Nowadays Toro and Honda seem to always be at the forefront of the walk behind mower industry. If you take a look at the HXR series from Honda, it’s easy to see why. Packed with features and producing an amazing quality of cut, they really are something special. The Honda HRX217K2HMA is a model from that series. Let’s make a start by going through all the key features you will find on this mower.
Honda HRX217K2HMA 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, Electric start|
Honda HRX217K2HMA Review – Key Features
- NeXite Deck – Now this is interesting, a real innovation. Instead of the normal steel or aluminium cutting decks, Honda has developed a cutting deck made from an ultra durable polymer material. This give you so many advantages – Its rust free, no peeling paint, grass clippings don’t stick to it so it’s easier to clean and it strips more than 10 lbs off the weight. Well done Honda!
- Solid and reliable – This machine is build to last. This has become a feature of Honda’s mowers to be honest.
- Electric start – This is the defining feature on this model. No other model in the HRX series has this. This is ideal if you are elderly or if you just hate using a pull cord. Just put in the key, turn it and off you go. If you do want to use the pull cord it only takes one light pull and it fires up. Just the way it should be.
- 4-in-1 Versamow system – This is something a little bit unique that Honda has added on. On these mowers you can bag, mulch, rear discharge and shred leaves – all without any additional attachments, pretty cool huh. But that’s not it. You can actually half bag, half mulch if you want to. You have a little lever called the “clip director”. At one end of the scale is “bag” and at the other is “mulch” and there are several setting in between. If you position it half way you will get half the clipping mulched and half will find their way into your grass catcher. This system is really easy to operate and gives you a lot of versatility. You can make a decision on the fly depending on conditions.
- Honda hydrostatic cruise control – This is the self propel system you get on the Honda HRX217K2HMA. This is a nice system which has 9 settings. This should give you enough variation to find a speed you are comfortable with. This system also handles hills and slopes well, so if you have that kind of challenge in your yard, then this mower is more than up to it.
- Roto-Blade BBC System – this doesn’t come with all models in the HRX series, but you get it here. Definitely handy to have. It allows you to shut off the blades but keep the engine running. You might find this handy if you need to step away from the mower to remove some sticks or perhaps your kid’s toys or to empty the grass catcher if you decide to bag your clippings.
Honda HRX217K2HMA Review – Assembly
A Honda HRX217K2HMA really is an absolute breeze to set up. You won’t need to mess around here, just pull it out the box, snap the handle into place, oil and gas and away you go. Couldn’t be much simpler, could it.
Honda HRX217K2HMA Review – Performance
- Cutting Ability – The quality of cut you get with the HRX series is really impressive. This is most probably due to the Microcut blade system and the way the deck is designed. The Microcut blade system is a twin blade design, so you actually have 2 blades cutting your grass. The deck is designed so that after the original cut, the clippings will be circulated around the deck and put through the cutting cycle a few more time so you are left with ultra fine clippings. This thing is quiet too, in fact quite a lot quieter than other mowers. In comparison to the Briggs and Stratton engines you find in a lot of Toro mowers, these engines are at least 20% quieter.
- Mulching Ability – Due to the blade system and deck we just mentioned, this mower produces ultra fine clippings that it distributes back onto your lawn. You will probably wonder where the clippings have gone. Your lawn will look as though you bagged the clippings, they are that hard to see.
Honda HRX217K2HMA Review – Pros
- Virtually pre-assembled
- Easy to start – both with pull cord and electric start feature
- Runs quietly
- Turn the blade off without shutting the engine off
- Self propel system with 9 different settings
- 4-in-1 mower – mulch, bag, shred or discharge
- Cuts great
- Mulches great
- Solid build
- NeXite cutting deck – no risk of rust, easy to clean and incredibly strong
Honda HRX217K2HMA Review – Cons
- Expensive – This is a top of the range walk behind mower, so naturally the initial cost is high. But you really do get what you pay for in this case. Say you pay half the price and end up replacing your mower every 3 years, you will actually pay more in the long run. This mower is built to last season after season.
- The cutting height adjustment system is a bit stiff, especially on the rear wheels.
- Rear drive transmission – The self propel system is a rear drive one and if your lawn has a lot of turns then this can get annoying until you get used to it. This is because every time you want to turn you will have to turn the self propel off otherwise you will keep going forward. In this kind of situation a front drive would probably be better because when turning around you can just lift the front wheels off the ground instead of having to turn the self propel off. Rear drive transmission is defiantly a plus if you have hills or slopes though!
- It only comes with one key, so you don’t get a spare. This is a bit annoying considering the price you are paying.
To be honest we think the Honda HRX series are right up there with the best walk behind models on the market. This model is great if you are intent on having the electric start feature. If you don’t need the electric start then take a look at the other two models in this series. But one thing is for sure – you won’t regret buying a lawn mower from this series.