Deere JS20 Review

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by YukonG, May 21, 2007.

  1. YukonG

    YukonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I now have about 20 hours on my John Deere JS20. I really wanted a commercial walk behind, but I didn't have the money. After looking at commercial mowers, the JS20 didn't look promising. But after a little time with it, I really like it. I understand it will not last as long as a commercial, but hopefully it will make me enough money to purchase a nice commercial walk behind.

    It is obviously a rebadged Snapper; or at least a Snapper copy. The deck, chute, and bag look identical to a Snapper. The only thing I have done with it is bag; and it bags excellent. The B&S engine starts on the first pull every time. It has plenty of power for tall, wet grass. The wheels are fairly easy to adjust. The self-propelled controls are easy to use. And the bag is easy to use once you figure it out.

    So far, I am very happy with it. And I don't think I could have found a better mower for $400. If the Toro mowers used something other than the personal pace system, I would have bought one of them. Only time will tell on the long term durability and reliability of my John Deere JS20; but I'm definitely satisfied with it thus far.[​IMG]
  2. spazfam

    spazfam LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Not too happy with ours ..been thru entire set of wheels, changed the drive system about 3 times. Not very durable we use it almost every day and it self distructs. It is 1 year old and we almost junked it today! Broke yet another drive wheel today..had to put an old one back on until the new parts come in. Have a JS61 that is 7 years old and runs circles around this mower.
  3. YukonG

    YukonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    That isn't what I wanted to hear. I will try to be easy on mine until I can afford something stronger.
    How much is a new drive system for it?
  4. spazfam

    spazfam LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Hard to say we have replaced several parts and it seems nothing was a lot 15-20 bucks here and there, some as little as 1.50. Had the left drive wheel shatter this afternoon all that was left was part of the center still attached to the drive system.

    I have to be fair we use that mower a lot I estimate it has about 400 hours on it and some of my guys are like bulls in a china shop.
  5. hardball

    hardball LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Here's my experience with the Deere JS20: It's crap. I'm a teacher and mow about 15 yards a week. I purchased a JS20 last April, used it on 6 yards and the drive system went out. I took it back to Lowes and they exchanged it for another one (btw, I had to exchange it because i foolishly lost the reciept). I used that one for a couple of weeks and the drive system went out. Since I didn't have the receipt for the first one I purchased, my only option was to exchange the Deere for a third one. The third one lasted throughout the rest of the mowing season. This weekend I mowed one yard with it and the drive system crapped out halfway through the 2nd yard. I bought a Toro yesterday. We'll see how long it lasts. I understand that residential mowers aren't going to last as long as commercial mowers, but having 3 Deere's break down in ONE year is insanity.
  6. slfoster123

    slfoster123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I purchased a JS20 about 2 years ago and have had to have the drive mechanism worked on twice (sounds like a common theme, huh?), and the starting has definitely not been one-pull. I have had Craftsman mowers better than this one.
  7. BarrFarms

    BarrFarms LawnSite Member
    from Ne Ar
    Messages: 143

    I have had good luck out of my JS 30. I bought it last year for $459.99 at my local deere dealer and carry it just in case. It may see 5 hours a week.
  8. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 310

    I went through that learning curve, but at the end, a residential mower will just not hold up to commercial duty. We have several John Deere JS 63, excellent, very lightweight mulcher, replaced all wheels who knows how many times, replaced transmission, the engine is only good for 300 hrs, the cables just don’t last…. It can drive you nuts.

    If I would do it over again, I would go right away for a commercial Honda. I read it before, didn't believe it, but I came to the same conclusion. A commercial machine will make you commercial money.
  9. Hawg City Lawns

    Hawg City Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    i have the js25... worst purchase ever... had it for 4 months and its toast
  10. T Cowan

    T Cowan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have a js 20. it's about 3 months old and the axle has broke twice and the engine has been replaced. I have been very disappointed with it. These mowers are built by Snapper.
    I had a Troy bilt that lasted 7 seasons until I sold it thinking I was upgrading to the deere. Although I mow commercially, my walk behinds see very little use but it seems any use is too much for these machines.

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