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Best Zero Turn Mower Under 3000 [Qualified Mechanic’s Review 2023]

I’ve reviewed 13 top value mowers and found the best zero turn mower under 3000. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on the best zero turn mower! The mowers in this 2023 review are all great value, but there are definitely some standouts.

Since first publishing this review last year, the for zero turn mowers have gone through the roof. It is, unfortunately, almost impossible to find one under 3000!

Our winner, the Cub Cadet ZT1 54, is now just shy of 3500. That’s still great value, don’t get me wrong, it just doesn’t quite fit the “under 3000” bill.

Husqvarna’s Z254 isn’t available anymore and their newer models, the Z254F (aprox 4200) and the Z248F (aprox 4000), are much more expensive than 3000.

Bad Boy’s MZ42 is now 3299, not bad value – you get a whole lot of mower for that. However, for another 250 or so – I recommend you go for the Cub instead.

Despite the changing prices, I’ve left our winners’ technical details and why I think they’re the best cheap zero turn mowers listed below.

If you don’t want to read right through the tech specs, here’s a summary of my recommendations:

  • Our best zero turn mower for large yards is the Cub Cadet ZT1 54 Ultima.
  • The best zero turn mower under 3000 for small yards is the Bad Boy MZ 42, closely followed by Snapper’s 360Z. Unfortunately, the 360Z is no longer available so we really only have the two winners above!

Both of these mowers are maneuverable and easy to store, but the Bad Boy came out on top because of its exceptional deck construction.

I’ve included 13 zero turn mowers under 3000, something for everyone! Use the table of contents for a quick overview or scroll down for what to look for in the best zero turn mower.

What’s Inside:

  • Size of the Cutting Deck
  • Power and Engine
  • Hydrostatic Transmission
  • Mowing Speed
  • Gas Tank Capacity
  • Which Zero Turn Mower Under 3000 Has the Best Warranty
  • 1. Cub Cadet ZT1 54 Ultima Zero Turn Mower – 2999
  • 2. Husqvarna Z254 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 3. Bad Boy MZ 42″ Zero Turn Mower – 2999.99
  • 4. Snapper 360Z 19HP 36″ Zero Turn Mower
  • 5. Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit 34″ Zero Turn Mower
  • 6. Troy Bilt Mustang Z50 Zero Turn Rider – 2899
  • 7. Husqvarna Z242F 42″ 18HP Zero Turn Mower
  • 8. Cub Cadet ZT1 50 Ultima Zero Turn Mower – 2999
  • 9 and 10 – Cub Cadet ZT1 46 and ZT1 42 Zero Turn Mowers – 2699
  • 11. Husqvarna Z142 42″ Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 12 and 13 Troy Bilt Mustang Z46 and Z42 Zero Turn Mowers – 2499

What to Look for in the Best Zero Turn Mower [Buyer’s Guide]

The best zero turn mowers offer excellent maneuvering capabilities and high-quality performance. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy one, as we’ve seen in the list above, all under 3000.

Size of the Cutting Deck

I’ve listed zero turn mowers here today with cutting widths between 34″ and 54″. You can get bigger ones as well, but you’re looking at spending more money.

  • Less than 42 inches. This is the best choice for small to medium-sized yards, especially those with many obstacles. Properties up to 1 acre.
  • Between 42 and 46 inches. Best for medium-sized yards with obstacles. These mowers also generally fit in the back of your pickup, so you can transport them from one property to another, or around the farm. Properties up to 1 acre.
  • Between 48 and 50 inches. These zero turn mowers are best for larger yards, between 1 and 3 acres. These mowers have a very decent cutting width so you can mow large areas quickly.
  • Over 50 inches. These are best for large yards. Our biggest one today was a 54″ cutting width, but you can get much bigger. These zero turn mowers tend to be wider so more stable on uneven ground. Yards over 3 acres.

Power and Engine

You need power if you want to mow your lawn efficiently. This is why the horsepower of the engine should be the very first thing that you look for.

The higher the horsepower is, the faster your lawn can be cut, plain and simple.

How much power you need in your zero turn mower depends on a few things.

  • The size of the deck. The bigger the deck, the more power you need.
  • The grass. Tall, thick grass needs more power than a manicured lawn that’s mowed regularly. If you’re skimming the lawn every week, you’ll need less power. Wet, tall grass can be a struggle for zero turn mowers with smaller engines.
  • The size of your property. On smaller properties with neat lawns, you get away with less power. On bigger properties and acreage, you want as much power as you can afford.

Look for zero turn mowers with a full pressure oil system, the ones that actually have an oil filter. The old splash-fed technology is antiquated. Twin cylinders tend to have more grunt than single cylinders.

Engines with OHV are best. Some engines are underhead valve, which is very old fashioned. That’s what they had in cars 100 years ago. Nonetheless, they do seem to be pretty good and reliable. Motors like little Briggs engines, even single-cylinder underhead valve ones, seem to go and go. –

Dan, Qualified Mechanic Small Engine Specialist

Dan really likes Kohler engines. He made a good point in comparing some of these zero turn mowers with my John Deere mower. Mine has a 22HP engine with a 42″ deck. It has plenty of grunt, never really bogs down unless you try and mow tall grass too fast.

Some of the mowers in this list have 54″ cutting decks. You really wouldn’t want any less than 24-26HP engines in these mowers, especially if you’re on a larger property.

Hydrostatic Transmission

Being zero turn mowers, they’ll all have hydrostatic transmissions.

The difference between a standard mower and a zero turn mower is the transmission.

In a standard mower, you have one transmission set up, which drives the back wheels. In a zero turn, you’ve effectively got two transmissions (in one unit), each driving a separate wheel.

With this setup, one wheel can go backward and the other forwards. This is what makes a zero turn mower turn on the spot, in zero space. The wheels are fully independently controllable with the steering bars.

If you happen to come across a “zero turn” without hydrostatic transmission, don’t go there. You don’t want anything but hydrostatic.

Mowing Speed

Most of the zero turn mowers in this list have a top speed of 7.5mph, although a couple were slightly less.

This is not something I’d put too much consideration on unless you have a perfectly flat golf-course type lawn that allows you to “race” across it.

The slower you go, the better it mows. – Dan

Gas Tank Capacity

The higher the fuel capacity, the fewer times you will have to stop to refill your tank. The smallest gas tank today was 3 gallons, but most were around 3.5, so not a lot of difference.

If you’re mowing long-distance, the bigger the better.

Which Zero Turn Mower Under 3000 Has the Best Warranty

The better the warranty on your zero turn mower, well… the better. There’s no such thing as a warranty that’s too long!

  • Husqvarna zero turn mowers: “Bumper to Bumper”, 3 years. Steel reinforced stamped deck shell only – 10-year limited warranty. Fabricated deck shell and steel guard deck shell – limited lifetime warranty.
  • Cub Cadet zero turn mowers: 3 year / unlimited-hour warranty. Limited lifetime warranty on frame and fabricated deck shell.
  • Troy-Bilt zero turn mowers: 3-year limited residential. Limited lifetime frame warranty.
  • Snapper zero turn mowers: 3-year limited residential. Lifetime frame warranty.
  • Bad Boy zero turn mowers: This warranty is more intricate. They’ll repair or replace for 2 years or 200 hours, unless it’s used for commercial, industrial, or rental purposes. Belts are covered for 90 days, seats for 1 year (excluding suspension seats). You will need to pay for the transport of the mower to the service place, or for a service call out. I didn’t see details on this for the other mowers, so it may be the same for them. I suppose Bad Boy are at least transparent with this… I do think though, that if something is wrong with your brand new mower and it’s a manufacturing fault, they should carry the responsibility for this! There are more rules, like the engine. They don’t cover the engine, they’re covered by their respective manufacturers. I recommend you read the entire warranty document before purchase.

Any of these mowers purchased through TractorSupply can also come with their “Protect your Purchase” plan. A 1-year service plan costs 299.99 and 2 years costs 389.99. They’ll fix it, replace it, or reimburse it for you.

Let’s Review Our Top 13 in Detail!

Cub Cadet ZT1 54 Ultima Zero Turn Mower – 2999

This is our best zero turn mower under 3000 for large yards.


  • 24 HP 725cc KOHLER 7000 series V-twin automatic OHV engine
  • 54″ cutting deck
  • Great mower for slight, rolling hills. Suitable for yards up to 4 acres with several obstacles
  • Lap bar-controlled dual-hydro transmissions
  • Open frame design with hinged/removable floor pan. Gives you easy access to the deck and the engine for maintenance
  • Finance available
  • 3.5 gallon fuel tank capacity
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 transmission

What We Didn’t Like

  • Collects a lot of grass on the deck. It compacts inside the spindle covers, on the pulleys, and the tension spring. Does come with hose attachment for deck cleaning.
  • Some customers mentioned the tires don’t have a lot of traction, making it only suitable for slight hills.

Cub Cadet Ultima Series Zero Turn Mowers

Cub Cadet offers a few zero turn mowers under 3000 in their Ultima series.

They’re all well-priced, but our pick here is the Cub Cadet ZT1 54 zero turn mower.

For the price, it’s not worth choosing the others as you’re getting a more powerful engine and a bigger mower deck.

Husqvarna Z254 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

This is our runner-up for best zero turn mower under 3000.

One of the best budget zero turn mowers on the market is the Husqvarna Z254 zero turn riding mower.

Yes, it’s just over 3000, I apologize for that, but it’s only 100 over and it’s worth it. This lawnmower offers a very powerful engine and a wide cutting deck of 54 inches that makes it very efficient to cut large lawns.


  • 54″ cutting deck
  • 26 HP Kohler engine
  • Max speed of 6.5 MPH
  • Park brake system that automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck made of heavy flat-stock steel
  • spring-assisted deck lift
  • LED lights
  • Chrome-plated valves
  • Big cooling fan

What We Liked

  • Lots of torque delivered by the powerful 26 HP Kohler engine
  • Very user friendly
  • Good for heavy-duty use
  • Compact size
  • Very efficient performance overall
  • Maintenance-free transmission

Bad Boy MZ 42″ Zero Turn Mower – 2999.99

The Bad Boy MZ 42″ zero turn mower under 3000 is the underdog in our review today, and it got a boost up from 9th position to best in class after speaking to Chad Belding of The Fowl Life and Bad Boy Mowers.

Chad provided some very helpful feedback about his mowers and why he believes the Bad Boy zero turn mower is “ the best-built mower in its class for the best value”.

Now, my mechanic husband is the main reason this mower got moved up to top position for best small zero turn mower under 3000.

The main things you want in a mower are a fabricated deck, decent deck steel thickness, and the spindle shaft size. You don’t see anyone listing the spindle shaft size, but the other details should be readily available. The most important part about a mower is the mowing part, so a tough deck is a must.

Once a deck is bent, it’ll never mow straight again. You can have a great mower but if the deck’s bent, it’s useless. A weak deck will need constant repairs, deck straightening, new spindles – hopeless.

Dan Meager

Chad informed us that their deck is fabricated, 7-gauge steel.

Compared to, for example, Cub Cadet’s ZT1 54 at 11-gauge, Snapper’s 12-gauge, and Troy-Bilt’s 13 gauge, that’s a helluva lot thicker and tougher.

This is personal to us. We have a great John Deere mower, great engine, plenty of power. But it’s never, ever mowed straight. Right from the get-go, it’s mowed with ridges in the grass. The flimsy pressed deck was bent straight from the shop.

Dan’s put in a huge amount of bracing to hold the deck together. It’s tough now but it still doesn’t mow straight.

This is more an issue when you’re in rough country. If your lawn is a bowling green, you’ll get away with a thinner deck, but if you’re on a rougher country property like we are, the deck is all-important.

Chad also mentioned the Bad Boy MZ has a cast-iron spindle, not aluminum. Dan says he’d like to see billet steel, but since you can’t get that, cast-iron is definitely better than aluminum. Chad recommends this mower for properties up to 1 acre.

This is a really great zero turn mower for small yards. It has a 36″ cut which will get your lawns done in no time, and being a zero-turn, you’ll zoom around flower beds and obstacles.

What I really like about this mower is the integrated rear cargo bed. It’s a little carry platform where you could store a bag of fertilizer to disperse while you’re mowing, or anything else you might want to take with you.

As Snapper says: “Haul dirt, carry tools and flowers, and of course, cut the grass with the 360Z Zero Turn Mower”


  • Fully 12-gauge welded steel frame
  • 19HP Briggs Stratton engine
  • Integrated rear cargo bed with 50lb capacity
  • Thick-walled front axle
  • Durable steel mower deck
  • 36″ cutting width and 7 cutting positions from 1.5″-4.5″ height

What We Liked

  • Easy access maintenance points
  • 3-years limited residential warranty
  • Integrated cargo bed with rail system so you can use third-party ATV/UTV accessories like tool clamps and cargo nets
  • Very comfortable, adjustable seat

Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit 34″ Zero Turn Mower

The Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit 34″ is the cheapest zero turn mower on my list today. It is a great choice if you want to go with a zero-turn pivot lawn mower that is also very simple to operate.

The Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit has the smallest deck/cutting size of all the zero turn mowers under 3000 on my list, at 34″, with a twin blade system.

This means it’s one of the easiest zero turns to maneuver around smaller yards and obstacles, but is not the best choice if you have acres and acres of mowing to do.

When you compare this mower’s 34″ cutting capacity to the top 2 mowers in the list today, you’ll see that you can mow nearly twice as much in one sweep with those two.

The Cub Cadet ZT1 54 and the Husqvarna Z254 both have a 54″ cutting capacity.

For that reason, this is my favorite mower for small yards today. If you have the space though, I recommend the two bigger mowers at the top of my list.


  • 452 cc Troy-Bilt engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmission
  • Reinforced heavy-duty frame
  • 8-position height adjustment. Adjust the cutting height from 1.25″ to 3.75″
  • Limited lifetime frame warranty on the frame and a 2-year limited/120-hour warranty on the other components

What We Liked

  • Compact enough to fit through most standard gates and is easy to store in the garage or shed
  • Easy to maneuver around flower beds and obstacles
  • Excellent warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • You need to buy attachments like a rear bagger or mulch kit separately
  • Tires are quite small
  • Mows well, except for wet grass
  • Turns a bit jerky in tighter turns
  • Exposed drive belt sometimes jumps off with twigs or things like pine cones
  • Difficult to see the gas level without removing the gas cap


  • 50-in cutting deck
  • 679cc V-twin OHV Troy-Bilt engine
  • Dual EZT 2200 transmission
  • Support of deck wheels and a front roller to smooth over bumps
  • Adjustable high back seat
  • Built in America
  • 3.5 gallon fuel tank
  • Heavy-duty, full length, fully welded, 2-in tubular frame

What We Liked

  • A comfortable ride with the adjustable high back seat
  • Built in America
  • Limited lifetime frame warranty
  • Large 50-in deck
  • Foam grip steering controls
  • Easy to use and maneuver

What We Didn’t Like

  • The guard sits quite high, which means cut grass blows a distance. Use caution if you have rocks etc. on your property in case they shoot out
  • Hard to see how much gas you’ve got left
  • Can be a bit hard to get out of the crate

Troy-Bilt Zero Turn Mowers

Troy-Bilt’s zero turn mowers are quite similar to Cub Cadet’s, although possibly not as popular, as you can see by the number of reviews.

Their mowers are of great quality, however, so don’t discount them because of the lack of reviews. Have a look at this video, “overtesting” Troy-Bilt mowers.


  • 23 HP Kawasaki FR691V series Twin-cylinder engine
  • 50″ cutting deck
  • Open frame design with hinged/removable floor pan. Gives you easy access to the deck and the engine for maintenance
  • Great mower for slight, rolling hills. Suitable for yards up to 4 acres with several obstacles
  • Adjustable lap bars with soft-touch ergonomic hand grips
  • 3.5 gallon fuel tank capacity
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 transmission
  • Financing available

What We Liked

  • Cuts from 1″ to 4.5″ and it’s a level, even cut
  • Goes about 7mph forward and 3.5 in reverse
  • The seat is adjustable and comfortable
  • Headlights to be able to see and maneuver at night
  • The deck has a hose attachment to enable you to clean underneath the deck

What We Didn’t Like

  • The deck has a lot of vibration and can “jump” when you engage it
  • Gas tank could do with a fill level indicator of some sort. You have to pull the seat over or open the gas cap to see the fuel level
  • Choke lever is in an awkward location. Can be confused with the PTO but pulling the choke instead.

9 and 10 – Cub Cadet ZT1 46 and ZT1 42 Zero Turn Mowers – 2699

I’m not going into a lot of detail on these two, mainly because they’re very similar to the ZT1 54 and ZT1 50, with different deck sizes.

These two are a bit cheaper than the other two, so the choice is up to you. Value wise, I recommend the two zero turn mowers above. You’re getting more power and bigger cutting width for not much more money.

The 300 you save with the ZT1 42 and ZT1 46 is not worth it when you look at the extra HP you get and the bigger deck size.

The only reason to consider one of these two is the more compact size due to the smaller cutting deck. They’re similar in features to the ZT1 50 and ZT1 54.

Husqvarna Z142 42″ Zero Turn Riding Mower

This mower mainly didn’t make it to the top because it’s not available anywhere that I could find, and Amazon, for example, doesn’t know if it will be in stock again.

best, riding, lawn, mower, rough

It may well be an outdated model. I’m listing its features for inclusion purposes anyway, in case it does become available.

This zero turn mower offers a bit less power than several other competitors but still has a very wide cutting deck at 42 inches.

Top 10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers and Tractors 2023 Reviews


  • 17HP Kohler engine
  • No-maintenance zero-turn transmission
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • ZT-2200 transmission
  • Air induction technology, meaning that air is drawn from the top to the bottom of the deck.
  • 3.5 gallon gas tank

What We Liked

  • Pretty decent Kohler engine. Not like the 24HP Cub, but still not too bad for the price
  • Excellent maneuverability for rounded corners and tight conditions
  • 3-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • You need to buy mulching kits and bagger attachments separately
  • Lower engine horsepower than several competitors, but still suitable for residential use

12 and 13 Troy Bilt Mustang Z46 and Z42 Zero Turn Mowers – 2499

The Mustang Z46 exactly the same as the Z50, especially for deck size. The Z46 is 46″ and the Z50 is 50″. The price difference is 200, so you need to decide whether the extra 4″ of cutting size is worth 200. The Z42 has a 42″ cut.

They have the same engine, so you may find the Z46 has a little less trouble in tall, wet grass because it has less to push. However, bogging down was not mentioned by any Z50 owners.

That’s Our Top 13 Best Zero Turn Mowers Under 3000

All in all, my top pick for a zero turn mower at or under 3000 is Cub Cadet’s ZT1 54 Ultima.

This zero turn lawnmower offers plenty of grunt, a great size cutting deck, great warranty – couldn’t ask for more.

A very close second zero turn mower for large yards is the Husqvarna Z254 mower.

For small yards, our winners are Troy-Bilt’s Mustang Fit and Snapper’s 360Z. Both are maneuverable, have good engines, and are easy to operate.

Snapper came out on top because of its innovative carry platform on the back the ability to use third-party ATV accessories with it.

But honestly, any of the zero turn mowers that I covered here today represent a solid choice, each has its own merits, pros, and cons.

Hopefully, my list of features for each helps you make an informed decision and you’ll end up with the best zero turn mower under 3000!

Do you have a zero turn mower? Thinking of upgrading? Let me know what you think in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев! I’m upgrading my John Deere to a zero turn in the near future, which is why my next article will be zero turn mowers under 5000.

I’m on 10 acres so I want to compare mowers under 3000 with mowers under 5000 to make the best choice possible. Any recommendations are much appreciated!


Elle is the founder and visionary of Outdoor Happens. She adores wild gardens. Makes sense, considering she’s never been very good at fitting into boxes, sticking to neat rows, or following the rules. Elle is a qualified permaculture teacher with a diploma in horticulture and naturopathy. She lives on a farm with cows, sheep, horses, chickens, and a bunch of horses. Passions include herbalism, fermentation, cooking, nature, animals, and reading. View all posts

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain – Our Top 8 Picks

You should pick the best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain. They are essential pieces of equipment for people with lawns and commercial areas that require it to be neat and clean at all times, but sometimes, when the terrain is too rough, a regular lawn mower won’t do the task. At times like these, you’ll need a machine that is powerful, strong, and up to the heavy task.

We’re here to help you with that, with a list of the 8 best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain. including their pros and cons, detailed descriptions, and all specifications. After reading this series of reviews, you’ll surely be able to find the lawn mower that best fits you, so keep reading to find out more!

The 8 Best Lawn Mowers For Rough Terrain

Lawn mowers for rough terrain vary widely and you should have the knowledge to choose the best one for you. Which one you choose will depend almost wholly on your specific needs. We give you eight different models to choose from.

1.Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas-Powered Riding Mower

Craftsman is a brand that never fails to impress, and this product is just the cherry on top. They claim to deliver quality and efficiency. and this offers exactly that. With raving reviews and a top-notch build, there is no way this device won’t meet your expectations and be the best mower for rocky terrain you’ve ever experienced.

This gas riding lawn mower features a Briggs and Stratton gas engine. Briggs and Stratton make the best engines with a load of power. so we can say that the powerhouse of this Craftsman mower is a true beast.

It features a ready start option, so the operator won’t have to waste precious time trying to get the device running. Most riding lawn mowers take a long time to start, but the ready start feature frees you from all that trouble and lets the device start right up.

This zero-turn mower has a 46-inch deck, which is huge compared to other riding lawn mowers. This helps the mower deal with larger areas, making it good for home use but also commercial use, as it gets a large job done in a fraction of the time.

This device works extremely smoothly with its ability to clip grass in one quick sweep. Plus, it comes with a deck wash feature that saves time and keeps the underside of the mower clean.

If the deck’s underside remains uncleaned, residual grass clippings and other debris start to build up, which causes rust as well as a huge decline in the device’s value and capability to do the job. But with a deck wash feature, you can avoid all of that.

This equipment is equipped with foot hydrostatic transmission, which means it transits energy using hydraulic fluid. This automatic transmission can be extremely useful in maintaining and adjusting mower speeds.

This device is also capable enough to mow in reverse. which makes it easy to maneuver and comes extremely handy when mowing tough spots and rough terrains. With the mow-in-reverse feature, you’ll be able to tackle a rough spot in many directions, making sure that everything gets mowed perfectly.

Mowing can be a tough job, as it can take long hours of sitting in the same position and hours of fatigue and backache later. But not with the Craftsman mower, not at all! Craftsman made sure that the operator is comfortable riding it at all times, sitting in the high-back cushioned seat that provides optimum comfort. especially when working for long hours.

Plus, this device features high-quality 15-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels for better clearance and easy movement. You can make maneuvering easy around the yard with this Craftsman mower, because its wheels are specially designed for optimum comfort and productivity, especially across rough terrain. From our side, this mower gets a 10 out of 10!

However, there is one issue that many people face. Unlike most mowers, the skid plate on this mower is a square instead of a circle, which can cause inconvenience at times.


This gas-powered riding lawn mower is excellent for you if you’re looking for something to mow a larger area, making it ideal for commercial use. It is powerful, strong, user-friendly, and durable. With features like mow-in-reverse and ready start, this device stands out amongst the crowd of competition and showcases its productivity and efficiency.

Troy Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547 cc Engine Tractor

If you’re looking for a affordable lawn mower that will be great for a small lawn with rough terrain, Troy-Bilt is here to the rescue. It is everything you want in a lightweight machine for home use and light tasks. as it delivers so much productivity at a fairly low price point, so you must consider this one for your home.

This Troy-Bilt lawn mower features a premium 420 cc OHV engine with a built-in oil filter. A powerful engine means a powerful device, as the productivity and efficiency of any mower depend on the quality of the engine and how much power input can give into the device.

And this engine is a powerhouse. It makes sure that the device is capable enough to mow through the roughest terrain with no resistance. If you want a mower for rough terrain, looking at the engine is a must because the stronger the engine, the better it’ll mow.

This device has a 7-speed transmission. which is highly beneficial, especially on uneven ground, as it gives a lot of control into the hand of the operator. The operator gets to choose what speed the mowing should be done at, as different types of terrain need different types of speeds.

With the option of 7 speeds, the user gets to decide which speed will complement which terrain better. It also helps the operator get control over time. so if you want a quick job, a higher speed is better, but for a more intricate job, it’s better to go slow and steady.

This mower has a 42-inch steel deck. which isn’t as big as many other riding lawn mowers, making this one better for smaller lawns. But the steel deck has dual mower blades which ensure clean and smooth cuts and a crisper lawn, as it helps keep the lawn neat and polished.

Plus, it has a mulch and side discharge option that allows the user to turn the grass into mulch that can be used as a fertilizer for the lawn. With this recycling technique, you’ll never have to worry about getting rid of clippings and will get free fertilizer, since the grass has many useful substances that can be fed back into the soil to make it extra fertile.

Plus, this mower features a strong axle made of steel, which is durable and long-lasting. Also, it has a comfortable mid-back seat with ergonomic cushioning. And it can mow in reverse, which can help you mow rough spots and uneven land. With a weight of 485 pounds, it is a lot lighter than most lawn mowers and has dimensions of 70 x 48 x 35.5 inches. This mower gets an 8/10.

However, not everything about this mower is ideal. This equipment can be slightly uncomfortable for some as it makes too many vibrations while driving. These vibrations might seem harmless, but when the operator experiences them, they tend to be absorbed by the human body and can cause discomfort and fatigue later on.

Plus, the light weight of the mower makes it easy to maneuver and store, but it also makes the mower very unstable.


Despite some flaws, this mower has big positives: it is great if you have a small lawn, it is ideal for home use, it has a powerhouse engine, dual blades for clean cuts, a multi-speed option, and many more features that speak for its durability.

Husqvarna YTH24V54 54 in. 24 HP Briggs Stratton, Hydrostatic Mower

Husqvarna is one of the most trustworthy brands when it comes to durability and power. Their main aim is to make a difference in the lives of users who landscape and shape lawns and urban environments by providing sustainable solutions with innovation, passion, and a customer-friendly attitude. And all of these attributes of this brand are reflected in this YTH 24V54 lawn mower, which is a part of the amazing YTH series.

This mower has a powerful 24 HP Briggs and Stratton V-twin engine. This powerful engine will give you enough power to work through the roughest of terrains without any resistance. To work in rough conditions, a piece of equipment such as this one should have a huge power source, which gives the device enough power to get the job done. And with an engine like this, getting heaps of power won’t be a problem.

This engine is not just powerful, but also reliable. It features ReadyStart technology which makes sure that the device starts right up. Most mowers take several tries to get running, but when it comes to a quick start, you can fully rely on this Husqvarna mower. No matter what the day is, how cold the weather is, and how long of a job you did the last time, this mower will take no time to start up.

With the foot-pedal operated transmission, the user has control over the speed and direction of the lawn mower. This helps the user keep both of their hands on the steering wheel, giving them more control over driving.

Different kinds of terrains need different speeds, so with multiple speed options, the customer uses targets to decide what speed is ideal for the terrain they’re working on. This transfers all the control to the hand of the operator. At the end of the day, you should be controlling the mower, and not the other way around.

This hydrostatic riding mower will be a great option in terms of power and strength. The Stratton hydrostatic transmission is great, and just as good as a gas-powered or battery-powered riding mower.

This device has a 16 inches turning radius which helps the operator navigate through narrow spaces and tight spots. If you have a huge lawn with a load of obstacles like benches, trees, poles, etc., this one will be the best choice. With this device, you’ll be able to maintain every nook and cranny of your precious space.

Despite being high-powered and efficient, this device does not compromise on the comfort of the customer. The adjustable 15 inches high-back seat lets the user be comfortable throughout the job and avoid backache later on. The ergonomic steering wheel adds to increased comfort and an easy step-through design helps ensure that a smooth job is done.

The cutting deck is 54 inches wide. which is wider than most other lawn mowers, and helps you mow a large piece of land in a smaller time. Reinforced with a triple blade, the cutting deck makes sure that all the cuts are clean, the lawn remains neat and polished, and no grass is left unclipped.

This, simultaneously working alongside the air induction mowing technology and the four anti-scalp wheels. will make sure that the lawn is mowed properly. If you’re looking for a precise job in a large area with loads of obstacles, this mower will check all your boxes. This gas-powered mower has so much to offer because of which it gets a 9.5/10 from our side.

But not everything about this device is perfect. This device comes unassembled. and if you’re a pro with equipment, we’re sure that won’t bother you. But if not, you’ll have to hire someone to put it together which is an extra expenditure. Plus, the gas tank on this device is way too small. It needs to be refilled quite frequently which can be a huge inconvenience at times.


This is a great mower for a high obstacle lawn. If you want a job well done in very little time, this is the one for you, as its diverse features offer everything that you would expect from a high-end lawn mower for rough terrain.

Husqvarna TS354D 54 in. 25 HP Kohler V-Twin Hydrostatic Mower

We can tell you one thing for sure: Husqvarna will always deliver with high durability and constant efficiency. All their products, from motorbikes to garden equipment, have one thing in common: top-notch quality. The Husqvarna TS354D is no different. It is one of the best options to consider if you’re in search of a lawn mower that will last you a long time.

With its 25 HP, 725 Kohler 7000 series engine. this zero-turn riding lawn mower is capable of delivering enough power and torque for the toughest of operations.

Its powerful engine ensures that the equipment can handle rough terrain, large areas, and hours-long tasks. The more powerful the engine, the better the job is done, so this engine gives the customers the perfect experience with efficiency, productivity, and durability.

This zero- t urn riding mower features a hydrostatic transmission with an electric locking differential that can be categorized as commercial grade because of its high power output. This allows the mower to maneuver to the maximum limit and the user gets to keep both their hands free for a comfortable ride as the hydrostat transmission is fully pedal-operated.

It also allows the operator to have control which ensures that consistent speed is maintained even in the roughest of terrains. Pedal operations are the simplest and easiest to navigate with lawn devices, especially if you’re doing a long job.

The front axles are made from cast iron which is strong enough to maintain balance and stability. If the lawn mower isn’t stable, it’ll vibrate a lot, and send vibrations up the operator’s spine, resulting in fatigue and backache later on. But with the stability this device has to offer, you won’t have to worry about any of that.

Plus, the spindle housings are also made from cast iron which makes them durable and long-lasting. This mower is perfect for rough uneven terrain because of how well-balanced it is, unlike many other electric riding mowers.

This zero turn riding mower features a deep deck design that ensures maximum productivity. Plus, the airflow baffles and high-performance blades are an added cherry on top that makes the cutting procedure extra productive.

You have all options when it comes to this device: discharging, bagging, or mulching. Many people prefer bagging so they can discard the waste later on, but mulching is a much more eco-friendly option that turns the grass clippings into a fertilizer that can be used in your garden.

The mower includes many ergonomic features such as a comfortable high-back seat with armrests and a steering wheel set to the optimum angle which ensures that the user is comfortable throughout the job. Husqvarna makes sure that the operator won’t feel any fatigue afterward unlike other riding mowers.

And the cutting deck has a ClearCut feature for maximum efficiency and 10-gauge steel construction with welded reinforcements for increased durability. From us, this mower get’s a 9/10.

However, sometimes the seat can be extremely hard to install and there are no clear instructions in the manual. Plus, this mower has a 54-inch cutting deck which works fine for large lawns but for a small home lawn, this kind of heavy device might not be ideal.


Despite some drawbacks, this device will be great for you if you’re looking for a mower for a larger area for a long time. It has a powerful engine and many ergonomic features, including a powerful engine, hydrostatic transmission, pedal operations, deep deck design as well as a comfortable seat.

Craftsman E225 42-in. Lithium-Ion Riding Mower-56V Electric Powered Lawn Mower-Fast Charging, Red

If you’re looking for riding lawn tractors a little better for the environment. we’d suggest looking into battery powered and electrical options. They are better for the environment, give fewer emissions, and don’t empty the earth of precious fossil fuels.

Many people opt for gas-powered lawn tractors because they’re much more powerful and reliable, but surely, this mower is no less than any gas-powered mower.

best, riding, lawn, mower, rough

The power of any lawn mower comes from the engine or, in this case, the motor. This Craftsman Mower E224 has a 56 volt, 1500 watt-hour, 30 AH lithium-ion battery which is capable of delivering one hour of continuous cutting time on a full charge. After an hour, you can recharge the battery to full and use it for another hour.

A motor this powerful will also make sure that the task at hand is done with utmost efficiency, so this mower doesn’t do half-effort jobs. but it will make sure that you’ll never go back to another gas powered mower again.

With this eco-friendly mower. you are not just saving the environment, but you’re also saving time and money that is needed for regular maintenance of other mowers by eliminating any need for changing gas and oil.

The only thing you’ll have to do is put the electric lawn mower on charge. Plus, unlike low gas and low oil, when the battery reaches low capacity, the device won’t start to bog, but it will keep on working at the same pace as before.

An important aspect of any lawn mower has to be its ease of use and ergonomic features, and this device isn’t lacking in either. The reverse and forward options are completely in the control of the operator using foot pedals. No need to suffer through hand controls when foot pedals are there for the rescue!

Plus, the steering wheel has a soft touch feature to ensure comfort. The mid-back seat is specially designed so the user won’t feel any fatigue later on, and the LED headlights are available to the user in case they want to go mowing in the dark. This allows the user to easily maneuver the device in all conditions and this mower has easy cruise control.

Also, the user is given a fast charge option that will enable them to charge the battery in 4 hours. Efficient, isn’t it? And this device comes with a 3-year limited warranty and a 3-year battery warranty. This shows the trust and confidence the brand has in its product. This product gets an 8/10 as it is truly one of the best lawn tractors for uneven ground and uneven terrain.

However, there are certain things that you must know when using this mower. The on/off key is close to knee level and you can quite easily turn the machine on or off by accident. This won’t look like a big deal to a reader, but for the user, it can be highly frustrating to keep turning the device back on every time you accidentally turn the mower off.

Mowing in reverse can be particularly useful in rough terrains, as it helps reach almost impossible spots and ensures everything is neat and polished. But with this mower, mowing in reverse can be too slow and inefficient. If you feel like reverse mowing is something you don’t want to compromise on at all, then this device is probably not the right fit for you.


If you’re in search of an eco-friendly garden tractor, this can be a great addition to your ranks. It saves time and energy, protects the environment, is easy to use and has ergonomic features that make it comfortable for lawn care.

Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Engine, Riding Lawn Mower, RY48111

Ryobi is another fan favorite brand which puts out good quality and durability every time. Ryobi is best known for its powerful tools such as hammer drills, trimmers, metalworking equipment, blowers, and much more.

And their lawn mowers definitely stand out from amongst the crowd. You must be sick of seeing red mowers on this list, but this mower isn’t just unique in terms of specs, but also in its beautiful light green color.

This Ryobi RY lawn mower has a deck of 38-inches, which is quite small compared to other lawn mowers, but that is why it’s perfect for smaller lawns. as it will be easy to maneuver in a petite area and will do the job well with tight and narrow spaces. This riding lawn mower will exceed all your expectations with its 100 Ah electric engine.

Unlike gas-powered mowers, this mower doesn’t cause excessive damage to the environment with eradication of unnecessary fumes and consumption of precious fossil fuels. Electric mowers are extremely eco-friendly which makes them even more attractive. Plus, this one has an engine as strong as any other gas-powered mower.

This ride-on mower can give you up to 2.5 hours of runtime or 2.5 acres of lawn mowing on a full charge. It can cover a large area, is perfect for longer home jobs and is a great option for residential use. Just one full charge will be able to mow your entire lawn.

Plus, it doesn’t need a fancy and heavy outlet to charge. unlike many electric lawn mowers, as you can charge it through your standard 120-volts outlet.

The mower has powerful motors that make sure that any task at hand is performed perfectly and productively. It has three brushless motions that provide immense power to the mower to deal with high working hours and rough terrain. These motors make sure that this mower shows maximum performance.

This corded electric mower weighs 595 pounds which is fairly standard for a riding lawn mower. The deck has 2 blades that make sure the grass is cut neatly and perfectly.

There are twelve positions of deck adjustment. ranging from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches, that can all be reached manually and make sure that your lawn gets leveled cuts. As multiple positions allow the operator to have more control over the job, you can choose whichever height you desire for different parts of the lawn.

Mowing can be a hard task, especially if you have fussy neighbors. But with this Ryobi riding lawn mower, you won’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors, because it is whisper quiet. It emits only 70 dB of noise. which is nothing for a device this tremendous.

And above that, this device has LED headlights for getting jobs done even in the dark, a USB phone charge for everyone who can’t bear a minute without checking their DMs, and several cruise control features. For that, this one gets an 8.5/10.

However, not everything is as perfect as it seems. The user manual says that this mower should not be cleaned with water. This makes the maintenance so much harder. All you can do is wipe the dust and dirt with a cleaning cloth or wipes, which can be a huge struggle.


This electric riding lawn mower is the one for you if you want to do a noiseless job with a suitable deck size for maximum clippings in steep hilly terrain. It’s perfect for people who work from home or have their kids homeschooled and need a powerful engine. Plus, it’s powerful and eco-friendly, so you can use it for large yards.

Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER 28 inch 11.5 HP 344 cc Engine, Riding Mower 2691525

If you’re looking for a lawn mower on the compact side, this one will do the thing for you. This compact lawn mower isn’t lacking in power, as it features an 11.5 HP Briggs and Stratton power-built 4-cycle OHV engine that makes it capable enough to do heavy-duty jobs.

This lawn mower is perfect for homeowners because of its compact frame and lower price point. It will be easy to carry from one place to another, so what more can one want?

It has a 28-inch cutting deck which isn’t as big as most lawn mowers, but it suits residential homeowners. With a 28-inch turning radius, it is perfect if you have a high obstacle lawn with trees, benches and other ornaments, like garden gnomes and small fountains. Many people like to crowd their space with decorations, and if you’re one of them, this mower is the one for you.

Plus, this lawn mower has a vertical stand-on-edge capability, which makes it perfect for homeowners who have minimal space to store such a heavy piece of equipment.

Many people like to store their gardening tools in a shed in the back, but if your shed is too small, overcrowded, or you don’t have a shed at all, this lawn mower is here with its vertical standing ability and compact body to save space.

It has a fuel tank with a maximum capacity of 1.35 gallons and its operators use five disc drive transmissions. This offers the user five mowing options and a range of different cutting heights, varying from 1 inch to 4.5 inches. You can manually adjust these heights using a lever on this gas-powered mower…as easy as pie!

Additionally, this mower is convenient with its user-friendly controls. It has a HI-VAC deck, which ensures a smooth and efficient mowing experience. And it has a 3-year warranty, which only speaks for the high level of trust the brand has in the product.

You get a 5-speed option. which allows you to pick whatever speed is convenient for you. This lawn mower gives so much control in the hand of the user and makes the job easy and simple for the operator. For that, and many more reasons, this mower gets a 7.5/10.

However, the placing of some controls is a bit inconvenient. To reach a control, the operator has to take their eyes off the mowing duty and that is not just dangerous but also impractical. Plus, with this mower, it can be quite a challenge to mow close to objects. despite the high turning radius.


This device is great for you if you don’t have enough storage space and are looking for a compact and easy-to-store lawn mower. That one can be a hard task to find but with this mower, we hope your search is over!

Husqvarna YTA24V48 24V Fast Continuously Variable Transmission Pedal Tractor Mower, 48″/Twin

Another one from Husqvarna, as this brand proves itself again and again to be a star! This mower is sure to meet your needs and satisfy you to the fullest. It features a fast auto transmission which is great for engine power delivery but also lowers the maintenance, making it one of the best zero-turn mowers.

At this point in time, there is no way one can go without their cell phone, and this device aids you to always have your mobile right by your side by featuring a charging port. Plus it has a choke-less start and an electric clutch that are both worth mentioning.

This mower has an air induction mowing technology that improves the airflow within the deck, which helps in lifting the grass up and enables cleaner and smoother cuts. Plus, using a fender-mounted deck lever that is spring assisted, this device ensures easy and convenient operation. So, it gets 7.5/10 from us.

The fact that makes this mower stand out among the crowd is its amazing warranty with a 3-year limited warranty, 5-year frame and front axle warranty. and a 10-year cutting deck warranty. That’s amazing!

However, it does have some flaws, as it doesn’t work great on hills.


Despite its difficulty with hills, this mower is great for you if you’re looking for a long warranty, for all three domains: overall, frame and cutting deck. With its low maintenance and high quality. it is sure to become your favorite in no time!


If you’re looking for a lawn mower to fit all your needs, any one from the above list might be it. You have to analyze first what you want and what you’re looking for and then make a decision accordingly. Think about whether you want a zero-turn lawn mower, best push lawn mower for rough terrain, a heavy-duty riding lawn mower, electric powered mower, or anything else.

After you’ve listed what you want, use this list as a guide to find the best lawn mower for rough terrain, best zero turn mower for rough terrain. best self-propelled lawn mower for rough terrain. best lawn mower for wooded areas. and best heavy duty lawn mower. Hopefully, this will help you in your search!

Welcome to the one and only riding lawn mower buying guide you need to look at, before you bite the bullet and buy one yourself.

Here’s what I did to make this the most thorough guide out on the internet. Believe me most websites want to sell one of these instead of simply reviewing it, so there are very few unbiased opinions out there.

I researched all the best selling riding lawn mowers on Lowes, Home Depot, and Sears websites for this comparison guide. Each mower is listed below with the data you need to make a proper buying decision. I actually used this data to buy my own riding mower, wait till you hear about how my purchase went from really good to really bad, and what I did to fix the situation.

The Only Data Really Worth Mowing Over:

Pros and Cons by Model # (Discover cool features and reliability problems.) Currently I’m still sifting through hundreds of reviews, but I will be posting the pros and cons very soon. Remember you will still have access to the most popular data people use to choose a lawn tractor, such as deck size, horsepower, brand, total reviews, average review rating, and of course price. My pros and cons section will be very insightful and loaded with info you can only learn by reading a ton of customer reviews.

Total Customer Reviews (Top sellers usually indicate a good product.)

Average Review Ratings (A good riding mower should rate well.)

Cost Where to Buy (Click on the model and go right to the retailer who sells it the most).

So these are the basics I used to create this buying guide. I suggest to any serious buyers that they read the latest customer reviews on the mower they’re considering. This is easily done by simply clicking on the hyperlinked model name above each tractor photo. Once clicked, a new page or tab will open where you can finalize your opinion by reading what others have complained or praised about. If you want to continue shopping simply close that window to go back to this buying guide.

Without further waiting I present to you that 2015 list of the best selling riding lawn mowers at Home Depot, Lowes, Sears retailers.

A19A42 42 in. 19 HP Briggs Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

Ariens A20VA46 46 in. 20 HP V-Twin Briggs Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

Hydrostatic Transmission

John Deere D105 42 in. 17.5 HP Automatic Front-Engine Riding Mower

Hydrostatic Transmission

John Deere D140 48 in. 22 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower

Cub Cadet LTX1040 42 in. 19-HP Front-Engine Automatic Drive Riding Mower

Hydrostatic Transmission

John Deere Model # D110 42 in. 19 HP Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower

Hydrostatic Transmission

John Deere D170 54 in. 25-HP V-Twin Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower

Ariens A19A42 42 in. 19 HP Briggs Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

Ariens 46 in. 20 HP V-Twin Briggs Stratton Automatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower

Best Riding Lawn Mowers in 2022. Which Is The Best For You?

Hydrostatic Transmission

Husqvarna YTH24V48 V-Twin Hydrostatic 48-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs Stratton Engine and Mulching Capable

Hydrostatic Transmission

John Deere D130 V-Twin Hydrostatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs Stratton Engine and (Mulching Capable)

Hydrostatic Transmission

Husqvarna YTH22V46 V-Twin Hydrostatic 46-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs Stratton Engine and Mulching Capable

Troy-Bilt Pony Shift-on-the-Go 42-in Riding Lawn Mower with Briggs Stratton Engine and Mulching Capable

Troy-Bilt Bronco Automatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower with Kohler Engine and Mulching Capable

Craftsman 19HP Briggs Stratton 46” Riding Mower

Craftsman 420cc 42″ Riding Mower Front Engine

Hydrostatic Transmission

Craftsman 19HP 42” Turn Tight Riding Mower

Craftsman 22HP 42” Turn Tight Fast Riding Mower

Comparing Riding Mower Features and Options List

Hours Meter. A analog or digital counter that logs total amount of hours on machine.

Deck Size: Typical residential deck sizes range from 42″ to 46″. A larger deck will allow you to save time. This is especially useful for people that have to mow lawns of 1 acre and above.

6 Speed. Just like a manual transmission on a car, a lawn tractor can be outfitted with a manual transmission. Typical usage requires the engagement of a clutch to change gearing. Riding the clutch to assist in braking will wear down the clutch as in a regular car. I’ve noticed several complaints throughout the years about clutches wearing out prematurely, and based on the other reviewers, I have concluded that most of the clutch problems stated in reviews are most likely user error generated.

To Clutch or not To Clutch Ride is the Question and a reoccurring topic on Car Talk with Click and Clack, The Tapport Borthers. If you’re a car nut like I am, you need to check out the NPR Peabody Award winning radio talk show online. I routinely download episodes using a app onto my Samsung Galaxy (soon to be replaced S4. I’ll be doing a Smartphone Consideration article soon. I’m mostly looking to acquire the best virtual assistant in my next Smartphone and Cortana from Microsoft Windows 10 is looking really promising. BTW: Sign up for a Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview and download the new beta version operating system for free.).

Automatic Transmission. Automatic transmissions work similarly to what you will find in a Ford Explorer 6-speed SelectShift Automatic or a Hyundai Elantra 6 speed automatic.

Variable or CVT Transmission. A gear-less transmission, single speed transmission, or one speed automatic are all part of the nomenclature a constant variable transmission (CVT ) is known for.

Hydrostatic Transmission. An internal pump and motor drive system where hydraulic oil pushes out pistons and it’s those pushed out pistons that cause the motor to turn. With this type of transmission there are only 2 pedals on the floor board and no gear lever. Pressing the go pedal firmly causes the mower to reach full speed, pressing it lightly causes the mower to move slowly, kind of like a car. The reverse pedal works the same way, the only thing that changes is that pressing it causes an opposite set of pistons to turn the motor in reverse. This is typically a sealed system that is not meant to be serviced.

Why Buy A Front Engine Riding Mower Instead of a Self-propelled Lawn Mower?

Once again I did my over the top OCD research, because we just bought a house with too much land for a typical self-propelled lawn mower to handle.

Our property is only a half acre but it’s not perfectly flat, and it takes hours to mow with a standard lawn mower. Since I can’t waste time, because I’m always working on making videos and articles for you guys, I simply had no choice but to abandon the self-propelled Honda mower I picked from my other guide, and decided to allocate 4 x more money for a lawn tractor.

best, riding, lawn, mower, rough

At first I hated the idea of spending 2,000 on a lawn mower, but after I used it to cleanup an entire yard full of leaves with minimal effort and actual fun, the money factor became less of an issue for me. I actually can’t wait to mow my lawn this year, and clean up the leaves using the riding mower I found by doing this OCD research. I hope you guys like it, and share it in your social sphere because if it wasn’t for you guys doing that for me, I wouldn’t be making these in-depth buying guides and how-to videos.

This fall I went to Glastonbury Home Depot to buy one of the last tractors that was still in a crate in Connecticut. The guy helping me knew very well why I drove 30 minutes to his store when I have one 5 minutes away from my house. It was because I wanted a brand new untouched machine.

What happened was that a few days later a guy comes to my house and delivers a machine that’s been sitting outside at Bristol Home Depot for months. They did not even bother cleaning any dirt or leaves off the machine. I was pissed off, because I didn’t originally have plans to spend two grand on a lawn tractor and I can’t imagine what putz would deliver something so expensive in such bad shape. When you spend 100 on a brand new product, you expect that product to be clean and in it’s original packaging right. then what the heck were these morons doing that day?

But the icing on the cake was that they gave me someone’s returned bagger that was missing parts, a manual, and it was disgustingly dirty; it looked like it was used for years prior to the return. Well, after my wife calmed me down, I called Glastonbury HD, spoke to a manager, they apologized, then scheduled a pickup and a delivery of the crated tractor, and a brand new bagger from Glastonbury, which was hand delivered by the store manager. They wanted to cheap out on the delivery cost at Glastonbury, and Bristol HD just had a careless manager and employees working that day.

Most of the time they get it right, but when they don’t you have to talk to someone that can do something about it. This year I literally spent a small fortune at these stores remodeling our house, and dealt with more than one headache. But one time, I made a mistake in ordering the wrong whirlpool tub, and it sat at my house for months before I opened the box. I called HD up, and they had that thing on a truck the very next day to process the return. I ended up upgrading that tub to something better at a different store instead. I’m not so sure it would go this smoothly at a small mom and pop shop who already spent your money on their overhead costs the month you bought it.

The best riding mowers: Troy-Bilt, Toro, and more compared

With Memorial Day weekend ahead, up your summer lawn care with a riding mower that makes for a faster, more eco-friendly experience.

Riding mowers are a popular mower choice for homeowners, especially if you have a big property to maintain every summer. They have cutting decks measuring from 42 to 72 inches, so you can make short work of everything from typical lawns to large properties, like sports complexes and golf courses.

Unlike their push mower counterparts, riding mowers have more features to consider in order to find the right fit for your yard. You can choose either a manual or hydrostatic transmission, so you can “set and forget” your speed or operate your mower like a car. You can even get riding mowers with cruise control or all-wheel drive for better traction.

While gas engines are far more common among riding mowers, there is a wide selection of battery-powered models if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly solution for lawn care. To help you find the perfect fit for your yard and workshop, I’ve rounded up five of the best riding mowers you can buy. I broke down their cutting widths, transmission types, power sources, and other features, as well as their price points to help you decide which one best matches your needs and your budget.

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP

Best riding mower overall

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kohler | Cutting width: 54 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 4 acres

The Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP riding mower is an excellent choice for a variety of lawns. It’s built with a 24HP Kohler engine and a 54-inch cutting deck to let you handle inclines and rough terrain or haul tools, mulch, and potting soil around your property.

The hydrostatic, automatic transmission makes operation similar to a typical car, so you can spend more time actually cutting your grass and less time learning how to drive your mower. With a 3-gallon tank, you’ll be able to mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

Best electric riding mower

Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor tech specs: Engine: 80V brushless electric | Cutting width: 46 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 2.5 acres

Electric riding mowers have become more popular in recent years as homeowners and landscaping professionals look for ways to make lawn care more eco-friendly. The Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor features a 46-inch cutting deck and enough power to let you mow up to 2.5 acres on a single charge, and you can recharge your mower batteries in as little as 2.5 hours.

This means you can take care of other tasks, like weeding or landscaping, while you’re waiting for your mower to recharge. An LCD screen gives you a heads-up display of run time, battery levels, and reminders to inspect and sharpen your mower blades. It even has two USB ports for charging your phone while you mow.

Toro Titan Max

Best zero-turn riding mower

Toro Titan Max tech specs: Engine: 26HP Kohler 7000 | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 7 acres

Zero-turn riding mowers are popular with homeowners who have larger properties or lots of obstacles like trees or specialized landscaping. The Toro Titan Max’s exceptional maneuverability and larger cutting decks make quick work of yards up to 7 acres in size, while the 26HP Kohler 7000 engine uses a dual hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive operation.

Toro also made regular maintenance a bit more streamlined with tool-free air filters. The deck and mower body are made from tough, 10-gauge steel to stand up to dings, rocks, run-ins, and anything else your lawn can throw at it.

Cub Cadet CC30E

Best compact riding mower

  • Battery-powered
  • Great for yards up to 1 acre
  • Compact design great for small storage areas and narrow spaces
  • Push-button cruise control

Cub Cadet CC30E tech specs: Engine: 56V electric | Cutting width: 30 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 1 acre

Compact riding mowers like the Cub Caded CC30E are great for suburban lawns on the smaller side. The CC30E features a smaller design that is perfect for storing in multi-use sheds and garages or maneuvering through gates and narrow spaces. The 30-inch cutting deck and 56V battery let you mow up to 1 acre (or one hour) at once.

It uses a hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive driving while the 18-inch turning radius lets you easily mow around trees and other obstacles. It even features a push-button cruise control, so you can “set-and-forget” your forward speed and concentrate on mowing around obstacles, as well as staying aware of your surroundings.

DeWALT Z160 Commercial

Best riding mower for large properties

DeWALT Z160 Commercial tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 10 acres

The DeWALT Z160 Commercial zero-turn riding mower is designed from the ground up to handle large properties. The 60-inch cutting deck and 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine let you mow up to 10 acres at once, making it an almost perfect choice for rural properties or landscaping professionals. The dual hydrostatic drive makes operation smoother, though the twin-stick steering does take some getting used to.

With 22-inch rear wheels, you can easily take on inclines and rolling hills that may be on your property. A 5.5-gallon fuel tank means you’ll spend more time actually mowing and less time refueling. And if you opt for the bagger attachment, you’ll be able to gather up to 11 bushels of clippings before you need to empty.

What is the best riding mower?

I chose the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP as the best riding mower you can buy. It features a 54-inch cutting deck and 3-gallon fuel tank, letting you mow up to 4 acres in a single go. The 24 horsepower engine also lets you take on steeper inclines and rough terrain or haul tools and gardening supplies around your property. The hydrostatic drive makes operation similar to a typical car, while an LED display gives you accurate usage hours for streamlined maintenance.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

Which is the right riding mower for you?

Other than your budget, there are a lot of features and scenarios you have to consider while shopping for a new riding mower. The size of your yard will determine how wide the cutting deck should be, though either a 42 or 46-inch version will be more than enough for most yards.

You can choose either a manual or hydrostatic transmission. A manual model lets you “set and forget” your speed so you can FOCUS, while hydrostatic models operate more like cars, going faster the harder you press the pedal. This makes them more intuitive to operate but also more expensive.

Zero-turn mowers are designed for mowing in oddly-shaped areas or around lots of obstacles like trees, lamp posts, and lawn ornaments. They’re called “zero-turn” because they have a zero-inch turn radius; you pivot around either rear wheel for ultra-tight turning.

Buy this best riding mower.

A well-rounded riding mower. The 54-inch cutting deck and 24HP engine let you mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

An all-electric riding mower. The electric engine requires less maintenance than gas models, making your lawn-care routine more eco-friendly.

An excellent zero-turn riding mower. Precision maneuvering lets you mow around trees, landscaping, and other obstacles with ease.

A compact riding mower. The 30-inch deck and smaller build make this riding mower perfect for smaller suburban lawns.

A riding mower that can handle larger properties. This commercial-grade, zero-turn riding mower lets you cut up to 10 acres at once.

How did we choose these riding mowers?

I used to work for MTD Products (now owned by BlackDecker), which assembles a variety of lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other powered lawn equipment. Using the expertise and knowledge I gained during my time there, I looked for riding mowers with these qualities:

  • Motor size: You’ll want a riding mower with at least a 10HP engine to give you enough power to handle minor inclines and lawns up to half an acre. Larger riding mowers like the John Deere Z530M have more powerful engines, often topping out over 20HP to let you tackle rough terrain and even haul equipment.
  • Cutting width: Many riding mowers have either a 42 or 46-inch cutting deck, which is great for lawns between.5 and 1.5 acres. However, if you have a large, multi-acre property, you’ll want to choose a larger cutting deck. Many brands have options between 50 and 72-inch cutting decks.
  • Transmission type: The less expensive riding mowers will have either a 6 or 7-speed manual transmission. This means you will use a dedicated lever to set your engine’s forward and reverse speeds, with a single brake pedal for stop control. The more expensive models feature a hydrostatic drive, which operates in a similar way to an automatic transmission in a typical car or truck.
  • Accessories: Lawn care goes beyond regular mowing. I chose riding mowers that have the ability to hitch small trailers or wagons for hauling tools, mulch, or potting soil. I also chose mowers from brands that make after-market add-ons, like rear bagging units for collecting grass clippings, mulching kits for re-feeding lawns, and snow plows for year-round use.

How do you decide which riding mower to buy?

Assuming you have a budget in mind, the first thing you need to do is find out how big your lawn is. You can either find your lot size on your memorandum deeds if you’ve bought your house, or you can check your city’s website to see if you can request lot measurements if you’re renting. If your lot measures about an acre, you’ll be able to use a 30 or 42-inch cutting deck without any issues. For lawns up to two acres, a 42 or 46-inch deck is ideal. And if your lot is over two acres, you can get a mower with up to a 72-inch cutting deck to handle larger areas.

The transmission type is also important. Many newer models have what is known as a hydrostatic drive. This means that they operate similarly to how a car drives: You push the pedal and it moves forward or backward. And the harder you push, the faster you go. This makes it easier to learn how to drive, but that also makes the mower more expensive. stripped-back models have variable speed manual transmissions, which allow you to “set and forget” your speed so you can FOCUS on paying attention to obstacles and people who may be nearby.

And finally, you’ll want to consider the power source for your new riding mower. Gasoline engines are far more common, but there is now a wider variety of battery-powered models to choose from. The perks of a gas engine are that you’ll get near-infinite run times (as long as you have enough fuel to keep the engine going) and a bit more power for handling steep inclines and rough terrain. The downsides are dealing with exhaust emissions and maintenance that can be a time and money sink. Electric models don’t need engine maintenance, so you save a bit of money in the long run. But they usually have a maximum run time of about an hour, which means that you may have to plan your mowing over several days if you have a larger yard.

How big of a yard do I need for a riding mower?

Riding mowers are best suited for yards measuring one acre or larger. A model with a 42-inch cutting deck is great for mowing up to two acres, so if you have more land than that, you’ll want to spring for a 46, 54, 60, or 72-inch cutting deck.

If you’re right on the threshold, you can get what’s known as a “mini rider.” They usually have compact bodies for easier storage and 30-inch cutting decks to make short work of lawns that are just a touch too large for a push mower.

How long should a riding mower last?

No matter if you choose a gas or battery-powered riding mower, proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your mower. For gas engines, you should change the oil and filters, clean the spark plugs, and sharpen the blades before you mow for the first time in the spring. And you should use fuel treatments like STA-BIL to prevent gas in the tank or extra jerry cans from going bad from moisture contamination. This prevents buildup of gunk that can ruin your engine, improves engine performance, and gives you a cleaner cut for a healthier lawn.

Electric mowers don’t need engine maintenance, but you should perform thorough inspections at the start of mowing season to check for battery damage, corrosion on battery contacts, damage to the battery housing, and also to sharpen the blades. If you do regular maintenance, not only will you save money by avoiding big repairs from worn-out parts, but you can also expect your riding mower to last 10 years or more.- which is great news, since they can be an expensive investment.

What is the cheapest riding mower?

Unfortunately, riding mowers aren’t ever really what we consider “budget-friendly.” However, there are models like the Murray MT100 that retail for less than 2000 without sacrificing power or cutting width.

Are there alternative riding mowers worth considering?

Whether you’re shopping at a big-name DIY store like Lowe’s, a local hardware store, or an authorized brand dealer, there are tons of options for a new riding mower. You can choose either gas or battery-powered models, cutting deck widths from as small as 30 inches to as wide as six feet.

Here’s a short list of other riding mowers I thought were great choices:

John Deere Z530M. Runner-up best zero-turn riding mower

The John Deere Z530M features a 60-inch cutting deck for making quick work of large properties. Exceptional maneuverability lets you mow around trees, lawn decor, and other obstacles with ease.

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