Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 Review

Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701

1110.50
(Rated: 3.6 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise11100
Ease of Assembly11110.5
Maneuverability11100
Balance And Handling11110
Cut Quality1110.50

If you have a larger yard that you like to keep looking well manicured and professionally cut, you’re not alone. Most homeowners consider a beautiful lawn to be the centerpiece of their garden, and they have good reason to. A great looking lawn rolling over the expanse of your yard is a welcoming, inviting place, and it helps to tie diversely planted garden beds together into a complete picture. In addition, a beautiful lawn is a great place for kids to play and for you to host cookouts with friends. But keeping your lawn looking its best can be a lot of work, so it is important that you find the right machine to help you do this.

There’s a simple reason so many consumers continue to look for gas powered lawn mowers to help them keep their lawns looking great. These machines have the kind of power and reliable performance that you want when you have a bigger lawn and that other kinds of lawn mowers just can’t offer. Gas powered lawn mowers can support wider cutting decks than most other lawn mowers can even hope to approach, and they can cover much larger areas in one shot than electric or manual reel lawn mowers can. And with the right maintenance and care, gas powered lawn mowers can last much longer than other mowers can while still delivering a high level of performance. The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 offers all of the qualities one would expect to find in a gas powered lawn mower, and it has a few extra features of its own.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a gas powered lawn mower with overall dimensions of 38.1 x 24.1 x 17.8 inches and an extra wide 21 inch cutting deck. It has a Honda GCV160 Auto Return Choke System engine. The engine provides enough power to drive not only the cutting deck but also a self propelled front wheel drive system. That’s right: the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 propels itself, which means it takes a lot of the work out of keeping a big lawn looking good. Instead of sweating the afternoon away while you push a heavy lawn mower around your yard, all you have to do is start up the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 and guide it around the lawn with minimal effort.

Those are not the only areas in which the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 outshines its competition. The mower comes readily equipped with three grass clippings management options, including standard side discharge, a mulching plug that allows the cutting deck to chop clippings into fine pieces that will break down faster into the soil, and a rear bag attachment for collecting clippings for later disposal or composting. And the Honda GCV160 is designed to be more fuel efficient and produce fewer emissions. It runs so clean, in fact, that it is compliant with California Air Resources Board emissions standards.

There are a few areas in which I found minor issues with the performance or design of the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701. It weighs 81 pounds, which some users may consider overly heavy, although it has big wheels which help to make it more maneuverable, and that self propelled drive, which helps out a lot. The cutting deck may struggle with mulching denser patches of grass as well as tougher varieties, and it may tend to slow down in taller grass. Like all gas powered lawn mowers, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is fairly noisy. And it has a price tag that makes it a bit more expensive than many comparably sized lawn mowers.

I will go over all of the advantages and drawbacks the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 offers in more detail in the Pros & Cons sections. After that I will discuss how this mower stacks up against two similar models. And before I wrap up the review, I will discuss pricing in depth. In the next section, let’s take a look at the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701’s product specifications.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a gas powered lawn mower with overall dimensions of 38.1 x 24.1 x 17.8 inches. Its engine is Honda’s GCV series and is 160 cubic centimeters. It provides 4.4 horsepower to the lawn mower. The engine has an Auto Return Choke System designed to assist with startup and provide smoother running. The gas tank on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 holds 0.25 gallons, which should be more than enough to power the engine even over bigger lawns without needing a refill. Like most gas powered lawn mowers, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has a recoil starter, in which you hold a dead man switch and then pull a starter cord to get the mower going. Because of the ARCS system, the mower starts up reliably with just one or two pulls. The deck size on the mower is 21 inches wide, which is above average for gas powered lawn mowers and big enough to help finish jobs more quickly and efficiently.

Dimensions 38.1 x 24.1 x 17.8 inches
Power Gas
Engine Manufacturer Honda
Engine Specs GVC160 ARCS – 160-cc Engine
Gas Tank 0.25 Galons
Starter Recoil
Deck Size
(cutting swath)
21-inch
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge
Drive System Self-Propelled Motor
Height Adjustment Single lever (5 positions)
Height Settings 1-1/4- to 3-3/4-inch
Wheel Size 8-inch front / 11-inch rear
Weight 81 pounds
Warranty 2 years

The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is equipped with three in one grass clippings management options. You can use the standard side discharge option, engage a mulching so the cutting deck can chop clippings into tiny pieces, or attach a rear bag to collect clippings. The mower has a convenient self propelled front wheel drive system, which assists with maneuvering it around the yard. It has five height options for the cutting deck that range from 1 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches. The height of the cutting deck is conveniently adjusted using a single rear lever for all four wheels. The front wheels are eight inches tall and the rear wheels are eleven inches tall, which aids in stability and maneuverability. The mower is heavy, at 81 pounds, but this fact is mitigated considerably by the large wheels and the self propelled drive system. The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 comes with a two year limited consumer warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a self propelled lawn mower with a Honda GCV160 ARCS engine and a 21 inch cutting deck. The self propulsion system is a front wheel drive, which will help to take a lot of the work out of keeping a large lawn looking great. The majority of the effort needed to keep a lawn of that size looking great has to do with the exertion required to push the mower around. With the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701, all you have to do is start it up and then steer it around the yard. While it won’t be quite as much exercise as you would get with a manual push mower, the job will be done faster and you won’t be worn out after the fact.

The Honda GCV160 is a top of the line engine for small machines. It has a displacement of 160 cubic centimeters and it provides 4.4 horsepower to the mower, which is more than enough to power the cutting deck as well as the front wheel drive system over just about any lawn. The engine is designed with an Auto Return Choke System (ARCS) that helps make it run more smoothly an ensures that it starts up reliably every time. And the engine has a higher fuel efficiency, which will save you money on fuel costs over the long term. It also produces fewer emissions, which is not only better for the environment but also means it can be used in any State, including those that enforce California Air Resources Board emissions standards.

The 21 inch wide cutting deck on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is well above average for gas powered lawn mowers. A wider cutting deck is important because it allows you to finish cutting the lawn in fewer passes, which translates directly to less time. And as just about everyone knows, the less time you spend on lawn care chores, the more you can spend enjoying the rest of your weekend with your family.

The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has a number of other convenient features. It has five height options for the cutting deck that range from 1 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches so you can always be sure you are picking the right setting to give the lawn the best possible cut to keep it looking and feeling its best. And all four wheels are adjusted simultaneously using a single lever. The mower comes equipped with three grass clippings management options included in the initial purchase price: you can discharge clippings out the side, insert a mulching plug to chop them into tiny pieces that will break down more quickly into the soil, or attach a rear bag assembly to collect them for later disposal or composting.

The price tag on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 places it on the higher end of the price range for similarly sized lawn mowers, but it is not so expensive as to be unaffordable to most households. And I feel there is good reason for the higher price: not only does the mower provide convenient accessories such as three grass clippings management options in the initial purchase price, it is also one of the few gas powered lawn mowers that has a self propulsion system. While that is going to cost a bit more, it will prove to be extremely convenient over the long term. And the fact that the engine is so fuel efficient will provide further savings over the years as well.

Pros

review prosThere are a number of important features to look for when you are shopping for a new gas powered lawn mower. You want it to have a quality engine that provides reliable performance over the long term. You want convenient options in terms of grass clippings management. A wide cutting deck is important in terms of efficiency. And you want to limit the drawbacks associated with a gas powered mower – specifically fuel consumption and emissions output – as much as possible. With the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 you get all of these features and more. It has a powerful Honda GCV 160 cc engine and a 21 inch wide cutting deck, as well as three grass clippings management options included in the initial purchase price. Its engine is designed to have an improved fuel economy and produce fewer emissions. It’s also compliant with California Air Resources Board emissions standards. And in addition to all of these great features, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has a self propelled drive system.

  1. Powerful Honda GCV 160 ARCS engine : One of the main reasons to purchase a gas powered lawn mower instead of an electric one is because they can support more powerful engines. The engine on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a Honda GCV series four stroke engine that has a displacement of 160 cubic centimeters that puts out 4.4 horsepower at 3600 rpm. The engine has a compact combustion chamber, an overhead cam design, and uniblock construction for improved fuel economy. It has a user friendly auto return choke system (ARCS) that eliminates the need for levers and cables. This system provides improved performance over the long term as well as reliable starts whether the engine is hot or cold. In addition, the engine has a unique Dua-Lube system that provides better lubrication and is designed with simplicity in mind to reduce many potential maintenance needs. All of these features help to make the Honda GCV 160 ARCS one of the best small engines for a residential mower.
  2. Three grass clippings management options : Lawn mowers are most convenient and easiest to use when they provide you with options. One of the most important areas in which this tends to be an issue is in grass clippings management. All too often, I see manufacturers cut back on grass clippings management options altogether, or else label them as optional accessories that they ten sell separately. On the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701, you are provided with three grass clippings management options in the initial purchase price. You can use standard side discharge, which will leave grass clippings in neat rows on your lawn, which you can rake up or leave there to break down. You can engage the mulching plug, which will cause the cutting blade to chop up grass clippings into even smaller pieces that will break down into the lawn more quickly. Mulching clippings is a great way to keep your lawn healthy without resorting to chemical fertilizers. Or you can collect clippings in a rear bag for later disposal or composting.
  3. Self propelled drive system : The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is equipped with a self propelled front wheel drive system. While you will not necessarily need to engage the self propelled drive to complete every job, it is certainly convenient to have the option to do so. This is especially true for a number of situations. If your lawn is on sloping ground, the self propelled drive can help you maneuver the lawn mower up and down hills will greater ease. If you have a fairly large lawn, a self propelled drive can take the majority of the work associated with mowing the lawn out of the equation, making the overall grass cutting experience much easier and more enjoyable. And if you are older, or do not have the strength level needed to push a heavy lawn mower around your yard, a self propelled lawn mower can help you do the job without relying on a lawn cutting service.
  4. 21 inch wide cutting deck : The cutting deck on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a full 21 inches wide. While this is not the widest cutting deck I have seen on a walk behind gas powered lawn mower, it is still well above average. Wider cutting decks are an important feature of a lawn mower because they enable you to finish cutting your lawn in fewer passes. And fewer passes translate directly to less time spent cutting the grass. A mower with a 21 inch wide cutting deck will be able to cut the same area of grass about twenty percent faster than the average cutting deck can. That’s twenty percent less time spent on yard and garden chores and that much more time spent relaxing and enjoying the rest of your weekend with your friends and family.
  5. Reduced emissions and CARB compliant : One of the main reasons consumers tend to look for alternatives to gas powered lawn mowers is because they have concerns about the impact these machines have on the environment. The EPA estimates that gas powered lawn mowers are responsible for about five percent of the total emissions produced in the United States each year. But with the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701, you can still enjoy the power and performance of a gas powered lawn mower while reducing your overall carbon footprint considerably. The Honda GCV160 ARCS engine is designed to produce fewer emissions, run cleaner, and be more fuel efficient. It’s so efficient that it is approved by the California Air Resources Board standards. This means you can purchase and use it in any state in the Union. And because it is fuel efficient, you will end up saving a lot of money on fuel costs and reduce the amount of fumes in your yard after you are finished cutting the grass as well.

These are the kind of features I generally look for in a gas powered lawn mower. I think it is important to retain the power and performance gas powered lawn mowers provide in order to handle bigger lawns and consistently get reliable performance from them, but at the same time I am as concerned as anyone about the emissions produced by them. With the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701, you get all of the performance and power while reducing the amount of emissions from your mower. And you still have all of the important features you need, such as an extra wide cutting deck, multiple grass clippings management options, and a high quality engine. And for many of us, having a self propelled drive system can be a very convenient feature, since it helps take a lot of the work out of keeping our lawns looking great. Any one of these features on its own would be excellent on any lawn mower, but taken together they help make the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 really stand out.

Cons

review consThere are a few areas in which the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is not quite perfect. I should point out that I do not consider any of these drawbacks to be so serious that they would result in a negative review for the mower. And frankly I had a bit of a hard time finding five areas in which the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 performed less than optimally. For starters, the mower weighs a lot, which some users may find to be problematic. And when the mulching plug is inserted, the cutting deck may tend to struggle to get through denser patches of grass or tougher varieties of grass. The cutting deck may also get bogged down in very tall grass, which is not typical of gas powered lawn mowers. Like all gas powered lawn mowers, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is somewhat noisy. And finally, the price tag on this mower is a bit higher than the market average, although as I’ll explain below I think it may be worth the expense. Let’s look at each of these Cons in a bit more detail.

  1. At 81 pounds, the mower is rather heavy : 81 pounds is heavy for any walk behind lawn mower, even one with a 160 cubic centimeter engine, extra wide cutting deck, and self propelled drive system. Some users may find this to be off putting, since 81 pounds is a lot of weight to maneuver around the yard. At the same time, there are a few caveats. First of all, the fact that the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has a self propelled drive system is going to take a lot of the work of pushing such a heavy mower out of the equation. Second, the mower has fairly large wheels: its front wheels are 8 inches tall and its rear wheels are 11 inches tall. That will help out a lot with maneuvering the mower. Still, getting it out of the garage may take a bit of effort, and turning it may prove difficult in spite of the big wheels and self propelled drive system, so you should be prepared for that.
  2. The mower may struggle to mulch denser and tougher grass : While it is certainly convenient that the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 comes readily equipped to collect grass clippings in a rear bag as well as mulch them back into the lawn, where they will break down more quickly, there are a couple of issues with the mulching kit. Specifically, it tends to have difficulties getting through denser patches of grass, which tend to overwhelm the cutting deck somewhat. When this happens it may slow down or stall altogether, forcing you to back up, wait for it to start up again, and try over. Also, the mulching kit may have difficulty getting through tougher varieties of grass such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, which are commonly grown in the Southern United States and the Southwest. If either of these situations sound familiar and you like to mulch your clippings, be prepared for the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 to take a bit longer than you may prefer.
  3. The cutting deck may slow down in tall grass : Some homeowners prefer to let their lawns get a bit long and shaggy in between mowing, and the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has a conveniently wide range of height settings to help cut taller grass. The mower has five height positions that range from 1 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches, which will help you pick the right setting for whatever height your lawn is. But you should be prepared for the possibility that the cutting deck on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 may slow down considerably if you are using it to cut taller grass. That is not to say that it will not be able to cut taller grass at all, but it may take a while longer than you want, and you may even have to make a few passes or cut the lawn in a cross hatch pattern to make sure you cut all of it. Of course, if you keep your lawn relatively short, this will not be a problem.
  4. The mower is somewhat noisy : The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a gas powered lawn mower, and like all gas powered mowers, it can be fairly noisy. The Honda GCV engine is designed to reduce the overall noise level somewhat, but this mower still does make a bit of a racket when you crank it up. As a result, if you are the kind of early riser who prefers to get your grass cut while the birds are still chirping, before the sun has warmed up the yard too much for lawn care chores, this may be a problem. This is especially true if you have neighbors who like to sleep in on the weekends and you are worried about the possibility of disturbing them if you are making too much noise early in the morning. This is unfortunately one of the main tradeoffs that we make when we decide to use a gas powered lawn mower, and it does not seem to be one that is going away any time soon.
  5. The mower is a bit pricey : The price tag on the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 places it on the more expensive end of the range for comparably sized walk behind gas powered lawn mowers, and this may drive some consumers away. It is certainly true that you can get a mower with a similarly sized cutting deck for a lot less, but at the same time you may be losing performance, quality, or accessories when you do so. While the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is on the higher end of the price range, there are a few reasons that may justify this to most of us. First among them is the fact that it is self propelled, which is a feature most gas powered lawn mowers do not offer. Add to that the fact that it has a high quality Honda GCV engine and convenient features included in the purchase price like mulching and rear bagging, and the price starts to make more sense. Still, for homeowners on a tight budget the price may be a bit too high.

As I said at the beginning of this section, I do not consider any of these drawbacks to be so serious that they would negatively affect the overall review. While the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is one of the heavier lawn mowers I have seen, it does have factors that mitigate this, such as the self propelled front wheel drive system and the extra large wheels. And even though it may tend to struggle to mulch denser patches of grass or tougher varieties of grass like St. Augustine, it will eventually power through them. Taller grass is only an issue if you let your lawn get really long and shaggy, and even then, doubling back over it should get the job done. The noise factor is simply a part of owning a gas powered lawn mower, so while it is inconvenient it is the trade off we make for power and performance. And finally, while the price tag is a bit high, I think that it is justified by all of the excellent features the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has to offer.

Product Comparison

review comparisonOf course, looking at the Pros and Cons of a particular lawn mower alone will not be able to give you a complete picture of whether or not it is the perfect lawn mower for your needs. In order to do this, the best practice is to combine that with some thorough comparison shopping. Only by looking at what a product’s competitors have to offer, and seeing how it stacks up against their models can you get a really in depth understanding of whether a particular lawn mower is right for you. In this way, you will not only be able to see how a given machine compares to similar ones, but you may also find out about important product specs that you may not have been aware of in the first place. The following table compares the product specs of the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 with those of the Husqvarna 5521P and the Poulan PO500N22S. Let’s take a look.

  Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701Yard-Man
12A-B29Q701
Husqvarna 5521PHusqvarna
5521P
Poulan PO500N22SPoulan
PO500N22S
Dimensions 38.1 x 24.1 x 17.8 inches 36.2 x 20.8 x 25.2 inches 33.5 x 17.1 x 25.1 inches
Power Gas Gas Gas
Engine Manufacturer Honda Briggs & Stratton Briggs & Stratton
Engine Specs GVC160 ARCS
160-cc Engine
5-1/2-Torque
140-cc Engine
500 Series
158-cc Engine
Gas Tank 0.25 Galons 0.24 Galons 0.3 Galons
Starter Recoil Recoil Recoil
Deck Size (cutting swath) 21-inch 21-inch 22-inch
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge Side discharge
Drive System Self-Propelled Motor Manual Push Manual Push
Height Adjustment Single lever (5 positions) Individual (5 positions) Individual (5 positions)
Height Settings 1-1/4- to 3-3/4-inch 1-1/4- to 3-1/2-inch 1-1/2- to 3-3/4-inch
Wheel Size 8-inch front / 11-inch rear 8-inch front / 12-inch rear 7-inch front / 7-inch rear
Weight 81 pounds 60 pounds 47 pounds
Warranty 2 years 2 years 2 years

As you can see, the engines on the three lawn mowers are more or less comparable, although the Honda GCV has the largest displacement, at 160 cubic centimeters. While displacement isn’t everything, it is a very good indicator of the amount of power an engine can provide to a lawn mower. The Poulan has a slightly larger cutting deck width than the other two lawn mowers, although one inch will probably not make a huge difference one way or another. The Poulan also does not provide extra grass clippings management options, while the other two lawn mowers do. While the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has the largest footprint of the three lawn mowers, and also weighs a lot more than either of the other two, it is also the only one of the three that boasts a self propelled drive system. It is also the only one in which the height of the cutting deck is controlled with a single lever; the other two mowers have to be adjusted at each wheel independently.

Conclusion

review conclusionWhen you are shopping for a new gas powered lawn mower, there are a number of features that are of particular importance and will affect your overall grass cutting experience more than others. Among these are the kind of engine the mower has, the size of the cutting deck, and what additional features the mower provides. In addition, aspects such as the fuel efficiency and emissions output are of some concern. And the mower’s ability to deal with a wide range of different types of lawns without losing performance is also very important. In the vast majority of these areas, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 outperforms lawn mowers made by its competitors by a wide margin, while in others, it falls a bit short. For the sake of being completely thorough, let’s revisit the Pros and Cons for the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 one more time before we wrap up the review.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Powerful Honda GCV 160 ARCS engine.
  2. Three grass clippings management options.
  3. Self propelled drive system.
  4. 21 inch wide cutting deck.
  5. Reduced emissions and CARB compliant.

In terms of engine power and performance, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has one of the best out there. The Honda GCV160 ARCS engine has a number of design features that are intended to allow it to perform reliably and deliver lots of power to the mower over the long term. And the engine is also designed so that it will produce fewer emissions and have a higher fuel economy. Not only does that make it compliant with California Air Resources Board emissions standards, it will also save you money in the long term on fuel costs. The Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has an extra wide 21 inch cutting deck for increased efficiency that allows you to finish cutting your lawn in less time. It has three convenient grass clippings management options. And best of all, the mower is self propelled, which will take much of the work associated with cutting the grass out of the picture.

Conclusion Cons

  1. At 81 pounds, the mower is rather heavy.
  2. The mower may struggle to mulch denser and tougher grass.
  3. The cutting deck may slow down in tall grass.
  4. The mower is somewhat noisy.
  5. The mower is a bit pricey.

An 81 pound mower is definitely one of the heavier ones I’ve seen, and certain readers will be put off by this. This is a lot of weight to be maneuvering around you yard, but at the same time, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 has large wheels and is self propelled, both of which will mitigate this problem. The cutting deck on the mower may get bogged down by denser patches of grass or tougher varieties such as St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, especially when the mulching plug is inserted. It also may have a difficult time getting through taller grass. Like all gas mowers, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is somewhat noisy, but that is a small price to pay for power and performance. And its price tag is a bit high, but I think it is still well worth the cost.

Final Word

When you have a rather big lawn on your property, you need a machine that will be able to get the job done reliably every single time. Only gas powered lawn mowers have the kind of power necessary to take care of big jobs quickly and efficiently. And among them, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is a high quality machine. It has the kind of design features and muscle you need to keep a large lawn looking like it was professionally manicured, and it won’t require you to do a lot of work to do so.

Its features such as the Honda GCV160 engine, which is more fuel efficient and produces fewer emissions, and its extra wide 21 inch cutting deck, which is larger than the industry average, will help get tough jobs finished quickly. And convenient features such as the three in one clippings management options, single-point height adjustment, and ease of use will make the job that much easier. That’s not to mention the self propelled drive system, which adds a whole other level of convenience. Overall this is a very solid mower for homes with large lawns.

Best Price

review pricesAs I mentioned a few times in the review, the Yard-Man 12A-B29Q701 is one of the pricier lawn mowers in its class. While it falls on the higher end of the price range, it is not very expensive, and I think that the higher price is justified. Not only does it have an above average cutting deck and convenient features like the three in one grass management options, as well as the fuel efficient engine that will save money over the long term, it’s also self propelled. This is one of the main reasons for the higher price, and if you have a big yard, it can be worth it. The price, while high, is reasonable.

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