Toro TimeMaster 30 Mower Review: 2023. Toro timemaster lawn mower

Toro TimeMaster 30 Mower Review: 2023

The Toro TimeMaster 30-inch push mower is an absolute workhorse. This mower is one of the more expensive push mowers on the market, but there is a reason. I have reviewed a few Toro products, including their recycler mower and their TimeCutter zero-turn mower. My favorite thing about Toro is their FOCUS on quality and the user experience. This mower really does it all and I am excited to share it with you.

Why we review lawn tools

The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site.

As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something.

Self-propelled mowers

Self-propelled push mowers do exactly that – they creep along so that your pushing force is minimally needed. When you reach a hill or other incline, it will help provide additional thrust so that you are not having to lean in and haul the mower uphill. These mowers can be found in both electric and gas styles.

The downside with electric self-propelled mowers is that the mower burns through battery life when this functionality is on. While helpful, you may not be able to complete your yard in a single trip.

Toro’s TimeMaster 30 in mower features

Okay – this mower has some features I have never seen before in a push mower and I am excited to dive in. This thing offers some truly sweet, convenient and Smart engineering that separates it from all of its competition. Let’s get started.

Oh and check out our post about the best Toro mowers if you want to learn more.


The TimeMaster 30 inch mower boasts a Briggs Stratton 223cc OHV engine. For context, most push mowers range between 18 and 24 inches. This thing is big and means business. When you think about each pass you make in the yard, the TimeMaster can take an additional 10-12 inches and reduce the number of total passes. Hence, the name TimeMaster.

Not only does this have a 30 inch cutting area (which features 2 blades vs 1 big blade), but it also has a recycler system. As I mentioned in my review of the Toro Recycler mower, Toro has thought through how to have an even healthier yard. For those of us that go bagless, Toro has a patented “Lawn Vitamin” product that takes your grass clippings and grinds them into ultra-fine vitamins for your yard. I am a huge proponent of this feature.

The Spin-stop feature found on the Toro TimeMaster 30 inch

The fact that I did not know this feature existed until now shows just how small my mind is. Have you ever gotten annoyed by having to stop mowing to move things in your yard? The worst part is having to restart the mower each time you want to move a stick out of the way. Well, Toro thought of how annoying that was and created a safety stop.

The safety stop feature means that you can stop the mower from moving and step away from your mower. When you step away the blades stop spinning, meaning you do not have to worry about any danger from leaving it unattended. When you come back to the mower to start mowing again, the blades will start back up and you can continue the job. I do not know how I ever lived without this.

Usability and the self-propelled function

There has rarely been a more usable push mower. The beautiful thing about this gas powered self-propel mower is that you have total control. The TimeMaster features what it calls “Personal Pace”, which means that you can adjust the speed at which the self-propelled motor runs.

While this is nice for going at your own pace, it’s super helpful for when you get near garden beds or other structures. Changing the pace gives you more maneuverability to trim around the edges of structures and need to be more agile. This is particularly important when you have a mower that is as large as the Toro TimeMaster 30 inch.

Maintenance: not really required

Something neat that Toro does with their push mowers is a deck wash-out system. They have a nozzle that you can hook your hose up to, and it does the rest. There are grooves inside of the steel deck that allow for water to run through them and knock off any clumps or fine clippings.

Toro also realizes that changing the oil in your mower is not how you like to spend your weekends. That is why they created the “no oil change” mower. Yep – you just do not change the oil. I guess it just burns off or something, but you just have to simply refill it when you see it getting low. No mess or spills.

Toro always backs their mowers up with a serious warranty. This one is a 3 year full warranty, not just an engine warranty. They also have a three year guaranteed to start warranty. These are both remarkable warranties that speak to the confidence in the mowers’ ability to run for a long time.

I love that this mower is easy to store as well. One of my concerns with a mower of this size is that it will take up a ton of room in our garage. This thing folds up so that it really only take up about 30 inches of garage space.

Toro TimeMaster 30 push mower cost

The Toro TimeMaster 30 costs somewhere between 1,750 and 2,000 depending on where you buy it.

Our overall review: The Toro TimeMaster 30 inch mower

We really like this mower for bermudagrass because it has a super wide deck, is easy to use, and bags a ton of clippings.

Toro TimeMaster 30: Reviewing This Wide Self-Propel Mower

The Toro TimeMaster 30 is a unique mower with several unusual features. For one, it cuts an entire 30-inch swath of grass, eliminating the need to overlap cuts on the next pass, and it’s designed to save time, hence the name TimeMaster.

However, this mower also has an above-average number of buyer complaints, along with others who say it is the best mower they ever owned. In this review, we’ll sort out the facts in an unbiased way, so you can decide if this is the walk-behind mower you want.

  • Toro 30-Inch Push Mower Pros and Cons
  • Product Highlights
  • – Toro TimeMaster 30 Review
  • Toro TimeMaster 30 Main Product Features
  • – Engine
  • – Personal Pace Self-propel Feature
  • – Cutting Deck and Frame
  • – Size and Weight
  • – Warranty
  • Why does my Toro TimeMaster 30 mower keep dying?
  • Can I store Toro TimeMaster 30 mower upright?
  • How long should I let Toro TimeMaster 30 warm up before changing oil?

Product Highlights

This mower gets the work done in record time due to several innovative features. These features include Toro’s Personal Pace automatic speed adjustment that senses the operator’s pace and changes the machine’s rate of travel to match it.

  • Full 30-inch cutting width
  • Robust 223cc Briggs and Stratton engine
  • Two ways to adjust the handlebar height
  • Handlebar folds over the top for storage
  • 3-in1 bag, side discharge, and mulching features

– Toro TimeMaster 30 Review

If your lawn is expansive and your time for mowing short, this mower might be precisely what you need. This Toro walk-behind, self-propelled mower has several time-saving features that live up to the name of TimeMaster.

For example, one of the most frustrating parts of mowing with many lawnmowers is needing to overlap the cuts on adjacent passes because the blades do not cut the entire width of the cutting deck. When this happens, you have to make significantly more passes across the lawn to get the whole area trimmed and looking good.

However, you won’t have that problem with this mower. The blades cut an entire 30-inch swath of grass, matching the width of the wheelbase so that you can zoom back and forth across the lawn with a minimal number of passes. The extra-wide 30-inch deck is one of the largest sizes for a walk-behind mower, giving you another advantage in mowing a vast lawn area. In addition, the top rate of speed at 4.5 mph is pretty much a jogging pace for most people, so you really can move as fast as you want to go.

Another timesaver on this machine is the Spin-Stop mechanism. For example, if you need to walk away from the device to empty the collection bag or move something out of the way, in many lawnmowers, you have to turn off the engine first and then restart it when you come back. With this walk-behind, the blades stop spinning when you release the control bar, but the engine stays on, so you can do what you need to do without starting and stopping the machine multiple times.

When you do want to shut off the engine, a button is located on one side of the handlebar. By holding this button down for several seconds, the engine shuts off. However, not holding the button long enough results in the engine starting back up again.

You can also readily change the height of the mowing deck into one of the available seven positions by moving leavers on the front and back wheels on the left side of the machine instead of needing to adjust the height on all four wheels like on many other lawnmowers. This feature is also a small but meaningful time-saving advantage.

This Toro lawn mower is also a 3-in1 design: You can set it to discharge clippings from the side chute, mulch them under the deck and leave them on the lawn, or collect them in the rugged, jumbo-size collection bag that snaps on and off the machine with ease for fast disposal.

On the downside, there have been multiple consumer complaints about mechanical failures during and after the warranty period. For example, we found reports of transmission problems, drive belts failing, under-engineered parts in the self-propel cables, and blown fuses in the electric start system.

These problems are not likely to result from improper maintenance, although they could arise from improper use: for example, trying to cut weeds or grass that is too tall and thick could damage the transmission. These problems could also result from poor manufacturing of parts and low quality materials.

On the other hand, numerous consumers report being highly satisfied with the performance of this machine. However, due to the potential of having a mechanical problem with this mower, it’s crucial to buy it from a local dealer where you can get service if you need it, and be sure to register the warranty.

Toro TimeMaster 30 Main Product Features

– Engine

This mower comes with a ten ft-lb gross torque, 223cc gas engine made by BriggsStratton. The engine uses an electric start system and also has a pull cord for backup starting. In the first three years under warranty, this machine is guaranteed by the manufacture to reliably start-up on the first or second pull of the cord or when turning the key and cranking the engine briefly. A button on the handle stops the machine, which stays on when you walk away from the mower, unlike many other lawnmowers.

The fuel tank has a somewhat small capacity of 1.2 quarts, enough to continuously mow for about one hour. However, this Toro mower can cut up to 10,000 square feet of lawn area or more in this amount of time. One annoying issue with the gas tank is a sponge inside the opening to prevent vapor locks. It considerably slows down how fast you can pour gas into the tank, leading to the possibility of spilling some.

This machine runs on regular gas without the addition of 2-cycle oil. It’s crucial to only use non-ethanol fuel for the best performance of this garden equipment. The engine requires routine maintenance like oil changes and air filter replacement which are described in detail in the owner’s manual and involve minimal tools and experience to perform.

– Personal Pace Self-propel Feature

The Personal Pace feature comes with many Toro products, including this one. This innovative drive system senses the operator’s walking speed and adjusts the self-propel to match the same rate. As a result, you can speed up and slow down whenever you need to without manually changing gears. The top speed is 4.5 mph.

When you let go of the control bar to walk away from the machine, the machine and spinning blades stop immediately while the engine runs. This feature is a crucial safety point that lets you safely move away from the device without taking extra time to start and stop the engine, and it’s a benefit to anyone with children and pets in the yard while mowing.

– Cutting Deck and Frame

The deck is made of steel, and the frame is cast aluminum. The solid wheels ride on ball bearings capable of handling the machine’s weight without problems. The wheels are 10-inch diameter in the rear and 8-inches in the front and are bigger than many mowers. Easily adjust the deck height to one of seven settings using the hand-operated leavers on the front and back wheels on the left side of the mower.

A washout port on top of the deck allows for rapidly blasting debris from under the deck without turning the machine over or raising it.

– Size and Weight

The overall dimensions of the mower are 65.7-inches long, 32.2-inches wide, and 44.3-inches high, with the handles extended. However, the handle conveniently folds over the top of the mower for more compact storage in two dimensions.

The weight of this mower is 140 pounds, making it heavier than many in its class. The extra weight results from the advanced propulsion mechanism and solid frame. The high weight gives an advantage over lighter machines when working on ground with low traction.

– Warranty

Toro provides a 3-year Guaranteed-to-Start policy in the warranty, promising to fix any issues starting the mower in this period, providing the owner maintains the machine according to the owner’s manual.

This warranty is an advantage to buyers who are concerned with problems reported about this mower. However, buying from a nearby dealer that services Toro products make it much easier to get repairs if you need them. Keep in mind that this machine is heavy and can be hard to transport if you must take it in for repairs.


Why does my Toro TimeMaster 30 mower keep dying?

Possible reasons for Toro TimeMaster 30 mower dying: clogged fuel filter, spark plug issues, carburetor problems, or insufficient oil levels.

Can I store Toro TimeMaster 30 mower upright?

Storing Toro TimeMaster 30 mower upright is not recommended as it may cause fuel and oil leaks, potentially damaging the engine.

How long should I let Toro TimeMaster 30 warm up before changing oil?

Allow Toro TimeMaster 30 mower to warm up for a few minutes before changing oil to ensure optimal viscosity and easier draining.


The Toro TimeMaster 30 is designed for making fast work of mowing the lawn. It offers multiple features to speed up how long it takes to mow, delivering on this objective. Unfortunately, numerous buyers report mechanical failures on this machine and are disappointed due to the high price tag.

On the other hand, many other buyers report not having problems, finding this machine works well for fast, reliable mowing on large and primarily flat lawns.

Toro TimeMaster 30-in Lawn Mower Review with Personal Pace

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

How much is your time worth? The Toro 30 in lawn mower, the TimeMaster, really does save time (and space). It also does so in an easy-to-use package.

Homeowners and professionals alike are drawn to innovation. Selecting the best battery-powered lawnmower might work for smaller yards. For larger properties or significant time savings, however, a larger gas-powered mower provides a better experience. From my first riding mower to my first reel mower, one question was always the same, does the innovation make good on its claim? Having already reviewed the Toro 22″ Personal Pace Recycler Lawnmower, we wanted to see what could be done with the new 30-inch model. Toro certainly seems to have improved in several areas with its newest Toro 30 in Lawn Mower. Branded as the Toro TimeMaster (21199), the new model makes the claim that it will save you time. I made it my goal to deliver on that claim.

The Toro TimeMaster rear-wheel-drive self-propelled 30” push mower offers a wider mowing alternative. A powerful engine that supports the wide deck and ergonomic controls make it easy to use. Toro seems to have designed all aspects of the TimeMaster mower, so it can live up to its name.

Toro 30″ TimeMaster Features

The Toro TimeMaster mower is powered by a massive 223cc Briggs and Stratton overhead valve engine. Delivering 10 ft-lb of torque, this engine gives the boost needed to cut almost 50% more grass per pass than traditional push mowers.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

For mowing grass over any terrain, the Toro TimeMaster delivers power to a pair of 10-inch diameter rear wheels. These larger wheels provide wider-than-average traction, giving them greater grip and a smoother driving area.

This combination of power and secure drivetrain yields up to a 40% faster mow time.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

Of course, that forward movement would be useless without the wide Dual-Force twin-blade cutting system. Toro employs two mulching blades to span the 30-inches of the mowing deck.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn


With the included rear discharge plug, the Toro TimeMaster lawn mower makes a very fine mulch. With the plug out and the grass bag on, the TimeMaster is a beast. It vacuums any and all clippings and leaves that it passes over.

When vacuuming more, you end up dumping the bag more. This is where the Blade Stop system comes in especially useful. Use it, and you don’t need to turn off and restart the engine. To engage the blade after starting, you simply press down the simple blade control bar lock and then pull down the blade control bar. Upon engaging the blade, the power of the engine roars to meet the need. When you have a full bag, or you need to stop the blade for any reason whatsoever, just release the bar to disengage it.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

Toro Personal Pace Self-Propel System

The Personal Pace Self-Propel system and Traction-Assist handle on the Toro TimeMaster work together to give the operator constant control over the drive of the mower. Push down a little on the handle, and the mower moves a little. Push down all the way, and you up to 4.5 mph of propelled speed. The Traction-Assist handle works well for tight corners where only one hand is available. It gives you something to squeeze the “go” handle towards when you can’t be behind it pushing.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

I found the Quick Stow lever of the Toro TimeMaster lawn mower to be a definite winner. This feature allows for two different operating handle heights. importantly, the lever enables the handle to be at a fixed 90-degree angle to the mower. This cuts the square footage needed to store it in half.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

Testing the Toro 30 in Lawn Mower

For my first pass with the Toro 30 in lawn mower, I used the mulch setting at the E height which is 2.25”. The 2-point height-of-cut allows for quick adjusting of deck height from a low of 1.25” at the G setting up to a high of 4.25” at the A setting (with all letters between as options).

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

This first pass with the Toro 30 in lawn mower was a breeze. My small and compartmented patches of Zoysia grass that normally takes 40 minutes to mow only took 25 minutes. The mower delivered a uniform cut across the lawn with fine clippings. I found the Personal Pace Self-Propel system easy, even natural, to use. The Traction-Assist handle was an ergonomic and naturally useful feature, but the name didn’t help me know what it did! I guess “perfectly placed fixed handle to use with the Personal Pace system” didn’t fit! Combined, they increased the ability to make tight turns without substantially slowing down.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

Testing for Power

Then the Toro 30 in lawn mower showed its true colors when I dropped the deck to the F setting for a 1.75” mow height. Every season I scalp my Zoysia. After a good amount of rain and, even with bagging, a fair amount of clippings, the lawn is too thick. I took the rear discharge plug out and put the grass bag in its place. The TimeMaster took the challenge like a champ, only bogging down in the slightest when the bag was completely full. And fill the bag it did! Where other mowers would struggle to fill the bag with all of that material, the TimeMaster did not fail to collect.

I was genuinely impressed at the vacuum-like action of the mower with the grass bag attached. Even the clippings normally just kicked around on the driveway or sidewalk were sucked up with ease. Even with the “scalping”, I did all of my Zoysia lawn with a clean and even cut. Despite the uneven terrain, the Toro 30-inch lawn TimeMaster lawn mower gave me a smooth and level finish.

The Good

The 30” wide deck coupled with a power train that can propel it as fast as you can walk is awesome! The Quick Stow lever really does make storage quick and much more efficient use of space in the garage.

The Bad

The weight. Here again, it earns the “Beast” moniker. With the engine off, you’ve got no help moving those 132 pounds around. Also, this power comes at a cost: thirst. That 223cc engine is thirsty. Toro’s own spec is a tank lasts about an hour, and my experience was a little less.

toro, timemaster, mower, review, 2023, lawn

Toro TimeMaster Lawn Mower Specifications

  • Engine: Briggs Stratton 1000 Series, 223cc
  • Engine type: Carbureted
  • Starter: Recoil (Electric model available)
  • Fuel: Gas (0.3 gallon capacity)
  • Run-time: Up to 1 hour
  • Drive: Personal Pace rear-wheel
  • Speed: Up to 4.5 mph
  • Weight: 132 lbs
  • Cutting deck: 30 in.
  • Wheel height: 8 in (front), 10 in. (rear)
  • Deck construction: Steel w/cast-aluminum frame
  • Cutting height: 1.25 – 4.25 in. (0.5 in. increments)
  • Blades: 2 x 15.4 in.
  • Price: 1199.00


How much is your time worth? The Toro 30 in lawn mower, the TimeMaster, really does save time (and space). It also does so in an easy-to-use package. The Personal Pace Self-Propel system, 2 point height-of-cut adjustment, Quick Stow lever, and washout port add up to time-saving goodness. The features that win the day, though? The 30” wide deck, an engine that can support it, and the safety of the blade stop system make the Toro 30 in lawn mower worth it. Get more information, and locate a dealer here.

Toro Timemaster Won’t Shut Off (Easy Fix!)

What a pain in the jacksie! Most mowers have the opposite problem, I don’t know which is worse. Anyway if you want to shut your mower off quickly, pull the plug wire, but you’ll need insulated pliers. (Insulated pliers is any plastic handled pliers)

So what’s wrong with a Toro Timemaster that won’t shut off? The most common reason a Toro Timemaster won’t shut off is loose wiring behind the push-off button switch.

I’m a mower mechanic and I see this problem with Toro Timemaster a lot. I love Toro mowers, they build great machines. This is a minor problem and you can easily fix it right now. In this guide, I’ll show you all you need to know, including shutting your Toro off safely.

Shut Off a Toro Safely

The fastest way to shut off that Toro is to pull the plug wire. It’s safe to remove the plug wire, but – You must use insulated pliers. Otherwise, the coil will give you a jolt. An insulated plier is any plier with plastic handle sleeves. Alternatively, see below re-checking the push button wiring.

Insulated Pliers – Any pliers with plastic handles. Pull the plug wire, by twisting and pulling.

Fixing a Toro That Won’t Shut Off

Now that the engine is off we can get to diagnosing the root cause and fixing it. While I see this problem many times in a season, it is possible that the cause lies not with a loose wire at the off switch, but elsewhere. No matter, we’ll cover 3 other possible causes in this guide too.

I don’t cover how the kill switch system works in this guide as I’ve covered it in this guide “How to turn off a mower”. But first, let’s look at the most common cause – Loose wiring at the push button off switch.

Loose Wiring At The Push Button Off Switch

The push-button is as you know located on the handlebar. The button is a simple two-wire on/off switch.

The Fault – One of the push button push-fit wiring connectors simply comes loose and falls off.

The Fix – Reconnecting solves the issue. However, if the wiring is broken or loose it will need to be repaired and we cover that a little later. First, let’s check for loose wiring.

Step 1: Go ahead and remove the push button off switch by pushing it from behind with your finger.

Step 2: With the switch removed examine the wiring. This switch hasn’t just come loose, its terminal has come away. I’ll need to replace it. I cover that a little next.

Loose Wiring Repairs

Fit new connector, you’ll find all these tools in the “Small engine repair tools page”.

Faulty Push Button “Off” Switch

The next most common cause is a faulty push button switch. They’re usually pretty durable, but moisture is a switch killer.

The Fault – All-weather plastic shield cracks and corrodes the contact points.

The Fix – Replace the switch.

Step 1: Check the shielding, if the flexible plastic cover is cracked or worn, it’s a good indicator the switch is water damaged, but we’ll need to test it to be certain.

Step 2: To test the switch we’ll need a Voltmeter set to ohm’s as we’ll check for continuity between the 2 switch terminals.

A good switch shows continuity, but only when pressed. With your voltmeter set to ohm’s, check continuity. If the reading doesn’t change (stays at 1) when the button is pressed, the switch is faulty.

Check out “Small engine repair tools” page to see my recommended voltmeter.

Disconnected Engine Side Wiring

The next most common cause is a disconnected engine side wiring. The wiring harness is connected engine side at three points.

The Fault – Cutting under fencing or heavy shrubbery can catch and break or disconnect the wiring.

The Fix – Reconnect any disconnect wiring.

Step 1: Check all three wiring harness points as per the pictures below.

Step 2: Reconnect wiring or repair if necessary.

Broken Wiring Harness

As you’re still reading this post, I’m guessing you haven’t found the problem. This is the last likely issue.

The Fault – Broken wire in the wiring harness.

The Fix – Find and repair the break.

Step 1: Check for obvious signs of wiring damage. Common areas are where the wires bend and turn sharply. Mice and other wildlife like to eat wiring.

Step 2: Using a voltmeter check for continuity in each of the wires. A jumper wire may be needed to connect the voltmeter. As before, no change in the reading indicates a break in that wire. You’ll need to chase the wiring and repair it.

Faulty Coil Circuit

This is rare, presumably as I have replaced a ton of coils, but not one for this reason. So in the interest of having a complete list of all possible causes, I’ve included it.

The Fault – Broken internal grounding wire circuit.

The Fix – Replace the coil.

Step 1: Remove and check the ground circuit of the coil.

Step 2: Replace the coil. I cover replacing the coil in this video.

Related Questions

How does a lawnmower kill switch work? A lawnmower kill switch works by grounding the coil. This diverts the voltage away from the spark plug, which shuts off the engine.

Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.

I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.

And the best part. it’s free!

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