This mower will trim your lawn maintenance time almost in half, along with impressing your whole neighborhood with a pristine yard.  The Toro 30” TimeMaster offers a superior cut with a 30” wide deck and 2 Atomic blades that pulverize grass to a fine mulch.  When offered to test this beautiful beast, it was accepted with great excitement and joy.  We know not everyone enjoys yard work, but the great thing about the Toro 30” TimeMaster is that it’s suitable for whatever side of the fence you are on when it comes to mowing the lawn.

Since 1914 Toro has been providing high quality products to some very highly esteemed establishments, working with hosts of U.S. Open sites, the legendary St. Andrews Links, and even the Super Bowl. Toro knows a thing or two and is extremely well regarded in the lawn-care industry.  The Toro TimeMaster is no exception to the long list of outstanding products they offer.

Toro TimeMaster Review

Key Features:

  • 8.75 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs & Stratton OHV – This engine delivers the performance and durability that Toro is known for.
  • 30″ Mowing Deck – This mowing deck lets you handle large areas of grass quickly and easily, reducing mowing time by up to 40%*.
  • Dual-Force Cut – The twin blade cutting system and Toro Atomic blades cut grass into a super fine mulch for superior quality of cut and a healthy, rich lawn.
  • Personal Pace Self-Propel System with Traction-Assist Handle – This intuitive technology automatically adjusts the mower’s pace to your walking speed. For more challenging areas with uneven terrain, the Traction-Assist Handle can help monitor your speed, and keep you mowing at a comfortable pace.
  • Blade Stop System – Lets you start it once, then keep it running. Now you have the freedom to step away from the mower to move an obstacle or empty the grass bag without having to restart every time.
  • Quick Stow Lever – The TimeMaster has two storage positions for easy compact storage and convenient handle height positions to insure a comfortable mowing experience for any operator.
  • 2 Point Height-of-Cut – You can easily adjust the deck height at 2 points instead of the hassle of walking around the mower to adjust 4 different levers.
  • Washout Port – Attach a hose to the mower deck to easily clean the under side of the deck.
  • 3 Year Guaranteed-to-Start – Starts on one or two pulls for up to three years. See retailer for warranty details.
Toro 30” TimeMaster Review Breakdown

Design:

Let’s face it; this thing really is a remarkable beast.  It has a 30” deck compared to that of a standard push mower which has 21″ to 24″, this is a lot wider than your granddads mower of the past, providing a much larger and better looking cutting area.  The 190cc Briggs & Stratton OHV engine and 2 Atomic blades sound like a symphony when engaged.  Celebrating 100 years in 2014 it’s safe to say that Toro knows what they are doing.  The 2 point height adjustment and Personal Pace Automatic Drive System make it easy to navigate any lawn.  Options to mulch, bag, or use the side discharge provide many ways to maintain your lawn, and the easy connect washout port makes cleanup a breeze.

As a top of the line mower the Toro 30” TimeMaster isn’t lacking much.  The easily adjustable handle allows the mower to fit a wide range of heights, not to mention only leaving a footprint the size of a standard mower when stowed in the garage.

Toro TimeMaster Review

Setup & Starting:

Toro TimeMaster ReviewSetup was so simple we thought we were forgetting something.  A few cut zip ties here and tighten a couple knobs there, and it was ready for juice.  Once you add the bottle of oil Toro provides to the reservoir and gas it up, the Toro 30” TimeMaster is ready to save you time and beautify your lawn.  Toro also offers some great tips on fuel to keep your mower running for years to come.

Operation:

Even though the engine comes sans choke, we have yet to pull more than once on the 190cc Briggs & Stratton engine to get it Toro TimeMaster Reviewpurring. Changing from mulching, bagging, or using the side discharge can be done with ease. The bag comes in at almost double the size of those on standard mowers which means less emptying, but be careful as this does add much more weight at times.  The blade override system is a great feature when coming across any obstacles you may need to move out of the way without having to restart the mower.  No matter the bumps or hills the 2 Atomic blades along with the 2 point height adjustment system your lawn will have a perfect cut every time. The look and consistency of the freshly mowed grass still impresses us!

Toro TimeMaster Review

Maneuverability:

Toro’s Personal Pace Automatic Drive System makes maneuvering the machine a piece of cake.  Never seeming to pull you along or having problems with inclines it tackles lawns like it should.  One slight downfall is not having the option to mow without using the Personal Pace system, but the function and operation of the mower erases that from the mind.  With such a large deck one might think the Toro TimeMaster might be somewhat difficult to handle around trees and shrubs, but the sleek, lightweight design disproves those thoughts quickly.

Toro TimeMaster Review

Value:

Coming in at $999.99 it isn’t your cheapest option but you get what you pay for.  With over 100 years of experience when you buy Toro, you’re buying the best.  Whether it’s the time you save or the compliments you receive from the pristine cut, the Toro 30” TimeMaster is well worth it.  With the 3 year warranty and the name Toro, there is very little else to consider.  Toro offers a wide variety of financing solutions to aid in the cost as well.

Buy Now: $999.99 or to learn more, go to: Toro.com

TORO 30" TimeMaster - Lawnmower Review
With the price tag it's not your mower on a budget, but for larger yards and those looking to save time it is a great piece of equipment. Not to mention those larger strips in the grass do look pretty darn nice!
Design8.5
Setup & Starting10
Operation9
Maneuverability9.5
Value9
Pros
  • Large cutting area
  • High volume bag
  • Blade override system
Cons
  • Cannot bypass personal pace system
  • Wet grass is an issue
9.2Overall Score

About The Author

As a partner in an accounting & tax firm you won’t see much of Dan during the long winter months known as tax season. Those extensive hours are why the rest of the year he’s “that guy” smiling while mowing his lawn multiple times a week, or scrubbing the deck of his boat on the west coast of Michigan. After that he’ll be found enjoying an ice cold beer (or several) admiring his work while taking in yet another Detroit Tigers baseball game. It’s that love and experience for all things lawn care, boat life, and sports that he brings to BW as a valued contributor.

13 Responses

  1. Missy

    I owned 4 of these in less than a year. The first the engine wasn’t mounted properly so the engine vibrated so badly it made the oil cap come off, returned that one got a new one. After using the new one 3 times the plastic piece that stabilizes the cable to engage the blades snapped in 2, got a new one. The third one leaked oil and had bad seals, by the time I realized it 30 days was past and I had to have it repaired, 8 weeks later they tried to charge me $200 to clean the engine and replace the spark plug and air filter, which would not have needed replacing had the seals been good. I go to pick up the mower at the home depot store and again the plastic piece that stabilizes the cable to engage the blade is broken in half. Got a new mower. Used the new mower 2 times and 32 days later on the 3rd time the plastic piece that stabilizes the cable to engage the blade, again, snaps in half. Poor quality for a $1000 lawnmower. Needless to say, I did not get another Toro Timemaster, but opted for the 33″ cub cadet. I will say, the cut was good. The engine did not have enough power to cut longer grass even on the highest height setting when mulching. Bogged down and stalled all the time. Not to mention I was forced to take a Home depot Credit even though I paid cash for this hunk of junk.

    Reply
  2. Greg Faulkner

    I’ve used one of these for two seasons now and have seen nothing close to the poor quality issues reported above. My experience, even after two years is as reported in this article; easy start, quick mowing, and It pulverizes grass. It’s sturdy and well built; easy to turn and operate and Personal Pace is fabulous, but keep in mind that this is a retail-grade mower; not professional grade and as such it is not built to withstand the abuse of being slung around on trailers and abused by a whole crew of laborers for hours per day. However, there are two design problems that cause minor issues with the TimeMaster 30 even for the retail customer. The main problem is that the blades do too good at mulching grass up into a paste in any of the three modes of cutting, because it cuts so well. So in order to mulch, the grass must be super dry, super thin, and not very high lest the deck will quickly clog up and the engine will bog down. In rear-bag mode, it’ll suck up every blade and quickly fill up even though it’s a big bag; and even in side-discharge mode, which works best of the three, in very thick grass the chute will sometimes clog, and then it quickly bogs down, as it is then trying to mulch. So one has to keep an eye on the discharge and swipe out by hand periodically in thick or tall grass even though it should be able to expel grass at the same rate as it cuts. Some reviews will state that this mower does not have enough engine power, but it’s got plenty of power. The real problem is that the deck can’t keep up with the cutting. The second problem is that the side chute comes off far too easily and it’s a hassle putting it back on, because the mulch plate automatically comes down when it falls off, and after June, it’s impossible to mulch.

    Reply
  3. petros

    hi!
    i am interested in buying a new lawnmower and recently found this one.
    i have a few questions that hope can be awnserd…
    -what oil does it take?
    -is it good?
    is it reliable?
    thanks!

    Reply
    • Greg Faulkner

      I’m starting season three. Had a cable holder break under warranty the first year. Shop fixed it in one day. No trouble since. First time I started it, it took about 12 pulls. Since then, no more than 2. Usually one. Wheels and deck and handle are better quality than typical retail mowers but not to the level of commercial, but lighter than commercial. Treat it and maintain it reasonably, and it’s plenty reliable, durable and up to the task; very maneuverable and light for its size. Love the Personal pace, handle adjustments and handle quality is exemplary. Contrary to the review, the PP can be bypassed. Super-simple assembly. Uses regular 30 weight small engine oil SAE30 for all seasons. You will not find a 30″ plus mower anywhere near this simplified, compact, light, cheap and useful.

      Everything except as listed below is stellar regarding this mower.

      When grass starts getting thick in mid Summer, I can no longer mulch or bag, and in real thick grass, even in side-discharge mode, the deck chute will sometimes clog causing the engine to bog down. Going to replace blades this season with high lift. Some say this helps. The mower cuts through anything as long as the deck is not clumped up, but when that does happen, it does not cut well until one stops and cleans it out. Last year, this began to be a problem in July. It was a very wet Summer and so last year was particularly a problem using this mower in only my back yard.

      Oil change via turning mower on its side. I put the handle straight up and tilt the mower over letting the handle rest on the mulching plug and the oil filler over the top of my drain pan. Turn it back upright and refill. Easy as pie. Wash out the deck via the same tilting method. Gas and oil does not leak out with caps on.

      Side chute too easily comes off.

      Bagger fills up very quickly even though its rather large.

      Reply
      • Allen

        You make some good points about this mower Greg, it has its pro’s & con’s like any of them.
        I have cut lawns for 15.years and it is very hard to find a mower above your normal commercial 21 or 22inch cut that you can walk behind that performs great if mulching, side discharge or catch and in dry or wet conditions. There’s no perfect 3 in 1 mower.
        Most of the performance issues encountered with this mower come when the grass is wet and more so if it’s a bit lush.
        For many it will work well if the cutting environment ticks all the boxes as it does a great job in a quick time.
        Being a pressed and not fabricatied deck the side discharge outlet is not a full depth opening to the ground and this is where wet or if even cutting tall dry grass can catch on the bottom metal bar then build up.
        The curved baffle in the deck also inhibits the flow of grass when side discharging.
        I use it on selected sites that are suitable to basically save time.
        It catches great and once you get use to the personal pace speed control, size and weight it is quite manoeuvreable.

  4. Ron H

    I’ve owned this mower for over three years and I’m pushing it to the curb today since I’ve just had enough of dealing with this major disappointment. Plus side: Its wide and starts easy. Down side: Large mower doesn’t handle slight uphill elevations, requiring a lot of effort for a self-propelled machine. Thick grass may stall the engine, even if I push at a snails pace, which doesn’t really save me any time over a 21-22″ mower. Any dampness results in the deck being clogged and requiring cleaning MIDWAY through mowing my lawn. Again, no time savings there either. Kill switch is junk.

    Reply
    • Tony Bartolucci

      Has anyone tried the new 2017 model? Curious if it solves some of these clogging problems.

      Reply
  5. Jim Wichert

    Generally speaking – I am happy with my TimeMaster. It does reduce mowing time and does a good job – yard looks good. I have had one issue – the gear box failed – which was a defect due to some parts not being hardened properly (no cost to fix). It took several weeks to get the fix done – so the yard was super long when I did get the mower back. It continues to start easy and all maintenance I can do myself. Blades are starting to look like they need replacement but I can get one more season out of them (4th year). Some advice as a person coming from a Super Recycler – you can’t mulch wet, tall grass the same way with a TimeMaster. Best fix – use the side discharge especially in wet spring mows – solves the clogging issue. I have used the bagger – it does a decent job – as good as the Super Recycler.

    Reply
  6. Adrianne

    BEWARE THE SCHEMATICS ON THIS THING!! JUST got this a week and a half ago from a guy who bought it new 3 weeks before I got it from him, who didn’t like because for some reason when he turned the thing, it wreaked havoc on his back. He didn’t say, but looked like he had scoliosis. Anyway, can’t comment on using it for any real length of time, but so far so good. Only complaint is I hit something, and the threaded part that you hook the hose up to, to wash out the underside, snapped off. The other part that moves in and out (like a quick release garden hose thing) was still attached to the washout port elbow – just the part that you screw your hose into snapped off. Soooo, called customer service (Toro DOES NOT have a tech dept) to get a replacement. We are both looking at the schematics for the mower I have and it shows a threaded elbow that the part I need screws onto. Argued with her for 10 mins. that this thing is NOT threaded on, it just spins around. She and supervisor just kept insisting the part is threaded on. Got so frustrated finally called headquarters, stated my problem and asked for someone to talk to. Transferred me to a guy and, although he wasn’t in and I had to leave a message, to my surprise (and his credit) he called me back and said the part IS NOT threaded – it just pulls off!!! Get a pair of adjustable pliers, grab ahold and pull. Popped right off!!! Talked about WHY in the world do the schematics show a THREADED part when it’s not? Basically the comment was “Engineers. They don’t ever actually USE a product, they just design it.” Told him it’s absurd to show a threaded part that’s NOT, which is what caused the 10 min. argument with customer service and 3 people more than a half hour of trying to figure out how it screws off because that’s what the schematic shows. Got the part off and have now ordered 2 in case it happens again. Upshot, just beware that what the schematic shows may not be the case……………..

    Reply
    • Adrianne

      My comment is for the TimeMaster 30″ electric start Personal Pace lawnmower. Can’t tell if in giving my reply that it’s actually going to that particular mower, and not what it looks like – that my comment is going to be for the Ryobi 20 – which is not the mower I’m commenting on.

      Reply
    • Adrianne

      PS – this is for the new 2017 model of the TimeMaster 30″ Electric Start Personal Pace lawnmower. If the moderator can consolidate all my comments into one that’d be great. Otherwise, I’m leaving 3 comments, 2 for clarification…………..

      Reply
    • frandanco

      Adrianne,
      Sorry you had such a hard time getting this resolved.
      Please remember that the top part of this part IS threaded for the hose connection, and this is probably why it is listed as a threaded part, even though just part of it has threads..
      Of course, no lawnmower manufacturer would ever consider making threads in the deck of the lawnmower given they use all different types of material including some plastics, and then the thickness of the deck for that area would make them have to design the deck differently, which they would never do either..
      I have never seen a Toro lawn mower that worked great for most people and have read dozens of reviews of these newer ones having all kinds of issues..
      I have used very successfully Snapper mowers for over 20+ years and never had any of the failures that I hear about with these new Toro mowers.
      And Snapper was probably the first mower to actually design the underside of the deck to really help vacuum up all the grass, and that early design has always been the best. It was called the Hi-Vac system..
      All the Toro mowers I have ever used for neighbors, etc., helping them with their own lawns, have to me, always, been junk in design and performance
      Good luck with your mower !

      Reply

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