Honda HRN216VYA Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review

Honda has a well-earned reputation as a leader in the lawnmower industry is founded on quality, innovation thoughtful engineering principles. You see this reflected in the Honda HRN216VYA self-propelled lawnmower with Smart Drive.

It’s beating heart is a 4-stroke 166 cc Honda GCV170 which transfers to the dual cutting blades of the Micro Cut system of the 21-inch cutting deck. You can easily adjust the cutting deck as low as 1-inch or up as high as 4-inches. The dual blades system creates four distinct cutting surfaces, that maximize the grass harvest percentage.

The Honda HRN216VYA self-propulsion system uses Honda’s “Smart Drive” Technology. It allows you to easily adjust the speed to closely match your own natural stride. The Honda HRN has a maximum speed of 4 MPH.

The Honda HRN216VYA was engineered as a true 3-in-1 gas-powered lawnmower. You can set it up for side discharge, and the dual cutting blades will even mimic most traditional single mulching blades. So, when you set it up as a mulching mower, it minces the harvested grass clippings into tiny pieces that easily decompose into your turf, without turning into dry choking thatch.

When you set it up as a bagging mower the Honda HRN216VYA has a 1.9-bushel heavy-duty cloth bagger that was designed to be easy to connect and disconnect.

Key Features

  • 166 cc GCV170 4-stroke Honda gasoline engine
  • Smart Drive self-propulsion system
  • Variable speed up to 4 MPH
  • 21-inch heavy-duty cutting deck
  • Micro Cut dual blade cutting system
  • Cutting deck adjusts from 1 to 4-inches
  • 3-in-1 versatility
  • 1.9-bushel bagger
  • Automatic choke for easy starting and less flooding


The 166 cc GCV170 4-stroke Honda engine develops an impressive amount of torque to the dual cutting blade system, while also powering the self-propulsion system. The Smart Drive self-propulsion system allows you to vary the speed up to a maximum of up to 4 MPH

Ease of Use

The Honda HRN216VYA is a very easy to use gasoline self-propelled lawnmower. The automatic choke and smooth pull of the recoil make for easy and reliable starting and less risk of flooding the engine.

The Smart Drive variable speed self-propulsion system also makes it easy to adjust the speed to your own natural stride. It also means you can dial it down slow for times when you want to deftly weave around trees and landscaping features. Then turn it back up high for times when you need to clear long straight areas of wide-open lawn.

Cut Quality & Options

The dual cutting blades do a great job of harvesting the blades of grass. Combined they create four cutting surfaces for processing the grass clippings into tiny pieces that nearly replicates the mulching effect you often see in traditional single blade mulching mowers.

It also means that when you set up the Honda HRN216VYA to it’s mulching mode it truly minces the harvested grass clippings efficiently. This creates tiny particles that are rich in available nitrogen to help refeed the roots of your lawn’s turf.

The 1.9-bushel cloth bagger is easy to attach and detach, which makes it a great way to add nitrogen to your compost pile or side-dress garden plants. It also doesn’t allow a lot of dust and pollen to pass through the weave of the fabric, which can be handy if you have someone in your family with a grass pollen allergy.

The cutting deck height adjustment system can be dialed down as low as 1-inch for times when the lawn is growing vigorously. Yet you can also set it it up as high as 4 inches for prolonged dry times when you want to leave the grass long to keep from parching the soil, while still keeping the lawn from looking unkempt.


The Honda HRN will require routine maintenance you find with most other gasoline-powered lawnmowers. However, Honda made a serious effort in trying to make this as easy as possible.

The Micro Cut dual cutting blades might be a little tricky to sharpen on your own. Still, if you’re experienced with a fine-toothed mill file, you might be able to pull it off. Otherwise, you should consider buying some replacement blades every year or so.

In mulching mode, the fine cut of the dual blade system of the Honda HRN216VYA can sometimes leave excess wet grass clippings matted to the underside of the cutting deck. If you are cutting moist, or thick-bladed grass, you might want to give the cutting deck a good wipe down underneath to clear away any organic debris before it can contribute to corrosion issues or start to mold.

Safety Features

The Honda HRN HRN216VYA has all the safety hand controls that you expect in a self-propelled, walk-behind gas-powered lawnmower. The Smart Drive self-propulsion system as it allows you to carefully dial-in to your natural, as well as slow down quickly to avoid potential obstacles.

Special Features

The Micro Cut dual cutting blades definitely improve the overall grass harvest percentage, as well as nearly mimicking the mulching effect of a single-blade mulching mower.

The Smart Drive self-propulsion system lets you set it to your natural stride. You can slow it down when you need to weave around landscaping features and trees or set it wide open to clear large clear stretches of lawn.


The Micro-Cut dual cutting blades nearly mimic a traditional single mulching blade when set up for side discharge. When you switch the Honda HRN216VYA over to mulching you’ll create a fine mince of grass clippings. This encourages the clippings to decompose back into the layers of the turf to both feed new growth as well as reduce that and the need for seasonal aeration.


9 Total Score
Innovative self-propelled gas-powered lawnmower by Honda

  • Micro Cut dual cutting blades for maximum harvest
  • 166 cc GCV170 4-stroke engine
  • 3-in-1 side discharge, mulcher or bagger
  • Smart Drive self-propulsion
  • Adjust speed up to 4 MPH
  • 1 to 4-inch adjustable height cutting deck
  • Mulched clippings can buildup under cutting deck
  • Dual blades might be hard to sharpen yourself
  • Price point is a little high
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Honda HRN216VYA Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review
Honda HRN216VYA Walk-Behind Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review
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