Ratings/Reviews: (400+ Customer Reviews)
Price: $379.00 (FREE Shipping!)
The Good: The removable battery allows for easy recharge and extended run time. Being green without the need to wrangle with an extension cord.
The Bad: The mower is heavy at 72 lbs. The mulching insert and side discharge chute is not included.
The Bottom Line: This is a great electric mower recommended by Consumer Reports. However, if you have to mow a lawn on an incline, look for a lighter electric mower or a more powerful gas mower.
COMPREHENSIVE LAWN MOWER REVIEWS: BLACK & DECKER CM1936 CORDLESS ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER
To have a cordless or corded electric lawn mower, that is the question. The answer? Well, it depends. How green would you like to be? The corded mower, like the Black & Decker LM175 is more eco-friendly than the battery-powered mower. But if you go for the Black & Decker CM1936 cordless electric lawn mower, you can at least say you’re more eco-friendly than your neighbor’s gas-guzzling mower. Do you care what the neighbors think at the thought of you towing around a long extension cord while mowing? If you are embarrassed to be doing the extension cord dance in front of the neighbors, go cordless. How large is your lawn? Needless to say, the cordless lawn mower has the advantage the larger your lawn.
The Black & Decker CM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower With Removable Battery is one of the three recommended lawn mowers by Consumer Reports in its cordless electric push mower category. (see also: Consumer Reports Recommended Lawn Mowers). The Black & Decker CM1936 replaced the very popular Black & Decker CMM1200 which had over 400 reviews and averaged about 4 out of 5 stars.
Zero to Go in No Time
There is really no assembly required here. With the Black & Decker CM1936, you just raise and lock the handles, pop in the battery, insert the key and you’re ready to go. What can be simpler than that? Note: You should fully charge the battery first, but since these batteries leave the factory fully-charged, the customers have reported that the initial charge to full only took minutes.
It’s All About the Battery – Black & Decker CM1936’s Removable Battery
For a typical yard, you should be able to mow the entire lawn in one charge. If you have a large yard, the Black & Decker CM1936 has a removable 36-volt battery that allows you to easily switch out (if you bought a spare battery for $129.00) and continue mowing without having to stop and recharge the battery. Here’s a tip: don’t try to lug the heavy battery (28 lbs.) when switching it out with the backup battery; just push the mower to where you’ll be recharging/switching. If you want to save yourself about 90 bucks, you can go with Black & Decker’s CM1836 which has an integrated (non-removable) battery. You just won’t have the convenience of a removable battery.
The CM1936 does not have a battery indicator that was on the older models. This would have been a very useful feature to include. Its runtime is up to 12,000 square feet, which is about the size of 2-1/2 basketball courts. You’re probably looking at about 45 minutes of full power under normal cutting conditions. After that, the cutting power will start to degrade, so I’d recommend recharging the battery at this point. You don’t want to kill the battery by draining it completely since the battery is expensive to replace ($129 for the Black & Decker RB-3610 36-Volt Battery for CM1936 Lawn Mower). Its cutting area is up to 1/3 acre (about the size of 3 basketball courts). Another good thing about the battery being removable (charged separately from the mower unit) is that you can charge it anywhere (especially for those of us who don’t have an electrical outlet out in the shed). It takes about 12 hours to recharge the battery fully. Also keep in mind that having the CM1936’s battery continuously charged/plugged in is optimal for its battery life.
As far as battery life, one customer reported his battery lasted about 7 years because he lives up North where the temperature is cooler and the mowing season is shorter. Using that as a gauge, you’re probably looking at 4-5 years down in the scorching South with longer mowing season, and even less if you are not careful with handling the battery.
Garage space is very valuable real estate in my house, so every little inch counts. If you’re lucky enough to have enough room to park your car in the garage instead of the driveway, you’d want to keep it that way. Black & Decker designed the CM1936 to really help you conserve space. You can easily fold down the handle and stand the lawn mower vertically for storage.
Lawn Mower Features
The Black & Decker CM1936 comes with a rear bag to catch the grass clippings, but the mulching insert and side discharge chute is sold separately. I’m guessing they made this optional because it takes more power to mulch than simply discharge the clippings into the bag. The CM1936 has a 19-inch deck size.
Like other electric lawn mowers, the CM1936 is not as noisy as its gas-powered counterparts. And there’s no problem with vibration encountered by gas mowers. The CM1936 electric mower is quiet, has little vibration, and has a soft rubber grip that makes it more comfortable for your hands. Another convenient feature is CM1936’s one-touch height adjustment lever; with a single touch, you can easily adjust all four wheels simultaneously. The cutting height for the CM1936 can be adjusted from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches.
CM1936 Lawn Mower Performance
Like any lawn mower, gas or electric, it can get bogged down when mowing long or thick grass. Take your time; the key is to mow these areas slow. If you get the optional mulch insert, realize that you won’t get as good a mulching job as a gas-powered lawn mower if you wait too long between mowing and try to cut when the grass is wet.
Lawn Mower Maintenance
Maintenance? What maintenance? Here are the 3 steps to maintaining your electric lawn mowers: (1) Keep the mower blade sharp and replace when necessary; (2) Keep the lawn mower’s underside clean; and (3) Keep the battery charged. Done. You can laugh (or chuckle quietly) at your gas mower neighbors as they run to the local gas station and pay an obscene amount of money for gasoline and deal with engine oil, filters, spark plugs, etc., etc. I can already picture in my head the look of frustration as they struggle with the pull start on those engines. Nope, no gas fumes, greasy hands, or noisy gas mower for you, my friend.
Reasons Not to Buy the Black & Decker CM1936 Electric Mower
The main reason would probably be the weight. At 72 pounds, it weighs 20 lbs. more than the corded Black & Decker MM875 Lawn Hog 19-Inch 12 amp Electric Mulching Mower with Rear Bag. So, if you have a large lot, very uneven lawn, deal with slopes and dips, or just have a general aversion to physical exertion, then a heavy battery-powered electric lawn mower may not be the right choice for you. An alternative would be to buy the self-propelled version of the CM1936. Don’t let the 92-pound Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower scare you. Unlike the CM1936, the SPCM1936 has a push button starter and a self-propelled motor that’ll make this behemoth seem like a lightweight (you can read more about the Difference Between Self Propelled and Push Lawn Mowers). Again, with its self-propelling feature, weight is not an issue since the transmission helps drive the lawn mower without you having to push. All you gotta do is steer!
Another reason is if you choose not to buy a backup battery (at extra cost), you have to wait around for a few hours for the battery to recharge when the power runs low. This wouldn’t be a problem if you have a smaller lot. However, if you really want a battery-powered lawn mower for a large lot, you should really consider getting an additional battery. After all, time is money, right?!
This is more of a preference rather than a reason not to buy the CM1936, and that is the plastic deck. Some people prefer a metal deck because it’s more durable, but metal is heavier and can rust. Plastic construction is not necessarily inferior, it’s just different strokes for different folks. And at 72 pounds, the CM1936 feels just as solid as any steel-deck lawn mower.
Recommendation on the Black & Decker CM1936
So what’s the final verdict? If you want a cordless lawn mower, you can’t go wrong with the Black & Decker CM1936. It comes with a 2-year warranty and is recommended by the folks over at Consumer Reports. As long as you understand the limitations that come from having an electric mower vs. a gas mower as well as the difference between having a cordless mower vs. a corded mower, then nothing else should surprise you.
What’s in the Box:
Black & Decker 19-Inch Rechargeable Electric Mulching Mower
36-Volt Battery Pack
36V Battery Charger
And Don’t Forget These!