Trying to decide between 2 21" mowers.

DarkShadow04

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Hey everyone. I am trying to decide between 2 different mower lines. The Honda HRX and the Toro Super Recycler. I am torn between these 2. Nobody really has anything bad to say about either one.

I currently have an 8 year old Honda HRR216. I have hated it for years. The cut is terrible, and it started rod-knocking part way though the last season despite me changing the oil every year and spark plug and filter every other. I just filled it with thicker oil and kept on mowing.

In my quest to find its successor, the best recommendations are the Honda HRX and the Toro Super Recycler. I really want one with a blade stop/blade brake as I have dogs and kids and it would be nice to not have to rip the cord each time I stop to pick up a dog toy or kid toy, or empty the clipping bag. Which leads to my dilemma. My yard is small, but we have several large, mature trees that dump leaves like crazy in the fall. I like the more powerful 200cc engine in the Honda to deal with the volume of leaves to bag each fall, but by past experience with my current mower makes me hesitant. On the other hand, it seems like Toro is all over the place when it comes to engines. 163cc's in some 190cc's in others, but the bigger engine isn't the one with the blade stop, but it possibly has a more consistent cut.

Any guidance or experience with either of these would be appreciated.
 

Rivets

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Disclaimer: I’ve been selling and servicing Toro’s for 40+ years, so I’m a little biased. I would highly recommend a Toro model 21563 over model 21389, mainly because I like the handle setup better. As a service tech I also feel that the Toro units are easier to service than the Honda.
I will say Honda makes a good unit and others here will say Honda is better, but I have always said go Toro and don’t look back. Your past experience may prove my case. I’ve included site for model comparison, plus read my signature please.

 

DarkShadow04

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I would highly recommend a Toro model 21563
That was the one I was looking at when I made the post actually. It also appears as though its the 2022 model, so that is a plus as well. Do dealers have a "test drive" program? It, doesn't need to be the top-of-the-line model, but maybe just a Super Recycler with the same engine I can try out before I plop down $800 on a mower. Now not obviously, since there is snow on the ground...but in spring.
 

Rivets

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Some dealers do and some don’t. You’ll have to ask the dealer in your area.
 

FlyboyX

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i can't recall, but i think the Honda HRX is the electric start model? that one was overkill for me. I saw it as heavier and more maintenance to deal with. i have the HRN and i absolutely love it. seems like i paid less than 400.00 for it. i previously had an ariens commercial and a toro self propelled(can't remember the model). I hated the Ariens, the Toro was decent, but to me my Honda is far superior to all of them. personally, i'll take a honda engine over a briggs any day of the week. it starts on the first pull every time even if it has been sitting all winter. it is light weight and very maneuverable. the engine is quiet and smooth. the self propelled system is pretty great. just make sure you get a mower with the drive wheels on the back. it has more power than it needs for my purposes. i only use it to mow the ditch in front of my house.

when you say that your present mower has a bad cut, my question to you is when was the last time you had the blade sharpened? have you hit anything with it to bend it out of whack? have you ever taken it to a professional to be serviced? the complaints you have mentioned don't really seem like they should be issues on a well maintained mower. not sure about the rod knock. perhaps you got a bad one, but it sounds like it was starved of oil at some point. my mower has that dual cutting blade thing and does a really nice job of cutting and mulching. i can't attest to the bagger because i never use it.

in the end, i do believe the Toro and the Honda are the best two available. I would find a way to try them both out before you make a decision. if anything, go test used machines listed on Marketplace. I doubt some seller will mind if you mow their front yard for them. who knows, maybe you might even find a nice enough mower that way and save a few quid
 
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slomo

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My father hates his HRX too. Bags terribly, mulches the same. Leaves clippings on the grass from the left deck edge. He mows twice a week. He wants his old Toro back....... Worked great for him for 12 years.

Lots of people swear by Honda's. ???

I would stay away from the Toro's that can be stored vertically. Any "new" "feature" on a modern mower needs scrutinized. I don't own one but a coupe posts on here about carb issues with these mowers. ???
 

bertsmobile1

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As I have said a thousand times on this forum
There are good mowers & there are bad mowers
But the one that will work best for you is the RIGHT mower.
And for you the right might come from the bad list.
In your kitchen, most people have a knife block with up to a dozen different knives because you need different styles & shapes of knives for different jobs.
Well you grass is the same, you need different types of mowers with different types of blades for different grasses growing in different soils on different terrain
And that is before you look at the prefferences of the user .
The problem is marketing and the act that their is not enough profit in selling most walk behinds to allow mower shops the lend, or hire out push mowers so the customer can get the right one which fulfils their wants & needs and suits their yard
 

sootypipe

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Just my personal opinion, but I would go with a Toro (from an actual mower dealer, not a big box store) versus a Honda. I bought my mom and stepdad’s old Super Recycler when it was about 5 years old, they moved and needed a tractor, and I used it for about another 15 years until the transmission failed! Little did I know I could have probably repaired it easily if I looked on the forums but I didn’t at the time. It was a wonderful mower. My dad had a similar but older Toro that he had about 15+ years, I think he sold it when he sold his house. My experience with Honda is repairing one that was given to me. It had a horrible self propel mechanism design that locked up the rear wheels when you would pull the mower backward. No real solution other that replacing very expensive parts. Not worth it. I polished shafts, bored and polished bushings, etc and got it as good as possible to resell it. Appeared to be a common design problem Honda never redesigned and just kept producing and selling. For that alone I’d never touch a Honda mower and hesitate buying anything else Honda. And Honda is simply overpriced. That Honda also was small on displacement and power compared to competitive mowers of the same model years. If I bought a new mower now, it would be a Toro.
 

Mattmotors

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Just a thought, When I talked to the appliance repair man about what the best dishwasher was, he told me the "premier" model just had a fancier face. The mechanicals inside were the same as the cheaper model. Then he said, Just get the one you like; they're all junk.
 

RetireeRon

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Full disclosure: I am a Honda lifer. Worked for the company (auto side) for nearly 30 years. With the exception of two used pickup trucks, I have driven Honda or Acura vehicles exclusively since 1990. My mower is a Honda HRX 217, and my string trimmer is also a Honda.

All that aside, my next mower will not be a Honda due mainly to the poor quality and engineering of my current mower. While I am firmly in the camp that Honda builds the best engines anywhere, they are only as good as the components they are made from and the people who assemble those components.

I bought my mower from a Honda dealer in January 2016 and have it back to the dealer five times for various issues. For my money, that is absolutely unacceptable, especially for a Honda. All four wheel height adjusters have been replaced, the engine suffered a cracked rocker arm, one of the drive sprockets broke, and I don't even remember the other. All this while mowing a tiny, 1/4 acre lot in a subdivision.

Someone else mentioned the mower not pulling backwards. I had the dealer look at that since it was still under warranty at the time, and his response was "it's a known issue, but Honda won't do anything about it". Funny, they issued a service bulletin about it though! So, you the owner have to disassemble the rear wheels, remove the drive gears, clean off the dirty driveshaft, then grease everything in order for the wheels to pull in reverse. Then, 6 months to a year later, you get to do it all over again! Sorry, but that's not the Honda I used to work for.

I'm not sure what my next mower will be, but I'm certain which one it won't be.
 
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