Husqvarna R 120S Review – A Better Zero Turn – At a Better Price

Husqvarna has a dilemma. They know they have a better riding lawn mower than what the U.S. is accustomed to. They know once they get this mower into the hands of the U.S. consumer they will realize that it is the best cutting mower they have ever owned. So what solution to this perplexing problem did Husqvarna come up with? For a limited time Husqvarna cut the price $1000 and is offering the 42 inch R120S Articulating Riding Mower, Model 967181801 at an introductory price of only 2147.89 through Amazon. That price includes shipping to your home. To make the deal even better Amazon is offering 12 months no interest financing through the Amazon Store Card.

This is $1000 off the regular price! Buy it here from Amazon: Husqvarna 967181801 R120S Articulating Riding Mower, 42-Inch

Is This Mower For You?

RS120 Right Front If you are the homeowner who always complains that your lawn looks better when you mow with a walk-behind. That you can never get a good looking lawn with a lawn tractor or zero-turn. This mower is for you! The R120S uses a full floating deck to follow every bump and dip in your lawn. No Scalping, no gouging, just the best cut possible. In addition the out front, “ground hugging” deck allows you to trim closer than you ever could with a lawn tractor or zero-turn.

I highly recommend this mower for up to two acre lawns. It is faster than most lawn tractors so it will cut up to 2 acres an hour. Beside cutting a little faster than you lawn tractor it will eliminate most of the trimming you now use a string trimmer for. This won’t “cut your mowing time in half” but it just may cut your mowing and trimming time in half compared to a conventional lawn tractor. If you are in the market for a new riding lawn mower with the best possible cut – seriously consider this mower!

Raven MPV-7100

The mowing curves are to follow the contours in my lawn.

I’ll be honest. I’m spoiled. I’ve been using front mounted mowers and articulated riders similar to this one for years. One of my first mowers was a Bolens Articulated. When I started my lawn business we did not yet have mid-mount zero-turns so front deck Toro Grounds Masters, Walker’s and 3 wheel mowers like the Scag STHM’s or Gravely Pro were the mowers of choice. All of these mowers used ground hugging out front decks so you had almost no trimming to do when you finished mowing.  Many of these mowers had such a low center of gravity that hills were never a problem.  Go here to see the mowers I have owned.

Why did we change? Because you can fit three mid-mount zero-turns on a trailer in the same space as two three-wheelers. The commercial operators jumped on mid-mount zero-turns not for the quality of cut – but for the space saving on their trailers.

I currently mow with a 2001 Husqvarna model 970. It is very similar to this R 120S Husqvarna is selling at such an extraordinary price. I have access to all the new style mowers including the Raven MPV-7100 you see in the picture but my front lawn is so sculpted with dips, mounds and curves that to get the even cut I like I either have to mow with a push mower or use the Husqvarna rider. The Husqvarna rider is so maneuverable it even trims around square landscape beds without leaving any marks on the lawn. What little trimming I have left is easily done in a few minutes with a small cordless trimmer. 

The price is so good on this mower that I am considering buying one for myself.

Benefits of the Husqvarna R 120S Rider:

 RS120 Side This rider is about the same physical dimensions as your 42 inch lawn tractor. It will take up about the same amount of room in your storage shed or garage.

–  The rider is a lot easier to learn than a zero-turn. It drives like your car.

– The deck is out front so you can always see exactly where you are mowing. The front-mounted cutting deck lets you get into corners, under bushes, etc. Trim under your children’s swing set without using a string trimmer. Stick it under the pine tree that always tries to knock you off the tractor. It’s hard to find places this mower will not reach.

– Rear attachments follow in the same path as the lawn mower. When you pull a yard cart or dethatcher you don’t have to worry about hitting stuff with the yard cart. 

– It follows the contour of your lawn. Dips and bumps get mowed at the height as the flat areas.

– Comfortable driver’s platform. With the Rider you get safety, stability and traction on both flat ground and slopes. The low center of gravity makes the Rider very comfortable to use.

– Pivoting axle rear wheel drive. The rear traction is better than a zero-turn because both rear wheels are in full contact with the ground at all times. The mower can twist through dips or go over bumps and all four wheels stay firmly planted on the ground. (No trimming around the mailbox with one wheel sticking up in the air)

– Engine behind the driver: The 19.5 HP Briggs Endurance engine is behind you and the exhaust points straight out the back.  This makes the rider a lot quieter for you than a lawn tractor. In addition the engine is completely enclosed so it is even quieter than a zero-turn.

RS120 Front The R120S rides differently than a lawn tractor or zero-turn. Your body is over the front axle so there is a little more “side-to-side” sway than on a lawn tractor.  But you only feel these bumps. Because the rider’s rear axle pivots you don’t feel any bounce from the rear.  One of the best parts of the ride is you don’t get that front “bounce” you get with a zero-turn. (which many women feel uncomfortable) Any bounce over a rough lawn is more up and down instead of jerking your head back and forth. This rider is not quite as maneuverable as the R220 and R330 “Swedish” Riders.

Buy it here through Amazon: Husqvarna 967181801 R120S Articulating Riding Mower, 42-Inch

Features of the Husqvarna R120S:

RS120 Truning Articulated steering: The articulated steering gives excellent maneuverability and facilitates driving around obstacles such as trees and bushes. Note: This mower is not a true zero-turn. It will mow completely around an 8 inch post without leaving a mark but it will not pivot inside it’s own length. 

Pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission: Speed and direction are controlled with your foot. This lets you keep both hands on the steering wheel for maximum control.

Single lever height adjustment: The gauge wheels stay on the ground with this deck. When you raise or lower the cutting height you always get the same consistent cut.

Deck is very easy to remove: You can quickly remove the deck to clean underneath or sharpen the blades. Changing from mowing to using the optional snow blade is a 5-10 minute task.

Engine behind the driver:  Thanks to the rear-mounted engine, you get better view of what you are mowing. No looking around a big hood. No looking down and back to see what you are trimming.  

External Fuel Cap: The tank is easy to fill and is transparent so you can easily see how much is in the tank.

7 MPH Forward Speed: A lot of owners state they can mow faster with this deck than their old lawn tractor.

RS120 Right There is a snow blade for this rider. It’s part number 967 16 73-01.

Buy it here: Husqvarna 967181801 R120S Articulating Riding Mower, 42-Inch

I found this review of the R120S on the Husqvarna site.

From Pleasantly Surprised,

The R 120S is my third lawn cutter. I started with a typical riding mower to handle a 1 acre lot and then moved to a top-of-the-line Gravely Zero Turn mower to cut a 3 acre lawn. I recently moved to a smaller 3/4 acre property and decided to get the R 120S over its bigger R 220T sibling or another zero turn mower. I can honestly say: I made the right choice.

RS120 Right Front Zero Turn (ZT) mowers can be very fast. My previous unit could cut at 12 mph! But that is hard on machinery and the rider too. Cutting accuracy also suffers as the machine starts bouncing and rocking. Then there is the biggest ZT drawback: ‘turf tearing’ when you make a less than perfect 180 degree turn. ZT mowers skid when making many manoeuvres. You get damaged grass all the time. When I had 3 acres to cut, I could live with these deficiencies. With a 3/4 acre lot, I want better cut quality.
Traditional riding mowers suffer two shortcomings:

1) Handling. Turning circles are really measured in feet no matter what the brochures say.
2) Ground Speed. Most cut at 5 mph or less. After my super fast Gravely Zero Turn, 5.5 mph feels like I am backing up!
Now on to the R120S. Here’s what I like:
1) Front mounted deck. Putting the blades out front means you get to cut grass before it is flattened by the front wheels. I am sold on this design.
2) Speed. The R 120S cuts at 7 mph. Not blinding speed but just about right for my smaller property. Note that the bigger R 220T cuts at 6 mph. I have tried both. I am happier with the R 120S.
3) Handling. It takes a little practice but it’s worth the effort. I can cut closer and more accurately than any of my former mowers.
4) Smoothness. Surprise! The one cylinder Briggs & Stratton motor is smooth and relatively quiet compared to the V-twins I had previously. Having 2 blades rather than 3 also means quieter operation
On the downside, I am disappointed with the amount of plastic on the R 120S. I also don’t know how well the pivoting motor will hold up to long term use. The more expensive R 220T uses a different pivoting rear axle.  Given the low purchase cost and the fact that the front axle is solid, I expect the R 120S will deliver better than average value in the long run.
My overall Summary: The R 120S features and design are unmatched in a cutter that costs less than $2000. I had a mower that cost six times as much and could not cut as cleanly or accurately. If you have the right-sized property and appreciate handling and speed over other features, I highly recommend this product.
This just may be the best mower for you! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.



  1. John April 3, 2016
    • Paul April 3, 2016
      • John April 15, 2016
        • Paul April 16, 2016
      • Missy Schlotfledt May 15, 2016
        • Paul May 19, 2016
    • Doug May 26, 2016
      • Paul May 26, 2016
  2. John June 28, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema June 28, 2015
  3. Drew B June 27, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema June 27, 2015
  4. Jake June 11, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema June 12, 2015
  5. Earl from DE March 16, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema March 16, 2015
      • Earl from DE March 17, 2015
        • Earl from DE March 18, 2015
          • Paul Sikkema March 18, 2015
  6. Brian March 15, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema March 15, 2015
  7. Brian March 15, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema March 15, 2015
    • Ron May 12, 2015
  8. Earl from DE March 14, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema March 15, 2015
  9. Earl from DE March 13, 2015
  10. Michael Betz March 7, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema March 7, 2015
  11. Phil February 10, 2015
    • Paul Sikkema February 10, 2015
      • Phil February 10, 2015
        • Paul Sikkema February 10, 2015
    • Maiko May 3, 2015

Leave a Reply