Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Toro TimeMaster 30-in Lawn Mower Review with Personal Pace

Toro 30 in lawn mower cutting
PTR Review
  • Pro Review 9.2

How much is your time worth? The Toro 30 in lawn mower, the TimeMaster, really does save time (and space). It also does so in an easy-to-use package.

Overall Score 9.2 (out of 10)

Homeowners and professionals alike are drawn to innovation. Selecting the best battery-powered lawnmower might work for smaller yards. For larger properties or significant time savings, however, a larger gas-powered mower provides a better experience. From my first riding mower to my first reel mower, one question was always the same, does the innovation make good on its claim? Having already reviewed the Toro 22″ Personal Pace Recycler Lawnmower, we wanted to see what could be done with the new 30-inch model. Toro certainly seems to have improved in several areas with its newest Toro 30 in Lawn Mower. Branded as the Toro TimeMaster (21199), the new model makes the claim that it will save you time. I made it my goal to deliver on that claim.


The Toro TimeMaster rear-wheel-drive self-propelled 30” push mower offers a wider mowing alternative. A powerful engine that supports the wide deck and ergonomic controls make it easy to use. Toro seems to have designed all aspects of the TimeMaster mower, so it can live up to its name.

Toro 30″ TimeMaster Features

The Toro TimeMaster mower is powered by a massive 223cc Briggs and Stratton overhead valve engine. Delivering 10 ft-lb of torque, this engine gives the boost needed to cut almost 50% more grass per pass than traditional push mowers.


Briggs Stratton 1000 series engine

For mowing grass over any terrain, the Toro TimeMaster delivers power to a pair of 10-inch diameter rear wheels. These larger wheels provide wider-than-average traction, giving them greater grip and a smoother driving area.

This combination of power and secure drivetrain yields up to a 40% faster mow time.

independent height adjustment and rear wheels

Of course, that forward movement would be useless without the wide Dual-Force twin-blade cutting system. Toro employs two mulching blades to span the 30-inches of the mowing deck.

Toro TimeMaster lawn mower dual blades

Mulching

With the included rear discharge plug, the Toro TimeMaster lawn mower makes a very fine mulch. With the plug out and the grass bag on, the TimeMaster is a beast. It vacuums any and all clippings and leaves that it passes over.

When vacuuming more, you end up dumping the bag more. This is where the Blade Stop system comes in especially useful. Use it, and you don’t need to turn off and restart the engine. To engage the blade after starting, you simply press down the simple blade control bar lock and then pull down the blade control bar. Upon engaging the blade, the power of the engine roars to meet the need. When you have a full bag, or you need to stop the blade for any reason whatsoever, just release the bar to disengage it.

blade control lock

Toro Personal Pace Self-Propel System

The Personal Pace Self-Propel system and Traction-Assist handle on the Toro TimeMaster work together to give the operator constant control over the drive of the mower. Push down a little on the handle, and the mower moves a little. Push down all the way, and you up to 4.5 mph of propelled speed. The Traction-Assist handle works well for tight corners where only one hand is available. It gives you something to squeeze the “go” handle towards when you can’t be behind it pushing.

TimeMaster Personal Pace controls

I found the Quick Stow lever of the Toro TimeMaster lawn mower to be a definite winner. This feature allows for two different operating handle heights. More importantly, the lever enables the handle to be at a fixed 90-degree angle to the mower. This cuts the square footage needed to store it in half.

Toro 30 in Lawn Mower vertical handle

Testing the Toro 30 in Lawn Mower

For my first pass with the Toro 30 in lawn mower, I used the mulch setting at the E height which is 2.25”. The 2-point height-of-cut allows for quick adjusting of deck height from a low of 1.25” at the G setting up to a high of 4.25” at the A setting (with all letters between as options).

Toro 30 in lawn mower height adjust

This first pass with the Toro 30 in lawn mower was a breeze. My small and compartmented patches of Zoysia grass that normally takes 40 minutes to mow only took 25 minutes. The mower delivered a uniform cut across the lawn with fine clippings. I found the Personal Pace Self-Propel system easy, even natural, to use. The Traction-Assist handle was an ergonomic and naturally useful feature, but the name didn’t help me know what it did! I guess “perfectly placed fixed handle to use with the Personal Pace system” didn’t fit! Combined, they increased the ability to make tight turns without substantially slowing down.

Toro TimeMaster mowing

Testing for Power

Then the Toro 30 in lawn mower showed its true colors when I dropped the deck to the F setting for a 1.75” mow height. Every season I scalp my Zoysia. After a good amount of rain and, even with bagging, a fair amount of clippings, the lawn is too thick. I took the rear discharge plug out and put the grass bag in its place. The TimeMaster took the challenge like a champ, only bogging down in the slightest when the bag was completely full. And fill the bag it did! Where other mowers would struggle to fill the bag with all of that material, the TimeMaster did not fail to collect.

I was genuinely impressed at the vacuum-like action of the mower with the grass bag attached. Even the clippings normally just kicked around on the driveway or sidewalk were sucked up with ease. Even with the “scalping”, I did all of my Zoysia lawn with a clean and even cut. Despite the uneven terrain, the Toro 30-inch lawn TimeMaster lawn mower gave me a smooth and level finish.

The Good

The 30” wide deck coupled with a power train that can propel it as fast as you can walk is awesome! The Quick Stow lever really does make storage quick and much more efficient use of space in the garage.

The Bad

The weight. Here again, it earns the “Beast” moniker. With the engine off, you’ve got no help moving those 132 pounds around. Also, this power comes at a cost: thirst. That 223cc engine is thirsty. Toro’s own spec is a tank lasts about an hour, and my experience was a little less.

Toro 30 in Lawn Mower fuel

Toro TimeMaster Lawn Mower Specifications

  • Engine: Briggs & Stratton 1000 Series, 223cc
  • Engine type: Carbureted
  • Starter: Recoil (Electric model available)
  • Fuel: Gas (0.3 gallon capacity)
  • Run-time: Up to 1 hour
  • Drive: Personal Pace rear-wheel
  • Speed: Up to 4.5 mph
  • Weight: 132 lbs
  • Cutting deck: 30 in.
  • Wheel height: 8 in (front), 10 in. (rear)
  • Deck construction: Steel w/cast-aluminum frame
  • Cutting height: 1.25 – 4.25 in. (0.5 in. increments)
  • Blades: 2 x 15.4 in.
  • Price: $1199.00

Summary

How much is your time worth? The Toro 30 in lawn mower, the TimeMaster, really does save time (and space). It also does so in an easy-to-use package. The Personal Pace Self-Propel system, 2 point height-of-cut adjustment, Quick Stow lever, and washout port add up to time-saving goodness. The features that win the day, though? The 30” wide deck, an engine that can support it, and the safety of the blade stop system make the Toro 30 in lawn mower worth it. Get more information, and locate a dealer here.

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Ron

I bought my TM in 2014. I’ve loved mine since day one, I mow a corner lot with it, takes about 40mins mulching the front and back. I’ve always used synthetic oil and fuel treatment in it as well as kept everything adjusted properly. I throw a tune up kit in it most seasons. I had the pace engagement lever break this year (little plastic part, new one is metal) and a bearing go bad on one of the blade housings. I replaced the main belt (the others are fine), both main pulleys and both blade bearing assemblies. Running like… Read more »

Greg

Five year review. My TimeMaster died, but am considering a new one with 10 ft-lb peak torque but with less fuel range. My older-designed TimeMaster with the 190 cc engine, was an absolute joy for the most part using compared to any other walk behind under $3,500, but it’s best with the mulch plate chute strapped up and side discharged removed; not for mulching or using the side discharge, because those methods take away the power as grass gathers up under this short but wide deck in any other mode once you reach the month of June. Right at the… Read more »

Francisco

the only problem i have is wiht rewin stater, pawls brake donw very often. realy hard to find parts

James Noble

Do not buy this mower! I bought it last April, the second time I used it, it unexpectedly shut off as though someone flipped a switch and would not start again. I let it sit for approx. 30 minutes and it eventually started again and I was able to finish cutting the lawn. This has happened every time since. The last time it happened, after waiting the 30 minutes, it started again and made it halfway through one pass and shut off again. I tried using fresh gasoline with fuel stabilizer as recommended by the manufacturer, to no avail. I… Read more »

Larry Mcpherson

The toro time master is a terrible machine… save your money … you can spend 290. At Lowell’s and have 10 times the machine… The toro time master has faulty pulleys- the belts are terrible and the personal pace system will fail …. stop working or stay engaged .. I have owned my machine for only 6 months… it was purchased in nov.. used once then spent 3 mo this in storage for winter … it was pulled back out in or around mid March used 7 times and I have had to replace the belts—- all of them… had… Read more »

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