Best 21" for cutting high, mulching, and for women to handle??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Catmann, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I have read a million posts on 21" mowers here, and I know the only way to decide is to use something yourself, but...

    I need a 21" mower for my home only (not work use). Being in the landscape industry I have problems buying junk, even though I presently use a 10 year old Craftsman 21" mower. The problem is that is cuts horribly at 3" or more, not enough suction to raise the grass.

    So, I need a new one. Local dealer has Snapper (res. and commercial), White, Cub Cadet, LawnBoy, and Troy Built on the floor. They sell Exmark, so I could order one I suppose. Another dealer about 30 min away has Toro and Honda, and yet another has the JD's, so all are options.

    The thing I need most is a good cut at high heights and the ability to mulch well in high or wet conditions. I only bag on occassion and I can deal with smaller bags or less than optimal bagging.

    BUT, beyond that my wife has to be able to handle the thing easily. We had a Honda Harmony a few years ago and she could not handle the thick handlebar area - it hurt her small hands. The lawn is 9,200 sqft and hilly. Front wheel drive is actually nice since you can keep it going and just lift up the front when turning and never have to re-engage the drive, but rear-wheel seems all that is available outside of Sears mowers anymore.

    So, anyone have feedback on ease of use for small hands/people on hills and still good cutting. LawnBoys are out since she hates the wheel offset on them (I am married and this is not an agrument I care to engage in - so no LawnBoy) I saw the Snapper HiVac's yesterday and they look nice, but are really heavy. I do not like the way the bag shuts with a clip either, but if it get the job done. The drive on them is a funny little stub of an engagement lever - I am not sure if small hands will have trouble holding that. The Cub and White are identical mowers and the lever you hold to engage the drive seems like it would break easy.

    I have not seen the Toro or Exmark up close yet. Ok, ready for any input. Thanks!!!!!!!
  2. Tx Firefighter

    Tx Firefighter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    My wife loves my Snapper 21. No problems with her and the controls.
  3. redbull

    redbull LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    check out the new Toro steel decks (homeowner, but not cra*) will much, bag, side discarge. you can get with the variable speed PERSONAL PASE s/p & elec. start. 2 year warranty, 6.5 h - take a look
  4. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Does the personal pace system really work?? I always felt that it may be more gimmick than helpful, but I have never tried one (yet). If it did work I think that may be easiest for my wife. Too many levers and grips and stuff and she hates it or she cannot use it.
  5. redbull

    redbull LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Personal Pase works GREAT - be aware though that there is a difference in the transmissions between steel & cast deck units. Steel deck is not greaseable - cast deck is. Cast deck tranny a little "beefer". BUT there is also a large $$ difference in the two. For the average homeowner the steel deck would be perfect.
  6. Catmann

    Catmann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Well, I am not really on a budget per se, so longevity is important too. I was just looking (online) at the Metro 21. That looks like a nice mower too. I am not sure if everyone rates their mowers with tip speeds, but at 204+ mph, that should give a good cut!

    But, I cannot tell how the controls are ergonomically from the picture - I guess I have to drive and look at them both in person. Thanks for your help!
  7. creativedan

    creativedan LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 54

    Toro personal pace is the best push mower i have ever had
  8. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    We have a commercial Honda and I have no problem with it at all, I doubt your wife has smaller hands than me (size 4 1/2 wedding ring). I'm not familiar with the controls on the Harmony model to know if they are the same as the commercial we run.

    I can tell you that the commercial Honda is not junk and has a very long life. Easy bag to empty, great suction. Good on hills. It is a heavy mower, but if I can handle it, she can.
  9. deere ZTR

    deere ZTR LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 84

    Snapper has a 21" bagger self prop. that you can get electric start on and the option of a set of dolly wheels in the front but you can still lock them straight to if you want. Nice set up specialy since its electric start since its for your wife and all.
  10. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I love my Honda HRC215SXA's, but I do notice that the cut does not always look so great at 3". I tend to want to maintain bermuda at 2.5" and try to always keep fescue at 3". It may be that sometimes the blades are not as sharp or are worn at the outer ends or maybe the grass is too thin. Usually does a great job, but have noticed problems with taller grass - I'm thinking it is mainly with really thin grass. I would think anyone could handle the HRC215SXA since it is self-propelled.

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