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The best riding lawn mowers in 2023
The best riding lawn mowers let you tame your property in comfort, no matter the size of the yard.
Cutting grass with ease doesn’t have to mean sacrificing valuable garage space.
This gas-powered pick makes even large yards manageable.
An affordable option with plenty of power.
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Riding lawn mowers are a powerful, durable machine that makes cutting grass as effortless as possible. Lawn equipment has come a long way since the days of a sickle and elbow grease. Modern riding mowers cram the power of a farm tractor and the maneuverability of an ATV into one fun-to-ride, easy-to-control tool.
If you’ve never bought a riding mower, or are upgrading and replacing an old mower, you will be surprised and potentially overwhelmed with today’s options. Front engine? Rear engine? Do you need the best riding lawn mower for hills or zero-turn agility? And what about the transmission? Where do you start? And how do you know if you’re getting the right size mower with all the features you need or the best riding lawn mower for the money? That’s why we’re here: to take the mystery out of this lawn care equipment and find the best riding lawn mowers for every yard, lawn, and field.
The best riding lawn mowers: Reviews Recommendations
Best small: Toro 42″ TimeCutter 452cc Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Speed
If you have a smaller yard, this Toro lawn tractor is the versatile lawn slicer to keep your grass in check quickly. While riding mowers can be smaller, the smaller models are slower and feel underpowered. If you want a ride-on mower with strength and speed, go straight to a lawn tractor instead of a riding mower. It’s a great riding lawn mower for yards up to two acres. It’s not a huge, monstrous machine but still gives you plenty of cutting power. The steering is smooth and responsive. Plus it can be easily stored and maintained. For backyards, front yards, and small sidelots, the Toro riding lawn mower is the perfect fit.
Best for hills: Husqvarna TS 354XD 54-inch Garden Tractor
Husqvarna riding lawn mowers are some of the best on the market, including for hills. And the Husqvarna Garden Tractor is the mighty lawn mowing tool used by professional landscapers and backyard amateurs alike. The hydrostatic transmission makes the ride feel smooth and comfortable, even up and along hills. Its three strong blades, housed in the 54-inch cutting deck, can chew through anything in its path. And a 24 HP engine gives you the oomph needed to safely traverse inclines and wet surfaces. If you’re tasked lawn maintenance of a space larger than three acres, you need a garden tractor made of durable, dependable materials, and this Husqvarna lawn mower checks all the necessary boxes as the best riding mower for hills.
Best zero-turn: Husqvarna MZ54F 54 in. 24 HP Zero Turn Riding Mower
The best riding lawn mower must have what it takes, and then some. The power of the Husqvarna MZ54F riding mower is obvious: its 24 HP Kawasaki engine is more powerful than most consumer riding mowers. All that power helps the 54-inch cutting deck mow through a five-acre lawn with one tank of gas. The zero-turn steering allows for quick, smooth pivots making the heavy-duty steel frame feel light and nimble. It’s easy to use, after reading the instructions and taking it out for a few test cuts. For any lawn that creeps past the three-acre mark, the Husqvarna riding mower is the best beast to tame the suburban jungle.
Best budget: Troy Bilt 30-inch 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
The 30-inch cutting deck of the Troy Bilt riding mower makes it the best riding mower for yards smaller than one acre, and the best riding lawn mower for the money. It’s a small riding lawn mower that’s easy to store and maintain. And the 382cc single-cylinder Troy Bilt engine is powerful enough to chew up and spit out just about any lawn. Maneuvering around trees and along fences is fluid and comfortable, thanks to the Soft Touch steering wheel. While not as versatile as a lawn tractor, you can add mulching attachments to help keep the yard looking sharp. For anyone with a smaller yard, who doesn’t need a monstrous machine, the simple yet effective Troy Bilt riding lawn mower is the perfect fit.
Things to consider for picking the best riding lawn mowers
The best riding lawn mower is the one that efficiently mows your specific patch of grass because not all lawns are created equal. Even in your own neighborhood, one type of mower works best for one yard and another riding mower works best for the house next door. The right mower in the right hands can greatly speed up the grass-cutting process.
Before you rush out and buy the most expensive mower on display, however, take a close look at your own yard. Take measurements of the area that needs mowing (your property minus the footprint of your house, driveway, decking, landscaping, etc.), so you know how big an area you will maintain. As a general rule, riding lawn mowers work best on yards larger than one-half acre (anything less can be mowed more effectively with a gas-powered, walk-behind mower).
Also, know what type of terrain you will drive over, and know the difference between the types of lawn mowers. A ride-on lawn mower is an investment, so you want a machine that lasts. These are motorcycles with blades; understanding and respecting the engine and cutting mechanism is important to making sure your riding mower keeps going season after season. Regular maintenance will be required, but there are riding mowers that are easier to care for than others.
Safety and comfort are also important factors to consider when browsing any lawn or garden tool. Lumbar support and armrests on a riding lawn mower can reduce sore muscles and eliminate next-day chore hangovers. And comfortable steering not only helps your arms and legs, but also gives you greater control to chop grass in eye-catching patterns. Arm yourself with the knowledge (and our handle selections below) and you’ll find the best riding lawn mower for your property.
Calculate what you need to find a riding mower for small yards
The key to finding the best riding lawn mower is to get the right amount of power with the most effective cutting deck. If your yard is smaller than two acres, don’t waste money on horsepower you don’t need and cut widths too large to work in small areas.
There are four types of ride-on mowers to choose from: riding mower, lawn tractor, garden tractor, and zero-turn mower. While they all cut grass, they do so in different ways. A riding mower with a rear-mounted engine will be the least expensive option, but also the slowest and weakest. Riding mowers are the smallest of the bunch and have a maximum cut width of 30 inches. That’s a plus for small lawns (anything up to an acre).
A lawn tractor, however, is what most people envision when they think of a “riding mower.” Lawn tractors have the engine in the front, the cutting deck is between the front and rear wheels and they can be modified to do more than just cut grass. Garden tractors are bigger, more powerful, more versatile versions of a lawn tractor. And zero-turn mowers have a rear-mounted engine with their unique push bar steering to sharply maneuver around any obstacle.
If you have a yard too large for a push mower, yet smaller than an acre, a riding mower or small lawn tractor is the most efficient grass chopper to get. If you want horsepower and functionality, go for the lawn tractor. A lawn tractor can do more than cut grass and has the power to drive on any lawn.
Tackle tough inclines with the best riding lawn mower for hills
The best riding mowers are fierce vehicles with the handling of a car. But not all mowers can be the best riding lawn mower for hills. If a yard has a wide variety of inclines and valleys, trying to mow it can be frustrating and dangerous. Even small hills can be a hassle. Zero-turn mowers are notoriously horrible on hills, and low-powered riding mowers lack the strength needed to mow up and along a sloped lawn. A garden tractor with powerful maneuverability is the only ride-on mower that can safely keep your entire yard in order, even on hills.
Garden tractors are bigger than lawn tractors, making them better for yards larger than three acres. But these beasts can be more complicated. To make the larger tractors easy to control, it may use a hydrostatic transmission, which provides better speed and steering but can be more expensive to maintain and repair.
Still, the difference between a manual transmission and a hydrostatic transmission can be felt immediately as you simply, safely drive the mower up and along hills. With greater control comes tighter turns and quick maneuvering around the terrain. A high-quality hydrostatic garden tractor gives you commercial-grade cutting power in a user-friendly package, making it the best riding lawn mower for hills.
Zero-turn riding mowers cut the largest lawn with a twist
The benefits of a zero-turn riding lawn mower are clear: maneuverability and speed. These powerful lawn mowers can zip around trees, rocks, decks, pools, fences, or anything else that dots your landscape. They shift from forward to reverse in a snap and are ideal for making intricate patterns on the lawn. And the quick speed and wide cutting deck make them perfect for large lawns, fields, and anywhere else grass needs to be taught a lesson.
For lawns larger than four acres, you want a cutting deck wider than 54 inches. Generally speaking, a 54-inch cutting deck on a riding mower traveling at medium speed can cut four acres in an hour. Besides a large cutting width, you also want good horsepower to efficiently travel across the yard. A mower with 25 HP will provide enough muscle for large yards and fields. You can go higher, but most consumer models are between 11 HP to 25 HP. Anything above that may be too much muscle for one home.
The agility comes from the unique steering of a zero-turn riding mower. The left and right push-bar accelerators control each rear wheel independently. Push both forward and you move forward. Pull them back and you slow down and move in reverse. Push one bar forward and you spin around the stationary wheel. It may sound complicated, and there is a mild learning curve to mastering the mechanism, but your brain will pick up the steering and turning will be reflexive with just a few minutes of practice. Of course, take it slow at first and do not try to make sharp turns until you feel comfortable, and always be careful on hills. The weight distribution of zero-turn mowers can make inclines difficult to cut.
The rear-mounted engine gives operators a great view of what’s ahead. And zero-turn mowers are often faster than other ride-on mowers. While they may look intimidating and the steering is not like a car, zero-turn mowers are some of the best tools for cutting grass in big areas and tight corners.
Here’s the best budget riding lawn mower you can get
If the for ride-on lawn mowers give you sticker shock, rest a little easier knowing great and inexpensive riding mowers are out there. While you won’t be able to find anything useful for less than 1,000, once you reach the 1,500 ballpark you can find decent models that get the job done.
Between riding mowers, lawn tractors, and zero-turn mowers, the traditional riding mower will be the cheapest option. The main tradeoff for the lower price is cutting width, horsepower, and speed. The less expensive riding mowers have a 30-inch cutting deck (as opposed to the 50-inch decks of lawn tractors). These tiny grass gobblers are better for those with less than an acre of ground to mow. In fact, if your yard is smaller than an acre, smaller is better. Anything larger than a 30-inch riding mower is overkill.
A small, inexpensive riding mower performs only one task: cuts grass. They can’t plow sow, haul lumber, or turn on a dime. They are little more than a standard walk-behind mower with a chair, but the low price makes up for the lack of functions.
Q: How long does a riding lawn mower last?
A riding lawn mower should last anywhere between five and 10 years. But the years don’t matter as much as the hours of use. Consumer riding mowers are made to last about 300 hours. If you have a two-acre lawn, you may spend 60 hours a year using the mower and the mower will last five years. This varies based on where you live, rainfall, type of grass, type of terrain, etc., so it’s only to give you a rough idea. Make your mower last longer with routine maintenance and storing it properly during the off-season.
Q: What is the best riding lawn mower for one acre?
The Troy-Bilt TB30 (mentioned above) is the best riding lawn mower with just enough power to tackle one acre of grass, and the best riding lawn mower for the money if on a budget. For any yard larger than an acre, invest in a lawn tractor, like the 42-inch Craftsman riding lawn mower (mentioned above). It will be fast and efficient. expensive models and zero-turn mowers won’t be as helpful or efficient on smaller yards, so spending more is not always the best answer. And for anything smaller than one-half acre, a walk-behind mower is the most effective.
Q: When is the best month to buy a riding lawn mower?
The best month to buy a riding mower is April or August. Shoppers are most likely to find the model they want in spring, at the start of the mowing season. The won’t be the lowest, but availability is at the highest. Look for good sales during the summer, especially around Labor Day. At that point, many home goods stores are looking to clear floor space for fall/winter products. Options will be somewhat limited, but you can still find the make and model you’re looking for or something comparable. The cheapest of the cheap riding lawn mowers can be found in the fall, but who knows what stores will have left. And most stores don’t even sell riding mowers in the winter. While it’s not an exact science, stick to the months that begin with the letter A when shopping for a riding mower.
The final word on finishing chores in comfort with the best riding lawn mowers
Finding an effective, efficient ride-on mower isn’t too difficult once you know what to look for. Understanding the difference between a riding mower, lawn tractor, garden tractor, and zero-turn mower will make you a Smart shopper. To inform your lawn equipment decision, think about your lawn: How big is it? How many obstacles are in the way? Are there any hills? Using the wrong mower will make hot days doing yard work in the sun seem endless, but the best riding lawn mower will give you enough time to relax and enjoy the season…before you need to break out the snowblower.
Ride along lawn mower
A riding mower is a self-propelled vehicle operated by a person in a seated or standing position. It is designed for cutting grassy areas such as residential lawns, golf courses, cemeteries and parks.
Riding mowers are distinct from agricultural and industrial tractors, which “are designed as utility machines for multiple uses with a variety of implements and attachments.” (State of California Department of Industrial Relations). Roll-over protection for agricultural tractors is covered by the OSHA standards in Section 1928 subpart C, Roll-Over Protective Structures.
A sulky is a “[r]emovable trailing seat or stand-on platform with wheels or skids designed to carry an operator while controlling a self-propelled, pedestrian-controlled lawnmower.” (Source: ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2012, page 5). This webpage is not meant to apply to mowers with sulkies attached. Workers and employers should see other guidance, such as ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2012, Sections 10.5 and 20.7.
On August 30, 2004, a groundskeeper at a mission in Santa Barbara, California, was mowing near the top edge of a retaining wall when his riding mower hit a rock and went over the ledge. The mower fell three feet and landed on top of the groundskeeper, killing him instantly.
On May 7, 2012, a groundskeeper for the National Park Service (NPS) was mowing alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway at an overlook near Asheville, North Carolina. He was operating a zero-radius-turn riding mower that was equipped with a roll-over protective structure. As he maneuvered his mower behind a trash can in a narrow section of the terrain, his mower went over an embankment and fell at least 100 feet, killing the worker.
Safety Considerations for Using Riding Mowers
Workers operating riding mowers face serious safety issues. Their employers need to make sure that the equipment in use is designed and maintained with safety in mind. The employers must make sure that workers are trained to avoid hazardous surroundings. Finally, the employers must ensure that mowing operations are performed safely.
The guidelines discussed below are based on safety principles issued by the California Department of Industrial Relations, which includes Cal/OSHA; the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).
Employers Must Ensure Equipment Safety
Use and maintain all available safety equipment. Pay particular attention to the following points:
- Some riding mowers are designed by their manufacturer to be equipped with a roll-over protective structure (ROPS). The ROPS can either be standard or optional equipment. See the footnotes in the “Applicable Consensus Standards” section of this Hazard Alert for links to consensus standards governing which mowers must be equipped with a ROPS.
- If the mower a worker will be using does not have a ROPS, look for unused bolt holes or brackets near the seat or frame to see if the mower should be equipped with a ROPS. Do not operate any mower that was intended to be equipped with a ROPS without its ROPS in place. In many cases, retrofit kits are available. Contact the manufacturer to see if there is a kit for the mower you will be using.
- Mowers with a ROPS should also be equipped with a seat belt. Provide and use approved seat belt assemblies on all riding lawn mowers on which a ROPS has been installed.
- Where vertical clearance does not allow for a ROPS to be in the raised (active) position, the ROPS may be temporarily placed in the lowered (inactive) position. Also, workers should not wear a seat belt while operating a riding mower with the ROPS in the lowered position. Return the ROPS to the raised position as soon as the riding mower is in an area where the vertical clearance allows its use and reconnect the seat belt.
- Equip riding mowers with an operator presence control system that shuts off the blades when the operator dismounts the machine or rises out of the seat.
- Equip riding mowers with interlocks that ensure that the engine cannot start while the mower is in gear or if the blade is engaged. Inspect mowers to ensure that operator presence systems and all safety features are always in place and operable.
- Keep riding mowers in good working order, and inspect them periodically for an insecurely or incorrectly attached ROPS or seat belt.
- Mower operators should use a standard checklist to do a general inspection of the equipment before use. For example, the checklist should include checking the tire pressure and checking for missing or damaged guards, etc.
- Experienced service personnel should inspect riding mowers for the necessary safety features and overall maintenance at least annually. Only qualified personnel should service and repair riding mowers.
While it is essential to have the proper safety equipment in place on riding mowers, you should think of that step as just the beginning of your safety program.
Determining the Safety of the Surroundings
Employers should be familiar with the conditions of the terrain on which their mowers are being used. They should ensure that their workers take the following precautions:
- Do not operate mowers on slopes that exceed the angle limits specified by the manufacturer. Look for a label on the mower with this information.
- When the manufacturer’s instructions are not available or do not specify the angle limits for operating on sloped surfaces, evaluate the terrain and slope conditions to ensure that the mower is operated in a safe manner. Avoid mowing on slopes with an angle of over 15 degrees if there is no other information available.
- Use a slope indicator, also known as a clinometer or inclinometer, if you need one. Used to determine slope angles, inclinometers are devices that attach to equipment; applications for mobile devices; or printable versions that can be downloaded online. Refer to the “Additional Resources for Employers and Workers” section of this webpage, and Figure 1 (Slope Indicator) below. Clicking on the indicators will open separate printable documents.
- Always remove the key when you are leaving a mower unattended, but never leave mowers unattended on a slope. After turning off a mower, the rider/operator should set the brake, remove the key and wait to make sure that all the moving parts have stopped before leaving. The rider cannot assume that the moving parts will stop.
- Do not operate mowers in areas where the drive wheels are within five feet, as measured from the outside wheel edge, of the unprotected edges of retaining walls, embankments, levees, ditches, culverts, excavations, or similar locations that present an overturn or roll-over hazard. Use a string trimmer or a push mower instead.
- When it is necessary to operate riding mowers near ponds, creeks, reservoirs, canals, sloughs, lakes, golf course water hazards and similar bodies of water, evaluate the terrain and any slope conditions. Establish a safety zone to ensure that the mower is operated at a safe distance from such hazards. Sometimes, a distance of two mower widths is sufficient.
Training for Workers
Employers are responsible for providing workers with training before they can operate any lawn-mowing equipment. Training ensures that each operator is competent to operate a riding mower safely. Training must be provided in a language and vocabulary that workers can understand. Training should cover topics on the safe operation of specific riding mowers and other equipment that workers will use. These topics include:
- A review of all safety devices to ensure that ROPS, guards, seat belts, and shields are securely in place and properly used.
- The importance of surveying the terrain for hazards prior to mowing.
- How to identify obstacles in the mowing path, such as large rocks, man-made hazards such as signs and trash receptacles, tree stumps, soft or wet spots, and the areas where the use of riding mowers is prohibited.
- Reading and understanding the operations, maintenance, limitations and warning sections of the equipment manual.
- Speed control, steering and maneuvering such as:
- Decrease speed when the mower is traveling down slopes or around sharp corners to prevent tipping.
- Be particularly alert when backing up or while operating in low-light conditions.
- Do not mow from side-to-side when operating mowers on unlevel or sloped ground. Always mow slopes in the up-and-down direction.
- Use all required personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times: hearing and head protection, safety glasses, work boots, etc. Avoid wearing jewelry and loose-fitting clothing that can easily become entangled with moving parts.
- Never carry passengers. Riding mowers are one-person machines.
- Always start the mower from the driver’s seat. Never start the machine while standing beside it. Keep both feet on the machine at all times while it is running.
- Never place the mower in motion until a worker is ready. Putting the mower in gear unintentionally could make it jerk forward without warning.
- Never mount or dismount a mower while it is running, as there may be enough space for an operator’s toes to pass under the mower housing and be struck by the blade. Perform proper shutdown procedures before dismounting.
- Never stop or start a riding mower suddenly when it is going uphill or downhill. Avoid all sudden starts, stops, or turns.
In addition, agility and quickness do not ensure invincibility. The mower involved in the North Carolina incident, for example, was a zero-radius-turn mower.
Finally, the safe operation of a riding mower is similar to the safe operation of a motor vehicle. drive defensively and expect the unexpected. Employers should train workers to operate the mower as if there were no roll-over protective structure (ROPS) in place. A protective structure is not unlimited in its ability to protect the operator, as indicated by the incident in North Carolina described above.
Retraining and evaluation are necessary to ensure that workers maintain their competency to operate a riding mower safely. Provide refresher training to workers when:
- An operator has been observed operating a mower in an unsafe manner.
- An operator has suffered an injury or been involved in a near-miss incident.
- An operator receives a new job assignment that includes operating a mower or machinery with which the operator is unfamiliar.
- An operator receives a new job assignment that includes mowing on terrain or surfaces that present hazards unfamiliar to the operator.
How One Employer Responded to an Incident
This webpage began with the descriptions of two incidents, one of which occurred at a National Park Service site in North Carolina. This NPS site covered a landscaped area of 30,000 acres along a 500-mile long parkway. Following the incident, the NPS suspended all its mowing operations and did a site assessment to identify which equipment was appropriate for use in the different types of terrain that workers have to mow. Site assessment is a good practice for employers to follow before buying equipment and starting operations, because there are different types of equipment, with some designed for use only in specific terrain or on certain slopes.
Lawn Mowers for Kids | Learning Yard Work Kids | min min playtime
The NPS evaluated the landscaped acreage and broke it down geographically. For every area that required mowing, whether covered by string trimmers, push mowers, tractors with PTO-driven flail mowers, tractors with a side-mounted, hydraulically driven, sickle bar mower attachments or riding mowers, the officials performed a site assessment to see which equipment was appropriate. (There are tractors on which flail mowers are mounted at the end of a hydraulically positioned boom, but this employer had none of those.) String trimmers and push mowers can be used on any terrain. Beyond them, the choice of allowable equipment is based on the slope of the terrain. The slope limits of 15 and 22 degrees are based on instructions provided by manufacturers.
- 0- to 15-degree slope.- riding mowers or tractor mowers are approved for these areas.
- 15- to 22-degree slope.- tractor mowers are approved for these areas.
- 22-degree and up slope.- these areas are mowed with string trimmers, push mowers or specialized equipment. Specialized equipment can be riding mowers intended for use on slopes; i.e., slope mowers. The employer had about a half-dozen to a dozen mowers with such abilities.
- Within 5 feet of a drop-off.- a buffer zone is maintained. Only string trimmers and push mowers can be used inside this zone.
For more information on performing a risk assessment, see Managing risks and risk assessment at work. Accessed December 18, 2020.
Applicable Consensus Standards
Be prepared. Information and templates on setting up an injury and illness prevention plan can be found at this website:
Three consensus standards cover riding mowers:
- ANSI Standard B71.1-2012 contains safety specifications that “are intended to apply to products specifically intended as consumer products for the personal use of a consumer around a house. These specifications are not intended to apply to commercial products customarily used by hired operators or to products designed primarily for agricultural purpose. ” (1)
- ANSI/OPEI Standard B71.4-2012 contains the specifications for “powered (a) pedestrian-controlled machines, (b) ride-on machines and (c) implements for use with pedestrian and ride-on machines intended for marketing as commercial turf care equipment and that are customarily used by hired operators.” (2)
- ISO 21299:2009 “Powered ride-on turf care equipment. Roll-over protective structures (ROPS). Test procedures and acceptance criteria,” sets forth test procedures for roll-over protective structures. (3)
On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Services for Employers
OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management programs. To find the On-site Consultation programs nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit OSHA On-Site Consultation.
What Rights Do Workers Have?
- Work in conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary they can understand) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent harm and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Obtain records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Get copies of test results done to find and measure hazards in their workplace.
- File a complaint with OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA standards. When requested, OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Use their rights under the law without retaliation or discrimination.
Many states operate their own OSHA-approved safety and health program, with standards that may be different from but are at least as effective as Federal OSHA standards. For further information, please visit OSHA State Plans.
Additional Resources for Employers and Workers
Information on Regional Emphasis Programs (REPs) and Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) can be found at OSHA’s Local Emphasis Programs website.
There are additional resources available outside of OSHA:
Slope Indicators. Inclinometers. Clinometers
An inclinometer/clinometer (slope indicator) is included with this webpage. It can be printed as separate, machine-readable pages. Printable slope indicators can be found at the websites of some riding mower manufacturers.
Inclinometers are available as applications for mobile devices that run the Apple iOS, Google Android, PalmOS, WebOS and Windows 8 operating systems. Some are free.
American Society of Safety Engineers, “Ride-On Lawnmowers. The hazards of overturning.” Accessed December 18, 2020.
ANSI B71.1-2012, “American National Standard for Consumer Turf Care Equipment. Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers. Safety Specifications.” American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ANSI.org. Accessed March 12, 2013.
ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2012, “American National Standard for Commercial Turf Care Equipment. Safety Specifications.” American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ANSI.org. Accessed March 12, 2013.
California Department of Industrial Relations, Title 8, §3563, Power Lawn Mowers. Subsection (e) discusses a program of training for operators of all powered mowers. Power Lawn Mowers. Accessed March 12, 2013.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Landscaping. Riding Lawnmowers. Landscaping. Riding Lawnmowers. Accessed March 12, 2013.
This is one in a series of informational webpages highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory-impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.
U.S. Department of Laborwww.osha.gov (800) 321-OSHA (6742)
(1) ANSI B71.1-2012, “American National Standard for Consumer Turf Care Equipment. Pedestrian. Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers. Safety Specifications.” Accessed March 12, 2013.
(2) ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2012, “American National Standard for Commercial Turf Care Equipment. Safety Specifications.” Accessed March 12, 2013.
(3) ISO 21299:2009 “Powered ride-on turf care equipment — Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) — Test procedures and acceptance criteria.” Accessed March 12, 2013.
The best riding lawn mower for every size and type of lawn in 2023
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- Best overall
- Best budget riding lawn mower
- Best riding lawn mower for extra-large lawns
- Best electric riding lawn mower
- Best small riding lawn mower
- What else we considered
- How we research riding lawn mowers
- How to choose a riding lawn mower
- Riding lawn mower FAQs
- Check out our other lawn care guides
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Traditional push mowers are perfectly fine for smaller yards, but if you’re working with anything larger than about half an acre, you’re going to want to upgrade to a riding mower. Featuring extra-wide cutting decks and comfortable seats, these machines allow you to complete the job quickly and easily.
As a former landscaper at a large state park, I was tasked with operating, maintaining, and repairing riding mowers, and used this experience to help assemble this list of options. I also called upon several experts in the field to add additional insight and advice.
Based on my own hands-on experience and the feedback from these experts, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best riding lawn mowers for a wide range of yard sizes and budgets. At the end of this guide, read more about our research methodology and what to consider when shopping for a lawn mower.
The best riding lawn mowers in 2023
Best riding lawn mower overall: Toro Timecutter 75755 Zero-Turn Mower. See at The Home DepotThis Toro Timecutter 75755 zero-turn mower combines comfort with versatility, thanks to its seat suspension system, straightforward controls, and hassle-free maintenance.
Best budget riding lawn mower: Troy-Bilt Pony 42. See at The Home DepotThe Troy-Bilt Pony 42 packs an impressive amount of features into a compact frame, like a 7-speed transmission and anti-scalping wheels, while costing significantly less than similar options.
Best for riding lawn mower for extra large lawns: Toro Titan 60. See at The Home DepotThe size and power of the Toro Titan 60 allow you to quickly and comfortably complete mowing tasks on large yards — up to 7 acres — and it has the bells and whistles to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free ride.
Best electric riding lawn mower: Ryobi 38-inch 100Ah Riding Lawn Mower. See at The Home DepotRyobi’s 38-inch 100Ah Riding Lawn Mower is a low-humming and low-maintenance option that runs for up to 2 hours or 2 acres of mowing.
Best small riding lawn mower: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT42. See at The Home DepotIt might not have the cutting width or power of a larger mower, but the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT42 packs an impressive amount of bells and whistles into a relatively small package.
Best overall: Toro Timecutter 75755 Zero-Turn Mower
Pros: Wide cutting width; durable deck; comfortable ride; maintenance and cleanup is easy
Cons: Not CARB compliant, very expensive
We’re big fans of Toro mowers, which along with the enthusiastic recommendation of our expert Chavez, made the Toro Timecutter 75755 a no-brainer for our top pick. Its price might be significantly higher than our other options, but if you’re planning on doing a lot of mowing and comfort is a top priority, this could be worth the investment.
Chavez’s main reason for recommending Toro riding mowers like this one is the MyRide suspension system — she specifically cited it as a great benefit for those with back pain. By suspending the seat platform with a series of springs and shocks, this system makes for an extremely comfortable ride, and you can even adjust and customize the ride settings to your personal preference. As someone who has bounced and rocked their way across large yards on subpar seats, sitting on the MyRide system is a huge upgrade. Another benefit of this MyRide system is the fact that the seat can be flipped up and out of the way when performing basic maintenance.
The convenient washout ports on the deck also make this Toro model easy to keep clean. Instead of crawling underneath or raising the entire unit, these ports allow you to simply connect a garden hose and blast away dirt, grass, and debris. I’m also a big fan of the heavy-duty 10-gauge steel deck. As someone who spent hours repairing mower decks that were dented and split from hitting large rocks or trees, having a heavy-duty deck can be a huge time-saver down the line.
The large, 50-inch deck is perfect for yards up to 4 acres in size, and the zero-turn steering makes it easy for anyone to maneuver around corners and landscaping elements. A straightforward control panel also allows users to quickly change mowing speeds. These elements all add up to one thing — more time for you. You’ll get finished quicker and back to enjoying your day doing what you really want to be doing.
Best budget riding lawn mower: Troy-Bilt Pony 42
Pros: Cup holder, 5.5 mph speed, five height settings
Cons: Lacks zero-turn capability, 500cc engine may not be powerful enough for some users
If you’re looking for an affordable riding mower that’s capable of efficiently cutting lawns up to two acres, the The Troy-Bilt Pony 42 could be just what you’re looking for. Its 42-inch deck is large enough to make quick work of smaller yards, and also makes this mower compact enough for those who are short on storage space.
The 7-speed transmission is simple to use, and a separate lever allows you to mow in reverse, a feature not found on similar mowers. If you have an awkwardly-shaped yard, or have numerous landscaping elements, you’ll really appreciate this feature. A pair of automatic headlights also make it possible to safely mow when the sun begins to go down.
A pair of anti-scalping wheels on the deck reduce the chances of you ending up with patches of “scalped” grass, which makes this mower especially useful for those who have uneven or hilly yards. Plus, it has a rear-tow hitch included, so you’re all set to haul a small trailer or cart around the yard, for those non-mowing projects.
Its tractor-style body doesn’t have the zero-turn capabilities of our higher-end mowers, but it’s still relatively maneuverable thanks to its slim 18-inch turn radius. It’s also compatible with bagging and mulching kits, as well as sun shades, snow blades, and tire chains, making it a versatile lawn-care tool.
Best riding lawn mower for extra-large lawns: Toro Titan 60
Pros: Dual LED headlights, 3 year warranty/300 hours, comfortable seatCons: Expensive, bulky size might not be ideal for users who don’t have a lot of storage room
Time is obviously a big factor when it comes to mowing oversized lawns, and the Toro Titan 60’s forward and reverse speed are a big reason why we chose it as our top pick in this category.
The hydrostatic rear-wheel transmission allows you to reach speeds of up to 9 mph and 3 mph in reverse. The large, 22-inch rear tires of this mower are also designed to protect your grass from divots, as well as provide enough traction to keep you moving — even on uneven ground. It also features 15 quarter-inch deck adjustments, which are adjusted with a spring-assisted foot pedal, making it quick and easy to customize the deck height as you mow.
I’m most impressed by the heavy-duty frame, which is constructed of square tubular steel. This design not only makes it durable enough to handle the wear and tear that comes from tackling large jobs and heavy use, it also provides the sturdy foundation a large mower like this needs. This FOCUS on durability extends to the deck as well, which is made of 10-gauge steel and coated with a corrosion-resistant finish.
In my experience, open frame mowers like this one are great, not just for how easy they are to jump on and off, but because they are much easier to perform maintenance and repairs. The Toro Titan 60 also has a hinged floor pan, which makes it easier to access the deck and engine.
Fixing a free lawn tractor
Best electric riding lawn mower: Ryobi 38-inch 100Ah Riding Lawn Mower
Pros: Eco-friendly, low maintenance, quiet operation
Cons: About two hours of mowing time per charge, batteries are expensive to replace when the time comes
Unlike its gasoline counterparts, the electric Ryobi RY 48111-1A is a hassle-free option void of belts, spark plugs, oil changes, filters, or anything of the like to worry about. Plus, since it lacks a bulky engine, it has a more compact go-kart-style body design that can fit in tighter areas.
The Ryobi RY 48111-1A is also focused on providing a comfortable riding experience, with a quiet fume-free operation, as well as a cruise control function and a USB charger for your phone. When it comes time to recharge the mower’s batteries, it’s not like charging an electric car battery, and you don’t need a fancy electricity upgrade: Just plug it into a regular old 120-volt outlet. It takes about 12 hours to fully charge.
On the subject of batteries, the downside is that over time they will not hold a charge as well; it’s just a fact of life with batteries. Eventually, you’ll need to replace them. The replacement batteries will run you about 150 each.
Best small riding lawn mower: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT42
Pros: Hydrostatic transmission, comfortable seat, 16-inch turning radius
Cons: May be too narrow for extra large yards, lacks zero-turn steering
If your yard is 1 to 2 acres in size, avoid the massive size and bulky frames of larger mowers and go with this compact model from Cub Cadet. Its 42-inch deck is wide enough to efficiently cut a lot of grass in each pass, but is still small enough to for easy storage. This small size also makes it more convenient for maneuvering around obstacles, and combined with a 16-inch turning radius, it is ideal for yards with tight landscaping elements or narrow entryways.
It’s also designed with comfort and hassle-free operating in mind. A push-button cruise control setting allows you to conveniently set your desired pace, and the 12 deck positions make it easy to precisely dial in your preferred cutting height. Plus, the 15-inch high chair provides a sturdy and comfortable seat as you steer.
A digital readout also keeps you notified of any maintenance intervals coming up, so you’ll always know when its time to change the oil or air filter. These reminders can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your mower and prevent you from inadvertently causing damage to the engine or other components. We’re also big fans of the three-year-limited warranty, especially since it doesn’t have a maximum hour limit like most other models.
Editor’s note: We’ve noticed ths model’s stock varies significantly by ZIP code.
Don’t spend half the day mowing your lawn when you can purchase a riding lawn mower to better manage your expansive yard.
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For yards larger than a half acre, a push lawn mower just doesn’t cut it. Walk-behind lawn mowers are simply too small to mow the yard in a reasonable amount of time. Unless you enjoy spending the better part of a Saturday cutting grass, you need a riding lawn mower. Riding lawn mowers feature powerful engines and wide mowing decks that allow you to mow a large yard more quickly than with a standard push mower.
A riding mower is an invaluable tool for those who live on large pieces of property. But with so many different kinds of riding mowers on the market at a wide range of prices, how do you know which one is right for your yard? We compiled the following recommendations based on hours of research as well as our own riding mower field-test results. Read on to learn more about choosing the right model for your property, followed by our best riding lawn mower in-depth reviews.
- BEST OVERALL:John Deere 42-Inch S130 Lawn Tractor
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Lawn Tractor
- UPGRADE PICK:Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 60-Inch 24 HP Zero-Turn Mower
- BEST GAS LAWN TRACTOR:Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 Enduro Lawn Tractor
- BEST GAS ZERO-TURN:Toro 50-Inch TimeCutter MyRIDE Zero-Turn Mower
- BEST BATTERY ZERO-TURN:Ego Power 42-Inch Z6 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- BEST FOR SMALL YARDS:Ryobi 30-Inch 50 Ah Electric Riding Lawn Mower
- BEST FOR LARGE YARDS:Toro 54- Inch TimeCutter MyRIDE Zero-Turn Mower
- BEST FOR ROUGH TERRAIN:Ariens Ikon 52 Kawasaki V-Twin Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
How We Tested the Best Riding Lawn Mowers
With so many different types of riding lawn mowers to choose from, we compiled our list based on a diverse range of buyer needs. We selected the top models from reputable brands, including options for small, midsize, and large-acreage properties. Our choices include lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers, and we included a compact rear-engine model. With the rise in popularity of battery mowers, and the still-strong performance of gas-powered machines in this category, we made sure to include both.
We tested several of these picks, with more testing to come. Our riding lawn mower tests involve multiple-week trials on varied terrain with slopes and bumpy ground, both rough mowing and finish mowing. Several of the mowers below have already been tested; we have mowed at least 16 acres over at least 8 hours. We scored the mowers using a rubric in order to compare measurable specifications, such as deck width, frame steel gauge, and engine horsepower. We also took into account our subjective observations that describe the overall user experience in terms of comfort and convenience, not to mention mowing results.
Our Top Picks
We’ve compiled our top riding lawn mower recommendations based on brand reputation, spec analysis, and our own hands-on testing results. This list includes riding lawn mowers with powerful engines, wide mower decks, and durable construction from some of the most reputable lawn mower manufacturers.
John Deere 42-Inch S130 Lawn Tractor
Our top pick comes from a brand that is synonymous with durable performance, as it boasts a full range of riding lawn mowers built to last for decades. The John Deere S130 combines dependability with operational comfort and convenience. This lawn tractor comes equipped with a 22 horsepower (HP) Briggs Stratton 44 V-twin engine, a TLT 200 hydrostatic transaxle, and 20×10-8 rear tires that will provide many years of mowing service. It also features a single-lever throttle with spring-return choke, electric blade engagement, a dash-mounted fuel gauge, and the John Deere Easy Change 30-second oil-change system to make mowing and caring for the mower significantly easier.
At a glance, this mower may not appear much different from other lawn tractors, but a few key features set it apart. The mower’s frame is fabricated of full-length welded steel with a cast-iron front axle for decades of reliable operation. The engine features a full pressure lubrication system for extended working life. It is also compatible with numerous attachments, including branded and universal baggers, snow blowers, dump carts, and others that expand its usefulness beyond mowing.
In our at-home test of the John Deere S130, one of the first characteristics that stood out was its comfort. The two-piece seat allowed for cooling air circulation between the seat and backrest, unlike other mower seats with a one-piece design. The seat bottom was positioned 32 inches above the ground, providing a vantage point 3 inches higher than many competitors for improved visibility. We also liked the easy-to-use control layout, including push-button blade engagement and the dash-mounted gas gauge, keeping everything right at our fingertips. Plus, hydrostatic operation, controlled by side-by-side pedals, eliminated gear selection—we simply pressed one pedal to go forward and the other to reverse.
As for maneuverability and mowing performance, we could not have been happier. Top speed was about 5.5 miles per hour (mph), which was good for about 2 acres of mowing per hour. The deck shape allowed for extremely close edge cutting to minimize trimming later on. A spring-assisted lever made it easy to raise and lower the deck to any of the 13 preset heights between 1 and 4 inches high. The large tires cushioned the ride across uneven terrain, and the tight turning radius let the mower make surprisingly narrow turns, leaving an uncut diameter of just 25 inches.
In general, we liked the fast speed combined with the slightly narrower deck because it allows the operator to access tight spaces while still mowing a lot of grass quickly. The comfortable ride, ease of operation, and dependable components make this a great choice for those who have medium-to-large-size yards.
- Ideal power and size for properties from 0.5 acre up to 2 acres
- Tight turning radius with a smooth, comfortable ride
- Seat bottom is 32 inches above the ground, which provides a higher vantage point than other mowers
- Easy maintenance with the John Deere Easy Change 30-second oil-change system; compatible with numerous attachments
Get the John Deere riding lawn mower at Lowe’s or John Deere.
Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Lawn Tractor
This lawn tractor from Troy-Bilt features a powerful motor and ample mowing deck at a cost lower than that of other riding lawn mowers. The Troy-Bilt Pony 42 features a single-cylinder engine and a 42-inch mowing deck, which is suitable for 1 to 1.5-acre lawns. A twin-blade deck offers ample cutting power. And while the Pony doesn’t include a hydrostatic transmission, its seven-speed shift-on-the-go transmission is smoother than other manual-transmission lawn tractors. An 18-inch turning radius allows for easy maneuverability in the yard, while a 1.36-gallon tank capacity supplies enough fuel for medium-size lawns.
The Pony has a padded high-back seat and soft grips on the steering wheel for comfort. Additional features include LED headlights for mowing in low lighting, a rear hitch for accessories, and an integrated washing port on the deck.
- Budget-friendly price point for a lawn mower that is built to last
- Low-maintenance Briggs Stratton gas engine with electric start will provide years of dependable service
- 42-inch deck is suitable for mowing up to 2 acres of grass
Get the Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower at The Home Depot or Troy-Bilt.
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 60-Inch 24 HP Zero-Turn Mower
This high-performance zero-turn mower has plenty of power and features to take on large yards. With its powerful 24-HP Kawasaki twin-cylinder motor, 3.5-gallon gas tank, and a massive 60-inch deck, the Ultima can mow lawns of 3 acres or more. With its hydrostatic transmission, this zero-turn mower smoothly reaches speeds up to 7.5 mph. The large deck features Cub Cadet’s AeroForce cutting system for a top cut along with 15 height adjustments ranging from 1 to 4.5 inches.
Cut the lawn in comfort thanks to a cushioned seat with armrests, a suspension system, adjustable lap bars, and comfortable hand grips. LED headlights allow you to work in low-light conditions, while Cub Cadet’s built-in SmartJet deck pressure-washing system keeps the mowing deck clean.
- Type: Zero-turn mower
- Powered by: 24-HP V-twin Kawasaki gas engine
- Deck size: 60 inches
- Commercial-grade engine and heavy-duty frame will withstand many years of hard use
- 60-inch deck and 7.5 mph mowing speed; cuts up to 4 acres per hour
- Open frame and hinged floor pan allow easy access to the mower deck for maintenance
- Comfort features include padded high-back seat with armrests, cup holder, and 20-inch wheels for a smoother ride
- Premium price point for a residential mower, but value priced for the quality/capability
- The wide deck is too large to navigate walk-through gates and narrow pathways
Get the Cub Cadet Ultima riding lawn mower at The Home Depot.
Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 Enduro Lawn Tractor
There’s a lot to like about the Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 that makes it an excellent all-around riding lawn mower. Let’s start with what’s under the hood: a powerful 24-HP twin-cylinder Kohler engine, which is more than enough to power its 50-inch cutting deck or handle inclines. The engine and deck size make this mower suitable for lawns up to 1.5 acres. A hydrostatic transmission enables smooth speed changes, while a short wheelbase enables an impressive 16-inch turning radius. The cutting deck provides ample cutting power thanks to its three cutting blades and 12 easily adjustable cutting heights. A 3-gallon fuel tank ensures you won’t need a refill, even for large jobs.
Other features that set the Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 apart include a cruise-control feature that maintains a constant speed for the perfect cut and a SmartJet deck pressure-washing system, which allows a garden hose to be attached to the mowing deck to power-wash the interior.
- Type: Lawn tractor
- Powered by: 24-HP Kohler V-twin 7000 gas engine
- Deck size: 50 inches
- Wider deck and bigger engine; mows more grass faster than other lawn tractors
- 15-inch high-back seat with 10-degree incline and slide slope adjustment for outstanding comfort
- Extremely tight turning radius of just 16 inches for best-in-class maneuverability
- Features include push-button cruise control, LED headlights, battery indicator, and translucent fuel tank
Get the Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 riding lawn mower at The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., or Blain’s Farm Fleet (with stamped deck).
Toro 50-Inch TimeCutter MyRIDE Zero-Turn Mower
Owners of large properties prefer zero-turn mowers because they cut grass faster and more efficiently than lawn tractors, and they leave a great-looking finish. The Toro 50-inch TimeCutter MyRIDE zero-turn mower is an excellent choice for anyone mowing up to 4 acres of grass. It comes equipped with either a 24.5-HP Toro Commercial V-twin engine or a 23-HP Kawasaki engine, both of which are engineered and manufactured for the rigors of daily use in the professional lawn care industry. The MyRIDE floating suspension allows 3 inches of travel between the seat and the mower frame for an incredibly smooth ride on bumpy lawn areas.
Numerous commercial features make the Toro 50-inch TimeCutter one of the most dependable and convenient mowers for large properties. The dual hydrostatic HG-ZT 2200 transaxles and 10-gauge steel-fabricated triple-blade deck combine for fast mowing—up to 7 mph—with an incredibly clean finished cut from 1.5 to 4.5 inches high. The 3-gallon gas tank is more than adequate for mowing 4 acres of open ground without stopping to refuel. When it comes to maintaining the mower, the built-in deck washout port and toolless oil-change system make it quick and easy.
As for comfort and control of the mower, it offers a nice mix of professional durability with comfort and convenience upgrades that owners will appreciate. Dual wraparound levers with pro-control dampers offer intuitive steering control that even those new to zero-turn mowing will settle into right away. The 18-inch hand-sewn high-back seat includes padded foldaway armrests and adjusts forward and back to fit most users with the simple slide of a lever. A foot lever assists with deck-height adjustments to eliminate arm strain. And operators can stay hydrated while mowing on hot days thanks to a built-in cup holder.
We tested a Toro 50-inch TimeCutter MyRIDE for more than a month. The model we used came equipped with the 24.5-HP Toro Commercial engine. Although it was packed with commercial details, the mower was not quite as fast as a true commercial mower (which would cost at least twice as much). Still, at or near top speed, we were able to mow our 2-acre test area in about 40 minutes, or roughly 3 acres an hour, which is excellent among residential zero-turn mowers. We mowed the property twice per tank of gas, with a little left in the tank after the second cut, so we can confidently say after mowing four times that it will mow 4 acres per tank.
The MyRIDE suspension system was a unique configuration we haven’t seen elsewhere. The “cockpit” of the mower, including the seat and footrest area, is mounted on a floating platform that is attached to the mower frame by a shock absorber. The adjustable system provided more or less resistance as conditions required. It really did provide an outstanding amount of cushioning compared to the spring-seat systems that most zero-turn mowers use.
While we loved the power and comfort of the Toro TimeCutter, this model was a bit too wide to access a gated area on the property, and it could not navigate a narrow pathway to another isolated spot. Also, as with other zero-turn mowers, this one is not rated for use on slopes steeper than about 15 degrees, or 5.5 vertical feet per 20 linear feet, so we avoided those areas as well.
- Type: Zero-turn mower
- Powered by: 24.5-HP Toro Commercial V-twin engine or 23-HP Kawasaki V-twin engine
- Deck size: 50 inches
- Commercial-grade engine is designed for thousands of hours of hard use
- Fast mowing at speeds up to 7 miles per hour; it can mow about 3 acres in an hour
- MyRIDE suspension system offers an incredibly smooth ride over bumpy ground
- 3-gallon fuel capacity, which is enough to mow up to 4 acres per fill-up
- 10-gauge steel frame and forged-steel deck offer outstanding toughness and durability
- Due to the width of the deck, this mower cannot drive through most walk-through gates
- Zero turns in general, and this one included, are not designed for hilly terrain
Get the Toro 50-inch TimeCutter riding lawn mower at The Home Depot (with 24.5-HP Toro Commercial engine), Mowers Direct (with 24.5-HP Toro Commercial engine), or Tractor Supply Co. (with 23-HP Kawasaki engine).
Ego Power 42-Inch Z6 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Those who measure their yard in acres instead of square feet may have thought a gas-powered mower was the only option. That is no longer the case. The Ego Power zero-turn riding mower mows up to 2 acres per charge and can easily be upgraded to mow more than 3 acres per charge. Many of the features found on gas-powered zero-turn mowers are also found on the Z6, such as adjustable lap bars to control the drive wheels, heavy-duty front swivel casters, and an adjustable high-back seat. Other features include a 42-inch mowing deck with 10 height settings between 1.5 and 4.5 inches and the option to discharge, mulch, or bag the grass clippings.
Independent electric motors drive the wheels and blades. Blade power is adjustable to conserve battery life during normal maintenance or to power through tougher areas. Powered by the included four 56-volt 10-amp-hour (Ah) lithium-ion batteries, the Z6 delivers mowing performance equivalent to that of a 22-HP gas engine. Four batteries mow up to 2 acres per charge, but the Z6 has six battery ports. Add up to two additional batteries (sold separately) to mow more than 3 acres per charge. The Z6 also features bright LED headlights and a battery-life indicator. The included Rapid-charge adapter is reputed to be one of the fastest available, topping off a set of depleted batteries in just 2 hours.
After a month of testing, we were sold on the Z6 as a viable alternative to gas for larger properties. Our test property featured rolling terrain with about 2.25 acres of grass, including a large open acre-plus, and the rest broken up with landscape beds, walkways, and buildings. We tested in the basic four-battery configuration as well as with two additional batteries in order to learn more about top-end functionality.
We were pleased to note that runtime and acres per charge were as advertised in the four-battery configuration. The Rapid-charge system refueled the four batteries in just 2 hours. To test the six-battery configuration, we mowed the entire property at the highest setting, then dropped the deck three notches and started mowing the big field again. With all six batteries, we mowed approximately 3 acres and recharged all six in about 3 hours.
The overall Ego Power Z6 mowing experience was really good. The mower starts easily and reliably. The controls, gauges, and adjustments are fairly intuitive. The sound level is extremely quiet, especially compared to a large gas-powered zero-turn mower. The suspension seat was quite comfortable, but the relatively small rear tires and overall light weight of the machine made for a bouncy ride on the roughest ground. We also noted that it climbed inclines well.
While the performance was really quite good, we did note a few rough spots. We felt a bit of “slop” or looseness in the lap bars and the front casters, particularly when navigating tight spaces, and the machine seemed to have a slight pull to the right when both bars were at full forward speed. Also, while the mower did a great job in “standard” mode (or medium blade speed) while cutting well-maintained grass, it struggled slightly in overgrown areas. In one patch of 12-inch-high crabgrass, we increased to full blade speed and still had to slow down to get a clean cut. But even with those issues, we still agree that the Z6 would make a rock-solid choice for owners of large properties who are seeking an alternative to gas.
- Type: Zero-turn mower
- Powered by: Up to six 56-volt 10Ah batteries (4 included)
- Deck size: 42 inches
- Includes four 56-volt 10Ah lithium-ion batteries with space for 2 additional batteries
- Onboard Rapid battery-charging system
- 10-position 42-inch deck
- Mows at speeds up to 7 miles per hour
- Bright LED headlights for low-light mowing
Get the Ego Power riding lawn mower at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.