Ex mark or snapper 21"

grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
I've been using a residential self propelled snapper 21" mower. The cut quality has decreased and it's beginning to act up a little. I'm trying my best to keep sharpe blades and make it through the season.

My dealer has exmark and snapper mowers. I've looked at the exmark 21" and one of the snapper commercial hi vac models.

What can you guys tell mean out these or other 21's? Just don't see the need for the 30" models.

--Would like mostly mulching and bagging decks
--- mowing fescue at 3-4" and Bermuda at 2-2.5"
-- used mostly for islands, back gusted lawns, and 2-3 full lawns (maybe 5 mowing hours a week??)
 

bens lawn care

LawnSite Member
I have the snapper hi vac 21" and I like it. I use the ninja mulching blade and it does pretty good. Mine gets more use around my ten acres then out on jobs and its worked hard on my property. Good mower for the money never tried the exmark self propelled so I cant comment on those but they have to hefty of a price tag for me
Posted via Mobile Device
 

kawasaki guy

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S. New Jersey
I have 2 snapper Hi Vacs. one is 1970s, and other is a commercial 2013 one. I like the newer one a lot. Self Propel is really good. it rolls freely if you are not using it, and it is easy to set speed. just move the lever. And, all you do is hold down a handle and it drive. And, the cut quality on BOTH of my snappers is beautiful vs my older pro 2 stroke Lawnboy mower. I have not used or owned an exmark, but they look way too expensive
 

BillWil

LawnSite Member
Location
Central Michigan
I have owned both. I liked them both. The Exmark commercial is better on wet grass than the snapper. The snapper chute will clog while the Exmark deck collects some wet grass but doesn't clog. The Snapper is easier to repair and I can get parts quickly. I think the Exmark is a little tougher and has fewer cables to replace. If I needed a third one I would buy the Exmark with the Kai engine. I have owned a Honda Commercial and used it for a number of years. I don't want another because the repairs and parts were costly and difficult to obtain.
 

kawasaki guy

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S. New Jersey
everyone around here used the Snapper Hi Vacs Pro and lawn boy/toro 22156 mowers and now those mowers are still used alot but now honda com. are becoming pretty popular. if you click the work thread link, there are some pics of my newer one striping. they are NOT the first pics in the thread. that is of old one and the snapper does clog a little, but not a lot.
 

joed

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Toronto, Canada
I don't know much about the snapper unit but I have used the exmark 21" X series for the last year and a half. This mower has been incredibly impressive as a bagger. It will bag wet grass and leaves without skipping a beat and leave very little clumping under the deck either. As for mulching, unfortunately, the exmark isn't the greatest as it tends to clump in grass that is slightly wet. That's why I also use the toro 22156. That unit is excellent for bagging, mulching, and side-discharging as long as the grass isn't wet. Then, the grass just cakes up. Here's a link to a video that shows my exmark bagging and toro mulching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3CQauj9Cao
 

Dr. Cornwallis

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Valrico, Fl
I have one of the Toro commercial 21 mowers (don't remember which model). It works ok as a mulcher and bags extremely well, however it's extremely heavy. I'm actually looking to reace it with a snapper for the lighter weight.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

jkilov

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
MS
Another vote for the Snapper. I have used JD, Toro, Husqvarna and what not but like my Snapper the most.

Choose wisely: the commercial 21" is available with either a Hi-Vac deck (lip bent inwards) or a mulching deck (lip bent outwards). Both can be configured to bag, mulch or discharge but really don't work as well for opposite applications. The mower is LIGHT and the drive system truly variable, with the differential aiding in turns.

If you mulch a lot, get the mulching model with the 190 cc Briggs, throw away that ninja-X blade and put a gator on it. Don't worry about the Briggs engine, it took 1000+ hours to trash mine, it crapped two Stens hour meters before finally going out.

If you discharge a lot, get the Hi-Vac model with GXV160, this engine is put simply superb. The discharge chute is wide and short, making this one of the best discharge 21's on the market.

If you bag a lot when dry, this mower sucks up anything and stuffs the bag real well. If you bag when the grass is wet, get a different mower.

Another great thing about this mower is it's super easy to work on, parts are readily available and not overpriced. Speaking of price the mulcher is about $700+ and the hi-vac around $900, making this a good investment.
 
OP
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grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
Thanks for the input guys.

I mulch most of the time but have a few we bag the clippings. We also may use it a little in the fall with leaves on still growing fescue.

Can the snapper hi vac be switched back and forth easily?
 

WayneJessie

LawnSite Member
I have a 21" Snapper Commercial that I have run since 2004. I've never had to replace anything on it other than the oil and filters. It has the 6hp Robin Subaru engine. They are very simply designed too. I don't think they offer the Robin engine anymore but they do offer the Kawasaki FJ engine.
 

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