on April 12, 2010
I've just bought my first house and the yard was finally long enough to need a cut this weekend.
We have a pretty small lot, maybe 1/4 acre, and the backyard had almost no grass because of the way it was landscaped. I decided that I didn't need a big self-propelled mower, and originally through maybe I'd get a reel mower before I decided that keeping the blades in shape would be too much of a bother.
I did a little research and found that the MM875 had excellent reviews here on Amazon. This one, the MM1800, had no reviews, but from everything I see it's exactly the same but with a slightly narrower cutting diameter.
I ended up picking it up from Lowes, and then made another trip back after realizing that my extension cord was only 25' and not quite enough for my hard.
The mower is really very light and easy to set up in about 5 minutes. Starting it up is as easy as pulling the lever up against the handle, which I love because growing up, my dad's mower took 50 pulls to get it going.
The mower is very easy to push, and has an adjustable handle for different height preferences. The adjustment for the cutting height is also very well done, where you just have to move a single lever on one of the back wheels and it takes care of the whole mower.
I used the mower on mulching mode and didn't notice any piles of clippings anywhere; they were very very fine and evenly distributed. I have not tried the bag yet.
The only possible negative that I can bring up after this first mow is the cord, which is something that you should have gone into purchasing this mower knowing. I always used to mow the lawn twice around in a circle, then cut a diagonal down the center, and then follow that diagonal back and forth each direction. With the cord, this technique left me having to stop and adjust the cord a lot near the end of my mowing. In the future, I will do the two laps and then simply start at one end (either diagonally or horizontally) and mow progressively away from the outlet.
No need for gas, and no battery to wear out
Quiet, compared to most gas mowers
Easy to push, comfortable to hold, very little vibrations in the handle
Easy to adjust the cutting height
Easy to turn on/start
Cord can get in the way if you don't plan your cutting pattern
EDIT: I've now had the mower for a few months and used it 10 or more times, and I really have no complaints still. The only possible thing I can add is that I have found that the "plug" for when you're using mulching rather than bagging can get a significant amount of grass build-up on it as compared to some other mowers I've used, but I don't see that as an issue whatsoever.
Edit 2: 5 years later, and it's still going strong. The only thing that has happened is that I lost one of the black nut things that holds the handle together. A standard wingnut of the right size works just fine to replace it. Everything is holding up fine, and I still use it almost weekly with no issues.
on August 16, 2010
I've had cheap gas mowers that wouldn't start and very expensive gas mowers that wouldn't start. No matter how high the quality of the engine there was always something that needed tending to. A couple months ago I went out and bought yet another gas mower. Got it home, put it together, added oil, gassed it up and of course it wouldn't start. So I took it back and the garden center and the people there couldn't get it to start either. Fortunately they refunded my money and took the thing back. That evening I started researching electric mowers on the internet.
A rechargeable battery mower was quickly ruled out because I didn't want to replace a $150 manufacturer specific battery every two or three years. Most of the reviewers of corded mowers were in agreement that cord management was no big deal. My search took me to this compact, lightweight little B&D MM1800. I liked the way it folded up for storage in the pictures.
When it arrived, I rolled it out of the box and popped the handle on it. That's all you have to do. The one touch height setting really works! No more wrestling with each wheel on a heavy gas mower. The lawn was a little longer than usual since I'd been without a mower for month. It didn't matter, the little B&D munched right through it as good as any gasser I've ever owned. I even used it to clear out an overgrown utility easement on the side of my home. It never bogged down or hesitated one bit. The other users are correct when they say that cord management is no problem. I've used it with the bag and without. Both ways work great. Anyway, I've used it several times now since grass grows quickly in the South Florida rainy season and I can't begin to describe how cool it is to just flip this puppy upside down on the lawn to clean it up without worrying about gas and oil spilling all over the place.In fact there are lot's of reasons to celebrate not having to mess with gas mowers anymore.
No need for gasoline
No need to store volatile gasoline
No trips to the gas station or gas smells in the car
No pouring of gasoline into a tiny tank and the associated mess.
No stale gasoline issues
No need for gasoline stabilizer products
No elaborate preparation for off season storage
No gunking up or varnishing of fuel if not stored perfectly
No need for trip to repair shop to undo storage mistakes
No need for oil
No need to check oil level
No need to change oil
No need to tip mower upside down to drain oil
No need to siphon out gas before tipping upside down to drain oil
No fuel or oil leaks and drippage when mower is turned upside down to clean out the underside
No annual tune-up
No gapping or replacing of spark plugs
No cleaning of messy, oily air filters
No smelly exhaust fumes
No smelly garden shed
No noisy engine
No ear plugs or hearing protectors
No need to keep a usage log to time oil changes etc.
I'm very happy with my little orange monster and enjoy lawn mowing a lot more now that it's pretty much hassle free.
UPDATE - two and a half years later February 2013:
So far so good! I've had absolutely no troubles or issues with my little orange monster. Two of my neighbors have bought one after borrowing mine a couple times. The blade has held its edge quite well and there's still no need to sharpen it. I haven't had to do anything to it but keep the mower clean and shiny. A cheap rubber spatula from the dollar store is the only tool you need to keep it in top condition. Use it to remove the accumulated grass from under the deck after each mowing. Lawn mowers get quite a workout in rainy South Florida where you can almost see the grass growing but the little orange monster just keeps on humming (literally).
UPDATE - May 2014:
It's still humming along nicely. The rainy season here in South Florida is getting ready to fire up and there's not a darn thing I need to do to get the little orange monster ready. Just plug it in and mow!
on June 9, 2010
I had the previous B&D model for over 12 years. I still have it for parts. This machine is designed a tad bit differently but it performs well. It now has a padded handle and the top deck is a bit higher. I don't like the larger deck but now grass won't get under the 'hood' that used to be there which made cleanup a bit more on the older model. The height adjuster is better too, with just a squeeze you can go up or down very fast. So far this machine has met all my expectations. I let someone else use a gas mower on my lawn since I'm having back trouble and my hill in the back yard makes walking hard for me. Well, that said, I went right back to my mowing the next time. The gas mower did a horrible job on my lawn and this man had a new mower too. He could run faster than I do but it was a very bad job. He didn't mean to do this, he had a good machine and does make it look nice for a day or two.
After I mowed it the next time, people even stopped and told me how beautiful my yard was. I do love the manicured look. I had to cut off more grass this time due to the setting on the gas mower set higher. This machine withstood it all. We bagged it which I hated and is the reason I will go back to mowing myself. We took off 13 large bags of clippings with the rear bag and it handled it very well (this was the grass left behind from the gas mower). I like the mulch feature much more myself and that is why I will use this machine exclusively from now on. I have not had to bag in over 13 years so this was a huge disappointment on having to pay someone to do a worse job.
My old model worked so well that in the fall season I only ever raked leaves once. These machines will mulch up leaves, small sticks and anything I give it. I have loved that since like I previously said, I like a manicured yard. The mulching is so fine it re-fertilizes the yard. I fertilize once, maybe twice a year and have the greenest yard around. Yes, I am a woman and walk slower than the running this service did to see how fast they could get done. Also, with my back I do the front one day and the back yard the next due to my health. I also live in Texas and in 100 degree heat I wait and only mow in the early morning or very late in the day.
I love how I can store this mower standing on its nose. It takes up such little space in the shed. I never leave it out. You also should not use this mower if it is starting to rain which I did sometimes with a gas mower. Being electric I would never try that. Mowing shouldn't be done in the rain anyway.
I never have to rake up clippings either. My neighbor lets others mow her grass all the time and this last time they left two inches of clippings in her yard. She had to have someone else rake and mow two days later just to get up the mess before it killed her whole yard.
Those expenses make me glad to have gotten this mower for the price that Amazon or home improvement stores charge. I was going to get the Sears brand but it cost more and had a metal deck. I love the plastic, it is easy to clean and won't rust. My last one is still in one piece after a long work history and much abuse.
Another thing no one has mentioned is that this mower can go forward and backward. You can mow up the hill and move over and mow down the hill backwards, no turning around. My husband used to yell at me all the time with the gas mower since it cannot go backwards. I have obstacles in my yard like wires to a ham tower, clothes line polls, trees and other items. I can go around them all with a bit of planning with the cord and have no trouble. A friend came first of the year to do the back yard with the cord and he even said he liked this mower. He showed me to store the cord like crocheting it and it pulls back out without kinks in it. This makes the beginning mowing better now since I have less cord until I pull it out for the further away parts. Yes, you do have to start nearest the plug and work outward but once you get used to the machine, you forget all about that. Just always hold the cord in your left hand and walk on. I mow with one hand this mower is so light. My right hand can hold the safety clip and push and I just had hand surgery too.
Now I hope this machine works as long as the other did and it is well worth the price I paid. My old one came to $17 per year of use. That was with a new blade and a new switch the last year before I killed it. My husband still wants to tinker with it so it may be resurrected yet. I mowed three yards back then, now I can only do my own due to health.
Oh, and I use a 100 foot cord that costs about $16 to purchase and I can use it for everything else in between. Like the electric weed eater, the Christmas lights etc so that purchase negates itself.
I only cut my cord in half once in 12 years. I was the fault not the corded mowing. I got very hot in 110 heat and almost passed out, I turned around and cut the cord. I unplugged it and that was that. With the rubber grip handles there is no danger except your human self. Always be safe, plug into ground fault plugs which should be on an outside outlet anyway.
on October 11, 2010
My 1/3 acre property has some short but steep hills, trees, gardens, various obstructions. I've had a self-propelled gas mower, then a gas push mower, then a high tech reel mower and finally the Black & Decker MM1800 corded electric mower. The MM1800 is the best so far.
The self-propelled mower was too heavy for reversing direction. Good on the straight aways but not for the in's and out's. Heavy for making oil changes and turning it over to clean and sharpen blade.
The gas push mower was a 4.5 hp and so was one of the lightest I could find. Better at the in's and out's by the bushes. Cut nicely but clogged in wet grass easily. The air filter had to be cleaned often when mulching leaves. The vibration was shaking the bolts off the thing and I was always having to fix it. When I would turn it over to clean, I'd have a mess of gas and oil going where it shouldn't.
The reel mower was a modern model made by a famous scissor company. We had great hope for using it. Quiet, always ready to go. It worked well early in the summer before the grass was growing too quickly. But later in the summer, it became hard work. Had to start on high setting, cut and lower setting, then cut again. Lawn was very uneven, it was back breaking to push it through the higher grass. A lot of work for poor results. And it was relatively expensive.
Ordered a refurbished Black & Decker MM1800 from the manufacturer. Quick delivery and only minor blemishes would keep this from being sold as new. I started out with a 75 foot, 12 gage cord but found that I couldn't quite make it to the corners of my property. So I switched to a 100 foot, 14 gage and it's perfect. Very lightweight cord so it's easy to wind up and drag around. Keeping clear of the cord is easy if you hold the cord in your free hand. The mower is so light, I can push with one hand but usually use two. It starts and stops instantly. The noise is very low. I used to always where ear protection with the gas mowers but don't need it with this mower.
Results are outstanding. The most even cut I've had on my lawn. It easily has the cutting power of the 4.5hp gas mower. It slows a little in the thick or wet grasses. So I slow down and just keep going, just like I did with the gas but the gas unit would sometimes stall out. This one doesn't stall.
First time I did the lawn, it was after days of rain so the grass was still very wet. It was cutting fine. Halfway through, I turned it on its side expecting to see clumps of grass under the deck, but to my surprise, the plastic deck remained free of grass clumps. Wow. And no oil and gas leaking when I turned it on its side.
I mostly mulched the grass and later mulched leaves but finally put the bag on to collect the leaves where they were thickest. It worked like a vacuum for the lawn. Holds more than you'd think and is very easy to remove the bag and empty it.
So, I think I finally have a solution that is green and is fun to use, no maintenance, lawn looks great. BTW, my wife completely agrees with this evaluation. She can even push it one-handed. It pushes up our steep hills easily due to the low weight.
The cord has a nice easy capture system so the plug won't fall out. I leave the cord connected to the mower and wound up laying on the deck when not in use. That way, it only takes seconds to plug it in the wall outlet and get going.
on May 7, 2010
I was getting tired of 1) my gas-powered mower giving me issues and 2) having to determine what the problem was (spark plug? clogged filter? bad gas?). So I decided to buy an electric mower. After reading dozens of reviews, and not wanting to have to replace a battery every two years with a cordless mower, I picked up the MM1800 at a local brick-and-mortar store.
I've had this mower for 3 weeks now. Plain and simple, I love it.
Assembly was very easy; it took about 10 minutes to attach the handle. It comes with padded handle grips already attached (but not pictured), so your hands aren't rubbing against bare metal. It has a lever for the simultaneous height adjustment of all four wheels. I like to mulch when I mow, so I don't use the bag to catch the grass clippings. You will need a 100' cord to mow comfortably; I'm fortunate enough to have outlets on 3 sides of my house, so it reaches the outer edges of my 1/4-acre lot with plenty of cord to spare.
Mowing with a cord will take a little practice at first. I now have a pattern where I mow closest to the house first and then mow away from it, keeping the cord between the house and the mower. I don't have any serious issues with power; the mower gets a little slower in thicker, taller grass, but so did my gas mower. The noise level is not as quiet as I thought it would be, but it's not as loud as the gas mower (to me, it sounds like my leaf blower, but muffled quite a bit). I used one reviewer's tip and sprayed Pam underneath the mower. It really works...cleanup is a breeze.
Considering that I don't have to worry about spark plugs, oil, gas, filters and tune-ups, along with the added benefit of not having to breathe noxious fumes, I'm very happy with my purchase.
on March 30, 2011
This is my second Black and Decker electric mower and I'm very pleased. The 12 amp motor is strong and the catch bag works really easily and keeps everything neat. I'm a landscaper and I counted on this one being good and it is. The adjustable height settings are simple to do (I've been using the lowest setting lately and it cuts so evenly, you get that professional look). Also, the collapsible handle is terrific, it makes the mower very easy to store and transport. I keep it inside my Pathfinder SUV and just roll it out the back hatch when needed. It's a good, tough little mower and it didn't cost me a fortune. One last thought: make sure that you use a Heavy Gauge extension cord (100') when using these mowers, or you will burn up the motor. I have a feeling that a lot of these folks who keep reporting motor failures are using the typical skinny 16 Gauge type of cords. Watch out. Many thanks to all of you who took the time to post your reviews, because it helped me to make my choice.
on August 9, 2014
This is a kick ass lawn mower at a great price. I've been using electric lawn mowers since the 70's. This is my third one. I expect to get twenty years service out of it. Great thing about electric mowers, aside from being cheaper to operate than gas mowers, is their reliability. Plug it in and go! Just make sure to use a power cord rated for the mower's usage. My last electric mower burned out when I loaned it to a neighbor (with the correct cord) and she decided to use an inferior rated longer cord. Burned out the motor. She didn't even offer to replace it. Just an "it died, twenty years was a good run." Bitch. Anyway, I digress. If you want an awesome lawn mower that costs a little bit of nothing and will last for basically ever, get this little gem. Also, spend the money on a good cord - I got the US Wire 74100 12/3 100-Feet SJTW Yellow Heavy-Duty Lighted Extension Cord - expensive but worth it in the long run.
on May 2, 2012
After my Honda gas mower finally ticked me off for the last time, I decided to purchase this electric model. I have a small city lawn and thought this would be perfect. So far it has been. The minor assembly went fast and I was out cutting in 10 minutes. It handled the thick grass where the dog likes to roam much better then my old gas mower. The motor slowed a bit, but not enough to be concerned. I multch the grass. If I bagged it, the mower probably wouldn't have slowed down at all. The height adjustment works well on my machine with no signs of slipping. I did inspect the plastic piece that holds the blade on, and indeed it is intended to protect the mower in case of an obstruction. I would suggest if you like to hit stuff with the mower that you get a couple of spares. Like another reviewer said, it is similar (in function) to the shear pins on a snow blower. Personally, I try not to hit anything in the yard, so it should never be a problem for me. The mower is extremely lightweight. Very quiet as well. I was completely surprised by how quiet it is. Another reviewer said it was louder than their gas model but I think this statement is false. My wife was standing next to me while this was running and we could actually have a conversation without shouting. If I had to compare the noise level with something, I'd say it was like a window box fan on high or maybe just slightly louder. Other reviewers mention the cord as being a downfall, but if you buy it knowing it has a cord, why would you complain about it, or mark it down because of it? Overall, I recommend this mower. Just think about your own situation and if this type of mower makes sense to you.
Edit: As of June 2015, about 3 years, this machine still works like the day it was new.
on April 21, 2011
I had borrowed the neighbor's corded B&D Lawn Hog since our gas mower was, once again, dead in the garage. They had their mower on mulch so I tried that setting. It was an amazing experience over a gas mower. So, easy to start with no fear of letting go of the handle and having to re-start it. I always live in fear of letting the handle go and wrenching my shoulder on the pull-start gas mower. The cord was very easy to mow around / avoid and not a problem. So, after some web research we bought the B&D MM1800 mower. It has a better mulching feature (smaller grass cuttings) than the Lawn Hog so there was less messy cuttings laying around. The cut grass just seems to disappear into the lawn and less clippings blow out onto the patio area. Of course, starting is a breeze. I mow every week since we got it a month ago and it is a pleasant experience. Very nice mower and excellent mulching feature. One of our neighbors took a turf class where they said that mulching provides the nitrogen needed at about the correct rate of 5# per year. So, we do not bag the clippings anymore either. Excellent mower in our 30 days of ownership!
on August 6, 2013
I've used Black and Decker mowers for 35 years or more. My old one gave me 20 years of faithful service before dying suddenly. I just purchased another with no hesitation.
PROS...no "ripcord" to pull repeatedly to get the mower to start. There's also no heavy battery to remove and keep charged up. All you do is plug an outdoor electrical cord (separate purchase) into any outlet and depress the handle. Mower roars to life.
There's no worry about gasoline, oil and spark plugs. Just plug it in and mow your grass. That's it!
This mower is a lot quieter than gas mowers, and it doesn't stink. It leaves a beautiful manicured look to the lawn.
It mulches nicely. Tall grass may leave some clumps, but if you run over them again the mower will mulch the clumps. No raking needed.
The electric mower is pretty lightweight for a mower. It's very easy to push. If you're used to a self-propelled gas mower, you probably won't miss it if you chose the electric.
When you're finished mowing, unplug the power cord, wrap it around the mower handle, loosen the knobs and fold down the handle. The mower is now compact and takes up very little room in the shed or garage.
CONS...you have to drag the power cord behind you everywhere you go. If you have a large yard, that cord gets heavy to drag. It can and will hang up on yard ornaments, trees and bushes. There's a whole different technique to mowing with an electric mower, but it's a small learning curve. Always mow away from the source of the power. That keeps the cord out of your way, mostly.
Only the lowest setting cuts my grass. The others settings are too high to do anything but push the grass over.
The grass must be completely dry before using an electric mower.
***TIP*** Use a bright orange outdoor electrical cord rather than green. This is one thing you don't want blending in with the grass.