Commercial Honda or pro line toro?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sharpe guy, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Sharpe guy

    Sharpe guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I am in need of some new 21" mowers, I have looked at both the honda's and toro's. They both seem like great commercial machines, and I see them both a lot on rigs. Has anyone used both? and what do you prefer? Thanks!!
  2. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    Both machines are good and both have their strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on what you like. If you search through threads on each unit, you'll find people that like each. I've used both machines. Here's what I found:
    • Compact, quick, productive in most conditions
    • Built well
    • Simple 3 speed transmission
    • Kawasaki KAI engine
    • Big 1 gallon fuel tank
    • Good Cut, mostly in dry conditions

    • Not too good in long, wet grass.
    • Grass will stick to the bottom of the deck when wet.
    • Small chute tends to clog
    • Blade doesn't have enough lift to fill bag completely

    • Honda GXV motor is great but underpowered
    • Dual blades
    • Good mulcher/bagger
    • Excellent cut.
    • Built like a tank
    • Hydro Drive

    • Heavy
    • Long handlebars and awkward blade engagement makes handling cumbersome and slows you down.

    Overall, either mower is good. I suggest you ask to try each out before deciding. You might want to also try out the Exmark 21" X series. I haven't had a chance to try them but I hear they're good too.
  3. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave LawnSite Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 42

    You can also get the GXV in the Toro. Love mine---just tune it to 3300 and re-jet to the same size on the Honda mower. Yes the same engines are jetted differently.
  4. Sharpe guy

    Sharpe guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Joed- I appreciate your comments, and thank you for breaking down the strengths and weaknesses that is very helpful. Its nice to hear from guys who have used the machines over time, instead of just what the different companies say. They will say anything to sell a product. My company is still young so it is a decent investment for me. I've looked into the exmark's a lot too, but their machines don't seem to have as many features as the others but i will have to test one out before say anything negative about them.
  5. Sharpe guy

    Sharpe guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Busa- i like your ideas too, i know how reliable the honda engine is, it would be nice to have it on the toro.
  6. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    For the Toro, are you looking at the Commercial 21 or the Heavy Duty model? The regular Commercial 21 isnt really much more than a high-end residential mower with nicer wheels. 1-speed transmission, and then handle seems kinda flimsy. I also don't really see that Honda engine as being a true commercial grade engine. The Toro Commercial Heavy Duty, on the other hand, is IMO the best 21" you can buy. I have 2 that are form 1995 and 1996, and they still run, start on the first pull and theres nothing wrong with them they work great with minimal maintenance. Recently had some time to look at a brand new one, and its virtually un-changed except for the engine, which I believe is better anyway. These mowers are a classic example of the old saying "if it aint broke, don't fix it" I think they are great mowers and I would not recommend anything else based on my experience with them.
  7. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    Good points. The Toro light-duty commercial or 22156 model uses the same deck as the high end residential unit called the Toro Super Bagger. Not a bad mower but I'm not sure that it will last for commercial work. I bought this unit in the spring as a back up. Here's a link to me mowing with it:

    The heavy duty toro is a great mower but like I said in my review, it doesn't seem to work well in wet or long grass as the grass sticks underneath the deck and the small chute clogs. I often wondered if removing the kickers would help?
  8. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    No problem. Let us know what you decided to do. I was thinking of getting one of the exmarks but I'm not sure how good they are in comparison to the toros
  9. Outlawn

    Outlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Have 4 Honda Commercial's with the oldest from probably late 90's or so. All start, but one has a blown driveshaft and we just haven't got around to fixing it. Haven't tried the Toro or eXmark, but I love my Hondas. Dang rice burners, lol
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  10. leon2245

    leon2245 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    would someone with a 22156 mind measuring the height of the handle from the ground, at it's tallest handle & cut heights? Also, how much money? I can't find one anywhere. (edit: also, wheel size on the 22156?)

    The commercial 21's side discharge, gsv190, and being THIRTY NINE pounds lighter are what appeal to me, compared to the honda, but the hrc's are awesome too. I'd actually rather have the 22155/6 deck than the 1/4" deck on the heavy duty toros, or else there go a lot of your weight savings (i assume, since they don't even list the weight of that one like they brag about the commercial 21). But it's either true heavy duty/ commercial, or light weight with these things. Choose one. Actually I'd take a homeowner version of the 22156- I just wish it had a normal bail for the drive system, instead of personal pace.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012

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