21" Trim Mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Whispers, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    I hope this is not considered a thread hijack. Maybe I'm just riding on Whispers coat tails with a similar question.

    When I use a trim mower, it is exactly that, for some trim work. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes and it's back in the truck. I prefer a light weight PUSH mower rather than self propelled. I have the cash and have narrowed to a cheapy Sears at $170 or a Honda HRS216PDA for $349? Both of them weigh between 61 and 63 pounds. I will be the only one running it and I take care of my stuff. These are both residential rated mowers. Will the Honda be any better? Worth basically twice as much?

    Thanks for your advice and comments, and thanks to Whispers for letting me ride his thread.
  2. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    I have a Toro Personal Pace. It runs flawlessly. It's taken a good beating, too.
  3. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    Had a self-propelled version of the HRS and it won't stand up to commercial (ab)use. The transmission failed after a few months and I screwed up the engine with a debris strike (can't really blame the mower). Still I recommend Honda over Sears due to support (getting parts) and it really was a joy to work with for those couple of months, so light and nimble.

    After 10+ years in the industry I have come to the conclusion, that the best 21" mowers are semi-commercial units as they are neither too heavy nor too flimsy. Currently have a Snapper with GXV160 and it's hands down the best 21" for discharge I've ever used. If you bag a lot look at an Ariens Classic LM21 and for mulching check out a Honda HRX.

    As far a commercial units go, most of them are 110-130 lbs. Had a Toro heavy duty 21, not impressed. Have a Husqvarna W21, weighs a ton. Even tried a Honda HRC and don't get what the fuss is about. Heavy, slow and over-engineered ($100 for a tiny drive-shaft, 3 hours to flush the transmission or $400 to replace it), no thanks.
  4. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I am with JK, the Honda is overrated. Having owned one and used more, I cannot stand it.

    Honestly save up and get either an Exmark Commercial 21 or the new Heavy Duty 21 Toro has, the new Toros are tanks!
  5. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Thanks very much for responding to my question.

    My problem is that for my purposes, I prefer a lightweight push type as opposed to a self propelled. I looked at the snapper line and they a have no push type. I think I looked at the Toro line too, but will look again.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience on the subject. Nothing beats feedback from those who have been there and done that.
  6. mjdupuis

    mjdupuis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Snapper does make a push-only version of it's Hi-Vac series of mowers, it's the 2187520.
  7. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,845

    I honestly think if I were to buy a 21" and was going to spend some money on it, I would go with the Toro Heavy Duty, as Church said, they are built like Tanks. I just seen one today in fact. If you are just looking for something to trim around perimeters, and want something light and cheap, as someone mentioned earlier. I also have a Toro Personal Pace, two years old, have yet to have one problem. I do follow maintenance, change filters, sharpen blades, plugs, oil, etc. all on time just as I would a commercial mower, it's yet to let me down.
  8. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Thanks for the Snapper number I missed that when I browsed their site. I just now looked at the specs and it doesn't give the weight. I will research further.

    I do some trimming of some very irregular edges requiring lots of back and for this why I prefer a light weight push mower. I just don't think a self propelled will be ideal for it.

    Thanks again for sharing experience and knowledge.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  9. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    Since I was buying a Snapper not so long ago I'll save you the effort and post the weight figures:

    - "commercial" 21" with GXV160: exactly 100 lbs
    - Hi-Vac Briggs OHV self-propel: 94 lbs
    - Hi-Vac Briggs OHV push: don't know but I'd say 88 lbs is quite accurate

    To be honest I would not get a Snapper without the self-propel. The drive system is very simple and easy to service. If you plan on mulching a lot, get the Ninja version, the deck lip is bent outwards (Hi-Vac has inwards) for better clipping dispersal.

    The only "real push" mower I would ever consider is the HRS. This Honda weighs under 65 lbs and it's deck underside is clean. The self-propelled version has a weak transmission and a clumsy belt baffle which hinders mulching.
  10. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Since I interjected myself into Whispers thread with a question, I feel that I should post my decision in case someone searches in the future.

    I found the Snapper push type weight to be 93 pounds I think. I only need this mower for trimming in some intricate, back and forth places, so a push is what I really want to use. I ended up buying the HRS216PDA. Basically the cheapest mower Honda makes. I was disappointed at first because it was harder to push than I thought it would be, but after looking in the book and finding out that the lowest position is 1", where it was when shipped, I raised it to 1 1/2", the height I normally run my Grasshopper and it made all the difference in the world. Easy to push and balanced for good maneuverability.

    It is smooth, solid and powerful. After research, and calculation, I figured out that the Sears mower I was looking at made 3.75 Horsepower, while this one makes 5.5. It starts very easy and appears to be easily maintained. $350.00 is a bunch of money to pay for a residential 21" push mower, but if it will do the job and not fall apart, I will forget about how much money I paid for it and all will be good.

    Thanks to Whispers for letting me barge in and thanks for the very useful comments and experience sharing.

    Whispers, please post your decision, once you buy a trim mower.

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