Toro 22 inch Recycler Lawn Mower with SmartStow Review

Toro proves that mowing the lawn doesn't have to be a tedious chore

Toro Recycler Lawn Mower with SmartStow

Mowing made easy

I was lucky enough to review the Toro Recycler Lawn Mower with SmartStow on my home turf so-to-speak, mowing my own lawn several times to get the feel of the mower and its conveniences. I am not exaggerating when I claim this unit was easy to use. It comes assembled in the box with the handle in the folded down in the storage position. With "guaranteed to start" emblazoned on the engine, ease of use is one of the priorities of the mower.

Upon removing the mower from the box I easily put the handle in the mowing position, looked over the unit, adjusted the height of cut, added oil which was included in the box and gasoline (separately, this is not a mixed fuel machine), gave the pull cord a half-hearted tug and the mower started right up. No choke, no squeezing plastic bubbles, to throttle adjustments just an easy, uncomplicated start-up. This Toro mower was winning me over fast.

Self-propelled luxury

Lawn mowers have changed dramatically in the last ten years and certainly since I was a commercial operator in the 90's. At the risk of sounding like an old man, I remember when I used to have to actually push the lawn mower. Not any more. The Toro Recycler takes the hard labor out of the equation with front-wheel drive self-propelled technology. The wheels are controlled by the operator and can be engaged and disengaged by pushing a lever on the handle. When disengaged the wheels become free-wheeling making it easier to pull the machine backward and negotiate tight areas. I found the self-propel helped make light work of mowing my average size lawn and would be ideal for a lawn with hills or slopes.

What's under the hood?

This 22 inch Toro Recycler is powered by a 7.25 horse power, 190 cubic centimeter Briggs & Stratton engine which should be plenty of power for homeowner use. The Briggs & Stratton engine is also equipped with Mow-n-Stow engine technology allowing for super convenient upright storage. This reduces the storage footprint by up to 70% and allows easy access to the blades for cleaning and maintenance.

Another great feature on this mower is the lack of primer bulb or choke. Starting the engine is as easy as pulling the cord and it's guaranteed to start on the first or second pull for three years. There is also a two year full warranty on the entire mower.

Other features

The Toro Recycler with SmartStow features larger rear wheels for uneven terrain and a convenient wash-out port for easier cleaning. The mower deck is 22 inches wide which is standard for a push mower. It is also equipped with a 3-in-1 mowing system allowing for bagging, side discharge, or mulching depending on the operators choice. The transition between the systems is easy and quick with a bag being the only extra piece. 

The bottom line

With an MSRP of $369.00 USD, this is as good a mower as you could ask for at this price point. If well maintained, the Recycler should last for many years. The self propel feature requires only a light touch and the mulching feature works great, leaving no clumps - provided you mow at proper cutting heights.

Regularly sharpening the blades, washing after each use, and proper winterization will ensure this mower will be around until the next leap in technology - which will hopefully be robotic, fully automated, zero-emission mowers.