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21" mower for 2003

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wacknsack, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. wacknsack

    wacknsack LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 4

    I am trying to decide on which brand of 21" self propelled mower I should use this year. I have been using the Toro 2 cycle 5.5 hp but have not been real impressed with the power when the grass gets thick, or the durability of a few of the drive train parts........I am looking at several models - The Honda 4 cycle, hydrostatic drive(HRC216K1HXA) and Snapper 4 cycle 6 hp (Robin or Honda Engine) 6 speed transmission. I am open to other brands also.....Any suggestions that will help me decide on which way to go????


  2. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    One of the sponsors (Gravely) has a new 21" out. Just click on Gravely up top. Also am not that happy with my Toro.

  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I love my Deere JX75. Bagger goes on and off easily. 4.1 MPH. Also mulches and side dischages.
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    If you think the Toro is gutless in tough mowing, wait till you try a honda. They are much worse than the Toro. Honda will bag great and mulch in light mowing conditions. However, the Hondas are really poor when the mowing gets thick and heavy. They will just die.
    I have JD, JX 75's and love them. Also, the Toro with the Kawasaki 4 cycle is a great mower. That is the same engine they use on the JD, JX75. :)
  5. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    My JD is a bit heavy, but it cuts good and starts.
    My MTD also starts.

    I'd stay away from Lawn Boy.
  6. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I had three John Deere's and a few others. I am sold on the Honda Hydrostatic 216 5.5 HP, The key I have found with the Hondas is when in thick grass or tall grass you have to use the Accelerator Bagger otherwise with the cloth bagger they want to plug up due to lower airflow! Also the Accelerator Bagger allows you to bad when the grass is wet and I think it outperforms the grass gobler and is alot lighter.

    If you mulch more then I would go with the John Deere even though they don't hold up as long as the Honda and they are an aluminum deck vs. steel with the Honda. The John Deere will bag fine most of the time.

    As Far as Engines go the Kawasaki and Honda are a toss up both are excellent and will last forever as far as I am concerned!

    If it were me I would look at a few things

    1. How often do you bag ?
    2. How often do you mulch ?
    3. Do you have to carry your machine up and down steps to access areas such as raised terraces ?
    4. Do you bag when the grass is wet ?

    John Deere JX 85 weighs 112 lbs
    Aluminum Deck, 8"aluminum wheels, gear trans belt drive, and 6 HP Pressure Lube Kawasaki Engine.
    This Machine here sells for around $749

    John Deere JX 75 weighs 97 lbs
    Aluminum Deck, 8" Plastic Wheels, gear trans belt drive, and 6 HP Pressure Lube Kawasaki Engine.
    Sells for around $979 here

    Honda HRC216K1HXA weighs 130lbs
    Steel Deck, 9" Steel Wheels, Hyrostatic Transmission, and a 5.5 HP Honda Pressure Lube Engine.
    Sell for around $1000 here

    These three machines all are buit well but I think overall the Hondas are built the best and bag the best with the Accelerator Bagger. Also the Honda is shaft driven vs. the belts on the John Deere. the John Deeres will mulch better and would probably bag well in wet or long grass with an Accelerator Bagger. But they are cast aluminum and will break down over a little time in a trailer bouncing around and just everyday use, especially on the height adjustments. I have also gone through a few blade clutches on the JD's
    As for others on the market the Exmark accordong to a local dealer is the same machine as the Toro , The Gravely is the same machine as the Ariens Commercial with few changes between the two. As for the Toros I wouldn't buy one either.

    I hope some of these facts, specs and my opinions help you out. Research and buy what you think is best for you ! As for those of you who get all bent out of shape when someone posts their opinions on here deal with it. I use 21" machines 100% of the time due to access and the fact that 65 % of the lawns I have are multi leveled (retaining walls) etc. Therefore I think I have a good idea as to what machines are good and which are not !!! These are only my opinions and to each his own !!!

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    You must have got a dud mower

    Both of my Toro's have been great. I have a 93 2 cycle self propelled that had a new short block installed in 2002...the only thing that's ever had to be replaced in 9 years of cutting.

    I made a point last year to start moving to using 4 cycles and bought a Toro with the Kawasaki - Great machine, good power and nicer to run than that fume spewing 2 cycle.
  8. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    I had the Honda Hydro. But, I couldn't raise it high enough to cut the St. augustine here. A great mower for the right area though. I went with the John Deere. Been a great mower. I have put that mower through a lot and it surprised me. Still does at times.

    hope this helps

  9. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Do you guys have like the side discharge attachment for those JD's? Do they even make them?? Cause we have an 91Murray, and it came with a bagger but we got rid of it and got the side discharge attachment for the back end cause we dont bag alot, less fooling around.
    Im in the market to buy a JD JX75 cause the 85's are no more.
  10. greengrass2003

    greengrass2003 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 19

    How about the ariens LM 21SW. I thas swivel wheels up front. It6 takes a while to get used to using it, but I wouldn't go back to a regular push mower again. if the lawn is small with alot of trees and beds, this is the mower to have. it goes for under 600 dollars.


    The gravely 21" mower is the same as the ariens 21" professional mower only 50 dollars more expensive.


    Robert ONeal

    Quality Grounds Management

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