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View Full Version : 21 inch push mower. Which one?


Harry0
06-25-2004, 06:59 AM
We have been running Snapper 21s with Robbins 4 stroke engines for years. One just bit the dust. Our dealer only sells self propelled (commercial)that are heavy and last time we bought one the self propeller screwed up 3 months after purchase. We have used Lawn -Boy and liked it(light and durable) but they are going out of business. I have heard a lot of guys using Torro but I have found parts availability stinks.-Any input would be great-thanks in advance -Harry

primecutmo
06-25-2004, 08:05 AM
toro owns lawnboy now but the lawnboy deck should stay the same

Yard Perfect
06-25-2004, 08:08 AM
I believe Honda is the only way to go. If you do just basic maintenance, they will last forever.

walter2
06-25-2004, 08:23 AM
lawn boy commercial .i bought one used when i was 19 and mowed 20 lawns went through 4 sets of wheels . it is like Christine it just wont die i bought a new one and gave the old one to my dad he uses it every weekend i am 32 now you do the math

all degree
06-25-2004, 08:35 AM
The best luck I have had believe it or not is with a craftsman. The reason I say that is that you can buy a 21 inch with a 6.5 HP briggs at sears for $169. Thats right $169. Use them for a season or two and salvage parts and buy a new one.

You are going to trash whatever you get so why not trash a mower that is 1/3 of the price.

Trust me on the this one.

Blades of Steel
06-25-2004, 09:22 AM
I here the Exmark 21" is a fine cutting machine....

Rick Jones
06-25-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by all degree
The best luck I have had believe it or not is with a craftsman. The reason I say that is that you can buy a 21 inch with a 6.5 HP briggs at sears for $169. Thats right $169. Use them for a season or two and salvage parts and buy a new one.

You are going to trash whatever you get so why not trash a mower that is 1/3 of the price.

Trust me on the this one.


You could make that same argument about a lot of equipment, but the bottom line is you will be using a piece of junk for a year or two until it breaks, then you have to go out and buy a brand new piece of junk to use for another year. It's a vicious cycle.

straightlinelawns
06-25-2004, 10:49 AM
i have a lawn boy, and it cranks on the first pull every time and it was the first mower i ever purchased when i got started in the landscape business. i cut 20 lawns weekly with it for two years and now i still use it every day for my small accounts. i love them because they are light, simple powerful machines and will last forever.

Camelot Gardens Uk
06-25-2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by Yard Perfect
I believe Honda is the only way to go. If you do just basic maintenance, they will last forever.

It's all we run GVX120 or 536QXE

all degree
06-25-2004, 10:54 AM
Rick I know what your thinking and I am the same way. I always buy top of the line stuff. My first question is usually is there a better model.

Why spend $600 on a push mower when you can spend $169. I use the 21 on two or three backyards a week so its worth it for me. I guess if a 21 is you main mower I would not do it.

txlawnking
06-25-2004, 10:57 AM
Sorry to hear about your snapper problems harry, mine works like a champ.. If you use a 21 all the time I'd get a Honda Hydro, if you want to pony up $1089 for one. If I wouldn't have gotten my snappy, I'd definately have the Honda in my trailer now. And I hear what your sayin about the lawn boy, Ithink every 21 should be 2 stroke, I believe you used to be able to get a snapper with a robin 2- stroke on it, NOW that would be my favorite!!

chief5139
06-25-2004, 11:05 AM
Hey guys whats going on. Just thought I would comment on the comment buy a cheap one and replace it every year. First why would you want to buy something cheap and replace it every year the cost does not add up. the first year its $169. year 2 its $338 the next year its $507. why not buy a $400 mower to where even in the most abuse should last at least 5 years. then you saved your self the hassel of keeping the cheap mower running and $445. (if you did the math to 5 years) just a thought see ya:)

WoodBrothersLC
06-25-2004, 12:15 PM
Of our 3 John Deere 14SB's, we still have one of the originals we got 4 years ago used. It has started to not perform like it used to but during it's time it cut extremely well. Some of our posts in the picture forum have pics of our 14SB's.

Harry0
06-25-2004, 06:43 PM
Thanks for all the replies-this site is Great!-Are the Hondas a heavy push? Our first mowers were Hondas(many years ago) and they were beasts(heavy). Lawn boys are great but the future looks uncertain-still haven't made up my mind-keep on replying-Harry

trying 2b organic
06-25-2004, 08:25 PM
I have a husky self propelled but the back wheels lock up and its not fixable. They just tell me not to go backwards, lol. Now I realize I need a push mower for small lawns with a lot pulling backwards with the mower.
So, dont buy a Husky (not that you would have) and depending on usage consider a push as opossed to self-propelled. I, like you, am now looking for a light, 21 ' push and am deciding between Lawn Boy and Honda. Now I need opinions about whether Lawn boys are still worth buying. I am thinking about the silver series push which one of my employees says is (was?) a great lightweight push for condo's and the like. (contracts with 60 tiny lawns and gates)

mkwl
06-25-2004, 08:30 PM
If you don't want self propelled than get a 21" Bob-Cat trim mower. I have one and it is built really well!!!

txlawnking
06-25-2004, 09:11 PM
I don't think they make em' any more, but I believe Sensation used to make the absolute toughest 21 known to man. It had an extra support bearing directely above the blade and it was an aluminum deck. I think you could get a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke wis- robin on em' Wish I could find one now.

Fareway Lawncare
06-25-2004, 09:15 PM
Suzuki Powered Prolines...I got the Last Three Avail. in Our Area!

Enviro-Nuts Killed the Prolines!

bayfish
06-25-2004, 09:22 PM
I deceided against self propelled this year. We use 21" mowers for parking lot islands and the self propelled are heavier and difficult to pull backwards. I went with the rear discharge craftsman 6.5 hp pusher. It has the tall back wheels with ball bearings. It pushes real easy and is a lot lighter. We also have a Snapper 20" with a 4.5 Briggs. All 4 wheels adjust from the back, light as a feather. Perfect for islands.

Fareway Lawncare
06-25-2004, 09:25 PM
When I have to Buy Another Proline it Will Have to be a 4 Stroke Montrosity...

Will Be MiXing Oil w/the Gas Just For Spite!

bayoulawn
06-25-2004, 09:25 PM
Hey Fareway, what is that contraption on the front of that big proline?

mkwl
06-25-2004, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by txlawnking
I don't think they make em' any more, but I believe Sensation used to make the absolute toughest 21 known to man. It had an extra support bearing directely above the blade and it was an aluminum deck. I think you could get a 2 stroke or a 4 stroke wis- robin on em' Wish I could find one now.

Landscapers Supply makes a mower really similar to the old Sensation mowers.

Tonyr
06-25-2004, 11:35 PM
Hey great thread!

I to am interested, I saw a Toro 21'' er at the dealers a few weeks ago, dunno what engine as I was only browsing waiting for service, but it was self propelled, but not with gears, more a hydro static set up, you seem to push the main handle I think and it slides up and down on the steel frame handle enclosed, hard to explain, sorry.

Anyone know what I'm ranting about?

This mower was recycle and catch, any good?

odin
06-25-2004, 11:39 PM
thats more a homeowner machine tony ....its called personal pace it aint hydro ..it is gears ...from what ive heard it would not hold up commercially .

RedWingsDet
06-25-2004, 11:43 PM
speaking of 21"s, is a Toro 22" Recycler mulcher bagger mower for 350$ a good price?

RedWingsDet
06-25-2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by PremierLandscaping
speaking of 21"s, is a Toro 22" Recycler mulcher bagger mower for 350$ a good price?

heres the link, the dealer is only 20miles from me, and i could use a new 21 to replace the other 21's, i like the honda, but i think the toro might stripe better. idk. and i only really need a 21 to take with me for real tight areas so i only need one 21.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=50376&item=4309376941&tc=photo

tell me if its a good price please. thanks!

Tonyr
06-26-2004, 12:24 AM
Thanks Jack, that is what I needed to know.

Good lookin' mower, big bugger too!

Price was $700 or something which is about $500 your currency.

The Honda's are a lot more for self propelled here, but the guys swear by em. They are apparently more a catch mower, apparently Toro is better at mulching, I prefer to mulch but for the bucks want one great at both....just for the areas I can't get my Z....waddayareckon?

Prayturtle
06-26-2004, 01:39 AM
PremierLandscaping,

The Toro 20017 is $359 at Home Depot here in NJ.

dishboy
06-26-2004, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by Tonyr
Thanks Jack, that is what I needed to know.

Good lookin' mower, big bugger too!

Price was $700 or something which is about $500 your currency.

The Honda's are a lot more for self propelled here, but the guys swear by em. They are apparently more a catch mower, apparently Toro is better at mulching, I prefer to mulch but for the bucks want one great at both....just for the areas I can't get my Z....waddayareckon?


If you remove the inner baffle and plug the air vents between the engine and deck the HRC 216 will mulch like a champ, and out bag the toro anyday.

txlawnking
06-26-2004, 01:42 PM
Odin's right the "personal pace" Toro is a homeowner unit. It varies it's speed by belt slippage, no kidding....

thapco4
06-26-2004, 10:34 PM
Check out the Exmark 21" beforeyou buy it. I just took mine in (3 weeks old) and it appears to have a bad head gasket. Funny that the dealer happens to know that they have been having problems with that after the sell but not before.

According to the vendor they have had several come through with this same problem.

RELIABLELAWNMAN
06-26-2004, 10:52 PM
thapco4,
I am on my second head gasket replacemet. The Kawa 6.5 seems to be very powerful however. I have a Toro with the FC150V with unknown hours on it and it still keeps going. Just had to replace the coil. I am not going to pass judgement on my Exmark just yet. If another head gasket goes, the dealer and I are going to have
a disscussion about it. They did loan me a new Exmark while waiting for the first head gasket to arrive from Kawasaki. They now stock the replacement gaskets.

odin
06-26-2004, 10:58 PM
the exmark is the same mower as the toro ..only one difference exmARK DOES not have the recycler kicker under the mower deck.

Harry0
06-27-2004, 07:27 AM
Well I kind of feel stupid, but happy. Yesterday while changing blades I took another look at my snapper(Robbins engine) I thought had a bad engine. Turns out the blade loosened up and is fine. I think this is my 7th or 8th year with these engines. We have three of these mowers and they won't quit. I will still look into the exmarks though, Thanks for all your replies.-Harry

khutch
06-27-2004, 08:56 AM
I've got the homeowner Toro Personal Pace mower and I am surprised how well it cuts. I needed one right away, hit the Home Depot, figured it had a 1 year commercial warranty, and by golly I was going to give it a go. Had it 4 months, it just may last a year. If it doesn't, I get a new mower. But I have found the performance to be very good. I thinks it's a true TORO. Bags very wee like most TOROs. Cuts about 12 - 15 yards a week. Gotta say some of you might consider as your primary 21".

kedeg
06-27-2004, 11:58 PM
I sell ball three toro's.

21" Kawasaki commercial cast deck ( the suzuki 2 cycle no longer produced)
21" Super recycler cast deck (Briggs engine)
22" recycler steel deck (Tecumseh engine)

ONLY the commercial 21" has a 2yr warranty, all others as stated in the Toro Limited Warranty is 45 days!
Home Depot Doesn't Tell You That.
The Recycler for $359 has plastic wheels, no bushings, half the trans as the $499 Super recycler that has half the trans as a 21" commercial with real rubber tires and balll bearing wheels.
The Home depot recycler is designed for 150 hour durability.
Thought you should know.

Tonyr
06-28-2004, 12:18 AM
Re:
The Home depot recycler is designed for 150 hour durability.

Which model is this?
I thought there were a few personal pace models?
Are you saying all of the personal pace models are very much home owner with very limited life?

I'm looking for a self propelled too, catch, and mulch, and cheaper than a commercial honda....anything out there in a toro?

kedeg
06-28-2004, 12:22 AM
Steel deck mdls 2008, 20017, 20031 (tecumseh engine)
Cast aluminum mdls 20033, 20037, 20038 (briggs and stratton)
Commercial 21 mdl 22040, 22030, and I can't think of the other (Kaw and Honda engines)
Only the Kawasaki is full pressure lube with oil filter.

kedeg
06-28-2004, 12:27 AM
Steel deck prices are : 20017 - $359 US
cast aluminum: 20037 - $499
21 commercial with Kaw: $999

You will find these prices are close.

kedeg
06-28-2004, 12:31 AM
Non commercial engines, ie no oil pump and extended life dual air filter are designed for 25 hours a year for a life of 6-7 years at that usage. Yes I realize everyone knows someone that cut 100 yards a week with a $125.00 cheepie mower for 10 years but majority of the time, they will NOT last. Others will say... I can buy a lot of cheepies for $999.00 but ya got ask yourself how much P.I.A are you willing to put up with. Yes I know...they all cut grass.

txlawnking
06-28-2004, 01:43 AM
Tony, get a commercial Snapper. It will do everything you mentioned (bag, discharge, and mulch) do them well and I got mine with 6hp Kawi for $750 american. Very simple bulletproof drive system. I love mine. Oh yeah, you can get it with a GX series( not the homeowner crap GC overhead cam) 5.5hp HONDA, as well as the Kawi.

Tonyr
06-28-2004, 02:02 AM
Thanks mate!

I wander if we have em down here at the other side of the pond...

I'll see.

Hows the weather in Texas today?

txlawnking
06-28-2004, 02:07 AM
Well today ( Sunday) it was good enough to mow our church's lawn... Unfortunatelly not dry enuff for my own yard tho... I found the mud crossing limit of my Surfer, I wish I had Adobe photo ya'll would get some laughs.. Have a " gooday today mate!" I don't know about Snapper avail there... I'd bet you could get one somehow.

Tonyr
06-28-2004, 02:07 AM
Oh, why I'm looking is, I saw on a web site this morning Hondas, a HRC 216 is $2449 AUD. and a HRU 196 was $899 (Buffalo Classic)

Lot of money for what I want it for which is around pools and non Z areas, but must be self propelled.

the personal pace toro I saw awhile ago was recycle and catch but dunno what engine, looked like a great toy, under $800 too.

better run, half way through servicing the Toro Z. actually it's getting a bath now....just thought I'd share that, LOL!

Tonyr
06-28-2004, 02:09 AM
It is currently just after 4 in the afternoon, 23 degrees, paradise!
Monday that is btw...nearly beer o'clock.

dustin ward
06-28-2004, 02:21 AM
hey whats wrong with the snapper homeowner 5.5 honda ive had mine for about a year and love it,paid 550 new but the next time i get a 21 ill prob go snapper comm or toro

chief5139
06-30-2004, 01:27 PM
if you decide to go for the snapper get the swivel wheels.

fshrdan
06-30-2004, 02:54 PM
Here's my two cents... I just had a Honda Hydro transmission go out on me after only 2 yrs of use and regular pm. The mower cost over 1000 dollars and a new tranny was going to be 400. I went to Wal-Mart, bought the cheapest mower with no self propel, and the guys love it. It's lightweight, so they can get it over walls and steps easily, and they don't miss the self propel feature one bit.

For as little production as a 21" can put out, I'll never spend 1k for a push mover again. I recommend buy cheap and replace as necessary.