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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just seeing if anyone else notices how poor the suction is on these mowers at HOC's above 2.5" ?? I know a few other people had this issue. GrassDaddy, I believe you have an HRX217... how does your suck stuff up like small twigs at these HOCs? 2" seems to be fine but it gets way worse above that. (hey, this might be a good video to make for your channel). I'm already in the higher RPM 2nd hole on the governor spring. The problem seems worse this year. Anyone else experiencing this and is there a fix that I'm overlooking?
 

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They suck at sucking. I think the magician got us when we all bought Honda mowers. Mine isn't worth what I paid for it IMHO. It seems to be an inherent flaw in the deck design I think. It does seem to do much better cutting everything in my Zoysia areas compared to my NoMix though. The Gravely 50 I got from a buddy of mine chews up and spits out everything. The HRX has been demoted to trim duty only now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GD you should experiment to see just how weak the suction can be. Simulate dozens of twigs that fell in a storm. Leave them out there for a day and see how many are left after you mow at 2.5" or higher. I can't wrap my head around how it leaves THAT MUCH debris around the lawn but at the same time gives such a nice cut. I do admire the professional looking cut but want to vomit at all the left behinds. It never leaves clippings though because of the microcut. .... I have a love/hate thing with it this year. I'm wondering if the governor spring might've lost some tension because I noticed it's almost back to how quiet it was when I first got it (in the default lower RPM hole). I'm going to mess around with that this week to see if anything changes. I have to give respect where it's due though...it does everything else perfectly and is really a pleasure to use (except the part where I have to go back and pick up twigs and other debris after mowing!). :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
mtlcafan79 said:
They suck at sucking. I think the magician got us when we all bought Honda mowers. Mine isn't worth what I paid for it IMHO. It seems to be an inherent flaw in the deck design I think. It does seem to do much better cutting everything in my Zoysia areas compared to my NoMix though. The Gravely 50 I got from a buddy of mine chews up and spits out everything. The HRX has been demoted to trim duty only now.
Oh it definitely breezes through the thickest turf with no issues at all. Love that about it. I betcha anything you-know-who's HRX leaves TONS of debris/twigs/sticks with the HOCs he cuts at and the trees on his property. He's just not going to admit it publicly. I'll probably make a video of the suction (or lack thereof) myself and send it to Honda to see what they think....
 

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I don't have one, but I think I remember reading that it will work better if you leave some slider for the setting slightly toward mulching??? I honestly think that most rotary mowers would have similar issues though. I know my Husqvarna suffers with this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
here's what I'm talking about (eric was asking for a pic example):


I count 5 twigs left behind in this pic. I looked into this a little further and the weight of the deck might be causing this. I noticed it does this more when I put the striper on. What I think might be happening is the front end bobs up and down very slightly because the composite deck is so light weight. I realized this after looking closely at the HRX in this video around the 11:30 mark:

So I snuck in a mow again yesterday before the rain and made an effort to keep the mower from bobbing at all when it hit even the smallest bumps. I noticed a bit of a difference. I didn't have a lot of sticks to test on but it got most of them. My craftsman was much heavier on the front end and never bobbed up like this. I don't think this alone is the problem but it is part of it I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ericgautier said:
LIgrass said:
here's what I'm talking about (eric was asking for a pic example):


I count 5 twigs left behind in this pic.
Nice looking lawn! :thumbup:
Thanks! The strips are pretty beat up from trenching through them (and under the sidewalk) for my irrigation system but they're coming back. Also my neighbor hit the hell strip with his snowblower over the winter :| .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
GrassDaddy said:
I never bag but when I do the front bobs a lot. The con to such a lightweight machine. But i do wonder if thats why I dont notice the suction issue.
Yeah, bagging definitely adds to the problem. I was bagging in May because of the constant rain. The reason I'm still bagging is I think the benefit of keeping rust and other foliar disease away outweighs the benefits of mulching. I almost always start seeing rust/leaf spot/etc. right around now but this year I'm virtually 100% disease free. Probably jinxed myself but I'm going to stick with what's working.
 

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I was so unimpressed with my HRX vacuum at 3+" height of cut that I bought a Toro recycler to try out.

I won't know anything for sure until I use it more as I've only mowed once. However, I do have a few observations.

It seems quieter than the HRX. Maybe not quite, but the exhaust note tone is deeper and IMO less noticeable.

It's definitely lighter. I haven't looked at specs but there is significantly less flattening of the grass by the wheels so it doesn't need to be lifted on a return pass. This is probably a function of the lighter weight and the rest wheels being much larger.

The big question, vacuum. Suction is definitely better but it will not completely lift flattened blades. This may be do to the fact that the flattened areas have been flattened for some time and and are very resistant to being lifted. This will probably get better as the grass adjusts.

The build quality of the Recycler is a few steps below the HRX but considering it is only 2/3 the price, that makes sense.

I bought the model with personal pace and the smart stow because space is at a premium in my garage. It seems to be a fantastic feature. Getting under the deck for cleaning and blade changes is absolutely no issue now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whoever else is having this issue, try this technique out below to see if it makes a difference...

A big part of the problem is in bagging mode the weight gets "rear-heavy". Add a striper and it compounds the problem. Because the composite deck is so light compared to other mowers, it repeatedly bobs up on the front end on any little bump or irregular terrain without you really noticing it (The light front-end is one reason it's so easy to handle and turn with it) The steel deck on my craftsman was much heavier and stayed "firmer" to the ground (although it was much harder to maneuver than the Honda).
I usually have the paddles almost parallel to the ground and I hold the handle bars like a steering wheel (at 1 and 11 o'clock). I made a change last mow and moved the paddles more perpendicular to the ground. I'm also holding the bars more like 3 and 9 o'clock position while also making sure to always keep UPWARD pressure on the handle bar. This made a huge difference for me. It gave the nicest cut I've ever seen. Because of the suction boost It even striped the lawn without my striper on. I believe this change along with tightening the governor spring did it. That's what I've been looking for out of this thing since I bought it. Try it out and see if that makes a difference.
 

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A lot of people don't bag and still have this issue, myself included.

I've mowed a few times with my Recycler now and it seems to be doing a better job. It only has a bit more suction but it seems to be significantly lighter.

After some research it appears my the 20340 Recycler is 74lbs vs the Honda at 98lbs.

I have noticed that the wheels barely press the grass down with the Recycler whereas the Honda causes significant flattening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Overfloater said:
A lot of people don't bag and still have this issue, myself included.

I've mowed a few times with my Recycler now and it seems to be doing a better job. It only has a bit more suction but it seems to be significantly lighter.

After some research it appears my the 20340 Recycler is 74lbs vs the Honda at 98lbs.

I have noticed that the wheels barely press the grass down with the Recycler whereas the Honda causes significant flattening.
I'm still at 2.5" so that might be why. My gut says if I go up to 3" I will experience a huge drop in suction again. 3.5"...forget it I'll test it out on a section to see if there's a big difference.
 

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So the checkmate striping kit instructions mentioned certain versions have the trasmission in a different spot. I wonder if this is the difference. All it would take is something to slightly mess with the air flow to break suction..
 
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