Anyone who has spent some time shopping around for a walk-behind lawnmower has likely heard two names:
Honda and Toro
Both manufacturers have devoted followings and have a sizable catalog of products. But which one is the right choice for you?
It all depends on the exact features you expect out of a walk-behind lawnmower. Is power important or mobility? What about fuel efficiency and overall weight? These are just a few of the important features to look for in a walk-behind mower.
So to make things easy for you, we put together this comprehensive list comparing Honda and Toro walk-behind lawn mowers. We will talk about each brand and what aspects their lawnmowers score strongly in. We will also talk about any negative for the brand. Our goal is to be as objective as possible so you can have the best information to make a decision.
Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own. We pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.
Honda is a Japanese multinational company that specializes in the manufacture of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. Honda was founded in 1949 by engineer and industrialist Soichiro Honda. Honda originally began creating motorcycles that were characterized by their fast, efficient gas engines and relatively low-maintenance costs.
Over the decades, Honda has expanded its product line to include automobiles, SUVs, gardening/agricultural equipment, power tools, marine engines, power generators, ATVs, lawn equipment, and robots.
Honda is normally noticed for their automobile selection, but their power tools and lawn equipment have generated a favorable response. In fact, at one point they had the distinction of making the fastest lawnmower in the world. Honda is also a globally recognized brand that has over 75 years of experience under its belt.
Honda is mostly known for its consumer model automobiles and equipment. They also have solid footholds in the commercial landscaping industries. Honda motors are known for their durability and nice accessibility features like quick-start switches and cruise control.
- High-quality Japanese engineering
- Lots of accessibility and ease-of-use features (e.g cruise control)
- Adjustable throttle controls
- Highly durable components and construction
- Electric and gas models available
- Meet emission standards in all 50 states
- High power motors are efficient
- Somewhat expensive equipment
- Less of a focus on lawn care equipment than Toro
- Equipment is bulkier and heavier
Looking for a Honda Mower? Check out our Honda HRX217VKA Lawn Mower Review.
Toro is an American turf maintenance company based out of Minneapolis. Toro was founded way back in 1914 and specialized in engines for farm tractors. The name Toro was initially chosen due to the company’s association with the Bull Tractor Company.
Unlike Honda, Toro has always been in the business of lawn care equipment and launched their first walk behind power mower in 1924. At the time, Toro equipment was mostly designed for golf course lawn maintenance. Toro also began to design irrigation systems for gardens, lawns, and golf courses.
Toro entered the domestic lawn care business in 1948 when they acquired the Milwaukee Whirlwind Company. Shortly after, they entered into the snow plowing business and dominated the industry for nearly 30 years.
Most of Toro’s business revenue is generated from professional markets (e.g. parks, commercial properties, athletic fields, etc.) and about 1/3rd from the consumer market. The company recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2014 and has recently expanded its forays into the underground construction industry via the acquisition of several leading brands.
- Long company history
- Reliable models have stood the test of time
- Large variety of models to choose from (88)
- Unique manufacturing features (PowerReverse, SmartStow, Personal Pace)
- Low maintenance requirements
- Top brand in the world
- Some models are expensive
- Heavy lawn mowers
- Toro motors have some unique parts that may make them difficult to service
Country of Manufacture
Honda is a company based out of Japan, but they have factories and distribution centers all around the world. So any Honda machine you purchase could be manufactured anywhere in the world. That being said, Honda’s motor design clearly still sticks to its Japanese roots. One of Honda’s main design philosophies has been simplicity and convenience, which explains most of its product’s streamlined design.
One thing about Honda being a multinational is that their equipment must meet certain standards in different parts of the world. As a result, Honda machines are generally manufactured to meet emissions and construction quality thresholds around the world. For instance, All of their machines meet emissions standards in all 50 states, even states that have relatively harsher restrictions such as California.
Toro machines are all made in the US at plants all around the country. However, some of Toro’s engine tech may be made in Japan, although the machine itself is made in the US. Toro has made a name for itself due to its powerful industrial-strength models. Toro makes both gas and electric models, though the gas models are the most popular.
Toro’s identity as American is apparent with its heft frame and powerful components. Toro machines are strong and can take out even the thickest of thickets.
Both Honda and Toro have models that put out different levels of power. That being said, they tend to hang around certain baseline levels.
Toro models usually hang around 150-170cc for their gas power models, though some make it all the way up to 190cc. In general, the higher the cc, the more powerful the motors. Likewise, Honda uses gas-powered motors in a similar range. So as far as power goes, many of the models of the two manufacturers are comparable.
Toro wins our pick here simply because they have more electric models and a wide variety of powers to choose from.
Toro’s electric models can vary in power from 6.0Ah to 8.0Ah. Honda only offers a handful of electric mowers and these were only released in the past few years. So if you want an electric motor and are stuck between the two brands, then Toro is probably a better electric pick.
Both Honda and Toro go through great pains to make sure their models handle smoothly. To that end, they both incorporate some kind of auto push mechanism in all their models which makes them much easier to move around.
Honda mowers include a simple cruise control hydrostatic transmission, similar to the cruise control that you have in your car. The Smart Drive and Select drive features allow you to adjust speed on the fly.
However, our win here is Toro.
Toro’s unique feature is the Personal Pace system. This system uses sensors in the lawnmower that adjust the speed depending on how fast you are going. It’s a wonderful ergonomic feature that no other manufacturer has.
Both Toro and Honda lawn mowers are praised for their reliability and durability. One of Honda’s main features is its patented two-blade cutting system. This system ultimately reduces the total water on the blades, engine, and mulching bag so that the equipment lasts longer overall. Honda also uses ball-bearing suspension systems in its wheels for superior performance and long life.
Honda is our winner here.
Aside from explicit specifications, Honda is a multinational company for a reason. They have a reputation for making reliable products that reach a global audience.
Toro machines are likewise known for being very reliable and resistant to damage. The choice here is very difficult and both brands are extremely durable all things considered.
All of Honda power equipment comes with a limited warranty, though the exact length of the warranty differs depending on the particular model. The lower warranties for residential and domestic mowers is 24 months. Most of these warranties are only valid if the product is distributed via Honda itself.
However, Toro wins the warranty battle.
All Toro mowers come with an extremely generous 3-year ‘guaranteed-to-start’ warranty and a 2-year full warranty. The exact conditions on the warranty differ from product to product but all of them have this generous timeframe to take advantage of. The warranty is just more predictable and reliable than Honda warranties.
Both Honda and Toro have different reputations. Honda is most known as a car and motorcycle manufacturer, though power equipment is one of their major branches of industry. That being said, most people think of cars and bikes when thinking about Honda, not lawn equipment and mowers.
So Toro wins this matchup because Toro has always been known for their peerless lawn mowers.
Toro was actually a really important reason why walk-behind push mowers are so popular in the first place and popularized the closed deck design. That is not to say that Honda has a poor reputation by any means though.
Both Honda and Toro lawn mowers are designed to require relatively little maintenance. All mowers will need periodic cleaning and engine servicing. This includes things like oil changes and cleaning out the undercarriage around the blades. You will also likely have to lubricate the wheels, gears, and other fixtures. Lastly, you will have to replace the blades. Most blades can be sharpened or replaced at least once a year.
In our estimation, Honda wins this category.
The reason why is that Honda has more manufacturing and maintenance centers so it will be easier to get it serviced near you. Also, Toro models are made with some unique parts that may be difficult to find replacements for.
One of the greatest safety features of a lawnmower is making sure it is easy to use and handle. In that sense, both Toro and Honda models are safe. Honda’s ergonomic handles include throttle adjustments and are designed for great control. Likewise, Toro contains basic safety features including a heavy shell design that keeps the blades far away from any extremities.
However, we say that Honda wins as far as safety is concerned.
One of the best safety features is the Roto-Stop blade stop system. This system automatically shuts off the blades whenever you are not holding down the switch, even when the engine is on. You don’t even have to restart the engine whenever you empty the bag or remove any debris in the way.
Check out our guide on lawn mower safety.
Value for Money
Both Honda and Toro have a decent value for total dollar spent. However, we say that Toro wins when it comes to sheer value for money. Toro machines are very powerful and are extremely reliably built. They also have a lower price point than many comparable Honda models.
Model Comparison Table
|Brand||Model||Cutting Width (inches)||Engine Details||Weight (lbs)|
|Toro||21386||30"||10.00 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® 223cc OHV||140 lbs|
|Toro||20367||21” / 53 cm||Brushless DC, 60V Battery L216 (4.0ah, 216 wh)||64 lbs. / 28.6 kg|
|Toro||20363||22" / 56 cm||Brushless DC, 60V Battery L324 (6.0ah, 324 wh)||80 lb|
|Toro||20363T||22" / 56 cm||Brushless DC, 60V Battery L324 (6.0ah, 324 wh) - Not included and sold separately||75 lb|
|Toro||20366||22" / 56 cm||Brushless DC, 60V BatteryL405 (7.5ah, 405 wh)||83 lb|
|Toro||20361||22” / 56 cm||Brushless DC, 60V Battery L324 (6.0ah, 324 wh)||71 lb|
|Toro||20361T||22” / 56 cm||Brushless DC, 60V Battery L324 (6.0ah, 324 wh) - Not included and sold separately||63 lb|
|Toro||21382||21" / 53 cm||Honda® GCV 160cc* OHC||85 lb|
|Toro||21383||21" / 53 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro® TXP 159cc OHV w/AutoChoke and Blade Stop||110 lb|
|Toro||21385||21" / 53 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro® TXP 159cc OHV w/AutoChoke||86 lb|
|Toro||21386||21" / 53 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® EXi 163cc||94 lb|
|Toro||21387||21" / 53 cm||8.75 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® EXi 190cc||94 lb|
|Toro||20355||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque** Briggs & Stratton® Mow N' Stow EXi 163cc w/Just Check & Add||77 lbs. / 34.5 kg|
|Toro||20357||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro® TXP 159cc OHV w/Auto Choke||83 lbs. / 37.7 kg|
|Toro||20353||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton EXi 163cc w/ReadyStart and Just Check & Add. No need to prime or choke and no oil change required.||77 lbs. / 34.5 kg|
|Toro||20340||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque** Briggs & Stratton Mow N' StowEXi 163cc w/ReadyStart and Just Check & Add. No need to prime or choke and no oil change required.||80 lbs. / 36.3 kg|
|Toro||20339||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque** Briggs & Stratton® EXi 163cc w/Ready Start® - no need to prime or choke. Just Check & Add feature - no oil change required||78 lbs. / 35.4 kg|
|Toro||21329||22” / 56 cm||6.25 ft-lb Gross Torque** Briggs & Stratton® Mow N' Stow® EXi 150cc w/Just Check & Add™ engine||69 lbs. / 31.3 kg|
|Toro||20379||22" / 56 cm||Honda GCV 160cc* OHC w/AutoChoke||75 lbs. / 34.0 kg|
|Toro||20332||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton EXi 163cc w/ReadyStart and Just Check & Add. No need to prime or choke and no oil change required.||78 lbs. / 35.4 kg|
|Toro||20333||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton EXi 163cc w/ReadyStart and Just Check & Add. No need to prime or choke and no oil change required.||89 lbs. / 40.4 kg|
|Toro||20334||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton EXi 163cc w/ReadyStart and Just Check & Add. No need to prime or choke and no oil change required.||87 lbs. / 39.5 kg|
|Toro||20372||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro® TXP 159cc OHV w/AutoChoke||81 lbs. / 36.7 kg|
|Toro||20373||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro TXP 159cc OHV w/AutoChoke||90 lbs. / 40.8 kg|
|Toro||20374||22" / 56 cm||7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque* Toro TXP 159cc OHV w/AutoChoke||87 lbs. / 39.5 kg|
|Toro||20337||22" / 56 cm||Honda® GCV 160cc* OHC w/Auto Choke||78 lbs. / 35.4 kg|
|Toro||20377||22" / 56 cm||6.75 ft-lb Gross Torque* Kohler® XTX 149cc OHV w/Auto Choke, no need to prime or choke, no oil change needed||71 lbs. / 32.2 kg|
|Toro||20378||22" / 56 cm||6.75 ft-lb Gross Torque* Kohler® XTX 149cc OHV w/Auto Choke, no need to prime or choke, no oil change needed||72 lbs. / 32.7 kg|
|Toro||21320||21” / 53 cm||6.75 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® 163cc w/Just Check & Add™||59 lbs. / 26.8 kg|
|Toro||21319||21” / 53 cm||5.5 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton 140cc OHV||54 lbs. / 24.5 kg|
|Toro||21328||21” / 53 cm||Honda® GCV 160cc* OHC engine||62 lb|
|Toro||21199||30" / 76 cm||10.00 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton® 223cc OHV||140 lbs. / 63.5 kg|
|Toro||21200||30" / 76 cm||10.00 ft-lb Gross Torque* Briggs & Stratton 223cc OHV||145 lbs. / 65.8 kg|
|Toro||20360||20” / 51 cm||36 Volt/12 Amp (Power)||77 lbs. / 34.9 kg|
|Honda||HRX217VKA||21"||Honda GCV200||91 lb|
|Honda||HRX217VLA||21"||Honda GCV200||95 lb|
|Honda||HRX217VYA||21"||Honda GCV201||95 lb|
|Honda||HRX217HYA||21"||Honda GCV200||97 lb|
|Honda||HRX217HZA||21"||Honda GCV200||106 lb|
The Roto-stop blades automatically shut off the blades when the handle is not depressed.
SmartDrive Hydraulic Cruise Control
Cruise control can be adjusted to your personal preference. Changing speeds is as simple as turning a knob.
The two-blade cutting system reduces wear and mulches waste more thoroughly for easier disposal.
Auto Choke System
The Auto Choke System reduces the amount of time needed for mowing. With it, you don’t have to adjust the throttle when starting the engine.
Personal Pace System
The Personal Pace system uses sensors to keep track of your speed and adjust the speed of the mower to follow suit.
Toro offers a range of 10 electric motor models. Honda in contrast only has 2 relatively new ones.
Electric Start Button
Toro mowers include a single-push button start mechanism. This efficient electric starter increases fuel efficiency by decreasing the amount of fuel needed to start the engine.
9-place Adjustable Deck
Toro mowers have over 9 distinct cutting positions ranging from 1” to 4”. Each position is set at ¼” increments.
The Smartstow feature makes it easy to store the mower whenever it is not in use. The mower folds up to 70% of its original size.
To sum up our findings: Both Honda and Toro models are solid but might appeal to different consumers.
We recommend Honda for casual users who want something durable and easy-to-use for regular cutting jobs. Honda is simple and reliable.
If you want a bit more involvement in a task, we recommend a Toro. Toro is more the professional’s tool than Honda is.
10 thoughts on “Honda vs Toro Lawn Mowers”
I cut grass for my neighbors and customers. I’ve had both Toros and Hondas. The Toro is a good mower reliable, however not so much for the frames and construction. The Hondas are a little more pricey but worth every dime. I beat the snot out of my Honda and it still runs great, and holding up very well. Other than routine maintenance, both will last as long as you change oil regularly, sharpen blades, spark plugs etc. Bottom line is I want to buy American products, but I have to go with who has the better product for my money. My choice is Honda. Fyi a lot of Toros have Honda engines
I find it quite interesting that Toro uses Honda engines in some of their models.
I have owned both high end models from both companies. The toro I owned for some 12 years but the drive in the wheels have went out. I still have. I purchased the Honda late last year, 2020. Starting to figure it out. I give the Honda all high marks thus far for engine and construction. Where it fall short is in vacuum or pickup, it has none where the toro was far superior. I think this is a important feature. The Honda pushes air down where the toro is like a vacuum. Overall I give the toro and 87 and the Honda 92 thus far out of 100.
Just dealt with a warranty for a 6 month old toro smartstow. Horrible experience. Toros warranty may as well be non-existent if it isn’t an in your face issue
I’m 67 years old and have always cut my own grass. I’ve owned the upper tier models both brands had to offer and much prefer the Honda for their ease of use an longevity. Other than blade replacements I’ve never had to repair the Honda and it’s now 26 years old and still going strong on first pull. I can’t say that for the 20 year old Toro I had previously.
Thank you for your in depth review.
Question: Can the handle height on the Toro super recycler mowers be adjusted?
I totally agree. Toro wins in all categories. I repair mowers for a living and the cost for specific Honda parts are more expensive and they take more time in general to repair.
I have had my Toro personal pace mower for over 10 years, love it! Honda makes a great mower too, but much more expensive! Toro is made and manufactured in the US which is hard to find. Two great mowers ,I’ll stick with the 2 pull to start Toro!
Hondas ARE made in the US. In fact, the factory is in Swepsonville, NC. My Canadian model HRC2163HXC was made there, and the Honda machines I have had are always more reliable than anything Toro makes now or for the past 30 years. I’ve had both and the Honda has always had better overall performance than Toro’s mowers. That said, I liked Toro’s snowblowers from the 1970s and 1980s. I have a Toro 21 inch unit repowered with a Honda GX160 engine.