Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews 2023. Honda mower easy start

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews 2023

Deciding on the best self-propelled lawn mower isn’t as easy as it used to be. Do you need commercial or residential quality? Do you want to use gas or batteries for power? How much grass do you need to cut? Are you a mulcher or a bagger?

Having tested dozens of the best walk-behind lawn mowers from entry-level residential to the top professional models, we got our Pro team together to choose our top mowers in a range of scenarios.

One of the big things changing in the market is Honda’s announcement that the brand is exiting the lawn mower market. While you can still buy Honda mowers until they run out of stock, 2023 marks the end of production. We still highly recommend them, but due to the news and iffy availability, we’re not considering Honda as part of our choices this year.

Want to see more, including ride-on and robotic recommendations? Read out Best Lawn Mower Reviews main article!

Best Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower

Commercial: Exmark Commercial X-Series Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

As we bid adieu to Honda this year, the HRC series still gets two thumbs up from us while you can get them. From there, we turn to Exnark and its Commercial X line that complements its Lazer Z zero-turn mowers well. Some professionals will certainly turn to the higher-capacity 30-inch model, but we expect the 21-inch model will find its way onto more trailers.

Exmark wisely uses a Honda 163cc GXV engine with a legendary reputation for reliability. It’s fed by a generous 1-gallon fuel tank and turns the blade at tip speeds up to 18,500 fpm. There’s also an option for a Kawasaki FJ180V engine if you’d like to step up to a 179cc engine.

The deck is 1/4-inch aluminum construction that keeps the weight down (112 pounds) while maintaining high durability. The deck is adjustable from 4.5 inches on the high side all the way down to 1 inch while the drive runs at speeds up to 4.2 MPH.

Residential: Toro Super Recycler Series 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Toro runs deep in the residential lawn mower sector and our favorite among them is the Super Recycler series. Getting the best of all the technology Toro has to offer, our top recommendation (model 21565) includes the Personal Pace drive system and the Smart Stow design that allows you to vertically store the mower even though it’s a gas model.

It uses a 163cc Briggs Stratton engine that produces 7.25 ft-lbs of torque and just under 17,000 fpm blade tip speed.

Toro touts a commercial-grade construction on this model and includes a lighter aluminum deck rather than steel. In addition to that, you get outstanding cut quality, especially on the mulching side (you better with the name Super Recycler!). Wrapping it up, the Personal Pace drive system adjusts to your walking pace so there are no levers or dials to adjust.

Best Self-Propelled Electric Lawn Mower

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to find the best battery-powered lawn mower, you could only find residential models. Now, there’s an emerging class of professional-grade options and we have picks for both Pros and homeowners.

Professional: Milwaukee M18 Fuel 21-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

There aren’t many true commercial self-propelled lawn mowers with lithium-ion power sources. Milwaukee launched their effort in 2022 with a monstrous 10 ft-lbs of torque that tops what you typically see from a 200cc gas engine. It’s more than just muscle, though. Its blade and deck combine to handle mulching and bagging better than most.

As you roll into fall, the mower’s high-lift mode keeps the blades at 3300 RPM to help pull those lightweight leaves and clean up your lawn. Other features include 180° LED lighting, LED battery indicators facing you, variable speed thumb bar (in addition to the speed wheel), a durable build, and much more.

Price: 1099.00 with two 12.0Ah batteries and dual-port Rapid charger

Residential: EGO Select Cut XP 21-Inch Lawn Mower with Speed IQ

The evolution of EGO’s flagship mower is interesting. It started with the dual-battery Peak Power model that raised the bar of what lithium-ion is capable of. Then, we saw the first stacked-blade SelectCut options that improved cut quality and effectiveness in tall grass. The two technologies combined in the SelectCut XP. Now EGO adds Speed IQ to the mix.

Speed IQ is a self-propelled drive system that automatically adjusts to your pace. However, it’s not a spring-loaded set of handles like Toro uses on its Personal Pace models. Instead, there’s a sensor doing some serious engineering magic… and it works like a charm from our brief time with it at Equip Expo 2022 (formerly GIE).

Price: 599.00 bare, 999.00 with a 12.0Ah battery and Turbo charger

Best Large Walk-Behind Lawn Mower

Commercial: Greenworks Commercial 30-Inch Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Can a battery-powered commercial mower really displace gas models? Greenworks Commercial has an 82V 30-inch model that got our attention at the Equip Expo in late 2022, and it’s hard to ignore as a legitimate option. It has the power to replace a 200cc gas engine with blade speeds up to 16,000 FPM. On a full charge, it can cover up to 2 acres.

There are drive system features worth considering as well. Independent hub wheel motors engage what Greenworks calls the Easy Turn System (ETS), making the mower easier to maneuver. Another big deal is that there is a powered reverse function—something that’s incredibly helpful with the weight of mowers in this class. The controls are all up next to your hands and there’s even a display to help you keep track of your battery levels.

Price: 1999.99 bare, 2999.99 with three 8Ah batteries and a dual-port charger

Residential: Toro TimeMaster 30-inch Personal Pace Mower

With 10 ft-lbs of torque delivered from its Briggs Stratton 223cc engine, the 30-inch Toro TimeMaster is our pick as the best large walk-behind lawn mower. Not only does it deliver big power to turn its time-saving 30-inch blade, but it also features Toro’s Personal Pace self-propelled drive and Spin-Stop that lets you stop the blade without shutting off the mower.

It all adds up to big-time savings on larger lawns. Grab model 21200 if you want an electric start or the 21199 if you don’t mind a recoil start and want to save 100.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for the Money

Toro’s 21-inch Recycler (21352) offers an excellent value for budget-minded homeowners. It’s a Made in the USA rear-wheel drive system powered by a Briggs Stratton 140cc engine. It comes ready to mulch, bag, or side discharge and you don’t have to worry about changing the oil. Just check the levels and add more when it’s necessary.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Brand

No one in the self-propelled lawn mower market dominates like Honda. Their engines enjoy a reputation for quality and durability every other manufacturer is shooting for, and their mowers are simply outstanding.

They typically run at a premium, though. Both Honda mowers and Honda-powered mowers are more expensive than similar designs from other brands. The big kick in the pants is Honda leaving the market, though.

That opens the door for Toro. There are a lot of Toro models we recommend for good reason and hit a wide range from budget-friendly homeowner mowers to commercial zero turns. It’s one of the best-selling brands of walk-behind mowers.

Getting hard sales figures is tough to come by, and it’s always possible we missed the mark. However, we see more Honda and Toro walk-behind mowers on commercial trailers and residential lawns than any other brand.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Bagging

You don’t have to ditch your current self-propelled lawn mower and buy a whole new one to improve your bagging efficiency. In most cases, adding a high-lift blade to your current mower will make a significant difference. With the exception of electric mowers, you don’t need to worry too much about matching the brand making the blade, but you do need to match the arbor style and the length. The package should tell you which brands it is compatible with.

If you’re still in the market for a new mower, higher RPMs make for better airflow and bagging. Check mowers with a 160cc or higher engine and compare the top blade speeds. You can always swap blades, but you can’t change the speed.

Pro Tip: If you have a 2-point or 4-point deck height adjustment, set the front wheels of your mower one notch higher than the rear to improve bagging.

Best Self-Propelled Mulching Lawn Mower

Similar to a high-lift blade for bagging, you can improve your mulching efficiency with a mulching-specific blade. These usually have additional cutting edges that cut the clippings more times before they drop back into the grass. Keeping the blade sharp ensures you get the best mulching results every time you mow.

If you’re in the market for a new mower, look for a 160cc or higher engine to give you the torque you need to keep your blade speed high in thicker grass. Remember, you can always add a mulching blade, but you can’t make up for an underpowered engine.

Pro Tip: You get the best mulching results if you’re only taking an inch or two off the top of your grass, so make sure you stay on top of lawn maintenance during the peak cutting season.

Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mower – Priorities

Best Rear-Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower for Hills: YBravo Gen II 25-inch Commercial Mower

After running into issues with other commercial walk-behind mowers, we turned to YBravo 25-inch commercial mower to take care of a 3-acre soggy field that our ZTs only bogged down in. Its Kawasaki 180cc engine kept the blade turning where others simply stalled.

When it’s time to move out of the radio station swamp and you’re going for a more professional look, its cut quality is excellent as well. Available in a 21-inch and the 25-inch model we tested, Ybravo is worth serious consideration.

If you have a Bad Boy dealer closer to you, check out the same model sold under the Bad Boy brand name.

Best All-Wheel Drive Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Toro 22-inch Personal Pace All-Wheel Drive Mower 21472

AWD mowers are what you turn to for work on slopes and uneven terrain where it’s possible to have a wheel or two lose traction. For the best all-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mower, we like the Toro 21472 Personal Pace model.

Its 22-inch deck is on the larger size of standard mowers and the Personal Pace system is easy to work with once you get used to it. If you switch between mulching and bagging, the mower’s lever system is super simple.

Packing plenty of power with its 163cc Briggs Stratton engine, it’s not so much that it destroys the competition. It’s that its performance is excellent and the innovations are genuinely helpful while keeping its price in check.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Recommendations

Not every mower earns an award, but there are several other models we recommend that didn’t find a place earlier in the article. Check these options out if one of the others doesn’t fit your needs.

Best Lawn Mower Buying Guide – What We Look For

Gas vs Battery

Gas power still wins the day when you’re highest priorities are keeping your purchase price down and your power level high. With advancements in battery and motor technology, the OPE world is shifting towards battery power, though. It’s cleaner and quieter to run and requires less maintenance.

However, you have to look at premium models to get true gas power, and runtime can be a limiting factor. It’s also less likely you have a service center nearby that can get you back up and running quickly if there’s a problem.

If your lawn is a 1/4-acre or less, there are a lot of battery-powered options available. Once you get beyond that size, you need to consider how many batteries you’ll need and legitimate options really start to thin out once you hit 1/2 an acre. With larger lawns, newer battery-powered zero turn mowers are a legitimate option.

Take a deeper look at the comparison between gas and battery power in this article.

Commercial vs Residential

This might be better titled “professional vs homeowner” considering there are both commercial and residential professional crews. Regardless, commercial mowers are built with better components and commercial engines, creating a machine that is built to last for years of high-hour daily use.

If you’re a homeowner mowing once a week or so, a good residential mower can still last for 5 or 10 years (or more) if you take care of it. It just uses components and engine designs better fit for occasional use.

Engine Size and Cutting Power

If you stay on top of your mowing and cut quality isn’t a high priority, an engine as small as 140cc is likely fine.

Move up to the 160cc–180cc class for better performance when the grass is thicker and taller, or when you want to make sure you get excellent mulching, bagging, and/or clean cuts. The greater power improves lift and is less likely to bog down in thick patches.

When you’re looking at deck sizes beyond 22 inches, you should start looking for engines in the 180cc–200cc range (or higher) to ensure it can keep the RPMs high while it’s cutting such a large swath.

Cut Quality

We look for three major components of cut quality: evenness, mulching size, and bagging efficiency.

Evenness is pretty straightforward. When we’re testing, we look for grass blades that weren’t cut and indications that there wasn’t enough lift to clip all of the blades at the same level.

When mulching, smaller clippings are better since they drop down closer to the base of the remaining grass. We also look to see if a mower is prone to leaving trails and clumps.

For bagging, it’s all about how much grass is collected, if the chute tends to clog while we’re cutting, and how much grass is deposited back to the ground.

Noise Level

One of the major benefits of battery-powered mowers is the lower noise levels compared to gas, but that doesn’t mean gas mowers have to be obnoxious. We expect higher levels than battery-powered models and that is typically the case.

When we test noise levels, we measure from our operator’s ear to get an idea of what the person using the mower should expect. Even though some mowers are quieter than others, we still recommend hearing protection when you’re using a gas model.

Fuel Efficiency

How efficient gas mowers use fuel has a very direct effect on your wallet, especially when you’re mowing every day as a Pro.

Fuel efficiency testing is more than just a runtime calculation. The cutting swath of a mower comes into play, especially on those 25 and 30-inch models. With larger lawns, it’s possible to get more cutting done per gallon of gas with an engine that uses more gas per hour.

Deck Size

21 or 22 inches is pretty standard for most mowers. Jumping up to a 25-inch or 30-inch mower may seem tempting, but it’s not for everyone.

If your lawn is a 1/4-acre or less, the time you gain with a larger deck might not mean a whole lot of time savings. Where you really gain some time is on lawns that are a 1/2-acre or more.

Keep in mind, larger deck-size mowers are heavier. When you have to mow wet or soggy areas, the weight can work against you.

Steel vs Plastic (Poly) Deck

The vast majority of gas mowers have steel decks while battery-powered models have a much higher percentage of plastic poly decks.

Those poly plastic decks are tougher than they look, but they probably won’t hold up as well as steel in the long run. It’s still highly unlikely that you’ll wear through one before it’s time to replace the mower, though.

However, there’s a whole lot more design flexibility that comes with poly decks, and engineers can do some amazing things to help with airflow that directly affects cut quality along with bagging and mulching efficiency.

Deck Height

Here in Florida, we have a lot of St. Augustine grass that we cut at 3 1/2 inches, so we prefer a mower that has at least a 4-inch maximum deck height.

Depending on what species of grass you have, you might be able to get away with a lower height, but 4 inches is a good all-around benchmark.

Best Honda Lawn Mowers in 2023. Top 5 Review | Gas Powered/Electric Start Lawn Mowers

On the low end, most of us aren’t cutting golf course greens (you’d use a reel mower for that, anyway), so the minimum deck height usually isn’t an issue.

However, if you use a blade that dethatches or scalps for maintenance or re-seeding, you might want to make sure the deck height gets low enough—typically 1 1/2 inches or less.

Height Adjustment

Single-point height adjustments are the easiest since you can raise or lower the deck with just one lever. It’s common on battery-powered lawn mowers, but not so much on their heavier gas counterparts.

Part of that is because the single-point mechanisms tend to introduce additional flex into the system and the weight of a gas mower puts more strain on the mechanism. So while we generally prefer single-point, we understand why gas mowers may opt away from them.

Pro Tip: Set the front wheels one notch higher than the rear wheels to improve bagging efficiency on 4-point or 2-point adjustable mowers.

Adjustment Levels

If you’re really OCD, more height adjustments mean more precise cutting. Realistically, most of us are going to find a good height on any mower as long as it hits the maximum and minimum heights we mow at.

Setting the Speed

The type of speed adjustment your self-propelled lawn mower has can make or break your experience. There are pull levers, thumb push levers, full push bars (Toro’s Personal Pace), and iterations on those.

Try it at the dealer before you buy it. If you hate working the mechanism for a couple of minutes, imagine what it’s going to feel like after 30 minutes or an hour.

Front-Wheel Drive, Rear-Wheel Drive, or All-Wheel Drive?

Front-wheel drive lawn mowers are typically the least expensive and work well for even terrain. They also help you turn the easiest since you lift up the drive wheels as you make your turns.

Rear-wheel drive mowers add some cost but create better traction on hills and slopes. They’re particularly good at pushing the mower’s weight uphill where front-wheel drives start to lose traction as they try to pull the weight.

All-wheel drive mowers are the most expensive and generally do the best job on hills, slopes, and uneven terrain. On particularly bumpy areas where it’s likely one or more wheels will lose traction, it’s the best bet.

Wheel Size

Larger wheels tend to handle bumps and uneven terrain better than smaller wheels according to manufacturers. However, it’s a claim that Consumer Reports says isn’t really the case.

Electric Start

If you’ve used a gas engine, there’s a good chance you’ve worn out your arm pulling the cord to start it. There’s no doubt that having an electric start on your mower can take away a lot of the frustration.

It won’t make up for poor maintenance, though. A well-maintained mower starts easily on the first or second pull. That begs the question as to whether the electric start is worth an extra hundred dollars.

It’s totally up to you, but if it’s in the budget, we want it.

Mulch, Bag, or Side/Rear Discharge?

Most quality mowers are 3-in-1, meaning you can bag, mulch, or side/rear discharge. Less expensive models often only provide options for bagging and mulching. Which one you choose depends on what type of grass you have, how fast it grows, and your personal preference.

In central Florida where St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bahia dominate our landscapes, the summer heat and rains make our grass grow incredibly fast. Most of us mulch out of necessity since we almost need a dumpster for the volume of clippings we create.

Handle Positions

Most lawn mowers have 3 handle positions you can set. For tall guys like me or average-height guys like Clint, it helps you find a more comfortable grip. Some mowers opt for 2, or sometimes just 1 handle position.


Value is more than just price. We take a broad look at the performance and features compared to the price to determine the value of each mower.

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews

Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers?

That’s not us. We only recommend what we’d actually use, even if we don’t earn a commission from it. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.

We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.

Each year, we bring in and review more than 250 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.

We consult with innovators in the technology and design of tools to gain a broader grasp of where these products fit and how they work.

best, self-propelled, lawn, mower

We work with more than two dozen professional contractors around the United States who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weighting.

We’ll provide more than 500 pieces of new content this year absolutely free for our readers—including objective evaluations of individual tools and products.

The end result is information you can trust because of the editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience we collectively utilize each and every time we pick up and test a tool.

Buying guide for best Honda lawn mowers

Honda has a great line of push mowers as well as walk-behind mowers in a variety of styles to meet your mowing needs. Whether you’re looking for something for your lawn or contracting business, you may find what you need in one of Honda’s durable and easy-to use mowers.

For push mowers, Honda has lightweight machines that are easy to maneuver. When it comes to walk-behind mowers, Honda has machines with varying features in a range of prices. The company’s walk-behinds vary in engine type, transmission control, brake type, and capability. Not everyone needs leaf shredding or an electric start function, so you should consider each machine’s capabilities before you make a buying decision.

This shopping guide will help you find the best Honda lawn mower for your yard or property. If you’re ready to buy a Honda mower, take a look at our top picks in the product list above.

Unlike walk-behind mowers that require you to push or pull the mower to adjust speed, many Honda mowers have a clutch or speed dial that you can easily adjust with one hand.

Push mowers and walk-behind mowers by Honda

Should you go with a traditional gas-powered push mower or move one step up for the ease of a walk-behind mower? Honda has great options either way, but before you buy, you should make sure you understand what comes with each type.

Honda push mowers

Honda’s HRS push mower series consists of tough side-discharge machines at a lower price than walk-behind mowers.

If you don’t mind the exercise, Honda’s push mowers are durable and lightweight, making them easy to use and transport.

Honda walk-behind mowers

Honda’s walk-behind mowers are great machines with simple controls and a variety of features.

Walk-behind mowers work much like push mowers, so if you’ve been using a push mower for years, it will be an easy transition. The engine propels the mower, often at variable speeds to match your comfortable walking speed. Steering is up to you, and stopping the machine is as simple as releasing the blade control lever, just as you would with a push mower.

Honda’s walk-behind mowers typically weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. They tend to be more expensive than the company’s push mowers, but if a self-propelled mower is what you’re after, Honda has several models to choose from.

We assess which Honda lawn mowers offer the best handle positioning. HRS mowers have single-position handles, HRR and HRC mowers have two-position handles, and the HRX has three handle positions, thus providing the most flexibility.

Most Honda lawn mowers have a flywheel brake, which stops the engine and blade when released. However, HRR and HRX Honda models have a Roto-Stop Blade Stop System that is a step above a regular flywheel brake. We note the Honda mowers that have this feature in our research.

Honda mowers have one of two engines: the GCV160 or the GCV190. We compare both engines in our research, noting that the GCV160 offers 4.4 HP, and the GCV190 offers 5.1 HP.

Since the cutting height varies between each Honda series, we note the height in our research. HRS models cut between 1 and 3.5 inches, HRR models cut between 1.125 and 4 inches, and HRX and HRC models cut between.75 and 4 inches.

The best Honda lawn mowers have a clip director so you can choose between bagging, mulching, leaf shredding, and discharging.

Honda lawn mowers come equipped with a 1.9-bushel bag (HRR series) or a 2.5-bushel bag (HRX and HRC mowers). We note the bag capacity of every Honda mower in our research.

We note each Honda’s deck material. The HRS, HRR, and HRC series all feature steel decks, whereas the HRX series has a NeXite deck. NeXite is a rust-proof polymer that’s stronger than steel.

When researching walk-behind mowers, we note what type of transmission control systems each model has. There are three kinds: adjustable Smart drive transmissions, select drive transmissions, and cruise control hydrostatic transmissions.

We often review Honda lawn mowers with electric-start engines because we understand that many readers appreciate how easy it is to start an electric-start mower.

Honda lawn mower features

Not all Honda mowers have the same capabilities. Below, we discuss some features to look for.

Bag capacity

Bag-equipped mowers in the HRR series feature 1.9-bushel bags, while the HRX and HRC mowers all have 2.5-bushel capacity. The larger bag can be more cumbersome, however. Either way, you will be emptying your bag multiple times with most yards.

Blade safety system

Most Honda lawn mowers use a traditional flywheel brake, which stops the engine and blade when released. One step up from this is the Roto-Stop Blade Stop System, which some HRR and HRX models have. The Roto-Stop BSS works much like a flywheel brake, but releasing the blade control lever stops the blade while keeping the engine running. This feature saves you the effort of restarting the engine when you need to leave the mower briefly.

Clip direction

Some Honda mowers have a clip director that allows you to switch from bagging, mulching, leaf shredding, or discharging.

  • HRR mowers feature a three-in-one clip director for mulching, bagging, or discharging.
  • HRX mowers have a four-in-one clip director for mulching, bagging, discharging, or leaf shredding. You can mulch and bag at the same time with the Versamow system, which also allows you to control how much grass is mulched and how much goes in the bag.

Cutting height

Cutting height varies between each series. HRS mowers have a range of 1 to 3.5 inches, while HRR mowers range from 1.125 to 4 inches. Both the HRX and HRC series have a range of.75 to 4 inches to suit a variety of lawns.


All Honda decks measure 21 inches in diameter. The HRX series feature NeXite decks, which are made of a rust-proof material that’s more durable than steel.

The HRS, HRR, and HRC series feature steel decks, which are very rugged, even if they aren’t as tough as the NeXite decks.

Electric start

Anyone who has used a recoil start (or pull-start) lawn mower knows how unpleasant and frustrating this task can be. Some Honda mowers have electric-start engines. With the simple turn of a key, the engine starts on the first try. And unlike standard electric-start batteries that require charging, Honda’s electric-start batteries are self-charging.


Two engines are available with Honda mowers: the GCV160 and the GCV190.

The GCV160 offers 4.4 HP, and the GCV190 offers 5.1 HP. Both are four-stroke engines with 0.98-quart fuel tank capacity.

Handle Positioning

While HRS mowers have single-position handles, HRR and HRC series mowers have two-position handles, and the HRX offers the most flexibility with three positions.

Mulching, bagging, discharging, and leaf-shredding capabilities

The HRS series offers mulching and discharging capabilities, while the HRR series can mulch, discharge, and bag. The HRX series does it all with mulching, bagging, discharging, and leaf shredding, while the HRC series can mulch, bag, and optionally, discharge.

Transmission control

For walk-behind mowers, transmission can be controlled in a number of ways. Honda has several transmission control systems to choose from.

  • Adjustable Smart drive transmissions, as seen in some HRR and HRX mowers, have five speed settings from zero to four miles per hour. The speed is controlled with a paddle on the handlebar, which can easily be twisted with either hand.
  • Select drive transmissions allow you to set a maximum speed before you begin mowing. Then, you can partially or fully engage a lever to adjust your speed as you mow.
  • Cruise control hydrostatic transmissions offer the most versatility, allowing you to choose any speed between zero and four miles per hour. You can use cruise control to set a steady speed, and the clutch lever can be used to speed up or slow down as you mow.

Honda lawn mower prices

Walk-behind mowers usually cost more than push mowers, but the higher price usually translates to greater convenience and added features.

Most of Honda’s push mowers – and some Honda walk-behind mowers – fall in the 375 to 550 price range.

Mid-range mowers include most of Honda’s walk-behind mowers and even commercial push mowers in the range of 600 to 800.

In the range of 800 to 1,250, you’ll find some of Honda’s HRX mowers and most of their commercial HRC series.

The leaf-shredding feature of HRX mowers is incredibly efficient and deposits leaves into the bag, so you don’t have to worry about raking.


Q. Can you mow wet grass with a Honda mower?

A. Due to the danger of slipping and the possibility of clogging the deck, you should always mow dry grass.

Q. How do you stop a walk-behind mower?

A. Just like a push mower, you simply release the blade control lever to stop the engine. With mowers equipped with Roto-Stop BSS, release the blade control lever and return the throttle lever to the off position to stop the engine.

Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower review: cut your yard faster with this speedy self-propelling lawn mower

Honda understands that push mowers can be heavy, slow, and hard to maneuver which is why they designed the HRN216VKA. Like many walk-behind mowers, it has a self-propel system but combined with a Smart Drive handle, it can reach speeds up to 4 mph. Mowing on inclines and turning tight corners is irrevocably easier. If that wasn’t great enough, the HRN216VKA has mulching, bagging, and discharge functions and seven different cutting heights.

  • Can be stored flat
  • Mulch, bag, and discharge capabilities
  • Self-propel speeds up to 4 mph
  • No engine choke required
  • Includes 1.9-bushel rear bag
  • Seven different cutting heights

Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Mowing any yard can be tiresome – especially with a heavy or cumbersome lawn mower. That’s why the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower caught my eye.

I’ve used self-propel lawn mowers in the past, but most self-propel systems required a little bit of a push. When I discovered that the Honda HRN216VKA boasted a self-propeller that could reach speeds up to 4 mph, I was ecstatic to try it out. Would it make mowing my lawn easier? Faster? With a half-an-acre yard and some slopes to contend with, I discovered those answers soon enough.

Keep on reading below to learn all about my experience testing the Honda HRN216VKA and whether it makes the cut as one of the best lawn mowers.

Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower: key specifications

Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled lawn mower | MRSP 519 at Honda Featuring a Honda GCV1270 engine with autochoke system, 3-in-1 Clip Director for mulching, bagging and discharge and a Smart drive variable speed function.

What is the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower like to use?

The Honda HRN216VKA arrived at my home already assembled, but from what I’ve read, assembly is simple and could take up to 10 minutes to complete.

As it is a gas mower, I filled the tank with the suggested amount of gas (the oil had already been added to the tank when it arrived at my house). Then, I adjusted the wheels with the dual levers to my preferred height. I’m not a fan of the Honda’s plastic wheels, but I can overlook that because it has seven different cutting adjustments that range from 1–4 inches. Plus, I liked how easy it was to adjust the cutting height with the levers on the wheels.

Clipping collection and mulching options Before I started the mower, I had to decide whether to mulch, bag, or discharge the yard clippings. The Honda HRN216VKA has a Clip Director on the side of the deck. All it takes is sliding it to the right or left to choose which function I desire the mower to do. The Honda comes with a 1.9-bushel bag – which is easy to get on and off – but I preferred to use the mulching feature most of the time. I tested the lawn mower in the fall/early winter so my yard was full of leaves and I wanted to recycle the leaves as mulch so as to provide my yard with some nutrients.

As far as the discharge option, it’s a rear discharge which means it is designed to spit the clippings on the backside of the mower – right on your legs. This seems like an unnecessary (and messy!) feature to me, but the option is built into the mower if that’s something you prefer.

Operation To start the mower, I pulled the flywheel brake safety system lever toward the handle and gripped it with my left hand while my right hand pulled the recoil starter rope. It usually takes one or two pulls for the engine to start. I like that it doesn’t require an engine choke.

Of course, the first thing I wanted to try was the Smart Drive Self Propel system. The folks at Honda made the lever an ergonomic paddle lever that can be pushed down with your thumbs or palm. I use my thumbs on both hands, but you can easily use just one hand if you’d like. The lever can be adjusted in five different positions which means I was able to find a comfortable position for my wrist.

I will warn you – the Smart Drive Self Propel has a kick. It can go from 0 to 4 mph immediately. Too much pressure and the lawn mower will buck and zip forward. If you’re not holding on tight, it could escape your grip. However, if you don’t apply enough pressure, you’ll basically be pushing the lawn mower (I did push the lawn mower without the self-propel to see how heavy it was and it’s not too bad). I can attest that it took me a few tries to intuitively get a feel for how to use the Smart Drive Self Propel.

Once I got the hang of it, I got to work mowing the lawn. When I pushed the Smart Drive Self Propel lever all the way down, thus achieving 4 mph, I found myself jogging to keep up with the lawn mower. This was good on evenings when the sun set early, and I wanted to finish the lawn before it got dark. Of course, I didn’t always use the 4 mph setting, but even 2 and 3 mph is a brisk walk.

As I mentioned, if you push too hard on the lever, the lawn mower will buck off the ground, which isn’t great for the plastic wheels when the mower comes crashing down. That said, the Honda’s self-propel lever provided a great burst of power when I needed to mow up an incline and around corners.

On the other hand, if I was mowing horizontally on an incline, I tried to use a lower speed. When I used a higher speed mowing horizontally on an incline, the lawn mower seemed to bump up and down more than I liked and missed blades of grass. The last thing I’ll note about speed has to do with the mulching feature. I found that the leaves were better mulched at a lower speed than a high one.

The 21-inch cutting deck is on the smaller end of standard push mowers, which typically range between 21–36 inches wide. This isn’t a major drawback because the Smart Drive Self Propel offers speeds that allow me to cut just as quickly as I might have with a larger cutting deck.

Self-Propel Smart Drive on the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower

The most notable feature of the Honda HN216VKA lawn mower is the Self-Propel Smart Drive feature. Most self-propel features on lawn mowers are designed as levers that you pull, however, Honda engineers worked with an ergonomic specialist to develop a control and cone clutch transmission in the form of a paddle lever that you adjust with the simple push of your thumbs or palm. You can use one hand or both hands and even adjust the position of the lever up or down in five different settings for the comfort of your wrist.

Best yet – it provides instant speed up to 4 mph which is fairly fast. I believe the fastest self-propel systems reach 6 mph. With this function, you don’t have to really push the lawn mower, only guide it along the path you want it to take.

Mulch, bag and discharge feature on the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower

Honda has made it easier to choose what to do with your grass and leaf clippings thanks to their 3-in-1 system with Clip Director. On the deck, you’ll see find a green clip that can be slid left or right and stops on three different functions: mulching, bagging, or discharging.

You don’t have to add attachments to mulch or discharge, but you will have to add the included 1.9-bushel bag if you choose the ‘bagging’ setting. This shouldn’t take but a minute or so.

How does the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower rate online?

On the Honda website, the Honda HRN216VKA has a 4.2 rating out of 643 reviews, and on the Home Depot website, 82% of customers out of 4,640 reviews recommend the HRN216VKA.

With ratings like that, it’s fair to say that most customers are satisfied with their purchase. Some reviewers weren’t fans of the plastic wheels, and a few pointed out issues with the self-propel feature. Some reported that it required a learning curve, while others noted that it occasionally stopped working and needed maintenance under the three-year warranty plan.

How does the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower compare to similar models?

The only other lawn mower that I’ve personally tested is the Troy-Bilt TB260 XP SpaceSavr Self-Propelled Lawn Mower. It’s more affordable than the HRN216VKA Lawn Mower and has a self-propelling system. Although Troy-Bilt doesn’t advertise the speed of the lawn mower’s self-propel system, I can confidently say that the Honda is much faster. Where the Troy-Bilt has front-wheel drive, the Honda has rear-wheel drive. The main area where the Troy-Bilt excels above the Honda is its SpaceSavr design which offers the option of vertical storage. It also does slightly better when mowing horizontally on an incline.

The one lawn mower that is most comparable to the Honda HRN216VKA is the Toro 21382. It’s equipped with a Honda GCV160 engine, mulching, bagging, and discharge system, and a similar self-propel system. The difference is that the Toro lever is not ergonomically designed (like the Honda is), however, the Toro can reach speeds up to 4.8 mph, where the Honda only reaches 4.0 mph. (I don’t think that extra 0.8 mph will make a difference) Other areas where the Toro stands out is the 2.1-bushel bag, a five-year-warranty, and higher-quality wheels. Perhaps this is why the Toro is 699, which is about 180 more than the Honda.

Should you buy the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower?

The Honda HRN216VKA is a solid lawn mower. It may take you a few times to figure out how to use the self-propel lever properly, but once you have it down, you’ll be amazed by how easy mowing becomes. You essentially won’t have to push the lawn mower, just guide it to where it needs to go at speeds up to 4 mph. This is especially helpful for those with inclines in their yard.

Yes, the mower is on the pricier end, but this has to do with the high-quality and high-power GCV170 engine and outstanding features like the mulching, bagging, and discharge system, MicroCut twin blades, seven different cutting heights, eight-inch wheels, and rear wheel drive.

With this Honda lawn mower, mowing your yard will be a whole lot easier and less stressful on your body.

Honda HRN216VKA Self-Propelled lawn mower | MRSP 519 at Honda Featuring a Honda GCV1270 engine with autochoke system, 3-in-1 Clip Director for mulching, bagging and discharge and a Smart drive variable speed function.

About this review, and our reviewer

Alex Temblador is a Dallas-based award-winning author and freelance writer that has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications like Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Home Gardens, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Artsy,, Culture Trip, among many others. She recently bought her first home, a green Sears Roebuck house that’s over 100 years old, sits on half an acre of land and features a stunning wraparound porch, original hardwood floors, doors, and a butler pantry. Alex loves to test products for Gardeningetc, Real Homes, and Homes Gardens buying guides and reviews which has helped to expand the richness of her first-time homeowner life. The Mixed Latinx writer can usually be found working or relaxing in her outdoor spaces.

As with all our reviews, the Honda HRN216VKA was tested first-hand in Alex’s backyard, using it just as you would so you know exactly what you are buying. The products are given to us free of charge and we test them for as long as possible before sending them back to the brand unless we are able to keep it. This means that we can continue to use the product which gives us the opportunity to return to our reviews for updating, so you can keep up-to-date with how it’s fared over a period of time.

How To Start A Honda Lawn Mower?

In 1830 Edwin Beard Budding invented the first manual push behind a rotary lawnmower. The machine had no engine, and the blades were driven by gears attached to the wheels. In 1893 James Sumner of Lancashire patented the first steam-powered lawnmower, and finally, in 1921, Knud and Oscar Jacobsen added a gas-powered engine.

Starting a Honda Lawnmower is straightforward.

  • Check the gas and oil.
  • Switch on the gas tap.
  • Brake the blades and drive system.
  • Set the choke.
  • Press the starter button or pull the starter rope.
  • Engage the blades and drive system.
  • Set the throttle to run and mow the lawn. (Fix Throttle Cable)

The old days of continually yanking on a recalcitrant lawnmower starting chord no longer exist.

Unless the engine is faulty, the Honda lawnmower should start very quickly if you follow the steps listed below.

The Steps To Follow To Start A Honda Lawnmower

Honda lawn mowers are sold with two different starting systems.

There may be differences between your Honda lawnmower and the procedures described below.

Different age models have various controls, as do other models within the current ranges.

The Choke Control

There are three possible choke controls.

Automatic Choke Control

Many of the latest model Honda lawnmowers have an automatic choke system controlled at the carburetor.

Manual Choke Control

A separate manual choke lever may be fitted to older Honda engines.

In this instance, the operator needs to set the choke to start the engine when it is cold.

Choke Control Incorporated In The Throttle

The most common manual choke control is incorporated in the throttle setting.

The throttle is set to “choke” or “start” to engage the choke and enrich the mixture.

Honda Lawnmower Blade Braking System

Honda lawn mowers are sold with two different blades (rotor) braking systems.

The Honda Roto-Stop Feature

Honda lawnmowers equipped with the Roto-Stop system have a prominent Yellow button on the bale lever.

best, self-propelled, lawn, mower

Pressing this button stops the blades from moving and keeps the engine running.

It is a valuable feature because it allows you to cross a driveway, flower bed, or other obstacles without the blades moving.

When the opposite side is reached, stop pressing the button, and the blades start spinning again.

If your Honda lawnmower is fitted with this system, the engine automatically disengages the blades during the starting procedure. Because of this, ignore the step entitled “Disconnect The Honda Lawnmower The Cutting Blades.”

Honda Lawnmowers Fitted With A Separate Blade And Drive Control

On Honda lawnmowers fitted with a self-propelled drive system, two levers are called.

These need to be deactivated to start the lawnmower.

Honda Lawnmowers Fitted With A Single Bale Lever

The bale lever works in the same manner as a “dead man switch” on railway engines.

If it is let go, the Honda Lawnmower engine stops immediately.

So, to start machines with this device, you need to replace the step below by simply pulling the bale lever back to allow the engine to start and continue running.

The Gas Tank Is Full

Open the gas tank cap and check the gas level.

Starting with a full tank saves a lot of hassle and having t refill out in the middle of your mowing session.

If you are starting the lawnmower for the first time after Winter, it is good practice to empty the old fuel and replace it with new. As fuel ages, it becomes gummy and can potentially block the carburetor jets.

Replacing the od with fresh fuel will prevent this from happening.

There is sufficient oil in the tank.

Checking the oil level is a good habit to develop, and while the lawnmower will start, if you don’t check the oil, if there is a problem, it will prevent possible catastrophic damage.

How To Use The Automatic Starting System?

Follow the steps below to start it safely.

Step 1 – Disconnect The Honda Lawnmower and The Cutting Blades

You need to prevent the cutting blades from spinning while starting the Honda lawnmower.

Step 2 – Switch The Gas Tap On

The gas tap is found on the left-hand side (when facing from the handlebars forward) of the Honda lawnmower.

It is installed below the gas filler cap beside the black square air filter cover.

Turn the gas tap counterclockwise to select the “on” position and the opposite way for the “off” position.

Step 2 – Set The Honda Lawnmower Throttle

You need to move the throttle position to the choke setting to ensure that the carburetor adjusts the mixture to a rich setting.

Move the throttle lever to the “Choke” setting to do this.

Once started, move the throttle back to the run setting.

Step 3 – Engage The Honda Lawnmower Starter Motor

Press the starter control. It is achieved by holding the engine switch in the start position until it begins to run.

If it doesn’t start immediately, wait for ten to fifteen seconds before trying again. It allows the starter motor to cool down slightly and prevents wear.

Step 4 – Warm The Honda Lawnmower Engine Up

Before you start to use the lawnmower, allow it a few minutes to get all of the components up to optimal operating temperature.

It will help with the long-term durability of the lawnmower.

Step 5 – Start Mowing With The Honda Lawnmower

Engage the “Blade Control” and “Drive Control.”

Move the throttle lever to the fast (hare symbol) position, and as long as the engine is sounding in order, you can begin to mow.

Move the throttle back to the idle position when you want to take a short break or to move an obstruction out of the way.

How to use the manual Honda Lawnmower starting procedure?

If the Honda lawnmower is not fitted with an automatic starting system or the battery is insufficiently charged, you can use the manual starting procedure.

Step 1 – Disconnect The Honda Lawnmower Cutting Blades

As with the automated starting system, stopping the cutting blades from spinning while you start the Honda lawnmower is important.

If the Honda Lawnmower does not have an automatic choke control, set the throttle lever to the “Choke” setting (A circle with a line in the middle).

Step 2 – Start The Honda Lawnmower

Place your foot onto the deck step of the mower and gently pull the starter cord a short way out until you feel some resistance.

Vigorously pull the cord outward to start the Honda lawnmower engine.

If the lawnmower doesn’t start on the first pull, try a few more times. If there is still no joy, you will need to try to diagnose the problem.

Step 3 – Warm The Honda Lawnmower Engine Up

If the engine starts, let it run for three minutes to warm up, allowing the components to reach optimal operating temperature.

It will help with the long-term durability of the lawnmower.

Step 4 – Start Mowing With The Honda Lawnmower

Engage the “Blade Control” and “Drive Control.”

Move the throttle lever to the fast (hare symbol) position and start to mow the lawn.


The many different models of Honda Lawnmower have one thing in common: they are all designed with ease of use in mind. Breaking down the steps needed to start a Honda Lawnmower may seem overly complicated, but it isn’t.

With models of Honda lawnmowers available with features lie Roto-Stop, automatic propulsion drive, and automatic chokes, Honda ensures that as later models are released, they become even easier to operate.


Jason is an expert writer and is passionate about Smart Homes and Home Improvements writing as well as lifestyle and Lawn Care. He spent the past twelve years living in Hawaii, where he worked closely alongside event planners and resort owners to perfect his knowledge of luxury products and aesthetics. He discovered his passion for DIY projects and home improvement there. Currently, he lives in Washington D.C with his family and 2 pets. View all posts

Honda manufactures a full line of lawn mowers. Which model is best suited to your grass-cutting needs?

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Nothing says summer like the sound of lawn mowers powering up. The long-standing ritual of keeping lawns neatly trimmed and manicured is easier with a quality mower, and the ability to impart a sharp, clean cut on the grass is the secret to a lawn’s overall health. To that end, Honda lawn mowers top the wish lists of many home landscapers.

Honda Power Equipment manufactures a variety of top-notch walk-behind lawn mowers—all designed to minimize mowing time and leave the lawn looking great. Ahead, learn what to keep in mind when shopping for the best Honda lawn mower and find out why the following models are well suited for various turf-trimming needs.

  • BEST OVERALL:Honda 21 in. NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Walk Behind
  • BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Honda 21-in. 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Walk Behind
  • MOST CONVENIENT:Honda Variable Speed Gas Walk Behind with Auto Choke
  • BEST WITH CRUISE CONTROL:Honda 21-in. NeXite Deck Hydrostatic Cruise Control
  • BEST ELECTRIC START:Honda HRX217VLA 21-in 4-in-1 Versamow Self-Propelled
  • ALSO CONSIDER:Honda Power HRC216PDA Lawn Mower

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Honda Lawn Mower

Among today’s more popular mower brands, Honda lawn mowers can be found in many home improvement stores, DIY centers, and garden or landscaping supply outlets. Honda’s walk-behind mowers are built to last, and while all its models are relatively straightforward machines, users do have a few factors to consider.

Push vs. Self-Propelled

Most but not all of Honda’s lawn mowers are self-propelled, meaning their rear wheels turn in a forward direction, which helps push the mower along. This feature is a boon for mowing on inclines and through deep or thick grass—situations that are truly challenging with models that are not self-propelled. But don’t mistake Honda push mowers with the old-fashioned push models that featured reel-type blades and were 100 percent powered by the user. All Honda mowers have engines that power the blades.

The self-propulsion feature on Honda mowers primarily engages in two different ways: via a thin metal bar the user pulls and then holds alongside the mower’s handle or by pushing a lever located in the center of the handle. The latter method is found on Honda mowers that come with Smart Drive capability, and the nice thing about Smart Drive is that users can easily adjust the propulsion speed to match their needs.

The best Honda push mower still has its place, however. A good deal of engine power goes toward propelling rear wheels; push-only mowers can use all the energy to power the cutting blades. Plus, some users prefer a push-only mower because there are fewer mechanical parts that might have issues.

Gas vs. Battery

Although some modern mowers are battery operated, Honda currently makes gas-powered lawn mowers only. As lithium-ion batteries become more powerful, that could change, but as of now, those who want the oomph of a Honda model must put up with smelly gas fumes as well as the need to store gasoline in a garage or shed.

Speaking of gas-powered engines, it’s worth noting that while all Honda mowers feature Honda engines, other brands sometimes use Honda gas engines in their mowers as well. Shoppers in the market for a true Honda lawn mower should carefully research the machine’s details. Other manufacturers may include the name “Honda” in their mower’s title, yet the only Honda part on the model may be its gas engine.

Cutting Height and Width

Honda makes walk-behind lawn mowers that cut 21-inch swaths through a lawn. Some manufacturers offer broader cuts and some offer narrower ones, but Honda sticks to that single cut width of 21 inches. This is about average for a walk-behind mower, and it’s suitable for most residential lawns. While a wider cut removes more grass in a single pass, it also takes more engine power and—if it’s not a self-propelled mower—more physical strength.

Like other walk-behind mowers, Honda models allow users to adjust the cutting height to suit the grass type. Users can choose to cut the lawn as low as 0.75 inches or as high as 4 inches. Most cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue or bluegrass, are maintained at 2.5 to 4 inches high. Warm-season grasses, including Bermuda and zoysia grass, do well when maintained at 1 to 3 inches high. If there’s any doubt, a quick call to a local county extension office will usually resolve the best height for different grass types and regions.

Mulching, Bagging, and Side Discharge

Honda makes mowers that discharge clippings to either the side or the back, and some models also come with a mulching feature. The different options can impact the way users mow and the health of the lawn.

  • Side discharge: With this option, grass clippings are expelled out of the side of the mower deck onto the lawn. The side chute can be blocked with a fold-down guard if rear discharge or mulching functions are used.
  • Rear discharge: This function is meant to be used in conjunction with a rear-collection bag. When the bag is in place, it holds the rear chute open, which allows the clippings to blow into the bag. When the bag is removed, the chute closes, and the grass either ejects out the side chute or drops beneath the mower.
  • Mulching: The mulching feature on Honda mowers directs the clippings downward onto the lawn. This is an eco-friendly option because the clippings biodegrade and act as a mild fertilizer. Honda mowers incorporate a twin-blade cutting system (called Microcut) that cuts the clippings into tiny bits so they decompose quickly.

Honda Series

Honda makes an assortment of mowers in four categories:HRS, HRN, HRX, and HRC. Not all models are sold in all locations, but they can be purchased at a Honda dealer.

  • HRS: The Honda HRS Series features side-discharge lawn mowers with 21-inch cuts and large 8-inch wheels for maneuverability. Buyers may choose from either push-type or self-propelled models.
  • HRN: This series features some of Honda’s most popular residential lawn mowers, and they come with powerful Honda engines, easy-start recoil cords, and Honda’s twin-blade MicroCut system that produces finer grass clippings. Available in push or self-propelled models.
  • HRX: This is Honda’s top-of-the-line residential mower series. Mowers in the HRX Series are among the best Honda mower options—and the priciest. The models in this series are self-propelled and have options such as a leaf-shredding mode, variable speed control, and, on some, cruise control.
  • HRC: Mowers in the HRC Series are designed for heavy-duty or frequent use by commercial landscaping professionals, but homeowners that mow frequently may want to consider these beefed-up models. These are commercial-grade machines with stainless steel decks and reinforced guards and bumpers. Buyers may choose from push or self-propelled models.

Top 5 Best Gas Lawn Mowers 2023

In addition to the Honda series letters, if the model number ends in PDA or PKA, it signifies that the mower is a push model, not self-propelled.

Additional Features

High-quality Honda mowers are designed for durability and to provide an optimal grass-cutting experience. A few additional features can be found within the four series of models.

  • Electric start: No need to pull a recoil cord when electric start is available. However, most Honda models do not come with electric start. Currently, only a few models in the HRX series feature electric start capability, which involves using a key (just as in a car) to start the mower’s engine.
  • Adjustable handle position: The handles on many Honda mowers are adjustable in length to suit individual user needs.
  • Quick-blade stop: Called Roto-Stop on Honda mowers, this feature allows users to disengage the blades without shutting the mower off. This convenience lets users stop and dump clippings without restarting the machine.
  • Hydrostatic transmission: This signifies a fluid-filled transmission that’s generally quieter to operate and results in less friction damage to moving parts. Only a few self-propelled Honda models in the HRX series currently feature a hydrostatic transmission.
  • NeXite deck: Who hasn’t had to tip a mower over and chip away at hardened, stuck-on grass clippings? With Honda’s NeXite-coated underdeck, grass doesn’t stick, and NeXite decks are also designed to resist rusting and corrosion.

Our Top Picks

Honda mowers are among the best options in the walk-behind lawn mower industry, and the following models feature a range of options that are well suited to various mowing needs. Chosen for high performance and the ability to reduce mowing time, any of the picks in this lineup are tops in their categories.

Honda 21 in. NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Walk Behind

Folks may actually look forward to lawn care with the Honda HRX217VKA Lawn Mower. Our Best Overall pick comes from Honda’s top line of HRX Series mowers and is designed to make cutting the grass quick and efficient.

Like all Honda walk-behind mowers, the HRX217VKA features a 21-inch cut width. This model also boasts a treated NeXite underdeck that keeps grass clippings from sticking, so there’s no need to tip the mower over and chip away at hardened deposits.

The self-propelled mower comes with Honda’s GCV200 gas engine (5.6 HP) that powers through even dense, tall grass. It features an easy-start recoil cord, adjustable cutting height, and both bagging and mulching options. It also has a leaf-shredding option that turns dry autumn leaves into tiny shreds suitable for mulching as an alternative to raking fallen foliage.

  • Engine: 5.6 HP GCV200 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled

Get the Honda HRX217VKA lawn mower at The Home Depot or from your local Honda dealer.

Honda 21-in. 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Walk Behind

Honda mowers are high-quality machines, so dirt-cheap models aren’t available—but folks can still own a Honda mower without breaking the bank. The Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower comes with Honda’s GCV170 engine (4.8 HP) that’s powerful enough to propel the mower while cutting, so all users do is steer.

Grass cutting height can be adjusted from 1 to 4 inches to suit most types of turf, and the mower comes with an easy-to-pull recoil cord. This model also allows users to regulate the propulsion speed. Honda’s MicroCut twin blades cut grass into fine clippings that are well suited to either bagging or mulching. All this can be had for a fairly attractive price point.

Get the Honda HRN216VKA lawn mower at The Home Depot or from your local Honda dealer.

Honda Variable Speed Gas Walk Behind with Auto Choke

The Honda HRN216VYA lawn mower is similar in operation to our Best Bang for the Buck pick. One of the primary differences is its Roto-Stop blade system, which allows the user to disengage the blades while leaving the engine running. This makes it handy to dump clippings or move something out from the mower’s path without needing to turn the machine off and start it again.

This upgraded model comes with Honda’s GCV170 engine (4.8 HP), and users can adjust the cutting height to 7 positions, ranging from a minimum of 1.8 inches to a maximum of 4 inches. The HRN216VYA also features twin blades that produce tiny grass clippings that are well suited to either bagging or mulching.

  • Engine:4.8 HP GCV170 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 1.8 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled

Get the Honda HRN216VYA lawn mower at The Home Depot or from your local Honda dealer.

Honda 21-in. NeXite Deck Hydrostatic Cruise Control

From the manufacturer’s top-of-the-line HRX Series comes the Honda HRX217HYA walk-behind mower, a model designed for the ultimate performance and user-friendly experience. It features Honda’s powerful GCV200 gas engine (5.6 HP) to provide ample power for mowing through even dense grass without a hitch. This model includes an easy-pull recoil cord starter and a NeXite underdeck to resist rust and keep grass clippings from sticking.

The HRX217HYA boasts cruise control, so users can select the exact propulsion speed that suits them best. (Other Honda mowers have preset speeds, which may be a little too fast or too slow for a user’s liking.) Additional benefits include Roto-Stop blades that can be disengaged without turning the mower off and grass-cutting height adjustability from 0.75 to 4 inches. Users can bag clippings or use the mulching feature. There’s a leaf-shredding option to boot.

  • Engine: 5.6 HP GCV200 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled
  • Cruise control to lock in speed preference
  • Large 9-inch wheels for maneuverability
  • Leaf-shredding function
  • Easy-start recoil cord

Get the Honda HRX217HYA lawn mower at The Home Depot or from your local Honda dealer.

Honda HRX217VLA 21-in 4-in-1 Versamow Self-Propelled

Those looking for a walk-behind mower that really goes the extra mile to simplify yard work might want to check out the Honda HRX217VLA lawn mower. It comes with a powerful 5.6-HP GCV200 engine, self-propulsion, the ability to bag or mulch grass clippings, and a NeXite underdeck to prevent grass buildup. An added selling point of this Honda model is its keyed electric start, which eliminates the need to pull a recoil cord (a backup recoil cord is included should the key get lost).

Except for the bonus of electric start, this model is similar to other Honda mowers in the HRX Series: Users can adjust the cutting height from 0.75 to 4 inches, choose from various speed levels, and employ the leaf-shredding function if desired. Oddly, this well-loaded HRX model doesn’t have Roto-Stop blades. Honda, hello?!

  • Engine: 5.6 HP GCV200 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled

Get the Honda HRX217VLA lawn mower on MaxTool or from your local Honda dealer.

Honda Power HRC216PDA Lawn Mower

The only push-type mower in our lineup, the Honda HRC216PDA takes some physical strength to operate because it’s not self-propelled. Still, its rugged deck and body construction will withstand the frequent use of professional landscapers. It comes with a Honda GCV160 (4.4 HP) gas engine that supplies ample power to get through tall and dense grass. Keep in mind that while this engine is less powerful than some models, no power is expended in propelling the mower, so all the energy goes into cutting grass.

The HRC216PDA features adjustable cutting heights between 0.75 inches and 4 inches to suit most types of turf grass. It has a basic recoil cord starter, but virtually all else is beefed up on this mower, including a heavy-duty steel deck and a front steel bumper. Even the handle comes with a larger diameter for more comfortable grasping. And it’s got Honda’s standard mow, mulch, or bag options, as well as twin blades for finer clippings.

  • Engine: 4.4 HP GCV160 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Push

Get the Honda HRC216PDA lawn mower at Brothers Powersports or from your local Honda dealer.

Our Verdict

Honda lawn mowers are built to last, and any of the picks in this lineup are top options for cutting grass. However, our Best Overall selection, the Honda NeXite Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind, ticks all the boxes: it’s self-propelled, comes with an adjustable height deck, and features a nonstick deck underside. Our best bang for the buck pick, the Honda 21-in. 3-in-1 Variable Speed Gas Walk Behind, has many standard Honda features at an attractive price point.

How We Chose the Best Honda Lawn Mowers

Buying a lawn mower is an investment in the care and maintenance of your lawn, so it’s worthwhile to take some time and consider which mower best suits your needs.

Honda mowers are among the top options on the market today—with good reason. They have powerful engines and feature a range of user-friendly features. In choosing the models in this lineup, we focused on featuring a variety of models from different Honda mower series. We chose only one push-type model since many folks appreciate the self-propulsion function on a mower. Still, professional landscapers may prefer the simplicity of a push-type model, believing that these basic workhorses are less likely to have functional frailties.

We ended up with more models from the HRZ series since they offer more user-friendly options. Still, Honda employs the same care and reliable engine in all its models, so users should choose based on their individual needs.


Buying a new lawn mower is an investment. A few questions are likely for those looking for the best Honda self-propelled mower or even a push-type model.

Q. Are Honda lawn mowers good?

Yes, we consider them to be good-quality mowers—and we’re not alone. In a Consumer Report’s head-to-head test between Honda and Toro, Honda took the top spot.

Q. How long do Honda lawn mowers last?

It all depends on how often they’re used and how well they’re maintained. A Honda mower that’s regularly serviced (check the owner’s manual for instructions) and properly stored can last 10 to 20 years or longer.

Q. Can a Honda lawn mower mulch grass cuttings?

Most Honda mowers come with a mulching feature, meaning the clippings can be left on the lawn to biodegrade.

Q. What’s the difference between a Honda push and self-propelled lawn mower?

A push mower must be physically pushed by hand. The rear wheels on a self-propelled mower turn to propel the mower forward.

Q. How do I stop a walk-behind mower?

To stop most Honda lawn mowers, simply release the secondary handlebar that you hold against the primary handle when mowing, and the mower will shut off.

Q. Does it matter in which direction I mow?

For the best-looking lawn and the most uniform results, try alternating directions each time you mow.

| Denial of responsibility | Contacts |RSS | DE | EN | CZ