8 Best Riding Lawn Mower Reviews 2019 | Commercial Zero Turn Models Included

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Mowing the lawn is one of the most basic tasks you can do to maintain a beautiful yard. It’s also a relatively simple chore, unless you have acres of land to work with. In this case, you’ll need the best riding lawn mower to simplify the process.

Top 3 Riding Lawn Mowers

4.5/5

  • Powerful and efficient
  • Comfortable and smooth ride
  • Optional add-ons like lights and armrests are available

4.5/5

  • Perfect for residential properties
  • Very easy to operate
  • Lots of customizable settings that will let you get the exact results you want

4.5/5

  • Highly versatile and functional design
  • Made for heavy yard and gardening work
  • Commercial-grade inspired

To help you find the most reliable riding lawn mower in the market today, we’ve created a guide that can point you in the right direction.

Buying Guide: How to Find the Best Riding Lawn Mower of 2018

Despite how simple the process is, it shouldn’t be surprising that mowing can be a tedious and tiring chore. It can be tiring, even if you only have a small patch to work on. If you have a large parcel of land to mow, it turns into an overwhelming task that a lot of people want to avoid altogether.

The best riding mower of 2018 might just make the chore a lot more bearable, however. Since they eliminate the need for you to exert a lot of effort in making the mower move, mowing can be less tiring and even more comfortable to do. However, not all mowers are made the same, so you should make a wise choice.

How do you find the best riding lawn mower, then? Here are a few things that should help point you in the right direction:

1. Do your research.

There are lots to learn about lawn mowers if you really want to find the perfect match for you. These machines come in different shapes and sizes so they can cater to various needs. By getting to know them all, you can better make a decision which one to get.

Sometimes the best riding mowers might not exactly be the best choice for your yard, so you need to know your options. The best self-propelled mower, tractors, or the best mowers for hills might work better for the landscape of your property, so you really should look at all of your choices.

2. Look closely at the features and overall design.

When it comes to riding mowers, it’s crucial to look closely at the design. These things can determine how easy it will be to operate the machine so it can definitely make or break your experience.

Some of the most crucial parts that you should look for are the following:

Folding handle and storage for compact storage in your shed or garage.

Uniform wheel sizes as they are proven to be easier to maneuver.

Hose connection in the washout port for fuss-free cleanups.

Electric start engine to make the ignition of the machine a simpler task.

Easy height adjustment so you can raise or lower the mowing deck height without a fuss.

To make choosing easier, you can also compare riding lawn mowers side by side. Some e-commerce platforms and review sites will have ready information for you but you can also write them all down next to each other. This will help you easily visualize the differences between the items you’re considering.

3. Pick the right mower size for your yard.

Even the top riding lawn mowers come in different sizes so it’s important to pick the right one for you. This one is quite a tricky task, however, as you can’t just get the biggest one if your property is also large. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind if you want to really make the most out of these garden machines.

Generally, you can choose from units that measure 30” to 50” wide. If you have a fairly open and wide area, you can get the biggest and widest model that you can find. This will help cut down your mowing time, making you more efficient in completing the chore.

However, if there are quite a number of obstructions in your property like trees, shrubbery, and other structures, it’s best to go smaller. They will be easier to maneuver around tighter spots, so you don’t need to manually cut down grass in areas that a wide mower can’t reach.

Tight turning options are also available and they offer more efficiency. This makes them solid options, especially if you’re willing to invest in one.

4. Choose the right engine type for your needs.

There are three engine types available today: manual, automatic, and hydrostatic transmissions. Choosing one might seem complicated but you can break it down to three major factors:

  • the layout of your lawn;
  • how often you’ll use the mower; and
  • how experienced you are in using a riding lawn mower.

Experts say that manual transmission engines are the most durable and affordable out of the three, mostly due to its simple design. It can be more complicated to operate, however, as you’ll need to manually shift gears. If your property has uneven terrain with a lot of obstructions, this might prove to be hard to work with.

Automatic transmission mowers are way easier to work with, on the other hand. Since you don’t need to shift gears or work with a clutch, it’s definitely simpler to operate. This makes it a more desirable option despite its higher price point.

Hydrostatic transmission mowers offer the smoothest and easiest rides but they come with a rather hefty price tag. If you’re willing to invest in them, though, they’re the most powerful options out there.

5. Take time to read riding lawn mowers reviews.

Learning about the specifications of lawn mowers are hardly ever enough to know how well they perform. This is why you should also read reviews to know about the things that marketing materials won’t tell you. Most of them are from actual users of the product you’re eyeing, so you’re bound to pick up a few useful details in them.

However, there’s no guarantee that all feedbacks are reliable or trustworthy. It’s best to look for ways to check the credibility of the reviews you’ll believe. If there’s no way to do this, read as much as you can and then compare the data you’ve collected. If there are points that are consistently mentioned, there’s a very good chance that they’re true.

Don’t get too hung up over riding lawn mower ratings. These things are very subjective, although, they’re easy indicators of how well the product performed for the reviewer. Never rely on them entirely, as they’re not enough to tell you everything you need about a riding mower.

Taking most points with a grain of salt can also help you stay level headed in your search. By doing this, you’ll have a better chance at learning what you can expect from a product and find your deal makers and breakers from the feedbacks.

Riding Lawn Mower Reviews: Our Picks of the Best Riding Mowers from 2018

With some luck, the tips above already gave you some idea in finding the best riding mower. However, the big question, ‘what is the best riding lawn mower?’ remains. To help you find the perfect match for your needs, below are eight of our riding lawn mower reviews 2018 that can help narrow down your options.

4.5/5

One look and you’ll know that the Husqvarna Z248F Zero Turn Mower 23hp Briggs and Stratton is unlike the riding mowers of old. If its bright orange coloring doesn’t clue you in at a glance, its sleek design should. It’s definitely not as bulky or hulking as most of its competitors, so if you want something that offers both form and function, this might be a great pick for you.

What can this product offer to you, you might be wondering? Let’s start with its transmission. It features a 23hp Briggs and Stratton OHV Vanguard V-Twin engine so it can guarantee a good amount of power for your machine. This is a part of the brand’s Professional Series so you can count on commercial-grade power and performance. The OHV feature further boosts its performance and makes it more efficient.

What’s more is that it has a Hydro Gear EZT Hydrostatic Transmission. This makes it pretty much maintenance-free so you don’t have to fuss about keeping it in perfect shape. Making things easier is its removable foot pan so you can access the deck without a struggle. This allows easier and faster cleanups.

Performance wise, it can speed up to 6.5 mph and handle up to 2.5 acres per hour. Combined with a 48” mower deck, it can be seriously efficient and suitable for large properties. It also comes with an Air Induction Mowing Technology which offers a good grass lift for a closer and cleaner cut.

As for its ride, you can count on it to be one of the smoothest out there. For starters, its controls are conveniently placed and ergonomically designed so you don’t have to struggle to reach them while operating the mower.

The seat measures 15 inches and is equipped with a spring suspension so you don’t have to worry about getting your lower back strained from sitting down while mowing the lawn. Topped with the foam grip-covered steering levers, the vibrations and impact from the mower’s movements are dampened and won’t tire you out as much.

It’s also important to note that this product comes with a handy braking system. It has an all-new patent-pending brake system that is designed to automatically engage or disengage depending on how the steering levers are positioned. This frees the driver from having to engage a different braking mechanism, simplifying the process significantly.

The little details on the Z248F are also noted and complemented in many Husqvarna riding mower reviews. The bumper and rear engine guards really come in handy as well as the rubber bellows in protecting the integral components of the lawn mower while helping it look more refined and attractive.

And did we mention that this is a zero turn mower? This efficient feature makes it qualified for being one of the top-rated riding lawn mowers today as it can certainly let you complete the chore without a fuss.

Things We Liked

Powerful and efficient

Comfortable and smooth ride

Optional add-ons like lights and armrests are available

Easy to operate

Things We Didn't Like

Can’t tow heavy loads

4.5/5

With what it has to offer, the Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower might just give you the nudge you need to switch from a walk-behind to the best riding lawn mower. It might not look like much but believe us when we say that it’s possibly the best riding mower for the money.

Why? Despite its low price, its construction and build are durable. It’s definitely made to last with its heavy-duty body and forged steel crankshaft. Unless you intend to overwork this unit, you can definitely use this wee machine for years to come.

Due to its small size, however, mistakes can be made. If you have a large lot to work with, this might not be the most efficient choice. However, if you have a lot that’s a bit bigger than the average property in the suburbs, this can be a solid choice. Its 30” mowing deck will be able to provide efficient performance.

This size also qualifies this product to be the best residential riding mower. With its small size, it can easily squeeze into your shed or garage.

While it’s not a zero-turn machine, it can still cut as close as possible to flower beds and other obstructions with its 18” turning radius. This makes it an even more convenient choice for residential properties and the best small riding lawn mower.

As for the technical bits, it must be noted that this item comes with a 10.5 HP 344 cc Briggs & Stratton® single cylinder engine. It has a 6-speed transmission which can give you a lot of control over the machine. Combined with its 4.25 mph top speed, you can be guaranteed of efficient performance.

A lot of riding mower reviews about this product also note how useful its adjustable cutting deck is. You can set it to five different blade heights, allowing you to get the exact results you want.

Worried about its operation? Don’t be. This functions of this machine are all very easy to control. Its ergonomically designed seat is also adjustable to give you better access to the controls of this mower. You can choose from 3 height positions so you can easily reach all of the knobs, switches, and levers that you need to work with while you mow your yard.

Maintaining this item is also fuss-free. Its deck is detachable so you can just take it out to wash and access the areas behind it.

Lastly but also most conveniently, it also comes with a 1.3-gallon tank, so you don’t have to refill the tank in the middle of your mowing session. Combined with its gas level window, you can certainly ensure that you always have enough gas to complete mowing your yard.

The only drawback this product has is its plastic footrests. They can get quite slippery so some experts recommend wearing safety gear when using this affordable riding lawn mower.

Things We Liked

Perfect for residential properties

Very easy to operate

Lots of customizable settings that will let you get the exact results you want

One of the best riding lawn mower for the money

Things We Didn't Like

Plastic foot rests can get slippery

4.5/5

For more convenience, the Snapper 360Z 21.5HP 726cc Kawasaki Engine 48" FAB Z-Turn Mower w/Cargo Bed is also worth checking out. This item suits the needs of those who like to eliminate the need of lugging around heavy stuff while working in and around their sizeable yards.

You see, when you have a large enough yard that will require one of the best rated riding lawn mowers, there will also be a need for you to find a way to lug heavy stuff around. Some people solve this with wheelbarrows and tractors. Unfortunately, wheelbarrows can be tiring to use when you have a large lot and tractors might not be wise options if you don’t intend to use them a lot.

A mower with a cargo bed, on the other hand, offers a simpler solution. This makes the best small riding mower a lot more functional. It won’t just work as a mower anymore as it can also help you haul stuff around your property.

This is pretty much one of the main charms of the Snapper 360Z. It comes with a cargo bed in the rear so you can easily carry stuff in it while you move around the property with ease. It can handle up to 50 lbs of load and will free you from having to get a towing attachment separately. This makes it an even more practical choice if you often need to move stuff around your property.

Aside from its very convenient design, this item is also considered as one of the best riding lawn mowers for its other features. For starters, it guarantees that you’ll have enough power to get your chores done with its 21.5HP Kawasaki 726cc V-twin engine. This ensures that it can help you carry out lawn care duties and do some heavy lifting at the same time.

Combined with its fully-welded steel frame, you’re further guaranteed that it can carry out some heavy work around your property. It’s not rated as a professional-grade machine but it can still be a solid alternative if you prefer such without really having to spend for one. These guarantee superior durability and performance so you don’t have to work as hard.

Its 48” mowing deck and zero-turn capacity also make it the perfect tool for larger residential homes and properties. These can already guarantee top-notch efficiency for most lots. The addition of its tight turning ensures that you’ll cover as much ground as you can without the need for any manual labor.

Operating the 360Z is also very easy to do. You choose among the 13 cut height settings with your foot so you don’t have to bother fiddling with controls as you steer the machine around. This hands-free features make it easier and maybe even safer to work with.

As this item also comes with a friendly price tag, it can also be counted as the best value riding mower. With all of its great features combined, you might just be able to forgive the fact that its seat might need some improvement to feel more comfortable.

Things We Liked

Highly versatile and functional design

Made for heavy yard and gardening work

Commercial-grade inspired

Things We Didn't Like

Seat needs some improvement

4.5/5

With the brand being one of the most trusted in the market right now, it shouldn’t be surprising to find the Husqvarna YT48DXLS Riding Lawn Mower on this of our top rated riding mowers. It’s made to combine form and function, so it can certainly be a great machine to have at home.

Featuring a 23hp Kawasaki engine that comes with a Hydrostatic with Rear Locking Differential transmission, you can count on this item to be as powerful as the other items in this riding mowers reviews roundup. It can certainly take on medium to large properties without a hitch, especially since it has a 48” deck.

It’s also deemed as one of the best riding lawn mowers for 2018 since its latest version has been upgraded with a pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission. This promises better efficiency, a smoother ride, ease of operation, and better control over the machine. It also offers better traction on wet and steep surfaces.

A lot of homeowners will also appreciate its ClearCut technology for its fabricated cutting deck. It adds 10-gauge welded steel strips to the deck to reinforce the area and make it more durable.

Its safety switch under the seat is also another notable feature this item has. With more than 17,000 children getting injured from riding lawn mowers annually, this feature is definitely a welcome addition for most homes. It automatically switches off the machine so you can be more at ease when using this heavy machinery in your own backyard.

There are also tons of other convenient features this product has. It has a cup holder, a Reverse Operating System, brushguard, visible fuel level, headlights, and a lot of other handy features.

Some folks find it a bit too loud, though, but that can be solved by using a bagging system.

Things We Liked

Very easy to use

Has a lot of convenient features

Looks amazing

Durable and reliable

Things We Didn't Like

Some people find it a bit too loud

4.0/5

The Poulan Pro PP155H42 is another attractive option if you’re after the best 42-inch riding mower. Its middling size makes it a great choice for a lot of medium to large properties as it can offer the perfect balance between efficiency and easy storage. 

Aside from its good size, its 15.5 HP Briggs & Stratton single cylinder Overhead Valve engine with an automatic hydrostatic transmission is also a very good reason why you should check out this product. It offers ample power and smooth operation, making mowing your property a less daunting task. It promises efficiency and easy control over the heavy machinery so you can be sure of a smooth and maybe even an enjoyable ride.

A notable thing about this product is that its reviewers call it a solid choice for the money. It’s not exactly the best cheap riding mower but it has a lot of features that you can only mostly find in larger or pricier units.

For starters, it has a reinforced 13-gauge steel deck and a cast-iron front axle that promise durability. The deck shell even comes with a 10-year Limited Warranty, so you can pretty much be sure that you can count on it for your yard maintenance for years to come.

It also comes with a 6-position spring-assisted spring-assisted deck lift so it can work on various kinds of terrains. It also features a 6” turning radius so you can be as efficient as you possibly can with its help.

Things We Liked

Offers performance and features that will give you bang for your buck

Easy to use

Comes with several convenient features

Things We Didn't Like

Some people find it a bit too loud

4.0/5

Interested in the Snapper 360Z but in need of a smaller version? The Snapper 360Z 23HP 724cc Briggs Professional 42" FAB Z-Turn Mower #2691317 is an alternative you can check out. This item is pretty much the same product except it’s smaller and doesn’t come with the cargo bed.

With a 42” twin-blade deck, this unit can be a better option for a lot of homeowners with medium-sized properties. It comes with the same features as the 360Z listed above, so you can easily get everything that item can offer but in a size that suits your needs better.

As the cargo bed is only an additional attachment, you can also opt out of that if you don’t need it yet. You can then choose to purchase it later on once necessary. This will allow you to enjoy lower overhead prices which can be a more practical move for many homeowners.

Things We Liked

Powerful and efficient performance

Easy to use

Durable

Easy to operate

Things We Didn't Like

Seat comfort can be improved

4.0/5

For the best rated riding lawn mower in the large size category, the Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS 24V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower is a solid option. This hulking lawn machinery comes with a 52” cutting deck, making it a handy thing to have if your property is quite large.

Efficiency is one of the many things that this product can guarantee. Aside from its wide cutting area, it can also reach a top speed of 7.75 mph. This means that you can cover more area with it, letting you spend less time mowing.

It also comes with an equally powerful 24HP/724cc Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series V-Twin Engine with Pedal Operated Tuff Torq K66 Hydrostatic Transmission so its size is backed up with great performance. It’s also very durable as its welded steel deck is reinforced with twin sheets of 11-gauge steel.

Top it all off with convenient features like cruise control, a cup holder, headlights, as well as an ergonomic seat and controls, it can definitely help make mowing your lawn a lot simpler and even more enjoyable.

Note, however, that this is not a zero-turn mower. It has an 18” turning radius, however, so it’s still very efficient.

Things We Liked

Large size making it suitable for larger properties

Easy to operate

Lots of convenient features

Easy to operate

Things We Didn't Like

Reports of scalping on areas with uneven terrain

4.0/5

Hailed by some as the best zero-turn riding mower, the Husqvarna Z246 21.5HP 726cc Kawasaki Engine 46 Z-Turn Mower #967324001 should also be on your radar if you want to bring home a top riding lawn mower.

With a 46” stamped cutting deck, this mower is a suitable pick for large properties. It’s made to be durable, efficient, and easy to work with, so it has won the hearts of many homeowners. A lot of people also like how nice it looks, so that’s definitely a bonus.

What really made a lot of people take the plunge for this item is its 21.5 HP 726cc Kawasaki Endurance Series OHV engine with a Hydro Gear EZT Hydrostatic transmission. It offers everything you’d want in a mower engine: a smooth and powerful performance that doesn’t require maintenance. It can run up to 6.5 mph so it can also offer great efficiency. And with its 3.5-gallon tank, frequent top-ups won’t be necessary even if you need to work on significantly big lots.

As mentioned above, it’s also a zero-turn mower so you can count on it to give you very efficient results. This might make it seem like a tricky machine to work with but it’s not the case. Combined with its comfortable and ergonomic controls, it’s actually very easy to operate.

Things We Liked

Comfortable and easy operation

Easy to operate

Quiet operation

Things We Didn't Like

Not ideal for sloped terrains