DeWalt Introduces Second Generation of Cordless Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
DeWalt's initial foray into the battery-powered lawn mower category has had mixed results. With the new generation hitting the market, we got our hands on the updated DeWalt 2x20V Max self-propelled lawn mower to see what improvements they've made.
- excellent runtime
- low noise
- Durable Steel Deck
- Full 3-in-1 design including side discharge
- True 21" blade width
- Rubber tires
- Compatible with the entire DeWalt 20V Max system
- Manufactured in the USA using global materials
- weird drive system
- Wide wheelbase requires more overlap than normal
- Some people may not like the angled handle
To test cutting ability, we took the mower deck down completely to see how well it handled 4 1/2 inches of grass. In DeWalt's case, it has a minimum cutting height of 1 1/2 inches, which is just fine for cutting clean strips.
That tells us it has plenty of power, but you want to avoid mowing your lawn full time this way. A lawn mower doesn't have a strong spring to consistently remove all the grass, so it can clog up quickly. This is not uncommon, even for domestic gas lawn mowers.
The DeWalt 2x20V Max Self-Propelled Lawn Mower comes with everything you need for bagging, mulching and side discharge. Many battery lawn mowers only mulch and mulch, and we appreciate the side discharge option because of how fast our grass grows here in Florida.
Overall, cut quality was on par with what we've come to expect from a battery-operated lawn mower. Bagging, mulching, and side discharge are all effective. However, some models do a better job of all three due to better clearance and higher airflow.
When it comes to cut evenness, we have no complaints. The blade we left high is due to us not giving the mower enough overlap. Normally, we would attribute this to human error, but it's actually more likely to happen with this mower than others. The wheelbase is slightly wider than the width of the blade. If you follow the tire track exactly, the blade will miss 1/2 inch to a full inch of grass.
Without a doubt, run time was one of the biggest issues with DeWalt's first generation lawn mowers. That's not the case with this update. During light cutting, the brushless motor cut for over an hour using the kit's two 10.0Ah batteries. However, we noticed a slight drop in performance at the end.
For most medium cuts, expect a run time of over 45 minutes. A single charge is enough to cover most 1/4 acre lawns and up to 1/3 acre with some grass species.
DeWalt 2x20V Max Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Design Notes
If you're used to battery-operated lawn mowers, DeWalt's drive system design can be a little confusing. As we walk through it (or behind it, lol), remember that the system is designed to mimic the way a pneumatic lawn mower works.
Instead of using a separate motor to drive the wheels, DeWalt uses a more traditional belt system and attaches it to the front wheels. A cable connected to a controller applies increasing pressure to the pulley to adjust your speed. You don't need buttons, dials or sliders, just adjust the pressure you apply to the actuator lever. It is very similar to the controls on our Husqvarna self propelled lawn mowers.
If you look under the drive control area, you'll find a small dial. This adjusts the cable so you can set the drive lever to engage the pulley at the most comfortable level. On the "slow" side, it reduces the tension on the belt and pulleys. By allowing a little belt slip, your drive will slow down. When you turn it up to High, you can put full belt tension on the pulleys and go as fast as you can.
Design has some consequences. Most notably, as blade speed increases on harder grass, so does drive speed. When you hit thicker grass, be prepared to loosen the drive lever a little so you can slow down.
Using front-wheel drive isn't a bad idea per se. However, the weight is just enough to keep the rubber tires (which we love!) from getting their full traction while you're mowing. You need to provide a little upward force to push the front down for full traction.
It sounds like a sore neck, but it's really not that serious. When mowing, I walk at a comfortable pace and don't have to do anything different than usual. Although the wheels spun a bit, I didn't feel like I was working hard. If anything, giving the mower an upward force makes the wheels pull the mower faster than I'd like.
With their updated lawn mower, DeWalt changed the handle design so it's narrower at the top than before. It essentially forces your hand to be at an angle, rather than giving you an angled part and a flat part. Our team was divided on its comfort level. If you find yourself preferring to mow with your hands on the horizontal portion of the bar, you may find the angled handle uncomfortable or you'll need to get used to it.
Steel decks are very durable and our team generally prefers them. DeWalt uses a 21 1/2" steel deck to accommodate its true 21" blades.
deck height adjustment
This DeWalt mower uses two points of height adjustment—one in the front and one in the rear. It's not as convenient as a single-point adjustment, but has an added bonus. If you set the front height a notch higher than the rear, you can actually improve bagging efficiency.
- vertical storage
DeWalt 2x20V Max Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Prices
The second-generation DeWalt 2x20V Self-Propelled Lawn Mower is currently on sale at The Home Depot for $479.00. This is the complete kit including two 10.0Ah batteries and a charger. Considering the running cost of a two-pack of 10.0Ah batteries is $349, you'll be buying a lawn mower and a charger for $130. That's not bad at all.
Considering the whole picture of battery lawn mowers, the total price is very attractive.
the bottom line
The DCMWSP244 is a vast improvement over DeWalt's first generation of self-propelled mowers. There are still some areas to consider for improvement, and there may be some design elements you need to get used to. However, its $479 price tag makes it a real consideration for lawns up to 1/3 of an acre, especially if you've invested in other DeWalt 20V Max and FlexVolt power tools and lawn care equipment.
For more information on the DeWalt 2x20V lawn mower click here
DeWalt 2x20V Cordless Lawn Mower Specifications
- Model #: DeWalt DCMWSP244
- Power: DeWalt 20V Max or FlexVolt batteries (2 required)
- Deck: 21 1/2" steel deck
- Cutting Height: 1 1/2" to 4 1/2" (Grade 6)
- Estimated runtime: 60 minutes on two 10.0Ah batteries
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $479 kit with two 10.0Ah batteries