Ariens Razor 21 Mower Review


The Ariens Razor 21 is more than just a mower; it’s a reliable partner for maintaining your lawn’s beauty. With its rear-wheel-drive and self-propelled features, this mower promises ease of use and efficiency, especially for those with landscaped yards or varied terrain.

Specifications of Ariens Razor Self-Propelled Walk Behind Mower 911609

  • Engine: Briggs & Stratton EXi 725, 163cc
  • Cutting Width: 21 inches
  • Speed: Up to 4 mph with REFLEX™ control
  • Storage: Vertical with easy maintenance access
  • Warranty: 4 years residential, 90 days commercial

Key Features and Performance

Ariens Razor 21 Mower sitting on the grass with bagging system on the back
  • Engine Power: The Briggs & Stratton EXi725 163cc engine is the heart of the Razor 21, providing ample power for challenging mowing tasks. Its Mow N’ Stow® feature ensures that it’s ready for action without the need for regular oil changes.
  • Mulching and Bagging: The mower shines with its dual capabilities. While I didn’t have the mulch plug in during my test, its performance was noteworthy. The option to switch between bagging and mulching provides versatility based on your lawn’s needs.
  • Discharge Dilemma: Although marketed with a rear discharge capability, practical experience suggests this feature is limited. Grass tends to clump on one side, indicating that the mower excels more in mulching and bagging than in rear discharging.
  • Maneuverability and Control: The REFLEX Speed Control Technology allows for easy speed adjustments, enhancing the mower’s responsiveness to your walking pace.
  • Storage and Maintenance: Its vertical storage capability is a game-changer, reducing its footprint and making blade maintenance more accessible.

Practical Insights and User Experience

Ariens Razor 21 Mower sitting on the backyard with bagging system in the back

During my use, the mower handled wet grass impressively, showcasing its deep deck design’s efficiency in preventing clogs and ensuring a clean cut. The bagging system, though asymmetrically vented, held up well, managing to capture wet grass without any hassle.

Fuel Efficiency and Maintenance

Person poiting the Fuel tank of Ariens Razor 21 Mower

The fuel economy of the Ariens Razor 21 was remarkable. Despite extensive use on hilly terrain, the mower sipped fuel, making it economical for longer mowing sessions. Maintenance seems straightforward, with easy access to essential components like the air filter and spark plug.

Design and Build

Person pointing the height adjuster of Ariens Razor 21 Mower

The mower’s design, featuring a 14 gauge steel deck, is built for durability. Adjustments for height are intuitive, affecting both front and rear wheels simultaneously, which simplifies transitioning between different lawn areas.

Pros and Cons of the Ariens Razor 21 Self-Propelled Mower


  • The Briggs & Stratton EXi725 163cc engine is a beast. It starts easily, runs smoothly, and has enough power to cut through tall, wet grass without bogging down. This kind of power makes mowing less of a chore and more of a breeze.
  • The rear-wheel-drive and REFLEX Speed Control make navigating through uneven terrain and around obstacles feel effortless. It’s like the mower is doing half the work for you, especially on slopes.
  • I love that I can switch between mulching and bagging depending on what my lawn needs. The bagging system, despite being vented on one side, holds a surprising amount of clippings, which is a huge plus.
  • This mower sips fuel! Even after tackling my hilly and sizable yard, the fuel gauge barely moves. It’s economical and reduces the number of refills needed during a mow.
  • The Mow N’ Stow feature is fantastic for saving space in my garage. Flipping it upright makes it easier to clean and maintain the blade too.


  • The mower is marketed with rear discharge functionality, but it doesn’t live up to that promise. Clippings tend to clump on one side, which can be frustrating if you prefer discharging over mulching or bagging.
  • While the self-propel feature is great, the mower can feel a bit heavy and awkward to turn, particularly on tighter corners or when you need to lift the front end for maneuvering.
  • Adjusting the cutting height is straightforward, but for other settings or maintenance tasks, I find myself referring back to the manual. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s not as intuitive as I’d like.
  • The bag fills unevenly due to the venting being on one side. While it does capture a lot of clippings, I have to shake the bag to distribute the contents and make full use of its capacity.
  • While not the loudest, it’s not whisper-quiet either. I don’t mind the sound, but it’s something to consider if you prefer a quieter mowing experience.

Maintenance and Care for Ariens Razor 21

  • Regular Maintenance Regularly checking the engine oil before use is crucial to ensure the smooth operation of your Ariens Razor 21. Changing the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, or at least once every mowing season, helps maintain engine health. The air filter should be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt from affecting the engine’s performance, and replaced if it’s too dirty or damaged. The spark plug, an essential component for starting your mower, should be inspected annually or if you encounter starting difficulties, and replaced if found faulty. Keeping the mower clean by removing grass clippings and debris after each use prevents clogging and corrosion, extending the lifespan of the machine.
  • Blade Maintenance The mower’s blade requires periodic inspection for signs of wear or damage. A sharp blade is key to achieving a clean and efficient cut, so sharpen the blade as needed and replace it if it becomes bent, cracked, or too worn out. Proper blade maintenance ensures optimal mowing performance and prevents unnecessary strain on the engine.
  • Drive System Care For models with a drive belt, inspect it regularly for signs of wear or damage and replace it when necessary to maintain the self-propel function. Adjusting the self-propel feature ensures that the mower moves at a comfortable pace, enhancing the ease of mowing especially on varied terrain.
  • Seasonal Care End-of-season maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your mower. Thoroughly clean the machine and either run the engine until the fuel tank is empty or use a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating. Storing the mower in a clean, dry place protects it from the elements and preserves its condition. Before the mowing season begins, a comprehensive check of the oil, air filter, spark plug, and blade will prepare the mower for optimal performance.
  • Electric Start Models If your Ariens Razor 21 features an electric start, regular battery maintenance is essential. Charge the battery before the start of the season and monitor its condition to ensure reliability and readiness for use.
  • Specific to Ariens Razor 21 The REFLEX™ Speed Control system on the Ariens Razor 21 requires regular checks to ensure it matches your walking pace accurately, providing a comfortable mowing experience. If you utilize the vertical storage feature, inspect the mower upon returning it to the operating position to ensure everything is aligned and secure, maintaining the integrity of the machine.

Comparative Analysis: Ariens Razor 21 vs. Honda HRX217VKA

EngineBriggs & Stratton EXi725, 163ccHonda GCV200
Cutting Width21 inches21 inches
Deck Material14-gauge steelNeXite®
Drive SystemRear-wheel with REFLEX™Variable speed Select Drive®
Mulching and BaggingYes, with limitations on dischargeVersamow System™ with adjustable mulching and bagging
StorageVertical storage capabilityStandard, without vertical storage
MaintenanceEasy, with no oil change requiredEasy access, manual fuel shut-off for storage
Warranty4 years residential5 years residential
Performance in Wet ConditionsGood, handles wet grass wellExcellent, with MicroCut® system for fine clippings

Summary: Both the Ariens Razor 21 and Honda HRX217VKA are robust and efficient lawn mowers, each excelling in different areas. The Ariens Razor 21, with its powerful engine and innovative speed control, is versatile and easy to store thanks to its vertical storage design. It’s suitable for users who prioritize fuel efficiency and ease of use. The Honda HRX217VKA, on the other hand, stands out with its durable NeXite® deck, precise speed control, and versatile mulching and bagging options, making it ideal for those who seek a high-quality, adaptable mowing experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the two should be guided by personal preferences for specific features, such as drive system, deck material, and mulching capabilities, along with considerations for storage space and budget.

Final Verdict

The Ariens Razor 21 Self-Propelled Mower, with its robust engine, efficient mulching and bagging system, and user-centric design, stands out as a formidable lawn care tool. While rear discharge might not be its strong suit, its performance in other aspects like handling wet grass and fuel efficiency more than compensates. For anyone seeking a reliable, powerful, and versatile lawn mower, the Ariens Razor 21 could be the go-to choice.


  1. Can the Ariens Razor 21 handle tall, wet grass without clogging?
    Yes, the Ariens Razor 21, with its powerful Briggs & Stratton engine and deep deck design, handles tall, wet grass impressively, reducing the likelihood of clogs and ensuring a clean cut.
  2. Is the rear discharge feature effective on the Ariens Razor 21?
    The mower is designed with a rear discharge capability, but in practice, it tends to clump grass on one side. It performs best when mulching or bagging.
  3. How does the REFLEX Speed Control Technology enhance the mowing experience?
    REFLEX™ Speed Control allows you to match the mower’s pace with your walking speed, offering a seamless mowing experience that reduces physical strain and improves efficiency.
  4. What makes the Ariens Razor 21 a good choice for hilly terrains?
    The rear-wheel drive and self-propelled mechanism provide better traction and control on slopes, making the Ariens Razor 21 ideal for hilly terrains.
  5. How does the vertical storage feature of the Ariens Razor 21 benefit users?
    The vertical storage feature significantly reduces the mower’s storage footprint, making it easier to store in tight spaces. It also facilitates easier cleaning and maintenance of the underside.
  6. Can I use synthetic oil in the Ariens Razor 21, and does it require regular oil changes?
    The mower comes with a no oil change required promise, but checking the oil level and keeping it clean is crucial. You can use synthetic oil like 10W30, which might offer better performance in a wide range of temperatures and conditions.
  7. Is the bagging system on the Ariens Razor 21 efficient when dealing with large amounts of clippings?
    Yes, the bagging system is quite efficient, even with wet grass. The bag fills up evenly and manages a substantial amount of clippings without needing frequent emptying.
  8. How does the fuel efficiency of the Ariens Razor 21 compare to other mowers?
    The Ariens Razor 21 is noted for its excellent fuel efficiency, consuming less fuel during operation compared to many other mowers, which is beneficial for extended use and cost savings.

That wraps up our deep dive into the Ariens Razor 21 mower! Do you have experiences or tips to share about this mower or others you’ve used? Drop your thoughts and stories in the comments below. Let’s help each other find the best tools for our gardening adventures!

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


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