Summer is fast approaching in the United States — which means it is time to make sure your ride on mower is ready to handle your fast-growing lawn. If your mower has seen better days, be prepared, and purchase a new one before summer arrives. Learn about the best riding mower reviews and find out what to look for when picking your machine.
To help you purchase the best lawnmower possible, this article will share some useful buying tips and riding mower reviews. We’ll also be checking out some of the best top rated and dependable machines available on the market today.
Ride on Mower Buying Tips
A quality mower can make short work of mowing your lawn. However, it really helps to have the appropriate sized ride on for your yard or you can actually create more work for yourself. Here are some tips to help you in making a purchase that you wont regret.
Choose the mower size appropriate for your property
If your yard is below one acre, you can get by with a smaller ride on mower. A good decision would be to purchase a riding mower with an engine between 14 to 20 horsepower and cutting deck of 30-42 inches (76-110 cm).
If your yard is between 1 to 3 acres, you will require a more powerful engine. Purchase one that has a 20-24 horsepower engine and 48 inch (120 cm) cutting deck. For yards large than 1 hectare, it is time to pull out the big guns! Opt for the largest cutting deck available and an engine that is 24 horsepower or greater.
It happens time and time again that buyers make a purchase, than later find out there mower isnt adequate for there needs.
If your yard has steep hills, buy a machine with a larger engine capacity. If you have a “very” steep hill, consider a mower that has a low center of gravity and roll bars available for safety. If you have grass of varying heights on your property, look for a ride on mower that is easily adjustable.
Choose the transmission you prefer
Riding mowers and tractors are available with manual transmission, automatic transmission and hydrostatic transmission. Manual transmissions are the cheapest to buy and the easiest to repair, while automatic transmissions and hydrostatic are the easiest to use.
Hydrostatic transmissions differ to automatic transmissions because they use fluid to transfer power instead of gears. Both automatic transmissions and hydrostatic transmissions can have cruise control, which really makes mowing simple!
Choose a reputable brand that you know
Avoid brands you have never heard of, or that does not have any reviews — even if they are incredibly cheap. You should always consider mower maintenance and repairs. If you purchase some unusual uncommon brand you may have a hard time finding parts.
Consider repairs and maintenance
While you will get a much better deal if you buy a ride on mower online, having access to a local repair shop is essential. Before buying the machine you choose and you will be taking it to a shop fro repairs, find out if they work on that type of machine.
Decide on bag or mulch
Decide how you want to get rid of your lawn clippings. Lawn mowers typically throw lawn clippings out the back of the mower or the side. If you always mulch your lawn clippings, make sure it has the appropriate attachment and throws the clippings in the direction you prefer.
If you would like to bag your lawn clippings and dispose of them in another way, take the time to learn how the bag attaches and detaches. Look for user reviews where they mention how easy it is to access, and how durable the clippings container is.
If you will be spending a lot of time operating your lawnmower, look for one that has an adjustable steering wheel and seat. You should be able to change their settings to match your ergonomic requirements. You want to be as comfortable as possible.
Choose models with quality safety features
All mowers are perfectly safe when used appropriately, but having some additional safety features is always worthwhile. If you value safety look for models that have a blade shut-off switch that is activated when you get off the seat. Also, opt for the option that has an automatic blade stop when you reverse.
Consider a zero turn mower if your yard has some tricky angles
While a standard ride on mower is suitable for most yards, if you have a yard with many obstacles and curves, consider a zero turn mower. They allow you to drive at faster speeds while maintaining a high level of precision. For a top quality zero turn mower buying guide, this post is a must.
Best Riding Mower Reviews
There are many high quality ride on mowers available but the following mowers really stand out from the crowd.
“A solid mower that offers great value for money and is a fantastic choice for yards up to 1.5 acres”
Cutting deck: 30 inches
Engine: 14.5 horsepower (420cc) 6-speed manual engine capable of 4.25 MPH
Wheels: 13 x 5 inches front wheels, and larger 16 x 6.5 inches rear wheels.
Troy-Bilt has established a reputation for releasing quality ride on mowers at a reasonable price. Their slogan “built for life” reflects the high-quality build of this mower. With a 30-inch deck and 14 horsepower engine, this ride on mower is suitable for flat yards less than 1.5-acres in size.
This mower has an 18-inch turning radius, which is ideal for small yards with obstacles. The 5 height adjustable blade works well for yards with different types of grass lengths and bumpy terrain. In terms of ergonomics, the steering wheel and seat are both adjustable and the seat has lower back support. Because this ride on mower is compact, it can be stored in a small garden shed.
This ride on mower has a solid cutting deck with cast iron cylinder sleeve. Oil filter is a screw on automotive-type, which makes oil changes easy. The forged steel crankshaft will last for years. In terms of safety, the mower has a seat cut off switch and blades cut off when reversing.
This is a great budget choice for a yard that is slightly too large for a push mower, but does not require a large ride on mower. While some components are made in China, the quality is incredible for a mower in this price range
“Built to a very high standard by Husqvarna, this ride on mower can handle large yards with ease. It has some high-end features and a very rugged build”
Cutting deck: 42 inches
Engine: 18.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine with auto drive
Wheels: 20-Inch rear and 15-inch front tires with 16-inch turn radius
Poulan was originally an American company that was eventually acquired by Electrolux. It now operates as a brand under the Husqvarna Group. Husqvarna has incorporated many of their innovative ride on mower features into this model including their automatic drive system.
The large cutting deck and powerful engine make light work of large yards. A ride on mower with this cutting deck and engine is ideal for yards of up to 2-acres. The mower features automatic drive with pedal control, 10 year belt warranty, headlights and a solid chassis. Because the company is backed by Husqvarna, finding assistance with maintenance or repairs is very easy.
This mower has excellent ergonomic options with both the steering wheel and seat being highly adjustable. The large wheels can handle tricky or bumpy terrain easily and the pedal foot control makes speed control simple.
“Designed for heavy use, this Poulan mower will handle anything you throw at it! ”
Cutting deck: 46 inches
Engine: 20 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine with auto drive delivers speeds up to 5.2 mph
Wheels: 20-Inch rear and 15-inch front tires with 16-inch turn radius
This model features a powerful Briggs and Stratton 20 horsepower engine and vented 46-inch reinforced steel cutting deck. The vented deck allows the user to mow through very long grass effectively. The deck shell comes with a 10-year limited warranty.
This mower operates with foot pedal controls and is capable of reaching some very fast speeds. The 20 HP Briggs and Stratton overhead valve engine has an internal oil pump to provide strong oil pressure while on slopes. This engine has the torque required to push up steep hills and through long grass.
It uses the Husqvarna-designed Ready Start starting system so there is no need to prime or choke the engine manually before using the mower. The engine will sense that it is cold and adjust the fuel supply.
The oscillating front axle makes tight turning possible — ideal for properties with many obstacles. 6 cutting positions and a very easy-too-use height adjustment mechanism make this mower perfect for yards with different kinds of grass.
“A solid performer for small-medium yards with many useful features”
Cutting deck: 42 inches
Engine: 15.5 horsepower (420cc) Powermore engine with Shift On The Go drive system
This mower is an outstanding performer for small to medium sized yards (up to 1.5-acres). The Powermore engine features a 7-speed gear shift system to help you tackle slopes on your property. The engine is designed to allow easy maintenance and Powermore have built a reputation for reliability over the years.
This mower is capable of tight cornering which makes it ideal for properties with many obstacles. The seat and steering wheel are both fully adjustable and the seat provides great lower back support. An optional mulching kit is available.
The blade spindle is made from aluminum, which may be a concern for some buyers, however the front axis is made form solid stamped steel. It is a great value for money mower in this price bracket.
If your still not sure whether a riding mower is for you take a look at this article on the Worx Electric Start Mower, these are top quality walk behinds. We hope you enjoyed our buying tips and reviews! If you have any questions about these mowers, please leave a comment. Riding mowers aren’t for everyone, especially if you lawn is not big enough.