Best Zero Turn Mower Under 3000 [Qualified Mechanic’s Review 2023]
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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.
- 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.
What size is right for you?
- 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.
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.
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!
The best zero turn mower warranties:
- 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 Liked
- Great Kohler engine
- Good size mower deck
- Deck access from the top of the deck
- Square frame makes this mower solid
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.
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.
Testing a MASSIVE mower
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
What We Didn’t Like
- 3-gallon gas tank is the smallest on this list
- 36″ cutting width is much smaller than the top mowers on this list
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.
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.
- 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!
Reading on Mowers:
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.
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
- Powerful brushless motor
- 12 deck adjustments
- USB charger port available
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!
Best Riding Lawn Mower Reviews 2023
Tired of spending the best part of your Saturday walking behind a lawn mower? You’re not alone and our team has pulled together our recommendations for the best riding lawn mower in 2023. Whether you’re a homeowner or commercial Pro, or you’re on the hunt for a lawn tractor or zero-turn mower, we have you covered. Thinking about making the switch to battery power? We have thoughts on electric riding lawnmowers as well.
Considering walk-behind mowers? Check out our Best Lawn Mower main page.
- Best Commercial Riding Mower (Find a Dealer)
- Best Residential Riding Lawn Mower (Buy at Tractor Supply)
- Best Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower (Buy at Acme Tools)
- Best Lawn Tractor (Buy at Tractor Supply)
- Best Consumer Electric Riding Lawn Mower (available at Lowes or Home Depot)
- Best Riding Lawn Mower For Small Lawns (Buy at Lowes)
- Best Riding Lawn Mower For Medium Lawns
- Best Riding Lawn Mower For Large Properties
- Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills
- Best Riding Lawn Mower For The Money (Buy at Tractor Supply)
- What We Look For In The Best Riding Lawn Mower
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Best Commercial Riding Lawn Mower
Hustler Hyperdrive Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
Professional lawn care crews who FOCUS on residential lawns (affectionately known aa “mow and blow” crews) have to hit a lot of lawns every day during the mowing season and they’re tough on their equipment. Exmark, Hustler, and Scag all come up frequently in conversations about the best commercial mower, and our top choice is the Hustler Hyperdrive series.
While the Super Z series is likely more popular, the Hyperdrive series adds additional durability to the transmission system, keeping your downtime to a minimum.
Deck sizes range from 60 to 72 inches and there are 35 to 40 HP engine options from Kawasaki and Vanguard. For those of you who like to mow at speed, you can run up to 16 MPH on this model. No matter what your mowing style is, Hustler has a 3,000-hour warranty on the hydraulic system and a 5-year/1200-hour warranty on the full mower.
Price: Contact your local dealer
Best Residential Riding Lawn Mower
Toro Timecutter Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
For residential use, we recommend Toro’s TimeCutter as the best residential riding lawn mower for a variety of reasons. What it boils down to is that you get an excellent balance of performance, comfort, and reliability for the price.
The line currently includes 17 models (including CARB-friendly options). Deck sizes start at 34 inches for small lawns and run up to 60 inches for those of you with acreage to maintain. The base-level models are an excellent value for most people, but if comfort is a high priority, step up to the MyDrive models to get an upgraded suspension and easier ride.
Best Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower
Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX6 Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
While Toro earns our pick as the best overall riding mower for residential use, Cub Cadet’s Ultima ZTX6 series is the creme de la creme for those of you with a bigger budget. Earning our choice as the best residential zero-turn riding lawn mower, the ZTX6 is at the top of Cub Cadet’s residential-focuses Ultima line.
These mowers bridge the gap between residential and Pro needs, giving you a ride and performance that feels more professional while keeping the overall price down from premium professional mowers. The ZTX6 comes with a 25HP Kawasaki commercial-grade engine and either a 54 or 60-inch deck size. If you prefer a steering wheel over lap bars, there’s now a ZTXS6 option that has you covered.
Price: 8999.00 – 9299.00 (10299.00 for the 60-inch ZTXS6)
Best Lawn Tractor
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro FAB Series Lawn Tractor
Cub Cadet lawn tractors are very popular and consistently earn high ratings from owners. If you’re looking for the best lawn tractor among them, we recommend the XT1 Enduro FAB series. They’re a bit more expensive than others in the XT1 line, but they upgrade from a 13-gauge stamped steel deck to an 11-gauge fabricated steel one, improving the long-term durability.
Available with a 50 or 54-inch deck, these mowers are suitable for covering larger lawns than lawn tractors in the 30 – 48-inch range. Thanks to a Kohler 24HP engine, they have better overall performance than most of its competition as well. While they don’t turn as tight as a zero-turn, they do have a 16-inch turning radius that gives them a tighter turn than others.
Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower
Try as we may, we couldn’t pick just one electric ride-on lawn mower as the best. However, we do have three that stand out from the rest.
Commercial: Greenworks Commercial 82V OptimusZ Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
Greenworks was one of the first to push into the commercial electric zero-turn lawn mower market and they have learned a lot over the years. The culmination of that experience and the best of today’s technology come together in the Greenworks OptimusZ zero-turn and earns our recommendation as the best electric commercial riding lawn mower.
The line includes both ride-on and stand-on models, and we even got to see an operational prototype of a fully-autonomous version. Focusing on the ride-on models, there are 48 – 60-inch deck sizes with either 18KWh or 24KWh battery packages. On the 60-inch mower, the larger battery bank can run up to 8 hours on a charge.
The top speed is impressive, reaching up to 16 MPH with the blades on. Security is already onboard thanks to the combination of 4G and GPS connections. If all that sounds great, but you’re still not sure it can hold up, keep in mind that Greenworks backs these mowers with a 5-year/2,000-hour warranty.
Residential: EGO 56V E-Steer Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
EGO is making it easier to transition from gas to battery power and into the zero-turn market with the 56V E-Steer riding lawn mower. It takes the lap bars and exchanges them for a steering wheel, making for a much more approachable mower if you’re not used to traditional ZT steering. Beyond that, the design team shifted the controls/info screen onto the steering wheel where they’re easy to keep an eye on while you’re mowing.
The mower sports a 42-inch deck with cutting speeds between 4 and 8 MPH and matches the power of a 22HP gas engine. For the power source, EGO uses the same 556V batteries that power its other mowers and handheld tools. With a full load of six 12.0Ah batteries, expect to cut nearly four acres on a charge. With the four batteries that come with the mower, there’s enough juice to cover 2.5 acres.
Price: 5999.00 with four 12.0Ah batteries and onboard charger (scheduled for May 2023 launch)
Residential: Ryobi 80V iDrive Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
Ryobi’s iDrive zero-turn lawn mowers break the mold of lap bars, but not with a steering wheel. It uses joystick controls, making you feel a bit more like a lawn-cutting fighter pilot (without the missiles, of course). While it certainly breaks the norm, our crew was able to adjust to the steering quickly.
There are three deck sizes covering 30 to 54 inches and they primarily use 80V suitcase-style batteries for power. These mowers also have slots to use Ryobi’s 40V batteries if you need to extend your runtime beyond what the 80V packs offer.
The power ranges from a 28HP – 42HP gas equivalent with runtime covering 1 – 4 acres, depending on which model you go with. Plus, this mower uses the CrossCut stacked blade system to give you better cut quality than you’d get with single blades.
Price: 5999.00 – 7999.00 ready to mow
Take a look through our full list of Best Electric Lawn Mower recommendations!
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Small Lawns
John Deere S130 Lawn Tractor
Lawn tractors are great for small to medium-sized lawns and the John Deere S130 lawn tractor is our choice as the best riding lawn mower for small lawns. The S100 comes in at a lower price, but moving up to the S130 is worth it in our opinion.
Both feature a 42-inch mowing deck, but the S130 has a significantly stronger 22HP V-twin engine and it has John Deere’s super-easy 30-Second Oil Change system. The S130 also upgrades with cruise control and an electronic PTO system. Overall, it balances ease of ownership and performance well while keeping a safe distance away from the price of zero-turn mowers.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Medium Lawns 1 Acre to 5 Acres
Husqvarna Xcite Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
The best riding lawn mower for medium-sized lawns is the Husqvarna Xcite. There are two models available featuring a 54-inch 10-gauge deck that’s a great size for those 1 – 5–acre properties.
What’s exciting about the Xcite is a combination of innovative features and a design that feels more Pro even though these target residential users. Starting from the top, your start/stop and blade engagement controls are on the lap bar ends where you can easily reach them with your thumbs. Then there’s the suspension system. 4 bar links and 10 adjustment settings let you customize the setup based on your size, weight, and preferences to dial in a comfortable ride.
Depending on the model, you get either a 24HP or 26HP Kohler engine with a top speed of either 7 or 9 MPH. On the business end, Husqvarna puts stock blades that can go up to 5 years without needing to be sharpened. Husqvarna targeted a Pro feel with the convenience and ease of ownership homeowners crave with the Xcite and they nailed it.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Large Properties
Exmark Lazer Z Series Deisel Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
When it comes to maintaining large areas where you need a cleaner cut than a bush hog leaves behind, there are a few large-deck options. Leading the pack in size and with a robust professional resume’, the Exmark Lazer Z Deisel is our choice as the best riding lawn mower for large properties.
When we say large, we mean it. The Lazer Z diesel line includes 60, 72, and 96-inch options along with a monstrous 144-inch model. Ang get this—Exmark rates the largest mower’s cutting rate at up to 11.5 acres per hour! In terms of productivity, that’s going to be tough to beat.
These mowers aren’t cheap, though. They start at just over 27,000 and the 144-inch model is over 35,000.
Price: Starting at 27,099.00
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills
Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
If you have hills, you need both power and traction to mow effectively. In our team’s opinion, the best riding lawn mower for hills is the Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 series SD/SDL models. What sets these mowers apart is a combination of their dually rear wheel and steering wheel designs.
Four rear wheels help prevent the back end from slipping, even in wet conditions. The steering wheel makes it easier to manage on slopes and there’s an option for a pivoting seat that keeps you more upright on those hills. As part of Cub Cadet’s commercial mower lineup, you can expect a commercial-level build and high-end comfort features as part of the package.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For The Money
Toro Timecutter 42-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
What’s the best riding lawn mower for the money? For that, we return to the Toro TimeCutter series. Specifically, it’s the 42-inch 75746. This isn’t the least expensive 42-inch in the line, and it’s not the most expensive, either. By upgrading from the entry-level version (3299), you’re moving from a 15.5 HP Briggs Stratton engine to a much stronger 22HP Kohler engine. up to a more durable 10-gauge fabricated steel deck.
If your lawn is 2 acres or less, this model offers the best balance of performance, durability, comfort, and price. But what if you have more then 2 acres? Stick with the Toro TimeCutter and move up in deck size to match your lawn.
What We Look For In The Best Riding Lawn Mower
Lawn Tractor or Zero Turn?
When you’re choosing the best riding lawn mower for your lawn, the first thing to decide is which style you want.
Lawn tractors have several advantages. They tend to be a smaller overall size, are less expensive, and are easy to use with their steering wheel/pedal control systems. The downsides are that they tend to be slower and don’t reach larger deck sizes. They also aren’t as efficient in your mowing pattern because they require a larger turning radius.
Zero-turn lawn mowers make it easier to efficiently mow straight lines. While they’re more expensive, larger, and can take some time to get used to lap bar controls, you can get larger deck sizes, they have higher speeds, and they’re better for large properties. If comfort is a high priority for you, you’ll find better options with ZTs and lawn tractors.
Gas or Battery?
Now that battery-powered riding lawn mowers are at a point where they really can replace gas, the conversation is shifting away from just power and runtime.
Gas mowers tend to be less expensive and you can usually find someone to service/repair them within a reasonable drive of your home. The trade-off is the noise, emissions, managing fuel and oil, and more required maintenance.
Mowing the Neighbor’s Half and Then…
Battery-powered mowers have a push-button start system that’s ready when you are, assuming you charged the batteries. They’re remarkably quiet compared to gas, have no emissions, and your HOA isn’t going to suddenly rewrite the rules to eliminate them. Maintenance primarily boils down to blowing off the deck and maybe rinsing under the deck. The primary downsides at this stage are that you don’t have as wide of a selection as gas, they’re more expensive, the batteries need replacing every 3 – 5 years, and there aren’t nearly as many service centers close by.
Durability and Reliability
As you go up in price from entry-level riding lawn mowers to mid-range and high-end models, there are significant changes. A more powerful engine is only part of it. The design of the engine and its quality typically improves as you move up the line, giving you a more reliable engine to go along with the higher performance of more horsepower.
You also see the strength of the build improve. Some of it is the thickness of the metal or moving from stamped steel to fabricated steel on the deck. Other components come into play as well, with higher quality transmissions and electronics packages improving.
Generally speaking, if you’re looking at an entry-level model, see if your budget has room to move up into the middle or even high end of the line. The durability and reliability you gain are worth it in the long run.
The deck size you need depends on the property you’re mowing. 42-inch riding lawn mowers are a good starting point for lawns up to an acre or where you need to squeeze through a narrow gate. If you have more than an acre, go ahead and look at models up to 60 inches.
Realistically, it’s a matter of finding the right balance between how much lawn you have to cut, how much storage space you have available, and what your budget is.
Speed is primarily a concern for professional lawn crews who need to move from one property to the next quickly or on campuses with significant travel distance between the shop and where they’re mowing. They usually want a mower with a top speed over 10 MPH.
Even homeowners can make their mowing chores more efficient with some decent top-end speed, though. 7 MPH or more is a good benchmark for those models. If you tend to take your mowing more casually, 5 – 6 MPH is just fine.
The larger your lawn, the more time you need to spend in the driver’s seat of your riding lawn mower, and the more comfort comes into play. Entry-level mowers are going to bounce you around more than mid-range and high-end models. Look for a seat with plenty of cushioning, an adjustable tension knob, and enough travel for you to sit without having to scrunch up.
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Zero Turn vs Traditional Rider
Here are some of the time-saving features of zero turn technology:
Mowing Around Objects
The maneuverability of a zero turn mower allows you to mow around trees, flower beds and other obstacles in your yard much easier than using a traditional riding lawn tractor. Zero-turn mowers can make sharp turns because the rear wheels turn under the operator’s control, instead of the front wheels, as with lawn tractors. Being low leveled, a zero turn allows the driver a better view of the area ahead, which makes spotting anything unexpected in your path very easy.
Speed It Up
Zero turn mowers are designed to cut grass 50% faster than traditional lawn tractors, so your straight line mowing speed is improved. A typical lawn tractor cuts at about 3-4 mph while a typical zero turn cruises along at 5-8 mph.
Mow In A Single Path
The wider turning radius of a tractor leaves strips of uncut grass that require awkward maneuvering to reach. When mowing with a traditional lawn tractor, you have to drive over already cut areas, back up to cut or take multiple passes at the end of a mowing row. This causes irregular mowing patterns and increases the time it takes to finish the job.
Zero Turn mowers can spin a full 180 degrees. It makes a clean cut at the end of each mowing row, reducing the number of passes it takes to cut your lawn. This efficient cut pattern also helps you achieve that freshly-cut striping look of a professional job.
No Follow Up Trimming
With an unobstructed view of the cutting deck, zero turn mowers make it easy to cut very close to your trim edges – you can nearly eliminate the need to trim hard-to-reach areas with a push mower or a string trimmer after you’ve finished mowing.
Easy and Relaxing to Drive
Without a steering wheel, a zero turn machine may look intimidating to drive, but most people become comfortable with the way it handles after just a few times mowing their lawn.
Steering a zero turn mower with lap bars is easy. In fact, it is not that different from steering a shopping cart.
HOW TO MAKE A LEFT TURN WITH A ZERO TURN
HOW TO MAKE A RIGHT TURN WITH A ZERO TURN
- Forward:Push the handles forward.
- Reverse:Pull the handles back.
- Right Turn:Push the left handle forward.
- Left Turn:Push the right handle forward.
- Stop:Bring the handles back to neutral.
The key to driving in a straight line is to assure that the same amount of pressure is applied to each lever.