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Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Product Reviews > Honda Honda HRX Lawn Mower - HRX217HXA

Product Reviews for Honda HRX Lawn Mower

Honda HRX Lawn Mower
Model No: HRX217HXA
Manufacturer: Honda

(Based on 2 reviews)
Avg. Price: $685
Reviews: 2 - 2 of 2   View as Outline   Previous   All
First impressions
Jun 16, 2005 11:07 am
Joined: Sep 7, 2004

I have used this mower only a couple of times, since I just had sod laid in the yard and I have had to wait for the grass to get established. I love this mower!!

In the past I have bought cheap MTD mowers because my yards were usually very rough and full of hidden rocks and debris - I could not rationalize spending big bucks on a high-end machine that would just get trashed. My new home has a smooth, flat lawn with no trees - nothing but beautiful grass. I wanted to keep it looking great, and I wanted a good quality machine that I would be happy about using often. Now, for the first time in my life, I actually look forward to mowing.

This machine was available at Home Depot, in the box or assembled, for $699. They would not discount the purchase if I assembled it myself. I ended up buying from my local Honda power equipment dealer because his Spring Sale price was only $20 more and it included 2 free years of service.

The HRX series has been out only a few years. Honda enlisted the aid of a big ad company to promote the high tech aspects of these mowers, and they succeeded very well. I was initially dubious about whether all the praise in the media was valid or merely hysteria. Read on...

Here's the HRX website:

Model info:

And finally the ad campaign:

Date Purchased: 04/05
Price Paid: $719
Recommend: Yes
This HRX has all the bells and whistles except electric start (and why you would need it on this machine is beyond me):

Engine: it starts _instantly_ with one easy pull. No priming is needed - just set the throttle to Choke when cold. The engine is very quiet, with a subdued exhaust note and very little mechanical noise. I don't wear ear protection while mowing and I appreciate the low noise level. It is almost vibration-free - this is one mower that doesn't try to hop around by itself.

Smooth hydrostatic drive with a very wide speed range. You can pick anything between 0 and 6 mph on the fly. (I tried the 3 speed HRX model, and the slowest speed was too fast for me.) It's rear wheel drive, so traction is fine except on the wettest grass. When returning back uphill to the garage I can leave the engine idling and move the speed full forward and I get a comfortable walking pace.

Versamow/ Clip Director: this is sooo cool. I love this feature - you can easily direct the exact amount of clippings to the rear bag, 0 to 100%, with the flip of the lever. I usually mulch, but when I do the last bit beside the concrete mowing strip, I bag to prevent the clippings from settling in the nearby flower beds. I then scatter that small amount of clippings and mulch them into the grass so I don't have to dispose of them in the trash. The twin blades make twice as many cuts per revolution, so the clippings are small and take less space on the ground or in the bag. The clippings are TINY.

Xenoy Deck: tough plastic deck won't crack or rust. I hope so - this was the only iffy thing about the decision. It has a 5 year deck warranty - in 10 years I will repost a report of how well it holds up to vibration and ultraviolet exposure.

Blade brake: release the handle and the blade stops, while the engine continues to run. I really like this feature. I hate stopping and starting a mower just to walk awy for a few seconds. It's irritating to both me and the neighbors.

Plastic deck is susceptible to damage from concrete mowing curbs. I purchased the HRX accessory side guard kit for $16. It consists of two stainless steel strips that install with screws onto the sides of the deck. Drilling four holes is required. It's well worth the small amount of money for the protection it provides. If you don't have a rough mowing border in your yard you probably don't need the kit.

The ball bearing wheels are easily adjustable, but you do have to walk around the mower and do each one seperately. This is not a major issue since I usually mow at the same height year round. It actually works out fine, since I found I can adjust the wheels on one side up 1 notch when running along the mowing strip, so that the cut remains horizontal.

I have read reports that the Honda mowers can sustain major engine damage in the event of a blade strike. I believe that the flywheel key is steel rather than aluminum, so the crankshaft can get damaged. Someone please correct me if this is wrong. I would not buy this mower for rough terrain!

The handle is a little long. It is adjustable for height, but the extra length gets in the way during storage and it makes tight maneuvering a little harder. I have NO idea why Honda engineers felt that it needed a long handle.

Cost: this is an expensive machine, especially for a small yard. OTH it is a lot less cash than the tough commercial Hondas, and with typical home usage should last a long time. And it is an absolute joy to use.

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