2009 Solaris Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review – 5

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


After reviewing the features on our new 2009 Solaris electric self-propelled lawn mower, we gave it a quick test drive.

Now, to be honest I was so excited to use my new toy that I forgot to adjust the the mower height. After a few seconds of realizing my mistake (yes, it does say that one of the first things one has to do before starting the mower is to adjust the height), I turned off the mower and did just that. I also decided to turn the mower on it’s side and this is what I found. 

solaris lawn mower underside picture 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   5

If you look closely you will see that the blade might look a little different than on the 2008 Solaris, Epic and Utopia models. That is because it is different.

One of the changes with the 2009 models is that there is now only one blade, not one for clippings and one for mulching as with the 2008 models. Additionally, if you look closely you can see the front-wheeled self-propelled component up on the front axle towards the top wheel as well as the pulley that spins the blade.

So, how did the test drive go?

First, the self propelled feature is no longer one speed; it is a variable speed depending on how much you pull on the green bar at the top of the handle. The maximum self-propelled speed is a little faster this year which yes will draw more ‘juice’ but will get the mow completed a little faster if that is your preference.

Next, I was disappointed that (again, compared to the 2008 model) the front wheels would spin when I started to engage the self-propelled feature, which rarely if ever occurred with the 2008 model. Likely, this is due to three factors in my opinion:

  1. The change in the battery placement (being in the rear on the 2008 model to centered above the motor in the 2009 version) and with the self-propelled feature driving the front wheels.
  2. The front wheels are about 1/2 the size of the rear wheels on the 2008 model. The surface of a smaller wheel will turn faster than that of larger wheel.
  3. The width of the wheels to me are more narrow that in last year’s model, giving less surface to grip the lawn.

While the wheel tread is rubber this year vs plastic last year, I don’t think that had any impact on the gripping of the front wheel on the lawn.

Now, a gentle nudge of the mower did see the mower start to move and the front wheels gain traction.

This could also have been user error, as they say with software; perhaps I just need to get used to pulling back more slowly on the self-propelled handle. I did seem to get better at it, but time will tell.

What about cornering? I found the mower easier to maneuver around corners (sorry for making this sound like a review of an automobile icon smile 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   5 ). This to me (while I am no engineer or scientist) is again because of the placement for the batteries being in the middle of the mower assembly rather than at the back for more even weight distribution. With the type of garden we have at the front of our home which bends and curves this was very nice.

How did the blade perform? Well, I have to be honest. I believe that this blade cut the grass a little more evenly. Below is a picture of our front lawn after running the test. With the mulching blade in the 2008 model there seemed to be a very minor tough produced in the grass at times. The depressions you see in the picture below are from the wheels. However, it could be just my excitement in using the new mower.

front lawn after solaris lawn mower use 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   5

Did the batteries last sufficiently for the full lawn? Yes. In fact, based on the battery life gauge on the handle I still had about 1/2 the charge left. However, I have mowed the lawn in the past when the grass has been higher so I won’t say that the battery charge lasted longer or shorter than last year’s model.

One interesting aspect; look at the picture below, focusing on the silver cable coming out of the starter switch assembly going up to the green starter handle.

solaris starter 2009 Solaris Self Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower Review   5

The end of the silver cable came out from the green handle. It was not hard to put back in place. However, the starter assembly in last year’s model was encased within the black plastic guard, preventing this from occurring. Not a biggie; I just thought it was worth mentioning as it happened to me.

So, do I think the 2009 Solaris electric lawn mower on it’s own can be recommended for purchase? Yes, no question.

Is the 2009 model an improvement to the 2008 model? That is where we pick up this discussion in tomorrow’s article.

To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 6.

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  1. Shawn says:

    Have had lots of problems with my solaris mower. Had to replace our 2008 model at the start of the season as the unit just up and died. Linamar was very helpful but Home Depot was a bit more trouble as far as replacing the unit. Since then our new 2009 unit stopped working about 3 weeks ago after much troubleshooting we were sent a new bubble (main housing component of the mower). I changed the old for the new which was relatively easy. However after only one use the unit has stopped working again….don’t know if anyone else is having the same issues but this would give me real pause before I considered purchasing a Solaris Lawn mower

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