A while back we did a review of the Toro Personal Pace mower. While we were happy with this mower, we did have a beef with the plastic piece that engages the blade. I had a whole summer to use this mower and I have to say it has been a great mower. I know some people are complaining about this mower, but it seems a lot to do with the Briggs motor. Mine has the Honda engine, which always starts right up. I think only once did I have to pull it three times.
This mower did a great job cutting, bagging and mulching and I really don't have any complaints, well except for the warranty on this machine. I don't mind spending a premium amount on a product, but I want quality and service to back it up. Toro has been around for a long time and they do make good products. But after using this machine and dealing with warranty issues, I do have to second guess myself. The plastic piece we complained about seemed like a big oversight. While I haven't broken mine yet, I really don't have to cut around any trees or objects that would be at that height to break.
So what happened? My neighbor came over to borrow my lawnmower at the beginning of the year before I ever cut my grass. After he used it and returned it, I cut my grass a couple days later. As I was cutting my grass, he stopped by. He was asking me why the engine was stopping when I took off the bag. He stated that when he was using it, he didn't think it stopped. Last year was a long time ago, so I really didn't remember if the engine stopped. I knew the blades stopped, but was not sure about the engine. I noticed there is a safety switch that makes contact with the bar, but we thought this might be for when you are mulching or something else. He also had the same complaint I did as the personal pace handle would stay stuck and you would have to jerk on it to disengage the personal pace feature. Again, I wasn't 100% sold that the motor would stay running, so I called Toro to ask them. I have to say I was able to speak with someone very quickly. He told me the mower should stay on and the safety feature was for Mulching. He indicated I should take it and get it fixed at my local dealer. It was still under warranty and I wouldn't be charged. He wasn't sure why the personal pace handle wouldn't release after I stopped walking, but the dealer would look at that also.
So I took the mower in and was told there wouldn't be a charge to fix the personal pace problem or fix the issue of the mower stalling. It took three weeks to to get the mower back and I ended up having to call a couple of times to get a status report. Meanwhile my grass looked like a jungle. Long story short I ended up getting charged $36. I guess that safety switch is to shut the engine off. The personal pace handle just had to be lubed, so that wasn't covered in the warranty. The $36 was a charge since nothing was covered under warranty.
Is it Toro's fault I had to wait 3 weeks? No, not at all. But Toro does put their name behind these shops and they do make connections to work with these shops.
Why am I writing this article? I am writing this article as an FYI. We always try to be straight with our reviews, but somethings we can't cover everything, such as dealing with warranty work. We usually deal with new tools and lawn and garden equipment, so we don't deal with warranties much. But this is an important aspect to look at when buying a product. We are not the only ones complaining about warranty work with Toro, we wanted to let people know before they put their hard earned money into a product.
Will I buy another Toro? Probably not. If this reflects how I will be dealing with warranty work in the future, I don't have time for this. Considering I have had to take this to the shop twice in two years and my old Murray I took to the shop once in all the years I owned it. I will either go with a Deere or something on the cheaper side, like a Craftsman.