The best Toro lawn mower for you will depend on your budget and needs.
There are 4 tiers of Toro mowers to choose from:
- Recycler Series (Entry level) → $
- Battery electric mowers → $$ – $$$
- Super Recycler Series (Prosumer) → $$$
- TimeMaster Series (Commercial) → $$$$
As you move up in models and pay more you get more features and a more powerful and durable lawn mower.
Today we’ll review the best Toro lawn mower at each price point and talk about The Toro Company and why they make some of the most trustworthy lawn mowers out there.
Quick Look: 4 Best Toro Lawn Mowers
- Best Entry Level Recycler Series Toro Mower: Toro 21″ Self Propelled (Model: 21352)
- Best Battery Electric Toro Mower: Toro 22″ 60V Self Propelled (Model: 21466)
- Best Prosumer Super Recycler Toro Mower: Toro 21″ Self Propelled w/ Aluminium Deck (Model: 21564)
- Best Commercial-duty TimeMaster Toro Mower: Toro 30″ Self Propelled (Model: 21199)
Why Buy a Toro Lawn Mower
The Toro Company is the original lawn mower company with over 100 years experience making machines to mow turfgrass.
Starting out in 1914 building engines for farm tractors they paved the way over years of innovation and created the golf course equipment industry.
Their first machine was a retrofitted tractor with 5 cylinder/reel blades to mow fairway grass at a Minneapolis golf course.
Their second machine was a powered single cylinder reel blade mower for golf greens and surrounds.
In 1948 Toro made a big push into the struggling rotary mower residential market and quickly became a leader in the USA.
In 1997, Toro bought ExMark Manufacturing Company – the gold standard commercial lawn mower company that is one of the most popular with lawn care pros to this day.
Toro knows how to make lawn mowers like no other company and have built a trusted network of dealers to help you choose the best one for you.
Did you know?
Toro means ‘bull’ in Spanish. It was chosen as the company name because the original reason for starting the company was to make engines for The Bull Tractor Company.
Huge Toro Dealer Network
Toro has a big dealer network around the world. It has 1000s in the U.S. and these dealers play a big role in why Toro is a great lawn mower brand to own.
Whether you live in a big or small town there is almost always going to be a Toro mower expert nearby.
The purpose of a dealer network is to distribute Toro products to homeowners and professionals and also provide warranty and general maintenance services for the mowers.
Competitive Toro Warranty
All lawn mower companies break up their warranty into 2 use cases: residential use and commercial use.
If you use the mower all-day-everyday then the warranty period is short because residential mowers like the Super Recycler are designed for weekend use at home. You will need to upgrade to a proper commercial lawn mower with a commercial grade small engine to get a decent commercial use warranty period.
The Best Toro Lawn Mower At Each Price Point
Over the years we have bought and tested (and then sold 4 to friends – we still own 1 we use) 5 different Toro lawn mowers ranging in brand-new price from $359 to $1,599.
We currently use and own a Super Recycler we bought new from a local dealer in 2022.
Each price point has multiple models.
Below is our opinion of the best model at each price point based on first-hand use and plenty of experience and research with small engines and power equipment.
Most Affordable: Toro Recycler 21352
The best entry level and most affordable self propelled Toro lawn mower is the Toro Recycler 21352.
We also own and recommend the push-only Toro model 21332 if you don’t care about self propelled and want to save $30.
Both are comfortable to use and easy to push. With the self propelled drive system model being easier up hills and through tough grass.
It has everything you need in an entry level lawn mower and will mow your lawn fine with the 140cc Briggs & Stratton engine.
We’ve used 5 different residential Toro mowers for over 4 years now and for the price think this is great value.
Our field notes (pros and cons)
- Good traction and turning. The wheels on this mower have great traction and balance when making turns and mowing on hills.
- Guaranteed to start warranty. It started on the 3rd pull. No gas powered lawn mower starts first try unless it is already warmed up.
- Easy to adjust cutting height. It was easy to adjust the deck height with the 2 levers on the right side of the mower (front and back wheels).
- Not a perfect seal between grass bag and mower deck. Grass clippings find a way to fly out of the bag no matter how we secure the bag to the mower deck. There is a tiny gap and the grass finds a way to shoot out hitting your legs or in a heavy breeze flying up into your face.
- Smallest lawn mower engine we’ve tested. Engine seems a little under powered for really thick, unkept lawns and will stall if you don’t go slow. However, it worked great during testing cutting some zoysia grass from 3″ down to 1.5″.
All-in-all the entry level Toro Recycler is a great mower for the price.
Best Electric: Toro Battery Recycler 21466
Toro is pushing their cordless electric segment of lawn mowers hard.
In fact, as of 2023-summer Toro is selling more models of battery powered lawn mowers than Briggs & Stratton gas engine lawn mowers.
All their batteries mowers run at 60V and are 21″ or 22″ cutting width. They classify them as Recycler or Super Recycler just like the gas models.
The Super Recycler has added components underneath the mowing deck to cut the grass clippings finer to fit more in the bag or return mulch to your lawn.
We believe the more affordable Recycler model is the best Toro battery powered lawn mower – mainly because it is $200 cheaper.
Our Toro battery recycler 21466 field-use notes (pros and cons):
- Good cutting height range. Toro has put 9 cutting heights ranging from 1″ – 4″. Most mowers have this range of cutting height.
- Great mulching. Toro mowers are known for their good mulching ability. And we found the battery Recycler was above average at mulching. The Toro engineers have designed special deflectors under the mowing deck to bounce the clippings around to get double cut.
- Easy storage. All electric mowers are great for storing in the shed in tight spots. The handle folds down and you can store electric mowers upright, on their side or hang it from the wall.
- Great Toro battery ecosystem. As mentioned Toro is investing big money into their battery powered garden tool ecosystem. They now have impressive leaf blower, string trimmer, hedge trimmer, chainsaw, pole saw, edger, snow blower and cultivator. So if you own any of the Toro battery tools already it makes sense to buy the Toro battery lawn mower as well.
- Handle on battery is nice. Mower batteries are large. Bigger and heavier than a standard brick. Toro has a handle on theirs to make handling the heavy battery easy. None of the other mower batteries have a handle.
- Battery takes too long to charge. The Toro battery takes longer (per capacity) than any of the other batteries we have used and tested. EGO has been the fastest. The same capacity battery with the EGO charger took 30 – 40 mins. Toro took 1.5 hrs.
AcmeTools.com has the best prices on Toro mowers:
What We Own: Toro Super Recycler 21564
The best overall Toro (and the one we decided to keep after testing) is the Super Recycler.
It’s a great mower comparable with the HRX Hondas and more affordable.
What is a ‘Super Recycler’?
The Super Recycler has 3 extra components the Recycler doesn’t have.
These extra components are:
- Vortex air system. Located at the front of the mower this is a vent to allow more air to be sucked under the mower deck to keep the grass clipping flying around to be cut multiple times.
- Air deflector bumpers. The special engineered deflector keep the grass elevated to be cut by the mower blades multiple times. This gets the clipping finer for bagging or mulching.
- Air accelerator blades. These blades combine to push the grass clippings into the lawn or bag depending on your preference.
Why we still use the Toro Super Recycler (pros and cons)
- Great engine. Honda small engines get all the love but Briggs & Stratton have never failed us. We have used plenty of Toro mowers with Briggs engines and never had an issue. There is no denying Honda GCV and GX engines are more premium but Briggs offers great value for the money.
- Great mulching and bagging. The Super Recycler actually works super good at cutting up grass clippings until they are perfect to return to the lawn as mulch. The features also works great when bagging and you can bag more grass so you don’t have to constantly stop mowing and empty the bag.
- Electric start is convenient. The mower has a recoil electric starter option. You probably have memories pulling to starter rope 10 times before your old mower started. It’s not fun when that happens. The electric start works first try – just like your car engine. This is important for less mobile people who can’t yank on the starter rope to get their lawn mower to start.
- Self propelled works as intended but could be improved. Toro mowers designated ‘Personal Pace’ are self propelled. However, the feature works differently than other mowers. The handle you hold to push the mower around is what controls the speed the mower is driven at. The harder you push on the handle the faster the mower drives forward. So as you are pushing the mower up a hill you are pushing the handle further into itself engaging the self propel to go faster. Honestly, it could be improved by adding a knob or lever instead of trying to make it automatic. It would easier to just allow for manual control.
All-in-all this is a quality mower that rivals the Honda HRN and HRX homeowner and prosumer lineups.
Check out the current deal price at the link below.
Max Performance: Toro TimeMaster 21199
If you have a high budget (and big lawn) and want to save time then the 30″ Toro TimeMaster is a great option.
It has a powerful engine to power dual cutting blades – you are essentially walking behind 2 lawn mowers cutting your lawn.
It is heavy but thankfully has the Toro Personal Pace self propelled drive system to make pushing it around a breeze.
It is the max performance homeowner lawn mower from Toro.
Our field notes (pros and cons)
- Huge time saver. The dual cutting blade system works great and allows you to mow 30″ wide lanes. We mowed 1 acre in 45 mins instead of 1.5 hrs with a 20″ mower.
- Easier than expected to maneuvre. The larger rear wheel tires and center of gravity being almost right over them allowed for easy turning around.
- Fuel tank size is too small. The combination of a 223cc engine powering dual blades with a 0.3 gallon (1 liter) fuel tank is not a good one. Briggs & Stratton need to double the size of the tank. As is you only get about 40 mins of runtime on 1 tank.
If you are buying a lawn mower to cut a large lawn (Olympic swimming pool up to football field size) and don’t want to buy a riding mower then this is a great option.
Toro Lawn Mower Features That Matter
1. Engine Design, Type and Size
All gas powered Toro mowers use Briggs & Stratton small engines.
- The most powerful TimeMaster Toro mower uses the Briggs & Stratton 223cc OHV engine with 10 ft-lb of torque and a 0.3 gallon (1.1 liter) fuel tank.
- The prosumer Super Recycler mowers use a Briggs & Stratton 163cc engine with 7.25 ft-lb of torque and a 0.24 gallon (0.91 liter) gas tank. Some models use a 190cc Briggs engine with 8.75 ft-lb or torque.
- The entry level Toro Recycler mowers use a Briggs & Stratton 140cc engine with 5.5 ft-lb of torque and a 0.2 gallon (0.75 liter) gas tank.
Is Briggs & Stratton good?
Briggs are the world’s #1 maker of small engines for power equipment. They make more small engines for power equipment each year than Honda, Kawasaki and Kohler.
They are known to be great value for money. With Honda and Kawasaki being more premium/expensive and Kohler being on par.
We have owned our Toro with a Briggs engine for 5 years now and use it monthly with zero issues to date. It is simple to start and simple to maintain. No complaints and surely a great engine for your lawn mower.
2. Mulching, Bagging and Side Discharge
Toro is known for their trademarked Recycler and Super Recycler Cutting System.
It works by recirculating cut grass under the mowing deck and deflecting it back to the blades to be chopped finer before being returned to the lawn.
This top 1/3 of the grass leaf contains 1/3 of the moisture and nutrients of the turfgrass and so recycling it back into the lawn is smart cost saving thing to do.
All Toro mowers have this capability as well as bagging the grass.
3. Self Propelled or Push
Toro has fancy name for their self propelled mowers: Personal Pace.
If you want self propelled then look for the Personal Pace branding.
The self propelled Toro mowers use a typical pulley, belt, gear system.
How Toro ‘Personal Pace’ differs is how you engage the belt to turn the ‘Personal Pace’ on. Instead of having a knob or dial to manually speed up the mower drive function you push the handle into itself.
When you are pushing the mower up a hill or through tough grass you are naturally pushing harder with the handle and that tells the mower to “help you” more. As you go down a hill you are pulling back on the handle telling it to slow down.
In testing this feature works well without any thought.
Picking a lawn mower with a long-lasting warranty period is ideal in case anything goes wrong.
Toro mowers have 45 day – 5 year warranty periods depending on commercial or residential use and what mower model you buy.
Keep in mind models with Briggs & Stratton engines will have the engine warranty covered by Briggs, not Toro. Briggs engine warranty is 2 years consumer use and 3 months commercial use. If your mower has a Vanguard engine then both commercial and residential use warranty is 3 years.
Here are some details on the Toro mower warranty periods:
- Toro Recycler. 2 year full warranty for residential use.
- Toro Super Recycler. 5 year limited warranty.
- Toro TimeMaster. 3 year full warranty for residential use. 45 day limited warranty for commercial use.
- Battery Electric Mowers. 5 year warranty and 3 year battery warranty.
Recoil or electric start?
The recoil starter is more work but then you don’t have to worry about the battery for the electric start.
Pros and cons of each.
Have a think and decide which option you prefer – electric start is more expensive.
6. Deck Material
13 gauge – 16 gauge steel deck or aluminium.
The aluminium is more corrosion resistant and lighter but will be more expensive.
The 13 gauge steel is strong and durable but has rust potential and will be heavy.
How Much Does a Toro Mower Cost and Where Should You Buy?
Toro residential walk-behind lawn mowers cost anywhere from $300 to $1,800 depending on time of year and where you buy.
Buy last years model in February to get a deal. Buy during big sales to get a deal. Buy online to get a deal compared to a local mower dealer.
Where To Buy Your Toro Lawn Mower
You get the best deal buying online but have to wait for it to arrive and won’t get any first-hand help when buying.
For Toro lawn mowers we recommend AcmeTools.com:
Big Box Stores
Toro lawn mowers are sold at Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Tractor Supply.
Home depot has the a location in all major and semi-major cities in the USA so you will have no problem finding one.
The selection and price will vary compared to you local mower shops.
Local Mower Dealers
The Toro dealer network is 1000s of local mower shops around the USA.
They have a direct view of Toro products and will have the best knowledge and selection to choose from in store.
Buying from a local shop will usually cost more but has the advantage of expert advice and local maintenance help and service if required.
Who makes Toro lawn mower engines?
All new Toro residential use walk behind mowers use a Briggs & Stratton engine.
Should I buy a Toro riding mower or push mower?
To mow 1 acre will take 1.5 hrs with a 19″ push mower.
Toro’s TimeMaster 30″ mower will probably mow 1 acre in 45ish mins.
That same 1 acre will take 15 – 20 minutes with a riding zero turn mower while you sit back and enjoy the mow.
Should you buy a riding mower will depend on your budget and how much you value your time.
Given these mowers start at $3k brand new you will want to entertain the idea of buying used.
Buying a used Toro zero turn mower will save you 1 hr every time you mow your 1 acre lawn. More time is saved the bigger your lawn.
Does Toro make Troy-Bilt riding mowers?
Troy-Bilt is a brand owned by MTD Holdings, which is owned by Stanley Black and Decker.
Troy Bilt mowers are made by MTD Holdings in Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.
- Toro FlexForce. FlexForce.Toro.com.
- History. TheToroCompany.com.
- MTD Holdings. Wikipedia.org.