The Husqvarna 7021P is just enough mower to groom anything from a small to medium-sized lawn, but it was clearly designed for a very finite set of dimensions. Anything much larger than a third of an acre would water down this relatively petite mower’s significantly advantageous combination of versatile power and tremendous fuel economy. Nevertheless, within reason, its remarkably dependable performance and incredible cut quality manage to make a set of minor-yet-conspicuous drawbacks quite forgivable. At its modest price point, there are few value propositions I could recommend more wholeheartedly.
- Honda GCV160 Engine
- Three clipping-disposal options: bag, mulch or side-discharge
- 12-inch rear wheels
- Foldable, ergonomically designed adjustable handle
- California-compliant emissions
The impeccably hardwearing Honda GCV160 supplies an immaculately fitting measure of power for lawns spanning one-third acre or less. Put it to work on any landscape much larger, and its ordinarily impressive fuel economy and performance regress from markers of an uncommonly robust, efficient workhorse for its size to indicators of an overwhelmed, undersized choice to manage a more expansive yard. As far as its body is concerned, 21 inches of stamped-steel deck feels like an ideal size to squeeze the utmost muscle out Honda’s engine before any additional width would make it feel like too little brawn for too broad or heavy a base. Beware, though: this guy has a loud, deep growl far from suitable from late-night or early-morning mowing.Use ear protection at all times.
Ease Of Use
The Husqvarna 7021P is fantastically uncomplicated. Use one long enough, and you’ll be taken by surprise if Honda’s notoriously reliable engine ever fails to spring to life after the first pull of the cord. Just don’t ever forget to engage the choke when cold-starting, or you may question whether its struggle to fire up suggests a mechanical gremlin. On the bright side, the choke avoids flooding the engine by disengages instantly the moment it starts. When in use, the adjustable, ergonomically designed handle is a perfectly comfortable fit for any user’s proportions and folds down neatly to save space in storage afterward. Despite the effortless ease with which the 12-inch rear wheels enable this 55-pound mower to maneuver over protruding tree roots and other obstacles, overall handling can feel rickety on generally uneven ground, though not enough so that forward progress becomes prohibitively frustrating.
Cut Quality & Options
The Husqvarna 7021P’s cutting prowess isn’t without its limits. Under dry conditions, even famously hardy strains such as Bermuda or St. Augustine grasses won’t slow this compact mower down when trimmed before they can top five inches in height. The substantial 7 ft.-lb. of torque produced by the engine is plenty to guarantee clean, even cuts and a flawlessly neat finish time after time, provided one never presses its luck against growth in excess of half a foot or reduces the deck to its lowest setting. While I appreciated the generous range of positions available to each wheel, the shortest level practically grinds the cutting surfaces into the ground.
Speaking of tweaking the Husqvarna 7021P’s cutting height, here’s a surprise: someone still doesn’t understand that separate adjustment levers for each wheel benefits absolutely nothing and no one. To make matters worse, the rear controls in particular are known to be rather flimsy. Owners, by and large, need and want one all-controlling mechanism. One. That’s it. Anything more is too much trouble for absolutely no reason.
Finally, the Husqvarna 7021P offers three discharge options for ejecting clippings, but only the side-discharge function carries out its job flawlessly. The detachable bag frequently jostled loose and held me up during my test drive. Meanwhile, while its mulch is appreciably fine in its consistency, it tends to accumulate and adhere to the bottom of the deck and hinder blade rotation.
When you set aside small-but-noticeable manufacturing flaws, Husqvarna mowers practically never require a great deal of additional TLC. Change the oil on schedule. Never start one cold without setting the choke. Either sharpen the blades yourself a few times per season or enlist a friendly local repair shop. Keep the fuel and spark plugs fresh. Finally, always thoroughly winterize your mower before storing it at the end of a season. To make a long story short, abide by the regular maintenance standards one would expect for any gas-powered mower, and you should be set.
The Husqvarna 7021P offers little in the way of extensive features. To kill the engine in the event of a safety hazard, simply release the bailout lever, and the cutting mechanism will shut down almost immediately.
Residential users with under a half-acre of turf to maintain will get every cent of their money’s worth out of the Husqvarna 7021P. A 600cc engine isn’t objectively “huge” by any standard of dimensions, but we’re talking about pioneering Honda technology and reliability powering a surprisingly potent gas mower priced around $300. Husqvarna often frustrates customers by overlooking easily fixable issues like bags that won’t stay in place and unstable wheels.
Those seemingly inconsequential drawbacks can add up quickly and unfortunately begin to tarnish a model that, like this one, can tame some of the toughest grasses around with unexpected ease. In general, the engine isn’t remotely fuel-efficient enough to qualify it for duty on larger lawns, and there are certainly less pricey 21-inch competitors out there. Nevertheless, here’s the bottom line: warts and all, this is a triple-tough mower that holds up admirably against years on end of wear and tear while powering dependably through every job in front of it with flying colors.
- Professional-grade cut
- Deceptively powerful engine
- Smooth start virtually every time
- Superb overall performance
- Compact and lightweight
- Impressively durable
- Wheel stability sometimes frustrating
- Bag sometimes falls off
- Taller grass can give it fits
- Individual wheel-height adjustments
- Mulching sometimes hinders performance