Bad things about the 21" commercial Snapper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr. Magpie, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    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?
  2. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    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...
  3. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Messages: 1,033

    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.
  4. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    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.
  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    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)
  6. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    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.


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

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    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..
  8. Mindless

    Mindless LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    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 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.

  9. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    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.
  10. MDB270

    MDB270 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    i have the commercial with a honda and ninja blade.........worst cutting mower i have ever owned

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