Best Riding lawn mower 2020 • 7 Riding lawn mowers Reviews
Riding lawn mowers are perfect for mowing large gardens. They are designed to make the mowing work much easier and save the user’s time, since they are much faster than push lawn mowers. After a thorough research, our review team was able to highlight a list of the best riding lawn mowers; including the best types and models, the highest rated riding lawn mower, pros, cons and much more.
Riding lawn mower Leaderboard 2020
What Is a Riding Lawn Mower?
A riding lawn mower is a driven machine that uses several blades to cut grass to the desired level. With a riding lawn mower, the operator is always behind the wheel, driving the machine to cut grass. There are different types of riding lawn mowers that vary in sizes, brands, blade sizes, and engine power. In this review, we have discussed everything you need to know about the best riding lawn mowers.
How Does a Riding Lawn Mower Work?
We advise that riders take into consideration certain factors before purchasing a riding lawn mower; the size of the grass garden to be mowed and the different specification of the riding lawn mower. Some riding lawn mowers are not powerful enough to cut a large field of grass, while others are perfectly built to mow a large grass garden.
Advantages and Applications of a Riding Lawn Mower
- Time Saving
With a riding lawn mower, cutting grass in large lawns can be done within a very short time. This is because of the adjustable speed of blades and the lawn mower. The different controls in the deck allow the operator to effortlessly control the speed of the blades and the mower.
The zero-turn radius feature of a riding lawn mower enables the operator to navigate in any direction of the lawn by simply moving hands back and forth. With this feature, riders can navigate a number of obstacles enabling them to effortlessly cover a large section of the lawn within a short period of time.
- Less Mowing Energy Used
Mowing can be tiresome and exhausting especially when using pushed mowers, where the user would require a lot of energy to mow a very small area of grass. However, the riding lawn mower saves users so much energy because very little effort is needed to fire up and control the riding lawn mower. This makes the whole mowing process easy.
- Additional Attachment Options
Unlike other pushed or self-propelled mowers, riding lawn mowers have add-ons options that make mowing easy regardless of the nature of the terrain. Some of these add-ons include dethatchers, aerators, snow plougher, and a dump cart. The user can, therefore, spread seeds, eliminate unwanted dead grass, plough snow, aerate the soil, and carry waste from the grass lawn as an extra advantage.
What Types of Riding Lawn Mowers Are There?
Riding lawn mowers are primarily categorised into gas mowers and electricity mowers. However, there are three common types of these mowers within the two categories namely; zero-turn mowers, rear-engine riding mower, and the riding lawn tractor. Our review experts have described the different types of riding lawn mowers below.
Zero-turn-radius Lawn Mowers
These are the most commonly used mowers both for a homeowner and for commercial purposes. Most of the zero-radius mowers are gas-powered. They have relatively higher speeds than tractors. Their design allows forward speed and a zero turn. With these types of riding mowers, riders can easily manoeuvre any obstacle in the lawn. Zero-turn mowers have decks that range from 32 to 60 inches.
- They have the ability to manoeuvre obstacles such as flower beds, trees, rocks, and logs among others.
- They are flexible. They can rotate at an angle of 180° leaving no grass undone.
- Their speed cannot be matched with tractors and most of the mowers. Anyone can, therefore, easily cut grass in the grass lawn quickly and efficiently.
- Accuracy in rider’s lawn work-out. The fact that the rider is seated on a deck as they control every step of the mowing process places them in a position within which they can see where the mower is moving. Therefore, there is a high degree of precision in mowing.
- Zero turn lawn mowers present a number of disadvantages to the buyers and users. However, these cannot be compared and neither can they outweigh their advantages.
- They are very expensive compared to any other type of riding lawn mower. This is probably because of their design and unique functionality.
- They are not favourable for hilly lawns. They can easily lose traction making it hard to control on slopes.
- A zero turn mower is more complex than a lawn tractor and would, therefore, require more practice to perfect on having an even cut of the grass.
- Defects of small models. Some of the small zero-turn mower models have few defects to the disadvantage of the owner. The front casters sometimes get stuck in the soil while an overweight on the back side of the mower can subject it to toppling over.
Rear-engine riders are best suited for use in medium-sized grass lawns. They have a relatively smaller deck than zero-turn mowers, ranging from 30 to 33 inches. According to their reviews, they have smaller cutting sizes compared to other on-ride mowers.
- Rear-engine riders are more advantageous than pushed mowers and some engine models of several mowers.
- They are compact making them easy to store. They can be stored on end standing on their wheels or decks.
- They are cheaper than most of the ride-on mowers due to small cutting blades and other factors. Their price tags can go for as low as £1,000.
- Easy maintenance. The cleaning and sharpening of blades can be done at the point of storage of the rear-engine mower. Lubrication of the moving parts too can be done at ease during storage.
- They have a four-wheeled drive and wide tires making them stable for all types of slopes; hilly, sloppy, and damp.
- Rear-engine riders have their own disadvantages.
- They have a very small cutting width. It, therefore, cuts a very small portion of grass in a period.
- Although they are cheap and affordable, they are the slowest lawn mowers.
- They are only best suited for medium-sized lawns.
Most users will not buy the rear-engine mowers for speed or cost but rather for their stability on hills and sloppy landscapes.
These are gas-powered machines with engines mounted on the front and a steering wheel for controls. They have decks that range from 42 to 54 inches. Lawn tractors have double or triple speed compared to most pushed mowers. They are best suited for large grass lawns. Their cost is slightly higher than that of rear-engine riders. Some of the lawn tractor models have hydrostatic transmissions creating an additional ability to be used for ploughing among other attachments.
- Our review experts have found lawn tractors to have the following advantages.
- Comfortable seats. Most models have comfortable high-backed seats that enable riders to have their hands on the steering wheel and their foot on the foot pedal for easy control of speed and direction.
- They are easy to steer. This is because riding lawn tractors is similar to driving a vehicle. As long as one is familiar with the basics, steering is much easier and fun than anyone can imagine.
- Additional attachments. Lawn tractors can be fitted with additional attachments such as brooms, dump carts, graders, and snow blades among others. Riders can, therefore, be able to side-discharge clippings, bag, and mulch with the lawn tractors.
- Greater cutting ability. Lawn tractors offer users greater cutting than any pushed mower. A lawn tractor with a 54-inch deck can mow a 4.5acre grass lawn.
- Some of the disadvantages of lawn tractors include;
- They require a lot of storage space. They are not compact and do not have a flexible design to allow storage in much less space.
- They create exhaust emissions which are not environmentally-friendly.
- Their turning radius is wider than that of a zero-turn mower with a slightly low top speed.
The Big Best Riding Lawn Mower Buyer’s Guide
Typical Defects of Riding Lawn Mowers
Our review has established that the technology behind Riding Lawn Mowers has had some positive significant impact on riders and the general users. However, riding lawn mowers have been categorised as dangerous products to use. This is because they have caused injuries to users and fires when fuel lines get discharged from fuel tanks among others.
Our review team outlined the typical defects or product faults that a riding lawn mower should take note of, before purchasing any model of the riding lawn mower.
- Noise from the engine
This is a very common problem in mowers. If the engine makes a lot of noise all of a sudden, then something could be wrong with it and needs an urgent check-up. If the mower is bought producing that noise then very little can be done about it. This review suggest that buyers should check for lose parts in the engines.
- Power loss in the middle of your mowing
This is a common problem which is caused by a dirty filter, dirty spark plug, a blunt blade, and a lot of debris and clippings stuck up in the deck or undercarriage. Before buying any mower, our review experts recommend checking on the spark plugs and air filters. The blades should also be sharp and in a good state.
- Starter problems
A functional starter gives operators a go-ahead in riding the mower. Starter problems are common in riding lawn mowers. Sometimes they will just click or even not work at all. This could be as a result of poor battery connections, non-functional crankshaft, engine damage, and contaminated oil among others.
- A smoky engine
This is a typical problem too associated with riding lawn mowers. When this happens, the common cause is often having too much oil or contaminated oil. In this case, the operator should reduce the oil levels or even replace the oil. In some other cases, it could be as a result of a damaged crankcase ventilation system which is responsible for a regulated release of built-up gases in the crankcase.
- Abnormal and excessive vibration of the machine
When blades, belts, spindles, and pulleys get damaged, the end result is an unusual vibration of the riding lawn mower. Objects such as rocks, tree logs, and roots among other debris can cause huge damage to these parts. They should be checked, repaired, or replaced. Blades should be regularly sharpened.
How Can Consumers Test Riding Lawn Mower before Buying?
Just like a vehicle, test driving a riding lawn mower is equally important. We recommend that you test drive the riding lawn mower, as the best means of analysing the true state of a mower. During the test drive, we recommend that users check the state of the brakes, the blades, the comfort of the seats, the quietness of the mower, and manoeuvrability. The buyer can also be in a position of scrutinising the state of safety features.
The first impression of a riding lawn mower is important. The buyer should be able to tell the state of the mower partially by visually analysing aspects such as the mower’s motherboard, blades, battery, engine, and tyres among others. Through this, one can ask some important questions that address issues of concern from the buyer’s analysis. We, therefore, recommend a thorough visual test before purchasing a riding lawn mower.
Check the Starter
We also recommend that you check the starter. Checking the starter is simple and it gives you a clear picture of other connections and functions within the riding lawn mower. Before purchasing any of the best riding lawn mowers, the buyer should make a request of igniting the car which will help identify how the starter is behaves. A starter with problems produces an unsatisfying sound. Also, the engine will stop a few minutes after ignition. Many reviews explain the signs of a failing starter which the buyer can use to find more means of doing the check-up.
Results and Experiences from Other Consumers Tests
Our product comparison experts conducted a consumer test to find out the best riding lawn mower most preferred by consumers. During this consumer test, we considered the best riding lawn mower in the market, the most affordable, and any potential warnings from consumers. We derived our results from other online consumer test portals such as consumerreports.org and the popularmechanics.com. We have summarised the consumer tests results in this review to make it easy for users to find their most preferred riding lawn mowers.
Best Overall Riding Lawn Mower: John Deere D105 42-inch Gas Automatic Lawn Tractor
It has a 42-inch grass cutting system which makes it a more effective mower for cutting grass much quicker. It is gas powered and it can mow a larger lawn, making it suitable for commercial purposes.
John Deere D105 42-inch Gas Automatic Lawn Tractor, however, may be an expensive choice for an average user. It is also not suitable for cutting grass taller than 6 inches.
Best Riding Lawn Mower for a smaller storage space: Cub Cadet RZT-L
For users with a small storage space, the Cub Cadet RZT-L is a perfect choice.
According to our consumer test review, most consumers think it is quite expensive for its size, but all the other features are quite impressive to consumers.
Best Value for Money: Troy-Bilt TB30 R Neighbourhood Rider
If you want an affordable riding lawn mower, without compromising on the quality, our review recommends the Troy-Bilt TB30 R. It is a powerful machine with a 344cc engine that is gas powered and has a speed of up to 4.25 miles per hour. It also has a reverse feature, which makes it more convenient for users.
However, this mower does not have a large fuel tank and neither does it have the zero-turn. According to our review, this is a disadvantage to most users.
The Differences in the Consumer Tested Riding Lawn Mowers
- Their prices differ depending on the brands and their functionality.
- Their speeds are also quite different.
- The engine power in each of the consumer-tested mowers is different, but each engine is quite effective.
Similarities in the Consumer Tested Riding Lawn Mowers
When our review compared the effectiveness of each product, we found them quite effective for cutting grass effortlessly. They all make the mowing process quite simple for operators.
Any Concrete Warnings of Potential Hazards Mentioned?
Riding lawn mowers are the best machines for residential and commercial grass lawn works. However, identifying and choosing the best brand to purchase can be a hassle. Our review team will outline a list of the best brands of riding lawn mowers based on a number of factors including specifications, design, transmission types, and their rated reviews among others.
- Cub Cadet
- John Deere
- Poulan Pro
This is among the best riding lawn mower brands available in the market. The brand has been known for electronic garden equipment but their specialised Husqvarna riding lawn mowers tops in the list of the best lawn mowers in numerous reviews. Husqvarna riding lawn mowers are of high quality. Most of their mowers are built for great performance and long-service to owners. Most of the Husqvarna riding lawn mowers have hydrostatic transmission systems that are operated by a pedal. This makes it easy for riders to steer the wheels as they control speed and direction. There is a wide range of selections of Husqvarna riding lawn mower models. They also have a variety of attachments that make mowing more fun.
Their machines have comfortable seats with that enable riders to work for long hours. Maintenance of Husqvarna mowers requires little or almost no energy. This is because cleaning and durability are enhanced by special features such as an air conditioner and deck wash ports. The air conditioner ensures an efficient flow of air within the deck while the deck wash port allows users to automatically water hose the deck. More reviews on Husqvarna lawn mower’s authenticity and efficiency are worth the comparison.
Cub Cadet has the best riding lawn mowers of choice for both beginners and experienced riders. This brand has also been recommended as one that has the best residential mowers by several reviews. Most of their models are powered by Kohler engines complimented by its hydrostatic transmission technology. Speed and effective cut of grass are guaranteed. They are built for strength and durability.
Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers offer riders a great cut with side-discharge modes among other attachments such as bagging. They are cost-effective and have been rated as terrific mowers in numerous reviews.
John Deere has been in this industry for quite a long time. Both traditional and zero-radius-turn riding lawn mowers are featured by John Deere. They have been upfront in manufacturing riding lawn mowers that suit both residential and commercial purposes. They have unique mowing equipment that has made this brand level up in comparison with others in most reviews.
Most of John Deere riding lawn mowers have slots for a variety of attachments such as spreaders, baggers, snow blowers, and aerators among others. Through this, their models can serve multi-functional purposes. The motherboards for John Deere riding mowers can be best described as innovatively and intelligently designed.
Troy Bilt is a renowned manufacturer of a full line of riding lawn mowers, garden tractors, and lawn tractors. They have a wide range of attachments and transmission options that help riders manage grass lawns at ease. Most of their models are built for strength, power, and performance.
Their latest brands are rated as some of the best machines with terrific cuts. Troy Bilt riding lawn mowers are made of strong and long lasting materials such as steel.
Moreover, the cleaning and maintenance of Troy Bilt mowers is simple. No doubt this brand is one among the best in the market.
Poulan Pro is a popular brand in this industry. The fact that Poulan Pro is built by Husqvarna, which has modern technologies for lawn mowers manufacturing, makes it a competitive brand.
They have different models of lawn tracts with a number of them being among the best in the market. Poulan Pro riding lawn mowers are best known for their powerful engines, unique traction, and great controls.
They have models that are the best choices for rough, sloppy, wet, and hilly terrains. They are cost-effective, easy to use, and easy to maintain. Poulan Pro warranty for their machines gives buyers an added reason why this brand remains to be competitive and high-demand equipment.
Craftsman is a top leader in sales of riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors. They have their brands manufactured by various manufacturers such as Husqvarna and MTD. Most of their models have additional attachments such as bagging, side-discharge modes and mulching modes among others. Craftsman features both hydrostatic-drive and gear-drive models of riding lawn mowers.
Briggs and Stratton, and Honda are some of engines that are featured in Craftsman’s mowers. They are built for power and great performance, which makes them the best and the most reliable riding lawn mowers.
Although they have been known for gas-powered mowers, they have levelled up with better models. Recently, they designed and developed an electric mower that enables riders to operate the mower in an environmentally-friendly way. Ryobi builds some of the most quiet riding lawn mower models.
Ariens has some of the most powerful models of riding lawn mowers. The most common of their models is their zero-radius-turn machines. They are built using strong steel frames that make them strong and stable. All the features that come with the Ariens mowers will leave riders with nothing else but comfort and ease of operating them. For example most of Ariens are known for their padded seats and armrests and easy-to-operate deck lift system which makes mowing fun and interesting.
They use hydrostatic transmission technology and have different cutting heights. A clean cut is guaranteed with models from Ariens.
Toro mowers have been on sale for over 50 years. Toro is the brand of choice for residential grass lawns, especially those with plenty of debris. Models of Toro are made of rust-free aluminium deck which makes it a reliable brand. Some of the additional attachments that come with Toro mowers include side-discharge modes, bagging, and mulching modes. Toro mowers have not only been highly rated but have also been the best-selling mowers by the respective selling companies.
Most of Toro mowers have Honda engines which are powerful, quiet, and lighter than most engines. They also have warranties to enable users to ride use them more conveniently, for a long time.
Honda is a top manufacturer of riding lawn mowers, with thousands of Honda mowers selling online and in physical shops. Honda mowers are built for performance, emission-free gas exhaustion, and low consumptions of fuel. This is enhanced by their unique GCV or GXV engines. They use Hydrostatic Transmission technology to facilitate a convenient speed with an optimum control.
Honda manufactures better products, accessories, and lawn mowers continuously to enhance service. For example, their developed Miimo Robotic Lawn Mower is a robotic mower that follows pre-installed instructions to facilitate a clean cut. They have also sought to develop safety mechanisms where the blades stop rotating immediately the clutch is released. No doubt, Honda is top brand in the industry.
Historical Development of Riding Lawn Mowers Over Time
The invention of lawn mowers has gone through an evolution of improvements over time up until the innovation of the modern riding lawn mower. The historical stages of this evolution are as follows;
Edwin Budding invented the first pushed lawn mower primarily for grass cutting in sports arenas and large gardens. The patent of this mower was granted the same year in Britain. This machine was made of wrought iron with a width of 19 inches. It had a tray-box where grass clippings were contained during grass cutting.
Later in the same year, a patent to manufacture a mower with larger blades was sold to John Ferrabee.
More companies such as the Ransomes of Ipswich developed some interest in designing and manufacturing mowers. Through proper licensing Ferrabee and Budding allowed these companies to make better models of the mowers.
Chain and gear driven models were manufactured around this time. Engine-powered mowers that used petrol were designed in this period and manufactured by companies such as the Ransomes.
Triplex, the first riding lawn mower, was manufactured by the Ideal Power Mower Company. Since then, more models of riding lawn mowers have been manufactured in different designs, attachments, capabilities, and functionalities.
Safety Instructions when Dealing with a Riding Lawn Mower
The following is a list of safety tips that our review team recommend to operators and owners of riding lawn mowers:
- Always adhere to the instructions on the Operator’s Manual before using the lawn mower. Some accidents are likely to occur as a result of technical mishap or misuse of the mower.
- Survey the grass lawn before mowing. This is important so that all unnecessary objects and debris are eliminated. This is because such objects are likely to damage the mower or even the operator.
- Wear the right gear before using the mower. Having a headgear, especially the eyewear is of necessity to protect the operator from any harm on certain parts.
- The operator should try as much as possible to mow on broad daylight, especially when the grass is dry.
- Keep the machine away from children and animals. They are prone to injuries caused by a functional mower.
- Drive safely. Operators should watch out as they drive, navigate corners, or when manoeuvring along rough terrains.
- Keep off hot engines.
- Stop the machine from running when removing debris or objects stuck on the mower.
- Care and maintenance of the mower is a necessity for your safety.
- Fix the mower when need be before use.
Ten Tips for Care and Maintenance of Riding Lawn Mowers
Maintaining and exercising care for the riding lawn mowers is a prerequisite to the durability of these machines. The following tips in our reviews will enable operators to maintain and take care of the mowers:
Riding Lawn Mower Accessories
Aerators remove soil plugs from the lawn, therefore, loosening up the compact soil. The spike aerator is even much more beneficial. This is because it allows the soil to get access to nutrients, light, and water by aerating the surface layer of grass. This aerator also assists in spreading small seeds.
Dethatchers are used to collect the dead layers of grass, debris, and roots that accumulate on the surface of the soil. As a result, grass life is renewed because the soil can now have direct and clear access to nutrients, light, and water. Most dethatchers are compatible with all models of riding lawn mowers.
Sprayers are used to apply a variety of lawn products such as herbicides and insecticides quickly and at ease. Large scale chemical applications are made easier by the use of sprayers. This is because sprayers can apply large amounts of water or chemical mix on the large grass lawns within a very short time.
Other accessories include lawn and grass care systems, tow behind mowers, leaf sweepers, and trailers.
What are the best riding lawn mowers for hills?
Finding a fairly priced and dependable lawn mower for a hilly grass lawn can be frustrating. Knowing the best mowers for hilly lawns is relieving to many. Such mowers include Troy-Bilt TB330, Husqvarna 24V Hydro Pedal Mower, Poulan Pro 960420182 Briggs, and XT1 Enduro Series among others.
Which riding lawn mower is suitable for a small yard?
When one owns a small grass yard to take care of, it can only be difficult to find the right mower for that. However, some of the best lawn mowers recommended by this review for small yards are; John Deere E160 Gas Lawn Tractor, Troy-Bilt Pony 42, Weibang E-Rider among others.
Which is the best brand of riding mower to purchase?
There are numerous brands of riding lawn mowers in the market today. A proper guide on the best brand to buy would of great benefit to most homeowners and persons interested. Based on a number of reviews on the same, Poulan Pro Kohler V-Twin Lawn Tractor V22VA48, Raven MPV7 100S Hybrid Riding Lawn Mower, Husqvarna YTA18542, and Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT 42 feature as some of the best brands of riding lawn mowers there is in the industry.
What is the cheapest riding lawn mower?
What is the best value for money riding lawn mower?
Finding the right quality and affordable riding lawn mower can be extremely difficult. It would not get better, especially when one wants a specific lawn mower based on the size of the grass lawn, type of terrain, and how much buyers want to invest in the mowers. However, the good news is that Troy-Bilt TB30R, Cub Cadet XT1, Troy Bilt 540cc, and Yard Machines 30-inches Lawn mowers have the best offers that give the right value for money.
What is the best-rated lawn mower for rough terrain?
Riding mowers with regular rear wheels and ordinary features cannot meet rider’s needs if what they own is a grass lawn found on uneven and rough terrain. Riding lawn mowers with huge rear wheels are best suited for such terrains. The best-rated ones for such rough terrain include Troy Bilt Super Bronco, Troy Bilt 382cc 30-inch, Ryobi 38-inch Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn mowers among others.
Which one is the most suitable lawn mower for commercial riding?
Riding lawn mowers are the best equipment to use for commercial purposes. However, finding the best models offering high-quality performance for this can be a nightmare to many. However, there are incredible models that are best suited for commercial riding including Kubota ZD331, John Deere Max Z-Track mowers 777, and Honda HRC216HXA to list a few.
Which zero-turn-radius riding lawn mowers have featured as the best 2019?
Zero-turn radius riding lawn mowers are powerful and reliable machines. They are best for homeowners and commercial property owners would want to invest in. 2019 has had several zero-radius lawn mowers that have topped lists of numerous reviews as the best riding lawn mowers. They include Husqvarna 96727170, Ariens 25HP ZTR, Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin, and Swisher ZTR2454KA.
Which riding lawn mower is the best for a 3-acre lawn?
Using a push-mower on a 3-acre piece of grass lawn can be tiresome and unreliable. If the user owns a grass lawn of around 3 acres, there are some riding lawn mowers that are best suited for such a size. These include Husqvarna MZ61 27HP Zero-Turn Riding Mower, Troy Bilt 420cc 30-inch riding mower, and Swisher FC14560BS 14.5 HP Electric Start Riding Mower among others.
Where can you find the top rated brands of riding lawn mowers in 2019?
Based on our review from our experts and customer reports, the best riding lawn mowers are highly rated for performance, reliability, cost, and effectiveness among other factors in 2019. Our review experts have listed the following riding lawn mowers as the best; Murray 10.5HP Rear-Engine Riding Lawn Mower, Troy Bilt 382cc Premium Neighbourhood, and Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Riding Lawn Mower.