Husqvarna LC 347VLi

Pros

  • Powerful cut and drive
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Immaculate cut finish
  • Great choice of batteries

Cons

  • No bag-full indicator
  • Weighty at 26kg+
  • Not cheap

Key Features

  • Review Price: £550.00
  • Powerful 36V motor
  • Self-propelled with 4 speeds
  • 47cm cutting width
  • 55-litre dust-blocking bin
  • 6 cutting heights: 2-7.5cm
  • savE eco mode extended run-time
  • Double battery slots
  • Husqvarna Connect app
  • Batteries and charger extra
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What is the Husqvarna LC 347VLi?

Leveraging decades of mowing experience into a big, battery-powered mower for larger lawns, the Husqvarna LC 347VLi is a rugged, 36V self-propelled model with a whopping 47cm cutting width.

Batteries are extra, since there’s a huge choice available, but you won’t be disappointed with run-times or the super-fast charge rate whichever you chose.

We were blown away by the LC 347VLi. From its slick ergonomics to outstanding cutting performance and seemingly unstoppable motor, it drives, cuts and collects faultlessly. It covers large areas with consummate ease, and by cycling two batteries you have almost limitless run-time. The Husqvarna’s LC 347VLi is proof that cordless mowers have come of age.

Husqvarna LC 347VLi – Design and features

Swedish brand Husqvarna has been engineering stuff since 1689, starting with muskets. Fast-forward well over three centuries and the brand has an enviable reputation for quality across a broad range of outdoor power products, including forestry and garden tools. Looking at the brand’s LC 347VLi cordless mower, you can see why.

The LC 347VLi is a premium cordless lawnmower designed for the larger garden. Its 47cm cutting width is about as wide as it gets for a pedestrian mower, and the self-propelled motor can drive it at up to a frisky 4.5km/h.

It packs a sizeable motor with two settings – high torque/full power and the battery-saving savE eco mode – as well as automatic High Load feature. This automatically ups the power and blade speed if the mower becomes bogged down in long or wet grass. If you need even more run-time, the LC 347VLI has two battery slots.

Build quality is outstanding. Everything is solid, comfortable and feels just ‘right’. The chunky metal handle is robust, sowing no hint of flexing – but it still folds flat for easier storage. The wheels run on double rows of ball bearings, there’s a separate motor for drive power, and the sides of the ABS cutter deck are a honeycomb lattice to increase strength.

The LC 347LVi is a big beast, and weighing well over 25kg without a battery, it isn’t much lighter than petrol units at this size. If you’re feeling man enough to carry it, Husqvarna has thoughtfully moulded in handles behind the motor tower and at the front of the cutter deck.

Like many cordless lawnmowers, the LC 347LVi comes supplied without battery or charger. As Husqvarna makes a huge range of batteries and several charger options that fit this machine (see ‘Batteries, charging and run-Time’), the choice depends on your lawn size and requirements.

Our test unit was supplied with a 4Ah BLi20 battery and QC330 fast-charge dock, at an additional £130 and £80 respectively. We subsequently acquired a second BLi20 to test the dual-battery function and the option for near-continuous mowing by cycling batteries. That brings the total cost as tested up to a significant £890

The BLi20 gives around 20 minutes of full-power run-time and the QC330 will charge a battery in staggeringly swift 30 minutes or so. Two batteries and a tea break between battery swap-overs means you can mow near continuously all day long.

That comprehensively eliminates the biggest issue with cordless mowers – namely, finite battery run-time. You can even opt for the even faster QC500 charger, if you want larger batteries or to forego the tea breaks!

Up at the user interface end, the chunky handle is horizontal with a soft rubber grip. Two heavy-duty wire levers operate the cutting blade and the forward drive independently. Cutting is the big orange wire on top, which is locked off with a thumb-operated safety catch to the side. Fixtures and fittings here are clearly designed to withstand professional-level abuse.

In the centre of the handle is the electronic control keypad. The main panel covers power on/off, eco mode, Bluetooth connection and, at the touch of a button, four-segment charge indicators for both battery slots.

We’d have preferred the battery indicators to remain illuminated the entire time the mower was switched on to give you an ongoing indication of battery level. Although, granted, pressing the button as you mow is hardly onerous.

At the rear of the keypad is the four-step speed control for the drive motor, graphically labelled from tortoise to hare.

Driven by the larger rear wheels, your tortoise trots along at 3km/h while your hare speeds up to 4.5km/h, which is a solid walking pace. You can drive the mower around without having the blade running, or wheel the mower freely when the drive motor isn’t engaged.

Sadly, there’s no roller option if you fancy proper stripes. Husqvarna informed us that is because the LC 347VLi is a global product and stripy lawns are a peculiarly British penchant.

At the business end, the LC 347VLi has six-step height adjustment, from 20mm to 75mm, operated by a trigger handle on the left side. The mechanism is spring-balanced, so moving the machine up and down is easy. A kill-switch key sits close by, enabling the machine to be disabled.

Flip the mower on its side (something you can’t do with petrol mowers due to oil and fuel) and the 47cm blade is easily removed to sharpen or replace as it becomes worn.

Cleaning out the smooth under-deck is a simple scrape and hose-out.

The deck ejects into a huge 55-litre container that Husqvarna calls its Dust Blocker bag. This features a fine mesh weave and folds of material that exhaust most of the air downwards, rather than back at you.

If you want to mulch the grass rather than collect then a mulching kit, with specific mulch blade and plug to blog the collector, is optionally available at £35.

The LC 347VLi is part of Husqvarna’s Connect range and links into the Connect app via Bluetooth. The main page provides battery charge data and total cutting time to date.

This isn’t overly useful info, as you have to power the machine on the connect the app – so you could check battery levels on the keypad anyway. More useful is the parts and support pages that offer full manual, troubleshooting, maintenance guides, dealer contacts and a franklyamazing list of spare parts and accessories, including a huge a 31Ah hour back-pack battery and battery belt.

Husqvarna LC 347VLi – Batteries, charging and run-time

The LC 347VLi doesn’t come with batteries or charger. The reason being is that Husqvarna offers no less than seven battery options and four different chargers. While some of these are made for professional use (the BLi950X 31Ah back-pack battery at £1080, for example), there are several models ideal for the LC 347VLi and domestic use.

On the charger front, the QC330 we were supplied is excellent. At £80, and packing a 8Ah charging output, it’s very fast. That charged up our 4Ah BLi20 battery in a little over half an hour.

To charge this fast requires cooling, and the charger has a fan that draws cool air through the battery. Given the odd stoppage for obstacle navigation, picking up debris and bag-emptying, we struggled to run-out one BLi20 before the other BLi20 battery was fully charged by the QC330.

When you do run out, there’s no slowing or lack of power; the lawnmower just stops. It also flashes a little red flat battery warning triangle on the keypad, just in case the silence and lack of movement doesn’t give it away.

On one steaming hot day we noted that the depleted batteries won’t charge immediately when you remove them from the mower. This is a ‘hot pack’ safety feature to best maintain the longevity of the cells. Put a hot pack in the QC330 and it fan-cools the battery before automatically switching to charge mode a few minutes later. If you opt for larger capacity batteries, the QC500 charger at £130 is faster still.

Battery choice can be a little daunting. How many people note exactly how long it actually takes them to mow their lawn against the cutting width and speed of the mower? We’d absolutely suggest you opt for two batteries, though. That gives you the option of running both for double run-time, or cycling one through the charger while you mow with the other.

Regarding run-time, on full power mode we consistently achieved around 5 minutes of run-time per 1Ah of battery power. So, our one BLi20 gave 19-20 minutes mowing; two batteries gave closer to 40 minutes. From this we can calculate the approximate full-power run-times of the other batteries in the range:

BLi10 – 2Ah, £75: 10 minutes

BLi20 – 4Ah, £130: 20 minutes

Husqvarna’s pro-series batteries for the LC 347VLi are a little more expensive, but can be used in all-weather and have a four-segment charge indicator. Husqvarna suggests these will be good for up to 1500 charge/discharge cycles, indicating they will last a bit longer than the consumer batteries too.

BLi100 – 2.4Ah, £130: 12 minutes

BLi200 – 5.2Ah – £200: 27 minutes

BLi300 – 9.4Ah – £270: 47 minutes

Even at the slowest ‘tortoise’ setting, we managed to mow around 300sqm of lawn on a single BLi20 charge lasting just shy of 20 minutes. That included a few twists, about-turns and detours around obstacles. With a big open lawn and a brisker drive pace, you could comfortably mow 350-400sqm on a single BLi20 battery charge.

Switching to the savE eco mode hears the motor and blade notably slow a little. Noise goes down a couple of decibels too.

On an open lawn in dry conditions, switching to eco mode made no perceivable difference to the cut performance or speed you could cover ground. However, it did extend the run-time of our BLi20 batteries by five minutes or so. This topped cutting time to around 24-25 minutes. That would suggest a general run-time increase in savE eco mode of around 25% on the figures above.

There’s a little less grunt in this mode, however. With savE eco on, charging into a bramble-infested border did see the machine struggle more than in normal mode. If you have a reasonably flat lawn, the weather is dry, and the grass isn’t so tall, the savE eco mode works just fine.

Husqvarna LC 347VLi – Handling and performance

For big lawns then the LC 347VLI ticks all the boxes. There’s plenty of power, a wide cut and self-propelled drive.

All this adds up to a large and weighty beast, however. At well over 25kg plus batteries, this isn’t a mower you’ll be casually slinging into the shed at the end of the session. Husqvarna makes several smaller, lighter models, but the LC 347VLi is for those with lawns the size of multiple tennis courts and up.

In use, you can pretty much forget that weight, though. The comfy handle grip and powered drive let you stroll along behind the mover with consummate ease. The controls, buttons, release clip and switchgear all come to hand nicely and are easy to operate. You can keep just one hand on the bars if required, freeing up the other hand, say, for using your phone.

The phone option I mention because the LC347VLi is just about quiet enough to have a phone conversation while it’s running. It certainly isn’t super-stealth in the way of some of the robot mowers we’ve tested, but it’s significantly quieter than an equivalent petrol model. It’s at about the same or slightly lower noise level than a 47cm mains-powered mower.

Get to the end of the lawn and you can either continue driving in an arc or stop the drive, tilt the machine onto its rear wheels, and pivot-turn on the spot. Despite its mass, the balance of the machine has been judged well so that it’s very easy to pop up the front wheels even with an empty bag.

As the bag fills, and there’s more weight behind the rear wheels, it becomes even easier. Juggling the upper mowing lever and lower drive lever takes a little getting used to, but we were driving around like pros after the first day.

While my octogenarian mother could handle the mower out on open lawns, realistically it was far too big and bulky for her and there was zero chance of her lifting it in and out of the shed. Not one for your elderly mum then.

Another potentially weighty challenge is emptying the bin. At 55 litres, a full bin will be quite heavy, even if the clippings are lightly packed in. Thanks to very potent air-flow and efficient clipping ejection, the LC 347VLi properly packs in the cuttings, making for a really densely packed bag.

That does mean the bag won’t need emptying quite so much, but it will be heavier when you do. The task is easy enough, however, assisted by Husqvarna making the handle uprights wide enough to life the bag straight up and through the middle, rather than having to drag it off the back of the mower.

Our only gripe with the bag, or the LC 347LVi in general, is a complete lack of bag-full indicator. There’s simply no way of determining when the bag needs emptying – until it’s full and piles of chewed-up cuttings emerge from under the deck.

We ended up simply feeling the side of the bag as we went along, which seems a bit wrong for such a high-tech cordless mower.

Actual mowing performance was faultless. The blade cuts almost to the very edge of the deck and the finish is top-notch. Even set on its lowest billiard table setting, the LC 347LVi ploughed on through dense growth and continued to pick up 99% of the cuttings. You can’t hear the High Load feature engage when the going gets tough, but the blade certainly never slowed a great deal or ground to a halt.

Considering we tried some off-piste mowing action through bramble and ferns, that’s mighty impressive.

Height adjustment is very easy thanks to the soft-grip handle and trigger release. Initially, that does rather encourage you to go just a bit lower… until you suddenly realise you’ve scalped a 47cm wide runway strip. Good job it will grow back…

Over several weeks we mowed everything from our neatest formal lawn to bramble-filled border edges with the LC 347VLi and were nothing but impressed. It’s a big and weighty beast, so it isn’t the model of choice for those with a postage stamp-sized lawn. Yet for those with some big areas of green, it operates seamlessly, is ergonomically superb, and will deliver a great cut over a big area in super-quick time.

The asking price of £890 as tested with two BLi20 batteries and a QC330 charger is undoubtedly premium for a 47cm mower. Yet the exceptional build quality, great battery performance and superb mowing abilities go a long way to justifying that price alone.

Factor in the minimal running costs, especially compared to a petrol model with fuel, oil and annual servicing, and the overall cost of ownership is comparable; if not cheaper. Nor will you be looking for long extension cables or joiners when you have cut them.

The lack of bag-full indicator is a bit of a niggle, but hardly a deal-breaker – and the weight is commensurate with its wide cut, driven wheels and powerful motor.

If you need any convincing that the era of petrol and mains-powered pedestrian mowers is over, even for big lawns, give the Husqvarna LC 347VLi a try. It’s blooming brilliant.

Why buy the Husqvarna LC 347VLi?

Powerful, efficient and with outstanding attention to design detail, Husqvarna’s LC 347VLi cordless self-propelled mower is unreservedly impressive for bigger lawns. From bowling greens to rough meadow, we simply couldn’t fault the Husqvarna’s power, quality of cut or ability to collect 99% of clippings.

The comprehensive battery choice, dual-slot arrangement and fast charger all but eliminate run-time limitations, and the list of neat design touches is extensive. These include the clever Dust Blocker bag, savE extended run-time mode, keypad controls, proper ball-bearing wheels and Bluetoooth connected app with handy manual.

The LC 347LVi plus batteries and charger isn’t cheap, but running and maintenance costs are a fraction of a petrol equivalent. Time to go cordless? We think so.

Verdict

Husqvarna’s LC 347VLi is a superbly designed, premium battery-powered mower that sets the benchmark for cordless mowing on big lawns.

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