Black & Decker GFC1234 User manual

Rotary Lawnmower
User manual
On your purchase of your Black & Decker corded
This user manual provides important operating and
maintenance instructions for all of the mowers in the
Black & Decker 4x4 corded range.
Know your mower
Read all of this manual carefully, observing all
the recommended safety instructions before,
during and after using your mower, and
maintain your mower in good working order.
Familiarise yourself with the controls on your
mower before attempting to operate it, but
above all, be sure you know how to stop
your mower in an emergency.
Retain this user manual and all other literature
supplied with your mower for future reference.
Safety instructions
• Never allow children or persons who are
unfamiliar with this type of mower to use
it, nor anyone who has not read this user
Do not allow children, animals or
other persons near your mower
when in use - always keep them
at least 6m (20ft) away from the
cutting area.
• Remember that the operator is responsible
for accidents or hazards occurring to
other people or their property.
• Your mower is designed for use on AC
(mains) electrical supplies only - do not
attempt to use it on any other supply.
• Plug your mower into a power point never a lighting socket.
• Switch off and remove plug from mains
before adjusting, cleaning or if the cord is
entangled or damaged. Never carry your
mower by the cable or jerk the cable to
seperate the connectors. Keep the cable
away from heat sources, oils or sharp
edges. Check the condition of your cable
before use and do not use if damaged.
• To protect your feet, always wear stout
shoes or boots - freshly cut grass is
damp and slippery.
Do not operate your mower barefoot or
in open sandals.
Use a face mask if dusty.
Wear long trousers to protect your legs any debris left on the lawn or cutting path
may be picked up and ejected by the
Always keep the power supply cable
away from the blades - be aware of its
position at all times. The power supply
cable should be regularly inspected for
signs of damage or ageing, and only
used if in good condition.
Always be sure your mower is in a safe
operating condition.
Before using your mower, disconnect it
from the electrical supply and visually
check that the blade, blade nut and
cutter assembly are not worn or
damaged. A damaged blade or worn
blade nut is a major hazard and must be
replaced. Also check that the blade nut is
securely fastened.
Always check that your lawn or cutting
path is clear of all sticks, stones, wire
and other debris. Contact with such
debris may be dangerous or may
damage your mower and could be
thrown by the blade.
• When tilting the handle downwards (or to
the side) to start your mower, do not tilt it
more than is absolutely necessary.
Always ensure that both hands are in the
operating position and feet are well away
from the blades before returning your
mower to the ground.
Your mower will continue to run
for a short time after releasing
the switch lever. Always allow
your mower to stop on its own.
• Release the switch lever to turn your
mower off and remove the plug from
the mains:
• Whenever you leave your mower
• Before checking, cleaning, adjusting
or working on your mower.
• Before clearing a blockage.
If your mower starts to vibrate
abnormally (check immediately).
• After striking a foreign object, inspect
your mower for damage and make
repairs as necessary.
Never run your mower whilst lying on its
side or attempt to stop the blade always allow it to stop on its own.
Do not put hands or feet near or under
rotating parts.
Keep clear of discharge openings at all
Do not use your mower in the rain and
do not allow it to get wet. Avoid using
your mower in wet grass, if possible.
Use your mower only in daylight or good
artificial light.
Do not pull machine towards you or walk
backwards when mowing.
Do not cross gravel paths or roads whilst
the blade is rotating.
Always be sure of your footing,
particularly on slopes.
Always cut across the face of slopes,
never up and down. Exercise extreme
caution when changing direction on
Do not cut excessively steep slopes and
always wear non-slip footwear.
Check the grassbox for wear or damage
and replace if necessary. Never use your
mower without the grassbox in place.
Walk, never run. Do not force your mower.
Never pick up or carry your mower while
the motor is running.
Ensure the blade has stopped rotating
and take extreme care before lifting your
mower for and during transportation.
Never operate your mower with defective
guards or shields.
Maintenance and storage
• Store your mower in a dry place when
not in use, out of the reach of children.
• Always disconnect from the electrical
supply before cleaning.
• Do not use solvents or cleaning fluids to
clean your mower - use a blunt scraper
to remove grass and dirt.
• Do not operate your mower if any parts
are defective; discard all defective parts
and fit new parts before use.
• Keep all nuts, bolts and screws tight to
be sure your mower is in a safe working
Use only Black & Decker recommended
replacement parts and accessories.
Black & Decker’s policy is one of continuous
improvement to our products and, as such, we
reserve the right to change product specifications
without prior notice.
Double insulation
Your mower is double insulated.
This means that all external metal parts are
electrically isolated from the power supply.
This is achieved by placing an extra
insulation barrier between the electrical and
mechanical parts. Double insulation means
greater electrical safety and obviates the
necessity of having your mower earthed.
Electrical safety
Increased safety can be obtained by having
a qualified electrician install a high sensitivity
(30mA) circuit breaker in the house wiring.
If you do not have such a circuit breaker
installed, or you do not wish to have one
installed, then we strongly recommend that
the electrical power to your mower be
supplied through a high sensitivity residual
current device (RCD). The RCD is designed
to provide a high degree of personal
protection against harmful electric current
should fault conditions occur.
Warning! The use of an RCD or other circuit
breaker unit does not release the operator of
your mower from the safety instructions and
safe working practices given in this manual.
Electrical safety (UK only)
Your mower should always be switched off
at the mains before disconnecting any plug
and socket connector or extension cables.
Fuse replacement
If your mower is supplied with cable fitted
with a non-re-wireable plug:
• The plug is fitted with a 13 amp fuse
which is the recommended fuse for
your mower.
• Only use replacement fuses which are
approved to BS1362.
When changing the fuse in your plug,
always ensure the fuse cover is refitted.
If the fuse cover is missing or damaged
do not use the plug.
Note: Fuses do not give personal protection
against electric shock.
Plug replacement
• Disconnect the plug from the supply.
• Cut off the plug and dispose of
immediately. Insertion of a detatched
plug into a 13 amp socket outlet may
result in electric shock.
• Only fit BS1363A approved plugs fitted
with the correctly rated fuse.
• The cable wire colours, or a letter, will be
marked at the connection points of most
good quality plugs. Attach the wires to
their respective points in the plug (see
below). Brown is for “Live” (L) and blue is
for “Neutral” (N).
• Before replacing the top cover of the
mains plug ensure that the cable restraint
is holding the outer sheath on the cable
firmly and that the two leads are correctly
fixed at the terminal screws.
Large handle wing nuts for easy
assembly and storage.
14 height of cut positions which
provides the flexibility to deal with most
grass conditions.
The height of cut is easily adjusted by
rotating the height adjustment knob to
the desired setting. Rotating the knob
adjusts all four wheels in one action.
Your mower has 360º rotating wheels
for maximum manoeuverability, which
allows cutting right up to the edge of
the lawn as well as around
The rear wheels are lockable to enable
accurate straight-line cutting.
Tough, durable plastic deck which will
not rust and contributes to low noise and
low vibration.
Powerful and efficient induction motor
which gives effective cutting and bagging
in all reasonable conditions and a low
noise level as well as low maintenance.
Ergonomically designed upswept handle
for comfortable use and ease of pushing.
Easy grassbox removal.
Cable restraint helps keep the cable out
of the way and prevents the cable
socket being accidentally pulled and
Carton contents
Warning! Never connect live or neutral wires
to the earth pin marked “E” or
Note: Do not wire an extension cable directly
into your mower yourself. Instead, take your
mower to your nearest Black & Decker
service agent.
Features (Fig. A)
Your purchase of a Black & Decker lawnmower
gives you a product combining quality with
modern design and the following features to
provide safe, efficient and easy mowing.
• Lock-off safety switch to prevent
accidental starting of your mower.
• A blade brake for added safety. Stops
the blade rotating within 3 seconds once
the switchbox lever is released.
The carton contains:
1 Lawnmower body
1 Handle assembly (3 parts)
1 Grassbox assembly (2 parts)
1 Cable restraint
1 Spanner/scraper
1 Screwdriver
2 Wing nuts
2 Washers
2 Shaped washers
2 Bolts for upper handle
2 Bolts for lower handle
5 Screws for grassbox
1 Wiper (UK only)
2 Screws for wiper (UK only)
2 Cable clips
1 Instruction manual
Carefully unpack all parts.
Assembling the handle
Place the mower with its wheels on a
firm and level surface.
• Insert the handle bars into the openings
as shown in fig. B1, so that the curve
makes them widen at the top.
• Secure each of the bars with a bolt and
shaped washer as shown.
Securely tighten the bolt using the
spanner supplied.
• Slide the cable restraint onto the
U-shaped handle below the black
• Place the U-shaped upper handle bar
onto the bars as shown.
• Secure the upper handle bar using the
bolts, washers and wing nuts as
• Secure the cables to the handle using
the cable clips supplied.
Do not use any tools to tighten the wing nuts.
Grassbox assembly (Fig. C)
The grassbox comes supplied in two halves.
In order to assemble proceed as follows:
• Align the two halves of the grassbox as
• Fit the two halves together with the
5 screws, using the screwdriver supplied.
Fitting the grassbox to your mower:
• The spring loaded rear flap is lifted and
the top of the grassbox is placed over
the mounting.
• The rear flap can now be released to lock
the grassbox into position.
Removing the grassbox from your mower:
The full grassbox may be removed by raising
the grassflap, freeing the grassbox from its
mounting and resting it on the lawn. The
grassflap can be gently lowered, leaving
both hands free to lift the full grassbox.
How to use your mower (Fig. D)
Observe all of the relevant warnings
when using your mower.
We recommend the directional method of
operation to obtain the maximum cutting
performance from your mower and to
reduce the risk of the trailing extension lead
from entering the cutting path.
• Place the bulk of the supply cable on
the lawn close to the starting point.
To fix the cable to the restraint, proceed as
• Bring the socket end of the extension
cable from behind and connect it to your
mower plug.
• Form a loop on your extension cable
close to the cable restraint.
• Push the loop through the slot from the
opposite side of the restraint hook,
position the loop over the hook and pull
the cable back through the slot. Your
cable will now be restrained.
• The extension cable should now fall
away from your mower and behind the
operator, ready for use.
Warning! Do not attempt to operate your
mower with one hand - you must guide it
with both hands.
• Tilt the handle downwards to slightly raise
the front of your mower and to reduce
the risk of lawn damage whilst starting,
depress the safety lock-off button on the
switchbox and whilst still depressed pull
the switch lever towards you. Your
mower will start and you can now allow
the lock-off button to be released and
lower your mower to its proper cutting
position, and commence cutting using
both hands to guide it.
• Proceed down the cutting area as shown
in Fig. D1 (a), working from position 1
towards position 2 and, on reaching
position 2, turn to the right and proceed
towards position 3. Continue to the end
of the cutting area, turn to the left and
proceed towards position 4. Continue in
the same manner as shown in Fig. D1 (a),
always working away from the cable.
Do not adopt the method as shown in
Fig. D1 (b), working towards the cable,
as this is dangerous practice.
• Ensure the cable is clear of the mower
when manoeuvering around obstructions
or when edging.
Note: Your mower has 360º rotating wheels
for maximum manoeuverability. The rear
wheels can be locked into position for
straight, accurate, cutting as follows:
• Push the mower forwards until all wheels
rotate towards the rear of the mower.
• Pull the locking lever on the left-hand side
of the mower until the ratchet engages.
To unlock the wheels push the release
button forwards.
• Should the lever fully engage on the
ratchet, but the rear wheels not lock into
place, then release the lever, unscrew the
cable adjustment by one turn and reengage the lever and ratchet. Repeat
until the wheels fully lock into position.
Your mower will continue to operate whilst
you are pulling the switch lever. To stop your
mower release the switch lever.
When you have finished using your mower
we recommend that you clean all debris from
it before putting it away. Refer to the
‘Care and maintenance’ section.
Note: To obtain the best results cut your
lawn or grass area regularly and do not cut
when the grass is wet.
If, when mowing, loose grass is seen to be
scattering from beneath the mower, the grassbag is probably full and should be emptied.
Overload protection (GF1838 only)
The GF1838 is fitted with an internal overload
protector which will switch off the motor if the
unit is being used in excessively long grass at
a low height of cut, or if it is being forced into
long grass. If the motor stops in these
conditions there is not a fault with the mower.
It should be left to cool for 10 minutes and
then tilted slightly and run without moving for
1 to 2 minutes. The height of the cut should
be set to maximum and after cutting at that
height be reduced to the desired level.
Manoeuverability (Fig. E)
Your mower has fully rotating wheels and
as such is capable of manoeuvering around
trees posts and other objects. It also allows
accurate mowing of contoured features in
your garden like flower beds.
For maximum manoeuverability release the
rear wheel locking mechanism by pushing
the release button forwards.
When manoeuvering your mower always use
the cable restraint and ensure that the cable
is out of the way of the desired cutting area.
Height of cut adjustment (Fig. F)
Warning! Disconnect your mower from the
electrical supply before making any
adjustment and give the blade time to stop
rotating: the cutting blades are sharp.
• Flip the lever outwards and hold it firmly.
• Using the lever, rotate the knob to set
the desired height of cut.
• Flip the lever back to lock the knob.
To produce a stripe on your lawn, first slide
the striping flap in position and fix with the
2 screws provided, then adjust the height
of cut to a low position (UK only).
Note: For longer or uneven growth lawns
(particularly the first cut of the season) first
use a higher height setting and then finish
with a second cut to the desired length.
Blade maintenance
The steel blade is designed to give a fine finish in
long or tough grass. The blade will continue to
cut even when it has become blunt or burred.
There is no need for it to be razor sharp.
If, however, because of damage or wear the
cutting performance deteriorates, then your
mower may require a new blade, or at least
the existing blade to be sharpened.
We recommend that the steel blade is
sharpened or a new blade fitted at the
beginning of each season.
Replacement blades are available from
Black␣ &␣ Decker service agents.
Warning! When fitting a new blade use only
the Black␣ &␣ Decker replacement part
specified for your mower - do not attempt to
fit any other blade.
Fitting a new blade (Fig. G)
Observe all the relevant warnings before
changing the blade.
Warning! Disconnect your mower from the
electrical supply before changing the blade.
• Turn your mower over on its side so
that the underside of the cutter cover is
• Using a cloth placed over the blade or
heavy duty gloves to protect your hands,
grip the blade and, using the spanner
provided, loosen and remove the nut
from the motor spindle. Turn the nut in an
anti-clockwise direction to loosen it.
• The blade can now be replaced and the
washer and bolt reassembled.
Note: Do not remove the impeller for any
Note: Some mowers are fitted with a clutch
washer, between the blade nut and the blade,
which must be reassembled at all times.
Handy hints
• On long grass, above 10cm (4 inches), use two
cuts to get a close finish. We recommend that the
first cut should be taken with the blade set at
maximum height of cut and the second taken with
it set at medium or close. This will prove to be
easier and give a better overall finish to your lawn.
Care and maintenance
The advice given in this section covers the
general care and maintenance of the main
body of your mower. Advice relating to the
blades is given in “Maintenance of blades”.
Warning! Do not use an extension cable
which shows signs of damage. Fit a new
cable completely - do not make any
permanent or temporary repairs.
• Always keep your mower clean and free
from grass cuttings, especially the
underside of the cutter deck, the air
vents and the wheels.
• Check all electrical cables at regular
intervals, looking for signs of wear,
abrasion or other damage.
• At the end of each cutting session we
recommend that the build up of grass on
the underside of the cutter cover is
removed using a blunt scraper.
• Clean all plastic components with a
damp cloth.
Caution: Do not use solvents or cleaning
fluids as these may damage the plastic
components of your mower.
Fault finding
If your mower does not operate correctly,
use the following table to locate the problem.
Warning! Always disconnect your mower
from the electrical supply before carrying out
any inspection.
Possible cause Remedy
Motor buzzes Blade jammed. Disconnect from
but blade does
the electrical
not move.
supply. Remove
obstruction from
the blade.
No noise and Faulty electrical Disconnect from
blade does
the electrical
not move.
Plug your mower
into an alternative
electrical supply.
No noise and Faulty electrical Fit a new fuse.
blade does
Re-tighten and
not move.
check all electrical
connections in
extension cables.
Re-set RCD in
with instructions.
No noise and
blade does
not move.
Possible cause
GF1838 only
See section on
Protecting the environment
Black & Decker provides a facility for
recycling Black & Decker products once
they have reached the end of their working
life. This service is provided free of charge.
To take advantage of this service please
return your product to any authorised repair
agent who will collect them on our behalf.
You can check the location of your nearest
authorised repair agent by contacting your local
Black & Decker office at the address indicated in
this manual. Alternatively, a list of authorised
Black & Decker repair agents and full details of our
after-sales service and contacts are available on the
Internet at:
Black & Decker is confident of the quality of its
products and offers an outstanding guarantee.
This guarantee statement is in addition to and in no
way prejudices your statutory rights. The guarantee
is valid within the territories of the Member States
of the European Union and the European Free
Trade Area.
If a Black & Decker product becomes defective due
to faulty materials, workmanship or lack of
conformity, within 24 months from the date of
purchase, Black & Decker guarantees to replace
defective parts, repair products subjected to fair
wear and tear or replace such products to ensure
minimum inconvenience to the customer unless:
• The product has been used for trade,
professional or hire purposes;
• The product has been subjected to misuse or
• The product has sustained damage through
foreign objects, substances or accidents;
• Repairs have been attempted by other persons
than authorised repair agents or Black & Decker
service staff.
To claim on the guarantee, you will need to submit
proof of purchase to the seller or an authorised
repair agent. You can check the location of your
nearest authorised repair agent by contacting your
local Black & Decker office at the address indicated
in this manual. Alternatively, a list of authorised
Black & Decker repair agents and full details of our
after-sales service and contacts are available on the
Internet at:
Other outdoor tools
Black & Decker has a full range of outdoor power
tools that make life in the garden easy. If you would
like further information on the following products,
please contact our Service and Information Centre
(see the address page towards the end of this
manual) or your local Black & Decker retailer.
String trimmers
Cordless shear
Not all products are available in all countries.
EC Declaration of Conformity
Black & Decker declares that these tools
conform to:
98/37/EC, 89/336/EEC, 73/23/EEC,
EN 55014, EN 60335, EN 61000,
2000/14/EC, Lawn mower, L ≤ 50 cm,
Annex VIII, No. 0086
B.S.I., HP2 4SQ, United Kingdom
Level of sound pressure, measured according
to 2000/14/EC:
LpA (sound pressure) dB(A) 79
LWA (acoustic power) dB(A) 93
LWA (guaranteed)
dB(A) 96
Hand/arm weighted vibration value according to
EN 50144: < 2.5 m/s2
Brian Cooke
Director of Engineering
Spennymoor, County Durham DL16 6JG
United Kingdom
DEWALT Industrial Power Tool Company
7 Clarice Road
Box Hill, Victoria 3128
Tel. 03 9895 9200
Fax 03 9899 7465
New Zealand
Black & Decker
81 Hugo Johnson Drive
Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel. 09 579 7600
Fax 09 579 8200
South Africa
Black & Decker South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Physical address:
39 Commerce Crescent
Eastgate, ext. 12, Sandton, Kramerville 2148
Postal address:
Postnet Suite 107, Private Bag X65
Halfway House 1685
Tel. (011) 653-1400
Fax (011) 653-1499
United Kingdom
Black & Decker
210 Bath Road
Slough, Berkshire SL1 3YD
Tel. 01753 511234
Fax 01753 551155
Helpline 01753 574277
Data protection act: Tick this box if you prefer not to receive
information from Black & Decker or other companies.
Product catalogue number: GF834/GF934/GF1034/
County or state:
House number or name and street:
Address of the dealer where your lawnmower was purchased:
Address of the dealer where your lawnmower was purchased:
What was the price of your lawnmower?
Was your lawnmower bought as a replacement?
Was your lawnmoweryour first purchase?
Was your lawnmower a gift?
Date of your purchase:
South Africa: Black & Decker South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Suite no 107, PostNet X65, Halfway House 1685
United Kingdom & Ireland: PO Box 821, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 3AR
Please complete this section immediately after the purchase of your lawnmower
and post it to the Black & Decker address in your country (above).
If you live in Australia or New Zealand, please register your purchase by using
the alternative guarantee card.