Pros: no oil, gas or tune-ups – no fumes, mows well, mulches and grass catcher
Cons: replacement battery is expensive and not available everywhere; recall -- read review
We have owned several battery-powered lawn mowers. The first lawn mower came from the electric company via a special promotion they offered (i.e. It was free in exchange for our broken gas mower.). We really liked that lawn mower, but it only lasted 2 1/2 years. Then we decided we wanted a mulching mower and discovered the Black & Decker Model CMM1000 Lawn Mower that mulched - also battery powered. Let me tell you our story.
* 19" Cutting Width
* Rechargeable 24-volt cordless mower
* 3-in-1 Deck
* Mulching mower or rear bag (side chute is an optional purchase)
* Bag capacity 1.6 bushel
* 7-position height adjustment
* Rust-proof polymer deck
* Folding handle to save storage space
* Safety key must be inserted to start mower (safety feature)
* Comes with battery charger
The literature states this mower is ideal for 1/3 acre lots. The mower charges up to 70% power in four hours and is 100% if charged overnight. Since this is a battery-operated mower (no gas or oil), no tune-ups are required. The battery is a 24-volt sealed lead acid system, meaning there is no liquid in the battery so it will not leak.
The carton the mower comes in measures 36" long x 23" wide x 17 3/4" high. My brother offered to pick this up from the store for me using his van since the box was too large for my car trunk.
Assembling the Mower & Charging
This Black & Decker battery-powered lawn mower comes assembled, just lift the handle upright and tighten the screws to anchor it in the upright position. No tools are needed since there are plastic knobs that easily turn to tighten the screws. The handle also has a height adjustment.
The only piece that needed assembly was the grass catcher. This caused a few bruised fingers to attach the edges of the grass catcher to the supporting frame. The clips that hold the catcher to the frame are a very tight fit. The good news is that once the grass catcher is assembled, it is always ready to use.
Adjust the mower to one of seven heights - 1 1/2" to 3 1/2". There is a pointer at the front of the mower to indicate the current blade setting. Another great feature, all the wheels adjust at the same time.
This lawn mower comes with an orange plastic safety key. If the key is not inserted into the top of the mower, the machine will not start. The key does not resemble a traditional car or house key ... it has a rectangular top and is large enough to see so that it doesn't become lost. There is a hole in the center of the key so that it can be hung out of reach of children. The mower cannot be operated without this key, so it's vital not to lose it.
Since this is a battery-powered lawn mower, it needed charging. Make sure the safety key is removed from the top of the mower. The battery is already installed, so plug the charger into the lawn mower, and then plug the charger into a wall outlet. It is recommended to always leave the mower on constant charge, which I do when not using it.
Using the Mower
When the mower is charged, it's time to mow! Unplug the charger from the wall outlet, then unplug the connection to the lawn mower. Next, insert the orange plastic safety key into the top of the mower. There is a lever to push to start the machine.
Another safety feature is the bail handle. This narrow handle has to be pulled upward toward the main handle bar so that both the handle bar and the bail handle are held in position. When the bail handle is released, it springs back to its original position and the mower stops. The mower blade stops rotating in 3 seconds.
The main handle bar is covered with a cushy comfort grip to ease hand stress. It's much nicer than holding a solid metal bar.
I usually use the mulching feature of this mower. When mulching, the grass is finely chopped and returned to the lawn where the grass cuttings are invisible. To make the mulching feature operational, there is an insert that fits into the discharge hole at the back of the mower. Should you wish to use the rear grass catching bag, remove the mulching insert and attach the grass catcher.
It is easy to keep track of how much power remains in the battery. A gauge is on the back of the mower with an indicator that clearly shows how much power remains. The manufacturer advises not to run the battery completely out of power. So when the needle slides from a warning yellow into a stop-what-you-are-doing red, I pay attention and recharge the machine.
The Mowing Experience
This is our second Black & Decker CMM1000 lawn mower. The first mower lasted a long time and was a trooper. During the years, the body suffered some damage, and recently the battery died. A replacement battery would cost $140.00. After a lot of waffling and discussion with family members, we opted to purchase a second Black & Decker CMM1000 mower. We liked the mower enough to want a second model.
Let me take a moment to describe the yard. The property is a 1/2 acre with a fringe of trees, a bit of hill and lots of garden beds to mow around. Walking at a moderately brisk pace, I can mow the lawn without running out of battery power. At a slow walk, I can only do two-thirds of the lawn before the battery indicator slides from yellow to a warning red.
I love this lawn mower. It sounds as if I am pushing a vacuum cleaner across the lawn. The neighbors can't believe how quiet this lawn mower is. Unless they see me in the yard, they don't even realize that I'm mowing. With a lawn mower this quiet, I don't feel guilty mowing the lawn at 9:00 in the morning when neighbors might still be sleeping.
This is not a self-propelled lawn mower. Both my 70-plus year-old father and myself have no problem pushing this mower around the yard. Where the grass is sparse (I think most lawns have a few of those difficult-to-grow areas!), sometimes the wheels of the mower dig into the dirt more than I would like. However, where the grass is thick and healthy, the mower turns without digging into the ground.
Mowing the hill takes a bit more effort. This is a heavy lawn mower. It hugs the ground and does not tip. Because of the slanting surface, it takes more muscle to keep the mower on track. We don't have a lot of hill to mow (thank goodness!), so this is not a problem. It gives us more exercise without paying gym fees.
The 19" cutting width works fine for us. Actually, with all the garden beds, this mower is a perfect width for maneuvering between plantings. The mower cuts the grass well, too. Sometimes the blade doesn't sever thicker weeds that find their way into the lawn (and always grow much faster than grass). But those odd "misses" are easily taken care of with a pair of garden shears.
During the autumn, when New England leaves are a rainbow of color on the lawn, the mower also works well at mulching the leaves. We try to keep up with the leaves falling, though. Too many leaves on the ground, and the mower does not perform as well. If the leaves are too thick on the lawn, it takes several passes of the mower to mulch them all.
Storing & Care of the Mower
We keep the mower in the garage during all seasons. We follow the instructions, which recommend keeping the mower plugged in for charging at all times when not in use ... even during the winter.
The manufacturer states that fertilizers and other garden chemicals can corrode metal. Therefore, it is suggested that in areas where fertilizers or chemicals have been used that all exposed parts of the lawn mower be wiped with a damp cloth. The manufacturer is adamant in saying: "Caution: Do not pour or spray water on the mower in an attempt to clean it." Also, storing the mower near fertilizers and chemicals can cause rapid corrosion.
No lubrication of any kind is needed for this Black & Decker mower. You don't even have to oil the wheels as they have plastic bearing surfaces that don't need lubrication.
I purchased my new Black & Decker mower from Home Depot for $449.00. I could have ordered it from Home Depot online, but then I would have had to pay a shipping charge of $43.00. So I opted to pick the mower up at the store to save money.
Amazon.com offers this mower for $429.99 with free shipping ... an enticing deal! However, if the lawn mower decided not to work, I didn't want to be responsible for shipping it back to Amazon. Their website lists the shipping weight as 98 3/4 pounds.
Replacement parts are available for purchase such as the battery and lawn mower blade. I have seen the replacement blade for sale on Amazon.com for $18.99.
The only place I could locate the lawn mower battery was through Sears and their Parts Department. Sears told me I could not pick the battery up at their store and had to have it shipped to my house. It's interesting to note that the manual does not show how to change the lawn mower battery. With shipping & handling added, the battery cost is around $140.00.
Update -- September 13, 2005
This lawn mower is still working like a champ. During the spring, I mowed the lawn every 2 weeks. We've had a dry summer, so I've mowed the lawn about every 3 weeks during July and August. The battery is always fully-charged when I'm ready to use the mower. I can still mow the entire lawn on one charge. My brother kindly sharpened the mowing blade for me. It was easy for him to remove and replace the blade.
Update -- September 26, 2006
The mower is still going strong. The battery still holds the same charge. The body shows no wear, looking new. We are very happy with its performance.
Update -- June 8, 2007
A friend told me about a recall on this lawn mower. I didn't know about it, and checked the Black & Decker website for the details. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received complaints of overheating in some of the electrical components. As a safety precaution, Black & Decker recalled all Type 1 through Type 4 CMM1000 cordless electric lawn mowers.
I phoned Black & Decker. The customer service agent was incredibly kind and helpful. At first he suggested I bring the mower to a service center that was a long way from my home. I asked if there was another solution. The agent then offered to send me a box and a prepaid shipping label ... I could drop the box off at a local UPS facility, or I could pay a charge and have UPS pick the box up at my home. I happen to live close to a UPS facility and decided on that option.
The box arrived. We assembled the box (took two of us to figure out the instructions) and wrangled the mower into it. I taped the box well and took it to UPS. I thought the mower would be repaired and returned to me. Imagine my delight when about three weeks later UPS dropped off (without ringing the doorbell or notifying us) a factory carton containing a brand new lawn mower. Not just a new lawn mower, but a higher model cordless mower. Excellent customer service from Black & Decker!
You can read my review of the Black & Decker Cordless Mower (Model # CMM1200) by clicking on this link.
If you wish to read about the Black & Decker recall, here is a link to the notice on their website: http://www.blackanddecker.com/customercenter/recalls/Recall-CMM1000.aspx
Update - June 15, 2010
Keeping you updated on my lawn mower activities. The Black & Decker CMM1200 lawn mower broke. I wasn't happy. Thank goodness the mower was free! I am now using a Linamar Epic Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower. Linamar is the first self-propelled battery mower that I've seen, and it's working well.
As you can see from the updates, my experiences with the Black & Decker Model CMM1000 Lawn Mower have been mixed. Initially, this mower met all my needs. If not for the recall, I might still be using it.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
Please read my other reviews:
Linamar Epic Self-Propelled Cordless Lawn Mower
Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Roughneck X-Large Storage Shed
Greenland Gardener Raised Garden Kit
Upside-Down Tomato Planter
Deluxe Pyramid Composter
Easy-Reach Hose Reel Cart
Gilmour Advanced Variable Oscillating Sprinkler
Trake Garden Tool
Oxo Good Grips Gel-e Scoop
Craftsman Long Handled Shovel
The Garden Claw
Copyright 2004 Dawn L. Stewart