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BLACK+DECKER CM2043 Review

An economy machine that's suited to low demand lawns
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $349 List | Check Price at Amazon
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
#7 of 9
  • 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

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 well-maintained lawns
The BLACK+DECKER struggles in tall grass and is best kept on well-maintained lawns

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 turf
The BLACK+DECKER in its element -- flat ground with well-maintained turf

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 clippings
The BLACK+DECKER does not do well mulching but prefers to bag the clippings

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 a Best Buy Award, 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