John Deere


Issue J0

21-Inch Walk Behind Rotary Mower


PIN (100001-)


Product Identification



Daily Operating Checklist

Avoid Damage to Plastic and Painted Surfaces

Handle Controls

Engine Controls

Cutting Height Controls

Adjusting Cutting Height

Adjusting Handle Height

Testing Safety Systems

Testing Blade Control Lever

Starting Engine

Blade Operation

Forward Travel

Travel Speeds

Stopping Engine

Emergency Stopping

Using Discharge Chute (Optional)

Using Grass Bag

Using Mulch Plug (Optional)

Using High Lift Blade (Optional)

Replacement Parts

Service Intervals



Storing Machine




John Deere Quality Statement

All Manuals Close Window


Daily Operating Checklist

o Test safety systems.

o Check fuel level.

o Check engine oil level.

o Remove grass and debris from machine.

o Check area below machine for leaks.

Avoid Damage to Plastic and Painted Surfaces

Do not wipe plastic parts unless rinsed first.

Insect repellent spray may damage plastic and painted surfaces. Do not spray insect repellent near machine.

Be careful not to spill fuel on machine. Fuel may damage surface. Wipe up spilled fuel immediately.

Handle Controls


A - Blade Control Lever

B - Blade Engagement Lever

C - Starter Handle

D - Traction Clutch Lever

E - Throttle Lever

F - Gear Shift Lever

Engine Controls


A - Primer Bulb

Cutting Height Controls


A - Cutting Height Levers

Adjusting Cutting Height

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before adjusting mower cutting height:

Stop engine.

NOTE: Adjust both levers to same height except for lowest cutting height. This adjustment improves mulching performance at lowest cutting height:

Put front wheel levers in the first rear notch: 13 mm (1/2 in.).

Put rear wheel levers in the second rear notch: 25mm (1 in.) notch.


Picture Note: Right rear shown above.


Picture Note: Right front shown above.


Cutting Height Adjustments In mm (Inches)


13 mm (1/2-in.)


25 mm (1-in.)


38 mm (1-1/2-in.)


50 mm (2 in.)


64 mm (2-1/2 in.)


75 mm (3 in.)


90 mm (3-1/2 in.)

To help move rear wheel levers:

1. Lift lower handlebar slightly with one hand to take some weight off wheel.

2. Move height adjustment lever to desired position with other hand.

Adjusting Handle Height


Picture Note: Rear grass bag removed for photo clarity.

1. Remove knob (A) and bolt (B) from each side of mower.

2. Move handle to desired height.

3. Line up square hole in bracket (C) with hole in handle.

4. Install bolt through holes.

5. Install and tighten knob.

Testing Safety Systems


c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the vehicle to an outside area before running the engine.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.

Use the following checkout procedure to check for normal operation of machine.

If there is a malfunction during one of these procedures, do not operate machine. See your John Deere dealer for service.

Perform these tests in a clear open area. Keep bystanders away.

Testing Blade Control Lever

1. Start engine.

2. Engage blade.

3. Release blade control lever.

4. Listen for blade to stop. Do not look under mower to check blade.

Result: Blade should stop within three seconds. If blade does not stop within three seconds, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Starting Engine


c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes can cause sickness or death.

Run engine only in a ventilated area.

If you run engine in an enclosed area, remove exhaust with exhaust pipe extension, or open doors to bring in outside air.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help prevent damage to starter and band brake, do not start the engine:

when blade is under load, such as in heavy grass, or

when blade control lever is released.


1. Prime engine by pressing primer bulb (A) three times.


2. Push throttle lever (B) to fasposition.

3. Pull starter handle (C) until you feel resistance. Then pull fast and steady until engine starts.

4. Return handle slowly to bracket.

5. Mow with throttle lever in fasposition.

Blade Operation

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Keep hands, feet and clothing away from blade when engine is running. If blade does not stop within 3 seconds after you release blade control lever, see your John Deere dealer.

NOTE: Do not engage blade in heavy grass or engine may stop.

To Engage Blade

1. Stand behind the mower.


2. Pull and hold blade control lever (A) against handle.

3. Push blade engagement lever (B) forward until it latches.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Blade stop lever must be able to release to stop blade in case of an emergency.

If lever (B) does not latch, do not secure it or hold it in the latch position. See your John Deere dealer.

Do not secure lever (A) to handle.

To Disengage Blade

Release blade control lever (A).

Forward Travel

To Travel Forward


Pull and hold traction clutch lever (A) against handle (B).

To Stop Forward Travel

Release lever (A). Release lever before you turn.

NOTE: Rear wheels should make a clicking noise when you push mower forward. This means drive train is operating correctly.

Travel Speeds

1st Gear: 1.9 km/h (1.2 mph)

2nd Gear: 2.9 km/h (1.8 mph)

3rd Gear: 3.9 km/h (2.4 mph)

4th Gear: 4.8 km/h (3.0 mph)

5th Gear: 6.6 km/h (4.1 mph)

To Change Travel Speed:

1. Stop.


2. Move gear lever (A) to desired position.

3. Engage traction clutch lever (B).

Stopping Engine


1. Release traction clutch lever (A).

2. Release blade control lever (B).

3. Pull throttle lever (C) all the way back to stop position (D).

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! If mower blade does not stop within 3 seconds after you release blade stop lever, see your John Deere dealer.

Emergency Stopping


Release handle and levers:

Mower travel will stop.

Blade will stop.

Using Discharge Chute (Optional)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not operate mower unless grass bag, chute, or mulch plug is held in place by door. Before you empty bag, stop mower, blade and engine.

1. Stop engine. Lift and hold door.

2. Remove grass bag.


3. Install chute. Lower door to hold chute in place.

Using Grass Bag


1. Lift and hold door (A).

2. Grasp handle (B). Lift bag on or off mower.

3. Gently lower door.

NOTE: Bag may wear and deteriorate. Check condition of bag often. Use a John Deere bag or equivalent to comply with safety specifications.

Using Mulch Plug (Optional)

See your John Deere dealer for Mulch Plug.

Mulch blade is standard equipment on the mower and works equally well with mulch plug, chute, or bag. You do not need to change the blade when you change attachment.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not operate mower unless grass bag, chute, or plug is held in place by door. Before you unplug mower or remove mulch plug, stop engine.

1. Lift and hold door.


2. Install plug (A) in opening (B) with (C) facing left.

3. Push and turn plug counterclockwise until it is seated.

4. Lower door.

Using High Lift Blade (Optional)

High lift blade is recommended for the most favorable bagging performance. See your John Deere dealer for high lift blades.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Service mower safely:

Remove blade when fuel tank is almost empty.

Stop engine. Let it cool.

Disconnect spark plug wire.

Wear gloves or wrap blade with rag.


1. Disconnect spark plug wire (A).

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help prevent air cleaner damage and hard starting, turn mower on its left side.

2. Turn mower on its left side.


3. Remove bolts (B) and blade (C).

4. Install blade with wings pointing upward.

5. Tighten bolts to 75 Nm (55 lb-ft).

6. Lower mower to the floor.

7. Connect spark plug wire.