The Best Toro Lawn Mowers For Homeowners – Tested and Reviewed
Photo: Jamey Kramar
- Recycler Series (Entry level) →
- Battery electric mowers → –
- Super Recycler Series (Prosumer) →
- TimeMaster Series (Commercial) →
As you move up in models and pay more you get more features and a more powerful and durable lawn mower.
Today we’ll review the best Toro lawn mower at each price point and talk about The Toro Company and why they make some of the most trustworthy lawn mowers out there.
Why Buy a Toro Lawn Mower
100 years experience. Large dealer network. 5 year warranty.
The Toro Company is the original lawn mower company with over 100 years experience making machines to mow turfgrass.
Starting out in 1914 building engines for farm tractors they paved the way over years of innovation and created the golf course equipment industry.
Their first machine was a retrofitted tractor with 5 cylinder/reel blades to mow fairway grass at a Minneapolis golf course.
Their second machine was a powered single cylinder reel blade mower for golf greens and surrounds.
In 1948 Toro made a big push into the struggling rotary mower residential market and quickly became a leader in the USA.
In 1997, Toro bought ExMark Manufacturing Company – the gold standard commercial lawn mower company that is one of the most popular with lawn care pros to this day.
Toro knows how to make lawn mowers like no other company and have built a trusted network of dealers to help you choose the best one for you.
Did you know?
Toro means ‘bull’ in Spanish. It was chosen as the company name because the original reason for starting the company was to make engines for The Bull Tractor Company.
Huge Toro Dealer Network
Toro has a big dealer network around the world. It has 1000s in the U.S. and these dealers play a big role in why Toro is a great lawn mower brand to own.
Whether you live in a big or small town there is almost always going to be a Toro mower expert nearby.
The purpose of a dealer network is to distribute Toro products to homeowners and professionals and also provide warranty and general maintenance services for the mowers.
Competitive Toro Warranty
Toro Super Recycler residential and commercial warranty period.
All lawn mower companies break up their warranty into 2 use cases: residential use and commercial use.
If you use the mower all-day-everyday then the warranty period is short because residential mowers like the Super Recycler are designed for weekend use at home. You will need to upgrade to a proper commercial lawn mower with a commercial grade small engine to get a decent commercial use warranty period.
The Best Toro Lawn Mower At Each Price Point
Over the years we have bought and tested (and then sold 4 to friends – we still own 1 we use) 5 different Toro lawn mowers ranging in brand-new price from 359 to 1,599.
We currently use and own a Super Recycler we bought new from a local dealer in 2022.
Each price point has multiple models.
Below is our opinion of the best model at each price point based on first-hand use and plenty of experience and research with small engines and power equipment.
Most Affordable: Toro Recycler 21352
The best entry level and most affordable self propelled Toro lawn mower is the Toro Recycler 21352.
We also own and recommend the push-only Toro model 21332 if you don’t care about self propelled and want to save 30.
Both are comfortable to use and easy to push. With the self propelled drive system model being easier up hills and through tough grass.
It has everything you need in an entry level lawn mower and will mow your lawn fine with the 140cc Briggs Stratton engine.
We’ve used 5 different residential Toro mowers for over 4 years now and for the price think this is great value.
Our field notes (pros and cons)
- Good traction and turning. The wheels on this mower have great traction and balance when making turns and mowing on hills.
- Guaranteed to start warranty. It started on the 3rd pull. No gas powered lawn mower starts first try unless it is already warmed up.
- Easy to adjust cutting height. It was easy to adjust the deck height with the 2 levers on the right side of the mower (front and back wheels).
- Not a perfect seal between grass bag and mower deck. Grass clippings find a way to fly out of the bag no matter how we secure the bag to the mower deck. There is a tiny gap and the grass finds a way to shoot out hitting your legs or in a heavy breeze flying up into your face.
- Smallest lawn mower engine we’ve tested. Engine seems a little under powered for really thick, unkept lawns and will stall if you don’t go slow. However, it worked great during testing cutting some zoysia grass from 3″ down to 1.5″.
All-in-all the entry level Toro Recycler is a great mower for the price.
Best Electric: Toro Battery Recycler 21466
Toro is pushing their cordless electric segment of lawn mowers hard.
In fact, as of 2023-summer Toro is selling more models of battery powered lawn mowers than Briggs Stratton gas engine lawn mowers.
All their batteries mowers run at 60V and are 21″ or 22″ cutting width. They classify them as Recycler or Super Recycler just like the gas models.
The Super Recycler has added components underneath the mowing deck to cut the grass clippings finer to fit more in the bag or return mulch to your lawn.
We believe the more affordable Recycler model is the best Toro battery powered lawn mower – mainly because it is 200 cheaper.
Our Toro battery recycler 21466 field-use notes (pros and cons):
- Good cutting height range. Toro has put 9 cutting heights ranging from 1″ – 4″. Most mowers have this range of cutting height.
- Great mulching. Toro mowers are known for their good mulching ability. And we found the battery Recycler was above average at mulching. The Toro engineers have designed special deflectors under the mowing deck to bounce the clippings around to get double cut.
- Easy storage. All electric mowers are great for storing in the shed in tight spots. The handle folds down and you can store electric mowers upright, on their side or hang it from the wall.
- Great Toro battery ecosystem. As mentioned Toro is investing big money into their battery powered garden tool ecosystem. They now have impressive leaf blower, string trimmer, hedge trimmer, chainsaw, pole saw, edger, snow blower and cultivator. So if you own any of the Toro battery tools already it makes sense to buy the Toro battery lawn mower as well.
- Handle on battery is nice. Mower batteries are large. Bigger and heavier than a standard brick. Toro has a handle on theirs to make handling the heavy battery easy. None of the other mower batteries have a handle.
- Battery takes too long to charge. The Toro battery takes longer (per capacity) than any of the other batteries we have used and tested. EGO has been the fastest. The same capacity battery with the EGO charger took 30 – 40 mins. Toro took 1.5 hrs.
AcmeTools.com has the best on Toro mowers:
What We Own: Toro Super Recycler 21564
The best overall Toro (and the one we decided to keep after testing) is the Super Recycler.
It’s a great mower comparable with the HRX Hondas and more affordable.
What is a ‘Super Recycler’?
The Super Recycler has 3 extra components the Recycler doesn’t have.
These extra components are:
- Vortex air system. Located at the front of the mower this is a vent to allow more air to be sucked under the mower deck to keep the grass clipping flying around to be cut multiple times.
- Air deflector bumpers. The special engineered deflector keep the grass elevated to be cut by the mower blades multiple times. This gets the clipping finer for bagging or mulching.
- Air accelerator blades. These blades combine to push the grass clippings into the lawn or bag depending on your preference.
Why we still use the Toro Super Recycler (pros and cons)
- Great engine. Honda small engines get all the love but Briggs Stratton have never failed us. We have used plenty of Toro mowers with Briggs engines and never had an issue. There is no denying Honda GCV and GX engines are more premium but Briggs offers great value for the money.
- Great mulching and bagging. The Super Recycler actually works super good at cutting up grass clippings until they are perfect to return to the lawn as mulch. The features also works great when bagging and you can bag more grass so you don’t have to constantly stop mowing and empty the bag.
- Electric start is convenient. The mower has a recoil electric starter option. You probably have memories pulling to starter rope 10 times before your old mower started. It’s not fun when that happens. The electric start works first try – just like your car engine. This is important for less mobile people who can’t yank on the starter rope to get their lawn mower to start.
- Self propelled works as intended but could be improved. Toro mowers designated ‘Personal Pace’ are self propelled. However, the feature works differently than other mowers. The handle you hold to push the mower around is what controls the speed the mower is driven at. The harder you push on the handle the faster the mower drives forward. So as you are pushing the mower up a hill you are pushing the handle further into itself engaging the self propel to go faster. Honestly, it could be improved by adding a knob or lever instead of trying to make it automatic. It would easier to just allow for manual control.
All-in-all this is a quality mower that rivals the Honda HRN and HRX homeowner and prosumer lineups.
Check out the current deal price at the link below.
Max Performance: Toro TimeMaster 21199
If you have a high budget (and big lawn) and want to save time then the 30″ Toro TimeMaster is a great option.
It has a powerful engine to power dual cutting blades – you are essentially walking behind 2 lawn mowers cutting your lawn.
It is heavy but thankfully has the Toro Personal Pace self propelled drive system to make pushing it around a breeze.
It is the max performance homeowner lawn mower from Toro.
Our field notes (pros and cons)
- Huge time saver. The dual cutting blade system works great and allows you to mow 30″ wide lanes. We mowed 1 acre in 45 mins instead of 1.5 hrs with a 20″ mower.
- Easier than expected to maneuvre. The larger rear wheel tires and center of gravity being almost right over them allowed for easy turning around.
- Fuel tank size is too small. The combination of a 223cc engine powering dual blades with a 0.3 gallon (1 liter) fuel tank is not a good one. Briggs Stratton need to double the size of the tank. As is you only get about 40 mins of runtime on 1 tank.
If you are buying a lawn mower to cut a large lawn (Olympic swimming pool up to football field size) and don’t want to buy a riding mower then this is a great option.
Toro Lawn Mower Features That Matter
6 Most Important Features on a Toro Lawn Mower
Engine Design, Type and Size
All gas powered Toro mowers use Briggs Stratton small engines.
- The most powerful TimeMaster Toro mower uses the Briggs Stratton 223cc OHV engine with 10 ft-lb of torque and a 0.3 gallon (1.1 liter) fuel tank.
- The prosumer Super Recycler mowers use a Briggs Stratton 163cc engine with 7.25 ft-lb of torque and a 0.24 gallon (0.91 liter) gas tank. Some models use a 190cc Briggs engine with 8.75 ft-lb or torque.
- The entry level Toro Recycler mowers use a Briggs Stratton 140cc engine with 5.5 ft-lb of torque and a 0.2 gallon (0.75 liter) gas tank.
Is Briggs Stratton good?
Briggs are the world’s #1 maker of small engines for power equipment. They make more small engines for power equipment each year than Honda, Kawasaki and Kohler.
They are known to be great value for money. With Honda and Kawasaki being more premium/expensive and Kohler being on par.
We have owned our Toro with a Briggs engine for 5 years now and use it monthly with zero issues to date. It is simple to start and simple to maintain. No complaints and surely a great engine for your lawn mower.
Mulching, Bagging and Side Discharge
Toro is known for their trademarked Recycler and Super Recycler Cutting System.
It works by recirculating cut grass under the mowing deck and deflecting it back to the blades to be chopped finer before being returned to the lawn.
This top 1/3 of the grass leaf contains 1/3 of the moisture and nutrients of the turfgrass and so recycling it back into the lawn is Smart cost saving thing to do.
All Toro mowers have this capability as well as bagging the grass.
Self Propelled or Push
Toro has fancy name for their self propelled mowers: Personal Pace.
If you want self propelled then look for the Personal Pace branding.
The self propelled Toro mowers use a typical pulley, belt, gear system.
How Toro ‘Personal Pace’ differs is how you engage the belt to turn the ‘Personal Pace’ on. Instead of having a knob or dial to manually speed up the mower drive function you push the handle into itself.
When you are pushing the mower up a hill or through tough grass you are naturally pushing harder with the handle and that tells the mower to “help you” more. As you go down a hill you are pulling back on the handle telling it to slow down.
In testing this feature works well without any thought.
Picking a lawn mower with a long-lasting warranty period is ideal in case anything goes wrong.
Toro mowers have 45 day – 5 year warranty periods depending on commercial or residential use and what mower model you buy.
Keep in mind models with Briggs Stratton engines will have the engine warranty covered by Briggs, not Toro. Briggs engine warranty is 2 years consumer use and 3 months commercial use. If your mower has a Vanguard engine then both commercial and residential use warranty is 3 years.
Here are some details on the Toro mower warranty periods:
- Toro Recycler. 2 year full warranty for residential use.
- Toro Super Recycler. 5 year limited warranty.
- Toro TimeMaster. 3 year full warranty for residential use. 45 day limited warranty for commercial use.
- Battery Electric Mowers. 5 year warranty and 3 year battery warranty.
The recoil starter is more work but then you don’t have to worry about the battery for the electric start.
Have a think and decide which option you prefer – electric start is more expensive.
13 gauge – 16 gauge steel deck or aluminium.
The aluminium is more corrosion resistant and lighter but will be more expensive.
The 13 gauge steel is strong and durable but has rust potential and will be heavy.
How Much Does a Toro Mower Cost and Where Should You Buy?
Toro residential walk-behind lawn mowers cost anywhere from 300 to 1,800 depending on time of year and where you buy.
Buy last years model in February to get a deal. Buy during big sales to get a deal. Buy online to get a deal compared to a local mower dealer.
You get the best deal buying online but have to wait for it to arrive and won’t get any first-hand help when buying.
For Toro lawn mowers we recommend AcmeTools.com:
Big Box Stores
Toro lawn mowers are sold at Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Tractor Supply.
Home depot has the a location in all major and semi-major cities in the USA so you will have no problem finding one.
The selection and price will vary compared to you local mower shops.
Local Mower Dealers
The Toro dealer network is 1000s of local mower shops around the USA.
They have a direct view of Toro products and will have the best knowledge and selection to choose from in store.
Buying from a local shop will usually cost more but has the advantage of expert advice and local maintenance help and service if required.
Who makes Toro lawn mower engines?
All new Toro residential use walk behind mowers use a Briggs Stratton engine.
Should I buy a Toro riding mower or push mower?
To mow 1 acre will take 1.5 hrs with a 19″ push mower.
Toro’s TimeMaster 30″ mower will probably mow 1 acre in 45ish mins.
That same 1 acre will take 15 – 20 minutes with a riding zero turn mower while you sit back and enjoy the mow.
Should you buy a riding mower will depend on your budget and how much you value your time.
Given these mowers start at 3k brand new you will want to entertain the idea of buying used.
Buying a used Toro zero turn mower will save you 1 hr every time you mow your 1 acre lawn. time is saved the bigger your lawn.
Does Toro make Troy-Bilt riding mowers?
Troy-Bilt is a brand owned by MTD Holdings, which is owned by Stanley Black and Decker.
Troy Bilt mowers are made by MTD Holdings in Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.
About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, Realtor.com, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.
Toro 21” 60V Battery Personal Pace Super Recycler lawn mower review – It’s deja vu, all over again
REVIEW – A few years ago, I bought—and really liked—the TORO Super-Recycler gas mower. Then I killed it. In a move too stupid to admit in public, I neglected to check the oil after a year of use. One day as I was pulling the string, it seized—never to start again. I had to revert to an older mower I despised. It was smelly, loud, and not fun to use. Then Toro came out with a 21” 60V Battery Personal Pace Super Recycler lawn mower that even I couldn’t screw up.
What is it?
The Toro 21” 60V Battery Personal Pace Super Recycler lawn mower is the newest mower in Toro’s growing array of battery-powered mowers. It is designed much like the gas version, but with an electric battery-powered motor.
It uses what Toro calls Personal Pace Auto-Drive self-propel technology. The speed of Personal Pace is dependent on how fast you walk (up to 4mph) while mowing. The handle slides forward as you walk. It’s an ingenious system that’s been included on gas Super Recycler mowers for years. I love it. There is no jerky movement as the mower ramps up to speed. It works smoothly as you begin to walk faster.
The 60V Super Recycler lawn mower has a cast aluminum deck that’s a bit heavy, but solid and rust-free. Toro has what they call Vortex that creates high-speed rotation under the deck, reducing grass clippings to smaller pieces for improved fertilization. If you choose to bag clippings, Vortex’s smaller clippings make bagging less frequent. Even so, I never bag clippings. My yard needs all the help it can get.
Note that the Toro has SmartStow. Its handle folds over the motor and the mower can stand up vertically taking up much less room in a garage—and since it’s battery-powered, there’s no gas to leak out!
The battery that comes with the mower is interchangeable with all other electric Toro yard tools. The more Toro tools you have, the more Toro batteries you can swap around. The 7.5 ah 60V battery that comes with the mower is heavy but packs some serious power.
It will last for 50 minutes—enough battery life for standard suburban lawns. My backyard is over an acre, so the Toro battery will not cut the entire yard on a single charge. Toro includes a 2 amp charger for the battery.
Design and features
Before we get into the review, let’s go over some gas vs. battery info.
For today’s homeowners, battery-powered lawn mowers are every bit as powerful as gas versions with many advantages. There’s no gas to buy, no exhaust fumes, no carburetor, much less noise, and no oil to check (yea!). Plus, the battery provides full power up until the time it needs recharging.
There are also some real disadvantages to battery-powered lawn mowers. Batteries will only go so far before needing to be recharged—which can easily take an hour or more to charge. If your property has more than a half-acre, you will need to either recharge before finishing or have an extra battery on hand—an expensive proposition.
Also, choose a brand wisely if you decide to go electric with yard tools. Once you buy a tool, you are locked into that brand’s ecosystem. All yard tool batteries are proprietary. This means that while you can swap batteries among tools (a great feature), they will only fit that brand of tools. If you have one brand of mower and another brand of trimmer, you cannot trade batteries because they have a completely different designs. However, all gas tools use the same gas. In a perfect world, all brands would use the same battery design (like AA batteries), but we all know that will never happen.
Despite all the negatives of battery power vs. gas, I have completely transitioned my tools to battery. Now that battery tools match the power of gas, I will never look back. I dislike the hassles of gasoline engine maintenance that much.
Toro has done a good job making an electric version of their Super Recycler. It has a sports car-like design that looks cool as you mow. It even has high-powered headlights that will actually let you see at night as you mow. I don’t use this feature, because, in humid Florida, the night is when the bugs really come out.
There’s not much to set up with the mower. A couple of knobs have to be unscrewed so the handle can be placed on some bolts. Once the knobs are screwed back into place the handle is good to go. One negative with the Toro is that the wiring is exposed. Some mowers have the wiring in a conduit strapped the handle. The exposed wiring is more vulnerable and looks cheap.
The start button fits on the left side of the handle. It requires a separate “key” that fits over the hole. This key is required to start the mower. Lose it and you’re out of luck. A few other mowers have this key setup, but I don’t understand the logic behind it.
Another thing I don’t understand is adjusting mower height. Each wheel is independently adjusted—exactly the same method as with my older gas Toro. It’s 2022. Toro needs to adopt a single lever height adjustment feature so many other mowers have. Adjusting each wheel is a pain—especially if you need different heights in your yard.
Another thing I’ve come across is that at a lower deck height, the ground-level protective flap at the back rear of the mower will pull under when backing up but won’t reset itself when I proceed forward. It sometimes remains tucked under the deck which creates a drag on the mower. Usually, it will eventually right itself, but should do so quicker.
The Toro comes with a large rear bag for catching clippings. I don’t use a bag unless I have a neglected area where grass has been overgrown. I will need to bag later in the year when the back part of my yard dries out. Currently, it is under 3 inches of water from all the rain we’ve gotten overfilling an adjoining lake. It happens. Removing, emptying, and re-attaching the bag is easy to do. What’s not easy is removing the mulching plug when the bag is used. Unless you’re bagging, the plug must be in place at all times.
Starting the Toro 21” 60V Battery Personal Pace Super Recycler lawn mower is as easy as pulling the bar back to the handle, pressing the key, and walking. No string-pulling! As I said earlier, the Personal Pace self-propelled system works as fast as you do. It is by far, the best self-propelled method on the market. It must be patented because no one else does it this way.
My motes-Operandi for mowing is to wear earplugs and get lost in an audiobook while mindlessly walking back and forth. The Toro is about half the volume of a gas mower, so my earphone volume can be set lower. It’s also possible to carry on a conversation without yelling while mowing. And because of the lower motor noise, you can cut earlier in the morning without waking the neighbors.
One unsung feature of the Toro is the ability to immediately back up without the wheels locking. When you come to a stop with some self-propelled mowers, the wheels stay in forward mode for a couple of seconds, making it hard to back up or turn without the drive wheels digging into the grass. The Toro Personal Pace system frees the wheels immediately after stopping, so reversing can be done without any delay.
Because of Florida’s high ground-water levels, we have a septic mound in our backyard. There’s always plenty of self-propelled power, so the Toro navigates up and down the slope of the mound with no problem. Cut quality is really good, but I would expect that on a new mower with a sharp blade. The Vortex system works well. I had no clumping and almost no discernible larger clippings.
Its self-propelled system has two modes: Auto and Max. Auto adjusts the motor’s power based on how thick the grass is, so you will hear a difference in the noise level. Max is all-out all the time. Max will shorten battery life. I leave it on auto because the grass is not as thick for most of my yard.
What I’d change
The new Toro 21” 60V Battery Personal Pace Super Recycler lawn mower has all the cool features I loved about the gas version I owned a few years ago. If I hadn’t stupidly killed it, it would probably still be happily mowing today. This is a solid mower that’s built well and a breeze to use—not counting the individual wheel adjustments. As I said, the Personal Pace system is the best … period. when you add in the stealth look, powerful battery, and the motor’s auto mode, you have a mower that can make mowing—dare I say—pleasant. It is deja vu, all over again!
Price: 749.00 Where to buy: Home Depot Source: The sample of this product was provided by Toro.
Toro Lawn Mowers
Toro is an American manufacturer of quality power equipment. Toro lawn mowers are reliable, easy to maintain and reasonably priced for both commercial and residential use.
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Toro Walk Behind Lawn Mower
Toro 20″ Recycler
Toro 20” Recycler Walk Behind Lawn Mowers
This introductory Toro Recycler model is designed to be a light weight mower for small yards or trimming around beds. These Toro mowers are available in push or self propel and come standard with a bag. These small recyclers are a great value for a limited use mower, also available in electric battery power.
Toro 22” Recycler Walk Behind Lawn Mowers
The full size Toro Recycler models are slightly larger and built heavier to be the primary mower. These Toro Recycler walk behind mowers are available with all the options Toro has to offer, and come equipped to mulch, bag or side discharge standard. These Recycler lawn mowers offers a lot of value for price conscious consumers looking for Toro exclusive options.
Toro 21” Super Recycler Walk Behind Lawn Mowers
The Toro Super Recycler is a premium walk behind lawn mower designed to exceed expectations of lawn care enthusiasts. These Toro mowers are available with all the options and their cast aluminum deck design provides an unrivaled mulch cut. The Toro Super Recycler has been built to meet a higher standard and provides a lower long-term cost.
Toro 30” TimeMaster Walk Behind Lawn Mowers
The Toro TimeMaster is a lawn mowing masterpiece giving consumers a highly durable and efficient walk behind. The TimeMaster comes standard with all Toro options except electric start and provides a 40% more time efficient cut. The TimeMaster is the perfect solution for yard’s too big for traditional walk behind lawn mowers and a riding mower just isn’t in the budget.
Mutton Power Equipment has the best selection of Walk Behind Lawn Mowers for Sale both online and in Northeast Indiana. We are the Toro Walk Behind Lawn Mower and Honda Walk Behind Lawn Mower Fort Wayne Headquarters for the largest selection of Walk Behind Lawn Mowers, Push Mowers and Self-Propelled Mowers on sale.