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View Full Version : Good 21-22in mower to start out with?


tomustang
05-16-2009, 09:45 PM
First off, I have a craftsman 6.5hp 21" mulcher, it cuts nice, real basic, but I need something stronger than this light duty machine.


Some of things I would like in a 21-22in is:

Around the $500 and under range
Mulches
Possible self-propelled
Durable, somewhat commercial or even commercial quality
Reliable


One I was checking out was the Toro super recycler, it's in my range but is still classified as residential mower. Also looked at a Cub Cadet CC989 or 98M

Any opinions?

CHEESE2009
05-17-2009, 12:02 AM
the recycler will probably do you well.

It would probably be the best choice, if that is your price range.

The thing with toro, even the home owner models are pretty damn tough. i was thinking of picking one up as a backup mower. See if you can get a good warranty, if you can, GREAT!

neukam
05-19-2009, 08:19 PM
my personal choice would be a honda but the price range is about 650. I just retired a honda after 10 years of use and the last 2 years was mowing about 10 accounts a week. When it finally broke I was shoping and wanted another honda but was wanting something Diffrent. The honda had a standard 5.5 hp motor with the mulching blades. It rarly ever bogged down. So when I went looking I decided on the Toro Personal Pace Recycler. I picked it because I loved the idea of the self propell system it has "it will go the speed you are walking" has a great mulching blade, has a side discarge that you can close or open, and a rear bagger. It also came with a 6.75 hp motor.

The toro runs great will cut any height and always starts on 1st pull. The down side is that if the grass is tall and wet it boggs down real bad. But it does keep going.

Love the Toro and hope to get a long time use out of it this year we are cutting 30 yards a week and this is the primary mower. But if I had the money I would buy a Honda.

picframer
05-19-2009, 08:38 PM
I have three John Deere JS-25's, they do not get a lot of use as mowing isn't our current focus however they do an amazing job, I put the high lift gators on them for blades.

StartALawnCareBusiness
05-19-2009, 09:10 PM
As a matter of personal preference, I will not consider using a push mower that does not have large rear wheels. Large rear wheels help with turning the mower. They are also less affected by divots in the ground than can cause scalping with a lawn mower using small wheels all around.

Keith

SuperiorPower
05-19-2009, 09:33 PM
As a matter of personal preference, I will not consider using a push mower that does not have large rear wheels. Large rear wheels help with turning the mower. They are also less affected by divots in the ground than can cause scalping with a lawn mower using small wheels all around.

Keith

I concur. Plus, big wheels push easier when you are pushing it yourself. They also make it easier to lift it up over a curb, etc. About the only other thing I would recommend is if you can afford it, buy a commercial grade self propel walk behind mower. And Craftsman mowers do not fall into the commercial category.

Toro makes a commercial, but you have to buy it from a local dealer, not from Home Depot. Home Depot and other box stores will not have or even have access to true commercial mowers, no matter what their inexperienced and knowledge-less employees may tell you (they only care about selling you another mower, and another one once this one breaks down).

Go commercial.... If you have to start out with a consumer grade until you can afford a commercial, so be it, but don't expect it to hold up the same way as a commercial unit. I am very disappointed in Craftsman's self propel system (the inner workings of them). For example, the transmission part of it has a plastic casing. Impressive. Just impressive......

Good luck,
Eli

tomustang
05-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Thanks for all the input guys. I am starting out and would start out small, but would at least get a mower better what I have now. I wouldn't praise it, just need something I can work with. I was at sears (i can hear the shuns already) and saw a snapper that seemed nice for only $300, 3n1, big rear wheels, fwd. It looked nice but I'm still deciding...

glacombe
05-23-2009, 11:47 PM
I have just recently bought a home and am beginning to start doing a few other peoples yards here and there. I went with the Husqvarna 7021 3n1 with the GCV160 Honda engine. It has started on one crank each and everytime and the price ($285) compared to many others I looked at with even the same engine were higher. I have been very satisfied so far, but I am by no means an expert, just a guy who wanted a decent, reliable mower that would get a job done and hopefully hold up. Good luck. If you can spend more and are comfortable though I would do it.

GreenScapeslawn
05-28-2009, 04:54 PM
Snapper makes a really nice mower but if you want the best commercial 21" go with Toro's Proline. Growing up my dad had a mower shop and we sold these things all day long I still know of a couple that are 14 years old that are still out there working good. Now that is also because these guys take great care of their equipment. I work at a mower shop and we sell Snapper, Exmark ,Walker and Dixie Chopper. I have had a couple of the Toro Prolines come in and they are always ranked at the top of my list.

Frankie

MikeO
06-07-2009, 12:00 PM
i have the husqvarna with the honda motor its a 21" deck. Its done me very well so far..A little slow compared to the personal pace that toro offers but light enough and dependable. starts first pull everytime. i paid somewhere in the 340 area. with bagger

ffduffy24
06-20-2009, 07:54 PM
As a matter of personal preference, I will not consider using a push mower that does not have large rear wheels. Large rear wheels help with turning the mower. They are also less affected by divots in the ground than can cause scalping with a lawn mower using small wheels all around.

Keith

I have a Toro Personal Pace mower with regular wheels. Does anyone know if I could put big wheels on it?

Steve
06-20-2009, 07:59 PM
I have a Toro Personal Pace mower with regular wheels. Does anyone know if I could put big wheels on it?

I am sure you could, but it might require a little fabrication if you can't lower the deck enough to compensate for it.

Little's
06-21-2009, 12:30 AM
I use a Snapper Hi-Vac. Never had a problem, starts every time. Quality machine. Affordable

SuperiorPower
06-21-2009, 08:16 AM
I have a Toro Personal Pace mower with regular wheels. Does anyone know if I could put big wheels on it?

I am sure you probably can. You would likely have to buy the brackets to go with the bigger wheels. I would check with the dealer, about exactly what would need to be done to convert it. I think it is possible it may even require a handle change due to the way the handles mount. Like I said, check with the dealer since they would have the parts list for your specific model and could compare it to whatever you want and tell you if its possible or feasible to convert it.

Good luck,
Eli

justin_time
07-17-2011, 01:31 PM
Here's my mower. 21 inch Cast Iron made, commercial push mower, with oil filter approx $1000.

I bought a mulching plug so I don't have to always bag all the time. Best $20 I've ever spent.

http://www.lawnmowersworld.com/images/husqvarna-W21S.jpg

CHEESE2009
07-17-2011, 05:19 PM
http://media.toro.com/PublishingImages/ProductCatalog440X510/22198hd_wpm_22198_34r_193807.jpg
^ not exactly what I'm suggesting, I just can't find the picture!!!

LINK (http://www.toro.com/en-ca/Professional-Contractor/Mowers/Professional-21-Walk-Mower/Pages/Model.aspx?pid=22198)

nickeckes
07-19-2011, 01:35 PM
IF you want to get a lawn done fast get a self-propell. . a self-propell will save alot on your body, the lawn mower does the work(plus you will get the lawn done faster because your not tired from pushing the lawn mower all day). . .I would recommend a TORO Personal Pace, These are Rear wheel drive and depending if you buy a low end or a high end one they come with a 3 year or a 5 year warrenty. . . id stay away from the front wheel drive, i never did like them and the wheels are usully spinning all the time , which sucks for when your trying to turn or lift the mower to go over something. . .

low end toro with personal pace is $399 and higher end ones are around $550

just my 2 thoughts

CHEESE2009
07-21-2011, 02:13 PM
IF you want to get a lawn done fast get a self-propell. . a self-propell will save alot on your body, the lawn mower does the work(plus you will get the lawn done faster because your not tired from pushing the lawn mower all day). . .I would recommend a TORO Personal Pace, These are Rear wheel drive and depending if you buy a low end or a high end one they come with a 3 year or a 5 year warrenty. . . id stay away from the front wheel drive, i never did like them and the wheels are usully spinning all the time , which sucks for when your trying to turn or lift the mower to go over something. . .

low end toro with personal pace is $399 and higher end ones are around $550

just my 2 thoughts



It's possible to buy the homeowner model and with a bit of effort you can return it every few days for a new one. lol


After a few lawns it'd bog out - so I returned it for the same one about 7 times. <**- Not joking. I've got my 8th one in the garage collecting dust right now with the store tags on it... LOL

The sad part is, they aren't built properly by the staff at any of the box stores. So you could have things on backwards for all you know. I got one without anything stopping the cord from being sucked into the damn engine.


**************

So stick with a homeowner one to start, replace it as much as possible. Then buy a $1500 machine that wont make you pull your hair out.

Shark1611
07-25-2011, 01:56 PM
It's possible to buy the homeowner model and with a bit of effort you can return it every few days for a new one. lol


After a few lawns it'd bog out - so I returned it for the same one about 7 times. <**- Not joking. I've got my 8th one in the garage collecting dust right now with the store tags on it... LOL

The sad part is, they aren't built properly by the staff at any of the box stores. So you could have things on backwards for all you know. I got one without anything stopping the cord from being sucked into the damn engine.


**************

So stick with a homeowner one to start, replace it as much as possible. Then buy a $1500 machine that wont make you pull your hair out.

What push mower are you using? I like am looking at buying an eXmark or Toro.

mblack14
07-26-2011, 03:56 PM
I love my exmark I wouldnt buy anything else. For just starting out buy what you think will work for you. Every person will have there own thing about everthing. Right now I have 3 exmark and they do a great job for me. This is my first year in doing this and I have 50 yards a week and the exmark is taking everthing a can throw at it. The commercial 21 x series is what I have and Love it. But it's going to be out of your price right now.

Shark1611
07-26-2011, 06:20 PM
I love my exmark I wouldnt buy anything else. For just starting out buy what you think will work for you. Every person will have there own thing about everthing. Right now I have 3 exmark and they do a great job for me. This is my first year in doing this and I have 50 yards a week and the exmark is taking everthing a can throw at it. The commercial 21 x series is what I have and Love it. But it's going to be out of your price right now.

Hey thanks for your help. I was looking at the s series but like you said maybe it is more than I need at this time. I just like the feel of the exmark.

Hedgemaster
07-26-2011, 10:02 PM
Not real sure how someone could screw up "assembly" of a mower considering the only thing that needs "assembled" is the handle (at least on my Toro Super Recycler), but yeah, I avoided the box store models and got the SR4 from my Toro dealer. While not a commercial mower, it isn't sold in box stores (at least not here), and is built a little better than the standard Recycler models.

There's just no way I could afford over a grand for a commercial push mower.

A question for those who may know...
Aside from "durability", in what way is a commercial Toro "better" than a Personal Pace Super Recycler?

Do they go faster? (are they self propel? I assume they would be)
Do they eat taller grass?
Do they bag better?
Do they MULCH?

CHEESE2009
07-27-2011, 01:05 AM
A question for those who may know...
Aside from "durability", in what way is a commercial Toro "better" than a Personal Pace Super Recycler?

Do they go faster? (are they self propel? I assume they would be)
Do they eat taller grass?
Do they bag better?
Do they MULCH?




For the commercial models, they usually don't require you to fill them up with gas per every lawn, which is awesome compared to mowers with small tanks. My commercial mower on a full tank can go through an entire days work without needing to be refilled.

Commercial mowers are tough in a sense that they can take on tall grass with more ease, and be used for long periods of time without error.

As for durability, commercial machines can take a beating - literally. I've had a homeowner models deck crack, handle snap, etc from just being in the trailer going over a few really pathetic bumps. A commercial mower can withstand quite a beating. I'm serious when I say that durability is important, the plastic decks homeowner models provide wont last more than half a week with me and I take care of my crap (sort of).


Continued...

It is easy to access parts on a commercial mower compared to a homeowner model. With a homeowner model, things are sometimes glued shut so that you cannot tamper with what's inside the machine without affecting your warranty - meaning you are screwed if something should go wrong and you attempt to fix it yourself.

Now I don't mean everything is easy to access, cleaning the underside of a commercial mower is a lot harder than a homeowner model. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies to keep you there for a good half hour or more! A homeowner model is so basic, it takes no time at all to unclog/clean.


ALSO,
You can use homeowner models on hills with ease, because of their light weight you have more control. Regardless if they are both self propelled (homeowner/commercial), you will be less tired using a homeowner model due to it's lighter weight.

Homeowner models are easier to move around if you are just starting out and have a pickup truck/car. It takes one person to move it without breaking a sweat. A commercial machine can weigh more than 100 pounds, so I really don't advise getting one unless you have a ramp/trailer or want a broken back.




I hope that has helped, I believe that they are both very useful depending on the job that needs to be done.












Extra:

No matter which one you choose, they both end up costing a lot of money.

If something breaks on the commercial model, it can cost close to what a homeowner machine would. THOUGH, a homeowner machine will break more often.... Tricky tricky....

CHEESE2009
07-27-2011, 01:16 AM
What push mower are you using? I like am looking at buying an eXmark or Toro.

I'm currently using a $1,500.00 machine along with the tractor.

When you spend that much money on a machine, don't mow over a brick.....


I have all my repair receipts, but just thinking I'm sure my $1,500.00 machine has costed me close to $1000 in repairs over the last 3 years.

The repairs on the homeowner model if I wasn't on time with the replacement warranties would have costed me approx $3500 in approx 1 year or less. I had hardly ever used it too, just trailer damage and ... plastic...






I farted.

Shark1611
08-28-2011, 10:20 AM
I love my exmark I wouldnt buy anything else. For just starting out buy what you think will work for you. Every person will have there own thing about everthing. Right now I have 3 exmark and they do a great job for me. This is my first year in doing this and I have 50 yards a week and the exmark is taking everthing a can throw at it. The commercial 21 x series is what I have and Love it. But it's going to be out of your price right now.

I am so close to buying the x series exmark mower. I had a friend of mine who has been doing lawn care since the early 80s that states the Honda is by far the best mower he has ever had. He is using the HRC216HXA.

He did state that if I did buy the exmark to get the honda engine.

Steve
08-29-2011, 11:20 AM
The repairs on the homeowner model if I wasn't on time with the replacement warranties would have costed me approx $3500 in approx 1 year or less.

What had to be replaced on that?

CHEESE2009
08-29-2011, 12:47 PM
What had to be replaced on that?

The entire lawn mower, every time.

Things weren't put together properly, and the screwy parts weren't accessible. I would have to literally break the seal of glue to get to anything, but if something cracks = warranty over. Glue... on a lawn mower... weird but fascinating.