The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow is built to cut grass quickly, but is it powerful enough for your garden?
Top Ten Reviews Verdict
The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower is great for small, flat lawns thanks to its cordless design and self-propelled operation. It takes a while to fully charge though, and the battery only runs for 45 minutes at a time, but it can be stored upright when not in use.
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The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower does a lot more than just cut grass, as you’d expect from a brand behind some of the world’s best electric lawn mowers. It’s easy to maneuver, has a wide cutting width and comes with different cutting heights so you can manicure your grass to perfection.
Along with being cordless thanks to its rechargeable battery, the Toro Recycler Self-Propel 60 Volt Lawn Mower, which has an MSRP of 419, is also self-propelled. This means you simply steer the machine in the right direction, rather than using your weight to push it along.
Outdoor power tool brand Toro launched in 1914 and specializes in making some of the best gas lawn mowers too. Its Recycler model is powerful and can last for around 45 minutes, making it ideal for small lawns of no more than 1/3 acres. It also comes with three different options for discharging grass clippings.
Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower review: Design
Cutting widths are important, as the wider the width, the more grass you can cover in a shorter space of time. The standard cutting width for most mowers is between 20-24 inches. The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower has a cutting width of 21-inches and a total cutting height of 1.25 to 3.75 inches, which is decent. If you have a very big garden to tackle, we’d recommend looking at our guide to the best rider lawn mowers instead.
Despite its large dimension, you don’t have to worry about storing the mower. the handle folds down and collapses, as it’s made to be stored upright. According to Toro, this handy design feature reduces the mower’s storage footprint by up to 70%.
The Toro Recycler is powered by a 60-volt lithium-Ion battery and is part of the brand’s Flex-Force line. This makes it Toro’s most ‘powerful battery’, which is interchangeable with its garden tools in the same collection. That means you can use the battery with other Toro Flex-Force tools.
Toro 21 in. Rear Wheel Drive vs. Toro Smart Stow 22 in. Front Wheel Drive. Comparison Video
The Toro Recycler is self-propelled. This means you don’t need to push it, but just steer it in the right direction.For another self-propelled option, read our Snapper XD 82V Max StepSense review. The mower is also quite lightweight, weighing in at 61lbs. Couple that with its self-propelled design and this mower makes cutting your lawn light work. The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower is also designed to be durable, thanks to its steel deck and blade, which will give you years of cutting service.
You can enjoy all of these qualities and get peace of mind with a two-year warranty on the mower, plus a three-year warranty on the battery.
Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower review: Features
The Toro Recycler comes with a push-to-start button. It really doesn’t get any easier than that. Plus, this model is fitted with a brushless DC motor. Brushless motors are praised for being highly efficient, powerful and low maintenance. When you are cutting the grass, it also means you’ll have less friction when gliding over your lawn.
The cordless mower comes with three different options for how you can dispose of your clippings. This includes the option to bag it, mulch it, or dispense the cut grass back onto your lawn to help encourage grass growth. If you haven’t heard of mulch, read our feature on what is mulching.
The Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower is also pretty quiet. According to one user, they described it as reaching around 80 decibels, which is just slightly louder than a vacuum. So you won’t have to worry about annoying your neighbors while cutting your lawn on the weekend. Designed with nine different cutting positions, Toro’s mower makes cutting your grass as comfortable as can be.
Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower review: Performance
According to users, the Toro Recycler has a run time of around 40-45 minutes. But of course, this fluctuates depending on how thick your grass is, whether the mower has to climb any slopes, and the height of the grass you’re cutting. This cut time is suitable if you have a small garden, up to around 1/3 of an acre. But if your lawn is a little bit bigger, investing in a spare battery or a corded mower could be a good idea.
Whilst on the subject of battery, the Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower’s detachable battery takes around 150 minutes to charge. This can be a bit of a hassle if you run out of power and then have to wait the two and a half hours it takes to recharge. For a mower with longer battery life, read our EGO Power 21-inch LM2102 review.
While its self-propelled design takes all the hard work out of cutting your lawn, it does mean it puts more pressure on the battery to propel it forward. Which can of course can once again eat into your overall cutting time.
Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower review: Support and user reviews
As mentioned earlier in our review, the Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower comes with a two-year warranty for the mower, plus a three-year warranty for the battery. So you’re covered if anything should go wrong within that time. It’s also returnable within a 90-day period if unused. There are two ways to contact the Toro team: call their customer service desk, or email them.
Whilst another user even went so far as to say they were in love with the handy garden gadget. They said it was easy to use, turning on at the push of a button, they loved its cordless design and the fact it requires little to no maintenance.
However, one user marked the Toro Recycler down because of its ‘plastic hook’ design that you use to change the cutting size. The user said they were ‘afraid’ it might break. Another user of this machine said the mower would ‘high center’ on uneven areas. But did mention they had a pretty sloped garden.
Should you buy the Toro Recycler 21 Inch SmartStow 60-Volt Cordless Mower?
Overall, there aren’t many things this Toro mower can’t do. The cordless design means it’s easy to use, and its 21-inch cutting width enables you to mow in no time. You also have various options on how you would like to dispose of the waste.
This is something that not all mowers come with. It’s self-propelled design really does seem to be great – especially if you’re trying to make cutting your grass even easier than before. Although with a short battery time, we think it makes this mower ideal for small flat lawns.
Toro Recycler SmartStow Battery Mower: 2023 Review
Toro’ Recycler SmartStow Battery Mower has enormous shoes to fill.
Toro mowers are one of the best selling gas mowers in the Milky Way Galaxy (and beyond). Making the switch to battery is a huge task. Aren’t battery mowers weaker? And plastic? And can it break easily?
Truthfully, some are weaker and plastic-y, and some are absolute units that are even better than gas.
Let’s take a really close look at the Toro Recycler SmartStow Battery mower to see how it stacks up.
Why we started The Lawn Review
The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site.
As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something.
What to look for in an electric lawn mower
- Brand quality
- Quality is going to be super important here. Everyone is in the electric mower game these days and there are a ton of junky mowers out there. Avoid anything from a weird brand on Amazon that takes 9 years to ship. It is probably being 3D printed in a Laotian bathroom. Go for brands that have consistent quality and FOCUS on the details, not just flashy colors.
- Most electric mowers are plastic-y. Probably to reduce the weight of the mower so that the battery can get you further, but it feels cheap. Make sure to get metal where it matters – namely the deck. The deck is the part that covers the blades. Don’t get plastic here – a rock can rip through it.
- A ten dollar word used here, but really just make sure to buy a mower with a battery that is compatible with other electric tools. Ryobi has this, so does DeWALT, and so do some of the Greenworks products. This will save you garage clutter and plug space.
If you have more questions, check out our guide to electric lawn mowers.
Toro Recycler SmartStow Battery Mower: Features and Benefits
Let’s hop into what might become the household staple of the future. The red Toro Lawn Mower that is in just about every garage, except battery-powered. This one even made our list of best mowers for bermudagrass.
Gauging power output on a battery-powered mower is always tough when compared to gas mowers. Gas mowers have cubic centimeter displacement, or ccs, that give you a good idea and are more widely recognized.
Battery mowers have voltage (V), which generally correlates to power. It also has Amp-hours (Ah) which correlates to run-time. The 60V Toro Recycler SmartStow battery mower is an above-average voltage for a walk-behind battery mower.
I would compare this power output to somewhere around 175 cc on a gas mower.
In layman’s terms, this thing can keep up with and even exceed most gas walk-behind mowers. It will sound different, but the cutting power is really the same.
One thing I will mention related to power is the motor type. This comes with a great Brushless motor, meaning more torque, a cooler running motor, and a durable long-lasting tool.
Battery life may be the biggest concern if you are switching to a Toro SmartStow battery mower for the first time. Up above, I mentioned Amp-hours as the measurement of how long the battery will run. You can get the Toro Recycler SmartStow in either a 5 or 6 Ah battery package. I recommend going with the 6 Ah for more run time.
In a normal yard, you will be able to cut for about 45 minutes, which is really pretty great for a battery powered mower. In terms of size, you will be able to cut about ⅓ of an acre with this on a single charge.
The beauty of the 60V battery on the Toro Recycler SmartStow battery mower is that it can be used with the trimmer, blower, and chainsaw. One battery can give you several different tools. That’s why if you go with the Toro 60V, you should make sure to check out other products in the Toro 60V line to save some serious money by purchasing the “tool-only” versions.
Just as a forewarning, running your mower with the self-propelled function on will noticeably burn the battery as compared to just pushing it the old fashioned way.
Durability and maintenance
My favorite part about battery mowers in general is that they require basically no maintenance. At all. And they start reliably every time without having to pull a cord a dozen times.
No spilling gas all over your garage, no oil changes or filter changes, and no smelling like gasoline (which I actually like).
TORO Flex Force 60-Volt 21″ Recycler Lawn Mower Review (21357)
You can simply press a button and get going.
As you may have read at the beginning of this article, it’s also really important to have a mower with a metal decking. Thankfully, the Toro Recycler battery mower has a nice 21 inch or 22 inch steel deck, whichever size you buy.
The steel deck means that you get the reliability and durability you would expect from Toro.
Bells and whistles
Some other features of this mower include the rear-drive self-propelled function. I’m a bit picky, but if I get a self-propelled mower, I actually prefer it to have front-wheel drive so that it can help pull the mower over certain spots.
The Toro Recycler SmartStow has a 9-position cutting height range, which is almost excessive but nice that you have this many options. You;ll be able to cut all types of grass, from fescue to zoysia.
The last part is the Recycler Cutting System, which is how this mower gets its name. One of my favorite things about Toro is that they patented the term LawnVitamins, or very finely trimmed grass clippings created from their Recycler series.
These fall back into your soil, nourishing the lawn and providing it with some great nutrition to grow nice and thick.
The Toro Recycler SmartStow comes in at about 500 depending on the size and the battery that you get. This is a pretty reasonable price considering that it is going to last you for quite some time.
As is true with all brand-names, you are definitely paying a bit more for the “Toro” logo printed on the side.
Official Review: Toro Recycler SmartStow 60V Battery Mower
From Toro, this is exactly what I would expect. It is high-quality, well-made, durable, and reliable. I believe over the years we will see this mower become the dominant replacement for folks using gas mowers nowadays.
Check out our ranking of the best Toro mowers!
Toro Self-Propelled Lawnmower Reviews | Personal Pace Models
We took on several Toro self-propelled lawn mower reviews to check out both standard Personal Pace and AWD. These lawnmowers offer excellent power and cut quality. Whether the grass needed a short trim or a serious cutting, the Toro 22 Recycler mowers seemed up for the challenge and left a professional-looking yard.
When I drive around the beautiful countryside of Pennsylvania in the summer, I notice a lot of local landscaping companies keeping yards trimmed up and looking great. The brand name I see most often on their machines is Toro. It’s no doubt that Toro makes a lot of great professional and consumer level mowers trusted by business owners and homeowners alike. Pro Tool Reviews decided to take on a couple of Toro Self-Propelled lawnmower reviews to test out the line.
We brought in both the Toro 22″ Personal Pace Recycler Lawnmower (20332) and the all-wheel-drive model, the 20353. Both mowers share the same features save for the self-propelled drive system.
Toro Self-Propelled Lawnmowers Under the Hood
The Toro 22” Personal Pace Recycler line brings some innovative features to Toro’s self-propelled lawnmowers. These lawn mowers feature a 163cc Briggs Stratton Engine with 7.25 ft-lbs of torque. That makes them a great choice for small to medium-sized yards. With the implementation of the all-wheel-drive self propel system, yards with moderate to medium slopes are a breeze. The 22″ deck also reduces the number of passes necessary to efficiently cover as much area as possible before moving up to a riding mower.
Guaranteed to Start?
As the name states, the “Guaranteed-to-Start” promise actually proved accurate. Toro’s ReadyStart is an auto choke feature, which means you don’t have to prime or choke the engine. The Briggs Stratton EXi 163cc starts after one or two pulls with no problem. In fact, the most I’ve ever had to pull it was twice and 95% of the time it started on the first pull.
Toro also placed the recoil start handle in a comfortable position that I found easy to use.
Personal Pace First Impressions
A few years ago when shopping for a new push mower, I had to decide between a standard mower and a self-propelled model. I cared most about weight, gas consumption, and ease-of-maintenance. In the end, I opted for the self-propelled model and never looked back.
On the AWD model, Toro’s Personal Pace feature gives you three basic options for operation. You can go fully manual, use the fully-automatic self-propelled handle that moves forward as you move forward, or use the traction assisted handle that gives you the ability to control how much assistance you want.
I’ll admit the fully-automatic handle took some getting used to because it’s not a static bar. As you put pressure on the handle, it moves forward—giving you more or less assistance according to how hard you press it. At first, it felt like mowing the lawn with a bungee cord because the gripped handle constantly moves back and forth as you walk.
Traction Assist Handle
Once I got used to it, Personal Pace became very intuitive and the mower became an extension of my body. I found myself using the traction assist handle in the center of the handle for hills. To control how much assistance you want, you have to hold the mower in the center of the bar—a tad bit awkward. I understand why they had to place the handle in the center, but I’d like to see something on the sides for a more natural pushing position.
I like mulching with my mower because I don’t want to deal with emptying the bag. Some people, however, prefer only to mow with a bag—particularly those with lots of leaves. Toro includes a quick change lever that easily goes back and forth between recycle mode (which mulches the grass using Toro’s Atomic blade lift system) or bagging mode. Even better, you can make the switch while the mower runs.
Bagging and Cleanup
You can’t do adequate Toro self-propelled lawnmower reviews without checking how it bags. In some areas of the country—that’s a huge deal. In the bag-on-demand mode, I noticed that it would sometimes not throw the clippings to the back of the bag—causing it to clog. When this happened, I had to empty the bag more often. The bag is very easy to get on and off because it sits on a sturdy two-point hinge system.
Toro could stand to open up the mouth of the bag a bit more. When dumping the clippings, several times I had to reach in to get them empty—even with dry grass. Also, there were a few times that after dumping the bag, it would leave a trail of clippings once I started mowing again.
Adjusting the Toro Mower Cutting Height
The cutting heights available range from 1 inch to 4 inches with seven stops/half stops between. Each wheel is independently adjustable which Pros seem to prefer for stiffness over single-lever systems. Another upside is that durability increases as you have less moving parts to break.
Cleaning Using the Washout Port
Like many mowers, the Toro 22” Personal Pace Recycler Lawnmower comes with a washout port for hooking up a hose to clean the blades and deck. Hold the plastic nut securely while spinning it onto your hose.
While it does make the deck easier to clean, it doesn’t get everything. We recommend (and appreciate) it for those who cannot lift the mower up and hose it off manually. If you can, turning the mower on its side and spraying it down still wins. For me, the wetness of the cut grass determined whether I used the quick wash connector or tilted it up to spray it off.
Toro 20353 Lawnmower All Wheel Drive Feature
My favorite feature on the Toro 20353 lawn mower is the All Wheel Drive traction assist. The Toro 20332 Personal Pace lawn mower uses only the rear wheels. When mowing on uneven surfaces, you start to lose traction, especially while mowing up or down steep slopes. With All Wheel Drive, the front and rear wheels have a nice aggressive tread and spin independently. This gives you the best traction possible when mowing on inclines.
The Toro 20353 AWD mower definitely outperforms standard Personal Pace in this area. The maximum speed on these mowers felt similar—around 4.8 mph. I found that more than enough for fast-paced mowing.
Briggs Stratton 7.25 ft-lbs 163cc Engine
The Briggs and Stratton 163cc engine is a beast! I travel for work a lot and often come home to an unruly yard after a week or two of being away. The top-notch cutting power makes it a breeze to get “caught up”.
Even the non-AWD Personal Pace model packs a punch. The 7.25 ft-lbs of gross torque at 2600 RPM shows itself when pushing the Personal Pace handle down as far as it will go in a thick St. Augustine lawn. The power coupled with the rear-wheel-drive on this model makes for a strong combo. The mower doesn’t bog down at all. Rather, it hums right along—even when carrying an increasingly heavy bagger.
I didn’t experience any hesitation from the engine even while mowing tall and wet grass. It took about one hour to mow a half-acre of St Augustine.
Also, the engine runs smooth and sounds surprisingly quiet. I could have a conversation with my Dad from 10 feet away while mowing the lawn. While we always recommend the use of hearing protection, the output of this mower allows for several hours of use without violating OSHA standards. Since I’m a musician and sometimes sing while mowing the lawn, I found out that the tone of the engine runs to the tone of F#/Gb (just in case you happen to write a great song while mowing!)
Toro 22″ Personal Pace All Wheel Drive Lawn Mower Specs
- Model: 20353M
- 7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs Stratton EXi 163cc w/ReadyStart
- Personal Pace All-Wheel Drive Self Propel System
- 3 Year Guaranteed-to-Start Briggs Stratton Engine
- Easy Mulch or Bagging Settings
- Weight: 78 lbs.
- 2-year Full Coverage Warranty
- Price: 399
Toro Smartstow Recycler 22-Inch 60V MAX Electric Lawn Mower Review
In the summer of 2020 I reviewed the Toro 22 (56cm) 60V MAX Electric Battery Smartstow Personal Pace High Wheel Mower (20363) over the course of a couple of months. That’s an extremely long name for such a simple piece of machinery, but absolutely necessary when it comes to the testing of a tool that can take considerable wear and tear damage over time. With the Flex-Force Power System (plug-and-play rechargeable batteries and charger), 22-inch blade for mowing, and a tenacious yard of summertime grass, I ran this mower through the paces more than a few times.
Lawnmower on Batteries
Before I got this lawn mower in from Toro, they sent over a leaf blower that uses the same battery system. Both devices have the same connection points for the battery system, and both come with the same battery charger. The battery for the mower is quite a bit larger than that of the blower, but both batteries work interchangeably between machines.
I have approximately 0.17 acres of grass to cut every week – sometimes I can stretch it to a week and a half. With this mower’s 60V battery, I can cut this area of land without a recharge – just so long as the battery is fully charged before I begin. Toro suggested that I should be able to mow a full 1/3 acre with a full battery charge – and that seems about accurate, based on my couple of months of tests.
This lawn mower’s wheels can adjust to several different cut levels, as all good personal lawn mowers should. The system with which each wheel is adjusted is rather rudimentary. If this mower were as heavy as your average gas mower, adjusting the wheels might be a bit more of a chore. Since this mower is surprisingly light, adjusting each of the wheels is easy enough for any adult to handle.
While the mower feels light, it’s largely made of steel and tough plastic. The entirety of the deck is steel, each of the wheels is plastic. Every part of this mower feels like Toro hit a sweet spot: not too light as to feel cheap, rugged enough to stand the test of time.
Fold up and clean cut
This mower can fold up and sit upright. With Toro’s SmartStow Technology, the company’s engineered the mower so the handle folds down and the entire machine can sit upright, like a dog begging for a treat. This mower requires a LOT less space in the garage than any other mower I’ve ever worked with before.
The bagging system with this mower works great – but it’s the bagless mowing setup that makes me feel like this mower is a true winner. Toro’s got a special feature brand for this, too: Toro Recycler Cutting Technology. Whatever it’s doing, it’s doing right.
Recycler in effect
With the back door closed, I’ve mowed my lawn for weeks without needing any substantial mower cleaning. I grew up using a Toro cutter released in the early 1980s, and even when bagging, grass buildup was an occasional issue. Toro seems to have worked out all the kinks in the past several decades – this mower cuts both cleanly and efficiently.
The mower works with a Personal Pace Self-Propel System, which means it’s able to travel at several speeds. Pushing the mower feels natural to the point that it almost feels like the machine is weightless.
This, too, is a major improvement over early self-propelled mower madness. Back when I was a kid, a self-propelled mower meant you’d start the mower, pull up the bar, and hold on for dear life. The mower I used as a kid went ONE speed: Too fast. Here in modernity, Toro’s self-propelled mower system adjusts based on how hard you’re pushing the handle, so it all goes according to your own pace.
Perhaps the most important part of this entire situation is the mower’s entertainment value. This is of the utmost importance if you’re considering buying a lawn mower that you’ll be convincing your kids to use. Imagine their surprise when they find themselves enjoying the experience, from pushing the big blue start button to replacing the beastly battery to folding the machine up to sleep in the shed.
Battery Life for Larger Yards
If you have a yard larger than 1/3 acre, you might want to consider buying a second battery. OR, if you’re in the market for any other yard equipment, there’s a bunch of other Toro machines in the same Flex-Force Power System. Charge one battery while you’re mowing with the other and you’ll never run out of battery.
If only the battery charged up a bit faster. That’s probably my only major issue with the mower: The speed of the battery charger. It’s not particularly fast. It’s likely my perception of a fast battery charge is largely skewed thanks to smartphone companies pushing speeds for their tiny mobile batteries to the limit – but a faster charge would be nice, nonetheless.
The Flex-Force Power System battery charger included with this mower has light indicators and its own built-in fan to keep the system from overheating. A combination of this charger, plugging in batteries with the mower, and the blower, the entire Flex-Force Power System made me feel like a Ghostbuster.
If you’re considering spending up to and including the price this lawn mower costs in stores today, you’ll get your money’s worth. At the point at which this review was first published, the Toro 22 (56cm) 60V MAX Electric Battery SMARTSTOW Personal Pace High Wheel Mower (20363) had a price of MSRP 570 USD. Assuming this mower will last you a half-decade at least, that price is right on the money.
With a brushless motor under the hood and no indication that any of the parts are anything but rugged enough to last for years, this mower is easily one of the best pieces of outdoor power / lawn equipment I’ve ever used.