Husqvarna RZ4621 46-Inch 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower
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- 46-inch stamped cutting deck
- 21 hp briggs and stratton endurance engine
- 2 blade - electric clutch engagement
- Dual Hydro-Gear EZT Drive System
- Front tires: 11 by 4 - 5 rear tires: 18 by 8-1/2 - 8 turf
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For maneuverability, efficiency and convenience in a homeowner zero-turn mower package, the residential series really delivers. True zero-turn mower performance with twin, maintenance-free integrated transmissions, heavy-duty front casters and a rugged tube steel frame. High performance Air Induction cutting decks allow side ejection or optional mulch and collection capability. Convenient control placement, foam padded steering levers and an adjustable seat make these units easy and enjoyable to operate. Features include a 12-volt electric start, 1-1/2-inch to 4-inch cutting height, anti-scalp rollers, and 3-1/2-gallon gas tank.
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We were thinking about purchasing a regular riding lawn mower, but with the amount of trees we have, a zero-turn riding lawn mower made more sense. This mower is not cheap, so it will take a while before it begins to start paying off for itself.
Before we began to do the mowing, I did research on how to best cut the grass, including height, frequency and weed control. Though many people use weed n' feed to control weeds, mowing can have a great impact on whether or not weed takes over your yard.
The RZ4621 arrived serviced with all necessary fluids and all I had to do was to fill it up with gas. I have downloaded and read all the manuals, including the operating manual, before the mower had arrived so I knew beforehand how to start it and operate it. From my Army experience driving armored personnel carriers I had an idea about using the steering levers and that made it a little easier to operate the mower.
It took a few tries before it started due to not full being through the system before, but after that it starts within seconds. The steering levers are sensitive and once you turn them inward, the mower may want to begin to roll. I just went easy at first, going in and out of the neutral position and before I knew, I was mowing the lawn. I had used it for three weeks now and it does a beautiful job on mowing the lawn. I keep the height of the grass about two inches and it looks great between cuts.
A few suggestions: Read the manuals before operation...they can save you time and headaches. You can download the manuals from the manufacture website. If this will be your first time using a riding lawn mower or you don't feel comfortable using it, take the lawn mower to an open space and do a slow practice and, please, keep children away; set the height of the blades as high as possible when mowing for the first time and lower it until you get the most efficient height for your lawn; practice the zero turn on something other than your trees, playground, sprinklers, etc. or you may end up causing some damage; before mowing, walk around the yard and pick up any loose items, like rocks, that may damage the blades; the mower makes lots of noise, use earplugs or muffs.
Today I decided to sharpen the blades. Since I never had a riding mower before, I didn't know what to expect. However, I found the task much easier than what I expected.
The first thing was to find a way to get the lawn mower high enough off the ground so I could get underneath and gain access to the blades. Long before I purchased the lawn mower I had bought a trailer and ordered two trailer ramps just in case I needed them in the future...they came on handy today. I simply hooked up the trailer to my SUV, placed the ramps onto the back of trailer and backup the lawn mower far enough up the ramps to get it off the ground.
Removing the blade is quiet simple. You need a 5/8" box end wrench. You can use other types of 5/8" tools, i.e. socket, open wrench, etc., but a box end wrench with a long handle makes the job easier. You also need a small rubber mallet. It doesn't have to be an expensive hammer...I only paid $3.00 for mine at a discount store. Additionally, you need a file and gloves to handle the blades during removal, sharpening and installation.
I removed the blades by holding the box end wrench and blade with one hand and hitting the wrench with the rubber mallet until the bolt came lose...it didn't take much effort to loosen the bolt. As soon as the bolt is removed the blade comes off.
I used the file to sharpen the blade and used a screwdriver handle to check for balance...perhaps a blade balancer is more accurate, but the screwdriver handle works great. Before I reinstalled the blades, I used a small putty knife to clean and remove built-up debris from the underside of the mower deck. I reinstalled the blades, mowed the loan and it looks just great.
I always drive myself nutty always checking reviews going to look them over at various dealers and comparing the price, value and quality things I perceive to be important based on what I liked with the Snapper and what I did not like. So with that in mind here goes my analysis:
1. If you have hills and ditches to mow any riding mower has a safety warning about mowing these surfaces with a riding mower. Be careful as they will roll over or come back on top of you. Had this happen simply loading a riding tractor but not with a ZTR model.
2. Unless you have more than a couple of acres to mow this 46" model will do the job just fine. Triple blades v. double blades just mean more blades to sharpen and balance.
3. Catchers on ZTR mowers don't work all that well and as far as a mulching set of blades go; just cut your lawn as needed during the season and let the clippings compost in place. I have found they will dry up overnight and the first watering will push them down and they disappear. Also you will spend less on lawn chemicals and fertilizer. I get by with 2-3 fertilizer applications a year by leaving the clippings on the lawn.
4. The steering with the double arms takes some getting used to but the learning curve is very quick. It is like riding a motorcycle using counter steering if you know what this is.
5. Do not use a car battery charger on most lawn mower batteries. It will cook the plates and shorten battery life. Use no more than a 2 amp float charger you can get just about anywhere(Harbor Freight has them) for not much money and keep the battery charged. Also take the battery out while in storage and put it in an insulated garage for the winter on the float charger.
Now to the build quality of the Husqvarna: I looked at Sears, John Deere, and a few others on line. Up close the inspection I gave the Husqvarna impressed me most. The Sears looked cheap and I did not like the $80 fee to come out and fix the mower under warranty unless you bought the extended warranty. The John Deere was ok but it appeared to cost about $500 more for that green paint and the turnaround time for any mechanical issues was a month and the dealer was not very close to home!
The Husqvarna I bought was at a local dealer and I bought it for the same price as you see on Amazon. He delivered it to my home the same day assembled and ready to go. The delivery guy hung around to show me how the steering works. The stated turn around time for warranty issues on the mower would be about one week which I liked. Also, the Husqvarna has a deck washout hose connection, the deck rails are reinforced with 1/2" steel rod material so the deck will not bend if the sides hit some solid object in the process of mowing. The foot rest deck plate has a quick access hatch to the mowing deck with one hand knob bolt and it hinges up as fast as you can get this bolt unscrewed. It has a solid feel with a very thick baked on enamel finish on all metal parts, it might even be powder coated in various areas. And lastly it has a 23 hp Kohler twin cylinder engine with an hour meter so you won't have to guess when to service the mower. It looks like you can drop the deck, remove a couple of clevis pins and slide the deck out for servicing when it is needed, this is a big plus.
Final word; they will all mow your lawn and if taken care of I think you can easily get 10 years of service life out of any ZTR mower you decide to buy. I liked some unique features on the Husqvarna and the fact the dealer in my hometown can service the mower when it is needed as well as get me parts when the time comes for repairs I can do myself. One last note. If you sharpen the blades yourself you would be well advised to buy a simple blade balancer to keep the blade vibration to a minimum. They are available at Home Depot, Hardware stores and probably you mower dealer. If you sharpen and don't balance the blades the vibration will drive you nutty and will destroy the blade spindles. These mowers do take the drudge out of mowing your lawn and do a really nice job.
UPDATED REVIEW 9-9-13
I continue to think everyone should have one of these mowers. They really are wonderfully engineered and crank right off every time. I had to learn the hard way to make certain the key was actually turned off or the next time the battery was dead. Hate to say it but I didn't learn this lesson the first time around. This mower has loads of power and will make short work of every lawn.