Looking for a good self-propelled 21" mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by lotsagrass, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. lotsagrass

    lotsagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    My relative has a nice John Deere walk-behind self-propelled mower but the problem is, the plastic wheels keep breaking in the center. It's a rear wheel drive. He's looking to replace it with a new rear wheel drive 21" and I'm looking for suggestions. What would you recommend? It has to be rear wheel drive, per his preference....and it will be use on flat and hilly areas. Residential use.
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    30 inch toro. You will be done way fast. No regrets. It's and awesome mower.
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    I prefer Snapper Highvac.
  4. beano

    beano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Had a Honda then tried a snapper, John Deere and got so frusterated went right back to the Honda. I love Honda push mowers and wont buy anything else when it comes to "21 mowers.
  5. lotsagrass

    lotsagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Thanks for the replies so far. I was thinking about suggesting Honda to him too. I've never owned one though...but always heard good things.
  6. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Bagging or mulching or side-sidcharging? All 3?
  7. BTC

    BTC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    I built a house and bought this Honda last year http://powerequipment.honda.com/lawn-mowers/models/hrx217hya . The house is OK, but the mower is awesome. If I had it to do over, I might consider one of their commercial alternatives, but for my use the residential version is probably fine. I do like the idea of a shaft drive over a belt though. I grew up on a farm, so I really wanted to go with a John Deere mower, but I believe the Honda is a better machine. And I'm pretty sure the John Deere push mowers are John Deere in name only.
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    What Valk asked.... The answer to the question of clippings is very important to the discussion.

    Also, what will you be mowing? What kind of grass? Is the turf a fine finished lawn, intended to look manured, or is it rough, and you are only looking for something to keep it "knocked down?"

    I realize you said "21" s/p mower," but how large of area do you expect to mow? 10,000 sq ft, 20,000, 50,000 ...? How often to mow?

    Longevity? Do you need a mower for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years...? Do you do your own mechanical maintenance? What about local outlets, or dealerships? Local availability?
  9. lotsagrass

    lotsagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 783

    Sometimes bag but not often. Mostly mulch and a little side discharge. Mostly KY 31 Tall Fescue. The cut should look good but it's not a fancy yard and as long as it look ok that's all he's looking for. Sounds like any of the mid to high range Hondas would be good.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    The discharge feature on the HRX217 ("high range Honda") is not very good. It does not side discharge. I have one of these mowers, and never use discharge. It does an excellent job bagging, and a good job mulching. But, the discharge is out the rear, under a hood that is used with the bagger. The capacity for discharge is limited. From my experience, if the flow of debris will work through the discharge channel, there is not very much debris and can be mulched. In other words, when mulching works well, also the discharge works pretty well (some windrowing). If the mulch does not work because of too much debris, the discharge will not work either (clumping, windrowing).

    As others who follow these threads, I have expressed great satisfaction with my HRX217. I like the machine, and have had excellent success with it. It has been used heavily, and done well. But, I rarely use it for discharge.

    There are other Honda models that do support side discharge, but I don't think they would be considered "high range." That does not make them bad mowers, however. They may be a very good fit for your needs.

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