5 Best Riding Lawn Mower On The Market
Riding lawn mowers are ideal for anyone with a large yard, since they require less time and energy to operate than a traditional push mower. In the past four years, we have researched and tested riding mowers from the top brands, evaluating their maneuverability, safety features, noise level, and value.
One of our favorites is the RYOBI 48V Brushless 38-inch. This lawn mower stands out for its quiet operation, easy maintenance, and performance, especially on rough terrain.
1. RYOBI RY48111 100 AH 38″ Electric Riding Mower- Best Overall
Some people may be surprised to hear that our top pick is the battery-powered RYOBI model. In terms of power, the electric model easily matches gas mowers, cutting through thick grass with ease and demonstrating impressive maneuverability.
This machine is fume-free and virtually silent, with only a minimal amount of noise. (Our tester put a RYOBI model to work on her 10-acre farm and was blown away by the results.)
In a single session, the RYOBI electric mower can cut up to two and a half acres, thanks to its 38-inch deck and 48-volt batteries. The mower offers 12 different cutting heights and convenient features like cruise control, LED headlights, and USB charging. It has no belts, spark plugs, or filters, so it is easier to maintain than traditional riding mowers.
What are the only complaints we have? If you mow for a long period of time, the seat gets too uncomfortable, and it doesn’t have a mulch setting. However, if you’re looking for a reliable ride-on mower and you want to switch to a battery-powered model, this is your best bet.
The cutting width is 38 inches; the power type is battery; the weight is 678 pounds; the cutting option is bagging or side-discharge; and the size of the yard is 1 to 2 acres.
- Runs for a long time
- Performs well even in thick grass
- Very quiet
- Low maintenance
- There is no mulching capability
- The seat is uncomfortable
2. Cub Cadet LT42 XT1 Hydrostatic Drive Gas Riding Lawn Tractor-Best Gas
If you want a powerful and versatile gas mower, the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT Lawn Tractor is right up your alley. It is powered by a 541cc engine that delivers 19 HP, and its 42-inch deck has a twin blade system that side-disperses grass clippings.
The tractor and deck are constructed with heavy-duty materials, and Cub Cadet offers a three-year warranty without an hour limit. There are 12 cutting height positions available with this mower, which has a hydrostatic transmission that eliminates shifting.
It also has a hydrostatic transmission that eliminates the need for shifting. It has a tight turning radius of 16 inches and LED headlights, and thanks to its lawn tractor nature, it can be outfitted with attachments for multiple seasons.
The cutting width is 42 inches, the power type is gas, the weight is 570 pounds, the cutting options are side discharge, and the yard size is 0.5 to 2 acres.
- The hydrostatic transmission eliminates shifting
- Has an adjustable seat
- With a tight turning radius
- It is compatible with a wide variety of attachments
- It is difficult to mow in reverse
3. Weibang WB76E E-Rider Electric Riding Mower- Best Electric
The Weibang E-Rider lawn mower is another top-rated electric mower. The mower deck is slightly smaller than the RYOBI, with only 30 inches, but its 72-volt lithium batteries offer a similar two-hour power range suitable for medium to large lawns. Furthermore, it can be stored in a garage or shed because of its smaller footprint.
It has a two-blade cutting system with 10 cutting heights and a user-friendly control panel with forward, neutral, and reverse buttons. The seat is adjustable to keep you comfortable while you mow. The LED lights on the bumper will allow you to mow early in the morning or at night if desired.
The cutting width is 30 inches, the power type is battery, the weight is 309 pounds, and the cutting options are mulch and side discharge.
- It runs for a long time
- With an intuitive control panel
- Easy to store
- There is no bagging option
- It is expensive
4. Toro 75746 Commercial V-Twin Gas Dual Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower- Best Zero Turn
For those with large yards that have a lot of obstacles, the Toro 42-Inch TimeCutter Gas Dual Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower is a good choice. The zero-turn design makes it easy to turn on a dime, and it’s powered by a highly reliable 22.5 HP engine that can handle virtually any condition.
Moreover, the 42-inch steel deck allows you to cut wider paths, and the brand claims this model will help you reduce your mowing time by up to 50 percent. The mower can mow at up to 7 miles per hour and tow at up to 5.5 miles per hour, and it comes with storage under the seat, a built-in cupholder, and a step-through front end.
The zero-turn mower comes with white glove delivery to save you from having to assemble it, and the manufacturer offers a three-year warranty.
The cutting width is 42 inches; the power type is gas; the weight is 502 pounds; the cutting options are bagging, mulching, and side-displacement; the yard size is 1 to 2 acres.
- Exceptionally powerful
- Ideally suited to large yards
- Integrated washout ports
- Comes with white glove delivery
- The learning curve associated with handles bars
5. John Deere S120 V-Twin Gas Hydrostatic Lawn Tractor- Best Lawn Tractor
The John Deere S120 lawn tractor is much more flexible than a mowing machine; in addition to mowing, this gas-powered machine can spread grass seed, sweep your lawn, and even blow snow in winter. This versatile riding mower features an engine with 22 horsepower and a deck size of 42 inches, along with a variety of multi-season accessories.
It has a steel frame and 13 different cutting heights, as well as a fully welded chassis. The tractor’s seat can be adjusted into 10 different positions for optimum comfort, and the oil can be changed in just 30 seconds, so maintenance is less effort. In addition to its easy-to-read fuel gauge, the mower also has cruise control for effortless mowing in large yards.
The cutting width is 42 inches; the power type is gas; the weight is 444 pounds; and the cutting options are side discharge; the yard size ranges from 0.5 to 2 acres.
- Sturdy construction
- With an adjustable seat
- Various accessories available
- For quick oil changes (“30-second oil change”)
- Mulching and bagging kits are sold separately
How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower
If you want to buy a riding lawn mower, your first decision will be whether to buy a gas- or electric-powered mower. Gas mowers are typically more powerful, but they tend to be noisier, less eco-friendly, and require more maintenance. While electric mowers are typically less powerful and have shorter run times, they are more environmentally friendly, quieter, and easier to start.
Lawn mowers are distinguished by the size of their decks — larger decks cut a wider path on each pass. An ideal deck size is between 30 and 60 inches for most homeowners. A larger deck is best for lawns with few obstacles and turns, while a smaller deck is better for lawns where trees or garden beds must be mowed around.
Remember to take into account how the lawn mower handles grass clippings. Machines can either spit clippings back onto your lawn or bag or mulch them. It simply depends on how you like to handle your clippings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When comparing riding and zero-turn mowers, what is the difference?
A zero-turn mower is a type of riding lawn mower with a zero-degree turning radius. These mowers are equipped with two swiveling wheels in front and two larger drive wheels in back, and they are controlled by two handlebars, one for each drive wheel. They are not only faster than lawn tractors, but they also turn more sharply. However, they are more expensive than other riding mowers.
What type of lawn is best suited to a riding mower?
The riding lawn unit is easy to maneuver, especially on flat terrain, and prevents fatigue since the operator is sitting while mowing,” says Caroline Skelton, Go-To-Market Manager for Riding Lawn Equipment at John Deere.
“These units are available in a variety of speeds and horsepower ratings, depending on the operator’s needs. In recent years, zero-turn mowers have become more and more popular because they are ideal for a variety of terrains and larger properties.”
Typically, riding lawn mowers are preferred for lawns larger than 1 acre. They are faster and more comfortable to use than walk-behind mowers, but they are significantly more expensive.
What can you use to transport a riding mower?
Generally, the most convenient way to transport a riding lawn mower is with a trailer. Mowers can be driven up a ramp into a low trailer and then towed behind a vehicle. Certain riding mowers can also be transported in the bed of a pickup truck, but ramps are needed to safely load and unload the tractor.