Pulsar PTG1221 21” Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review
Gas powered lawnmowers seem to stand the test of time, thanks to their power and torque. This is countered balanced by the fact that they tend to be much heavier than electric mowers of the same size. They also tend to be significantly louder, and harder to start.
The Pulsar 21” Gas Powered walk behind has a 173 cc 4 stroke gasoline powered engine. The 4 stroke engineering means that it is far quieter and easier to maintain than a 2 stroke engine of the same size. The powered provided by the gas motor is also used to drive the Pulsar’s self-propulsion system, which makes it easier to maneuver. It features a recoil pull start ignition.
The self-propulsion system helps move the mower along with ease. In the front, there are two 8-inch wheels and two 10-inch wheels in the back. A single level allows you to quickly change the height to any one of its seven settings.
The Pulsar 21” Gas Powered Lawnmower is also very versatile. It can be set up as a mulching mower, rear bagger or side discharge, depending on your preference and the characteristics of your lawn.
The self-propulsion system helps move the mower along with ease. In the front, there are two 8-inch wheels and two 10-inch wheels in the back. A single level allows you to quickly change the height to any one of its seven settings. There is also a handbrake for added safety.
- 173 cc 4 stroke gas powered engine
- 7 height settings
- Handbrake for added safety
- 3-in-1 versatility for bagging, mulching, or side discharge
- 21-inch cutting path
The 173 cc 4 stroke engine gives you the power you need to cut efficiently, while also running the self-propulsion system. It is also a fair bit quieter than other lawnmowers of the same size, which is nice if you have neighbors living close by.
Ease of Use
The Pulsar 21” Gas Powered Lawnmower is relatively easy to use. The self-propulsion system moves the mower smoothly. The eight-inch front and ten inch rear wheels also help it glide over rough patches of turf and uneven spots. The hand brake is convenient for those times when you want to stop the mower, but don’t want to shut it off.
One area where Pulsar may have missed, it by making it strictly pull-start engine. An electric start feature would make it much easier to use.
Cut Quality & Options
The 21-inch cutting path is relatively standard for lawnmowers of this size and price point. The ability to adjust it as a mulcher, rear bagger, or side discharge is also very handy. When it’s set up to bag grass clippings, it gives you material for the compost bin, while also keeping cut blades of thatch from building up in the turf.
As a mulcher, the blades use the power of the motor to reduce grass clippings into tiny pieces, which are more likely to decompose into the turf layers rather than build up into suffocating thatch. Just bear in mind that even the most efficient mulching mower may leave some thatch buildup, which might call for fall or spring aeration to keep your lawn healthy and vibrant.
If you don’t have a compost pile or some convenient way to dispose of grass clippings, I would recommend setting up as a mulcher and simply leaving it that way. Side discharge mowers, especially during a wet summer, can create a lot of turf-suffocating thatch.
On paper, the seven height adjustment settings sound impressive. Most competitor mowers in this class only have four or perhaps five. In real life, seven different height settings is a bit excessive. There isn’t a whole lot of difference from say setting three to setting five. Giving it seven feels a little bit like Pulsar is trying to “Pad Their Stats.”
Just like the four-stroke engine in your car or boat, the Pulsar’s 173 cc engine will need some extra routine maintenance. This calls for basic things like changing the oil at least once a year, preferably in the spring.
From time to time the spark plugs may need to be replaced. If it is particularly hard to start, even on a warm day, it likely means that it’s time to change a spark plug. Just make sure you have cleared the air filter first.
The Pulsar 21” Gas Powered Lawnmower comes with the standard hand controls, as well as an additional hand brake. This is handy for times when your walking gait might be out of synch with the mower’s self-propulsion, or if you simply want to stop it for a few seconds to say move a stick or garden hose out of the way, and don’t want to shut it off.
The four-stroke motor is generally a mark of quality, and it certainly makes the Pulsar 21” quieter than its 2-stroke competitors.
The hand brake is also a nice feature for added safety and convenience
The Pulsar 21” Gas Powered Lawnmower can also be set up as a mulcher, rear bagger, or for side discharge. This gives you better control about what to do with spent clippings.
If you don’t have a compost pile or a free grass clippings disposal service, the mulching feature itself will prove to be a money saver! Depending on the soil and health of your turf you might still need to aerate your lawn every year or two.
The 21-inch cutting path is also right in the sweet spot for efficiently cutting a lawn that’s under a half acre. Many of the electric mowers in this price range have only around a 16 to 18-inch cutting path, which can get a little monotonous if you need to cut a large lawn.
- 173 cc four-stroke engine
- 3-in-1 mulcher, bagger, or side discharge
- Additional hand brake
- 10” rear wheels
- Recoil start instead of electric
- 7 height settings is a bit excessive
- Slightly heavy for its size
- Needs routine maintenance
- No mower deck cleaning feature