Over in the UK, Bosch came out with a new cordless lawn mower that’s powered off of one or two 36V Li-ion battery packs. While it can be powered off of just one battery, equipping it with two will yield greater runtime (up to ~60 minutes).
Bosch boasts the following benefits over gas-engine mowers:
- Half the noise
Low running costs
Funny, they don’t mention “less hassle,” although some could argue that filling a gas tank and maintaining the engine at the end of a season is less of a hassle than having to recharge and swap around a cordless mower’s battery packs.
They’re also claiming gas engine-like performance. We’ve heard this before, and for some reason I believe it more when Bosch says it.
Bosch actually came out with two new cordless mowers – the GRA 48 Professional, with a 48 cm cutting width (~19″), and the GRA 53 Professional, with a 53 cm cutting width (~20.1″). There’s not much different between the two mowers, except for the wider cutting with and slightly larger grass box capacity (collection bin) on the GRA 53 vs the 48. The GRA 48 is said to have a digital display, but maybe it’s only absent from the GRA 53 product description and not the actual mower.
|Two Li batteries 36 V (6.0 Ah)
|2 x 216 Wh
|20 – 70 mm
|Land drive speed
|2,6 – 5,0 km/h
|Collection bag size
|69 l (GRA 48), 72 l (GRA 53)
|47,5 kg (GRA 48) 47,5 kg (GRA 53)
|Wheel diameter (F/R)
|45-60 minutes (depending on operating conditions)
Features include a cast aluminum deck, self-driving wheels powered by a separate motor, a land driving wheel mode which eases movement across paved or ungrassed areas without blade rotation, variable speed wheel drive, optional mulching blade and collection bin attachment, and an adjustable grip height. From the product video, it looks like the controls are built into the handle.
Reach is said to be ~1500 m^2 per hour, depending on mowing conditions, which is about 16,145 ft^2. Maybe my math is wrong here, but if you consider that you can mow with a cutting width of ~1.6 feet, that would mean a lane 10,423 feet long, or nearly 2 miles. Square acreage will probably make more sense – 1500 square meters is ~0.37 acres. Or, if it helps, 1500 m^2 is about the size of 6 tennis courts or 2 professional baseball diamonds (just between the bases), or a little more than 1/4 of a football field.
Runtime is ~45 to 60 minutes, depending on operating conditions.
The new Bosch 36V battery packs are weatherproof, built with 6.0Ah of charge capacity, and they fully recharge in just 42 minutes. You can get an 80% charge in 30 minutes.
I thought that maybe the new rapid charger discussed in context of their 18V 6.0Ah battery pack is involved here, but it’s not – there’s a new monster of a feature-packed charger that’s designed to work with these new batteries:
The charger has an active locking mechanism that holds the battery in place to prevent damage during transport.
One thing to note is that these batteries ARE compatible with other Bosch 36V cordless tools, although Bosch says that their power, weight, and waterproof capacity are in excess of normal power tool requirements. Additionally, the new charger will charge “any Bosch Blue 36V battery.”
Here’s a quick promo video:
There’s also a new duo of 36V string trimmers, or “brushcutters” as it seems they’re called in England.
A leaf blower and hedge cutters are also coming soon.
Looking for a cordless lawn mower and cannot wait for the Bosch 36V cordless mower to reach the states? Check out Clayton’s Ego cordless mower review here on ToolGuyd. He loved it, and gave it a 24/25 rating. He also reviewed Craftsman’s 40V mower, and we also previewed Ryobi’s cordless mower last year.
If you want more power, GreenWorks’ 80V Max lawn and garden tools will soon be available via Amazon. Kobalt is also offering what looks to be rebranded GreenWorks 80V Max tools over at Lowes.
Price: ~GBP 1000 for the GRA 48 Professional, GPB 1100 for the GRA 53 Professional. Given the current exchange rate (4/9/15), that’s $1486 and $1635 USD.
More Info(via Bosch)
Not only do I now want to run out with one of these looking for a lawn to mow, I find myself wishing that Bosch would come out with a weatherproof 18V battery charger as well. Not that I really need one, but it could be cool. Maybe their Power Box 360 radio counts? I also wish they built a similar dual 18V Li-ion mower, but there are reasons they went with a 36V battery form factor – mainly power and runtime.
I like how the mower can be powered by one or two battery packs, and it seems to run off the two battery packs in sequence and not at the same time. While running off of two battery packs at the same, similar to what Makita has done with their X2 tools, would provide a way to power heavier duty tools with smaller sized battery packs, issues could potentially arise when you use mismatched battery packs, or pair an older battery with a new one.
Sticking with the 36V form factor and doubling up for greater runtime seems to be a smart move. Craftsman has done something similar with their mower, and so the idea is not unique to Bosch.
As a reminder, these mowers were announced in the UK and Europe. There’s no indication as to if or when they’ll be available in the USA.