A lawn is a thing of beauty, a thing to behold and take pride in. The bigger the better, even more so if it has sweeping inclines, terraces and different terrains. All until you have to cut the thing. Once the area you need cutting is measured in acres not feet, you are going to need something bigger than that old black and decker.
It often seems like a big step buying that first sit on mower, but if you have the space that needs it, and the space to store it, you will never look back. Like all mower markets, there is a lot of choice out there, and it can be a bit of a minefield.
To make it easier I’ve chosen three of what I think are the best riding lawn mowers out there from your first basic model, to one that comes with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. But bells and whistles that are useful, which isn’t always the case.
Before deciding on your perfect ride on mower, you need to decide what you want from it. How much space you have, how big you want it to be, what you really need from it, and I guess most importantly how much you can afford or want to spend on it. Like anything it is easy to waste money on features you don’t want. After five minutes absorbing every bit of advertising going in the fancy store display you may think you can’t live without the heated seats, or stereo unit.
Go back to basics, and decide what you really need, which first and foremost is a machine to cut your grass with minimum fuss or effort.
Top Riding Lawn Mowers
#1 Choice – Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
We’ll start with the Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower. What you get with this tractor is a large deck, the 30 inches still providing a very nice finish. You also get a powerful 420cc Single Troy-Bilt Engine with top forward speeds of 4.25 MPH and a 6-speed transmission. The Troy-Bilt has their own fine engine that can fire up just as almost as powerful as the Briggs & Stratton engine. For those with larger yards, or steeper terrains, the Troy-Bilt Riding lawn mower does make the difference and ease any worries you may have.
The cutting width and strong engine don’t have any adverse effects though, it is still very easy to drive and handle, even for those who haven’t owned one before. The turning circle is very impressive. It has 18″ turning radius with 13×5″ front wheels and 16×6.5″ rear wheels so steering is nice and light as well, and there’s little to no vibration. After a couple of hours riding this you aren’t going to feel like you’ve been wrestling cattle for the afternoon. All in all, I can find very little fault with this. If you can do without some of the fancy contraptions that others come with, and let’s face it, more often than not we can, then you can’t go far wrong. If you do have a tight budget and wants the best riding lawn mower, this is good for you. But if you want larger deck and extra power, read on to the next.
You should buy your leaf blower on Amazon and here is why:
- All the reviews are like having hundreds of really good friends give you their personal experience with the leaf blower, then taking all of that personal experience and giving it a star rating. You’re buying quality when there are 100′s of fans of the blower.
- A friendly UPS driver will deliver it right to your door. No waiting in line, no hauling it in your car. No sore muscles or achy back the next day.
- Amazon has the best price 99% of the time. Amazon constantly watches competitor pricing and makes sure you get the best deal. They do a ton of business and take advantage of economies of scale, which means you get the savings!
- FREE shipping. Enough said.
- Returns are easy. Amazon recently shipped a car, and they ship a ton of large items, all day, every day. If they can ship a car, rest assured, you will get your leaf blower in perfect condition. BUT if for any reason it comes damaged, it is super easy to return. Just print out a UPS label, slap it on the box and a friendly UPS driver will pick it up, free of charge. This is way easier than waiting in a return line at Home Depot and talking with a bored, angsty teenage sales clerk.
- This neighborhood mower is ideal for standard land owners with a medium sized landscape and relatively even terrain
- Powerful 420cc Single Troy-Bilt Engine with top forward speeds of 4.25 MPH and a 6-speed transmission
- Manual power take-off for fast and easy blade engagement
- The 30-Inch cutting deck featuring 5 adjustable settings couples the benefits of a standard riding mower with the size of a wide cut walk behind mower
- 18-Inch turning radius with 13×5-inch front wheels and 16×6.5-inch rear wheels
#2 Choice – Poulan Pro 960420182 Briggs 15.5 hp Automatic Hydrostatic Transmission Drive Riding Mower
Next is the Poulan Pro 960420182 Briggs 15.5 hp Automatic Hydrostatic Transmission Drive Riding Mower. Now don’t take this the wrong way but this is your very basic yet best riding lawn mower. But that is a good thing. You pay for what you get, and what you get is a very good mower. What you don’t get are gimmicks, or anything that makes you think you could have saved some of your hard earned cash by doing without that dual cupholder.
I spoke to more than half a dozen other people who own one of these, and without fail the response was as uniform as the grass cut by this 42 inch deck. Everyone commented on how solid it feels, how well built it is, how easy it is to drive and how well it cuts, and after trialing it myself, I can only agree wholeheartedly.
I’m going to throw in a few more words as well. Durable and value for money. I think it looks good too.
It has to be one of the easiest ride-ons on the market to master. The gear stick is solid and easily reached, and exactly the same can be said for the height adjusting lever. They haven’t tried to do anything fancy with the steering wheel, and the seat is basic but comfortable.
It has six height adjustments which is plenty enough and the Auto Hydrostatic Transmission makes speed adjustments easy to get used to. If you haven’t used a stick before it may take a bit of practice to get used to the clutch but stick with it and it’ll be fine.
The Briggs & Stratton engine gives you 15.5HP, which says a lot of power. I took it up some fairly big inclines and it never let me down, or looked like it was even considering it.
One thing you may think about doing if you were to get one of these is to put on some stabiliser wheels to ensure a perfect cut every time if you have rough terrain, otherwise that shouldn’t be necessary.
The only other thing I would make you aware of, is that this doesn’t come with headlights so if you are planning on cutting at dusk, you may want to consider another model, or buying some LED running lights.
- The 42 in Reinforced vented deck draws air from the top of the deck, helping to keep the air flow moving under the deck in longer grass You can also mulch or bag with the optional attachments
- Comes with a 10 yr. Limited Warranty on the deck shell
- The convenient Auto Hydrostatic Transmission makes speed adjustments easy Simply move the Motion Lever on the fender forward to increase ground speed, pull back toward neutral to slow down No need to stop to change speeds, saving you time
- Durability and performance delivered by a 155 HP Briggs & Stratton single cylinder Overhead Valve Engine with an easy to service air filter Design to run cooler and cleaner, delivering more power when needed
- Oscillating Front Axle with a 6 in turning radius for level cutting is coupled with a floating deck, giving you a level cut even in rough terrain and lets you cut closer to smaller trees or obstacles, so there is less trimming to do
- 6 cutting positions provide you the flexibility to adjust the tractor’s cutting deck to best match the current condition of your yard and the desired length of your grass
#3 Choice – Husqvarna YTH22V46 22 HP Hydro Pedal Yard Tractor, 46-Inch
For my final choice I’ve gone a bit more high end, but within reason. At the end of the day this is a working machine. You want something that gets the job done well, with minimum of hassle, and in the most comfort. You’re not buying something that you want to take down Rodeo Drive.
The Husqvarna YTH22V46 is about as high end anyone should need, and it is a very nice beast. Powerful, good looking, and most importantly this is going to cut your grass to perfection, and quickly.
If you are going to be on your mower for long periods, this is the animal for you. The higher seat makes it easier on your back, and the cruise control is a must have, and is going to save those leg and ankle muscles.
Unsurprisingly, this uses a Briggs and Stratton motor, but this knocks out an impressive 22 horse power. The steering is delightfully light but true, and it has a very impressive turning circle.
This baby has a reverse function as well, which really reduces mowing time. I haven’t even mentioned how nice this mower looks. It’s something you would be proud to sit on, but most importantly, this is going to cut down the time you are out there mowing, and the end result is going to be constantly perfect.
After spending a few hours on this mower, I’d used everything Husqvarna had kindly thrown at me, and there was nothing else I wished for from the best riding lawn mowers.
- 46-Inch cutting width
- 22 HP Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin engine
- Hydrostatic Pedal Transmission
- Cruise Control
- 15″ High Back Seat