mower packed up need new one

well my mower packed up and need a new one and im looking at 2 mowers
1321 and 1294 one is john deere jx90cb and the other honda hrh536hx just
wanted to no what to go for and why needs to work in the wet too
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I had a Honda Harmony from about 10 years ago. It some aspects it was the best mower I ever had. It was selling for around $550 at Home Depot at the time, but I got if for around $350 because it was end of season. It had a dual mulching blade. The cut and finished look it gave the lawn was the best I have ever seen. It did an excellent job of mulching the grass into very small pieces. The mower was also quiet. The only problem was that at about 6 years, the transmission failed, rendering the self-propel useless. I'm pretty good at fixing most anything, but this thing was a real bitch to take apart and involved a whole lot of little parts that would have to all go back correctly.
A new tranny would cost $135. Keep in mind that just for the part, with me putting it in. If you took it to a repair shop you could add in 2 hours of labor. That left me with the decision of whether to buy another one or get a new mower. Given the cost and then the difficulty of putting it all back together, I decided to get a new Sears one. Found a guy selling it locally for $160 on Ebay. About 4 year later, it's still mostly working fine. One day it too stopped moving. It took two screws and 10 mins to locate the reason. Unlike Honda, this design does not use a tranny. They adjust speed with a belt slip pulley system and the tension spring had broken. With a pair of pliers and some wire, I fashioned a temporary repair and was on my way again. Still haven't ordered a new spring, but it's only a few bucks.
On the downside, it does not leave as nice a cut as the Honda did and it makes more noise. On the plus side, the variable speed belt drive works fine, probably like it better than Honda which had 3 fixed speeds you could select. And the engine has significantly more power and goes through heavier grass where the Honda would start to bog down and stall.
Overall, especially given the bad tranny design and prices, IMO, the Sears is the better deal. The Sears bought in a store would have been about 1/2 the price of the Honda. How Honda's are built and last today versus 10 years ago, can't tell you, but that's my 2 cents.
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