Comparison between Honda & Toro/Lawn-Boy
I've been reading here for a few weeks and need some advice. I live in the S.F. Bay Area (San Jose) and have been looking for a mower.
I have a small area to mow (flat, rectangular 1700 sq. ft. combined front and back) with Camphor and Southern Magnolia trees that dump tons of leaves. Lawn is a cool season mongrel, pretty poor shape but I'm trying to repair it. I've been mowing with a push reel mower for years but don't have the time to rake, mow, rake anymore and the soil/lawn need better care.
I'm looking for a mower that can mulch what grass there is and handle mulching the leaves until they really pile up, then do a good job shredding/bagging them.
I've looked at the Honda's and they are quality machines no doubt. The HRR push model is the one I'm considering, mostly because it's the simplest quality mower readily available. I don't think I need self propelled but really won't know until I get a mower without it! The other HRR models and the HRX line look complicated, big and bulky. I need something that is light and maneuverable and easy for a non gearhead to use and maintain. I'm afraid of getting in over my head with bells and whistles.
My ideal mower is the simple push Toro Super Recycler. Unfortunately Toro has not made them CARB compliant and they are not available here. My main question is whether anyone can compare the Toro Super Bagger (which appears to be a red Lawn-Boy 10795) and the Honda HRR or HRX models in terms of size, weight, ease of use, maneuverability, bag/mulch ability.
The only other machines available are the Home Depot, Sears, etc. models, which most here say aren't well built or reliable for the long term. The Lawn-Boy line at HD are intriguing because they are small and light, but I don't know how they would hold up. There is the regular Toro Recycler, but the dealers I've been to all want to sell me the Honda even if they carry the basic Recycler.
There is a Snapper dealer 20 miles away and I've looked at the models at the Snapper website, but the comments seem to be that the baggers don't mulch well and the mulchers don't bag well. I don't know how valid that is. The Snapper dealer suggested the cheaper SE line might be what I would want since it's the more versatile homeowner machine. I found that a bit of an odd comment though.
If anyone has any advice, and/or can compare the Toro Super Bagger/Lawn-Boy 10795 and Honda lines I would appreciate it. I would have to order the Toro sight unseen and am a little uncomfortable with that without more input.
Thanks for any comments.