The Skil 40V Lawn Mower Has Everything You Need For Lawn Maintenance
Skil's 40V series of OPE tools has been in use so far. Admittedly, the line is clearly geared toward homeowners rather than the OPE Pro, but we think both the blower and hedge trimmer offer a relatively high volume of bangs at a very reasonable price. Now we've got our hands on the crown jewel of the Skil 40V OPE range, the PWRCore 40 Self-Propelled Lawn Mower. Frankly, our expectations were high at this point.
- Sturdy construction despite light weight
- Stable operation under heavy load
- hard to get stuck in
- PWRJump Charger Charges 5.0Ah Batteries to 30% in 30 Minutes
- silent operation
- Easy to adjust and fold handle for easy storage
- No side discharge
- we did notice some grass trailing
- would have liked it to have covered blades
- Prices on par with high-end homeowner models
While the Skil 40V self-propelled mower retails for a bit more than we expected, especially given the budget pricing of the rest of the 40V range, our positive experience with this mower makes it easy to ask Homeowners looking for a power-free lawn mower recommend a no-hassle approach to lawn maintenance.
Skil 40V Mower Test
As with all other battery powered lawn mowers on the market, starting is a breeze. With the companion 5.0Ah battery in place, getting up and running is as simple as pressing a button, pulling the handle back, and enabling the unconventional-looking self-propelled function.
Speaking of unorthodox handle designs, it turns out we love this one. We found it manageable when cornering (thanks in no small part to its 65-pound weight), and easy to stay engaged when we adjusted our walking pace using the dial. And, at its top speed, our resident tall guy found it kept up with his normal walking pace.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we would like to say that we keep our lawns at a consistent height suitable for ideal maintenance cutting tests. However, we live in Florida and things can get out of hand very quickly. Not to mention our lawn is a rich cornucopia of St. Augustine, Bahia, Bermuda and who knows what else.
Due to the condition of our lawns, we rarely have easy access to a lawn mower. Also, we didn't really relax on the Skil. Even so, it handled our overgrown mess quite well. At a 3" cut height, we found it difficult to stall the motor. We could hear the engine increasing its power (although we noticed that the increase seemed much less intense than other battery-operated models we've tested), but it quietly took care of any issues we threw at it.
What's more, under this heavy load, the Skil 40V mower ran for 31 minutes and 8 seconds. Skil claims the mower and battery combo typically lasts 40 to 68 minutes on a charge under normal conditions. We don't think that seems like an overly ambitious claim for true maintenance cuts in Florida.
The Skil self propelled lawnmower mows very well, although it has the challenge of having to cut down about 4 or 5 days of overgrowth. Cuts remained fairly consistent, which really is a testament to the brushless motor's ability to maintain blade speed. When the grass grows taller, the blade doesn't slow down and starts "knocking down" the grass.
We did notice some longer grass clippings trailing along the wheel path, both when we were bagging grass clippings and when we were mulching. This has a lot to do with the aforementioned overgrowth. Keeping up with regular maintenance mowing will eliminate the mess left behind in large quantities.
Some residual clippings could also be attributed to the standard blades that came with this mower. As those who are too lazy to bag our clippings, we prefer the covered blades. This circulates the clippings inside the deck to cut into finer pieces.
Of course, recycling grass clippings through decks can also be achieved by setting the mower to a side discharge and mowing over them. However, this Skil 40V mower does not have that option.
At one point, the one-point height adjustment felt a bit flimsy. We're starting to see this change a lot, and Skil's 40V lawn mower is another example of a robust single point design.
You can adjust the cutting height to any of seven positions between 1-1/2 and 4 inches. Adjustments at the rear wheel are simple and can be done with one hand.
Likewise, it's easy to adjust the handle height. You can easily snap the handle into place, raise or lower using the tab/stop system. You can also adjust the handle length by pulling the tab under the telescoping handle and sliding it to your desired length.
Storage is a breeze. Slide the handle all the way in and you can fold it over the mower for upright storage.
Skil sells the PWRCore 40 self-propelled lawn mower as a kit that includes a 40V battery and an Auto PWRJump 150W charger. It retails for $399, making it the most affordable brushless self-propelled model we recommend.
Skil does include a 5-year warranty on the mower, and a 2-year warranty on the battery and charger.
The Skil PWRCore 40 mower has the smooth lines of a race car. Clever design coupled with solid build quality and enough power to get through a few extra days of overgrowth without adversely affecting run time.
Although the Skil 40V self-propelled mower retails for a bit more than we expected, especially given the budget pricing of the rest of the 40V line of mowers, our positive experience with this mower makes it easy to ask Homeowners looking for a lawn mower recommend an easy way to maintain their lawn. Its toughest competition comes from the EGO, which offers better performance and runtimes for a modest price increase.
Skil PWRCore40 Mower Specifications
- Model: SKIL SM4910-10
- Motor: Brushless
- Voltage: 40V (Max)
- Bag Capacity: 1/7 Bushel
- Cutting height settings: 7, ranging from 1.5 to 4 inches
- Deck Size: 20"
- Handle Telescope Adjustment: Yes
- Cover Plug: Yes
- Dimensions (H x L x W): 15-3/8 x 36-5/8 x 20-7/8 inches
- Warranty: 5-year tool warranty; 2-year battery and charger warranty
- Kit Price: $479