21" honda or toro?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by txnbygod, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. txnbygod

    txnbygod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    it's time for me to invest in a new unit....
    i know what dealer i want to deal with so that's not an issue; he can get me either unit i decide on.
    i'm liking both commercial units, but can't decide.
    toro-- honda engine with the sleeve to help protect the crank if i hit something, no bbc, 1 gallon tank.
    honda-- no sleeve to protect the crank, 1/2 gallon tank, bbc, shaft drive, blah, blah, blah.... $130 cheaper

    i know everyone has their bias' on brands, but does anyone know something helpful to help me?

    i'm buying tomorrow and still trying to figure which one. grrrrr. lol

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    id get the toro, it has a 1/4 inch think cast alluminum deck so it can take a beating and the one gallon fuel tank will prove to be very convenient, i own two snappers but if i had to chose between toro and honda id take a toro hands down.
  3. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    Do a search under "dfw area landscaper" and you will find out about the Hondas. They are probably okay mowers (I have never owned one) but I can tell you that I put my Toro's through a lot and they are still ticking. By a lot I mean that they mowed thousands of properties with no major breakdowns.
  4. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Ive never owned a Honda, but I have had two Toro Proline 21's for nearly six years. I run them all summer and I use them some in the fall for leaves..I use them in the spring to scalp the bermuda. They have been rock solid. No problems, great cut. I dont think you can go wrong with the Toro.
  5. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    I'd recommend the Toro. You get the 1/4" aluminum deck, a really tough deck, plus it won't rust. The one gallon tank sure comes in handy, you don't have to fill up nearly as often. Not having the BBC means you have less parts to go bad. I personally think that the Toro drive system is as good as, if not better than the Honda shaft drive. Plus, with the Toro you essentially get infinitely variable without the need for a hydrostatic tranny. I don't think you can go wrong with the Toro.
  6. txnbygod

    txnbygod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    the toro i am wanting to replace is one of their upper end residential units with the personal pace. i know adjustment is part of the game, but i can't get it to move as fast as it used to.
    are the commercial units prone to the same?

    my toro has taken good care of me and i have been leaning that way from the start... and my dealer is happy selling me either unit, but he is swearing by his hondas. he is making them sound almost "maintance free" and more bang for the buck.
    the idea of a mechanical drive sounds good to me, but can it just be one more thing i have to worry about?
  7. Petr51488

    Petr51488 LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,377

    I just bought a honda commercial and its an awesome machine. THe one thing i don't like about it is that it's a little heavy. I have never used the toro, so i don't know. The ride on the 21'' is veryyyyy smooth. I swear it has a suspension somewhere. It cuts great, the transmission is great, and it bags great (just what i use it for). Like i said, i've used honda's non commercial line too, which is still great, but this commercial lawnmower is heavier than its non commercial.
  8. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Have you ever replaced the belt? The belt does need replacing from time to time. I usually replace it every season. If its been many seasons of hard work for the mower, the pulley on the engine may need replacing, a cheap $10 or so part.

    To address your question more directly, I have never had problems with the top speed slowing down on the commercial mowers.

    Another question, are you actually getting a commercial Honda? From what I have heard, Honda is not going to be making commercial ones any more. If the Honda you are looking at is not actually their commercial series, I wouldn't get it.

    From what I have seen, the mechanical/shaft drive on the Hondas does not pan out to be any more reliable or problem free than the Toro belt drive. Plus, unless you get the hydrostatic transmission on the Honda, you don't have infinitely variable speed.

    If you are getting the hydrostatic trans on the Honda, it's pretty expensive if it goes out.
    I've never had any problems with the trans on the Toro.

    From what I have seen, maintainence will be pretty similar on the two mowers. On both mowers you should have the same air filter/oil/oil filter change requirements. The belts on the Toro really don't need much adjustment, only very occasionally. They really are durable belts.

    On the mechanical drive, gear boxes (like right angles) can have problems too.

    I personally dislike the more complicated nature of the Honda BBC mechanism compared to the Toro BBC. But from what I have heard it works pretty well.
  9. txnbygod

    txnbygod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    yeah pullman, i am looking at commercial units in both brands.

    might i be on the right track if i'm thinking toro with the honda engine? i believe its the same engine honda is using on it's own units. i hear the kai is a good engine of it's own right, but i'm thinking i like the ohv engine
  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    The kawi is a OHV engine.

    I just bought my new proline 21'' about a month and a half ago and it has performed very well. Good amount of power and a very solid unit, heavy at times but you will get used to the weight of it. The honda only comes with a 5.5 hp engine and the trannys apparantly wear out ALOT according to DFW.

    The transmission on the proline is much better compared to the personal pace a much heavier tranny that has definate engagement and pulls the operator along with it. I recommend the toro !

Share This Page