review - Honda HRX 217 mower
Just bought a HOnda HRX two weeks ago, have used it twice. It was between this and the Toro Super Recyler, in hindsight, I should've considered the new Snapper NXT as well.
For reference, I'm coming from an 11 year old Toro recycler that conked out. It was a solid mower, but didn't mulch as well as i wanted, and had some minor repair issues.
Impressions after using the new HRX three times now:
1. I wanted it for the dual blades and mulching capability...it doesn't disapoint. Very strong mulcher..I really need a good mulcher for my heavily treed lot, so we'll see in another 8 weeks after the leaves fall. (i'll post another review of leaf mulching capabilty). My first mow 3 weeks ago involved some thick 5 inch bluegrass, the HRX handled it with ease in mulching mode...with just a small residue of mulched grass left behind. The rest of the lawn was in the 4 inch range and there was no visible clipping residue.
2. Power and quality. The HRX just seems solid and powerful. I don't have any worry's or concerns in this area. Honda has consistently been near the top of the quality ratings for cars for 25 years...they make mowers the same way.
3. The thumb self propel mechanism works well...no qualms there. Speed is sufficient and appropriate at top speed...any faster and cut quality would diminish.
4. Cut quality...same as my old Toro. Only thing i'm dissapointed in is the cut quality..it's the same as the 11 year old toro i had. still good, but i thought with two blades and time and technology, the cut would get better...it didn't...still a few straglers left behind after mowing.
5 Paid $540 after 10% discount from HD. You can buy a 10% discount online at ebay...saved me $60 on the $600 price tag.
6. Very easy to set up and get going out of the box...took 10 minute to get out of box and briefly review the manual.
7. I've read the nexite deck is pretty indestructable...seems solid upon inspection...we'll see, but i dont' doubt Honda, they've proven to be a company that stands behind their products.
8. Versamow...just ok...I set to mulch, and after mowing my whole lawn (1/3 acre, and it was about 4 inches long and thick) the bag was actually 3/4 full when i finished from clippings that had slipped through the versamow sliding blocking mechanism and ended up in the bag. So, i'm not impressed with that, although the second and third time i mowed i just left the bag off and things seemed fine.
9. I can't help but inject my opinion...if you're looking to buy a quality long mower for the long haul...do not hesitate to spend an extra $100 to $200..cheap mowers will last you 7-10 years and not do that good of a job...high end mowers will do a great job and last an extra 5 to 10 years, as a general rule of thumb.
BOTTOM LINE...love the mower, and do believe that it will last me a solid 15 to 20 years w/ Honda name, I can't help but think that the Toro REcycler or snappr NXT would have done as a good a job. If you're looking to buy a new mower, check out the new snapper nxt website...looks like a great mower for $500 free shipping.
i'm banking on the honda brand name long term quality ratings, but good luck in your decision, and i hope this helps someone looking for a new mower.