Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 43
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Believer Worth the money
The shipping was fast and assembling was simple. I modified a few things to suit me, I am very pleased with the performance. It is stated that it will cut up to 1.5 inch saplings, I accidently cut a 2 inch walnut and
the machine is still eating what I put in front of it. No major mechanical breakdowns yet.
August 30, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Pete Luckily Know enough about machines, and this is good value
I had read enough reviews about the vagueness in the manual and initial assembly issues that I purchased through HD, and had them assemble it.
Except after I brought home and started it up to run through the warm up procedure, quickly realized that HD had issues with the assembly too: the drive engage lever was attached incorrectly, allowing too low tension at start up, and the drive belt was thrown (and partially shredded) during the recommended conditioning start-up;
Of course (as others have mentioned) this is impossible to see in the enclosed assembly. So I took several hours of re-tensioning the cables, and systematically taking apart the bolted drive assembly to find why the Machine wouldn't move. (Hint: Hand push in Neutral when the transmission's stuck). After I found the tangled belt, still a huge amount of intuition to figure out how to properly install belt, and cable and lever to have it all work - pathetic "diagrams" in manual. (Hint: in retrospect, better to have ramp-jacks to see and get at everything).
After that experience, everything worked like a charm - ate through several hours and acres of tall weeds and brambles without much learning curve. Saw comments about lack of electronic start - but Starts quickly everytime.
September 27, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by TommyBoy Three years later
I wrote a more extensive review several years ago. This is follow up. It cuts well. I had a DR Mower before but could not afford the price of a new one. This Predator handles easier, but needs several features.
1. The engine is the low end Briggs and Stratton: PowerBuilt. At the start of the third season the piston seized and it was just not worth repairing the engine when I could buy a new engine for just a little more than the cost of repair parts. The warranty on the engine of course was no longer in force. I bought a new engine, a 17.5 Briggs and Stratton Intek for $500 just $10 dollars more than the 11.5 HP. Got to believe Swisher could get the better engine for very little price difference.
2. The new engine came with a carb that was set for a remote throttle linkage, something the original did not have. Bought a throttle cablef for nine bucks. The mower should have come from the factory like that. 3. The extra ten pounds of weight in the replacement engine actually balanced the mower better. I had noticed when mowing that I often felt like I needed to push down on the handles to keep the mower from hanging up. The extra weight in the rear allows the mower to move over uneven ground much easier. I wish Swisher had put the larger engine on the mower from the very beginning. The larger engine also has a pressurized oil system, with a filter. I think this works better when you consider the mower is often used on steep inclines and banks.
The belt driven blade works better for me than the clutch drive I had on the DR. I also like the Chevron tires better than the lawn tractor type on the DR.
4. If Swisher would make these changes. and add, a larger gas tank, include grease fittings in the blade bearings I would give it a 5 star rating.
Overall for the money it does everything my DR did.. I use it for mowing close to the fence lines and around trees that I cannot get with my brush hog. It cuts briars, thistles and small growth with ease.
Swisher needs a better repair and adjustment manual for those who are not used to working on this type of equipment.
October 7, 2016
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by TW The bolt on the shift lever broke within a week.
The bolt snapped off before the first 5 hour oil change. The schematics showed a 14-28 x 3/4 bolt. but I have to drill the old one out. Since I had an extremely bad experience in the delivery of the mower, I did not want to hassle to send it somewhere to get it fixed even if it was under warranty, so I'll pay a mechanic to make the repair.
August 31, 2016
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by Deborah Had to return
I'm a strong 64 yr old woman but the recoil start was so tight and hard that I couldn't pull it hard enough to start itit. a guy even said why would they put a pull start on an 11.5 hp engine?
August 9, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DM Worked very well
Worked well on heavy brush.It will cut better in 1st gear than 4th. The faster you go the more chance of getting bogged down with heavy brush. Just makes sense that you have to give it time to mulch up the heavier stuff. Also it does not come assembled, but my local HD did that for me for free!.
I took a star away for features, because no auto start and no blade height adjustment . Those are very minor to me, but may be important for others.
September 22, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by JP Junk
Junk. Drivetrain burnt up after 30 mins of use. Smoke poured out of the underside. Home Depot's return process was horrible as well.
Spend the money and buy a better brand. This was a complete waste of time and money.
June 28, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Louisianaman One way or da uhda...
Getting to my thus far 4-6 hrs of use was quite a row to hoe. I would suggest, have store uncrate and assemble...
The overdrive engage was tight tight tight, before it locks the right hand lever. And, the reverse release is always a necessary task... Nevertheless, it cuts and keeps cutting and that's why I bought it. My plan is to manage my land with a season of six cuts every six weeks.
But it's true... What they say, this swisher is no sissy!
February 23, 2016