Cub Cadet Model 18M
The Cub Cadet 18M is not a bad lawn mower, but I keep thinking I could have done better. I have owned and used this machine for 2 years, and it has been reliable so far, in that it has not broken down during this time (although it does occasionally refuse to restart after being used for a while, never for more than 10 minutes, which I attribute to overheating).
I believe it is also gas-efficient, as I get up to 4 hours usage per tank, which doesn't seem bad (although I don't have anything to compare with this figure, since the previous model I had was electric). However, I wish the mower was not quite so heavy, as I find it impossible to lift it into small areas (over a row of plants near a fence, for instance), which I was able to do with my prior electric model. It is difficult to comply with the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance.
Changing oil requires that the gas tank be empty, because it is necessary to tip the mower on its side to drain used oil (draining from below through a removable plug seems more convenient). Full drainage from such a shallow angle takes quite some time as well. Also, the air filter has a foam element that one is supposed to occasionally soak in clean engine oil, then squeeze dry, with the caution that leaving too much oil in the foam will cause the engine to smoke.
To be quite honest, I have always skipped this step, not wanting to deal with the mess of squeezing oil out of a mounted foam sponge, and then having to wonder if any ensuing smoke billowing from the engine was due to the air filter or something else.
On the other hand, since the mower is still working, it hasn't proven absolutely necessary to do this. In summary, I plan to keep using this mower until it gives out, but if I could go back in time, I would select a different machine.Pros
- Has not broken down for 2 years
- Seems gas-efficientCons
- Difficult to maintainRating
3 out of 5