The Toro 20339 is part of the Toro Recycler series of Toro self-propelled lawn mower machines that mulch, bag and discharge cuttings as you prefer.
In this review, you’ll discover all the essential features this device has to offer and what makes it popular with so many buyers.
In addition, you’ll find out what we discovered about the downsides of this walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower that might make a different machine more suitable for you and your mowing situation.
After reading this review, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if this is the product you want to buy to keep your yard looking fantastic.
Pros and Cons
|Stores on end for saving space||Wheel height adjustment is cumbersome to use|
|Variable speed and self-propelled for efficient cutting||Not good on steep hills|
|Deck washout port makes it easy to clean under the deck||Handlebar height not adjustable|
|Front wheel drive for exceptional maneuverability|
|Good traction on flat ground|
This Toro recycler lawn mower is popular for a good reason: it has a powerful gas engine with exceptional maneuverability and stores in a minimal space footprint. In addition, the wider than average cutting deck lets you breeze through your lawn mowing chores in minimal time.
- 22-inch cutting width
- 190cc high torque Briggs and Stratton engine
- Large 11-inch diameter rear wheels
- Quiet operation
This Toro variable speed mower model has excellent traction and maneuverability due to its extra-large rear wheels and front-wheel-drive power system. A Toro high wheel mower like this one quickly drives over soft ground and rough spots in the landscape without getting bogged down or stuck in the mud, and that’s an advantage for anyone with challenging mowing conditions.
In addition, this mower’s relatively quiet engine is a robust model produced by the small engine experts at Briggs&Stratton. This engine is effortless to maintain because it uses the “check and add” design that eliminates oil changes.
All you need to do is regularly check the engine oil level and add more when it’s low. As a result, you won’t have to deal with any more draining and disposing of messy engine oil when you own this gas-powered lawn mower.
– Front-Wheel Drive
The most significant advantage of the front-wheel-drive system in this mower is how easily you can turn corners and mow around structures and objects on the lawn.
For example, imagine you have a circular brick planter bed in the middle of your yard, and you want to trim the grass up close to the brickwork or you need to cut up close to a fence line.
Doing this type of work is challenging with many lawnmowers with rear-wheel power, but this Toro model makes it easy to cut grass in circles and close to structures if that’s what you need to do.
– Variable-Speed and Self-Propel
You don’t need muscle power to move it around when you invest in this lawnmower.
The variable-speed self-propel feature makes the machine move by itself while keeping the pace you want to stay comfortable at while walking behind it. The mechanism for accomplishing this is ingeniously simple and only involves a single operational bar located on the handlebar that you press forward to make it go.
The more you press the bar, the faster the mower travels, letting you choose the optimum pace for your comfort and the terrain.
– SMARTSTOW® Storage
A unique feature of this lawnmower is its SMARTSTOW® capability. The engine is designed to store without leaking gas or oil when you tip the mower up on its rear end after folding the handlebar entirely over the top of the machine.
Two easy-to-use knobs release the handlebar from the upright position so it folds. In addition, there are two small feet that are built into the base of the handlebar when it’s folded that securely support the machine when it’s stored on its end.
This incredibly convenient storage design results in the mower taking up 70 percent less space in storage. You can easily store this mower in your garage without sacrificing space for parking your cars, stashing the kids’ bikes, or having to shuffle tools and equipment around to be able to stash the mower away.
One slight downside of this mower is that the mechanism for adjusting the wheel height is a bit hard to operate. One lever on each side of the machine raises both wheels on that side, and the weight of the device as you raise and lower the deck can be hard to push into place.
However, many mowers suffer from a similar problem, and most people do not frequently adjust the deck height so it’s not a significant inconvenience.
Another downside that is a more significant issue is that the handlebar height is fixed, and you cannot adjust it for different size operators or your comfort. Given that Toro took the time to make a handlebar that folds so elegantly over the top of the machine for storage, it’s surprising they didn’t add a way to adjust the handlebar height.
If you are concerned about this issue, it might be a good idea to test out a Toro 20339 in person and see if the handlebar height is comfortable for you.
Another issue reported by some buyers is that the front-wheel-drive on this mower does not do well on steeper slopes and tends to stall when challenged with a serious hill, especially when cutting tall grass in this situation.
For this reason, if your property contains a significant amount of ups and downs, a rear-wheel-drive mower is probably a better option.
– Bottom Line
This Toro lawn mower is an optimum choice for people with extensive lawns who do tons of mowing on primarily flat or gently-sloped ground. It has a high-quality, low-maintenance engine that is guaranteed to start and runs reliably.
It also has a wide deck for efficient mowing on large lawns. In addition, buying this lawnmower makes sense for people who want a piece of equipment that stores in the smallest possible footprint in their storage space because of the Toro Smartstow feature.
This mower’s power comes from a highly efficient and robust 190cc Briggs&Stratton gas engine with a gross torque rating of 7.25 ft-lbs and a top travel speed of 3.25 MPH. This model does not have an electric start as some other Toro models have, but it does have auto-choke, so there is no need to mess around setting a choke lever or pumping a priming bulb before starting the machine.
Instead, a gentle tug on the recoil cord at the handlebar, using only about 10 pounds of force, is all you need to fire up the engine. It’s also guaranteed to start reliably on the first or second pull for the first three years you own it.
Another significant advantage with this 4-stroke engine is the “check and add” oil design that does not ever require oil changes. Simply add more SAE 30 engine oil when you see a low reading on the dipstick.
Toro recommends using their oil brand for the best performance and most extended lifespan on this engine. The engine’s air filter requires some maintenance to clean and replace from time to time, but the filter is conveniently located and you don’t need any tools to open the air filter compartment.
– Cutting Deck and Blades
The Recycler® cutting deck is constructed of heavy-gauge steel for years of use without denting or cracking. In addition, a washout port on top of the deck ensures you can easily clean the underside of the deck to prevent rusting without needing to tip the machine on its side.
The mower has a single, high-quality cutting blade that is 22 inches across and works for bagging, side discharge or mulching without changing blades. The blade is designed for efficient mulching, a feature that is one of this mower’s most vital points.
The deck raises up and down using a lever at the front wheel on each side of the mower and adjusts to seven cutting heights from 1 inch to 4 inches above the ground. This large deck is a significant advantage for anyone with an extensive lawn who wants to get the grass cut with a minimum number of passes.
– 3-in-1 Features
This mower is a 3-in-1 design that comes with a sturdy collection bag for picking up the grass trimmings. However, the deep deck and well-engineered blade excel at mulching, and this is another task you can accomplish with this mower.
It’s called the Recycler because of its excellent capacity for finely chopping the clippings and evenly spreading them on the lawn so that they become almost invisible when you’re done mowing.
On the other hand, if you want to discharge the clippings from the machine and let them pile up on the side of your mowing path, this mower can also do that. All you need to do is slide the blue lever at the base of the handlebar and remove the collection bag from the back of the machine and it discharges the cuttings out of the side.
– Operator Controls
The mower starts with a gentle pull of the recoil cord while holding down the operator’s presence bar on the handlebars. Once the engine is running, a second lever on the handlebar engages the variable-speed self-propel feature.
The further forward you press this bar, the faster the machine goes, and the bar is designed so that you can operate it with either or both hands.
Stopping the engine is equally simple by letting go of the operator presence bar. However, you cannot leave the machine running while walking away to empty the bag. In that case, you’ll need to restart the engine when you return, but the engine starts so quickly and reliably that restarting is not a problem for most people.
The straightforward operator controls and minimal maintenance requirements on this machine are beneficial for anyone who does not have lots of experience using a walk-behind self-propel mower like this one.
– Size and Weight
This model has a slightly larger footprint than many similar models when the mower is set up for mowing the grass due to its large deck. The overall dimensions of the mower are 58.8 inches long, 23.6 inches wide and 39 inches high.
However, when you fold the handlebar over the top of the machine, you can tip it up on its end to store it in a space measuring only 39 inches high, 23.6 inches wide and 17.5 inches deep, which is much more compact than the space needed for storing most lawnmowers.
Given its relatively large size when unfolded, this mower is lightweight at only 78 pounds without gas in the tank. This lawnmower’s low weight and ultra-compact storage footprint make it ideal for anyone with lots of mowing to do and minimal storage room in their garage or toolshed.
Toro offers a two-year warranty on the mower that covers defects in workmanship and materials for all components, including the engine. In addition, this mower also includes a three-year Guaranteed-to-Start offer that makes the manufacturer responsible for repairs if the mower does not start on the second pull of the recoil cord, as long as you use and maintain the machine according to the instructions in the owner’s manual.
In this Toro 20339 review, we examined the advantages and drawbacks of this well-designed mowing machine.
You learned that it excels for efficient mowing, mulching and bagging grass on primarily flat lawns, but it doesn’t do as well on yards with steep slopes or rough terrain due to its front-wheel drive.
We also talked about how one of the most significant advantages of this mower is the way you can neatly fold down the handlebar and store it on its end to save up to 70 percent of the space otherwise needed.
So this mower is ideal for people who want a reliable lawn mower for large, mostly flat yards who also want to save on storage space when not using the machine.
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