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.
After my 18 year old John Deere self-propelled walk-behind finally died, I purchased this model at the Orange Box Store on CR's Recommendation. <br /><br />Kept it three weeks (5 mows) and returned it to the vendor (they have a 30-day return policy). The thumb-operated butterfly paddle control for the transmission speed select is the worst idea ever! Hard to control at slower speeds...if you have an uneven lawn (like most of us)when you roll over a bumpy section it will buck the mower against your hands causing the paddle to rotate down increasing speed randomly. The first time it just about jerked out of my hands (note: I am an athletic 62). I tried several hand positions and adjusting the paddle height...no help...still a bad idea. My thumbs and wrists ached half-way through a mow and downright hurt at completion of each mowing. The twin blade system is marketing hype. After mowing, the lawn had random blades and patches still standing proudly above the rest of the lawn (the lawn was dry - not wet with dew, rain, watering, etc). Reminded my spouse of the old shag, layered haircut look. The Nexite deck is a good idea, however, it scratches badly when you have to mow against the house or fencing. Other than the random blades of grass remaining after mowing it mulches like a champ. The control to select bagging or mulching is well-placed and easy to manipulate. I did not have any of the warm re-start issues other reviewers have reported. It started on the first or second gentle pull every time. <br /><br />I replaced this mower with the Toro Personal Pace model# 20382 - with the Honda engine. Same easy starting and the Personal Pace transmission system does NOT hurt to use...at all.<br /><br />At the end of the day if a mower is hard to control, cuts unevenly and causes personal pain...no matter how good the other features are...I cannot recommend it to anyone.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
from Minneapolis, MN
Very versatile mower
Easy Speed Controls
Great At Mulching And Bag
Rear Wheels Tread
Ive had this mower for over 3 years now. I didn't look at any reviews, I just bought it from Home Depot. At the time, they had one model above this one, which had a cruise control setting. It looked overly complicated, and I didn't need it for the extra $100 in price.<br /><br />What I love about this mower is the ease of switching from bagging to mulching. You can even set it in the middle, to pickup some cliippings overflow, while still trying to mulch.<br /><br />It's always starts first pull, even on slow or sloppy pulls. Great engine, great twin-blade setup, great Nexite deck. My only complaints would be the rear wheels could have better tread. On an incline when the grass is wet, it can spin the wheels a bit trying to get traction.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
By Dana retired geezer
from Vienna wv
This mower is fantastic
Easy to Push & Steer
I bought this mower three years ago. It has required no repairs and very little maintenance. It starts easily on the first pull. I can bag wet grass right after a rainstorm and it will work like a charm. It is that I amazing mulcher. The clippings are so finally ground that they take little room in the bagger. It is a very quiet mower too. The wheels are sturdy and heavy duty. All four wheels have steel bearings and they don't wobble at all even after this amount of use. Also it's a gas sipper. I have never written a review for Consumer Reports in the past, but this mower is so fantastic I feel compelled to share my joy. I have had both Toro and lawn boy in the past and I loved them, but Honda is far superior. An extended warranty would be as valuable as lipstick on a corpse.