Gas powered mowers typically offer you more power than other types. But often you have to make compromises too. For example usually they are quite a bit heavier than electric mowers, so you have to think about your own personal strength when deciding whether the mower will be suitable or not. With the mower I am reviewing today, the Husqvarna 7021R, mobility is less of an issue because it comes with a self propel system. In fact when I looked at all the advertisements for this mower I was really impressed. It looks the part and has practically all the features a
garden owner would want. But how does it perform? Let's find out...
Husqvarna 7021R Review - Specifications
|Honda GCV 160 Engine
|3 in 1 - Mulching, Rear Bag Collection, Side Discharge
|1.5 - 3.5 inches
|Yes, AutoWalk System
Husqvarna 7021R Review – Key Features
- Setting It Up – When you take it out of the box the only things you need to concern yourself with are folding the handle out and then tightening it up, taking the oil that comes with the mower and putting it in the mower and then finally filling up the gas tank with fuel. After that it’s just a case of tugging on the starter cord and you’re ready to go. This took me a little over 10 minutes.
- Size and Build – Some of the mowers out there that I’ve seen are an absolute joke in terms of construction. However the Husqvarna 7021R is certainly several leagues above. As with many gas mowers the deck is made out of metal (which is always better) and even though it is not particularly thick metal it does feel fairly durable. Unless you have to maintain several football pitches, the 21 inch deck should be big enough for the majority of residential lawns.
- 160cc Engine – Whilst this is by no means the most powerful engine out there, it’s capable of dealing with any situation that the mower should come across in a residential setting. It’s not like it’s going to need to cut through branches or 5 ft high weeds (unless you are a reckless garden owner!). The most impressive thing about this engine though is what happens when you pull on the starter cord. It actually starts up as it is meant to!! This doesn’t sound that impressive but believe me one of the biggest complaints of gas powered lawn mowers is the way that they are sometimes difficult to start up. This one starts nice and smooth and if you give it 30 seconds or so it’ll be up to full speed.
- AutoWalk System – With a mower this heavy it’s really important you have a self propel system as pushing this without one would be difficult for a lot of people. Husqvarna provide you with their “AutoWalk” system, a rear wheel drive variable speed system. I personally find forward wheel drives easier to manoeuvre at the end of passes but you do get used to the rear wheel drive. There’s two squeeze grips that you need to use in order to control the speed and you can go from a very slow pace (almost a dawdle) up to a brisk walk. It took me a couple of times to get used to the controls but from then on I was absolutely fine.
- 3-in-1 Cutting System – This is a standard feature with Husqvarna lawn mowers but is still worth mentioning. With this mower you are able to either bag, mulch or discharge the clippings. This is useful if your climate varies as differing conditions are suited to different modes. For example, throughout the summer I tend to mulch and provide my lawn with rich nutrients, but during the fall when my lawn is scattered with leaves I much prefer the bagging mode.
- Cutting Heights – The cutting height settings are one thing you do not want to overlook when purchasing a new mower. Some models have a very limited range and if you let your grass overgrow fairly frequently it is imperative that you buy a mower that has a good range. Why? This is because when the grass gets longer you should take the height down gradually but to do this you have to have the higher cut settings. On this particular model there are six different heights and they vary from 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches. This is a decent selection as 1.5 inches is nice and tidy, whilst 3.5 inches allows you to trim longer grass. Changing the height is super easy. Unlike on some other systems you don’t need to use brute force when changing the setting, the lever moves smoothly.
- Adjustable Handle – If you were constantly bent over whilst mowing with your previous mower this is a feature you will appreciate. You can alter the length of the cutting handle to suit your height. Another thing I liked was the fact that when it came to putting the mower away it was really easy to fold the handle over the mower so that it took up a lot less space in my garage.
Husqvarna 7021R Review – How Did It Perform?
- Cutting Ability – I was expecting quite a bit from this mower since it is nearly $400 after all. But boy was I impressed. The mower handled every condition I threw at it very well. With longer, thicker grass it cut right through and on shorter grass it did a great job at trimming and making my lawn look neat and tidy. I used the mulching feature extensively and had good results. The results weren’t quite as good (with mulching feature) on longer grass but on both short and medium length grass I really had no issues. I would probably say in terms of cutting performance this would get 4.5 stars.
- Grass Collection – In terms of actually putting the clippings into the rear bag, this mower ranked highly. The bag was also easy to use. The only thing that I would change is the capacity of the bag. It could do with being a tad bigger.
- Manoeuvrability – Before I engaged the self propel system I did try pushing it without, just to see how hard it was. Believe me, without the self propel it would be extremely difficult for me (and I’m a regular gym goer). However with the self propel system I found it was easy to use and push and at some points I was barely doing anything at all. As I mentioned earlier the only thing was that you need to learn how to control the self propel feature at the end of passes. However this really doesn’t take you long to get used to.
- Usability – From start to finish I really didn’t have that much difficulty using this model. It was easy to assemble, easy to fire up and then it was just common sense from there. All the features have been designed well and make it easy to change the cutting height, easy to change the cutting mode and the handle makes it convenient to store. Thumbs up on this one Husqvarna.
Husqvarna 7021R Review – Who Should Buy This Mower?
The features this model possesses really lend themselves well to most types of yard. It has the power to cut through challenging conditions, the self propel feature to help you navigate inclines and the diverse range of cutting modes to help you adapt to whatever conditions are thrown at you. I think the mower would be best suited to a medium-size garden.
Husqvarna 7021R Review – Who Shouldn’t Buy This Mower?
In my opinion I think small garden owners should look at a cheaper option as I think this one would be overkill. This is especially true if you have got tons of tight corners or features to navigate your way around. I honestly think you could use this on a larger garden and the only reason I am not going to recommend it for that is the fact the grass bag really could do with being bigger and you’d also probably want a bigger deck size to deal with large gardens. I know that some people have had issues with this particular model but I loved it. I don’t think the price is ridiculous for what you get and the level of performance combined with how easy it is to use should make it a real contender for anyone with a medium-size garden.