self propelled mower opinions wanted

Hello, I'm presently in the market for a self propel and am considering the following models:
CUB CADET SRC621 (Lowes) - Intrigued by the caster wheels, like the Kawasaki engine, 6 speed transmission, larger bag than some. Negative is difficult oil changes.
HUSQVARNA 5521CHV (Lowes) - Like the Honda engine, large rear wheels (have some rough spots in one corner of the yard).
TORO 20031 (Home Depot) - I like the electric start, 22" deck, fast top end propel speed (sometimes I jog with the mower along the straight aways).
HONDA HRX217TDA (Home Depot) - Actually my 1st choice, as It appears to perform well in all areas and I'm intrigued at the idea of mulching and bagging at the same time. There have been a few times I had wished I could do that. Big negative is it's EXPENSIVE!
CRAFTSMAN 37779 - Like the Honda engine, ball bearing wheels, single wheel adjuster.
I'm leaning towards the Toro as it seems to offer the best balance of features for the price. Data I would like to know, but have been unable to find: How quiet is the engine on each of these mowers? How do they compare in mulching and bagging performance? (Consumer reports rates the Honda & the Cub Cadet the best among those I've selected for mulching, and all about equal for bagging). General ease of use. If you own or have used these mowers, how did you like them?
Thanks for the advice! Craig snipped-for-privacy@netzero.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Forgot to add the following: My yard is flat, about 0.4 acre, relatively few obstructions (at this time, but my wife has me planting more every year! :-) ). Craig

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Craig wrote:

Don't think of them as obstructions. Think of them as lower maintenance than the lawn they replace. ;)
As far as an opinion on any of the mowers listed, I have none. But if those obstructions are resulting in tight areas, and frequent turning, big rear wheels, or pivoting front wheels may be something to consider. It doesn't take much to push a mulching mower in straight lines on an even grade, and self-propelled helps with those medium grades, but if you have lots of corners and tight spots, you need maneuverability.
Also keep in mind that self-propelled mowers are heavier, so if you have lots of corners and tight places, but no grades to speak of, self-propelled may be a feature that hinders more than it helps.
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

No pollution, quieter, no fire hazard, etc.. And they do come self- propelled, although that obviously uses up the battery power quicker.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Who makes a rechargeable self-propelled mower? That sounds exactly like what my mother needs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

then at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.. Do a Google.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen them, but they aren't self propelled. Simply mulcher / bagger electric push mowers. Actually, I had strongly considered getting one, as I like electric yard tools myself (my blower, trimmer and even my tiller are electric). Unfortunately, my wife wanted a self propelled (she likes to mow about every third mow for the exercise), so I decided to look exclusively at self propels. Also, from what I've read, the cordless electrics would likely be just a bit short of completing the yard on a single charge. Craig

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm in the market for a mower so I have been to every major store in the area including all you have mentioned. There are plenty of electric mowers. Some are cordless. I have never seen an electric mower that is self-propelled. The Sears website doesn't show one. A google search only bring us the robotic mowers like the Toro iMow when specifying cordless self propelled mowers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

know they did exist, but after doing my own search I'm convinced they don't now.
I did find a couple of articles saying that manufacturers had cut back or discontinued cordless electrics due to low sales. Maybe that's the answer.
I did find that there are cordless electric *reel* mowers, which I didn't know :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Yes, I found the cordless reel mowers. Very interesting. I also think that the Toro iMow may be a good solution for my mother. My biggest concern is that since she is 76 (but in excellent health) that the whole concept of a robotic mower may be too alien to accept. She has never figured out how to use the VCR. I replaced her thermostat with touch-screen programmable digital model. Every time she need to change from the programmed temperature, she has to call me to get instructions. She has a great convection oven but is afraid to use the convection feature for some reason.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How about one of those self-guided robots that toddles around the garden going "zip" when it moves & "bop" when it stops & "whirr" when it stands still, all the while killing slugs, then uses dead slugs for fuel to keep rollin' & killin' slugs. I hope there'll be a Japanese movie version, Slimegiant vs Mechaslugbot.
-paghat the ratgirl
Slugbot articles: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1542588.stm <http://news.com.com/Robot+eats+slugs+to+generate+power/2110-1040_3-276967.html <http://hardware.silicon.com/pdas/0,39024643,11029900,00.htm <http://www.robotbooks.com/robotic-slugs.htm <http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,39020381,2100781,00.htm
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I got the Toro 20017 which is the same as the Toro 20031 with the electric start and it is $50 more. Paid $353 total (tax included) with the Home Depot 10% discount coupon. The battery in the electric start typically goes bad within a couple years so I decided against the 20031 model. All gas mowers are loud and the 2-cycle mowers are louder. Mulching is important and this Toro 20017 mulches well. The Personal Pace feature is certainly unusual as it feels like the mower wants to "walk with you" and you feel like you are never fighting the mower. The Tecumseh engine life is 250 hours. Toro mower repair is ranked #1, above Honda, in Consumer Reports. My old Honda mower is falling apart, and my LawnBoy broke down every season. I have to mow on hills, so a front-wheel drive would not be a good choice (I looked at Troy-Bilt). If you want more opinions, see http://www.epinions.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wouldn't buy a self-propelled mower if the alternative was scissors. There is one at the back of the shed that I have tried once or twice but it fights me so I use a little Lawn Boy that goes where I want it to go.
Marilyn in Ohio
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I hope that engine life estimate is a typo error. The Tecumseh in my Aryens snow blower is probably into its 5000th hour so far and it still starts with no more than 2 pulls, even if it's five below zero and hasn't been touched since being winterized 9 months earlier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

-snip-
I don't know much about mowers, but this spring I asked my neighbor, a small engine mechanic who works in a shop that sells mostly Toro & John Deere stuff to keep his eyes open for a trade-in rear bagger for me for $100-150. He showed up in a couple weeks with a 2 yr old Honda. "I can get $350 for these all week long." says he, but he gave me this one for $150. At the time I didn't think it was really that great a deal--- Come on 'A plastic mower?'-- but I know my neighbor & I figured I was probably also getting a lifetime warranty with the thing. [He's the kind of guy that will hear my mower/trimmer/chainsaw running & show up with a couple screwdrivers & say 'Hey, let me tune that thing up for you.' Sometimes he even brings his own beers over.]
But now I'm a believer---
-snip-

Whisper quiet-- I didn't know an infernal combustion engine could be so quiet.

My only comparison on this lawn is with a Craftsman rider, so the Honda wins hands down. It even handles semi-wet grass handily. I just cut damp 3" grass down to 1" & didn't see so much as a blade sticking to my sneakers.

It starts with 1/2 a pull of the cord. Switches from rear-bagger to mulcher in 10 seconds. There are 2 forward speeds but I've only ever used the fast one. It did take me a while to learn that you release the clutch & free-wheel on the corners to keep from spinning the rear tires.

Before I had this thing I couldn't imagine paying $6-700 for a walk behind mower-- now I can. [though I like my $150 one better<g>]
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My former neighbor thought his Honda was a gift from heaven. From my point of view, I noticed that no matter how long or damp the grass was, his mower always managed to mulch perfectly, without leaving clumps of wet grass. I'll be buying one shortly.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I own one of these and really like it. It is not self propelled, but it is lighter and pushes much like a baby buggy.
http://www.countryhomeproducts.com/TwoStepModels.aspx?Name=NeutonMower2Step&Chap MModels&SiteEntryMode=1&BC=0%3aHome&LinkType=3

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I also have a Neuton, bought it last September, and just had a maintenance issue with it--I had to get very *ugly* with the folks at Country Home products to get any assistance with it--there are very few lawn mower repair places that will service them, and the first technical support rep I spoke with felt it was *my* job to find someone to fix my machine, and failing that, attempt to fix the machine myself. I ended up getting a techinical supervisor involved, and taking the mower to a local repairman who has repaired my gas powered lawn mowers for years. I'll also add that 3 other local repair shops flat out refused to even look at the unit. I live in Hampton Roads Virginia, far from the sticks, and there were only two *authorized* repair shops within 70 miles of me--in opposite directions, and one of them very inconvenient for me to get to.
In any case it looks like the mowerblade started coming loose for no reason--I certainly didn't loosen it myself, I haven't run over anything I shouldn't have while mowing, and my repairman says he thinks the blade wasn't tightened down properly at the factory, and came loose over time. I'll be picking up my mower Monday morning, and we'll see later in the week if its truly fixed.
I told the technical supervisor that they need to find more authorized repair shops--especially considering the demographic they're marketing the product to--middle aged women who may not have the ability/knowhow to do much equipment maintenance on their own. I shouldn't have to call one local repair shop after another and *beg* them to fix their product!
Also, since the mower's cut width is relatively narrow (14" wide, I think), it takes a longer time to mow a lawn than what you might be used to with a traditional gas powered mower.
Unless you have a small townhouse sized lawn, I suggest that the Neuton is more of a *backup* mower, best used when you're too tired/sore to use your gas mower.
My two cents--
Jean in VA
So, although I

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just an update for the group and those who may have been following this thread. This past Saturday, we purchased the Toro 20031 (recycler with electric start). It was a close call between the Cub Cadet and the Toro, but ultimately price and the ease with which we can lift the handle (to save space in the garage) won out. Now the bad news. On Sunday, my wife, eager to see how the new mower felt, said she'd mow the front yard. After she finished the front yard, I told her I could take over and mow the rest. Her reply? "No sense in both of us needing a shower...I'll finish." I never did get to mow, except for a couple of short stripes! :-) The self propel handles nicely, although when I tried jogging, I found that I could outrun the self propel mechanism. (Although it is plenty fast for "normal" mow speeds.) Only real negative is that it does burn more gas than our old 3.5HP push mower. (And the engine noise is noticeably less than the old mower. Probably not as quiet as the Cub or the Honda, but an improvement all the same.) On another added note, the self propel allowed us to finish the 0.4 acre in about 1.5 hours as opposed to the 2 hours it used to take. Craig
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.