Review: Stihl RMA 448 TC cordless battery lawn mower with Stihl Connect

I’ve been given a Stihl RMA 448 TC cordless battery operated lawn mower to trial in our new garden in Yorkshire. Here I’ll share my first impressions with you and in a few months I’ll update the page with my long term findings after Mowwy and I have had a chance to get to know each other better. Mowwy being its name, given for a useful reason explained later… read on!

Initial impressions

Mowwy looking shiny new

The Stihl RMA 448 TC has a cutting blade width of 46cm and a large 55 litre basket for collecting grass cuttings, easily attached and detached for adding to the compost heap. It’s a solid piece of kit that is easily pushed, it’s weighty but not too heavy and has self-propulsion to assist you. I’m not the strongest person in the world and can get it up and down the lengthy slopes in our new garden. The chassis is made from plastic.

The grass basket has more than enough room for small to medium lawns to be collected in one go.

I’m really interested in battery operated garden power tools because their long term promise is to be more environmentally friendly than petrol powered products. Petrol being a non-renewable fuel that releases carbon into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Battery operated tools come with powerful lithium ion rechargeable batteries, that in a world where electric comes from renewable energy like wind (as is the case in our home) the footprint on the planet is less. That said it is worth being aware lithium mining has its own impact on the planet that many industries need to work to improve (e.g. electric cars are the biggest consumers of lithium).

Stihl batteries have a charge indicator.

Over the last few years I’ve been using the Stihl RMA 443 C battery operated mower on my old allotment and it worked well. Running on an AP 200 battery this previous mower would run for over half an hour, long enough to do the full allotment. With Stihl mowers you can use different batteries for a much longer run time, into a few hours, and can even use two batteries for even longer.

The battery compartment can hold two lithium ion batteries.

I’m personally interested in garden tools for the ‘avid to professional’ gardener end of the market. I.e. I’m someone who is going to use the tools a lot, regularly and for long periods of time, so I want something easy to use and tough. The previous mower I used I recommend for this level of use on smaller plots while this new one is more powerful and better suited to heavy use gardeners with larger plots like me. Especially in our new garden which has at least 1 acre of grass to mow, including a lawn on a slope and then lengthy rougher paths all further down the slope – the entire plot is on a slope in fact! Which makes the next feature important…

Turning the mower on is easy, plug the battery in, hold down the safety bar and press the on button. There’s another lever (above) on the handlebar which when held, turns on the mower’s self-propulsion mode allowing it to drive forward itself. A godsend when going up slopes!

I’m very pleased with this feature. The mower itself is medium weight, and gets heavier when full of grass. Not something to worry about on flat ground or slight slopes – most gardens are pretty flat. But on a sloped garden like ours, the self-drive mode is very welcome. The only time the mower feels heavy is on the occasional awkward point where you need to turn the mower around and upwards slightly. Self propulsion is only forward of course, but this is all expected and manageable, not really a problem.

The RMA 448 TC has 6 cutting modes, the highest giving you long 10cm grass, recommended by Plantlife for increased flowers for pollinators. It then goes lower for more tightly mown grass, which is important if the lawn receives a lot of use in a small garden to avoid clumping and bare patches. Height is very easily adjusted with a grip on top, in fact I’ve been surprised by both models of Stihl mower at how easy this is to change.

You might be wondering why on earth I’ve named my mower Mowwy, well it’s because of the above gizmo called Stihl Connect. It’s a bluetooth device you can stick onto any power tool and it will record the amount of time the tool is used, recording it in the Stihl Connect app. As a data geek I like this feature and it could be useful for professional gardeners for a variety of reasons, though it’s obviously not necessary for mowing! Stihl Connect is sold separately.

Overall, so far I am very impressed with the Stihl RMA 448 TC, I’m loving the extra power, run time and amount of grass collected. I feel it’s powerful enough to cope with our large, rough terrain garden, in fact it’s pretty amazing at going across it. As I’m familiar with other models in the line, I’m very happy to recommend this to others.

Have you used the Stihl RMA 448 TC? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Come back in a few months for my long-term impressions!

4 thoughts on “Review: Stihl RMA 448 TC cordless battery lawn mower with Stihl Connect

  1. Jack, you might want to check out the environmental impact of lithium mining before being so ardent about them! Not to mention all that shiny plastic – made from oil, with zero-biodegradable ability.

    1. Morning Damien,

      I am aware of the environmental impact of lithium mining and the issues with plastic used in almost all household appliances like mowers, washing machines, hair driers etc. All manufacturers of these products have a responsibility to find improved processes for lithium or, even alternatives with less environmental impact. There are of course cabled alternatives available but they are obviously very limited in where they can be used due to the length of the cable.

      Re: plastic, not all plastic is as bad as others – right now single use throwaway plastic largely used in packaging is the biggest priority to reduce. Recycling also helps of course. The last Stihl mower I had was working as new five years later, and the length of time these things last before being recycled or added to landfill also makes a difference. I’d be interested if someone could create an all metal recyclable mower but metal mining too has its issues.

      Ultimately, with garden appliances I feel that moving away from petrol powered machinery to electric powered is the right direction. As more people move to these, the focus can continue to be to improve the environmental impact of them.

      No doubt as I trial other mowers and garden products I’ll be able to point out improvements in their processes impacting the environment.

      Nothing is perfect sadly, even peat free compost has its own footprint on the planet. I’ve updated the page to point out these things near the start.

      Jack

      1. Thank you Jack. I found this review, and your answer, helpful and sincere. I will contact STIHL to see what their policy is on taking back old lawnmowers and mending and replacing parts.

        1. Stihl sent me their environmental policy and they have a plan for these things but I guess it all comes down to how quickly they’re implemented. I don’t represent Stihl at all, they’re one of many manufacturers with the same issues, but I am interested in tools that move away from petrol power. I’m sure they won’t be perfect to start with, like alternatives to petrol cars, but if they’re improving rapidly, that makes them interesting to anyone who cares about the environment.

          Everyone can of course make their own judgements to weigh them up. This is a review not an endorsement 🙂

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