2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 2

Editor’s Note: Curious how this lawn mower is performing in 2011, 3 years later? You can! After reading the rest of this article simply select this link to read Solaris Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review Three Years Later.


Yesterday, in Part 1, we began our review of the Solaris battery operated self-propelled lawn mower with the optional solar charging station. Today we continue to look at its features.

The 2009 Solaris comes delivered ready to mulch the grass. If you want to use the grass catcher option, simply raise the rear flap and install the grass catching bag, as seen in the picture below. It was quite easy to put on as well as remove.  

rear solaris grass catcher 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

If you prefer the third option, that being side discharge, simply install the side deflector component. Myself, I prefer to mulch my grass so it remains on the lawn to help provide nutrients to the grass and help shade the soil from the sun so I have to water the lawn less (conserving, well, water).

As this lawn mower is battery operated (which I really like as I do not have to waste time moving some long electrical cord back and forth as I mow the lawn), it is useful to know how much battery left is left as I am mowing the lawn.

The self-propelled feature consumes a portion, albeit a small portion from what I understand, of energy from the batteries. So, if I see that I am running low on battery charge when operating the mower, knowing that I can then decide to stop using the self-propelled feature to extend the charge in the battery.

solaris mower status indicator 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

Above is the Mower Status Indicator standard on the 2009 Solaris electric lawn mower, placed about two thirds the way up the handle, which primarily is used to indicate remaining battery life. It is also where you find the green button used to start the mower.

solaris mower status codes 1 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

Now, like many (of course, not you icon smile 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2 ) gentlemen, I am forever loosing operating manuals for most appliances and equipment I have. A really nice feature is that since the Mower Status Indicator is used for more than just indicating the amount of charge left in the batteries, right within the inside battery cover is the same listing of the different light codes which can appear.

solaris mower status light codes 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

Very nice.

The Solaris electric battery mower comes with separate height adjustment for each wheel in 2009. You can see the height adjustment lever for one of the rear wheels in the picture below.

2009 solaris rear wheel 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

This can be good if you want to, for some reason, vary the height of the front and back wheels. I prefer one single adjustment for all 4 wheels myself. Then again, I usually leave the height the same all year around, so to me no real biggie.

I did notice that the 2009 Solaris mower seems to be able to reach a height greater than that of my 2008 model. This was actually brought to my attention by John M, a recent visitor to DailyHomeRenoTips.com who saw a 2008 side-by-side with a 2009 version at his local Home Depot store, and I believe he is correct. When I started operating the 2009 model I had the height setting second from the top, the same which I used on the 2008 mode. After I noticed that not much grass was being cut, I lowered the setting to the middle and then the grass was being cut at the height I expected to see based on what I was used to seeing from the 2008 model.

One improvement with the height adjustment is that they seem more stable than in the 2008 model which every once in a while would slip a notch or two when I would take the mower out of the shed for some reason would slip a few notches. No idea why, other than the much larger handle on the single height lever in teh 2008 model could catch on the side of the shed’s door as I pulled it out.

Now, remember in Part 1 I said it appeared I did not receive a special mower from Linamar Consumer Products? Well, take a look at the picture below.

solaris independent wheel height adjustment 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   2

What is wrong with the height adjustment? Sure, you can see the notches for the different height levels, but where is the height adjustment lever? It is placed prior the highest height adjustment notch.

No big deal, except that I could not simply move it to the right. It was caught in the metal handle bracket attached to the mower itself on the other side. The only way I could prior it loose was to get a large screw driver and forcefully pry it loose so I could move it. A minor annoyance and it was just on this one wheel; yet all the same, I am sure that this was not a standard assembly practice.

Now, what about the batteries? That is where we continue this series tomorrow.

To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 3.

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  1. David says:

    I own the Solaris 21″ SP 2009 model, and mow using the grass catcher. When I remove the catcher to empty it, the mower rear flap ALWAYS gets caught on the SP/LED wires leading up to the handle bar. A twist-tie or electrical tape fixes this (as the wires hang loosly), but be careful not to damage the wires!

  2. Robert says:

    I have used the Solaris most of the summer and find it works as advertised. No problems so far. My lawn is only about 2500 sq. ft. so it does not challange the power at all. If any I only use one of the green dots on the power meter.

    Personally I would prefer rear wheel drive because the front wheels do a lot of spnning. My old gas mower was rear wheel drive and I never saw any wheel spinning with it. I assume this will mean premature failure of the front tires.

    Other than that I am quite pleased. I bought the mower at Home Depot for $360.00 out the door.

    Thanks for your review it helped me to make the decision to buy the Solaris and I am glad that I did. It is a big improvement over my gas mower.

  3. Dan says:

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for returning to our site and for the feedback.

    I agree with the front wheels spinning when the self propelled feature is started. I get used to it, but prefer if it didn’t.


  4. WoodsMower says:

    I’ve been having problems.

    Wheels slip and spin when on uneven ground… any tire recommendations?

  5. Dan says:

    Hi WoodsMower,

    As indicated in above and in earlier posts, the front wheel drive version of the 2009 mower does have that issue.

    I am not sure changing the tire would solve the issue unless you got from somewhere really, really big tires which would be too large for the mower body.

    It is IMO an issue of the weight being centered over the mower body and not over the area of the mower with the self propel feature.


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