Who Makes The Best Riding Mower
In our opinion, the top 3 riding lawn mower brands for the money are Husqvarna, Craftsman, and Toro. Its important to note, however, that the best riding mower for you will depend on your needs, preferences, and budget.
Honorable mention: Troy-Bilt built in the U.S.A and founded in 1937, is an outstanding lawnmower company with years of service and dependability, which happen to build a more affordable lawnmower line.
Be sure to take the size and slope of your yard, the price youre willing to pay, and the amount of maintenance youre ready to perform into consideration before selecting the mower that best suits your needs.
Cub Cadet Ultima Zt1 50 Zero Turn Mower
Best Mower for Those Who Want Something Professional
The Cub Cadet Ultima boasts a 23 HP 726cc engine, twin-cylinder OHV from Kawasaki, with a 50 in. cutting deck. One great bonus is that you can mow in reverse! The lap bar control, plus foot-controlled height adjustments, allow precise trimming and uniform cuts from 1 to 4.5 inches. This mower performs well over hills and slight inclines with fatigue-preventing ergonomic controls, seating, and handles. The 2 in. by 2 in. frame is made from tough, tubular steel. This makes it very resilient, although not quite commercial grade. There are plenty of adjustable attachments sold separately .
Why we liked it: This is a perfect model for suburbanites with commercial lawn mower envy and sloped lawns. Both the zero-turn and high acreage per gallon are ideal for expansive lawns with tight corners.
Engine HorsepowerCutting WidthFuel Capacity
Go For Electric When Tending To Your Weekend Chores
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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong
Battery-powered tools are quickly becoming a favorite for many homeowners, as theyre eco-friendly, easy to maintain, and often just as powerful as their gas-powered counterparts. Battery-powered lawn mowers, in particular, are gaining popularity, with more top-name brands releasing their own electric models.
If youre interested in a battery-powered mower, youll want to think about how much time it takes you to mow your lawn. The runtime of these mowers varies anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, and there are both walk-behind and riding models available, depending on the size of your yard.
Here, the best battery-powered lawn mowers to buy.
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What To Look For When Buying A Riding Lawn Mower
Riders are one of the best ways to tackle large yards easily, delivering professional results while requiring just a fraction of the effort that comparable walk-behind mowers demand. But before you go out and purchase one, several factors need to be considered. By looking at each of these items, youll be able to find the right option for your lawn.
Engine horsepower, or HP, is the measurement used to describe the engines power output. This power output is shared between the various components of these mowers, such as the drive transmission and the cutting blades. The more HP the engine provides, the more power it distributes between tasks, such as moving the vehicle across the lawn or up hills, while also providing the cutting power needed to make quick work of heavy grass conditions.
Your mower needs a lot of power to perform both of these tasks simultaneously. Thats why mowers with a power output around 20 HP or greater are usually perfect for demanding or large properties.
The cutting width of ride-on mowers measures how wide a swath of grass can be cut. Smaller, more compact mowers can have a cut width as low as 30 while larger mowers can have cutting deck widths of up to 50 or more. You need to consider the size of your yard. If you have a smaller property or one with hard-to-reach spots and obstacles like trees, then a smaller cutting width is great. See Best Lawn Mowers for Small Yards.
Best Overall: Ryobi 42 In 100 Ah Battery Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower
Not all mowers can handle rough, uneven terrain, so those with bumpy yards will want to invest in a model like the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1, a zero-turn mower that performs well on all types of ground. Its equipped with a 23 HP twin-cylinder engine for commercial-grade power, and its dual hydrostatic rear-wheel transmission can achieve speeds up to 7.5 MPH.
This mower has a 50-inch triple-blade deck with reinforced leading edges that create finer clippings, fewer clumps, and increased evenness, and the foot-operated deck lift and dial control knob allow you to easily set the deck height to your liking. The machines smooth-tread front wheels and 20-inch premium rear tires provide excellent traction and a smoother ride on uneven ground, and youre sure to love its adjustable ergonomic lap bar, dual-LED headlights, electronic fingertip blade engagement, and other premium features.
The RYOBI Electric Riding Zero-Turn Mower offers all the power and versatility of a high-end gas mower, but without any of the maintenance or emissions, making it a top pick for anyone with a large yard. If you have a particularly large yard, we recommend the Toro Time Cutter Mower , which has a large 54-inch deck to cut large paths on every pass.
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Briggs & Stratton 49t877
Are you in search of a top-notch engine for your lawn mower for commercial use? Here is one of the best lawnmower engines by Briggs & Stratton from their Commercial Turf Series. This engine falls on the higher end of the price spectrum, but it is definitely worth the money.
This lawnmower engine is a fantastic commercial-grade option for OMEM and replacement use. Ultimate debris protection is provided by the unique five-step Debris Management System patented by Briggs & Stratton.
So your engine will not give up under extreme debris conditions. This engine comes with cyclonic air filters and not panel-style air filter systems. This difference makes it two times more efficient when it comes to debris protection.
Are you going to be putting your machine through some harsh mowing conditions and worried about the engine overheating? Worry no more! Because the Overhead Valve design of this engine, along with its cast-iron sleeves, makes sure that the cooling operation is running correctly. Its high-quality cylinder block structure ensures the durability and strength of this product.
The charging system is a 16 amp alternator with a regulator on the cylinder. The engine has a heavy flywheel and a twin-cylinder. The starting system is 12V heavy-duty starter. The lubrication of the engine components is controlled by the spin-on oil filter that works on full pressure.
What To Consider Before You Buy
Push vs. self-propelled. Push mowers tend to be more affordable. Self-propelled models draw energy from the engine to power the wheels, which makes them easier to maneuver if you have a larger lawn or live on a sloped lot. All-wheel drive offers the best traction on slopes, followed by rear-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive, which is standard on most models, is still well-suited for flat parcels though is not the best choice if you bag clippings. As the bag fills, it can cause the front wheels to lose some traction.
Yard size. Consider the size of your yard to find the perfect walk-behind mower. Gas self-propelled mowers will be best for larger yards, and push mowers are better for smaller yards. Check out our guide to finding the right mower for your yard size.
Washout port. You should clean the underside of your mower after each cut. When its time to do so, a washout port makes it easier: It accepts a hose connection for clearing clippings beneath the mower deck without the need to tip the machine.
Electric start. On gas models, this feature lets you start the engine with push-button ease, rather than yanking a pull cord. All electric mowers start this way.
Folding handle. Models with a folding or collapsing handle require less space to store.
Upright storage. Almost all electrics can be stored vertically in a cramped garage. Some gas models have special engine seals that allow for upright storage, too, without the risk of oil or gas leaking out.
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Best For Small Lawns: Sun Joe 12
Type: Push| Power Source: Battery | 20 inches
Easy to start, use, and maintain
If your lawn is less than half an acre, an option like Sun Joe’s “Mow Joe” 20-inch Corded Electric Lawn Mower will be both functional and affordable. This highly-rated mower runs on a 12-amp motor and cuts a 20-inch wide path, and while you do have to attach it to an extension cord, youll be able to quickly groom your yard thanks to its powerful performance.
This Sun Joe electric mower has a seven-position manual height adjustment, as well as a detachable 14.5-gallon rear collection bag for clippings, and its easy to start up, use, and maintain. Like many electric mowers, this one is quiet during operation, but it’s powerful enough to handle tall grass and uneven ground, making it a versatile lawn care tool.
Type: Ride on| Power Source: Battery | 38 inches
The RYOBI Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower can handle up to 2.5 acres of lawn on each charge, thanks to its 100Ah lead acid batteries. This electric riding lawn mower features a 38-inch deck with two blades to deliver a clean, level cut, and it has an impressive 12 deck height positions.
This mower runs for up to 2.5 hours on every charge, allowing you to tackle large lawns in one go, and it charges via a standard 120-volt outlet. It features cruise control, LED headlights, and a USB phone charge, promising to keep you as comfortable and efficient as possible as you tend to your weekend chores.
Best Riding Mowers For Your Property
According to CR’s tests, these tractors and riders are a cut above for mulching, bagging, and discharging
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When you have a lot of lawn to mow, theres nothing wrong with sitting down on the job. In fact, for lawns of half an acre or more, riding mowers that let you sit and steer are the way to go.
Your options fall into three broad categories.
Traditional lawn tractors: These feature a cutting deck from 42 to 54 inches wide, and typically top out at speeds of 4 to 5 mph. They tend to be very stable, so theyre the best choice if you have terrain thats bumpy or hilly.
Zero-turn-radius mowers: Theyre sized like tractors. But instead of a steering wheel, most have lever-arms for turning and navigation. These mowers can turn in place, nimbly maneuver around obstacles such as trees, and reach a higher top speed than tractors. And theyre generally more expensive than tractors.
If you have a fairly regularly-shaped lawn and want that groomed look, it may be best to opt for a tractor, says Misha Kollontai, who oversees Consumer Reports lawn-mower testing. They generally provide a more even cut and cost less than a zero-turn mower.
Zero-turn mowers also generally have a higher maximum speed, letting you get the job done faster, Kollontai says.
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Cub Cadet Cc30e Electric Rear Engine Riding Mower
Clean Energy with Comfort
The CC30e offers all the comfort and mowing power of a riding model but uses a 56V lithium-ion battery as a power source to remove exhaust emissions and reduce maintenance. The mower can handle up to an acre on a single charge, with no power drop-off even toward the end of the one-hour run time.
Recharging the battery is quick and easy, taking only four hours at a standard 120V outlet. There’s virtually no maintenance with no oil changes or belt replacements required. Lastly, the 30-inch deck makes for quick and easy mowing, while the compact unit is less than 36″ across for high maneuverability and easy storage.
Why We Like It: This powerful riding mower operation provides all the convenience of cordless electric power, with a long run time and fast battery recharging, placing it up there among the best mowers we’ve seen.
TypeCutting WidthPower Type
Small Options for Closer Work
Not everyone needs a big mower. Theres some great options you can choose for trimming your little patch of grass. Some are battery powered, which help you skip out on those toxic fumes. Others are completely non-powered manual mowers that are the best environmental choices.
Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series
The best riding lawn mowers overall
Brand: Cub Cadet | Horsepower: 22 hp | Cutting Deck: 46 inches | Gas Tank: 3 gallons | Price:
The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro uses a powerful 22 HP Kohler 7000 Series twin cylinder-engine that offers 22 hp. The hydrostatic transmission means smooth acceleration without all the shifting, so you can focus more on where youre going. Though its not a ZTR, the enhanced steering system has a mere 16-inch turning radius, so you can easily maneuver around the occasional obstacle. Choose from 12 different cutting heights to suit your preferred grass level, and enjoy a massive 46-inch cutting deck that cuts down on both your grass and your mowing time. The XT1 is compatible with a range of attachments and implements and is a tank ready to handle up to 2 acres of land in a single go. Enjoy the desirable capabilities of a garden tractor without the size and price!
- Easily tackle 2 to 4 acres of land, be it uneven terrain, hills, or flat yard
- 18-inch turn radius with rear-mowing capability for easy maneuverability
- Hydrostatic transmission means no gear shifting and more intuitive operation
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How We Picked The Best Rider Lawn Mowers
As we evaluated each mower, we accounted for things like speed, cutting width, overall design, engine power and transmission type. Since these are very expensive machines, we also considered price, so we could find the best riding lawn mowers that offer the greatest value.
Our top choice had a favorable balance among all of these criteria. While we believe it is the best riding lawn mower for most people, it isnt necessarily the best fit for kind of terrain or purpose. For example, if you own a lawn care business, you need a machine that is built to handle more than the weekly mow.
Every model we feature was subject to scrutiny based on its specifications, feature set, and feedback from real-life users. Our final choices represent the best riding lawn mower each brand offers.
We also reached out to professionals who use riding lawn mowers on a daily basis. We spoke to Steve Hough of Hough Landscaping, who has used a dozen different types of riding lawn mowers for more than two decades, about what he looks for when he buys a mower for his business.
When he selects a new riding mower for his service, Mr Hough considers productivity, price, and the lifespan of the machine. Other considerations include serviceability, reliability and down time. For professional situations he prefers eXmark machines because theyre lower priced and functional.
Advantages And Applications Of A Riding Lawn Mower
- Time Saving
With a riding lawn mower, cutting grass in large lawns can be done within a very short time. This is because of the adjustable speed of blades and the lawn mower. The different controls in the deck allow the operator to effortlessly control the speed of the blades and the mower.
The zero-turn radius feature of a riding lawn mower enables the operator to navigate in any direction of the lawn by simply moving hands back and forth. With this feature, riders can navigate a number of obstacles enabling them to effortlessly cover a large section of the lawn within a short period of time.
- Less Mowing Energy Used
Mowing can be tiresome and exhausting especially when using pushed mowers, where the user would require a lot of energy to mow a very small area of grass. However, the riding lawn mower saves users so much energy because very little effort is needed to fire up and control the riding lawn mower. This makes the whole mowing process easy.
- Additional Attachment Options
Unlike other pushed or self-propelled mowers, riding lawn mowers have add-ons options that make mowing easy regardless of the nature of the terrain. Some of these add-ons include dethatchers, aerators, snow plougher, and a dump cart. The user can, therefore, spread seeds, eliminate unwanted dead grass, plough snow, aerate the soil, and carry waste from the grass lawn as an extra advantage.
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Where Are Riding Lawn Mowers Made
Since most lawnmower producing companies are US-based, their products are mostly made in homeland factories. But with the increasing market demand, some of them even have manufacturing factories in Europe, Mexico, or China.
For example, top companies like Husqvarna made all their products in Orangeburg, South Carolina, McRae, Georgia. The parent company of Cub Cadet Corporation, MTD produces its products in the USA, Europe, Mexico, and china. Also, John Deere manufactures more than 80% of lawnmowers in Waterloo or Lowa.
Husqvarna Gth52xls Tractor Mower Best Mower For Hills
Sloping hills can really add a dramatic look to your property, but they can also be a chore to maintain. Sure, the whole process gets much easier if you use a riding mower, but even then you need to know that your mower has all the power you need to get up and down those hills while still maintaining a perfect cut.
For that purpose, we recommend the Husqvarna GTH52XLS Tractor Mower, a strong, powerful machine with a 52 cutting deck and multiple cutting options that make it our choice of the best mower for hills.
What we love this is that it handles much better than its size would have you believe. The GTH52XLS Tractor Mower is built like a tank, with a substantial 24 HP Briggs & Stratton engine and a heavy-duty chassis that ensure its capable of driving up even the steepest of slopes without breaking a sweat. Its also plenty strong enough that you can hitch a trailer or other attachment to the back and still blast your way up the hill at top speed.
Yet at the same time, the intuitive steering, pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission, and simple controls mean youll have no problems with maneuverability.
Of course, for a hill mower, what really matters is that the garden tractor can hold its own in less than ideal conditions, and in that regard, Husqvarna once again scores top marks.
The TH52XLS Tractor Mower comes with a locking rear differential to provide ample grip in wet or slippery conditions, so you can tend to your lawn safely without worrying about tipping over.
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