If you’re looking for a high-end, powerful lawn mower that comes with a whole host of neat features, then the Honda HRX217K5VKA is definitely worth your consideration. From the NeXite deck material to the VersaMow system to the twin blades, there's a lot to this mower. And in this Honda HRX217K5VKA review we're going to reveal what people who have bought it generally think, drilling down into its main pros and cons.
Honda HRX217K5VKA Review - Specifications
|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||Variable Speed Self Propel (0-4 mph), MicroCut System, VersaMow|
Honda HRX217K5VKA Pros: What People Like About this Mower
- Cutting Performance One of Best Around – There doesn’t seem to be much this mower can’t cut. Whereas inferior mowers buckle under the strain of cutting tall or thick grass, the Honda HRX217K5VKA laps it up. It powers right through 12” grass the same as it does 3” grass. This is thanks to the GCV200 engine, which is an absolute beast. So you don’t need to worry about those times when you go a while without being able to cut your grass, as this mower can handle it. We came across plenty of cases where folks mentioned it easily handles high grass, weeds, thick grass, wet conditions. You name it, this mower can deal with it.
- Mulches Like There’s No Tomorrow – The HRX217K5VKA comes with a 4-in-1 system, so as well as mulching, you can bag, discharge or shred your clippings. They call it the "Versamow" system, and it even allows you to combine bagging and mulching if you want to (so you can half bag, half mulch at the same time). How sick is that?! Lots of people like this mower for its mulching capabilities though, as it boasts a twin blade system that possesses 4 cutting surfaces. The end result? Ultra-fine clippings. During our research, we were shocked to read that lots of consumers can't even see the mulched clippings that are deposited back onto the lawn. You certainly don't get that with lower-grade models!
- Easiest Gas Mower to Start – One of the main worries people have when buying a gas mower is that it will be hard to start. Gas mowers get a bad rap in this sense, and you might have visions of having to perform some sort of gym routine just to get it going. Well, we can assure you that this won't be a problem with the Honda HRX217K5VKA. We didn't come across anyone that didn't start it in two pulls max (and even that was on the first use after winter). The overwhelming majority of folks claim that this mower starts up on the first pull every time, and not just that; you don't even have to give it a full-blooded pull. It fires up with half a pull.
- Solid Construction – This is something you expect with a mower of this price, but nevertheless Honda delivers on this front. It features a deck made of a high impact plastic composite called NeXite, which helps you to avoid the perils of rusting and should hopefully result in more years of use. The wheels also feature bearings, allowing them to roll easier, and with less resistance, your job becomes easier. The grass catcher is also well designed.
- Self-Propel Makes Light Work of Slopes – Having to deal with significant slopes can be hard work with a gas mower if it’s a push model. Hell, even covering a large flat space can be. And that's precisely why a self-propel system comes in very handy. It makes mowing a lot easier and means you don't end up out on your feet after you're finished in the garden. This mower features a variable speed system that allows you to adjust the speed from 0 to 4 mph, and it's also a rear-drive system. Generally speaking, rear-drive models fare better on inclines and this certainly seems to be the case with the HRX217K5VKA, as during our research we came across lots of folks that said it powered right up hills, slopes and uneven ground.
- Not Loud for a Gas Mower – Firing up a gas-powered lawn mower is never going to be a silent affair. But unlike with other models, we didn't find anyone complaining about the noise this one makes. You won't have to contend with deafening noise levels just to get your lawn cut.
- Simple Assembly – This arrives onto your porch pretty much already assembled. It’s just a matter of rotating the handles into the correct position, and then tightening up two thumb fasteners to secure it into place. You’ll then need to add oil (this comes with it) and some gas, and you’ll be good to go. All of this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes tops.
Honda HRX217K5VKA Cons: What People Complain About
- Cutting Height System Outdated – This is the biggest pain point that we ran into fairly frequently during our research. With so many cheaper lawn mowers offering much more efficient ways to change the cutting height, we can't help but think that the system on this one is outdated. And it also makes the process much trickier, particularly given how much the HRX217K5VKA weighs. You have to adjust the setting on each wheel individually. Design oversight?
- It’s Heavy! – This thing is solidly built, and as a consequence, it's pretty darn heavy. You have the adjustable self-propel feature to help you, but maneuvering it in tight spots requires a decent amount of force to control it. Just bear that in mind before you buy.
- High-End Price Point – It’s true, the Honda HRX217K5VKA is quite pricey as far as lawn mowers go. But then again it is a high-end model with some bells and whistles that you just don’t find on cheaper mowers. If you’re in the market for a mower that boasts this sort of quality, then you have to be prepared to pay for it. There’s no two ways about it.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Honda HRX217K5VKA
Is this an all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive?
The Honda HRX217K5VKA features a rear-wheel-drive system that ensures you won't lose traction, even when bagging your clippings going up slopes.
Does it have the blade stop feature that allows you to disengage the blade while the engine is running?
No. Honda does offer this feature on other models, but the HRX217K5VKA does not have this feature.
Does it feature electric start?
No. Other models possess the electric start feature, but this one doesn’t. It’s not really needed either, since it’s so easy to start up.
Does it come with oil?
Yes. This must be added prior to use.
The Bottom Line
Here's a few final thoughts on the Honda HRX217K5VKA and who we think it's best suited to.
Leave It on the Shelf
Honda HRX217K5VKA Review Conclusion:
The Honda HRX217K5VKA is a true beast of a mower and will plow through pretty much any conditions you're likely to face. The real question is whether you want to spend this much on a mower. If the answer is "yes" then you likely won't be disappointed.
KEN FRANTZ says
The self propel capability is great when mowing, but when it comes time to replace the V-belt, it is a pain to do. I tried several sources to find video or manual and was unsuccessful so I turned it into the shop. 1.5 hours to remove mower baffles and replace drive belt and reinstall baffles. $142.50 labor for a $13.81 belt.
Ouch! I hate it when it’s such a pain in the *** to replace a part that is really very affordable. Is it working well again now?
john w menech says
I am having a hard time trying to find out how much oil I should put in my honda hrx217k5vkaa lawn mower when I change the oil! Should the oil dip stick be screwed in to check the oil or should the dip stick be setting on top of the fill opening?
Hi John. Thanks for your comment!
You will want to screw the dipstick in completely when measuring the oil level. What I like to do is remove the dipstick and wipe it clean first, then screw it in completely before removing it again to read the oil level.
Just make sure your lawn mower is on a flat surface when doing this. Also be sure to add oil just a little bit at a time because it’s hard to remove oil if you accidentally add too much.
I hope this helps 🙂