Note: This lawnmower was kindly gifted to me by Stihl without the expectation of a review. I am reviewing it in response to many many questions about whether I’d recommend it.
A history of my mowing
I’m going to say it straight off….
Mowing without dealing with an electrical cable is a truly excellent feeling.
I used to mow with the cable draped over my shoulder (see above). I used to have to stop and unplug the cable in order to get to certain places, and I was forever stopping to move the cable which invariably gets in the way. ONE particular person (NOT ME!) actually mowed over the cable whilst on the job. This happened a couple of times and, as you can imagine, it was NOT a popular move. The person in question then ‘fixed’ the cable by attaching it with a contraption I don’t know the name of. After that, whenever I wanted to mow, the wires within this ‘fixing’ contraption would come apart (because, when you mow, you move the cable about quite a bit) and I’d have to ‘fix’ it again, numerous times. A PESTILENCE on my husband! (oh dear, did I drop the offender’s identity?) Sorry.
Unpacking and battery
So as you can imagine, I was very ready for another solution when Stihl contacted me to ask whether I wanted to try their cordless model and I jumped at the chance. It arrived in a gigantic box and, delightfully, it was ready to use as soon as it was unpacked. This was because this mower shares a battery with various other tools in Stihl’s range, and I had one, fully charged and ready to go.
One of the lovely things about this mower is that it FOLDS. Now I’m not usually a folder of things. Like, if I had one of those pull-out beds it’s a safe bet that it would remain forever down, off the wall, ready to receive me in all my exhaustion. But a mower is a different thing altogether…you really REALLY don’t want it taking up too much space when you’re not actually using it. All you have to do with this one is remove the clippings bucket thing, press a button on the handle and fold it down over the machine. This means you can store it in a really tight space, which I love.
Using the mower
You have to charge the battery first, which takes an hour or so. The battery clicks reassuringly into its special dock and all you have to do is set the height for cutting. You do this manually by moving the lever on the left hand side. Then you do that thing of pushing the button and squishing the hand lever at the same time and you’re off. This mower is really light and, crucially, relatively quiet. But the obvious plus is that you don’t have to bother with avoiding and moving awkward cables. If you mow regularly then you don’t need the collecting bucket thing - just let the clippings fall on the lawn and fertilise it. But if you don’t get around to mowing a lot and have too many clippings, then the bucket is easily attached, removed and emptied. Mowing my entire lawn, which is full of twists and turns and a very irregular shape, takes around 15 minutes (if I’m being anal about getting every blade of grass). I don’t like stripy lawns or bowling green perfection, so I’m not the person to ask about how good it is at producing either of those things, but if you want to mow the lawn quickly, quietly and easily, then this machine is a great option.
I got this machine late last year, just after I cut down my ‘mini meadow’. It made light work of dealing with the uneven surface and long growth from that meadow, once I’d given it all a rough chop with a scythe. So I’ve been using it since November and it’s behaving itself very nicely thank you. I love it and would go as far as saying that it has changed my experience of mowing, which once was a total chore and now is something I look forward to.