The Honda HRX217VKA is part of the lawn mower & tractor
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, self propelled mower
models like the HRX217VKA are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Reflects a combination of evenness, which is how close the mowers came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.
Denotes a combination of evenness, which is how close the mowers came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how much clippings the bag held before it filled or the chute clogged.
A combination of evenness, which is how close the mowers came to even, carpet-like mowing, and how evenly clippings were dispersed from the side-discharge chute.
About This Brand
Honda is a prominent engine maker and sells a premium line of lawn mowers. Honda lawn mowers are known for innovative features and come at premium prices. Honda makes gas-powered lawn mowers with unique drive systems, mulch control, and steel and plastic decks. Honda does not make electric mowers. Honda mowers are among the most expensive on the market. Honda mowers are sold through dealers and Home Depot.
Forward speeds Some self-propelled mowers have one speed, usually about 2 1/2 mph; others have several. Still others have a continuous range, typically from 1 to 3 mph. Two or more speeds let you adjust to the terrain and grass.
Drive wheels Front-wheel drive lets you make U-turns by pushing down on the handlebar and swinging the mower around without disengaging the drive. The downside is less traction than you get from mowers with rear-wheel drive.
Deck size (in.) Most models have a deck size, or cutting swath, of 20 to 22 inches. There is no significant advantage from one size to another. A larger deck can cut more grass in a single pass, but in this size range the difference is negligible.
Deck size (in.)
Engine size For gas-powered mowers, engine size in cubic centimeters (cc) provides a rough indication of the engine's power; electric models are rated in volts (for cordless) or amperes (corded). A larger number for either a gas or electric model, however, does not necessarily result in better cutting performance.
Engine manufacturer Stated manufacturer of a gasoline engine. For some mowers the engine manufacturer is not documented and is listed as "unknown."
Electric start Starts a gasoline-powered engine with the turn of a key by the operator. An electric start is powered by an on-board battery that requires periodic charging.
Blade brake clutch Allows the gasoline engine to continue to run when the operator leaves the area behind the handlebar to empty the grass-clipping collection bag or to move an object in the path of the mower. It saves wear on the engine by reducing stopping/restarting cycles.
Both rear wheel adjustments very dificult. Had to modify them = Poor quality control at the factory.<br />Variable speed not reliable. The internal clutch slips at slow speed.<br />Power is spectacular in thick grass and weeds. Even, smooth cutting. Bag capacity as claimed and is easily removed. Starting ease is superior to Brigg-Straton engines. I made a good choice for the money.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Chapel Hill, NC
Cut And Mulched Well
Easy to Push & Steer
Extremely Fickle On Fuel
Only Ran Once
Requires Constant Maintenance
I intended this high quality mower to be a reward for several decades of doing my own yard work, which now includes mowing about 1/4 acre of slightly sloped lawn (and some weeds - OK, more than some). I don't recall being more disappointed in a product and service! I researched this purchase over the winter - diligently. The second time I tried to start it - it wouldn't. When I contacted factory tech service, I was treated rudely and told the high efficiency Honda mowers required gas that was less than a week old. And that I should drain the fuel and replace it with fresh. My prior two mowers lasted about 14 years and 24 years and were quite reliable starters, even after a winter with the same gas! Done with the expense and excuses!
How long have you owned it:
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
By Clyde the novice
from Greenbrier, TN
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Worth the investment
Cuts Tall Grass
Cuts Wet Grass
Double Blade Benefit
Reach Too Long
I have about a half acre lawn which I have been mulching for 20 years. This mower is so good at mulching, regardless the length of the grass, wet or dry. Yesterday cut my grass two times in between rain downpours. I did not get all of it cut since the rain would not go away and finished it today. I have never had an even cut like this mower does, regardless of wetness and length of grass. I am so pleased with this mower I wish I had had this one years ago. I've had to get used to the weight of the mower and the rear wheel drive. My previous mowers have all been front wheel drive which makes easier cutting on ditches and on uphill changes of yard contour. The length of the handle requires more needed room in turning. Would be nice to telescope the handle to lessen the turning distance needed. However, it is easier to cut in a straight line and make the cuts look very even and straight. When the grass does grow back, it is so even to the view. I can't say enough about this mower. It does have some things I would like to change, but I am so pleased with this mower that those are minor in the long run. If you need a mower that cuts evenly, even on a lawn that is not very smooth, this is the one you want. I can't believe I had to wait 20 years to get the right mower. Thanks Honda! Even though this mower cost almost twice as my previous mowers, it has been worth the investment, no question. I debated on the 160 cc vs the 190 cc mower. The 190 has proven to be the better choice, since my last mower was 160 and would stall in long grass and not do well on wet grass. Even though I got just over 2 of rain yesterday, there was no problem in the grass being wet or long today. I am just so thrilled with this mower!!