For the clean-living person, it doesn’t matter if it’s their lawn or their living room – all areas of the house need to be regularly maintained. However, while maintaining your bedroom or living room can be a simple chore, doing the same for the lawn can be quite difficult, especially if you have a large property. With the best riding lawn mower, you’ll spend less energy and time maintaining your lawn, while still getting that much needed professional look.
With everything you’ve read so far, you’re probably thinking about getting a riding lawnmower, right? We thought so too. However, while it may seem very simple to a novice, it’s actually never easy to buy the right riding lawn mower for your needs. As we have done for this guide, there are many elements and specifications you need to consider, such as engine power, fuel tank capacity, cutting width and height, and warranty.
We’ve spent dozens of hours compiling this guide, and with everything in it, we’re confident you’ll find the right product for your specific needs. Our handy chart compares the selected products in a very clear and brief manner, and we have also reviewed the products in depth immediately afterwards. The following section is a buying guide, in which you will find many tips to improve your buying experience.
The 7 best ride-on lawnmowers
Ariens 915223 IKON-X
Although this ride-on lawnmower is more expensive than some of the products we have listed here, we assure you that it will certainly give you value for money. Durable and powerful, this is without a doubt one of the best riding lawn mowers on the market, and is sure to serve you for many years. Featuring a 4.5 inch steel deck with a 10 inch diameter, it is designed for grass of virtually any height. The machine also offers thirteen different cutting height settings, from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, giving you great flexibility.
The machine is equipped with a 23 HP engine, which is enough to handle anything thrown at it. Suitable for both domestic and commercial use, this machine produces maximum airflow and works perfectly in the most difficult situations. In addition, the mower handles tons of loads with incredible stability and is also very resistant to stress, which is probably due to its tubular frame. This model is equipped with a four-point suspension deck that allows you to cut evenly on surfaces that are not flat. And because it’s a zero-turn model, you can make tight turns with just a flick of the wrist.
It also has a large 52-inch cutting deck, which will save you about 35% of the time compared to a 42-inch deck model. This machine easily handles moderate slopes and is built with a very strong tubular frame. In addition, it comes with a three-year warranty, so buyers can feel good about their purchase. The downside is that the machine does not have a large capacity fuel tank and, according to some buyers, it cannot turn as quickly when used on wet grass.
- 23 HP
- 2.8 gals
- 52 inches
- Limited to 3 years
- high back padded seat with armrests; 13 cutting height positions
If you’re looking for a mower that can handle long hours of work, the Husqvarna MZ61 is the right choice. It’s a machine that’s built to last and withstand tough conditions. It’s also a great option if you do a lot of professional landscaping. Aside from having one of the best designs we’ve ever seen for a lawnmower, it also performs exceptionally well when it comes to keeping its users comfortable at all times.
The Husqvarna MZ61 offers a 61-inch mowing path, which is one of its most important features. If you often work on large properties that require several hours of work with ordinary ride-on mowers, the Husqvarna MZ61 can reduce your work time considerably. If you use it for commercial purposes, you will be able to reduce the number of hours spent on each property, while increasing the number of customers you can handle on a daily basis.
In addition, the machine is equipped with a 27 HP Briggs and Stratton engine, which is one of the most reliable engines on the market. As a result, the machine is capable of producing enough power to work anywhere you want, including on hills, while being fuel efficient. Not to mention that it comes with a five-gallon fuel capacity, which means you can work continuously for long hours without needing to refuel.
In addition, the Husqvarna is equipped with a number of features to keep landscapers comfortable during long working hours. The armrest that it is equipped with will provide extra convenience, and the included seat belt will provide extra safety if you choose to use the mower on a slope or hill. These features will increase your efficiency while ensuring optimal comfort. However, despite all the features built into this machine, many users still find it too expensive.
- 27 HP
- 5 ends.
- 61 inches
- 10 year limited on deck
- 11-gauge steel deck, foam padded handles, vibration dampeners.
With the Snapper 360Z zero-turn mower, you can carry tools, haul dirt and cut grass, of course. With the inclusion of commercially inspired features such as a fully welded steel frame, easy access service points, a durable steel deck and a thick-walled front axle, there’s no doubt that this machine is designed for powerful performance in tough conditions. Everything has been perfectly matched to ensure you get a great cut, every time you use it. For maximum versatility, it has an integrated rear loading platform that also offers a high level of convenience.
The Snapper 360Z is equipped with a powerful 25 HP Briggs and Stratton engine, which offers enough power to help you keep your garden clean for many years. These engines have an easy start feature that makes standard mower engines completely obsolete. Just like your car, your ride-on mower also has a key start system, which makes mowing even more exciting as you feel like you are driving a car. In addition, the machine has a large 52-inch cutting deck, which means you can cut a large area of land in one pass. This is particularly useful if you are working on a large property and want to save time and finish as quickly as possible.
For maximum durability, the machine also has a fully welded steel frame, a thick-walled front axle and ball bearings in the spindles of the wheels. In addition, this commercial-style machine has a foot-operated deck lift that allows the deck to be effortlessly adjusted between thirteen different heights, from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. However, for all its appeal, many users have complained about the lack of strength in the blades.
- 25 HP
- 3 ends.
- 52 inches
- 3 year limited; life on deck
- foot pedal deck lift; ball bearings in castor axles; height adjustment from 1.5 to 4.5 inches
Poulan Pro P46ZX
If you’re looking to avoid the physical strain of pushing a traditional mower, the Poulan Pro P46ZX is the machine for you. In terms of durability, performance and comfort, this machine is exceptional in every way. It is powered by a 22 HP Briggs & Stratton engine that allows it to cut weeds and grass effortlessly. Thanks to its zero-turn radius, this machine is also easy to work with, as you can make tight turns by simply moving your hands. This gives you total control over the mowing process.
The mower is also equipped with two steel blades with a 46-inch path, which allows you to accomplish a lot in a small to medium-sized garden in a very short time. In addition, the machine has different cutting heights, which gives you great flexibility. In fact, this flexibility allows for even cutting as you can choose the appropriate cutting height for good grass growth. In addition, the machine also creates an even discharge from its side, leaving your lawn sparkling.
This beast is also easy to operate, thanks to the electric clutch and the fact that the deck lift is operated by hand, giving you total control when cutting. With the lever drive system, full turnarounds and manoeuvring become extremely easy. In addition, this machine is also equipped with large 18-inch rear tyres, which provide a smooth ride over rough terrain. They can even be engaged using the levers, which makes turning even faster and more effortless. The 11-inch front tyres are also useful for balancing the tractor.
Although the seat is slippery and mowing in reverse is not easy, these are minor inconveniences that most users are willing to put up with. In fact, this is probably the best small ride-on lawnmower you can find on the market. From the aluminium axle to the stamped reinforced deck and steel blades, it’s easy to see why this machine will last you for many years.
- 22 HP
- 3.5 gals.
- 46 inches
- 10-year limited warranty on deck; 3-year owner’s warranty.
- EZT hydraulic gear transmission; electric clutch
Having earned a reputation over the years as a manufacturer of high-quality power tools for the garden and home, Husqvarna is now a name synonymous with high-quality tools, and the Husqvarna GTH52XLS is a perfect example. With a 24 HP engine, this machine provides just the right amount of power to mow a medium-sized property with uneven ground and slight slopes. And since it has a top speed of 7.4 MPH, your mowing will be done very quickly.
The machine is also equipped with the CVT automatic transmission, which makes it very easy to drive. In addition, you just press the pedal to easily control the reverse and forward speed, so you don’t even have to struggle with an unreliable clutch. Durable 20-inch rear and 15-inch front tyres give you the traction you need to get around rough terrain. And with the incorporation of air induction technology that improves airflow from the bottom and top of the deck, you’re guaranteed a superior cut every time.
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Husqvarna has thought of the user’s comfort by allowing the cutting height of the deck to be adjusted effortlessly with the handy adjustment knob on the mudguard. A useful hour meter shows the number of hours mown and when it is time to service the machine. For mowing hours on a large property, you don’t have to feel uncomfortable as the machine is equipped with a spring-assisted sliding vinyl seat.
In addition, this mower is easy to clean and maintain, so you can attach a water hose to the bottom of the deck and hose down the mower after a day’s use. If you prefer to work at night, this machine is equipped with LED lights to help you work in the dark. Although there are no anti-scalp wheels and the foot pedal requires constant pressure, this Husqvarna machine offers you high-quality cutting and mowing performance.
- 24 HP
- 4 ends.
- 52 inches
- Limited to 3 years; 5 years on frame, chassis and front axle.
- vinyl seats; adjustable high-back seat with armrests
Cub Cadet XT1
Count the five most reliable home and garden power tool manufacturers in the world and Cub Cadet will certainly be on the list. Their Cub Cadet XT1 combines the operation of a heavy-duty tractor with the responsiveness of a riding mower, making it suitable for all working conditions and all types of weather. The e-coat rust protection mechanism helps protect the mower from wear and tear, and the included 18 HP Kohler Courage OHV engine gives it plenty of power. In addition, the mower has a hydrostatic transmission, which means that all you have to do is press the pedal, eliminating any awkward gear changes.
The Cub Cadet XT1 also features a more responsive steering system and a 16-inch turning radius that gives you better maneuverability, allowing you to negotiate tight turns and easily get around obstacles. The machine can also cut through the toughest weeds and grass thanks to its large 42-inch cutting deck that features twelve cutting height positions, which can be smoothly engaged by a lever. This mower has been designed with additional safety features such as a brake pedal lock, reverse safety switch and an operator presence sensor.
When using a machine of this size for long periods of time, you’re likely to get tired, so the manufacturer has included convenient operator features like an easy-to-fill three-gallon fuel tank and push-button cruise control. The tank even has a gauge mounted at the operator’s level so you can monitor it. There’s also a soft-grip steering wheel and a seat with high back support for optimum comfort. And thanks to the built-in LED lights, you can easily get your chore done late at night or early in the morning.
The only drawback we noticed is the flat seat, which can also become slippery when mowing on steep slopes. Of course, you can always buy armrests or another seat to solve this problem. Although there is no bumper, you can buy one separately if you need it. Overall, this is an incredible value for money product, and you’re not likely to regret your investment.
- 18 HP
- 3 ends.
- 42 inches
- 3 year limited; 5 year frame and front axle
- fully robot-welded frame with e-coating corrosion defence system
MTD Minirider 60 SDE ride-on lawnmower
If you’ve never used a riding lawn mower before, the Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower is certainly the perfect option for you. Although it is quite compact, this mower is also durable, and its 30-inch cutting deck allows it to fit through narrow openings easily. Although this model is a small mower with a top speed of 4.25 MPH, its six-speed transmission and powerful 382cc Troy-Bilt Single engine make it easy to handle. Its 18-inch turning radius allows it to maneuver quickly and make tight turns.
In addition, the mower’s manual transmission gives you more control over the speed of the machine and provides a faster start. The blade also has five different height positions, which makes it easy to adapt to the level or type of grass you will be cutting. In addition, the machine has a fuel capacity of 1.3 gallons, and the tank has a viewing window that allows you to monitor fuel levels. For operator comfort, the seat is adjustable, and it can be raised to the mid-back position to accommodate people with longer legs.
In addition, the steering wheel is soft-grip and you can adjust the steering column to the height you prefer. While you don’t need a huge lawn to appreciate the size of this machine, its size is an incredible advantage for medium to large lawns. However, it is not without its faults, despite its many advantages. Firstly, its footrest is slippery, which can be very frustrating. Secondly, its seat has only one spring, which is quite fragile.
- MTD 196 cc single cylinder
- 1.3 gallons.
- 30 inches
- no (18 inches)
- Limited to 2 years
- 13 inch soft grip wheel; 5 level height adjustable blade.
Why it’s a wise investment
Minimum physical effort
This is undoubtedly the biggest advantage of buying a ride-on lawnmower. Regardless of the size of the area you need to mow, you’ll get the job done very quickly with minimal effort. Although most electric mowers are generally easy to manoeuvre and lightweight, they are only recommended for flat areas. Pushing electric mowers up slopes and inclines can be a little difficult, even if they are lightweight, so a ride-on mower is a must if your terrain is uneven. In addition, using a ride-on machine will give you a lot of pleasure as you will feel like you are driving a car.
Easy-to-find spare parts
If you do some research, you will find that it is very difficult to find replacement parts for electric/push mowers on the market. This means that if such a machine breaks down, you will have to buy a new one, which will cost you a lot of money. Replacement parts for ride-on lawnmowers, on the other hand, are very easy to find, which is definitely a huge advantage.
Perfect for large lawns
If you read enough reviews of electric lawnmowers, you’ll find that they’re generally recommended for small yards only, whereas a petrol ride-on mower is perfect for large lawns. Mowing a large lawn with a traditional mower can take up to two days, and you certainly don’t like wasting that much time. So you should consider buying a larger machine that will help you achieve the desired result in the shortest possible time.
You save time
Another considerable advantage of a ride-on mower over a stand-up model is the speed at which it operates. Whether it’s a push mower or a self-propelled model, the speed of a ride-on mower can never be matched. When working on large properties, this can save you a lot of time.
While most ride-on mowers don’t usually come with a key start system, most ride-on mowers on the market today, like the Snapper 360Z, have this great feature. It allows you to turn on the machine without any physical effort. This is perfect, especially for people with weak upper bodies or physical injuries.
How to start your ride-on lawnmower
Starting a ride-on lawnmower is actually easy. With their powerful engines, sleek automatic transmissions and electronic systems, most riding lawnmowers on the market today can be started easily in seconds. To start your mower, simply adjust the cutting height of the deck to the desired position. Today, most models are even equipped with levers mounted on the mudguard, which allow you to adjust this setting easily.
Then get on your driver’s seat, depending on your own model, turn the start/stop button or press the push button. Riding mowers don’t need a clutch or gear change to put the mower in reverse or change gears, thanks to the automatic transmission they are equipped with. All you need to do is use a foot pedal to decrease or increase your speed. And with most models now equipped with cruise control, it’s even easier than ever.
Features to consider when choosing a ride-on lawnmower
Ride-on mowers offer the best way to tackle large areas of land with ease, providing professional results with little effort. However, there are many factors to consider before purchasing one. By looking at each of these important factors, you will be able to find the right model for your needs and the type of riding lawn mower that is best for you.
Engine horsepower is the term used to describe the power output of an engine. Power is what is available to be shared between the different parts of a mower, such as the cutting blades and transmission. Therefore, the more power the engine has, the more power the machine will be able to share between different tasks, such as moving the mower up hills or across the lawn, while still providing the cutting power needed to completely mow tall or heavy grass.
There are three types of transmission for ride-on mowers: automatic, manual and hydrostatic. With an automatic transmission, the speed of the mower is determined by the amount of fuel sent through the throttle, while a manual transmission offers a set of gears that you have to shift between using a clutch. A hydrostatic transmission works in the same way as an automatic transmission but uses fluid pressure instead of belts.
When considering a new ride-on mower, there are a few things to keep in mind: manual transmissions are good for making lots of turns and maneuvering around obstacles and changes in terrain, automatic transmissions are good for straight lines and long trips, and hydrostatic transmissions are the best, and work the same way as automatic transmissions, while providing the smoothest ride and requiring the least amount of maintenance.
Fuel tank capacity
The fuel capacity of a ride-on mower determines how much gas it can hold. In general, this capacity is related to the size of the model. The main concern you should keep in mind is to buy a model with a small fuel capacity that will not be enough to handle your lawn, as you do not want to stop during mowing just to refuel. Therefore, models with a large fuel capacity, such as the Husqvarna MZ61, are more suitable for larger properties, while those with a smaller capacity, such as the Snapper 360Z, are better suited to medium-sized properties.
The cutting width of a ride-on mower determines the width of the area that the blade can cut in one pass. Smaller models like the Troy-Bilt TB30 Neighborhood riding lawn mower can have a cutting width of 30 inches, while larger models can have a cutting width of up to 50 inches or more. The first thing you need to consider is the size of your yard.
Adjustable cutting height
Basic models offer little or no cutting height adjustment, which can be problematic for fine lawn manicuring. It is essential to find a ride-on machine like the Ariens 915223 IKON-X with a variety of cutting heights and the ability to switch between them easily. Find models with height adjustment controls located either next to the floor pedals or next to the seat to reduce strain.
If it’s a zero turn
Zero-turn mowers like the Poulan Pro P46ZX and Husqvarna MZ61 typically have an exceptionally short turning radius, allowing them to have incredible maneuverability and excellent ability to get around shrubs, lawn statues and trees. However, they do have some problems when manoeuvring on hills as they tend to turn excessively sharply on vertical terrain.
When you buy a product as expensive as a riding lawnmower, you should place a high value on the warranty. If you have a problem with your mower early in its life, the warranty will save you a lot of money on replacement parts or even the entire unit. In our experience, the length of the warranty usually determines the life of your product.
Safety tips when using a ride-on lawnmower
Riding lawnmowers present many hazards, including falling under the mower and being crushed. The machine can also tip over, which can lead to injury. In order to avoid accidents, we recommend that you follow the following tips before, during and after using the machine to reduce the risk.
Before mowing the yard, first make sure that there are no children or pets in the yard, as they are more susceptible to danger.
The lawn you are about to mow should be free of toys, electrical wires and stones that could damage the blade.
When turning, you should slow down first to prevent the machine from tipping over.
It is important to ensure that the machine is not left unattended while running.
You must understand the essential parts of the mower: read the manual properly before operating the machine.
Know how to stop the machine’s engine quickly in an emergency.
Always stop the machine when someone enters the yard to reduce the risk of injuring bystanders or causing an accident.
Check that the mower’s operator presence control system is functional as it will stop the blade if the operator dismounts the machine.
Ensure that there is no debris in the blade drive belt and that it is at the correct tension.
It is advisable to wear appropriate clothing for the task, i.e. close-fitting clothes, safety boots and long trousers. You should also wear thick work gloves to protect your hands from blades and other sharp objects.
Avoid mowing uphill when mowing on a slope if the slope is greater than ten degrees.
How to maintain your ride-on lawnmower
Do you have a sloping lawn with many landscaping features such as flowerbeds and trees? Riding lawnmowers are designed to make mowing such terrain easier with their intuitive design, easy manoeuvrability and three-in-one convertibility from bagging to mulching to side discharge. Make sure you maintain and adjust your mower regularly to keep it in top condition. Here are some tips that may help you maintain your mower.
Replacing worn drive belts
Follow the owner’s manual to remove and replace a worn drive belt. To do this, you may have to remove the mower deck. In general, deck belts are relatively easy to replace. Be very careful to change and properly position any belt support or guide that is moved during the procedure.
Changing the oil
As recommended, change the oil when the machine’s engine is warm. Many ride-on mowers are equipped with a plastic hose and a pull-type drain plug. If the engine is equipped with an oil filter, be sure to put oil on the rubber seal before installing it.
Use a spout or funnel when changing the oil, and be careful not to overfill. Check the dipstick periodically as you fill. If there is an oil filter in the engine and it has been replaced, you should check the oil level again after running the engine, as the oil filter contains oil.
Check the battery
If there are removable plugs on the battery, check the water level periodically, and add purified water if necessary. Use a wire brush to clean rusty battery terminals to ensure maximum starting power and proper operation of the engine charging system. To avoid accidental short circuits, we recommend that you cut the negative cable and reconnect it beforehand.
Check the air filter
Check the air filters frequently, especially when using the machine in dusty environments or if the machine ejects a lot of dry chaff. To remove loose debris, tap the air filter on a solid surface and change it when it is no longer effective.
Do not use stale gasoline
Do not use stale gasoline or gasoline that has been sitting for more than three weeks. Empty the old gas into a can and pour it into your car’s fuel tank for safe disposal. The small amount won’t cause any damage to your car, so don’t worry.
Gone are the days when traditional walk-behind mowers were the only solution for people wanting to keep their lawns clean. Riding lawnmowers are all the rage these days, and thanks to the convenience they offer, you probably won’t see dirty lawns these days. That said, our pick for the best riding lawn mower is the Ariens 915223 IKON-X. Packed with all the essential features in the right proportions, this model takes the cake with its near perfect engineering.
Second place goes to the Husqvarna MZ61, and with all its features, one wonders why it is not our first choice. It’s so powerful! With a 27hp engine and a 61″ cutting deck, it’s the perfect option for anyone looking for a mowing solution for their large property or for commercial purposes.
The Snapper 360Z comes in third place, and if you consider its powerful engine, robust design and key ignition, you’ll certainly agree with its inclusion. If you’re looking for a powerful machine to tackle your tough mowing jobs effectively, this is definitely the machine to use.
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