Dependability you never have to give a second thought and the versatile cutting power to rise to any job’s occasion shouldn’t be luxury features that jack up a gas-powered mower’s price. In that regard, Snapper’s self-propelled 12AVB2A2707 model is an affordably priced, no-frills option tailored to owners with sizable, hilly spreads and somewhat modest budgets. Previously available exclusively in-store or online from Walmart, this is a relatively lightweight mower designed for universal convenience and ease of use with a surprising amount of muscle driving it. It has its drawbacks, but if you can accept and adapt to them, it should never let you down.
- Sturdy 21-inch steel deck
- 163cc Briggs & Stratton OHV 725EXi engine
- Front-wheel drive with variable-speed transmission
- Three options for dealing with clippings: mulch, bag or side-discharge
- Covered by three-year warranty
- Deck washout port
- Front and rear height adjustments with six cutting positions
- ReadyStart technology eliminates priming and choke
Give Snapper their due: you wouldn’t expect a self-propelled gas mower packing the 12AVB2A2707’s fairly beefy 163cc Briggs & Stratton OHV 725EXi engine to weigh barely over 85 pounds. At the same time, you won’t find many models in its class quieter than its 97.9 dB of noise output. Between its front-wheel drive, smooth variable-speed transmission, eight-inch front wheels and a set of 11-inch wheels bringing up the rear, you might be surprised just how much power the 12AVB2A2707 brings to even the thickest strains of grass and steepest hills. Since they tend to maintain better traction without sacrificing forward momentum, I would ordinarily favor a rear-wheel-drive mower against steep inclines. In this instance, the 12AVB2A2707’s somewhat oversized duo in the back shores up that needed extra grip without sacrificing the superior maneuverability and speed of front-wheel drive. If you have up to an acre of uneven or hilly ground to cover and plenty of trees and other landscaping obstacles to dance around while still trimming closely, the Snapper 12AVB2A2707 more than cuts the mustard.
The sole downside? It tends to jolt a bit a when starting up and the handles sometimes wobble unpredictably under heavy use. I would consider these somewhat minor irritations, but they do stress a need to strive at the design stage for more comfortable use. Besides, it concerns me when little quirks such as these make it difficult to gauge whether my mower might have a more serious structural or mechanical gremlin to root out in the name of its safe, effective operation or just an inherent, irritating but mostly harmless idiosyncrasy in its construction.
Ease Of Use
For the most part, the 12AVB2A2707 operates simply enough for almost anyone to fire it up and start cutting like a professional landscaper immediately. Briggs & Stratton’s EXI Series engines couldn’t be easier to turn over, thanks to ReadyStart technology. I personally prefer an electrical start over nearly any cord mechanism out there, but ReadyStart eliminates the traditional primer and choke entirely and still starts up on the first or second pull about 99 times out of 100. I can see the logic behind employing front and rear levers to adjust the deck as needed. However, while that does allow one to creatively angle the blade to cut tricky uneven terrain or slopes more evenly, competing mowers perform just fine with one lever that raises and lowers all four wheels. Given the aforementioned shaky handlebar and pesky habit of jolting when starting up, I appreciated how much the ergonomic foam grips managed to offset unwanted vibration.
Cut Quality & Options
The 12AVB2A2707 will never fail to come through with astonishing cutting power and options. The steel 21-inch deck clears quite a wide path with a good deal more power driving it than an ordinary self-propelled mower will usually muster and certainly more than I expected from one weighing less than 90 pounds. The six height settings range from a little more than an inch for a precise, carpet-like finish up to a more lush 3.75 inches. Among its three disposal options, the 12AVB2A2707 mulches, bags and side-discharges with equal ease and switches from one another smoothly at the operator’s discretion.
Thanks to Briggs & Stratton’s pioneering G technology, the 12AVB2A2707 stands to save any owner a significant cash and time in the long run. EXi Series engines are designed to keep oil clean and cool at all times, meaning you never have to actually change it at all. Just keep an eye on the level and top it off as needed. The handy deck washout port makes rinsing away stray clippings, dirt, mud and debris from the underside as simple as hooking up a hose, turning on the water and starting the engine. Beyond that, Snapper’s three-year warranty and support via email within 24 hours or instantly from a representative by phone makes seeking assistance from the nearest branded service center or clarification of the downloadable manual impressively efficient.
The 12AVB2A2707 doesn’t come equipped with many noteworthy safety features worth pointing out. Its standard bailing lever must be held down keep the engine running and shuts everything down when released for any reason. The lack of a blade brake that kills the cutting system while keeping everything else running concerns me. Why leave out what has become a standard feature among self-propelled mowers that has never, to my knowledge, hindered any mower’s functionality?
For larger lawns up to an acre or so, the Snapper 12AVB2A2707 is an outstandingly affordable, bare-bones alternative to going all-in on a riding mower. This particular model brings more than enough power and nimble handling to the table against the hardiest lawns a walk-behind mower could be trusted to groom. Beyond its general cutting prowess, Snapper’s customer service standards and dedication to overall workmanship and performance have always earned my respect, even when a mower such as the 12AVB2A2707 displays a handful of hard-to-ignore flaws or conspicuously absent features. The addition of G technology pares maintenance down to keeping the blades sharp and the spark plugs relatively fresh by dramatically reducing oil expenditures in the long run. Admirable manufacturer attention to ease of use makes this an ideal mower for just about any adult user.
- Powerful engine
- Starts easily
- Three effective disposal options
- No issues trimming tall, thick grass
- Big rear wheels
- Occasional jolting movement while at work
- No blade brake
- No electrical start
- Dual levers make adjusting height awkward