Pros: 1. Great engine, very dependable 2. Tough components 3. Quick, even cutting
Cons: You really pay extra for the Snapper name!
We got this mower in 1998, and aside from regular oil changes & occasional deck belts, little has gone wrong with it. The B&S engine has been great. Oh yeah, I did have to replace the battery a couple of years ago, and I had to replace the tensioner pulley on the drive belt last year. Once I learned how to remove & reinstall the deck (information all included in the owner's manual), all repairs have been made at home by me.
I read a review about a Snapper with the 48" deck, and that owner seemed to have a lot of problems over the years. I feel that is because of the 48" deck using 3 blades as opposed to only two blades on the 42" deck. There are fewer sets of bearings and pulleys on my deck, and I think the bigger the deck and the more blades involved, there is more stress on the parts which results in more break downs. Just my opinion.
I also mow a large area. I mow well over an acre every 5-6 days during the SW Florida summer growing season, and also mow paths and other areas out in a cow pasture so we can walk our dogs without fighting the tall grass. It mows some pretty heavy stuff, but that's what Snappers were designed to do. The deck is heavy duty and doesn't get sand-blasted to pieces like the less expensive brands. It really pays to have a deck made with thick metal if you have any sand in your yard.
I've owned a department store brand, but it didn't hold up to what I have to mow. I used to use a rear-engine Snapper, and it lasted very well, but was too slow. The lawn tractor that I have now mows as fast as I care to go on a lawn mower.
Of course, now that I've spoken well of my mower, something on it will probably break. I've learned over the years that when you brag on a piece of equipment, it will immediately break, but I felt I just had to share this information so others can make an informed buying decision.
As I get older, I find I have less spare time, so my next mower might be a zero turn model. It may not actually mow at a faster speed, but the faster turning is supposed to really cut down on mowing time and allow you to get around yard objects faster. One mower shop I recently visited said he will soon be dropping the lawn tractors altogether & only carry the zero turn mowers as that's what most people are wanting these days. However, if you want a good mower and don't mind paying extra for the name, this 42" 16 horse model has been good to me.