I just wanted to show you a picture of what my yard looks like after using the mulch kit on the Raven MPV-7100. Remember, Consumer Reports listed this mower as one of the lowest for side discharge, mulching and bagging (take a look for yourself)
I am cutting at 3 1/2 inches and I cut about 4 inches off. The lawn is a bluegrass/fescue mix with a lot of white clover in the fore ground. As you can see the Raven did just fine mulching. If you look very closely you can see just a little grass clippings left on the lawn. By the next day that had worked down into the grass.
The mulch kit with the metal cover is now available at Lowes.
If you would like to see the mulch kit installed please go to this article: Raven Mulch Kit
Hi Paul – a unrelated question about the Raven MPV – Hove you found a good cover which fits the unit? or could you recommend a size to look for? – FYI – I have the bagger unit on mine, which makes it much longer than usual… but will remove that when it goes into storage.
Hi Jeff, They were giving away a cover when you registered the unit with Denver Global. If you have not registered go to the https://www.ravenamerica.com/product-registration and get your free cover. My cover is 2 years old and holding up well.
I’m on my second mulching kit at the moment are there any options for more affordable mulching blades or do I need to buy the kit every time? Currently using my machine to mow about 2.5 acres and find that blades last average 6 months.
HI Alex, I have not found any after market blades for it yet. Companies like Oregon do list their blades by length and center hole style so keep checking them and Amazon.
A couple of questions:
Are you resharpening your blades with a hand file? The blades last a lot longer if you don’t use an electric grinder when you resharpen. A hand file takes less than a minute per edge if you are sharpening blades every 20-30 hours. I use a (link: Flat Bastard grade.) Be sure to check your blade balance if you take more than a 1/8th inch off at a time. You can resharpen blades as long as the back airfoil is not cracked, as long as the blade is still the original length and it’s not bent. Just search youtube for “sharpening mower blades” if you don’t know how.
Are you wearing them out because of knicks and gouges. Pick the rocks up and you can also raise the cut height up so the deck does not hit.
Are you on sandy soil? Raise your deck up 1 inch and it will make a huge difference in the life of your blades. Also when you resharpen them sharpened at a 45 degree angle instead of the normal 30 degrees. The blade will stay sharper longer.
Dandridge,TN Follow up on deck motor they had a repair truck and trailer here in 2 hours. It turn out to be the motor controller changed it out and it came a live now that is service. Bet John Deer wouldn’t do it or any other. Finished just in time thunder and rain just started.
Dandridge TN Well had 2 failures first rockers came loose and push rod came out. Easy fix yesterday left hand mower motor quit call DGP the call me back they are coming out today to get it fixed now that is fast. should be here in a couple of hours he said. But were i’m at more like 3 or 3 1/2 hours out we will see report back later.
Atlanta, GA: I like your site and it is a wealth of information, but what I see at https://slideplayer.com/slide/3935985 gives me some concern. The presentation there says that Raven has partnered with TodaysMower and the reviews on the site seem to be very favorable to the Raven MPV. I like the idea of the MPV, but I have no sense of Rato’s commitment to the US market and service. They have been unresponsive to emails with questions about variants of the rear hitch and component replacement costs (48V battery etc).
Hi Brain, Yes, I am one of the few bloggers that Denver Global offered the revised MPV-7100 to review. It is written in one of the articles here somewhere. I’ve had it here for a year now and I have to say it has lived up to all my expectations of the machine. They knew right up front that if I had issues with the Raven I would not hesitate to write about those issues on my blog.
I can answer most of your questions. First the MPV has a 3 year warranty. The batteries are covered under a separate warranty but so far anyone who has had an issue with them (they wrote into this blog) got them replaced free of charge. The batteries are 12 volt deep discharge so if they did go bad I’d replace them from a local source instead of installing OEM. I’d most likely use Deka or Interstate batteries.
They have no plans for a different hitch. The unit was not designed for pulling a moldboard plow. They are working on a 3 bin bagger and a front snow blade. I’ve seen a prototype of both and they will work well.
Yes, they are horrible with email but they are not the worst. I can’t tell you how many emails I send never get responded to by many of the brands. Call 1-888-321-5700 instead.
You are welcome to come up and use this one, though their plant is closer to you.
Are they committed to the U.S. market? All I can say is – I can’t wait until they get their motorcycles approved for the U.S……
Thank you so much for your reply. After my post, I read your FTC disclosure on your site and it is very forthcoming about how you do this work. I want to state again that I find this site is a wealth of information and add that I greatly appreciate the service you provide. If I were to criticize, I would say it is a little hard to find the disclosure and there are a few other things that I think are worth reading that I had to work at to find such as https://todaysmower.com/how-to-support-todaysmower/. I do and I’m all in.
Now let’s get to it.
So the 48V batteries can be replaced (when the time comes) with generally available deep cycle batteries and they are not in some proprietary form factor. That’s good information. Raven should publish that.
On to the hitch. I’ve been to different 3 Lowe’s that have Ravens on display and have seen 2 with only the “tow bar” as the only hitch point and 1 other with an additional hitch point welded to the frame about 6 inches up in the area near where the manual describes as the location of the serial number. It did not interfere with access to the engine and looked much stouter than the “tow bar” hitch. My need is to use it to pull an aerator, spreader and dump cart which I probably overload on occasion. I think I wounded the K46 in my 11 yr old JD 110 by pulling too much. The good old boy is hanging on, but has started making a lot of noise when I engage the trans-axle (belt is new, pulleys are good). I think mechanically the Raven is more than capable of doing these
chores without any longevity issues, but the tow bar hitch looks weak. I just wish I knew whether or not a new Raven came with the welded on hitch point.
Hi Brian, I added a link to the disclosure at the bottom of each page.
I am not aware that they had added a hitch to the serial number bracket. I have a question into them to see if that is something new they forgot to tell me about.
I don’t recommend this but I did pull one of the new OxCarts with 1200 lbs of bagged cement in it a few weeks ago using the standard hitch. The hitch is only rated for 500 lbs so I was a little careful and didn’t go to fast.
I think the big thing to remember is the Raven is a multi-purpose lawn tractor – not an ATV or compact tractor. As long as you are pulling the same loads as you did with your old lawn tractor you will never have a problem with the hitch. Have you ever watched my video?
. When I towed that log I wrapped the rope around the frame where the hitch bolts on.
Thanks for the review and I agree with your CU assesment. What kind of tree is that by the mower?
Hi Dave, That’s just an old Apple tree. I like Japanese Maples and Bonsai but I live too far north to grow the maple and I don’t have enough patience for Bonsai. So I decided to make apple tree look like them. It actually is about ready for it’s yearly trim. Here is a pict when it’s looking good.
You are to be commended for your great site and all your hard work on it.
Quick question, when you state that Sears will come to you for warranty work, does that mean that Sears sends a tech to your home for repairs during the standard warranty period or just for those with the optional Protection Plan?
Hi Larry, yes, Sears Repair Services always comes to your home for repairs on tractors and zero-turns. With a protection plan there is never a charge.
With the regular warranty Sears may ask for a “trip charge” up front. It’s usually about $100 and covers the tech’s visit IF the repair just happens not to be covered under the defects warranty. For example, if you state, “My mower won’t cut grass” and the tech finds out it was just a belt instead of a factory defect they keep the trip charge. If the tech finds out say, the electric clutch is bad – that’s covered so you get that trip charge reimbursed.
Paul and All Raven Owners
Thank you all for your comments, reviews, and input on the Raven 7100 mower/generator. After a year of watching and listening, we pulled the trigger and ordered one yesterday from Lowes. TodaysMower web site has been most helpful and informative in our decision. I look forward to joining users and sharing input and ideas regarding the Raven.
Bruce and Robbin, Western Oregon
Hi Bruce & Robin, Be sure to stop back and tell us how you like it. Of course if you have any questions feel free to ask anytime!
New Raven Report
We uncrated our new Raven 7100S yesterday, prepped as per owners manual, and preceded to cut all four lawns (two houses on property). Although we ordered the mulching kit, we decided to mow without it to compare and contrast once we did install the mulch kit. We ordered from Lowe’s and had delivered. (I think this may have cost $100 . . . money well spent. At 875 pounds, plus me at 200 pounds driving this off the back of my truck, had I gone to the city and picked up, would have been scary/dangerous/probably stupid.
1) Despite the 13″ height difference between my wife and I we found a steering wheel setting that works for both of us by simply adjusting the seat position. (Adjusting the steering column with a socket is too much trouble.)
2) As mentioned by Paul and others you ride very high on the Raven. We like the position.
3) Assembly (attaching steering wheel, tow bar, and seat) was straight forward and directions easy to follow. One predrilled tow bar hole needed some touch up strokes with a round file due to some metal cuttings hanging on.
4) Our four house lawns were quite high, (circa 8-10 inches). We cut at the highest Raven setting (4 inches I think). The cutting was flawless. Cuttings were discharged in a few easily rakeable rows. Had the lawn not been as high, I doubt the cuttings would need raking. And this is with the standard set up, not mulching kit.
5) We then proceded to mow much taller and wilder grass/field. This had been knocked down once this year with the tractor mower deck, but was very high (12-20 inches) but not as thick as lawn grass. This section is on a slope that I estimated, with the slope guide in the manual, to be from 8-12 degrees. I found myself riding the brake on the downhill because it wanted to roll down hill (image that!). When going slow (maybe 2 mph) uphill, the Raven chewed up and spit out the grass with no problems whatsoever. We commented after that that section never looked as good.
6) For a short time while mowing the field I attached and towed a lawn sweeper. However given the side discharge of the Raven towing the sweeper when cutting was not functional as the grass was thrown to the side of the path of the towed sweeper. After cutting I attached the sweeper to the Raven (mower deck turned off) and ran over the field and got many sweeper bins full of the ample field grass used for mulch, compost, etc.
7) Both my wife and I found the manual steering responsive and not too heavy.
8) I should mention that the deck measured level, and no adjustments were necessary for us.
9) There were a few times that I used the mow-in-reverse feature and found it useful.
10) We have not yet taken the mower deck off (don’t see a need for a while) or used the generator.
Our first 3-4 hours of much anticipated Raven time were enjoyable and it performed to all our expectations. I’m particularly happy that we found a seat position that will not require steering wheel adjusting and that it handled the moderate slope while cutting just fine. The seat BTW is quite comfortable. With the seat all the way back, there was plenty of leg room for my 36″ inseam. One minor point: I found the brake and accelerator pedals a bit too close together for my big feet, but I quickly adapted.
Bruce and Robbin
Hi Bruce and Robbin, Thank you for the complete review.
Please remember, mulch kits only work when you are cutting no more than one-third the grass. For example when you are mowing at 4 inches don’t let the grass get over 6 inches or mulching will not work well.
If you normally use the mulch kit don’t be afraid to remove it when mowing tall grass.
Thank you for a great site.
How well does the Raven mulch leaves with the mulch kit? I have never owned a riding mower/tractor and currently use a 20″ push weedwacker/mower to mulch the leaves and mow whatever little bit of grass and weeds there is. I am on a 2 acre wooded lot (lots of leaves) which is a bit uneven in places and also slopes 10-15 deg in about 25% of the lot. 15% of the lot has a slope too steep which I intend to leave as is. I plan to use the Raven to mulch the leaves (then be able to see and remove deadwood) and regularly mow the grass+ weeds to keep growth under control so that i can slowly continue to increase grass cover. Do you think this machine will be an Ok fit? From the reviews I also like the Raven for its hybrid fuel efficiency, slope/hilly terrain handling capabilities, lack of transmission issues as compared to other makes, ability to haul wood/material , offsite electrical tool use with generator, the possibility of towing behind ground engaging attachments and finally as a house back up generator (except the well…. i wish they had a 240V ). The lack of a close/local service support is my only other concern but would love to get your input with regard to my specific situation before i pull the trigger.Thanks.
Hi Shirley, I used the Raven last fall without the mulch kit and this spring with the mulch kit to clean up a ton of maple and oak leaves. The deep fabricated deck did a great job of sucking up dry/damp leaves and chopping them into tiny pieces. I did use a lawn sweeper this spring to pick up the chopped up leaves and I found very few whole leaves after the Raven. In other words I like it a lot for mulching leaves.
Also because of the deeper deck and high lift blades it does very well lifting up the weak spindly grass you have in your timber.
Remember always try to mow up and down the slope. It drives like your car so going downhill you will have to use the brake. It’s a nice sized pedal right where it would be in your car.
I growled about the lack of 220 myself at first but then I realized I’d probably never get around to installing a transfer switch so running 110v cords to the fridge, etc. would be no problem.
Denver Global (Raven) has been very good at getting parts or getting the unit fixed if needed. Stay away from Lowe’s repair centers – use the phone number on the ravenamerica site first if you have an issue.
I just purchased a lawn tractor from Sears, I believe it to be the craftsman 2400 19 horsepower 46 inch deck tight turn, 6 inch turning radius, I’m not finding any reviews or pictures on this unit. the item number is # 174 this unit has throttle control on right side fender and you must hold down to go full speed no right side foot pedal. I hope you can clear up some confusion for me I paid approximately 1,500 its being delivered next Thursday I’m seeing the 22 horsepower for almost the same price should I make a change
Hi James, Please spend a little time with your operator’s manual. The engine throttle in on the left side of the steering wheel. The transmission speed control is on the right fender. You should have the engine throttle in the “rabbit” position when you are mowing and adjust your speed with lever on the fender.
You can read my review of the model 25081 tractor. It is the same tractor as your 25083 except with the 42 inch deck. You can read the review here: Craftsman 25081
Some people like the fender speed control, some people like the foot control. That’s why Craftsman offers both styles. The foot controlled 20390 is about $200 more for the foot control and V-Twin engine. It’s up to you. I like the fender control myself, but the foot control operates more like your car. If that is what you are used to by all means switch.
Should it be at all concerning that the Raven does not have a oil filter?
Hi Tom, No, Change your oil at the recommended intervals and the engine will last.
Why no concern? First, The Raven’s motor does a different kind of work than a lawn tractor’s engine. It runs at a constant speed, a fairly constant load and only when you are mowing. The engine does not have the high torque loads placed on it like a lawn tractor’s engine mowing heavy grass. Expect the same life out of the motor that contractors get out of their commercial generators (hours of run time)
Second, It has a larger air filter for it’s size than lawn tractors. The biggest contaminant for oil is dirt and the biggest way for dirt to get into the engine is through a dirty air cleaner. Clean the air filter when you change the oil and replace it every 100 hours.
Third, The maintenance oil change schedule is 25 hours. Figure out how long it takes to mow your lawn and write on the calendar the date when you should change the oil next. It uses one quart of 10W-30 and you can use full synthetic if you want.
Just took delivery of my 7100 today. Was raining on and off so very little play time. Love what I see so far. This may sound a little off but I had a zero turn an my 7100 is going to take it’s place. If you would like I can keep you in the loop the more I get to use it. Just wish it had a throttle. Kills me to shut down an engine running top speed! Thanks!
Hi John, I had issues with shutting off an engine like that when they first started taking the throttles off of push mowers and snow blowers but this engine is a different application. This is a generator so the engine is not under load when you shut it off. Thinking about generators I don’t really know of any application where the engine is brought back to idle before it’s turned off. Portable gen-sets, stationary, business all turn the engines off from normal operating speed. Even the diesel generators the size of your house shut down from full speed. (yes, they usually have pre-oil circulation and engine pre-warming)
The biggest reason brands don’t use a throttle is because the generator has to run at a certain speed to charge the batteries. If it had a throttle, owners would slow the engine down so it’s quieter and then complain that it’s not charging.
Have you found the choke yet?
The 46 inch deck cuts well and I like the fact that the blades run at a constant speed. It really helps the cut. I love the cruise control. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’ve had this one for two full seasons now.