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View Full Version : Bad things about the 21" commercial Snapper


Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 12:24 AM
I was wondering who else has had this problem. The residentials don't have a curved-in lip to the deck, in fact, it curves out. This has always contributed to lines of mulched grass falling through the gap between the end of the blade and the deck, and onto the lawn, making for a very unsightly cut.

Now, this mower has the deck curved in which prevents this problem almost completely. However, now there is nowhere for the grass to fall back down to the lawn after being cut, so THE COMMERCIAL BOGS DOWN in a weeks-worth of growth..... basically almost any lawn I mow it will bog down unless I use my custom-made side-discharge (which I don't mind using except for around pools and such).

The mower is putting out very good power, don't get me wrong. With the side-discharge on, it is a beast. The problem is that this deck design, believe it or not, is not made for mulching grass. Even going slow, there is nowhere for the grass to go so it slowly accumulates and stops the blade from turning. It simply cannot do it unless a 10HP motor was on there. Even then, the grass would be accumulating between the blade and the curved deck so much that it would wear out the end of the blade within 20 hours.

I knew this was going to happen, but the salesman swore on his career for about 30 minutes at me that it would get through mostly any 1 week growth. The deck cannot handle it. Does anyone else know about this problem?

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 01:12 AM
Mr. Magpie, I wouldn't know about that problem.. LOL Seriously though.. Do you have the Ninja blade on it?? I foolishly bought the "commercial Gator type blade" for my commercial, and it sucks hard.. terrible cut, and just runs over the grass.. Since I don't ever mulch anyway, I wasn't really cocerned about this phenomenon.. However, the "residential grade" Ninja mulcher blade is supposed to be the hot ticket..But I haven't tried it.. I too, "modified" the factory dischare chute ( trimmed about 4" off of it) as it too, sucked stock.. after the appropriate mods, it will now throw grass in a beautiful, broad pattern about 4-5 ft. from the mower, and I don't even have the "highlift" wings bolted on the blade.. But I will admit that I don't really think Snappers are the BEST at mulching.. But again, I haven't tried the Ninja blade.. You might also want to try adjusting the pitch of the deck as well..

Experiment some and let us know the verdict...

saw man
09-02-2004, 02:03 AM
1st - The deck is for mulching! Thats why is curves out. With the ninja blade on it mulchs great IMO. I let my grass grow for 2 week then used this mower to mulch, (after fertalizing) 1st - 3rd gear nothing left behind. 5th gear a little left behind

2nd - The high vac deck ( deck rolled in) bag better than anything out there!

You just got the wrong advice! Dont blame the machine.

Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 09:25 AM
Saw man, the deck curves in, not out.

I use a regular mulching blade. Always keep it sharp.

I'm telling you, this design does not allow the grass to fall down, so on long stripes, the thing literally gets stopped by a little pile of cut-up grass in between the deck and the blade. It's like putting a tennis ball in between the blade and the deck and then trying to start the thing up, not gonna happen.

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 10:26 AM
Like I said, experiment, I'm sure with a little experimenting, you can get it to work... Deck pitch, Ninja blade, etc..

Sawman, Idon't know about the Snapper being the "best" at mulching.. But like he said, he has the commercial hi-lift deck, just like mine, and Like I said in my last post, mine doesn't exactly do well at mulching either. But, I don't mulch, therefore I haven't really done my due dilligence to investigate all of the options available.. For ME, the snapper is the best 21" mower made (now there's an oxymoron.. Best and 21" don't belong in the same sentance..LOL)... Simply because: It's simple, very Powerful, is the best discharging commercial 21" I've used (except for this old Sensation I used once, But It wasn't S.P.)... AND was cheaper than a Honda, JD, Toro. the only thing of similar price was a LB 21, and the dealer I bought the Snapper from didn't sell them.. In hind sight, I shouldn't have even bought a 21" as I really need a 32-36" mower of some sort..

Sorry for getting off topic.. But I believe if you experiment Mr. Magpie, You'll probly make it work... (and NO, I ain't getting paid to endorse Snapper..LOL)

Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 12:35 PM
I'll have to look into the deck pitch. I don't really know what that is. Is it a different angle of the blade in relation to the deck?

The Ninja might work, but I remember us putting it on the residential and the extra drag it caused sucked up something like 2HP. I should try that though.

Thanks.

And by the way, this curved-in deck effectively makes this 21" about a 19-20" mower. Did you guys know that?

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 02:51 PM
Yes, I knew about the curved deck thing, but you don't notice it if discharging.. Try the ninja.. The pitch, would be like setting either the front or back of the deck one notch higher or lower than the opposite..Dig?.. Pm me if you need any other tricks..

Mindless
09-02-2004, 03:44 PM
I owned both residential 21" Snapper, 6.5 HP Tecumseh and residential 33" Snapper Rear Engine Rider, 14.5 I/C Briggs & Stratton.

Both mowers have the bottom deck edge rounded inward. The reason for the rounded deck edge is Snapper's patented Hi-Vac deck...it will literally vacuum up pines needles and the like. This was very beneficial if mowing with grass catcher.

You're in FL, I'm in VA. My turf is tall fescue cut once a week. Sometimes twice a week during peak growth periods...Spring and early Fall. I've experimented with Snapper's hi-lift, Snapper's ninja, and non-Snapper gator blades while mulching. What worked best for me was the ninja blade. However, I could not run a full 21" or 33" path without the deck clogging and/or stopping the blade. Even at 1/2 the path of 33" cut, I'd need to operate the rider in its lowest gear setting and still risk the deck clogging with grass. I made sure to cut the lawn in the hot afternoon and it still didn't matter. The only time the mower would operate at it's peak (mulch) is July through August when my turf would turn brown and thin out (cool season turf doesn't like hot/humid climate).

After seven years of Snapper, and frustrated with cut quality, I recently sold both mowers and replaced them with a Hustler 20/52 residential ZTR. What a difference. Fantastic cut quality. Glad I did it.

Cheers!

Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 08:10 PM
Snapper: Too much suck, not enough cut. Eh?

For instance, yesterday I was mowing a weeks worth of growth on this swayle. The stripes are about 30 ft long. My mower barely made it to each end of the stripe. Then when I got to the end, I would wait on the driveway for the grass to come out...... guess what? It took about 10 full seconds for the grass to come out of the deck! The next lawn had 75ft. stripes on 1 week growth, bogged down 30 ft into the stripe, stranded. This, my friends, is BS.

MDB270
09-02-2004, 09:05 PM
i have the commercial with a honda and ninja blade.........worst cutting mower i have ever owned

sethsodsquad
09-02-2004, 09:05 PM
I have a Ninja blade on my Snapper 21" Commercial, and it cuts very well in tall grass. I also noticed that in the manual it states that if you are cutting really tall grass, you should raise the front wheels both one notch if mulching.

I do agree with the fact that the Snapper does not mow as well in tall grass - but then again it does have a lot of good points. The rule with mulching has always been "no more than 1/3 of the grass."

I have been satisfied with my choice of the Snapper 21" Commercial, it is much better than the John Deere JS63 that I used to use - even though the Deere cut well in tall grass.

Why not mow more often so that the grass doesn't grow as tall? You can achieve a faster ground speed because of the shorter grass, get more money as you do it, and not get frustrated while as well.

JMO,
Seth

Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 09:33 PM
No customers will pay for any more often than 1 week where I am from.

True, I am hitting up the grass fro more than 1/3 the blade, even on level 6.

I just don't understand why I can't just trust a commercial product to be industrial enough to allow me to get through what I need to. If I were Snapper, I would feel really embarassed about putting a product on the market that can't mulch a weeks worth of growth on most healthy lawns. Think about that for a second. It's pathetic.

I really want to just give this 19" mower to my brother and buy the Toro..... everybody raves about that thing, I bet it is a true powerhouse professional. What do you guys think?

Mr. Magpie
09-02-2004, 09:35 PM
Only thing is I just remembred, you can't side discharge the Toro....... geez.

txlawnking
09-02-2004, 09:46 PM
Oh the Toro is a good mower... But I think your trying to cut off 2-3" of growth in one pass.. At a reasonable pace, I don't think any 21" mower will do that.. I agree, the Snappy may not be the Greatest mulcher.. But it is the dicharge king... and they bag well too. Magpie, when you modded your discharge chute, did you trim it back about 4-5"?? After I did that, I swore I'd never miss the lack of mulching ability.. Either way man, sorry the thing ain't working for you..

snowmizer
09-02-2004, 10:42 PM
i have the snapper 21" . i tried the ninja blade and hated it went back to stock blade. seem like the ninja blade spit crap all over the place when mulching.could not get close to beds with out throwing clumps of grass it them. however i do like the mower ,lots of power

saw man
09-03-2004, 12:04 AM
I never said the Snapper was the best mulcher.

The Comm. mower does have the rolled in deck. Which is designed for bagging! Wont mulch good at all.

The rolled out deck will mulch good, but wont bag like the other deck.

IF you have a ninja blade on the rolled in deck it still wont mulch well. Get the correct blade for the deck!

They actually made both decks in commercial and non commercial forms. Which they both are still similar except for engine and small differences.

Snapper is a good mower, you just need to learn more about it!

realtor
09-03-2004, 06:02 AM
The above post is the truth.
I own both mowers.....
curved in deck = bag
curved out deck = mulch

DSIM
11-15-2004, 05:24 PM
I bought a Snapper 21" commercial as my first mower and it lasted 5 years. Although I experienced the same problem while mulching. Esp. when mowing rye.
After that mower died, I bought a Toro 5.5 Suzuki 2 cycle commercial and after 3 years with it I'm very satisfied with the cut and power and I've never had the same bogging down problem that I had with the Snapper.

I wish though it had the option to side discharge.

jbell113
11-15-2004, 05:34 PM
I have a husky rsw 580 and it works best if the rear wheels are one notch higher than in the front.

mkwl
11-15-2004, 06:03 PM
I have a 1975 Snapper 21" mower w/ 4HP Briggs engine and I have never had any of the problems you described. It never bogs down at all, not even in 8" ling thick grass!!! I use mine mostly for bagging and sometimes side discharge, but rarely for mulching.

ed2hess
11-15-2004, 06:14 PM
Gold Series Lawnboy does a little better mulching than the 21" Snapper but it won't take commericial use.

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 07:40 PM
I recently bought a Commercial Snapper Mulching Series 21" mower (bottom of the deck flares out, The High-Vac mower's deck flares inward to create more vacuum for better bagging). It came with the Kawasaki FJ-180V engine. One of the strongest engines I have used. Early in the season when the clover was very bad it did slow down a bit. All of the mulched clover would clog up under the deck causing a few headaches. I almost bought the Ex-mark with the same engine but I don't think it or any walk behind mower would have done any better. But I am still curious about the Ex-Mark.

Frue
05-27-2010, 08:25 PM
Snapper: Too much suck, not enough cut. Eh?

For instance, yesterday I was mowing a weeks worth of growth on this swayle. The stripes are about 30 ft long. My mower barely made it to each end of the stripe. Then when I got to the end, I would wait on the driveway for the grass to come out...... guess what? It took about 10 full seconds for the grass to come out of the deck! The next lawn had 75ft. stripes on 1 week growth, bogged down 30 ft into the stripe, stranded. This, my friends, is BS.

Mr. Magpie, i am not a snapper man but I am, going to state the obvious. YOU should be bagging this is simple. The grass this time of yesr grown too much in one week for you to mulch....... The grass is too high!!!!!!! I wonder about people today. You want to cut 6 inches of grass and expect it to mulch its not going to happen so bag it or throw it until july comes that simple...

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 08:38 PM
Frue,
I refuse to bag. You have got to be nuts to bag in this heat. Cut, stop, bag. Cut, stop, bag, yeah right. The Snapper Commercial mulches good even after two weeks of growth. Early in the season the clover is full of water. You can ring it out and have green liquid running all over the place. Two weeks of St. Aug. not much of a problem. Throw, as in side discharge the grass? Then what, rake it up. Or blow it all over the place?

mbrew
05-27-2010, 08:39 PM
I really get confused on the curved out and in thing. I have a commercial with a Robin engine that curves in, I also have a non commercial that has big steel wheels and also curves in. When I got it, it had a placard that said Ninja super mulcher or some such thing and it had a ninja blade on it. Neither mower is a great mulcher, but they are acceptable here with gators on them. In really tall grass they'll bog, but not in anything where I wouldn't expect it. I do want to try the Ninja blade again soon.

Mike

ShooterK2
05-27-2010, 09:01 PM
Mr. Magpie, i am not a snapper man but I am, going to state the obvious. YOU should be bagging this is simple. The grass this time of yesr grown too much in one week for you to mulch....... The grass is too high!!!!!!! I wonder about people today. You want to cut 6 inches of grass and expect it to mulch its not going to happen so bag it or throw it until july comes that simple...

I don't think Mr. Magpie is listening. His last post in this thread was almost six years ago.

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 09:04 PM
MBrew, around the rim on the bottom side of the deck is where it flares in or out. The difference is pretty noticeable to the touch if you were to have one of each side by side. Or you can tilt A Snapper up (lifting the front wheels of the ground) and see the difference in the two decks. If the bottom rim of the deck is curved in towards the blade it is a high-vac series, which helps the mower to vacuum better for bagging. If the bottom rim of the deck is slightly flared outward (away from the blade) it is to help with mulching. Hope this helps

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 09:18 PM
I guess it would have been smart to check the date. Kinda new to this.

ShooterK2
05-27-2010, 09:49 PM
I guess it would have been smart to check the date. Kinda new to this.

It's all good. Threads get revived all the time. If it pertains to something you want to talk about, have at it. Just have to understand that, when it's several years old, the folks that were on here then may not be around now. You'll probably still get responses from current members, however.

I'll shut up now, since I don't own a Snapper and cannot actually contribute any useful information to the thread.

mbrew
05-27-2010, 10:06 PM
MBrew, around the rim on the bottom side of the deck is where it flares in or out. The difference is pretty noticeable to the touch if you were to have one of each side by side. Or you can tilt A Snapper up (lifting the front wheels of the ground) and see the difference in the two decks. If the bottom rim of the deck is curved in towards the blade it is a high-vac series, which helps the mower to vacuum better for bagging. If the bottom rim of the deck is slightly flared outward (away from the blade) it is to help with mulching. Hope this helps

I went out and looked at mine again and as I thought, they're what you are describing as a Hi Vac and both are the same although the non commercial one was definitely marked as a mulcher. I also used google images to look up some pictures and I found one that was just good enough to see how it flared out. I now know what the mulching deck looks like.

Thanks for the help,
Mike

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 10:12 PM
Before Hurricane Katrina I owned a residential high-vac snapper. I added the ninja blade and it did just fine for me. Now, I wasn't doing that many lawns, probably around ten. Hope I helped.

nola lawn maintenance
05-27-2010, 10:14 PM
Shooter, I appreciate the advice. I will check the dates next time. I will take any advice on any product. You don't have to own a Snapper. That just happens to be what I bought. I owned one before and was familiar with the product. Thanks

2005 Nissan Frontier SE
Snapper Commercial Mulcher 21"
Craftsman 21" back-up mower
Echo weedeater
Echo blower
Mclane edger
4x8 utility trailer

Frue
05-27-2010, 11:31 PM
Frue,
I refuse to bag. You have got to be nuts to bag in this heat. Cut, stop, bag. Cut, stop, bag, yeah right. The Snapper Commercial mulches good even after two weeks of growth. Early in the season the clover is full of water. You can ring it out and have green liquid running all over the place. Two weeks of St. Aug. not much of a problem. Throw, as in side discharge the grass? Then what, rake it up. Or blow it all over the place?

well then mulch and leave it look crappy! I dont have a lot of 21 inch jobs so makes me no never mine. The problem is these people come on here and call equipment junk when they dont understand its cool season grass in may. Its not going to mulch. side discharge go over twice or bag. i bag in the heat dont bother me at all! :rolleyes:

ae lawn and snow
05-27-2010, 11:59 PM
I too have had a bad experience with snapper mulcher mower. I once borrowed a 5hp residential hi-lift snapper. It had the twin blade design whatever it is called. Basically, the mower sucked at cutting any grass, even dry short growth. When it wasnt stalling or leaving obvious clippings, the deck became caked with grass in no time. Just my opinion

Merkava_4
05-28-2010, 01:03 AM
The mower is putting out very good power, don't get me wrong. With the side-discharge on, it is a beast. The problem is that this deck design, believe it or not, is not made for mulching grass. Even going slow, there is nowhere for the grass to go so it slowly accumulates and stops the blade from turning. It simply cannot do it unless a 10HP motor was on there. Even then, the grass would be accumulating between the blade and the curved deck so much that it would wear out the end of the blade within 20 hours.



That's exactly correct, it's not a mulching deck, it's designed for maximum suction, as in bagging only.

BillWil
05-29-2010, 12:46 PM
Merkava 4 is correct. The curved under deck by snapper is a bagger. This is true of the Honda commercial with the curved under deck as well. I have both and when I tried to mulch with either of them, I don't even try any more, they will both clog and stall out. Here is MI I bag in the spring and fall. I can mulch in July and August if the client doesn't water, but most do water so I bag.