More than 2100 buyers on Home Depots site recommend the Toro Recycler 20333. The most helpful reviewer found the powerful engine did an excellent job of chopping through foot-high grass and the rear wheel drive gave him power while turning. He also mentioned that he could almost jog with it. Another buyer notes that his Toro still runs well after three years of questionable maintenance. He does note a couple negatives: It is a bit louder than the Honda and if you go to fast the mulch is not fine enough.
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.
In the following guide we mainly focus on walk-behind mowers since the majority of lawns are served perfectly well by these machines. However if you have a lawn that is larger than half an acre you may want a riding mower. If you have a yard that is between a quarter and half an acre consider a self-propelled model. This basically means you do less pushing. Self-propelled mowers are especially helpful on hills. Also pay special attention to blade size. Look for a mower with a blade thats at least 20-inches long if you have a larger yard. Conversely if you have many narrow areas to mow a smaller deck the area within which the blade spins around is best.