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Honda HRX217VKA Review

By: Carl Laron on May 04, 2017

Bottom Line

The Honda HRX217VKA is a solid all-around mower that gets high praise for its excellent mulching and bagging capabilities. The self-propelled motor means you don't have to muscle it up and down large or hilly yards, and the control system makes it easier to keep the speed constant.

Pros

  • Easy to start
  • Excellent mulching and bagging
  • Extensive warranty
  • Terrific reliability

Cons

  • Lacks some features for the price
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Best-in-class mowing and mulching. The Honda HRX217VKA gets top marks from experts for its mulching and bagging abilities. Roy Berendsohn of Popular Mechanics raves about its "velvet finish." Users say the mower mulches so well it's hard to see the discarded clippings. The Versamow System lets you decide how much grass you want to bag, mulching the rest into fine pieces. It isn't the best at side-discharging grass, but tests show it still handles the task very well. Users attest that the four-stroke GCV190 engine is tough enough to power through thick or wet grass without bogging down and say it's effortless to start. The HRX217VKA meets emission requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Honda self-propelled mowers rank among the most reliable brands in one large independent survey. The HRX217VKA comes with a five-year mower warranty. The 21-inch-wide deck also has a limited lifetime warranty for residential use.

Ease of use

Reliable and well-built. Though the Honda HRX217VKA is heavy -- about 90 pounds -- most users don't have any problems maneuvering it around the yard, thanks to its self-propelled, rear-wheel drive. Owners like the automatic transmission, with five settings to drive from 0 to 4 mph. Testers at Popular Mechanics note that the deck-lift levers are too small, making it uncomfortable to adjust cutting heights.

Safety/noise

Be careful when cleaning. The one quibble that a few experts and owners have about the Honda HRX217VKA is that it lacks a washout port. That means you have to tip the lawnmower over to clean out any retained grass or clumps. Be sure to turn the engine off first and let the blades come to a full and complete stop before doing so. Honda does not rate its lawn mowers for noise levels, but experts recommend always wearing hearing and eye protection when using powered lawn equipment.

Our Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

Editors test around 50 self-propelled mowers as part of their extensive lawn mower and tractors report, including the Honda HRX2175VKA, which is identical to the HRX217VKA. The review includes an evaluation of the mower's ability to mulch, bag or side-discharge grass clippings without clumping. Separately, the site includes a ranking of brand reliability that's based on a survey of its membership.

Roy Berendsohn, Feb 22, 2017

Roy Berendsohn and his crew test eight walk-behind lawn mowers on real-world lawns, including the Honda HRX217K5VKA (identical to the HRX217VKA). Berendsohn calls it, "the luxury car of walk-behind lawnmowers," with only its too-small deck-lift levers detracting from "an otherwise outstanding machine."

Grant Morgan, Apr. 4, 2017

The Honda HRX217VKA is the gold award winner among gas powered lawn mowers at TopTenReviews.com. Grant Morgan writes: "This walk-behind lawn mower is an excellent choice for homeowners who need an efficient, capable mower that will last for years with proper care."

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2017

The Honda HRX217K5VKA earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 225 reviews. Around 88 percent would recommend the mower. Most say it has made mowing their lawn much easier than other mowers they have owned, they also praise how "finished" their lawn looks. There are a few quibbles about durability issues, and some have some problems using the variable speed control system.

Contributors to MowersDirect.com, As of May 2017

Around 220 owners review the Honda HRX217VKA, giving it an overall rating of better than 4.5 stars out of 5. The easy-start engine, dependable performance and solid construction are among the attributes users like most. It's recommended by 91 percent of owners. The site also gives the HRX217VKA an overall A rating, based upon expert analysis, manufacturer ratings and customer reviews.

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