Toro Super Recycler model 20039

by Mike M.
(Wahington State)

I have owned this mower almost 4 years and have had nothing but trouble with it! I paid $659 new, and would have been better served using it as a boat anchor. I pride myself in taking care of my stuff and getting the most from my purchases. This mover was build to fall apart.

Within 4 weeks the electric start needed to be returned the shop three times to be fixed and has remained problematic since. The rear wheeled, self-propelled gears have needed to be serviced twice. (The left rear shim comes out every other mowing and has to be reinstalled prior to cutting the lawn. So much for the Toro 5 year full coverage warranty or should I say non-warranty. Take the mover back more than once and you are on your own!!!

The overall cutting performance is marginal and not nearly as good as our old Lawn boy. I need to cut he yard twice to achieve a clean yard free of grass clippings. I am trying to get some type of return on my investment but feel I am better served dumping it. My yard is not that big and takes only 45 minutes to cut it onceā€¦but I need to cut it twice. Each week I am reminded of my big mistake of buying a Toro.

Comments for Toro Super Recycler model 20039

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May 31, 2017
Toro super recycler 2003 purchase
by: Tom Adank

Flawless operation for 13 years . You have o take care of the mechanical functions and timely service and your equipment will last.

Sep 23, 2016
by: Anonymous


May 13, 2013
Engine Smokes and Leaks Badly
by: Anonymous

Had it 8 years but didn't use it all that much, maybe 10 times a year when it started leaking oil and smoking badly. Dealer says dirt in the engine caused wear and it needs a new short block at about $375. Will be going back to my cheap 25 year old Sears Craftsman which doesn't seem to have a problem with the dust in my yard. Too bad because the Toro was the first really "decent" mower I bought, but ended up being disposable at $650.

Sep 05, 2011
Toro 20039 Mower Good Product
by: George

It has been 5 years now since I bought my Toro 20039 Key-Lectric start mower. I have been generally pleased with it since I have owned it. Was hard to crank with the starter this summer, so I replaced the battery with the re-designed one, not a big deal. Then I replaced the spark plug and runs fine. The self-propel part needs adjusting, so I can get it to climb a hill a little better, and it is about time for some new tires. I change the oil every year, use 10-w 30 Castrol synthetic. A bit of a pain to clean underneath it, but the aluminum deck has not rusted or corroded. I understand the newer ones have a hose connection on the deck especially made to help clean-outs.

Aug 12, 2011
Great Mower
by: Don

I purchased my mower in 2003 - has been an absolute perfect mower.

I did replace the battery in 2011 (8 years). THere is a replacement battery that comes with an adjusted battery box - fits perfectly.

Just the other day, the unit was not pulling - so, I looked at the drive, bolt was loose - tighternet it and all is well.

Our dau purchased a house - so we got her the same mowes - GTS and it does.

Jul 25, 2011
Finally replacing after 36-years
by: Bill, NW Ohio

My dad finally replaced his 21-inch TORO self-propelled mower after 36-years. The motor got too worn out (loose, little compression)to justify repairing it.

SO! What did he buy?

Another 21-inch TORO self-propelled MULCHING mower. Take care of your equipment and it will last.

When I was growing up he had a craftsman it lasted over 8-years; before I hit a BIG rock by the flower bed that bent the crankshaft. After that we got rid of those stupid decrative rocks and THEN he bought his TORO.

May 20, 2011
Toro 20039: Worst mower ever
by: Sheila

After buying my first home, I wanted a mower that would last. Spent over $650 for Toro 20039. I think it ran trouble-free for one season which is only 4 months in Minnesota.

I have had continuous problems with starting...esp. after it has been running for awhile. The bag design is horrible. I only cut when grass is dry and I always have to pull grass out of bag with my arm. I have had to replace the charge cable which is loose and catches easily on shrubs. The cut quality is marginal. I expected a lot from the "super recycler."

I hate that I can't adjust linkage "on the go." Also, primer doesn't work half the time. What a waste. My yard takes 1 hour to mow, but it takes me 2 hours to get it going.

Feb 23, 2011
TORO sucks and DEALER sucks
by: Anonymous 20039 has electic start. After 6 years the replacement battery has been modified by Toro to be completely different than the original which means I'll have to figure a way to modify and drill holes in the deck to accept the new designed goofy battery box. I hate the dealer. I hope they go broke, the arrogant pricks. They think they are doing u a favor by taking your money.

Jul 24, 2010
Biggest peice o' sh** on earth
by: BRO

Mine had 1 month left until it would've been with me for 2 years.

My Toro Recycler never saw use on any yard other than mine. My yard is .39 of an acre (small), and somewhat hilly. I live in the deep south, and cut the yard once a week from March through October or so, and much less in other months.

I have always had problems with this mower. After only a couple months, the wheels popped and hesitated on occasion. After 6 months of use, the gears in the rear drive system rounded off, and I completely lost self propel altogether.

After about 6 months, the mower became hard to crank and would die randomly during use.

The gas tank developed stress cracks and leaked all over the place. Thank krazy glue for fixing that problem. I also placed a rag between the tank and metal cover it was mounted on, to limit tank vibration, and hopefully keep the stress cracks to a minimum.

One day, the rope broke. I replaced it, and could only go through 2-3 cranks before the spring would turn completely loose, and I would have to take it apart and install the rope all over again. Eventually, the spring would not grip anymore, and would never pull the rope back in at all. I started depending on my drill to crank the mower from then on.

After about a year or so, the mower started consuming oil. It wasn't using oil at a high rate; I would have to do a full oil change about every 2 months or so. Could have been worse.

At some point, the mower started sounding strange. A friend always commented on how different it sounded than any other mower he had heard. Nonetheless, it kept running for me. Though I felt the end was near, I was planning to use this Toro until the wheels fell off.

Today completely out of the blue, the mower seized up and stopped running. I first checked the oil which I had replaced the previous week. It was completely full. I put in new oil, and turned the blade by hand until I broke it loose. I then struggled to crank it. Over the next couple hours, I would try to crank it every 30 minutes or so, with limited success. A few times I was able to crank it, but it would never run for more than 5-10 seconds.

I then drained the brand new oil, and saw metal flakes in it. So I decided to break the whole motor down. I found a broken piston ring, which had scarred the cylinder walls up badly.

I have officially kicked this mower to the curb. I'm sure it has been said 10000 times, but I'll never own another Toro. It has been one thing after another in only 2 years.

Got a craftsman on order at Sears. 675 Platinum Briggs motor is supposed to be pretty good. We'll see if it can handle my huge (lol) yard for more than 2 years.

Apr 11, 2010
Toro Lack of Quality
by: Anonymous

I have owned a Toro model 20039 for 5 years. It has been repaired 3 times already. The first 2 times that it was repaired, the Toro dealer accused me of abusing the mower! It turned out the mower engine had a manufacturing defect FOR WHICH THEY ORIGINALLY DISPUTED WARRANTY COVERAGE. And this mower has the "GTS" engine which in Toro speak means "guaranteed to start". I lost track of the number of times that it took me to start the mower as well.

This was not an inexpensive mower! It mulches poorly to this day despite keeping the blade sharp and the deck clean. At this point, I am considering putting the mower in the front yard with a sign that says "first $50 gets it". I will never by another Toro product again.

Dec 01, 2009
Customer Service non existent
by: Anonymous II

I have the same problems with this mower and also have a Toro Zero Turn mower that had continuous tire inflation problems. After getting no help from Toro customer service by email and by phone (they will just keep passing you along to the warranty dept. who will pass you along to the dealer locator), I wrote to the CEO. He was no help and just passed the letter back to someone in customer service who was more interested in offering me a free leaf blower than in addressing my problems -- they just want to get you off the phone and clear your file from their desk. Don't be fooled by their claims, Toro does not care about solving customer problems with their products. The quality and service are a thing of the past.

Apr 29, 2009
toro warranty sucks!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

i have a toro 22 inch recycler...and i couldnt agree more, the warranty is bogus. i took mine to be worked on and they told me that the part wasnt covered. I have had it 10 months and used it 10 times. i have a 2 year full warranty. it shouldnt be tearing up already. i thought this was suppose to be a good brand. Boy was i wrong. i will never buy another. it shouldnt say it has a warranty because nothing is ever covered! i am having to pay 50 dollars to get my mower back. the guy i talked to at toro said i could send a copy of my receipt to customer service and they would analyze it and consider it for a refund. which was bull crap i believe. he was so rude!!! i could have fixed the problem with a backyard mechanic for maybe 5 bucks.

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