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Honda HRX vs Toro Super Recycler® (2021): Which Is The Better 21″ Lawn Mower?

Honda has been a household name when it comes to cars and motorcycles but has also made a respectable name for itself in the industrial equipment category. This Japanese powerhouse sets high expectations when it comes to quality, reliability, longevity, and easy repair and maintenance. Toro, on the other hand, has cemented itself in a very specific niche: lawn maintenance. The company may not be known for a lot of other things, but this is something they specialise in.

Today, we compare two 21″ offerings from both brands — the Honda HRX217HYA and the 21″ Toro Super Recycler®. We’ll talk about the positives, we’ll talk about the negatives, and give you the best objective review you’ll ever need to make the right choice.

Honda HRX217HYA vs Toro Super Recycler® Comparison Chart

ModelHonda HRX217HYAToro Personal Pace® SMARTSTOW® Super Recycler®
PriceCheck Price at HondaCheck Price at Toro
EngineHonda GCV2007.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® EXi 163cc
Cutting Width21″21″ / 53 cm
Height of Cut3/4″ – 4″1.25″ – 4.25″ / 3.2 – 10.8 cm
Drive SystemCruise ControlPersonal Pace Rear-Wheel Drive
Deck MaterialNeXite®Cast-Aluminium
Mulch, Bag, Side DischargeStandardStandard
Engine Displacement201cc163cc
Ground Speed0 to 4.0 mphUp to 4.0 mph / 6.4 km/h
Handle Type3-position Quick Release Adjustable HandleFlex™ Adjustable Height, Quick Stow Storage Handle
Wheel Height9″8″ / 20.3 cm
Ball Bearing WheelsYesNo


The Honda HRX217HYA‘s GCV200 engine is considerably more powerful than Toro’s Super Recycler®.

Compared to the Honda GCV200 engine (left), the Toro Super Recycler®‘s Briggs & Stratton® engine (right) displacement is only a 163cc.

Yes, both Honda and Toro provide consumers with models that offer varying amounts of power levels. Also, Toro provides more options when it comes to electric-powered mowers — options Honda don’t really have much of at the moment — but NO, we’re not talking about any of those now. Right now, we’re talking about raw power.

The Toro Super Recycler® runs on a 163cc Briggs & Stratton® engine, which promises not only sufficient power to prevent any bogging down but also no oil change, ever. I don’t know about you, but I like playing it safe. I’ll still change the oil on a new motor and then change it again after 50 hours of operation. Give or take.

If power is your numero uno when looking for a good ol’ 21″, Honda’s got your back. The GCV200 engine delivers a far more superior cutting power to Super Recycler®. 10% more powerful than previous models’ GCV190 engine, it makes quick work of tall and thick grasses without stalling and saves more time than its Toro counterpart.


Honda’s exclusive Cruise Control hydrostatic transmission allows you to set your mower’s speed, while Toro’s Personal Pace® makes it convenient for people who can’t seem to find the right speed for their mower.

Honda’s Cruise Control hydrostatic transmission (left) and Toro’s Personal Pace® (right).

Needing to push or lean against the mower to get it moving can be real pain real quick. Smooth handling has been a convenience both Honda and Toro have been working on for years — you’ll find that most of their better offerings feature an auto-push/self-propelling innovation of sorts.

Honda’s Cruise Control hydrostatic transmission allows the weak, indoor-accustomed you to set and easily change your mower speed easily, anywhere from 0 and 4 mph. Your frail body would still be able to handle lawn work after months of quarantine since you can simply choose from 9 different preset max speeds using the HRX’s orange shift lever, then saving your preferred mowing speed to make it convenient for you the next time you need to start mowing again.

This is where Personal Pace® shines the brightest. No other company can match Toro’s innovation for lawnmower handling. Yes, you have to do a bit of pushing when using Toro lawnmowers — but you no longer need to choose speeds, save speeds, or tinker with buttons or levers. Personal Pace® makes it simpler by making the mower go faster or slower depending on the amount of pressure you apply when you push the mower.

The Super Recycler®also reaches up to 4 mph but is totally dependent on your natural stride. This feature is absolutely perfect for people who can’t seem to find just the right speed they want and find it difficult to adjust to their mower. Toro solves this problem by making the mower adjust to you.


All HXR models feature a NeXite deck with a lifetime warranty, while Toro’s deck material is made of cast aluminium, making it rust-proof.

NeXite®(left) is an extremely durable polymer material, touted as lighter than Toro’s aluminium deck (right).

Both brands have enjoyed rave reviews when it comes to durability and reliability, but one will always be better than the other. Toro has Personal Pace®, but Honda has its patented MicroCut® Twin Blade System up its sleeve. The Honda HRX217HYA’s more powerful engine and twin-blade make mowing faster and reduce wear-and-tear on the engine, making the equipment last longer than it’ll already promise to do. Honda also beats Toro’s cheap, plastic wheels with ball bearings in all four wheels, ensuring a smoother drive and durability.

Maintenance and Safety

Briggs & Stratton® markets its engines as hassle-free, “Check Oil and Add” engines.

The HRX217HYA’s engine (left) is designed to make oil changes easier and more convenient.

The littlest of maintenance is required with Honda and Toro lawnmowers. Their designs are made to last. They aren’t totally immune (nothing is, anyway) to normal wear and tear, so a periodic cleaning and engine servicing should be expected. This includes routine oil changes and cleaning out the underside and blades of the mower. Lubricating the wheels and sharpening/replacing the blades at least once a year would also be ideal.

Honda makes it easier for its consumer to get things done easier since it has more maintenance and manufacturing centres than Toro, making it likely to have your lawnmower serviced in a location most convenient to you.

When it comes to safety, Toro’s design prevents the blades from ever getting to any extremities, ensuring you don’t hydrate the lawn with anything besides water. Honda raises the ante even more with its Roto-Stop® blade stop system, which allows you to stop the blades even when the engine is running. You can stop worrying about having a runaway death machine whenever you stop to remove debris out of the way. It also solves the problem and hassle of having to restart your engine after you shut it off to empty the bag or transport it over gravel.


The Honda HRX217HYA is the more powerful and safer mower, but the Toro Super Recycler® offers the best driving experience.

Honda HRX217HYA

Buy it for the more powerful engine, MicroCut® Twin Blade System, and Roto-Stop® Blade Stop System features.

Toro Super Recycler®

Buy it for its Personal Pace®feature, and if you’re the kind of person who only changes motor oil when you feel like it.

The Honda HRX217HYA combines a fantastic balance between power and safety, ensuring that you finish mowing through large expanses of property without any problems. The NeXite® deck material makes the Honda lawnmower nice and light, and in the unlikely event that it breaks gets covered by a lifetime warranty. Honda’s MicroCut® Twin Blade System and Roto-Stop® Blade Stop System ensure better cuts, smoother lawns, and still-attached limbs. More maintenance and manufacturing centres also make equipment servicing easier and more convenient.

For all the things Honda has, it lacks what the Toro Super Recycler® triumphs in. No other company offers the same kind of smooth handling you’ll get out of Personal Pace®. No amount of max speed presets or easy speed adjustments can replace the joy of having a piece of equipment that automatically responds to the needs of its user. That’s a different kind of power, mate.


📌 What is Hydrostatic Cruise Control?

Cruise Control allows you to precisely control the speed of the mower. When you need to change your speed, the control is right there on the handlebar. Choose from 9 different preset “maximum” speeds using the orange shift lever. Unlike other variable speed systems, Honda’s Cruise Control lets you set your speed and forget it. No need to constantly push or lean to make this mower go.

📌 What is Honda blade stop system?

Honda’s Roto-Stop® blade stop system stops the blades from turning but keeps the engine running. Move items out of the way, empty the bag, or take a break, without having to restart your mower.

📌 What is the difference between Toro Recycler® and Super Recycler®?

The built of the regular Recycler® is not as sturdy. This is because the new super version has an aluminium deck built, which the other one doesn’t. Both of these are cordless and have good cutting height ratios. The upgraded model lets you adjust the cutting blade at seven different positions.

📌 What is Smartstow?

SmartStow® allows you to save up to 70% of storage space. Fold, lock and store in 3 simple steps, and store your mower upright!

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Lucian Miranda

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Originally from the city and now surrounded by chickens. Who needs Jurassic Park when you have chickens?