View Full Version : 21" Mower

Grass King
01-16-2004, 03:12 PM
Newbie to Lawn Care. I,m in the market of buying a 21" Commercial push mower. From the opinions of the professional, which is the best. Money is no object.

ps: Did a search, didn't find a good answer.


Brian Taylor
01-16-2004, 03:22 PM
Take a look at a Honda 216 with a hydrostatic transmission. The mower is heavy and runs about 1000 bucks but has a great cut and you can't find a better engine for a 21 incher than a Honda. The clutch for the blade is nice also. We have other 21 inch mowers but when the rare occasion that we have to get off of the Z to do a backyard the Honda makes the chore a little easier.

01-16-2004, 03:25 PM
Hey grass king.
I am in the same boat.
Just for some background, I use only a 21" mower, so I had to look into what I could afford right now, and use until I can move up.
I did some searching, and found a deal on a Toro. Unfortunately, it is not commercial grade, but a big step up of what I was using.
I will see how it treats me this season.
Looking forward to using it.
I picked up the Toro recycler 20016 for $150, so I really wouldn't be losing much if I get a year out of it.
I am still very small, with less than 10 yards per week, but learning as I go.

Ok, so up until now, I have not been much help, sorry...

Going for a commercial 21" was hard for me to justify. i will go commercial grade when I move up to a 32" or 36", but for 21", I figure I'll use it until it goes, then replace for cheaper than buying a commercial grade one. I know commercial grade will outlast, but I had to weigh the duration I planned on using it, versus the cost, versus the budget.

Rustic Goat
01-16-2004, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by Grass King Money is no object.


I'll ditto the Honda, Toro is truly a good mower also.

Don't know what keywords you used in searching, there are almost as many threads on 21" mowers as there are "How do you sharpen blade" threads.

Grass King
01-16-2004, 03:45 PM
Rustic Goat,

I know their are a lot of post on the 21" mowers. But who has the time to read all the 30,000 post when I should be doing my work at my full time job. I only do lawn care part time, but hope to do it full time in the spring.

01-16-2004, 04:03 PM
Honda or the eXmark metro 21"

01-16-2004, 04:03 PM
Last Sept. I bought a Honda HRC216HXA 21" mower. Its' 5.5 hp, bbc, and hydro trans. It starts easy, plenty of hp., smooth transmission, ball bearing aluminum wheels, heavy steel deck that you can bag with or mulch.Yes it is a heavy mower 126lbs. but I don't pick it up.

I bought the mulch kit which comes with a deck plug and a second blade that you put above the origional blade.

The mower mulches grass great and I have used to to mulch leaves several times.
Yes, it is expensive at $1,000. but you get what you pay for and this is a great mower.
Would I buy one again?...in a heartbeat.

Fareway Lawncare
01-16-2004, 04:25 PM
Honda is too heavy IMO & doesn't mulch nearly as well as a Toro Proline or bag as well as a Lawnboy w/side bag.

I would stick w/2 stroke engines on the 21"'s while they are still avail..

01-16-2004, 04:40 PM
If money is no object why not go ahead and buy a 36" or 48" Commercial walkbehind, and be more productive

Grass King
01-16-2004, 04:51 PM
Have a 61" Turf Tiger and 36" Lesco walkbehind, Need 21" for gated back yards.

01-16-2004, 04:54 PM
I'll second the Lawnboy: Aluminum deck, 6.5 HP Dura force engine 2-cycle with mulching kit. You can't go wrong.

01-16-2004, 05:03 PM
you always need a trim mower, but cant you get the 36" through the gates

01-16-2004, 05:55 PM
My opinion if money is no object..... Go with a good craftsman with honda engine.

No seriously 250.00 max.

No seriously.

Then go out and buy a nice 36" walk behind and sulky, velky or proslide. Trust me I wish I had gone this way.

I do have a very nice 21" Honda 216 with a hydrostatic transmission and the mulch kit. Yes it does a very good job. Yes it mulches and yes it costs 1000.00. Take the 750.00 after buying a nice cheap 21" mower and use it on a 36" hydro with velky. Trust me You won't use the 21 enough to justify the expense of a commercial mower. It will most likely last 4-5 years because you will hardly use it. You will use your 36" hydro though.

Now if money is no object! Buy the honda or exmark or toro 21 and a walkbehind commercial mower.

That is my take on my purchases over the last few years and how to get it done well spending less on equiptment that you hardly use.

Let it Grow
01-16-2004, 06:57 PM
I bought two new Honda commercial mowers last spring, two things went wrong with them. 1) The throttle linkage needed oiling, and 2) The air cleaner got dirty.
They both start on the first pull, and run and cut great.

Go with Honda.

01-16-2004, 07:07 PM
Honda just released a kinda new range over here. See pic! Its an aluminim body, 3 speed shaft driven, 4 blades and the commercial GXV160 5.5hp motor.

Good thing about this it that its mostly Commercial grade but without the weight of the Hydro version. Plenty of power I can tells ya!

01-16-2004, 07:12 PM
Since money is no object I have a John Deere 21 with a 6.5 horse B&S with maybe 2 hours on it that I will sell to you for $5,000.00.

01-16-2004, 07:16 PM
Its brand new and I gave it a try on my own lawn to see how it would go...... It had been raining heavilly for a couple of days so the ground was saturated, I cut it 1.5" approx "lower" than I usually mow it on the rider and it was even raining when I did it. I really wanted to test it. Bogged down a bit twice but it was cutting up to 4" in places. Never stalled. The 3 speed is excellent pace wise. I'm more than happy!

This pic might give you an idea!

Cut 2 Please
01-16-2004, 07:30 PM
I just bought a 21" Snapper Hi-Vac Commercial wb with the Kawasaki engine. The power is awesome and it cuts and mulches great. I believe retail is around $850. I paid $650 for mine because the dealer was needing to move it for the end of the year.

Rick Jones
01-16-2004, 08:14 PM
Exmark Metro 21" or Toro ProLine 21". They are nearly identical and are about the best 21" mowers out there. Maybe you can still find one with the 2-stroke Suzuki motor, but if not, the Kawasaki 4-stroke is still a great engine.

01-16-2004, 08:33 PM
Exmark Metro 21" or Toro ProLine 21". They are nearly identical and are about the best 21" mowers out there

i agree and they take and licking and keep on ticking ...they ever brake down....excellent cut...and no 21 can mulch with the toro proline.

01-16-2004, 08:33 PM
I use 21 inch mowers to get into backyards that are gated. Most of the gated backyards I work for have gates too small to get a 36 into. I'm not sure I could get a 32 into some of them. And over decks, through small paths, etc.

I have used a few different 21 inchers over the years. Started out mowing with crapsman mowers. I went through like 8 of them. Crappy wheel design, the bolts on the wheels kept breaking at the decks. But, I always bought that service plan and Sears had to replace them for me. Of course, by the time I got to #8 I was so fed up with 'em I couldn't stand them anymore. Also used a Lawn Boy mower that you couldn't kill, but that damned offset wheel set up really pissed me off and was too hard to deal with, imo.

For the past 4 years or so I've had cub cadet 21 inch mowers, PR521 I think. Very solid mower, good wheels, hard working things. They are light, easy to move/throw around, etc. I've never had a self propelled version of any 21 incher. Usually they are so light it's not a chore to push them. And for me it's not the pushing that I hate, it's the fact that I only get 21 inches per stripe and it takes forever.

Personally, I would rather spend less and burn the thing out and have to buy a new one than spend more on a commercial version. I'm sure it all equals out in the end, I just can't see spending a big chunk of money on a push mower.


01-16-2004, 08:40 PM
I've always used JD 21"mowers. However last year they discountiued their commercial 21" JX85. I did see a brand new one on eBay last month. I'm using a JD JX75. Its close to the JX85. The only feature that I don't like about the Honda's is the cutting heigth is only 3". Most of my lawns that I trim with a 21"er are at 3.5".

01-16-2004, 08:47 PM
I have owned two suzuki 2 cycle toro 21 commercials. Cut pretty, but for me the handlebar was to low and the discharge chute to small. Tall wet grass plugged frequently.
I now have two Honda commercials, with 12 and 10 years on them. Only repairs have been cables, tires two wheels one 5.00 dollar top crank seal. They still start and run great and never had a hydro repair. I would buy the Honda, its more productive and its more reliable.

01-17-2004, 11:41 AM
toro,exmark 21's are almost bullet proof, last for ever, easy to use

01-19-2004, 10:57 PM
s quick as the cheapies. For 21's and the amount we use them i run the 3.5 hp wal-mart specials for $99.

01-19-2004, 10:58 PM
Ok ....i dont get this. My last post was about 6 lines...Where did the rest of it go?

01-20-2004, 10:26 AM
We hardly use 21" mowers to mow so when we do we use the Toro or Honda residential mowers with bagger.They cost between $300 -$600. Alot cheaper then the comm mowers,which are $1000 and up.
These cheaper mowers will last us 2-3 seasons with minimal down time.In my opinion they pay for themselves.When they die we just replace them with another one.

01-20-2004, 11:26 AM
Go with a John Deere JX-75 or 85 if you can find one. They are less than 1000.00 if you get a 75 order the deck edge guards, oil filter kit then the only difference are the wheel and height adjuster

Critical Care
01-20-2004, 11:48 PM
Well... after using different mowers I ended up with the commercial grade Honda. It's reliable, tough, and heavy. I haven't tried the John Deere JX-75 or 85 but heard good things about them as well. I think they have five speeds and top out a bit faster than the Honda. Nice way to burn some calories.

01-20-2004, 11:53 PM
Originally posted by Grass King
Newbie to Lawn Care. I,m in the market of buying a 21" Commercial push mower. From the opinions of the professional, which is the best. Money is no object.

If money isn't an object.... Get a lazer........

If the money is more of an object, I would buy a honda.....

01-20-2004, 11:54 PM
Newbie to Lawn Care. I,m in the market of buying a 21" Commercial push mower. From the opinions of the professional, which is the best. Money is no object.


SUPERIOR Lawn Design
02-04-2004, 01:33 AM
The best 21" in my opinion would be the aluminum deck self propelled Toro Recycler... Light, fast and tough... No need to bag clippings...