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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the market for a new lawn mower, priced new Toros last week. Lokiing at the all wheel drive (21472) and rear wheel drive (21462) Personal Pace Recyclers.

Also noticed a used Honda HRX 217 on FB tonight, apparently these ones have some new composite plastic deck.

Anyone on here have any experience with these models? My lot is 100 ' x 150 ' and is sloped.
 

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Careful of Hondas, some of the self-propelled models won't allow you to pull them backwards.

I love the Toro Personal Pace. It's easier to turn with the front wheel drive, I'm not fond of rear wheel drive models, other than rear wheel drive Snappers BUT only because the transmission is indestructible.

I prefer a model with ball bearing wheels. So easy to push. I have a Husqvarna with ball bearing wheels with a Honda engine.
 
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In the market for a new lawn mower, priced new Toros last week. Lokiing at the all wheel drive (21472) and rear wheel drive (21462) Personal Pace Recyclers.

Also noticed a used Honda HRX 217 on FB tonight, apparently these ones have some new composite plastic deck.

Anyone on here have any experience with these models? My lot is 100 ' x 150 ' and is sloped.
After ~35 years thought it was time to replace my old HRA215SX as it was a rear bagger only and I wanted a good mulcher. So last year I bought a new HRX217HY with the hydro drive and Nexite polymer deck. Honda has used similar deck materials for a few decades now so nothing new really. Apparently Nexite is the material football helmets are made of. It also has ball bearing wheels just as the old one has but 9 inch instead of 8. The same mower is available with electric start too. I haven't used the bag yet but its made the same way as the old one and it's still fully intact. It starts on first pull and has lots of power. Like the old one I've had no problem backing it up. No complaints from me.
 
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Before I bought mine I spent some time doing a bit of research. The recurring theme seemed to be rust in the bushings and/or dirt build up in the little spring that engages the ratcheting mechanism thus not allowing the mower to be pulled backward. Poor design or poor maintenance?

I often see ads where the owner states the oil and air filter were changed regularly. Thats good, glad to hear it but more often than not that's not good enough for self-propelled OPE. I've been at more than one garage sale where I saw a nice mower/snowblower/whatever stored outside with a washtub over the engine. No wonder rust becomes a problem.
 
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I have the Honda HRX 217 (bought new in 2016). The way it operates is great, you can move it under power without the blade turning, in fact it even has a brake on the blade when you release the engagement lever so you can stop to empty the catcher bag or pick up something in the way without killing the engine. Just moving one knob will go from mulching to grass pickup or any combination in between. Of course being a Honda it always starts with one pull (though after winter storage it will sometimes take two pulls. Being hydraulic drive it has infinite speeds, easy to select when mulching or mowing or just moving it about. My only minor complaint is it is a heavy mower and I've often wondered why they didn't just add a reverse to the hydraulic drive.
The comment about not being able to pull them backwards is not true. Yes, if you power up tight to something the ratchets in the drive wheels will hold tight until you just wiggle it and then you can pull it backwards all you want. And the comment about the drive wheel ratchets and maintenance is correct. It is a common trait of that type of drive mechanism, keep them clean and use a very light grease or oil and no problems will occur. I had a belt driven mower that did the same thing (not a Honda).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Honda and one of the Toros were sold before I had a chance to look at them. Had a look at the other to do but I would have been the third owner, but told me no - I don't need one right away.

I've been at more than one garage sale where I saw a nice mower/snowblower/whatever stored outside with a washtub over the engine.
There was a snowblower advertised on FBM earlier this year and the photo looked odd- there appeared to be a plastic shield in front of the engine, almost like a motorcycle fairing. I was like that looks odd. Once I zoomed in I realized the engine was off of the machine and in a Rubbermaid container. Some assembly required in that one.

Love that new commercial likening old gas powered equipment with the walking dead.
I'll have to check that one out, not watching much TV these days. The way things are going gas powered OPE won't be a thing in a couple of decades.

Push mower......you probably need the exercise......:cool:
The walking and running program starts this week.
 

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time to replace my old HRA215SX as it was a rear bagger only
Actually, the HRA215SX has an optional side discharge chute that just drops on in place of the bag. Sadly, it appears that model is one of the few Hondas that did not have a mulching plug available.

06814-VE2-030CHUTE KIT, SIDE DISCHARGE
 
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Yes I was aware of the accessory chute when I bought the mower but without it or the bag mounted, the mower doesn't perform well. The new mower however does quite well in any of its 4 modes without buying anything extra.

Edit: I should also add according to the HRA manual there was also an optional hard-shell grass catcher available. The advantage of it I don't know.
 

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Honda HRN 216 , twin blades cuts grass very fine , cleans up leaves perfect ,works for me , been cutting grass for over 50 yrs best lawn mower i ever used! just buy from a honda dealer stay away from the big box stores .
 

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I recommend toro personal pace. In my humble opinion the personal pace system alone makes them head and shoulders above other makes. They have a lot of other innovations too.

I was a non-believer until my dad gave me his 2013 model, I was actually anti toro since they killed lawn boy. While I still think the old lawn boy staggered wheel design is the easiest to trim (get close to obstacles) the personal pace is that much of a game changer. It is also what drove me to buy a snowmaster with the personal pace.
 

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I've owned my Honda HRX since 2014, it has really been a great mower, has never given me any trouble, the self charging electric start is a great feature and very reliable (never had a mower with a starter before this), I love everything about this lawnmower, if it ever dies for any reason, I won't hesitate to buy another one just like it .
 

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I had an HRX 217 with the hydrostatic drive and the versa mow, basically the top of the line model in the HRX lineup and it was a nice machine and thats where the good ended. The thing could not mulch to save its life, the drive system was clunky to use and it was wildly overpriced and underwhelming. I bought that as an upgrade from the $375 Toro Recycler with the personal pace drive and I ended up keeping the Toro and sold the Honda. My Toro at half the price of that Honda out mowed it in almost every wy except for bagging, the Honda was great at that and the Personal Pace drive on the Toro is 100X's nicer to use. I wanted to love that Honda but it was a turd.
 

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I've owned my Honda HRX since 2014, it has really been a great mower... I won't hesitate to buy another one just like it .
I had an HRX 217... I wanted to love that Honda but it was a turd.
So I guess opinions vary... My 1982 Honda HR214SMA is still going strong after 40 years, and mulches, rear bags, and side discharges quite well. I'm guessing that I'll never need to replace it.
 
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