Husqvarna’s Workhorse Shines
We’re eager to discover the best lawn mowers on the market, including both gas and battery-powered models. With this in mind, we put 24 different models to the test in various categories. The Husqvarna LC221RH stood out as a rear-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mower equipped with a powerful Honda GCV 160 engine. It consistently delivered impressive performance, making it an excellent choice for residential use.
Pros and Cons
- Outstanding fuel efficiency
- Easy-to-start Honda GCV160 engine
- Relatively quiet operation
- Great value for money
- Height adjustment lever could be more robust
- Flimsy drive controls, a common issue with home lawn mowers
To reach our conclusions, we conducted a series of tests and welcome your feedback. You can find detailed information in our comprehensive article on the best self-propelled lawn mowers.
We discovered that the difference between no-load speed and maintenance speed for gas lawn mowers was negligible. This means that regular mowing won’t put significant stress on most high-quality gas lawn mowers.
When analyzing the Husqvarna LC221RH, we observed that it reached a maximum speed of 3021 RPM with a blade tip speed of 188.6 MPH. These figures are entirely satisfactory for a gas lawn mower, ensuring effortless weekly mowing.
We also simulated heavier loads to test the mower’s performance. Even with increased pressure, the Husqvarna LC221RH maintained a blade tip speed of 2949 RPM (184.1 MPH). It only dropped 4.5 MPH, placing second only to the Cub Cadet which experienced a 4.0 MPH drop.
While these numbers are informative, they primarily reflect our lab work. What really matters is how these figures translate into real-world performance.
To simulate challenging conditions, we deliberately allowed our grass to grow tall and thick for 5 weeks, pushing some of the best mowers to their limits. We then guided them through the difficult terrain, maintaining a 2.5″ cut height and a consistent speed of 2.5 MPH. We measured the distance each mower traveled before the blade stopped.
The Husqvarna LC221RH impressively managed to cover 28.5′, showcasing its capability to handle challenging conditions. It outperformed even a commercial lawn mower. However, it’s worth noting that we did detect a difference between the 160 cc engine of the Husqvarna and the 196 cc engine of the Cub Cadet, giving the latter a slightly longer range of 55′.
It’s no surprise that Husqvarna’s Honda Power Lawn Mowers can handle nearly any residential condition. The Husqvarna LC221RH can effortlessly tackle weekly trimming and efficiently handle several weeks’ worth of overgrowth.
While we appreciate the power of gasoline, one of the appealing aspects of electric lawn mowers is their independence from oil and fuel. No longer worrying about refueling is a significant advantage. But how far can you go without stopping?
Under light cutting conditions, we found that the Husqvarna LC221RH could run for 93 minutes on a full tank of fuel. With a constant speed of 2.5 MPH, the 21-inch mulch cutting belt can cover up to 35,689 square feet, which translates to approximately 0.82 acres of grass. This is on par with Craftsman’s M310 model.
Keep in mind that these are ideal conditions, and most of the 5%-10% loss in efficiency is due to overlapping cutting lanes.
Cutting area is only one aspect to consider; we also need to understand the engine’s efficiency. After all, fuel costs can add up.
Although the Husqvarna LC221RH has a small 36-ounce tank, it proved to be the most fuel-efficient gas lawn mower among those we tested. During our test, running on 4 ounces of Trufuel, it lasted an impressive 10.3 minutes. This equates to excellent engine run time per ounce of fuel.
Further examination reveals that it can mow at an efficiency of 2.91 acres per gallon. It performs slightly less efficiently per gallon than the Cub Cadet, but the latter has a larger cutting area thanks to its 23-inch blades.
To put it simply, if you want to maintain a speed of 2.5 MPH in a straight line, Husqvarna’s Honda GCV160 engine achieves a remarkable fuel efficiency of 13.73 MPG.
The Husqvarna LC221RH operates at a very reasonable noise level of 89 dB(A). Although it may not be as quiet as the battery-powered models we tested, it is the quietest gas-powered lawn mower in the residential segment. Only Honda’s commercial models perform even quieter, but they are in a different class altogether.
Given that gas lawn mowers are generally heavier than their battery-powered counterparts, we are pleased to note that all the gas mowers we tested come with self-propelled units.
The Husqvarna LC221RH boasts an efficient and powerful rear-wheel drive system. You can easily control the walking speed by squeezing the drive handle, allowing for variable speed adjustment between 0 and 3 MPH.
Similar to almost all air mowers in our test, the Husqvarna LC221RH features a sturdy steel deck. We consider this a positive feature, as steel is more durable than the poly or plastic decks found on some electric lawn mowers.
Of course, this does make the mower heavier. Nevertheless, since the LC221RH is self-propelled, the extra weight is not a major concern.
Height Adjustment and Range
The Husqvarna LC221RH uses a 4-point adjustment system for the deck height. To set the desired height, you will need to adjust each wheel individually. This is a standard feature for gas lawn mowers, as the structure’s weight requires additional support at multiple points.
While the system functions well, we did observe that the levers are slightly thinner compared to other mowers. They are not as sturdy as those found on other models in the same class.
The mower offers 9 height levels ranging from 0.75″ to 4.125″. This wide range is ideal for handling various grass species.
The Husqvarna LC221RH provides two handle positions. Although some lawn mowers offer three positions, the versatility provided by two options is more than sufficient.
This mower offers three options for discharging grass clippings: mulching, bagging, and side discharge. All necessary components for each option are included in the box.
- Integrated deck cleaning
- Automatic Choke System
- Fuel shutoff valve
You can purchase the Husqvarna LC221RH from your local Husqvarna dealer for $409.95. Please note that prices on Amazon may be higher at the moment. Additionally, the mower comes with a generous 3-year warranty.
Considering its price, warranty, features, and performance, the LC221RH offers one of the best values among gas lawn mowers. It falls just behind the Craftsman model in terms of value.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a high-quality home lawn mower priced under $400, it’s hard to find a reason to say no to the Husqvarna LC221RH with its reliable Honda engine. It delivers exceptional cutting performance and fuel efficiency. As a bonus, it operates quietly for a petrol-powered model.
While there are a few minor weaknesses, they are not significant enough to deter us from recommending this model. It is an excellent choice for lawns up to 3/4 acre or one acre. If you have a larger lawn, be aware that the 36-ounce tank will require a pit stop for refueling.
- Motor: Honda GCV160
- Displacement: 9.8 cubic inches
- Fuel Tank Volume: 0.25 gallons
- Engine Oil Type: Splash
- Engine Cooling: Air
- Drive Mode: Rear-wheel drive
- Speed: 0-3 mph
- Cutting Width: 21″
- Adjustment: 4 points
- Cutting Range: 1″ – 4″
- Wheel Size: 8″ (Front); 11″ (Rear)
- Deck Material: Steel
- Weight: 79.2 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $409.95 from your local Husqvarna dealer or online
For more information on the Husqvarna LC221RH, visit Husqvarna’s official website.