Stihl RMA 339 C Review
A crossover lawnmower, the Stihl RMA 339 C includes some features that can be found in the company’s professional lineup, including the single fold-down handlebar that makes the mower easy to store and simple to manoeuvre. Powerful cutting and excellent battery life make this a top choice for small-to-medium-sized gardens.
- Handle folds down for easy storage
- Excellent grass collection
- Good battery life
- Optional mulching
- Fiddly to attach handle
- Default kit charger is quite slow
- UKRRP: £328
- Battery lifeThe AK20 battery enables this lawn mower to cut up to 250m2, although the length of grass will affect this.
- Cutting widthThis lawnmower cuts in strips 37cm wide, which is good enough to make short work of medium-sized lawns.
If you have a small-to-medium-sized garden and want a high-quality cordless lawn mower to achieve the perfect cut, the Stihl RMA 339 C is for you. Clever storage options, compatible with a range of batteries, and excellent grass collection make this lawnmower stand out from the competition.
Design and features
- Clever folding handlebar
- Compatible with AK batteries
- Smart protection features
At the top of Stihl’s consumer range of lawnmowers, the RMA 339 offers some of the features found in the company’s professional range of products. The stand-out feature is the folding handlebar, which connects to the lawnmower’s body by a single spar. It’s supplied detached, so you’ll have to fit the retaining bolt and two washers, which is an adventure in fiddliness; still, you only have to do the job once.
Doing this properly is quite an engineering task, since having one connection to the body could result in instability over a traditional handlebar that uses two spars for connection. Fortunately, Stihl’s professional range of lawnmowers, such as the RMA 448 TC, have been engineered in this way for some time now, and it’s nice to see it filter down to the consumer products.
Having a single handlebar such as this brings a couple of advantages. First, you can quickly fold down the handle for storage. It’s much faster to pack this lawnmower away than the smaller RMA 235, which requires two bolts to be unscrewed to fold down its handlebar.
Fully extended, the RMA 339 C measures 1100 x 430 x 1350mm, but folding the handle flat down roughly cuts the length in two.
Secondly, the large 40-litre grass catcher box is easier to reach and remove from the rear. Once removed, you can put the box on top of the folded handle for easy storage.
This lawnmower weighs 16kg without the battery, but it’s evenly distributed and there are two carrying handles to make lifting easier. I didn’t encounter any problems lifting the lawnmower in and out of storage, or around the garden.
You can buy the lawnmower for a reasonable £329 without a battery, but there are sets available that include batteries and chargers. Stihl recommends the AK 20 battery for this model, which will let you cut up to 250m2 on a single charge. You can use the other AK batteries, too, such as the larger AK 30. Or, you can swap out batteries mid-way, with Stihl offering a package with two AK 20 batteries, which will cover up to 500m2 of lawn.
Buying the lawnmower barebones might make sense if you already own other Stihl tools with AK batteries, such as the MSA 120C chainsaw.
The basic AL101 charger will charge the AK 20 battery in 2hrs 30mins, although you can get to 80% charge in 1hr 45mins, which isn’t particularly fast. There’s a faster AL500 charger available, if you’d like turnaround time to be quicker.
Batteries drop into the front of the lawnmower and are visible in the cut-out, from where you can tap the button to view the current charge level: a series of LEDs light up.
Also in the battery compartment is the Eco switch. With this turned on, the lawnmower will adjust motor speed based on the requirement, helping to save battery life.
Flip the lawnmower over and you’ll see the blade beneath, which can be removed for sharpening easily enough. It’s a ‘Flow-optimised’ blade, which Stihl says reduces air-resistance, so the full power of the motor is directed into the blade, extending battery life. The blade gives you a cutting width of 37cm, making it good for small-to-medium-sized gardens.
For safety, Stihl includes a key that has to be inserted into the battery area in order to operate the lawnmower. If it isn’t in, the machine won’t start.
Secondly, the controls require you to first press down a safety button before gripping the trigger to start the mower. Once started, you just need to hold the trigger in place.
Cutting height is available using the selector on the side, which adjusts the height of the chassis on the wheels. You can adjust the height between 20mm and 70mm. The lower 20mm cutting height is unique to the UK (marked S on the adjuster), with the rest of Europe preferring slightly longer grass, with a minimum of 30mm.
If you don’t want to collect the cuttings, there’s an optional mulching kit that can be added, so that finely shredded grass will drop back onto the lawn to help feed it.
- Excellent grass capture
- Easy to push around
- Deals with all grass lengths with ease
Although this lawnmower isn’t self-propelled, it remains easy to move around. Good-size wheels and excellent stability make it simple to direct this mower where it needs to go. You can even cope with slopes of up to 25 degrees.
When you first turn on the lawnmower, the motor starts at a higher speed to get it moving, before dropping down to normal cutting speed. I tested the RMA 339 C on a variety of lawns to see how well it cut.
Starting out on a regular lawn (around 80m2), with the cutting height set to the mid-level, I found the Stihl lawnmower easy to move and quick to cut. Here, the cutting width and size of the lawnmower proved well balanced: the cutting width is big enough to cut down the number of lengths you have to make, while ensuring the lawnmower isn’t too big overall.
Next, I put the lawnmower into a garden with much longer grass (after a no-mow May for nature). Here, I cut on the highest setting first, to trim down the grass. Starting off with an untidy, overgrown lawn, I ended up with a neatly trimmed lawn with plenty of bounce in it. Longer grass didn’t phase the 339 C at all, and I never had a problem with the blade seizing up. Future mowings, slowly reducing height, soon had the lawn back to looking its best.
Grass collection is super-impressive, too. The grass catcher bin has a flap that lifts up when the bin is empty and drops down when it’s full. It actually works, too. Lifting the bin out, as you can see from the image below, the grass is highly compacted inside, so you can mow without having to constantly stop to empty the bin.
Battery life is very good. With an AK 20 battery, I managed three mowings of the 80m2 lawn before having to recharge. Longer grass may shorten battery life, but if you cut regularly, you’ll easily achieve the figures that Stihl quotes.
From head-height, pushing the mower, I measured noise at 74.8dB – that’s comparatively very quiet, and the RMA 339 C isn’t distracting or difficult to deal with.
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Should you buy it?
If you have a fair amount of lawn space, this lawnmower can make short work of it, giving you an excellent cut on all types of grass.
Those with the largest of lawns or more difficult terrain may be better off with a model that is self-propelled.
If you want to keep your small-to-medium-sized lawn looking its best, the Stihl RMA 339 C is an excellent choice. It ups the cutting width and manoeuvrability of the smaller RMA 235, while still being easy to store.
Those with much larger gardens may prefer a bigger lawnmower still, and my guide to the best lawnmowers can help.
Yes, you can – an optional kit is available for mulching.
You can use the lawnmower with the AK series of batteries – the AK 20 is the recommended choice.
It has a 37cm cutting width, which makes dealing with larger areas of lawn super-easy.