Right from the very start when I got interested in working outside, I set my eyes on one of those babies, since they appeared to me like the real deal. Being the way I am, I soon started to look for the best riding lawn mower to make it mine. I evaluated quite a handful of them and every day I was finding one that seemed to be the best and then, the next day, I was starting everything from the very beginning.
I studied a lot, I learned a lot about riding lawn mowers, about grass, about the dos and don’t and after a while… I got dizzy. The information that I acquired in such a short period of time started to mix inside my head and I was not able to make a decision. And time was passing by…
So, I waited a couple of weeks and seems that it was a good idea since the information settled down, I started to understand things better, I started to understand what I really wanted and why, what would fit me and my yard and how much would I be able to pay for such a toy.
I realized that there are more lawn mowers that met my criteria and I decided to present them here a bit, before going into details with each and every one of them, as a short list, so you have a starting point for your own evaluation, together with a couple of criteria you should have in mind when evaluating them.
So, first thing first:
How to choose the best riding lawn mower? Consider first the main types of mowers and see how they are different
You should know right from the start that there are 3 big and somehow well defined types of ride on mowers, namely mowers with a rear engine, lawn tractors and zero turn lawn mowers. I will try to describe them a bit so you can easily make the difference.
1) Rear engine riding mowers
As the name says, they have the engine in the back. Rear engine mowers are fun to ride, do their job well and, why not consider it, provide the driver (or should I say rider) with a pleasant driving experience, which is something I really appreciate.
They are not fast, they barely reach 5 mph and they are not powerful enough to pull heavy equipment but they are reasonably small so they can easily get through garden gates, passes and trees. Rear engine mowers are quite popular, at least around the house so it’s not unusual to remember one of those babies from your parents’ backyard, there’s a chance they have one too!
The engine is usually somewhere between 190-500 cc and they are the least expensive out of the three types. To make a clear idea what we’re speaking about, take a look at Weed Eater WE-ONE, Snapper RE100, Poulan Pro PB30, Troy-Bilt TB30R, Cub Cadet CC30, Snapper RE100 or similar ones and you will get the picture.
|Weed Eater WE-ONE 26-Inch 190cc Briggs & Stratton 875 Series Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower With Electric Start||Weed Eater||$$$||2.7|
|Poulan Pro PB30 30-Inch Briggs and Stratton Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower||Poulan||$$$$||2.5|
|Cub Cadet CC30 (30") 420cc Rear Engine Riding Mower (2014 Model) - 13A226JD010||Cub Cadet||$$$$||NA|
|Troy-Bilt 13B226JD066 420cc Gas 30 in. 6-Speed Riding Mower||Troy-Bilt||$$$$||NA|
|Recharge Mower G2-RM12 30-Inch 36-Volt Cordless Electric Rechargeable Riding Lawn Mower||RechargeMower||$$$$||NA|
|Briggs and Stratton 7800954 Snapper RE100 Rear Engine Riding Mower, 28-Inch||Snapper||$$$$||NA|
2) Lawn tractors
A clear candidate for the title “best riding lawn mower” is the typical lawn tractor! Powerful and agile, it can be the ideal tool for a lot of jobs you need to do around the house. The powerful engine of a typical lawn tractor is quite powerful, somewhere between 344-726 cc, with a blade with a cutting width between 30” – 54”.
They are quite useful, because you can use them to pull heavy equipment, doing all types of jobs, not just cutting the grass. It’s not unusual to see them equipped with dump carts, lawn aerators, dehatchers or spreaders.
They are not fast, but they are reliable and useful (ok, they are faster than rear engine mowers since they develop a speed of around 7.8 mph, but wait to see the zero turn mowers!) If you get one of those babies, you will surely learn to love them and care for them. I personally love them, they are my personal favorites. No kidding!
3) Zero turn mowers
Zero turn mowers are fast and have a great turning system, being able to turn 360 degrees on the spot Now, that’s maneuverability – we may have a winner here for the best lawn mower position, what do you think?! They are great at avoiding obstacles, they are fast (I know I have already said that, but hey, they are fast, reaching 13 mph, almost twice as fast as a tractor and 3 times faster than a rear engine lawn mower), but they also have a weak point: because of the small tires, they have the tendency to slide on wet slopes. Thanks to the wonderful capabilities we mentioned above and hmm, also because of the price, zero turn lawn mowers are often used by companies and public institutions, on large grass areas and not so often around private yards.
Zero turn mowers have an engine with a capacity between 450-999 cc and blades with a cutting width between 30” – 66”. How about the price? 4 digits for sure, but they are worth every penny!
When choosing the best ride on mower, consider the size of the yard
This is a really important factor to consider when choosing the best riding lawn mower: how much grass do you need to mow? Depending on your answer, you may need to choose a particular mower, as follows:
For a yard up to 1 acre of lawn, a mower with a cutting width between 30”-42” will do the job perfectly. This points us to choices such as Poulan Pro PB14538LT (38″), Recharge Mower G2-RM12 (30″), Husqvarna RZ3016 (30″), Yard Machines 13AC762F000 (38″), Cub Cadet CC30 (30″), Troy-Bilt TB30R (30″) and… the list could go on forever. The fact is that there is a huge list of riding lawn mowers with a cutting blade between 30 and 42″ and in this list you can find all 3 types of mowers we have previously listed here.
For a yard up to 2 acres of lawn, you should go with a mower with a cutting blade between 46”-48”. They will be more efficient and you will get the job done in no time. Thus, we have choices such as Poulan Pro PB195A46LT (46″), Snapper 7800545 LT130 (46″), Husqvarna Yard Tractor – 597cc (46″), Husqvarna Outdoor Products RZ4621 (46″), Snapper SPX2246 (46″), Husqvarna YTH22V46 (46″), Cub Cadet LTX 1046 KW (46″), Husqvarna Yard Tractor – 597cc Kohler Engine (46″) and, again, the list could go on for a very long time.
Finally, for a yard up to 3 acres or more of lawn you definitely need a mower with blades with a cutting width above 50”. They will handle all your lawn related problems, trust me on this! They are big, powerful and reliable, and you can easily find the best riding lawn mower in this category! We could list here a few of the most popular choices such as Husqvarna RZ5424 (54″), Poulan Pro PB26H54YT (54″), Swisher ZT2760B (60″), Husqvarna YT54LS (54″), Swisher ZTR2460KA ZTR (60″), Swisher ZTR2460BS ZTR (60″), a few from a long list that you should check for yourself. Also, prepare to spend a few bucks here since we’re in the big league, one that easily could host the greatest riding lawn mower!
So, have you made up your mind yet about what’s the best riding lawn mower for you? Did you have now the criteria you need to select it? If not yet, read on, we have a lot more to offer here!