Lawn mowers are designed to help cut grass and shrubs in the yards. There are different types of lawn mowers available for purchase. However, this article chooses to focus on the small riding lawn mowers.

With the best small riding lawn mower, the task of maintaining mid-sized to large lawns is made much easier and faster. It is ridden, which gives you the comfort you need when mowing. These types of lawn mowers ensure there is no scalping of the lawn by ensuring that there is no clumping.

If you need to mow around obstacles and somehow uneven terrains, then this is the machine you should look for. The table below summarizes on the very best of them. Briefly have a look at them before their detailed coverage.

ASIN Product Name Cutting width (inches) Price
B01MUDUCNM Troy-Bilt Neighborhood Riding Mower 30 $$
B01C08MSIQ Yard Machines Riding Lawn Mower 42 $$
B017S0JE1K Cub Cadet XT1 Riding Lawn Mower 42 $$
B019F8TWB0 Poulan Pro 960420182 Riding Lawn Mower 42 $$
B01DXLSN2O Snapper SPX-2691344 Riding Lawn Mower 46 $$$
B00MOT0FNW Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower 46 $$
B019ZN0WGE Husqvarna 960430211 Riding Mower 42 $$
B00IN30JG6 Husqvarna 960430173 Riding Mower 42 $$
B00F2PLEYE Poulan Pro PB145G38 Riding Lawn Mower 38 $$
B00K6RPL38 Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawn Mower 46 $

Note: $ represents less than $1000

$$ represents between $1000 and $2000 and so on

Choosing the best small riding lawn mower

Every time you go shopping, you will always find a variety of stuff from which you can choose the best. The same principle applies when it comes to riding lawn mowers. When you choose the best, be sure to have your lawn done in the best way possible.

This is the reason why we found it appropriate to look at some of the features that will help you distinguish the best from the rest. Am sure they will help make your selection work easier. Take a look at some of them as we have discussed below.

Yard Size

If the lawn you are planning to work on is large in size, then it is most appropriate to buy a mower that has a wide deck. The wider deck covers a larger area in a single pass and hence will hasten the completion of tasks.

For a smaller lawn, just buy a small lawn mower for purposes of convenience. Navigating a big lawn mower in a small environment is a hell of a task. Try as much as possible to match your lawn size with the mower.

Type of terrain

Mowing along ponds, ditches, slopes and flower beds is always difficult. And some of these places are part and parcel of our lawns. If you are planning to work on sloppy grounds more often, then select a mower with enough stability and traction. Heavier mowers are more stable. You can check on the best wheels. This is the only way to know the traction capability of the machine.

Workings on properties with lots of obstacles require mowers whose turning radii are tight. If they are additionally fitted with the reverse gear, then be sure to have a reduced mowing time and post-mowing clean-up.

The riding lawn mowers are easy to handle and use. The best lawn mowers should have the ability to be used in any kind of terrain.

Attachment options

You might want to use your mower to perform some other functions apart from the mowing. This will depend on the ability to attach other tools such as snow throwers, garden carts among others. Not every mower has the attachment features, so you have to make a proper selection.

With these attachments, you can use your mower all the year-round. Make sure that it is powerful enough to handle such loads apart from just having the attachment slots.


The power produced by the engine of the lawn mower is the determining factor of the kind of tasks it can perform. This is always measured in cubic centimeters (cc) or horsepower (HP). The higher the cc/HP, the more powerful the engine and consequently the mower is.

The power should be sufficient to complete your tasks within the required timelines. You also have to take note of power transmission system of the mower. The manual power transmission is more complicated compared to the automatic transmission. You are at liberty to choose the one that suits you depending on convenience and preference.


Best Small Riding Lawn Mower


  1. Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Lawn Mower


This machine is a rear-engine type that is powered by a 382cc OHV engine with an automatic choke. It has the capability of operating at speeds of 4.25 miles per hour with a six-speed transmission system. It has a cutting deck measuring 30 inches in width.

The cutting deck’s position can be changed using the five adjustable settings. The 18-inch turning radius makes it easy to navigate while mowing. Additionally, the 16 by 6.5-inch rear tires and the 13 by 5-inch front tires give this machine a good traction and can, therefore, be used in almost all kinds of terrain.

It has a manual power transmission system that easily and quickly engages the blades during operation. It is mainly recommended for medium-sized lawns with relatively not so sloppy terrains. The fuel tank capacity of this mower is 1.3 gallons. The tank is fitted with a window which is used to check the gas levels.

The steering wheel is 13-inch long with a soft grip for comfort. The seat can be raised to mid-back for additional comfort. This 336-pound machine comes with a two-year warranty. It has dimensions of 62 by 26 by 34 inches which makes it easy to store.


  • Powerful engine
  • The compact size ensures easy storage
  • Quick and easy engagement of the blade
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Comfortable mowing experience
  • You can check the gas levels
  • Durable
  • 5 adjustable blade height positions


  • Not good in uneven terrains

Check the price on Amazon


  1. Yard Machines 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower


This 42-inch Yard Machine is powered by a powerful 420cc engine. It has a gear with seven-speed shifts which makes it a perfect tool for mowing across small hills as well as ridges. The 42-inch cutting blade cuts a wide path in a single pass. This is one of the lawn mowers that you will feel very comfortable using.

This machine can be used for bagging and mulching as well. It is fitted with a mid-back seat for purposes of comfort during operation. This makes you mow large lawns without strain and fatigue. If you are worried about mowing on hilly and grassy areas, this is the ideal lawn mower for such purposes.

The machine operates on a Go-Drive transmission system. A two-year warranty backs this 490-pound machine. What’s more, it is very easy to maneuver hence allowing you to cut wider areas. What’s more, the durability of this small riding lawn mower is unquestionable, it will definitely give you value for your money.


  • Comfortable operations
  • Powerful engine
  • Allows mowing on hilly and grassy areas
  • Versatile tool that can be used for bagging and mulching as well
  • Durable
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Wide cutting area


  • Getting a service company is not easy

Check the price on Amazon


  1. Cub Cadet XT1 Riding Lawn Mower


This is yet another great small riding lawn mower that should find its way into your homestead. The Cub Cadet XT1 is operated by an 18HP single-cylinder Kohler engine. The engine is designed and located in the front part of the machine. The 42-inch cutting width is wide enough to clear wide areas in a single pass.

The product weighs 580 pounds which also makes it easier to maneuver. It operates on a transmission system that is automatic. The high-back seat is comfortable. A washout port makes cleaning of this mower quite easy. It, however, lacks the electric power take-off.

The versatility of this small riding lawn mower makes many people love it. Apart from just mowing, this mower can also be used for mulching, side discharging as well as bagging. It operates both in the forward and reverses directions. It is backed by a warranty of three years. The process of maintaining this mower is just so simple while allowing you to change the position of the mowing deck quite easily.


  • Powerful engine
  • Looks aggressive
  • Simple reverse gear
  • Comfortable and adjustable seat
  • Lightweight hood made of plastic
  • Changeable position of the mowing deck
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Headlights allow early morning and late night operations
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable


  • No front bumper
  • The cover is expensive

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  1. Poulan Pro 960420182 Riding Lawn Mower


The Poulan Pro 960420182 mower runs on a 15.5HP Briggs & Stratton engine. The engine is, however, a single-cylinder kind. The engine has an overhead valve with the air filter designed for easy service. This translates to a more powerful operation from a cleaner and cooler engine.

This machine has a cutting deck that is 42-inch wide. The deck draws air from its top ensuring a continuous airflow when operating on long grass. The machine comes with attachment options that can be used to bag and mulch.

Its transmission system is Auto Hydrostatic which makes it easy to adjust speeds. For increased ground speed, motion lever is moved forward on the fender. Pulling back towards the neutral slows it down hence no need to make stops to change the speeds. This saves you a lot of time.

This mower is durable with high performance. The front axle is oscillating and fitted with a turning radius of 6 inches together with a floating deck for level cuts in all kinds of terrain. This even makes it easy to cut closer to obstacles and small trees. You will have minimized on trimming by using this machine.

The cutting deck can be changed to six different positions depending on the condition of your yard. The flexibility that the deck provides helps you realize the most desired look you had anticipated for your lawn. A two-year warranty backs this 465-pound mower.


  • Versatile tool
  • Easy speed adjustments
  • Durable
  • High performance
  • Level cuts in all terrains
  • Flexible cutting positions
  • Air filter is easy to service


  • Cannot mow wet grass
  • The seat is not designed with safety features, and you can easily fall off when mowing on sloppy grounds

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  1. Snapper SPX 2691344 Riding Lawn Mower


The Snapper SPX 2691344 runs on a 22HP v-twin Briggs & Stratton engine. The engine utilizes an overhead valve technology. The cutting deck is 46 inches wide with a mower deck that is made from 14-gauge steel. It also has three blades with four anti-scalp wheels.

The transmission system of this mower is based on the Hydro-gear T2 hydrostatic technology. This technology enables you to choose the pace at which you want to do the mowing. It can be operated both in the reverse and forward motions by use of the foot pedals. The cruise control is dash-mounted. The mower is easy to maintain and hence durable.

The blade engagement is done electrically. The tight 14” turning radius makes it easy to navigate while mowing. The cutting height can be changed in seven different positions ranging from between 1.5 inches and 4 inches depending on the height that suits you.

Other important features that you are likely to come across are the incandescent headlight, fuel level indicator, fuel tank with a capacity of 3 gallons and a 15-inch mid-back seat which is adjustable to ensure the comfort of the operator. This mower weighs only 463.5 pounds.


  • Comfortable mowing
  • High performance
  • Operates both in the reverse and forward directions
  • Wide cutting deck
  • Adjustable cutting positions
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Steel constructed hence durable
  • Incandescent headlight allows operation at any time
  • Free to choose mowing pace


  • Tends to rip off belts at a high rate

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  1. Troy-Bilt Intek Automatic Riding Lawn Mower


This 46-inch Troy-Bilt Automatic Lawn Mower operates on a powerful 19HP Briggs & Stratton engine that has a capacity of 540cc. The mower can work on a reverse gear. The manual power transmission system makes it an efficient tool for use even in the toughest of lawns.

The engine is a single-cylinder type which makes it fuel efficient. The mid-back seat together with the soft grip steering wheel ensures you are comfortable while mowing. The frame is designed with a step-thru technology for ease of use and additional comfort.

Just like any other tool, this mower will need some cleaning that is the reason it has a deck wash system that has been integrated. The deck height can be adjusted to five different positions for a more desired cut.

A two-year warranty backs this 520-pound mower. The 20 by 8-inch rear and the 15 by 6-inch front wheels are durable while at the same time makes the mower easy to maneuver. The wheels of this lawn mower will last for a very long time before you can make any replacements.


  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • Operator comfort
  • Can mow on the reverse
  • Durable wheels
  • Efficient wide area mowing
  • Easy to maneuver


  • Belt squeal is at times experienced during abrupt engagement of the blade

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  1. Husqvarna 960430211 Riding Lawn Mower


The Husqvarna 960430211 lawn mower has a cutting deck that is 42 inches wide. It is operated by a powerful engine of 18.5HP. The power transmission system is pedal controlled automatic which means a maintenance-free operation.

It is designed with a technology known as Air Induction Mowing that increases airflow into the deck resulting in a consistent cut throughout the entire mowing period. Operating this lawn mower has been made easier by the spring assisted deck lever that has been conveniently mounted.

It comes with a port that is easily connected to the water hose on the underside of the deck for easy cleaning of the deck. The deck has been made of 13-gauge steel. It weighs 585 pounds with a warranty of three years on the entire mower and a five-year warranty on the chassis or frame and the front axle.


  • Maintenance-free operation
  • Consistent cut
  • Easy to operate
  • Easy to clean
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable operations


  • A lot of pressure is required on the foot pedal

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  1. Husqvarna 960430173 Riding Lawn Mower


The Husqvarna 960430173 mower operates on a 22HP Briggs & Stratton engine with a capacity of 656cc. This qualifies it to be a very powerful mower that will get almost all your mowing jobs done to perfection. The cutting deck of this machine is 42-inch wide. Its power transmission system is the hydrostatic type.

What’s more, it weighs only 438 pounds. It is also eco-friendly as it produces very minimal emissions making it CARB-compliant. The power transmission system makes it easy to maneuver. It has a full tank fuel capacity of 2.5 gallons.

The air-induction technology makes it produce very precise and desirable cuts. The technology pulls air to the top of the deck from the bottom. The grass is then lifted from ground level after which a clean cut is done.


  • Powerful mower
  • Easy to clean the deck
  • Comfortable seat height
  • Proper belt mechanism


  • Cannot be used on small lawns due to its large size

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  1. Poulan Pro PB145G38 Riding Lawn Mower


This Poulan Pro PB145G38 mower runs on a Briggs & Stratton engine that has a power delivery of up to 14.5HP. Its cutting deck is 38-inch wide. Its power transmission system is based on the six-speed lever system.

The machine has a tight turning radius of 18 inches together with the 20-inch rear and 15-inch front tires that make it easy to control and maneuver. The well designed 9-inch low seat with a backrest ensures operator comfort. This small riding lawn mower can also operate in the reverse gear.

It has a key start and a 1.5-gallon fuel tank. The front axle is made of steel. This mower does not, however, conform to the CARB regulations. The cutting deck can be adjusted to six different height adjustments depending on the condition of the lawn and as desired by you. This mower weighs 381 pounds.


  • Gear can be changed without stopping
  • Easy to start
  • Solid and durable
  • Powerful machine
  • Reverse mowing
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Comfortable mowing
  • Easy to maneuver


  • Hard to get off the pallet
  • Transmission must be placed in gear when stopped

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  1. Raven MPV7100 Riding Lawn Mower


The Raven MPV7100 riding lawn mower is a three-in-one machine that operates on the hybrid technology of both electricity and gas. It has a 420cc engine that is powered by gasoline and a 7100-watt generator. The generator powers the blades, outlets as well as charging the batteries.

It has a 46-inch fabricated deck that can be removed. It can discharge, mulch and provide enhanced vacuum due to its advanced design. The mower can be operated at speeds of 17 miles per hour on either electric or gas.

The 14-inch turning radius is tight enough to make it easy to maneuver around very tight areas. It easily switches from a mower to a generator. It is also a multi-purpose vehicle with a towing capacity of 550 pounds with a storage bed for supplying materials to various work sites.

What’s more, it is designed with front suspension and off-road shocks to make it comfortable. It has a total weight of 870 pounds. This lawn mower is also very flexible and durable.


  • Versatile machine
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Powerful mower
  • Little assembly required
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Easy to start


  • A bit complicated and cannot be repaired just in any garage
  • The deck often fails

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Our Top Pick for the Best Small Riding Lawn Mower


Our Top Pick for the Best Small Riding Lawn Mower is the Troy-Bilt 30-inch Neighborhood Riding Mower. It is operated by a powerful OHV engine with a capacity of 382cc. This makes it ideal for lawns that are medium-sized or large.

With its ability to mow at speeds of up to 4.25 miles per hour, your lawns will be done in the shortest time possible. Additionally, its cutting deck of 30 inches in width covers significantly large areas in just one pass. Having the ability to operate at five different positions makes the deck suitable for use in any kind of lawn.

This lawn mower has a tight turning radius of 18 inches together with rear and front wheels of 16 by 6.5 inches and 13 by 5 inches respectively. These make it easy to maneuver in almost all kinds of terrain. Its blade gets engaged quickly and easily due to its power take-off which is manual.

Storing such kinds of machines is always a challenge, but that is not the case with this mower as it can easily be stored in a shed or a garage. To avoid inconveniences always associated with abrupt running out of fuel; this riding lawn mower has a sight window meant for monitoring the fuel level. Its seat has been designed in such a way that you can do mowing in large tracts of land without fatigue.


Check the price on Amazon