This Toro 22″ Recycler Mower has an interesting front wheel drive setup for the self propelled feature. The mower also boasts never having to change the oil…is that true?
This Toro Recylcer mower features a front wheel drive self propelled mechanism. This is kind of cool because a lot of complaints on rear wheel driven self propelled mowers is how hard it is to pull the mower backwards or to turn 180 degrees to go the opposite direction. So by having the FWD setup, you can tilt the mower back a little bit and the mower easily free wheels to whatever spot you want.
The drawback to this is that if you decide you want to use the bagger, as the bagger starts to get more full it is going to tip the weight backwards (think of it like the mower pulling a wheelie.) So it will require you to put more downward force on the front of the mower or it could lose traction.
The mower does weigh 78 lbs so it isn’t the lightest mower.
A 22″ wide 14 gauge stamped steel deck sits on 8 inch front wheels and 11 inch rear wheels which are pretty large and will help going over any uneven terrain. The deck is adjustable between 9 positions ranging from 1″ to 4″.
The mower is a 3-in-1 so you can choose from either bagging, side discharge or mulching.
A Briggs and Stratton 163cc mower powers the Toro 22″ SmartStow mower and it has the “no prime, easy start” feature where you should be able to start the mower with only about two pulls.
They also claim that you never need to change the oil, only to check it and add if it gets low. There are definitely some conflicting reports on this with some people saying you should change the oil after 5 hours and then yearly thereafter.
Here is what I think is the scoop on this. A lot of the internal parts are made of high strength plastic which creates less friction/heat. Heat is what breaks down the oil so by not heating up nearly as much the oil should last a lot longer. I’m sure they’ve also designed the parts to last past the 2 year warranty.
So, I think it comes down to what you want out of this mower? Are you happy with a couple (or more) years? No need to change the oil. Do you expect it to last 5-10 years? I would definitely consider a once a year oil change or every two years at the latest then.
Another nice feature on this mower is the ability to quickly fold the handle and store the mower upright. Most gas/oil mowers can’t do this because the gas and/or oil would start to leak out. However this engine was specifically redesigned so this won’t happen.
Something to keep in mind if you do store this Toro 22″ Mower upright. When you get it back on level ground to use it you’ll need to wait a few minutes for the oil to settle before checking it. Otherwise you may wind up overfilling it.
There is also a washout port on the deck so after you’re done mowing you can just hook a garden hose up and clean out the underside of the mower easily.
Click here to read the full warranty for the Toro Recycler 22in SmartStow Mower
Service Manual for the Toro 22″ Recycler Self Propelled Mower
This mower has a lot of nice features. The front wheel self propelled feature is really nice if you have a lot of obstacles in your yard that you have to make frequent movements around.
If you plan on using the bagger I would caution you of the potential traction issues. However, I suppose you could add some weights to the front of the mower to keep it more balanced out.
All in all, this is a pretty nice mower for the price.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you decide to purchase a mower based on my review, I do get a small piece of the sale. It helps to keep the lights on around here. I am very passionate about lawns and mowers and offer my unbiased review towards everything that goes on this site. I research several pages, specs, videos, forums and other reviews of each mower before I post about it so you don’t have to. If I wouldn’t buy it myself, I wouldn’t recommend it to you either.