Honda Mower spec
Honda spec sheet

Best Mower on Hills

So your cutting up-to a half acre of hilly lawns, then the Honda self propelled is the right mower for you, its got lots of pulling power, it's smooth and simple to use. The model featured here has optional electric start - makes mowing just effortless.


So what is the best mowers for hills? The best mower for hilly lawns should have:


  • Lots of horsepower
  • Strong self drive system
  • Easy to use variable speed drive
  • Rugged wheels with lots of grip
  • Lightweight
  • Nicely balanced

If your cutting more than a half acre, you'd be better to consider buying a lawn tractor, it'll save you lots of time and effort over many years of service.

Check out Toro vs Honda where I compare Toro recycler against Honda HRX.

First Impression

I tested the Honda HRR216vya its titanium color scheme looks confident and business like. I like Honda's no nonsense approach to design and execution. 


Some modern mowers can look a little intimidating, with large control panels sporting lots of levers.


I like that Honda kept it simple and lightweight. The mower is very approachable, looks simple and is simple.



The Honda feels agile and sure footed, it weighs eighty eight pounds but feels lighter. The eight inch wheels are fitted with bearings, ensuring a smooth ride. The tires look more like real road going rubber.


The soft grip handle bars have two set positions and a fold flat option for storage, all operated by a tool-less quick release knob.


The controls all feel really well made and are easy to figure out - you won't need to read the manual.


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Honda mower spec


Controls are nice to use and the instruction stickers are easy to follow.

Honda clip director

Self Drive

The self drive console is fitted in the center of the handle bars. The speed is continuously adjusted by pushing down on either of the paddles with your thumb. You'll find matching your stride is instinctive (0 -4 mph) and very quickly you'll forget your using it. 


The position of the console is adjustable, allowing for personal preference.


Maneuvering around flower beds and traversing slopes (20 degrees max) is smooth and the rear drive offers lots of grip.

The drive system, it's strong and well designed, it even has a tool-less adjustable toggle wheel, for DIY maintenance. I love that Honda think of the person maintaining the mower.


Transmissions are very durable, control cables and drive belts as you expect wear out, but will last many years, and longer if winterized properly.


I have replaced transmissions and they are not cheap, but the mowers were all 10 years plus old and had a rough life. If you do the maintenance, you won't have a problem.


Self Drive

Variable self drive is simple and intuitive.

Honda self drive controls


The Honda is fitted with Roto-stop, a big yellow release button on the handlebars must be pressed before pulling and holding the bail lever, this spins the blade.


The beauty of Roto-stop is you can run your mower without spinning the blade, especially useful if like me you have to cross a graveled yard several times to cut smaller lawn areas.


The 21" deck is made from stamped sixteen gauge steel. The guards are made from a tough durable rubber which do their job very well and the bag is as you expect - top shelf.



Honda's exclusive secret weapon - Twin blade micro cut. This is a stacked, off set pair of winged blades with four cutting surfaces.


Each blade of grass gets cut twice on the first pass, the leading blade cuts higher up and then the offset trailing blade makes a smaller second cut, the winged blades recirculate the clippings and repeat the process many times.


This in my experience is the future for blades, it truly is a better cut. A common complaint in my workshop is a mower that won't bag very well, or leaves trailing's when mulching. The problem is usually caused by the 2 in 1 hybrid blade. (Blade designed to mulch and collect) Very often the blade technology just isn't up to the job.


Twin Cut

This is as good as blade teck gets, you have the best of both worlds, great at collecting and mulching.

Honda twin cut blades

Clip Director

Honda features a tool less three in one system, bagging, mulching and discharging. To move from one to the other, just move the clip director knob from bag to mulch, that's it. Mulching or bagging the results really are first class. The twin blade design - Clever!


The deck height has six positions from one to four inches, and requires adjustment at each wheel - Please Honda, can we have one lever, some lawns require a different cut height and so adjusting all four wheels can get old pretty quickly. 


The deck is made from 16 gauge steel, so you need to clean it down at the end of the season really well. Grass eats metal for breakfast, I have replaced lots of decks over the years and it is because the mowers weren't winterized. Check out "How to winterize your mower".



Simple directions make this foolproof.

Honda mower clip director


The GCV160 over head valve engine is a well tried and trusted unit. Honda reliability is legendary, I see lots of Honda engines in my work shop and they're a pleasure to work on, but more importantly, engine failures are rare.


Over head valve engines are more powerful. Honda squeeze 6.9 ft lbs of torque out of 160cc, it's super smooth, cleaner too, and complies with CA (CARB). 


These units are pretty much bullet proof with exception of the crankshafts. The crankshafts are prone to bending if you hit a curb or tree stump - like really hard. (Rare) I've replaced a few, it's not a difficult job thanks to Honda's engine design and their parts availability is excellent.



I like this Honda, it's reliable, durable and user friendly. It's nicely balanced, has plenty of power for pulling and cutting a hilly lawn. The best bits - auto choke, set throttle, so it really is pull and go.


You can check out the price and availability of the Honda on Amazon, it arrives fully assembled, but don't forget to put the oil in first before starting. I wrote this guide to help you check your oil level.

Check out Toro vs Honda where I compare Toro recycler against Honda HRX.



Smoooth reliability

Honda 160 gcv mower engine

Diy Tune-up

Features I love about this engine, the revised large gas filler neck, tethered gas cap, manual fuel shut off tap, easy to use oil dip stick and tool less air filter cover. If you like to tune up your own lawn equipment, you'll love this engine, I promise.


Maintenance Tips

To dip the oil on a Honda, remove the dip stick clean it but don't screw it back in to check. This is a four stroke engine and Honda engines like 10W30 oil.


I like to change the oil on a new mower engine after just 5 hours use, and then every fifty hours of operation or once before the new season starts.


Check and clean the air filter every twenty five hours. Replace the spark plug once per season or every one hundred hours.


If you need to turn your mower over, turn off the fuel at the fuel tap and always with the carburetor side up. Sharpen blades once per season or more often if dull, tighten blade bolt to 43 ft lb (59Nm).


Check out "Lawn mower maintenance".



Comes with a manufacturers 3 year warranty. You'll hardly need it.


Honda mower maintenance tips

Cutting a Hill

I'm not going to tell you how to cut grass, I'm guessing you like me have lots of experience. This is what I have learned about cutting slopes in my garden - It's easy to lose your footing, my garden has lots of hills, and so I cut across slopes.


I avoid cutting in the evening when the grass is damp. I make sure that my mower has the correct amount of oil. A full gas tank is also important because when the tank gets low, often being on an angle will starve the engine of fuel.

Angle of slope is important to know because all lawnmower manufacturers will have a max operating angle for the engine, (upsets the lubrication system) ignoring this will void the guarantee.


If your not sure, just print and use this simple guide to estimate what angle of slope your working with. Most mowers are happy up to max 20°.


Cutting grass on a hill spec sheet

About the Reviewer

Hi, I'm John, I run my own repair workshop and I service a lot of lawn care equipment of all kinds - two stroke, four stroke, gas, diesel and electric. I see a wide variety of makes and models, young and old. I think by now I've met them all - good and bad.


I like kit that lasts and kit you can get parts for easily is an important consideration before investing in equipment. I use my knowledge and experience to only review equipment that will go the distance, I promise I won't waste your time or money reviewing cheap throwaway kit.


Through out this site you'll find links to products, I do earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links, but it doesn't cost you an extra cent.


Tractor mower


Auto Technician and Writer at Lawnmowerfixed | Website

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write "How to" articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of mechanical repairs, from lawn mowers to classic cars.