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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a lazy researcher. There, I said it. Having said it I am asking you guys about either getting a Toro or Honda self propelled mower. I've heard there are good and bad models. Trouble is I am not positive it's true but what I did hear and read has an element of truth. I've heard that both names have had some fairly serious transmission problems. Are there "consumer" models and " pro" models in these brands? I like the idea ofHonda's two blades but do they work? Are they a pain? Will either of them do more than just cut grass? Are there other brands to consider?
 

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Buy an Ariens..



They use a Friction drive transmission with no gears.. They never break.. The friction discs last decades before needing to be replaced..

I have owned one for about 2 years now and Love it.. It is the best machine I've ever owned..

It also mulches exceptionally well.. And It's cheaper than a good Honda or a Professional Toro..

-Stan
 

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I agree with Capstan on the Ariens. They seem to be good, heavy mowers at a much lower price than a commercial Honda or Toro.
 

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Honda and Toro mowers consistently rank in the Consumer Report's top five.

Both manufacturers offer consumer and commercial grade mowers. Commercial mowers will have commercial grade engines and their other features, such as wheel adjusters and handles, will be beefier in design than consumer grade mower, but all of that will come with a cost in overall weight and dollars, as the commercial models of either brand I've looked at tops the $1,000.00 mark.

What sort of features are you looking for in a mower? Do you want it to mulch, bag, discharge, or some combination of those options? Do you want a self propelled model or push? Steel, aluminum or composite deck material? I believe both manufactures offer a number of options in those areas.

From experience I can tell you that the twin blade design offered by Honda is an excellent system.

Honda's HRX series of mowers receive high marks. One of our members here, "lawn mower fanatic", uses one for his mowing service and is very satisfied with it. Hopefully he'll chime in with his two cents worth. I believe that if I were in the market for a new mower I would definitely look at an HRX.
 

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Lawn Mower Fanatic here:

Yes, I use my Honda HRX217HYA for my business, and am very happy with it as I told you (micah68kj) on another forum. In the peak of the mowing season I mow 25+ lawns a week with it, and it has never let me down. By now it probably has +/- 700 hours on it. One of the many things I like about it is that it has the Clip Director, so there is no need for a mulch plug; you just turn a knob. Another great feature is the BBC so you can stop the blades and still have the engine running. And talking about the blades, the Twin Blades are great at mulching, and it is great at mowing damp grass....I start mowing at 7:30AM, and it does great. I would definitely consider this mower if you can afford it...it's worth every penny.
:ThumbUp:
 

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...Are there "consumer" models and " pro" models in these brands?...
For Honda, yes there are. There are 4 types, which include these models:

HRS: No frills mower, bottom of the line, but still a decent mower. Side discharge or mulch.
-HRS216PDA (push)
-HRS216SDA (single speed self-propelled)
Honda Lawn Mowers - HRX HRR HRC HRS Mowers

HRR: Residential line, can mulch, bag, or rear discharge--good mower.
-HRR216PKA (push)
-HRR216VKA (Smart Drive)
-HRR216VLA (Smart Drive, electric start)
-HRR216VYA (Smart Drive, Roto-Stop)
Honda Lawn Mowers - HRX HRR HRC HRS Mowers

HRX: Better deck, features, drive system on some. Premium residential. GREAT mower!
-HRX217VKA (Smart Drive)
-HRX217VLA (Smart Drive, electric start)
-HRX217HYA (hydrostatic cruise control)**
-HRX217HZA (hydrostatic cruise control, electric start)
Honda Lawn Mowers - HRX HRR HRC HRS Mowers

HRC: Commercial quality
-HRC216PDA (push)
-HRC216PDA (hydrostatic cruise control)
Honda Lawn Mowers - HRX HRR HRC HRS Mowers

**I have this one

Hope this helps. :2th:
 

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:ditto: Honda mowers are very high quality and you won't be disappointed in them. I use an HRC216 and I love it! You can't go wrong with Honda.:2th:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lawn Mower Fanatic here:

Yes, I use my Honda HRX217HYA for my business, and am very happy with it as I told you (micah68kj) on another forum. In the peak of the mowing season I mow 25+ lawns a week with it, and it has never let me down. By now it probably has +/- 700 hours on it. One of the many things I like about it is that it has the Clip Director, so there is no need for a mulch plug; you just turn a knob. Another great feature is the BBC so you can stop the blades and still have the engine running. And talking about the blades, the Twin Blades are great at mulching, and it is great at mowing damp grass....I start mowing at 7:30AM, and it does great. I would definitely consider this mower if you can afford it...it's worth every penny.
:ThumbUp:
I see where you sent me the info just now. Thanks. It's early still and my idea is to find a very nice self propelled mower on craigslist. I have bought a large number of items from c'list and have been very pleased so far. Now my idea is to hear from the real world ( forum members) and get the input I have the most faith in, and that's you forum members.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Buy an Ariens..



They use a Friction drive transmission with no gears.. They never break.. The friction discs last decades before needing to be replaced..

-Stan
This friction drive setup, is it similar to the friction drive on snowblowers?
 

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XMark does make Push Mowers, they are basically beafed up versions of the older Toro style Aluminum deck with now a Kawasaki or Honda engine on them (Used to have Suzuki 2 Cycles on them.. Gurrr)

They also have a slightly beafed up Toro transmission I think..

They are absolute tanks.. Not bad machines, But I think that one is a bit overpriced..

-Stan
 

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This friction drive setup, is it similar to the friction drive on snowblowers?
Yes!

In fact, The discs are interchangeable between the 21 LM (Ariens Mower) and most Ariens Snowblower models..

Heck, I have a 1974 Ariens With a friction drive still running the original disc.. And Still making strong power with no slippage..

As I have said, If you buy an Ariens you won't go wrong.. If you buy one with the Swivel wheels You will go even less wrong..

Only Issue I have ever had with my Ariens mower is that they give you no place to put the little wrench they provide for removing the plug over the discharge cover and attaching the side discharge chute as well as removing the wheel and handle bolts..

So I drilled a hole the same size as the transmission cover thumbscrew and simply put it behind the thumbscrew and that's that..

-Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
XMark does make Push Mowers, they are basically beafed up versions of the older Toro style
They are absolute tanks.. Not bad machines, But I think that one is a bit overpriced..

-Stan
How much would you offer on this mower, Stan? He's "taking offers".
Not that I'm going to get it. Just figuring prices and exploring all all oltions.
I don't want to be searching in spring when all the prices shoot up.
 

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How does the drive system of the Ariens compare to the one used on Snappers?
The snapper drive system, Is similar to the Ariens Drive system.. But Not nearly as well made.. I have actually seen where the aluminum center drive disc became so worn down it snapped off of the center shaft.. So the quality of the Snapper mowers is nowhere near the Quality of the Ariens machines..

Another benefit of the Ariens friction setup over the Snapper setup is you have infinite speed control on the Ariens by simply sliding the speed leaver to your desired speed and engaging the handle control.. On the snapper you Must put the speed leaver into very distinct "Gears" For different speeds.. The reason for this is there are only certain positions in which the snapper transmission can make enough torque to push the machine.. Because of these requirements, There aren't very many speeds you can use on the snapper (8 I believe.. Or 9 Including reverse on some models) versus the infinite driving speeds on the Ariens.. all of which providing enough torque to propel the mower amply.

micah68kj said:
How much would you offer on this mower, Stan? He's "taking offers".
Not that I'm going to get it. Just figuring prices and exploring all all oltions.
I don't want to be searching in spring when all the prices shoot up.
Perhaps $350?

-Stan
 

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Wasn't looking fora mower but just now stumbled on to this. Anybody familiar with Exmark? I know they make a heckuva good zero turn product but wasn't aware of push mowers.
Yeah $350 might be a good price. That Exmark mower looks nice...it will last a long time. The extra large gas tank is a plus.
 
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