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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Honda or Toro or ???

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums. I'm in north Florida and have St Augustine grass if that helps any. I'm moving into a new home shortly and will need a new mower as I don't currently have one. I have had a Toro Recycler with the personal pace system (2009) and a Honda HRR (2013 or 2014). I will readily admit that I didn't take very good care of the Toro (I never changed anything on it except for the blade) but never had an issue. I gave it away to a family member who needed a mower and then bought the Honda. I got used to the Honda, but initially found it to be painful on my hands and found it much harder to pull backwards compared to the Toro. I thought both did a great job on the lawn and really have no bias towards either. I gave the Honda to my Dad and switched to a lawn service on the old house.

I'm now back in the market. Our new house will have about .25 acre lawn and I'm looking to spend around $400. Based on my research it seems that for that price range, Toro and Honda seem to be popular choices. I am open to other suggestions though if I'm overlooking something. Home Depot has the Honda HRR216K9VKA, Toro 20332, and Toro 20340 in stock at my local store (models 20333, 20334, and 20353 can be ordered online through Home Depot). I don't necessarily care about the blade stop, electric start, etc unless the price is negligible.

With all that said, I'm looking for some guidance/thoughts on a good lawn mower in my price range. I thank you all in advance.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 06:33 AM
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Both make high quality mowers, and since you've had experience with both brands, you may have a better idea of what suits you.

Each of the models you mentioned have some similar features. All with some sort of variable speed drive. Perhaps one of the advantages of the Toros over the Honda you mentioned might be is the ability to side discharge without having to go to any extra expense of purchasing a specific chute to fit the mower that the Honda would require to become a side discharge mower. That's only important if you care about that feature, use it or need it.

I have had a lot of experience with older Hondas, and like the way the handles fit me. I have a Toro personal pace now as well, and as much as I like the mower, the downward angle of the outer edges of the handles begin to hurt my wrists after a bit of use.

Electric start is a neat feature, and I have that on my Toro and on Hondas, but unless you have shoulder problems or just plain don't want to pull on a rope, it isn't necessary and could just be another thing to have to take care of.

Blade brakes are nice because it allows you to step away from the mower and return to it without having to restart the engine. Again, only important if you have reason to stop mowing to pick things up out of the way of the mower or have to empty the bag frequently.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 10:08 AM
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I'd tend to lean toward the Honda, just because I have a bias for Honda engines. Toros are good mowers as well, so you should pick the one you like best. I don't think electric start is worth it on a walk-behind, but having a blade brake is definitely convenient.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input so far
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-27-2016, 02:19 PM
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I'm going to say Toro has been a really good brand for our family so far.... 4 years into the Toro Personal Pace w/electric start Model #20334 sold at Home Depot (currently with a price tag of $374). It's the best one you can buy in that line up... We've each year purchased the briggs tune up kit for about $12 which includes the spark plug, filter, and fuel additive. Sharpen the blades at the local shop for $10 and purchased an extra set 2nd year for swapping out at the first of the season and dropping off blades to pick up at leisure. We've had zero issues out of the push mower and don't expect to. They tout about their 3 yr first pull guaranteed to start warranty. I've seen where some have had trouble with theirs and sure enough they're not going to cover it if it's fuel related.

I've always been a big fan of the Honda engine as well... Just sharing personal experience with you from this end.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 02:22 AM
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from personal i experience i would go with the honda. toro builds a decent quality machine, way better built than mtd or something like that, but i think the engines on honda mowers are better, they cut better, and the ergonomics are better. we have had a honda hrr216 for probably around 6 years, and it always starts first pull every year, but i drain the tank or turn off the fuel valve and run the carburetor dry every year before winter
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like a toss up so far. I do like the potential of the Toro Mow & Stow feature to give me back some more room in my garage, but the Honda quality and consistency between products appears to be better (I could be wrong, just going off of reviews).

Looks like I can get the Honda for $349.99 + tax at Northern Tool ($50 off coupon) which brings the price down lower than most of the Toro models I saw. The downside is getting it from Northern Tool. The don't have much of a return policy with lawn mowers where as HD basically gives you a free 90 days to try something out.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 08:23 AM
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If you have any brand specific dealers in your area, other than the big box stores, perhaps you could check out the mowers you are interested in there. A dealer is going to be more knowledgable about the product that the person who pushes your mower to the door for you at a big box store, will give your mower more attention when it comes in for service or warranty work, and you may actually be able to take a mower for a "test drive" at a dealership.

Every human being has the desire to improve.
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Hondas - HR17PDA, HR17EPA, HR21SX, HRS21SVA, HR214PXA, HR214SXA, HR214SMA, HR215HMA, HRTZ215HDBW1, HS35, HS622TA, F200A, ES6500AS, H4514
Jacobsens - 1949 26" Lawn King, 1960 8" Edge-R-Trim, 1961 18" Turbo Cut,
Toros - 1980 Toro 1132
Other OPE - 1999 MTD 21" walk behind, mid 80s Jari 36" sickle mower


Check out the snowblower forum
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 09:06 AM
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Yep, there's nothing like a dealer for post-purchase support.



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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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There are some dealers in my area, but of course not necessarily as convenient as the big box stores. I will have to check around to see what they have and if they ever run any specials.
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