Best Riding Lawn Mowers In 2021 According To Experts
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A lawn mower can be a necessary home appliance for many homeowners, but those who have larger lawns to upkeep may find that push lawn mowers just dont cut it. Experts recommend using riding lawn mowers for larger lawns since they have more powerful engines better equipped to efficiently handle bigger patches of grass. And as the name suggests, theyre designed so you can ride on top of them while you mow the lawn, which can come in handy when theres a lot of land to tackle.
Unlike any other type of lawnmower, the riding ones let you just sit and steer instead of pushing a manually propelled type or walking behind a self-propelled type, said Bryan McKenzie, a landscape designer and co-founder of Bumper Crop Times. The riding type is much more cumbersome as it includes a larger motor and a full-sized seat, but it allows you to mow large areas significantly faster without any back fatigue all you need is good sunscreen.
Recommended Lawn Tractor Maintenance
Proper riding lawn mower maintenance will help your machine run well for years, and maintenance should be done more often than once at the beginning of the season, and once at the end. Know when to change the oil, replace lawn mower blades or just clean the different parts and attachments to extend the life of your mower using our riding mower maintenance schedule and tips:
In addition to the maintenance tasks listed above, there are a few additional things you should check periodically:
- Make sure lawn mower blades come to a complete stop within approximately five seconds after operating the blade disengagement control
- Check the lawn mower blade and engine mounting bolts for proper tightness
- Visually inspect blade for damage
- Keep all nuts, bolts and screws tight to be sure the equipment is in safe working conditions
- Check that your lawn mower blades are sharp to maintain the health of your lawn. Brown grass tips may be an indicator it is time to sharpen or replace blades.
- Add fuel stabilizer to fresh gasoline before adding it to your mower. Stabilizer can extend the shelf-life of your gas past 30 days and help keep the engine clean.
- Watch for wear and damage on the grass catcher components, discharge cover and trail shield that could expose moving parts or allow objects to be thrown.
Husqvarna Mz61 Riding Lawn Mower
Hill recommended this option from Husqvarna due to its super-wide mowing deck. At 61 inches wide, this zero-turn lawn mower can clear more than an acre of tall grass in fewer passes, he said. The brand claims this mowers large cutting width can cover up to 4.2 acres per hour, which can be efficient for large lawns. For comfort, this mower features a high-back seat with armrests and foam-padded levers with hand grips. It also has easy access points for maintenance: The oil and filters, battery and hydraulic drive system are all within reach, and includes an hour meter that reminds you when to service your mower.
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How To Use A Lawn Tractor
When cutting your grass, keep the lawn mower in a low gear so that you do not lose control. Before starting the lawn mower make sure you have enough gas, and always avoid driving on concrete with the lawn mower blades engaged.
- Step 1Put the ignition key in the ignition slot. Turn the key while simultaneously pressing the brake and clutch of the lawn mower. The lawn mower’s engine will start.
- Step 2Shift the lawn mower to a low gear using the shift lever and drive the lawn mower towards your lawn. The steering wheel will turn the vehicle as if it were a car.
- Step 3Stop the lawn mower when you reach your lawn by pressing the brake and clutch at the same time.
- Step 4Hit the blade engagement button on your lawn mower to lower the blades, then release the brake and clutch pedals to start the mower again. Drive the lawn mower over your lawn until it is cut to a satisfactory height. When you are done, press the blade engagement button again to retract the blades before driving the vehicle back to your garage.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Lawn Tractor
There are six key things to look for when buying a lawn tractor that will ensure the job gets done to your standard, mow after mow.
#1 Engine sizeThe larger the engine, the better it can handle tough cutting conditions. If you need a mower that can mow often, through wet or tall grasses, cut down weeds or bag and mulch leaves, a larger engine means handling challenging jobs with greater ease.
#2 Deck widthDeck width should increase as yard size increases. A deck size of 40-inches or less is suitable for a smaller yard around ½ an acre. A deck size of 42 to 48 inches is suitable for a yard up with 2 acres. A yard that is 3 acres or more typically requires a deck size of 50-inches or greater.
#3 Cutting performanceLook for a mower that can give you a cut you can be proud of, every single time. Sharp and powerful blades make up the Cub Cadet Signature Cut, which means our mowers cut cleanly and consistently mow after mow, and never hack, pull on or damage your grass.
#4 ComfortNot to be overlooked, comfort is incredibly important for a machine that youll spend hours on over the course of peak mowing season. Is the seat comfortable? Does your back feel supported? What does the steering feel like?
#6 OptionsSo your lawn tractor can cut, but can it bag, mulch and side-discharge? Get to know the options available to find a lawn tractor thats build to do what you need it to, and maybe even some more.
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Top Lawn Tractor Accessories
Your mower can do more than mow! Here is a list of the top lawn tractor accessories that will help you maximize the use of your machine through the spring, summer, fall and even winter.
BaggerEasy to attach to your mower, a bagger collects grass clippings and other debris that your mower runs over, instead of redistributing them onto your lawn to keep your lawn tidy.
Leaf collection systemDesigned to handle more debris than a bagger, a leaf collection system makes for a smooth and efficient collection of leaves, clippings and other debris. No more raking.
Sunshade/snow cabThe interchangeable sunshade/snow cab ensures the ultimate comfort for the operator in any season; keeping you out of direct, harsh sunlight in the summer, and protecting you from freezing snow and wind in the winter.
Mulching kitDesigned to help you groom and beautify your lawn, mulching kits cut grass clippings, lawn and leaf debris into finer, small pieces, to be easily reused by your lawn as a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer.
All season plow for dirt, gravel or snowSimply align, latch and lock the all-season plow in place and start moving snow, dirt, gravel, mulch and more. Featuring a single handle with comfort grip, the operator can easily lift, lower and adjust the angle of the blade without leaving the seat.
Brush guardAlign, latch and lock your brush guard to the front of your lawn tractor to protect your tractors front end.
Lawn Tractor: General Information
A lawn-tractor does the same job as a home lawn mower, but it was especially designed for mowing wide areas of grass as the driver can sit on it. This machinery is a self-propelled vehicle. It can be used in gardens, parks and other domains.
When cutting grass with a lawn tractor, the cut grass will usually come out of the side or back of the tractor, remaining on the field, however some models do have grass catching attachments available. Many models will also allow the driver to attach other devices such as snow ploughs, kemper headers or other cutting bars to the front of the vehicle or behind it. This makes them versatile enough to be used during the whole year. Models with higher engine power are usually also capable of being used for towing, making them useful as for example a garden tractor in other respects.
A special form of the this tractor is the zero-turn mower, this is a rotary mower, which is primarily used in North America for the professional care of big areas. In order to protect the driver in the case of accidents, some models are equipped with cabins or protection frames.
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Features We Favor On Lawn Mowers & Tractors
Depending on how much you want to spend, theres a wide selection of mower features and options available. Dont load up on any you wont useits best to cut costs as well as the grass.;
Walk-Behind Mowers: Uniform Wheel Sizes
Some mowers have rear wheels that are larger than the front wheels. Gas models with same-sized front and rear wheels tend to be easier to maneuver and tip back for U-turns at the end of a row.
Walk-Behind Mowers: Blade-Brake Clutch
When you release the handlebar, the clutch stops the blade but not the engine so that you don’t have to restart the engine to empty a full bag of clippings or to move a toy or branch.
Walk-Behind Mowers: Electric Start
Available on some gas models, electric start eliminates the inconvenience of pull-starting the engine. Most models with electric starts require external charging.
Walk-Behind Mowers: One-Lever Height Adjustment
Some self-propelled mowers have this feature, which lets you raise or lower the entire mowing deck at once. Most others require adjusting each of the four wheels individually.
Riding Mowers: Hydrostatic Transmission
Tractors with hydrostatic transmission can vary their ground speed quickly and smoothly without the need to move any additional controls. Most are now controlled with a pedal rather than a lever.;
Riding Mowers: Electric Power Takeoff Switch
For tractors, this switch lets you engage the blades without pulling a lever, a feature that is a bit more convenient and can extend belt life.
Cordless Electric / Battery Powered Lawn Mowers
Dont want to fill your mower with gas or worry about cords? Cordless mowers or battery powered mowers are the most environmentally conscious choice of the bunch. They run quietly and efficiently, and the batteries can be swapped out when power is running low for even more run time, so you can tackle any job.;
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Why Choose A Lawn Tractor
From the size of your yard to the obstacles you might encounter to the storage you have available and of course your own personal preferences, there are many great reasons to choose a lawn tractor over a push mower. If any of the following apply to you, a lawn tractor might be the right choice:
- You have a yard that is more than ¼ acre and under 2 acres You have enough space to be able to store it
- You are looking to get the job done faster and more thoroughly
- You want a versatile piece of equipment that can do more than cut your lawn, such as towing or plowing snow in the winter
- You are looking for easier maneuverability around the obstacles in your yard
- You want to save the physical energy required to push – you;rather ride!
Why Choose A Cub Cadet Lawn Tractor
Cub Cadet offers a line of best-in-class outdoor power equipment that is engineered to deliver flawless performance. Cub Cadet is the standard for Canadians who want products that are carefully, thoughtfully, and purposefully designed around people. When you buy Cub Cadet, you’re backed by our Canadian Commitment, which includes outdoor power equipment that is engineered and tested in Canada, bilingual customer service support, and a nationwide network of 1,100 service dealers that offer full warranty and parts service.
Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers are designed to give you unmatched strength and durability, and theyre packed with performance features youll appreciate. From bagging to snow blowing to mulching, our tractors are strong, built to last and are compatible with a long line of attachments that help you maximize your Cub Cadet lawn mower all year. The latest addition to Cub Cadets lawn tractor lineup is the redesigned XT2, which features LED headlights for a sleek, new, automotive-inspired design, an Aero Force deck, adjustable seat, optimized steering and Tuff Torq transmission. The XT2 is built to deliver a best-in-class cut and reliable power to tackle your yard.
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Best Value Tractor: Troy
One of the most impressive things about the lawn tractor category is that you can get a lot of power out of an entry-level machine that is priced in line with a riding mower. We found the Troy-Bilt Pony 42-inch 439 cc model delivers the best value for the budget-conscious lawn tractor owner.
For only $1,299, the Ponys users appreciate its easily adjustable 7-speed transmission. It offers a smooth ride and a tight 18-inch turn radius. Its dependable, low-maintenance, and engineered to start in cold weather. The generous 42-inch blade also puts it above others in this price range, many of which have comparable power but only come with 30- or 36-inch blades.
Lawn Tractorstypical Price: 1500
Generally, lawn tractors are larger than ride-on mowers. They have the engine in front and the seat behind, and rotary cutting blades under the seat. They have more powerful engines than ride-on mowers, which makes them suitable for large areas and tough terrain.;
These machines are ideal if you have a mix of flat lawn and rough paddock to deal with. However, they may not be the best for sloping lawns.;
Although lawn tractors are expensive, they dont cost more to maintain than smaller ride-on mowers. But youll need to be happy to keep an eye on some things, such as the battery charge and tyre pressure, to make sure your machine starts easily and gives your lawn an even cut.
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Gas Versus Electric Mower
Many riding lawn mowers are gas-powered, meaning they require gasoline to operate. Others, meanwhile, are electric and use a battery-powered motor that needs to be charged. Though gas riding mowers are more durable and typically better suited for large lawns, Hill cautioned that theyre usually much louder than their electric counterparts and are less eco-friendly since they emit fumes.
Electric riding mowers can be cheaper and easier to maintain since they dont require purchasing or changing out the engine oil, among other upkeep requirements. However, electric riding mowers do have their downfalls: Their functionality is limited to the amount of time they can be used in a single charge if you have several acres of land , the power may not be enough to cut your entire lawn in one sitting.
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Toro 50 In 23 Hp Timecutter Gas Dual Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
This zero-turn mower has a large 50-inch cutting width and can be a good selection for yards up to 4 acres, according to the brand. It features Toros Smart Speed Technology, which lets you control your mowing speed in three modes: up to 7 mph while mowing, 5.5 mph in tow mode and 4 mph in trim mode. It’s a powerful warrior that will satisfy the mowing, towing, and trimming needs of most professional users, said McKenzie This mower also equips a built-in cup holder for drinks, shock-absorbing dampeners that make rides smoother and a step-through front end that makes it easier to get on and off of the mower while you pick up debris or move obstacles out of the way.
Types Of Lawn Mowers & Tractors
Your options for the best walk-behind or riding lawn mower range from $170 gas push models to lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers that can cost upward of $4,000.
If you’re worried about noise, know that our tests show gas mowers are much noisier than their battery-powered counterparts. Nearly all the gas-powered machines we tested emitted more than 85 decibels at the user’s ear, and only a few were somewhat quieter. For all, we recommend hearing protection.
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Lawn Tractors Make Light Work When Maintaining Large Yards
There’s more than one reason for thinking about buying a lawn tractor. First, if you have a huge property, a riding lawn tractor makes quick work of trimming large grassed areas. Second – they help take the physical work out of mowing your lawn.
Price determines the size and the number of features in a lawn tractor. For lawns under two acres you can consider a light-duty lawn tractor powered with a rear engine. If you’re dealing with areas larger than that, a commercial-duty zero turn mower is the way to go. A front-wheel drive lawn tractor is a practical choice for level ground. Rear-wheel drive tractors are more efficient for handling uphill or side hill areas. In these cases, your front tires won’t lose traction. You can find all-wheel drive mowers to handle a wide variety of terrain.
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