Toro 21″ Cordless SP Mower Review

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Toro Cordless 60V MAX 21″ Recycler Self-Propelled Mower (Model 21356)

Toro 60V MAX 21″ Recycler Self-Propelled Mower

Manufacturer: Toro
Model number: 21356
Power source: Cordless
Motor size: 60V
Weight: 75 lbs
With lawn care season in it’s final throws for New England, I got the chance to try out a new cordless lawn mower to help me get ready for winter: the Toro 21″ Cordless Mower, model 21356. I was excited to test out a 60V cordless mower as well as a Toro product because these were both new experiences for me. Previously I had used a number of different 40V cordless mowers so I was curious to see what the performance difference was going to be. And having been caught up with work tasks, my lawn was ready for some much needed clean up. After using the Toro mower I was both impressed with certain features and left wanting more in some others. So let’s get to the details!

Specifications & Features | Toro 21″ Cordless SP Mower (Model 21356)

  • Motor Size: 60V Brushless (w/ single 6Ah battery)
  • Cutting Modes: Mulch or Bagged
  • Area Coverage: 0.33 acre (single charge)
  • Deck width: 21 inches
  • Deck Material: Steel
  • Total Cutting Position: 9
  • Position Range: 1.25-3.75 inches
  • Vertical Storage: Yes
  • Self Propelled: Yes (single speed setting)
  • Warranty: 3 Year (full battery) + 2 year (full mower)

Overall Power & Performance

The Toro 21356 60V Mower had solid power that handled all the common mowing tasks asked of it. It doesn’t produce a constant, high torque; but that is the Flex-Force power system in action. It adapt the torque and power based on the resistance on the blade. Since my yard wasn’t overly long it wasn’t significantly taxed. That said, I did notice the motor ramp up on the few areas with heavier oak leaf debris. I did most of the mowing in the mulching mode (that’s my standard) and the clippings were average size with an overall clean cut. The performance of the bagged set-up did leave something to be desired.

Bagging Design

The Toro 21356 60V Mower has a dual-sided catch point design. the metal bag frame is recessed on both top sides to keep the bag in place. The issue with Toro’s execution of this design is that the fit of the bag against the back of mower isn’t well form fitted. Because of this I experienced some leaf blow out where the bag met the back of the mower. Once the bag was partially filled with grass/leaf clippings, then the additional weight improved the “seal.”

Bag Removed to show Clippings on Top & Left Edges

Features and Adjustability

This was the most disappointing part of my experience with the Toro 21356 60V mower. As listed above, this mower does sport a self-propelled feature as well as adjustable height deck and quick fold up storage design. And while these are very useful design features, Toro’s execution of them wasn’t great.  Here are some of my key takeaways from these design features:

  • The is only a single position (height/angle) for the handle. And while it was a comfortable height for me (5′ 7″) it was a bit high for my son who often does the push mowing on our property. It would also be a bit low for taller users.

Single Upright Locking Point 

  • There is no speed adjustment on the self-propelled feature. And the mower is on the faster side when compared to other adjustable self-propelled mowers i’ve used. it wasn’t an uncomfortable speed but for a $500 mower I was hoping to see an adjustable self-propelled option.
  • The adjustable height deck is designed around individual tension-based levers on the wheels. But the retaining set point on the mower housing is set into plastic. Again, when compared to other cordless mowers in this category I would have liked to see a single setting lever or a heavier-duty deck adjustment design.

  • There is not a hose connection for integrated deck spraying and cleaning. Again, at $500 this would have been a nice (and inexpensive) feature to include.
  •  I really liked the design of the quick-release cam-based knobs for the fold up storage design. They are quick and easy to use.

Safety and Ergonomics

My favorite safety feature on the Toro 21″ Cordless SP Mower, Model 21356, is the removable start “key.”  It quickly clicks into place and offers a second layer of security for running the mower. This comes in handy in two primary situations. If you are changing the blade or cleaning the mower deck and want to make sure there is no chance of accidently starting the mower. Typically I always remove the battery but this gives you a send option. It is also handy when storing the mower to prevent theft or deter unauthorized use. And while I’m more concerned about my younger kids mowing without my permission than theft, this is another safety step to prevent that.

The overall ergonomics for this mower are fine. The start and self propelled levers are designed at a comfortable angle to hold. The handle angle and height were natural for my to use for 30 mins of continuous mowing. The overall vibration and noise level were on par with other cordless mowers I have used and I had no issues with them. The battery loaded and unloaded easily and the handle design made it easy to pull it out from the docking port inside the mower body

Final Thoughts | Toro 21″ Cordless SP Mower (Model 21356)

The Toro 21″ Cordless SP Mower (Model 21356) is an overall good not great mower. It delivers ample power via the 60V Flex-Force Power System which automatically adjusts the motor RPMs based on required cutting power. It is an overall basic yet streamlined baseline design. This mower produced an overall quality cut and with an easy to adjust cutting height set-up. The fold-up design works well and the cam-based design of the knobs is convenient. At $500, the mower would benefit from additional features commonly found on competitor mowers in the same price and power range, namely: adjustable self-propelled speed, dual-blades, integrated hose attachment for deck cleaning, LED lighting, and a multi-position handle. If you already own Toro 60V platform tools then this mower is a no brainer.

About the author

Ben Fecteau

Benjamin is a former project manager, CNC-designer, and AWS-certified welder with experience running a commercial and industrial steel design and fabrication company. Before making the jump to commercial construction, he spent years renovating houses and building furniture where he became skilled in the art of home wiring, flooring, siding, and custom tool modifications. Benjamin has a Masters Degree in Education and is passionate about sharing his love of design with his sons and through community-based outreach. He resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and enjoys spending time with his family, in his workshop, and serving as an Air Force Officer.

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