For smaller lawns of less than one third of an acre, cordless electric lawn mowers are eco-friendly and quiet, and you don't have buy gas and oil for them. Overall, Black & Decker cordless mowers outrank other brands in comparison tests and other reviews.
Among self-propelled cordless mowers, the highest marks clearly go to the 36-volt Black & Decker SPCM1936 (*Est. $450), based on reviewer feedback. This 19-inch cordless mower earns top ranking in comparison tests for performance, especially for its mulching and side-discharge performance. It can also bag clippings as well as most cordless mowers, and it outperforms other cordless mowers, both self-propelled and push -- as well as most gas push mowers and a number of self-propelled gas mowers.
The Black & Decker SPCM1936 is recommended for lawns up to a third of an acre, and its battery takes 12 hours to recharge completely but recharges to 60 percent in just four hours. The battery also lifts out so you can swap in a freshly charged one if needed. Cutting height adjusts from 1.5 inches up to a maximum of 3.5 inches with just one lever. You can switch among cutting modes, mulching, bagging or side-discharging, by pushing a button. Starting is as simple as pushing a button -- which is typical of all cordless electric mowers. The mower carries a two-year warranty, and there's lifetime coverage on its polymer deck.
The Black & Decker cordless electric mower has been run through objective comparison tests, but has only a handful of reviews from owners at Amazon.com -- all enthusiastic. These detailed reviews note that the slowest speed can still be too fast for some lawns, requiring a second pass at a different cutting height. One owner reports, however, that the speeds range nicely "from turtle to rabbit." No major drawbacks are noted, except for the relatively heavy weight of 92 pounds.
If your lawn is flat, you may not need a self-propelled mower. Both the 19-inch Black & Decker CM1936 (*Est. $450) and the 18-inch, Black & Decker CM1836 (*Est. $350) -- both 36-volt -- also earn positive reviews. The CM1936 lets you remove the battery to switch it out with a fresh one, and tests show that this mower mulches better than the smaller CM1836. Both mowers feature single-lever height adjustment and folding handles, and earn high marks for ease of handling.
The 19-inch Black & Decker MM875 (*Est. $240) is Energy Star-rated and continues to hold top ranking in reviews of corded electric mowers. Comparison tests show that it bags and mulches clippings better than most electric mowers, though we found some owner reviews that say it mulches better than it bags. An optional attachment also lets you side-discharge clippings.
Other Black & Decker corded electric mowers -- as well as models by other brands -- earn mostly positive reviews from owners, but they don't fare as well in comparison tests. Despite this, you might want to consider the less expensive 18-inch Black & Decker MM1800 (*Est. $200) simply because, at 42 pounds, it weighs 10 pounds less than the better-rated MM875. If your lawn has lots of obstacles, the narrower width could also be a plus.