Summer is in full swing and that means the grass is growing and lawns need to be cut. If you are like most people, your lawn is a reflection of you. We try hard to keep the weeds down and the lawn looking like Wrigley Field. This article is going to be a little different. When you hear lawnmower, most people just focus on the mower itself. However, that is only part of the equation. While a quality lawnmower can be great, it means nothing without having a quality engine powering the mower. So today, I am talking about one of the most powerful teams in the OPE world, Toro and Briggs & Stratton Engines.
Gas vs Battery
Before we move on, let’s talk about battery vs gas mower, which is better. Quick answer, one is not better than the other. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. One thing is for sure, both battery and gas engines have changed a lot over the last five years. So take what you know about gas engines and toss that out the windows as the new Briggs & Stratton has some pretty cool new features.
So where does gas fit into the picture? If you have a larger lawn, need more power or want some cool features that battery can’t offer, gas is the way to go.
Briggs developed a gas engine that breaks the mold which we will go into shortly. The bottom line, Briggs & Stratton have an engine you can stand up, offers plenty of power and has an easy start system. For now, let’s talk about the Toro mower so you can see where the Briggs & Stratton engine come into play.
Toro Personal Pace
If you’re not familiar with Personal Pace, it’s just the best self-propelled system on any mower. So what is so special about this system? Most mowers you have a lever or dial that you have to adjust to a certain speed. As you walk up a hill or down a hill, you will naturally walk faster or slower, which means you are always adjusting the speed, a real pain.
With the Personal Pace system, the speed is built into the handle. So as you walk faster, you will naturally push harder on the handle. When you push harder on the handle, the mower will increase speed. As you walk slower, you will put less pressure on the handle and the mower will slow it’s speed down. To me, this is just such a smart and ingenious system.
Here is the kicker, they now have it for reverse. In the past, the system would only work going forward. Now the Personal Pace will work when you back up. So as you pull the handle towards you, the system will assist in going backward, what a cool feature.
Briggs & Stratton Engine
OK, so the Toro Personal Pace is awesome. However, it means nothing if you don’t have a quality engine that is efficient and makes your life easier plus powerful enough to get the job done. So that is where the Briggs & Stratton 725 EXi engine comes into play.
Durability and Dependability – Briggs & Stratton have proven themselves over the long history of the company. They are known for their small engines to last and be a true workhorse for the consumer.
SMARTSTOW – Smartstow has a very cool feature that allows the user to store the mower in the upright position. Yes, you read this right. You can store the mower in the upright position and not have to worry about gas dripping out, gas getting in the carb or the other issues that you know about gas engines being stored this way.
Power – The EXI Series 163 cc provides up to 7.25 ft-lbs of gross torque making it powerful enough for any lawn or terrain. No need to prime or choke the engine.
Oil Change – That is a thing of the past. The engine doesn’t require to change the oil ever. Yes, you never have to change the oil in this engine.
Easy Start – We already said no choke or prime to start the engine but they guarantee it to start in two pulls or they will fix it for free.
So when all is said and done, is this an engine you are used to? For me, when I heard these features of the Briggs & Stratton engine, I really couldn’t believe it. But somehow they figured out a way to create a durable, mostly maintenance free, powerful and easy start engine, not to mention the ability to store it upright. So for me, this is one of the highest quality and best engines on the market which makes it a perfect fit for the Toro Personal Pace mower.
Personal Pace Features
The Toro is a 22″ gas-powered mower, model 20355.
The machine is equipped with a Briggs & Stratton 725 EXi Series engine. The engine has 7.25 ft.lbs of gross torque with a 163 OHV engine.
The back wheels (11″) are a little larger than the front wheels which makes it pretty easy to maneuver around.
To lower and raise the deck, you will have to adjust each wheel to the proper level.
This mower will side discharge, bag, and mulch. One cool feature is the mulching feature. Most mowers you have to insert a piece into the bag chute, which gets lost. With the Toro, it’s built in. Just move a lever and you’re in the mulching mode. I love this feature.
When you are done mowing and want to store the mower, you can easily fold the handle down. No unscrewing nuts and bolts. Just turn and lower the handle.
The Toro has a built-in deck wash system to keep it clean and help make the mower deck last.
The handle isn’t bad. I prefer a straight handle but I know a majority of people find this type of handle more ergonomically comfortable. I would have liked to see the straight bar handle removed as that can get in the way.
One of the best features of this mower is the ability to store it upright. Yes, you can store a gas mower upright and it will still start next time.
Okay, so the mower has some cool features but how does it perform? Easy, it’s one of the best performing mowers we have tested and that includes gas and battery power mowers.
First, I love the personal pace. This makes cutting the lawn easy. No adjusting speeds, no messing around. Just walk and the mower stays at your pace.
Second, I love how easy it is to start the engine, one pull and I am ready to mow. Best of all, it plows and tackles any tall grass. I had some really tall grass and the mower didn’t bog down, slow down or have any hiccups.
Third, was the bagging. When I was done cutting, not only did the grass look like a million bucks, but I didn’t see any grass clippings laying around, even where I mowed the very tall grass. I was amazed at how well this machine bagged the clippings.
Fourth, I love how I can store the mower in the upright position. I have a small shed so space is at a premium. Being able to store a gas mower up and out of the way, frees up so much room in my shed.
There is a lot more to love but those are my four biggest reasons this is a great mower.
I waited for the grass to grow pretty tall. As you can see, this grass is very tall and not your typical cutting experience. Well, unless you’re like me and you get pretty busy.
The mower had no issues cutting the grass. When it cut the tall grass, not only did it bag it all, but it cut all the grass and didn’t leave any blades uncut. What I love the best, was the finished look. The mower made the lawn look awesome.
You can pick this mower up at your local Home Depot for about $450. Yes, you can get mowers for cheaper and yes, also more money. But considering the personal pace system, the great finish job when you are done mowing, the strong engine with easy start and being able to store it upright, the price tag is a fair price.
All in all, I love this mower. I am a battery-powered mower user because gas has always been a pain in my rear. With the Briggs engine, that pain has gone away. No oil changes, no maintenance, I can store it upright and it’s an easy start system. So this has most of the advantages of a battery powered mower except this has a ton of torque and a much longer run time. I love the Personal pace system which makes mowing extremely easy and simple. So if you have a larger lawn and want a gas mower, this is the mower I would recommend. Easy, powerful and reliable.