HUSQVARNA R 120S
Surprised and delighted
I was unsure of this design but wanted something with tight turning radius, faster than traditional riding mowers, but much less expensive than Zero-turns. I did my homework and checked all the reviews. I visited the dealer twice before purchasing. I have had it now a month and spent 10 hours on it. Of course if I were engineering it I would have made some minor changes in the design to get to things like the oil drain plug, use a different clamp mechanism for the engine cover (already had one to break off because it is plastic and requires prying off as part of the design and instructions!). The video of tilting up the unit to expose the mower deck for cleaning apparently only applies to the 4WD unit, not the 2WD which I purchased (disappointed with that fact). It does take a bit of practice to get used to operating it and having a separate pedal for forward and reverse! It likes to backfire if you don't reduce the engine throttle and running it about 5 seconds before turning off. It is very easy to move when not running (with the drive disengaged). I could not get a straight answer as to whether this model is discontinued but mine was manufactured in 2013 and I bought it new in April 2015. That fact might have caused me some hesitation in my evaluation but the question for me is now mute. The dealer quoted me $100 over MSRP and I had to show him the MSRP on the Husqvarna website to get that price. In retrospect I would have pressed harder for a discount.
May 14, 2015
This product stopped cutting after two minutes
First time to tray and use mower the blades stopped cutting after about 100 feet. returned to dealer for a refund.
Form $1900 you would think you could cut the grass at least one time.
April 23, 2015
The R 120S is my third lawn cutter. I started with a typical riding mower to handle a 1 acre lot and then moved to a top-of-the-line Gravely Zero Turn mower to cut a 3 acre lawn. I recently moved to a smaller 3/4 acre property and decided to get the R 120S over its bigger R 220T sibling or another zero turn mower. I can honestly say: I made the right choice.
Zero Turn (ZT) mowers can be very fast. My previous unit could cut at 12 mph! But that is hard on machinery and the rider too. Cutting accuracy also suffers as the machine starts bouncing and rocking. Then there is the biggest ZT drawback: 'turf tearing' when you make a less than perfect 180 degree turn. ZT mowers skid when making many manoeuvres. You get damaged grass all the time. When I had 3 acres to cut, I could live with these deficiencies. With a 3/4 acre lot, I want better cut quality.
Traditional riding mowers suffer two shortcomings:
1) Handling. Turning circles are really measured in feet no matter what the brochures say.
2) Ground Speed. Most cut at 5.5 mph. After my super fast ZT, 5.5 mph feels like I am backing up!
Now on to the R120S. Here's what I like:
1) Front mounted deck. Putting the blades out front means you get to cut grass before it is flattened by the front wheels. I am sold on this design.
2) Speed. The R 120S cuts at 7 mph. Not blinding speed but just about right for my smaller property. Note that the bigger R 220T cuts at 6 mph. I have tried both. I am happier with the R 120S.
3) Handling. It takes a little practice but it's worth the effort. I can cut closer and more accurately than any of my former mowers.
4) Smoothness. Surprise! The one cylinder Briggs & Stratton motor is smooth and relatively quiet compared to the V-twins I had previously. Having 2 blades rather than 3 also means quieter operation
On the downside, I am disappointed with the amount of plastic on the R 120S. I also don't know how well the pivoting motor will hold up to long term use. The R 220T uses a different pivoting rear axle. I do wonder why this design was chosen for the more expensive model? Given the low purchase cost and the fact that the front axle is solid, I expect the R 120S will deliver better than average value in the long run.
My overall Summary: The R 120S features and design are unmatched in a cutter that costs less than $2000. I had a mower that cost six times as much and could not cut as cleanly or accurately. If you have the right-sized property and appreciate handling and speed over other features, I highly recommend this product.
August 8, 2014
EASE OF USE
GREAT AROUND FLOWER BEDS & LOW NOISE OF OPERATION. PAID A REASONABLE PRICE FOR THE R 120S HUSQVARNA ARTICULATING MOWER.
July 20, 2014
Does a nice cut and gets under things quite well. I am not impressed with the engine, but it runs OK, plenty of power. It is pretty quiet - until the blades are turned on. Then it's more normal.The machine has decent traction and holds well on side slopes. It cuts easily in reverse, no hassles once you learn the steering and that only takes a few minutes. It does not mark up the ground when you turn sharply, but the tires can spin in reverse if you are on a slope and have turned too sharp.
However, a more substantive complaint: it takes real effort to steer; I can feel it in the tendons of my hands after a while. There is a steeper learning curve on steering it as well, as it does not respond the way you might expect - this is a function of the blades being ahead of the wheels, both a blessing and a curse. On a side slope, you feel yourself slipping out of the seat. On sharp turns I must go slower than I'd like because I am turning and turning the steering wheel. On the other hand, on straight-aways, it steers fine.
The blades turn on when the deck is lowered, which is handy most of the time. But you can't lift it over an obstruction such as a low rock or a sawed-off stump and keep on going, as it will turn off every time.
Compared to my commercial ZTR, it's a significant comedown, in terms of both performance and speed. And it does not load easily into the bed of my 4WD truck. Compare it to a smaller gear-driven machine and keep it on one lawn and you will probably be quite pleased.
July 5, 2014
R120S - Incomplete Review (new) - half acre lawn
I have known the name HUSQVARNA since my early working days. When I saw this mower at LOWE's I was intrigued by its design and since it was on sale, I bought it. My previous Craftsman was still working well (10 years) but deserved retirement. The list price is excessive, the sales price and a $300 rebate made it acceptable. I have used the machine only twice so far (due to a long, strong strong winter here in NE) and just for sweeping dead winter grass. Its sound is pleasantly subdued. An oil change is required after eight hours which makes sense and I did it - the filter, too. BUT it is tricky to get the oil out and especially HARD to change the filter, more cumbersome than any law mower I had before. You need tools, even special ones, very strong hands and fingers to do it. And it takes time. It was very difficult to identify the type of oil filter but I did it - unless one wants to buy expensive OEM-filters. I found STP S3512 (like for the Craftsman) for the Briggs & Stratton motor at a little less than $4. I consider the oil change procedure very user-unfriendly, in fact, an imposition and bone-crusher. I am already apprehensive in regard to the next oil and filter change in the fall. I feel the engineers designing the machine never thought about the ease or difficulty for the user in performing what should be a simple task. The body parts are plastic; they can be easily scratched and become unsightly - I did it already with my left heel. In summary, I do not regret the purchase and would buy the R120S again.
W. Richard Doerre, Alton Bay, NH
May 2, 2014
The best 360 Mowing
When I first read about this R 120S mower, I was curious about how it would perform. After purchasing and using it for a month, I am impressed. It performs awesomely. I recommend this highly.
Travelers Rest, SC
March 30, 2014
A Better Choice Than A Zero-Turn!
I also have a 13 year old 970 and I have to say it is one of the best residential mowers I have ever owned. It compares to the R 220T not the R 120s. The R 120s or R 220T is a better choice than a zero-turn for most homeowners. The older 970 I own will mow around a 4 inch post and not leave a mark on the lawn. I can mow my 1 acre, landscaped yard in about 30% less time than a 42 inch lawn tractor. The machine itself is very rugged. 14 years of banging it into trees, foundations and pulling a yard cart the Briggs motor is still going strong and the deck has no dents. I have only had to replace the front gauge wheels and blades.
The other review that complains about the blade shear pins. The deck uses overlapping blades to give you the best cut without leaving a strip of uncut grass. Because of that the deck is "timed" and each blade is mounted with a shear pin and two cupped washers. If you are breaking shear pins you are either trying to mow branches or rocks or you have the cupped washers on upside down. Have a dealer show you the correct way to install the cupped washers. This is a good design and the Bio-Clip deck gives you a great cut.
November 18, 2013