Snapper is a highly-trusted name as far as Lawn Maintenance Equipment is concerned, and the Snapper ST1842, 42” lawn tractor displays exemplary craftsmanship and mechanical prowess. Featured in the economical category, this riding beauty is a repository of hi-tech functionality and user-friendly attributes. Its unique selling point is definitely the Briggs and Stratton 18.5HP Single Cylinder Engine from the Intek Series, which ensures massive power and heavy-duty performance. Coupled with the nuanced 18” turn radius, seamless 5-speed transmission adjustment and the large, firmly-cast 42” cutting deck with dual-blade cutting mechanism, this riding mower from Snapper makes the tedious job of mowing obstacle-ridden, uneven lawns a buttery-smooth experience!
- Riding Lawn Mower
- Type: Lawn Tractor
- 18.5HP, 540cc Briggs & Stratton OHV Engine
- Not CARB-Compliant
- 42 inch dual blade cutting deck
- Cruise Control
- Optional Bagger
- 6 Height Settings
- Weight: 508 lbs
- 3-years warranty
In-depth Review of the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch Lawn Tractor
Ease of Use
The time and attention required for assembling the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch lawn tractor was not a big deal at all, but getting it off the crate packaging was quite exhausting, considering that it weighs almost 508 pounds and is pretty huge. Nevertheless, I quite liked some of its comfort and safety features. For instance, the high back seat is completely configurable, and the ergonomically-placed throttle stick ensures swift and hassle-free speed shifting, giving you all the control necessary. Also the mower blades will not engage until you move, and the blade engagement momentarily locks up when you go in reverse, to prevent ‘pivot holes’. The only hassle was the steering control, and by that I don’t mean holding the steering. It means that knowing how to steer the mower around tight curves (despite its impressive 18” turn radius) takes quite a lot of practice.
To be honest, the cut quality of the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch lawn tractor is decent, but it’ll take a fairly long ‘mastery’ of the machine to attain that level of perfection. The cutting deck is perfectly fine- strongly built with 2 neat, reasonably sharp blades, but if you turn the steering too abruptly while making a turn, the front end of the cutting deck dives out, leading to uneven cutting. Also with reverse mowing, you have to make sure that the cutting deck is not aligned below 1.5”, else you’ll end up really damaging your grass and disfiguring your lawn. Unfortunately, there is no mulch kit or mulch blades available for the ST series which is really a pitty. A bagger can purchased separately.
The Snapper ST1842 riding mower offers a variation of 6 different cutting heights from 1 to 4 inches. Now that’s slightly less for a mower of this price range (considering that the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Riding Mower has 12 different height variables for the cutting deck) but it’s still a fair deal because of 3 reasons:-
- The height adjustment lever is ergonomically placed and conveniently accessible from your high-rest driver’s seat.
- You can easily switch settings during the ride without having to stop the engine.
- The fine weight balance of the anti-scalp wheels ensures that even at the lowest cutting height, the grass remains undamaged and healthy.
Given my holistic experience with landscaping services and lawn mowing in particular, I can tell you for a fact that the as far as its motor power is concerned, the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch lawn tractor packs a punch! This machine is a real beauty as it scales tough upward slopes up 20 degrees with absolutely no underpowering. Even when you’re going downhill, the brake control is tight enough to keep you from toppling over. This machine comes also with cruise control which makes the riding speed even easier to manage.
All credit to the Briggs and Stratton (Intek) Engine that churns out 18.5HP with an engine displacement of 540cc. The fuel tank is also reasonably big at 1.5 gallons, so you don’t need to worry about constant re-fuelling! You’re probably interested to know more about the speed, but let me caution you to go easy with the acceleration if you’re a beginner. As you learn to drive better and attain complete control, you can pivot the throttle stick to its maximum limit of 5 mph forward and 3 mph reverse. Reverse driving poses the risk of causing pivot holes, so the machine automatically disengages the blades in reverse. So you need to manually engage the blades again if you’re sure about reverse mowing.
No matter which lawn tractor you opt for, it will always pose more maintenance hassles as compared to a regular push mower or even a self-propelled one. Taking into account the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch lawn tractor, you’re provided with limited warranty coverage of 2 years. My expert eye also detected great finesse in its overall durability, given the rock-solid cast iron front axle, tough steel cutting deck and high-quality plastic levers. No flimsy stuff whatsoever, this rugged model will last you for years! Only thing, you need to wash the deck regularly (there’s washout port for that), have the blades sharpened every 1-2 years and carry out winterization with care. But that’s the case with all lawn tractors you purchase!
This affordable lawn tractor from Snapper is not the cheapest in the list of affordable riding mowers, but definitely has potential to save you a great deal of time and efforts in managing massive yards and difficult to mow-terrain. For those who know how to drive a car with manual transmission, it’s a big sigh of relief as the foot pedal hydrostatic transmission functions akin to one; so you don’t need to drain yourself out, pushing a mower in the sweltering heat. Now in my opinion, that itself is great value for money! Small but significant add-ons like headlights, a 13-gauge stamped steel cutting deck etc, further add on to the ‘value for money’ aspect. The only cons I figured were that there is no mulch kit available and a bagger needs to be bought separately; it would have been an alluring deal if at least the mulch option was included!
- Powerful Engine
- Reliable Tractor
- Cruise Control
- Cut quality could be better
- No mulch unit
- Steering around curves can be tricky
- Bagger is not included
Should you be looking for a super-rugged, commercial-grade riding mower for lawns beyond 2.5 acres or unending expanse in the countryside, this is probably not the right choice; but as far as urban or semi-urban, residential usage for turfs ranging from 1 to 2 acres is concerned, the Snapper ST1842 lawn tractor with its 42 inch cutting deck and its powerful 18.5HP engine is certainly a welcome addition to your tool shed!