The Snapper commercial lawn mower combines quality, performance and value
When gas lawn mowers are advertised as commercial models, our expectations of them go up a lot. So when we tested 24 different lawn mowers in our gas and battery-powered lawn mower reviews, we expected our commercial competitors to step up in performance and quality. The CRP218520 Snapper Commercial lawn mower comes from a brand that has enough history to know a thing or two about mowing technology.
- strong body
- excellent cut quality
- Easily handles 2 week growth spurts
- Ninja mulching blade increases cutting power when mulching
- Drive handle cover likes to come off
- The drive handle is difficult to disengage and re-engage with each turn
- Smaller fuel tank than other commercial mowers
The CRP218520 Snapper Commercial Lawn Mower is an excellent value in the commercial gas segment. It has the cutting power to handle almost any condition and has a solid build. Its mechanical drive system may seem dated, but it's also easy to maintain and repair. At a price that can save you $500 or more over higher-end models, it's a lawn mower well worth considering.
Home Gas Lawn Mower Rank: #3
We use a variety of tests to reach our conclusions, and you are welcome to take a look behind the scenes. You can find these details in our lawn mower shootout.
A key point when we consider performance is that while the other commercial models we tested used Honda's GXV160 engine, the Snapper uses a 190cc Briggs & Stratton Professional Series engine.
We start with the no-load test to measure the mower's cutting speed. The Snapper Commercial's 21" blade maintained 2797 RPM at 174.7 MPH at the tip of the blade without any stress.
Of our options for commercial gas-powered lawn mowers, this is the slowest. However, this is still fast enough for cutting, and we need to consider how it changes under load before making any judgments.
With battery powered motors, the light load/reduced maintenance is enough to drive the motor to direct more power to the blades. Typically, we see an increase in tip speed here. But for a gas engine, the tip speed is very similar to its no-load speed.
However, putting the mower under a heavier load can affect the gas-powered tip speed. When we cranked up the pressure, we saw this Snapper Commercial mower drop 8.9 MPH. That's the biggest drop we've seen, down to 165.7 MPH.
The blade is still capable of cutting just fine at that speed, but the engine does seem to stall more than other commercial models.
We put this mower to our torture test where we cut a straight line to 5 weeks' worth of grass growth and walked at a consistent 2.5 MPH. We measured the distance while the mower was stopped.
It's worth noting that there are too many variables to measure a lawnmower's performance completely objectively. Therefore, we did not consider these results in our final scoring.
With that disclaimer, the Snapper Commercial mower got bogged down after traveling just 13 feet. The winner of this test pushed it a further 100 feet, and one of our battery-operated mowers mowed more than 60 feet. However, it cuts 2 weeks of growth value almost as easily as 1 week of growth value.
The gist is, if you're in a situation where you have to address an overlooked overgrowth, start with as high a height as possible and work your way up until you get it under control. For grass that is just a week or 10 days old, mowing works well.
Ideally, you want to be able to mow without having to refuel mid-job. It's not as big a deal as having to charge the battery, but it still takes time and disrupts your workflow. We measured the cut area we were able to get on a tank of fuel to see who did well in this category.
The Snapper Commercial has only one 36-ounce fuel tank, which limits it compared to other commercial mowers. What you're seeing, though, is tanks running for over an hour.
With its 21-inch blades, each tank mows 26,022 square feet, or 0.60 acres, before you need to stop for gas.
While cutting area is a legitimate consideration, the other side of the coin comes down to fuel efficiency. How much fuel will your engine be using? Does it sip or swallow gas?
If run on the tank for 68 minutes, it will cut approximately 2.12 acres per gallon of fuel. This is right in the middle of the 1.88 – 2.57 a/gal range we tested.
As an interesting side note, residential mowers are much more efficient, achieving a range of 2.11 – 3.02 acre/gallon.
The Snapper Commercial lawn mower has some interesting features in its drivetrain and allows for a variable travel speed of up to 4 MPH. It works by using a mechanical disk transfer. The disc slides left or right against the flywheel—faster the further out, slower closer the closer. To set your pace, simply adjust the lever on the left.
To engage the driver, you need to hold down another lever against the handle. It works and is comfortable enough, but it has some drawbacks. First, every time you stop the drive for a turn, you have to let it back up and re-engage. This wouldn't be the case if it was front-wheel drive.
The rubber cover on that lever also likes to come off. For long-term use, I'd probably use some electrical tape to keep it from sliding around.
For any mower that claims to be commercial grade, we would expect a steel deck. The Snapper Commercial model doesn't disappoint here.
As long as we take a look at the deck, let's talk about the unorthodox design of the Ninja Mulching Blade. This X-shaped blade provides better suction and more cutting surface than standard blades. In practice, this blade design was part of what helped us confidently get through the 2 weeks of growth without slowing down.
Height Adjustment and Range
The Snapper Commercial lawn mower gives you 7 height level adjustment stops ranging from 1.375 inches to 4.25 inches. This type of scope should handle most types of grass very effectively.
We like the one-point height adjustments, but they are rare on gas mowers because the single point has to be the weight of the mower to make the height adjustment. Snapper Commercial, like its other commercial competitors, has tweaks to each of its 4 wheels. It takes more time to adjust the height, but your mower is more durable and stable.
Instead of using multiple handle positions, the Snapper opts for a slide on handle adjustment. This is actually the whole setup much more customizable than a simple 2 or 3 position pivot point.
A Ninja Mulching style, the Snapper focuses primarily on coverage, with bagging as a secondary option. If you want a side row, you can pick up the shoot separately.
- cup holder
Both the eXmark and the Honda sell for $1000+, while the Snapper is $799 (and even less online). This is where the whole story begins and ends. The Snapper gives you a confident cut and quality build for $500 less than what you'd pay for a high-end Honda.
Plus, this mower comes with a 3-year residential warranty. If you use it commercially, you get a 1-year warranty on your lawn mower.
the bottom line
The CRP218520 Snapper Commercial Lawn Mower is an excellent value in the commercial gas segment. It has the cutting power to handle almost any condition and has a solid construction. Its mechanical drive system may seem dated, but it's also easy to maintain and repair. At a price that can save you $500 or more over higher-end models, it's a lawn mower well worth considering.
Snapper Commercial Gas Lawn Mower Manufacturer Specifications
- Model Number: Snapper CRP218520
- Engine: Briggs & Stratton 190cc Pro Series
- Engine Torque: 8.5 ft-lbs
- Fuel Capacity: 36 oz
- Start: Recoil
- Blade: 21″ Ninja Cover Blade
- Drive mode: rear wheel disc drive
- Maximum speed: 4 MPH
- Cutting Height: 1.25″ – 4″
- Price: $799
- Warranty: 3 years residential, 1 year commercial