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Black + Decker 3-in-1 String Mower Review: Model MTC220

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The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger (model MTC220) is a unique tool that bridges the gap between a full lawn mower and a weed eater. It's excellent for small yards and an ideal option for those who need a few basic lawn tools but don't want to invest a lot of money.

This one budget-friendly investment will set you up with a lawn mower, a string trimmer and an edger, all of which are critical tools to keep your lawn maintained and looking it's best. This review will help you decide if the Black + Decker 3-in-1 mower, edger and trimmer is the right tool for you.


Product Showcase

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)
  • 3 tools in 1, easily converts from mower to trimmer to edger
  • AFS automatic feed system ensures continuous work without bumping and having to stop. Ideal Property Size 750 ft²
  • Power drive transmission prevents bogging down. Cutting heights: 1.6 2.4 inches
  • Adjustable height deck & trimmer and pivoting handle. Charge time at 60 percent 2.5 hrs
  • Includes (2) batteries for extended run time

Manufacturing 

Black + Decker has a long, rich history that started in 1910 with $1,200 when S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker opened a machine shop in Baltimore where they began building the machines that made milk bottle caps and candy dipping.

In 1916 they filed a patent application for a 1/2-inch portable electric drill, which featured a trigger switch and pistol grip. This laid the foundation for today's power tool industry. But it wasn't until 1946 that Black + Decker introduced a portable electric drill to consumers.

In 2010, Black + Decker and Stanley Works merged to form the Stanley Black + Decker Company.

Today, Black + Decker is arguably among the most recognizable consumer tool lines in the United States. They offer a wide range of power tools, hardware, home appliances and improvement products. In fact, it's highly likely you've owned at least one Black + Decker product at some point.

Specifications

Model: Black + Decker 3-in-1 MTC220

Motor: Power Drive Transmission

Power Source: 20 Volt MAX lithium iON battery

Cutting Path: 12-inches

Height Range: 1.6 to 2.4-inches

Weight: 14.4-pounds



BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Design of the Black + Decker MTC220

If you're expecting the Black + Decker MTC220 to operate as a typical lawn mower, you'll be disappointed. That's not to say that it doesn't cut your grass, but its' unique features and design means that it operates very differently.

The deck base has four wheels on each end that can be positioned up and down to allow for grass cutting adjustments between 1.6 to 2.4-inches. The trimmer locks into place on the center of the deck base, and can easily be released by stepping on the foot lever on the back end of the deck base.

The MTC220 3-in-1 Tool comes with 2 batteries, a charger, and a spool of string. Additional string can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Packs of six or three are very popular. We highly recommend having at least one spare string spool available at all times, especially since they aren't very expensive.

If you choose the reload the string spool from a bulk line, use only .065" (1.65 mm) diameter round nylon monofilament line. Never use serrated or a heavier gauge line because you'll run the risk of overloading the motor, which will cause it to overheat. 

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Power Source

The Black + Decker 3-in-1 MTC220 Mower is powered by a 20V battery, however the nominal voltage is 18. This is ideal for a 750 square foot yard and will typically provide 20 to 30 minutes of cutting time on a full charge.

When on the charger, an LED light flashes to indicate the battery is charging. It takes approximately 4 hours to charge the battery to 100%. Once the battery is fully charged it can remain on the battery charger, there's no worry about overcharging or causing other damage to the battery.

We highly recommend having both batteries fully charged when you start mowing, this will allow you to easily swap the expired battery with a fresh one. Battery operated tools have many advantages, but they also have some drawbacks.

When the battery power expires, you'll need to pause to swap out with a fresh battery, or, if you don't have a fully charged battery on hand, you'll be forced to wait for it to recharge. In addition, it's not uncommon to notice a power decrease as the battery begins to run down.

For this reason, a battery powered tool such a the MTC220 is not always the best fit for every user. Black + Decker also manufacturers corded 3-in-1 mowers that can run without the limitations of a battery. The Black + Decker MTE912 is a corded electric 3-in-1 tool that's nearly identical to the MTC220. It's less expensive and doesn't require batteries.


BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Operation

Turn the Black + Decker 3-in-1 Mower on by pressing the safety button and then pulling the trigger. Release the trigger to stop the motor.

When the trimmer is inserted into the center of the deck base, the MTC220 functions like a lawn mower and cuts the grass with the string from the trimmer tool. Press the foot lever to release the trimmer from the deck base, and you can use it as a trimmer.

To convert the trimmer to an edger, turn the collar on the handle and rotate the lower housing 180°, then lock in place by turning the collar again.

The string spool feeds automatically, so you won't need to stop in order to add more string or "bump" to advance the string. The handle on the trimmer can be adjusted up and down to match your height, and the battery is located near the handle.

Watch the Video


Performance

The MTC220 performs very well on short grass, and can handle longer grass with an additional pass or two. However, if you tend to let your grass grow long on a regular basis, then this may not be your best choice. It'll get the job done, but you'll need to provide a little more effort and time.

The 12-inch cutting path and lightweight design makes this mower extremely easy to maneuver around obstacles and reach hard-to-get spots. It also handles inclines quite well.

The cut is clean, however without a clipping management system the cut grass will be left on your freshly mowed lawn. This gives you a couple of options. You can rake the clippings, or leave them on the lawn. Since the mower is designed for lawns of 750 square feet or less, raking shouldn't be difficult, but it is an added step and something to keep in mind.

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Maintenance 

There's very little maintenance required with the Black + Decker 3-in-1 mower. After use, you'll need to wipe down the unit with a mild soap and a damp cloth. Pay special attention that the air intake slots are clean and not clogged, failure to do so may cause the motor to overheat. 

Spare string should be kept in a plastic, sealable bag with a tablespoon of water to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle.

You'll also need to periodically check the line cutter which is located on the edge of the trimmer guard. If you notice that its become dull, you should sharpen the blade with a file.


BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Warranty and Customer Service

The Black + Decker 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger MTC220 comes with a 2-year limited warranty. The warranty ensures that the product is free from defects in material and workmanship for 2-years from the date of purchase. It also requires that it was used in a home environment and not for commercial use.

Like most warranties, Black + Decker will not cover damage caused by abuse, or repairs made by anyone other than an authorized Black + Decker representative. Accidental damage is also not covered. Proof of purchase may be necessary for warranty work, so it's a good practice to attach your receipt to the user manual and store it in a safe place.

Black + Decker owns 150 Service Centers throughout the United States, in addition, there are many other authorized service centers that are approved for doing repairs. They're staffed with trained personnel and can provide consumers with technical advice, repair, or genuine factory replacement parts. Their website has a Find-a-Service Center search engine available or you can call 1-800-544-6986.

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Lawn Mower, String Trimmer and Edger, 12-Inch (MTC220)

Final Thoughts on the Black + Decker MTC220

The Black + Decker MTC220 is a great multi-purpose tool for lawn care. It's ideal for yards that are 750 square feet or less and is easy to use and handle. It's versatile, convenient, and is a great alternative to purchasing a single purpose lawn mower. In addition, it's lightweight design provides a nearly unlimited amount of maneuverability.

One major advantage to purchasing the MTC220 is the trimmer tool itself. Should you move or require a larger lawn mower at some point, you can still use the string trimmer and edger.

The MTC220 is reasonably priced, especially for a battery operated tool. However, if a corded system better fits your needs, Black + Decker offers other models in their 3-in-1 tool product line-up, many of which are less expensive. You might want to check out the Black + Decker MTE912

Pros

  • An extra battery is included, and can be used with other Black + Decker tools
  • The battery's have the RBRC Seal (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation Seal) which indicates that the costs to recycle the battery have been pre-paid by Black + Decker. Simply return the battery at the end of it's service life to an authorized Black + Decker service center or your local retailer for recycling
  • Runs quiet and leaves a nice clean cut
  • Easy to clean and store

Cons

  • No grass clipping system. The cut grass will be left on the lawn after mowing

Last update on 2021-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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