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Who Makes The Most Reliable Riding Lawn Mower

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What Are Riding Lawn Mowers Exactly

âRiding Lawn Mower: Best Riding Lawn Mower (Buying Guide)

Riding lawn mowers are usually quicker and easier to use than push or self-propelled lawn mowers due to their large engines and wider mowing decks, which can cut a larger area of grass in one pass. The ability to ride the mower around can also be crucial for homeowners who experience any back issues and cant walk behind an average lawn mower without fatigue, said McKenzie.

Experts said that shoppers with more than three-fourths of an acre of yard would benefit from a riding lawn mower since they can significantly cut down on mowing time. However, if your yard is less than a half an acre, a riding lawn mower can make mowing your lawn more tedious than it needs to be because of the size of the machine in comparison to the yard, said Steckel. At that point, its easier to use a push or self-propelled lawn mower these types of mowers also turn the lawn mowing process into an opportunity for exercise and physical activity.

There are three main types of riding lawn mowers to consider: traditional lawn tractors, zero turning radius mowers and rear engine riding mowers.

  • Lawn tractors are gas-powered machines with a front mounted engine and a steering wheel for easy maneuvering you simply sit on top and steer while the machine cuts the grass. This is the most common and price-effective type of riding lawn mower, said Steckel. They also usually have a wide turn radius, making them a good option for big lawns with slopes and hills.
  • Tips On How To Best Use Riding Mowers

    Many models are versatile and can effectively be converted from mower to autumn leaf/debris cleanup or winter snow removal by just changing, removing and/or replacing the power deck with a different attachment. You can seed, de-thatch, plow snow or perform other operations quickly and efficiently using a powerful unit that has easy-change attachments that adapt it to a variety of conditions.

    These devices reduce the time and effort it takes to mow your yard or acreage. They may be small affordable rear engine models, heavy-duty lawn and garden tractor models, or more expensive zero-turning 360-degree, high performance commercial models. Heavier tractor type models are best-suited for mowing 5+ acres. Smaller rear engine riding options are best for ½ – ¾ acres or more. offer the fastest maneuverability on flat lawns.

    Their technologies include more power and versatility upgrades as well as a variety of luxury attachments such as adjustable seats, stereos, automatic transmissions, and cruise control. New solar and battery-powered robotic models are being developed. Biodiesel and hydro-cell engines are being improved as alternatives to gas and electric engines.

    Be prepared to spend $500 or more for a riding lawn mower. A low-end, 14HP model starts at $1,000. Small garden tractors range between $2,500 and $4,500. Larger tractor options can run as high as $9,000 or more.

    Who Is Ariens Mowers Made By

    All Ariens lawn tractors feature engines made by Kohler.

    Is Kubota cheaper than John Deere?

    Lastly, with all the tractors Ive bought and sold over the years, Ive found that John Deere holds their value better than any other brand. This includes Kubota as well. Some will say that a used John Deere costs more than a comparable used Kubota because it was a higher price when new.

    What series John Deere tractor is the best?

    Best: The John Deere X Series Its designed for ultimate ease of use, with digital display, power steering, and an ergonomic design. 4 wheel steering is available in select models, and it comes with a four year warranty.

    Which riding mower is the best?

    Unfortunately, not all riding mowers are capable of handling larger yards with ease. To really get the most efficiency from the mower, you need a large, adjustable cutting deck with multiple blades. When a maximum cutting area is required, the best choice is the Cub Cadet XT1 ST mower.

    What is the best commercial riding mower?

    The best lawn mowers are commercial lawn mowers. While they are more expensive, they will last much longer than cheaper lawn mowers and will make the lawn look much better. Homeowners have the choice between riding lawn mowers, walk behind lawn mowers, stand-on surfer mowers and small push mowers.

    What is the best small riding lawn mower?

    Husqvarna 24 HP Yard Tractor Riding Lawn Mower. Our number one selection for the best riding lawn mowers is the Husqvarna 24 HP Yard Tractor.

    Read Also: What Riding Lawn Mower Should I Buy

    What Should I Look For When Buying A Lawn Tractor

    There are seven 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 like the Kohler® engines on the redesigned XT1 Enduro Series means handling challenging jobs with 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 46 inches is suitable for a yard up to two acres. A yard that is three 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 help to avoid hacking, pulling on or damaging 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? Refreshing the XT1 Enduro Series lawn tractors meant upgrading its comfort features, including adjustable cut-and-sew seats and responsive handling.

    Best Riding Lawn Mowers

    Most and Least Reliable Riding Mower Brands

    The Expert: Roy Berendsohn is our senior test editor who has been reviewing outdoor power equipment at Popular Mechanics for over 30 years. From his decades of mower testing, hes learned youve got to cut a lot of grass and mow under a wide range of conditions to get a sense of what a mower is worth. He cuts grass throughout the mowing season to evaluate the latest machines, including riding lawn mowers. And hes intimately familiar with industry players, big and small, having tested all types of tools over the years.

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    Best Overall: Ryobi Ry48111 100 Ah 38 Electric Riding Mower

    • Great performance, even in thick grass

    • Quiet operation

    Who else recommends it? Bob Vila also picked the RYOBI Electric Riding Mower,

    What do buyers say? 1,300+ Home Depot reviewers rated this 5 stars.

    It may surprise some people, but our top pick is this battery-powered model from RYOBI. The zero-emissions model easily matches gas mowers in terms of power, cutting through thick grass with ease while demonstrating impressive maneuverability. Plus, it’s fume-free and practically silent, generating only minimal noise.

    The RYOBI electric mower has a 38-inch deck, and its 48-volt batteries can run for two and a half hours per charge, allowing you to cut up to two and a half acres in a single session. The two-blade deck has 12 different cutting heights, and the mower offers convenient features like cruise control, LED headlights, and USB charging. There are no belts, spark plugs, or filters, making it easier to maintain than a traditional riding mower.

    Our only complaints? The seat gets uncomfortable if you’re mowing for long periods, and it doesn’t have a mulch setting. Still, if you’re in the market for a reliable ride-on mower and ready to switch to a battery-powered model, this is your best bet.

    Price at time of publish: $3,199

    Cutting Width: 38 inches | Power Type: Battery | Weight: 678 pounds | Cutting Options: Bag, side-discharge | Size of Yard: 1 to 2 acres

    Testing & Customers Reviews

    We found reviews from real YouTube bloggers about the products from our article.

    Test of Time: “I’ve had Husqvarna YTH18542 for about half a year now. This is definitely one of my favorite mowers I ever had. I mean everything about it is just great. I had a more powerful lawnmower before this and this one seems to just be a little tougher. It just feels better more responsive and it can climb hills pretty well. It’s a pretty good engine. I haven’t had any issues with it. So I got the 42 inch and for me for the size of my yard, I have about probably a point six acre land, so for me it’s plenty for what this thing can do. And it cuts really quick really smooth. Great plates.

    Thing also comes in with headlights which is a really cool little feature. I actually cut the grass at night a few times. And this thing also comes with a cup holder which is really cool for those long rides. A big fan of the style and how this thing looks. I love the red color with the gray trim and the light gray rims. Everything looks really nice really sleep. The whole color combination looks really amazing. I know they also have attachments that you can attach to here and to the back for the mulch like whatever you need. They also have things that you can add to the front of the mower to help push dirt around or some sort of brush roller. So there’s a lot of little add-ons that you can put on this thing to help do your job. I liked this lawnmower and it’s passed the test of time for me.”

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    Yard Machines 420cc 42

    This Yard Machines riding lawn mower is powered by a 420cc Powermore overhead engine with 7-speed gear shifts for all the power required to drive your mower up ridges and small hills.

    It features a 42-inch blade cutting deck made from stamped steel. This mower also gives you the option of bagging the clippings and using them for mulch or have them discharge from the sides. Its worth noting that some smaller mowers dont offer mulching options, so this is something to consider.

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    Its lever-operated automatic transmission provides a smooth ride, especially on uneven terrain. Its 7-speed gear selection lets you move at a top speed of 5 MPH, and 2 MPH in reverse.

    The Yard Machines 420cc has an 18-inch turning radius so maneuvering around corners shouldnt be a problem. Its compact size also lets you get a closer cut, especially around difficult-to-access areas such as trees.

    It also comes with headlights so you can continue with your yard work during evenings and even on cloudy days.

    Feature Highlights

    Front Engine Lawn Mower

    Lawn Tractor Buying Guide | Consumer Reports

    They are also known as tractor lawn models. Compared to all other types, front engine lawn mowers are fast and durable. Heavy-duty transmissions and powerful engines are used in the lawn mower. They are suitable for mowing large lawns and gardening tasks.

    Cutting deck range of these mower ranges from 38 inches to 54 inches. Some of the lawn tractors are powerful enough to pull a garden cart loaded with gardening supplies. However, make sure the garden cart is not too heavy and larger than the lawn tractor itself. They are suitable for large lawns with 5 acres or more area.


    • Uses hydrostatic transmission which lets you control speed by pedals. This is also the smoothest transmission type.
    • With mowing speeds of 5.2mph, it cuts faster
    • Most of them come with pressurized lubrication systems
    • Compatible with most of the accessories


    • As engine is installed at the front, it has less visibility
    • Cannot handle ground engaging attachments that include tillers and cultivators

    Also Check: When To Fertilize Lawn In Spring

    How To Maintain Your Riding Lawn Mower

    Do you have a sloppy yard with a lot of landscaping features such as flowerbeds and trees? Ride-on lawn mowers are designed to make mowing such a yard easy with intuitive design, easy maneuverability, and three-in-one convertibility from bagging to side discharge to mulching. Make sure you regularly maintain and tune-up your mower to keep it in tip-top condition. Here are some tips you could find useful for its maintenance.

    Rear Engine Riding Mowers

    Rear engine models provide the easiest, most comfortable experience. They tend to be smaller units with smaller cutting decks and narrow cutting widths. They require less storage space and are by far the most affordable in any brand range. The main drawback is that, due to the lower horsepower , rear engine models are slower. They also are not designed for pull attachments such as bags or trailers. This type is not recommended if you have to mow an area larger than ¾ acre.

    Also Check: Who Needs Their Lawn Mowed

    What Size Mower Should I Get

    It’s up to you how big of a mower you’re comfortable handling or paying for, but the general rule of thumb is, the larger your lawn, the wider you probably want your mower deck to be. This is because the wider your deck, the more grass you’ll be cutting with each pass, and the fewer passes you’ll need to finish the job. That being said, extra-wide mowers can sometimes struggle with hills and steep inclines and can have trouble maneuvering around landscaping features, ponds, and garden beds. A mower with a smaller deck might be a more practical choice in these cases, and even though they cut less grass on each pass, their superior mobility could get the job finished quicker in the end.This can be a lot to think about, which is why Blake mentioned the importance of consulting with an experienced outdoor power dealer, explaining that “whether you have 1 acre or 20, let your dealer help you with size so you don’t buy too small or too big, since you want your choice to last you for years.”

    Best Compact Riding Lawn Mower: Ryobi Ry48110

    Best Budget Riding Lawn Mower 2021

    This electric riding lawn mower by Ryobi is the best compact one on the market. The RY48110 offers an eco-friendly way to cut your yard. The 48 volt battery has a two-hour runtime and there are no filters, belts or spark plugs to mess around with. This is most ideal for those who are mechanically challenged.

    It has a cutting deck width of 38 inches with 12 adjustment settings. However, you can only adjust the deck height manually, there arent automatic controls for it. This is a rear engine mower, so its easy to maneuver and store because of its small size. Its pretty fast for a riding mower, going as fast as eight miles per hour .

    Smoking and shorting after extended periods of use
    No extra costs or expenses with fuel or oil Manual deck height adjustment

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    Tips For Buying A Ride

  • Its worth haggling to get the best deal, especially if youre paying with cash.
  • Find a reliable dealer that can offer good advice and sort out any problems quickly.
  • Always check how easy it is to clean underneath the deck of your machine.
  • Look for a mower with clutch control, rather than a push-button control, so you can reverse easily.
  • Buy a mower with a hitch for towing trailers and other lawn attachments.
  • Features To Consider When Choosing A Riding Lawn Mower

    Ride-on mowers offer the best way of easily tackling large-sized yards, delivering professional results while needing just a little effort. However, before you proceed to buy one, there are numerous factors you need to consider. By taking a look at each of those important factors, you will be able to locate the right model for your needs and the kind of ride-on lawn mower that fits you best.

    Read Also: How Much Does It Cost For Lawn Care Service

    Do I Really Need A 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? We say 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.

    Are There Alternative Riding Mowers Worth Considering

    Most Comfortable Zero Turn Mower with MyRIDE® Suspension

    Whether you’re shopping at a big name DIY store like Lowe’s, a local hardware store, or an authorized brand dealer, there are tons of options for a new riding mower. You can choose either gas or battery-powered models, cutting deck widths from as small as 30 inches to as wide as six feet.

    Here’s a short list of other riding mowers I thought were great choices:

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    Ryobi 38 In 100 Ah Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower

    This electric riding mower from RYOBI is a more eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered mowers and doesnt require the tedious gas engine maintenance. It offers a 38-inch cutting width that can be efficient for medium-sized lawns, and it features a battery that RYOBI says has up to 2.5 hours of run time for cutting up to 2.5 acres of lawn per charge. This mower also equips LED headlights, a USB phone charger and cruise control features for added efficiency, according to the brand. However, it doesnt have a zero turn radius, meaning it may be harder to maneuver around sharp edges or obstacles in your yard.

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