Taking care of a large or medium-sized property is not an easy task if you have an ordinary lawn mower. Pushing it around is too time-consuming, expensive and physically demanding especially on an uneven terrain. It does not matter whether you do it as a professional or a DIY enthusiast.
Your work does not have to be this hard though. All you need is the best riding lawn mower. These mowers offer power, speed and performance that is unrivalled by any other lawn care equipment. A hilly or large lawn will be taken care of in a shorter time while keeping you safe from any rocks that could be kicked out by the blades.
Not all riding lawn mowers are created equal though. Some deliver a professional lawn look than others while some are more suited to different terrains and obstacles than the rest. When buying one, you need to be very thorough in your evaluation of the available options. Here is a review of the best products currently in the market.
Top 10 Riding Lawn Mowers
How to choose the best riding lawn mower
There are certain features that make one type of riding mower more appealing to your needs than the other. It could be the speed, cutting deck or the price. We have compiled some of the criteria that you need to consider when choosing between different brands of lawn mowers.
Cutting deck size
A riding mower with the widest cutting width allows you to cut a greater area of grass with each pass of the mower than a shorter one. However, the cutting deck width has a direct bearing on the manoeuvrability of the mower. Before you buy the wider one, ensure that there are no narrow spots where it would be difficult for the mower to pass.
- 30 inches: These types are suited for small and medium-sized lawns that are flat. They are easy to navigate through narrower pathways
- 42 inches: Work well for reasonably sized properties and are easier to manoeuvre too.
- 46 – 48 inches: These types are ideal for larger lawns. They require lots of space to manoeuvre properly though. They whiz through small bushes too
- 50+ninches: These are ideal for large sized lawn properties, about 3+ acres. The wide cutting deck hinders manoeuvrability although it would get the job done faster
Type of transmission
Just as in a car, many have varying preferences when it comes to the transmission type. The best riding lawn mower would either have a manual, automatic or hydrostatic transmission.
- Automatic transmission: These types give you more freedom of steering the mower as you do not have to shift gears. You simply step on the gas pedal, and it speeds up.
- Manual transmission: These mowers give you a range of speeds to choose from as you steer the mower. They involve a lot of work though as you have to shift the gears and control the movement
- Hydrostatic transmission: They are more like the automatic ones with the difference being the use of fluid and not a belt in transferring power from the engine to wheels. The ride is, therefore, smoother and involves less maintenance
What sets riding mowers apart is their mechanical specifications. Not any two mowers will possess the same specs, so you have to be very keen here.
- Speed: The top speeds of the best riding lawn mowers determine how fast or slow you are going to complete that job. This is more essential if you are a professional. If your lawn is big, a faster mower will complete the job in no time.
- Horsepower: This is the exact power output of the mower from the engine. It is what determines how much work and thickness of grass the mower can handle. For bigger lawns and tougher grass, you need one with more horsepower to power through.
- Cutting blades: Denser and tougher grass demands more than a single cutting blade. However, some mowers compensate for a single blade by having more power.
- Turning radius: This specifies how tight you can corner the mower. This feature is useful for lawns with lots of obstacles. You are then able to mow closer to the obstacles and around corners. Preferably, look for a zero-turn radius riding lawn mower.
- Versatility: Ideally, you need a riding mower that can do more than just clearing grass from your property. How about one that can mulch, ridge, clear snow and edge at the same time? Well, the choice is yours to make. They may be costly, but it will be worth every penny.
Since you are buying a riding lawn mower to work on your large property, it is essential to ensure that you will be comfortable while operating it. Feeling fatigued should be out of the equation.
The best riding lawn mower features padded seats with lumbar support, more room for your legs, cup holders, easily accessible control panel and maybe LED headlights so that you can work even in low light situations.
Best riding lawn mower reviews
Husqvarna 42″ Tractor Mower
The Husqvarna 42” Tractor Mower is a premium riding lawn mower with quality lawn care results. The 42 inches cutting deck made from 13 gage steel provides lesser passes than ordinary lawn mowers.
A foot pedal controls the FAST auto transmission. This ensures that more power is used for cutting as compared to driving it. The engine produces about 18.5 HP for cutting purposes. The auto transmission also serves to reduce the number of scheduled maintenances of the mower.
This mower uses the air induction principle to consistently produce the same cut at all time. The air induction technology provides an improved stream of air on the deck, reducing the chances of blades choking. The cut grass is blown out for a uniform cut.
The deck acts as a fender and has a lever that is spring loaded for ease of operation. Raising or lowering it becomes a breeze. After a hard day’s work, the deck becomes jammed with lumps of grass and weed.
You need to clean these before storing the mower away. A deck wash port is mounted on the deck from which you can connect a water hose for a thorough scrub of the deck.
- Spring assisted deck lever
- Maintenance free
- Consistent cutting height
- Easy to operate (automatic)
- High cutting power
- Smaller cutting width
Cub Cadet Front-Engine Riding Mower
The Cub Cadet Front-Engine Riding Mower is a sturdy machine that can be used in any environment and weather. Its professional grade Kohler Courage OHV engine produces 18 horsepower of power to cut through most grass types.
Coupled with a hydrostatic transmission, the awkward gear shifts are eliminated for a smoother ride and easier mower operation. All you will be expected to do is press down the pedal, and the mower does its thing.
Nothing is quite annoying than a steering wheel that gets stuck often. The steering wheel on this riding mower has a new responsive system to make manoeuvring the mower child’s play. This equipment has a 16-inch turning radius, ensuring that you can work close to obstacles.
Armed with a 42-inch mowing deck and 12 grass cutting positions, you get a machine capable of powering through any type of grass. The height positions from 1” to 4” are engaged smoothly by a single lever.
This workhorse is fitted with a host of safety features for accident-free mowing rides. Such features include Operator presence sensor, a reverse safety switch and a brake pedal lock. This mower has a wash system on its deck for ridding it off mud and accumulated grass.
This lawn care tool is one of the most versatile around. It gives you an all-around lawn care capability. It is compatible with snow blades or thrower, twin baggers or even a mulching kit. There is also room for attaching a sunshade when the heat becomes too much.
For operator comfort, this lawn mower has cruise control, a seat with back support and a rubberized steering wheel. Better still, the 3-gallon fuel tank has a fuel gauge that is easy to monitor. It even has LED headlights in case the work extends into the night or starts at dawn.
- LED headlights
- Solid construction
- Fit for large uneven lawns
- Raising and lowering deck is easy
- A small turning radius
- Comfortable seat
- There is assembling to be done
- Lacks a bumper bar
Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower combines the benefits of a wide cutting width, a walk behind mower and a riding mower, all in one. It is perfectly suited for standard lawn owners on relatively even terrains.
This riding lawn mower has a powerful Troy-Built engine that will last you for a long time while giving you a clean performance. The 1.3-gallon fuel tank does not require frequent refuelling. It has a sight window for monitoring the amount of fuel inside the tank.
This mower’s cutting blade can be adjusted to 5 positions for that customized lawn height. The manual power take off ensures that the cutting blade is quickly engaged. While operating the rider, you enjoy some comfy features to prevent fatigue in you.
The seat can be raised to the mid back position, and the 13-inch steering wheel is lined with a soft grip material. The front and rear wheels are built to last, just as the rider itself while providing the traction the mower needs to move.
With an 18-inch turning radius, this is one of the best riding lawn mowers due to its relative ease of navigation. The 30-inch cutting deck makes this mower easy to manoeuvre through narrow paths on your yard.
- Soft grip steering wheel
- Comfortable seat
- Easy to navigate
- Easy to store
Husqvarna Tractor Mower
The Husqvarna Tractor Mower has been engineered to be durable, comfortable to use, stylish and cuts grass with utmost precision. It features an EHD hydrostatic transmission for smooth transfer of power from the engine to the cutting system. The transmission is pedal operated.
This mower has a 52-inch cutting deck fabricated onto it. The whole system is then mounted onto a heavy-duty chassis to ensure that it withstands the constant impacts from stones and objects catapulted by the spinning blade. It, therefore, withstands the rigorous and extended uses.
User comfort is key in any riding lawn mower. With this in mind, this machine is ergonomically designed to be easy on your body. The operator seat is adjustable and is fitted with armrests for adequate comfort.
The steering wheel is made from materials that are comfortable to grip. The cutting blades are electronically engaged, just by the pull of a switch. For ease of operating the deck, it has a lever that is spring assisted for easier raising and lowering.
- Works great
- Heavy duty transmission
- Works great on hilly terrains
- Easy to handle
- Compact and sturdy
- Quite expensive
Poulan 42″ Riding Mower
The Poulan 42″ Riding Mower is fitted with a powerful Briggs & Stratton 15.5 HP Engine. The engine power is transmitted through an automatic hydrostatic transmission system. This power is used to rotate a 42” wide cutting blade.
The cutting blade is mounted on a reinforced deck to resist the impact of kicked objects and stones. The oscillating front axle ensures a complete operator comfort. It also delivers a performance that befits all your lawn care work on any terrain.
The reinforced deck is vented and draws in air from the deck top and circulates it under the deck when mowing on long grass. This alleviates the problem of the deck and cutting blades chocking. Mulching and bagging attachments can be added when a need arises.
The automatic hydrostatic transmission provides for easy speed adjustments. All one has to do is move the lever forward for an increase in speed and pull it back towards the neutral point to slow it down. The OVH is easy to service for cleaner and cooler runs.
With 6 grass cut positions, you are flexible enough to produce any type of cut you want on your lawn.
- Works great
- Easy speed adjustment
- 6 cutting positions
- Handles any terrain
- Short turning radius
- Easy maintenance
- The cutting width is a limiting factor
- Breaks down easily
Yard Machines Riding Lawn Tractor
A 420-cc engine with a seven-speed gear shift powers the Yard Machines Riding Lawn Tractor and its 42 inches cutting deck. In this way, you can tackle any lawn mowing tasks like a champ. This durable engine features the shift on the go drive system for ease of operation.
The engine delivers enough power and torque to move the mower up small ridges and hills. To get the best out of the mower, include the mulching and bagging attachments for an amazing finish on your lawn.
The 42” cutting deck provides an efficient grass cutting capabilities. You can complete the tasks at hand within a short time. A comfortable seat is mounted on this riding mower for less stressful rider operation. The mid-back seat is easy on your backbone.
To ease maneuverability, sturdy front and rear wheels are fitted onto this machine. The headlights fitted on this tractor enable you to start your work early before sunrise and late into the night. The grass cutting height can be adjusted for a customized lawn appearance.
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Durable engine
- Comfortable seat
- Efficient cutting
- Good speed
- Some are troublesome when starting
Poulan Pro 17.5 HP Lawn Tractor
The Poulan Pro 17.5 HP Lawn Tractor is a budget-friendly lawn mower for your medium to large sized property. It is powered around by a 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. This delivers adequate torque to the 42 inches mowing deck.
Handling large acres of the yard on hilly or flat terrains seems like a breeze with this powerful riding mower. As a bonus, reverse mowing operation is added to this tractor so that you do less trimming afterward. Motion wastages are eliminated when in reverse.
This riding mower is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission gear drive, coupled with 6 grass cutting heights. This tractor can move at forward speeds of 5.1 MPH and 1.6 MPH in reverse. The 16” turning radius allows you to mow in tight corners and around obstacles.
- Pretty fast
- Short turning radius
- Mows in reverse
- Comfortable seat
- Some products tend to have quality control issues
Poulan Pro Automatic Drive Riding Mower
This riding mower has a 20 HP Briggs & Stratton Overhead Valve Engine mounted onto it. The engine features ready start starting system for quick and easy starting of the mower. A 46” reinforced mowing deck reduces the number of passes you have to make to complete a task.
The RSSS (Ready Start Starting System) eliminates guesswork from mower starting. The engine senses its temperature and delivers just the right amount of fuel. This makes it possible to easily start the engine without priming or choking.
This riding mower is very easy to operate since it has an Automatic Transmission. Your only meaningful task is steering it in the right path. The 6-point cutting height adjustment offers you multiple options for your lawn.
The oscillating front axle makes operating the mower comfortable and eliminates rocking motions. Its 46” cutting deck features an innovative means of keeping cut grass moving along when mowing tall grass. This prevents the accumulation of grass and chocking of the blades.
The automatic FAST transmission enables the mower to move at speeds of up to 7.5 MPH. Your large lawn will be complete in no time at this top speed. The OHV engine is pressure lubricated from its internal oil pump. This provides cleaner and cooler operations, resulting in more power.
- Easy starting
- Very fast
- Easy to use
- Comfortable ride
- Adequately lubricated
- Wide cutting width
- Becomes troublesome to start after a while
Husqvarna 48″ Tractor Mower
The Husqvarna 48″ Tractor Mower is fitted with a 24 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. This results in a powerful riding mower with an automatic hydrostatic transmission for smooth rides. The 48” cutting width is well suited for large properties.
This mower has a stamped cutting deck mounted below it. Heavy flat-stock steel is used to reinforce this deck for more strength and durability. To engage the cutting blade (s), you simply pull the switch on the control panel.
To start the engine, you just turn the engine and off you go. To provide stability and balance when mowing or using a bagging collector, the front axle is made from cast iron. This eliminates the rocking motions.
With its advanced air induction mowing technology, grass lift is improved for a superior cut. The cutting height can be adjusted by using a lever located above the deck. This workhorse allows you even to mow when in the reverse gear.
The seat is ergonomically designed to provide operator comfort. The cruise control allows you to concentrate on steering the mower at a set speed. The deck is fitted wish a washing port for a grass and mud free mower storage.
- Easy start
- Ergonomic seat
- Reverse mowing
- Cutting deck is powder coated
- Visible fuel level
- Wide cutting width
- Cruise control
- Hilly terrain is a problem
Troy-Bilt Automatic Riding Lawn mower
The Troy-Bilt Automatic Riding Lawn mower is a powerful and a reliable 19 HP, 540 cc workhorse. A Briggs & Stratton engine is responsible for all the punch this mower delivers. A Foot-pedal automatic transmission makes riding very easy.
The amazing power and comfort are ideal for large mowing projects. A soft grip steering and a mid-back seat create the ultimate comfort. To provide more ease, a 46” cutting deck side discharge deck is mounted under the machine. It allows for mowing when riding in reverse.
15” x 6” front and 20” x 8” rear wheels support all of the weight of the mower; provide adequate traction and ease manoeuvring it. Armed with a manual power take off, the toughest of lawn jobs can be handled with ease.
The deck has an integrated washing system that is compatible with your garden water horse for a thorough clean-up before storage.
- Mows in reverse
- Wide cutting deck
- Integrated washing system
- Comfortable mid-back seat
- Soft grip steering wheel
- Cutting height adjustment
- CVT transmission does not appeal to some people