Next you will change the oil. To lower oil viscosity and get it moving freely run the engine for a few minutes. Now shut the engine off and roll the mower onto a piece of cardboard or drop cloth. Close the fuel line (if your mower has one) and unhook the spark plug as before. Find the oil filler tube and remove its cap. Often the cap also functions as a dipstick.
The Honda HRX217VKA is at or near the top of all of the expert best lawn mower lists including Popular Mechanics Top Ten Reviews and Lawn Mower Review. The testers at Consumer Reports gave this model top ratings for handling bagging and mulching and “very good” ratings for ease of use and side discharging. Additionally the reviewer estimated the breakage rate by the fourth year of ownership to be 16% which is well below any of the other mowers they tested.
The Sun Joe MJ104E has more than 1250 five-star reviews on Amazon. Buyer Jim has had his Mow Joe for more than a year and left it in the weather and abused it otherwise. He is happy with how it has performed. He cautions against buying the 16-gauge extension cord recommended by Amazon. Instead choose 12 gauge for 100 feet or more and 14 gauge for under 100 feet.