Very limited performance
I've had this mower for two years now and during that time I've had three batteries. At first I thought the poor battery performance time was due to a faulty battery...not so. The longest the battery has lasted is 12 minutes but is usually it's about ten minutes. In addition the mower will only perform well on short dry grass. Because it's such a poor performer I feel it's not meeting it's claims and is not of merchantable quality. Not recommended for other than very, very small lawns. give it a miss.
Good for the environment and good for me
Have mowed my small lawn twice with my new 18" Victa VLM4018 and am very pleased with the result. Was told it wouldn't do well with very long grass but it was perfect. I especially appreciate the ease of starting the mower as my petrol lawnmower was becoming too difficult for me to start. And I love not having to fuss about getting cans of petrol. The mower is also not heavy and easy to maneuver, Negatives are having to pull the safety key out every time you empty the catcher and the catcher being fabric is not as sturdy and does not hold as much as on petrol mowers. But those are minor points.
Poor battery life - gutless motor
The battery lasts 10 - 15 minutes on dry recently cut lawn. If you are trying to cut anything slightly thick, the motor cuts out. It's as noisy as a petrol mower. I tried to give it to my father in law and he wouldn't take it. I wouldn't recommend this mower to anyone.
Quiet and light.... it also cuts the grass
I think the mower is good value and works well. Time will tell about the batteries however so far they seem pretty good and with our 4 lawn areas ( 2000sqm block) we find the 2 batteries supplied do it. I love the fact it just starts and there is no petrol to deal with. No fumes either. We also have a baby and my wife can mow without waking her! Yes, my wife likes to mow and it's her preference to take charge of the mowing! Lucky me... When I'm relaxing on the back deck I can hardly tell if she's mowing or not out the front. ( joking )... Seriously though I think we will all be driving electric mowers soon! Next will be replacing our petrol wippa sniper when that needs upgrading.
Very easy use for woman mowing
It's very easy use. It's like put motor on pram and easy to push for woman . The power is quite full for cut grass, because I first time cut grass/bush used a lot of power and have to charge again and come back. a bit expensive. Generally I'm happy with it.
Quiet, light weight cordless mower
Front lawn is approximately 100m2 of Buffalo on a slight incline.
Requirement: a lightweight mower; and to be rid of having to handle fuel (ease of starting).
Various options were considered: Ryobi, E-Go, Bosch.
The larger Victa was selected due to the metal chassis and the brushless motor.
Note: a number of dedicated lawn shops had advised against the larger Victa due to poor run times experienced by some customers.
A very lightly used Victa V-Force with 2 batteries & charger was listed and I took the plunge and purchased.
Mower is run only in mulch mode using the supplied plug. The lawn can be completed on one battery charge. Run time is very dependent on how moist your lawn is. Rain/drizzle a couple days prior will reduce run time significantly - second battery required.
Pros - easy start, quiet, good mulching, light weight, additional skins available that use the same battery (blower/vac, line trimmer, hedge trimmer)
- a few fiddly spots under the chassis where grass clippings get caught;
- the top cover must be removed on occasion as grass does end up under it. Check Ecomow Lawn & Garden on Facebook for details.
- Price, I found the Victa V Force range available at significant discount during the many Bunnings sales. They pop up regularly on Gumtree/eBay too. If I had to pay full RRP, the Ryobi appears to be better value.
Well made and mows brilliantly
I bought this mower with fingers crossed as I could find little information about it. I had read a couple of reviews which were a little mixed in their opinions and of course, the dealers showered this new technology with all kinds of praise. Interestingly, the specialist dealer that I purchased the mower from knew little about the product and even told me that the mower was a cut and catch only even though the packaging clearly showed that it also mulched. Perhaps Mr Victa needs to educate people more?
I decided on a Victa after having looked at a Sthil and a Couple of other Bunnings brands. The Stihl was obviously well made but it was narrow and expensive. The dealer also told me that it would struggle, on my buffalo, lawn and really, he wasn't interested in selling me anything other than a petrol mower. The Bunnings models I looked at appeared quite similar to each other except the Victa which boasted a full steel deck and a very positive height adjustment and comfort handles. It was too hard to find one at Bunnings to sell me so i took myself to the local specialist dealer and bought one there.
Once unboxed at home the mower took all of five minutes to assemble.. It was packaged very well and all components were In top condition with no scratches or dents. No tools were required to assemble the mower. Paint finish on the steel deck was in good order and the upper plastic components appeared to be robustly made. I never researched the blades initially and assumed that they would be the single bar type but was delighted to find that this mower was equipped with normal Victa swing blades on a disc. Victa have decades on knowledge in this area and one thing I know is that when it comes to blade change time, the blades will be easy to replace and cheap to buy. Victa blade technology has always been some of the best around. The mulching plug (Stihl charge crazy money for this item as an accessory), was in position already and the soft catcher was packed separately. I'm not used to these soft catchers and am not sure how long they will last with high speed sticks and stones hitting them but they must work alright or they wouldn't sell them - or would they?
After charging the battery it was time to give the new mower a go. I have 350sqm of mixed buffalo and weed on a flat block with gardens, kids play equipment and various other obstacles to negotiate. A fairly typical outer suburban block. We have had good rain lately so,the grass was quite green with a high moisture content. Push the white button and lift the bail and the soft start motor gently comes to life. My first observations were how quiet the motor runs and how smooth it is. Almost no vibration at all. This is very pleasant. No need for hearing protection with this mower. I set the correct height with the well made adjuster and off I went.
The motor is equipped with load sensing technology so when the grass is thicker, the engine speeds up and drops down to lower power when things get easier. This obviously saves unnecessary draw on the battery. I found that this function kicked in 5 or 6 times on my lawn with the revs dropping back as soon as the thick patch had been covered. This mower mows well. There is no other way to say it. It cut through the buffalo perfectly and coped with the light stringy weeds just as well. I am confident that this mower would cope well with those light seeded lawns that are popular at the moment as the blades are very sharp and the deck is well designed. The mulching function works particularly well with my lawn left clean and clipping free. It never looked like clogging or bunching up. I am of the opinion that the cutting performance is at least the equal of any petrol powered mower out there.
I have read pretty negative stuff about battery performance. All I can say is that it is my experience that the battery did my lawns on half a charge and didn't look like getting hot. I plugged the battery in immediately after finishing the lawn and it started charging right away. It needed no cooling time. The literature that came with the machine stated over and over that the mower should not be overloaded and that in long heavy conditions the operator should mow high first then do it again at a lower setting. This simply makes sense. It also says to slow down in longer stuff to allow the mower to actually cut the grass. It makes sense that if you plough through thick grass and load up the motor, it is going to use more battery power with the obvious result of a heated battery. Just take your time and be sensible and things should be good.
Overall, I'm impressed with this mower. It cuts well and is beautifully quiet and smooth. I could confidently do the lawns early in the morning without worrying about disturbing the neighbours. It coped very well with my suburban block and of course was no effort to start. I'm going to get the Victa line trimmer and blower which will run off the same battery. I am even considering the chainsaw but I do love the little one I already own. Victa claim that the batteries will last for up to 2000 charges and if this is the case, I reckon that is around 20 years for me. If it does that, I'll send Victa a lottery ticket and hope they win. If not, they'd better give me a discount on the new battery!!
ONE YEAR ON:
I thought an update after having used the mower for a while may be helpful.
I've used the mower quite a bit since writing the original review and have found it to be a bit of a friend. The advantage of this mower is it is so easy to use, there is no problem getting it out of the shed and giving the grass a quick cleanup and trim. The low noise levels make using the mower quite pleasant and the mowing performance is very impressive. It mows at least as well as a Petrol powered machine and its mulching performance is excellent.
Another interesting thing I have found is that the battery performance has improved slightly since new. The battery was impressive at the start but I can mow my lawn, trim the edges and blow the leaves all on one charge. Mind you the battery is nearly completely exhausted by this time, but it does the job. 2 hours or so later it's charged and ready to go again. i have no issues with the battery. It never gets hot and is reliable.
A look under the deck after a years mowing shows the finish to be in good condition despite the number of sticks, toys, rocks and twigs that I have mown. The deck is rugged and will go the distance. The blades are also in really good shape. I had intended to replace the blades at the beginning of each summer but this is not yet necessary so they are now into their second season.
My only complaint is the quality of the battery cover flap and the way it's mounted. The flap,has warped slightly which makes it stiff and it has a few scratches and gouges in it from low branches and from mowing under furniture. The flap,still functions though. The plastic fittings do seem to be vulnerable to damage. They are all still intact and working but I'm now being really careful where I mow. If Mr. Victa ever reads this stuff, he should consider the materials that are being use above the deck as well as underneath.
In summary, I'm really pleased with this mower and would never go back to petrol. I do feel sorry now when I hear neighbours struggling to get their petrol mowers to fire up. these battery mowers will certainly take over the domestic market over the coming years. I highly recommend th Victa as being a well made and powerful machine.
The Victa would be even better if it had an alloy deck rather than pressed steel (yes, I know it's heavy but it is very robust). I'd add full bearing wheels and I'd redesign the plastic parts above the deck so,they wouldn't damage so easily. Do that, Mr Victa, and you'd own the market!
obsoletes noisy petrol mowers
Not sure if this is exactly the same machine, I bought the Victa 18" 40Volt Vforce+ brushless mower. I'm delighted. For a simple push along mower it's a well built, full sized, full power machine but quiet, with no starting worries, no petrol and oil mess, no fumes. A single battery does my lawns, on a fair suburban block. Yes, as the earlier review found, batteries do often get too hot to recharge straight away and need 5 minutes in the fridge first. Charging is slow, 2 hours or more so a spare battery is useful. I picked one up on eBay for less than half price.
Excellent cut, good quality but very expensive with very poor battery life!
I purchased the Victa on the basis of information from the Victa website and the dealer. The machine was very expensive but seemed well made and durable. I use it to cut a soft leaf buffalo lawn which is well maintained. It is cut weekly. The area is not extensive approx. 60sqm. The cut is excellent and the machine is light and easy to push BUT the battery never lasts the distance. After about 20-25 min it stops and cannot be recharged until it cools down. It appears from information from the dealer that this is what I have to expect. The battery performance is absolutely useless to me if I have to stop mowing the lawn to wait for the battery to cool down and then recharge it. The lawn is not thick or overgrown and I am not forcing the mower through long grass. I could not recommend this mower on the basis of the poor battery performance and I am very dissatisfied with what is an expensive machine. An additional battery would seem to be the only solution but they are extremely expensive.