We recently moved from our nice little city house to a bit larger living space out in the ‘burbs. The extra square footage had become a bit of a necessity, as it has for many, due to our home now doubling as living and working space for two adults full time (and for others as schools, movie theaters, bars, etc., etc.). While our ancient Scott’s Push Reel style mower served us well for over a decade at the last residence, let’s just say it just wasn’t cutting it at the new house. We do have a larger lot, though not all of it is mowed (the steep hill in the back is a story for another post – we’ll be needing a Brush Cutter, stat!). In any event, the grass is growing quickly here in the mid-west as Spring sets in, and keeping it tamed with the push reel style mower was a bit more of a workout than we were looking for. Enter the good folks in blue, who sent along their newest Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower for our evaluation.
An efficient brushless motor is used to spin the blades on the Kobalt 24V cordless mower. The mower actually uses both batteries simultaneously for a combined 48 Volts of power, to keep that motor spinning strongly.
Upon unboxing it’s a very simple task to get everything up and running. My suggestion is to take out the dual 5.0 Amp Hour batteries, throw them on the included double charger (very handy!), grab the instruction manual and your favorite beverage and sit back for a little light reading. It should probably take about as long to read the WARNINGS! in the manual as it will to charge up your batteries (an hour or so…man those lawyers sure get their money’s worth) and then you’re pretty much ready to go. While you’re reading through the manual, here’s a fun list of stats on the new Kobalt:
• Brushless motor provides maximum performance power (2x24V = 48 Total Volts)
• 2×24-Volt = 48 total volts platform is compatible with all current Kobalt 24-Volt Max Tools and Outdoor Power Equipment
• 20-In steel deck offers long lasting durability
• 3-In-1 mulching/bagging/side discharge offers versatility for any mowing style
• Self propelled rear wheel drive, with variable speed control, for maximum control and handling
• One-handed telescopic folding handle allows for convenient vertical storage
• Single-lever, 6-position deck height adjustment to quickly adjust for your preferred grass height
• Push button start for easy operation
• Includes 2 (5.0Ah) batteries and dual port charger
Some Assembly Required – But Not Much
The box arrived in our driveway a couple of weeks ago – one day after the last cut, of course, so we’ve had to allow a little time for watching the grass grow before we could really put it through its paces, and see if it makes the cut. It’s fairly large and a bit unwieldy, so if you’re not having it delivered, bring a friend when you’re picking it up at your friendly neighborhood Lowe’s. The box isn’t overly heavy, but it’s a bit large to comfortably carry yourself.
Actual setup of the Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower is simple. As mentioned, get your batteries charging right away. Like most devices these days, they’ll arrive with only a partial charge. Unlike the 40 Volt Kobalt line of tools, which are also great options in the yard care department, these batteries will work with your standard suite of Kobalt 24 Volt tools.
If you’re already on that platform and in the market for a Battery Powered mower, then this one is really a no-brainer since a pair of batteries alone, with no charger, will run you almost half the cost of the Mower package with the batteries and charger included.
While the batteries satisfy their lust for power, remove the bag and bag frame, then carefully cut open your box and wheel the mower out. It takes a few minutes to clip the bag on to its frame, but that’s about all of the assembly required to get up and running. After that it’s a quick task to slide the release bars and unfold the handle frame, then unclip and extend the handle to its full length.
Note: the manual does state that the mower will not operate unless fully extended. You do have a couple of detents from which to select on the handle bar height, so it should allow folks of various heights to comfortably operate the mower while keeping the handle fully extended.
At this point, remove the mulching insert and slot your bag in to its proper place on the back of the mower. Alternatively, you can attach the included side chute if you don’t feel like dealing with bags full of cut grass at the end of the day.
Note: you should be doing all this without the batteries inserted – no one wants to lose a hand. Although I guess it’s a good excuse not to get the lawn mowed, it’s not one we here at Home Fixated recommend!
Firing Up The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower
Once you’re all set for bagging or mulching mode, grab your freshly juiced up batteries out of the charger, flip open the battery cover from the front and insert the batteries. The handle bars do include a quick pictogram of what to do next, but this is the only part where I actually needed to consult the manual to figure it out…er, I mean I read every word of it diligently and without fail prior to operation.
Depress the Start Button (and keep depressing it – don’t just push it and let go), then pull down the upper bar on the handle. This will start the blade turning and off you go. The bottom bar can be pulled up to activate the self-propelled function, and a small lever on the left can be pushed forward and back to adjust the speed of the self propulsion unit – much like I’m sure it works on the Star Ship Enterprise, or a boat throttle, but I don’t have a boat or starship so this will have to do for now.
The self-propelled function will actually work regardless of the blades spinning, so you can safely drive around your self-propelled mower, for example from the garage or shed to the actual grass, without spinning the blades. This eliminates worrying about shooting that little screw that you never did find after the last job across the yard, or into your car, or window, or neighbor who was not standing the minimum 100’ distance away.
Once you’re ready to get going, check the height of your cut. It’s an easy adjustment, with a lever at the wheel on one side only that sets the deck height for the whole machine – pretty standard stuff for most modern mowers. The Kobalt’s is easy to operate and convenient.
Next step, make sure all humans, pets, insects and all other living things are at least 100’ from the area of operations. If they are not, call it a day, grab your favorite beverage and wait for another day when no living organisms exist within or near your work space. Assuming you have achieved the proper safe distance, fire up your mower using the steps listed above and off you go!
Ready, Set, Mow!
It should be noted that the mower itself is very light and easy to handle. It’s a composite of metals and plastics, and the lack of a gasoline engine and fuel tank work to shave quite a few pounds off its comparably sized gas-guzzling mower brethren. It would not be a bad mower to use even without the self-propelled function, but it’s definitely a real plus in getting up hills and keeping your pace up. It’s likely that it impacts the speed with which you drain the battery, although it wasn’t an issue for me, as even our upgrade Covid yard still isn’t all that big.
Another advantage to the Battery operation is the noise. The blades still spin, and that does account for some noise, but nothing near the standard sounds of engine and exhaust noise from gas operated mowers. My neighbors have already commented on how quiet it is in operation…I have a feeling I may be seeing more of these battery-operated mowers in a yard near me soon! Here’s a brief mower’s-eye view of me attacking the dandelions with the Kobalt 24V cordless mower:
Getting Past The First Cut
To make sure I put The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower through it’s proper paces (and not at all because I’m lazy), I let the grass grow for about 12 days from the previous cut. That may not sound like much, but with the unseasonably warm spring we had, there was a decent amount of grass. I’m also trying hard to eradicate a dandelion infestation, so in the front yard I set the mower to the lowest setting and bagged up the clippings to hopefully prevent re-seeding (spoiler alert – I still have dandelions). So I did get to give the mower a good run through.
The mower fired up great and tore through the relatively thin and lower grass of the front yard with no problem. I bottomed out a couple times, particularly around the edges of the yard where the wheels sank lower, and it wasn’t helped by the low deck height either. That said, this would happen with pretty much any mower. In the few thick parts, you can actually hear the mower blades ramp up when you get to thicker parts of the yard. It’s a nice feature to help you power through the tough stuff, while keeping drain on your battery minimal when the cutting is easy.
After getting through the front with relative ease, I dumped the mower bag, added the mulching attachment and spreader chute for a test, and went to work on the backyard. I set the deck to what will be my normal height of 3”, and quickly tore through the whole backyard with minimal slow downs or bogging out.
When I was done mowing what is a little under a quarter acre (~9,000 sf. of yard area), in about a half hour, there was still about 2 bars left of battery life – which is simply unacceptable! We have to see how long it takes to kill these things. So, I lowered the deck height to level 2 and re-mowed the back yard, chewing up previously spit out grass along the way. The mower did start to bog down, more from a combination of running over already mown grass and the unevenness of the soil in the backyard.
After that effort, we were down to 2 bars and a little over 40 minutes of runtime…so I lowered the deck once more and went at it again. I finally did get the batteries to run out on me after a little more than 50 minutes of run time, much of which was spent on the lowest deck height, with the self-propel on and cutting through significantly thick grass and previous trimmings. My best guess is that on a normal run at a regular deck height, you’ll easily achieve The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower’s maximum run time of 60 minutes.
Time To Hang Up The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower
I’ve since gone back and done the yard twice more since the initial cut. One a quick trim basically to get Dandelions only (I only filled about ¾ of a bag doing the entire yard). The second cut was a bit more of an actual trim – in the front, probably about an inch of grass and a lot of Dandelions, and in the back about 3 inches, filling the bag twice. Both cuts took between 20 and 30 minutes, during which I experienced no bog downs at all (proper deck height is clutch!), and both times when I finished up and put away the mower, there were still 3 bars burning brightly on the pair of batteries.
Once you’re done having fun for the day, self-propel yourself and the mower back to your preferred storage location. Remove the batteries and set them to recharge for the next time. Then, if so inclined, and I’m sure we all do this, wipe it down, and store it away for next time. The handles are easy to collapse and fold back to the same way it comes in the box, so it’s very easy to tuck away on a shelf or even hang on the wall of the shed, if space is at a premium.
I’ve mowed quite a few yards over the years, and I can honestly say I’ve really enjoyed using The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower. It’s easy to work with, it’s very lightweight, and it’s so quiet the neighbors can’t hear it (helpful if you’re inclined to mow the lawn at night, early on a weekend morning or in the middle of a work day – since so many of us work from home now!). When you keep your grass at the right height, it can fly right through it in no time.
Overall I’m very pleased with this new mower, and look forward to many more cuts over the coming weeks and years. I’m also going to start looking in to some of Kobalt’s other 24V line of tools, so I can put those batteries to use all year round.
The Kobalt 24V Cordless Mower batteries and charger come with a 3-year warranty, and the mower itself with a 5-year warranty, so you’ll likely have lots of fun and relatively quiet lawn mowing in your future. You can find this excellent addition to the Kobalt line of 24V tools at your friendly blue neighborhood Lowe’s store, or online at the link below. And remember, if anyone gets within 100 feet of your mowing operation at any time, stop immediately, throw your hands up in despair, grab a beverage of choice and call it a day. It’s the law!