Top 5 Smallest Riding Lawn Mowers in 2023
The innovations in the lawnmower industry are constantly making the mowers smaller in size but more powerful. Currently, there are too many compact riding lawnmowers available on the market. If you are finding the same, this article is just for you.
There are several small riding lawnmowers from various manufacturers on the market. The bests of them are the Ryobi RY48130, Cub Cadet CC30H, Greenworks CRT426, Troy-Bilt TB30B, Weibang E-Rider, etc.
This article will discuss the Smallest Riding Lawn Mowers and who should buy them. Completely read the article to learn more.
Why Do People Need Smallest Riding Lawn Mower?
A riding lawnmower, also known as a ride-on mower or a lawn tractor, is a lawnmower type that is designed to be driven while sitting on it.
People generally look for small riding mowers instead of walk-behind mowers. It is often used to cut grass on larger lawns, fields, and gardens, as it is larger and more powerful than a conventional push lawnmower.
Benefits of Small Riding Mowers
Here are some of the benefits of why individuals choose to use small ride-on mowers:
- Small riding mowers are more efficient than push mowers at cutting grass in large areas in less time.
- Mowing with a small riding mower is more soothing than mowing with a push mower. They typically have a comfortable seat, armrests, and a footrest, which make them easier to operate for extended periods.
- Compact riding mowers are adaptable vehicles that can be utilized for residential, commercial, and industrial mowing activities. With the proper attachments, they can be further used for a range of other tasks than mowing, like snow removal and leaf blowing.
- Riding mowers have multiple safety features compared to push mowers. For instance, in the case of a rollover, the operator is shielded by a rollover protection system (ROPS). A safety belt and parking brake keep the vehicle in place when not in use.
- Compact riding mowers are also a good solution for individuals with physical limitations that make operating push mowers difficult. These small riding mowers help older people or people who have trouble moving around take care of their lawns without putting too much stress on their bodies.
What is the Smallest Riding Lawn Mower?
The smallest riding lawnmower is Ryobi RY48130. This small battery-powered riding mower has a 30-inch stamped steel cutting deck with three high-powered brushless motors.
The Ryobi RY48130 is designed for homeowners who have a larger lawn area to maintain and are looking for a convenient and efficient method to do so. Those who are environmentally conscious and prefer an eco-friendly alternative to a gas-powered one may also be interested in this product.
Top 5 Best Smallest Riding Lawn Mowers
There are residential and commercial models of riding mowers ranging in size. Here is a list of the five best small riding mowers:
A Comparison Chart of Top 5 Best Small Riding Lawnmowers
Ryobi RY48130 48 Volt RYOBI 30 in. Riding Lawn Mower
The Ryobi RY48130 is a 48 V Lead Acid battery-operated riding lawnmower. With 50 Ah batteries and three high-powered brushless motors, this mower can provide up to an hour of runtime on a single charge, or enough power to mow up to one acre of lawn.
In addition to its impressive performance, the Ryobi 48 V riding mower is designed for ease of use and low maintenance. Its 30-inch steel cutting deck, which is equipped with two blades, is highly durable and can fit into fenced areas with ease.
The mower also has a 7-position manual deck adjustment that allows you to select cutting heights between 1.5 inches and 4.5 inches, ensuring a clean and uniform cut on your lawn.
The RY48130 comes with a range of premium features such as LED headlights for improved visibility, a battery level indicator, and a cup holder to make mowing more comfortable and convenient.
The mower also has a rear access charging port that makes it easy to charge when the job is done. For even greater convenience, this riding mower can be charged through a standard 120 V outlet.
To ensure that your mower stays in top condition, it is important to note that it requires very little maintenance. With no belts, spark plugs, or filters to replace, this mower is highly reliable and can be used for years without any issues.
However, it is worth noting that this RY48130 riding mower is not compatible with certain blade models, including ACRM001, ACRM002, ACRM003, ACRM005, ACRM006, and ACRM007. Also, if you need to replace the battery, the recommended model is the Leoch 6-EVF-50.
The Ryobi RY48130 is designed for homeowners who have a larger lawn area to maintain and are looking for a convenient and efficient method to do so. Those who are environmentally conscious and prefer an eco-friendly alternative to a gas-powered one may also be interested in this product.
Cub Cadet CC30H MINI RIDING MOWER
The Cub Cadet CC30H is a gas-powered riding lawnmower with a rear engine of 10.5 HP Briggs Stratton engine that provides plenty of power to tackle even the toughest yards. It offers a 30-inch mower-cutting deck made of 14-gauge stamped steel.
The engine of the CC30H is fully pressurized with an oil pump like those used in automobiles. The mower also features a hydrostatic drive transmission, which allows for smooth and effortless operation.
The open high-back seat on this mower is designed with an oversized base and elevated back support, providing a comfortable and supportive seat for extended periods of use.
It is easy to maneuver around trees and flowerbeds on smaller lawns due to its little size and tight turning radius. The mower’s compact form makes it easy to store in a garage or shed for people with limited space.
Overall, the CC30H is a compact riding mower ideal for smaller lawns and properties. It is also an excellent choice for homeowners looking to keep their yards in top shape.
It is a feasible alternative for purchasers looking for a riding mower that is more effective than a walk-behind mower, but also smaller and more affordable than a full-sized riding mower.
- It has a hydrostatic transmission, which provides a smooth and efficient drive
- Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver.
- Adjustable cutting height from 1.5 to 4 inches.
- Fully pressurized engine with an automobile-like oil pump.
- It may be less fuel-efficient than other gas-powered mowers.
- The engine could potentially fail.
- May not be suitable for larger lawns.
- Requires more maintenance and upkeep than electric mowers.
TB30B Compact Riding Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt TB30B riding lawnmower is a gas-powered lawn tractor with a 10.5 horsepower Briggs Stratton engine that provides a reliable starting, ensuring that you can get the job done with ease.
It features a 30-inch side-discharge steel cutting deck which is specifically designed to fit through gates up to 4′ wide, making it an ideal choice for small or gated yards. The deck is durable and designed to last, ensuring that you get the most out of your mower.
The AGM battery provides a longer lifespan and lower maintenance compared to traditional lead acid wet batteries and also improves starting performance for reliable starting season after season. This helps to ensure that your mower is always ready when you need it.
The TB30B riding mower is simple to store in garages and sheds due to its small size. Additionally, the soft-touch steering wheel reduces vibrations, making the ride more comfortable.
The TB30B riding mower is a reliable and efficient machine designed to make mowing your small or gated yard a breeze. Its 30 inches wide cutting deck makes it suitable for people who want to mow yards that are either relatively small or have gates separating them from the rest of the neighborhood.
- Equipped with a powerful 10.5 horsepower Briggs Stratton engine.
- This 30-inch side-discharge steel cutting deck is perfect for small or gated yards.
- The cutting deck is built to last, ensuring long-lasting performance.
- AGM batteries offer a great advantage over traditional lead acid wet batteries with their longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.
- The soft-touch steering wheel enhances the comfort of the ride by minimizing vibrations.
- May face steering control issues while mowing.
- May stop frequently while mowing.
- No anti-scalping system is available.
Weibang WB76E Electric Drive Riding Lawn Mower
The Weibang WB76E is a 72 V Lithium-ion battery-operated riding lawnmower with a rear engine. It features a two-blade cutting system and a 30-inch wide, simple-to-clean deck.
It has a rechargeable battery that can power it for a maximum of two hours. The mower’s two-hour runtime on a full charge makes it an excellent choice for large lawns.
One of the best things about the Weibang E-Rider is that it is an environmentally friendly mower. It operates quietly and efficiently, leaving no carbon footprint behind. This makes it an excellent choice for homeowners.
In addition to being eco-friendly, the WB76E is also user-friendly. The control panel is easy to use, with clearly labeled buttons for forward, neutral, and reverse.
The mower also features LED lights mounted on the front bumper providing excellent visibility in low-light conditions. This makes it possible to get your yard work done even when the sun has gone down.
With ten cutting positions ranging from 1 inch to 4 inches, the Weibang E-Rider allows you to customize the length of your grass to your preference. The adjustable seat is comfortable and ensures that you can mow your lawn for extended periods without experiencing any discomfort.
Overall, the Weibang E-Rider is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an environmentally friendly, user-friendly, and family-friendly lawnmower. Its quiet operation, efficient performance, and easy-to-use features make it an ideal choice for maintaining a beautiful lawn without harming the environment.
- The rechargeable battery powers the mower for up to two hours.
- The forward, neutral, and reverse buttons on the control panel are all simply labeled.
- The adjustable seat will allow you to maintain a comfortable position while mowing.
- Adjustable cutting height from 1 to 4 inches.
- Batteries may experience difficulties.
- The mower’s body might get damaged.
- Drive functions may unexpectedly stop and not restart.
Greenworks CRT426 Electric Riding Lawn Mower
The Greenworks CRT426 is a 60 V Lithium-ion battery-operated riding lawnmower that delivers efficient and powerful performance. This mower boasts a 24 HP gas engine equivalent power with its intelligent brushless motor technology.
It is equipped with six 8.0 Ah batteries that outperform gas-powered riding lawnmowers, providing industry-leading cutting speeds of up to 6 mph, allowing you to get the job done faster and with greater precision.
Its 42-inch heavy-duty 13-gauge stamped steel deck provides maximum airflow for optimal cutting and side discharge. Its dual action blades provide a constant blade tip speed of 17,000 fpm, assuring optimal power for a variety of grass conditions and an unmatched level of cut quality.
This mower’s innovative bog-resistant Smart cut technology automatically adapts to grass conditions, preventing bogging even in the tallest, thickest, and driest grass. It also features a 7-position cutting height adjustment with a single lever to achieve the perfect cut height, ranging from 1.5-in to 4.5-in.
The mower is also equipped with premium features like an integrated rear storage bin to haul up to 200 lbs. of cargo, LED lights, a USB charging port, and Greenshields real-time 4G theft protection. The adjustable suspension seat with lumbar support and fold-down armrests ensures added comfort during use.
Additionally, this lawnmower is capable of handling slopes up to 15 degrees with adaptive traction control to keep the mower straight on slopes and prevent sliding on hills. It has a rear hitch that can tow 350 lbs. and a front-mount 2-inch receiver hitch for mower accessories.
The Smart G Connect App and 4G/GPS technology give the mower industry-first real-time theft protection, allowing you to track your machine. With onboard dual USB phone charging ports and a cup holder, this mower is designed for maximum operator convenience.
Operating costs are significantly lower compared to gas mowers since there are no gas, spark plugs, oil, belts, spindles, or winterization to worry about. Lastly, this riding mower is backed by a 4-year tool- and battery-limited warranty, providing peace of mind and assurance of its quality and durability.
Its six 8.0 Ah batteries allow this mower to mow easily up to 2.5 acres on a single charge, making it a reliable and convenient option for homeowners with large lawns
- It has a 42-inch cutting deck, which is suitable for medium- to large-sized lawns.
- Electric, so it produces zero emissions and is quieter than gas mowers.
- 60 V, 8 Ah batteries provide enough power and runtime.
- It has seven height adjustment positions from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, which makes it versatile for different grass lengths.
- It is relatively expensive compared to other electric mowers.
- The battery may not last long enough to mow larger lawns.
How Should You Choose a Small Riding Lawnmower?
There are various aspects to consider while picking the smallest riding lawnmower:
Considering the size of your lawn and then choose which sort of riding mower is necessary. If you have a smaller lawn, you should use a riding mower with a rear-mounted engine. If your lawn is expansive, you can choose between a lawn tractor and a zero-turn radius mower.
Type of Terrain
Take the terrain of the area that needs to be mowed into consideration. If your yard has hills or slopes, you should likely search for a mower with a higher horsepower rating so it can manage the incline.
If your lawn has obstacles like trees or flower beds, a small riding lawnmower should be simple to steer. Find mowers with a small turning radius for easy maneuverability.
Select a mower with a suitable engine for the size of your lawn. With a smaller lawn, a smaller engine will be more efficient and will save you money on fuel.
Comfort and Convenience
Choosing a riding lawnmower that you feel comfortable with is crucial. Look for mowers that include a soft-touch steering wheel, an ergonomic seat, and controls that are simple to operate and maintain.
You should search for mowers that are simple to maintain and have parts that are simple to obtain. Because of this, you will spend less time and money on repairs and upkeep.
The cost of the mower should be taken into account last. for small riding lawnmowers can range widely, so it’s important to Set your budget and search for a mower that is inside it.
Brand reputation is also an important factor to consider when choosing a small riding lawnmower. It is important to choose a reputable brand that has a history of producing high-quality and reliable mowers. A reputable brand is more likely to offer good customer support, warranty coverage, and replacement parts.
Finally, if you want to discover a small riding mower that is both effective and pleasant to operate, you need to think about your lawn’s individual needs and your own preferences.
A compact riding mower may be a good investment for those with small lawns, and these five models offer excellent performance, dependability, and user-friendliness.
This smallest riding lawnmower list above contains a riding mower that meets your requirements, whether you choose a compact, quick, or powerful model.
Though your demands and tastes will determine which small riding mower is optimal, these five models are the best based on user satisfaction and preferences.
Greeting! I am Anthony Harry, a skilled scribe with a FOCUS on the art of lawn mowing and the beauty of all things green. My objective is to impart my knowledge and enthusiasm for lawn care to others, enabling them to attain their ideal lawns.
Most Popular Riding Mower Brands: 2023 Breakdown
The best riding mowers are ones that are not only powerful and reliable, but comfortable. As summer progresses, you’re going to spend significantly more time mowing and caring for your lawn. A walk-behind mower may not be tough enough to handle the workload, which means more time spent out in the burning sun.
A riding lawn mower is a wise investment, especially if you’ve got a yard that’s an acre or more. Not only will it make mowing faster and less strenuous, it may also allow you to move supplies, tools, and equipment, plow snow, and more. Sounds good?
Before you splurge on a new rider mower, find out which brands are worth the investment and which ones just have good marketing budgets.
My Experience Using Riding Mowers
When I was a kid and it was my older brother’s turn to mow the lawn, I remember my parents screaming at him for having the speed all the way up to “bunny” when it should have been on “turtle”. The mower was dang fast and my brother took every chance he could to max that thing out.
And at the risk of sounding old, they don’t make them like they used to. But there are still some great brands out there that make awesome riding mowers. Between zero turns and lawn tractors, you can get a high quality piece of equipment that is still made with serious care. I’ve had the pleasure of using dozens of different mowers and have found consistencies across some that have stuck with me over the years.
Interested in electric riding mowers? Check out our best electric riding mower guide.
How To Compare Riding Mowers Before You Buy
There are so many residential riding lawn mowers available that it can be hard to find the right one for a price you can afford. One of the best ways to simplify the process is to do some online research into the mowers you’re interested in. Compare machines with similar horsepower, blade cutting width, and other features important to you. Still not sure which mower to buy? Shop machines from the top riding lawn mower brands that continue to put out reliable, well-made tools.
So, What Are the Top Riding Lawn Mower Brands?
When it’s time to invest in a new riding lawn mower, a sure-fire way to ensure it’s well made is to shop by brand. Although there are a number of brands available, three brands stand out in terms of reliability:
Husqvarna Riding Mowers
When it comes to durability and reliable service, you can’t beat Husqvarna riding lawn mowers. No matter when your property is like, you can rest assured your Husqvarna mower has the horsepower to get the job done. Be prepared, however, these machines are a bit pricey, but worth it.
Husqvarna generally works through local dealers or through their own franchise dealerships, so grabbing these online is darn near impossible unless you grab a used one. I’ve used the YTH18542 and a few of the others. In fact, the Husqvarna YTH18542 is one of the most popular riding mowers ever. Whenever I go on a road trip to the beach and pass through smaller country towns, I am almost guaranteed to see a handful of these being used by folks with big yards.
One thing I love about Husqvarna’s mowers is that they are super reliable and don’t try to overdo it with the technology. They continue to make sleek looking mowers, but FOCUS on bringing in high quality small engines that flat out last.
John Deere Riding Mowers
Since the 1830s, John Deere has been building farm and yard equipment and they’re among the best on the market. Under the familiar John Deere green finish and classic style, your riding lawn mower is a precision-made machine that will last for years.John-Deere is a moderately priced brand for price shoppers.
One thing I love about John Deere is that their mowers are super accessible. You can grab some great riding mowers or other John Deere zero turn mowers at just about any Home Depot. They stopped making my favorite John Deere riding mower, the John Deere E100 – but still make a bunch of great models that are nearly identical.
Another incalculable benefit of a John Deere riding mower is that it is instantly recognizable and will draw the immediate jealousy of your neighbors. This is a very strong power that should be wielded responsibly for only the neighbors you like the least.
Troy-Bilt Riding Mowers
Looking for a great deal and a reliable riding lawn mower? Take a look at a Troy-Bilt riding mower. They’re a budget-friendly initial investment, but that’s not all. Troy-Bilt mowers are powerful and reliable. So, you get more done with fewer repairs and less frequent replacements.
In fact, one of my good college friends called me a few weeks ago. He just moved into a new house with his growing family and had a much larger yard – about an acre. He is looking for a nice, new riding mower at an affordable price point. My instant reaction was to tell him to look at Troy Bilt, particularly their Pony riding mower.
The Pony has a goofy name, but is a surprisingly well-built riding mower that’s great for larger yards. It is well-sized to save you a ton of time, but still fits through your back gate without any problems (can’t do that with a zero-turn).
Which Riding Lawn Mower Is the Best Buy?
Every lawn is unique and here’s no one-size-fits-all mower. It’s important to ask yourself many questions before buying a new rider mower. Choose the brand that makes you feel most secure and has a great maintenance schedule for riding mowers. Look for features you need based on the size and complexity of your property.
Choose a ride that’s easy on your budget, but be wary of deals that are too good to be true. Talk to a lawn and garden equipment specialist at your local dealership, via telephone, or online for expert help and advice.
Why we review lawn tools
The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site.
As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something.
Best Riding Lawn Mower for 1 Acre
There is a reason every kid wanted to mow lawns as a side hustle because no parent wanted to do it. Cutting your front yard with a walk-behind mower is hard enough, let alone trying to chop down an acre.
Unless you’re in desperate need of cardio, you should probably use a riding mower for a job that size. That is why we have prepared this list to help you choose the best riding lawn mower for 1 acre.
We also have a detailed guide to help you better understand your options and help you fall in love with mowing.
Best Riding Lawn Mower for 1 Acre Reviews
Best Electric Zero Turn Mower – EGO Power ZT4204L 42″ Z6 Zero Turn Riding Mower
- Peak Power Technology combines the power of up to 6 EGO 56V ARC Lithium batteries
- Holds up to 6 batteries for maximum runtime (4 included)
- Power of gas with 22 HP equivalent engine
- Cuts up to 2-Acres on a single charge with the included 4 56V 10.0Ah ARC Lithium batteries
- World’s First Platform Compatible Rider – powered by all EGO 56V Arc LithiumTM batteries
We start this list with arguably the best-looking riding lawn mower. Fortunately, chopping up turf in the Ego Power is as fun as it looks.
This zero-turn mower single-handedly has been designed to deliver the power of a gas engine but with more efficiency and options than a typical riding mower.
This electric lawn mower comes with four 10.0AH batteries, but it can support up to 6 batteries for larger jobs, but not like you’ll need it.
It also has the fastest battery charger for electric mowers – you get a full charge in just two hours.
Once full, the engine runs the equivalent of 22 HP, which you’ll see beats out some of the gas-powered alternatives on our list.
The 42″ cutting deck enables you to mow your lawn pretty quickly, as it flies by on up to 7 mph in cutting mode – 8mph in travel mode.
What makes this electric mower even more impressive is that it has 3 cutting functions: mulching, bagging, and side discharge.
However you run it, you’ll be able to cut up to 2 acres on a single charge of just 4 batteries. To top it all, you get a generous 5-year warranty for tool, batteries, and charger.
2023 Home Depot Lawn Mower Lineup
For an otherwise flawless electric mower, the one thing we don’t love is that you can’t cut on slopes with the confidence of a gas-powered zero-turn mower.
However, that is still pretty decent, considering it will still do a better job than a typical lawn-riding mower.
- It has a 3-in-1 function.
- Battery charges quickly and lasts.
- It has a powerful 22 HP engine.
- It comes with a 5-year warranty.
Best Zero-Turn Riding Mower for 1Acre – Ariens Ikon XD
- 4 inch deep fully fabricated with advanced airflow for an exceptional cutting performance
- The plush, high back seat featuring padded arm rests is adjustable from the operator position providing superior comfort while mowing
- Choose from 13 cutting positions, from 1-1/2 to 4-1/2 inch, in quarter-inch increments with just the turn of a dial
Next, we have another zero-turn riding mower, but this is a gas mower and a breeze to ride. The Ariens IKON XD was designed for residential use, although it is also suitable for small farms.
It runs on a 23 HP Kawasaki V-twin gas engine, and the mowing deck is made of fabricated steel for long-lasting performance.
The powerful gas engine will help you mow 1 – 2 acres with ease, thanks to its 52-inch cutting width, which does seem like overkill for an acre.
When it comes to speed, you can reach 7mph moving forward and 3mph in reverse. These, combined with the zero-degree turning radius, mean you can cut an acre in half an hour or less with practice.
Similar to the Ego, you can cut grass in side discharge, mulching, and bagging modes.
What does set it apart from that and many other zero-turn mowers is that you can choose up to 13 different cutting heights between 1.5 inches and 4.5 inches.
One other feature you will appreciate is the plush chair with armrests to make for a very comfortable ride. Perhaps the best thing for many buyers is that this riding mower comes assembled.
However, a few buyers have complained about the assembly and have had to redo certain things themselves. Still, it beats putting everything together forms scratch.
You should consider getting this machine if you are looking for a riding lawn mower under the budget
- Wide cutting deck.
- Moves quickly, even in reverse.
- It has a solid, durable build.
- It comes assembled.
Best Yard Tractor for 1 Acre – Husqvarna YTH18542
Well, when it comes to gardening innovation, no company does it better than Husqvarna. Some think it’s because they are one of the oldest companies in the world (founded in the seventeenth century).
But we believe it’s because they know exactly what customers want, and their yard tractor is proof of that.
The Husqvarna YTH18542 contains everything you would want in a riding lawn mower. It is a premium product, yet it is one of the more affordable options.
It has high tech, such as the air induction mowing technology, to help you get a consistent cut with its 42-inch mowing deck, but it is also simple enough for beginners to use.
Other features you’d expect include adjustable cutting heights, pedal-operated controls, and a reinforced cutting deck. These alone make this a great buy, but there’s more.
This riding lawn mower comes with an adjustable sliding seat and an ergonomic steering wheel to ensure you have full control at all times.
You would think that the 18.5 HP gas engine is small compared to others, but you can still hit 2.5 mph in reverse.
All of these being said, there have been a few quality control complaints from buyers getting defective products.
However, you do get a 3-year warranty, so there is no rush to file a complaint if anything arises.
- Premium product without the price tag.
- It can be used all year long.
- It gives a consistent cut.
- 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Best Riding Mower for Beginners – Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT
The more you look at riding lawnmowers, the more you realize that most of them are ugly. It is as if the manufacturers focused so much on the function they ignored the form.
That is a mistake Cub Cadet did not make. The Cub Cadet XT1 is one of the prettiest riding mowers, designed to look like a Chevy Camaro, but it is also phenomenal.
Under the hood is a 23 HP Kohler twin-cylinder engine that delivers a smooth, vibration-free mowing experience.
It has a 46” cutting deck, which will make mowing your one acre fast and pleasant. One feature you’d get a kick out of is the cruise control, which also works at the top speed of 5.5 mph.
When in reverse, you can go up to 3 mph. You also get hydrostatic transmission, as expected, as well as foot pedals to free up your arms. This riding mower is great for small, flat surfaces.
There is a 16″ turn angle, which might seem small compared to a zero-turn mower, but it is pretty impressive for a lawn tractor.
The one thing we would have liked is better performance on steep hills, but I guess it’s too much to expect perfection.
- It has cruise control.
- Great value for money.
- It has a strong engine.
- It can cut as low as 1”.
Most Comfortable Riding Tractor – John Deere S120 42 in. 22 HP V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor
The problem with complex tools like zero-turn mowers is that they are not very accessible to people with mobility issues.
So, if you are elderly, have a bad back, or just want an easy mowing experience, the John Deere S120 is what you should buy.
The S100 lineup replaced the previous e-series in 2021, making this one of the newest riding tractors.
One new feature is the air vent on the hood, which allows the engine to run better – it has a 22 HP Briggs and Stratton V-twin engine.
Another new feature is that you now get an electric fuel gauge. This is a huge upgrade sorely lacking in many competitors.
When driving this lawn tractor, you also get the option of using cruise control. Again, this is great for old, injured, or tired operators.
As for the actual mowing, this has a 42inch fabricated steel mowing deck, capable of cutting between 1 inch and 4 inches in ½ inch increments.
It is a hydrostatic transmission with side-by-side pedals for easy forward and reverse mowing.
What we don’t love is that John Deere offers a paltry 2-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. However, this riding tractor is built in the USA, so it has exceptional quality.
- Electric fuel gauge.
- Tons of accessibility features.
- It has cruise control.
- Very easy to operate.
Best Compact Electric Riding Mower – RYOBI 48V Brushless 30 in. 50 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Mower
- Lead-Acid Battery operated: no gas, fumes, charge and go
- Low maintenance: no belts, spark plugs or filters
- Up to 1 acre or 1 hour of runtime
- Quiet cutting
- LED headlights
Usually, cutting 1 acre means large, open fields. However, if you have a lot of narrow paths, trees, or shrubs in the way, you’re going to need something a little bit smaller.
The Ryobi 48V electric riding mower is perfect for this use. Unlike the other options on our list, this has a small but mighty 30″ mowing deck.
The width of the mower is 42 inches, so it can easily pass through doors and in between most obstructions.
If you can’t tell already, this battery-powered mower was made to cut 1 acre, which is about how long the battery will last.
To recharge the 50Ah lead-acid batteries, use a standard 120-volt outlet. This is a very quiet lawn mower, so you don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors when cutting at night.
To assist, you get two LED headlights and a cup holder for your coffee. One of the benefits of this electric mower is that you don’t have to worry as much about maintenance.
There are no filters, belts, or spark plugs to replace. The only thing that will need replacing is the battery, which lasts about 2 years on average.
- It cuts quietly
- Maintenance is easy
- Cuts an acre on a single charge
- It has LED headlights
Best for Small Yards – Troy Bilt TB30
Last on our list is the absolute smallest yard tractor you can get to cut an acre. The Troy Bilt TB30 is a petite machine that does the job perfectly without any extra hassle.
It has a simple 10.5 HP Briggs Stratton engine that can run in any weather, so there is no excuse for a messy yard in winter.
The mowing deck is similar to the Ryobi’s at 30 inches, and it also has a narrow body that will allow you to pass through most gates.
This riding lawn mower is perfect if your acre is spread between the front and back yard or if you don’t need a loud gas engine.
Its small size also makes it easier to maneuver. It has an 18″ turn radius, so you will need to use the reverse feature often.
Despite its compact engine, you can reach speeds of 4.25 mph going forward and 2 mph in reverse.
You will find that this riding mower is perfect for people who aren’t in a hurry or might have mobility issues.
Two features we would have liked to see are deck wash and an anti-scalping feature. But for a budget lawn tractor, you can easily store it in your shed; you can’t be too picky.
- Very easy to operate.
- It works in all weather.
- It is relatively noiseless.
- It offers side discharge and mulching.
What Size Lawn Needs a Riding Mower?
Mowing is like eating raw oysters: some people love it, and some people hate it.
However you feel about it, doctors tell us that lawn mowing is good cardiovascular exercise and it can also be good for your mind. But you can have too much of a good thing.
While mowing a lawn for half an hour can be good for you, trying to maintain an acre with a push mower will wear you out.
Consumer Reports recommends you use a riding mower for anything larger than half an acre. From our experience, that lines up.
Some of the riding lawnmowers on our list will help you mow an entire acre in less than thirty minutes. Besides speed, riding lawnmowers are also easier on your health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lawn mowers produce toxic levels of emissions, including carcinogens. So, the more time you spend mowing, the greater the level of exposure.
There are other factors to consider, such as the value of your time and constant exposure to noise pollution, but the bottom line is the less time you spend mowing, the better.
Now that you know why you should opt for a riding lawn mower, the next question is, which type should you buy?
Different Types of Riding Mowers
When it comes to large mowing jobs, nothing covers more ground quicker and more efficiently than a zero-turn mower.
So named after their zero turning radius, they are able to essentially spin on the spot to give an even cut even on the weirdest shaped lawns.
Instead of a steering wheel, these are controlled by two levers which takes some getting used to, but they offer exceptional maneuverability.
The advanced tech means these cost a bit more than a lawn tractor, but the time they save can be worth it.
Garden or lawn tractor
When the average person thinks of a riding lawn mower, a lawn tractor is what comes to mind. These riding mowers get their name from their shape and function.
While garden tractors are primarily mowers, they can be used for other things like snow blowing, carrying waste, spraying insecticide, and dozens of other features.
Gardners and small-scale farmers prefer lawn tractors because of their versatility and ruggedness.
However, they aren’t as efficient as zero-turn mowers, primarily because they don’t have a zero-turn radius. Although, lawn tractors handle slopes better, and they are often considerably cheaper.
Rear-engine riding mower
When looking for the best riding lawn mowers, people rarely consider rear-engine riding mowers.
These are similar to zero turns in that the engine is placed behind for greater visibility, but these tend to be much smaller.
Rear engine riding mowers are not in high supply because they fit a very narrow niche. They tend to have a small cutting deck of about 30 inches, which is barely enough to cut an acre.
While they can cut small lawns, the turning radius makes them harder to maneuver than push mowers.
So, the only people that buy rear-engine riding mowers are those who own between ½ acre to 1 acre but don’t have the budget for a lawn tractor or prefer a smaller ride.
Should You Buy A Gas-Powered or Electric Powered Riding Mower?
There was a time when the best riding lawn mowers were gas-powered, but thanks to new regulations and innovation, electric power is catching up.
Now, thanks to companies like Ego and Ryobi, we have a variety of exceptional electric-powered zero-turn mowers, lawn tractors, and rear-engine riding mowers.
But which one is better, or rather, which type of lawn mower is better for you?
Battery-powered riding mowers
The main advantage of a battery-powered mower is that it is better for the environment.
At the point of use, the best battery-powered mowers don’t emit any harmful substances, which can’t be said about gas-powered mowers.
However, just like electric cars are often not as powerful as gasoline cars, electric riding mowers can’t always compete with gas riding mowers unless you are cutting less than 2 acres.
On just a single charge of even the little Ryobi, you can still cut an acre at a comparable pace. Another advantage of electric mowers is that they emit half the noise of a gas equivalent.
That means you can use a battery-powered riding lawn mower at night without being insensitive to your neighbors or your eardrums.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you don’t have to constantly check or service the fuel or oil filters and other milestone-related changes.
If you’re not the mechanical type, you’re going to love the low-maintenance appeal. One thing you might not like is the price. These are significantly more expensive to buy.
Changing the battery can also cost you a pretty penny. However, when you factor in gas prices, oil changes, and regular maintenance, owning an electric mower might still be cheaper in the long run.
No matter how you feel about the environment or the sudden sexiness of electric vehicles, nothing beats the sheer power of gas mowers.
Gas mowers are able to cut tough grass and weeds with relative ease, especially when they run on twin engines.
The horsepower you get from gas is much higher than an electric mower, even though the latter is slowly catching up.
Gas-powered riding lawn mowers are also able to run longer without needing to refuel.
The Ego Power is able to run for 2 hours on a single charge, while a similar gas engine riding lawn mower will last at least twice as long.
Perhaps the biggest advantage it has is familiarity. People find it easier to work with engines they understand.
You don’t want to have to call an expert every time your riding lawn mower makes an unfamiliar sound. Not to mention that when it does need fixing, experts are few and more expensive.
Still, is choosing between gas and battery all you need when selecting the best riding lawn mower for 1 acre? Let’s dig a little deeper and see.
How to Choose the Best Riding Lawn Mower for 1 Acre
Type of lawn
Not every riding lawn mower is suitable for every type of lawn. In order to choose the right one, you must first consider where you want to use it and how.
Terrain/geography of the lawn
The two things we need to consider are how the lawn is laid out and its elevation. If you have one large, flat lawn, any riding lawn mower will suffice.
However, if you have trees, narrow paths, or slopes in the way, you will need to be a bit pickier.
Zero-turn mowers are best if you have obstructions. However, if your lawn is set on a hill, stick with a garden tractor.
If you have narrow paths or a narrow gate separating the shed from the lawn, you need to be careful with the cutting deck width.
Type of grass
For typical lawn grass on flat lands, perhaps an electric riding lawn mower might be your best option.
However, if you have some strong weeds in your yard, you can opt for the Ariens zero turn mower instead, the John Deere S120, or the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro.
Purpose of the lawn
If you plan on entertaining guests on your lawn, you are going to want a riding lawn mower that doesn’t scalp. This essentially rules out the Ryobi and the Troy Bilt TB30.
However, if it’s just a patch of land you want to be leveled and you don’t mind uneven cuts, don’t bother with the more expensive options.
The purpose of the lawn will also determine how low you want it cut. A typical lawn is 3 inches, but if you want to go as low as 1 inch, your options become limited.
The three main cutting modes are side discharge, mulching, and bagging. These are personal choices, so we can’t tell you that one method is better than the other.
All it means is you need to choose the riding lawn mower that fits your use. Unsurprisingly, not every riding lawn mower offers all three options.
However, they will offer at least two. You should note that if you’re interested in bagging, you will need to purchase the accessories separately.
You are going to spend hundreds of hours in your riding lawn mower over its lifetime, so it helps to buy one you enjoy sitting in.
Most people prefer a high back because it gives you more support. The Ariens Ikon and the Ego Power go a step further by providing armrests.
The Troy Bilt has one of the smaller seat options, which is fine if you only mow for a few minutes at a time. But after half an hour, you might need a massage.
Handling and controls
Similar to riding comfort is the comfort of the controls. A soft-grip steering wheel or levers are more fun than hard plastic.
One way the John Deere S120 adds to handling comfort is with cruise control. It also has side-by-side gears for forward and reverse movement, thus reducing the amount of work your hands have to do.
Of course, if you don’t want to overwork your hands, steer clear of the zero-turn riding lawn mowers.
Another important consideration is the size of the actual mower or cutting deck. While it is easy to get swayed by things like horsepower or operating speed, the cutting width actually has a lot more to do with how quickly you get done.
40″ – 46″ is the ideal range for 1 acre to get a superior cut. This places all but three of our options in this category.
The outliers include the Ariens with its 52″ cutting deck, while the Troy Bilt and Ryobi sport a 30″ cutting deck.
While a much larger cutting width will help you cover more ground, it is a problem if your riding mower has to pass through a narrow gate. The Ariens also has 3 blades, which means more maintenance.
Fuel or battery capacity
The point of using a riding lawn mower on one acre is that you don’t need a refill before you finish it.
As you would expect from the best riding lawn mowers, they all pass this test. However, the compact riding mowers only just squeeze in the door.
If you are looking for superior battery performance, the Ego Power is more than sufficient, especially if you want to add two extra batteries.
The gas-powered tractors are also great, although we like that the S120 allows you to see your fuel level easily.
Finally, you need to consider the cost of the mower. What you’ll find is that the best riding lawn tractor can be as much as a couple thousand dollars less than the best riding zero-turn mower.
If you have plans to acquire a larger property, then it is worth spending extra on zero turns.
However, if you are happy with your one acre and you don’t need the bells and whistles, stick with a rear-engine riding mower like the Troy Bilt TB30.
What size riding mower do I need for 1 acre?
You should use a riding mower with a cutting deck of at least 40″. This can be gas or electric-powered, and it can be a zero-turn mower or a lawn tractor. However, if you have a tight budget or need to navigate tight spaces, you can get a riding mower with a 30″ riding deck.
Do I need a riding mower for 1 acre?
Yes, a riding mower will save you time and money when cutting one acre. You should only use a push mower if you only cut your lawn once a month or even less often. However, for regular lawn care, walk-behind mowers just won’t cut it.
What is the most reliable riding lawn mower?
There are several companies that make reliable riding lawn mowers, including Cub Cadet, Titan, John Deere, and Husqvarna. You are certain to find an option that best fits your need amongst their expansive catalogs.
A Perfect Cut, Every Time
It has been a wild ride, but now it’s time to answer the question: what is the best riding lawn mower for 1 acre?
Before we answer the question, you must remember that this is a personal question as it will depend on the type of lawn you have, how often you’ll use the mower and what you can afford.
However, if we had to choose one, it would have to be the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro.
It does everything right – it is great on slopes, it can cut acres without needing a refill, it offers a comfortable ride with a strong engine, and you can buy tonnes of useful accessories.
That said, we were leaning towards the John Deere S120, but it only offers a 2-year warranty. And, of course, the best riding lawn mower with an electric engine is the Ego Power ZT.
Rhys is a passionate landscaper, a self-proclaimed barbecue expert and the author of this site. He combines his lawnmowing expertise with his engineering background to teach you about how to not just take care of grass, but also the equipment you use.
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Best Riding Lawn Mowers for 2023
There are just too many benefits of riding lawn mowers to mention here, and we’re sure you already know what they are anyway. If you don’t currently enjoy these “luxuries”, then you’re definitely not alone in pining for them in the hot summer sun. So, the staff at OPE has assembled our recommendations for the best riding lawn mowers of 2023.
Homeowners and commercial professionals alike, or those on the hunt for a lawn tractor or zero-turn mower, this one’s for you.
Editor’s Note: If you’re considering walk-behind mowers, check out our Best Lawn Mower main page.
Best Commercial Riding Lawn Mower
Hustler Hyperdrive Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
Affectionately known as “mow and blow” crews, this managing editor likes to call them grass-conquering professional lawn care crews. These guys and girls FOCUS on hitting a lot of properties every day during the mowing season, and they can be rough and tough on their gear.
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 Zs are likely more popular, the Hyperdrive series has a more durable transmission system, lessening downtime.
Deck sizes range from 60 to 72 inches, and there are 35 to 40 HP engine options from Kawasaki and Vanguard. The Dale Earnhardts out there who prefer to blast through lawns can run up to 16 MPH on this model.
Regardless of your mowing style, Hustler’s hydraulic system carries a 3,000-hour warranty, and also 5-year/1200-hour coverage on the overall mower.
Contact your local dealer for a price.
Best Residential Riding Lawn Mower
Toro Timecutter Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
We recommend Toro’s Time as the best residential riding lawn mower for a variety of reasons. It comes down to the fact that you get an excellent balance of performance, comfort, and reliability for the price.
Currently, this line includes 17 models along with CARB-friendly options. Deck sizes start at 34 inches for small lawns. They also 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 an 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 best-of-the-best for those of you with more bread in your wallets. Earning our choice as the best residential zero-turn riding lawn mower, the ZTX6 is at the top of Cub Cadet’s residential Ultima line.
These mowers bridge the gap between consumer and professional needs, giving you a ride and performance that feels high-end, but without premium professional mower prices.
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 the ZTXS6 option.
Price: 8999 – 9299 (10299.00 for the 60-inch ZTXS6)
Best Lawn Tractor
Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro FAB Series Lawn Tractor
Cub Cadet lawn tractors have been around for quite a while, and they have a strong reputation with homeowners. If you’re looking for the best lawn tractor among them, we recommend the XT1 Enduro FAB series.
Although they’re more money than other models in the XT1 line, they upgrade from a 13-gauge stamped steel deck to an 11-gauge fabricated steel version for enhanced long-term durability.
Available with a 50- or 54-inch deck, these mowers are suitable for larger lawns than 30- to 48-inch lawn tractors. What’s more, their Kohler 24HP engines offer better overall performance than most of their competition.
And in spite of the fact that they don’t have as tight a turn as a zero-turn, they do have a 16-inch turning radius that gives them tighter turn handling than others.
Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower
It was simply too hard to choose just one electric ride-on lawn mower as the best. However, we did find three that stand out from the rest.
Commercial: Greenworks Commercial 82V OptimusZ Series Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
Greenworks has actually played a big role in blazing the trail within the realm of commercial electric zero-turn lawn mowers. And it’s years’ worth of experience and today’s best technology that come together in the Greenworks OptimusZ zero-turn.
That’s why it’s our choice as the best electric commercial riding lawn mower.
The line includes both ride-on and stand-on models. In terms of 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 an impressive 8 hours on a charge.
It boasts a max speed of 16 MPH with the blades running. Security is already onboard thanks to the combination of 4G and GPS connections, really bringing this model into the 21st century.
And remember, Greenworks backs these mowers with a 5-year/2,000-hour warranty.
Residential: EGO 56V E-Steer Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
EGO is playing a pretty big part in the shift from gas to battery power, including in the zero-turn market with the 56V E-Steer riding lawn mower. Instead of the traditional lap bars, this model uses a steering wheel, making for a much more approachable mower if you’re not used to typical ZT steering.
Beyond that, the design team shifted the controls and performance screen onto the airplane yoke-style steering wheel, where they’re easy to monitor while mowing.
The mower has a 42-inch deck with cutting speeds between 4 and 8 MPH and matches the power of a 22HP gas engine. For power, EGO uses the same 56V batteries that drive its other mowers and handheld tools.
With a full load of six 12.0Ah batteries, you should get four acres of cutting on a charge. Meanwhile, the four batteries that come with the mower will allow you to cover 2.5 acres.
Price: 5999 with four 12.0Ah batteries and onboard charger (scheduled for May 2023 launch)
Residential: Ryobi 80V iDrive Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
If you like video games (or fighter jets), you’re really gonna like the Ryobi iDrive zero-turn lawn mowers, which utilize, not a steering wheel, but rather a joystick. While it certainly parts from the norm, it’s surprisingly easy to adjust to this more unusual way of steering.
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 choose. Furthermore, this mower uses the CrossCut stacked blade system to give you a higher quality cut than you’d get with single blades.
Price: 5999 – 7999 ready to mow
Take a look through our full list of Best Battery-Powered Lawn Mower recommendations!
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Small Lawns
John Deere S130 Lawn Tractor
John Deere lawn tractors are great for small- to medium-sized lawns, and the 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.
Both feature a 42-inch mowing deck, but the S130 has a much stronger 22HP V-twin engine. Also, 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 while keeping a safe distance from the price of zero-turn mowers.
And as always, Deere is incomparable when it comes to getting parts.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Medium Lawns 1 Acre to 5 Acres
Husqvarna Xcite Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
The Husqvarna Xcite is the best riding lawn mower for medium-sized lawns. There are two models that feature a 54-inch, 10-gauge deck ideal for properties up to 5 acres in size.
We’re particularly jazzed about the combination of innovative features and a more Pro-like design, despite the fact that they 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. Four 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. Husqvarna also offers stock blades that can cut for up to 5 years without needing to be sharpened–and trust us, that’s a time saver.
In short, we think Husqvarna knocked it out of the park with this one.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Large Properties
Exmark Lazer Z Series Diesel Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
When it comes to maintaining sprawling areas with a clean cut, there are a few large-deck options leading the pack. One of them–the Exmark Lazer Z Diesel–is our choice as the best riding lawn mower for large properties.
When we say large, we mean large. The Lazer Z diesel line includes 60, 72, and 96-inch options along with a monstrous 144-inch model. And Exmark touts the largest cutting rate at up to 11.5 acres per hour! That makes this model a formidable competitor in its market bracket.
However, these mowers come with a behemoth price tag, starting at just over 27,000. The 144-inch model is over 35,000.
Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills
Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
Power and traction are critical to mowing effectively on slopes and hills. In our 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 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 negotiate 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 riding mower gives you the most bang for your buck? For that, we return to the Toro TimeCutter 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.
If your lawn’s less than two acres, this model offers performance, durability, comfort, and price.
Even if you have more than 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?
The stye you’re looking for is an important factor when you’re choosing the best riding lawn mower for your lawn. So, 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 and control systems. The downsides are that they tend to be slower and don’t reach larger deck sizes. On top of that, they 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.
If there are any real drawbacks to a zero-turn, it’s that they can tear up your lawn in spots if you’re not careful (especially with new treads). This is because, when turning, the rear wheels perform a screw-like action that digs into the grass.
Of course, with some driving practice and a bit of patience in your mowing, you can minimize or altogether avoid this problem.
Gas or Battery?
Now that battery-powered riding lawn mowers are at a point where they 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 and/or repair them. The trade-off is the noise, emissions, managing fuel and oil, and more required maintenance.
Battery-powered mowers have a push-button start system that’s ready when you are. They’re remarkably quiet compared to gas and have no emissions. Maintenance primarily boils down to blowing off the deck and maybe rinsing underneath.
The primary downsides at this stage are that you don’t have as wide a selection as gas, they’re more expensive, the batteries need replacing every 3–5 years, and service technicians aren’t a hop-skip-and-a-jump from your home.
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.
Not surprisingly, the design of the engine, the features included, and its quality usually improve. So, as you move up the line, you get a more reliable engine to go along with the higher horsepower performance.
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.
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 will pay off in the long run.
Again, not surprisingly, your property size will by and large dictate the deck size you need. Riding lawn mowers with 42-inch decks are a good starting point for lawns up to an acre, especially those with tight areas like gate entrances.
If you have more than an acre, look at models up to 60 inches.
When you get down to it, 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 your budget.
Professional lawn crews who need to move quickly from one property to the next are the ones typically concerned with speed. The same goes for campus maintenance personnel working with expansive travel distances between the shop and where they’re mowing. They’re usually looking for models with top speeds of at least 10 MPH.
Even homeowners can make their mowing chores more efficient with some decent top-end speed. A good benchmark for those models is 7 MPH.
Where speed is neither an asset nor a desire, 5-6 MPH will do.
Ah, now here’s something that’s also really important. The good news is that despite extended periods in the driver’s seat, you won’t have to go looking for the nearest rest stop.
But with larger lawns come longer jobs, making comfort all the more important.
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.
In other words, do your best to avoid feeling as though you’re on a mechanical bull.
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We’ve been in business since 2016 covering outdoor power equipment, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the landscaping, heavy equipment, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers have lots of experience in these fields as well as the skills and experience to know whether these products can perform well on the job.
Each year, our team reviews and gets their hands on hundreds of additional landscaping tools and equipment at our shop and at media events and trade shows.
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Best Riding Lawn Mowers
In some sense, a lawn is a face of your yard. For keeping it groomed, you should purchase a riding lawn mower. Driving this device, you will be able to serve large areas effortlessly. Read our review and choose the best model! Read more
The front axle is made of heavy-duty cast-iron. The chassis features a fully robotically-welded frame with a new e-coating corrosion defense system. The LED headlight will allow you to drive this thing around your yard at night. The Cub Comfort™ high-back seat offers some additional comfort to the user with its 10-degree incline and slide.
If you’re looking for the best riding lawn mower for hills, the Cub Cadet LT46 XT1 Enduro Series Riding Mower is the model for you. If you have a sizable yard and you don’t feel like spending hours mowing it with a less powerful and effective product, this is also the model for you. And if your yard is relatively small and all the ground is relatively even, this is a bit of an overkill.
LED headlight, cruise control, Cub Comfort™ high-back seat, SmartJet™ high-pressure deck washing system, Cup holder
The machine allows you to mow in reverse, so you’ll be able to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots. Its 15-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels give you excellent clearance and easy, long-lasting mobility around the yard. The mid-back seat that keeps you comfortable and delivers extra support.
With Craftsman T150, you will be able to keep the lawn nice and clean with very little effort on your part. The model will allow you to maneuver around the yard with ease and precision. The tractor is durable and easy to maintain. Plus, it looks sleek but imposing, a nice thing to have in your lawn maintenance arsenal.
The 1.3-gallon fuel tank comes equipped with a fuel sight window, allowing you to keep tabs on the gas levels. The compact size of the model will allow you to easily reach the areas that are simply inaccessible to larger mowers. The manual power take-off is there to ensure fast blade engagement without any complications.
What we have here could probably be described as a mini riding lawn mower, so if you have a smaller lawn, this is a model that you might want to consider. And, keeping in mind that this is also one of the most affordable options out there, there’s really no reason not to give it a try if you happen to be on a budget but would still like to enjoy the benefits of a riding mower.
The pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission allows you to manage the speed and direction via pedals, letting you keep both hands on the steering wheel for improved driving control. The Cruise Control feature makes sure the tractor maintains consistent speed, even through the roughest terrain.
There are many things that allow the Husqvarna TS348 riding lawn mower to edge out its competition. You can FOCUS on the robust, highly durable build. You can highlight the overall ergonomic design. You can talk about its ridiculous functionality and ample smaller and bigger details that make the model such a pleasure to work with.
LED headlight, Cruise control, ClearCut™ fabricated cutting deck, Electric blade engagement, Front bumper, Fuel indicator, Deck washing system, Cup holder
The 75 Ah battery will be able to offer you up to 2 hours of runtime, which should be enough to mow about 2 acres of land. The model is also capable of reaching the speed of up to 8 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest riding lawn mowers on the market. It involves no belts, spark plugs, or filters, so it doesn’t require a lot of attention in terms of maintenance.
This battery powered riding lawn mower is a powerhouse of convenient features and Smart solutions. That said, the price is a bit stiff, so we would recommend this particular model to the environmentally conscious people first and foremost. The vehicle’s virtually silent operation will allow you to mow the lawn in peace and quiet.
Built to Endure
Taking care of a large lawn requires a lot of time and dedication. And, honestly, it is a monotonous process that bores the hell out of most people. Furthermore, the larger your lawn is, the more of a chance that it includes uneven terrain with a number of bumps and hills. Mowing that kind of lawn can be a nightmare, to put it mildly. That is unless you have the XT1 Enduro Series LT46 from Cub Cadet at your disposal.
What we have here is a front-engine lawn tractor and that alone makes the model suitable for heavy-load jobs. As the enduro part of the name suggests, this is a model that is built to endure anything your lawn might throw its way, from some serious bumps to the roughest grass. Though the whole thing is comprised of rugged materials that are as sturdy and reliable as it gets, we would first like to point out the front axle that is made of heavy-duty cast-iron. The people behind the mower in general and this particular component, in particular, are so confident in its endurance that they have decided to extend the warranty of the axle to 5 years. As for the other parts, the cylinders of the engine are made of twin and cast-iron as well, the transmission housing is comprised of cast aluminum, and the chassis features a fully robotically-welded frame with a new e-coating corrosion defense system. Again, not dissimilar to the front axle, the manufacturers have extended the warranty of the frame to 5 years as well.
When it comes to performance, the 46-inch cutting deck driven by a powerful 22 HP Kohler engine will be able to handle even some of the larger-sized yards and the 3-gallon fuel tank will make sure that you won’t have to refill the tank before getting the job done. The hydrostatic transmission drive offers simple and convenient operation as it essentially eliminates the need for shifting, just push a pedal and get going. And d espite the fact that we’re talking about a sizable vehicle, it offers a 16-inch turning radius, meaning that you will be able to maneuver around all kinds of obstacles with relative ease.
Now, we could talk about the capabilities of this lawn tractor for hours, but everything that’s already been said should allow you to paint a pretty accurate mental picture. So, before wrapping this thing up, we decided to mention a few features that either simplify the operation or make it more comfortable and convenient. First off, there’s the SmartJet™ high-pressure deck washing system that simplifies the process of maintenance. Then, there’s the Cub Comfort™ high-back seat that offers some additional comfort to the user with its 10-degree incline and slide. The cruise control option provides soft touch engagement and the LED headlight will allow you to drive this thing around your yard at night.
All in all, this is a fairly simple choice. If you’re looking for the best riding lawn mower for hills, the Cub Cadet LT46 XT1 Enduro Series Riding Mower is the model for you. If you have a sizable yard and you don’t feel like spending hours mowing it with a less powerful and effective product, this is also the model for you. And if your yard is relatively small and all the ground is relatively even, this is a bit of an overkill.
Craftsman T150 is a really interesting tractor. For the most part, the model is great, easily one of the best riding lawn mowers we’ve seen lately. But we can’t say that this is necessarily the most well-thought-out and well-balanced product on the market today.
For example, the powerful and reliable 19 HP Briggs and Stratton® ReadyStart® engine leaves very little room for complaints, incorporating an easy and dependable starting system with no prime and no choke.
But, considering the powerful engine, the model’s 1.3-gallon fuel tank is underwhelming and could use some improvement in the volume/capacity department.
That is probably the biggest gripe we have with the product. Apart from that, there are hardly any major issues here.
There are very few riding lawn mowers out there right now that give you the same combination of power and control.
With its 18-inch turning radius, the tractor offers easy and overall impressive maneuverability. You’ll be able to cruise around the yard and turn wherever you want with very little effort on your part.
On top of that, the model boasts an excellent hand-controlled hydrostatic transmission. It allows for smooth transitions in speed and direction, further making the tractor an absolute pleasure to work with.
Sleek but Imposing
At a certain price point, some things are a given but have to be covered regardless. A good example of that would be the machine’s wide 46-inch cutting deck. With its help, you’ll be able to cut, trim, and clip grass in one quick sweep. The deck wash that comes with the tractor saves lots of time when you go for underside cleaning.
Though we have already covered a few, there are other things here that contribute to the model’s practically uncompromising maneuvrability and control. Among other things, Craftsman T150 allows you to mow in reverse, so you’ll be able to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots. Its 15-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels give you excellent clearance and easy, long-lasting maneuvering around the yard.
Other than that, it’s the little and not-so-little things, like the 46-inch reinforced stamped steel deck that allows the tractor to almost always come out unscathed and the mid-back seat that keeps you comfortable and delivers extra support.
In other words, with Craftsman T150, you will be able to keep the lawn nice and clean with very little effort on your part. The model will allow you to maneuver around the yard with ease and precision. The tractor is durable and easy to maintain. Plus, it looks sleek but imposing, a nice thing to have at your disposal.
A Bargain on Wheels
Though certain people stick with regular lawn mowers due to their conservative viewpoints, it is the question of money that’s the biggest reason most people don’t make the transition to riding mowers. Your standard corded lawn mower generally costs about a hundred bucks, so just about anybody can afford it. Their riding counterparts, on the other hand, could cost you around thirty or even forty hundred dollars, so we’re talking about a major investment here. On that note, we would like to introduce the Troy-Bilt 382cc, one of the most affordable riding lawn mowers on the market that packs quite a punch for such an inexpensive model.
First things first, the vehicle comes equipped with a fairly powerful 382cc OHV engine. Of course, with just 12 HP on board, it has its limitations, and you won’t be able to move faster than 4.5 miles per hour. But we’re talking about a model with just a 30-inch cutting deck, so it should go without saying that it is suitable mostly for small and medium-sized lawns. And when it comes to those, the mower boasts enough power to get the job done. Plus, talking about conveniences, the 1.3-gallon fuel tank comes equipped with a fuel sight window, which is quite an underrated feature as it will allow you to keep tabs on the gas levels.
A Smaller Frame
Though the smaller frame of the mower certainly presents a challenge or two when it comes to medium-sized lawns, it’s not like it comes without its advantages as well. For instance, the compact size of the model will allow you to easily reach the areas that are simply inaccessible to larger mowers. Plus, the fact that it is relatively small, with just about 62 x 34 x 26 inches in overall dimensions, will prove to be a blessing in no disguise as you won’t have any issues trying to find some space for it in your garage or a shed.
Best Zero Turn Mowers (2023) ☑️ TOP 5 Best
As we have implied earlier, this isn’t the most versatile option on the market, but it is a good riding lawn mower in terms of comfort and convenience. The blades include 5 height adjustment options, so as long as you have a relatively even terrain in your backyard, cutting the grass and keeping your lawn clean will be a walk in the park. Plus, the manual power take-off is there to ensure fast blade engagement without any complications. All in all, with an 18-inch turning radius, you’ll be able to easily maneuver around the yard. The 13-inch steering wheel has a soft grip to it that makes controlling the mower a process that is both simple and comfortable. Unfortunately, the only available cutting mode is self-discharge. However, you can easily fix this little issue by acquiring a bag and mulching accessories that are sold separately.
To sum it all up, what we have here could probably be described as a mini riding lawn mower, so if you have a smaller lawn, this is a model that you might want to consider. And, keeping in mind that this is also one of the most affordable options out there, there’s really no reason not to give it a try if you happen to be on a budget but would still like to enjoy the benefits of a riding mower.
A Tough, Rugged Machine
The folk at Husqvarna are often able to do a good job betting on power but without sacrificing functionality and convenience in return. That philosophy very much applies to Husqvarna TS348. Equipped with the 24 HP Kohler engine (44.2 cu. inch), the model is an absolute powerhouse. With its help, you’ll be able to trim and cut any lawn in no time at all.
But, again, it isn’t just about the power but the balance between power and utility. With that in mind, let’s pivot a little. First, there’s the ClearCut™ fabricated cutting deck. The all-new fabricated design incorporates welded 10 gauge-steel construction with additional welded reinforcement strips giving the lawn tractor exceptional durability.
A similar sentiment can be extended towards the heavy-cast front axle. With its robust construction, the axle offers improved balance and stability, even with a collector setup going on. This pivoting action will help you smooth out the roughest terrain.
We can also mention the robust steel chassis and the cast-iron spindle housings with sealed ball bearing but you get the point, this is a tough, rugged machine that isn’t afraid of any challenge.
Husqvarna TS348 isn’t cheap. There are many things that contribute to its price and many things we can cover here.
We can cover the pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission that allows you to manage the speed and direction via pedals, letting you keep both hands on the steering wheel for improved driving control.
We can cover the smaller things, like the fact that the seat comes with armrests so that you’re able to maintain high comfort levels while mowing the lawn.
We can definitely briefly cover the electric blade engagement setup that lets you engage the cutting blades with but a switch pull on the control panel.
Some would argue that the Cruise Control feature is particularly important here, considering how it allows the tractor to maintain consistent speed, even through the roughest terrain.
The large, wide-rear wheels aren’t too shabby either, giving you improved traction and far less risk of damaging delicate grounds.
The Reverse Operating System is great too, disengaging the cutting blades when driving in reverse.
The transparent fuel indicator that makes it particularly easy to check the fuel level is present as well, another nice little detail that separates this tractor from its inferior peers.
Long story short, there are many things that allow the Husqvarna TS348 riding lawn mower to edge out its competition. You can FOCUS on the robust, highly durable build. You can highlight the overall ergonomic design. You can talk about its ridiculous functionality and ample smaller and bigger details that make the model such a pleasure to work with.
Gotta Go Fast
As a rule of thumb, the majority of riding lawn mowers run on gas as the sort of firepower they require to operate can be hard to achieve via other means of energy. Well, there’s an exception to every rule, and the Ryobi RY48110 is one of the best examples of those exceptions. This is a vehicle that has quite a lot going for it and we will try to briefly touch upon every one of its aspects that we deem to be of some importance, but the most defining characteristic is easily the mower’s engine. Instead of your standard engine that runs on gas, the model comes equipped with dual electric brushless motors. By removing fuel and fumes from the equation, the manufacturers present you with a much more environmentally friendly choice compared to traditional mowers.
Of course, you might think that choosing a greener alternative would mean sacrificing performance and efficiency in return, but that isn’t the case here. The 75 Ah battery will be able to offer you up to 2 hours of runtime, which should be enough to mow about 2 acres of land. The model is also capable of reaching the speed of up to 8 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest riding lawn mowers on the market. Now, it probably won’t allow you to successfully compete in NASCAR, but the mower will offer you enough oomph to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Before moving on from the electric engine and all that it entails, we would also like to mention one last benefit of this type of setup. low maintenance. That’s right, a gas-powered engine doesn’t just carry with it fuel emissions, but also a number of archaic components that require a whole lot of attention. This electric riding lawn mower, on the other hand, involves no belts, spark plugs, or filters, so you won’t have to constantly take care of those parts in particular and the mower in general. Well, aside from low maintenance, there’s also the model’s quiet operation that may have something to do with the electric engine.
When it actually comes to cutting the grass, the vehicle comes equipped with quite a few features that make the entire process convenient and effortless. We like to believe that riding a mower like this one can be quite a lot of fun. But if you’re not of a similar mindset or you simply happen to be in a less of a joyous mood on any particular occasion, the model has you covered with a cruise control feature that will do the bulk of the job for you. And, as you’re cruising along, go ahead and plug your phone into the USB charger that was thoughtfully added to the control panel, along with a cell phone compartment and a cup holder. Plus, the adjustable seat will help you find the most comfortable position.
Though some people find them less than effective, the LED headlights will help you cut the grass during the nighttime. Finally, not all lawns are created equal, so the company behind this one made sure to implement a 12-position manual deck adjustment option that will allow you to adjust to any terrain and height of the grass in order to deliver that clean cut to your lawn.
All things considered, this battery powered riding lawn mower is a powerhouse of convenient features and Smart solutions. That said, the price is a bit stiff, so we would recommend this particular model to the environmentally conscious people first and foremost. The vehicle’s virtually silent operation will allow you to mow the lawn in peace and quiet.
What Is a Riding Lawn Mower?
If you are a lawn owner, you know that cutting grass with a handheld lawn mower requires much time and physical effort. To solve this problem, you should ponder on purchasing a riding lawn mower. This device will take minutes to tidy up your grass. In general, a riding lawn mower combines features of a golf cart and a petrol lawn mower. Thus, all you need to do is adjust the height of the grass cut and ride this lawn mower. That’s all! Besides, most lawn mower models allow carrying lightweight cargos and using attached implements for better grass cutting. Sure, even the cheapest options on the market may be more expensive than their stand behind counterparts, but the kind of performance and convenience riding lawn mowers offer you make that price well worth it.
But if you have a small lawn in your backyard and want to keep it groomed, we advise you to consider our electric lawn mowers and gas lawn mowers.
What Features to Compare
Thinking of the option to trim and mow your lawn effectively yet easy? A riding lawn mower will help. However, before you go buy one, decide on the type of a riding lawn mower you need and the terrain you’re going to groom. Basically, there are three main types of riding lawn mowers. Lawn Tractors, Zero-Turn-Radius and Rear-Engine Riders. The lawn tractors are highly-capable and performing riders, compatible with the variety of attached implements. than other riding lawn mowers, they are suitable for heavy-load jobs. If you own a large, rough lawn, this one is the best to go for. Zero-Turn-Radius riders are designed in a way to easily maneuver and swivel in one place, enabling mowers to mow the areas with lots of all sorts of obstacles. Rear-Engine riders are in many ways similar to Lawn Tractors, but they’re smaller in size. They work brilliantly on medium-sized lawns and terrains.
The type of the engine directly determines overall mowing performance while its capacity specifies what jobs it’ll be best for. You may find quite a number of different configurations, but the most widespread types of engine are one-cylinder and V-twin two-cylinder. The riders powered by the one-cylinder motor are more basic and less expensive but they might not cut the grass as good and efficiently as those powered by V-twin two-cylinder. Still, they’ll do their work at best on half to one-acre lawns. The riders based on V-twin two-cylinder are more performing and capable, they don’t heat up as fast and thus, last considerably longer when used for long-term jobs. The use of additional air filters and oil filtration system will greatly extend the service life of the engine, so beware.
There are also several types of transmission that you just as well may want to consider since it strongly affects the ease of operation. If the lawn is big, flat and smooth, you can opt for a model with a manual type of transmission. It’s well suitable for setting the most accurate speed for short, tall and wet grass. The riders with an automatic type of transmission ideally work on the areas with lots of obstacles, lumps and bumps. As a rule, their turning radius is zero. than any other riding lawn mowers, they are massively purchased by professional mowers.
Now, there are some other things that are of high importance worth your consideration. Those consumers who’re seeking for a true powerhouse to mow rough lawns should definitely pay attention to the following aspects. the cutting width, the number of blades, tank capacity, cutting speed, height adjustment and working modes.
Consider the maximum cutting width if you want to cut more grass in one pass. The wider it is, the fewer circles you’ll have to ride. The riders with a bigger number of blades will better cut the grass without tearing it up. High speeds ideally suit for mowing big areas and rough terrains while the height adjustment allows varying the optimal angle of cut. The riders can also mulch, bag, side-discharge and collect the cut grass, making the whole process much easier.
Finally, a consumer should pay attention to lawn mower’s conveniences. Seat dimensions, a steering wheel, lever coating material, a footrest, an armrest, and a cup holder are important for comfortable use. Furthermore, a water hose connector allows you to clean the mower after its performance. Take into consideration that a folding floor provides comfortable access to the blades while a fuel indicator helps to control fuel consumption. Besides, an electric blade system provides a quick turning on and prolongs the lifespan of the drive belt. To crown it all, a special indicator alerts you about the necessity to change the oil.
All these conveniences provide comfortable use and timely maintenance of the mower.
Did you know?
Ride Your Own Ride
If you ask us, riding lawn mowers serve as the perfect testament to mankind’s ingenuity, with laziness almost always being the biggest driving force behind that ingenuity. We wanted to keep a pristine lawn but we didn’t want to put in the effort that was required to maintain that lawn, so we came up with these machines that do the bulk of the job for us. They’re effective, they’re efficient, and, honestly, they’re quite a lot of fun. So, aside from the obvious financial question, why so do many people feel reluctant about switching from a regular lawn mower to a much more efficient alternative? Well, a part of it could certainly be attributed to the good ol’ baby duck syndrome, a principle that suggests people often tend to stick with the very first iteration of a particular technology since they believe it to be far superior to everything that came after it. But we all know that, in this case, this is simply false, don’t we? Aside from the fact that about 68,000 people suffer all sorts of injuries while operating a regular lawn mower, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a solid argument that supports the theory that those regular mowers do a better job of taking care of the lawn than riding lawn mowers. And if you don’t feel like that is actually the case, here are a few advantages of these types of mowers that may just convince you otherwise.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a self-propelled lawn mower, a push mower, a reel mower, or even a robotic lawn mower, none of them is capable of offering the same kind of efficiency as riding mowers do. Frankly, any type of mower that requires you to stand behind it doesn’t even come close when it comes to getting the job done as quickly as possible. The speed with which you can mow the lawn using a riding mower is simply unparalleled no matter how you slice it. if we’re talking about a large yard, one of these vehicles will be able to save you hours every single week.
Well, this one is a bit of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the majority of yards are not completely flat, and even if they were, you would still be working a lot harder trying to mow your lawn with a self-propelled model or any other stand behind mower. And don’t even get us started on those scorching summer days when it feels like you might evaporate after a few minutes outdoors, so the last thing you want to do is push a heavy piece of machinery around your yard for a minimum of half an hour. Besides, taking care of your lawn is a monotonous, tedious task. But a riding lawn mower makes it as exciting as it can possibly be.
As much as we all would like to be in an optimal, tip-top condition every single day of our lives, we’re afraid the reality is seldom so lenient. Whether you simply do not feel well on a particular day or you happen to have some kind of a long-standing injury, operating a stand behind mower can be simply out of the question. On the other hand, a riding lawn mower is a lot more forgiving when it comes to your health concerns and there’s a good chance you will be able to continue maintaining your own yard in the majority of cases unless, of course, we’re talking about a critical condition situation here. If the latter is the case, you might want to pay your physician a visit before concerning yourself with gardening matters.
Roger Cook How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower, This Old House.
Lawn Mower Tractor Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. September 2016
Kelly Burgess Lawn Tractor Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. May 12, 2016
Evan Gillespie Diesel Lawn Mowers Vs. Gas Lawn Mowers, SFGate.
Tessa Miller How Often Should You Mow a Growing Lawn? Lifehacker. October 8, 2013.
Roy Berendsohn How to Mulch Leaves With a Lawn Mower, Popular Mechanics. November 26, 2012.
Abby Tripp Heverin Riding Mower Buyer’s Guide, Hobby Farms. April 26, 2013.
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