The best riding lawn mowers in 2023
The best riding lawn mowers let you tame your property in comfort, no matter the size of the yard.
Cutting grass with ease doesn’t have to mean sacrificing valuable garage space.
This gas-powered pick makes even large yards manageable.
An affordable option with plenty of power.
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Riding lawn mowers are a powerful, durable machine that makes cutting grass as effortless as possible. Lawn equipment has come a long way since the days of a sickle and elbow grease. Modern riding mowers cram the power of a farm tractor and the maneuverability of an ATV into one fun-to-ride, easy-to-control tool.
If you’ve never bought a riding mower, or are upgrading and replacing an old mower, you will be surprised and potentially overwhelmed with today’s options. Front engine? Rear engine? Do you need the best riding lawn mower for hills or zero-turn agility? And what about the transmission? Where do you start? And how do you know if you’re getting the right size mower with all the features you need or the best riding lawn mower for the money? That’s why we’re here: to take the mystery out of this lawn care equipment and find the best riding lawn mowers for every yard, lawn, and field.
The best riding lawn mowers: Reviews Recommendations
Best small: Toro 42″ TimeCutter 452cc Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Speed
If you have a smaller yard, this Toro lawn tractor is the versatile lawn slicer to keep your grass in check quickly. While riding mowers can be smaller, the smaller models are slower and feel underpowered. If you want a ride-on mower with strength and speed, go straight to a lawn tractor instead of a riding mower. It’s a great riding lawn mower for yards up to two acres. It’s not a huge, monstrous machine but still gives you plenty of cutting power. The steering is smooth and responsive. Plus it can be easily stored and maintained. For backyards, front yards, and small sidelots, the Toro riding lawn mower is the perfect fit.
Best for hills: Husqvarna TS 354XD 54-inch Garden Tractor
Husqvarna riding lawn mowers are some of the best on the market, including for hills. And the Husqvarna Garden Tractor is the mighty lawn mowing tool used by professional landscapers and backyard amateurs alike. The hydrostatic transmission makes the ride feel smooth and comfortable, even up and along hills. Its three strong blades, housed in the 54-inch cutting deck, can chew through anything in its path. And a 24 HP engine gives you the oomph needed to safely traverse inclines and wet surfaces. If you’re tasked lawn maintenance of a space larger than three acres, you need a garden tractor made of durable, dependable materials, and this Husqvarna lawn mower checks all the necessary boxes as the best riding mower for hills.
Best zero-turn: Husqvarna MZ54F 54 in. 24 HP Zero Turn Riding Mower
The best riding lawn mower must have what it takes, and then some. The power of the Husqvarna MZ54F riding mower is obvious: its 24 HP Kawasaki engine is more powerful than most consumer riding mowers. All that power helps the 54-inch cutting deck mow through a five-acre lawn with one tank of gas. The zero-turn steering allows for quick, smooth pivots making the heavy-duty steel frame feel light and nimble. It’s easy to use, after reading the instructions and taking it out for a few test cuts. For any lawn that creeps past the three-acre mark, the Husqvarna riding mower is the best beast to tame the suburban jungle.
Best budget: Troy Bilt 30-inch 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
The 30-inch cutting deck of the Troy Bilt riding mower makes it the best riding mower for yards smaller than one acre, and the best riding lawn mower for the money. It’s a small riding lawn mower that’s easy to store and maintain. And the 382cc single-cylinder Troy Bilt engine is powerful enough to chew up and spit out just about any lawn. Maneuvering around trees and along fences is fluid and comfortable, thanks to the Soft Touch steering wheel. While not as versatile as a lawn tractor, you can add mulching attachments to help keep the yard looking sharp. For anyone with a smaller yard, who doesn’t need a monstrous machine, the simple yet effective Troy Bilt riding lawn mower is the perfect fit.
Things to consider for picking the best riding lawn mowers
The best riding lawn mower is the one that efficiently mows your specific patch of grass because not all lawns are created equal. Even in your own neighborhood, one type of mower works best for one yard and another riding mower works best for the house next door. The right mower in the right hands can greatly speed up the grass-cutting process.
Before you rush out and buy the most expensive mower on display, however, take a close look at your own yard. Take measurements of the area that needs mowing (your property minus the footprint of your house, driveway, decking, landscaping, etc.), so you know how big an area you will maintain. As a general rule, riding lawn mowers work best on yards larger than one-half acre (anything less can be mowed more effectively with a gas-powered, walk-behind mower).
Also, know what type of terrain you will drive over, and know the difference between the types of lawn mowers. A ride-on lawn mower is an investment, so you want a machine that lasts. These are motorcycles with blades; understanding and respecting the engine and cutting mechanism is important to making sure your riding mower keeps going season after season. Regular maintenance will be required, but there are riding mowers that are easier to care for than others.
Safety and comfort are also important factors to consider when browsing any lawn or garden tool. Lumbar support and armrests on a riding lawn mower can reduce sore muscles and eliminate next-day chore hangovers. And comfortable steering not only helps your arms and legs, but also gives you greater control to chop grass in eye-catching patterns. Arm yourself with the knowledge (and our handle selections below) and you’ll find the best riding lawn mower for your property.
Calculate what you need to find a riding mower for small yards
The key to finding the best riding lawn mower is to get the right amount of power with the most effective cutting deck. If your yard is smaller than two acres, don’t waste money on horsepower you don’t need and cut widths too large to work in small areas.
There are four types of ride-on mowers to choose from: riding mower, lawn tractor, garden tractor, and zero-turn mower. While they all cut grass, they do so in different ways. A riding mower with a rear-mounted engine will be the least expensive option, but also the slowest and weakest. Riding mowers are the smallest of the bunch and have a maximum cut width of 30 inches. That’s a plus for small lawns (anything up to an acre).
A lawn tractor, however, is what most people envision when they think of a “riding mower.” Lawn tractors have the engine in the front, the cutting deck is between the front and rear wheels and they can be modified to do more than just cut grass. Garden tractors are bigger, more powerful, more versatile versions of a lawn tractor. And zero-turn mowers have a rear-mounted engine with their unique push bar steering to sharply maneuver around any obstacle.
If you have a yard too large for a push mower, yet smaller than an acre, a riding mower or small lawn tractor is the most efficient grass chopper to get. If you want horsepower and functionality, go for the lawn tractor. A lawn tractor can do more than cut grass and has the power to drive on any lawn.
Tackle tough inclines with the best riding lawn mower for hills
The best riding mowers are fierce vehicles with the handling of a car. But not all mowers can be the best riding lawn mower for hills. If a yard has a wide variety of inclines and valleys, trying to mow it can be frustrating and dangerous. Even small hills can be a hassle. Zero-turn mowers are notoriously horrible on hills, and low-powered riding mowers lack the strength needed to mow up and along a sloped lawn. A garden tractor with powerful maneuverability is the only ride-on mower that can safely keep your entire yard in order, even on hills.
Garden tractors are bigger than lawn tractors, making them better for yards larger than three acres. But these beasts can be more complicated. To make the larger tractors easy to control, it may use a hydrostatic transmission, which provides better speed and steering but can be more expensive to maintain and repair.
Still, the difference between a manual transmission and a hydrostatic transmission can be felt immediately as you simply, safely drive the mower up and along hills. With greater control comes tighter turns and quick maneuvering around the terrain. A high-quality hydrostatic garden tractor gives you commercial-grade cutting power in a user-friendly package, making it the best riding lawn mower for hills.
Zero-turn riding mowers cut the largest lawn with a twist
The benefits of a zero-turn riding lawn mower are clear: maneuverability and speed. These powerful lawn mowers can zip around trees, rocks, decks, pools, fences, or anything else that dots your landscape. They shift from forward to reverse in a snap and are ideal for making intricate patterns on the lawn. And the quick speed and wide cutting deck make them perfect for large lawns, fields, and anywhere else grass needs to be taught a lesson.
For lawns larger than four acres, you want a cutting deck wider than 54 inches. Generally speaking, a 54-inch cutting deck on a riding mower traveling at medium speed can cut four acres in an hour. Besides a large cutting width, you also want good horsepower to efficiently travel across the yard. A mower with 25 HP will provide enough muscle for large yards and fields. You can go higher, but most consumer models are between 11 HP to 25 HP. Anything above that may be too much muscle for one home.
The agility comes from the unique steering of a zero-turn riding mower. The left and right push-bar accelerators control each rear wheel independently. Push both forward and you move forward. Pull them back and you slow down and move in reverse. Push one bar forward and you spin around the stationary wheel. It may sound complicated, and there is a mild learning curve to mastering the mechanism, but your brain will pick up the steering and turning will be reflexive with just a few minutes of practice. Of course, take it slow at first and do not try to make sharp turns until you feel comfortable, and always be careful on hills. The weight distribution of zero-turn mowers can make inclines difficult to cut.
Q: How long does a riding lawn mower last?
A riding lawn mower should last anywhere between five and 10 years. But the years don’t matter as much as the hours of use. Consumer riding mowers are made to last about 300 hours. If you have a two-acre lawn, you may spend 60 hours a year using the mower and the mower will last five years. This varies based on where you live, rainfall, type of grass, type of terrain, etc., so it’s only to give you a rough idea. Make your mower last longer with routine maintenance and storing it properly during the off-season.
Q: What is the best riding lawn mower for one acre?
The Troy-Bilt TB30 (mentioned above) is the best riding lawn mower with just enough power to tackle one acre of grass, and the best riding lawn mower for the money if on a budget. For any yard larger than an acre, invest in a lawn tractor, like the 42-inch Craftsman riding lawn mower (mentioned above). It will be fast and efficient. expensive models and zero-turn mowers won’t be as helpful or efficient on smaller yards, so spending more is not always the best answer. And for anything smaller than one-half acre, a walk-behind mower is the most effective.
Q: When is the best month to buy a riding lawn mower?
The best month to buy a riding mower is April or August. Shoppers are most likely to find the model they want in spring, at the start of the mowing season. The won’t be the lowest, but availability is at the highest. Look for good sales during the summer, especially around Labor Day. At that point, many home goods stores are looking to clear floor space for fall/winter products. Options will be somewhat limited, but you can still find the make and model you’re looking for or something comparable. The cheapest of the cheap riding lawn mowers can be found in the fall, but who knows what stores will have left. And most stores don’t even sell riding mowers in the winter. While it’s not an exact science, stick to the months that begin with the letter A when shopping for a riding mower.
: Average life expectancy
A well-maintained average-sized riding lawnmower from an esteemed company can last up to 10-15 years of service life. If uncared, it will last a lot less than that. Depending on the size and manufacturer, lawnmowers vary in load-carrying capacity. The number of hours they last also varies. Some common brands with their life expectancies are:
Frequently asked questions:
What is the best riding lawn mower on the market?
Nowadays, the best riding mower is the one that fits your budget and use case. There are not a lot of really bad types on the market. Brands like Husqvarna, John Deere, Toro, and Craftsman riding lawnmowers have a high average life expectancy.
With proper care and maintenance, this can be up to 20 years. Depending on your work environment, choose the right brand. John Deere produces good commercial-scale mowers. Husqvarna and Craftsman are more into domestic use.
What can happen if I over-load my mower?
Using your lawnmower in an environment that suits its working specifications would be best. If you over-load a lawnmower with high and tough grass, you can expect to stain the engine and other parts more. This will lead that its working life getting reduced.
If this overload happens more often, the engine and other components can get severely strained and require costly fixes to keep your mower working. Always try to match your lawnmower to the type of job you intend to do with it.
Should I go for a new lawnmower or buy a second-hand one?
This is a difficult one. You can buy a perfectly used lawnmower that lasts a long time. Particularly if it is from a good-quality brand. It will save you money compared with a brand-new riding lawnmower. It helps to know how the previous owner cared for his machine.
Buying a used mower will make it possible to find a slightly more powerful one than you would get if you buy a new one. If you have a more powerful one, the lawnmower will have less strain when you use it. With good care, this helps to extend the lifetime.
Before getting one, analyze the condition of crucial parts like the blades, engine, carburetor, and mower’s deck. It can be a great option if they feel well looked after and the price is right.
You can expect a lawnmower to work well for years with proper care and maintenance. An average riding mower can last for ten to fifteen years, or in hours 1000 to 1500. Not well maintained, you can expect half of that.
No set rule defines how many hours are enough on a riding lawnmower. As the article explains, they may last much longer, even after their shelf life suggests that they are properly used. You can stretch their life by taking basic care of them.
Types of Riding Lawn Mower
Basic Riding Lawn Mower
Riding Lawn Mowers
Rear engine riding mowers are designed to mow small yards where walking would be possible, but riding is preferred. These mowers save on storage space and fit through small gates. They are often easier to get on and off compared to larger riding mower models. Rear engine riding mowers are typically priced the same or more than traditional riding mowers due to their unique style and specialty design.
A garden tractor looks similar to a lawn tractor but differs in a variety of ways. Garden tractors are built on larger, heavier frames which means they are more durable and can handle larger tasks. Garden tractors also have larger tires with differential locking for more traction, control and comfort on both level ground and hills. The larger garden tractors can also pull and push larger attachments compared to a lawn tractor, including some models with have a rear PTO to power more heavy-duty riding mower attachments.
Mutton Power Equipment has the best selection of Riding Lawn Mowers for Sale both online and in Fort Wayne and Greater Northeast Indiana. We are the John Deere Riding Lawn Mower and Simplicity Riding Lawn Mower Fort Wayne Headquarters for the largest selection of Riding Lawn Mowers, Lawn Tractors and Garden Tractors on sale.
Riding Mowers Tractors 25 results
When you have an acre of green grass or an acre with a few lawn obstacles, a riding mower from Sears is your best option for lawn maintenance. Tackling overgrown grass and weeds requires less effort with lawn mowers and tractors. These useful lawn cutting machines help create a pristine lawn in your front yard.
A perfectly trimmed lawn will enhance the appearance of your outdoor space. Our zero turn lawn mowers come with a small, strong deck for easy maneuvering. Equipped with a fabricated 42-inch deck, these mowers provide better strength and durability. A mowing speed of 6 mph will ensure that you can weed out overgrown grass quickly.
A hand push lawn mower is a clean and green alternative to gas-powered mowers. When you wish to avoid long power cords, gas, oil, and costly maintenance, then a push reel lawn mower is a good alternative. These type of manual lawn mowers have smooth-spinning blades, maneuverable wheels, and effortless grass-cutting height adjustment. A loop-style handle with cushioned grips provide great comfort.
Making flower beds in your lawn is pretty easy when you choose a garden tractor. These yard tractors are capable of doing heavy work like cultivating and loading. Larger back tires on these appliances improve their stability on steep gradients. Garden tractors can be put to multipurpose use, such as for cutting grass, ploughing snow and dirt, and hauling roads.
Cutting a precise pattern comprising small patches of grass is possible with zero turn tractors. Featuring a square tubular frame for strength and style, these cutting tools are best-suited for outdoor lawn maintenance. Dual LED headlights pave the way for increased visibility at night.
We have a massive collection of lawn tractors, mowers and other lawn maintenance equipment from Kohler, Kawasaki and other renowned brands. Along with replacement accessories, these machines greatly simplify your garden chores. Browse through the mower collection at Sears and find the one that will fulfill your needs.
Riding Lawn Mowers vs. Zero-Turn Mowers
If you are looking to mow more than a half acre at a time, you may want to consider investing in a riding lawn mower, or lawn tractor. These lawn mowers offer greater power and speed than push mowers, at a competitive price. Many riding lawn mowers also offer additional features or attachments to improve your mowing experience. But, these mowers have wider turn radii, which can make mowing around obstacles a challenge.
Another option for riding lawn mowers to consider is a zero-turn mower. These mowers offer greater control and efficiency than other riding lawn mowers because they have a lower center of gravity and larger, more powerful engines. Zero-turn mowers allow you to turn on a dime, which makes navigating around obstacles a breeze. If your lawn is very large (one acre or more) or consists of difficult terrain, a zero-turn mower might be the right choice for you.