honda hrr 216 cutting issues

The place for discussions about mowers, stripers, edgers, weeders, etc.
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: June 1st, 2022, 9:58 am
Location: NYC
Grass Type: Tall fescue
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

honda hrr 216 cutting issues

Post by sdaround » June 2nd, 2022, 11:15 am

Making a new thread as advised from old thread...

I have the HRR216K10VKA (bought at HD) and it doesn't cut well. Always leaves spots of uncut grass, specially grass that the wheels go over. I know this was an issue mentioned years ago in another I am assuming the problem is the same. From what I understand the problem is not enough suction to pull the grass up when mulching at 3" and above. I havent owned many mowers, so I can't compare to anything else but I am surprised suction is a thing as I haven't noticed much on mine.

Anyhow, I wanted to get some clarification on things:

1. It was mentioned on older thread that the suction is better on the left side because the mulch clippings are sent to the right side. I am confused because my mower doesn't have an opening on the right side. There is no mulching door on either side, I just assume the grass blades drop down. Did the older version have a mulch door? Or can someone explain why the grass clippings are traveling to the right side? I want to try the clockwise mowing and want to make sure this issue applies to me.

2. How do you guys overlap the mow? I personally try to just put the wheel inside the wheel mark of the previous cut. I am guessing this should work when I am overlapping on the left side and fail when overlapping on the right side. And is that why clockwise cut is recommended, because that would always overlap on the left side? I dont believe it was conclusive that the clockwise cut was superior so I want to confirm that.

3. What settings do you use for mowing height? I have tall fescue cool season grass and I want to cut at 3" or higher. However, I could never figure out the cutting height of the mower. I read the manual and tried to measure but couldn't figure it out. I thought maybe im just an idiot. But now I realize, that if some of the grass isn't being cut, its hard to measure the cutting height!! So can someone give a suggestion on cutting height? I think it should be something like 3rd notch in the back and 2nd notch in the front. I believe that is 3" in the back and 2.5" in the front.

4. The clip director sometimes gets lose form the mulch position and goes to the bag position during operation. So my theory was that I am losing suction from that door being shaky and not closed properly. From reading thie old thread, it seems that is confirmed to not be an issue. Can someone just confirm that again? I still don't feel comfortable with that clip director and want to investigate how I can have the door closed securely during operation.

5. Does the cutting issue cause grass to die because it is left too long and then cut the following week or later? I have been trying to get a perfect lawn and I think I am doing a lot of things right, but the lawn doesn't seem to grow evenly. I have a lot of bare soil spots or burned looking spots. Some of the grass seems to be growing perfect and others seem to be struggling. All within the same sq ft. I know it could be a lot of things and would be hard for you guys to diagnose, but I just want to know if you personally noticed what the effect of the uneven cutting did to your lawn. Or is it just a cosmetic thing that gets rectified a cut or two later with no harm to the grass?

6. Finally, let me know what mower I could replace this honda with as I dont want my lawn to be dying anymore. I was thinking about the timemaster 30". However, I am not sure my 8500 sq ft lawn is big enough for that. I am worried it would be heavy and the turns would be rough on the grass. I have one section that is around 4k sq ft that it might be fine for, but another section around 3k and another around 1.5k. And on some of the entryways, I have just bare dirt that I cant grow anything due to foot traffic and maybe this issue with the Honda mower. So I don't know if going to a bigger size would make things worse or better at this point.

User avatar
Posts: 5953
Joined: December 17th, 2008, 8:46 pm
Location: Central NJ
Grass Type: 77% Blueberry/23% Midnight Star KBG in front. Bewitched KBG monostand in back.
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: honda hrr 216 cutting issues

Post by turf_toes » June 2nd, 2022, 2:07 pm

The manual says the HRR has six height settings between 4-inches and 1 1/8 inches. That’s roughly half an inch at each setting. So lower it two positions from the top. But why overthink it? Try it two from the top. If you like it, fine. Otherwise adjust it up or down.

That earlier thread is from six years ago. So you can assume there have been changes in these mowers since 2016. That said, if you have widespread problems with dead grass, it’s probably not your mower at fault.

Those folks complained because they didn’t like the stray grass blades after they mowed. Those stray blades aren’t going to cause a widespread dead grass issue in your lawn.

Posts: 14
Joined: April 12th, 2022, 9:12 am
Location: Northern maryland
Grass Type: Cool season Mutt
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Novice

Re: honda hrr 216 cutting issues

Post by Yimmyb60 » June 2nd, 2022, 6:24 pm

I have the same issue with a new hrx217. I found the 331654B blade has better suction but it is still not as good as my old troy bilt high lifts from stens. If your current blade is the twin mulching blade that has a rise in the middle and the ends slope down, then the 331654B should fit. If your current blade is flat throughout then possibly the stens 325-005 would fit better. I have both but the 325 sits to high in the deck for good suction.

Maxpower 331654B Mower Blades, Black ... UTF8&psc=1

User avatar
Posts: 1083
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:56 pm
Location: Central CT
Grass Type: Northern Mix
Lawn Size: 10000-20000
Level: Some Experience

Re: honda hrr 216 cutting issues

Post by Smolenski7 » June 26th, 2022, 9:35 am

I use this mower (or at least a similar Honda model) often and find it very hard to start in cold weather and the cut is so uneven that it is noticeable to the "untrained "eye. I think it might be due to the position of the wheels. They seem to be outside the width of the deck. So, if you mow by retracing the previous path exactly, about a 1-2 inch path if uncut grass will be left behind. I don't believe lack of suction has anything to do with it.

Posts: 192
Joined: June 4th, 2018, 10:18 am
Location: Eastern Iowa
Grass Type: KBG
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Experienced

Re: honda hrr 216 cutting issues

Post by Hammbone81 » September 7th, 2022, 10:55 pm

This has been my battle for the last 4 years! I recently found a "better" way.

I used to have a 1 acre lot with a commercial zero turn. We moved to a smaller lot and I purchased a Honda HRX217. It was horrible above 3" - especially this time of year. I was probably one of the people who wrote about my woes with this on other threads. I'm an Engineer, so I dorked it out and dried every experiment in the book to try to get it to work well. Then I went around and around with the dealer. In the end, I sold the Honda for a loss and bought a 2020 Toro Super Recycler 21386. While I'm happier with the Toro most of the rest of the year, this time of year it is also horrible at mowing well. It too seems like it doesn't have enough suction. The one nice thing of my vintage and older Super Recyclers (the 2022's are different), is that they have a side discharge option. So, a really long story short - the best set up I've found for an even cut with good suction is to:

A) Remove all of the "super" parts (i.e., accelerator and kickers).
B) Use a high-lift Toro blade
C) Side discharge (it's a bummer I can't mulch, and mowing frequently becomes more critical this time of year)
D) Overlap by 1/3

*I found out that if I over lap by ~1/3, I get the best results. I've tried as much as 1/2, but it's not as good as 1/3. When I did 1/2, I was putting wheel tracks on wheel tracks and that just made the problem worse. Make sure the wheels are on virgin grass each pass.

Also, there's been some talk about mowers leaving wheel tracks. I have some insight and a theory there: In a previous career life, I worked with a lot of lawn & garden mower manufactures as a supplier. In that time, I got to work with a lot of really cool and smart people on some cool projects. I spent most of my time working on zero turn platforms. What I learned from the best performers, is that the front wheel needs to be to the RIGHT of the blade spindle. If you look at high-end commercial mowers, you'll notice the front wheels look funny and not symmetrically centered on the machine. That's on purpose to keep the front wheel RIGHT of the spindle. If it's to the left of the spindle, the blade cannot lift the grass the front wheel just matted down to cut it. Hence, why walk-behind mowers track worse on the left side - because it's impossible to put the wheel right of the spindle in that application. SO, back to 1/3 over-lapping... you get more of the blade back over that track that was matted down on your subsequent pass and it lifts it better. It's still not perfect, at least for me, because I always mow back and forth and put left on left and right on right each time I turn around and progress across the lawn. I suppose if I went in a CCW direction box, I'd be able to put the right side (better lifting) on top of the previous left track. I haven't tried that yet.

I'll try to remember to grab a photo of a recent mow that shows my results.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest