In 2014 Toro celebrated its 100th anniversary. That milestone was notable not just because a century is a long time, but because Toro is one of the few long-time lawn mower manufacturers that has never been acquired by a larger company. It has retained its independence right from the start and that fact likely helps explain the company’s ability to maintain its high standards.
Toro makes a full line of electric and gas push and self-propelled mowers, but are probably best known for their riding mowers, including lawn tractors and zero turn mowers. Toro is also a major player in the commercial lawn care space, generating some 70% of their overall revenue from maintenance contracts with golf courses and ballparks nationwide. In the following Toro lawn mower reviews we’ll look at the company’s current product slate.
Our Toro Lawn Mower Reviews
History of Toro Lawn Mowers
The Toro Motor Company was founded in 1914 to produce engines for the Bull Tractor Company. As Bull was their only customer at the beginning, the founders decided their company name should dovetail with that of Bull, hence the name Toro.
In 1919 Toro developed the Standard Golf Machine, a large fairway mower that would soon become the golf industry standard. The development of the Standard Golf Machine is also recognized as the birth of the commercial golf course maintenance industry. To this day, golf course maintenance remains at the core of Toro’s business model.
Toro introduced its first gas powered mower in 1924. This mower, named the Park Special, had a 30 inch wide reel-style blade and would be the company’s most popular mower for the next 39 years, until it was displaced in the market by the demand for rotary mowers.
Following World War II, Toro acquired Whirlwind Company, a maker of rotary mowers. When first introduced, rotary mowers had met resistance from homeowners due to safety concerns. So Toro introduced the enclosed deck that shielded the operator from the rotating blade and much of that resistance faded. By the mid-50s Toro had become the #1 seller of rotating mowers in the country.
In 1989 Toro acquired the Lawn Boy brand, further solidifying their position in the residential lawn mower space. Today, Toro is a publicly traded company with $2.5 billion in annual sales and more than 6,000 employees.
Where are Toro Lawn Mowers Made?
Most Toro residential mowers covered in our Toro lawn mowers reviews are produced in Toro factories in Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, the electric motors the company uses for its mowers are made in Chongqing, China and shipped to the US to be joined with the frames and other parts made there.
Toro also sells a line of discount mowers through the Home Depot. Until 2007 Toro itself manufactured all of those mowers. Today, production of those mowers is outsourced to MTD Corporation, a joint venture of the Moll family and Stanley Black + Decker. MTD operates a number of facilities in North America where they assemble these discount mowers using parts made in China, Hungary and other places.