See All Lawn Mowers

Toro Recycler 20333

Est. $400
Reviewed
June 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Toro Recycler 20333

Pros
  • Spin-stop system
  • Excellent mulching
  • Pace-matching speed controls
Cons
  • Durability issues
  • Short warranty

Bottom line

The biggest advantage of the Toro Recycler 20333 is its SpinStop system, which lets you empty the bag without shutting off the engine. Owners also praise the pace-matching speed controls that allow users to mow at their own personal pace. The 20333 provides excellent mulching, discharging near-invisible grass clippings, but suffers when bagging. Regardless, experts find the 20333 a great overall value.

Performance

Powerful cutting and mulching. Experts say the Toro Recycler 20333 performs almost as well as much more expensive mowers, finely mulching clippings and leaving a top-quality finish. In comparison tests, it doesn't bag or discharge clippings out the side quite as well as others, but still performs suitably.

The Toro 20332 (Est. $380) , which is similar to the 20333 but without the blade-brake clutch, ranks highly in two separate Popular Mechanics comparisons. Editors say the mower is best for "small to large yards that are flat and smooth with moderate uphill, sidehill cutting, or those that need a reasonably fast cut without sacrificing cut and bag quality." The 20333 is rated to mow up to half an acre but users say it's capable of handling much larger properties.

Ease of use

Convenient features. Reviewers love Toro's SpinStop system, which stops the blades but keeps the engine running, so you don't have to restart the Toro Recycler 20333 every time you need to empty the bag or move something in the yard. The automatic transmission lets you "mow at your own pace by simply pushing more firmly against the handle …" explains Popular Mechanics. Owners also rave about this setup, saying the mower really senses how fast they want to go.

With its three-year guaranteed-to-start warranty, Toro promises the Briggs & Stratton engine (which includes an automatic choke) will fire up within one or two pulls every time, and users attest it starts reliably. But users say the mower itself begins to have problems after a few seasons.

Safety/noise

Blade-brake clutch keeps engine running. Lawn mowers typically shut the engine off when you release the handle, but the Toro Recycler 20333 uses a SpinStop system: It stops the blades from spinning but leaves the engine running, with a separate switch for the engine. Reviewers say it works well.

The 20333 also compares well to other mowers in noise levels. In a recent test, Popular Mechanics found the 20333 to be one of the quieter models at 89 decibels adjusted. Safety experts still recommend users wear adequate hearing protection with a lawn mower this loud.

Where To Buy
Toro Recycler (22") 190cc Personal Pace Lawn Mower w/ Blade Override - 20333

 (68 reviews)
3 New from $499.99

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
Home DepotHome Depot rated 3.58 (4554 reviews)4,554 store reviewsIn Stock. $399.00
 

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Editors test-drive 55 lawn mowers, including the Toro Recycler 20333 to evaluate how well they handle, how easy they are to use and their performance in all three cutting modes. More than 160 Toro Recycler 20333 owners also comment on its controls, reliability and maintenance requirements.

Review: Lawn Mowers & Tractors, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

2. PopularMechanics.com

In Popular Mechanics' most recent walk-behind lawn mower comparison, 13 models are put to the test "around a church, golf course, and house, in pouring rain and blistering heat." The Toro Recycler 20332 (which is comparable to the 20333) doesn't receive first place, but it does rank very well with 4.5 stars out of 5. Testers say it cuts and bags well, and they have no major complaints with its performance.

Review: The Best Walk-Behind Lawnmowers: Comparison Test, Roy Berendsohn, Not Dated

3. PopularMechanics.com

When Roy Berendsohn tests eight convertible mulching mowers, he opts for a farm setting "where the grass is often dry and brittle or wet and tall, there are steep hills to climb and you have to coax the mower over roots." The Toro 20332 (similar to the 20333, but without the blade-brake clutch) ties for first place with a perfect five-star score.

Review: Best Lawnmowers of the Year: Comparison Test, Roy Berendsohn, Not Dated

4. GreenerChoices.org

This free article comes from ConsumerReports.org's earth-friendly website, GreenerChoices.org. Editors discuss some of the more ecological lawn mowers on the market, including gas, electric and manual options. The Toro Recycler 20333 stands out among less expensive gas mowers because of its SpinStop system.

Review: Lawn Mowers: Green Buying Guide 5/11, Editors of GreenerChoices.org, May 2011

5. J.D. Power & Associates

Toro moves from fifth place to second in the 2012 customer satisfaction survey of walk-behind mowers by J.D. Power and Associates. Although brand reputation is important to shoppers, editors say price and user-friendly operation are also key. "Toro achieves a particularly high score in performance," say editors.

Review: 2012 Walk-Behind Lawn Mower Satisfaction Report, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Aug. 30, 2012

6. HomeDepot.com

The Toro Recycler 20333 gets a 4.2-star rating, based on a 5-star scale, at HomeDepot.com, where more than 1,300 owners review it. The site also includes reviews from the manufacturer's website. Users tend to rate the mower better during the first three months of use; after that, ratings drop dramatically.

Review: Toro Personal Pace Recycler 22 in. Variable Speed Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower with Blade Stop System, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of June 2014

7. 10rate.com

Steve Holdgren includes the Toro Recycler 20332 (which is very similar to the 20333) in his roundup of best push mowers for 10Rate.com. He gives the mower an overall rating of 8 out of 10 based on a combination of hands-on experience, owner reviews and model specifications. He says the blades need to be sharpened but that the mower is efficient and easy to use.

Review: Best Push Mowers: Top 10 Rated Push/Walk-Behind Lawn Mowers 2014, Steve Holdgren, Not Dated

8. Amazon.com

The 65-plus owners who review the Toro Recycler 20333 are not as impressed with it as some experts, rating it just 2.3 stars out of 5. Difficulty starting, problems with customer service and poor construction are among the issues owners have. Not everyone gives it a low rating: About 25 percent of the reviews here say it's a wonderful mower with plenty of power and convenient features.

Review: Toro Recycler (22") 190cc Personal Pace Lawn Mower w/ Blade Override - 20333, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2014

9. TopTenReviews.com

The Toro 20333 is included in TopTenReviews.com's list of best gas mowers. The author praises its safety features, the Personal Pace system and its overall ease of use. The mower does not have a rust-resistant deck or an adjustable handle height, however. Although the 20333 receives praise from the author, the mower isn't rated, so it's hard to know where it stands in comparison to others on the list.

Review: Toro Recycler 20333, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not Dated

Lawn Mowers Runners Up:

Black & Decker SPCM 1936 Est. $400

6 picks including: Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com…

Toro Recycler 20333 Est. $400

4 picks including: Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com…

Black & Decker CM1936 Est. $350

4 picks including: Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com…

NaturCut Ideal 40 Est. $160

1 pick including: MowersDirect.com, GreatMower.com…

image
Black & Decker SPCM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Self-Propelled Lawn Mower With Removable Battery
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $539.99 $374.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Toro Recycler (22") 190cc Personal Pace Lawn Mower w/ Blade Override - 20333
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $499.99
Average Customer Review:  
image
Black & Decker CM1936 19-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Lawn Mower With Removable Battery
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $499.99 $324.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
NaturCut Ideal 40 (16") 5-Blade Reel Mower - 16040
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  

Back to top