BLACK+DECKER EM1700 17-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower Review

Black+Decker’s EM1700 17-inch corded electric lawn mower has 6 different height settings and a 17-inch cutting path. A single lever easily adjusts the height of cut between 1-1/10 inches and 3-1/10 inches. It’s compact with specs of 31.2 x 20 x 17 inches and a light 32 pounds, plus it’s easy to start. Ideally designed for properties in the ⅛-acre range, the EM1700 collects up to 25 percent more grass, which means you won’t be emptying clippings as often. Also, the full-wrap bale bar provides easy actuation.

This mower has a 2-year limited warranty.

Key Features

  • 6 height-cutting adjustments of between 1-1/0 inches to 3-1/0 inches
  • EdgeMax feature offers up-to-the-edge cutting for a cleaner look
  • Low Profile Design ideal for accessing bottom of shrubs and obstacles
  • Compact & Go collects up to 25 percent more grass
  • Bale-switching full-wrap bale bar for easy actuation
  • Includes a grass box that will either be cloth or plastic, depending on availability
  • 12-amp amps


Fueled by electricity, the easy-to-operate EM1700 seems like the world’s largest vacuum cleaner and doesn’t require gas, doesn’t make a mess, and doesn’t release fumes. Folks will compliment you for using a quiet, environmentally friendly mower that provides an even-looking groom for your yard. Though ideal for smaller yards, the EM1700 does great on any yards in which trees and shrubs and other obstacles are prevalent. That’s because it’s compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. The narrowness of the mower means you may need to make more trips up and down the lawn to get the job done, but its lightweight means you won’t feel overly taxed. The EdgeMax technology makes this a great machine for landscaping your yard and keeping those tight spaces looking well kept. There are both metal and plastic parts, but given that it’s a Black+Decker, you know you’re getting a sturdy, well-made machine.

As you’re mowing, keep an eye on the fullness of the grass bag, which at times can become weighted down and feel heavier than the mower itself!

Ease of Use

After a mere 10 minutes of assembly, which includes putting on the handles, the EM1700 is ready to go. For those who haven’t used electric mowers before, the cord may take a bit of getting used to, but it’s manageable once you get the hang of it. Many would say that the lightness of the mower and the convenience of not having to mess with fuel and oil make the cord well worth it. Be sure to purchase a long extension cord that reaches all the nooks and crannies of your yard. That means an outdoor cord with at least 13 amps and minimum 14-gauge wiring. Overall, this mower is so lightweight that it almost resembles a toy–even budding teenagers could push it with ease. Just make sure not to use it on wet grass; it won’t handle well on that type of surface.

One complaint against the EM1700 is that the non-adjustable, long-sized handles mean it may not necessarily be ideal for individuals on the shorter side. Still, its compact size allows the EM1700 to move in and out of tight spaces adeptly. The EM1700 does best on level ground and has an easy-to-use lever that offers 6 height-of-cut adjustments.

Cut Quality & Options

The EM1700’s Edge Max technology gives mowers the option to mow along fences and landscape borders with precision and ease. The resulting look is a smooth, clean, up-to-the-edge cut that gives lawns a perfectly manicured look. The cutting height is easily adjustable with a single lever, and users can choose from 6 cutting heights that range from 1-1/10 inches to 3-1/0 inches. The bag comes off easily, but one downside to changing the bag is that the chute can sometimes become clogged with grass. And remember, you don’t have to use the bag if you don’t want to.

On grass that’s on the longer side, the EM1700 may require a few passes, and if the ground is uneven you may find it difficult to keep it straight. But under most circumstances, this machine cuts like a pro and edges well.

When you’re finished mowing, simply fold the handles and store it. Not much space is needed.


For the best cutting results, keep the blade sharpened and balanced. Inspect and thoroughly clean the mower after each use, since a deck with caked grass will lessen overall performance. Before assembling mower parts, make sure it’s switched off and unplugged. Add the handles, assemble the grass catcher, adjust the height of cut, and install the blade.

Use a mild soap and a cloth to clean the mower. Clean out clippings on the underside of the deck, and after several uses, check all the exposed fasteners for tightness. Also, if you’re mowing in an area with heavy fertilizer use, be sure to wipe down all exposed parts with a damp cloth.

Safety Features

Since it’s electric, the EM1700 won’t infiltrate your lungs with emissions–that’s one safety bonus. It also won’t aggravate your shoulder since no pull-starting is required. Do not operate the mower unless the handle is locked into position.

Special Features

Lightweight and easy to maneuver, this electric lawn mower has 6 height settings and Edge Max for up-to-the-edge cutting. You’ll collect up to 25 percent more grass with the EM1700’s Compact & Go bag, which means you won’t constantly be emptying clippings. EdgeMax technology allows mowers to cut grass right up to the edge of a wall or fence. Along with being incredibly lightweight and compact, the EM1700 has carrying handles for easy transport.

Also, the EM1700 doesn’t require fuel, oil, spark plugs, air filters, or lubrication. Those nonexistent hassles make this a special mower indeed.

Cost Effectiveness

Right off the bat, the EM1700 will save you money on gas, oil, air filters, spark plugs, and pesky maintenance tasks in general. Given these money-saving features, you could argue that this machine pays for itself after just one mowing season. Heck, you may even save on hospital bills since you’re not using a pull-starter or pushing a heavy-duty machine all over your yard.

9 Total Score
Lots of money saving features

  • Includes spacious grass box
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Push-button starting
  • No lubrication necessary
  • Quiet
  • Non-adjustable handle
  • Contains cord
  • Sensitive grip switch
  • Numerous plastic parts
  • Narrow cutting deck
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BLACK+DECKER EM1700 17-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower Review
BLACK+DECKER EM1700 17-Inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower Review
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