The CM1836 is one of Black and Decker’s two newer cordless battery powered models. This one along with the CM1936 are two of the best cordless electric mowers out there right now, if not the best. This is not an exaggeration either, they are really popular. The main difference between the two models is that this one has a fixed battery which you can’t remove, whereas the CM1936 allows you to remove the battery and it’s possible to put another battery in. Back to this model. It’s actually a 3-in-1 mower. You’re able to mulch, bag or discharge the clippings, although to discharge you will have to buy the attachment. The great thing here is you’re getting away from gas but you’re not tied to a cord – the best of both worlds some might say. So what did we like about this mower?
Black & Decker CM1836 Review u2013 Specifications
|Black & Decker
|36V Integrated Battery
|3-in-1, Rear Bagging, Mulching & Discharge
|1.5 - 3.5 inches
Black & Decker CM1836 Review – Key Features
- Easy Starts – You’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief after reading this. No dislocating your shoulder with pull cords on this beauty. All you do is insert your key that comes with the mower, pull back the dead-mans bar (bail), push the start button and you’re away. Another plus is that this mower will start up every time as long as you take care of the battery. Always there, always ready to go.
- Great Safety Features – The CM1836 operates using a “dead mans bar” which are commonly found on gas mowers actually. This is great for a couple of reasons;a) you can operate the mower with either hand as this bar runs right along the handle – on some mowers there’s a switch in the right hand corner which has to be held down to keep the motor running, so obviously your right hand always has to be on the handle, b) If you release this bar the motor stops almost instantly which is great if you have kids. Another great safety feature is the key. The mower will not start up without it. Again, great if you have kids that like to mess around with things.
- Easy Height Adjustment – To be honest Black and Decker’s system is one of the best out there. We have found that at first it can be a little “stiff” on the CM1836 but after a few uses it sorts itself out. One lever operates the height of all four wheels so you really can be cutting at a different height in seconds.
- 3-in-1 Mower – That’s right, with this mower you can bag your clippings, mulch them or simply discharge them back onto your lawn – it’s totally up to you. Options are always good to have.
- Grass Bag – This is obviously a very important aspect to look at if you intend to bag a lot of the time with your mower. Some of them are not designed well which makes taking them on and off and emptying them a bit of a grind. With the CM1896 you get a very easy to use grass bag; it’s easy to detach and then re-attach. It’s not a massive capacity bag but this mower does cut the clippings quite finely so you can fit more in the bag anyway.
- Handle – Black and Decker have really gone to town here and made this one of the most storage friendly designs out there. The handle folds right over so that you can actually store the CM1836 upright and it takes up minimal space. This is really ideal if you only have limited space in your garage or shed.
- Eco Friendly – If you are looking to get away from polluting our beautiful planet and using a gas powered mower then the CM1836 is definitely worth a look.
- Easy To Clean – Cutting the grass, as you probably know, can get a bit messy. The CM1836 really does a good job of minimizing that mess. You have no gas or oil to take care of, it doesn’t produce any smelly fumes and cleaning the undercarriage is a breeze. We do recommend that you turn the mower over and spray it with some non-stick spray before you get going as that makes cleaning even easier. That’s another thing – you can turn the mower over to clean the underside without worrying about gas or oil leaking out.
Black & Decker CM1836 Review – Assembly
This is obviously the first thing you will have to do when you get your CM1836 and you’ll be glad to know that it’s not at all a difficult task. Like so many things these days, it comes per-assembled with the exception of the handle. All you will have to do is attach the handle which isn’t too difficult.
Black & Decker CM1836 Review – Performance
- Cutting Ability – Ok, so you’re not going to get as much power as with an equivalent gas mower, you just have to accept that. But this mower does still deliver good cuts. It’s reliable and it gets the job done under normal conditions and the battery will typically last 45 minutes before needing to be charged up again. We would not advise using this mower on wet grass as it will really run down the battery. The same goes for long grass as well. It will work initially in these conditions, but the battery will runs down faster and get to a point that it no longer has enough power to give an effective cut under those conditions. So just be warned – if you intend to use it in these conditions, don’t expect miracles.
- Mulching Ability – The mulching plug actually comes with this mower which is nice to see as with a lot of models you have to pay extra. When you put it to use it doesn’t disappoint either, giving a good mulching performance.
- Maneuverability – Although at 64lbs it’s not the lightest option out there, it is easy to manoeuvre. It’s definitely easy to push and move around on flat surfaces. On slopes and hills you will obviously have to assess your own strength as there’s no self propel feature here. Can you push 64lbs of mower uphill?
Black & Decker CM1836 Review – Pros
- Easy to set up
- Starts really easily
- Compact storage
- Easy to change cutting height
- Safe to use
- Runs quietly
- Environmentally friendly option
- Easy to keep clean
- Good standard of cut
- Mulches well
- Easy to manoeuvre
Black & Decker CM1836 Review – Cons
- Fixed battery – Unlike on the next model up, you cannot remove the battery on this model. It’s fixed in place inside the mower. This does affect how much lawn you can cut at once as once the battery charge runs out you will have to charge it up again. Typical run time is about 45 minutes on full power.
- Replacing the battery – As we just mentioned the CM1836’s batteries are fixed into place and when they run out they will need to be replaced. It isn’t a typical “do it yourself” job unless you are technically minded you’ll have to take it into a service centre which will obviously cost more. Oh, and the replacement batteries are expensive too!
- Lead acid batteries – We promise this is that last thing about the batteries! Well they are in fact lead acid ones which you don’t actually get told in the product descriptions and they are heavier and harder to maintain than other sorts of batteries. In order to get the 5 years life that B & D say you will get, you have to take real good care of them. When you are not using the mower, you need to have it constantly on charge otherwise the battery life will be shortened.
- No second key – To be honest this is slightly annoying. For the price you are paying you would and should expect to get a second key, especially given that the mower won’t actually turn on without the key and we all know how easy it is to lose keys!
- No battery power gauge – As with the above point, this is not something which is actually going to effect the mowers performance, but it’s something which is handy to have. When you are mowing you won’t be able to see how much charge you have got left. Instead you should just listen to the mower, you can usually tell when it’s starting to slow down and run out of juice.
This mower is ideal for yards up to 1/3 of an acre as long as you mow regularly and don’t let it grow too long in between cuts. That’s how you will get the most out of the battery. You also need to make sure you leave the mower on charge all the time you are not using it, that includes through winter. We can’t stress this enough. That’s the best way to maintain lead acid batteries. If you’re thinking “that’s going to be darn expensive to have on charge ALL the time”, don’t. Once the battery has charged up, it goes onto “trickle mode” and draws very little electricity and costs hardly anything to keep on charge. It's a brilliant mower if you’re thinking about going “green” and have a yard under a 1/3 of an acre that is well looked after. If you can cut your yard in approximately 45 minutes or less and take care of the battery in between uses then this mower will be a good fit for you. If you want to go cordless but need more run time then we suggest you take a look at the next model up, which is the CM1936.