The Honda HRX217K2HXA is the middle of the range mower in this series in terms of price. In terms of features you step up to a cruise control hydrostatic self propel system, rather than the variable speed one you get on the VKA model. Anyway, what’s good about this model? And why should you consider buying it? Are there any negative aspects to this mower? These are the questions we hope to try and answer for you during the course of this review.
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review - Specifications
|Engine||190 cc Honda GCV|
|Deck Size||21 inches|
|Cutting Modes||4-in-1: Bag, Discharge, Mulch or Shred|
|Cutting Heights||0.75 - 4 inches|
|Number of Cutting Heights||7|
|Extra Features||Hydrostatic Cruise Control Self Propel System|
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review – Key Features
- NeXite Deck – Get this, no more steel and aluminium decks which rust and suffer from the paint peeling. Honda’s NeXite decks are made from an almost indestructible polymer material (if you don’t believe us there’s a YouTube video where the decks are run over with a truck and hit with a sledge hammer – and still don’t break). This deck gives you several benefits: lighter, more manoeuvrable, grass clippings don’t stick to it so it’s easier to clean, you can get closer to fences, walls and edges whist still maintaining a 21” cutting width.
- Well Built & Requires Little Maintenance – If you have had any previous experience with Honda lawn mowers then you will know they don’t mess around. They are well built and designed to last. This mower is no different and will require little maintenance to keep it running like a champ.
- Cutting Blades – You have the Microcut blade system in place here just like on the 2 other models in the HRX series. Basically you have two blades cutting the grass instead of one, like in most other mowers. This definitely helps as it produces ultra fine clippings that are ideal for redistributing onto your yard when mulching. Even if you want to bag this blade system will benefit you as you can fit more of the smaller clippings into your bag, so you won’t be emptying it nearly as often.
- 4-in-1 Versamow System – Now this is something a bit special. This system allows you to bag, mulch, rear discharge or shred leaves without any additional attachments or inserts. Nice huh. What’s more is that you have a little lever on the mower called the “clip director”. This has a setting for “bagging mode” and a setting for “mulching mode”, with several other settings in between. This easy to use system allows you to actually half bag, half mulch if you want or three quarters bag, quarter mulch. It’s really up to you. We like this as it give you the versatility to adapt to different conditions.
- Cruise Control – If you are expecting a self propel system on this model, then you won’t be disappointed. You get the Honda hydrostatic cruise control system which has 9 different speed settings for you. You should definitely be able to find a setting which suits your own pace as they vary from a slow mans walking pace to a slow jog. This system also does a good job on hills and slopes.
- Blade Brake System – We have seen this on a few different mowers now, including the Toro, but it’s still a luxury feature. It allows you to shut of the blades without shutting the engine off. So if you need to step away from your mower for a second, maybe to remove a stone or to empty the grass catcher, then you won’t need to restart it up again.
- Adjustable Handle – This is designed to adjust to be comfortable for people with varying heights. This will suit both taller and short people. No more hunching over the mower because the handles too short.
- Easy to Start – This mower starts on the first pull pretty much every time. And it doesn’t even need you to pull the cord so hard like you are trying to rip it from the mower. One light pull, that’s all it takes.
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review – Assembly
Literally all you will have to do is lock the handle into place, install the bag and add gas and oil. Simple!
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review – Performance
- Cutting Ability – We have found that this model leaves a very even surface after the cut, which is exactly how it should be. Doesn’t bog down or stall in longer grass. Repeat stalling is always a pain isn’t it but no such problems with this Honda.
- Mulching Ability – This mower really does a good job at mulching. So if you are in the market for a mulching mower, you really won’t be disappointed here. The twin blades we mentioned earlier definitely help here. You can even mulch wet or damp grass with this mower and you won’t have a problem coping with thick grass either.
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review – Pros
- Starts easily
- Self propel system makes it highly manoeuvrable
- Multiple options with 4-in-1 deck
- Turn off blades without turning off engine
- Mulches well
- Cuts really well
- NeXite deck insanely strong
- Easy to set up
- Quiet when running
- Grass bag easy to use
- Features cut down mowing time
Honda HRX217K2HXA Review – Cons
- Price – This mower is expensive. There’s no getting away from that. You will have to weigh up whether you want or need a top of the range mower. You really do get what you pay for here though.
- On longer grass sometimes the wheels can tend to flatten it as it has slightly wider wheels than normal. Obviously if it does flatten the grass then it will make the blade’s job much harder and sometimes results in missed grass. Just don’t let your grass get really long and you will be fine.
- Weight distribution – this does seem to be a bit of a problem on all 3 Honda HRX models and on rear drive models in general. Because of the rear drive transmission, the weight on the mower is biased towards the rear. When you bag clippings you are obviously further increasing the weight towards the rear of the mower and this can cause the front end to lift up and bounce. We would defiantly recommend that if you are intending to bag with this mower, do not fill the bag 100%. Fill it to 75-80% and then empty it.
- Some people have found the rear wheel drive a little irritating if they have to make a lot of turns in their yard. This is because you will have to disengage the clutch and then re-engage it after you have turned. If you have a lot of turns as you can imagine this gets a bit tedious.
- Handle area crowded – Although some people class this as an advantage, other people don’t actually like the fact that all the features are packed onto the handle. If you like simplicity then this won’t be for you. Short learning curve required – It will take you a little while to get used to all the features you have at your disposal here and how to use them. So you will need to spend a bit of time “getting to know” this mower.
This is a top of the range mower and you do pay for all the features you get. But you have so much variety here that we defiantly think it's worth the big bucks. Honda is renowned for making durable mowers anyway, so you should get your money's worth. What you get with the Honda HRX217K2HXA is versatility, a quality cut, convenience and time saving features. All in all it’s a very well made lawn mower.
Do Not think for one second that a plastic deck is durable….. Its not. And the life time warranty.. is only in the life of an ant.. Not yours. Honda claims, normal use is covered… but the video shows a truck running over the deck… Is that normal ?
If your truck runs over the deck..Guess what.. NOT COVERED…
Thanks Honda for your false impressions to make a sale !!!
Keep up the lousy marketing campaign. It certainly will get you to places similar to VW !!
I don’t think warranties exist for you running over your items. People would just run them over and get a brand new one if that was the case.
They exist to protect you from mistakes in design or manufacturing. Things that the company has some control over.
David Bryant says
I feel compelled to respond to the only other comment on this review at this time. I owned the previous version of this mower for 18 years. That mower had the Xenoy deck which was also plastic and I never had an issue of any kind. In fact, grass doesn’t stick to these decks which is a major time saver. I mulched exclusively and would occasionally have to stop the mower to remove grass from between the twin blades/deck but in the current twin blade setup the blades are offset enough to eliminate that problem. The small complaint I have with the current mower is the auto choke system; I’d prefer to control that myself but that is just me. The latest version of this model is improved in every way and I will be buying one soon. I consider this review both thoughtful and honest.
Bill Setag says
I have this mower for almost 15 years. Just this summer I noticed uneven grass cutting. I thought it was the blade so I sharpened them. Nope, its a crack in the deck, and its a long one. Looks like it started some time ago and slowly progressed. I seriously doubt Honda is going to honor their warranty – just a smoke and mirror sales gimmick anyway. Motor is great and the transmission is still going strong, but, keep replacing both regularly. I mowed my last yard with this mower … the crack in deck is an unsafe situation.