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I’ve used a lot of different mowers in my time as a professional mowing contractor, and there are reasons why more contractors use this model than any other machine available in Australia. At nearly $1000 it is an expensive machine but it is also the best machine available. The spare parts network is vast and the availability of parts for machines even as old as 25 years is very reliable. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve been waiting 6 weeks for parts to arrive – the longest I’ve had to wait is about 3 days, but most common parts ar...e stocked. Our mowers do about 40 hours per week each and we use Castrol Magnatec oil in the engines to protect from start-up wear. Our Honda engines outlast the rest of the mower by a substantial margin. Even with fastidious maintenance, we will have replaced 40 wheels, 20 rubber flaps, 26 air filters, and 5 spark plugs in the mower’s 5 year life but the engine just won’t die – even after 8,000 hours of work and around 12,000 lawn mows it still isn’t blowing smoke or using extra fuel. In that same time we would have already replaced a Briggs & Stratton Intec engine (their OHC engine to rival Honda) 7 times. So in the long run, the Honda engine and Magnatec oil saves us a lot of money, even if more expensive initially. When this model was first released with the new Chinese-made engine, I had a few reservations about how it would perform compared to the previous model. Honda had changed back to the metal engine housing, and the old air filter design. I was pleasantly surprised, though, at the amount of extra power the engine has, even with 4 high lift blades mounted. The ball bearing wheels are nice and big so the mower doesn’t fall into every crack and undulation, the chassis is made from aluminium so it can’t rust and it’s a bit lighter, the single-lever height adjuster is also nice and the 11 height positions provide a good range of cutting heights. If well maintained and not run too fast, the engine will run for around 4 hours on a single 2L tank of fuel (if filled right to the top). The engine is very easy to start and usually starts on the first pull of the rope, and the catcher fills right to the top if the metal catcher screen is regularly cleaned with a scrubbing brush. The mulching plug is also well designed, such that the mower will do a nice job of mulching even if 4 high lift blades are used. The quality of the mulching finish is as good as a dedicated mulcher. In their latest product brochure, Honda touts this model as being suitable for the “serious contractor” yet on-going issues with the model remain unaddressed and Honda seems to have a track record of disregarding criticism. As a professional mowing contractor I’ve found this model has wheels that wear out a lot faster than the previous one. We now change 4 wheels every 6 months at a cost of around $33 each. The rubber flap on the back of the machine wears out every 3 months, and all the joins on the catcher need to be reinforced with self tapping screws and bolts to stop it falling apart when the grass is compressed by foot. There is a hole in the deck, designed for washing the underside of the machine, but while the machine is running, this hole directs grass and dirt into the air filter directly above it – consequently, Honda sells me LOTS of air filters. There is also no way of being able to tell how much fuel is left without unscrewing the cap and letting dirt or water (rain) into the tank. This could be fixed with an LCD display fuel cap or just making the tank out of clear plastic like a line trimmer. The mulching plug is also not a tight fit so up to 6L of grass will sit on top of the plug and, if not regularly emptied, will rust the back hatch – the hatch is made of painted steel, but the side facing the blades understandably loses its protective coat of paint fairly early in the mower’s life.
Eight years old and still going like its new. very economical. Takes me about 3.5 hours to mow our block. We bought a ride on for $3500 dollars it lasted two months and fell to bits but did the mowing in about 40 mins. At least I deserve a beer after pusing the Honda.
Please make a Honda ride on mower.
Starts first time, Great cut, cheap to run, easy to service,
will outlast me
I run a mowing business that I have been running for 7 years a I have always used hondas and this model Is my pick of the lot, I have newer and older models
Honda reliability and performance, power
HRU196K1 - Great engine but poorly engineered catcher design. Not worth the money.
I always wanted to own a Honda mower due to their 1 pull start and reliability so I purchased at HRU196K for $930 but was let down with the mower chassis and catcher design after getting it home.
I would not recommend this mower due to the catcher design alone because it is extremely frustrating even with dry grass and wish I had only come across this website before purchasing my mower…
Honda engineers should have done better - my 5 year old $350 Victa 2-stroke did a better job at picking up the grass and never missed a beat either.
You get what you pay for, and this is worth the extra investment.
After my parent's Honda push mower surpassed 25 years (still going strong), I wanted to get a Honda as well. However, the price was a bit high, so we did lots of research. It kept coming back to Honda for the best long term product value.
It's definitely ideal to have the rear wheel drive, especially on hilly lots. It has the power to work up the hill, so you don't have to. Starts up first time, every time. The mulch and catch feature is fantastic. No grass in bags, and the cuts blend in well with the grass. Also the unique three speed option is perfect for switching between long stretches of grass and more cramped spaces.
Reliable brand, easy start, great features.
Accelorator bar could probably be a bit more robust at the hinges.
this mower is the best ive ever used. all the contracters use honda becuase it is the best mower brand you can buy but dont get mich mach a honda.
this mower is the best ive ever used. this mower is bullet proof water proof the only prt not water proof is if you chuck it in a dam. it has a qud cut dish so you can have 1,2,3 or 4 blades 4 blades is the best for mowing around the house but 2 blades is the best for slashing.
i wasnt very impressed with the starter cord half way up the handle so i took it off.
Put simply, the best mower on the market. I have owned one of these mowers for about three years now, always starts first pull of the cord.
Highly recommend this product.
Great mower, cuts beautifully. I love using it and try to beat my husband to it. Fuel usage is great and blades last ages.
Easy to get parts (blades, spark plugs etc).
Reliable, and easy to use
What a beast!
Picked this beast up on the weekend.
Just an absolute dream to use. The motor purrs. Cuts through any sort of grass with ease. I can now see why all the contractors use this mower.
I start it up in the shed just to listen to it.
Best mower on the market, fuel efficient, clean cut
Nothing really. If anything it's a little heavier than other mowers.
I have read that people do not like the cord up on the handles. Rather than complain if you do not like it you have it down at the mower. However all of my hondas have pull cord come up on the right side of the handle. A number of people use these along with myself and they have never got caught on any bush as described in other reviews. The cord is simply up high for a no bend start. It can be moved if you wish to make things harder for yourself.
This is a great mower. I have had it on perfect lawns and bush lawns with rock and sticks and it ...
I really like the safety features and easy starting and robustness of the Honda (that's why I bought it), we replaced an old honda with this one so I trust the brand but I have to say I hate the grass chute part.
Easy starting - one pull and it goes
Blade shut off - its great to know that you can move things and leave the mower going with no little fingers or feet being chopped off as once you release the handle and take you hands off the handle bar, the blades stop.
The tiny chute that the grass comes out of - even the slightest damp grass al...
Couldn't work without it!
I love this lawn mower; it starts first time every time and has never missed a beat. The blade brake is brilliant idea, especially when mowing near/over dangerous objects. The huge bag also makes it possible to mow for a much longer time and not have to empty the bag. The chute is not the best, but I find it only really clogs up while mowing in wet grass; also you may or may not like the long handle bars, originally I didn't like the length but now it is essential for me to mow with long handle bars. I would recommend this lawn mower to anyone ...with a large lawn to mower or are going to be using it for commercial use. One pull start, blade brake, huge bag (70L), long handle bars. 4 year domestic/2 year commercial warranty Chute - Not the best when you hit wet grass
I am a contractor using a HRU 196 AND HRU 216 Honda mower. I average 50 lawns a week, sometimes more. At the end of 1 year the mowers will have mowed 2,400 lawns which is more than an average mower will do in a lifetime. These mowers have been going over 3 years non stop. Never 1 failure, just in every 6 weeks or so for a check and oil change. The mowers are out in the rain on the trailer, start first time religiously no matter how cold and fuel economy is fantastic. Fill them once a day and that is usually enough. 5.5hp is plenty to get ...through thick grass, and 75db is fairly quiet for a lawnmower. I have used a 6.0hp Kawasaki and it is noisier, 96db, and is so much heavier to lift and push, and nowhere near as reliable. You want a solid reliable workhorse get a Honda hands down. Easy to start, Lightweight but strong chassis Cant find any
A pricey bit of gear but I believe good value Parts seem to be pricey also but if the machine lasts for 15years then I believe it is good value as my old Victor which was a lot cheaper lasted 12 Yrs but had lots of bits replaced. A quite clean looking machine easy to use
Certainly ease of start has to be a great atraction I had purchased a Talon from Mitre 10 See my report on that It was a disaster This mower cost me twice the price but has been worth every cent I clean it regularly use only Honda oils and parts only replaced blades so far very...
This is my second Honda mower and only reason I sold the first one is we moved overseas. A couple of minor changes in the 13 years between mowers but this shows that they had a great mower back then so why change it.
Great mower. Built strong and good quality. Large fuel tank, easy start, strong engine, quiet, neighbours are envious and looks sharp.
I wasn't a fan of the starter halfway up the handle with the starter cord hanging out so you can hang your laundry on it but you get used to it. That's just cosmetic. And when I get really old, I won't have to bend as far - I'm sure this mower will still be going strong then.
I was hesitate in spending the money for this lawn mower but it is a beautiful mower that I think we will have for years to come. It is a solid construction, but to heavy to push. It is amazingly easy to start - my nine year old son can start it! The catcher works well but works best if you mow anti-clockwise due to the volute design,it also has a mulcher which is great for a quality lawn.
It is easy to start, amazingly quite, cuts beautifully, catchs well and has a mulching capability!!
The price - but it is worth it!!!!
Although this is a slightly more expensive mower, it is worth the extra dollars as it will give you a consistent cut and ease of use for many years as long as the appropriate service is carried out. I have a large backyard, almost able to justify a ride on, but with the Honda it takes so little effort to start and run around that I can almost look forward to mowing the lawns.
This mower being a 4 stroke takes unleaded petrol and starts first time.
Sturdy construction and a large capacity catcher means less stops for emptying.
The fuel tank is ample for a couple of hours of running.
In really long grass it does start to struggle a little but if you make two cuts at different heights its a breeze.
I have had this mower around four years and so far has not missed a beat it always starts first time is a 4 stroke takes unleaded petrol and is very economical as well it has heaps of power we have quite a lot of mowing to do here not a problem for the honda.
the mulching capacity
An outstanding mower. When you think about it, a good mower should last half a lifetime, so why not buy a quality product.
There is a reason no-one makes more engines than Honda. This baby has plenty of power, so if you decide to let your lawn get a little out of control, it wont matter.
MASSIVE CATCHER! And I mean massive, which is great because you will find yourself emptying it half as often.
Huge fuel tank as well.
This is only a minor thing, but I had some issues starting it initially, until a neighbour wandered over and told me I was...
My overall opinion is a resounding, BUY IT, as a profesional lawn mower man it will last for years, the price is towards the high end but well worth it in the end.
6 months ago i purchased a lawn mowing franchise, not knowing which mower to purchase, i talked to other franchisee's, all had Honda hru196d, so on their feedback i purchased mine, the mower is easy to push, rolls straight and true, very large catcher, mulching capability, big engine grunts through almost anything, with the decompression on startup it is very easy to start every time.
the only thing i can point to in a dislike on the Honda is the locking nuts on the handle, running for 5 hours a day the locking nuts come loose, consistantly requireing tightening.
Questions & Answers
|Category||Petrol Lawn Mowers||Petrol Lawn Mowers||Petrol Lawn Mowers|
|Catcher Capacity||60 L|
|Cutting Deck Material||Aluminium Alloy|
|Cutting Width||470 mm|
|Height of Cut||16 mm to 76 mm|
|Manufacturer Warranty||4 year(s)|
|Engine / Motor|
|Engine Name||Honda GCV160 OHV Iron Bore|
|Engine Type||OHV (Overhead Valve)|
|Release date||Sept 2010|
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