Honda HRR Gas Lawn Mower Review: Winter wishes for summer reliability

Chris Burns - Jan 20, 2020, 3:13 pm CST
5
Honda HRR Gas Lawn Mower Review: Winter wishes for summer reliability
Editors' Rating: 9/10
Pros
  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Light, easy to handle
  • Very little required maintenance
  • Mulch or bag
  • Cuts grass cleanly at range of heights
Cons
  • This specific model not self-propelled
  • Gas operated (also a positive, depends on user)

I began writing this review when I started to use a Honda HRR push mower a couple of seasons ago. When this review process began, I assumed it’d be like any other. I was used to reviewing things like smartphones and computers – devices that aren’t expected to last more than a few years for the average person. But this was to be no average review – this review became about more than just the one machine.

One machine in Summer, one in Winter

Here in the winter of 2019/2020, I lived in a home where I was responsible for clearing snow whenever we were subject to a significant bit of snowfall. This included snow duty for a city sidewalk, a sizable driveway, and pathways in the back yard for my dog to do her business. I started with a shovel, and very quickly found that I was out of my element.

Given the forecasts and the recent history of major snowfall in the area to which I’d moved – Fargo, ND – I needed to bite the bullet. I purchased a Briggs & Stratton 22-inch 208cc Single Stage Gas Snow Blower.

This machine looked like it’d handle the amount of work I needed to do. My decision was made largely due to availability. Because of the relatively quick onset of winter and large amounts of snow, selection of in-store units was slim. This seemed to be my best bet for the money I wanted to spend.

After several snowfalls, I was reminded that I should follow my own advice on purchases of basically any sort:

1. If a product could be reviewed online, it probably has been reviewed online
2. One should not purchase any product for more than a couple hundred dollars with an in-store assessment alone

I found myself regretting the purchase once the snow deflector came loose and I needed to jury-rig the whole contraption if I wanted to blow snow anywhere but straight forward (or straight up!) The blower’s been relatively reliable so far, but really, I should have done my homework, and I might’ve been better served in buying from a brand that’s already proven reliable to me in the past.

The Honda lawn mower I’ve been using wasn’t something I considered particularly noteworthy until I realized that this simplicity was its strength. Not having to consider much about the lawn mower meant that it was working. It’d been working perfectly well for months, and months, without fail.

Honda HRR lawn mower

The snow blower situation got me to thinking: I have not once, ever, needed to stop cutting grass because a part came loose on that Honda lawnmower I’ve been using. For two full spring and summer seasons I’ve used a Honda HRR lawn mower without a single issue.

Obviously mowing the lawn and blowing snow are two different kinds of work. But they occupy the same sort of time for a person who is responsible for yard work. They should, ideally, be given the same sort of attention when it comes to finding a piece of hardware that’s both up to the task and reliable enough to handle that task for season after season.

To mow my lawn at two different houses over two different summers, I was using the Honda HRR 216PKA (AKA HRR216PKAA). Honda releases different models every once in a while, but the basics here remain the same in the HRR system. This particular mower had the following key features:

• 21-inch mower deck
• 3-in-1 Clip Director
• Flywheel brake
• Fixed Throttle
• Auto Choke System

This mower was 60.4-inches long and 23-inches wide, with an overall height of 39.9-inches. This mower had a super simple adjustable mow height system, with options between 1-1/8 to approximately 4-inches.

This mower can be stored with the handle down – that’s unbelievably helpful for situations like moving from one house to another. Or storage over a long winter.

All machine access for this mower was simple. Switching the air filter was as simple as pushing down a pair of tabs, removing a plastic cover, and switching out the filter – no sweat. Similarly simple processes were in place for other parts that could but won’t likely need replacement.

The vast majority of the time I used this mower, it was set to mulch. Switching between mulch and bag was as simple as a squeeze and a switch. Cleaning this mower was as simple as lifting up the front end and brushing out any stuck grass, then pushing open the door at the back to get the rest.

Wrap-up

While I wish I’d done more research on my snow blower purchase, the Honda HRR proved reliable. This lawn mower proved so extremely reliable and issue-free that I’ve longed for its simplicity several times this winter in a snow blower. And what better time to seek out a mower than now, when you’ve got the pick of the litter?

The Honda HRR unit in this review is one of a line of mowers that’s evolved into the self-propelled units like the HONDA HRS and HRX lines. Honda makes a wide array of different models with prices to match their features.

Honda’s carved out a place in lawn mowing hardware with value that outweighs cost. The reliability of the model I’ve used here has me convinced of Honda’s place as a market leader in lawnmowers for the masses.


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