Snapper is a brand which began as a company called Southern Saw Works, founded in 1895 to make sawmill equipment for the American logging industry. As forests were depleted and demand for the firm’s products slackened, the Saw Works began to decline, and the company was bought out in the late 1940s by William Smith. Smith purchased patents to what was likely the first self-propelled mower design ever from its Florida inventors in 1950, and reconfigured Southern Saw Works into Snapper, a name derived from the mower’s shape, which was partially reminiscent of a snapping turtle’s shell. The company continued to expand, guided largely by Smith, and was eventually sold in 2002, to Simplicity Manufacturing. Just two years later Briggs & Stratton acquired the company and made it one of their premier lawn care brands.
Snapper now manufactures quality equipment that is easy to use but is also flexible and can be readily adapted to new roles by adding accessories. Push mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers still form the popular core of the company’s retail lineup. The modern Snapper brand’s products are made entirely in the United States. Headquartered in Milwaukee, the Briggs & Stratton subsidiary uses factories in Georgia, Mississippi, and New York to actually build the mowers. Besides the United States, the firm’s lawn and garden line is distributed and sold in 43 countries, mostly in Europe and Central or South America, but also in Japan.
Snapper’s push lawnmowers have many special features depending on the model, including push button starting, blades with six cutting surfaces, clipping collection bags, or rear wheel drive. The company’s riding mowers cut grass, mulching, discharging, or bagging depending on how the user chooses to configure them, but they can also be used as small tractors through the use of dozer blade or dump cart accessories. Other tools include zero-turn mowers, snow blowers, brush mowers, chippers, leaf blowers, and garden tillers.