Given their impressive mobility and efficiency, it is easy to see why some people prefer riding lawn mowers to classic models which are nowhere near as effective or practical. When we talk about riding lawn mowers, we lump garden tractors, lawn tractors, and zero-turn-radius riding mowers together for obvious reasons. These machines are guaranteed to handle a much bigger workload than traditional mowers, not to mention how much more comfortable they are to control. With this in mind, let us find out what are the ten best riding lawn mowers and what characteristics to look for when buying one.
Best Riding Lawn Mowers Of 2018
10Husqvarna LGT2654 26 HP Hydro Light Garden Tractor
With a massive 54-inch cutting width, the Husqvarna LGT2654 26 HP Hydro Light Garden Tractor is a riding lawn mower like no other. It is powered by a superior 26 HP Kohler V-Twin Engine that pushes out enough power to take on the most tedious of mowing exercises with ease. The hydrostatic transmission also helps keep everything running smoothly and efficiently while its Cruise Control feature that lets you leisurely mow large areas with minimum power usage. Furthermore, its electric blade management keeps everything sharp and cutting.
9Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower
Cub Cadet is a well-known garden equipment company and the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower is arguably one of the best riding lawn mowers on the market. This mower is fitted with a single cylinder 18 HP Kohler Courage engine that is more than capable of taking on most mowing adventures. It is also one of the most affordable riding mowers and has a top speed of 5.5 MPH. The deck length is measured at 42 inches and can cut large areas quickly and efficiently. At the same time, its seat is quite comfortable and encourages you to get the job done as comfortable as possible.
8Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic Riding Lawn Mower
Known as one of the biggest names in garden equipment, the Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic Riding Lawn Mower stands out as one of the best products available. It runs on a powerful 540cc – 19HP Briggs & Stratton Intek engine and comes with an auto transmission foot pedal. This lawn mower is both powerful and impressively efficient which is ideal for mowing large areas of grass quickly. Thanks to the soft touch steering and comfortable seat, you can do all your mowing in a relaxed way. Not only that but it also features a 46-inch mowing deck that can cut large areas of grass at a time.
7Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Hydro Transmission Riding Lawn Mower
With the Husqvarna 18.5 HP Transmission Riding Lawn Mower by your side, your mowing day can get infinitely better if you simply take the time to learn the ropes. Thanks to the fast auto transmission, you can quickly mow large areas and with clean precision. The auto transmission also means maintenance becomes a thing of the past, much thanks to an air induction mowing technology included in the mower that improves the airflow through the deck which results in a superior cut every time. The deck lever is also spring assisted which means you can easily operate the mower in any conditions.
6Yard Machines 420cc 42-inch Riding Lawn Tractor
This machine comes with an impressive 420cc engine with a Shift On The Go drive system that lets you mow faster and easier. The mower has a 7-speed gear shift that gives you the freedom to take on any mowing challenge you might face. The blade installed on the mower is measured at 42-inches and can cut a wide area of grass easily. With this lawn mower, you can take on hilly areas as well as dense areas faster and more efficiently.
5Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS 24V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower
Built around an impressively 24V motor, this Riding Tractor Mower with Hydro-Gear T2 Hydrostatic Transmission delivers a maintenance free mowing experience to last you for years to come. It is fitted with a 48-inch mower deck that is made from 12-gauge steel and has 3 blades and 4 anti-scalp wheels. The Hydro-Gear T2 Hydrostatic Transmission helps you mow in reverse and forward motions alike. The mower has a 14-inch turning radius and the blades have 7 different heights of mowing from 1.5 inches to 4.0 inches depending on your lawn.
4Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower
The Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower is considered a unique piece of equipment due to its 27 HP gasoline powered engine keeps the onboard generator powered as well. In turn, the generator at 7100 watts, powers the blades and other outlets as well as charges the machine’s batteries. It also features a 46-inch fabricated deck that can be removed for detailed cleaning and mulch removal. With speeds of up to 17 MPG and a 14-inch turn radius, this mower is definitely one of the best out there. The mower also has a 550-pound towing capacity and a storage bed for carrying tools and other supplies.
3Poulan Pro Briggs Automatic Hydrostatic Transmission Drive Riding Mower
The Poulan Pro Briggs 15.5 hp Automatic Hydrostatic Transmission Drive Riding Mower is a unique and useful tool that delivers an unmatched mowing experience. Inside the mower, you get a 22 HP Briggs V-Twin Pro engine that is more than powerful enough to take on the toughest of cutting jobs. Under the mower sits a 46-inch stamped reinforced cutting deck that has a 10-year warranty and is extremely durable. The transmission on the mower is a Hydro-Gear EZT transmission that keeps you going while its electric clutch makes for a smooth mowing at all times.
2Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 22 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
Poulan Pro is an affordable gardening equipment company and the Poulan Pro V-Twin 22 HP Pedal Control Fast Auto Drive Cutting Deck Riding Mower is a perfect example why that is. This ingenious machine is fitted with an impressively powerful 22 HP V-Twin engine that can easily take on various terrains and dense surfaces. With the pedal control fast auto drive transmission, you can finish a mowing job in no time. Under the mower, there is a 54-inch reinforced cutting deck that is both durable and sturdy by all standards.
1Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
The Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower houses a powerful 382cc auto choke OHV engine that delivers excellent results in terms of quick mowing. With a 6-speed transmission and 4.25 MPH operating speeds, you can mow your lawn easily and quickly without ever leaving the chair. The mower has a 30-inch cutting deck that has a total of 5 adjustable settings to satisfy all your mowing needs. At the same time, it has front wheels that measure 13×5 inches in size and rear wheels that measure 16×6.5 inches for a more comfortable turn radius.
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What To Look For In A Riding Lawn Mower
We should perhaps start off by pointing out that the size of your lawn should be the deciding factor when choosing a riding lawn mower. This is because larger mowers have larger cut widths, thus getting the job done a lot faster than smaller models. Larger mowers also pack much bigger engines, which allows them to operate a considerably faster speed. You should also keep in mind that the bigger they are the easier they handle uneven terrain and the dangers that go with it. That said, we should perhaps focus on the different types of riding lawn mowers one can choose from at this point in time and the control options they offer:
Types Of Riding Lawn Mowers
Lawn Tractors – These mowers enjoy a traditional design and are operated with a steering wheel. given their construction, they work best when dealing with lawns from half an acre to two acres or more. Capable of implementing a wide variety of accessories and attachments, these mowers can also be used to bag clippings and leaves, haul landscaping materials, spread seeds, and even remove snow when needed.
Garden Tractors – These mowers are designed roughly the same as lawn tractors with the difference that they are intended for a more heavy-duty purpose. As such, they can handle more ground working attachments and are equipped with stronger engines. Not only that but they also employ heavy-duty transmissions for an added standard of control and maneuverability, which makes them perfect for dealing with large mowing areas.
Zero-Turn-Radius Mowers – These mowers are built to navigate terrain types riddled with obstacles like trees or flower beds. For this to happen, they employ front caster wheels that pivot and extremely sharp angles for added maneuverability and control. Interestingly enough, these mowers aren’t operated through a steering wheel but rather with the help of lap bars or levers that you can use to make even the sharpest turns as comfortably as possible.
Manual Transmission – A manual transmission gives you a more personal approach to controlling your riding lawn mowers. As you would expect, these mowers let you shift up or down without stopping or using a clutch, which is supposed to give you full control over how you want to approach any mowing job.
Automatic Transmission – An automatic transmission works pretty much like the automatic transmission of a car. Using an automatic riding lawn mower, you are a somewhat detached from the issues related to switching between the operating speed of the mower, which is supposed to make the experience a lot more comfortable.
Hydrostatic Transmission – With a hydrostatic transmission, you get all the benefits of an automatic transmission with the added benefit of employing fluid rather than belts to spin the wheels as you ride. This makes the mowing experience a bit smoother, not to mention how less of a maintenance it requires long-term.
Riding Mower Features
Big Horsepower – A riding mower’s horsepower(HP) determines the ‘pull’ of a mower and how well it will navigate across rough terrain. By checking the HP figure, you get a better idea of the power output a mower can produce, the power that will be shared among all its running components.
Cruise Control – If you’re the type to draw enjoyment out of mowing your lawn, then perhaps you should look for a mower with cruise control capabilities. For the most part, a riding mower with cruise control runs just as well as a car with cruise control, at low speeds at least.
Deck Wheels – The big advantage deck wheels have over the traditional wheels mowers are usually equipped with is their ability to handle uneven terrain. This allows the mower to maintain its cutting height despite the uneven terrain underneath.
Mulching & Bagging – Although not all riding mowers are equipped with mulching and bagging systems, the ones that do are usually regarded as top-notch for obvious reasons. Depending on what type of mower you get, you may even be able to accommodate stand-alone mulching and bagging components that you can attach to the mower.