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Toro Super Recycler® (21") 159cc Personal Pace® Lawn Mower

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Toro Mowers and Accessories
Model: 20381
(Based on expert analysis, manufacturer ratings and customer reviews)
4.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
115 Reviews
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  • Features
  • Specs
  • 4
    Q&A 
  • 115
    Reviews
  • Articles
  • Shipping
  • Accessories
Grade
Mid Grade Lawn Mowers
Style
Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
Surface Area
Medium Home
Medium
Terrain
Flat Terrain
Flat
Width
21

Cutting Inches
Engine


Product Video Disclaimer: "PED is not responsible for any variances from the product in this video and the item you purchase. Please review all product specs prior to purchase."

Toro 159cc Premium OHV 4-Cycle Engine
Superior airflow & engine block design - helps engine run cooler
Low-tone muffler keeps noise down

Auto Choke System
No need to choke or prime the engine before starting

Personal Pace® Self-Propel Rear Wheel Drive System
Mower automatically senses and adapts to your walking speed

21-Inch Cast Aluminum Mower Deck
Durable and rust free
Mulch, side discharge or rear bag grass clippings
Height of cut adjustment from 1.25" to 4"

Toro Exclusive Recycling Cutting Action
Recuts the grass into finely shredded clippings
Adds nutrients to your lawn by creating a natural compost

Deck Washout Port
Convenient way to clean the bottom of the deck
Simply attach a garden hose to the top of the mower deck

"Quick Change" Storage Handle
Handle raises to store upright in tight spaces

5 Year FULL Warranty


Engine
Engine Brand
Toro
Starting System
Recoil Start
Engine Cycle
4-Cycle
CC
159 CCs
Torque
7 Lbs
Consumer Engine Warranty
5 Years
Deck
Cutting Options
3-in-1 (Side-Discharge/Bag/Mulch)
Deck Material
Cast-Aluminum
Deck Construction
Stamped
Blades
1 Blade
Deck Positions
7 Positions
Cutting Width
21 Inches
Cutting Height
1.25-4.25 Inches
Drive
Speeds
Variable
Maximum Speed
4 MPH
Drive Wheels
Rear Wheels
Drive System
Self-Propelled
Accessories
Rear Bagger
Included
Engine Guard
No
Hour Meter
No
Arm Rests
No
Mulcher Kit
Included
Headlights
No
Wheels
Front Tire Size
8 Inch
Rear Tire Size
8 Inch
Tire Type
Plastic Wheels
Overview
Made in USA
Yes
Weight
81 Pounds
Consumer Warranty
5 Years
UPC
021038203812
Model
20381
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  4 Questions
Q: What is the difference between Personal Pace and Self Propelled?
by Steve Brasington from South Carolina on April 09, 2015

A: Steve - Toro's "Personal Pace" system is one type of self-propelled drive system on a walk behind mower. The Personal Pace self-propel system automatically adjusts the speed of the mower to your walking speed. With a normal self-propelled system, the speed of the mower is controlled with a bail, a lever or some other mechanical means.
by Jose, Product Expert
Q: I recently purchased a new toro lawn mower. I am not sure how to change the oil on the machine. Is there a tutorial of how to do so?
by Luis Ceja from New York on June 12, 2014

A: The following is available on the Toro website under their FAQ section....

How do I change the oil in my mower?
For Recycler® and Super Recycler® mowers:

Recommended Oil type for Toro Walk Behind Mowers, 4-Cycle engines - SAE 30W Detergent oil with an API service classification of SF, SG, SH, SJ, SL, or higher.

-Run the engine for five minutes to warm the oil so it drains better. (Recommend only filling fuel tank with enough gas to run for five minutes before changing oil.)
-Remove the dipstick.
-Tip the mower onto its side (air filter side up) to drain the used oil out through the oil fill tube into a drain pan. (Tipping the machine on its side is the recommended method by engine manufacturers.)
-Let oil drain completely.
-Tip the mower back up on its wheels and slowly pour new oil into the oil fill tube until oil level reaches the FULL line on the dipstick. (To properly check the oil level , wait one or two minutes after filling the engine with oil to allow it to settle. Wipe the dipstick clean, reinsert dipstick, remove dipstick and check oil level, repeat the process a second time.)
-Important Do Not overfill - If you overfill the engine with oil you will need to remove the excess oil by following the oil draining steps listed above. Too much oil can cause engine damage or failure.

For complete step-by-step instructions, please consult your Owner's Manual or view our interactive smart manual by selecting your model number from the list below.

**22" Toro Recycler® Mower

**Super Recycler® Model 20053 - 20058

Troubleshooting Guide for Starting

See Also:

Advanced Toro Search - Try our Advanced Search feature to help determine your machines Model number.

Authorized Service Dealer - Not comfortable doing the maintenance yourself? Contact your local authorized service dealer for assistance.

by Jose, Product Expert
Q: i expected this mower engine 20381 to continue running while the blade is stopped

it is not doing that. what am i missing

by Greg Fernandez from New York on April 26, 2014

A: Greg - the Toro model 20381 mower does not have the Blade Stop feature you are referencing. The only Super Recycler model that offers the Blade Stop feature is the Toro 20383
by Jose, Product Expert
Q: Who makes the engine on the toro mod. 20381. And what horse power is it.
by David Lehner from New York on April 19, 2014

A: David - the Toro 20381 has a Toro brand engine that is designed and built by Toro. There is no true conversion from cc's to HP but 159cc is roughly equal to about 5 HP
by Jose, Product Expert
Toro 20381 Reviews & Ratings
Overall Rating
Features
4/5
Quality
4/5
Performance
4/5
Value
4/5
Overall
4.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
Pros
Easy To Use (27)
I'd Buy It Again (18)
Features (14)
High Quality (13)
Reliable (11)
Cons
Expensive (11)
Low Quality (6)
Durability (4)
Heavy (4)
Unreliable (3)
77% of respondents would recommend this product to a friend
115 Reviews  Sort by 
 
Chuck S.
Homestead, FL
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 9/19/16
Most Helpful Positive Review
REVIEWED
OCT.
21
2016
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Mower At A Great Price
It was time to replace my old Toro Super Recycler mower, so I went to the Toro site and checked out their current line. I was in between the SR 20381 and the regular Recycler. I went to a local Toro dealer and decided on the SR 20381.

He did not even come close to the Mowers Direct price, so I went home and ordered the mower. It was delivered right on schedule 3 days after I ordered it. All I had to do was to install the handle which was 2 bolts / nuts. I added some oil and gas, and... more
Chuck Recommends This Toro Mower
Chuck's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"Mower had a great price, was shipped and received on time, free shipping, and no sales tax! Gotta love it!"
 more
Was this review helpful?
31
James S.
Parma, OH
Total Reviews
3 Reviews
Most Helpful Critical Review
REVIEWED
AUG.
15
2016
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5
Disappointed In Toro
Got my mower from Power Equipment Direct. Ran fine, but a little heavy to manipulate around especially with the rear wheel drive. After only 3 years it began to run erratically. Changed everything, oil, fuel, air filter nothing made any difference. The it started stalling after running for only about 10 minutes, and wouldn't start like it was flooded.

Let it sit a 1/2 hour it would start, sometimes keep running sometimes it would stall again. Then the ultimate brake down, the pull cord... more
James Does Not Recommend This Mower
Manufacturer Response
Brand Rep
James,
We are sorry to hear you are having trouble with your Toro mower. I have located a few dealers that are in your area. Please bring your mower to one of these authorized dealers as your mower has a 5 year warranty and Toro will fix your unit for free per our warranty statement.

PURITAS HARDWARE (DBA)
14307 PURITAS AVENUE, CLEVELAND, OH 44135
Phone: (216) 941-7474

EVER SHARP POWER EQ B. EVER SHARP POWER EQUIPMENT
5760 ROYALWOOD ROAD, NORTH ROYALTON, OH 44133
Phone: (440) 582-2100

ANYTOOL & OUTDOOR POWER EQUIP C. ANYTOOL & OUTDOOR POWER EQUIP
21150 LORAIN RD, FAIRVIEW PARK, OH 44126
Phone: (440) 356-1920

Please call our customer service number if you have any other questions (888) 384-9939 (toll free).
more
James's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
4/5

Shipping
4/5
"Have bought from this website before. And was always happy, until my last Toro mower broke down and needed professional repair in less than 3 years."
 more
Was this review helpful?
10
David P.
Saginaw, MI
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 6/24/17
REVIEWED
JUL.
18
2017
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Mower
Works just the way it is advertised.
Pros: Easy To Use, I'd Buy It Again, High Quality, Reliable
Cons: Expensive
David Recommends This Toro Mower
David's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"Ordered mower on Saturday and was cutting my lawn Wednesday."
 more
Was this review helpful?
00
Richard D.
Westford, MA
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 6/10/17
REVIEWED
JUL.
04
2017
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Best Mulching Mower Bar None
This is the best recycling mower bar none. Honda can’t touch it for recycling. I am the fastest walking person I know and can walk 4MPH in grass. This mower easily mulches the lawn into invisible clippings (fertilizer) at 4 MPH even up hill. I mean it, the clippings are that fine. I have a normal 22” Toro Recycler that you can buy at the depot. This (Toro Super Recycler) side by side with a Toro Recycler or Honda, Snapper, Bunton, Craftsman (Other mowers I own) will do far superior finer mulch... more
Pros: High Quality, Exceeded Expectations, Fast, Durable
Richard Recommends This Toro Mower
Richard's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"No issues, on time and mower is excellent."
 more
Was this review helpful?
00
David W
Germantown, TN
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 4/3/17
REVIEWED
MAY.
04
2017
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
Warped Mower Deck
I haven't been able to use my mower that I bought a month ago because the deck is warped and all wheels don't touch the ground. Poor response from customer service.
Cons: Low Quality, Packaging, Unreliable
David Does Not Recommend This Mower
Jose, the Lawn Mower Expert
Product Expert
David,
I apologize for the issues that you experienced with your mower. I can see that we have been in constant contact with you regarding either a repair or replacement since 4/25/17. As of 5/5/17 we have arranged for FedEx to pick up your mower. If there is anything else we can do to help, please let us know, as we have been prompt in our follow-ups based on the notes on your account. Thank you very much for your business and I hope you will give us another shot in the future. Have a great day.
more
Manufacturer Response
Brand Rep
David,
We are sorry to hear you are having problems with your Toro mower. Please reach out to PED directly for information regarding shipping damage. Please call our customer service number (888) 384-9939 (toll free) and Toro will reimburse you for items that should have been covered for warranty.
more
Was this review helpful?
10
Tom
Washington Dc Area, VA
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 10/20/16
REVIEWED
JAN.
29
2017
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great To Get Back To Toro
Bought this Toro very late in the season, because I just ran out of patience with the Honda mower from the local big-box after only 4 seasons.

OK for men (I am 66), but my wife will find it a bit hard to pull the starter rope. It has started on the 1st pull every time this season. No choke! no speed setting! Just push. Pushing the mower is very easy considering range of handle height settings, the great self-propelled speed range built into the handle, and easy to hold handle.

One might... more
Pros: Easy To Use, I'd Buy It Again, High Quality, Exceeded Expectations
Cons: none observed yet
Tom Recommends This Toro Mower
Tom's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
4/5
"Their shipping affiliate did them no favor when dropping the first delivery in a heap at the top of our driveway. The box was in pieces, poorly placed around the mower as if all were OK, parts missing, and attachment bag ruined. For a guy to see this done to a great machine is almost heartbreaking. But, Mowers direct shipped another one and picked up the first one in only a couple of days. Perfect delivery. I sent them some pictures of what the shipping company did to their first mower in case they wanted to say something to the shipping company."
 more
Was this review helpful?
10
Jean B.
Florissant, MO
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 7/11/16
REVIEWED
AUG.
24
2016
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
They Love It
Since I don't cut the grass, my adult children do. My daughter cut the grass last Saturday, and she did the lawn in half the time it usually takes.

This was her first time using the new mower, and she came inside to get me to go outside to see the completed job. I have a large backyard, front yard, and two sides. The two boys who also take turns don't say as much as she does, but they do like it very much.

They all have one complaint. When they cut under bushes and such, there doesn't... more
Jean Recommends This Toro Mower
Was this review helpful?
10
Robert B
Le Mars, IA
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 5/11/17
REVIEWED
JUN.
04
2017
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Best Mower I've Used
I almost always mulch, and had a ten plus year old craftsman front wheel drive that was starting to have problems. I did a lot of research and the super recycler was widely regarded as the best grass mulcher available. Let me tell you, I agree whole heartedly. This machine mulches up grass that I would have had to bag with the old mower, be it wet or long or both, and does it leaving no clumps or piles of clippings at the end of the rows. I also did a lot of reading on the engine, and I also... more
Pros: Easy To Use, Features, Exceeded Expectations, Quiet
Robert Recommends This Toro Mower
Robert's Experience With Mowers Direct
Web Site
5/5

Service
5/5

Shipping
5/5
"Excellent experience. Fast turn around and no issues at all."
 more
Was this review helpful?
00
Diana W
Port Arthur, TX
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 5/19/15
REVIEWED
MAY.
08
2017
1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5
Piece Of Junk
This lawn mower is the biggest piece of junk I have ever purchased. I purchased this from Mowers Direct on May 19, 2015 and have had nothing but problems. Didn't even make it through the first cutting season. Started leaking fuel and had to have the carburetor replaced in spring of 2016. Now it is spring of 2017 and the carburetor has to be replaced again, also the self propelled feature has stopped working. I only run super premium Shell gasoline in my equipment and this thing still quits... more
Pros: None
Cons: Low Quality, Durability, Unreliable
Diana Does Not Recommend This Mower
Jose, the Lawn Mower Expert
Product Expert
Diana,
I am very sorry to hear about the issues that you're experiencing with your mower and can understand how frustrating it can be. Fortunately your unit is covered under a warranty which will provide service at no charge to you. If you need assistance locating a certified repair center, please give us a call and we will help. Thank you as always for your business and I hope you have a great day.
more
Manufacturer Response
Brand Rep
Diana,
We are sorry to hear you are having trouble with your Toro mower. Every so often self propel cables need to be adjusted to ensure the drive system works correctly. The traction adjustment knob provides a simple way to adjust the cable to make your mower more responsive or less responsive. You can call our customer service team and they would happily walk you through the adjustment process and answer any other questions you may have (888) 384-9939 (toll free). Your mower has a 5 year warranty and bringing your mower to an authorized Toro dealer with ensure your machine gets fixed quickly and at no cost to you.
more
Was this review helpful?
22
John S.
Oak Creek, WI
REVIEWED
OCT.
25
2016
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5
2009 Super Recycler
I have owned this Toro since 2009. There are a few cons. For some reason, this mower does not let you pull it backwards, which stinks. You can forget about attaching the hose to the deck and expecting the underneath of the deck to get cleaned. It is also hard to push up hills. My transmission just went out on it and it is in for repairs.

I paid $700.00 for this mower and I thought it would have everything I wanted, It did, but it doesn't work the way I thought it should. Also leaves a trail... more
John Does Not Recommend This Mower
Manufacturer Response
Brand Rep
John,
We are sorry to hear you are having trouble with your Toro mower. The height to which you cut your lawn is entirely up to you. We recommend cutting cool-season grasses when they reach heights of 3- to 3-˝-inches and warm-season grasses when heights reach 2- to 2-˝-inches. Measure your current grass and adjust your height of cut accordingly. As a general rule, you should not cut more than one-third of the height of your grass at one time as you may experience clumps of clippings that lie on top of the lawn, slower decomposition, and a less attractive, bristly appearing lawn. If you want a completely clean looking lawn without clipping debris you can change to bagging your clippings.

The washout port feature works best when used immediately when you are finished cutting, and when used after ever mow. This way grass clippings does not dry on the bottom of the deck.

Are the issues you are experiencing when pulling backwards related to your failed transmission? Hopefully visiting your local dealer can resolve this issue.

If you are still experiencing issues, please contact our customer service line and they will gladly help you work through any existing issues (888) 384-9939 (toll free).
more
Was this review helpful?
11
Donald R.
Purchased from Mowers Direct
Purchased 7/25/16
REVIEWED
SEP.
05
2016
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5
Great Mowere
Ate up 3' high grass and weed like a hungry hog!
Donald Recommends This Toro Mower
Was this review helpful?
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