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BLACK+DECKER CM2043 Review

An economy machine that's best suited to low-demand lawns
BLACK+DECKER CM2043
Credit: Amazon.com
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $349 List
Pros:  Maneuverable, broad cutting range, well designed bail
Cons:  Short runtime, limited cutting power, not self-propelled
Manufacturer:   Black+Decker
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jan 30, 2020
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Mowing - 35% 5
  • Battery - 25% 4
  • Handling - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The BLACK+DECKER CM2043 offers consumers maneuverability, a broad range of cutting heights, and a competitive price point. However, it's lack of self-propulsion, cutting power, and battery life limit its usefulness to small or otherwise difficult to negotiate lawns. Despite these restrictions, when used appropriately, this mower will leave most users satisfied.

Compare to Similar Products

 
BLACK+DECKER CM2043
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award  
Price $349 List$549 List$400 List$90 List$80 List
$81 at Amazon
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Pros Maneuverable, broad cutting range, well designed bailExtensive runtime, rapid recharge, massive cutting deck widthGreat handling, good at edging, broad cutting deckInexpensive, simple, minimal maintenanceMinimal storage footprint, maneuverable
Cons Short runtime, limited cutting power, not self-propelledFairly expensive, more mower than some may needLimited runtime, prolonged rechargingLimited cutting heights, manual powered, relatively loudLoud, hard to adjust cutting height, no bagging option
Bottom Line A low-cost mower suited for smaller lawnsThis do-it-all mower eats up turf like Popeye eats spinachDespite the limited battery life, this is a high performance mower at a low sticker priceThis human-powered machine is always ready to mow so long as the user is willing to pushAn easy to maneuver mower that performs best on small, flat turfs
Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER CM2043 EGO LM2102SP Ryobi RY40190-Y Greenworks 25052 American Lawn...
Mowing (35%)
5
9
8
4
2
Battery (25%)
4
8
6
10
10
Handling (25%)
7
7
7
7
6
Ease Of Use (15%)
5
8
7
9
9
Specs BLACK+DECKER CM2043 EGO LM2102SP Ryobi RY40190-Y Greenworks 25052 American Lawn...
Self-Propelled no yes yes no no
Estimated Cutting Area 6,457 ft² 14,275 ft² 7,031 ft² N/A N/A
Measured Recharge Time 300 mins 57 mins 250 mins N/A N/A
Cutting Deck Width 15 5/16" 18 1/8" 17" 16" 14"
Measured Cutting Gap 1 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" N/A N/A
Measured Noise 74.5 dBa 71 dBa 71 dBa 86 dBa 86 dBa
Power (1 - 10) 3 7 7 Manual powered Manual powered
Folding/Unfolding Ease (1 - 10) 5 9 7 10 10

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our testing revealed that the BLACK+DECKER CM2043 lacks the power to efficiently mulch the turf it cuts and that tall grass will stop this machine in its tracks. This meager mower also lacks sufficient battery life to run for more than 20 minutes. That said, this machine is maneuverable, and inexpensive, making it a good option for those with low demand lawns.

The BLACK+DECKER struggles in tall grass and is best kept on...
The BLACK+DECKER struggles in tall grass and is best kept on well-maintained lawns
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison



Likes


This machine has a broad cutting range that covers 1 3/8" - 3 3/4" over seven settings. The BLACK+DECKER is also maneuverable. This benefit is in large part due to its lack of self-propulsion, which allows the wheels to roll freely around tight corners. It also has a well-designed bail that is easy and comfortable to grip. Finally, this mower is inexpensive.


Dislikes


First off, the BLACK+DECKER has a very short runtime, and as a consequence, it is only capable of mowing an estimated 6,456 square feet of turf. When the batteries run out of charge, it takes an epic 5 hours to recharge them. As mentioned previously, this model also lacks self-propulsion as well.


Due to its general lack of power, the BLACK+DECKER struggles a good deal in cutting all but the well-maintained lawns. Mulching will cause the motor to labor, and cutting tall grass will stop it dead in its tracks. Also, at 1 1/2", this model has a considerable cutting gap. The cutting gap is the space between the end of the blade and the outside of the cutting deck and is the main contributor to leaving uncut turf when cutting along a wall or other barrier.

The BLACK+DECKER in its element -- flat ground with well-maintained...
The BLACK+DECKER in its element -- flat ground with well-maintained turf
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


Essentially, value is an assessment of a product's performance to cost ratio. We know this product is inexpensive, so its value largely depends on the intended use. If the BLACK+DECKER is used on small, well-maintained turf, it offers a good value because it will perform to expectations. On the other hand, if the mower is bought with unrealistic expectations, its value will decrease proportionally to its misemployment.

The BLACK+DECKER does not do well mulching but prefers to bag the...
The BLACK+DECKER does not do well mulching but prefers to bag the clippings
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The BLACK+DECKER CM2043 is an economy lawnmower that has notable shortcomings. However, the machine is maneuverable, it has decent cutting deck dimensions and sufficient cutting power. While these features and the mower's low cost warrant acknowledgement, the BLACK+DECKER will disappoint those who lack realistic expectations of what this machine is capable of delivering. That said, if the task you have in mind is within this performance envelope, then this mower will be a good investment.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer