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Honda HRX217 mower or Toro 21" proline with Honda engine?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by joed, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I'd like to add a 21" unit to my arsenal. Mower would be used approximately 4 hours/week. I wanted to try the Honda HRX 217 mower. This is classified as a high end homeowner model. A few question I have about the unit are?
    1. hydro tranny & BBC
    Not commercial version. Will it hold up?
    2. Honda GCV190 engine with 6.5 hp
    Is this engine good enough for 4 hours/week of work? I have not heard good things about it?
    3. Versa Mow System with Clip Director
    How well does this thing work? Does it reduce clippings you deal with? Will it be a time saver or is it merely a gimic?

    Unit is expensive at $1220 Canadian. Dealer also has a new toro commercial proline 21", self-propelled with Honda GXV160 engine but no BBC for $1250 Canadian. Can any of you give me some advice, especially those of you who have used the Honda HRX217 model.
    Thank You
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    No, the homeowner Honda mower will not hold up for commercial use. I've gone over the reasons in detail here on lawnsite before. But to summarize; No. They don't hold up to being hauled around on a trailer all week even though they are only being used occasionally.

    As for which mower to buy? You need to pony up the extra dough for the Honda Commercial HRC216 HXA. The toro pro-line is a decent machine. But the Honda is better in so many ways.
  3. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195


    Thank you very much for the advice. Can you post the link for the thread in which you detail the reasons for not getting the Honda HRX217? Could you also tell me why you feel the Honda Commercial unit surpasses the Toro proline 21"? My dealer says the Toro outmulches the Honda but the Honda outbags the Toro?

    I would have loved to have gotten the Honda Commercial mower but unfortunately, there are none left in Canada and Honda Canada is not bringing anymore in. At least the Toro proline would give me the Honda engine.
  4. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 309

    We had to make a similar decision recently. Tested the HRX "plastic Honda", the commercial Honda HRC and other models. Ended up getting the commercial Honda HRC for around $1100.

    -- Really worried about bogging down the HRC engine, but it is OK.
    -- The two blades mulch very well. We mulch almost exclusively on all lawns
    -- 120 lbs is a lot of weight when traversing long hills or when going down a steep driveway.

    -- It really packs the grass bag full, bag is easy to empty.
    -- Pretty much the only thing we all don't like is the handle bar ergonomics. You have to let go of the drive clutch level to do a "U" turn and end up taking one hand off and on constantly. A finger tip speed control, similar to how Better is doing it, would be 10x better. Sooner or later I'll convert the mower.

    We did over 500 cuts so far without any issues, and this is really a first class machine. In the past, we used the home owner oriented John Deere 62, there is really no comparison in reliability.

  5. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    I hear the Honda mower sucks up the most debris, including sticky pine cones in thick grass.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872







    It's not that hard to use the Advanced Search Option. Give it a try sometime. :usflag:
  7. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    I have been using the 2-cycle Lawn-Boy mowers for years. What a mistake! Now that they aren't made anymore I bought a used Honda HRC216. It is an older model, but it is sooo darn heavy and awkward. None of my guys like it. What a mistake getting so used to fast, powerful and lightweight Lawn-Boys.
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    love the hondas i have, to me the clip director seems dumb since it will just clog if you decide to have it half closed. The hondas i have are steel decks, the ones you find at home depot for $400. Look into that, they do hold up to the extended use.
  9. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Why not consider the commercial hrc 216 Honda. The Toro proline has around the same ballpark price as the Toro you're considering. Honda and the Toro proline\Exmark metro 21 and the top of the line in 21-inch mowers. All in all, the Honda edges out the Toro proline\Exmark metro 21. The combination of excellent bagging, and excellent performance in wet conditions beats out the Toro\Exmark's more beefier Kawi engine option, and slightly better mulching capabilities.
  10. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Thanks for the tips and advice fellows. Thank you Jim for the links. After some debate, I decided to go with the Toro proline 21" with the Honda GXV160 engine over the Honda HRX217 series. Couldn't justify spending the same amount and getting a high end residential over a commercial. I took the Honda equipped Toro out today and was very impressed. Cut is outstanding, mulched very well and the Honda engine is quiet, powerful and fuel efficient. I have the Kawasaki 180cc engine on my Exmark Metro 21" and thought that was great but I believe the Honda engine is better but a little less powerful. Would have loved to have tried out the Honda HRC216 mower but as mentionned, in my previous post, Honda Canada is out of them and will not be bringing anymore in until 2007.

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