Troy-Bilt TB490 XP Lawn Mower Review


Troy-Bilt TB490 XP is a self-propelled, 3-in-1 gas lawn mower with a 21-inch cutting width. It is powered by a 190cc Honda GCV Series engine with an auto choke system, which means you don’t need to prime the engine before starting. The mower also features all-wheel drive with variable speed control, which makes it easy to maneuver on slopes and uneven terrain.


  • Engine: 190cc Honda GXV160 (gas, recoil start)
  • Cutting: 21-inch, 3-in-1 (side discharge, mulch, bag)
  • Drive: All-wheel drive (variable speed)
  • Bag: 2.3-bushel dust blocking
  • Dimensions: 67.75″ x 24″ x 40.38″
  • Weight: 96 lbs

Key Features of Troy-Bilt TB490 XP Lawn Mower

Engine Performance

Person refueling lawn mower

The TB490 XP lies its powerful engine, a beacon of strength and reliability. This engine is engineered for high performance, ensuring that no matter the thickness of your grass or the complexity of your terrain, the TB490 XP powers through without hesitation. Efficiency is another hallmark of this engine, optimizing fuel consumption to ensure longer mowing sessions without the need for frequent refueling. This balance of power and efficiency makes the TB490 XP a standout in its category, providing the muscle needed to maintain a pristine lawn while keeping operational costs in check.

Cutting Capabilities

The cutting capabilities of the TB490 XP are where it truly shines. Equipped with a wide cutting deck, this mower offers significant coverage with each pass, reducing the time and effort needed to mow your lawn. Height adjustment is a breeze, with multiple settings available to cater to the specific needs of your grass type and desired lawn appearance. Whether you prefer a close-cut for a manicured look or a longer length to promote healthy grass growth, the TB490 XP adjusts to your preferences.

Person mowing grass.

Moreover, the mulching feature of the TB490 XP deserves special mention. By finely chopping grass clippings and dispersing them back onto the lawn, it provides a natural fertilization method, promoting a healthier, greener lawn without the extra work of bagging or raking clippings.

Durability & Build Quality

person, from the waist down, pushing a red and black gas-powered lawnmower over a green lawn with some brown spots.

Durability is a non-negotiable aspect of any lawn mower, and the TB490 XP is built to last. Constructed with high-quality materials, this mower is designed to withstand the rigors of regular use and the challenges posed by diverse outdoor conditions. The robust build quality ensures that the TB490 XP remains a reliable tool in your lawn care arsenal for years to come, minimizing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

In-Depth Review

Design and Aesthetics

The TB490 XP is a testament to the idea that functionality and beauty can go hand in hand. Its design is sleek and modern, with clean lines and a color scheme that exudes professionalism and durability. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the ergonomic design of the TB490 XP is noteworthy. Every element, from the handle to the control layout, is designed with user comfort and ease of use in mind. The adjustable handle ensures that users of all heights can find a comfortable mowing position, reducing strain and fatigue during extended use.

person, from the waist down, in blue jeans and sneakers, assembling or checking a red and black lawnmower

The visual appeal of the TB490 XP does more than just make it a stylish addition to your garden tool collection; it reflects the quality and attention to detail that Troy-Bilt has invested in this mower. The thoughtful design extends to the placement of controls and indicators, which are intuitive and easily accessible, making the mowing experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Fuel Efficiency & Environmental Impact

In today’s environmentally conscious world, the fuel efficiency of a lawn mower is more important than ever. The TB490 XP excels in this area, featuring an engine that is designed to maximize power while minimizing fuel consumption. This efficiency means fewer emissions and a smaller carbon footprint, making the TB490 XP an excellent choice for eco-minded individuals.

Person mowing grass with a TroyBilt lawn mower.

The TB490 XP’s engine is not just about saving on fuel costs; it’s also about contributing to a healthier environment. By optimizing fuel efficiency, Troy-Bilt has ensured that this mower produces fewer pollutants, helping to protect the air quality in your community. This commitment to environmental responsibility is a key feature of the TB490 XP, reflecting a growing trend in outdoor power equipment towards greener, more sustainable practices.

Table Comparison

FeatureTroy-Bilt TB490 XPHonda HRSVKAToro 21464
Engine PerformanceHigh-performance engine, reliable for thick grass and uneven terrainModerate engine power, suitable for regular lawn conditionsPowerful engine with advanced features for various terrains
Cutting CapabilitiesWide cutting deck, multiple height adjustments, mulching optionNarrower cutting deck, limited height adjustmentsWide cutting deck, advanced cutting system with superior mulching
Durability & BuildHigh-quality materials, robust construction for longevityDurable build, but with some plastic componentsExtremely durable with reinforced steel deck
Ease of UseUser-friendly controls, ergonomic design, easy maneuverabilityBasic ergonomic features, standard controlsHighly ergonomic with advanced control features for ease of use
Fuel Efficiency & Eco-FriendlinessFuel-efficient engine with reduced emissionsStandard fuel efficiency, moderate emissionsHighly fuel-efficient with low-emission technology
Price & Value$399.00$879$489.00

Troy-Bilt TB490 XP Pros and Cons


  • Powerful engine
  • Versatile cutting options (mulch, bag, discharge)
  • Durable build
  • Easy to use
  • Fuel efficient
  • Sleek design


  • Heavy weight
  • Higher price
  • Noisy
  • Requires maintenance
  • Gas-powered

Maintenance and Care Tips

Regular Cleaning

  • After Use: Clean the mower after each use, removing grass clippings, dirt, and debris from the deck, blades, and air intake areas. This prevents buildup that can impair performance and cause overheating.
  • Deck Cleaning: Use a hose to wash away grass clippings from the mower deck. Some models come with a deck wash feature for easier cleaning.

Blade Care

  • Inspection and Sharpening: Regularly inspect the blades for wear or damage. Dull blades tear grass, resulting in a poor cut and unhealthy lawn. Sharpen the blades as needed to maintain a clean, efficient cut.
  • Replacement: Replace bent or significantly worn blades to ensure safety and mower performance.

Engine Maintenance

  • Oil Check and Change: Regularly check the engine oil level and change the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Fresh oil is crucial for engine health and efficiency.
  • Air Filter: Clean or replace the air filter periodically to ensure optimal air flow to the engine, preventing performance loss and potential engine damage.
  • Spark Plug: Inspect the spark plug annually for wear and replace it if necessary to ensure easy starting and smooth engine operation.

Fuel Management

  • Fresh Fuel: Use fresh, clean gasoline and avoid leaving fuel in the tank for extended periods of inactivity to prevent gum deposits and fuel system issues.
  • Fuel Stabilizer: Use a fuel stabilizer if the mower will not be used for over a month, to maintain fuel quality and ensure easy starting.

Tire and Wheel Care

  • Air Pressure: Check the tire pressure regularly and inflate the tires as needed to the recommended pressure, ensuring even cuts and smoother operation.
  • Cleaning: Keep wheels and axles free of debris to maintain smooth movement and prevent damage.


  • End of Season: Clean the mower thoroughly at the end of the mowing season. Change the oil, clean or replace the air filter, and either run the engine dry of fuel or add a stabilizer for winter storage.
  • Storage Location: Store the mower in a clean, dry place out of the elements to prevent rust and corrosion.

Regular Check-Ups

  • Seasonal Tune-Up: Consider a professional tune-up annually or according to the usage level to check the engine, transmission, cables, and all moving parts for wear and proper function.


In summary, the Troy-Bilt TB490 XP Lawn Mower is a solid choice for those looking for a powerful, durable, and user-friendly lawn care solution. Its robust engine, versatile cutting options, and ease of use make it an effective tool for achieving a well-maintained lawn. Despite its higher initial cost and the maintenance demands typical of gas mowers, the TB490 XP offers substantial long-term value, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners dedicated to their lawn’s appearance and health. While it shares the environmental and noise considerations common to gas-powered equipment, its performance and fuel efficiency present a strong option for users valuing power and adaptability in their gardening tasks.


1. How often should I change the oil in my Troy-Bilt TB490 XP?
You should change the oil at least once per mowing season or every 50 hours of operation, whichever comes first. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific maintenance recommendations.
2. Can the Troy-Bilt TB490 XP handle wet grass?
While it’s capable of mowing in damp conditions, it’s best to mow when the grass is dry. Wet grass can clump and not cut as evenly, and it can also pose a risk to the mower’s engine and blades.
3. What type of fuel is recommended for the TB490 XP?
Use fresh, clean, unleaded gasoline with a minimum of 87 octane. Do not use gas with more than 10% ethanol as it can damage the engine.
4. How should I store my TB490 XP during the off-season?
Clean the mower thoroughly, change the oil, and either run the fuel system dry or add a fuel stabilizer. Store the mower in a dry, sheltered place to prevent rust and corrosion.
5. Is the cutting height of the TB490 XP adjustable?
Yes, the TB490 XP features multiple cutting height adjustments, allowing you to customize the height of your lawn according to your preferences.
6. Are replacement parts readily available for the TB490 XP?
Yes, replacement parts are available through Troy-Bilt’s authorized service centers and their website. It’s recommended to use genuine Troy-Bilt parts for optimal performance.
7. Can the TB490 XP mulch leaves?
Yes, with the proper mulching blade and settings, the TB490 XP can effectively mulch leaves, returning valuable nutrients to your lawn.
8. Does the Troy-Bilt TB490 XP come with a warranty?
Yes, the TB490 XP typically comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. The length and coverage details can vary, so it’s best to check the specific warranty information at the time of purchase or on the Troy-Bilt website.
9. How do I clean the underside of the mower deck?
Many TB490 XP models come with a deck wash feature that allows you to connect a hose and clean the underside of the deck easily. If your model does not have this feature, you will need to manually clean it with a brush and hose, ensuring the mower is turned off and the spark plug is disconnected for safety.
10. Can I adjust the speed of the TB490 XP?
Yes, the TB490 XP typically features variable speed settings, allowing you to adjust the mowing pace to your comfort and the conditions of your lawn.

Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


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