Husqvarna 537185702. Reel
SKU: 537185702 UPC: 705788561322 MPN: 537185702 Condition: New Availability: Ships (leaves our warehouse) within next business day if in stock Category: Miscellaneous/Reel
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7185702 Husqvarna Husqvarna Reel
Husqvarna 537185702 Reel is a great choice for any lawn care needs. This reel is designed for durability and performance, and offers a reliable and efficient way to maintain your lawn. It is easy to use, and features a lightweight design that makes it easy to maneuver. The reel is also equipped with a robust cutting system that ensures a precise and clean cut every time. With its adjustable cutting height, you can easily customize the cut to fit your specific lawn care needs. Whether you are looking for a reliable and efficient lawn care solution or just want to keep your lawn looking its best, the Husqvarna 537185702 Reel is the perfect choice.
Husqvarna lawn mowers are designed to give you the best results for your lawn care needs. With features such as a powerful engine, adjustable cutting height, and durable construction, Husqvarna lawn mowers are designed to make your lawn look its best. For those looking for a more eco-friendly option, Husqvarna’s Reel mowers are the perfect choice. These mowers are powered by an efficient, low-emission engine that makes them an ideal choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. With features like a large cutting deck and adjustable cutting height, Husqvarna Reel mowers are sure to give you a perfect cut every time. Whether you’re looking for a powerful gas mower or a more eco-friendly option, Husqvarna has the perfect lawn mower for you.
When it comes to buying replacement parts for your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel, it is essential to purchase only genuine Husqvarna parts. Original Husqvarna parts are designed to meet the exact specifications of your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel, ensuring that your machine runs at peak performance. With genuine Husqvarna parts, you can rest assured that your reel is safe and secure. Original parts are made from high-quality materials and are designed to last. They are also backed by Husqvarna‘s warranty, so you can be sure that your purchase is protected. Investing in genuine Husqvarna parts for your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel is the best way to ensure that your machine is running properly and that you are getting the most out of your investment.
At Husqv Parts, we offer the highest quality original parts for your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel. Our parts are sourced from the original manufacturer, ensuring that they are made to the highest specifications. We also offer a wide selection of parts, so you can find the perfect part for your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel. Our team of experienced professionals is available to answer any questions you may have, and our secure checkout process ensures that your purchase is safe and secure. With Husqv Parts, you can rest assured that you are getting the highest quality original parts for your Husqvarna 537185702. Reel.
Since 1971, we have been providing customers with Husqvarna replacement parts. Our decades of experience have given us an in-depth understanding of the product and the ability to provide the best service possible. We are committed to providing the highest quality parts and outstanding customer service. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right part for your needs. We pride ourselves on our commitment to excellent customer service and our dedication to ensuring that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.
Husqvarna Husqvarna Reel Specs
Part Manufacturer: Husqvarna
Product Number: 537185702
This Product Replaces:
Husqvarna Husqvarna Reel is a line of lawn mowers, trimmers, blowers, edgers, chainsaws, and other outdoor power equipment. The brand is known for its high-quality, durable products that are designed to provide reliable performance and long-lasting results. Husqvarna Reel products are available in a variety of sizes and styles to meet the needs of any homeowner or professional landscaper.
537185702 Husqvarna Reel Manual and Additional Information
If you are unsure if a part is the correct one for your needs, you can look at the parts manual section for more information. This will provide you with detailed specifications of the part and its compatibility with your product. Alternatively, you can contact our knowledgeable customer support team who will be able to answer any questions you may have and provide you with advice on which part is the best fit for your needs.
If you are looking for parts for your Husqvarna equipment, you can find them in the fast moving parts section or you can look for parts for specific models of equipment in the parts lookup section. The parts lookup section is especially helpful when you need to find specific parts for specific models of Husqvarna equipment. With both of these sections, you can find the parts you need quickly and easily.
Lawn mower technology has advanced in the past few decades, but there are still many reasons to opt for a reel mower. Read on for top recommendations and tips on navigating this mower market.
By Glenda Taylor and Mark Wolfe | Updated Apr 20, 2023 12:27 PM
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Quiet in operation, simple to maintain, and largely affordable, reel lawn mowers can be Smart options for yard maintenance. Taking up about a third of the storage room needed by a traditional mower, they’re easy keepers.
Reel mowers also might be better for a lawn’s health than standard mowers. They make a sharp cut along the top of the grass blade, similar to the way scissors cut. Traditional rotary mowers have blades with a tendency to tear the grass, which causes ragged brown tips and increases the risk of disease.
While all reel mowers function similarly, there are differences among the options. We tested the following models to find out how blade width, mowing height, handle design, and other details affect performance in different settings. Keep reading to learn what to look for when shopping for a reel mower, and find out why the following models are among the best reel mower options available.
- BEST OVERALL:Great States 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Great States 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- UPGRADE PICK:Fiskars StaySharp 18-Inch Max Reel Mower
- BEST FOR SMALL LAWNS:Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR TOUGH GRASS:Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT:American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 4-Blade Mower
- BEST WITH GRASS CATCHER: Greenworks RM1400 14-Inch Lawn Mower
- ALSO CONSIDER:Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower
How We Tested the Best Reel Mowers
We tested these mowers in a Georgia backyard in the middle of winter. That meant a combination of dormant warm-season grasses (some Bermuda grass and some centipede grass) along with a few areas infested with cool-season weeds like annual bluegrass, chickweed, henbit, dandelion, and wild onion. The test areas included a combination of flat, sloped, and uneven lawn.
We divided the lawn into test plots so that each mower would have a chance to prove its capability under a variety of conditions. For inclusion in this article, each mower had to effectively perform the basic function for which it was built: mowing to reduce the grass height by approximately one-third. Then, beyond basic weed-free lawn mowing, we also tested each mower on the tougher conditions of overgrown and weed-infested grass. All of the mowers included in this guide easily passed the basic functionality test and earned bonus points by tackling one or more adverse conditions, noted in the reviews.
Our Top Picks
Using a reel mower is an environmentally friendly way to mow the lawn and get a bit of fresh air and exercise at the same time. We tested these manual models on our lawn to find out which would be the best reel mowers for different users and circumstances. Learn about the performance details in the reviews.
Great States 18-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
Those wanting a wide swath on a reel mower may want to consider the Great States 18-inch five-blade mower that cuts a hearty swath to reduce mowing time. This reel mower is simple in design and allows for adjusting mowing height from as low as 0.5 inch to as high as 2.75 inches. It comes with 10-inch composite wheels and back stability rollers.
The blades are made from heat-treated alloy to retain their sharpness longer, and the handle comes with nonslip cushioning to help reduce blisters and to improve grip. The loop-style handle folds down for easy storage, and the mower weighs in at 27 pounds.
In our backyard test, this mower worked quickly, quietly, and easily. It was pretty easy to push in all but the thickest grass but was abruptly stopped by twigs or debris thicker than a pencil (as were the rest of these mowers). We liked the padded wide-loop handle that gave it the familiar feel of a conventional gas mower. Sharpening the blades—a task that most users would require once or twice a season—requires disassembly of one wheel to access the blade drive mechanism. The process is typical of these mowers and was only slightly complicated.
- Wide swath cuts down mowing time; great for larger yards
- Loop handle increases user comfort and control
- 10-inch wheels roll easily over uneven terrain
- Alloy steel blades stay sharp longer; less maintenance required
- 3.5 inches from blade edge to outer edge of wheels means more edge trimming
- Sharpening, when necessary, requires disassembly of the drive wheel
- Hard plastic blade height bracket seems like it may wear out prematurely
Get the Great States 18-inch reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Great States 16-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
For affordability and mowing ease, this five-blade reel mower is a worthy option. It features a smooth cutting operation and a cushioned T-handle that makes it easy to maneuver around corners. Its 16-inch swath width makes the mower relatively simple to push, and it features back rollers for added stability.
This reel mower’s five heat-treated alloy blades resist dulling, and blade height is adjustable from 1 inch to 2.5 inches, making it optimal for mowing short grass species, such as buffalo or zoysia. At just under 25 pounds, it’s also easy to maneuver.
We found this 16-inch mower to be a good “middle of the road” option: narrow enough to move well through thick grass but still wide enough to get the job done quickly. Its T-style handlebar grips gave it a more “articulate” feel that was comfortable and easy to maneuver. The 16-inch blade moved slightly easier through dense grass than the 18-inch model but still cut a generous swath.
- Lower profile for easy storage; great for busy gardeners with lots of tools to store
- Comfortable handlebar style grips; ideal for prolonged use
- Easy to use screw-knob-style height adjustment
- Cuts too low for taller grasses like fescue
- Sticks, acorns, and pine cones stop the blades abruptly
- Does not cut to the edge; may need a trimmer tool
Get the Great States 16-inch reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Fiskars StaySharp 18-Inch Max Reel Mower
The saying “You get what you pay for” rings true with this reel mower from Fiskars. Boasting high-quality StaySharp blades that reduce the need for resharpening, this model also includes two small front rollers to help balance and stabilize the mower. It also features InertiaDrive, a design that allows the mower to power through thicker grasses.
At around twice the price of the others we tested, the Fiskars Stay Sharp Max mower delivered performance to justify it. Weighing in at a hefty 52 pounds, the build feels heavy duty but works smoothly and efficiently. The ergonomic handle was extremely comfortable, and the machine moved almost effortlessly over all but the roughest ground. The only criticism we had was that the 8.5-inch drive wheels felt somewhat undersized. Unlike other reel mowers, the wheels are offset in a way that prevents them from flattening the grass before it is mowed and allows the mower to cut within an inch of the edge rather than 3.5 inches from the edge like other reel mowers. The toolless lever height adjustment worked with one hand, in seconds. It was a pleasure to mow with this tool, and the completed cut was clean and even.
Cutting height is adjustable from 1 to 4 inches, and there’s an adjustable chute so the clippings can be directed to fall in front of the mower or behind it. The Fiskars mower cuts a generous 18-inch swath, making it well suited to mowing small and medium-size yards. An optional grass catcher can be purchased separately.
- Heavy-duty construction can last for several years
- Ergonomic design feel comfortable to use
- Easy to adjust and maneuver with oversized wheels
- Cuts closest to the edges so users can skip the trimmer
- Twice the price of other reel mowers
- than twice the weight of other reel mowers
- Bulky design takes up slightly more storage space
Get the Fiskars StaySharp reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Great States 14-Inch 5-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
With just a 14-inch swath width and a ball-bearing reel, this little mower is just right for a small lawn and more petite users. This narrower-than-most reel mower is easy to maneuver around trees and corners, and it comes with a back roller for added stability. The blades are made from a heat-treated alloy to help reduce dulling, and it comes with a low adjustable cutting height from 1 to 1.75 inches, making it best suited to short grass species.
A narrow overall body width of just 20 inches, 8.5-inch rubber tires, and a traditional handlebar with padded grips makes this mower easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and it takes up minimal storage space. At just under 20 pounds, it is even light enough to hang on a wall hook. It is essentially a scaled-down version of our 16-inch Best Bang for the Buck pick, with similar height and blade adjustments. Unfortunately, this smaller model requires a wrench to adjust the height instead of using screw-knobs. However, the narrow body was even easier to push in dense grass but took almost twice as long to mow the same amount of space when the imperfections of walking a straight line, additional turnaround times, and overlapping edges are factored in. This could be a good pick for mowing a small grass patch around a townhouse or condo.
- Compact size makes this easy to maneuver in small spaces
- Lightweight and low profile for easy storage
- No frills gardening tool makes for low maintenance
- Does not cut close to the edges (3.5 inches from blade edge to outer wheel)
- Too lightweight for mowing sloped areas
- Height adjustment requires a wrench
Get the Great States 14-inch reel mower at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Northern Tool Equipment.
Earthwise 16-Inch 7-Blade Push Reel Lawn Mower
The Earthwise Reel Lawn Mower comes with seven blades—two more than most reel mowers—giving it extra oomph for powering through dense grass. The Earthwise mower cuts a 16-inch swath with its steel alloy blades that are designed to stay sharp longer. The grass-cutting height is adjustable from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, suitable for a range of grasses, including St. Augustine, buffalo, and Bermuda.
Weighing in at 26 pounds, this reel mower comes with a T-handle that makes it easier to maneuver around the corners of houses and trees, and the handgrips feature nonslip cushioning to reduce hand fatigue and blistering.
In our tests, this seven-blade mower gave the cleanest, most consistent cut. We even used it to scalp a section of dormant centipede grass, where it left a smooth, even finish. Unfortunately, the additional blades offered more resistance, making it a little harder to push than five-blade models. Because it has height adjustments ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 inches, a good strategy would be to mow regularly at 1 or 1.5 inches and leave a little room to move higher if the grass gets ahead of you.
- 7 alloy steel blades are great for mowing coarse grasses
- Easy-to-use height adjustment screw-knobs
- Cleanly maintain dense grasses at low height
- Harder to push than 5-blade models
- Does not work as well if grass grows extra long between cuts
- Not suitable for taller grasses like fescue
Get the Earthwise reel mower at Amazon.
American Lawn Mower Company 14-Inch 4-Blade Mower
With a total weight of just 20 pounds, this 14-inch American Lawn Mower is the lightest reel mower in the lineup. It features four cutting blades made from heat-treated steel alloy to reduce dulling and has 8.5-inch polymer wheels and rear rollers to increase stability.
This smaller American Lawn Mower is well suited to mowing a small lawn, and its light weight makes it simpler for more petite users to operate. It comes with a T-handle and cushioned nonslip grips for comfortable mowing. The handle on this lightweight, low-maintenance reel mower folds down for storage, and it is light enough to be hung on wall hooks in the garage if desired. Cutting height is adjustable from 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
With only four 14-inch blades slicing against the bedknife, this mower offered the least resistance of all the mowers we tested, making it the easiest mower to push. However, fewer blades meant a less consistent finish in dense or overgrown grass. Overall the ALMC 14-inch four-blade reel mower felt strong and durable and was easy to use, but it required a second pass to clean up some of the more difficult areas. It’s probably a good choice for keeping up with pathways in the veggie garden or other secondary grassy areas.
- Very budget-friendly compared to similar options
- Easy to push, even in overgrown or dense grass
- Durable construction yet still a lightweight and maneuverable design
- Fewer blades produce a less thorough cut
- Requires a wrench for height adjustments
- 8.5-inch wheels do not roll as well over rough ground
Get the American Lawn Mower Company reel mower at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Greenworks RM1400 14-Inch Lawn Mower
Bagging grass clippings is a cinch with the Greenworks Reel Mower. The mower cuts a 14-inch swath, and the mowing height adjusts from 1.06 to 2 inches, making it well suited to most low-growing lawn grass species. It comes with a T-handle that makes it easy to mow around tree trunks, and it features nonslip cushioned grips for comfort. The handle folds down for convenient storage.
The Greenworks mower comes with a handy grass catcher that connects to the rear of the mower for collecting grass clippings, and the mowing reel has five heat-treated steel alloy blades designed to remain sharp longer. The mower weighs 24 pounds.
In our trials, the Greenworks RM1400 was easy to push and maneuver, thanks to its lightweight frame, narrow wheel base, and T-style handlebar. The mowing height is easy to adjust with spring pins but only varies within a narrow 1-inch range. The sharpening process is similar to other reel mowers, with the exception of the bedknife mounting system. Where most manufacturers use pairs of set screws on both ends to adjust and hold the angle, Greenworks uses single spring-loaded bolts at the ends to hold the proper angle. The system seems less complicated but could offer less durability—only time and extended use will tell.
- Grass catcher included; no mess left behind after use
- Lightweight and easy to push; great for larger yards
- Provides a clean, consistent finish
- Full grass catcher makes the mower difficult to maneuver
- Components feel less durable than other models
- Wheel assembly is more difficult to disassemble for sharpening
Get the Greenworks 14-inch reel mower at Amazon or Greenworks.
Greenworks 16-Inch Reel Lawn Mower
With a slightly wider swath than the other Greenworks mower in the lineup, this 16-inch reel mower deserves a look. The wider swath means fewer passes when mowing, and the 10-inch front wheels make the mower easier to push. This Greenworks model also comes with two rear wheels for stability, and it features a detachable grass catcher for collecting clippings when desired.
This Greenworks reel mower offers an adjustable mow height from 1.125 to 2.25 inches, and it comes with a cushioned ergonomic loop handle that folds to take up less storage space. The mower weighs 26 pounds.
Built on the same platform as its 14-inch sibling, this Greenworks 16-inch reel mower boasts a wider range of cutting heights and a comfortable ergonomic loop-style handle. In our tests the loop handle made it much easier to push and maneuver the mower, especially as the grass catcher filled. The swath size and five-blade configuration hit the sweet spot, balancing the ability to mow tall and dense grass without causing user fatigue. However, a few design features appear less durable, including lightweight plastic rollers and a two-bolt adjustment system for the bedknife. This one would make a good pick for regular use on an otherwise well-maintained lawn.
- Handle folds down for compact storage
- Easy-to-use spring-pin height adjustment
- Comfortable ergonomic handle is ideal for prolonged use
- Lightweight bedknife-adjustment system
- Grass catcher may be somewhat undersize
- Construction feels less durable than the competition
HUSQVARNA R 316TsX AWD | Check out this ride on mower in action!
Get the Greenworks 16-inch reel mower at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Reel Mower
For any home with a lawn, mowing is a fact of life that is required in most neighborhoods. To cultivate a lush green expanse, regular mowing is essential. When mowing is done correctly—frequently enough to remove no more than one-third the height of the grass—it promotes dense, uniform growth.
Manual vs. Powered
Unlike standard mowers, the majority of reel mowers are manual, although consumers can find a handful of gas-powered and battery-powered models.
- Manual: Everything old is new again—or so it seems with more of these old-fashioned mowers popping up in home improvement centers and online stores. One of the drivers of the manual mower’s resurgence is its eco-friendliness. No fuel to store, no fumes, and no pull cord that can cause a struggle. The downside to mowing with a manual lawn mower is the near impossibility of cutting the grass if it’s allowed to grow too tall before mowing, especially if the lawn is dense. The thickness and coarseness of the grass helps dictate if it is too tall, but if the grass is twice as tall as its recommended cutting height, it usually can pose a problem for a manual reel mower. For the best results with a manual reel mower, cut the grass more often during fast-growth periods, such as in early spring and the rainy season.
- Powered: Like traditional rotary mowers, reel mowers may be powered by either gas or a battery, which makes it immeasurably easier to mow dense or tall grass. Some gas and electric reel mowers also include self-propulsion, which virtually eliminates the need to push the mower—the user needs only to guide it. While gas reel mowers are just as noisy as their traditional counterparts, electric mowers are not as noisy as gas mowers. However, they still have a motor and will produce more noise than a manual reel mower. Opting for either a manual or powered reel mower is mostly a matter of personal choice. For those with large lawns, a gas reel mower or an electric reel mower might make better sense.
Blades and Cutting Height
Reel mowers feature between four and seven steel blades. On some models, the blades are treated with a nonstick coating for easier mowing. blades lead to a cleaner cut because the grass blade doesn’t bend as far before it’s severed. For most lawns, mowers with four or five blades work well. A few reel mowers have six or seven blades, which makes them ideal for getting a uniform cut on dense grass. Reel mowers also are suitable for lawn striping, a mowing technique that leaves an attractive alternating pattern in the grass.
The blade cutting height is preset on a few reel mowers, often at around 1.5 to 2 inches, which is well suited to short grasses but not tall-growing varieties, such as fescue. Other models offer adjustable cutting heights. Consider your grass type and its optimal growing height. If yours is a tall variety of grass, opt for a reel mower that will adjust to the best mowing height for the grass.
Swath Width and Grass Type
North American lawns feature a multitude of grass varieties. Easy-to-cut grass types include perennial rye, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue, and these are suitable for cutting with wider mowers. On the other hand, thick grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia, are better suited to mowing in narrower cutting widths (swaths). In either case, mowing frequently will make using a manual mower easier.
The swath width of a reel mower and the type of grass the yard contains influence usability. Standard swath widths on reel mowers range from 14 to 20 inches. While a wider swath means you won’t have to mow as many passes, it also makes the mower more challenging to push because more grass means more resistance.
Reel mowers don’t come with many bells and whistles, but a few added features can enhance the mowing experience.
- Grass catcher: Some prefer to allow grass clippings to settle back on the lawns. The clippings act as a mulch that biodegrades to offer organic nutrients to the soil. For those who prefer bagging grass clippings, look for models that feature a rear-mount grass catcher.
- Padded handles: Nonslip, padded foam handles make it easier to grip the mower handles and reduce the risk of blisters.
- Rollers: Reel mowers have two sizable front wheels, but some come with additional back rollers or front rollers that add stability to the mower and help the user maneuver the mower near borders and edges for clean cutting.
The Advantages of Using a Reel Mower
Reel mowers are almost always powered manually. The physical pushing of the mower turns the blade cylinder, which in turn cuts the grass. Since they’re push-powered, reel mowers excel when cutting fine, straight-growing grasses but can bog down in coarse, wiry grass. The following are some of the advantages of using a reel mower.
- Avoid diseases. A clean cut helps grass avoid diseases such as “brown patch,” which can leave a lawn pockmarked with areas of dead grass.
- Affordable mowers. While pricing varies based on quality and design, expect to pay about half the cost of a powered push mower.
- Low maintenance requirements. Manual reel mowers only require occasional cleaning and blade sharpening. A gas reel mower requires the addition of oil, draining fuel over winter, and other maintenance tasks.
- Relatively compact and lightweight. Many reel mowers weigh around 20 to 30 pounds, and they often feature fold-down handles for easy storage.
- Free of exhaust and fumes. Breathe the aroma of freshly cut grass rather than toxic exhaust fumes.
With no toxic fumes, no need to store fuel or charge batteries, and quiet operation, the reel mower is making a comeback. This eco-friendly mower will reduce your carbon footprint while offering some physical exercise. For those thinking of investing in a reel mower, a few questions are to be expected.
Q. Is it hard to push a reel mower?
Manual reel mowers are easy to push in thin sparse grass, but it takes more force to move one through tall, dense, or coarse grass.
Q. Can you mow wet grass with a reel mower?
Although a manual reel mower can easily cut through wet grass, doing so frequently is not advisable. As with other mowers, clippings will clump and look unsightly. Wet clippings that stick to the mower increase rust formation, dulling the blades prematurely.
Q. How often should you mow with a reel mower?
Mow as often as is necessary to keep from removing more than one-third of the grass’s blade. This may mean mowing two or more times in a week during the fast-growing grass season.
Q. When should I sharpen my reel mower?
In general, it’s a good idea to sharpen the blades on a reel mower after 20 to 25 hours of use. For some users, this may be once a year; others may need to sharpen blades two or more times in a season.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.
The Best Zero-Turn Mowers of 2023
These achieve the rare feat of making lawn mowing fun.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 1, 2023
When it comes to yard work, zero turn mowers do the impossible. They make lawn mowing fun. They accomplish this by putting unprecedented speed, control and maneuverability at the disposal of the person mowing the lawn. The so-called “zero turn” feature of these mowers converts a grass cutting machine into something akin to an amusement park ride. You steer the machine with two levers—the left lever controls the left wheel, the right lever the right wheel. With that steering setup, you can zoom over the landscape cutting straight lines, curves, or pivot the mower into and out of a corner. What’s not to like?
Read on to understand how these agile grass cutters work, how we go about testing them, and see some candidates that we’ve recently tested as well as some that we haven’t but that we think look particularly promising.
Getting started with a Husqvarna petrol lawn mower
How Zero-Turn Mowers Work
A zero-turn riding mower consists of an operator platform, a frame and wheels, an engine (or battery bank), transmissions (or motors), and a pair of control levers commonly known as lap bars. In gas mowers, the engine powers a pulley system. One group of pulleys drives the blades, another group powers a pair of transmissions–one at each rear wheel. When you move the lap bar forward or back, you are directing the transmission to go faster, slower, or even turn the opposite way. When one drive wheel turns clockwise and the other counter clockwise, the mower pivots. When the wheels rotate at different rates, the mower turns in an arc-shaped path. When the lap bars are in the neutral position, the mower stops. Aside from a parking brake, there’s no other braking mechanism. Battery-powered zero-turn mowers work the same way, but have separate motors to drive the rear wheels and one for each blade inside the mower deck.
When it comes to transmission, most mowers have a Hydrogear EZT—a well-known and cost-effective residential-grade transaxle with a reputation for durability.
Some mowers use a deck stamped from one piece of steel, others use a deck fabricated from multiple pieces and welded together. A fabricated deck can be built from thicker steel at a lower cost than it would be able to be built otherwise. Once you’re talking about stamping metal as thick as 10 gauge (about 1⁄8 inch thick), the cost of stamping such a deck would push up the mower’s price beyond what most people are willing to pay. The decks in the mowers below range from 42 to 52 inches, a typical size in this class of product. When powered by these engines and the Hydrogear, these mowers will deliver a decent cut quality at their rated top speed of 7 mph. Note, however, that cut quality declines steeply if you maintain that speed in very thick grass or on uneven terrain.
As to the electric mowers, they represent the leading edge of the technology in this category. These are remarkable and expensive mowers powered by large-voltage lithium-ion batteries. If you’re interested in reducing mowing noise and simplifying your maintenance routine by eliminating gas and oil, they’re worth a look.
Selecting a Zero-Turn Mower
Everyone would like to select the biggest possible zero-turn mower with the hope of whittling a big grass cutting job down to size as quickly as possible. Reality usually intercedes because these machines are expensive and the wide range of options available today quickly drive up the cost. Roughly speaking, you start somewhere in the range of a mower with a 42-inch deck costing in the vicinity of 3200 to 3500 and move up in increments of 1000 to 1500 until you reach entry-level commercial-grade equipment that costs 7000 to 8000.
Again, speaking in terms of approximation, a mower with a 42-inch deck will cut a two-acre lot (that takes into account that the house, driveway, outbuildings and various landscape features are taking up some of that space). Use a mower with a larger deck to cut anything over two acres. But here’s the caveat. That entry-level ZTR mower (3200, say) with a 42-inch deck will wear out faster and need more maintenance than a mower with a 50-inch deck, a heavier frame, larger engine and higher quality transmissions, and thicker deck with more robust blade spindles, costing 4500.
In the simplest possible terms, you can cut a smaller area with a larger mower and expect more longevity out of the machine (not to mention a nicer mowing experience) or you can cut a larger area with a smaller machine and encounter more maintenance and a mowing experience that will be, we might say, a bit more rugged.
But there are still other factors to consider, in selecting a mower other than deck size and your budget. Larger mowers take more space in a garage or outbuilding. And a mower with a 50-inch or even 60-inch deck, as useful as it might be in getting the job done more quickly, may not fit through a fence’s gate, and it might be more difficult to maneuver in tight spots without creating scalp marks on the lawn from a lot of close-quarter pivoting.
Carefully consider all these factors when shopping for a mower: your budget, maintenance and whether you will perform that work yourself, mowing speed and time, maneuverability and trimming in tight areas, the importance that you place on your comfort while mowing, cut quality, longevity, storage, and access to the landscape.
How We Select and Test
There’s only one way to test a mower, and that’s to cut grass with it. But we also do more than mow.
We raise and lower the deck and adjust the seat. We look at service point access (the air filter, the spark plug, and the oil filter) and how easy it is to remove the deck. We mow approximately an acre with each mower, considering cut and mulching quality while running uphill, downhill, across washboard, and along sidehills. (On sidehills, we’ll mow surfaces pitched up to approximately 20 degrees; manufacturers generally recommend not going steeper than 10 degrees, but we like to be thorough.) We evaluate power and speed relative to cut quality—we investigate whether the mower delivers a decent cut mowing at full speed. When mowing in damp conditions, we look at whether the mower’s tires accumulate grass and how effectively it discharges moist clippings. Finally, we test maneuverability (these machines are, generally, very nimble) and how readily they come to a stop when you back off the lap bar control levers.