Honda HRX217HYA 21″ Hydro Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review

Honda has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality and dependable small motors and lawnmowers. You see this shining through in all the engineering features of the Honda HRX217HYA Hydro Self-Propelled Lawn Mower. It essentially takes its widely successful mower and evolves it to the next step with an innovative and convenient self-propulsion system.

This model has the reliable 201 cc Honda OVH 4-stroke engine that powers the Micro Cut twin-blade cutting system as well as the self-propulsion system. The two cutting blades of the 21-inch cutting deck are highly efficient at harvesting grass while processing them in nearly mulched pieces. The recoil-start engine also automatic choke system which makes for very easy starting and less chance of flooding.

This self-propelled Honda lawnmower was also engineered with 4-in-1 functionality. You can quickly set it up as standard discharge, mulching mower, rear bagger, or even use it as a leaf shredder to handle fall leaf cleanup.

The heavy-duty 21-inch cutting deck has 7 different height settings from .75 or an inch up to 4-inches. It also has a special Roto Stop blade system that quickly stops the dual cutting blades in case of an impending accident.

The Honda HRX217HYA Hydro Self-Propelled lawnmower comes with a large 2.5-bushel bagger. They did a good job of engineering to detach easily, even when fully loaded. This spares you the effort of having to wrestle a compact bag of grass clippings free from the frame.

The self-propulsion system was engineered with Honda’s Select Drive variable speed system. It lets you precisely set the speed of to your natural gait. One area where this model differs from the base HRX is that the self-propulsion system has a cruise control feature. This is great for yards that have a lot of wide-open spaces. The 9-inch diameter wheels have ball bearings to let them move smoothly, even at speed or over rough terrain.

The adjustable handlebars can be set to three different height positions to let you customize it to your height and mowing style.

Key Features

  • 201cc Honda GVC200 4-stroke
  • Known for being dependable
  • Automatic choke and recoil for reliable startup
  • 21-inch heavy-duty cutting deck
  • Micro-cut twin blade system
  • 4-in-1 functionality
  • Mulching, rear bagging, bagless discharge or leaf shredding
  • 7 Height settings
  • Cuts from .75 to 4-inches
  • Self-propelled
  • Select drive variable speed
  • Cruise Control
  • 9-inch wheels with ball bearings
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Roto stop blade controls
  • 2.5-bushel bagger
  • Handlebars adjust to three height positions


The 201cc Honda GVC200 4-stroke engine generates robust power for both the dual micro-cut blades as well as the hydrostatic self-propulsion system. The 9-inch wheels with their smooth ball bearings help the HRX217HYA move smoothly over rough patches of ground and uneven terrain.

Ease of Use

The handlebars on the HRX217HYA can be set to three different settings, to comfortably dial it to your personal preference. The retro stop blade system lets you quickly shut down the dual cutting blades, without having to kill the engine. This is especially handy for those times when you need to avoid running over something.

The recoil start engine has an automatic choke for easy start-up. It also reduces the chances of flooding the engine.

The variable speed of the self-propulsion system makes it easy to set it close to your walking speed. It also allows you to quickly slow the mower down for times when you might need to weave slowly around some trees and landscaping features. If you need to work through long rows and wide-open spaces, you can engage the cruise control to set it at one convenient speed.

Cut Quality & Options

The dual cutting blades of the Micro Cut system make quick work of your lawn with every pass. When you engage the mulching system the two cutting blades under the 21-inch cutting deck do an excellent job of mincing the harvested grass clippings into tiny pieces that easily absorb back into the underlying turf.

The Honda HRX’s 2.5-bushel bagger can pack more grass into the bag than you would get from a traditional single blade lawnmower. It also means that the bagger holds more compact grass clippings, which can drive up the weight per cubic inch. So, Honda made sure to make the bagger easy to detach and carry to the compost bin.


For a gas-powered lawnmower, the Honda HRX self-propelled lawnmower is easy to maintain. It needs the usual oil changes and basic care that all gas-powered lawnmower requires. The metal of the dual cutting blades are also thick enough that an experienced do-it-yourselfer could sharpen them with a mill file, rather than order replacement blades.

Safety Features

This model of Honda HRX217HYA has all the standard safety features and hand controls you expect to find with a self-propelled gas-powered lawnmower. The Roto Stop blade system. It lets you quickly arrest the dual cutting blades without having to stop the gas-powered engine.

Special Features

The Honda HRX has a recoil start with an auto choke system that makes for easy ignition. It also helps reduce the chances of flooding the engine during start-up.

The Select Drive variable speed self-propulsion system lets you set the HRX to your personal walking speed. If you need to work through large wide-open stretches you can simply engage the cruise control.

The Roto Stop blade system lets you quickly stop the blades in an instant if you accidentally come across a stick hiding in the grass.


The Honda HRX217HYA was designed for a low cost of ownership while ensuring that you see a robust return on your investment. The 4-in-1 Versamow with its leaf shredder mode even helps save money on otherwise tedious fall cleanup.


9.5 Total Score
4-in-1 self-propelled Honda lawnmower with cruise control

  • Powerful 201 cc Honda gasoline engine
  • 4-in-1 Versamow with leaf shredding
  • Bagger, rear discharge, mulching mower and leaf shredder
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Self-propulsion system
  • Variable speed self-propulsion
  • Cruise control feature
  • 2.5-bushel bagger
  • Price is a bit high
  • Bagger can get heavy
  • Dual cutting blades take time to sharpen yourself
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Honda HRX217HYA 21″ Hydro Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review
Honda HRX217HYA 21″ Hydro Self-Propelled Gas Lawn Mower Review
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