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I've been looking for a new 21" mower for a while,I currently have a Toro Personal Pace that is about 5 years old and still works,I've replaced wheels,cables,belt and had the handle welded,it's olny going to last so much longer.Several of my accounts have fairly steep hills and inclines,I know I can use a string trimmer but the 21" is faster and looks better.I thought about a Toro Commercial HD or even a Gravely Commercial 21",both machines weigh over 120 lbs.,the Personal Pace weighs about 90 lbs.I know Toro makes the PT 21,an upgraded Personal Pace with steel wheels,Kawasaki engine and heavy duty handle and weighs about 90 lbs.,theres also a hill kit(I'm not sure what that is).I used an Exmark 36" belt drive for a while but didn't care for it.Any suggestions?Thanks.
 

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Around here i see 2 cycle Lawnboy Mowers being lowered on ropes for steep hills I plan on hitting the yard sales and picking some up since I just read that the inbreds that be made them illegal to manufacture.
 

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Nothing beats a 2 cycle for hills, no oil starvation to worry about, and they are lighter. That said, they are hard to come by now, and often require rebuilding because they were used to death. If you go with a 4 cycle and the hills are steep then you have to consider buying an engine with an oil pump. However, if you got 5 years out of a personal pace, then the hills may not be so steep that the splash lube system can't keep up.
The best 21 I ever had was a Toro with a 2 cycle engine. I used it for nearly 20 years, rebuilt the engine twice and repalced deck and other parts over those years. As I remember it weighed about 80 pounds. Lately, I've owned Honda commercial mowers, good and solid but about 125 pounds; the Toro 21" commercials I've owned are about the same weight and are solid as well. In my opinion the Toro is a better mulcher than the Honda. I demo'ed a Gravely and didn't like it. I tried the beefed up homeowner models, Toro and Honda, and wasn't happy, too much to keep in repair. I picked up a lightly used Snapper commercial this year. at $600, and it is about 90 pounds, bags as well as the Hondas, doesn't mulch to my satisfaction, and is fine for hills so long as you don't try to go across the hill. It has a differential that sends power to the upside wheel. I'm told the Snappers require regular maintenance and replacement of small parts, don't know, yet. Lawn Boy has a new item that I haven't been able to demo, yet. I looked at it and the drive system looks a little questionable to me.
 

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Definetly front wheel drive I would say, rear wheel drive lifts the front end up on hills.
 

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Definetly front wheel drive I would say, rear wheel drive lifts the front end up on hills.
I don't know I have use a rear wheel drive before and it was nothing compared to my hondas, which seem to go up hills great IMO
 

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Definetly front wheel drive I would say, rear wheel drive lifts the front end up on hills.
Sorry, I think this advice is wrong -- no offense. If working from the bottom of a slope, the weight will be shifted to the rear wheels. With less weight on the front wheels, they will not have enough traction to do any good.

Rear wheel drive, ... better choice.

Maybe you have a unique way of using a hand mower with front-wheeled drive that you can share with us.
 

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I use my honda HR214 for hills and its wonderful. It has rear wheel drive and goes right up some of these hills that are about 45 degrees and are very difficult. This seems to work for me and the honda is 22 years old and runs great! Can't kill em'. (Though I hope after saying this it will start tomorrow.) Haha....Go rear wheel and possibly honda if you like them. 2 cycles arent bad though. light easy to use....Get rear wheel though, you will need that traction!
 

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Lawnboys are great for weight, the new commercial is 85 lbs, and is powered by a Honda, with a oil pump for hills. I have a collection of older 2 cycle lawnboys, as I live in a hilly area, and love them for the hills. Front drive is great for flats, need rear wheel drive for hills.
 

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I have been using a Murry Select 22" with a 6hp brigs on it for about 4 or 5 years now.. just for hills and small backyards.. it cuts great.. its not self propelled but who cares its less then 50lbs!! i think i paid 200 for it.. Shes my baby, always comes threw
 

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Northman, ... yes, I have used LB mowers for many years. The 2 cycle commercial models have been discontinued for several years (maybe 5 ..?). I still have one, and use it every day, but it has been a constant source of problems (do a search, and find my posts about the troubles, if interested). Having said that, the weight of the mower is important to us.

We use it on slopes, but rarely on steep ones. It is rear wheel drive -- the deck design is the staggered wheel design. With the wider footprint than standard 4X4 designs, and the weight, it is very stable when mowing across slopes.
 

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IMO the personal pace system was a step backwards, especially on hills. The old "squeeze lever" on the current commercial toros and old super recycle residential models would pull you up hills and required much less of your power to move it. It's subtle but unless you push the bar it's not going anywhere, and the engagement isn't so strong that it's going to zip up hills. I liked the ability to just hang on and have it assist ME up the hills, rather than the other way around. The unit I use now is only 70 lbs I think, and I do dig the light weight. Just wish it had the squeeze bar with more postive power. There really is no perfect lightweight solution right now that I can find.
 

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Thats true about the personal pace toro's, up and down hills can get pretty hard, and if the belt is even a little loose forget about it. I have had three of them and the belts always get too loose to drive it within a couple of months. I now have a honda, its not quite as fast but it handles grass, and hills great.
 

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I may try a new belt. I know cable adjustments don't help. It hasn't had a ton of use but I suppose on one intended for home use it's getting up there in hours. I have some laying around somewhere. I really hate to have to fork over $1200 for a nice commercial unit, and then have to lift it over the trailer rail rather than move another mower just to get to it.
 

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I have been using a Murry Select 22" with a 6hp brigs on it for about 4 or 5 years now.. just for hills and small backyards.. it cuts great.. its not self propelled but who cares its less then 50lbs!! i think i paid 200 for it.. Shes my baby, always comes threw
Ah man I had a Murray 22" push with 5.75 H.P. engine (I.D.K. if it was "Select" though). It was great until I neglected it by leaving in a barn for a few years to rust. I can't find any current Murray's exactly like it anymore, and hoping a Craftsman with similar specs will be just as good!
 
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