What are the Best Ride On Lawn Mowers and Lawn Tractors for Homeowners?
With the right riding mower, cutting your lawn can become a fun activity as opposed to weekly gardening maintenance that you dread. For some individuals, it becomes a hobby or an amusing way to improve their motor skills. A good lawn tractor enables you to evenly cut grass and ride uphill, all while consuming less fuel. If you need more information before making a decision, make sure to read our buying guide below. Now let's take a look out our top picks for the best ride on mower.
Our Top Choice
This mower’s cutting-edge design and proven performance make lawn maintenance an easy task. With its powerful engine, air is drawn from the top and bottom of the deck, giving your grass a superior cut. If you are looking for a less expensive mower without zero turn feature, check out the Husqvarna Fast Tractor™
Husqvarna 26 hp Kohler 7000 V-Twin Zero Turn Mower with 54" Cutting Deck
Husqvarna is a reputable company in the machinery industry. With this new series, costing around $3,199.95, you are sure to get a lot for your money. The Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower gives you worry-free performance powered by its integrated zero turn transmission. Its casters and robust frame ensure durability and reduced chassis flex. The deck lift system is outfitted with springs for ease of use, and is suitably located within easy reach of the operator. The ergonomic control panel places everything expediently at your fingertips.
Here are the key features for Husqvarna’s Z254 Zero Turn Mower:
- Gas powered Kohler 7000 26hp v-twin engine
- 54-Inch reinforced stamped cutting deck
- Electric clutch for easy blade engagement
- Dual hydro-gear EZT transmission
- 4 anti-scalp rollers
If you are looking for a top-quality, traditional lawn tractor in a modest price range, this is your best bet.
The Poulan Pro P46ZX is the workhorse you’re looking for. It will quickly turn your messy yard into a gem that the neighborhood will envy. Depending on its price, this is the best zero turn mower in its class. If you are not a fan of zero turn mowers, you can try the Poulan Pro PP20VA46
in the same class.
Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Pro 22 HP Zero Turn Riding Mower, 46-Inch Cutting Deck
The Poulan Pro line of equipment is backed by a long legacy of innovation that began in 1944. This history is reflected in the company’s line of powerful machines, including riding mowers, chain saws, lawn mowers, blowers, trimmers, snowblowers, and tillers. Nothing works like a Pro. Poulan Pro Zero Turn Radius mowers offer the best in performance, durability and comfort for a market price of about $2,627.49.
Here are the key features of this Zero Turn Lawn Tractor by Poulon Pro:
- Hydrostatic EZT Transmission
- 46-inch two bladed steel deck
- Fuel tank volume (with reserve) 3.5 gal
- Briggs & Stratton 22 HP V-twin pro engine
- Electric clutch
- Deck lifting system is manual
- Max forward speed of 6 mph and reverse speed of 3 mph
- Digital Hour meter and cup holder included
As you can see, the P46ZX is yet another great model in Poulan’s new Pro line of mowers, definitely our best value.
If you’ve been looking to buy something that can mow the grass just right, without any hiccups, you might want to take a look at the Swisher® Zero Turn Rider. This machine has full 360-degree movement, and backward and forward mowing capability. You can even choose to add the Tuff Top ZTR Sunshade to keep you cool and prevent sunburn
Swisher Zero Turn Mower - Briggs & Stratton 27 HP Engine, 66-Inch Cutting Deck
For over 60 years, Swisher has been excellent in offering consumers high-powered tractors, lawn and farm equipment. The Swisher® Zero Turn Rider is one of the best mowers in the market today. With its massive 66-inch deck, 360-degree movement, and backward and forward mowing capability, you are guaranteed efficiency.
Here are some of its key features:
- Foot assisted deck lift
- 66-inch Cutting Deck
- 27HP Briggs & Stratton engine
- Hydro Gear 2800 transmission
- 3 blades deck type
- Deluxe 18-inch high back seat
- Rapid response control system
- 4 gauge wheels
The Raven 7100 Multi-Purpose Hybrid is much more than a ride on mower. It has a built in generator that you can use to power the equipment you need while doing lawn and yard maintenance. Need to get rid of the limbs you cut? Now problem, just haul it away with the Raven. If you need it, Raven also makes great free standing generators
Raven Hybrid Riding Lawnmower Power Generator and Utility Vehicle, 3 Color Choices
Raven is continuing to find innovative ways to help you do more. From their flagship line of multi-purpose hybrids to their generators, they are committed to bringing you products that offer more utility and value than anyone else. With this latest model of lawn mowers, fairly priced ($2,499.99), they are offering you everything you need to make your property beautiful.
Whatever you’ve got to do, the Raven Hybrid Riding Lawnmower and Utility Vehicle can help you get it done. With its 3-in-1capabilities, this is a top-notch product. Here are some of its top features:
- 420 cc gasoline powered engine powers the on-board generator
- 7100-watt generator powers the outlets and blades as well as the batteries
- 46" removable fabricated deck is designed for enhanced vacuum, mulch and discharge
- Transport speed up to 17 mpg in gas or electricity
- Continuously variable foot pedal transmission with DC Motor to HD Differential
- 14" turning radius for easy maneuvering
- 550-lb towing capacity
- Has a storage and towing bed
The John Deere Z335E, cuts quickly and discharges clippings cleanly and consistently. It is equipped with plenty of accessories to use with this zero turn mower, so you’ll have no problem tackling your property. If you aren’t a fan of zero turn mowers, no problem! John Deere the D140 Lawn Tractor
may be the perfect option for you.
John Deere 42 in. 20 HP Dual Hydrostatic Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower
John Deere has been around since the 1800s, and that is why they have a very good reputation in the machinery business. Now they bring you one of the best household lawn mowers in the market for a reasonable price of $2,499.00. John Deere’s character and quality have always been high; all the more reason to at least consider this equipment.
The John Deere Z335E Zero-Turn Riding Mower features a 42-inch Accel Deep Deck and is designed with saving you time in mind. It steers using motion control levers, driven by two durable independent transmissions, to make it easy to trim your grass quickly and efficiently.Here are some more of the features that qualify this machine as excellent:
- 20 HP V-twin John Deere branded engine
- Accel Deep deck with a 42 inch cutting width
- Mowing speeds up to 7 mph, and can operate in reverse
- Side-discharge, bagging or mulching
- Height cutting range of 1 to 4 inches
- Dual hydrostatic hydro-gear EZT 1-inch axles
- Weighhs 459 lbs
Riding Mower Buying Guide: How to Choose a Gas Lawn Tractor for Your Yard
During winter, you’ll probably be able to skip mowing your lawn since it’ll be covered by snow most of the time — which will give you more time for your favorite winter sports
. But if you have a lawn tractor, you can add a plow blade
and clear it away.
Come, spring, it’ll be an entirely different story when your grass begins to quickly grow out of control. This is the time when you’ll begin looking for your garden rake
, and other equipment like lawn carts that help clear your yard after mowing.
Tall, overgrown lawn grass can be a real hazard, especially if you have children playing around. Apart from just making your lawn look untidy, this grass also poses a safety and health risk. It will harbor small animals such as mice and rats that can be a hygienic hazard, as well as dangerous ones like snakes. Out of control grassy areas also mask dumped trash and attract insects, two nuisances you’ll certainly want to avoid.
You can prevent your lawn from overgrowing and posing these risks by simply investing in a reputable lawn tractor or riding lawn mower. This machine will assist you to neatly cut grass with ease. If you have a vegetable garden, you can put your grass clippings to good use as vegetable garden mulch. Additionally, you can get a mulcher
to turn grass clippings and fallen leaves from your land into organic fertilizer for garden and lawn use.
Before we proceed, we need to quickly cover some terminology. When we are talking about large farm equipment, a tractor is a totally different beast compared to the ones that will be used by your typical homeowner. Lawn tractors are smaller. In the residential space, the terms lawn tractor, yard, garden tractor, riding mower and ride on lawn mower are often used interchangeably, however there is actually a distinction
In the most technical sense, a tractor is a machine with the ability to attach or pull other tools behind them. Garden tractors are more powerful
than lawn or yard tractors. In contrast riding lawn mowers are only designed for cutting, and are not designed to pull anything behind them.
For our purposes, we won’t be super strict on how the terms are used, but will be sure to point out whether there is an ability to attach other tools and/or if a machine is only designed for mowing.
Difference Between Riding Mowers, Lawn Tractors, Yard Tractors, and Garden Tractors
Learn the difference between what each type of mower can do. | Courtesy of Farpoint Farms
A good quality riding mower can set you back a fair amount, so you’ll want to hunt around for a quality one that will last you for quite some time. You wouldn’t want to spend as much as $4000, only to end up with a machine that can’t mow your lawn to your satisfaction.
Tractors with heavier components, higher speeds and twin-cylinders tend to cost more than those with lighter components and single-cylinders. Another factor that will impact the price is whether there are attachments such as a plow, dump cart
However, with about $2000, you can still get a good, known-brand ride on lawn mower that is capable of adequately mowing your yard or fields. What you need to do, though, is keep away from the really cheap riding mowers as they are in most cases low quality. Such machines may have weak engines, inferior cutting decks and often lack most of the features you will find on quality tractors.
So, what do you look for in a riding mower? Obviously, the most important feature would be one related to its primary function --- cutting grass. Check out the size of the cutting deck. The larger it is, the faster you will clear your field, especially if it is a large greenspace.
Here are some other features you may need to check before you make the final decision:
- Engine Type - Gas, hydrostatic, ect.
- Number of Engines - Single or twin
- Transmission Type - Hydro-gear or pedal
- Tractor Speed - Can go from about 3.5 mph to approximately 8 mph
How to Operate a Zero Turn Mower
Step-by-step instructions for starting and operating a zero-turn lawn mower. | Courtesy of Will Armstrong
Construction and Design
Lawn tractors are compact vehicles that are specially designed to work on yards and fields — and are definitely smaller than a farm tractors . They feature four wheels, just like other motor vehicles, but are equipped to enable you to ride on terrain that a normal vehicle would find difficult to maneuver. Most come with wide tires that are specifically intended for use on farms and fields.
Aside from tires with thick threads, the other important component on a riding mower is the cutting deck. This device is typically attached underneath the tractor and has a blade that cuts the grass evenly, depending on which level you set it. Available in varying sizes according to the make of the mower, cutting decks are reinforced with steel to make them stronger and more durable.
Additionally, you’ll want to check which direction the mower discharges its clipped grass. Some models are designed to discharge from the side while others discharge at the rear. All mowers are fitted with engines that power both the blades and the wheels.
You can choose between a diesel and a gasoline powered engine. Consider the material and position of the seat and if it is adjustable. Some riding mowers also come fitted with headlights to allow you to work even when it gets dark, so check which type of lights are on your preferred tractor.
Performance and Ease of Use
Whether you have a small or large field of grass to clear, opt for a riding mower or lawn tractor with as powerful an engine as your budget will permit. Such an engine enables you to venture on most terrains including steep slopes. A weak engine might have you rolling backwards if you’re cutting grass on an incline.
Though you will find some strong single-cylinder engines, the double or twin-cylinder tractors will definitely give you more power and torque. Consider the engine’s lubrication to minimize engine malfunctions
. Those that come with pump lubrication keep your engine lubricated regardless of the slope or angle you mow your greenspace. Another important feature to check is the engine transmission. Lawn tractors with hydrostatic transmissions are both powerful and easier to use.
In terms of size, you may want to select a compact size ride on mower as they are less cumbersome to maneuver through tight spaces. What’s more, you’ll have an easier time maneuvering them into their storage sheds or garage since they require a smaller storage space. In addition to being compact, riding mowers that have zero-turn mowing ability are easier to handle, especially when parking in tight spaces. Instead of the regular steering wheel, these lawn tractors come with handles for steering and enable you to control each rear wheel independently.
Different lawn tractors come with cutting decks of varying sizes. You’ll find decks as long as 54 inches. The long decks cover a wider surface area and get the job finished at a faster rate. You may go for one with a smaller deck if you’re on a budget or if you have a small field. But, if you have a big field, think about purchasing one with as large a deck as possible.
Also, check if your lawn tractor has a height adjustment lever as this device allows you to adjust the cutting height of the grass. Additionally, tractor speed is also a necessary consideration even if you buy one with a wide cutting deck. These tractors can reach speeds of up to 6.5 miles per hour. The higher the speed, the less time it will take to mow your field.
There are times when you find yourself working way into the night. When it gets dark, you’ll need a source of light to keep working if you really want to finish that last patch. Tractors with LED head lights may come in handy if you find yourself in such a situation.
Get the Best Riding Mower of 2021!
Having gone through our top selections, you’ll surely be able to narrow down your hunt for the perfect lawn tractor. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting pretty on your new machine as you create an immaculate looking lawn. If you’re still not sure what to go with, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. The brands we’ve covered also manufacture other great lawn tractors you may want to peruse. After all, these lawn care products are still considered among the best ride on mowers on the market.
Our Top Choice
Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower Z254 54" Deck
Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn Lawn Tractor
Swisher® 27 HP 66" B&S Zero Turn Rider, 66”
Raven Multi-Purpose 7100 Ride On Mower
John Deere 42” Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Riding Mower FAQs
How Do You Change A Lawn Tractor Tire?
Looking for a DIY procedure to change a lawn tractor tire? You may change a tire because it is worn out or too deflated to support the tractor. After lifting up the mower, you can proceed to remove the entire wheel. Follow that by flattening the tire and removing it from the rim. You can then install a new tire, inflate it, and re-install the wheel. After lowering the lawnmower to the ground, you can continue with the mowing exercise.
How Do You Grease A Lawn Tractor?
Not every part of a lawn tractor requires greasing. However, moving parts need regular greasing to reduce wear and tear due to friction. Grease also prevents corrosion. In the axles and wheels, put the grease in the appropriate fittings. The best tool for that is a grease gun. Each fitting needs two to three grease pumps. In the case of the spindle, you will have to clean it first before applying grease. The other part that requires greasing is the whole area with gears. You need to grease again after every 50 hours of continuous use.
How Do You Replace A Drive Belt On A Lawn Tractor?
Another part of the lawn tractor that needs regular replacement is the drive belt. To pull off a DIY job, you should start by adorning safety equipment like mechanic gloves and goggles. Check the instruction manual that came with that particular model to know exactly what you need to do. The procedure of replacing a drive belt on a lawn tractor differs from one model to another – even where the same manufacturer is involved. In most cases, it is an elaborate procedure that requires basic knowledge of engine mechanics.
How Do You Tell If The Starter Is Bad On A Lawn Tractor?
It can be very frustrating if a lawn tractor engine fails to start correctly. In that case, the problem is usually with the starter. You will know you have a bad starter if you hear a cranking noise but without any engine turnover. Every time you start the mower, nothing happens. But you cannot say the problem is the starter until you are sure that you have a fully-functioning battery, clean battery leads, fresh spark plugs, and functional starter solenoids. If all of these parts are working correctly, and the mower still won’t start, then the problem definitely lies with the starter.