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Best 21" Mowers for the money

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SouthernYankee, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I need to get a new 21" mower and I need something that is a soild machine but I dont want to spend over $600.00. I want something that is commerical quality, but I cant spend too much since I am on a limited basis. The machine will get a fair amount of use, but my deck mowers will do most of my mowing. Any input is welcome. thanks
  2. BobR

    BobR LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    Food for Thought - I realize that you do not want to spend the bucks for a true commercial 21 but I would like to pass along an observation.
    My new Toro Proline with the 6½ hp Kawasaki went back to the dealer for a head gasket repair and they let me use a Toro Recycler with Personal Pace while my machine was being repaired, IMHO - what a piece of junk, after using the Proline (my second one), and being use to the heft, tracking, power and overall 'feel' of the Proline I would have nothing less than a 'commercial' trim mower in my trailer.

  3. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 271

    At my dealer I can get the top of the line homeowner model Honda for about $575. The com. model starts at about $680 with no blade clutch and goes up to $1200 depending on options. Biggest differance in the two is the transmission I believe.
  4. ITL

    ITL LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Messages: 188

    I have to agree with BobR thoughts concerning the Toro Proline. We have a 2004 model 22177 Toro Proline BBC 3 speed with the Kawasaki 6.5 HP. Only negative I see is the weight if lifting into pickup. The weight seems to be an advantage on some of our rougher lawns as mower tracks well. Going up grades the rear drive works fine. If you look around I think you could find a end of season price around 900 - 950 USD. We paid 999 USD at begining of season. I believe the added price will be worth it over time. Our second 21 inch is a 1986 Toro which still work well.

    If you only do very minimal trim only work and could use a push 21 inch then a 150 USD steel deck side discharge could work well. Consider it a disposable item when it fails and buy another. I would advise against the mulch only low end mowers as they seem to leave grass clumps

    If you want to go the Proline direction and cannot find a reasonable price, and do not mine getting from non-local dealer I think our dealer will ship one for 950 USD total icluding shipping. PM if interested and I will verify.

    Best regards

  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    You need to use the SEARCH Feature on here as this very topic has been discussed countless times and has thousands of opinions there.
  6. ace56320

    ace56320 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    the 2005 ariens 21" deluxe will come standard with the commercial drive system and a kawasaki engine. very heavy built machine for $599. :)
  7. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    You may want to look at the Cub Cadet SRC 621. It is not a true commercial mower but it has a 6.5 hp Kawasaki OHV engine that is commercial grade. It has a 6 speed drive and has caster wheels on the front which make it a lot easier to manuver. It will mulch, bag, or side discharge. You could get it from a dealer for around $450 or $475. It looks like a good machine and those caster wheels would save a lot of time. Cub also has some other walk behind mower models with the same commercial grade engine but with some different features and probibly cost a little less.
  8. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I will look into both the ariens and the cub. thanks for all the help any other input would be helpful thanks!!

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    look into toro.
  10. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304

    Honda has a mower called the HRX-217, that is the best cutting mower that I have ever used.

    It sells for $599 with a 3 speed gear tranny, or is $699 with the hydrostat drive tranny.

    The Honda commercial mowers cost $800 to $1100 , so the HRX is a top line homeowner mower - not a commercial mower. Even so, I have found them to hold up and perform excellently !

    The unique thing about these HRX models is that they have a rear discharge chute that has a sliding gate in it that can instantly switch from mulching to bagging to rear discharge onto the ground. What this permits is that with the chute fully closed - the mower is a great mulcher. But no matter how good a machine mulches, if the lawn is too high, a certain amount of mulch clippings will start to show on top of the mowed turf. You just can't hide this much bulk in the lawn. If you just crack the mulch gate open a small bit, and put on the rear catcher bag, the mower will mulch 80 % to 90% of the clippings and will bag only about 10% to 20% of the grass. The lawn appears perfect as though it was completely bagged, but you only have to dispose of a tiny amount of clippings. You actually can mow a fairly large lawn this way, and have maybe a 1/2 a bag of clippings or less to haul out.

    The direct discharge chute on this mower is the best I have ever seen also ! If you lift off the rear bag, a spring loaded rear chute snaps over the rear discharge port. This flap or chute is open at the bottom edge and directs all the clippings down onto the lawn full width of the REAR of the mower deck. This means that there is no narrow wind row of piled up clippings , cause it drops them 21 inches wide , evenly ! It also doesn't blow the clippings sideways all over the mulch beds, or the driveway, or the sidewalks. It is the cleanest , neatest mower I have ever worked with, if you are going to discharge the grass - not mulch, or bag it.

    The mowers deck is made of Xenoy PLASTIC !!! But Honda gives the deck a 5 year warranty, so I wouldn't be too concerned abot it being fragile, apparently Honda isn't afraid of it being weak.

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