Snapper is something of an iconic brand in the lawn care space. They were the first company to produce a self-propelled walk behind mower and their rear engine riding mowers were renowned for their ease of maintenance. The original Snapper lawn mowers were the product of the McDonough Power Company, a saw mill that was facing declining business and looking for a new direction.
Snapper mowers were so named because of the way their patented blade tended to ‘snap’ at the grass, rather than slice it. To reinforce the Snapper identity early models included a snapping turtle figurine on the mower body. Snapper has attracted many suitors over the years. In the past 2 decades alone it has had no fewer than 3 new owners. Still, Snapper mowers endure despite the corporate musical chairs, and many are high-quality machines. In our Snapper lawn mower reviews we look at all the brand’s most popular current offerings.
Our Snapper Lawn Mower Reviews
History of Snapper Lawn Mowers
The company that would eventually produce and sell Snapper lawn mowers was founded in McDonough, Georgia in 1894 as the Southern Saw Works. In time it changed its name to McDonough Power Company, though it kept its focus on lumber production. When the lumber industry in Georgia began to decline in the 1940s the saw mill was purchased by a man named William Smith.
Smith recognized the perilous state of the local lumber industry and decided to add lawn mowers to the company’s product line. He had his engineers come up with a unique type of blade that he then patented and used as a marketing tool. This was the ‘snapping’ blade I mentioned earlier.
Smith registered the Snapper name as a company trademark and sales steadily grew. By 1967 Snapper sales were $10 million and by 1987 annual sales had increased to $260 million. Snapper’s success made it a prime takeover target beginning in the 1990s. A phenomenon that picked up speed after the turn of the century.
In 2002 Simplicity Manufacturing bought the Snapper brand. 2 years later Briggs & Stratton moved in and acquired Simplicity, thereby taking control of Snapper in the process. In 2014 after 120 years in Georgia, Briggs & Stratton shifted manufacturing of Snapper mowers to their own factories in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Munnsville, New York.
By 2019 Briggs & Stratton was in trouble and declared bankruptcy. Their original bankruptcy restructuring plan called for selling off individual parts of the company, including Snapper. But in the final, approved plan all B&S assets (including Snapper) were sold to an investment firm called KPS Capital Partners.
Where are Snapper Lawn Mowers Made?
When KPS Capital Partners purchased B&S they retained that company’s manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee and Munnsville, New York. For the moment, Snapper mowers continue to be made in those locations. However, KPS also purchased Briggs & Stratton’s Chinese production facilities, which are used to produce snow blowers and other outdoor products. Will they eventually move lawn mower production there too? No one is saying. For now, you can rest easy knowing the Snapper mowers featured in our Snapper lawn mower reviews are made in America.