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November 15, 2006

Husqvarna's z4217: Is the z4218 better?

Whenever a later model is superseded you expect the technology to increase exponentially - well, at least a little anyhow.

With Husqvarna's z4218 you won't find too many differences to its predecessor the z4217. A slightly more powerful engine (18hp up from the original 17hp) now made by Kohler instead of the Briggs & Stratton. They're both electric start and both have the same Ogura GT1 Electric Clutch blade engagement. Both sport the Twin EZT transmission and will get you there at the same speed - which, BTW, doesn't say much for the upgraded engine.

Or was it an upgrade?

So what's different? Are you sitting down for this? The Hour Meter came standard on the z4217. Not only that but the price has increased nearly US$300. For what?

The z4217 retails for US$2,690 (A$3,550) while the z4218 will set you back US$2,990 (A$4,000).

I'm not going to argue that Husqvarna make great zero turn mowers and they're affordable machines but I can't see the value in updating. I personally prefer the B&S motor over a Kohler but while Kohler fans will see this as a plus I'm not sure it's a US$300 plus.

So, one has to ask the question was Husqvarna losing money on the z4217 and had to make a few modifications, including the engine, to make money out of the z4218? I'm not sure we'll find out but I'm keen to hear from those who might know.

June 17, 2006

Swisher ZT2560 Zero Turn Mower

Swisher make the claim that they were the first to introduce the zero turn mower concept and that they did it nearly 50 years ago. If this is true, and who's about to counterclaim it? then one would assume they know what they're talking about when it comes to zero turn mowers.

The ZT2560, with 60" blades, has a larger deck than it's little brother's the ZT2350 and the ZT18542 which carry 50" and 42" blades respectively. It's also powered by a 25hp Briggs & Stratton Extended Life Series engine.

If you compared the Swisher ZT2560 against is the comparable Toro 74249 (Z500 Estate Series) you would find it almost impossible to pass by the Swisher. The Toro carries the same deck but in 7 gauge steel while the Swisher has produced theirs in 11 guage. The Toro sports the same sized engine but it's a Kawasaki which really comes down to preference. I've heard good and bad for both engines.

But the big difference is the price. The Toro will cost you almost double the Swisher. Most retailers price the ZT2560 around the US$4k mark while the Toro retails for almost US$8k. Why the big difference? I'd love to know.

Continue reading "Swisher ZT2560 Zero Turn Mower" »

  • Stuart Robinson
  • Busselton, Australia
  • Email Me

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