If you have only a small yard that doesn’t require maintenance from a large mower of either the gas or electric variety, then you might have thought about maintaining your yard with a string trimmer.
The problem with using only a string trimmer to mow your lawn is that you would need to have exceptional skill and a steady arm to be able to achieve an even cut.
Most people simply don’t have enough experience to pull off a professional job with a string trimmer alone, which is one of the reasons that lawn mowers exist in the first place. However, full sized lawn mowers can be costly, they require space for storage, and they usually come with some maintenance requirements.
If you’re looking for the next best thing to a full sized lawn mower but with the versatility of a string trimmer, then this Black Decker MTE912 review will introduce you to a product that sits somewhere in between.
Want to skip this review and go directly to the product page? Click the button below!
Key Product Features
- Multi-purpose design allows edge trimming, string trimming, and mowing.
- Lightweight at 13.1 pounds.
- 6.5 Amp electric motor (mains powered).
- Designed with small properties in mind.
- Easy to store.
- Height adjustable mower attachment.
Who is the Intended Owner of a Black Decker MTE912?
Anyone with a small lawn will be able to find a use for the Black Decker MTE912.
It’s best seen as a replacement for a larger lawn mower in cases where the larger tool would be impractical or excessive.
Because it is a multipurpose garden tool, it could also be used by people who already own a lawnmower, but need something that can be used around smaller areas of the garden where access is more difficult.
Because it’s priced for affordability, it would be fine either as a standalone garden tool or as an addition to a home that already has a larger lawn mower.
What Power Source is Required to Operate this Hybrid Lawn Tool?
Because the motor on this Black Decker MTE912 lawn mower device is rated at just 6.5 Amp, it will run from any household outlet. As with any tool that draws a relatively high amount of power, it’s important to run this on a circuit that isn’t being used by other high power draw devices.
This means that it shouldn’t be used along with a refrigerator, washing machine, air compressor, or even another larger electric lawnmower.
An extension cord will need to be used with this mower / string trimmer, as there is no extension included with the package.
50 – 100 ft. would be the ideal length of cable, and you will need to purchase a 14-gauge cable to ensure efficient and safe running of the motor.
If you only need a shorter cable, such as a 25 – 50 ft. cable, then a 16-gauge cable will be necessary. The cable you purchase should be a high quality outdoor cable that uses a polarized end (one prong socket will be slightly larger than the other).
Is it Portable, Easy to Use, and Easy to Maneuver?
Whenever performing in-depth lawn mower reviews on Power Tools Ninja, ease of use and maneuverability are always some of the major points that we look into. For a lawn mower or similar device to be easy to use and portable, then it needs to be capable of being easily pushed, pulled, and otherwise moved around a lawn.
In the case of the Black Decker MTE912, we can say with confidence that almost anybody would find this a lightweight and easy tool to maneuver.
It’s also effortlessly portable thanks to its size and weight. Limited controls also work in its favor.
There’s a trigger style activation system, and if you’re familiar with a string trimmer, then you’ll feel right at home with this.
Keep in mind that this is a three in one tool, so there’s one extra step to connect the main device to the mower attachment. Even that is simple to do, and once it’s on the wheeled base you’ll be able to use it in a similar way to a traditional lawnmower.
Overall, we don’t think that any owner is going to have trouble learning how to use the MTE912.
To get a better idea of how the multi function operation of a lawn mower and an edge trimmer works, here’s a nice video I found on youtube which shows all the process of assembly and operation.
How Much Maintenance Does the MTE912 Require?
If you’ve ever used a gas lawn mower, then you will know that maintenance can become something of a nuisance. Not only do you need to buy fuel and oil for a lawnmower, but you also have to worry about spark plugs, blade maintenance, and even engine maintenance if something goes wrong.
With electric tools, much of that maintenance disappears, and with this particular garden tool, you don’t even need to worry about blade sharpening.
Simply keep the tool clean, remove debris from the lawn mower attachment when necessary, and replace the trimming string whenever it is worn down. There’s really nothing difficult involved with owning the Black Decker MTE912, and that’s one of the biggest advantages of purchasing this particular model.
What are the Special Features of This Mower/String Trimmer?
The special features are part of the overall design, and are the main selling point.
This lawn tool is a mower, an edge trimmer, and a standard string trimmer, all in one package. When not attached to the mower accessory, it will be in edging/trimming mode.
As soon as it is connected to the mower housing, it becomes just like a small electric lawnmower, without the weight or the blade.
Sure, there are compromises to a system like this. It will never perform quite as well as a dedicated lawn mower, but that is to be expected considering the design.
When you use it as a mower, you’ll still be cutting with the edger, and you’ll only have a one handle design which might be awkward if you’re used to a traditional mower.
Overall, it does what it needs to do, and does all things well without becoming a gimmick.
Can it Perform Well Enough to Mow a Complete Lawn?
If you’re looking for a lawn mower that will easily take care of a 1200+ sq. ft. lawn, then this is not for you. It can perform well on mostly flat surfaces, and is suited for small lawns outside townhouses and duplex units.
When it is used on flat ground as a mower, there are no problems with its capabilities, as long as the grass is relatively short.
Three inches would be the highest grass that you would want to mow when using it strictly as a mower. However, because it also works as a string trimmer, you could trim some longer grass using it on the handheld setting, and then attach it to the mower base to finish off the job.
Cutting is clean, but there is no catch system, so you will need to deal with clippings after usage. This shouldn’t be a major problem on small properties.
What Accessories Come with the Black Decker MTE912?
Inside the package you’ll get the trimmer, the mower attachment on wheels, and you’ll even get a spool of string to get started with. It’s good to see that Black Decker thought about the spool, which is arguably the most important item in the whole package.
Eventually, you will need to purchase some of your own trimming spool for replacement, and you can buy directly replaceable automatic spools from Black Decker here.
Pros and Cons – Best of the MTE912, and Areas That Need Improvement
This is an interesting gardening tool, even if it’s not the most capable lawn mower on the market. There are plenty of positives that can be found in a package like this.
- Performs trimming and edging functions, so you won’t need as many tools in your shed.
- Lightweight, can be easily carried, and the mower accessory detaches for storage.
- Zero emissions.
- Comes packaged with a string spool to get started with.
- Almost effortless to maneuver, and can be used by people who would struggle with a heavy mower.
- It’s not capable of cutting a large lawn, and there are only two height settings with the mowing attachment.
- Requires an extension cable, which is not included with the package.
- Not an ideal choice if you don’t require the trimming capabilities.
Where is This Lawn Tool Made?
The Black & Decker manufacturer has not stated the country of origin, but similarly priced Black Decker tools are currently made in both Indonesia and China.
How Good is the Warranty and Customer Service?
A two-year warranty is offered with the Black Decker MTE912, which covers manufacturing defects and failures that are not caused by misuse.
Warranty service can be contacted on 1-800-231-9786 within the United States.
Is it a Good Idea to Buy This Lawn Tool Online?
Purchasing online is not only convenient, but it helps to ensure that you get the best price on Black Decker lawn tools.
Without the overheads that traditional stores have, online retailers are able to offer discounts over the suggested manufacturer price. Packaging for this particular model is of high quality and thousands of customers purchase Black Decker tools online, every year.
Model: Black Decker MTE 912
Motor Rating: 6.5 Amp.
Cutting Path: 12 inches.
Special Functions: Edge trimming, general trimming, lawn mowing.
Height Range for Mower Attachment: 1.6 – 2.4 inches.
Weight: 13.1 pounds.
Power Source: Mains powered.
What do Owners Say About the Black Decker MTE912?
Customer feedback is a great indicator of the quality and usefulness of any product, and in the case of our Black Decker MTE912 review, we have found customer feedback to be extremely positive. This unit currently has a 4.1/5 average review score from more than 1600 reviews online, and these scores are backed up by plenty of customer testimonials.
Customers love the light weight, the multifunction nature of the tool, and the fact that it doesn’t require gas, battery charging, or any significant amount of maintenance.
There have been some negative reviews from customers who found it inadequate to cut mid-sized lawns, but this is to be expected considering that even Black Decker recommends that lawns for this tool be smaller than 1200 sq. ft.
How Much Will It Cost to Buy One?
The MTE912 sits in the sub-$100 range, and can be purchased online for prices ranging from $80 – $100. Online is definitely the best way to purchase if you don’t want to pay full retail.
Click the link below to check the latest price and offers on Amazon.
Is It Worth Buying the Cordless Version of this Mower?
If you’ve seen the Black Decker MTC220 20 V Lithium 3-in-1 mower, then you might have noticed that it seems almost identical to the MTE912 that we’ve reviewed here.
These two tools are exactly the same, both functionally and in terms of features, with the difference being that the MTC220 version is a cordless battery operated device.
For some, having the convenience of a cordless device might be something that is necessary in a mower, particularly if they will be mowing small patches of grass that are away from a mains power outlet.
Owners of the cordless model report that the 20-volt battery allows for around 30 minutes of operating time, which should be sufficient for the small areas that both of these mowers are designed for.
The downside to purchasing the cordless version is that there’s a significant difference in price, which could diminish the value in buying a mower that is only capable of cutting a 1200 sq. ft. lawn.
The list price is almost twice as much as the corded version, which is a significant step up, and puts the MTC 220 in the price range of some more capable standalone mowers.
With a relatively short battery life, the MTC220 may also underperform when being used for edge trimming and clearing with the string trimmer, which also makes it less of a compelling purchase.
Click the button below to get the latest price on the MTC220 lawn mower.
Final Thoughts on Our Black Decker MTE912 Review
This is a very interesting lawn mowing tool and quite a compelling one as long as you don’t have heavy duty requirements.
Always keep your expectations in check, considering that it has a small motor, a small cutting path, and the mowing attachment is not overly versatile in terms of height.
If you have no need at all for the trimming mode, then you might be better served by a manual rotary mower. You could take a look at our Great States 415-16 review, or if you need a more powerful standalone lawnmower then you could consider the Black Decker EM1500, which has a larger cutting path and is suited for mid-sized lawns.
If you still think this is the mower for you, then you’ll appreciate the multi function space saving design.
When all you need is light-duty trimming and mowing on a flat surface, then the price of the Black Decker MTE912 makes it an easy decision, and we can easily recommend it in that scenario.