Review: Black and Decker 18 inch Corded Electric Mower

Overview:
The Black and Decker 18 inch mower is a decent light mower, with enough power to care for a well managed lawn but not enough for irregular mowing.

Our Score: 82%
18/20 Weight
16/20 Comfort / Ease of use
13/20 Power efficiency / Endurance
7/10 Cutting area
9/10 Durability
10/10 Quiet operation
9/10 Cutting options / Cleanliness of cut

Strengths:
This lawn mower is light weight, and draws very little power. It has a good safety control and the cutting height adjustments are very easy to make.

Weaknesses:
The Black and Decker LM175 only has an 18 inch cutting area (that’s ~254 square inches). It takes about 15% longer to mow a yard with an 18 inch mower than a 20 inch mower (with ~314 square inches). The assembly is also a bit complicated and may result in a few skinned knuckles. The construction isn’t particularly durable – there’s a lot more plastic than metal. While some parts bent and flexed alarmingly during testing, no parts actually broke. The low amperage of the motor means that it will stall out on thick weeds and brush.

Technical Details:

  • Weight: 35 lbs (20.86 kg)
  • Cutting area: 18 inch diameter (45.72 cm)
  • Adjustable Cutting Height: 1 to 3.5 inches (25.4 – 88.9 mm)
  • Adjustable Increments: 1/2 inch (12.7 mm)
  • Wheel Diameter: 7 inch (the front and back wheels are equal height)
  • Amperage: 6.5 amps
  • Electrical Requirements: 120 volts / 60 Hz (as found in a standard US wall outlet)
  • Recycled Content: less than 10%
  • A quick note about Extension Cords

    The longer the extension cord you use, the more energy is lost in transmission. Thin cords can also heat up dangerously. When using long extension cords, it’s important to make sure that the wire is thick enough to safely and efficiently conduct electricity. Wire thickness is often referred to as “gauge”. Thicker wires have a low gauge, and thin wires have a high gauge.

    For this mower, it’s important to use an 18 gauge (or thicker) wire for extension cords up to 25 feet. For 26-50 feet, a 16 gauge wire is recommended. For 51-100 feet, 14 gauge is recommended. For longer extension cords (up to 150 ft), please use a 12 gauge (or thicker) extension cord. Thicker wires are generally more expensive, but they can save substantial amounts of electricity, which saves money in the long run.

    Assembly