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What Riding Lawn Mower Should I Buy

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John Deere E160 Lawn Tractor Vs Ryobi 38 In Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower

How To Choose The Right Push Mower | Buying Guide

Not only do you get 10 more inches of blade for extra-wide cutting , you get a longer mowing life with the John Deere Lawn E160 Tractor, too. The RYOBI Electric Riding Lawn Mower lasts up to two hours or about two acres. Larger lawns would have to be cut over multiple days after the machine has had a chance to recharge. However, if youre looking for a quiet, electric option that doesnt require burning gas, the smaller RYOBI may be a better option for your lawn care needs.

Setup: White Glove Delivery Service A Special Bonus

Home Depot, one of John Deeres major sellers, offers White Glove Delivery Service, a complimentary benefit that arranges for a service of the tractor, including fluid and battery checks, delivery, and one-on-one instruction and tutorial. This service may be a selling point over similarly priced and rated machines simply because you get assistance in learning about the machine and making sure its running properlya real bonus if youve never owned or operated such a large mower.

If you purchase your mower from a seller that does not offer this service, you might want to consider checking with a local tractor shop or small engine shop to verify the tractor has been set up properly. This includes checking oil, oil plugs, battery, battery connections, and tire pressure. The operators manual also provides detailed instructions on operations and introductory videos help introduce you to all the features.

What Should You Consider Before Choosing The Best Lawn Mower

Property Size

Lawn size is the first thing that you must keep in mind before purchasing a lawn tractor. It will help you determine the amount of horsepower you will require to get the job done quickly and easily. if you have a huge lawn, you should get a lawn tractor with wider wheels and a powerful engine. However, there many other affordable options if you have a small lawn to take care of.

Size of Mower Deck

The size of the mower deck significantly impacts the performance of your lawn tractor. A larger deck will let you cut extra grass more rapidly, but a smaller one will provide more agility. When selecting the mower deck size, make sure your tractor will be able to fit where it needs to go when the mower deck is attached to it.

Storage Space

We know that lawn tractors have a huge footprint. To park a lawn tractor, you need ample and secure storage space. So, think about the parking space before buying a lawn tractor.

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Cleaning: Messy But Important

For longevity of the machine and to prevent damage from buildup, its smart to clean the mower deck after every use. But when we tested the cleaning mechanism, we found it difficult and a bit messy. A built-in quick-coupler sits on top of the blade deck cover. You can attach a garden hose to it, turn on the water, and then start the mowers engine. Next, youll turn on the mower blades and allow the water to move through them for at least a minute.

We found that this process sent grass, debris, and water flying, so make sure you do this in an area where you dont mind creating a bit of a mess. Also, be sure its in an area where the grass can be a bit overcut, as the continuous motion of the blades damaged the grass on our first cleaning attempt.

How To Choose The Best Lawn Mower That Suits Your Needs

Ryobi RY48111 38 inch Electric Riding Lawn Mower for sale ...

The many kinds of lawn mowers include the basic reel, electric- and gasoline-powered walk-behind mowers and riding mowers such as rear-engine, lawn and garden tractors and zero-turn mowers. The decision of which lawn mower is the best for you depends on your mowing needs in relation to your physical condition and preferences as well as the logistics of your yard.

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The Right Size For The Job

In general, if your lawn is large and mostly open, its more important that your riding lawn mower;has a generous cutting width. However, if there are lots of obstructions, like trees and bushes, its better to choose a riding mower that is small enough to go through the tightest passages. We offer riding mowers with cutting widths from 38 inches up to 54 inches. For more lawn mowing choices, be sure to check out all Husqvarna lawn mowers.

Compact Riding Lawn Mower

The compact single-cylinder Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT is an affordable, intelligently-designed, 42-inch double-blade riding lawn mower. Turn the key, select the cutting height from any of 12 easily-adjustable cutting positions, push the pedal, and mow!

It has a powerful 18HP Kohler OHV engine and hydrostatic transmission for smooth forward/reverse mowing and speed changes. The XT1 Enduro Series LT also offers a 16 turning radius with responsive steering that makes maneuvering around trees and obstacles quick and easy! Its corrosion resistant deck system ensures added durability and longer life.

This rear-wheel drive riding lawn mower features a 3 gal. see-through fuel tank w/gauge, a battery that also has a gauge, built-in LED headlights for improved visibility, pushbutton cruise control that ensures uniform mowing, built-in hitch, pneumatic tires, and a cup holder! It has an open, high-back, adjustable seat for comfort situated on a large base for added stability. The rubberized, soft-touch, comfort-grip steering wheel gives you greater control. When youre done mowing, use the high-pressure, quick-connect deck cleanout system to clean accumulated grass and debris.

The XT1 Enduro Series LT also offers multi-season attachments from mulch kits and rear spreaders, twin baggers, sun shades, and steel and poly carts to snow blades, blowers, and snow cabs. These attachments are optional and sold separately.


Cub Cadet: Check the current price

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John Deere E1: Best Riding Lawn Mower Overall

This machine makes quick and easy work of cutting any size yard, and it easily navigates terrain other mowers may struggle to traverse. It features a front-mounted V-twin engine that produces up to 26 horsepower and can reach speeds up to 5.5 miles per hour. The fuel gauge sits in plain view as you mow so you know exactly how much gas you have left.The John Deere E180 has an impressively wide cutting path of 54 inches. You can adjust the blades to 11 different height positions, anywhere between 1 inch and 4 inches, and it has a turning radius of 18 inches. These features make it easy to customize the cut to your lawn so it looks just the way you want.;

The machines hydrostatic transmission is pedal-operated, so you dont have to take your hands off the steering wheel while you drive. This John Deere mower also has a cruise control that lets you set the speed you want to mow at. Both of these features limit distractions, so you can focus on your lawn and not the lawn mower.

American Lawn Mower Company 50514 14

Lawn Mower Buying Guide | Consumer Reports


Though much less common than they once were, corded electric lawn mowers are still an option if you have a small yard and want to avoid a gas-powered mower. The American Lawn Mower Companys 50514 14-Inch Corded Electric Mower is hard to beat on price, but is a powerful tool thats easy to use.

Perhaps the largest disadvantage of the 50514 is its modest deck sizeyou get just 14 inches of cutting width, so its clearly intended for smaller yards. In exchange, though, its among the lightest of the recommended walk-behind mowers at under 26 pounds.

American Lawn Mower builds this mower around an 11-amp motor and gives you a choice of bagging your clippings or mulchingbut no discharge option. The bag has a grass level indicator so you can tell when it needs to be emptied. Another convenience: The deck height is controlled with a single lever, though it has a somewhat limited height range from 1 inch to 2.5 inches.

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Riding Lawn Mowers And Lawn Tractors

Standard riding mowers and lawn tractors are recommended for property of 1/2 to 3 or more acres.

  • They have a cutting deck size of 38 to 54-inches.
  • Multiple speeds allow you to adjust for different terrain in the yard.
  • Lawn tractors are designed to mow and assist with other yard maintenance tasks.
  • Lawn tractors have a brake pedal that makes it easier to stop than a zero-turn mower.
  • Mowers with a mulching kit eliminate the need to clean up grass clippings.

Toro Recycler High Wheel Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower

Home Depot

This Toro is a 21-inch push mower that is built around a reliable 140cc Briggs & Stratton motor. Its a budget-smart mower that gives you a lot of power, but dispenses with luxuries for smaller yards.

The motor is easy to start; theres no need for a manual choke adjustment, priming or pumping before trying to turn it over, which is a welcome convenience. And since youll be pushing this mower, youll appreciate the enormous 11-inch rear wheels that helps you get traction on rougher terrain and inclines. The deck can be adjusted from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches in six different positions, but youll need to set height levers separately in front and rear.

It has a few key conveniences. You can quickly switch among mulching, bagging and discharge. Toro includes a bag for clippings. The handle can be set between two different heights with no tools required, and the motor doesnt require any oil changes over the life of the mowerjust check the level and add oil as needed.

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Performance: Fast And Effective

Most people purchase a riding lawn mower to cut grass, and the XT1 ST54 excels in this area. We found that its mowing deck cuts a full swatch, allowing us to make fewer passes across the lawn. The 24HP Kohler engine starts and runs without a hitch and provides plenty of mowing power. The Cub Cadet cuts at a blazing 5.5 miles per hour in forward and an impressive 3.2 miles per hour in reverse, meaning we could cut even large areas quickly and efficiently.;

If you have a smaller or slower lawn mower, you’ll be amazed at how fast the Cub Cadet mows. It cut our mowing time down by a third. It is also highly maneuverable, with a 16-inch turning radius that made us think we were driving a zero-turn mower. This handling means you can tackle lawns that have obstacles with ease.;

If you have a smaller or slower lawn mower, you’ll be amazed at how fast the Cub Cadet mows. It cut our mowing time down by a third.

Our yard has a little bit of everything, from straight flat sections to hills and plenty of obstacles, and we had no problem using it to remove brush cuttings and mowing slightly to moderate inclines. The side discharge discards the cut grass close to the tractor so there is little to no dust. Unfortunately, the mower does not ship with a bagger, but you can purchase one as an optional accessory.;

The floating-style deck was easy to move from height to height, and it helped the ST54 deliver an even cut on uneven terrain.

How Do Riding Lawn Mowers Work

Troy Bilt Riding lawn mower

All these machines have powerful engines that run the rotating cutting blade belt as well as the wheels. The operator sits on the seat atop the cutting deck. Pedals and levers are used to operate the moving parts. These devices also provide some means of discharging grass clippings . The operator uses the gas and brake pedals and levers to start, adjust the cutting blade height, accelerate and guide, and stop the machine. Many models have a steering wheel and you drive it like a car. Others throttle and steering are controlled using levers.

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Expert Opinion: Bill Parker Power Equipment Specialist

Bill Parker, Power Equipment Specialist

Bill Parker is an outdoor power equipment specialist who acts as an expert on the Essortment Youtube channel.

I am going to talk to you about the carburetor problems, some of the things that cause them, and how to fix them. One of the biggest things is introducing contaminants into your fuel, whether it be water or dirt as well as stale fuel. Stale fuel will build a varnish up in the carburetor, so we have got contaminants in the fuel. We have also got contaminants that come through the air filter so we need to run clean fresh fuel, clean air filter, and then the last thing is a clean fuel filter. Now should you have a problem with your carburetor, you have to disassemble it. On a riding mower, you’d have to clamp off the fuel line, disconnect the air cleaner assembly, unbolt the carburetor, disassemble it and spray it with a good commercial-grade carburetor cleaner. On a small engine, it is a little bit different in that the fuel tank and the carburetor all come off as one. Once you have got them both off, you disassemble the carburetor from the fuel tank, spray it down and reassemble it. And those are some troubleshooting tips for carburetor-related problems.

Buying John Deere Mowers

You see the ads every Sunday from your local Big Box Stores, you know the ones, the orange place and the blue place. They advertise a brand new John Deere mower at a price point comparable to brands with far less reputation.

Like you I was amazed that they could sell the thing for such a great price. The John Deere 42 X300 shown in the adjacent photo retails for $3,099.99. The John Deere BG20444 shown in the photo below retails for $1,499.00. The BG20444 is a model sold exclusively at Home Depot.

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Besides Lawn Size How Else Do You Determine How Much Lawn Tractor You Really Need

Riding lawn mowers are a lot like cars– there are basic, no-frills models and feature-laden, power-packed high end models– and everything in between. The next thing you need to consider are attachments such as a leaf catcher, dozer blade, garden plow or snow thrower. If you will need one or more of these now or in the future, you need to buy a lawn tractor that can accommodate them.

Riding Lawn Mower Delivery Options

Lawn Tractor Buying Guide | Consumer Reports

Riding lawn mowers and other types of outdoor power equipment can be a challenge to transport, but our delivery services remove the hassle.

  • Free White Glove Delivery: Have your equipment assembled and delivered to your home with a tutorial. For John Deere®, Toro® and select Ariens® brands.;
  • Curbside delivery: The mower will be dropped off at the curb, or to the receiving area/dock for a business. The delivery carrier will contact you to provide a 4-hour delivery window once the items have arrived in your area.
  • Ramps and trailers: Bring it home yourself and haul it anywhere you need it with our large selection of products.;

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How Much Does A Small Riding Lawn Mower Cost

Their lack of power and smaller cutting widths make rear engine riding mowers less expensive than other riding mowers. The smallest and simplest rear engine riding mowers can be as affordable as $1,299, while the largest tend to be closer to $4,539. The average cost across all rear engine riders is about $2,080.

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 60,000 injuries are treated by hospital emergency rooms each year because of unsafe operation of power lawn mowers. Kids under the age of 15 are the most common victims. Regardless of which mower you choose, dont forget to practice safety. Weve assembled some guidelines below to help keep you safe while using your equipment:

  • Always wear protective eyewear.
  • Mow only in daylight, when the grass is dry.
  • Check your yard for any debris or objects, such as toys that could pose a hazard if you mowed over them.
  • Keep your children and pets out of the mowing area.
  • Look three to four feet directly ahead of you while mowing.
  • Never tilt a mower; always keep all four wheels on ground.
  • Take special care when mowing hills and inclines:;
  • With your riding mower: It’s advised to mow up and down an incline, not across.
  • Always turn off mower when crossing a sidewalk or driveway
  • Never leave mower unattended unless spark plug wire is disconnected
  • Never adjust mower height, clean grass chute, or remove the grass catcher with engine running
  • Never de-activate safety devices
  • Never attempt to lift or repair mower with engine running
  • Always stay clear of a hot engine. Mufflers can reach up to 1,200F
  • Always read your Operator’s Manual thoroughly before operating your mower for the first time
  • Children under 16 should not operate a riding mower

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Riding Mower Maintenance And Repair Considerations

Although made for hard work, riding mowers are complex machines. They need regular engine service and the occasional repair to other moving parts such as deck lowering mechanisms. Complicating matters, it can be difficult to bring a riding mower to a repair shop, so you may need to find a pro who can pick up and return the mower after repairs are completed.

Luckily, many manufacturers understand their customers take a DIY approach, and many riding mowers have easily-accessible parts so you can make many basic repairs yourself.

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