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When the snow melts, it exposes that green stuff. And that means you’ll have to mow it. (Though you don’t necessarily have to like it.) Thankfully, you’ve got more options than ever this year, both in gas and electric. Of course, if you’re like we were a few years ago, you probably rejected electric out of hand. Our advice: Don’t. They’re surprisingly effective, especially if you’ve got a reasonably-sized yard.

Take, for example, Black & Decker’s updated cordless line. Their top-of-the-line 36V cordless model (pictured) mulches, and it’ll handle up to 12,000 square yards (that’s about 2-1/2 acres) on a single charge. While we haven’t tested it, we believe it. We’ve seen the old 24V model handle more than an acre, and even it felt as powerful as the gas models we’re used to schlepping.

Besides the whopping-big battery, Black & Decker also includes a one-touch height-adjustment which lets you dial in everything from a scalp-it-to-plant-the-new-grass 1-1/2″ to a my-Bermuda-looks-better-than-your-blue 3-1/2″ setting. And you’ll get the standard electric benefits, too, like no winterizing (and de-winterizing), no gas to haul around, no non-standard motor oil for your kids to accidentally put in the car, quiet operation (for those late-night I-was-hungover-and-didn’t-mow-this-morning Ninja mows), and instant start.

Expect to spend about $350 for one of these orange boys. Seriously, folks. Whether it’s the Black & Decker or another model, don’t shun the electrics. They’re a viable option — whether you give a damn about the environment or not.

36V Cordless Mower [Black & Decker]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


14 Responses to Spring 2010, Black & Decker-Style

  1. Geoff K. says:

    Are you talking about the 18-inch or the 19-inch model? I get different results from the Amazon link (19-inch, $397) than from the street pricing link (18-inch from Amazon, $337). Which one are you talking about here? Probably doesn’t make a lot of difference — although bigger is always better — just thought I’d ask for clarification.

  2. Toolhearty says:

    for those late-night I-was-hungover-and-didn’t-mow-this-morning Ninja mows

    Okay, so you figured out why I don’t rush right out there as soon as the birds start chirping, but I usually get the job done before headlights are required.

  3. browndy says:

    I think that’s 12000 square feet, not yards, so it’s a 1/3 acre per charge, not 2 1/2 acres

  4. BJN says:

    Still using heavy lead-acid batteries? I like my previous generation B&D mower, but not the weight. It’s way past time for the US market to get NiMH or lithium ion powered mowers.

  5. Pezdad says:

    I got a Newton electric mower 2 years ago (our “air quality” board had a deal where they would sell you one for $100 when you scrapped a gas model). They are very nice for a modest yard – and best of all, easy for the kids to use (so they are now doing all the mowing). They are lighter than the gas (even with a lead-acid battery) and there is not the trouble in starting the mower that my kids always had with the gas model.

  6. Chris W says:

    On a related topic:
    As I recall there was a column in the Washington Post which said that several small gas engine(4.0-6.5hp) makers and resellers have been sued for selling the same engine with different horsepower labels. MTD has already admitted to it and settled. Others are denying it.

  7. B. Foo says:

    I had one of those B&D electrics…. STAY AWAY. If you have a tiny yard and mow it often, maybe it will work for you. I have a decent size yard and mow only once a week. This thing required multiple passes to get anything done. The last time I used it the piece of junk literally caught on fire. How?! There is no fuel in it yet it was on fire! After putting the fire out it promptly went into the trash and I went a picked up a proper gas mower. MUCH less headache.

  8. Les says:

    I have a B&D plug-in-to-the-wall electric and it’s way cool. I have a small townhouse yard so a 75′ cord is all I need. Other than occasionally running over the cord every couple of years, it’s been zero maintenance for a decade. Last time I mowed a yard with a gas mower I was surprised how much I didn’t miss the noise, weight, and vibration of a gas mower….

  9. Shopmonger says:

    I like the concept of these electric mowers but i have not had enough hands on to recommend them yet. I am hoping there is more “constructive” hands on reviews of these to come…….We need the info boys…..time for a head to head test…


  10. MattC says:

    I second “Pezdad’s” comments. I have a Neuton 6.2 (the larger version) mower for about 2 seasons now. I love it. It has plenty of power (my yard is 1/4 acre) and I have been able to mow my yard and my next door neighbor’s yard on a single charge with some juice left. When I bought mine, I wanted a mower with a detachable battery (B&D mowers at that time did not)because I do not have a garage and wanted to store the battery indoors on the off season. This mower, plus my other cordless tools(trimmers) have weaned me off of gas for all my lawn needs.

  11. KMR says:

    Wow it can mow 2.5 acres on a single charge. Anyone know how long it takes to do that with a push mower? I once mowed 2 acres with a push mower and takes about 8 hours. No way would I willingly buy a push mower to mow more than a 1/3 or max 1/2 acre.

  12. Adam R. says:

    @KMR, where were you mowing. When I was mowing lawns through the summer to pay for college. I was using a walk behind 21″ cut and was cutting 1 acre in less than an hour. This was southern Ohio where there are a few hills. The bigger lots were closer to 2 acres, take out the house, the drive way, etc. and you were left with about 1 1/2 acres. Took about 70 minutes.

    Granted, this was cutting a lawn, not haying a field. If the grass is more than 6 inches tall, I don’t care what you are using. If it isn’t a pull behind it isn’t going to cut even or quickly.

  13. Paul says:

    Geoff K: the 18-inch model is lighter and does NOT have a removable battery.

  14. robert schmidt says:


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