The Best Riding Lawn Mower That Will Level Up Your Yard Maintenance (Top 7 Picks)
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How about this spring, you treat yourself with a new riding lawn mower?
If you have a big lawn, you ought to have thought about upgrading to riding mowers with more power and convenience.
Instead of dragging along a push mower, struggling your way with cords, and spending hours on lawn care, riding lawn mowers can help you achieve perfect results much faster!
They come in different sizes, shapes, and prices, but they have one thing in common. Outstanding comfort and excellent time-saving power!
If you are in possession of more than one acre of land, you will want to hear all we have prepared about the best riding lawn mower of 2022!
Here are our top 7 models that should be the star item of your garden this spring!
We have also featured a few of the best tractor mower deck replacement accessories you will definitely like!
- Best Riding Lawn Mowers 2022: My Top 5 List
- #1. Husqvarna YTH18542 Briggs Stratton – Best Pick
- #2. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic – Best For Large Lawns
- #3. Ariens Edge Zero Turn Mower – Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mower For Smaller Lawns
- #4. Husqvarna HP Briggs Stratton – Best Riding Mower For Medium-Sized Property
- #5. Simplicity 2691418 Prestige Mower – Best Riding Lawn Mower With A Floating Deck
- #1. Husqvarna 583909301 Lawn Tractor 54-in Deck Housing – Best Riding Lawn Mower Deck
- #2. John Deere 42″ Complete Mower Deck – Best For John Deere Tractors
- 1. Power Source
- 2. Deck Size
- 3. Zero-Turn Mower
- 4. Grass Clippings
- Is it worth getting a riding mower?
- What is the best riding lawn mower brand?
- What is a good price on a riding lawn mower?
- What is the difference between a ride-on mower and a lawn tractor?
- How long does a ride on a mower battery last?
- So, what is the best riding mower?
Best Riding Lawn Mowers 2022: My Top 5 List
One of the best hydrostatic transmission models that offer a smooth ride on the majority of terrains. It has a 42-cutting width deck and offers exceptional operator comfort.
However; it lacks cruise control.
An excellent zero-turn mower with a large cutting deck. It goes quickly around the tight and narrow areas and is suitable for tall grass
However, it’s challenging going downhill with the riding mower.
If you have a small lawn with a few awkward areas, you will appreciate this zero-turn lawnmower. It’s easy to maneuver and has a steel design that won’t let you down.
However, it’s not the most comfortable.
Great for medium-sized lawns, it features a hydrostatic transmission as well as a cruise control function for stability and maximum operator comfort.
Not so maneuverable over tight areas.
Easy to steer and even more comfortable to use, includes a free-floating cutting deck that does offer a scalp-free cut.
CHECK ON AMAZON
When shopping for the best riding lawn mowers, you should consider a few features beforehand.
For starters, what type of lawn mowers would you want?
By this, we mean the power source.
Your riding mower options will be an electric riding mower, gas mowers, and battery-operated mowers.
Nowadays, most customers opt for a gas-powered mower or an electric mower. However, what’s the difference, and which one is better?
While gas mowers are indisputably more powerful, they oppose a large environmental threat. They are noisy and require frequent maintenance compared to push mowers.
On the other hand, electric riding mowers are easy to start and quiet if you live in a sensitive neighborhood. However, they are not so powerful for large yards.
The deck size should be your next priority.
It ultimately predicts how the width of the path it will cut.
Therefore, if you want to get the best riding mower and finish the yard maintenance quicker than usual, pick a bigger deck size.
The sizes can vary in each riding lawn mower from 30 to 70 inches.
For homeowners with a medium-sized garden, I always recommend a 40-50 inches cutting deck width.
Anything bigger than that, and you won’t be able to tackle as many obstacles and turns in your garden.
Since we are on narrow lawn paths, consider purchasing a zero-turn riding mower.
A zero-turn lawn mower has a zero-turning radius, allowing them to get around all of the tricky areas easily.
They feature two swiveling wheels in the front and a pair of larger wheels in the rear.
The control of the zero-turn riding mower is managed with two handlebars that dictate each drive wheel separately.
One of the best zero-turn riding mowers you can get is the Ariens Edge Zero Turn Mower.
What about the grass clippings? Where would you like them to go after you have mowed your lawn?
Again, this should be considered before you invest in the best riding lawn mowers.
An electric riding mower and even gas-powered ones have a few options for clippings management.
For instance, you can choose to store them in a discharge bag or mulch the clippings into a natural fertilizer.
Is it worth getting a riding mower?
If you have a large lawn or dense grass to take care of, it’s worth getting a riding mower!
They are much easier to operate than walk-behind mowers as they do not cause physical strain.
Plus, they are efficient and can mow up to two acres before you need to recharge them or refill the gas tank!
However, the main disadvantage of ride-on mowers is the high price.
What is the best riding lawn mower brand?
Husqvarna, John Deere, and Troy Bilt are the best riding lawn mower brands.
All three of the brands are highly respectable among farming fanatics as they have delivered high-quality riding lawn mowers for years now!
Always opt for John Deere riding mowers if you want an old but gold pick.
The brand has been in the industry from its very start, so if you are going to invest smartly-go with JD!
What is a good price on a riding lawn mower?
Riding lawn mowers are not an affordable investment. The majority of them will rank for at least 2,500.
The reason for the steep price lies in the efficiency of these lawn mowers.
Many of them run on gasoline, so they deliver a high amount of power for tackling even the trickiest areas.
As a result, they are perfect for larger lawns and fields, while some can even now up to two acres without refilling the fuel tank capacity.
What is the difference between a ride-on mower and a lawn tractor?
The most basic difference between a ride-on mower and a lawn tractor is that the first one has a mowing deck under the front part, while a lawn tractor has a mid-mounted cutting deck.
Additionally, riding lawn mowers are suitable if you have tall and thick grass.
Also, you can use them on smaller yards without them taking up too much space. On the other hand, a lawn tractor is much bigger in design and more versatile.
You can hook numerous lawn attachments on the tractor, while some models even include a cup holder for those sunny days.
How long does a ride on a mower battery last?
Depending on the model of battery-powered mower you have chosen, the battery can last between 3-and 4 years.
As far as the mowing time goes, plenty of riding lawn mowers can last up to two hours before they need a recharge.
So, what is the best riding mower?
You guessed it! It’s the Husqvarna YTH18542 Briggs Stratton! This is a reliable choice and among the best riding lawn mowers of 2022!
It’s smaller but a beast inside so that it can take care of your lawn in a blink of an eye.
See for yourself why so many farmers view it as a best-riding lawn mower.
The best riding lawn mower comes in different shapes, sizes, and power sources, but we hope we have made a choice a bit easier!
If you have a bigger lawn, you must consider investing in the best lawn tractor or riding a lawn mower soon!
They are much easier to operate and manage on bigger fields and will upgrade your yard maintenance to the next level!
Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of CropsReview.com. This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here
How to level a riding lawn mower deck for an even cut video
If your riding lawn mower is cutting the grass unevenly, the mower deck might not be level or the tires might not have enough air. This video shows how to adjust and level the deck height of your riding mower.
For additional repair help, including common symptoms and troubleshooting tips, step-by-step riding lawn mower and tractor repair guides, and articles, check out our repair help section. In addition, find the riding mower parts you need to fix your mower.
Supplies you need
- Wrench set
- Tire pressure gauge
- Compressed air supply
- Work gloves
Hi, Wayne here from Sears PartsDirect. Today we’re going to level the mower deck on a riding lawn mower.
Your lawn will end up with an uneven cut often resembling slanted steps if the mower deck isn’t level. That’s because the blades will shave the grass short on the lower side of the deck and leave the grass tall on the other side.
To level the deck on your riding mower, you need a wrench set and a ruler. You also need a tire pressure gauge and air supply so you can inflate the tires evenly before checking the levelness. Wear work gloves during the procedure to protect your hands.
Park the riding mower on a level surface and set the parking brake. Raise the deck to its highest position and disengage the cutting blades. Shut off the engine and remove the key from the ignition.
Inflate all tires to their recommended pressures, so they’re at the same pressure on both sides of the mower. Uneven tire pressure on the left and right can mimic an uneven mower deck and cause an uneven cut.
Level side to side
First, we’ll level the deck side to side. Position both cutting blades side to side and measure the height of each outside blade tip. The heights should be within 1/8-inch. If not, turn the lift link adjustment nut clockwise to raise the left side of the deck or counterclockwise to lower it. Each full turn adjusts the left-side deck height by about 3/16-inch.
Recheck the blade height measurements and continue to adjust the lift link adjustment nut until blade tip heights are within 1/8-inch.
Level front to back
Now that we’ve leveled the deck side to side, we’ll check deck leveling from front to back. Position a cutting blade front to back and measure each blade tip height. The front blade tip should be 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch lower than the rear blade tip.
To adjust, loosen the jam nut and then turn the front link adjustment nut clockwise to raise the front of the mower deck or counterclockwise to lower it. Each full turn of the nut adjusts deck height by 1/8-inch.
Recheck the blade height measurements after adjustment and continue to adjust the front link adjustment nut until the front blade tip is 1/8-inch to 1/2 inch lower than the rear blade tip. Hold the adjustment nut with one wrench and tighten the jam nut with a second wrench.
That’s it. You’ve just leveled your mower deck side to side and front to back. You can now get back to mowing without worrying about an uneven lawn.
I hope this video helps you out today. Check out our other videos on the Sears PartsDirect YouTube channel and subscribe to learn about new videos when we post them.
What is the best way to clean a lawn mower deck?
Especially when it comes to removing the caked-up grass from the underside of the deck.
So, what is the best way to remove caked-on grass from your mower deck?
Is there a product or method that works best to get rid of the grass?
That’s exactly what we are going to get into today.
After all, removing caked-on grass from your lawn mowers deck is part of regular lawn mower maintenance.
Below you will find the INSIDER methods lawn care pros use to clean their mower decks.
How do you clean a lawn mower deck?
Well, a good place to start is using the leaf blower to remove the grass off of the top of the deck at the end of each day.
But that will only get you so far.
And if you want to prevent your lawn mower’s deck from rusting out or failing prematurely. You really need to remove the caked-on stuff on the bottom of the deck.
So how do you do that?
Getting to Your Mower Deck’s Underside
The first step to cleaning your lawn mower’s deck is to get access to it.
If you have a common residential riding mower, you can pull the deck off in about 10 minutes once you get the hang of it.
And if you have a flip-up deck, you don’t have much to figure out.
On the other hand, if you are trying to clean a commercial mower. Getting to the underside of your deck SAFELY can be a challenge, and may require a bit of innovation.
You could build a ramp like the one pictured above, or you could purchase a jack to help you get to the underside of your deck.
Using a Scraper to Clean Your Mower Deck
Here’s the deal, when it comes to the underside, most lawn care professionals simply scrape their mower decks.
That’s it, that’s the BIG SECRET.
And they typically don’t use any product when it comes to removing caked-on grass from the underside of the deck.
So when it comes to cleaning the underside of your lawn mower deck, you may just have to get your hands dirty.
You can use several tools to scrape your mower deck including a:
However, it may be a good idea to treat the deck after you clean it to prevent grass from caking on the next time. To learn more on that keep reading.
What is the best product to clean a mower deck with?
When it comes to cleaning the rest of the mower. Including the top of the deck, what product should you use?
According to our research, the resounding answer for the best product to clean your mower deck with is Purple Power. Which is a commonly available degreaser.
41% of lawn care pros reported purple power as being their favorite deck cleaning product.
Further, we found that Simple Green was a close second taking in 31% of the vote.
Finally, the 3rd product recommended by lawn care professionals when it comes to cleaning a lawn mower deck was Ballard’s Mower Magic which snatched up 7% of the vote.
Ballard’s products are not as commonly available as its competitors are, so they can be harder to get a hold of. And many lawn care pros simply have not gotten to try the product, but they work great.
Good news! If you want to give it a try we have partnered with Ballard to get you exclusive deals. Not only do they sell great mower cleaning products, but they also offer a great lawn mower deck scraper.
One of the many benefits of being a GreenPal Vendor is access to exclusive deals!
“Just use a pressure washer”
20% of the lawn care pros that responded to our poll suggested that they don’t use ANY cleaning product. But simply use a pressure washer to clean their lawn mower.
While others reported using one of the products mentioned above along with a pressure washer.
Either way, a pressure washer is a much better way to clean your mower and mower deck than a garden hose.
Whether or not you use a product.
How often should I clean my lawn mower deck?
This is crazy but some lawn care pros find they NEVER have an issue with caked-on grass.
While others need to clean their lawn mower decks 2-3 times a week.
So really, how often you clean your lawn mower deck will depend on how often the need arises.
For example, lawn care pros that cut lawns in sandy areas find that the deck tends to clean itself.
The most common answer lawn care pros give is that they scrape the deck each time they sharpen their lawn mower blades.
And as we have covered in other articles, 75% of lawn care pros sharpen their blades at least once a week.
Ideally, you want to scrape your lawn mower deck before any caked-on grass has time to dry.
Due to the varying conditions you may experience, the answer to how often you need to clean your lawn mower deck can vary from after every lawn, to never.
Treating your Mower Deck After Scraping
Once you have scraped your lawn mower’s underside, some suggest that it’s a good idea to treat the deck with a product to prevent caking next time.
Simply using a product like WD-40, or even Pam can prevent grass from caking on your lawn mower deck in between cleaning.
That’s really all there is to it, scrape your deck, and wash with a product if you choose to.
And once the deck is dry, treat the underside with a quick spray to prevent buildup down the road.
Cleaning Your Lawn Mower’s Deck at the End of the Day
When it comes to cleaning the top of your lawn mower’s deck and underside. You will need more than a little bit of toilet paper.
Here’s the secret, most lawn care pros find that simply scraping the deck is more than enough to maintain their lawn care equipment.
But when you do wash the rest of your mower you may want to consider a product like Simple Green, Ballards, or Purple Power to really make your equipment shine.
Finally, don’t forget to post-treat the deck with a product like WD-40 to prevent build-up on the underside down the road.
Looking for more to read? Check out our guide to starting a lawn care company.
X350 Lawn Tractor with 42-inch Deck
21.5-HP (16.0-kW) V-twin engine
- 21.5 HP (16.0 kW)
- Large 44.3 cu in. (726-cc) displacement
- V-twin air-cooled design that provides smooth, quiet power
- Quality features include:
- Cast-iron cylinder liners
- Overhead valves
- Full-pressure lubrication
- Replaceable oil filter
- Dual-stage air cleaner
- Excellent power and performance
- Easy starts
- Smooth operation
A flywheel alternator provides plenty of capacity to quickly recharge the battery and power electrical equipment, such as lights or a sprayer:
- 12-amp charging capacity
- Regulated to keep the battery at full charge without risk of overcharging
Fuel tank has large, 3.3-U.S. gal. (12.5-L) capacity
Electronic fuel gauge
Large fuel tank and convenient fuel gauge minimize the number of stops for fuel and chance of running out of fuel:
- Fuel tank has a large, 3.3-U.S. gal. (12.5-L) capacity for more hours of operation between refills.
- Large, 3-in. (7.6-cm) diameter fuel tank filler opening makes adding fuel easy.
- Located on the left fender
- Helps eliminate spillage
X350 with Accel Deep 42A Mower Deck
- 4.97-in. (12.6-cm) depth throughout the entire deck shell for optimum mowing, mulching, and bagging performance
- Optional lever-action or electric one-touch MulchControl™ system for superior mulching performance and versatility
- Adjustable mower wheels, positioned just above ground level, help reduce scalping
Excellent cut quality
42A Mower Deck underside (shown with optional MulchControl)
Deep mower-deck stamping gives excellent cut quality. It allows the cut and suspended material room to exit the deck without getting recut:
- Reducing the amount of recutting enables more power to be used to cut incoming grass, which greatly improves mower capacity.
- Helps maintain excellent cut quality at faster mowing speeds
Productivity. gets the job done fast
Deep mower-deck stamping gives high productivity, which gets the job done fast. It allows the cut and suspended material room to exit the deck quickly, reducing the amount of recutting so more power is available to process incoming grass:
- Greatly improves mowers capacity to maintain excellent mowing performance in difficult mowing conditions and at higher speeds
Large discharge opening is both high and wide to handle more material:
- Gives a smooth, even discharge of clippings at all mowing speeds
- Reduces the chance of plugging, especially important when operating in wet, thick, or dense grass and when bagging
- Cut-and-throw chute has a large, optimized inlet which aids in collecting material by using airflow from the large deck opening
Cleanliness. for the mower and the operator
Accel Deep 42A Mower Deck
The flat-top shape of the deck stamping is optimal for keeping itself and the operator clean:
- There are few places to catch and hold material on top and underneath the deck.
- Top of deck stays cleaner, reducing time and effort needed for cleaning and service
- Underside of deck is self-cleaning to maintain optimum performance without buildup of material to interfere with the flow of air and clippings
- Less need to clean and remove buildup of material from underside deck
- Limited amount of material to drift onto the operator and mower deck
- Even flow of material discharged out the chute, less recutting results in larger pieces that are less likely to end up on the operator
- Mulching prevents the discharge of material completely and MulchControl makes mulching a practical solution for most mowing situations.
Cleaning a mower deck, both top and bottom, is one of the most frequent maintenance activities:
- The flat-top design reduces places for material to build up and makes material that does collect easy to remove.
Mower wash port
Mower wash port with hose connector
A wash port is provided to make cleaning the underside of the mower deck easy.
Superior durability is designed in
Hinged spindle cover on the 42A
Mower Deck Mower deck wheels are double captured for durability
The 42A Mower Deck has strong spindle s to keep the blades aligned, even after years of tough service:
- Ribs in the deck shell add strength where it is needed.
- The 42A has a 16 percent heavier overall weight than the Edge™ Xtra 42-in. (107-cm) Mower Deck.
Mower wheels are double captured:
- Provides greater strength and durability for longer, trouble-free life.
- Single-bolt adjustment makes setting wheels to the correct height for the cutting height quick and easy.
Low-tension belt-drive design reduces the side load on the engines lower bearing and mower deck bearings for longer life.
Rolled outer edge of the deck provides extra strength and protection.
Dual-stage E-coat and powder-paint coatings provide extra protection from rust.
Versatility. easy to change between side discharge, mulch, and bagging modes
Rear MulchControl baffle (A) that must be removed for bagging
Rear MulchControl baffle removed to allow for chute installation
The 42A Mower Deck is designed for maximum versatility, providing the greatest ease in changing from one mower discharge mode to another:
How to Level a Riding Lawn Mower Deck
- With an optional MulchControl system installed (along with the special mulching blades), changing from side discharging to mulching or vice versa is done with the simple flip of a lever or push of an electric switch.
- The cut-and-throw rear bagger can be used with MulchControl by removing the rear MulchControl baffle (A) before installing the bagger chute. The baffle is held in place with two carriage bolts. To return to mulching, the chute needs to be removed and the baffle replaced.
7-bu (247-L) rear bagger
X350 with optional rear bagger
Two-piece chute (ordered separately)
An optional 7-bu (247-L) cut-and-throw rear bagger material collection system (MCS) is available for use with the 42-in. (107-cm) Accel Deep Mower. It provides an efficient means of collecting grass clippings and leaves.
The hopper design provides modern styling, great bagging performance, cleaner operation, and easy-to-empty bags:
- 7-bu (247-L) capacity
- Easy-to-attach two-piece chute (ordered separately)
- Air exhaust duct
- Convenient spring-latch
- Airflow fill indicator
- Quik-Tatch mounting
- Sealed hopper top
- Loose-knit bags available
Mower blades shipped with the rear bagger chute
High-lift bagging blades are included with the bagger chute. They provide optimum performance when bagging in difficult conditions, such as when the grass is moist, dense, or long:
Mulching blades are included with the optional MulchControl system. They can be used for mulching, side discharging, and bagging in most conditions.
Mower blade use chart
- The warranty is hassle free, with one company handling all the paperwork.
- Premium features of X300 Series Tractors allow for this longer warranty period, with more coverage than comparable tractors.
Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at JohnDeere.com or JohnDeere.ca/TUWarranty for details.
Lever-action MulchControl lever (shown on 48A mower deck)
Electric one-touch MulchControl switch
- Creates a beautiful looking lawn
- Smaller grass clippings disappear into the lawn canopy
- Reduces fertilizer needs
- Grass clippings are not blown onto the operator, driveways, or flower beds
- No need to dispose of bags of clippings
How MulchControl works
MulchControl baffle open (shown on Z300 48A mower deck)
MulchControl baffle closed (shown on Z300 48A mower deck)
MulchControl is an innovative, simple design that is easy to use and maintain:
- The MulchControl system includes an adjustable MulchControl baffle near the discharge chute and fixed baffles to control the flow of material under the deck.
- The MulchControl handle, or an electric one-touch actuator, is on top of the mower deck and is used to open and close the MulchControl baffle.
- When the MulchControl baffle is open, most of the material flows freely out the discharge deflector or into a material collection system.
- When the MulchControl baffle is closed, material stays within the deck and gets chopped into mulch and deposited in the turf.
MulchControl is well-suited to the following mowing situations:
- For operators who usually mulch, but side discharge when grass gets too long
- For operators who usually side discharge, but would like to close the chute to control clippings in some areas
- For operators who always mulch a main lawn, but often side discharge secondary lawns
- For operators who collect clippings but want to go farther before emptying the material collection system
MulchControl puts the operator in control of the clippings.
Electric one-touch MulchControl
Electric one-touch MulchControl systems shift the MulchControl baffle using an electric actuator that is operated by a dash-mounted switch.
Electric one-touch MulchControl switcht
Electric one-touch MulchControl actuator (shown on 54A mower deck)
Operators can convert between modes without interrupting the mowing process, making it possible to change between modes:
- When approaching driveways or flower beds where clippings would be undesirable
- When a breeze blows clippings back onto the operator
- For side discharge mowing only the areas of the property where grass is too thick for mulching
- With 48A and 54A Mower Decks, for collecting only the areas of the property where grass is too tall or thick for mulching
While in the side discharge mode, MulchControl still mulches about one third of the material. Therefore, the side discharge mode is essentially a partial mulch mode. This can be an advantage when side discharging or bagging, as it helps to reduce the amount of material being discharged. Other times this could work as a disadvantage:
- When cutting strong southern grasses, such as Zoysia and Bermuda
- When cutting in wet, high growth conditions, such as those found in the Pacific Northwest United States
- When optimum bagging and lawn cleanup is desired
- 42A Mower Deck requires a MulchControl baffle be removed to install the bagger chute
When bagging with MulchControl on a 48A or 54A mower deck, the MulchControl baffle can be opened or closed with the Power Flow™ blower installed. The Power Flow blower runs without material when the baffle is closed.
Electric one-touch MulchControl attachments
NOTE: Model year 2016-2017 X300 and X500 Series Tractors (X300 serial number 10,001-50,000 and X500 serial number 110,001-130,000) require replacing the tractor wiring harness and dash panel to use an electric MulchControl attachment.
Rear baffle (A) must be removed for bagging with MulchControl with 42A mower decks
When bagging with MulchControl on a 42A mower deck, the cut-and-throw rear bagger can be used with the MulchControl blades. However, the rear MulchControl baffle (A) needs to be removed to install the bagger chute. The baffle is held in place with two carriage bolts. To return to mulching, the chute needs to be removed and the baffle replaced.
Each MulchControl system is an optional field-installed attachment and includes everything needed: baffles, mulch blades, a handle (lever action attachments) or an actuator, wiring, and switches (electric one-touch attachments).
Lever-action MulchControl attachments
44-in. (112-cm) Front Blade, electric lift, angling and tire chains on an X350 Tractor
44-in. (112-cm) Snow Blower, weather enclosure and tire chains on an X350 Tractor
An advantage of lawn tractors is their ability to use equipment for snow removal. Lawn tractor owners can add a John Deere snow blower or front blade to make quick work of moving snow whenever the need arises. Weather enclosure and tire-chain attachments add comfort and performance.
- 44-in. (112-cm) Snow Blower
- 44-in. (112-cm) Front Blade
- 48-in. (122-cm) Front Blade (X394 Tractor only)
- Tire chains or TerraGrip traction belts
- Weather enclosure (available for all X300 Series, except the X350R)
Tight turning radius
- Small, 16-in. (40.6-cm) turning radius provides excellent maneuverability
- Tight turning ability improves mowing efficiency
Easy steering is important for an enjoyable mowing experience:
Long steering arms to improve the mechanical advantage of the steering system through the full range of motion
Kanzaki® K46 transaxle (X330, X350, X354) Kansaki K57 transaxle (X370)
Kanzaki K58 transaxle (X380, X384, X390, X394)
The Tuff Torq® hydrostatic transaxle encloses the hydrostatic pump and motor rotator groups in the same housing with the differential and axle housings. This design is very efficient and reduces the number of sealing surfaces to minimize the potential for leakage.
- Use of the latest valve designs has significantly reduced the sound level.
- Large pump and motor rotating groups ensure long life and efficient operation.
When it’s inconvenient to start the tractor, a freewheeling valve releases the transmission so the tractor can be pushed a short distance. The freewheeling valve control is conveniently located on the tractor’s rear hitch plate.
Kanzaki and Tuff Torq are trademarks of Kanzaki Kokyukoki Mfg. Co., Ltd.
X350 Tractor mowing
Steering wheel and controls (switch turned on to show display)
- Controls are color coded and labeled with English words for easy identification by the operator.
- Controls are logically placed and easy to reach.
- The power take-off (PTO) switch allows the operator to get fingers underneath it, like a T-handle, to pull up for easy activation.
- The reverse implement option (RIO) switch is a yellow button.
- The latch control on foot-lift models and hydraulic-lift control on power-lift models and the park brake latch are pivot levers for low effort.
- Cruise control activation is handled by an automotive-style button.
- Separate engine speed and choke controls make starting and warming up the engine easier in cold weather.
- The choke lever is spring loaded to eliminate the chance the tractor will be unintentionally operated with the choke partially closed.
Display panel illustration with descriptions
Instrument display has the look and feel of a modern automobile. A power-up sequence cycles lights and gauges to indicate they are working:
- Display features dark-cockpit design to minimize operator distractions.
- Display is back lit for night visibility.
- Night visibility is especially useful with snow blower use.
- The X350R has a low fuel light, rather than a fuel gauge, to provide the operator with a noticeable warning when low on fuel.
- Target-zone graphics inform the operator of the engine speed range to use for best cut quality.
- Damage can be prevented and repair costs can be reduced by addressing problems early.
- The indicators are also useful to identify the reasons the PTO or engine may have shut off when an interlock is unsatisfied.
- Onboard diagnostics provides trouble codes for use by trained technicians.
- For example, a technician can test switch functionality and circuit continuity without tools.
Twin Touch™ foot control
Twin Touch foot control
Twin Touch foot pedals control the speed and direction of travel:
- Automotive-type accelerator control ensures easy operation.
- Operator can change direction without lifting foot off the platform.
- Large pedal surface gives superior operator comfort.
Cruise control is standard equipment:
- To engage, push the cruise-control button and hold until the foot is removed from the forward pedal.
- For emergency stop, the cruise control can be released by pushing on the brake pedal or the forward pedal.
Mower deck height adjustment
Cut height adjusting knob
A rotary dial knob makes adjusting the mower cut height quick and easy:
- Provides mower cut heights in 0.25-in. (0.64-cm) increments from 1 in. (2.5 cm) to 4 in. (10.2 cm)
- Returns the mower deck to the same preset height each time it is lowered
Storage tray under tractor seat
Exact Adjust tool is used to level mower deck
Storage for the onboard deck-leveling gauge and the Exact Adjust tool is provided in the storage tray under the tractor’s seat:
- Exact Adjust ports on the fender deck allow for easy and accurate leveling of the mower deck for optimum mowing performance.
Deck-leveling gauge placed under deck
How to level a lawn mower deck
Deck-leveling gauge is placed at the appropriate location under the left rear, right rear, and front of the mower deck as the cut height is adjusted using the Exact Adjust tool and front draft arm adjusting nuts.
Adjustable lift-assist spring
Lift-assist spring decals and adjusting bolt
Close-up of lift-assist spring decal
NOTE: The adjustable lift-assist spring is standard equipment on tractors with manual foot-lift system that are shipped with the 48-in. (122-cm) and 54-in. (137-cm) side-discharge mowers, and an option for tractors shipped with 42-in. (107-cm) mowers. It is a recommended option for foot-lift tractors sold with the 42-in. (107-cm) mulch mower.
Lift-assist spring is provided on tractors shipped from the factory with a 48-in. (122-cm) or 54-in. (137-cm) side-discharge mower deck, except models with hydraulic lift, and a recommended option for tractors equipped with a 42-in. (107-cm) mulch mower to minimize lift effort.
Lift effort can be easily adjusted by turning a bolt, located on the tractor front bumper, for optimum performance, depending on the equipment used (mower, front blade, snow blower, etc.).
When installing or removing a mower or front equipment raised by the foot-lift system, spring tension may be removed from the connection points by pulling rearward on the lift pedal and raising the lift latch to hold the pedal in the rearward position.
Foot-pedal lift system
Foot-pedal lift system
Pushing with the foot to raise the mower or implement is less strenuous for many operators than using a hand-lift lever:
- The easy-to-use raised position lock operates similarly to the park brake lock.
- The foot pedal is out of the way and not likely to catch on bushes and tree limbs when mowing.
- The mower deck returns to the same preset height each time it is lowered.
Parking brake control
Depressing the brake pedal applies internal wet-disk brakes, which provide better reliability and longer life than external brakes, for safe stopping.
The parking brake control is conveniently located for easy access. It holds the brake pedal securely in the locked position.
Electric PTO clutch is easy and convenient to use
Electric PTO switch
The heavy-duty electric PTO clutch is operated with a convenient dash-mounted switch.
Heavy-duty PTO clutch
The PTO clutch is designed to operate through many on/off cycles.
Reverse implement switch
Mower engagement PTO switch
CAUTION: Children or bystanders may be injured by rotating blades. Before traveling forward or rearward:
NOTE: Operating the mower while backing up is strongly discouraged. RIO should be used only when operating another attachment or when the operator deems it necessary to reposition the machine with the mower engaged.
- Stop forward travel. Allow attachment to run.
- Look down and behind the machine to be sure that there are no bystanders.
- Push and hold in the reverse implement switch while depressing the reverse pedal slightly.NOTE: If the attachment stops while positioning the machine, return mower engagement (PTO) switch to off position. Repeat this procedure from the beginning.
- Release the reverse implement switch and reposition the machine as the machine begins to move rearward.
- Resume forward travel. The attachment should continue operating.
- Repeat procedure to position the machine again.
Welded, heavy-duty frame
- The frame is formed from 12-gauge, 0.105-in. (2.66-mm) thick material for long life.
- Standard front bumper and hitch plate are formed from 9-gauge, 0.15-in. (3.8-mm) steel and complete the frame assembly.
Optional Quik-Tatch weights
Two 42-lb (19-kg) Quik-Tatch weights on rear hitch plate
Two 42-lb (19-kg) Quik-Tatch weights on an optional front weight bracket/bumper
Optional Quik-Tatch weights can be added to increase traction and ballast equipment.
- The rear hitch plate holds up to two 42-lb (19-kg) Quik-Tatch weights.
- An optional rear weight is required on X354, X384, and X394 Tractors.
Front axle and wheel spindles are heavy-duty
Cast-iron front axle and steering spindles
Front axle is made of nodular cast iron:
- Cast-iron front axle is strong and shock resistant.
- Cast iron will not yield under heavy loads or impact.
A replaceable bushing is used at axle mounting:
- The bushing provides excellent wear resistance.
- Grease fittings at each spindle are easy to service.
Front steering spindle diameter is 0.75 in. (19 mm) for strength and long life:
- Have strength to handle heavy implements
- Provide long life at bearing surfaces
- Use sealed precision bearings in front wheels
Rear equipment-mounting system is heavy-duty and easy to use
Rear equipment mounting system
A heavy-duty equipment mounting system is used:
- Includes strong frame mounts with a combination of mounting holes in the tractor hitch plate that accept pins or shoulder bolts to support heavy rear-mounted equipment
- Easily attach optional equipment to the tractor
- Can bear the load of heavy rear-mounted equipment, such as material collection systems
Hood air-intake louvers
- Hood styling incorporates efficient full-length air-intake louvers on each side, rather than on the top.
- Cooler engine operation
- Lower operator station sound levels
- Reduces sound
- Will not rust or dent
Two high-quality headlights give excellent visibility
Headlights are standard equipment on all models:
- Two 27-W bulbs provide excellent lighting for good visibility during evening operation.
- A headlight position on the ignition switch makes it easy to operate the headlights.
- The headlights are designed to provide an optimum lighting pattern for mowing and snow removal.
Comfortable operator station
- A large, 14-in. (36-cm) diameter steering wheel is comfortable to use and minimizes steering effort.
- Full-length foot mats provide comfort for the operator and protect the footrest area.
Comfortable open-back seat
An open-back 15-in. (38-cm) high-back seat provides a comfortable, smooth ride and good support for the operator:
- Seat travel of 6.6 in. (17 cm) with 15 positions allows the operator to be seated comfortably and easily operate the controls.
- Seat can be easily adjusted fore and aft by the operator while sitting on the seat.
- Open-back design allows air circulation to keep the operator’s back cool and dry for a more comfortable ride.
- Grasp at the top of the seat is conveniently located for use when tilting the seat up to protect it from the weather.
Adjustable seat suspension
Seat suspension with springs in rear position
Seat suspension with springs in forward position
The seat suspension is adjustable, without tools, for the weight of the operator:
- Springs are adjustable fore and aft to any of three positions.
- No tools required
- Allows fine-tuning of the suspension for the operator’s weight
- Back position for more support for heavier operators
- Can be used to store gloves, small tools, etc.
- Provides storage location for Exact Adjust tool and deck-leveling gauge
Cup holder and toolbox
Cup holder and covered toolbox on fender
Covered toolbox with open cover
A cup holder and covered toolbox are located on the fender for operator convenience:
- The cup holder holds a variety of container sizes.
- Toolbox provides convenient storage.
- Toolbox cover snaps closed to provide protection for loose tools, cell phones, etc.
Removable plug for optional 12-V outlet
Location for optional 12-V outlet
A removable plug on the console, in front of the operator, provides a convenient location for the optional 12-V outlet and makes installation easy.
- Convenient for plugging in cell phone charger and other electric devices
- Can be used to operate electric rear equipment, such as a sprayer or spreader
12-V fast connector
Fast connector location
A mid-vehicle, 12-V fast connector, located under the tractor’s fuse box, is included as standard equipment to reduce initial installation time for some attachments that operate on 12-V power from the tractor:
- The four-cavity connector includes battery, ground, and key switch terminals and is turned on and off with the ignition switch.
One-piece hood is easy to open
Service interval decal located under hood
- Important service points are located within easy reach.
- A service-interval decal is provided inside the tractor hood for convenience when servicing the tractor.
Easy-to-service engine fuel and oil filters
The engine fuel and oil filters, the oil check/fill tube, and the oil drain tube are exposed for serviceability when the hood is opened.
Quick response (QR) codes link to owner information web pages
Example product identification number (PIN) label with QR code
John Deere riding lawn mowers are supported by owner information web pages that include links to:
- Safety and how-to videos
- Operator’s manuals
- Parts catalog
- Maintenance reminder sheets
- Warranty statements
To speed access to owner information web pages, a QR code is printed onto a PIN label located under the hood on trim side of the steering pedestal. Since each vehicle model has its own web page, the links are specific to the owner’s model. The QR code also includes the vehicle’s unique PIN which allows for additional customization of the owner information web page in the future.
Exact Adjust ports and onboard deck-leveling tools make precise deck adjustments easy
Deck-leveling gauge and hex adjusting tool stored under tractor seat
Exact Adjust access holes
A mower deck must be level side-to-side and properly adjusted front-to-rear to give the best cutting performance. A removable onboard deck-leveling gauge and a hex-key tool are provided to make adjustment easy. They are securely stored under the tractor seat.
Exact Adjust leveling ports are provided on each side of the operator platform above the mower-level adjusting bolts. With the hex-shaped tool, they provide convenient access to allow quick and easy adjustment of the mower for the best-cut quality of cut.
The Exact Adjust feature is standard on all Select Series™ X300 and X500 Tractors:
- There is no need to reach under the fender deck while making the mower-level adjustment.
- Onboard deck-leveling gauge, Exact Adjust ports, and the hex tool work together.
- Level the mower deck side to side
- Set the correct amount of rake (front-to-back deck orientation)
- Calibrate the cutting height to the cut-height adjusting knob setting
- To give the best cut, mower level should be adjusted if alternately mowing with and without blower installed. The Exact Adjust feature makes this easy.
Deck-leveling tool placed under deck
Using included ball-hex tool to level mower deck
Consult the operator’s manual for the correct adjusting procedures for each tractor model. Basic adjusting steps to properly level the mower deck include:
- Park the tractor on a level surface.
- Inflate tires to the correct pressure.
- Consult the label for the cutting-height knob that is located on the console of the machine. This label shows deck-leveling position and location of deck-leveling adjustment points.
Cut height adjusting knob
- Set mower cutting-height knob to the correct deck-leveling position.
- Adjust mower wheels as necessary so they do not contact the ground surface.
- Remove the onboard deck-leveling gauge that is located under the seat.
- Using the Exact Adjust ports and tool, adjust mower deck side-to-side level so the deck-leveling gauge just slips under the left and right lower deck rim at the designated adjustment points. The location of adjustment points varies slightly between decks.
- Left- and right-rear adjustment points are under the deck rim near the rear mower wheels, if equipped.
- Loosen rear nuts equally on each side of front lift rod.
- Turn front nut equally on each side clockwise to raise front of mower or counterclockwise to lower it until gauge just slips under the front adjustment point.
- Tighten rear nuts after adjustment is complete.
NOTE: The adjusting tool supplied with the tractor is an 8-mm ball-hex key, part number M162737. The rounded end allows for some misalignment with the bolt as the deck is adjusted.
MowerPlus home screen
MowerPlus maintenance screen
Keep a mower running its best and know how it mows with the John Deere MowerPlus app. Simply scan the mower’s barcode to get custom information about the mower.
- Engine hours, fuel level, and battery health (as compatible)
- Mowing history with time, distance, area, and speed
- Current day and five-day weather forecast based on location
- Walk-through setup guides
- Expert mowing tips
- Useful attachments for future purchase
- Periodic maintenance reminders
- Safety instructions
To download the free MowerPlus app, visit the Apple® App Store® or Google Play™ store.
MowerPlus connectors (sold separately)
MowerPlus Hour Meter Connector
MowerPlus Deluxe Smart Connector, with a phone
Three MowerPlus connectors are available to transmit vehicle information to the MowerPlus app.
BUC10510 MowerPlus Hour Meter Connector is for use with:
- Model year 2003 to 2020 100 Series Tractors, including all models with an E, D, LA, or L prefix
- Model year 2015 to 2020 S240 Tractors (serial number.880,000)
- S100, S110, S140, and S220 Tractors
BUC10929 MowerPlus Deluxe Smart Connector is for use with:
- All S120, S130, S160, S170, and S180 Tractors
- Model year 2021 and newer S240 Tractors (serial number 880,001-)
- Model year 2021 and newer Z515E, Z530M, Z530R, and Z545R (serial number 010,001-)
BUC10537 MowerPlus Smart Connector is for use with:
All the MowerPlus connectors transmit engine hour information to the app, making it easy to track maintenance intervals. The MowerPlus Smart Connector and MowerPlus Deluxe Smart Connector also transmit the fuel level.
MowerPlus connectors require the MowerPlus app on a mobile device to use. The John Deere MowerPlus app and operating system requirements can be found in the mobile device’s app store. The MowerPlus app is only available in the English language, and it is not available in all countries. BUC10510 MowerPlus Hour Meter Connector requires iOS® version 10 or higher and is not compatible with Android™ operating systems.
Apple and App Store are trademarks of Apple, Inc. Google Play and Android are trademarks of Google LLC. iOS is a trademark of Cisco Technology, Inc. used under license by Apple Inc.
Engine power21.5 hp16.0 kW Oil changeNo-tools oil drain with replaceable filter Engine manufacturer/modelFR651V Transaxle typeK46 hydrostatic integrated with transaxle Transaxle controlTwin Touch™ pedals Rear tires20x10-8 Lift system typeFoot pedal with optional adjustable spring assist kit Cutting widthAccel Deep™ mower deck, 42 in.107 cm U.S. warranty4 year/300 hour bumper-to-bumper (Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at JohnDeere.com or JohnDeere.ca/TUWarranty for details.)
Power21.5 hp16.0 kW Displacement44.3 cu in.726 cc Manufacturer/modelFR651V TypeOverhead valve, full-pressure lube, oil filter CylindersV-twin, cast-iron liners GovernorMechanical Choke/speed controlSeparate levers, automatic choke return Cooling methodAir Air cleanerDry, replaceable Oil changeNo-tools oil drain with replaceable filter
TypeGasoline Fuel deliveryPulse pump, carburetor Fuel gaugeGauge on dash Fuel tank locationRear Fuel fill openingOn left fender, 3 in.7.6 cm Fuel tank capacity3.3 U.S. gal.12.5 L
Battery12 V340 CCA Charging systemFlywheel alternator, regulated, 12 amp Engine starterBendix Hour meterYes HeadlightsTwo standard, incandescent, 27 W Taillights or reflectorNo Backup lightsNo Rear work lightsNo 12-V outletOptional
TypeK46 hydrostatic integrated with transaxle ControlTwin Touch™ pedals Cruise controlYes, button on dash Oil coolerFins and fan on transaxle Oil filterInternal, not replaceable Differential lockNo Forward speed0-5.5 mph0-8.9 km/h Reverse speed0-4 mph0-6.4 km/h BrakesInternal wet disc
FrameWelded heavy-duty Primer/paintE-coat/powder Weight bracketStandard rear, optional front Receiver hitchNo Front axleCast iron front axle, front wheel ball bearings Spindle bushingsNo Front tires15x6-6 Rear tires20x10-8 Hood materialFully enclosed, molded-in color material reduces sound, will not rust or dent Fender deck materialStamped steel Floor matsSure-grip rubber StorageYes, under seat and covered toolbox Service interval decalYes Fender handles/gripsNo Cup holderYes Equipment mountingYes, heavy duty Maximum towing capacity600 lb272 kg
TypeManual, sector and pinion Four-wheel steerNot available on this model Steering wheelLarge, 14 in.35.6 cm Tilt steering wheelNo Turning radius16 in.40.6 cm Uncut circle radius26 in.66 cm
TypeOpen-back design with grasp Seat back height15 in.38 cm ArmrestsNo Fore-aft adjustmentWhile seated, ball bearing slide rail, 15-position, 6.6 in.17 cm Seat suspensionTilt, two coil springs, three-position no-tools adjustment for operator weight
TypeFoot pedal with optional adjustable spring assist kit Hydraulic outletsNo Mower cut height13 positions, 1-4 in.2.5-10.2 cm Cut height increments0.25 in.0.64 cm Preset cut heightYes
TypeSide discharge Cutting widthAccel Deep™ mower deck, 42 in.107 cm ConstructionStamped steel deck shell Mower deck material12 gauge0.105 in.2.7 mm Mower wash portYes Mower drive systemElectric power take-off (PTO) clutch, in-line belt Mower wheelsTwo Mower wheel adjustmentFour-position, tool required Mower level adjustmentExact Adjust ports and onboard deck-leveling gauge
TypeSlide under tractor Front draft armsAttached with spring pins at two points Rear draft armsTwo pins and spring clips Mower wheels rotateNo Drive systemSingle belt
Meets ANSI standardYes Meets OPEI standardYes Backup protectionReverse Implement Option (RIO) Safety videoYes
NotesFully enclosed, molded-in color material reduces sound, will not rust or dentDurable E-coat primer and powder-paint finish Warranty4 year/300 hour bumper-to-bumper (Term limited to years or hours used, whichever comes first, and varies by model. See the LIMITED WARRANTY FOR NEW JOHN DEERE TURF AND UTILITY EQUIPMENT at JohnDeere.com or JohnDeere.ca/TUWarranty for details.)
Mowers42A (standard) Rear bagger2-bag, 7 bu247 L Powered material collection Mulching systemYes, MulchControl™ Front thatcher38, 46, 54 in.96.5, 116.8, 137.2 cm Front blade44 in.111.8 cm Mid-mount blade Snow blowerTwo-stage, 44 in.111.8 cm Rotary broom Rotary tiller Sleeve hitch 3-point hitch Rear power take-off (PTO) Plow, moldboard Box scraper Cultivator Rear blade Disk harrow Landscape rake SprayerTow-behind, 15 U.S. gal.56.8 LTow-behind, 25 U.S. gal.94.6 LMounted, 25 U.S. gal. SpreaderTow-behind, 125 lb57.7 kgTow-behind, 175 lb79.4 kgMounted, 125 lb Front bumperStyled bumper option Brush guardYes Weather protectionWeather enclosure Sun canopyYes Rear receiver hitch Bucket holderYes, double bucket Grass stripingLawn striping kit Tractor shovel40 in.101.6 cm Front loader Other equipment Tow-behind tools16
Height46.1 in.1171 mm Overall length71.5 in.1817 mm Wheelbase49.4 in.1255 mm Width with mower50.5 in.1283 mm Width with mower (deflector raised for storage)51.2 in.1300 mm Width without mower38 in.964 mm WeightMower, no fuel: 543 lb246 kg