New Lawnmower: Honda or Toro????

After owning junk mowers for the last 20 years, I am going to now pick up a top of the line mowers. Looking for opinions.
Have regular, slightly largish, suburban lot with a number of large mounds (about 8 foot elevation, which leads to lots of slope mowing. (not bad enough to need 2-stroke though)
My wife wants something she can start easilly, and use when I am being lazy.
Self Propelled is a must, as on the mounds it is tough to get around with human powered.
I hate self propelled where I have to alter my pace to match mower, I think toro has "personal pace", anyone have that? Does it really match my pace?
I know Honda has reputation for dependablity, am willing to go higher on price if it is really worth it.
"Quiet" would be nice, as I like to listen to radio while mowing.
Mulching and Bagging is necessary, as I would use mulching most of th time, but would use bagging for fall leaves (I have lots of those)
Do some mowers have power rake blades/attachments? (that actually work-- I have seen aftermarket ones, but have never seen one that works)
Based on my desire for top of line with all of above, am leaning towards Toro of Honda, however that is due to reputation only, I have not done any real research. Would love to hear from owners.
Also strategy for best price, anyone know when they go on sale? Rebates? Is there a viable on-line source?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

match your pace (in the forward direction), unless you're a really fast walker. At normal speeds, or when mowing around objects, it's like the mower is an extension of your arm -- very cool, and a big improvement over the usual power drive mowers. If you're backing up, you're own your own again, 'tho. After 3 years, it still starts on the first or second pull, even after the winter storage. My wife (who usually does the mowing) doesn't complain about it nearly as much as the old Crapsman mower it replaced. Picked it up for a reasonable price when the local Homebase went belly up...up until then I hadn't seen much in the way of discounts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I struggled with junk mowers myself for years. The self propelled mechanisms rarely worked right or constantly clogged up with grass. And by the time I would get them started, I was too tired to mow the yard... :)
So, I bought a Honda mower about 16 years ago (HR214 I think?). It has worked beautifully ever since and looks as good as the day I bought it. Starts with just a pull or two, even if it has sat over the winter. It has a compression release which makes it easier to pull start.
The only problems I have had are a rusted control cable and the electric start on my model quit working a couple of years ago.
I hose off my mower after each use and water would get in the cable housing and rust it. I found if I turn the control off so the cable is all the way in the housing, the cable doesn't get wet and doesn't rust. Haven't had a problem since.
The electric start on my model quit working a couple of years ago. I replaced the battery, but I think the starter is frozen and needs replacing. The starter is fairly expensive and it starts so easily by hand that I haven't bothered fixing this yet.
My main reason for choosing the Honda was the self-propelled feature. Of all the models I looked at, it was the only one that had a shaft drive. No belts to stretch, and no chains to clog up with grass. I've had absolutely no problems with the self-propelled feature since I bought the mower. My low end model only has two speeds, one is a bit slower than normal walking speed, two is a bit faster than normal walking speed. I use one for detail work around trees and whatnot, then switch to two to take care of the bulk of the yard.
I also like that the blade shuts off when I stop without having to turn off the mower. Nice for traveling over gravel driveways and stuff. I think this is a standard feature on today's mowers though.

I don't know if any mower is "quiet", but my Honda seems quieter than my older mowers. In any case, the spinning blade seems to make a lot more noise than the engine does. It gets much quieter when the blade disengages.

My Honda mower is a rear bagger and works great. Like I said, I hose off the mower and the bag after each use. Still looking and working great after all these years.
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I second the Honda. I inherited (literally) a HR215HMA that is 10 to 12 years old. It works great. I gave it a tune-up this spring, but it really didn't need it.
Things I really like about the Honda: - aluminum deck that will never rust - electric start, although it starts by rope quite easily - full range throttle control, something my last (cheap) mower didn't have - full range drive speed control; my last mower had on/off drive - rear wheel drive; i like it much better than front wheel drive - blade brake that allows blade to be disengaged without stopping engine - adjustable handle height - mulches or bags; i use the dual-blade mulching and it chops the grass quite finely
Since I didn't have to pay anything for it, I wasn't put off by the purchase price. But if I had to buy another mower, I'd pony up the cash for another Honda.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Which everone you get, get one with a cast aluminum deck, not cheap stamp steel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HerHusband wrote:

Much the same as my experience with Honda HRA 214. Bought early 80s, still using it. Total parts so far: 1 plug, 1 fuel filter, 1 clutch cable (broke and snarled at about 16 yoa, rubber on drive wheels (replaced twice). If you go Honda, go with the Hydrostatic. The 2 and 3 speed (I have both) have very poor choices of speeds. 1 is just a bit low, 2 is too fast on both and 3 would be for racing only. The 3 speed one I bought 5 years ago in case the old one broke. Used it part of one season and parked it. Still using the old one.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Honda motors are very good. If the Toro has the higher quality Briggs ok. Techumpsee dont last. Briggs has several model engines from 250 hr on up. Consumer Reports has a good article
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a Toro and Honda mowers. The Toro has had fewer repairs and is seems to have more power than the Honda. The Toro is 22" and the Honda is 21". The Honds controls catch on my hedges, the Toro does not--very annoying. Avoid Xenoy decks--they will eventually crack around the engine mounts. The Honda was 2x the cost of the Toro and had more repairs, so I vote for the Toro.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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.