new walk-behind quandry, honda hrx, lawnboy platinum, sr, or push

astroturfmowerApril 6, 2010

Hi, Please help me pick the right mower this time. I have paralyzed myself with indecision by over analyzing this and need some outside opinions and advice. Been reading the forum for a long time, but haven't seen exactly the same situation. My grass however, continues to grow!

I have a little over 1/2 acre, and have retired my 10 year old Toro personal pace recycler. Actually my wife killed it while I was in Afghanistan last year. I wanted to save some time from my usual 2+ hours of mowing, so I went down to the local Cub cadet dealer and nearly bought the 33" walk-behind based on the good reviews, but changed my mind because it was just too big for me and definitely for my wife or son to use if I deploy again.

Back to the forums. I tried rider a few years ago, and definitely prefer to walk. I am 45, but love to run. I want a mower that can go fast if the grass isn;t too high. Should I get a high quality PUSH mower? Backyard is sloped, not a hill, and we still play football back there, and the far back has some bumpy patches because the original owner did not have it sodded. It's all grass, just now real smooth. Any experience with the Honda push mower or an aluminum-decked, Honda engined, push mower?

I am likely to just get a self-propelled because I am reluctant to underbuy and don;t want to regret it next week! Unless someone here can share some experience with pushing for a large yard, especially with a higher quality push mower.

I have seen lots of chat about the self-propelled mowers that I am considering, but not the same questions. For the Honda HRX, I like the composite deck, but also like the LawnBoy Platiinum and Toro SuperRecyclers for their aluminum decks and Honda engines. With the Honda HRX, I like the Smartdrive for the simplicity and one less thing (cruisecontrol box) to break and require expensive repairs, but I wonder if the drive system cruise control and roto-stop are worthy upgrades. The simplicity and variable pace are advantages, but is the fatigue factor and issue with the smart-drive? The smart-drive also has a max speed of 3.6 versus the cruise control's 4.0 mph. Probably not a factor for most, but I like to walk fast if the mower and grass allow for a speedy cut.

For the LawnBoy, I can't tell online of they still make the Platinum series or the commercial 22271 model. The shorter handle and lighter weight appeal to me because the Hondas seem kind of stretched out, and reminded me of driving a station wagon versus a sedan. I do like the versamow and 9" wheels on the HRX.

Can I simply push the self-propelled Honda HRX w/o engaging the self-propel system (going slightly downhill), then engage it help coming uphill? That way I could go fast downhill.

Thanks for reading my long post here. Break's over.

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Those Lawn-Boy models are history unless you find a new, old-stock somewhere. Too bad, too, because the 22271 is an incredible machine. I've had one for a year now and its pretty much the perfect mower. Toro does make the same thing (almost), called the 'Super Bagger'. Being basically a Lawn-Boy 'Insight' Aluminum Deck with the Atomic Blade, I can assure you it will mulch as well as bag. It has the basic Honda GCV 160 OHC engine which should be fine, but this should interest you - it has 'Personal Pace'. For your application, this is the best drive. I guarantee you that the mower can out pace you, no matter how fast you walk (or run). You can prove this by squeezing the sliding handle down, pushing down on the handle with one hand and pulling up on the cross bar with the other - the mower will leave two black streaks and take off! Normally, this doesn't happen, because you simply grasp the handle and walk forward, and the mower matches your speed. When you stop, it stops. When you go, it goes. This drive system was a Lawn-Boy innovation that Toro inherited, and nobody has come up with a better, simpler, more reliable drive yet. I prefer Variable Speed myself because my yard is smaller and has a lot of turns and 'push-pull' conditions, but Variable Speed will never keep up with a fast moving operator. Since my two current mowers are of the same basic design, a LB 10684 w/steel deck and Tecumseh, and the LB 22271 w/commercial Honda and alum deck, my experience with these mowers tells me that this is a superior design than the Super Recycler. If something happened to my mowers, the Super Bagger is what I'd get.

Here is a link that might be useful: 20192 Super Bagger

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:59PM
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I like the Honda's, made real well.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:12PM
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Astro, yes you can push the HRX downhill without engaging the drive system...I do it all the time. And it can go pretty fast with the drive system engaged as well, you almost have to run to keep up with it when set on the fastest setting (on a flat surface, of course).

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Sax, Z, Shaggy,
Thanks for the useful and informative input. I have just about settled on the self-propelled otion over the push-only, and I was thinking that the LawnBoy would be just right, especially in that MOPAR GREEN. As a bonus, my father-in-law has a basic LawnBoy so I get instant credibility at home and wife doesn't think I overspent.

Because I am traveling out of town and have a kid's birthday and other family requirements on my weekend at home, I need to buy the mower and not wasted any time. Of course all the independent dealers are only open 0900-1300 Saturday, closed all day on Sunday...this is mind boggling to me; these places are swamped with customers on Saturday and would be on Sunday in the Spring too and they could close on a weekday, or stay open late. Anyway, this is driving me to Home Depot where one of the many stores between the DC airport and my house sold a HRX with cruise control to me over the phone. I think it will be great. However, the Toro dealer said via email that he could work with me to get the Toro 20092 by the weekend. We're gonna talk and see what that really means, but I am likely to have another Honda in the driveway! Good to know that the uphillSP/downhill-coasting will work. With the Honda, I need to make sure I can adjust to and like the cruise control versus the variable speed personal pace that I am used to (from my old Toro Recycler). Either way, the SP option is probably necessary for my wife and growing kid who might mow sometime. Thanks all for the friendly forum. Astro

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 3:37PM
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You don't seem to be getting some of the major points, but get what you want and have fun with it!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:19PM
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You might be interested in the Cub Cadet 'cc 98h' walk behind mower. I was originally looking at a Toro super recycler but after comparing features with the Cub Cadet 'cc 98h' the Cub Cadet wins hands down. The cc 98h includes a Honda 190cc OHC/OHV engine. The only Toro that includes a Honda engine is the super bagger but it's only a 160cc engine and the only other OHV engine that Toro offers is the Kohler on the 20099 model. I don't really like the Toro personal pace system as I prefer to manually set the self-propelled speed and the Cub Cadet offers that option. The Cub Cadet also uses caster wheels making it one of the least expensive zero-turn mowers available. The one downside that I don't like about the Cub Cadet is that it uses a steel deck which will eventually rust. The Toro offers an aluminum rust-free deck. I've looked at the Honda HRX series mowers but I don't like the idea of owning a plastic deck no matter how long the warranty is. The cc 98h is currently on sale for $460 but good luck finding one in stock. I've checked 3 different dealers and no one seems to stock this model. It is available online though and you can probably ship it to a dealer to avoid shipping costs. I wish there was more info available online regarding the cc 98h because no one (dealers or cub cadet) seems to be able to answer my questions regarding that model. I actually started a new thread earlier to see if anyone had any additional info regarding the engine on the cc 98h.

Here is a link that might be useful: honda vs briggs thread

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:08PM
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I chose not to address all of the points mentioned, but I do appreciate your input and advice. I finally got to try the HRX with cruise control, not just pushing it around on the showroom floor, but actually cutting the grass. Very impressive and high quality mower. Initial impressions, my opinion only, your mileage may vary: not a fast or as quiet as I would like; it bogged down a few times when I didn't expect it to be struggling, blade/cruise control will take some getting used to and at first try I do not find it as intuitive as the personal pace. It does seem like a high quality machine and I really like the composite deck and the Versamow feature and some of the higher end features like large bb wheels and the mulching blades and I can see why it receives great reviews. For the speed issue, I am going to try the Honda HRS216PDA, the push version, steel deck. There is no max speed on a push mower. Haven't seen any aluminum deck push mowers. At 63 lbs, it's the lightest I have seen of the quality push mowers. The Lawnboy10640 looks good too, but it gives up an inch on the front wheels and the blade, and my bumpy and large yard make these factors important to me. These two mowers also revive the B&S vs Honda engine comparison, but I get the point that both are good and will serve me well as long as I take care of them and whatever the power, should be enough. Still, I read the Cub Cadet thread and I also like to have the data and analyze it myself, with the help of the forum too. So, I am going to give the push Honda a try and if that doesn't crank my motor, I will get the Toro SR 20092 and be done with it. Yep, the B&S one, aluminum deck, 5mph top speed. Red is a faster color too. The quandry continues, and the grass keeps growing, but not under my feet. Cheers.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:16PM
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One more thing I forgot to ask...on the LawnBoy 10640 push mower, the specs note that it is side discharge capable. It looks like a solid steel deck all the way around to me. Nice and solid, but how do you convert it? If they send a kit, does it include a saw? Is it really just mulch and bag? Thanks

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 11:16PM
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If you're anywhere near Woodbridge, try Potomac Mills Lawn Mower -- ask for Kevin, the owner.

And thank you for your service to the nation.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:09AM
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Thanks Chesapeake. First, it's an honor to serve and I know many other serve w/o the uniform too. I am not too far from Woodbridge when in VA...working in SPringfield and living in Fredericksburg, so I pass by there daily. Just noticed a helpful email from the local Toro dealer who even offered to deliver. Wish I had seen that last Friday when I was heading home for the weekend. Not too late, still thinking about the PUSH Honda HRS216PDA and ToroSR 20092 though. Potomac Mills is pretty convenient; I will have to see that they sell and recommend. Thanks again, Astro

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 4:49PM
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