Toro may have come up with a solution for all those overcrowded garages and sheds stuffed full of outdoor power equipment. One of the new self-propelled Recycler models that Toro is releasing for next season offers “SmartStow,” a feature that lets you not only collapse the mower’s handle but also stand the mower completely upright. By reducing the mower’s footprint, you may even be able to fit your car into the garage.
Introduced at this year’s Green Industry & Equipment Exposition (the GIE+Expo show) in Louisville, the new 22-inch model also has a Briggs & Stratton engine dubbed Mow ‘N’ Stow that comes with redesigned seals, gaskets, and fuel tank, and a carburetor that won’t leak through air intake holes when the mower is upended.
And there's another benefit to the Mow ‘N’ Stow engine in that it makes it easier to perform such maintenance as sharpening the blade, which normally requires you to tip the mower over. When tipped, the typical mower will spill gasoline if its fuel tank is full. With Mow ‘N’ Stow, there’s no need to wait until the tank has been run dry to perform routine upkeep.
But there’s one potential drawback. The manufacturer claims that the high rear wheels that appear to help stabilize the mower when it’s standing also improve handling, particularly over uneven terrain. But in our lawn mower tests, models with high rear wheels tend to be harder to tip back for turning than those with four wheels the same size. But if you can reclaim some valuable space in the garage, who’s complaining?
The Recycler with SmartStow should hit dealers and Home Depot’s website (if not Home Depot stores) in January and we expect to buy one for testing before we head down to Fort Myers, Fla., aboutthe same time. In the meantime, check out our buying guide for walk-behind mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn-radius riders. Then view our Ratings of more than 140 mowing machines.