BLACK+DECKER EMax38i lawnmower review
- By: Ashley Saunders
- September 2019
The BLACK+DECKER brand is synonymous with DIY tools for decades. So our expectations of BLACK+DECKER EMax38i lawnmower are high.
A 1600 Watt motor powers the EMa38i and provides plenty of power allowing you to tackle wet grass with ease. The high-performance cutting system centres around a large 38 cm blade, which can be easily set at any of the 6 cutting height positions.
A feature unique to the EMax range is the EdgeMax system, which pushes the cut grass away from the blade and into the box. This means you can easily cut edges and tight spots with the full width of the blade.
The mower comes with a 45 litres grass collection box, one of the largest on the market. With plenty of space, you’ll spend more time cutting and less time emptying.
The BLACK+DECKER EMax38i mower easily folds down for storage and the Intelli-Cable Management makes storing the cable easy and prevents damage.
While some motors have burnt out under a year, the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i is still one of the best mower on the market and it walks away with a strong 7/10.
- 38 cm blade with 6 adjustable cutting heights
- 1600 watt motor
- 45-litre plastic collection box
- Grass box hard to connect
- Bulky design making tight spaces difficult
- Some motors have burned out after a year
The classic black and orange colour scheme of the EMax38i is stylish and sleek. The mower and collection box are both manufactured from plastic and the handle is made from metal.
As a push mower, four wheels allow you to navigate the lawn. The rear wheels are larger, which improves manoeuvrability and makes it easier to push. These small design tweaks make mowing a more enjoyable experience.
At 43 cm high, the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i is fairly tall, which means cutting grass under bushes will be a challenge, not to mention navigating tight spaces!
The large handle on the mower’s top is a welcome addition and makes moving it easier, whether you’re repositioning it or taking it out of the shed.
As is standard with lawnmower designs, the metal handle comprises of two parts. The top part screws into the bottom and so can fold down for storage.
The collection box connects to the rear, by lifting a flap. As it’s plastic, it’s rigid and large with a massive 45-litre capacity. When using the box, it’s worth double-checking that it’s correctly attached as it could create a headache otherwise.
Design-wise, the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i is bulky and heavy at 13.3 kg. So it’s not ideal if you have a small lawn, suffer from back problems or are advancing in age.
Sat at the heart of the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i is a powerful 1600 watt motor. Whether you’re doing the weekly mow or trying to tame long grass, you’ve got plenty of power available.
The motor ensures the mower performs well over any area, large or small. It powers a large 38 cm wide blade. With such a wide metal blade, cutting even a large lawn instantly become easier and quicker.
You can choose to position the blade at any of the six different cutting heights (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 cm). Adjusting the cutting height couldn’t be easiest, simple push the single ‘Soft Touch’ Lever into whichever position suits you best.
As the grass is cut, the EdgeMax system forces the trimmings from the blade into the collection box while compacting them. This system collects more grass, meaning you don’t need to rake your grass after mowing.
The impressive 45 litres grass collection box cuts down the number of trips to empty it, so you can mow your lawn in less time. A handy viewing window enables you to see how full the box is.
The mower easily folds down for storage and the Intelli-Cable Management prevents damage to the 14-metre power cable.
The BLACK+DECKER EMax38i comes flat-packed and takes around an hour to assemble. As there are numerous parts to build, it’s worth taking your time. There’s no step by step diagrams only text. So, some might find the instructions difficult to follow.
With the mower and the box built and the cables clipped in place, it’s time to cut grass. Before plugging the mower into the mains, it’s best to set the cutting height.
We’d advise setting the cutting height in the middle (either 4 or 5 cm) for the first mow. While this won’t provide the best cut, it will allow you to trim your lawn and experience how it works.
For your second mow, you can adjust the cutting height down (to 5 or 6 cm) and trim it down to where it’s manageable. In summer, it’s best to set the cutting height higher, than the winter position.
With the cutting height set, attach the collection box, making sure it’s correctly attached. If it’s not you might have to rake your lawn to clear trimmings. It’s not the easiest box to attach, so it might take a few attempts.
Plug-in the power and you’re ready to go. Hold down the safety bar and push the on button. As you move around your lawn, keep an eye on the collection box and empty when full.
As some users have reported motor burn out within the first year, it’s quite hard for us to quantify its performance. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that some older unit may have had a faulty motor and that BLACK+DECKER have likely resolved these issues now.
While this isn’t what we expect from such a trusted brand, their basic 2-year warranty should cover such issues. Again it’s worth bearing both of these in mind before purchasing.
The BLACK+DECKER EMax38i mower is bulky and heavy. So, it’s ideal for medium sized gardens where there the lawn is of a good size. You might struggle on smaller lawns to effectively cut the edges, especially if you have bushes or raised borders.
That said, it’s powerful and easy to navigate, plus the wide 38 cm blade makes light work of any turf. Regardless of the season, adjusting the cutting height is simple and can be done mid-mow. The 6 positions means you can tailor the lawn’s height to your preference.
The large collection box cuts down the number of trips needed to empty it. This is highly useful on larger lawns as you don’t to waste time.
Having reviewed several lawn movers, we’re confident that the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i has the longest power cable (14-metres) of any we’ve looked at. This is great, regardless of your garden size as no-one wants to spent time finding and connecting extension cables.
Is the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i worth buying?
Putting motor burn outs to one side, the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i offers some fantastic features for the price.
There are many things to like, from the wide metal to the 6 cutting heights and the large collection box. All together means it’s superb value for money.
The BLACK+DECKER EMax38i does have some problems. Firstly, the manual isn’t easy to follow as it only provide text assembly instructions and no diagrams. And as there’s multiple parts to assemble, some will find the process overly complex.
Once assembled it’s preforms well and is easy to adjust as you mow. The handle easily folds down for storage yet takes seconds to screw into place. Just double-check the collection box is attached correctly before hitting the power button.
It worth pointing out, that this isn’t designed for small lawns, it’s heavy and bulky. There are many less powerful mowers on the market that slimmer and lighter. However, it’s ideal for medium and large lawns.
Assuming the motor issues have been resolved, we’d raise the score of the BLACK+DECKER EMax38i to 8/10. However as we’re not 100% sure, sadly it’s a 7/10 score from us.