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Customer reviews for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

The Ariens 42 in. 21 HP Briggs and Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower is built around a powerful pressure-lubricated engine and offers a smooth, rugged, automatic transmission with lever control that lets you to match the speed to the task a
Overall rating:
4.311 / 5
4.3
 / 
5
(530 reviews) 530
Open Ratings Snapshot
87%of customersrecommend this product456 of 524reviews
Rating Breakdown 530 reviews
4.3 out of 5.0
5
(313)
4
(140)
3
(31)
2
(21)
1
(25)
Features 
4.2 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.1 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5
Value 
4.1 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5
87%of customersrecommend this product456 of 524reviews
Customer questions and answers:
41 Questions | 163 Answers
Customer reviews for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Review 1 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
JCross13
from Louisville, KY, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Good machine at a great value

PostedJuly 2, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I've only had my mower for a couple weeks now but, overall, it's performed well. Was originally looking at the model below this one but because of some out-of-stock issues, I ended up with this model. I'm glad it happened that way. The automatic transmission has been a great feature. It's essentially a throttle so you can adjust your speed constantly as you mow. Need to slow down for some trees? No problem, just pull back. Out in the open, push it all the way down. It's also nice having the washout port and deck wheels. The only downside is that I did put on the mulching kit and like a lot of other reviewers, it's ok. Doesn't keep all the trimmings underneath as it really should. But it is better than not mulching and much cheaper (and easier) than a bagging attachment.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Powerful, Great Engine, Self-Propelled, Small Turn Radius
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+14points
14out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Murf
from West Hartford, CT, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Just bought it but put it through the paces

PostedNovember 5, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
This model is well worth the extra $200 bucks. Love the auto trans - no peeling out on my lawn. Wash out is great. Headlights seem nicer than the base model. I have only used it 3 times (love riding it) to pick up all my fall leaves here in CT (bought the generic bagger which fit like a glove). The mower is solid - started right up. Took me all of 10 minutes to open the crate and get the wheel and seat on. Looked at all the other major brands and this was a no brainer.
Pros: Durable, Powerful, Great Engine, Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Self-Propelled, Small Turn Radius
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+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Mike
from Mid-MI
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Solid mower, great value

PostedJuly 27, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Love the mower. Has plenty of power. I love the key operated "Mow in reverse" feature. With my old mower, I had to hold a button in, tying up one hand.
I had serious traction problems at first, but realized all the tires were over inflated about 8 lbs over max. Rear max is 10 psi, front is 14. Once I took care of that, it was grabbing the terrain a whole lot better.
I miss the foot pedal operation I had on my old mower, but I'm getting the hang of it.
My old mower wound up with the hood damaged and the headlights bashed in from the wife and kids, so I added a bumper also. It's a universal bumper advertised to fit any Craftsman mower. Bolted right up.
I'm very happy with the performance/ price.
Pros: Cuts Well, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Great Engine, Small Turn Radius
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+3points
4out of 5found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Sesran
from Connecticut, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

So Far So Good

PostedAugust 6, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
I have only had this for less than a month, so far so good. Very powerful machine, very straight forward operation. Really love the ability to mow in reverse with my yard having so many tight areas. Also easy to maneuver, works much better maneuvering in tight areas, much better than the smaller Yardsman Bug I have.
Pros: Cuts Well, Accurate, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Great Engine, Easy to Store
Cons: takes time getting used to controls., blade lever is on the hood not easy to stop them.
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+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
reyes
from fridley m.n.
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

after reading all the reviews I finally went to go buy it. love it

PostedNovember 4, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
this is the first time I use a lawn mower. I love it is easy to use. a good choice. it saves me a lot of time easy to use. I would highly recommend it..10/04/13
Pros: Powerful, Great Engine, Cuts Well, Easy to Use, All In One, Accurate, Self-Propelled, Good Size & Weight, Small Turn Radius, Easy to Store
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+2points
3out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Jessica
from Scott Depot, WV
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:Other

I love it! don't know how I went so long with out it. Quieter than I expected and rides smooth.

PostedJune 11, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I love the ease of steering around trees and other obstacles. It is so easy to put gas into too. I was worried that would be difficult and I would spill glass all over. No problem. Oil filter is easy to see. Mower is pretty and comfortable to ride. Stops well and goes easy. I am really happy.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, All In One, Sturdy, Accurate, Good Size & Weight, Durable, Powerful, Great Engine, Self-Propelled, Easy to Store, Light Weight, Long-Lasting
Cons: the instructions were difficult to make out.
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+7points
10out of 13found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
BobR
from Dyersburg, TN, USA
Age Range:65 or over
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Perfect For Me

PostedMay 16, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I am nearly 65 and have never owned a new riding mower. For the 35 years I've lived here on this acre I have only owned 3 used Snappers. If there was a good used one or a new one for a reasonable price I would own another. But this mower is about half the price and seems to be as good. I was going to buy a Husqvarna at Lowe's but it had to be ordered and I kept getting a run around on when it would come in. Ariens is made by Husqvarna and this one has the same features that I wanted for $300 less and in stock. It cut as good as or better than any mower I've used. I've always mowed at top speed but can no longer do that because this mower is so fast. I like the hand lever control but it is very stiff. It is tight on the turns. The ride was rough but the tires had double air pressure. None of this is significant. The employees were more helpful and knowledgeable than Lowe's. I had to go out of town to a Home Depot but it was worth it.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Accurate, Durable, Powerful, Great Engine, Small Turn Radius
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+10points
21out of 32found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
HappyLawnTractorOwner
from Black Diamond, WA, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Great Value for the cost

PostedMay 14, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I am a 1st time owner of a Lawn tractor and I am loving it. What use to take me over 3.5 hours with a push lawn mower now takes me about an hour. This Ariens Model # 960460054 started right up. I added a hour meter that was easy to install and was about $25. I had a chat with the on-line chat with an expert from Home Depot to buy the right one. I also added a bumper to protect the front in case of an accicent and I put in a mucher kit. Both were easy to install. It is also nice that it can mow in reverse. I have mowed my lawn and 800 ft driveway three times. Since my lawn is not comletely flat there are dips and bumps, I was afraid of scalping the bumps so I started the blade height at 4.5" (It was also the first time I mowed this year & the tractor did not slow down over the really tall grass, over 8" in places.) and each time I brought the blade lower so the last time I mowed the blade setting was at 3" and everything still looked good.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Durable, Powerful, Mulches Well, Small Turn Radius
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Products related to my review
 
+6points
15out of 24found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Mowinglakefront
from East Tx
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

1st opinion is great.

PostedMarch 2, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
After careful and extensive research for this mower. I decided on this model for HP (21) and 42in for size of yard and trees to mow around. Mowed first time all was great. Will update as time goes on. Pulled up hills good. Lots of speed, and did not bog down in tall grass with last years leaves. Only thing I have concerns about is this is only model with no guards over the belt pulleys on the deck. Did not notice this in any pictures. When I saw this at the store the salesman said it didn't come with any.
Pros: Sturdy, Powerful, Great Engine, Small Turn Radius
Cons: no guards on deck pulleys
+34points
40out of 46found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Kado

Works great for our needs

PostedMay 20, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
This riding mowing is very easy to use. We were looking for a machine that would work for our situation and this fits our needs. Even my husband, which is disable, can get on the mower. Works great.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Accurate, Small Turn Radius
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+1point
12out of 23found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Plank
from Byron, GA, USA
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male

Broke after 3 uses

PostedApril 8, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Features 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of use 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Value 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
34 days (4 days after I can return it) the belt guide completely broke off of the mower. Don't know how it happened. I have a very flat yard. Caused the belt to shred and come off of the pullys. Now I am on a 3 week waiting list at the local warranty repair shop. I'm a little agrivated.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Small Turn Radius
Cons: Not Durable
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Mike
from Ohio, USA
Age Range:65 or over
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

I am very happy with it.

PostedNovember 12, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I have only used it twice so far but very happy with it. I do need to adjust the mower and check the tires but will wait until next spring to do so.
Pros: Great Engine, Cuts Well, Easy to Store
Cons: breaks may be a little touchy.
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-1point
0out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
JJDURRANT
from Lino Lakes, MN, USA
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Love it!

PostedAugust 12, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ok so I only used it once so far but it's awesome. Couple things.. this is my first rider and I had already bought a $500 Honda push behind a few months ago for our new house as I wasn't sure if I really had enough lawn (and lots of obstacles) to justify a rider. Well Honda died and I decided to give the Ariens a shot. I am glad I did. The mower handled the obstacles fine and I cut my mow time down by 75%. I was also worried because I am a big guy at 6'1" and 290 lbs. However, the mower handles my size great and I am very comfortable riding it. I plan to get a set of mulching blades so I can eliminate the chute. Also plan to get a utility cart and a snow blade.
Pros: Cuts Well, Sturdy, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Great Engine, Small Turn Radius
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Rhutch888

Transmission broke in 40 days

PostedMay 9, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of use 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I used this mover 3 times for no longer than 1 hour every weekend, on the he 4th time the mower would not go into reverse. I can't return it because HD has a 30 day return policy on anything with gas motors, my mower broke on day 40. The mower is in the shop and will take a few weeks to repair the transmission. Mean while the grass and the weeds grow and grow and grow.
Pros: Cuts Well, Sturdy, Powerful, Mulches Well, Small Turn Radius
Cons: transmission failure
+10points
12out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
GVK56
from Albany, NY, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Well made lawn tractor.

PostedApril 2, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Overall very nice tractor. Started right up and set up was good right out of the crate. I ordered online and had it delivered to my home. Delivery service was very professional. Would highly recommend this unit. Comfortable to sit on and smooth to drive. Features for this price compared very favorably to other units.
Pros: Easy to Use, Sturdy, Powerful
+19points
25out of 31found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Mike
from Fort Worth, TX, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Automatic trans is shot after 1 and 1/2 years!

PostedMay 19, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Features 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of use 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
At the start of this the 2nd year of use, the automatic transmission has locked up. A replacement automatic trans on the internet is around $700. I would suggest the standard trans which should be stronger and last longer.
Cons: Not Durable
+8points
9out of 10found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
HappyCustomer

Great mower for the price!

PostedMay 18, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
My 20 year 12.5 hp lawn tractor was becoming held together more with bailing wire and ingenuity than it was worth. Time to upgrade!
After considerable research, I found that this tractor was pretty much the best for the money spent. I went into the purchase for a piece of equipment that I can keep running for the next 10 years until the next time to upgrade comes. I believe that I found that with this machine. Thus far, the only real mechanical weakness I have found is that the shift linkage does not have a cotter pin to keep it from slipping from the transmission. It is an easy mod to do but I wish it shipped from the factory that way. Otherwise it a great mower. The day I got it off the truck, I mowed 8-12 inches of wet field like a champ.
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Great Engine, Small Turn Radius, Easy to Store
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
exit69i35
from Faribault, MN 55021, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

comfortable, well made unit

PostedSeptember 7, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
got this to replace a 10 year old SEARS unit. One of the main reasons for purchase of this, it is basically the same unit Sears used to make and I didn't have to buy a new $300 bagging unit...the old one fit right on, One thing I was really disappointed in was the blades....non-mulching, not much lift and they left a lot of cut grass in rows where I had cut. I put the nearly new mulching blades from my Sears unit onto the Arien's unit and it works fine. Be prepared to be disappointed with the blades.
Turning radius is great, auto trans is great.
Pros: Easy to Use, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Small Turn Radius
Cons: terrible blades
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 19 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
spdspd
from Pa.
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Good machine

PostedApril 4, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of use 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Mower is nice. Only thing I really did not like is the fact that the unit on display @ Home Depot is not the same as sent. Ariens changed the transmissions from Tufff Torque to General Transmission. It is no longer cast aluminum but a composite material.Upon reasearch it it should be good. But nice of Ariens to let consumers know!
Pros: Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Good Size & Weight, Powerful, Great Engine, Mulches Well, Small Turn Radius
Cons: transmission change
+14points
19out of 24found this review helpful.
Review 20 for 42 in. 21 HP Briggs & Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
NonSequitur
from Salt Lake City, Utah
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Exceeded Expectations

PostedOctober 20, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Features 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of use 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Before I picked this particular mower (the Ariens A21A42), I did a fair amount of research to try to select the best mower possible for the money I was willing to spent (around $1,200). I chose this model based on its features and overall consumer critiques. Now after more than a month of use, I am pleased to report that this mower has exceeded my expectations. Because this quality mower is built by Husqvarna, all Husqvarna parts are interchangeable with this Ariens. That is very fortunate indeed, because I just installed a Craftsman "Dual Bar Bumper" (Sears Item# 07124612000) on my Ariens, for less than half ($54) what Ariens would charge me for a less robust single bar bumper. By the way, the Sears equivalent of the A21A42 is the "Craftsman 42 Inch 21Hp Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Turn Tight Yard Tractor" -the very same mower, but with a different color scheme and decals. No offense to Sears, but I prefer the Home Depot customer service over theirs, but I digress.
Anyway, what do I like about this mower? -I like its agility to turn around (very) tight spots, I love the automatic hydrostatic transmission (seamless and smooth), being able to mow in reverse is very helpful, the steering is surprisingly light, the engine is very accessible, all controls are within easy reach and ergonomically designed, and hey, it even has a nice cup holder to carry your favorite beverage! And did I mention that this mower really zips along (with the blades disengaged)? -I clocked it going at least 10 mph at maximum throttle/forward transmission setting, almost twice as fast as the specs suggested it would go! I also love the optional "42 inch 2-Bin Soft Bagger" I bought with this mower -very easy to install and uninstall as needed -very much recommended, btw.
Pros: Powerful, Great Engine, Cuts Well, Easy to Use, Sturdy, Accurate, Small Turn Radius, Easy to Store
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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