View Full Version : need expert opinion on 21"

10-29-2004, 03:53 PM
I'm new but want your guys' experienced opinions. In the Just Starting forum, I think I'm getting other ameteurs' opinions. Anyways, I'm doing only small yards, and have given up on finding a good/cheap 33 or 36 incher. I just want to get a couple of 21"ers. My first/main question is about Toro mowers. I know the proline is supreme, but I've been looking at super recyclers. The super recyclers from home depot are completely different from the super recyclers at my dealer. Why is that? The dealers models are better built and about $500. Are these "commercial" quality? I plan to get about 25 accounts. I also wanted your opinions on the John Deere 21" mowers. They have a few types, in particular I saw the JA65. I'm just confused with all these choices. I want a mower that is fast, does a good job, and can hold up with 25 yards a week. I've read about the proline and exmark and honda top of the line commercials, but I'd like to find a cheaper alternative. I only have about $2000 max to spend on mowers. Thanks. I just thought I could trust you guys rather than the Ahole dealer I talked to today. He acted like I was a waste of time because I was young.
If you don't want to answer all of that, you can tell me which set up you think would be the best bet:
1. A commercial Snapper ($800) and a back up silver series lawnboy push ($300)
2. Toro proline ($950) and a the backup lawnboy push ($300)
3. 2 Toro Super Recyclers w/ 6 hp gts engine ($500 each)
4. 2 John Deere ja65 ($500 each)
5. a herd of genetically engineered supercows

Thankyou veerrry much
p.s. please only reply if you have actual experience with these mowers

10-29-2004, 05:11 PM
Hey- I started out mowing with my old John Deere walk behind. It needed replacing (it was 10 years old) I decided to buy another JD. Boy, what a mistake. I bought the nice one with front caster wheels. Paid around $650 with bagger. It has been constant trouble. I finally gave up and bought the top of the line commercial Honda. I can't say enough about the quality difference. Just look at the handles etc. I know it was expensive-$1200 but I wouldn't buy anything from JD again. But I love my JD ztr. By the way, I only use a walker for around 1 hr per week. So the deere just didn't cut it. Good luck.

10-29-2004, 05:40 PM
No offense, but reading your posts of late, you seem to be hastily changing your mind on things. I just remember reading about your questions on the Sutech, and any 36" mower, now you are totally against that. I just think you are very excited (as I was) when getting ready to get started. I think what may be a good place to start, is to line up some jobs. Once you have an idea on the size of the lawns you will be doing, you can better decide which size mower to go towards. It would make a lot more sense to get a good used 36" mower over any new 21" if the lawns are a bit larger.

Back to your question though, I think it is a good idea to have a back up mower, but just starting out, probably not necessary to get both of the top of the line quality. SO I would go with something like a commercial Toro. If you ever run into a problem, you can always go and run and get a home owner grade one from Home Depot when that situation arises if you want, or buy one to have with on hand.

I started, and have worked my whole first year with a home owner 21" toro, without one single problem. I anticipated having problems with it, but it has been a great investment. By spending so little on starting out, I have been able to 1) save a great deal more money 2) know what I would look for in a larger mower 3) gotten experience to decide whether I want to continue doing this kind of work 4) already have a back up mower for when I do upgrade

sorry to stray from your question, but you sounded a lot like me just last year. Try and learn to be patient in your purchases, and give them time to soak in. A lot of times a deal that seems too good to be true, usually is. Always sleep on a big decision, and think it through again in the morning. I'd probably go towards a commercial Toro if you're going with a 21" to start.

Another thought, if you plan on starting in the spring, a lot of dealers have end of year specials, as well as begining of year open houses where they try to get rid of a lot of equipment at discounts, so it may be worth while to look into those in your area.

good luck with whatever you decide, and keep us all informed!

10-29-2004, 05:40 PM
The Toro Proline model is their commerical model and what level you will want. The Toro SR with 6,5 GTS engine is a homeowner model and wouldn't hold up for 25 lawns a week. At $2K you should be able to find a 32" or 36" Belt Drive WB though. Good luck.

10-29-2004, 05:41 PM
Lawn Boy is actually made by Toro. I have owned six Lawn Boys and love em. $300.00

10-29-2004, 05:58 PM
I have used snapper and toro residential mowers. The problems that you are going to have with the toro residential is mostly the wheels and axles. If you havent noticed on the residentials the wheels are plastic and how they are attached is plastic too. I had a lot of problems with wheels coming loose and even axles falling off. They do not stay on there levels also. The engines on residentials are not made for significant amounts of stress and you will run into a lot more problems. I think your best bet is to get either a used proline I just bought one for $200.00 from the paper just keep your eyes open for deals. Also talk dealers down ask them if they will give you a deal. Make it sound like you have a lot of other places that you can go too make them compete for your business. Or get a new proline with a back up residential toro. If you get a new proline I think you can hold off on getting a back up mower for awhile. You have to think about if you get a residential mower you will have more problems and a lot more downtime. And everybody knows that downtime is the worst.

10-30-2004, 12:51 AM
yeah, i think the proline is my number one choice. I also am liking the lawnboy commercial. It's a bit slower than the proline, but 300 bucks cheaper. Anybody know the groundspeed for the snapper commercial?

Fareway Lawncare
10-30-2004, 01:05 AM
Proline Suzuki...or Kaw. if you Can't Find a Suzuki...

Just bought Metro 21"s w/Kaw's & When you Switch to the Suzuki's it's Like Moving a Feather....Kaw has Nice Torque though...

Stay Away from Anything you can Buy @ Home Depot & Life Will Be Good !

Yard Perfect
10-30-2004, 01:24 AM
I would run as fast as I could from a commercial 21" John Deere. Weekly costly maintenance is an understatement. I do about 80 lawns a week and have had no break downs in two years with my Honda 21"s. If you don't buy a commercial quality, expect to pay big time down the road.

10-30-2004, 01:50 AM
I haven't been in the market for a 21" for several years. I bought a JD 14sx commercial 21" about 10 years ago and it is still going strong.
Are you planning on getting a model with a blade-brake clutch? It's a feature I would recommend on a 21",especially since this will be your primary mower.However,this will increase the price, as you probably know.
I saw another thread on 21's not long ago. It seems other members were speaking very highly of the Snapper commercials.Might want to check em' out.

desert rose gardening
10-30-2004, 02:55 AM
I have had Snapper, Lawnboy, Toro. My story go's like this. My Snapper I went through transmissions a lot and where I live I have to bag a lot, the grass would get hung up in that black tube betwen the deck and bag. That ment stoping and uncloging it and that suck's. the lawnboy was good but to get part's I had to order and wait a week or so. The Toro Proline is by far the best out of the three in my opinion

10-30-2004, 03:58 AM
I own a toro proline and a super recycler.

I actually like the super recycler better because it is lighter than the proline and cuts better in the wet.

who cares if I have to replace it every two years. for the price it's a great little mower.

especially in your situation, when you don't have that many accounts, I would not through so much money in to a 21" this early on. I would get the super recycler and use the $$$ you save to buy a better blower or line trimmer. who knows, in a year or two you may not even be using a 21" anymore. than what are you left with? a $1,000 mower that you don't use.

10-30-2004, 03:59 AM
double post.....

10-30-2004, 04:05 AM
[QUOTE=1brilord]I have used snapper and toro residential mowers. The problems that you are going to have with the toro residential is mostly the wheels and axles. If you havent noticed on the residentials the wheels are plastic and how they are attached is plastic too. I had a lot of problems with wheels coming loose and even axles falling off. They do not stay on there levels also. The engines on residentials are not made for significant amounts of stress and you will run into a lot more problems.

you know that the metal proline wheels fit on the super recycler right? and keeping front end of the mower 1/2" higher than the back (ie. front on E and back on D) really saves wear on the engine. I've gone through 1.5' of grass without any noticeable strain

10-30-2004, 05:47 AM
Go with the Proline. I burned up a residential toro and a Cub Cadet RB 600 before I bought the proline. Yeah, it's a bit more money but they are well worth the investment. Also, get the suzuki 2 stroke if its feasible.

10-30-2004, 10:07 AM
Hang in there for the new Honda HRC 216 with a new deck that will make it mulch. The Hydrostat tranny gets around the design flaw that comes with the proline. 3rd gear is to fast at 3600 and and 2nd is to slow. Another benifit is the two blade design and large shute opening much more productive in wet grass and better at pulverizing leaves [that actually stay under the deck instead of shoot out the side ala proline]when mulching. Additional benefit a tall handlebar, have you tried mowing with a proline with the rear wheels set on the third setting or lower, what a backache!.