Heavy walk behind lawn mowers typically benefits from some form of self-propulsion. If a mower weighs over say 50 pounds, then consumers tend to become leery of lugging it during long hot summer mowing sessions.
The Husqvarna LC221RH weighs in at a bulky 80-pounds, which requires a self-propulsion system to spare the users a sweaty Saturday afternoon. Of course, the self-propulsion feature and the power of the 160 cc Honda gas powered engine also mean that there is more than enough torque for the versatility of also being a mulching mower.
The self-propulsion system directs power to the rear wheel via a belt-pully. It is operated via a comfortable dual trigger controls mounted to the handle.
The rear wheels are 11-inches, compared to the front 8-inch wheels, which lends some mechanical advantage to the self-propulsion system. At the same time, all four wheels have bearing-based axles, which makes them move along with astonishing smoothness. The end result is a self-propelled lawnmower that is incredibly nimble for its weight and size.
- A very reliable 160 cc Honda engine
- Dual trigger speed controls built into the handle
- Self-propelled with large 11-inch diameter rear wheels
- All wheels have axle bearings
- Can be used as a bagger or as a mulching mower
- Smooth and easy to operate
- 21-inch cutting deck
The Husqvarna LC221RH is surprisingly nimble for its size and weight. This is largely due to the axle bearings in each of the four wheels, as well as the mechanical advantage of the 11-inch diameter rear wheels.
Adding the bagger to the rear, allows it to collect what are essentially mulched grass clippings. Not only does this prevent thatch buildup in your turf, but it also provides you with grass clippings that will quickly breakdown in your composter.
Ease of Use
For the most part, the Husqvarna LC221RH is easy to use. There is no electric start, which is a little bit of a miss for Husqvarna and Honda. Both companies have a reputation for innovation and thoughtful design, it seems odd that neither thought about adding an electric start to what is otherwise a thoughtfully designed lawnmower.
The dual trigger controls are another double-edged sword. At first glance, they are comfortable, padded, and mounted close to the handle. This spares you some of the uncomfortable reaching that comes into play with some of the competitor’s speed controls, where you are nearly maxing out the reach of your fingers at times. However, being so close to the main handle can also make them a little fiddly. Just expect that it will take a little bit to really dial in the speed that is best for you.
One small brownie point for Husqvarna is that the handle of the mower is easily adjustable. This is really nice if you are on the tall or short side, as you can set the handle length closer to your comfort zone. Your back and shoulders will thank you for it!
Cut Quality & Options
The 21-inch mower deck on the Husqvarna LC221RH is big enough to handle up to a half acre lawn. Any bigger, and you might want to consider stepping up to a riding lawnmower.
The fact that it works as a bagger and a mulcher at the same time is really nice if you keep a compost bin for your garden. Even if you don’t bag and compost your grass clippings, the mulching features works well enough that nearly all the tiny particles of grass will be reabsorbed back into the turf. If anything it might even provide a little extra fertilizer to feed the turf!
There are a few little problems when it comes to the maintenance and mechanical aspects of the Husqvarna LC221RH.
To begin with, the relationship between the choke and the throttle takes a little getting used to. Chances are you will notice it starting up in the first two or three pulls, only to bog down. One thing that could also contribute to this problem is the adjustable handle height. Keep a close eye on the throttle cable, make sure it doesn’t catch or get compressed when you adjust the handle. If it does it will limit the response range of the speed and throttle controls.
The underside of the Husqvarna LC221RH’s deck is unpainted steel. Now, this isn’t all that uncommon in other mowers you find in this range. However, those competitors tend to include some form of deck wash system. The Husqvarna LC221RH doesn’t have anything of the sort, which makes it prone to debris clogs and rusting issues over time.
One other minor mechanical thing to note is that the self-propulsion belt can be prone to slipping if you are a little abusive, running over sticks or trying to use it as an improvised brush mower.
The Husqvarna LC221RH comes with the same hand controls that disengage the mower when they are released.
The axle bearings are a nice touch to help improve maneuverability.
You can also use the Husqvarna LC221RH as a mulcher or bagger, without having to spend money on these features as an “Added Extra.”
The fact that you can use the Husqvarna LC221RH as a bagger/mulching mower, reduces thatch buildup and seasonal aeration costs. The 160 cc Honda engine is also very reliable and will give you a lifespan that will recoup your investment.
As time goes on, the bare steel under the mower deck can lead to rust issues. Especially near the bagging attachment. Taking a little extra time to clean away grass clippings and other lawn debris with a wire brush will help extend the lifespan of your investment.
- Reliable 160 cc Honda engine
- Bagger and a mulching mower in one
- Axle bearings for smooth maneuverability
- Rear wheel drive self-propulsion system
- Folding and adjustable handle
- Comfortable variable speed hand controls
- Choke and throttle take getting used to
- Unpainted steel under the deck prone to rusting
- Self-propulsion belt can slip if you mow over brush
- Throttle cable can get stuck in handle adjustment
- Speed controls take a little getting used to