Debating between an Exmark 21" and 30"

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by PanhandleID, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. PanhandleID

    PanhandleID LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    What I'm mostly looking for is something to cut 3/4 of an acre of property that is KBG. Usually I mow about every five-seven days depending. On occasion I may also mow my neighbor's 1.25 acre property which is also KBG when his arthritis is acting up. My area is zone 6b we also tend to have wet springs(last year rained 45+ days straight) and falls, with dry summers(last year over 60 days without water). So I'm looking at doing some bagging with either mulching or discharging in the summer. What my main concern is with cut quality and overall health of the grass. I don't mind putting in the extra work with a 21" if it proves to be better at that than the 30". Of course I received a 21" striping kit for Christmas already, but I suppose I could find or build something in a 30" if need be.

    My main debates are of course that the 30" has side discharge as a feature where as the 21" does not. However being so new to the market I haven't really heard how the 30" handles it. Also I've heard some subpar things with the 21's mulching capability.

    But no matter what it has to be better than the Husqvarna I'm using. Having ponderosa pine trees that shed like no tomorrow in fall and it has a horrible time bagging them. That's where I miss an old early 90's Commercial Ariens I had by comparison where it picked up 90% or greater of them. Unfortunately it bit the dust when it's crankshaft hit an old tree stump. *Note* All stumps have been ground to avoid this thing in the future.

    What my local dealer has for sale is an Exmark ECXKA21 for $1500. Where the debate enters the picture would be that the Exmark ECKA30 is $1800. Supposedly he's got them on a good deal since they are ordering them by the 10 qty instead of single. Not sure if that's true or not since we have little competition amongst dealers out here. So for $300 more would it be more worthwhile to get it? Especially since the 21 is without BBC? . I'm not even going to consider the ECXKABBC21 as they want $1750 for it.

    I'll appreciate any help that can be offered. I've been racking my brain with the unknowns trying to decide between these two for quite some time. So thank you all in advance. And yes, I tend to be a bit OCD and over think things but that's life.
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Why would you spend $1500 on a 21" or $1800 on a 30" ? When you spend that kind of money your buying a name, but maybe that's what you want to do. I'm thinking for $1000 less you could get you could get either size. Those machine's would last just as long with the proper maintenance. I'm not trying to be a smart azz, just trying to save you some money. If i had to push mow that much grass i would want the biggest mower i could get. You could make a striper, easy, i would argue that you don't even need one. I just re-read the part where you say the 21" doesn't have a side discharge, that would take the 21" right out of the running, you need that side discharge, that make's a big difference in wet grass. If you mow every 5-7 day's your grass never get's tall enough to make a mess, and those clipping's are returning nutrient's to the earth. Good luck.
  3. kawasaki guy

    kawasaki guy LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from USA
    Messages: 16,930

    You can get snapper pro 21" mowers for $829-929. And, they are really nice. I own one...
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Hey neighbor. :waving:

    I'd skip the 21" completely and save the money and just get the Toro TimeMaster 30 for right around $1,000. I have this same mower.

    Does Horizon on Hayden Ave have the Exmark 30 in stock now?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. PanhandleID

    PanhandleID LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for your replies, and to answer your question Agrostis the Exmark is probably overkill. I've just gotten sick of the subpar mower and liked the cut of the 21 when I tried it last fall.

    Thanks KawasakiGuy good to know on the snapper I just haven't seen a local dealer thus far for them. Other than what Wal-Mart carries...

    And to answer you ExactRototilling they have the Exmark 30" over on a pallet in Spokane. So they could ship one to the Hayden Horizon store. If I'm going to go for something I just want to get whatever equipment before the LCO's buy their equipment fkor the year. Though I suppose the smart thing would be to wait until I could test a 30" when we warm up some and get the grass growing. Also I got misquoted a price via the original sales rep I talked to in store. Turns out the 21" is $1099 and not $1500. I ended up contacting their sales rep via e-mail instead. Gotta love misinformation! By the way how does the Timemaster do with the pine needles in the area? Mind you I rake them up in the beds but stillwant something that can help clean up the 68 century old+ remaining Ponderosa Pine trees that love to shed.

    Also did you get the Timemaster from the local Home Depot in Coeur d'Alene?

    If I could afford to cut them down and grind them I would but $$$$$.$$ keeps that from happening. Since the main issue would be keeping them from hitting neighbors. But that's a whole other subject from a mower. One thing at a time. I have managed to get rid of about 40 due to arborist concerns and housing addition/shed/decking. Honestly I'm amazed grass grows with all the shade back there. It hasn't seemed to put a dent in it though.

    Once again thanks for info guys. And I probably cut my neighbor's property about 3 times a season so it's just my own 3/4 acre of pine/kbg I'm mostly concerned with. Otherwise I wouldn't be thinking of a 21".
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    The bagging performance for cleanup mode of operation is NOT a strong point of the T30 (Toro TimeMaster 30). My other "out of production mower" with high lift blades is what I use on my accounts blessed with Pondersa Pine shedding. Not sure if the Toro/Exmark mowers use the same blades...? To many variables. As long as the grass is dense enough and you let it grow out some to 4.5"+ and loosen up the needles with a rake it would bag them Okay.

    The other weak point is the personal pace system on continual steep hills. If there are gentle problem. 45° steep banks up and down forget the personal pace drive.

    For gentle slopes and most lawns even with grassy swales I believe the consumer T30 is a better choice.


    These are the lingering questions and potential drawback I'm concerned about with the Commercial 30 for Toro/Exmark vs the Consumer model T30:

    The mower weighs more.
    The handle doesn't fold up straight or forward.
    Single speed transmission might be slower and more cumbersome than the Personal Pace T30.
    More $.

    I bought my electric start model @ CDA tractor. HD didn't carry stock.

    I did electric start for shear speed and for smaller helpers. Unless one has shoulder issues it's not really needed.

    My T30 and yBravo25 are not my primary mowers and cannot match the cut quality of my 32, 36 and 44 BOP mowers.

    Those BOP mowers deliver an outstanding manicured cut.

    IMO the T30 delivers a slightly better than average cut than many 21's.

    I have no plans to ever purchase another 21" mower. They are Time Wasters.
    Posted via Mobile Device

Share This Page