The Honda HRS216PDA is a good all-around mower: high quality, simple and dependable. It finely mulches clippings and can discharge grass to the side, all without clumping, clogging or stalling. Reviews say the HRS216PDA is solid and durable, praising the 16-gauge steel deck and easy handling. Honda is one of the top brands for customer satisfaction, according to experts, and many owners say this lawn mower is an example of the brand's excellent reliability.
First-class mulching. The Honda HRS216PDA is able to mulch or send clippings out the side, but it isn't able to bag. "I was a little concerned that it did not come with a bag, but after the first mow I can see the bag is not necessary," explains one owner at HomeDepot.com. Like many others, he finds the HRS216PDA first-class at mulching both grass and leaves. Its side-discharging performance is also outstanding with "no stalls or clogs," writes another user.
Reviews say the Honda 160 cubic centimeter (cc) GCV160 engine is powerful enough to mow through thick grass and unruly weeds. "The engine started on the first pull and runs smoothly and quietly," writes an owner on Home Depot's site. Others say it's able to mow on sloped lawns with good maneuverability around obstacles. It passes emission requirements for all 50 states including CARB, the California Air Resources Board.
User-friendly. Reviewers praise the HRS216PDA's quality citing its one-pull starting, ball bearings in the wheels (for smooth handling) and six different height settings (from 1 to 3.5 inches) as the main contributors. The "controls are simple and intuitive," explains a user at HomeDepot.com.
In a 2011 survey of more than 2,000 consumers, J.D. Power and Associates says Honda has the highest customer satisfaction, particularly because of top scores for ease of use, durability, performance, maintenance and warranty. In 2012 Honda ranked a little lower but was still above the industry average. The HRS216PDA carries a three-year warranty for homeowners and a 90-day warranty for commercial users.
Brake stops blades. The HRS216PDA uses a flywheel brake -- called a zone start safety system -- to stop the blades within three seconds after the control lever is released. The engine turns off at the same time. This ensures that if a user trips or lets go of the lawn mower, it won't continue to drive and cut.
Relatively quiet. The HRS216PDA "is a lot quieter then my old mower," writes a HomeDepot.com user, which doesn't say much. Others agree it is not as loud as most self-propelled mowers. We could not find any tests that measure exactly how loud the HRS216PDA is, but safety experts say hearing protection should always be worn when using a lawn mower with a gas engine.
1. J.D. Power & Associates
For their 2012 customer satisfaction survey on walk-behind lawn mowers, J.D. Power and Associates includes 800 reviews, which is significantly less than the 2,000 surveys that comprised their 2011 report. The number of brands in the final report also drops from 10 to six. Honda still has above-average customer satisfaction, but moves from first place to fourth.
Review: 2012 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Satisfaction Report, Editors of J. D. Power and Associates, Aug. 30, 2012
2. J.D. Power & Associates
Honda has the highest customer satisfaction -- above John Deere, Husqvarna and Snapper -- in this large survey of walk-behind lawn mower consumers. "The lawn mower brands that perform highest in overall satisfaction are also those that are rated highest for ease of use," observes Christina Cooley of J.D. Power and Associates.
Review: Although Ease of Use Is of Primary Importance in Satisfaction with Lawn Mowers, Fewer than One in 10 Owners Factor It into Their Purchase Decision, Editors of J. D. Power and Associates, April 27, 2011
With more than 100 reviews, the HRS216PDA receives ample appraisal from owners at the site. Its high quality and good value are two of the top reasons for the mower's 4.4-star rating. Many owners also say the engine is quiet and starts reliably.
Review: Honda 21 in. Gas Push Mower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of June 2013