Hustler Raptor Mower Review

Hustler RaptorFor quite some time, Hustler has been known for producing some of the world’s largest, most heavy duty mowing products. The company has associated itself strongly with large industries and commercial operations, and that’s been good for business. Starting at the end of 2012, however, Hustler has taken a bold step in the opposite direction. Smaller businesses and even consumers can now enjoy the company’s commitment to quality without breaking their budget or cramping their storage space. The company’s Raptor zero-turn mower is the most compact model offered at Hustler, and comes it at the right price, too.

Great Features: Why the Raptor is a No-Brainer

With a name like Raptor, consumers might expect this new mower to be appropriately nimble and aggressive. Refreshingly, the mower’s name is entirely adequate when describing its functions. The Raptor is paired with a very powerful engine, is exceedingly compact, and is one of the most affordable zero-turn mowers currently on the market.

The Raptor mower is also Hustler’s first major step into the smaller mower market, which is ripe for a new competitor. Homeowners and those with smaller commercial spaces will appreciate this new model, and it’s likely to garner Hustler an entirely new following in a brand new market segment. That alone should be a feature worth noting.

General Specifications

The power of the Raptor mower stars with the Kawasaki v-twin engine that is included with every model. The Raptor will come in two distinct classes, each with a different horsepower rating. For entry-level consumers, a slightly smaller model of the mower is powered by a v-twin engine capable of producing 21.5 horsepower. That makes it perfect for big jobs in commercial and residential settings, but also allows the mower to perform well in smaller scenarios. For higher-end consumers, a model is available with a 23-horsepower v-twin engine. This opens up even more avenues for buyers.

The Raptor comes with two available decks, with the entry-level model sporting a 42-inch fabricated deck that can easily handle typical lawns and larger, more open spaces. For slightly larger tasks, though, the higher-end Raptor comes with a 52-inch deck that will speed work along and help the job get done far more quickly than other models currently available.

Both models are served well by Hustler’s innovative EZT hydro-gear transmission. The transmission offers a superior ride quality that feels smoother throughout a task of any size or intensity, making things a bit more pleasant for those in the landscaping trade.

Raptor Benefits: A High-Quality, Compact Mower for Less

Hustler’s priority has always been to pair high-powered products with low-numbered price tags, and the Raptor is no exception to this rule. The mower, despite its compact size and more consumer-oriented focus, is far more powerful than competing products and offers a superior quality of ride throughout any landscaping job. That’s a powerful set of benefits for many homeowners and professionals, as it makes things jut a bit more affordable and enjoyable during the spring and summer.

The powerful engines paired with both models should not be ignored, as they’re some of the best engines currently available. Kawasaki’s v-twin models are some of the highest-rated in the industry, and they’re an asset for this mower. The relatively large decks for this class of mower are also quite impressive, as is the fabricated nature of the mower’s parts. Durability was clearly central to the mower’s design, and it’s great to see a major company caring not only about initial quality, but long term viability as well.

OEM Parts are the Key to Long-Term Mower Durability

The Hustler Raptor is a great mower, and it will likely last buyers for quite a while. Even so, mowers feature plenty of moving parts and machinery, and they may often require a small fix or replacement part occasionally. When a replacement part is needed, it’s important for owners to choose Hustler OEM parts made by Hustler. This ensures that the parts were subject to high levels of manufacturing and quality control, and that they’ll work perfect in the model for which they were designed.

Where to Buy and Service a Hustler Mower

The Raptor, and many other Hustler products, can be found at Buchalla Small Engine. Replacement parts are easily ordered using the Buchalla Small Engine Online Parts Lookup Tool. The company has a long history of experience with Hustler products, and their expert staff can help customers pick the right model, or the right parts, for each of their needs.

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25 Responses to Hustler Raptor Mower Review

  1. Glen Zalman says:

    I am considering the new Raptor. I will just use it for mowing my ~6 acres here in Florida–no commercial use. I was wondering if it would be big enough for my needs
    or should I go up to the next bigger model. Thanks for any info. you can give

  2. Ray Lintner says:

    Well I have to agree with the above. This was my first ZTR mower and I am highly pleased and excited about my purchase. I did my research prior to buying the raptor 42″ and for what you get for the price I don’t think it could be beat. My prior mower was a 28 snapper ridding mower with a brigs 9hp. It served me well for 14 years and all it needs is a new coil to keep it going. I wanted a new mower that provided me with a commercial cut and the raptor hasn’t let me down. I chose to put the mulching kit on it and it doesn’t slow it down nor is the cut pattern effected by it. As for the engine my research has found that the motor is a commercial engine except for upgrades to the carb single barrel vs. 2 barrel, 2 stage air filter, and a more robust starter that are found on the FX engines. For my application it isn’t required but If i wanted to hop it up the other parts showed bolt right up. If your considering the raptor you won’t be let down. This will probably be my last mower. Ray

  3. Mary Tucker says:

    WE would like to buy a raptor hustler mower but tried to get one thru a dealer in Miami and it is been 5 weeks and he says they are. so back order he wants to sell us another product. We don’t want any other mower. Any idea where in Florida we could buty one.

    • Admin says:

      Hello Mary! Thanks for your inquiry and comment on our blog. Raptor is an excellent mower and we’d love to help you. Please give our store a call and ask for Stan in Sales. You can reach us at (352)347-2112. Have a blessed day!

  4. James V. Smith says:

    Purchased My Raptor 52″ last week and I was very skeptical, as I had never owned or even driven a “zero turn” mower. Purchased through a local dealer here and they were more than helpful in helping me with this purchase. After bringing it home, it took me about an hour to get the hang of it, but now it’s a snap to operate. Several of my friends who own other “zero turn” makes have commented on how much better the Hustler is made and with the Kawasaki engine, they are planning to change to the Raptor. But I love this machine, I now cut my lawn, (about 2.1 acres) in about half the time of my old riding mower. I truly believe that this is a high quality mower with a “box store” price. I looked at many other makes and have no second thoughts or buyers regret. My next add on will be mulching blades for all these leaves. I hope you’ll really consider a Hustler, I’m glad I did.

  5. graham sherrington says:

    Mine gets stuck in the mud real easy.
    Plus a factory fitted lock nut that holds the deck up on the left side of the mover undid it self and 4 parts fell off the deck!
    Did not find them!
    I will see what Hustler says about replacement parts under the warranty.
    SW Florida 2.5 acres.

    • Admin says:

      Hello Graham. Thanks for your comment and feedback. This sounds like an isolated incident and should probably be addressed with the manufacturer. Hustler Mower has great support. We would love to hear back from you.

  6. Scott says:

    i’m considering a Hustler Raptor SD or Fastrak or i’m also considering the John Deere EZTrak 425 or 445 models(Kawasaki engine). I like both and am having a difficult time deciding? Help…i’d appreciate feedback on either models while understanding this is the first year the Raptor SD is being offered i’m told.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Scott! Thanks for the inquiry. Both mowers are great choices. There’s a few questions that may influence our recommendation. Give one of our helpful sales associates a call and we can talk through those ideas. Phone# (352) 347-2112. Thanks!

  7. dan walker says:

    I have done a far amount of online investigation trying to find a good ZTR mower that I could afford.( WE just moved from San Diego to Virginia and the new lawn is HUGE.
    The Raptor SD looked like the best bet to me then a guy up at Augusta Equipment in Staunton made me a bit gun shy, saying it won’t be rugged or powerful enough. I’ve looked at the machine and it looks like a brute. We have about 2 acres of grass with some moderate hills. Tell me what you think. Thanks ,Dan

    • Admin says:

      Hi Dan. Thanks for the message. The Raptor SD is a workhorse and can definitely hold it’s own with 2 acres of grass. Give one of our knowledgeable sales associates a call and we can talk through some of those concerns in more detail. Phone# (352) 347-2112. Thanks!

  8. Nate McCurry says:

    Just Bought My Firat Zero Turn Mower Today. The 52″ Hustler Raptor. Haven’t used it Yet but am excited about getting this thing Mowing my Big yard!!!… Will let you know how it Goes!

    • Admin says:

      Hi Nate! That’s great news. I’m positive you’ll have a great experience. We’d love to hear back from you after your first run. Happy Mowing!

  9. Russell O'Neal says:

    Just purchased my new Raptor SD 54″ and agree with everyone that it is the best value for the money out there. The only thing that bothers me is when I engage the blades, the deck vibrates from the spindles turning making quite a bit of noise which I haven’t noticed on other ZTR machines. Has anyone ever noticed it on their machine? Other than that, a great machine.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Russell! Thanks for the great feedback and question. While I may not be able to address your service question directly, I’m positive one of our helpful technicians could give you some advice. Please give us a call, at Phone# (352) 347-2112.

  10. William Clark says:

    Like every one else…done a lot of research@ the Raptor SD ….I thought was the best for the money!!! Just about bought the E pioneer ex mark 52″…. but for the money@quitiy of the RD just couldn’t go wrong!!! I thank I’ll be happy with it!!! haven’t got it yet but did tried a demo out….

    • Admin says:

      Sounds like a good move, William. Our readers would love to hear your experience with the Raptor SD. Please stop back and let us know your thoughts. Thanks!

  11. Marlene says:

    I have had my Raptor for over a year and I love it does everything I put it through and then some. It is way better then my father inlaws John Deere zero turn.

  12. earl says:

    Im considering the 52″ hustler raptor. I will use it about 20 hours per month on residential properties. Will this mower work for me


    • Admin says:

      Hi Earl, thanks for the question. The Hustler Raptor is extremely nimble but also a workhorse. I’m sure it would make quick work of those residential properties. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our helpful sales staff at 352-347-2112. Thanks!

  13. Brent Grue says:

    I bought a Troybilt 5 days ago, mowed for 2.2 hours according to the clock, and it died, couldn’t figure out what it was so I took it back and bought the raptor 52″ ztr. This thing is hog, I mow about 12 acres around my place, the rest I just brushhog. It climbs hills, mows in reverse, the troybilt didn’t, took the day off just to use it, worth the money. I would recommend it to anyone looking at buying a ztr.

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