Lawn Mowers Commerical vs. Non-Commerical

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mlong30, May 13, 2007.

  1. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Hi All,

    I just recently put my Sears Craftmans 5.5 mower in the shop for a tune-up since nothing had been done to it for 10 years. I put my mower in the shop back on 4-15-2007, and my grass grew extremely tall, so I was forced to rent a mower at for $25.00 a day. The rep told me it was a 4.5 mower, with bag, and I'm used to my 5.5 mower, but I decided to go with anyway, since my yard needed to but cut.

    To my surprise this HONDA mower/commercial was heavy! I also noticed it was quiet like my toyota camry! The cord was only a foot long, and when I pulled it, it started up immediately. There was no choke button to push 50 times before it would start!

    Where can I purchase a commercial mower, because I don't see them at Lowes or Homedepot. What is the difference between commerical mower, and the avg. mower you see at Sears, Lowes, and Homedepot?


  2. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Look in the yellow pages under "Lawn Mowers" and find some dealers in your area. You'll want to visit dealers who sell Exmark, Toro, Honda, and Husqvarna. All these companies make commercial 21's, though, I have heard Honda has discontinued their HRC216 commercial 21 but there naybe still some available out there. Quite possibly, the best commercial 21 on the market is the Toro Proline 21 Heavy Duty and the Exmark Metro Commercial 21...which essentially are the same machines since Toro owns Exmark.

    For years, I used high end Honda residential 21's on my yard. I bought them back when you had to go to a power equipment dealer to get a Honda mower and not Home Depot. After I gave my father my old Honda Masters I decided to look at commercial 21's for my next mower since I wasn't happy with what Honda was putting out...and I know the Toro and Exmark dealers here very well. A commercial 21 is built more heavy duty than a residential 21. The handlebar is reinforced with extra support where it attached to the deck. Depending on the model, handlebar diameter maybe bigger than those found on residential units. Wheels are either steel or aluminum with replaceable rubber tires. Engine is usually a commercial quality one - Kawasaki FJ180V or Honda GX series. Wheel height adjusters are also reinforced. Basically, commercial 21's are built to withstand the punishment associated with commercial mowing. One LCO I know started out years ago with an old school Honda HR215 commercial 21 that he bought new. He ran the pi$$ out of it. The deck had a crack in it behind the right front wheel and the tires were all worn nearly bald but the mower still would cut very well and ran like a sewing machine.

    I have an Exmark Metro Commercial 21 MSKA21B...undoubtedly, of all the walk behinds I've owned this mower is hands-down the best built and the best performing of the ones I have owned. Quite possibly, it's the last mower I will buy, since it is built way better than high end residential walk behinds. The choice is yours. Buy an MTD or Craftsman and you'll probably end up buying another new one in a few years...or spending money to get the thing fixed. Buy a commercial 21 and benefit from the durability and toughness of these mowers.
  3. fritowrdo

    fritowrdo LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,066


    I could not have said it better.

    I was in the same boat with a Craftsman and I am glad it is gone.

    There is no comparision between my Toro 22164 and my Craftsman.

    Go commercial!
  4. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Sorry but this post needs dissecting... No offense meant... just curious.

    One... A Craftsman that lasted 10years with NOTHING done to it!!! Man did you hit the lottery!

    Two... The mower went into the shop for a tune up on 4/15/2007 and you don't have it back?

    Three... $25/day for a mower rental. How big is your yard? What would it cost to have someone cut it? Which is cheaper? Don't forget tax, gas there and back and for the mower.

    Four... No choke button to push 50 times before it would start... choke button? You mean the throttle up/down? Now it's beginning to sound like a craftsman though.
  5. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    I guess I did! I purchased it back in 1996. I've been using it ever since with no problems.

    Correct! I thought I would take it in to get a tune up: change oil, plug, filter, and sharpen the blade since it has never been done. I took it into Sears and they told me two weeks, so I figure that would be enough time for me to wait until my next grass cutting. Two weeks came, and they tell me that they are behind. I'm like forget that, just give me my mower now! They tell me its in Cincinnati!:realmad: I'm like what! You sent my mower out of state to change a filter, oil, and sharpen the blade!! If I had of known that where going to do that I would have done it myself. Anyway two more weeks go by, and they keep making up execuses why my mower isn't finish. I then asked them to give me a loaner, and she tell me that they have one, but its a real cheapo. I knew that wasn't going to work because my grass, and my mothers grass was over a 1 feet tall. It was so high, that my home association sent me a letter indicating that if I don't cut my yard in the next 10 days, they are going to take legal action against me.

    The total price was $23.95 which I thought was cheap, considering I cut two yards, mine, and my mothers. I don't know what someone else who have charge, but I'm sure it would have been more, and they wouldn't pickup my clippings. Besides, I got introduced to a commerical mower!:weightlifter: I did use a tank of gas and my yard is about a third of acre, and my mothers is half an acre.

    There is a throttle up/down slider with a rabbit on it. But there is also a button, that has to pushed at least 10times first, or you will never be able to start the mower. My Ryobi weed trimmer has the same thing!

  6. mlong30

    mlong30 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Now that I think about it, I had to replace my handle on my craftsman 3 years ago, because I was cutting tall grass, and had to push downward on the handle, to raise the front end, then let it down slowly to cut the tall grass. When I kept doing this for a number of times, the handle just broke! I had to order a replacement part.

    My mother called me up the next day after I cut her yard, telling me that I cut her yard different this time. I asked, "What do you mean different"? She replied: I didn't have to do any cleanup around the edges of my yard, and its very clean. Her neighbors even noticed the difference. I told her that I cut her yard the same way I always cut it, but I guess that's the difference between using a residential mower vs. commercial.

  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    If you want a residential mower that is built very well I suggest the Snapper 21" Walk Behind...the last one I had was given to me by my father when we purchased our new home 3 years ago...I cut grass with it when I was 10-12...I am now 33 and it is still going but worn out. It is so badly worn it is not even worth fixing now. We put 3 engines on it the entire time we had it and I replaced it with the exact same mower (We purchased WalMart Mowers and removed engine and tossed the deck fo the replacement engines). I dont think you will find a better mower for under $400

    The differential is bullet proof, the steel deck is made well...the drive system is simple and easy to repair when/if needed. The mower also has plenty of power...the only thing that could be better is if it had a Honda or Kawasaki on it instead of Briggs&Stratton (This would drive the price up). The mower bags very well and mulching is also great with a gator blade. They recently had a review on the exact mower in Popular Science and they rated very well (Rear height adjusment has a pinch point if you are not careful).

    Will I get another one if this one give up the ghost today? 100% positive I would!

    I have this mower and Exmark Metro 26" and I like them both very much..I would like to have an Exmark 21, but for $1000 or more I think the Snapper does what I need (Oh there are two versions of the version of the Snapper has cup holder and throttle adjustment and the one I have doesnt)

    PM me if you have any other questions.
  8. DCE

    DCE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    They still build them the same way today as they did years ago. When I was growing up, my dad bought a Snapper 21" Hi-Vac push. The thing was like a gas powered vacuum cleaner, it bagged very well. Only complaint is when you cut tall, damp grass, it would always clog up in the chute. Every so often you'd have to stop to manually clear it. That mower had a 3.5 HP Briggs side valve engine that was bulletproof.
  9. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    I received a Craftsman 20" push mower for a wedding present 19 years ago today (Thank You very much !!) I have NEVER cranked it and it fail to start. It has a 3.75 h.p. Tecumseh engine.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Ours originally had a 4HP and now they have a about over rated HP ratings!! That 4HP cut as well as the 6.5 from what I remember. Yes the HiVac really does work and I agree they really have the Vac figured out and yes the shoot will plug when grass is wet (Been there done that!!)

    But for a plain Jane HiVac with mulch kit (No Bag) $299 out the door you cant come close with anything else.

    The have another design now with a rear discharge and it has a plastic differential...I think I would away from that sucker...however, they still make the side discharge as linked and its a good mower.

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