First Time Buyer GuideThings to consider before Buying a Zero Turn Mower!

#9 Hustler Raptor 42 inch Review

Introduction

The Hustler Raptor is number nine on our Top Ten Residential Zero Turn Mower list. The Raptor is a entry level zero turn mower that boasts an exceptional value for the sub $3000 price range. Hustler has an outstanding reputation among consumers and they designed the Raptor with a commercial grade 8 gauge steel fabricated frame that has heavy duty front axle and caster forks. This along with it's heavy duty 11 gauge steel fabricated deck provides a long lasting durable lifespan. It'll be sure to take almost any type of abuse. Along with the commercial grade 21.5 horse power kawasaki engine the cut quality is at the top of the list when compared to other zero turn mower's in it's price range. Hustler's goal when designing the Raptor was to make an entry level leading high quality zero turn mower.


Hustler's 3-year unlimited hours warranty shows that they stand by their engineering and design quality. Only Ariens and Toro offer such a warranty. Most other zero turn mowers only offer 1-2 years with a limit of 120 hours. Hustler's Raptor is one of the few residential zero turn mowers that can tackle slopes quite well. The wide stance and low center of gravity give it superb maneuverability on slopes up to 15 degrees per manufacture.


Hustler Raptor 42 inch zero turn mower

Hustler Raptor 42-inch


Number nine on our Top Ten Residential Zero Turn Mower list the Hustler Raptor 42-inch received a 4.2 out of 5.0 rating.
Features: 4.0/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.8/5
Value: 4.3/5
This information was gathered from 135 consumer reviews.

 

 

 


Brand: Hustler Turf
Manufactured By: Hustler/Excel Industries
Model:Raptor 42-inch
Item Number: 931741
MRSP: $2,799.00
Buying Options: Ebay usually has free shipping, or Authorized Dealers

 

When you buy the Hustler Turf Raptor from an authorized dealer near you. Most dealers will assemble and perform a complete inspection to ensure operation. At the time of delivery the Certified Professional will teach you on site how to operate and properly maintain the zero turn mower. This is one of the most valuable things for a first time Zero Turn owner.

 

If there is not a authorized dealer close enough you can have it shipped to you. You will have to take it out of the crate and get it ready to mow yourself. It’s not a big job. You’ll need a wrecking bar or heavy claw hammer to take the crate apart and a few hand tools to install the steering wheel, seat, grass deflector and battery.


Specifications

 

Cutting Width: 42 inches
Acres per Hour: 2.10 @ 6mph
Top Speed: 6mph
Weight: 505lbs
Warranty: 3-year unlimited hours
Engine brand: Kawasaki
Horse Power/CC: 21.5hp/726cc
Height Cutting range: 1.5-4.5”
Fuel Capacity: 3 gallons
Discharge: Side, Mulching or Bagging
Drive System: Hydrostatic
Recommended for moderate slopes? Flat terrain to moderate slopes manufacture suggest up 15 degrees
Mow in Reverse? Yes



Accessories

Hustler Raptor Bagger zero turn mowerThe Hustler Raptor doesn't have a bunch of attachments like some of the other zero turn mowers on our top ten list such as the Ariens Max Zoom or Toro TimeCutter. The few accessories that are offered should be sufficient for most homeowners looking to buy a mower with a 42 inch deck with 1/2-1 ½ acre lawns.


The accessories available are a Bagger, Mulching Kit, Shock Absorbing Flex Forks, Arm Rest Kit, Hour Meter, Light Kit, Engine Guard and Steering Lever Extension Kit. Check out this video for details about the Hustler Raptor attachments.

 


Pros

-Low Seat Height
-Low center of gravity
-Top Speed 6 mph
-21.5 HP Kawasaki engine
-Clippings are dispersed evenly
-Mulches well without clumping and leaves behind ultra fine clippings
-Heavy duty 11 gauge fabricated deck(No other ZTR under $3000.00 has this)
-Exceptional Value when compared to other Zero Turn Mowers in it's price range
-Heavy duty front caster forks
-Performs well on slopes up to 15 degrees
-Commercial grade quality built

 

Cons

-Not as many accessories available as other zero turns
-EZT Transmissions are not designed for pulling heavy loads
-No cutting deck washout ports requires manually cleaning underneath the deck.


This video here shows how well the Hustler Raptor performs on slopes and manufures over traditional lawn tractors. This is one of the few residential zero turn mowers that is actully recommend to be used on slopes up to 15 degrees.


Deck

Hustler Raptor deck zero turn mowerThe 42 inch wide 11 gauge steel fabricated deck features a rust resistant coating. Fabricated decks offer a durable long lasting high quality design that offers exceptional cut quality. They also stand up well to almost any abuse homeowners can throw at them. The Hustler Raptor's fabricated deck is the strongest deck in this price range and should be anyone's number one choice if you have rough terrain with lots obstacles. This un matched strength stops the deck from becoming dented or distorted which helps sustain a level high quality cut.
 

With the proper accessories this deck has mulching and bagging capabilities. The deck discharges grass clippings so well that a blower isn't needed while use the bagger. This cuts down on cost and offers savings to consumers. Two anti scalping deck wheels will help float the deck across the lawn for an even cut. Blades are engaged with an electric PTO switch just like most other zero turn mowers. Unlike all of the other zero turn mowers on our top ten list there are not any washout ports. There are many Raptor owners that say the deck and blades are designed so well that there isn't much grass build up underneath the deck. They recommend manually cleaning the deck at the end of each season.


Engine

Hustler Raptor Engine zero turn mower
The Kawasaki FR651V engine delivers 21.5 horse power. Many people prefer Kawasaki due to it's history and durability. The FR651V is a 2 cylinder V-twin forced air cooled vertical shaft over head valve engine. Kawasaki engines deliver smooth, efficient, quiet and reliable engines. The 3 gallon capacity gasoline tank has a level viewing window on it's side. Click Here for more information about the Kawasaki FR651V from their website.

 

 


Transmission

The Raptor comes with Hydro-Gear EZT series transmission. These are the most popular available in residential zero turn mowers below the $3500 price tag. EZT transmissions are easy to use and very dependable for everyday lawn mowing. One of the negatives here is that EZT's are really only ideal for flat terrains. But Hustler did a great job designing the Raptor with a very low center of gravity and which makes it's one of the exceptions. The Raptor still performs well on slopes up to 15 degrees as recommended by the manufacture. These transmissions are not ideal for pulling heavy loads, if you plan to use heavy attachments like aerators, spreaders, rollers, etc. you should look into the Ariens Zoom 42 or Toro TimeCutter SS4260.


Steering

Hustler Raptor parking brake zero turn mower
The steering system has a built in parking brake. While the control bars our swung out the parking brake is engaged automatically and when pulled in it is automatically disengaged. The EZT transmission makes for easy and smooth maneuverability. Heavy Duty fabricated ¼ inch steel front caster forks offer a durable and smooth free turning front wheels. A flex fork attachment is available which allows the front caster wheels to flex helping the mower to cut even over uneven terrains. As with any traditional zero turn mower there is a bit of a learning curve for any first time operators. Check out the video section to view some how-to's and safety videos.

 


Comfort

Starting with roomy platform that offers plenty of leg room, the low seat height and swing out control bars makes getting on and off the mower easy. The control bars are padded and a steering level extension kit is available to offer adjustability and comfort. Shock absorbing Flex Forks are available to improve operation and comfort over uneven terrains. There is also a Arm Rest Kit available to add comfort and help reduce arm and shoulder fatigue.


What Hustler Raptor Owners are saying:

 

-”Researched zero turns until my eyes bled, I kept coming back to the Hustler Raptor”

-”It mows terrific, controls are smooth as silk and the Kawasaki is quiet”

-”No hour meter, that is a $39 quick fix and installs in 5 minutes”

-”Great mower indeed”

-”This Hustler Zero Turn mower is a great value for the features that it has.”

-”This mower cuts evenly and quickly, I could not be happier.”

-”hands down the best bang for your buck”

-”It is not commercial machine and has cut some corners so it is not 3 times the price. It has what it needs”

-”For under $3000 you will not find a better mower”

-”You can't find any other zero turn mower this cheap with such a strong fabricated deck!”


Other Comparable Residential Quality Zero Turn Mowers:

John Deere EZtrak Z235 42-inch

Cub Cadet RZT-L 42-inch

Toro TimeCutter SS4260 42-inch

Ariens Zoom 42-inch

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