Hustler Raptor 52 in. Zero-Turn Mower Review – Home Depot Model: 933077

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!

RaptorBackview 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

Brand: Hustler
Manufactured By: Excel Industries
Model/Series: 933077/Raptor
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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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:

Raptor Hi Right 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

Features:

HydroGear EZT Transmissions, Mowing Speed 6.5 mph, Patented automatic Parking Brake, 52″ Cutting Width, 1.5″-4.5″ Cutting Height

Raptor Engine Kawasaki Engines
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
Raptor Deck 700x700 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

Raptor Frontcaster 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

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Carl Jensen
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Carl Jensen

Paul,
I have a raptor 52, after watching one of the videos I saw on this site I replaced the drive belt on my mower, watched the video again after completing procedure.

started fine engaged blade fine mower does move side to side but using the right hand lever, it will not engage for forward or reverse, any advise

Thank You,

Fred Givens
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Fred Givens

While mowing the linkage that connects the leveling bracket to the Hustler Raptor with 52 inch deck came apart and I lost most of the parts. I need an assembly diagram to put the parts back as they should be.

larry
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larry

I bought a Hustler Raptor 5/17/2017. I cut my grass 3 times, then the drive belt came off. I replaced it 3 times and each time it came off.

fran koebert
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fran koebert

we just bought two raptor 52 zero turns this past may- we live in florida and have 10 acres – we had a cub cadet and a toro both from 2003 – same machine just different colors – after 3 mower decks and many blades and belts over the past 14 years they finally have given up the ghost – they served us well – we went to the store and were sold on the raptor 52 because the deck was going to far outlast the deck on the cub and toro because it is fabricated and heavier duty –… Read more »

Shawn
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Shawn

I was wondering if it is possible to mow off a curb with one of the front wheels and the other 3 wheels grounded? Like on a median.

dave
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dave

My lawn has mower tracks in he lawn from a previous owner an I would like to use a lawn roller to flatten it out to make it smooth. I have a Hustler Raptor with a 52 inch deck . Should I use that mower to pull a 36 inch lawn roller . Any suggestion on using my mower would help. Thank Dave.

charles nicholas nasello
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charles nicholas nasello

Dear Sir I bought a raptor in May of 2016 I have had problems with my mower after Les than 18hrs. After that was fixed my mower started scalping sections of my yard while mowing the rest of my yard perfectly. my question is why is this happening from a new mower.

Dan Duncan
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Dan Duncan

Dan Duncan Sept. 22, 2016
I have a Hustler Raptor model 934794 purchased in August. There is excessive vibration and noise from the PTO clutch while it is engaged. can you suggest a solution?

Elise Evans
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Elise Evans

I’m trying to find out how to replace the drive belt on Hustler Raptor 52″ deck, Model #933077.

Ben
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Ben

I have had this mower for a little over a year, and just recently it doesn’t have the same power it had when I bought it. I push the levers forward and it won’t move for a couple of seconds. It’s almost as if it slipping. I looked in the manual, and it mentioned something of steering linkage. What exactly does that refer to?
Thanks

Fred Givens
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Fred Givens

I have a new Hustler Raptor with 52″ deck and the deck leveling linkage will not stay tight. I level the deck and tighten all the nuts and bolts as tight as I dare for fear of twisting bolts into and mow for about 15 minutes and the adjustable cam side begins scalping the lawn. Check the leveling cam and you can spin it with your fingers.

Todd
Guest
Todd

Steering is in proper place. It just turns over and over but won’t start and there is only a red button for engaging the blades and that is disengaged and still won’t start.

Todd
Guest
Todd

Just finished mowing. Took a shower, came back out to put it in the garage and it won’t start. I just bought it 4 hours ago!!

Chris Jackson
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Chris Jackson

Paul,

Great to find this site. I have a RTZ 42″ Cub Cadet. I have no problems with the mower but have an issue with the height of which it mows. Any suggestions on how to raise the level to 4 inches? We live in the Nashville area and mowing it on the highest level still seems to cut to low. Would bigger tires work or would you suggest getting a different mower. Frustrated owner..

David Taylor
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David Taylor

Hi Paul, I have never purchased a zero turn mower before (or a tractor). I have 1.5 acres that we just built a house on, and just seeded the lawn about 2 wks ago. I will need to begin mowing over the next 2-3wks. Fairly flat overall, and I expect it to be pretty smooth. Besides the landscaping around the house, there are only a couple trees in the yard. I went to a local dealer and tested a 48″ John Deere Z535M (They only offer JD and ExMark). I was told by a neighbor who mows professionally to look… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

Hi Paul, I live in upstate NY and mow about 2 acres that is a little rough. I’m looking at the hustler flip up and the hustler SD. The SD has bigger wheels on it that should give a smoother ride but I kinda like how easy it looks to clean the flip up. Which one would be better?

Derek
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Derek

Ive looked at the John Deere Z355e 48″, and now the Hustler Raptor 52″. I have about 2 acres to mow and its fairly flat. Any preference between these? Or suggestions to look at that are around the 3,000 mark?

Paul Carroll
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Paul Carroll

Great information and insight Paul! I truly appreciate your time and feedback! The dealer is actually bringing it over tonight, so my wife can try it out. I have to get the final ok from her. 🙂
Thank again! And if you are ever in the area wanting to hunt or just passing through and want to check out the mower, let me know.
Paul

Paul Carroll
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Paul Carroll

Thank you Paul for your response and information! I do not have internet at the farm, so that is why it took me awhile to reply……Actually I was leaning towards the Gravely, because of the dealer and from what I had read online it seemed to be one of the better mowers. Now my last question is this, is it worth spending $200 more on the Kawasaki engine instead of the Kohler engine?

Again, I appreciate your insight and taking the time to reply!

Paul Carroll
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Paul Carroll

Afternoon Paul-
Can’t say I do much fishing as I am usually kept busy on the farm, teaching, coaching, reffing, and trying to keep my 2 daughters in line. But I have eaten plenty of fish given to my from people I let hunt on my land………..True-value did open a new store at a new location. It is very nice.

Interesting that you are from Iowa as well and Clinton is only a few hours down the river. It is also a pretty area from what I know. Small world………Again, thank you for your time and feedback. I appreciate it!

Paul Carroll
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Paul Carroll

Sorry Paul.
Didn’t mean to come across as being impatient. I was just confused as to why my question was not showing up. Never made a comment or question on-line before, so was not sure how it worked or if I did something wrong……….I appreciate the feedback and you taking the time to reply.
I live in McGregor. Small town in the northeast part of Iowa and right next to the Mississippi River. Was your town nearby?

Paul Carroll
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Paul Carroll

Hello-

Was my post too long? I posted a question yesterday morning and now I do not see my post. First time user, so just curious if I did something wrong. Thanks!
Paul from Iowa

Paul Carroll
Guest
Paul Carroll

Hello Paul- I am from Iowa and have a 2-3 acre farm yard. My farm yard has several grain bins, buildings, and trees to mow around in addition to our main yard where the kids play. The terrain is smooth in places, but can be rough around the grain bins where tractors or wagons might have gone along with some gravel in the yard from the road we live next to. My yard is mostly flat with a few slopes along the road and an old ‘pump’ hill. My dilemma is what type of zero-turn mower to purchase with a… Read more »

Scott Carlisle
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Scott Carlisle

Paul, I just want to thank you for answering the many questions I have thrown at you the last couple of weeks. The information has really helped me to make an informed decision on what mower to buy to suit my wants and needs. Running across your web site helped me to look at things differently than I would have otherwise. I went back and forth on whether to get a Dixie Chopper 48″ Zee 2 or the Toro 5050. The fact that you told me that both were good machines and would work for my needs made me feel… Read more »

Scott Carlisle
Guest
Scott Carlisle

Thanks Paul, in actuality the 50″ Toro is the same price as the Dixie Chopper 48″ at this dealer anyway. Not questioning you in anyway because I know you know what you are talking about, but I have some questions about the statement of the Toro being much more heavy duty. The salesman was telling me that the DC deck is mounted at four points where the Toro is mounted at three points. The DC is made of 10 gauge tube steel. I like the fact that on the DC you can lift up the floor pan and have easy… Read more »

Scott Carlisle
Guest
Scott Carlisle

I understand. I sent you a question earlier about what your thoughts were on a Toro 5050 Time Cutter and Dixie Chopper Zee 2. I really like the Dixie Chopper with the 54″ deck but they also have the 48″ deck. I probably wouldn’t notice much difference in my yard of 1.75 acres, would I? Toro has a 24hp Kohler and the DC has a 23hp Kohler. Which would you recommend the most?

Thanks,
Scott

Scott Carlisle
Guest
Scott Carlisle

Thanks Paul, I appreciate your response and answers. I like the fact that you give straight forward and honest answers, that’s why I keep asking so many. Hope you get your mower repaired so you don’t get in any trouble with the wife.

Allen Arrington
Guest
Allen Arrington

Hello Paul. I’m in the market for a new mower (or two). I have 14 acres or which I mow 5 to 6 as “lawn” and the most of the rest as “pasture” with a Ford 2000 and a brush-hog (the remainder of the property is wooded). The property is basically flat with a creek running through the front that gives it a little slope in that area but nothing severe. This is old farm land and even after 30 years of not being plowed, it is still not really smooth (at least not golf course smooth but for a… Read more »

Michael
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Michael

Hey Paul,,,I have a fairly rough 2 acres of yard with some minor slopage here and there . I am considering a Hustler Raptor 52″ …..would you please give me your opinion on this particular machine. thank you.
I asked you the same question yesterday but didn’t give you details like you asked so this is my corrected version. Thanks again.

Philip Sims
Guest
Philip Sims

Hello Paul I am in the market for a Zero Turn and I am looking at the Hustler, but my Budget line is about $3200.00. I was upset when I heard Hustler no longer has the Kawasaki, they removed them from the Residential mowers. The Hustler Raptor is around $2,999.00 but looks small from what I see. I have 2 acres and the 52 inch would fit me fine. I don’t want to go to the Raptor SD at $3,999.00 that exceeds my budget. Did notice that Raptor has a Model called the Raptor Limited it is around $3300 and… Read more »

Charles Griffin
Guest

I happened to run across this site. I have a 2002 Fastrac Z, 52″ with twin 6 gal. tanks, I purchased new. I had three engine choices and paid extra for the Honda 18 hp, I cut 2 acres every two weeks. This year, I had the belts replaced and new tires for the first time. I change my blades every year, use only Castrol syntec oil, clean my air filter and prefilter and changed my plugs three times. This is all it has ever needed. I am 67 years old, never had a mower as good as a Hustler,… Read more »

Scott Carlisle
Guest
Scott Carlisle

Thanks, I have been looking a while, but now that the deck on my troy bilt has broken in two I will be looking a whole lot more seriously. There is a BOB-CAT dealer in Watkinsville, Ga. and they look to be pretty good. I’ll let you know.

Fred
Guest
Fred

Paul I have a 4 acre area that I cut. There are many tress and in some areas roost exposed. The ground is rough in spots, and uneven. I had a Toro 72 in groundmaster that worked great. I am considering the 52 in Hustler Raptor as a replacement. Is this a good choice or would you recommend a different model?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Hi Paul,
I am just starting my search for a zero turn mower. I have about 3 acres to mow, with some slight slopes and hills. The steepest hill is about 15%. I have some wide open spots and other places in the yard with trees and some landscaping to go around. What mowers will deliver me the best value for cut, life, acreage, hills? I was thinking a 50-60in deck. My budget is between 4000-6500.

Chuck
Guest

will jumping the hustler battery off my car battery hurt the hustler battery?

Mike
Guest
Mike

Hi Paul, First I would like to say thank you for your excellent blog. I recently purchased a house on a 1.1 acre lot and I need to buy a mower. The lot is well manicured with a few trees and approximately a 5 degree slope from front to back. I like the idea of a zero turn because I believe that it would greatly reduce the amount of time I spend mowing. That being said I would like to limit my purchase price to around $3000.00 and I would like to be able to pull a few light attachments… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

Paul, I live in Wayland MA and have a 1.5 acre, mostly flat lot, of which about 1 acre is lawn with plenty of obstacles, trees, beds, walls, etc. The ground is rough in spots. It takes me about 2 hours with my 21in, 10yr old Honda walk-behind mulching at the highest speed and it’s time I upgrade to a ZTR. I’m working with a budget of $3,000. I’ve narrowed it down to either the Toro ss4225 as the value option, Toro ss5000 or Hustler Raptor 42 or 52 in. There is a local Hustler dealer nearby. My main considerations… Read more »

Donna Cornett
Guest

Hello, I do not normally do this and I may be doing it wrong. If I am, please tell me. I live in Prairie Grove Arkansas. I have a question about the Hustler FastTrak. If you drive really slow when mowing, would that hurt a FastTrak? I had someone tell me that if go slow, it will ruin the mower. Is that true? Is there much difference between the FastTrak for residential purposes and the FastTrak SD for commercial purposes? I have a Husqvarna MZT 52 right now and I hate it. I bought it, had it delivered, rode it… Read more »

Joseph Castillo
Guest
Joseph Castillo

Hi Paul I was looking into buying a zero turn mower . I was looking at the Hustler raptor 52 in . I was also looking at Hustler raptor SD ,but in the 48 in . Not sure what to get ,can you help me ? I have a buget of no more than 4000.00 . I live in South Texas and have about 3 acres to cut mostly flat land. Or maybe there is other mower I should get.

Johnny
Guest

Paul, picked up the Stout yesterday and cut my 3 acres with hills…. took a while to get used to it, having never used one. This mower is MOST EXCELLENT!!! Holds the hills like you said, even while I was finishing up in a light sprinkle of rain!! Shaved 2 hrs off my work time, and that’s even with spending time getting used to it. I just wanted to thank you for your time and patience in helping out an old coot who knew nothing about mowers!!! Johnny

Johnny
Guest

Paul, what’s your thoughts on Husqvarna’s MZ52, as compared to the Hustler Fastrak?? Would the MZ handle slopes as well as the Fastrak? I ask because I can get the MZ for about $1000 less than the Fastrak. Please advise. Thanks. Johnny

John
Guest
John

Hello I just bought a Hustler Raptor SD it has 2.5hrs on it and the Deck has a lot of vibration it sounds like the bearings are bad it sounds loud and bad and the clutch has a slapping noise in it to. Can someone help me on this problem. Bonaire GA

Johnny
Guest

Paul/David, how does the Husqvarna MZ52 with the Kawasaki engine compare to the Hustler Fastrak, in your opinion??? I can get one of these for about $1000 less than the Hustler .. Personally I’d rather get the Fastrak, but the boss is buying now, not me!!! Let me know what you think…. thanks again guys, you’ve been very helpful!!

Johnny
Guest

Not sure I posted correctly the first time, sorry if I duplicated effort!!! Paul, I’m glad I stumbled on your blog here…a wealth of information… I have about 2.5 to 3 acres with a decent stretch of hills (maybe 400′ long, 20′ to the top) that range mostly from 13 to 20 degrees, but there are a few spots that run 20 to 23. I’m currently using a 8 yr old Husqvarna YTH2042 that gets up these slopes in pretty good shape. I also have a 10 yr old Craftsman 15.5 hp tractor that does pretty good also. I’m wanting… Read more »

Bill Waugh
Guest
Bill Waugh

How does the Raptor 52 XD work on grades/slopes? I have 2 acres on hill side, with steepest grade about 20% or 25%. Thanks

james sherwood
Guest

what is the main differice between the raptor 52 and the raptor 54 sd looking at both.

Levi Sell
Guest

Newbie here, just bought the the 52in variety and am excited to use it. I understand the transmissions on these geared to pull things, but didn’t know if pulling a lawn roller would be an issue? Slopes in yard are very minimal. Fort Wayne, IN

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hello, is there a difference between the Hustler ZTM sold at Lowe’s and one from a private Hustler dealer?
Thanks Lawrenceville, IL

Bryan Spanky McGee
Guest

How does the Raptor compare to the Bad Boy mower

Donald Baron
Guest
Donald Baron

Donald Baron Central MN
You talk about the Raptor 52″ with the Hydrogear EXT and how that won’t haul a lawn vac. Would you recommend pulling a lawn vac with the Raptor SD 54″ with the Hydrogear 2800? Also I have a standard ditch in my front yard; will the Raptor do well on a standard ditch?

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