Black & Decker MM2000 13-Amp Corded Mower, 20", reviews, comments

Black & Decker MM2000 13-Amp Corded Mower, 20

The Black & Decker MM2000 The Black & Decker 20 in. Electric Walk-Behind Push Mower provides clean, reliable electric power and instant starting every time. It sports a powerful 13-Amp motor for bagging, mulching and side discharging. The EdgeMax deck design allows cutting up to the edge of fencing and flower beds, providing a clean and manicured lawn fast. This mower features a 20-inch wide cutting patch, with a 7-setting height adjustment that allows choosing the height of cut between 1-1/2 Inch to 4 Inch. It offers a convenient carrying handles for easy transport and storage. The 13 gallon all nylon grass collection bag allows for checking fill levels. This mower is backed by Black & Decker's 2 year limited warranty. What's included: (1) Mower, (1) grass bag and (1) manual.


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Warning: Long, opinionated, sanctimonious, but 100% truthful review to follow, by a reluctant, foot-dragging self-styled expert in mowing with an electric mower. If you are easily POed, you have been warned.

5 stars is based, not on this mower being the ultimate of all products I have ever used, but on perceived future worthiness and proper present operation. (As of July 17, 2015 I have been using this for 3 months.) I explain that because I realized people have radically different ideas about ratings after I saw a review of some cheap, perfectly functioning item which said 5 stars could only apply to sublime items, should you ever encounter one in your lifetime, which is how he rated novels less worthy than William Shakespeare, and that was how he was going to rate products. IMO, good sense tells us that mundane, engineered products all have inherent inadequacies in our losing struggle with the real world, so rating products as if they were art is foolishness. I will mention some faults with this product, but as a total evaluation, they should be taken as incidental. In other words, this mower cuts grass blades as well as any rotating mower can. It has the power, in effect, of gas powered mowers that might cost a few hundred dollars more, and is fabulously more convenient to use.

You can stop here if all you want is an opinion without details.

I weighed the mower without the bag (which I don't use because bagging is pointless) and it was 43 pounds. The Amazon specs say 53, which may be because of the bag.

The height adjustment lever, which is convenient by being on top, and easy to move by having a long handle for good leverage, therefore also gets easily knocked out of its locked #7 position when it is hardly brushed against by low branches of my many shrubs, dropping to #4 position, scalping the lawn. For the first few cuttings this happened a lot, but now that I have learned to watch it doesn't.

The top hand-operated skewers, something like quick releases on bicycles, that let the handle be folded quickly for storage, could not be made tight even with the adjustment knob all the way in. Some washers I added were enough. Since other reviews do not mention this, either something was left out in my case, or B&D has changed something. The levers on the quick-releases sometimes hook onto branches.

In fact all kinds of things on the MM2000 get hooked, whereas the older models had smooth housings.

I could make false, bragging claims about my wisdom when I decided on an electric mower around the year 1970. Like: It was better for the environment! (which it is.) Or: it is more economical to operate! (which it is.) Or: it is much lighter! (which it is.) Actually, I had a job in which my primary work during the growing season of Michigan was pushing a very nice and expensive gas lawn mower all day to get what the big tractor mowers couldn't get at, or near, or under. At home, I had a classy push reel-mower, which was murder in the blasted humidity and heat of summer, but I declined to replace it with a gas mower, because it was too much for me to endure the sound of a gas-mower for one more second than I had to. While again wistfully contemplating the gas mowers at S--rs, I noticed an obscured, wimpy little thing off to the side: an electric mower, audaciously claimed to be quiet-er. Whether you can claim something loud is quiet-er is a question for philosophers, but it did not sound at all like a gas mower. And it cut as well as the gas mowers, but much easier. It may not have survived the 4 foot weed stalks my on-the-job mower could manage, after I acquired the technique, but that was not even slightly relevant.

That light, little, aluminum-housed, mower with a novel pair of side-by-side 8 inch blades, lasted, with some repairs, for 27 years, I suppose because my lawn was so small, and electric motors do not require elaborate engineering to be durable. (The repairs were: a switch, one set of brushes, and the two belts.) The old thing which I thought would last forever gave out in 2 years when I moved to where the lawn took 3 and 1/2 hours to cut. 27 years without smelling or keeping gas, without once having trouble starting, without any new spark plugs or tuneups, with less than half the effort of pushing and maneuvering a gas version, without hearing the nasty popping noise. That mower was followed by a B&D MM850, an ancestor of this current (but totally re-engineered) model, which could only handle a mere 17 year pounding, again with some repairs. (The replacements were a set of brushes, one new blade, a top bearing, and the clips that hold the wheels on. I replaced the rusted out, flimsy clips with endcaps.)

I will mention that I have a 4 year technical degree in electronics, which does not qualify me to design electric motors, but it is some credentials, in case somebody wonders. The electric motor of this model supposedly is rated at 13 amps. It does not use 13 amps. A rating means different things when applied to different equipment. So, for instance, you have circuit breakers in your breaker box rated at 15 amps. That means you could use 15 amps, not that you are using 15. Electric mowers by their nature pull more amps if you load them down. 13 amps in the case of this mower's motor probably means that past 13 amps the motor will progressively get hot enough to burn the insulation on the windings. (And the rating is probably done in free air, not inside a stifling enclosure such as the mowers housing.) That means you risk failure if you operate your mower at 13 amps for prolonged periods.

I rigged something to measure the amps while cutting grass 3 inches taller than the mower's maximum height adjustment, at which the mower was pulling 3.7 amps, not 13. At as fast as I could walk, and you could then hear the motor bog some, it was 4.2 amps. So when the manual advises a 14 or even 12 gauge cord, this is because of lawyers, not either safety or the requirements of the mower under normal operation. Naturally, I did not think of this when I bought my cords. I have a 100 foot, 14 gauge, 2 wire cord, to which I add a 50 foot, 12 gauge, monster 3-wire cord to get to the furthest part of the lawn. It is of no use to run a 3 wire cord to a device that has two prongs, as this mower, and practically all electrical lawn equipment does. So why are two wire cords very hard to find?

This mower, as well as its ancestors like my MM850, has a DC motor with a bridge rectifier to convert the house AC to pulsating DC. AC motors are everywhere and not expensive, and refrigerators and furnace blowers use them. It makes sense to use AC motors with AC, does it not? And AC motors don't necessarily have brushes, which wear out and cause problems, nor bridge rectifiers, which drop the voltage a couple volts and waste a bit of power. The rectifier drops voltage (2 volts), in the same range as 150 foot cords some people seem worried about. And there ARE mowers that use AC motors. For what reason is B & D going with DC? It is my understanding that DC motors do not overheat when they are slowed down significantly, or when operated at lower voltages, as some AC motors do. That's good. (DC motors turn slower, and use less power, at lower voltage.)

But brushes do cause problems. Probably most people who think their lawn mower "has conked out" (and it isn't just the switch) have worn out the brushes. (Brushes are what they call the replaceable contacts that supply the rotating motor with electricity.) It is not a difficult replacement if you are handy with a screwdriver. But I have also had my old mower suddenly refuse to run, or run very slowly. After getting off the cover, blowing out the astounding amount of very fine crud inside, and working the brush springs, to get out particles blocking the brushes from good contact, the mower is revived. Lifting and banging the mower down on the sidewalk a few times often works, but don't get carried away. Although the manual instructs you not to get inside (as demanded by lawyers), that means debris will accumulate inside until it ultimately strangles the motor to death. People accustomed to replacing their cheap-crap gas mowers frequently may not realize they can get another long period of good operation out of their electric mower by getting inside.

The motor cannot be totally sealed, because air must circulate to cool the motor. (There indeed is a fan inside the blade housing which draws air through a couple of small holes (prone to clogging), which draws cooling air into miscellaneous openings on top). But dust and mostly tiny particles of grass which the mower kicks up gets drawn inside, and can get in the motor and lodge in the brushes. The first time I opened up the forbidden motor compartment of the MM850, after a couple years, I was baffled why they would line the inside with a greenish foam rubber mat molded exactly to the interior of the cover. They didn't!

The new MM2000 makes it just as difficult to get inside, by having screws set in deep holes that fill up with fine grass clippings you have to blow out.

The reason electric motors last a long time, compared to gas motors, is that the only wearing parts are the two bearings that hold opposite ends of the shaft that turns, and those don't cost much. Gas mowers have that and a lot more, and the parts take a tremendous pounding from the brief but strong explosions of the gas. Yes they can make cheap gas engines, but they can't make gas engines that last cheap.

Battery mowers are a mistake. You may feel a cord is too much hassle, but lugging and charging expensive batteries, which are only able to last a couple of years, because the high energy cycling wears them fast, is a hassle.

Isn't electricity expensive compared to gas? Yes, but the conversion to useful work is much better for an electric motor than a gas engine. 90% efficient is not a big deal for an electric motor. 30% efficient in practice would be a miracle for a gas engine. IAC, here is the calculated cost for me. Around here, the total maximum charge for 1000 watts for 1 hour is $0.17. While in operation, the mower uses under 500 watts. If it took less than an hour to cut the lawn, it would cost under $0.09 for the electricity. For 3 1/2 hours, it would be under 30 cents. (0.17 x .5 x 3.5)

At $200 for the mower, assuming it lasts 15 years, that comes to $13.33 per year. In my case, that comes out to 44 cents per cutting. So, not counting my labor, total out-of-pocket cost is 74 cents per cutting.

I mentioned that bagging clippings is pointless. Here is how I came to think that: In the later 70's the ecology movement erupted. One idea was that to reduce creating ever-more eco-destructive landfills, we should not put biodegradable material in them. Manufacturers and eco-fanatics then proclaimed that specially designed mulching mowers, which chopped the cuttings short enough to fall unobtrusively between the grass blades (provided the lawn was left long enough to hide them) were eco-correct. Frankly, I 'd prefer to avoid bagging the clippings, not because of eco concerns, but that bagging is three times the work of not bagging. So I, after seeing articles claiming that they had found some ordinary mowers that did just as well as the mulchers, tried my suddenly out-dated mower (set to maximum height) and found it worked too. I monitored for the potential lawn disease that might result, which never happened. On the contrary, the lawn stayed greener between fertilizer applications, and after a few years of this, I seldom put fertilizer on the lawn. (True, the grass is not that deep blue-green you get after fertilizer anymore, except in spring, but it is a pretty green.) To be clear, if you cut more than an inch off the grass blades, or have the height lower than 3 1/2 inches, you risk seeing grass clippings laying on the lawn. I have not bagged the clippings since around 1975.

The mower is working fine as of July 7, 2016.

(To be continued when I have time. )

Sitting here cooling off after finishing my first use of this lawnmower. It arrived yesterday afternoon so I saved it for today. Not being sure how bright my decision was to buy this, I wanted to be sure to not damage packing in case it had to be returned. It was easy to lift out of the box using the rear lift handle. It took 10 minutes to assemble the handle being super cautious to read the instructions. The grass was a little wet so for its first use I set it to a #4 height, but needed to set it down to a #3. So easy! It didn't take long to get the hang of cord management and it only took me a few minutes longer to get done than with my wider gas mower. BTW, my hedge trimmer, rototiller, pole saw, and edger are all corded electric so the mower wasn't that adventurous for me. It did a nice job, very light and easy to push, with a 100 foot 12 gauge cord. There is a small area that required a short extension, to reach but I had a 25 foot in the garage. Very satisfied on my first usage.

Purchased to replace a model MM875, this mower is meeting my expectations. Plenty of power, and easy to maneuver, and very light. So light, in fact, that it's difficult to pull backwards without "floating" up on the rear guard flap and cutting unevenly. The latches that hold the folding-points on the handles seem fragile, but have worked fine through three mows in heavy grass. The little plastic restraints, that should keep the cords running up the handles out of the way, are already broken/breaking (but these are easily fixed with a couple of cable ties).

As claimed, it cuts VERY close to the edges of the deck, doing a nice job against the sides of landscaping timbers.

This thing is terrific.

I've been using the mower for nearly 3 months now and it's a huge improvement over my gas mower. The only thing that takes a bit of getting used to is having a cord dragging around behind you. By planning out your mowing pattern to move away from your power source, rather than in a traditional mowing pattern, you save yourself a lot of frustration and avoid mowing over your cord.

The weight of this mower and its ability to be stored vertically have saved me hassle and have given me space back in my garage. I do not use the bag for the mower, just letting the clippings fall back into the yard has worked perfectly for me.

I'm very happy with this mower.

I have watched this mower on Amazon for over a year. Finally, they dropped the price just a bit, so I jumped on it. I have had a robotic mower for over 12 years, but they are a rich man's toy. You have to buy batteries about every other year. So, I had to go back to a corded electric mower. This one is adequate. I like it but don't love it - yet. I have only mowed with it once when a freak accident made me lose one of the tightening levers on the handle. It has been like pulling teeth to get a replacement part for it - and it is not an old model! That really isn't Amazon's fault, but it is why I am making this a four star review. If and when I get the parts I need, I think I will be happy with it. It's no robot, but I just can't afford that any more.

The Black & Decker MM2000 Type 2 is a great machine, with modifications. This is my 3rd B&D corded electric mower since 1982. This mower is the Type 2 which has the belt drive reduction and Not the standard direct drive motor. This mower has more initial torque than my 18 season MM600 mower and the easy switching between cutting discharge methods is a time saver. The larger diameter wheels make it push much easier. The mower has some small issues that required modifications.

1. The rock shield jams on a backward pull, so it had to go.

2. The side discharge attachment has a closed end that blocks grass, so I cut the end open.

3. The handle hits me above the waist, so I cut the lower handle hoop shorter and drilled new holes and reassembled. It hits below my waist so I don't cut the grass like Frankenstein's Monster.

4. The bail wire end hooks in loose and can jam and snap off, so I put it in its correct position and wrapped it with a band of electric tape. It doesn't move now and shouldn't fail.

5. The push button to engage the bail had to go, so I modified the Torsion Spring so I just pull the bail and it's running.

I am still thinking about that front carry handle that sticks out in the way. Make no mistake, this is a GREAT mower, but I know what I need to cut my grass. People seem to be calling this a Push Button Start, it IS a Push Button Safety Interlock. Push button and pull bail back to start.

WARNING: The modifications require a skill level and make the mower Less Safe to operate.

I am looking forward to spring for season 19 on the MM600 and full season 2 on the MM2000. Thanks B&D for the quality mowers, I love them. Thanks.

I've owned this for several months now. No major complaints. Not a robust build, but it also didn't cost that much. I have a small yard, in a tropical environment, so the grass grows FAST. This does a great job. I use it in mulching configuration and it helps keep the grass green. I'm sure I would love a little more power and cordless...but for the price I'm impressed and satisfied with this purchase. Oh...it folds down pretty compact and doesn't take up much room in my garage. It is also relatively light so picking up by the handles on top isn't too bad either.

I went with a corded mower because I did not want to deal with degrading batteries. This lawnmower works just as well as my neighbors gas powered. It is not exactly quiet but definitely not as loud as a gas powered unit. It comes with a hook so that the power cord will not disconnect as easily when using but this is the most annoying drawback of any corded mower. Once you get used to how to maneuver the mower it gets easier to use. This unit is light and folds away nicely for storage. It is mostly made of plastic. Besides the blade, axles and handle, I do not think there is another ounce of metal in this unit. I am giving it four stars because the bag unit really does not work well. It does not capture much grass and falls off when you go backwards. Other than that, it is a good mower.

I have used the B&D electric mower for many years and this is at least my third. if not my fourth, unit. Unfortunately, it was put into full time service sooner than anticipated when I rolled over a rock about the size of a baseball and totaled its 4 year old predecessor. There are a number of design improvements like quick release handle folds, but the most significant are in weight and performance. The newest edition is noticeably lighter, easier to load and unload into a vehicle and easier to push over a 3/4 acre plot. Performance is incomparable. In addition to providing a level cut it is a true mulching machine and effectively sucks cuttings and leaves into the bag. Since I compost yard waste I appreciate the fact that the mower not only effectively cuts the grass/weeds into very small bits, it also utilizes the entire bag for those cuttings. Earlier editions claimed to be a mulching mower but that proved to be in name only and rarely was the entire bag filled, The only negative that I have found concerns the height adjustment for the handle; it requires a careful alignment of two sprocket-like devices on either side of the handle where it connects to the body of the unit. I am so satisfied with this machine that I have given serious consideration to purchasing a second for use at another location.

Pros:I have a small backyard that's 14' X 18'. The weed grew up 2'-4' in height. This lawn mower demolished those weeds without making a mistake. It's perfect for a small backyard renovation project. The mulching was superb. It functioned very well.

Cons: The cons happened due to my limited experience in lawn care. Make sure you have long cable s that can handle 13 Amp equipment. Be careful using the orange locking clamps for handle bars - if they're tighten too much, they break off. Get used to starting it up: squeeze the throttle/trigger bar first and while it's engaged push the red start button. Once the squeeze bar is released, the electric motor deactivates.

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