Inclines vs. Obstacles...you pick
If you have a lot of inclines or a bumpy yard, this mower is for you. But, if you do a lot of pivoting around obstacles, I'd prefer a front-wheel drive mower. My reason for the pivoting admonition is the rear wheels are in a drive state, which makes it NEAR impossible to reverse the mower. Kind of like pushing a vehicle in gear - it's easier to push it in neutral. For this mower (and probably the rear-wheel drive mower too) to be roll the mower backwards, you have to push it forward to disengage the drive wheels (Operator's Manual, p.6 "Drive Control"). While this can be a learned behavior, for a new owner, it's kind of annoying. I have both, a lot of inclines and obstacles, and had to weigh the benefits of each—I'll be keeping my AWD.
As for the ergonomics of the handle, I've been more comfortable with $100 more handles. The Handle itself + Engine Zone Control handle + Drive Control handle = one thick handle. Luckily, I'm 6'2" and have large hands. But for the smaller users, I wonder if the hands may get a bit tired.
Knowing what I know now, I would not spend $499 for this mower. Thankfully, I was able to get it for $375 as a 4th of July special. I'll be keeping it for that price!
July 7, 2013
Great features; minor quibbles.
Product starts and runs great. Has great traction and power for cutting. Blade shape really "throws" the grass well into the bag for efficient collection of clippings. Some minor issues are present. Sometimes the AWD is engaged when you want to back up the mower. You have to move the mover out of AWD a few inches to disengage the drive, then you can back the mover without problem. Also, it's easy to rotate on the rear wheels as they move independently, but not so with the front wheel. If you have to lift the rear of the mower up and rotate on the front wheels, you can't do it because the front wheels are locked together and won't move independently. It would be nice if they made it so the handle could be easily placed in an upright position for storage (like the older Lawnboys did). All in all, I am very satisfied with the mower's power, pull and cutting efficiency.
July 5, 2013
Best mower purchased ever
So far very pleased with this mower. We have a sloped yard and using a regular self-propelled mower was still very tiring and difficult. This mower pulls itself up the slope with very little effort required by me! I would highly recommend this mower if you have a yard that is too sloped for a riding mower.
July 4, 2013
I purchased this unit after my, 2 weeks shy of being 21, Toro recycler died. I was attracted by the mulching capabilities and the AWD, as I have a hilly front yard. The specs are great, the Honda engine is a plus and I thought that having, what looks like a Gator mulching blade, this unit would be a fitting replacement for the Toro. For the mulching capabilities I should have bought a Toro Super Recycler, and I would have gotten blade stop technology. The AWD makes up for some of the shortcomings of this unit, but honestly not enough. The ajustability of the handle is non existent, another draw back. I don't think it will last 21 years even with TLC. Toro is still the mulching King. Tried selling it after 4 uses and no takers for even close to the price I paid for it.
July 1, 2013
This mower is worth the hype!
After reading one or two reviews which were negative relating to ease of use and mulching quality, I was skeptical about what performance to expect. I now have no doubts and suspect the reviews may have been due to lack of experience with this particular mower. The concern about the wheels locking up when trying to pull the mower in reverse can easily be overcome by allowing the mower to coast a few inches after disengaging the drive. I like the fact that they prevent it from backing up in case the mower is stopped without intending to back up. This prevents it from rolling back on a hill. A slight push ahead will release the wheels to move backward.
Also, I find that the mulching 'clumps' are a normal product of all mulching mowers that I have owned and naturally will become larger if the grass is allowed to grow too tall between mowings. For the small 'clumps', I simply disburse the few that to occur, using my leaf blower.
All in all, I am so far very happy with the mower, which I have used for about 10 hours.
July 1, 2013
4 wheel mower
Mower will go anywhere you want it to go. Front wheels don't always disengage when you stop so that you can pull it backwards. After stopping to disengage the front wheels you must first push the mower forward a little. This was hard to learn to do. Also the drive belt makes a slipping noise when it starts out to move.
June 25, 2013
High Powered Machine
After using a rear wheel drive mower on a moderately hilly yard, the Husqvarna is a pleasant experience. It has way more power that I will ever require, but I'll keep it anyway.
I am experiencing a learning curve with this machine due to its size and braun. It is not easily maneuverable around obstacles, so I use the trimmer a bit more. Nonetheless, I am very happy with the machine and its power.
June 24, 2013
Overall superior product with a some areas for improvement
This is a powerful self-propelled walking lawn mower that easily and economically cuts my 1 acre property which includes several hilly areas up to a 30 degree slope. I was impressed by the ease with which it climbed and cut these steep sections. The Honda engine pull chord starts easily every time, and the speed attainable is more than satisfactory. It sips gas too. It is very maneuverable around trees, shrubs, curved curbings, etc. and the option of driving with only one hand engaging the drive handle allows me to lift low hanging branches with the other hand and continue mowing.
I have only used the side discharge setting since purchase a month ago due to continuous rains that make the lawn grass grow quickly and acreage that prevents use of rear bag collector for time reasons.
Because the rain has been extensive, I have been forced to cut lawn a few times when it was wet. As indicated by the manual, this causes grass clumps to be thrown out the side discharge, even when I set the height adjustment at or near the top. I also have to cut less than the full 22" width to keep mower moving steadily. The option of waiting to cut a dry lawn may not be possible when the grass is growing well above normal cut height. BTW, Husqvarna should consider producing a 30" width AWD mower, as this would reduce cutting time on larger properties.
Using the wash hose connector only makes the problem worse, since the already wet grass that is not discharged accumulates inside the circular shield above the cutting blade in the underside housing area, and needs to be manually removed by hand. I am going to stop using the wash connector until the lawn dries completely.
Another quibble I have is the small diameter of the gasoline tank fill tube. Adding gas with the can dispenser hose into the tube has to be done very carefully, and slowly, since the 1/4 gallon capacity fills very quickly. A funnel will not let me see when the tank is full and will cause overflow.
It is necessary to move the direction of the front of the mower slightly towards the upper part of the hill when cutting across rather than straight up and down some hilly sections, as the small wheels tend to slip sideways. It is not practical for me to cut some of the hilly sections straight up and down given the long length and shorter width of these.
Finally, the 93 pound weight of the mower is noticeable when I need to pull back when maneuvering around objects, as there is no reverse self-propelled gear. Since this will happen on all lawns with impediments requiring angle cuts, users should recognize the additional effort required.
Overall, however, this is a very good mower well worth the money. It also gives me a good walk workout.
June 23, 2013