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Scag vs. Exmark (Hydro Walk Behinds)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by smitty's lawncare, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. smitty's lawncare

    smitty's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Hello everyone, For this coming year I am expanding and going to buy a 52" hydro walk behind. I've always been a scag person, but I've heard a ton of good things about Exmark. Without starting a big brand war, can yall give me some pros & cons of Exmark vs. Scag walk behinds? (Scag SWZ52 and Exmark Turf Tracer S or X series 52"). Thank you very much for your input!
  2. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    Welp, I can give you my opinions on the both on an un-bias level. I think they are great in DIFFERENT WAYS...... Scag is going to have the velocity deck. Unless you are in dry weed free grass the velocity deck is going to be the deck of choice hands down. It is atleast in my area of southern ohio where you have a ton of weeds such as clover and dandilions.

    I pretty much give the rest of the advantages to the exmark. They are no doubt about it the most comfortable to run, long lasting, and atleast for me, a darn near bullet proof walk behind.

    This is what I have been saying for the past few years. Take an exmark turf tracer, stick the velocity deck under it, and you will have to date, the best mower on the planet when it comes to a walk behind.

    I just had a conversation with the scag rep in my area yesterday about how I couldn't believe that scag went through all the trouble to FINALLY design a walk behind with controls like the ECS controls and be retarted enough to not use the velocity deck under that mower. I ran the new scag yesterday with the new controls. I liked the controls, then we got to talking about the deck. He said that the deck on the scag was put on to be comparable to the ultracut deck. Here is my thoughts. OUTDO the exmark and use the proven velocity deck!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He agreed completely but did bring up a valid point that by using that deck on the scag it kept the price down considerably compared to the exmark WB's. Good points.

    There is one reason why I will never own the swz scag and that is because of the pistol grip handles. I used them for years and never thought a thing about it until I ran a competitors exmark metro with the ecs handles and was like HOLLY chit what have I been missing. Ive been using the exmarks ever since........... We have to double cut quite often in weedy yards with our exmark wb's but atleast im comfortable doing it..... LOL. we all have our own opinion and this is just my .02

    Ive owned them both and as I stated before, I think there both great. If there is one thing I HATE about one of them its the pistol grip feature on scag.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  3. smitty's lawncare

    smitty's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Thank you so much for the reply! Im kind of in the in between stages on which one to roll with. The exmarks look so much more comfortable than the scag because of the ecs. That is one of the biggest reasons why I'm looking at Exmark. I'm just nervous about the deck. Scags velocity is ridiculously awesome in my opinion. I mow a lot of thick lawns that are irrigated so they are often wet, will that make a giant difference with the Exmark deck?
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  4. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Posts: 1,294

    I have both brands, and they are both great but the Exmark is a more comfortable mower to operate.
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Scag cuts better, especially in wet conditions. Exmark with ECS is more comfortable. Both built like tanks. I sold my 2006 Scag SWZ 52" this year which had over 3000 hours. I had a Exmark Viking for one season but the clumping and double cutting were to much to bare.
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  6. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    In my experience HELL YES!!!!! I will give you an example really quick. When we were on the fence of weather or not to go with scag I picked up there demo unit which was a tiger cat 61" velocity deck. At the time I owned a turf tracer 60............. We took those two mowers to my nastiest thickest yard which we almost always have to double cut. I should have taken a video man that's all I could say. I left that day and bought 2 scags if that tells you how big of a difference there was in the cut quality. There were clumps on the left hand side of the yard with the exmark and none on the right where the scag was ALTHOUGH the right side could have still used a double cut just from so much clippings covering the stripes in the yard.

    I have come to the conclusion that the mower a man picks to be the best has to do with the area he lives in and what types of turf/grass/weeds/ etc you have to deal with.... In my area when it comes to deck preference its hands down scag...............

    The gods honest truth is when it comes to the scag swz walk behindes, Ive actually had a welding fabricator buddy of mine go look at brand new ones with me and let him study it to see if he could cut/get rid of the pistol grips and take a set of ecs handles and fab them up..... that would work for me. He said he could make it work.... I just couldn't stand the thought of buying a brand new mower and hacking the original handles off!!! LOL
  7. Grant11

    Grant11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    I own 2 Turf Tracers. They are work horses. They don't cut well in wet grass. The X series turf tracer is quite a bit more comfortable (and better in most every way) than the s series.

    I dont think you can go wrong with a scag or an exmark. Ive only heard good things about velocity decks. I wish the new scag hydro walkbehinds came with floating decks
  8. mowcrazy

    mowcrazy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 886

    They do in fact have a wb now with the floating deck but its not the velocity deck. I ran one the other day and it has new controls somewhat like the exmark walk behinds. nice mower, has floating deck to. Just cant believe scag didn't use the velocity deck on this machine. Total screw up in my opinion.
  9. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    I own an Exmark Turf Tracer S Series and yes while it is not the best when cutting wet grass, it is a tank and leaves an exceptional cut in most other conditions. I absolutely love mine.

    Also have you looked at the Gravely Pro Walks? They are similar in design to the Exmark Turf Tracers, just with different controls.

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