8 Best Riding Lawn Mowers – Toughest, Fastest & Most Versatile Models
If you own medium to large-sized property, trying to maintain it can be quite complicated with a standard lawn mower. Pushing a grass cutter around uneven terrain can be physically demanding, time-consuming, and budget-unfriendly if you have to pay a professional to do it. In this case, a riding lawn mower or tractor is an excellent gardening investment. It requires less energy, gets your mowing chores done quicker, and can still accomplish that highly desired professional look.
Therefore, if you’re ready to drive the best lawn riding mower so that you can finally cut your grass as a ground keeper, keep reading.
8 Best Riding Lawn Mowers
Finding the best riding mower can be stressful because the market is saturated with numerous brands, models, and designs. Below is the collection you’ve got to see.
1. John Deere E180 54″ – Best Riding Lawn Mower
The John Deere E180 25-hp V-Twin Lawn Tractor ($2,799) is a first-class machine. The 25-horsepower engine is designed for a long life cycle. Match it with the ReadyStart system that provides choke-free starting, and you have a tractor that’s both easy and reliable to start.
This machine features a hydrostatic transmission, so you don’t have to worry about shifting. The powerful 54″ mower deck makes for a large cutting area, meaning fewer passes for you. Adjusting the blade is as simple and as effortless as pulling a knob. The mower deck lift-lever provides height selections between 1-4 inches. A cruise-control setting is perfect for maintaining your speed when you’re mowing larger areas. The adjustable high-back seat offers lumbar support to keep you comfortable. Plus, the deck has a wash port so you can easily clean the underside.
- Generous 54-inch mower deck;
- Cuts well and never bogs down in tall grass;
- Easy to drive and maintain;
- Never bogs down in tall grass;
- Includes deck washout port;
- Quick oil change system.
2. Craftsman T225 46 Inch 19 HP Tractor – Best Lawn Tractor
The Craftsman T225 46 Inch 19 HP Tractor ($2,209) is another great lawn tractor that’s excellent for homeowners with medium to large-sized yards. It features a Briggs & Stratton 19 hp engine with a Ready Start, making it super easy to start even in cold weather. The engine has plenty of power, enabling the T225 to mow over tall grass and climb any sort of hill your property might have.
The high seat makes this one extra comfortable to drive, and the controls and steering wheel are placed ergonomically for ease of operation. The turf saver wheels not only deliver plenty of clearance – they’re engineered to avoid furrows in your turf. Cleaning this model couldn’t be simpler. You only need to hook up a hose to the mower deck, and it literally cleans itself.
- 46” mower deck comes setup for side discharge;
- Mow in reverse;
- Hydrostatic transmission;
- Run and parking brake;
- Ready start ignition system;
- Excellent maneuverability.
3. Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki – Best Small Riding Lawnmower
The Husqvarna Z242F ($2,799) was designed to deliver impressive performance and durability while being incredibly easy to handle. This powerhouse yard tractor is powered by an impressive 18 HP Kawasaki engine and hydrostatic hydro-gear drive system for a comfortable and smooth ride, even on uneven yards. A 42″ stamped steel-reinforced deck is durable while enabling you to mow large lawns in fewer passes. Moreover, its 6-position cutting height adjustment lets you quickly set the ideal cutting height for your garden.
Besides, as part of the Husqvarna Zero-Turn Radius series of mowers, this unit offers a zero-turn radius. Therefore, you can turn your riding mower on a nickel, drive around obstacles with ease, and finish mowing the grass faster than other riding models. And with foam-padded handle grips and a comfortable, super-high seat back, it provides an amazingly comfortable mowing experience.
- 42-inch stamped steel-reinforced deck;
- Automatic mechanical brake system;
- Smartswitch keyless ignition keep safe around children;
- Fabricated deck same quality as a stamped deck;
- Spring-assisted deck lift;
- LED headlights.
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4. Troy-Bilt Pony 42-Inch Deck Tractor – Best Residential Riding Mower
If you’re searching for one of the most effective riding mowers on the market, then the Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower ($1,592) is one of the peak options. This powerful 544cc engine tractor delivers reliable performance, durability, and features that you’d only expect to find in the more expensive models. With a Single 18HP Troy-Bilt OHV engine and a large 42″ cutting deck with two blades, this Troy-Bilt mower can tackle large properties with a breeze.
And its 7-speed transmission dash panel allows you to see clearly and to and adjust. Additionally, the front axle with an 18” turning radius lets you navigate rough terrain and make tight turns for less trimming work. A 5-position cutting height feature enables you to adjust the mower’s cutting deck to meet the grass’s desired length.
- 42” cutting deck with 5 cutting height settings
- 7-speed transmission and 18” turning radius;
- Powerful engine & durable shell;
- Includes headlights;
- Comes completely assembled;
- Convenience and ease of use.
5. Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42” – Best Riding Lawn Mower for the Money
The Cub Cadet XT1 42” ($1,699) riding mower is equipped with a 547cc Cub Cadet engine with IntelliPower technology. This technology instantly transfers up to 20% more power when required most in outdoor power equipment, meaning less bogging higher blade tip speed and a consistent cut when mowing in dense, wet grass. It comes with stamped deck with 1″-4″ cutting heights, and smooth spring assisted lever engagement deck lift with 12-Positions.
Its 42 in. twin-blade cutting deck and automotive focused handling with optimized steering system provide a 16 in. turning radius and maneuvers around obstacles smoothly. XT1 is packed with a hydrostatic transmission drive for the smooth and straightforward operation that eliminates shifting. The Cub Comfort high-back seat with an adjustable slide and 10” incline delivers the ultimate comfort. Plus, its built-in headlights ensure enhanced visibility in all-weather conditions, day or night.
- 42″ stamped twin-blade cutting deck;
- Automatic drive system;
- Comfortable high-back seat;
- Washout port;
- Easy to operate;
- Ergonomic grips.
6. Husqvarna YTH18542 42 in 18.5 HP – Best Riding Mower under 2000 Dollars
Husqvarna YTH18542 Yard Tractor ($1,599) is a potent, user-friendly rig that lets you tackle huge landscapes. With loads of features and a sturdy build, it’s one of the most impressive units available. Supported by an 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine, a pedal-operated hydrostatic automatic transmission, and an auto-choke system, this model is maintenance-free, potent, and mows with a turn of the key or with the push-button.
Its 42” cutting deck sports twin sheets of 13 gauge steel, cast iron axles, and a heavy-duty chassis. Rear differential increases your traction when mowing wet grass or navigating inclines, and 2 anti-scalp wheels protect your lawn from damage. With a practical design, an adjustable high back seat and an easy-to-use steering wheel, it’s quite comfortable to operate. Moreover, with a fender-mounted deck lever and a smooth electric cutting blade engagement switch, you have all the controls within your reach.
- 42” stamped steel deck;
- Smooth ride and superb comfort;
- Pedal controlled CVT automatic transmission;
- Automotive-style key or push-button;
- Signature Husqvarna durability;
- Powerful 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine.
7. RYOBI 38” – Best Battery Powered Riding Lawnmower
This’s a battery-powered riding lawn mower by RYOBI, and unlike gas-powered mowers, it’s fully electric to keep you stress-free for maintaining the oil-fuel ratio. RYOBI 38” Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower ($2,849) uses 48 volts in total power usage. This power is sufficient that cuts grass in a single pass.
This model is made of 100 Ah lead-acid batteries, which are least expensive than lithium-ion batteries and can supply currents of a high surge. After getting fully charged, you’ll be supported with 2.5 hours of runtime. Plus, this lawn mower can easily cover an area of 2 acres with a single charge. For evenness, there’s a 38″ cutting deck with two sharp blades. No matter how much height the lawn is, you’ll get professional results every time. Also, it provides 12-positions manual deck adjustment for evenly chopping each time.
- 38” 2-blade deck with a 12-position manual adjustment;
- 3 brushless motors for superior power & performance
- Quite cutting under 70 dB;
- Up to 2.5-hours of run-time per charge;
- LED headlights;
- USB phone charger and cruise control feature.
8. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30” – Best Riding Lawn Mower under 1500 Dollars
For people with medium or large yards, the Troy-Bilt 382cc 30” Riding Lawn Mower ($1,345) is one of the best options featured on our roundup. This versatile machine combines the benefits of a standard rider with the compact size of a wide-cut walk-behind gas unit. With a new 382cc, 6-speed transmission, auto-choke overhead valve engine, it makes a forward speed up to 4.25 mph. And you can choose the ideal cutting height for your grass due to its 5-position cutting height setting.
Troy-Bilt manufactured this 382cc with an adjustable seat that raises to mid-back and a large 13-inch soft grip steering wheel. This compact model is built with a 14-gauge cutting deck for more durability and 18 inches turning radius that lets you maneuver as quickly as you could with a walk-behind model.
- 30” cutting deck with 5-position cutting setting;
- Space-saving, compact design;
- High-performing 382cc engine with the 6-speed transmission;
- 18-in turn radius for more straightforward navigation;
- Comfortable to ride with seat raises to mid-back;
- Soft grip steering wheel.
With a vast assortment of riding mowers to choose from, it may seem overwhelming to sort through all of the specifications and features. But before you go out and buy one, several factors should be considered.
The cutting width measures how wide the mower can cut a swath of grass in one pass. Smaller, more compact machines can have a cut width as low as 30 inches while bigger units can have cutting deck widths of up to 50 inches or more. If you have a smaller yard or one with hard-to-reach areas and obstacles like trees that you’ll have to maneuver around, then a smaller cutting width is suitable. But if you have a vast property, a larger mower will allow you to tackle the job easily and in less time.
Engine HP is the measurement used to describe the motor’s power output. This power output is necessary to be shared between the different components of the mower, like the cutting blades and drive transmission. The more horsepower the engine delivers, the more power that can be transferred like moving the vehicle across the lawn or up hills, while also providing the cutting power required to make fast work or heavy grass conditions.
Due to the power needed to execute both of these tasks simultaneously, models with a power output around 20 HP or greater is ideal for large or demanding properties.
The transmission of a mower distributes power from the engine to the wheels, allowing the rider to drive forward or in reverse. The 3 options available are manual, automatic, and hydrostatic transmissions. Manual transmissions include a range of set speeds that you can choose. Older machines might require you to shift between gears through a clutch or even stopping. If you select a manual model, ensure that it lets you quickly shift without a clutch while your mower moves.
An automatic transmission enables you to control the speed of the machine with a gas pedal. This’s perfect if you want easier control or need to frequently slow down to ride around obstacles. A hydrostatic transmission is much the same as an automatic system. The only difference is that the hydrostatic system uses fluid instead of belts to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. This fluid-based system provides the smoothest drive and demands the least amount of maintenance.
The fuel capacity of describes how much gas mower can hold in the tank. It typically correlates with the size of the model. Mowers with a small fuel capacity are excellent for medium-sized yards. In contrast, models with a large fuel tank are better suited for vast properties.