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Discussion Starter #1
Whats the best self propelled walk behind I can get for $300.00
Bagging is not necessary. Self propelled is. I have a long gradual slope. I have some rough areas too.
 

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Does this have to be a new mower? They don't make many good mowers these days for $300, or even $500. You can get a quality used mower for $200-300 and use it for years.

For a large lawn, I would suggest a John Deere like in my avatar. Look for an aluminum deck, 5-speed transmission and Kawasaki OHV engine. The earlier ones were silver (14SB, 14SE, 14SC, 14SX) and the later ones are green (JX75, JE75, JX85).

Another good choice would be a Honda HR214/215/216. Look for one with the commercial OHV engine (not the cheaper OHC) and the hydrostatic transmission. Either of these mowers will last many years with proper care.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would prefer new so I can buy locally and soon.
I could go higher than $300 if I have to.
It seems that most self propelled have the bagger which I dont need but I could live with it. The 3 in 1 is a nice option.
Whats the general opinion of the Huskee (tractor supply) with the Honda 160cc ?
 

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If new make sure you buy it from someone who services it. That way should you ever need warranty work done you aren't put to the back of the line.

Toros Personal Pace at $359 is nice, for the money. If you can spend more check out the Husqvarna HU800HW. Well built and has a Honda engine that you're looking for. At the $300 price point you will be hard pressed to get a nice self propelled mower... Spend a little more now if you can and you'll be thanking yourself later. Go talk to a local dealer and see what they can do for you.

My .02
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I looked at the Huskee at TS and was not impressed.
Went to Home Depot and looked at the Honda HRR216K9VKA. Much better. However I question the rear discharge when using it in discharge mode. I think I'll get covered in grass. I would like to look at the Toro Personal Pace for $359. but they didnt have one in stock.
Went to lowes and looked at Husqvarna HU775H for $369 but dont see it on the Husqvarna website. Is this an old model?
I will be checking out the mower shops tomorrow.
 

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I would go to mower shops rather than big box stores if you want a Good mower , they have the same brands and same models , but are built cheaper so the big box stores can sell them cheaper.
 

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The Toros at the big box stores are junk. I would agree that going to a mower shop would be best. Warranty issues will be way easier, because of the in house service. A SR4 personal pace is not too bad if you want that kind of drive set up. It will be another $150, but if it lasts longer, it is cheaper in the long run. I have sworn off new mowers. You can find an awesome used mower for $200 or less if your patient. Go with a good engine and an aluminum deck. Some steel decks are ok, but the money isn't that much different for a used one.
 

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Steer clear of the box stores. The stuff they sell is meant to wear out quickly so you keep coming back to buy a new mower. Transmissions are especially bad. The HD Toros are junk - pitiful transmissions and wheels. Even the Honda HRR's have known problems with the drive system and I've even had to do some work on my fancy HRX Hydro. Also keep in mind that these new Personal Pace style drive systems are a real pain for hills. It works more like a power-assist that just makes it easier to push. You need a transmission that really pulls you along, saves a lot of work. You need a transmission that lets you select and hold a constant speed, but today's mowers don't offer that. The Personal Pace and others simply slip the belt to change the speed. It's hard to control the speed and they don't always give enough traction.

Also about the engine, I personally think the Honda OHC is overrated. It rides on the reputation of the excellent Honda OHV engine. They're very good on gas and are fairly powerful. But I've never been impressed with their idle/run quality and they can be fussy about gas. I have a new Briggs flathead that I honestly like just as much. It runs nicer and starts right up. But again, the best engines will come from used mowers. The Kawasaki FC150V and Suzuki 4-cycle are my favorites. Once you've used a quality OHV engine, it's hard to use anything else.
 

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I 2'nd everything Y Block has said! Last year I bought a used JD JX75 off of CL for $70.00. Cleaned the carb and it runs like new.
 

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A 4 stroke Suzuki 21 inch Toro 3spd is the best walk behind , I have ever owned. At least 20 yrs old and it still starts first try. It was a Craigslist freebie from a mile away. It needed a shoulder bolt for a height adjuster. I have sharpened the blade and changed the oil a few times. I dont know much about the engine except that it always runs :D
 

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I have to agree with some above, you cant go wrong with a good ole John Deere 14SB or JX75. My 14SB is still kickin....However...If you want a new mower, a Honda is the way to go. I just bought a Honda HRR216VYA to use in my small lawn care business and I absolutely love it. Mine was $580 at the dealer, I got the Blade Clutch model. The one without the BBC is a bit cheaper.
 

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A 4 stroke Suzuki 21 inch Toro 3spd is the best walk behind , I have ever owned. At least 20 yrs old and it still starts first try. It was a Craigslist freebie from a mile away. It needed a shoulder bolt for a height adjuster. I have sharpened the blade and changed the oil a few times. I dont know much about the engine except that it always runs :D
I agree! I have two 4-stroke Suzuki's on Vacu-Power decks and they are excellent performers. One always starts first pull, and the other has some sort of carb issue that I can't figure out, but it always starts. They idle beautifully. The Suzuki is commercial grade with an oil pump and heavy-duty construction. I will outlast the rest of the mower easily!

The 3-speed Toro is the best overall mower for my property. I have lots of tight areas and turns, and the Toro controls work best for me. For larger lawns like the OP's situation, I prefer the JD/Honda designs because they act more like a cruise control.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just wanted to let everyone know that I didnt just post and run. I havnt been able to get to any stores. I was sick sunday and worked a long day today.

It turns out that the Honda at HD is not on Hondas website either.
 

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I found it on their website from a Google search. I think the site's just not up to speed. That's the newest version of that mower and it adds a "feature" that lets you switch from mulching to bagging with a lever. Just another thing to clog with grass IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I finally made it to one of the mower shops today. He had honda and toro. I am leaning toward the honda so I didnt look at the toros. There were two higher end hondas and the basic honda push mower. He said he sells the same HRR216K9VKA as home depot but was currently sold out. His price was the same as HD and he'll set it up too. I still havnt made up my mind yet but if I go with honda, it will be from him.
 

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Well, I looked at the Huskee at TS and was not impressed.
Went to Home Depot and looked at the Honda HRR216K9VKA. Much better. However I question the rear discharge when using it in discharge mode. I think I'll get covered in grass. I would like to look at the Toro Personal Pace for $359. but they didnt have one in stock.
Went to lowes and looked at Husqvarna HU775H for $369 but dont see it on the Husqvarna website. Is this an old model?
I will be checking out the mower shops tomorrow.
Just bought that same Honda yesterday. Surprisingly, the grass clippings go down toward the ground and not all over the operator. I had that same question/concern myself when shopping for a new mower.
 

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I was looking for a mower last year. While talking to my local mower shop guy (Honda/Toro), we discussed the various HD/Lowes offerings. He said he "LOVES" them. Apparently they allow him to keep an extra mechanic in the shop, and help keep his shop open full time. His biggest complaint, these mowers are often not set-up properly, very few run at the correct RPM and that causes poor cut quality concerns. When a new one comes in the shop because it just doesn't cut right, the first thing he does is reset the RPM and sharpen the blades. That almost always cures the problem.

steve
 
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