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Best cutting mulching lawn mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fleshedout458, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. fleshedout458

    fleshedout458 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Ok, so i'm looking for something less than $600.

    my wants:

    something that mulches tall and thick grass.

    Something that ISN'T self propelled. (I like the workout, and in my opinion it's something else to break down and/or maintain)

    I would like a handle that breaks down, but have noticed a lot of the newer mowers have a solid handle bar and it detaches from the mower deck. My main reasoning for this (don't laugh) But I haul my mower and line trimmer in my car. Why don't I get a truck? A. I don't have the money right now, and B. You can't beat 30mpg! :)

    I would like something completely dedicated to mulching, but if the best mulching/cutting mower comes with a bagging unit that's fine.

    Right now I have 4-5 mowing jobs and they average about a 1/4 acre each.

    Lawn mowers that I have looked at so far: Honda HRX217 (single blade) 190cc, Toro 20332 rec 190cc. Also, I was considering the Honda HRR2169VLA 160cc with the dual blade. Someone returned it to home depot, it hasn't been used but is $75 off the original price.

    Another question...is the 190cc Honda single blade going to mulch better than the 160cc Dual blade Honda?

    Sorry for the lengthy post..but wanted to give everyone a better idea of what i'm looking for.

    Thanks for all your help!
  2. madisonpw

    madisonpw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I own a HRX Honda and believe that there not a better mulching mower out there. Plus, it has the mulch select option, that has saved me major time when I do have to bag.
  3. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Better save some more money and raise that to 1k.
  4. fleshedout458

    fleshedout458 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    thanks for all the reply's guys, i'll have to do some more research...I do however, wish the honda made a basic mower with the 190cc (i'm assuming the bigger the better mulching capability) and with the twin blade..from all the reviews it sounds like twin blade does do better when it comes to mulching..
    decisions decisions...although it is fun researching for the best mulching mower, you run into a lot of brand loyalty which can be frustrating at times.

  5. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 848

    Find yourself a older Lawnboy commercial mower.
  6. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    you do need the extra power to mulch deep grass. A lot of grass caught under a small deck will kill the engine pretty quickly. I use a leftover Honda commercial on my home lawn with a stacked blade and the mulch plug and if I'm trying to cut deep off, even slightly wet, I'll be mowing it two or three times to disperse clumps or have to use a blower.

    Most of my yard is tree shaded, so the lawn is not thick.

    If mulching is your goal in a commercial situation (meaning cutting for others and needing to count your labor, not being able to cut 1/3 all the time with weekly or biweekly visits instead of 3 or 4 day mowings when it's cool or rainy) then eventually you are going to need to consider a deeper decked, higher horse power commercial walk behind to handle the grass volume on a one pass basis mulching.

    In the meanwhile, make a plan for bagging because the situation will come up and come up frequently with any small mower.
  7. kennymo81

    kennymo81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Get a Honda HRX217vka. Its $600. It will mulch anything. Its self propelled. Now the neighbors if you want more exercise
  8. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    I have a Honda HRR 160cc dual blade self-propelled that is my trim mower and I use it on around a half dozen back yards where I can't get my bigger units into, also a couple of ditches. Cost me $300 as a refurbished unit from HD, so far I've replaced the oil and filter twice, the air filter once or twice, the blades once (and sharpened a number of times). I've had it for 3 years and other than a bent wheel it's still in better than average shape, overall I'm pleased.

    If you get a self-propelled I'd highly encourage you to seek out a rear-wheel drive unit.
  9. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 848

    I bought a HRR from my dealer a few days ago. Not impressed with the hype behind the machine. It will mulch anything and everything but when mulching any kind of growth it will built up around the wheel and create the dreaded mulch line, maybe there is a way to fix this... Herler does your do that?

    My last mower was a Husqvara with a gator style blade and it didn't do that, but it didn't have nowhere near the power of the Honda either. The Husqvara had kickers (replaceable mulch baffles), deep dome deck, and gator blades a TRUE mulching mower. The Honda just has twin blades that over-process clippings.

    Even though the Husqvara out performed the Honda in mulching... The Honda is honestly a much better built machine for the price ($399). It's weighs less, wheel glide smoother, and has a much better quality engine. Overall you can just feel the quality is better. I strongly second the rear wheel drive suggestion. Self-propelled rear wheel drive or nothing at all!

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