The Honda hrr216k9vka is a Honda variable speed self-propelled gas mower with an outstanding reputation for reliable starting and robust cutting, mulching and rear discharging of clippings. However, it isn’t perfect for everyone or every yard.
This review contains detailed information on the specs, features, pros and cons of this machine, giving you a complete picture of how it works, what its downsides are, and who is most likely to appreciate this machine. So read on and find out if this is the lawnmower you and your yard need.
Pros and Cons
|Fuel-efficient Honda engine||Reported problems with auto-choke sticking|
|Variable-speed self-propel drive||No wash-out port on deck|
|Twin blade is excellent for mulching|
|Easy to start|
This Honda lawn mower is ready to use with minimal assembly right out of the box. The robust engine and dual-cutting blades let you breeze through mowing chores efficiently whether you choose to bag, mulch or discharge the clippings.
- 21 inch cutting width
- Micro-cut twin cutting blade system
- GCV160cc OHV Honda engine
- 3-in-1 cutting options for mulching, bagging and rear discharging clippings
- Auto-choke and fuel shut off valve
If you are looking for a super reliable and easy-to-use gas-powered lawn mower with self-propel and 3-in-1 cutting features, this model is worth checking out. This machine is made entirely by Honda, from the engine to the cutting deck to the frame.
The company has seriously considered, and succeeded in, building a lawnmower that keeps on running with little maintenance and easy-to-use operator controls.
– Easy-to-Use 3-in-1 Features
For example, on many other 3-in-1 brands, switching from mulching to bagging or discharge of clippings is a hassle that might involve installing a mulching baffle or even changing the cutting blades.
But on this Honda product, an easy-to-operate Clip Director lever lets you make the switch in seconds without any other adjustments to the machine except removing the collection bag for mulching and discharging the waste.
The 3-in-1 feature is so easy to use on this mower because of the Micro Cut twin blades under the deck. This unique feature has two cutting blades bolted together with the edges of the two blades separated about 15 degrees from each other.
The double blade system produces an exceptionally fine cut and works spectacularly well for mulching and trimming a lawn.
Another operator-friendly 3-in-1 feature is how the collection bag comes off from the rear of the machine. First, you lift the discharge guard and then raise the bag, releasing it from two tabs that hold it in place at the bottom.
The ease with which you can remove the collection bag is a significant advantage when you are dumping clippings from the bag and switching quickly from collection to mulching or rear discharging.
– Engine With Auto-Choke for Easy Startup
If you ever owned an older lawnmower model, you might have faced the frustrations of adjusting a choke lever and pumping a primer bulb multiple times before pulling the recoil cord to start the engine.
Then, you might have experienced a flooded carburetor or hard starts requiring numerous pulls of the rope, wearing you out before you even got around to cutting the lawn.
On this Honda mower, those frustrations and delays are a thing of the past. This mower starts up on the first or second pull of the recoil cord without needing to adjust a choke because it is equipped with an auto-choke that does that part for you.
In addition, the amount of force needed for pulling the cord is minimal, so you won’t strain your arm or shoulder or get winded as you start up the machine.
– Variable-Speed and Self-Propel
Another plus for this mower is the easy-to-use variable-speed lever that operates the self-propel function. This speed-control paddle works by holding down the operator presence bar at the top of the handlebar and then using your thumbs or palms to push the paddle forward.
The machine has two paddles on each side of the handlebar’s center, so you can use either or both hands to operate this feature. The further you push the control paddle forward, the faster the rate of travel, so you can rapidly adjust the mower’s speed to match your preference and the landscape conditions.
Some buyers have complained that the variable-speed levers on this model get tiring for their thumbs as they hold them down for long periods. However, they might not be aware that this feature is adjustable by sliding a tab on the bottom of the paddle bar.
Once you slide the tab, you can then rotate the levers into different positions and bring them higher up where you can use the palms of your hands to operate the speed control instead of your thumbs. This adjustment capacity makes the variable-speed feature much less tiring to work with.
If you need to move the machine around without the self-propel, you can also hold the operator presence bar down and push the mower manually. This capacity can come in handy when maneuvering in tight spaces.
In addition, when you release the operator presence bar, the engine shuts off within a few seconds. However, the downside is that you cannot leave the engine running while walking away to empty the collection bag.
The only significant complaints about this mower concern the alignment of the wheels when the mower arrives. Some buyers say that after unpacking, all four wheels do not touch the ground when the mower is on a flat surface.
This problem could be due to damage to the wheel setting tabs during shipping, and you might need to make a slight adjustment to these tabs to get the deck leveled when you get the mower out of the box.
Another complaint involves the auto-choke system getting stuck after the mower has been used for a while. This problem most likely happens because the auto-choke operates using two small springs that move the choke lever, and if they get dirty or clogged with debris, they cannot move freely.
To keep the engine and auto-choke running smoothly, it’s essential to thoroughly read and follow the maintenance instructions in the owner’s manual.
One final downside is that this machine does not have a washout port on the deck, so you must tip it over to clean it underneath. Tipping the mower over might be challenging for some buyers, and they would probably be happier with a lawnmower with a washout port for easy cleaning.
– Bottom Line
This model is a superbly reliable and sturdy walk-behind mower for small to medium-sized yards with average mowing conditions.
Main Product Features
The highly fuel-efficient engine in this mower is a Honda 160cc single-cylinder 4-stroke design that can propel the mower up to 4 mph at top speed. You do not mix the fuel with oil in this model, but the engine still needs regular motor oil added to a separate compartment, and it’s shipped with one bottle to get you started.
In addition, it is not a “check and add” system, so you’ll have to change the oil every season to keep the engine in good condition. The air filter is easy to access, and it also needs to be changed when it gets dirty.
This model does not have an electric start, so you must pull the recoil cord while holding down the operator presence bar to get the machine going. However, the cable is straightforward to pull, and the high-quality engine starts reliably on the first or second tug of the cord in most cases.
In addition, another great feature is the fuel shut-off valve that allows you to quickly empty gas out of the carburetor when storing the machine by shutting the valve and running the engine until it stalls. Unfortunately, shut-off valves are not available on many other mowers, and leaving gas in the fuel lines and the carburetor is the most common cause of hard starting and repair bills.
The engine in this model is perfect for average cutting conditions, but if your yard has more challenging weeds and tall grass, a Honda mower with a 190cc or 200cc engine might be a better option for getting the job done without stalling or bogging down.
Another consideration is that this engine is noisy with a sound rating of 98.5 dB, so it’s not a good choice if you live in a noise-sensitive neighborhood.
– Cutting Deck, Blades and Wheels
The stamped steel cutting deck is 12-gauge metal for surviving bumps and rough treatment without easily denting or flexing. All four wheels are 8 inches in diameter, and they do not have ball bearings.
The deck cutting height adjusts separately at each wheel with a metal tab, and you can set it into six positions from 1 1/8 inches to 4 inches high. Power goes to the wheel using a drive belt, and this component can wear out over time and need replacement, although putting on a new belt is not difficult.
Some buyers have reported problems with the deck height adjustment levers on this model, saying they bent or broke, leaving the deck uneven. In addition, this component appears to be a bit flimsy, which is one downside to this lawnmower.
However, if you are careful not to go too fast over uneven ground or subject the wheels to undue strain, they will likely hold up without problems.
The Micro-Cut dual blades are an exceptional innovation on this mower, resulting in a finely manicured cut, and they do an outstanding job in mulching mode. However, there is no washout port on the top of the deck, so you are stuck with needing to flip the mower on its side to get the deck and blades cleaned up. Keeping the underside of the deck clean is crucial to prevent rust.
– 3-in-1 Features
As mentioned above, a significant advantage of this mower is the ease of changing from bagging to mulching or rear discharge with the large Clip Director lever on the back of the deck.
In addition, the mower comes with a large-capacity 2.4-bushel collection bag that quickly snaps on and off from the machine’s rear when switching to mulch or discharge modes; no tools are required.
Suppose you like to mulch your lawn clippings to save on disposal fees and the cost and time for applying lawn fertilizer. In that case, this machine has a lot to offer because it is one of the most efficient models you’ll find for pulverizing the clippings into mulch thanks to its dual-blade cutting system.
– Operator Comfort Features
As far as operator comfort is concerned, this Honda hrr216k9vka mower has highly padded foam grips on the handlebars to keep your hands comfortable. In addition, the handlebar quickly adjusts into two operational positions, and the height is comfortable for smaller people.
To adjust, a plastic knob on each side of the handlebar base lets you change the height or readily fold the handle over the machine’s top for compact storage.
– Size and Weight
This compact mower is 62 inches long, 38.25 inches high with the handlebar in the operational position, and 23 inches wide at the outside of the deck. Folding the handlebar reduces the length by approximately 24 inches.
The small size and folding handlebar make this machine conveniently fit in a tiny space in the garage or toolshed.
The mower weighs 84 pounds, which is about average for a walk-behind mower, but without a washout port, the weight might be hard to manage for some people when flipping the machine over to clean under the deck.
Honda offers a three-year warranty on this mower, and the company also has email and phone support that is readily available if you have questions or problems.
The Honda hrr216k9vka walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower is a rugged little machine with many positive attributes for people with small to medium-sized yards and average mowing conditions.
It can handle mowing an overgrown lawn, but if you have seriously challenging conditions like enormous weeds or lots of hills, a mower like the Honda HRX217VKA with a 200cc engine might be a better choice.
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