Black & Decker SPCM1936 Review

Black & Decker SPCM1936

11110.5
(Rated: 4.7 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11111
Ease of Assembly11111
Maneuverability11110
Balance And Handling11111
Cut Quality11110.5

Nothing beats the smell of freshly cut grass in the Springtime, and a lush, healthy, emerald green lawn makes you the envy of all your neighbors. Mowing that lawn, on the other hand, is something most homeowners dread. Dealing with ragged cuts, clumping, clogging and bogging can test the patience of even the most die-hard lawn-lover and let’s not even talk about those self-starting mowers that won’t start. But the Black & Decker SPCM1936 cordless electric self-propelled lawnmower makes caring for your lawn enjoyable again and as a bonus you’ll have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood.

Ask any lawncare professional and he’ll tell you that the secret to those beautiful lawns you see surrounding celebrity homes has nothing to do with the professional lawncare companies they hire, it’s the mower. It’s not how frequently you mow, how short you cut the grass or what time of day you water. And while fertilizers and chemicals can help, one pass with a poor-quality mower can erase any benefits they may have provided, not to mention the fact that they’re harmful for the environment. The answer is Black & Decker SPCM1936, a mower that makes a clean, even cut for a perfectly manicured lawn.

Review Summary

review summaryThe SPCM1936 is so easy to use and does such a professional job you’ll find yourself actually begging your grass to grow. No more pulling a muscle trying to start the engine. Just a turn of the key and a push of a button and it starts every time. Once started you’ll do a double take because the engine is much quieter than regular gas mowers. So quiet, in fact, you no longer have to spend Saturday afternoon mowing. Mow anytime you like without worrying about disturbing your neighbors.

The SPCM1936 also has a one-touch height adjustment making it easy to adjust the cutting height on all four wheels simultaneously – even while you’re cutting. Typically, self-propelled lawn mowers weigh quite a bit more than standard mowers because of the additional weight of the propelling mechanism, making them difficult to move in and out of storage. The Black & Decker SPCM1936 is light-weight and easy to maneuver, weighing in at 10 or more pounds less than comparable mowers. As a bonus, the SPCM1936 can even be folded for upright storage, a real convenience for those with limited storage space.

Concerned about the environment? So is Black & Decker. Gasoline-powered engines pollute the air with over a million tons of emissions each year but the SPCM1936 produces zero emissions. No gas, no oil, no mess and no maintenance. Typical charge for the 36-volt battery will last for at least 1/3 acre and the battery is easily accessible. Just pop it out to charge it away from the mower, and you can even pop in another battery for larger yards. The SPCM1936 even comes with a rear bag or a mulching conversion to take care of trimmings. Your lawn will look like it’s been professionally manicured.

Specifications

review specificationsThe variable-speed, self-propelled SPCM1936 starts instantly every time, just turn the key and push the button. The removable 36-volt battery holds enough charge to handle at least 1/3 acre. The improved blade design produces cleaner cuts and all four wheels can be adjust simultaneously from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches with the touch of a lever. The SPCM1936 is up to 30 pounds lighter than comparable self-propelled mowers and can be folded into an upright position for storage. A battery-powered mower means you have much less noise, you never need gas or oil, and maintenance is a breeze. The battery is also Energy Star qualified which saves money on your electric bill, and with zero emissions you’ll be helping save the planet while you make it more beautiful.

Dimensions 36.6 x 22.9 x 20.5 inches
Power 36V Removable Battery (Inc. 1 battery)
Charge Time 4 Hours to 60%, 12 Hours to 100%
Deck Size
(cutting swath)
19-inch
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Rear bag (mulching insert and side discharge chute sold separately)
Cutting Area up to 1/3 acre
Runtime charge
(conditions may vary)
up to 45 minutes
Drive System Self-Propelled Motor (Pace setter)
Starter Key + Push button
Height Adjustment One touch (single lever adjusts all four wheels simultaneously)
Height Settings 1-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch
Wheel Size 7-inch front / 9-inch rear
Weight 90 pounds
Warranty 2 years

The SPCM1936 is a self-propelled cordless mower which means you have the convenience of a gasoline-powered motor without the mess and expense of fuel and oil. The 36-volt rechargeable battery is removable for convenient charging and reaches a full charge in 4-12 hours. It has 3 cutting option, one-touch cutting height adjustment that adjusts all four wheels at the same time, and a one-touch safety key starter. The SPCM1936 weighs only 92 pounds, has comfortable, no-slip grips with an adjustable handle bar, and the deck is made of a lightweight high-impact polymer that resists rust. Can be folded for convenient storage.

Description

review descriptionOpen the box on your brand new Black & Decker SPCM1936 and you’ll see it’s almost completely assembled. In less than 5 minutes, using standard household tools, you’re ready to mow. You’ll also be surprised at how light it is. Weighing in at just 90 pounds, comparable self-propelled mowers range anywhere from 98 to more than 108 pounds. Pushing one of those other mowers up a slight incline is back-breaking work, but the SPCM1936 is a breeze to operate because it’s so lightweight and all four wheels maintain contact with the ground, doing all the hard work for you while you just walk along behind.

The SPCM1936 comes with a 36-volt removable battery that quickly detaches from the mower for easy charging. You’ll have enough charge to easily cover 1/3 acre, possibly more depending on conditions, and you can easily pop in another battery for larger yards. Because it’s battery powered you’ll have no messy gas or oil to deal with, no foul odors and very little maintenance at all. You’ll also be doing your part to protect the environment from harmful emissions. The high-efficiency motor combined with the variable speed self-propelled system means the SPCM1936 can easily power through even the thickest grass. And because it’s battery powered it’s much quieter than gasoline-powered mowers and won’t disturb your neighbors.

The deck is a lightweight high-impact polymer that won’t rust or warp, even in the harshest conditions. It’s also easy to clean and maintain. Just spray it off with a hose when you’re done mowing. More important, its light weight makes it easy to adjust the cutting height. The one-touch lever allows you to adjust all four wheels at the same time, even while you’re mowing, and you have seven different settings ranging from 1-1/2 inches to 3-1/2 inches.

The SPCM1936 cuts a 19-inch path with its highly efficient blade and motor combination. The variable-speed motor means you can adjust the mower to match your own pace and cutting needs, enabling you to get that perfectly manicured lawn with less effort. The motor also has a safety guard to prevent accidental starting. And while you’re mowing you can instantly select to either discharge the clippings, bag them or mulch them back into the lawn. No more raking up clumps when you’re done mowing. You’ll work smarter, faster and cleaner with the SPCM1936 and your neighbors will think you’ve hired a professional lawncare company.

The handle on the SPCM1936 is fitted with comfortable, no-slip grips and can be adjusted for different heights. The front wheels are 7-inches in diameter and the rear wheels are 9-inches, making it easier to maneuver over bumps and roots in your yard. As a bonus, the SPCM1936 is even designed with convenient storage in mind. Simply fold it up and store it in an upright position and it takes up half the space of traditional lawnmowers. The clipping bag and mulching conversion are included with purchase, along with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and a 2-Year Warranty on materials and workmanship.

Pros

review prosEveryone wants to have the thickest, lushest lawn in the neighborhood but traditional mowers have made it difficult to achieve. Priming the engine, setting the choke, and pulling that rope is back breaking work, The weight of those old self-propelled mowers made them extremely difficult to maneuver around flower beds and trees, and trying to adjust the cutting height was an exercise in futility. But the Black & Decker SPCM1936 makes mowing a pleasure. It starts instantly every time you’re ready to mow and it’s so easy to adjust and maneuver you’ll be waiting impatiently for your grass to grow.

  1. One-Touch Instant Start Motor : You’re going to love the SPCM1936 because it’s so easy to start. No ropes to pull, no pushing that grimy button to prime the engine, and no need to check the oil or fill it up with gas. You just turn the key, lift the handle and the motor starts instantly, every single time you mow. And because it’s battery-powered you never have to worry about spark plugs or oil changes or tune-ups. It’s a variable-speed motor, too, and you can change the speeds while you’re mowing, making it easier to power-down and plow through thick patches of grass or power-up to get up that hill.
  2. Removable, Rechargeable 36-volt Battery : According to the Environmental Protection Agency, gasoline-powered lawn mowers account for more than one million tons of air-polluting emissions each year. The good news is the 36-volt battery in the SPCM1936 has zero emissions. You’ll be protecting the environment and saving money at the same time. The battery is removable, too, which makes it easy to charge anywhere, any time, and you can even pop in an extra battery to continue mowing larger yards. You probably won’t have to though because fully charged this battery can cover at least 1/3 acre or more. Enough for the average yard and then some. As a bonus, battery-powered motors are much quieter than gasoline engines. You’ll be able to mow without bothering your neighbors.
  3. Lightweight, Variable Speed Self-Propelled System: Self-propelled lawnmowers are notoriously heavy but the SPCM1936 weighs in at just 90 pounds, more than 10 pounds lighter than similar self-propelled models, making it much easier to maneuver and store. The variable speed motor allows you to adjust the mower to match your own pace and make it easier to plow through those tough patches of grass. Even hills and steep inclines are no longer a problem. You’ll get a smooth, even cut every time which means you’ll have a healthier, lusher lawn. And when you’re finished for the day, the light weight makes it easy to fold and store.
  4. Easy Height Adjustment and Clipping Option : With traditional mowers you have to adjust the cutting height on each individual wheel, pulling and lifting each corner of the deck. With the SPCM1936 you can easily adjust the cutting height on all four wheels at the same time with the simple touch of a lever. You can even make this adjustment as you’re mowing. You also have three options for handling you clippings: Let them discharge out the rear of the mower, use the mulching feature or bag them with the detachable bag. These adjustments are also easy to make while you’re mowing with just the touch of a button.
  5. No Maintenance, Easy To Store : With the SPCM1936 you’ll have no need of gasoline or oil, both of which always seem to rise in price just as your grass starts growing. No gas and no oil means there’s very little maintenance involved. Simply use a hose to remove grass build-up under the deck. It also means no messy half-empty oil cans and smelly gas cans lying around your garage. And the SPCM1936 has been designed for people with limited storage space. Just fold it up and store it in an upright position and it takes up half the space of a regular mower.

The Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-inch 36-volt cordless electric self-propelled lawn mower is ideal for today’s modern homeowner. It’s energy- and cost-efficient to operate and eco-friendly, and it’s quiet operation also helps curb noise-pollution. At more than 10 pounds lighter than comparable mowers, it’s much easier to maneuver in and out of storage and around landscaping features in your yard. The variable speeds and clipping options also make it possible for you to get a smooth, clean cut with no clumps or clippings left behind to litter your lawn. Ideal for homeowners with limited storage space. You’ll have no gas cans or oil cans to store and the SPCM1936 can be folding and stored in an upright position.

Cons

review consAfter all those special features it’s hard to believe there might be some negative concerns about the SPM1936. After all, it starts with the turn of a key. It’s a cordless electric mower that needs no gas, no oil, and very little maintenance. You can easily adjust the cutting height on all four wheels at the same time with the touch of a lever. It bags or mulches your clippings. It’s quiet, lightweight and easy to store. And to top it all off it’s backed by Black & Decker’s 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and a 2-Year Warranty on materials and workmanship. But let’s take a look at some of the issues.

  1. Battery runs out too soon : The SPCM1936 has a 36-volt battery which, under ideal conditions, holds enough of a charge to mow one-third of an acre. Certain conditions will put more of a strain on the motor which in turn causes more of a drain on the battery charge. For example, cutting your grass while it’s wet, or cutting very long or very thick grass. Cutting your grass too short will also pull more charge from the battery because your grass is denser near the ground. Experts recommend cutting your grass no shorter than 3- to 3 1/2-inches. Using your mower in the self-propel mode while going up hills and steep inclines will also drain more power. It also helps to keep the undercarriage clean. Accumulated dirt and grass will cause a drag on the blades and the motor, draining more energy from the battery.
  2. Not powerful enough for wet/tall grass : Even the most powerful motor will bog down and maybe even stall if you’re cutting your grass while it’s wet. If it’s thick grass or you haven’t cut it for a while and it’s taller than usual, that makes it even more difficult to cut. The battery on the SPCM1936 is powerful enough to handle cutting your lawn under these conditions, however, the harder the mower has to work the faster the battery is drained. Once the battery start losing it’s charge you’re engine starts losing its power. Thick, wet grass will also accumulate under the deck while you’re mowing. This puts additional stress on the engine which in turn drains more power from the battery.
  3. Motor bogs down or shuts down : The motor on the SPCM1936 is a high-efficiency motor, designed to cut at heights varying from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches. If you’ve let your grass grow to 5 inches or taller and you’re cutting it down to 1-1/2 inches, you’re cutting off 3 1/2 inches of grass, all over your yard. All grass holds some moisture, even if your lawn appears to be dry. Especially in areas where grass is thick, all of that moist grass is going to start building up under the deck and eventually start interfering with the blade movement. At first, this will cause the engine to work harder, which will put additional strain on the battery. As the battery starts to lose its charge, the engine will lose power and the blades will no longer be able to tackle all that extra grass build-up. Your mower will start to bog down and eventually stall.
  4. Too heavy out of self-propel: For most people it’s been years since they used a lawnmower that isn’t self-propelled. Believe it or not, those old-style mowers are at least 20 to 30 pounds lighter than a self-propelled mower. And the Black & Decker SPCM1936 is, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than comparable brands and mowers. The self-propelled model requires additional hardware and belts and a sturdier engine to get the job done. After all, if you’re not supplying the power, it has to come from the mower itself. When you’re using the mower in self-propel mode you don’t notice this additional weight because the mower is carrying it for you. But take it out of self-propel mode and again – someone has to push the mower, right?
  5. Battery loses capacity over time : With proper care your battery should last for years. Always start mowing with a fully charged battery. When charging, only leave it on the charger until the light that indicates the battery is fully charged comes on. Between uses, store your battery in a cool, dry location. Don’t leave it on the charger for days or weeks at a time. Be careful not to drop or crack it, too. Excessive strain can also wear your battery out faster. To protect the life of your battery, cut your grass when it’s dry and cut regularly to avoid having to force through those patches of thick, overgrown grass.

The “pros” of the Black & Decker SPCM1936 far outweigh the “cons” and, as you can see, most of the cons aren’t really cons at all. This mower is designed to take care of small yards, around 1/3 acre. It’s a battery-powered motor which means it’s naturally just a little less powerful than a gasoline engine. And anytime you cut wet grass or grass that’s too tall or extremely thick it’s going to affect the performance of any mower, even powerful tractors. Once you understand all the factors that affect your mower’s performance it’s easy to have the best-looking yard in the neighborhood.

Product Comparison

review comparisonKnowing how much you want to have a lawn that looks like it was tended by a professional, it’s understandable that you’d want to do some comparison shopping before you decide on a mower. You’ll find that most comparable models will all handle clippings the same as the SPCM1936 – discharged out the back, discharged into a bag or mulched and discharged back into the lawn. Most also have three to six variable speeds and range in weight from 90 to 108 pounds. Deck height adjustment varies from manufacturer, and you’ll have the choice of gas or electric for power. The chart below will give you more specific information for comparable brands and models.

  black decker spcm1936
Black & Decker
SPCM1936
worx wg789Worx
WG789
greenworks 25092 Greenworks
25092
Dimensions 36.6 x 22.9 x 20.5 inches 38.6 x 15.5 x 20.5 inches 37.6 x 18.7 x 21.5 inches
Power 36V Removable Battery
(Inc. 1 battery)
36V Removable Battery
(Inc. 1 battery)
24V Removable Battery
(Inc. 1 battery)
Charge Time 4 Hours to 60%
12 Hours to 100%
14 Hours to 100% 15 Hours to 100%
Deck Size (cutting swath) 19-inch 19-inch 18-inch
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Rear bag (mulching insert and side discharge chute sold separately) Mulch, bag, and discharge Mulch and bag
Cutting Area up to 1/3 acre up to 1/3 acre up to 1/4 acre
Runtime charge (conditions may vary) up to 45 minutes up to 45 minutes
(in Quiet mode)
up to 35 minutes
Drive System Self-Propelled Motor
(Pace setter)
Self-Propelled Motor
(Pace setter)
Self-Propelled Motor
Starter Key + Push button Key + Push button Key + Push button
Height Adjustment One touch (single lever adjusts all four wheels simultaneously) One touch (6 positions) Single lever (7 positions)
Height Settings 1-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch 1-1/2- to 3-1/2-inch 1-1/4- to 3-1/2-inch
Wheel Size 7-inch front / 9-inch rear 7-inch front / 8-inch rear 7-inch front / 8-inch rear
Weight 90 pounds 91 pounds 90 pounds
Warranty 2 years 2 years 4 years

As you can see, there are some differences from brand to brand. One key factor to consider is operating costs. With a gasoline-powered engine you’re obviously going to have to pay for gas every time you mow and there’s the additional expense of oil, filters, and tune-ups. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be storing all those messy items in your garage. With a battery-powered engine you’ll eliminate those expenses – and the mess. You may decide to purchase an extra battery so you always have one charged and that will cost a few extra dollars. In the end, though, you’ll quickly recoup that expense with the money you save on gasoline, oil and maintenance costs.

Conclusion

review conclusionDepending on where you live, mowing season may be just around the corner or you may be right in the thick of it today. Either way, when you need a new lawnmower it’s always wise to comparison shop. It’s tempting to buy a mower that has more power and all the bells and whistles because you think it will make mowing that much easier. But if your lawn doesn’t really require all that power and all those special features then it’s just overkill and you’ve spent more money than necessary. On the other hand, if you try to save money by purchasing a mower that doesn’t quite meet your needs, then you’ll likely be buying another mower in just a few months. The following pros and cons of the SPCM1936 should help you make a wise decision.

Conclusion Pros

  1. You’ll save hundreds of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs.
  2. Lighter in weight , better maneuverability, and easier to store than comparable models.
  3. Instant one-touch safety start every time you mow.
  4. Variable speed, self-propelled, bag or mulch system included
  5. Adjust cutting height with one touch while you mow

The fact that the SPCM1936 is a cordless electric mower is probably one of its most attractive features. You have the mobility of a gas mower without the mess, the expense or the air pollution. The fact that it’s also one of the lightest self-propelled mowers on the market is also a huge selling point. Self-propelled mowers can be extremely heavy, especially if they’ have a gasoline-powered engine, so a 10- or 20-pound difference is a pretty big bonus. But the ease-of-use is probably the biggest selling point. The one-touch key starter, the one touch cutting height adjustment, and the one touch switch between mulching or bagging just makes this mower to easy to use. It doesn’t seem right that it could be this easy and this much fun to mow your yard.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Recommended for 1/3 acre yards only. If your yard is larger you may have to recharge or change batteries.
  2. If not cared for properly, battery tends to lose capacity quickly.
  3. When cutting thick, wet grass motor may bog down or stall.
  4. Heavy and difficult to operate when not using self-propel feature.
  5. Battery loses charge quickly when mowing wet grass or very thick grass.

The Black & Decker SPCM1936 isn’t for everyone. It’s a battery-powered mower so it’s going to be less powerful than the gasoline mower you’re used to, and the self-propel feature means it’s going to be heavier than that gas mower, too. On the other hand, you don’t have to mess around with gas and oil, which means the only real maintenance you have to do is keep the grass from building up under the deck. It’s also much easier to start and operate than that gas-powered mower and you’ll be doing your part to protect the environment. The only real con with the SPCM1936 is the fact that you have to remember to charge the battery before you can mow and if you don’t keep up with your mowing that battery will drain quicker under the strain.

Final Word

For the price, the SPCM1936 is one of the best cordless electric lawn mowers on the market. It exceeds expectations when used under ideal conditions. However, how often do you really experience ideal conditions when mowing your grass. If you mow in the morning the grass is always wet with dew. But who wants to wait until the middle of the afternoon or evening to mow? By then it’s too hot and you probably have better things to do. And chances are you never have the time to mow your lawn as soon as it needs it. It’s raining, or it’s too hot, or you get called in to work. Nine times out of ten your grass is going to be longer than it should be by the time you get around to mowing it.

So the fact that these less-than-optimum conditions put an extra strain on the motor which in turn makes the battery drain quicker is a bit of a drawback. A 36-volt battery only holds so much energy anyway and if that energy’s going to be depleted that much faster just because your grass is a little too long or a little too wet, then it’s a little inconvenient. However, you can overcome this obstacle by purchasing an extra battery, which really isn’t an additional expense at all when you consider how much money you’ll save on gas, oil and maintenance over the lifetime of the mower.

The SPCM1936 has four key features that set it apart from other mowers. One, it has zero emissions and that’s good for the environment. Two, it’s easy to start – just turn the key and lift the bar. Three, it’s super easy to adjust the cutting height with the touch of a lever. And four, you have three options for clippings – rear discharge, discharge into a detachable bag, or super-fine mulch. These four features combined with the fact that it weighs about 20 pounds less than similar mowers, it folds up for easy storage and it has a variable speed self-propel feature, make that little battery problem seem pretty trivial. In fact, if you take care of the battery and don’t try to mow down the back 40 in one afternoon the day after a downpour you’ll be fine.

Black & Decker has been a leader in the power tool industry for more than a century. They’re well known for their innovative, high-quality, durable products and the SPCM1936 is no exception. It does everything it’s expected to do and then some. For cost-conscious and eco-friendly users with small lawns it’s the ideal, affordable solution, and it’s backed by Black & Decker’s 30-Day money back guarantee and 2 year warranty. Bottom line, the Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-inch 36-volt cordless electric self-propelled lawn mower delivers on all of its promises. If you need more than that, then you’ll want to look at a mower with a more powerful gasoline-powered engine.

Best Price

review pricesAs you can see in the table below, there’s quite a difference in prices from manufacturer to manufacturer. There’s also quite a difference in features you saw above. One thing you should consider is the price of gasoline versus the price of an additional battery. An additional battery may cost up to $200 and while it’s not necessary, it does make your life a little easier, especially if you have a larger yard or very thick grass. However, it’s that time of year again and gasoline and oil prices are on the rise. And with a gasoline engine you’re also looking at spark plugs and tune-ups which are an additional expense.

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