Pros: Highly Maneuverable, Time Saving, Impressive Professional Quality Results
Cons: Very Expensive, Only 2 Year Warranty, Durability Is A Question Mark
Epinions does not list the Toro Timecutter Z420 model so I'm forced to review it here under the Z380 listing. They look identical but the differences are that the Z420 has a 42" mowing deck as opposed to a 38" deck on the Z380. Also the Z420 has a slightly better and more powerful 16 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine versus a 14 hp Briggs & Stratton engine on the Z380. The few other differences are related to the batteries (wet on the Z420 and dry on the Z380) plus slightly larger rear tires by an inch on the Z420 and finally standard versus optional equipment for example, arm rests and anti-scalp wheels are standard on the Z420 whereas they're options on the Z380.
I purchased this mower in the fall of 2006 primarily to assist with much needed help in tackling a massive onslaught of never ending falling leaves, but got much more than that. Prior to owning this mower I feebly tackled this daunting job albeit only once, (because I immediately realized it was overmatched) with a Toro Super Recycler SR4 20058 self propelled walk behind mower, utilizing the rear bagging function. (You can find my review of that mower here on Epinions as well if so inclined).
I can't state enough how much I'm pleased with the performance of the Toro Timecutter Z420. I had this unit outfitted with the Recycler Kit which according to the manufacturer mulches grass clippings 6-8 times turning them into a fine nutrient rich mulch for the lawn. Well due to the incredible amount of leaves, on such a large lawn that this mower has to contend with on my yard in particular, I can attest that it does a commendable job of mulching leaves too, but does leave behind a noticeable, but substantially reduced amount of mulched leaf clippings. I clean it all up with the aforementioned SR4 20058 walk behind utilizing the rear bagging function leaving behind a beautifully manicured lawn.
Now realize that without the help of this Z420, using a rake and the walk behind it would take me a good 5 hours and every bit of 14 fully filled yard waste bags each time out. This mower substantially reduces my total time out when corralling leaves to roughly two hours, but even more impressively reduces my yard waste bags down to about one and a half. Time cutter? You bet! And I'm darn glad I got it.
I should also relay some other pertinent information with respect to the Toro Timecutters, but it requires a comparison of sorts. While the Toro SR4 20058 walk behind delivers an outstanding cut it does leave behind narrow and what some might consider unsightly wheel marks on the lawn which most small walk behinds do. Also due to the size of my particular yard I always have to refill its small fuel tank before completely finishing the lawn. Enter the Timecutters. Due to their pneumatic tires and much larger, but still well designed decks, these mowers leave behind a beautifully mowed lawn with hardly a wheel mark trace, yielding truly professional grade results and considering the large capacity 2 gallon fuel tanks one gets numerous mowings done without refueling as its excellent on fuel consumption.
The true benefit of the Timecutters usefulness is of course their superior time saving zero turn maneuverability. They literally cut circles around all other designs out there. It does take just a little getting used to, but its really not too incredibly difficult to master and I was able to do so during the very first mowing.
On a final note these Timecutters come equipped with "innovative" garden hose fitted washout ports, to maintain optimal airflow. They're located on the top of the mowing decks for cleaning out any grass clippings stuck underneath the decks to keep them consistently operating at a high performance and producing a quality cut. While this sounds like a great idea keep in mind that these decks are made of steel and the undersides inevitably will be nicked, scratched and scraped and once you deliberately start introducing such volume of water into them rust will quickly follow. It would seem to me that this "innovative" gimmick will be doing more for Toro than you, because you'll surely need to replace a deck before long by using that washout port. A better idea I believe would be to invest in a pair of car ramps and drive the mower up them and direct your leaf blower or an air hose underneath the deck after each use to blow away the clippings with nothing more than air, it will definitely extend the life of your deck over the water option.