Honda lawn mower speed. Honda Commercial Lawn Mower Review – HRC216HXA Self-Propelled

Honda Commercial Lawn Mower Review – HRC216HXA Self-Propelled

The HRC2163HXA Honda Commercial mower presents some of the best build quality and power we’ve seen in a commercial walk-behind mower.

Honda Commercial Lawn Mower Pulls Out All the Stops in Lawn Mower Shootout

We consider lawn mowers one of the crown jewels of the OPE world, so we brought in 24 various models to see which ones handled its business the best. We looked at gas-powered lawn mowers, battery-powered lawn mowers, residential mowers, commercial mowers, and every variation of those categories. On the gas-powered and commercial side of the equation, the HRC216HXA Honda commercial lawn mower stood out as the top dawg in a short field of worthy competitors.


  • Rock-solid build
  • Super quiet at 86 dB(A)
  • Roto-Stop: engine runs even when mower and self-propel bales disengaged
  • Twin blades
  • Near-unstoppable power
  • Incredible fuel efficiency

Shootout Results

The HRC2163HXA Honda commercial lawn mower presents itself as the pinnacle of Pro walk-behind mowing technology. It’s sturdy, exceptionally quiet, and has enough power that it’s actually pretty difficult to bog down. We love the Roto-Stop blade brake and MicroCut twin blades as well. It has a few quirks to it, and a price that makes budget shoppers shudder, but if you want one of the best mowers money can buy, this is your ticket.


We use a variety of tests to come to our conclusions and feel free to take out word for it. However, you’re welcome to hold us accountable and check out the details in our gas mower shootout.

Cutting Power

The faster the cutting edge of the blade is moving, the better it cuts. We measured the blade tip speeds under lighter loads as well as heavier loads to simulate your normal working conditions. We wanted to see how these mowers handled both maintenance cuts as well as those thicker grasses you’ll inevitably run into over the course of the day.

Under a light load, the Honda commercial lawn mower topped out with a blade tip speed of 194.8, the fastest of the commercial mowers we tested (interestingly, almost all of the residential models were faster).

However, when we threw the Honda commercial lawn mower into a heavy load simulation, we noted that the blade tip speed only dropped by 2.2 mph. The Honda model still maintained a blade tip speed of 192.6 mph. This type of consistency in power means that you can expect a smooth, even cut, even when trekking through the thicker grasses.

As I said, that was a simulation. So we decided to see how well it can handle mowing in a worst-case scenario.

Torture Testing

Obviously, your mower’s engine has a lot to do with how well your blade tip speed is affected by thicker grasses, and we put the Honda commercial mower’s 163cc GXV160 engine and MicroCut twin blades to the test. We ran it, along with some of our other top contenders, through two weeks worth of overgrowth. We set the cut height at 2.5″, the walking speed at 2.5 mph, and mowed until the mower bogged down and stalled out.

The Honda commercial lawn mower dominated every other mower we put through these particular paces. Of course, grass consistency will always be an inconsistent factor, so we didn’t use this test in our final calculations for scoring. But the Honda’s performance was definitely noteworthy as we traveled 113.5 ft before bogging it down. The next closest competitor, interestingly enough, was EGO’s Peak Power Dual Battery model. Every other mower paled in comparison.

Cutting Area

One of the benefits of gas power over electric is that, if you run out of fuel, grabbing the gas can and refueling takes a lot less time than waiting around for your batteries to charge back up. However, it still takes time and effort. So, the less you have to stop to refuel, the better.

Your blade size, fuel capacity, walking speed, and a variety of other factors can affect the area you’ll be able to cover on a tank of gas. For instance, the Honda HRC216HXA lawn mower, with its 21″ blade and 60 oz tank, could mow 1.21 acres on a tank when at 2.5 mph.

This type of cutting area capability is nothing to shake a stick at, but it’s worth noting that it came in second for our commercial mowers. It was bested by the eXmark Commercial X-Series mower, which topped out at just over 1-3/4 acres on a tank thanks to its massive 120 oz tank size.

Fuel Efficiency

Having said that, we need to talk about fuel efficiency. While the eXmark model did mow through significantly more acreage than the Honda commercial mower, the Honda model has better fuel efficiency.

When both engines were run with 4 oz of TruFuel, the Honda commercial lawn mower ran for 9.1 minutes compared to eXmark’s 6.8 minutes. Teasing that fact out to its logical conclusion, what can we expect from Honda’s fuel efficiency?

That gives it an overall fuel efficiency of 2.57 acres per gallon of gas. The tank doesn’t hold an entire gallon, but it gives us a mark to measure by. Snapper was second with 2.12 acres per gallon with eXmark in third with 1.88 acres.

This type of fuel efficiency sets the Honda HRC216HXA apart by leaps and bounds over the other commercial mowers for this category.

Feature Set

Self-Propelled Drive Roto-Stop Blade Brakes

A self-propelled drive isn’t anything new to the world of walk-behind mowers, particularly in the commercial realm. But this is no ordinary self-propelled drive. The Honda commercial mower features a hydrostatic transmission that seamlessly lets you adjust your speed without the jumps and bumps of a belt-driven system.

It also has the Roto-Stop blade brake system that allows you to stop the blades from spinning without stopping the engine. It’s great to be able to stop to move something out of your path or empty your bag without having to stop and restart the motor.

MicroCut Twin Blade

Our shootout introduced us to some unorthodox blade designs, and Honda’s is one of the more unique. Rather than using a single blade, like some modern-day Philistine would, the Honda HRC216HXA mower opts for two blades stacked tall like pancakes. The idea here is that you get super fine clippings from the four cutting surfaces; it makes for better mulching and bagging applications.

Deck Material

Generally, gas mowers use a steel deck, and the Honda Commercial doesn’t depart from tradition here. This suits us just fine: steel is more durable than composite or plastic, and since the drive system is doing the heavy lifting, the increased weight won’t affect you, the user. It also includes deck guards and a front bumper for protection to the deck, as well as another point to tie down to.


Single-point cutting height adjustment is easier than the 4-point adjustment that the Honda model opts for, but the putting all the weight of a commercial gas lawn mower on one lifting point is a bit too much. Most commercial level mowers avoid single point adjustments because of that. It can also introduce additional flex into the system.

It might be annoying to adjust the height at all four wheels individually, but we can’t argue with the sturdiness of the build.

Pro Tip: When you’re bagging, set the front wheel height one notch higher than the rear. It’ll help the mower bag clippings more effectively.

This Honda lawn mower has 8 height levels ranging from 0.875″ to 4.125″. This is a wide enough range that you ought to be able to properly mow just about any grass species you’re likely to find in the States. Further, you can adjust the handles to 2 different positions, giving you a couple of height options.

Discharge Options

Like almost all of the lawn mowers we tested before or during this shootout, the Honda Commercial mower allows you to mulch, bag, or discharge your clippings out the side of the deck.

Nexite Wheels

Honda’s 9″ wheels are strong, lightweight, and easy to replace should you ever need to. They also include precision sealed ball bearings in all four wheels that make for smooth, easy movement.


We don’t usually put a ton of stock into a gas-powered mower’s noise levels. If you’re running gas, you’re going to need ear protection. But the Honda HRC216HXA lawn mower runs at 86 dB(A), which is the quietest gas mower we tested. It’s even legitimately competitive with some of the battery-powered mowers we looked at.

You’re still going to need some protection when you’re mowing. Our test tells us how much noise the engine produces on its own and it will be higher when you’re cutting.


There are no two ways about it: the Honda Commercial lawn mower won’t come cheap at 1269. Even for a high-end commercial model, this mower is on the pricey side of things. It comes with a 2-year commercial warranty on the engine, and a 1-year warranty on the rest of it.

honda, lawn, mower, speed, commercial

Ultimately, this is the category that separates budget shoppers from those willing to pay more for higher quality. No matter which side of that statement you’re on, it’s not a knock against you. Just realize that if you want the best, it comes at a premium.

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The Bottom Line

The HRC2163HXA Honda commercial lawn mower presents itself as the pinnacle of Pro walk-behind mowing technology. It’s sturdy, exceptionally quiet, and has enough power that it’s actually pretty difficult to bog down. We love the Roto-Stop blade brake and MicroCut twin blades as well. It has a few quirks to it, and a price that makes budget shoppers shudder, but if you want one of the best mowers money can buy, this is your ticket.

Honda Commercial Lawn Mower Manufacturer Specs

For more information about the Honda HRC216HXA, check out the product page by clicking here.

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

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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.

Honda Lawn Mower Self Propelled Slow – Causes Fixes

One of the best inventions to reach the world of garden maintenance are lawn tractors (in their various guises) and self-propelled walk-behind lawnmowers. These have taken the weekly drudge out of mowing the lawn and keeping it looking tidy. If the machine keeps working correctly, it is very satisfying to use.

honda, lawn, mower, speed, commercial

A Self-Propelled lawnmower Lawn Mower going too slowly could be caused by

  • There is an engine issue.
  • The drive belt needs adjusting.
  • The drive gears on the axle are worn.
  • The drive cable is too loose.
  • The drive pulley is old and needs adjusting.
  • The transmission is faulty.

If you maintain the lawnmower correctly by servicing it regularly, it will give reliable service from year to year. Some problems may occur; however, the average owner can manage most of these.

Reasons a Honda Self Propelled Lawnmower Fails

Although the Honda self-propelled lawnmowers have a reputation for reliability, as with any engineered product, components wear and sometimes fail.

When this happens, the best way to trace the fault is to follow a set by step procedure, identify possible causes, and correct these as necessary.

Check the Honda Self Driving Lawnmower in the following order.

  • There is an engine issue.
  • The drive belt needs adjusting.
  • The drive gears on the axle are worn.
  • The drive cable is too loose.
  • The drive pulley is old and needs adjusting.
  • The transmission is faulty.

The Engine Is Not Producing Enough Power

Internal combustion engines need oxygen, gas, and spark to ignite the piston chamber. The subsequent expansion of gasses forces the piston down and ultimately the blades to turn and the drive mechanism to work.

If any of the three components is not present or is a lower value than required, the engine starts with reduced power output.

The first step in the diagnosing process is to confirm that these factors are not the issue.

There Is No Petrol, Or The Petrol Is Too Old

Check the petrol tank; fill it up and try again if it is almost empty.

If the Honda self-propelled lawnmower has been stored through winter, and petrol was left in the tank at the end of summer, it is possible that the liquid has changed consistency and has become “gummy.”

Gas contains ethanol, which is hygroscopic and absorbs water from the atmosphere. It causes an oxidation process that turns the gas into “gum.”It is very damaging to the lawnmower as it coats everything and causes blockages in the fuel filter, the gas lines, and the carburetor jets.

It also reduces the ignition qualities of the gas, which reduces the strength of the combustion process.

Both problems can cause a Honda Self Drive Lawnmower to drive more slowly.

Rinse out the petrol tank, check there are no blockages in the fuel filter or pipes, and clean out the fuel jets in the carburetor.

The Wrong Spark Plugs Or Damaged Spark Plugs Are Installed

The spark plug may be the reason for the Honda Self Drive Lawnmower running slowly.

Remove the spark plug from the cylinder and check the condition of the electrodes.

  • Check the gap is set to the correct dimensions (These will be specified in the manual)
  • Check the condition of the enamel plating. If this is damaged, replace the plug.
  • Check the color of the electrodes. The different colors will indicate the following conditions.

Check the spark plug is firing correctly.

  • Use a spark plug tester to check the spark. Amazon Spark Plug Testers.
  • If the spark plug is not firing correctly, buy a replacement.

The Self Propelled Honda Lawn Mower Drive Cable Is Stretched

A probable cause of the Honda self-propelled lawnmower driving slower could be the drive cable being misadjusted or stretched.

This cable is easy to adjust as Honda has provided a simple adjusting system. All you need to do is

  • Undo the lock nut screw
  • Turn the adjusting nut counterclockwise until the drive cable tension is increased sufficiently.
  • If you increase the tension too much, it will start to act like a brake and work against the engine torque.

By trying various tensions, you will be able to find the correct adjustment, and your Honda self-propelled lawnmower should speed up.

The Honda Lawn Mower Drive Belt Is Out Of Spec

The Honda drive belts are made from a rubber composite and, as a result, can withstand the stresses and strains placed by the machine.

Despite this, the belts will stretch and break over a more extended period.

A stretched drive belt will cause it to start slipping over the drive mechanism, involving lots of vibration and noise. In the same way that a slipping clutch in a motor vehicle prevents it from accelerating, a slipping drive belt will cause the Honda lawnmower to move more slowly.

You can quickly check the belt by pressing the sides together at both ends of the belt. The more they wear, the more it will feel loose.

You can adjust the belt’s tension by following the steps in the previous point, and it should work for a while; however, ultimately, you will need to purchase a new drive belt.

The Honda Self Propelled Lawnmower’s Gears On The Axle Are Worn

If the problem did not rest with the engine or drive belt, you would now need to check the drive gear mechanism. There are two possibilities with these components, namely.

The driveshaft pins are known to fail on Self Propelled Honda Lawn Mowers, so it is worthwhile checking these components first.

When the drive pins of the Honda Self Driving Lawnmower fail, it disturbs the connection between the gears and axle, causing the machine to move more slowly or stop altogether.

New pins are available, and you should obtain a new set and replace them.

Check the gears, and in the unlikely event they are worn, you can purchase entire kits to replace them.

The Honda Self Propelled Lawnmower’s Drive Pulley Is Defective

The crankshaft converts the piston’s energy to a rotational force, which turns the blades and axles via a drive pulley.

If the pulley is worn or stretched, the gearbox won’t activate, and there will be no way to transfer the energy to the drive wheels.

It is difficult for the average DIY lawnmower operator to change this belt as it requires factory spec tools. Use a Honda lawnmower technician if this is the problem.

The Honda Self Propelled Lawnmower’s Transmission Is Worn

If you have worked through each of the steps listed above and the Honda Self Propelled lawnmower still moves slowly, or not at all, it may be that the transmission is running out of spec

use a Honda lawnmower technician to replace this.


Even though the Honda self-propelled lawnmower is designed to provide years of faithful service, components fail or eventually wear out. Honda has incorporated several possible adjustments and replacements that the average owner can perform.

If you suspect that the Drive Pulley Is Defective or the lawnmowers transmission is worn, you should seek the services of a trained Honda lawnmower technician to help you.


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

How To Adjust Self Propelled Honda Lawn Mower To Make It Faster

If you think a slow Wi-Fi is frustrating, you’ve never tried mowing the lawn with a slow and sluggish lawnmower. A lawnmower is one of the highly used home appliances that allow for efficient grass-cutting. However, even the toughest of home appliances tend to wear out over time. Similarly, a lawn mower tends to slow down over time if not taken care of properly.

Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the common causes why your lawnmower has slowed down. This article will guide you on adjusting a self-propelled Honda lawn mower to make it faster and always lay down a few possible fixes to help eliminate the problem.

Causes Of Slow Lawn Mower

There could be several reasons why your lawn mower slows down or loses power when uphill. However, here are some of the common causes of why your lawnmower may be running a bit rough at times. A common phenomenon is a residue resulting from old fuel being left in the tank. This residue tends to create a restriction on the carburetor. The simple solution to tackle this problem is using fresh fuel when filling the tank, followed by a fuel stabilizer to maintain the fuel quality.

Cleaning the carburetor using a carburetor solvent can help eliminate the clog. However, if cleaning is ineffective, a carburetor repair kit comes in handy to replace some of the components. Another reason your mower may lose power and slow down is old or bad fuel that creates a clog in the fuel filter, causing the engine to run rough. If this is the case, replace your fuel filter at once.

A faulty spark plug is another major cause why you have a slow lawnmower. Due to the carbon build-up and a weakened electrode, your spark plug eventually degrades over time. This leads to engine stalling. To rule this out, inspect the spark plug for damage or wear. Also, you can use an ignition tester to help determine whether the spark plug is defective or not.

Adjusting The Self Propelled Honda Lawn Mower

If a Honda mower won’t self propel, the Smart Drive cable may need to be adjusted to stop a slipping belt. Though every Honda self-problem is as good as they come, they still require maintenance. However, an incorrect diagnosis will end up becoming a huge financial burden for you. There are numerous tests available in the market that can detect whether your mower and its components are intact. However, these tests need to be executed to perfection to avoid unnecessary replacing of parts or loss of time and money.

Here are some of the ways of adjusting the self-propelled Honda lawnmower

Drive Cable

The drive cable connects the SmartDrive control to the engine transmission. When the SmartDrive control paddles are pushed down, the cable pulls the transmission, pivots, and tightens the belt to engage the wheels. This is the general mechanism of any Honda lawnmower. The Honda lawnmower uses different setups, so you’ll have to work a bit to locate the drive cable.

The HRXusese a bail lever as stop/start control and a speed adjustment lever beside the throttle lever. The Honda Smart Drive uses a single control on the handlebar; this self-drive type is a little less difficult to adjust.

To adjust the drive cable, follow the steps given:

Step 1: Remove the plug wire

Step 2: Turn off the gas

Setting the engine rpm on a honda mower.wmv

Step 3: Turn the mower over with the carburetor side facing up, stops gas, and leaks oil on the floor.

Step 4: About midway to the drive cable is an adjuster and a jam nut

Step 5: Loosen the jam nut with a 10 mm wrench

Step 6: Don’t push the SmartDrive and pull the mower backward to feel the resistance and ensure that the wheels don’t lock up.

Step 7: Mark the adjuster

Step 8: Tighten the adjuster one revolution

Step 9: Don’t engage the SmartDrive and pull the mower backward to see the wheels don’t lock up.

Step 10: Repeat the process of tightening the adjuster cable until you see that the wheels aren’t locking up

As we mentioned above, the Honda SmartDrive uses single control on the handlebar. This is why it is easier to adjust compared to the HRX. The majority of the time, your mower slows down because of a stretched cable. The drive cable is composed of an outer cable and an inner cable. The internal cable is responsible for performing the majority of the tasks and eventually stretches over time.

A simple solution to all this is just removing the access cable. However, when using a Honda lawnmower, you will need to fit an adjusting screw in the middle of the cable. Doing so will split the wire into two, and then by adjusting the screw anticlockwise, it takes up the slack on the inner braided cable.

To adjust the Honda Smart drive cable, use the following steps.

Step 1: Remove the plug wire.

Step 2: Turn off the gas

Step 3: Turn the mower over with the carburetor side facing up, stops gas, and leaks oil on the floor.

Step 4: Open the jam/lock nut using a 10 mm wrench.

Step 5: Screw the adjuster anticlockwise to remove the slack and gain more drive power

Step 6: Adjust it until it is comfortable to pull the mower backward. So keep pulling back your mower and adjusting the screw until you find the sweet spot.

Step 7: When you find the sweet spot, tighten the jam nut to keep it dialed in.

Drive Axle

The drive axle, commonly known as the trans-axle, is the engine transmission and axle combinations. The axle and transmission are one single unit and work as a whole. However, if you have a worn-out trans-axle, you will have to replace the entire unit with a new one. There are no separate parts available for a trans-axle, and you will have to completely swap out your current axle for a new one in case of malfunction. The trans-axle has pins that transfer the power to the wheels. Similarly, it is spring-loaded, which allows the mower to move back and forth with little resistance. However, these pins function under extreme stress and tend to wear out over time.

Drive Belt

A lawnmower goes through the roughest of conditions, so the drive belt goes through immense wear and tear and eventually gets stretched. A stretched belt will not transfer the engine power to the wheels and slow down your mower. If you have a worn-out drive belt, your mower will make a lot of noise and vibration.

Step 1: To check the drive belt, follow the steps given.

Step 2: Remove the plug wire.

Step 3: Turn off the gas

Step 4: Turn the mower over with the carburetor side facing up, stops gas, and leaks oil on the floor.

Step 5: Check the belt for wear

Step 6: Now turn the blade with your hand

Step 7: See that the drive belt deflects by no more than ½ inch.

Step 8: If the deflection is over ½ inch, then it will cause your mower to slow down.


We hope our article was able to help you gain an insight as to why your lawnmower slows down. Note that these fixes are mentioned as per the severity of the problem and should be applied accordingly. These are some of the easy solutions that can help you get your Honda mower engine running at the usual speed. However, if none of these fixes work, contact a qualified engineer at the earliest. If after all of this, you are looking at buying a Mower, consider the Honda HRR 216K9VKA or check out our best Honda mowers guide to buy for your yard.

How do you adjust the throttle on a Honda lawn mower?

You can adjust the throttle on a Honda lawnmower by changing the cable at the rear of the throttle and the engine when the line meets the throttle linkage.

Can You Push A Self Propelled Lawn Mower

Yes, you can push a self-propelled lawn mower without damaging the transmission. However, use utmost caution as self-propelled lawn mowers are extremely heavy.

Honda lawn mower rear wheels locked up?

If the rear wheels are locked up, loosen the adjusted and jam nut until you find the sweet spot. Keep on adjusting until there is little resistance when reversing your mower.

Ulrich is a seasoned lawn and garden care expert with over 10 years of experience. He shares his practical tips and expert advice on various topics, including lawn maintenance, pest control, and landscaping, on BirdandFeather to help homeowners create beautiful outdoor spaces.

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

By Glenda Taylor | Published Jun 20, 2022 12:13 PM

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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.

honda, lawn, mower, speed, commercial

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.

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.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 5.6 HP GCV200 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled
  • No pushing necessary
  • Easy-start engine
  • Large 9-inch wheels for maneuverability
  • Twin blades for fine clippings

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.

Product Specs

  • Engine:4.8 HP GCV170 gas engine
  • Cutting height:1 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled
  • Mower propels itself
  • Less expensive than other Honda models
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Adjustable propulsion speed

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.

Product Specs

  • Engine:4.8 HP GCV170 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 1.8 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled
  • Ability to disengage blades without turning mower off
  • Easy-to-start engine
  • Produces fine grass clippings

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.

Product Specs

  • 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?!

Product Specs

  • Engine: 5.6 HP GCV200 gas engine
  • Cutting height: 0.75 to 4 inches
  • Push or self-propelled: Self-propelled
  • Electric start
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Adjustable handle
  • Twin blades for finer grass clippings

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.

Product Specs

  • 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.

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