The Toro 20381 is part of the lawn mower & tractor
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, self propelled mower
models like the 20381 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.
The following models have the same ratings as Toro 20381.
Features and specs may vary
The Ratings applied to untested model Toro 20382 come from our tests of model Toro 20381, which in our judgment is enough alike in its performance, features, and specs that our test results apply to both.
About This Brand
Toro makes and markets lawn mowers and zero-turn riders under the Toro and Lawn Boy names. The Toro and Lawn Boy brands are considered premium. Most Toro and Lawn Boy lawn mowers are self-propelled, fully featured, and have Briggs & Stratton and Honda engines. Some models in the line comply with California emissions. Toro and Lawn Boy mowers are sold through dealers and at Home Depot. Toro also markets a line of lawn tractors made by MTD.
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."
Data not available
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.
This is the second toro personal pace I've owned and both have been outstanding. The first lasted 15 years and I sold it at a garage sale. Just wanted a new one.<br />The mulching capability is without equal in my opinion. Personal pace capability is something my wife loves.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Phila Area
(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)
CU really missed it on this review. No discernible lows ...did they actually try using it? I can't believe they missed the destructive ergonomics of this poorly designed mower. It's so far ahead of it's time that humans haven't evolved their wrists to it yet.<br /><br />Background: 1) the bottom of your wrists are very sensitive. 2) I have a half-acre with long even stretches and some slight inclines, trees to duck under and objects to maneuver around. 3) it takes about an hour to do the job.<br /><br />Take a close look at the picture. This has two handle bars (you are used to one). The upper handle bar is the one you hold because it slides back and forth, as you walk, to engage the power wheels (more later). The bottom bar does nothing EXCEPT to constantly bang on and rub the bottom of your wrists. After an hour, you will have slight red marks on your wrists from the rubbing, but the aching from the frequent banging on that bottom bar is very uncomfortable. <br /><br />I'm 6'1 and it will be worse the shorter you are. On a straight and flat lawn, with no bump, you will be fine. It occurs most when you are moving up any incline, ducking under a tree or maneuvering around objects. After ten mowings, I had to cut away that bottom bar to save my wrists.<br /><br />Now for the variable speed self-propelling. It's basically two speeds: stop and fast. As you walk, it hits the top speed right away. It's a very odd surge you get with every step, but you get used to that. The problem with it is, because it rear wheel drive, going from stop to max means you are constantly doing 'wheelies' where the front of the mower lifts slightly off the ground. No wonder that Toro recommends lowering the height of the front wheels while leaving the rear wheels higher if you don't like the cut - which can be wavy because of the 'wheelies' you do all over the lawn.
How long have you owned it:
By Jack No Toro
from Mitchell, SD
(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)
No More Toro
Hard to turn
The Toro is a great machine, cuts well, does everything well except it wears me out trying to turn around and especially on a side hill. When I raise the front end up to turn around under power, one rear wheel will slide and one will spin. The lawnmower wheels are locked to pull together. I bought this lawn mower last summer and during the very first mowing I knew I had made a mistake. I wish I had my rear wheel Snapper back. The Snapper has a differential rear wheel drive. Easy, very easy to turn around. I've written to consumers report twice with no response from them. In the next month I expect to own a new snapper.