Types Of Riding Lawn Mowers
Riding lawn mowers fall into four types:
- Lawn tractors: The classic front-engine riding mower, controlled much like an automobile, with a steering wheel and a brake. Many models offer accessories like baggers and lawn sweepers.
- Rear-engine ride: These are lighter and more agile than lawn tractors. The engine, mounted in the back, clears the operators line of sight and allows for tighter turns and precise cut lines. Like lawn tractors, rear-engine riders employ a standard steering wheel and brake pedal.
- Zero-turn radius mowers: Instead of a steering wheel, these mowers feature a pair of levers called lap bars that let the two drive wheels turn at different rates for exceptionally precise turning and cutting. If you need to cut along an arcing flower bed, a zero-turn mower may be for you.
- Garden tractor: The line between lawn and garden tractors can be fuzzy. But garden tractors often have more power, better stability and optional attachments for everything from tilling to snow plowing. They also cost more than other riding mowers.
What Is The Best Rated Riding Lawn Mower Engine
A quality riding lawn mower engine needs to hit a few checkboxes. The engine has to have the power you need to achieve the perfect cut, even on large lawns. It needs to be reliable, offering consistently quick starts with no hassle. And it needs to be made from durable components that will allow it to last for years. Briggs & Stratton engines hit all of these requirements and are some of the best engines for mowers on the market today. These engines were designed to deliver high-quality performance with a minimum of hassle.
And with a range of options available, such as single-cylinder and v-twin engines, these powerhouses can give basic riders, zero-turn mowers, and full-scale tractors with large cutting decks the optimum power they need to get the job done right every time. The reliability and performance offered by B& S are why many of the top brands out there, such as Poulan and Husqvarna, rely on their engines to serve as a backbone for their lawn-cutting workhorses.
Q: What Size Riding Mower Do I Need
A: While were at, how long is a piece of string? You get what we mean? The size of the riding mower that you need will depend on how large your yard or cutting area is. Riding mowers are designed to cover much more ground than standing push mowers, so they will be larger than what you are used to.
If you have a large cutting area, then a larger, more powerful riding mower will be needed as they will complete a whole cut of your lawn in one go as opposed to needing to stop halfway through to refill the tank.
Conversely, smaller mowing areas will require smaller mowers as they will be easier to maneuver in tight spaces and will also not provide too much power that it becomes uncontrollable, sending you, unfortunately, through the neighbors fence and causing general mayhem and disaster while next door is trying to enjoy a family barbeque.
The best riding mowers will show the total cutting area from one fuel tank or charge, so make sure you know the size of your yard before purchasing to ensure you dont run out of juice halfway through a mow.
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Best Riding Mower For Large Lawnsjohn Deere Riding Lawn Mower
Other riding mowers arent as safe or, quite frankly, as sexy as this John Deere lawnmower. Its 60-inch gauge steel deck is designed for lawns over four acres, and its zero-turn capabilities make it versatile enough to be used on heavily landscaped lawns, flat, or even sloped grounds. The electric start, adjustable handlebars, cup holder, and easy-to-clean deck on this John Deere Mower bring a level of luxury to cutting the grass.
One satisfied customer explained of this impressive mower, This things amazing. I went from a 42-inch tractor-style mower to this beast, and as soon as I did, I wished I’d done it years ago. I now have six hours on it and actually look forward to mowing day. This more than cut my time in half.
Q: How Long Does It Take To Mow An Acre With A Riding Mower
A: The time taken to mow an acre with a riding mower will depend on how powerful your mower is and the length and condition of the grass before cutting. If you have a mower designed for medium-sized lawns you can expect the activity to take around half an hour to an hour, meaning you will only cut for around 11 to 22 hours annually if you mow your lawn twice a week during the summer months.
This is only an average time, though, and this could change depending on your speed, the terrain of your lawn, and whether there are any obstacles that hinder simple mowing possibilities. Regarding these obstacles, you can make life easier for you, by taking care of the surrounding area before mowing, or better yet, get the kids to do it while you busy yourself with the more important stuff.
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Cutting Width And Height
Cutting widths on our list range from 28 on the Snapper 2911525BVE Classic to 66 on the Swisher Z3166CPKA. Before purchase, you should know that the cutting diameter is constant on any riding mower. Consequently, you will be stuck with whichever option you pick for a long time to come.
Also, some people have miles of grass in their home compounds. The mowers available wont be able to clear the grass on these types of properties in one fell swoop. A couple of runs will be needed. The number of runs is greatly reduced if you have a 66 cutting width as opposed to a 28 option.
You, therefore, have to gauge which of these two extremes best suits your property and needs. There as well isnt anything wrong with choosing an option in the middle.
With cutting heights, you get more fluid options. Most of the devices mentioned above offer a range of sizes to choose from. All you would need to do is adjust it according to the needs of the day. Of course, higher-end models come with wider ranges and more cutting height options.
The Ariens Apex 60 Kawasaki is a prime example of a high-end model with cutting height options of between 1.5 and 5. In contrast, the Troy-bilt Horse 42 costs a fraction of the price and has a range of between 1.25 and 3.75. As such, you have to decide which of these two ranges appeals most to you. This may be tied to the vision you have for your lawn.
Ryobi 38 Inches Electric Rear Engine Riding Mower Ry48111
One advantage best riding lawn mowers have over walk-behind models is that theyre easier to maneuver. This walk behind cordless electric mower unit from Ryobi is one of such cruise models.
Equipped with a 38-inch deck, the RY48111 mower offers superior mower riding performance. This clean-tech runs up to two hours to 2.5 hours per charge when fully charged, and each charge can get you past 2.5 acres and best for large lawn. All you have to do is plug it in a 120-volt outlet.
The Ryobi 38 inches Electric Rear Engine Riding Mower RY48111 allows you to change the deck adjustments through 12 positions manually. Due to its compact size there is no problem because it require less on storage space, this one fits sheds and garages and can mulch, side-discharge, and bag grass and flower beds clippings.
What We Like
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Do I Really Need The Best Riding Lawn Mower
It depends on how big your lawned area is or how much you need to reduce the physical activity of pushing a mower around your yard. Theres also your budget to consider too.
Those with many acres of grass to cut would almost certainly benefit from the speed and ease a riding mower offers, as would those struggling to get around seamlessly. However, if you dont have the budget to spend on one thatll do the job well, it may be worth paying for a gardener to do it instead.
Got the money to spend? Do it: Unless youve got a smaller scale lawn, a riding lawn mower takes the time and stress out of keeping your grass neat and tidy.
What To Know Before Buying A Riding Lawn Mower
Image by Canva Photos
Unfortunately, theres no real one-size-fits-all when it comes to these machines. The best riding lawn mower for you will depend on a lot of different factors:
How much yard do you have to mow? If youve just got a little patch of green out in front of an apartment, then a riding lawn mower might be overkill. Smaller yards, especially those with lots of obstacles or weird nooks and crannies, will definitely be pleased to see a ZTR mower. If youve got around an acre, the lawn tractor is probably your best bet. Anything over 2 acres probably calls for a fully-fledged garden tractor.
The garden tractor may sound like the most appealing option, considering its wide range of capabilities. But the average price of these babies may make your wallet tremble. Theyre a worthy investment, but they can be a hefty one. Take a look at your budget before you start your search, so you know what you have to work with.
This might not seem like something important to consider, but grass comes in many shapes and sizes. Knee-high grasses with thickets and brambles and other interspersed wild plants are almost sure to be too much for any standard lawn tractor to handle.
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Whats Better Briggs And Stratton Or Kohler
Compared to Briggs, Kohler is just built to last longer. Even when it comes to the single-cylinder options, Kohler is a superior design and far better balanced than their counterparts. With the evolution to producing cheaper, user-friendly products, the quality for Briggs has come down a bit throughout the years.
Ryobi Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower
If you are looking for a green alternative to a gas-riding mower for a 2.5-acre property, the Ryobi Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower is just right for you. It is powered by a 100 Ah battery that provides up to 2.5 hours of runtime, which means it is powerful and you do not have to worry about fumes, belts, spark plugs, or filters.
The RY48111 can be charged via a 120-volt outlet and there is a USB phone charger for a phone or MP3 player.
Operating this machine is very easy due to the hydrostatic drive and the drive pedal is highly responsive. Smart cruise control also provides excellent maneuverability over level ground and slight slopes.
The Ryobi riding mower comes equipped with a 38-inch 2-blade steel deck and a 12 position manual deck adjustment that makes it easy to get a clean, level cut on your lawn. As this mower emits only 70 dB, it is extremely quiet, so you can mow your lawn without disturbing your neighbors.
User-friendly features include a comfy good-sized seat, an easy-gripping steering wheel, controls that are located right near your seat, and LED headlights. Plus, this riding mower also has a towing capacity of 350 pounds.
- Delivers a clean and level cut
- Conveniently locates user-friendly controls
- Not ideal for steep hills or heavy-duty use
- Not ideal for lawns with very high grass
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Faqs About Riding Lawn Mowers
1. What is the best riding mower under $2,000?
The Husqvarna YTH18542 is the best budget riding mower, coming in just under $2,000.
2. Which is better, Cub Cadet or Husqvarna?
Overall, Husqvarna makes better riding lawn mowers, as you can tell from the four Husqvarna entries in our top spots.
3. Does a half-acre need a riding mower?
Typically, riding lawn mowers are for yards over half an acre, while push mowers are for lawns of half an acre or less. However, even if you have a smaller yard, you might not want to deal with the hassle of pushing around a heavy lawn mower. Whether or not you need a riding mower is ultimately up to you.
What Features Of Your Yard Are Important To Consider
When you are ready to shop for your lawn mower, it is important to consider fences and gates. Some mowers are wide and have difficulties getting through tight gates and entries. You should also consider where you are going to store your lawn mower, as some of the larger ones take up considerable parking spaces.
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Least Expensive 42 Riding Mower To Buy Troy
Why We Like It
When you first look at riding mowers for sale, you may be a bit intimidated by the price tags you see. If youre looking for a cheap riding lawn mower at the lowest possible price point, the Troy-Bilt Pony is a model thats well worth the price.
With a 42-inch cutting deck and a 13.5 HP engine, the Pony provides plenty of power and capability, all at a price that almost any homeowner can reasonably afford.
- 2-year warranty
Our Take Away
Even though its a budget option, this Troy-Bilt riding mower has a lot going for it. Smaller engine size notwithstanding, the Pony has plenty of get up and go and will easily handle any residential lawn under 2 acres.
Overall, the Troy-Bilt Pony riding lawn mower is an especially good option for homeowners on a tight budget, but still want or need to invest in a riding mower. If youre looking for a top-rated riding lawn mower for under $1,500 this is it.
Troy-Bilt Cheapest Riding Mower With 42 Mower Deck
Best Small Riding Lawn Mowers Of 2021
Mowing the lawn is enjoyable when you have a small riding mower, especially when you have a large yard. Riding lawn mowers are becoming more common because they are well made, easy to care for, and affordable.
The best small riding lawn mowers have the horsepower that ranges between 10 and 30. The decks have widths between 28 and 60 to meet the needs of various sized lawns. They also are available with gas-powered motors as well as with green battery-powered engines. There are plenty of options that will fit the needs of homeowners with small, medium, and large yards.
At a Glance Our Top Picks
The Snapper Classic Rear Engine Riding Mower is consistently named one of the best in the industry. It comes with a Briggs & Stratton Intek Engine, which starts right up with the turn of a key, just like a car.
Why We Like It
This is a tried-and-true lawn mower that gets the job done. It is easy to use, compact, and easy to store. The Briggs & Stratton motor and the Snapper transmission are reliable and require very little maintenance. This mower can be conveniently stored on its vertical edge, too.
Editor Rating: 5/5
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Ryobi Ry: Best Battery
Reasons to avoid
The Ryobi RY48111 riding lawn mower is a rare find, as its both super powerful and better for the planet, with its batteries providing the riding experience you need. This mower also utilizes zero-turn technology in order to create a machine thats easy to maneuver and will take less time to take care of your yard.
The cutting path of the Ryobi RY48111 is 38 inches, which makes it ideal for larger backyards rather than wide-open spaces. This model also has a 12-position manual deck adjustment so you can get your lawn to its premium height, as well as enough charge to serve you for two and a half hours worth of mowing.
One of the best features about the Ryobi RY48111 is its quiet running. With just 70 decibels of sound emitted, it runs only a little louder than an average conversation, so both your family and your neighbors can safely inhabit the garden without being disturbed.
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.
Best riding lawn mower for hills: Husqvarna TS 354XD 54-inch Garden Tractor
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Cutting Deck Width And Height
The cutting deck width refers to the width of grass that the blades cut from one side to the other. That means that the width of the deck as a whole is wider than the number youll find in the description of a riding lawnmower.
Choosing which deck width thatll ensure that the mowing gets done quickly depends on the size of your lawn. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- An 18 to 36 inches width works with properties under an acre.
- A 36 to 42 inches deck will cover about an acre to three.
- From three to four acres, a 42 to 54 inches deck width will produce great results.
- Anything above four acres would require a deck width ranging from 60 to 72 inches.
How high or low the cutting deck is depends on the type of grass youre working with. Ensuring the cutting deck is adjusted to the proper height can encourage the grass to grow and eliminate any weeds or unwelcome grass.