old 05-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #1
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Review: Black & Decker battery-powered mower

Thought I'd give a mini review of the housewarming gift my folks bought us last year. It's last year's model (not sure how often that changes) of the CM1836 (18 inch cutting deck, 36 volt battery).

The battery is integrated into the housing. The manual recommends having the mower always plugged in when not in use. I can't say I've noticed how long it takes to charge; it's always charged when I or DW are ready to cut the grass.... a little more on this in a bit.

We've used it about 12 times so far to cut about 0.4 acre with grass height up just over a foot at times in the back. There's a sharp difference in grade between our front and back and our back is terraced into two sections. We generally cut the front and near-back in one go and then the far-back on a different day (it's disturbed wetlands back there so it tends to stay soggier for far longer).

The battery does hold enough of a charge to do the whole yard at once. Just barely though. Right after we moved in, we went about 6 weeks without mowing (no mower). By the time I mowed, the grass was 8"-12" across the yard and the mower didn't quite have enough juice to finish.

Cut is fair. It does leave some long strands at times. No worse than many gas mowers I've used but I'd like better. I didn't sharpen the blade when I bought it so doing that might address the cut issues.

We mulch and it does a great job for that.

It's not self-propelled. With the battery, it's heavy. It's easy enough for DW and I to get it up and down the hills but it's a workout (esp for her).

It starts easy... very easy. You hold in a button on the right and pull the bar back and you're good to go.

It's "quiet". It sounds sort of like an overpowered hairdryer going. It's easy to talk with someone over the drone of the mower.

Would I buy it again? I think so. I might be more inclined to look at one with a detachable battery and/or a self-propelled unit though. I'm going to be planting green manure crops in the back and might use the bag to harvest those. We'll see how it handles mowing down thick piles of hairy vetch and rye grass.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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How long does it take to do the whole lawn? Offhand, 18" seems small for .4 acre.

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Old 05-25-2011, 10:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
How long does it take to do the whole lawn? Offhand, 18" seems small for .4 acre.

Well, like I mentioned, we usually do the front in back on different days. I walk fast; maybe two and a half hours? The yard is getting smaller and smaller though
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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FWIW I have an old Ryobi self-propelled rechargeable. It's a GREAT mower. Only complaint is that it doesn't have enough oomph to do really high grass, and as the batteries age it starts to not have enough staying power to finish the lawn in one go. I think it has a 24" deck and it does our ~.4 acre in about 45 mins.

Unfortunately they haven't made them in years. I haven't seen any self-propelled rechargeables since that look like they'd be as good. I'll need one eventually -- I bought another of the Ryobi's (dead, parts mule) so I'm keeping this one limping along, but it's almost 20 yrs old and starting to fall apart.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #5
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I bought an old fashioned reel mower last year (new)and have been pretty pleased with it. Small yard. It cuts grass well but isn't great with certain weeds.
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