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Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi #5081215 04/20/19 08:47 PM
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Anthony Offline OP
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Both 21 inch push mowers. I believe the Briggs model is a snapper that’s self propelled. 7.25 EXI OHV engine.

The other mower is a Troy built with the Honda GCV.
The Troy Built is not self propelled.

Both mowers are the same price. I don’t need it to be self propelled but is the Honda that much better of an engine to command the price premium?


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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081298 04/20/19 10:06 PM
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eljefino Offline
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GCV is the pretty cheezy "residential" line, but still has OHC.

OHV on the briggs is night and day better than the old flatheads. Breathes better and runs quieter on less gas. Theoretically worse than OHC but I don't think a lawnmower can reach the revs where the difference is notable.

You can't go wrong with either.

I would not get self propelled as I find myself fighting it with as much energy as I would expend just pushing a lightweight deck across my yard. Yours could be different, I guess. And it's more stuff to break.

Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081323 04/20/19 10:32 PM
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I have the exact Troy Bilt mower you're considering-- I chose the Troy Bilt because I wanted a nice engine (I was buying into Honda reputation) and didn't really want self-propelled (no need for it, less to break, more power going to blade not having to drive wheels).

I really like the GCV160, it's smooth quiet engine with good power. Noticeably quieter than other push mowers I've owned. Always starts in a pull or two. Mine has the "auto choke" lever that once you set, it pulls the choke off automatically. There's been a few times that hasn't worked quite right and I had to pull the choke off myself, or it pulled choke off too soon... Wish it had a manual choke, that might be my only complaint.

I've owned the mower since 2010. They still make them, I see the same mower on store shelves to this day, I bought mine for $269. I've since moved to a house where it's not practical to use a push mower (riding mower is a necessity.) So the Troy Bilt has been shelved and only gets used when I need to clear fields or do heavy duty stuff I can't take my rider into. I rigged the governor so that I can set engine speed above and below the preset speed (mower has no throttle control out of the box)-- I've used it at engine speeds well above what it was set/designed for, and you just can't kill the thing. I would buy another Honda GCV in a fast second.

It is their residential stuff, but it's certainly not garbage. All these small mower engines (unless you spend big bucks) have aluminum bores, standard bearings, all the attributes that make them a "residential" engine.


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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081325 04/20/19 10:38 PM
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I would try to get a mower with the honda GX engine.


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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081366 04/21/19 01:57 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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I too have the Troy Built with the Honda and love it. I think 10 yrs now.


"Retired"
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'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081382 04/21/19 03:35 AM
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That Briggs engine is very good. I’d get the self propelled Snapper over a push Troy Bilt every single day.

But my honest best advice as a person that had a small engine shop, that has owned hundreds of mowers, and sold just as many, is to buy a gently used Toro Super Recycler on Craigslist. Brand new they are $650. Used on Craigslist I found them all day long for $50-$150.

A $150 used Super Recycler is better than any new $300 big box store mower and will last twice as long.


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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081386 04/21/19 03:55 AM
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rooflessVW Offline
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I've got the Briggs 875EXI on my pressure washer and it just runs and runs. Never an issue.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081387 04/21/19 04:28 AM
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skyactiv Offline
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The Honda will probably be quieter and more pleasant to mow with.
The engine has been perfected a long time ago.

Briggs & Stratton is like a German auto maker. B&S feels they need to keep the engineers busy and offer a bunch of different engines in the same category and come out with new ones every few years while making
the old ones obsolete.

I recently got my sister a new push mower with a Honda engine and it performs good.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Sold: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual


Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081391 04/21/19 04:53 AM
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bubbatime Offline
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The Briggs is a newer, and better designed engine. That will ruffle some feathers, but it’s true.


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2013 Yamaha XT250 Valvoline motorcycle 10W40
2006 GMC Sierra SuperTech high mileage 5W30

Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Char Baby] #5081403 04/21/19 05:19 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Originally Posted by Char Baby
I too have the Troy Built with the Honda and love it. I think 10 yrs now.


However, I have used friends/family/neighbors new(er) B&S equipped push mowers to help with their lawn care while they're on vacation etc. And I have to say that the B&S are very, very nice today and feeling quite a step up from where they were in the past. Possibly even surpassing the Honda's in smoothness and other areas. But, IDK 'cause I haven't owned the new B&S long term.


"Retired"
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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: bubbatime] #5081405 04/21/19 05:29 AM
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I'd take a Honda over a Briggs any day of the week... twice on Sunday.

We're not talking about just an engine though. It's a propelled mower vs. a non-propelled mower. That changes the dynamic.

Being a Snapper, it's probably a front drive. I hate front drive mowers with a passion. I'd rather push.

If you asked me to describe the worst mower I could, it'd be a front propelled mower with a Briggs.

Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081426 04/21/19 06:01 AM
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~14 yrs ago, I was given a true Honda Mower w/Honda engine and it was a rear drive. I ended up selling the mower as I could get a lot of money for it and I already had mowers that ran well.

Nice mower but, I didn't particularly like the Honda rear drive as every time I lifted the front to turn, the rear wheels keep moving and causing me to either disengage the drive wheels or over shoot the turn/not pivot properly the way I am used to for row to row cutting.

A nice touch is that the Honda rear drive was quite fast/faster than many other drive systems so, I liked that. But, having to choose between F or R drive, I'd take front. My preference is no drive at all, I'll push for myself.

Last edited by Char Baby; 04/21/19 06:05 AM.

"Retired"
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'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081481 04/21/19 07:37 AM
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I have 2 mowers with Honda engines. The 160 and 190. If you have a choice, get the 190, as I find the 160 struggles in thick or wet grass. The 190 has enough additional power to make it drama free.


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Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081517 04/21/19 08:23 AM
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My sisters new mower is a push type with a Honda engine.

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Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Sold: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual


Re: Honda GCV160 or Briggs 725exi [Re: Anthony] #5081525 04/21/19 08:35 AM
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Once you have self propelled you’ll never go back. I have a Craftsman rear drive with a Honda GCV 160 that I bought in 2003. That engine model was still pretty new back then. Fast forward 16 years. I just replaced the belt on it. I like rear wheel drive because if you bog while use the recycling feature you can tip the mower back and still move forward under power. Try that with a front drive mower. If you want the 190 version you’ll no longer be at the low price point. 2cents


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
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