Best Riding lawn mowers

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 20, 2017
 In some sense, a lawn is a face of your yard. For keeping it groomed, you should purchase a riding lawn mower. Driving this device, you will be able to serve large areas effortlessly. Read our review and choose the best model! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
ENGINE
TRANSMISSION
BEST FOR
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
CUTTING MODES
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
CONVENIENCES
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Warranty
 
PROS
Three cutting blades can provide high-quality grass cutting sessions. Four deck wheels prevent blades from damaging during the process of forward and rear moving.
CONS
As the blades are quite wide, the mechanism can hardly reach tight spaces.
OUR VERDICT
High performance of this lawn mower model allows you to mow large lawns effectively. You can cut down not only thick grass but also bushes.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Zero-Turn-Radius Rider
ENGINE
Kohler KT745 26 HP V-twin engine with air cooling
TRANSMISSION
Hydro Dual HG EZT
BEST FOR
Large lawns
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
54 inches/3 pcs/4 units
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
1.5'' - 4'' 6 positions
CUTTING MODES
Side discharge, Mulching, Collecting
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
0-6.5 mph/0-3.5 mph
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
3.5 gallons
CONVENIENCES
Deck Wash-Out Port for easy clean-up, Digital Hour meter, Medium height vinyl seat, Cup holder, Electric clutch, Convenient access to drive blades, Adjustable lever height, Bypass Linkages, Bagger item
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Front 11'' x 6''-5", Rear 18'' x 9.5''-8"
Warranty
3-year warranty
PROS
A range of cut heights allows you to choose the optimal one for different cutting jobs. A minimal cut height allows you to mow grass up to 1".
CONS
Owing to its light weight, the mower may skid on wet grass.
OUR VERDICT
This mower works best for cutting grass on small and medium-sized lawns with obstacles. Its high operation speed allows mowing large lawns fast and effectively.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Zero-Turn-Radius Rider
ENGINE
M40 20 HP V-twin engine with OHV valve arrangement, air cooling
TRANSMISSION
Hydro Dual HG EZT
BEST FOR
Medium-sized lawns
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
42 inches/2 pcs/2 units
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
1''- 4'' 13 positions
CUTTING MODES
Side discharge, Mulching, Collecting
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
0-7 mph/0-3.5 mph
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
2.1 gallons
CONVENIENCES
Deck Wash-Out Port for easy clean-up, Digital Hour meter, Mid-back seat, Cup holder, Storage compartment, Electric clutch, Convenient access to drive blades, Adjustable lever height, Fuel level indicator, Bagger item
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Front 13'' x 5", Rear 16'' x 6.5"
Warranty
2-year warranty, 120-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty
PROS
This model is very convenient in use. Owing to its 6-speed transmission, you can easily adjust the mower's speed.
CONS
A big turning radius can impede the performance on the lawns with obstacles.
OUR VERDICT
Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower is great for small and medium residential lawns with very few obstacles. It's also perfect for basic garden work.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Rear-Engine Rider
ENGINE
420cc Single Troy-Bilt Engine with 1-Cylinder OHV, air cooling
TRANSMISSION
Mechanic 6-speeds transmission
BEST FOR
Small- and medium-sized lawns
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
30 inches/1 pcs/ -
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
1.25'' – 3.75'' 5 positions
CUTTING MODES
Side discharge, Mulching, Collecting
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
0-4.25 mph/0-4.25 mph
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
1.3 gallons
CONVENIENCES
Deck Wash-Out Port for easy clean-up, Mid-back seat, Cup holder, Adjustable steering wheel height, Fuel indicator, Hitch Plate, Bagger item
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Front 13'' x 5", Rear 16'' x 6.5"
Warranty
2-year parts warranty, 2-year labor
PROS
This maneuverable 46-inch stamped reinforced deck has a 10-year warranty. The device is stable owing to its low center of gravity.
CONS
Replacement parts are difficult to obtain.
OUR VERDICT
This mower is perfect for serving lawns up to 3 acres. Its desk is helpful for grooming up to 2.4 acres of grass per hour. A powerful engine can effectively cut weeds and shrubs.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Zero-Turn-Radius Rider
ENGINE
22 HP Briggs & Stratton V-twin engine with air cooling
TRANSMISSION
Hydro Dual HG EZT
BEST FOR
Medium-sized and larger lawns
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
46 inches/2 pcs/3 units
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
1.5'' - 4'' 6 positions
CUTTING MODES
Side discharge, Mulching, Collecting
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
0-6 mph/0-3 mph
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
3.5 gallons
CONVENIENCES
Deck Wash-Out Port for easy clean-up, Digital Hour meter, Medium height vinyl seat, Cup holder, Electric clutch, Convenient access to drive blades, Adjustable lever height, EZT bypass, Bagger item
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Front 11'' x 4''-5", Rear 18'' x 8.5''-8"
Warranty
2-year limited warranty, 10-year reinforced deck warranty
PROS
You can power-up any electric tool at up to 6,500 W with its generator. Can tow up to 550 lbs. trailers.
CONS
In order to switch to a faster 17 mph speed mod, the deck has to be removed.
OUR VERDICT
Hybrid engine and great multifunctionality make this lawn mower a universal choice for any type of property - be it a ranch or a private country house.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Hybrid Lawn Tractor
ENGINE
420cc RATO engine with 1-Cylinder OHV, air cooling
TRANSMISSION
Foot pedal-DC motor to HD Differential
BEST FOR
Large lawns
CUTTING WIDTH/BLADE QUANTITY/ANTI-SCALP ROLLERS
46 inches/2 psc/4 units
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT And POSITIONS
1.5" - 4" 10 positions
CUTTING MODES
Side discharge, Mulching, Collecting
FORWARD/REAR SPEED
0-6 mph/0-6 mph, 17 mph without cutting deck
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
5 gallons
CONVENIENCES
Deck Wash-Out Port for easy clean-up, Adjustable seat, Cup holder, Hour meter (generator only), LED headlights, Trailer hitch, Storage bed, Electric clutch, Fast-removable deck, Parking break, Two speed modes
WHEEL DIMENSIONS
Front 18" x 8.5"-8", Rear 20"x8"-10"
Warranty
3-year limited warranty, 3-year engine warranty, 1-year battery warranty

What is a Riding Lawn Mover

If you are a lawn owner, you know that cutting grass with a handheld lawn mower requires much time and physical effort. To solve this problem, you should ponder on purchasing a riding lawn mower. This device will take minutes to tidy up your grass. In general, a riding lawn mower combines features of a golf cart and a petrol lawn mower. Thus, all you need to do is adjust the height of the grass cut and ride this lawn mower. That's all! Besides, most lawn mower models allow carrying lightweight cargos and using attached implements for better grass cutting.

But if you have a small lawn in your backyard and want to keep it groomed, we advise you to consider our electric lawn mowers and gas lawn mowers.

What Features to Compare

Engine

Thinking of the option to trim and mow your lawn effectively yet easy? A riding lawn mower will help. However, before you go buy one, decide on the type of a riding lawn mower you need and the terrain you’re going to groom. Basically, there are three main types of riding lawn mowers - Lawn Tractors, Zero-Turn-Radius and Rear-Engine Riders. The lawn tractors are highly-capable and performing riders, compatible with the variety of attached implements. More than other riding lawn mowers, they are suitable for heavy-load jobs. If you own a large, rough lawn, this one is the best to go for. Zero-Turn-Radius riders are designed in a way to easily maneuver and swivel in one place, enabling mowers to mow the areas with lots of all sorts of obstacles. Rear-Engine riders are in many ways similar to Lawn Tractors, but they’re smaller in size. They work brilliantly on medium-sized lawns and terrains.

The type of the engine directly determines overall mowing performance while its capacity specifies what jobs it’ll be best for. You may find quite a number of different configurations, but the most widespread types of engine are one-cylinder and V-twin two-cylinder. The riders powered by one-cylinder motor are more basic and less expensive but they might not cut the grass as good and efficiently as those powered by V-twin two-cylinder. Still, they’ll do their work at best on half to one acre lawns. The riders based on V-twin two-cylinder are more performing and capable, they don’t heat up as fast and thus, last considerably longer when used for long-term jobs. The use of additional air filters and oil filtration system will greatly extend the service life of the engine, so beware.

There are also several types of transmission that you just as well may want to consider since it strongly affects the ease of operation. If the lawn is big, flat and smooth, you can opt for a model with a manual type of transmission. It’s well suitable for setting the most accurate speed for short, tall and wet grass. The riders with an automatic type of transmission ideally work on the areas with lots of obstacles, lumps and bumps. As a rule, their turning radius is zero. More than any other riding lawn mowers, they are massively purchased by professional mowers.

Performance

Now, there are some other things that are of high importance worth your consideration. Those consumers who’re seeking for a true powerhouse to mow rough lawns, should definitely pay attention to the following aspects - the cutting width, the number of blades, tank capacity, cutting speed, height adjustment and working modes.

Consider the maximum cutting width if you want to cut more grass in one pass. The wider it is, the less circles you’ll have to ride. The riders with a bigger number of blades will better cut the grass without tearing it up. High speeds ideally suit for mowing big areas and rough terrains while the height adjustment allows varying the optimal angle of cut. The riders can also mulch, bag, side-discharge and collect the cut grass, making the whole process much easier.

Conveniences

Finally, a consumer should pay attention to lawn mower’s conveniences. Seat dimensions, a steering wheel, lever coating material, a footrest, an armrest, and a cup holder are important for a comfortable use. Furthermore, a water hose connector allows you to clean the mower after its performance. Take into consideration that a folding floor provides a comfortable access to the blades while a fuel indicator helps to control fuel consumption. Besides, an electric blade system provides a quick turning on and prolongs the lifespan of the drive belt. To crown it all, a special indicator alerts you about the necessity to change the oil.

All these conveniences provide comfortable use and timely maintenance of the mower.

 

 

...Read more ...Read less

Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin

Engine

Those consumers who’ve never used zero-turn-radius riding lawn mowers may find this mower somewhat odd. It doesn’t have a steering wheel but has two levers that force the rider to move. In reality, it’s absolutely not that complicated as it might seem at first sight. You actually control the direction yourself (just like you’d do when turning the wheel) by pulling each lever either forward or backward, that’s it. Husqvarna riding lawn mower is based on automatic Dual Hydro-Gear EZT drive system and powered by the 26 HP V-twin engine with an air cooling system. This is surely one of the best riding lawn mowers to handle medium-sized and large lawns with bushes, shrubs, benches and all sorts of obstacles since it easily bypasses them, swiveling in place.

Review of Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin Zero Turn Mower

Performance

Husqvarna Zero Turn mower is equipped with 3 blades. Thus, it can easily mow a 54''-wide strip of grass per one pass. Fitted with the standard component parts, this lawn mower can clip the cut grass to the side. Thus, it is great for large areas. You can also adjust the cutting height from 1.5 to 4 inches. Additionally, consumers can use mulching blades and a bagging item for quick utilization of cut grass. Four deck wheels can prevent blades from damaging in the process of forward and rear moving. A maximum speed is 6 miles per hour which is enough for serving up to 2.8 acres of lawn per hour.

Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin Zero Turn Mower in the use

Conveniences

Just like most other similar mowers, Husqvarna rider features an electric start engine system and cruise control. This all allows for easy launch and speed regulation. The other things designed for users’ convenience include a vinyl covered seat, cup holders, rubber, anti-slip foot area and soft-coated grips. Since the blades are engaged by the electric clutch, they are easy to force to move and to stop. Following the led headlights, you’ll always know when it’s time to check out the engine and if necessary, have it served. Due to the lifted deck, it’s very easy to reach for the blades and timely replace those that have been damaged. Bypass Linkages feature lets users quickly shift to manual pushing if there’s ever the need to do so.

Detailed review of Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin Zero Turn Mower

VIDEO
Husqvarna RZ5424 54" Zero Turn Lawn Mower 24hp Kohler Engine
Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin
Husqvarna 967324301 Kohler V-Twin
 

John Deere Z235

Engine

This John Deere Zero Turn mower can easily serve lawns of complex shapes or areas full of trees, benches, fountains, and other obstacles. This model has a V-twin engine with OHV valve arrangement that helps reduce vibration and improves a low-speed traction. A combination of high engine power (22 HP) and a hydrostatic transmission results in high performance of the mower. Furthermore, a low gravitational center is great for mower’s stable performance on slanted surfaces.

Review of John Deere Z235 Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower

Performance

John Deere riding lawn mower is featured with a 42" deep-deck mow construction that allows lifting the grass for cutting. Equipped with two blades, this mower can perform a quality grass cutting in a single pass. This model can clip the grass aside, mulch it, or collect it into a bagger item. Note that customers have to carry out additional costs for buying a grass mulching blade and a bagger item. Furthermore, two deck wheels prevent occasional blade damage during forward riding. As the speed of this mower is 7 miles per hour, it is possible to serve up to 2.45 acres of grass per hour. Besides, the fuel tank volume is enough for a 2-hour operation without refueling. Cool!

John Deere Z235 Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower in the use

Conveniences

Speaking about conveniences, an easy-flip metal footrest provides a comfortable access to a drive belt for its cleaning or replacement. This model is equipped with color-coded mower controls that are easy to identify. A fuel level indicator alerts customer if the fuel tank has run out of fuel. Furthermore, a running hours meter alerts a customer about the necessity to carry out an engine preventive maintenance. Besides, an electric blade clutch allows you to switch it on/off quickly. Control lever height adjustment is also available. Moreover, these levers are featured with shock absorbers. A vinyl seat can be moved forwards or backwards for driver's comfortable accommodation. It should also be noted that this lawn mower is fitted with cup holders and some compartments for storage of various items. Finally, the Cruise control function allows adjusting an optimal speed. Amazing!

 

Detailed review of John Deere Z235 Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower

VIDEO
John Deere Z235 Zero Turn Lawn Mower Review
John Deere Z235
John Deere Z235
 

Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV

Engine

Owing to leading rear wheels and 18-inch turning radius, the maneuverability of the Troy-Bilt OHV riding lawn mower is rather low. In general, operation of this model is similar to that of a golf cart due to its breaking pedal and a throttle lever control. Note that the 13 HP one-cylinder OHV engine is a power source of the mower. This mower has a 6-speed drive system, allowing users to set the optimal speed for different cutting jobs. You’d never achieve same good results while cutting through wet and thick grass driving at one speed. This is where Troy-Bilt does the job well. Riding lawn mowers like Troy-Bilt are best suitable for flat, medium-sized lawns with very few obstacles.

Review of Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV Riding Lawn Mower

Performance

This mower has a one-blade 30-inch cutting deck fitted with 5 adjustable settings from 1.25" to 3.75 ". Besides, the mechanism has a mulching blade for quick chopping of cut grass (for consequent fertilizing of soil). You can also purchase a bagger item for collecting grass. Note that this model has a hitch plate that allows using detached equipment. Its maximum forward and rear speed is 4.25 miles per hour which is enough for quick serving of a small lawn. As its fuel tank capacity is 1.3-gallon, the mower is great for a one-hour grass cutting session without refueling. Superb!

Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV Riding Lawn Mower in the use

Conveniences

The model is equipped with cup holders and a convenient vinyl seat. Thus, you can easily enjoy a long grass cutting session. The mower also has a 3-height adjustable steering wheel for your comfort. Rubberized flooring prevents you from sliding and reduces vibration during grass cutting. Switch-start ignition and a cruise control system make performance of this lawn mower very convenient. Moreover, you can easily monitor the fuel usage rate with the fuel level indicator window. Finally, using the garden hose connector, you can remove the grass remains from the lawn mower blades and cutting deck. Great!

Detailed review of Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV Riding Lawn Mower

VIDEO
Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower Review
Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV
Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV
 

Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin

Engine

This is a zero-turn-radius riding lawn mower that ideally suits for mowing the areas with intricate landscaping. Due to the rear drive, the rider swivels in place, allowing for easy control of each wheel and accurately bypassing each obstacle. Zero-Turn-Radius riders have no steering wheels and controlled by triggering two levers (connected to the wheels through a hydrostatic transmission). To force each wheel to motion, you only need to pull the lever either forward or backward. When set in between, the mower would drive at the neutral speel. The operation of Poulan Pro Riding Mower totally relies on the V-twin 22 HP engine with Hydro Dual HG EZT drive system. This all makes for the high effectiveness and performance of this rider.

Review of Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower

Performance

If you own a large lawn, this Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn Riding Mower will do the job. In one single pass it can cover up to a 46” strip of grass. The adjustable height allows for choosing how tall or short the grass should be after mowing so you get the best ever results and a well-groomed look of your lawn. The three reinforced decks cover the blades and protect them from damage in case of tripping over an obstacle. However, if the worst happens, it’s very easy to replace them. Poulan Pro can reach up to 6 miles per hour, this makes it suitable for mowing up to 2.4 acres per hour while the 3.5-gallon tank capacity allows for several hours of continuous use. If you want to collect the cut grass instead of discharging it sideward, you can optionally get a grass bagger and install it on the rider.

Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower in the use

Conveniences

For your maximum convenience and comfort, this riding lawn mower comes with a 15”-high back vinyl seat, easy-to-operate dual levers with foam padded hand grips and cup holders. You can always keep your favorite drink at hand while driving the mower and mulching the grass. Poulan Pro has been definitely built with a customer in mind. It’s very easy to use. To start the mower, you only need to turn the ignition key. At that, rely on the cruise system. It will help you set the most precise speed for different cutting needs. Poulan Pro looks just like a professional riding lawn mower, yet, it’s very straightforward in use. The blade mechanism is easily accessible, you only need to unscrew the platform. Whenever it’s time to replace the oil filter or add more oil to the tank, the indicator visually alerts. For easy cleanup, you can always connect a hose to the deck and quickly get rid of the grass leftover after cutting. The EZT bypass allows for switching to manual handling which may come in very handy sometimes. Excellent!

Detailed review of Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower

VIDEO
Poulan Pro - ZeroTurn Maintenance
Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin
Poulan Pro 967330901 P46ZX Briggs V-Twin
 

Raven MPV7100

More than a Lawn Mower

Picking the best model among the variety of lawn mowers available, Raven MPV7100 couldn't go unnoticed. At first glance, one can easily say it's not a simple machinery. Being high-performing as it is, Raven riding lawn mower is extremely quiet when in use. This isn't something you would expect from gas-driven equipment. And the secret of such whisper-quiet operation lies in hybrid drive. Raven MPV7100 has two of them by the way - electric and gas. The first one is there to set a mower in motion while the second is used as a generator and a lightning dynamo when the power is cut off. Such combination allows reaching maximum power efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. Also, Raven MPV7100 can be used to juice up most of your other conventional electric appliances with the power yield up to 6,500W. That's impressive, isn't it? On top of regular trimming, this riding lawn mower has got so many more features to be in great demand of a vast majority of users worldwide.

Review of Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower Power Generator

Higher Speed, Easier Control

Some might expect that such multi-functional mower would feature complex controls. But that's not the case. Raven mower is just as easy to operate as a golf car: two pedals, steering wheel and a transmission lever to change the running direction. Sit down, start the engine, release the handbrake - go. Simple as that. The great steering response and small turning radius at mere 14" are worth mentioning as well. The MPV7100 shows all the necessary maneuverability amid the trees and works flawlessly on cutting the grass down in circles or near the territory edges.

Speaking of mowing speed, this model runs on par with many other mowers - around 6 mph. Moreover, you can choose the second speed mode via the transmission lever to reach spectacular 17 mph in optimal conditions - a record-breaking result for lawn mowers. In addition, the mower turns into a full-fledged quad-bike by simply removing the bottom deck. Then, you'll be able to use it for patrolling your land or for towing a cargo with a trailer. The towing power of this little tractor is 550 lbs.

In conclusion, we can state that this universal riding mower is suitable for many different tasks. Therefore, it will be a solid choice for a country cottage or a farm. Remember, with Raven MPV7100 you are getting at least 3 devices in 1: lawn mower, electricity generator, and a small tractor.

Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower Power Generator in the use

More Products to Consider

With the help of a trailer, you can easily transport bags with cut grass or any other cargo around your territory by attaching it to the Raven riding lawn mower or to a car.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Raven MPV 7100 S - Hybrid ATV Mower Generator
Raven MPV7100
Raven MPV7100
 

Sources:

1. Riding Mower Buying Guide, Lowe'S.

2. Roger Cook How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower, This Old House.

3. Lawn Mower & Tractor Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. September 2016

4. Kelly Burgess Lawn Tractor Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. May 12, 2016

5. Evan Gillespie Diesel Lawn Mowers Vs. Gas Lawn Mowers, SFGate.

6. Tessa Miller How Often Should You Mow a Growing Lawn? Lifehacker. October 8, 2013.

7. Roy Berendsohn How to Mulch Leaves With a Lawn Mower, Popular Mechanics. November 26, 2012.

8. Things to Consider When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower, Husqvarna.

9. Abby Tripp Heverin Riding Mower Buyer’s Guide, Hobby Farms. April 26, 2013.