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Toro 21" vs. Honda 21" vs. Snapper 21"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Merkava_4, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,431

    Greetings and Salutations!! :usflag:

    I'm just a small time guy and I'm not even sure if I'm worthy of posting in this sub forum; if not, fill free to move or delete this thread.

    I've been doing some small postage stamp 50 feet x 50 feet residential yards in my own neighborhood on the side apart from my day job; which has been cut to 30 hours a week because of the recession. I've been using a reel type mower which is fine for cutting short Bermuda, but doesn't cut tall fescue very well unless you want to kill it. Some of the houses in this subdivision have tall fescue lawns, but they were all originally planted with Bermuda by the builder.

    I think I've narrowed my selection down to 3 rotary mowers:

    1.Toro Hi-Vac 22189 Commercial
    2. Honda HRC216K3HXA Commercial
    3. Snapper Hi-Vac CP2160KWV Commercial

    They all have a BBC except for the Snapper, but the Snapper is excellent at suction. I don't know how well the Toro and Honda are at suction. I'm doing all bagging and don't need to mulch at all; which is why I'm putting a priority on suction rather than mulching ability. A user friendly mower with easy to use controls would be nice too.

    My next door neighbor is a professional gardener. His routine is to edge and trim first, then blow all the clippings onto the center of the lawn, and then mow with his Snapper Hi-Vac commercial mower in a clockwise direction. The Snapper has such excellent suction, that it leaves nothing behind. My only reservations about the Snapper is that it has no BBC. I'm thinking if the Snapper had a 1/4 inch thick aluminum deck like the Toro, along with a Hydrostatic shaft drive transmission like the Honda, it could very well be the perfect WB bagging mower, but I know that's wishful thinking.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. hate2work

    hate2work LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    I'd go with the Honda. Bags well and gives you the variable speed and BBC.

    I've also read many good reviews of the HRX217HXA, $400 cheaper and 20 lbs lighter. It doesn't have the commercial engine, but that's not stopping this guy from giving it a good workout this summer.

  3. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    I'd go with the Toro. Do a search on here some have had some problems with the Honda's. Although this might be a preference thing.
  4. Heintooga

    Heintooga LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Snapper uses Durasteel for their decks. I have a six year old mulcher and it shows no signs of rust, cracking or warping so don't let the deck sway you. I also have two new Snapper disc-drives and it's obvious that they're smooth, dependable and would be easy to adjust or repair if needed. I looked into the Hondas and read too much about their drives being expensive to replace in case of failure and the carbs have a tendency to surge. However, I opted the HRC216K3PDA and got rid of after two months. I would have tried a Toro but there are no independent dealers near so that was a no-go. My favorite 21" is a Snapper CRP2160KWV and the only difference in the one you listed is the deck is flared out at the bottom edges instead of turned under. I liked the Honda engine well enough but the FJ180V seemed stronger in the heavier stuff.

    PS... A strong factor should be which dealer would you be more comfortable with.
  5. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,431

    Thank you for the replies. I've pretty much scoured all the posts relating to 21 inch rotary mowers going back 200 threads from page 1. A lot of guys were concerned about mulching ability and the overall weight of the machines, but very little has been discussed about suction.

    I've downloaded all the owner's manuals for all 3 machines and so far, the Honda seems like it would have the easiest controls to operate, but I'm still not sure. I wish one of you guys have operated all 3 machines. :D
  6. Merkava_4

    Merkava_4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,431

    What are your thoughts about not having a blade brake clutch on that machine?
  7. vanncann

    vanncann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Honda is the best push mower out. Very expensive but will last for many years and you never have to work on it. Mine is great at vacuuming and mulching. The Snapper I had broke into after the first day, so I took it back and got my Honda.
  8. Heintooga

    Heintooga LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    If I see something ahead I kick or toss it out of the way, slowing the machine only if needed. Plus, If one 'had' to stop (ie. to move a larger object) the engines start so easily it's no big deal. I see a BBC as something else to add weight and to break. I use 21" only and the reasons I've opted for three Snappers are they are dependable, durable, easy to adjust/repair, parts are easy to get and they are versatile (mulch/bag/discharge as well as anything on the market).

    ps... In the six years I've been using Snappers I've never had anything break or wear out.
    pss.. The only differences in the P2160KWV and CP2160KWV are the wheels and $170.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  9. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I've only owned one mower with a BBC, and will probably not make that mistake again. My Toro has spent way too much time getting fixed. I've probably spent the cost of the mower on replacing clutches in the two and a half years I've owned it. My vote goes to the snapper.
  10. jweiner

    jweiner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Honda makes one of the best engines available!

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