Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the Honda 21-inch Variable Speed 4-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Self Propelled Lawn Mower we should point out that the model numbers HRX217VKA and HRX217K5VKA are used interchangeably by Honda to refer to this lawn mower and there do not appear to be any differences between the two. That said the best adjective to describe the HRX217VKA is powerful.
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.
Consumer Reports recommends the Toro Recycler 20333 because of its very good ratings in ease of use handling side discharging and bagging and excellent mulching. The reviewer specifically liked the washout port for cleaning buildup under the sizable deck. The Wirecutter used to list the 20333 as the runner-up pick but supplanted it with the 20340 because of the newer models upright storage. However the reviewer still recommends the 20333 if the blade brake clutch is more important to you than compact storage.