Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

The place for discussions about mowers, stripers, edgers, weeders, etc.
ligrass
Posts: 817
Joined: September 22nd, 2013, 8:56 pm
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG - Bewitched; some areas PRG
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by ligrass » May 29th, 2017, 8:47 am

I know there are a couple threads on HRX issues but I just want to see who else is having this specific issue. I know Mr. Met and a couple other people confirmed some suction issues as well with their HRX. I'm very happy with this mower except for this one problem which seems to happen at higher HOCs.

We had a lot of rain over the last week and twigs were all over my lawn. Out of all the twigs, I would say the mower doesn't suction up about half of them. At 2" it would only miss a few, if any, but 2.5" the problem is really bad. It seems worse this year than last. Something's not right when a >$600 mower can't suction half as good as a $250 Craftsman. There is a definite design flaw I suspect with the deck and the twin blade system not creating enough suction. This happened with the bag on in full bag mode. My governor spring is set to the higher RPM hole.

Find some small twigs in varying lengths. Throw them in a test strip of lawn and see if your HRX can suck them all up.

Overfloater
Posts: 275
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 11:46 am
Location: Columbus, OH
Grass Type: TTTF front lawn, Elite KBG backyard.
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by Overfloater » May 30th, 2017, 7:26 pm

This is a common problem with these mowers. I have an HRX 217 and the suction is non existent. I cut at 3" minimum, usually higher, and it won't lift grass to get cut.

Since nobody makes replacement blades for these mowers, you are stuck with what you have.

This is a great mower in every way, except for the lack of suction.

HoosierDaddy
Posts: 319
Joined: August 15th, 2013, 5:07 pm
Location: Fishers, IN
Grass Type: Front: Bewitched/Prosperity/Midnight/Blueberry; Back: Midnight/Prosperity/Blueberry
Lawn Size: 3000-5000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by HoosierDaddy » May 31st, 2017, 1:20 pm

But not everyone has these suction issues. I have none with my 2015 HRX 217.

Overfloater
Posts: 275
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 11:46 am
Location: Columbus, OH
Grass Type: TTTF front lawn, Elite KBG backyard.
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by Overfloater » May 31st, 2017, 2:07 pm

Maybe you don't, but it seems quite a few people do. This board is littered with posts about these mowers having no vacuum.

I wish somebody made an aftermarket high lift blade to swap in.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by andy10917 » May 31st, 2017, 6:12 pm

I don't have problems either, and some of the "seems quite a few people do" are the same folks in multiple threads.


kbgfarmer
Posts: 485
Joined: July 21st, 2016, 10:35 am
Location: Verona, WI
Grass Type: Bewitched Kentucky bluegrass
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by kbgfarmer » May 31st, 2017, 9:21 pm

No problems here with my hrx217 as well

User avatar
lawndad
Posts: 507
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 5:33 pm
Location: South, NJ
Grass Type: TTTF
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by lawndad » June 1st, 2017, 7:46 am

I wouldn't say I have issues with mine but I do notice when I increase the hoc the suction decreases. I usually double cut it (north/south and west/east etc.) and it's pretty good.

nocsious
Posts: 68
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 1:21 am
Location: Lenexa, KS
Grass Type: Tall Fescue
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by nocsious » June 1st, 2017, 1:46 pm

I won't buy another Honda unless they change the deck/blade design. It's nice that some people have wonderful machines that work correctly. Mine doesn't. I think the vast majority of homeowners cut their lawns short enough that the problem doesn't show. Mine starts showing the issue at 3'' hoc but it's probably not enough at that level for most homeowners to care. It becomes completely unacceptable at 3.5" or 4'' hoc and requires mowing twice with still a few uncut blades.

Overfloater
Posts: 275
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 11:46 am
Location: Columbus, OH
Grass Type: TTTF front lawn, Elite KBG backyard.
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by Overfloater » June 1st, 2017, 4:30 pm

You're probably right Nocsious. I bet most people cut low and never notice how poor the vacuum is.

I cut at 3" or more and the lack of vacuum is very noticeable.

Having some vacuum would be useful for lifting the grass for mowing, especially if it gets a fair amount of foot traffic.

User avatar
lawndad
Posts: 507
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 5:33 pm
Location: South, NJ
Grass Type: TTTF
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by lawndad » June 1st, 2017, 6:13 pm

So, is there a better self propelled mower that works better for mulching and bagging with good suction? I have read the Honda is the best overall especially for wet grass. The LCN likes the Toro Recycler...

Overfloater
Posts: 275
Joined: February 10th, 2014, 11:46 am
Location: Columbus, OH
Grass Type: TTTF front lawn, Elite KBG backyard.
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by Overfloater » June 1st, 2017, 7:44 pm

I am definitely considering getting another mower but it's tough to find reviews that mention vacuum as a feature.

I've only seen Snapper HiVacs mention it.

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29162
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by andy10917 » June 1st, 2017, 8:00 pm

Hey, Overfloater - even the densest members get it that you're not crazy about your Honda. 5 posts in the same thread in a few days.
This board is littered with posts about these mowers having no vacuum.
Litter is becoming the operative word here. We get it.

User avatar
turf_toes
Posts: 5649
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 HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by turf_toes » June 1st, 2017, 8:14 pm

Here's my take.

I don't own a Honda mower. I own a Toro Super Recycler and love it.

I've owned two and never had a problem with either one. It provides a superior cut, in my opinion.

But if I recall, Gary C had the same mower (as my previous one) and had many similar complaints made here about the Honda.

Some of this is just subjective. What looks great to one person is found lacking by another.

User avatar
ericgautier
Posts: 2075
Joined: August 27th, 2013, 1:27 pm
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
Grass Type: Front/Sides: Blueberry Monostand Back: TTTF+KBG
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by ericgautier » June 1st, 2017, 9:26 pm

lawndad wrote:
June 1st, 2017, 6:13 pm
So, is there a better self propelled mower that works better for mulching and bagging with good suction? I have read the Honda is the best overall especially for wet grass. The LCN likes the Toro Recycler...
Yeah, get a used commercial unit. :rotfl: I have a 48" walkbehind and it eats up anything I throw at it and the cut is amazing.

But I did start with a Toro Recycler (20332), I still have it, and love the cut quality on that as well.

User avatar
lawndad
Posts: 507
Joined: March 9th, 2016, 5:33 pm
Location: South, NJ
Grass Type: TTTF
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by lawndad » June 1st, 2017, 10:41 pm

I guess it's preference and like TT said it's subjective. The Timemaster looks like it does a great job cutting and stripes nice with nothing additional on it. I have only seen what it does on Youtube channel.

ligrass
Posts: 817
Joined: September 22nd, 2013, 8:56 pm
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG - Bewitched; some areas PRG
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by ligrass » June 2nd, 2017, 6:35 am

Overfloater wrote:
June 1st, 2017, 7:44 pm
I am definitely considering getting another mower but it's tough to find reviews that mention vacuum as a feature.

I've only seen Snapper HiVacs mention it.
My previous mower was a craftsman hi vac and the suction was awesome (under $300 too). The only thing is the Honda blows it away in every other aspect. And at lower heights the suction difference is negligible.

ligrass
Posts: 817
Joined: September 22nd, 2013, 8:56 pm
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG - Bewitched; some areas PRG
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by ligrass » June 2nd, 2017, 6:48 am

ericgautier wrote:
June 1st, 2017, 9:26 pm
lawndad wrote:
June 1st, 2017, 6:13 pm
So, is there a better self propelled mower that works better for mulching and bagging with good suction? I have read the Honda is the best overall especially for wet grass. The LCN likes the Toro Recycler...
Yeah, get a used commercial unit. :rotfl: I have a 48" walkbehind and it eats up anything I throw at it and the cut is amazing.

But I did start with a Toro Recycler (20332), I still have it, and love the cut quality on that as well.
How does your Toro suction compare to the walk-behind? Does it miss sticks?

I ended up tweaking the governor spring and I think I'm back to good suction again at 2.5" (either that or everything dried out now where it's able to pick stuff up like normal).

Maybe I'm expecting too much from it. I really do love the cut quality and ease of use. If the suction was stronger it would be comparable to a $1000+ commercial unit. I've come across a few other lawn sites where people with the commercial versions of the HRX have similar issues too (causing the left behind strips of uncut grass, stragglers, etc.).

User avatar
ericgautier
Posts: 2075
Joined: August 27th, 2013, 1:27 pm
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
Grass Type: Front/Sides: Blueberry Monostand Back: TTTF+KBG
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by ericgautier » June 2nd, 2017, 9:33 am

ligrass wrote:
June 2nd, 2017, 6:48 am

How does your Toro suction compare to the walk-behind? Does it miss sticks?
The Toro has plenty of suction and does not leave strips of uncut grass and stragglers. The walk-behind is just a beast (15 hp engine and 3 blades).

You'll have to show me examples of sticks you leave in the lawn because I normally walk the lawn first and pick up sticks before mowing.

Owlnsr
Posts: 119
Joined: October 28th, 2015, 7:45 am
Location: Central VA
Grass Type: Northern mix
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by Owlnsr » June 4th, 2017, 1:52 pm

No suction issues with my HRX217. In fact, I think it's suction is amazing. I usually bag my TTTF clippings during the spring flush to help prevent disease and prevent clumps*. I am having to empty then bag about 4 times just on my 3.8k sq ft front yard.

* clumps - If I don't bag in the spring flush, the mulch plug just fills up with clippings even with the clip director fully closed to Mulch mode. Every time I turn the mower, the clippings will fall in clumps.

Suction issue aside ---
I have noticed that my grass blades are getting ripped despite sharp blades. I bought a tachometer this weekend and noticed that my mower was running about 2700-2800 rpm. I bumped up to the spring up to the second hole and now I'm getting to about 3200-3300 rpm. I cut for the first time yesterday on this higher setting. Same suction but I did notice that the TTTF tips were cut a lot cleaner.

I'm a little worried @ running at a higher rpm than the manual states (3100 +- 150). However, my understanding was that --- prior to some emission change --- the normal rpm rating was 3600. Anyone know more about this?

krusej23
Posts: 75
Joined: May 25th, 2015, 11:08 am
Location: Iowa
Grass Type: Rye, fescue
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Honda HRX 217 Suction issue

Post by krusej23 » June 5th, 2017, 10:42 am

Mine has this same suction issue. I mow at 3" and it won't suck up any blades that are laid down from the tires. When I move down to 2.5" or 2", it will mow a little better. You can also go walk on the lawn after mowing and grass blades will then pop up that weren't sucked up into the blades path because there isn't any suction. The higher you mow with the HRX mower, the worse it gets. I have to hold off on mowing a part of my lawn because it's low lying and floods a little with heavy rain. When I mow that at 3.5" or 4", it's the worst cut I have ever seen. I have to take multiple cuts on it and that's with the spring moved to the second hole. I have given up on this mower and bought a rider this last weekend. I took it to the John Deere dealership that I bought it from and the mechanics couldn't find anything wrong with it but agreed there had been other people that complained of this issue at this dealership alone.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest