Hustler Raptor 52 in. Zero-Turn Mowers – Are They Really That Different?
Is this mower the best for you? In this review I will go over the features, strengths and weaknesses of this zero turn mower and compare it to the brands you are familiar with.
I never heard of Hustler Mowers!
There is a reason why Cub Cadet, Craftsman and Toro are all household names. You see their names every time you walk into a home improvement center, hardware store or your local Sears. You probably have never heard of the dozen or so other brands that make heavy duty commercial mowers. Well, one company is out to change that.
Introducing the Hustler Raptor and Raptor SD by Excel Industries. Three high quality mowers now at a homeowner price. You may have never heard of this brand but I’m here today to tell you that if you want a zero-turn mower this is one first brand you should consider.
The first zero-turn mower to be patented was by Excel Industries in the early 60’s and they have been making the Hustler line of zero turn mowers ever since. Over the years they have focused mainly on industrial and heavy duty commercial versions. You may not have noticed the brand but if you ever saw a yellow mower at an airport or other large industrial area it probably was a Hustler. Don’t worry about service and parts. The mowers will be serviced through their 1600 dealers.
They don’t make lawn tractors so they don’t put lightweight stamped lawn tractor decks on their Raptor zero-turns. All the decks are fabricated, welded decks. They make zero-turn mowers that are all but indestructible up to 100 inches wide and up to 12 mph mowing speed. They took what they know from years of industrial mowing and made very rugged, dependable zero-turns at a price homeowners can afford.
Raptor 52 in. Zero-Turn Mower Home Depot Model: 933077
Manufactured By: Excel Industries
Item Number: 204612929
See All Buying Options Here: Hustler Lawn Mower. Dealer Locator
Street Price: $2999.99
Hustler calls this a Residential Zero-Turn. It has more features than a yard tractor but less pulling power than the G5500 garden tractor.
Compare it to: 54 inch Craftsman Model 20414, or the John Deere Lawn Mowers Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower BM24656
Quick Summary Review
- Kawasaki Premium V-Twin engine
- Top Speed 6.5 mph!
- Heavy duty fabricated deck and frame. 4.5 inch cutting height!
- Low Seat Height.
- Patented Automatic Park Brake System.
- Heavy Duty Front Caster Forks
- Disperses clippings evenly in side-discharge mode.
- Mulches well, leaves fine clippings with little or no clumps.
- Optional engine guard .
- Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 3.0 acres at 5 MPH
- Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes, Moderate slopes
- Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes
- Will Mow In Reverse? Yes
- This is a heavy duty residential zero-turn but it still has the EZT transmissions that all the residential’s have. You will not be able to pull heavy loads like a leaf vac.
My Full Review:
The Raptor is Hustler’s entry-level zero-turn mower and you can buy one for less than $3000. It features a fabricated deck that cuts just as well as the stamped decks on the other residential machines. Overall it is a well built mower for the price. The Hustler Raptor is designed and built by the manufacture with the most zero-turn experience, Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas
HydroGear EZT Transmissions, Mowing Speed 6.5 mph, Patented automatic Parking Brake, 52″ Cutting Width, 1.5″-4.5″ Cutting Height
23HP- FR691V Kawasaki V-Twin. Kawasaki Premium V-Twin engines offer durability, dependability, and the power you need to get the job done. Many owners prefer the Kawasaki over the Briggs and Kohler engines. Because of the way Kaw rates their engine, 23 hp is plenty for this zero-turn.
Heavy Duty Welded Steel Deck
The heavy duty welded steel deck offers superior strength and durability. Owners like the cut and tell me it cuts as well as a fabricated deck. It has welded in wear strips that keep the sides of the deck from getting dented. It is the strongest deck you can buy in this price range. Even though this is a fabricated deck it side-discharges so well that you do not need and aux blower for a bagger.
Heavy Duty Fabricated Frame
8ga, 1/8 in, .120 welded steel tube frame.
Hustler’s heavy duty fabricated frames are the best in the category. Hustler took everything they know about building heavy duty commercial machines and used that knowledge to make a tough chassis. I see no problems with cracking of flexing over time. The front caster forks
are built-up 1/4 in steel with a tall 11in x 4in front caster tire.
2014 0003 low-center-gravity
Low Seat Height
The low center of gravity makes this zero-turn more comfortable to use on hills and slopes. It is one of the few zero-turns in this price range that will handles 15 degree slopes well. Watch the video below:
Patented Automatic Park Brake System
A simple, convenient and patented system that automatically engages the parking brake when you open the steering levers. It just works and keeps the mower from wandering around when parked on a slope.
Hustler Mowers are available through the 1600 local dealers. If you need financing Sheffield Financial is the only lender Hustler uses and they have 0% financing programs with zero down for qualified buyers. They also have rates that start at 3.99% and go up from there depending on credit score. Sheffield Financial has been great to work with. You can apply online as well as in the dealer’s store. Many new owners come in and walk out in less than 30 minutes with a new mower and nothing out of their pocket. You can find you nearest dealer here: HustlerTurf Find A Dealer
If you live near Grand Junction, CO check out Duffys Outdoor Power Equipment