Relief from Failed Starts, Pull Cords, and Messy Gasoline - But That Annoying Cord
Written: Jul 2, 2012 (Updated Jul 7, 2012)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:No mess, no gas station trips, light, easy to operate, instant start.
Cons:Have to be careful with the cord.
The Bottom Line: If you have a small yard where the furthest cutting is less than 100 yards away, this is a good investment. Much easier to use than a gas mower.
I was quickly tiring of my gas lawnmower that I bought about three years ago. This was the second one that had given my headaches. I could not get it to start no matter what I tried. I finally decided that I was going to purchase an electric lawnmower. I had been perusing them for some time. There was a Black and Decker factory store near me since they have a warehouse in the area, but sadly they closed all of the factory stores. In the reviews I read about electric lawnmowers, almost all of them said that if you buy a cordless battery powered one that the batteries only last 2-3 years. I did a little research and ended up purchasing this 18 inch Black and Decker Electric Mulching Mower. Sears had it for $170 and had one in stock at the location nearest to me. I went through a cash beck website which will also give me 4% cash back, plus I have the Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards account, so I will earn points on that. Although I do not always purchase extended warranties, I did for this product. The mower has a two year manufacturer warranty but the extended warranty is three years. The main reason I purchased it is because there is a Sears repair shop about 10 minutes from my house. If anything goes wrong, I can drop it off there and hopefully they can fix it. There is a lot less to go wrong with an electric mower though as there is no spark plug, choke, filter, carburetor, or almost any of the things found in a typical gas lawnmower engine.
The lawnmower came in a small box and was pretty simple to assemble. No tools were required. It was a matter of assembling the two parts that make up the handle and connecting them to the mower. My most recent vacuum cleaner was a lot more difficult to assemble. What I noticed immediately was how light the mower is. The specifications say it weighs 47 pounds but it feels much lighter, which is probably in comparison to the metal gas mower with a metal engine. The electric mower is mostly plastic, but that is fine since it does not get hot.
The operation of the machine is so simple. You plug an extension cord into the mower and pull the lever on the handle. It starts immediately. There is no choke, no pull cord, no gas or oil to check, no sparkplug to replace, and no air filter to clean or replace. The number one disadvantage is obviously the cord. Like the previous review, we have approximately a quarter acre. A 100 foot extension cord is recommended. I don’t have one that long, so I used two smaller ones. It takes some getting used to navigating the cords, especially while turning around. There is a feeder that holds the cord which makes it a little bit simpler. I was scared that I might run over and cut the cords, but releasing the power lever on the mower instantly shuts the mower off so that can easily be prevented. The power cut off is also a nice safety feature. If you have a lot of grass to cut, this isn’t the mower for you.
Another nice operating feature is that the height of all four wheels is adjusted by one lever. I found that the mower did have some trouble getting through thick grass with the wheels on the lowest setting, so I adjusted it accordingly and that solved the issue. It should be noted that my 5.5 horsepower Craftsmen gas mower also would stall out in thick grass.
Yet another advantage of the electric mower is the relative eco-friendliness of it. While I’m not a complete dolt and know that the electric power is far from perfect, I do know that it is better than gasoline, especially when it comes to yard appliances. Most of the electricity supplied to my home is from a nuclear power plant, so at least it isn’t coal. There are emissions that come from the power plant that supplies the electricity but they pale in comparison to what the gas engine emits. That’s not even counting the gas I have to use to run to the gas station just to get gas to run the machine. It also doesn’t count the energy that goes into the manufacturing, shipping, and replacement of such parts as filter, sparkplugs, and oil that are required for the gas mower.
The final advantage of the electric mower is the small size of it. We have a storage closet and the lawnmower fits in there with some finagling. This keeps it secure and dry. There is no way my gas mower would fit in there.
So the only thing left to say is: Does anyone want to buy a 3 year old Craftsmen lawnmower that I can’t get to start?
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