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The 10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers of 2019

Riding Lawn Mowers: The Best Of 2019

A riding lawn mower can make maintaining a large lawn so much easier than using a push mower or even a self-propelled model. With a riding lawn mower, all you need to do is steer and operate the controls; the mower does all the rest. It even might turn the chore of cutting the grass into something somewhat fun!

If you're on the market for a riding lawn mower, we've rounded up the best options on the market, with various cutting-width sizes, lots of features like adjustable cutting height and even cruise control, and even mowers that work great on a hilly lawn or that can tip upwards to store in a tight space.

Read on to see our picks for the best riding lawn mower. There is sure to be a great option for every need and every price point. By making this smart investment, you're sure to cut down on the time and effort you make to keep your yard looking great.

The Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52” Zero Turn Mower 23hp series comes with a Kawasaki FR V-Twin 52” fabricated deck that is 41/2” deep. The engine is made with 10-gauge steel and a fully tubular steel frame.

The user can drive in comfort with a high-backed, padded seat, and spring supported seat and padded armrests. Pick a choice of options with the dial-operated, 4-point deck hanging system.

Although this mower is a residential grade mower, the sturdiness and the Kawasaki engine give it the boost it needs to make you feel like you are on a commercial grade. The torque of this engine is high even at low speeds, and there is an excellent power behind the engine and still quiet.

If hills are involved don’t go upward on a slope of more than 15 degrees, anything else will be too steep. Make sure to travel down any hills.

If a user chooses to get the expert assembly as the mower will need to be put together, you will get the construction of one customer-supplied riding lawnmower. The mower will be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions and has a typical assembly time of three hours.

The assembly team will remove all packaging but save it for the user. If the product will require more work, let the team know and contact the provider. They will give you an estimate.

Key Features
  • 23 hp/726 cc Kawasaki FR V-Twin Engine
  • 52” fabricated deck is 4½” deep and made of 10-gauge steel
  • High-back padded seat with armrests
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 52 inches
  • No. Height Settings: 4-Point
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • 52" Cutting Radius
  • Zero-Turn Mower
  • 10-gauge steel Fully Tubular Steel Frame
Cons
  • Not Available in California
  • Some Assembly Required

The MZ61 zero-degree turn mower has an intuitive operator interface, heavy-duty steel frame, and hydraulic system.
The 61-inch frame can cut mowing time in half and goes up hills with no problem. The mower comes with a high-back seat, armrests, and vibration management for comfort.

The Husqvarna MX series gives the user a commercial-grade power in a residential-grade mower. The 61 inches sized, the zero-turn lawnmower has a 27 HP Briggs Endurance engine that will provide reliable startups with consistent ground speeds.

The cutting deck is crafted from 11-gauge steel and offers an ergonomically designed, the deck-lifting system for quick adjustments of the 54-inch blade. These adjustments can be made from the operator’s seat.

The high back seat comes with foam-padding, hand-grips and vibration dampeners for comfortable mowing for hours on end. Collect, mulch, or bag the clippings with a nine-bushel, triple back collection system. (Bagger and mulching kit sold separately.)

 

Key Features
  • Comfortable, with high-back seat, armrests, padded hand grips and vibration dampeners
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (separate purchases may be required)
  • Deck can be easily adjusted from driver's seat
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 61"
  • No. Height Settings: 12
  • Warranty: 4 years
Pros
  • Hour Meter and Service Reminder
  • Zero-Degree Turn Radius, easy to maneuver
  • 9 Bushel Collection System
Cons
  • Mulching and Bagger Attachments Sold Seperately

The Troy-Bilt riding mower has a 30-inch cutting deck, is easily stored, and works well on medium lawns with flat terrain. The engine is an IHV 382cc and is built to last with a clean performance. The 1.3-gallon fuel tank has a sight window to check gas levels.

There are five height-adjustable blade levels with manual power take-off. The seat is cushioned and rises to mid-back with a 13-inch soft-grip wheel.

Powered by a 382cc Auto Choke OHV engine, this six-speed transmission has a top forward speed of 4.25 MPH. The thirty-inch cutting deck has five adjustable settings. It meshes standard mowing benefits with the size of a walk-behind mower. Designed with an 18-inch turning radius, the 13x5 inch front wheels and the 16.6.5-inch rear wheels make a manual take-off powerful and fast.

The Troy-Bilt mower is the perfect neighborhood mower that can be used on a medium-sized landscape and even terrain.

 

Key Features
  • 382cc Auto Choke OHV engine with 6- speeds up to 4.25 MPH
  • 30-Inch cutting deck and 5 adjustable settings
  • 18-Inch turning radius
  • Manual power take-off for fast and easy blade engagement
  • Ideal for medium sized lawns and fairly even terrain
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 30"
  • No. Height Settings: 5
  • Warranty: 2 years
Pros
  • 6 speed options
  • 30-Inch cutting deck
  • Easy to store; similar size to a large walk-behind mower
Cons
  • Not good for large lawns
  • Doesn't work great on uneven terrain

The Ariens IKON-X 42-inch fabricated deck is excellent for zero-turns and mowing in large yards. The fabricated deck is 4 1/2" deep and made of 10-gauge steel.

This engine is powerful at 22 hp/725 cc with a fully tubular steel frame. The mower has a high-back, padded seat, with armrests, and a four-point, dial-operated height adjustment.

The fuel tank holds around 2.8 gallons, enough for several mowing sessions before refueling, and it travels at a speed of up to 7 miles per hour, so you'll get the chore done quickly.

The Ariens IKON-X has lots of accessories available (sold separately) that make it even more of a workhorse: a mulch kit, a bagger, dethacher, and even an LED headlight kit.

The mower is well built and made with great quality. It works best for larger yards due to the size and shape of the deck compared to the body of the mower. Tight turns are a must but getting close to fences or walls could be a problem.

This mower is not available for sale in California.

Key Features
  • 22 hp/725 cc Kohler 7000 V-Twin engine
  • 42” fabricated deck that’s 4½” deep and made of 10-gauge steel
  • High-back padded seat with armrests
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 42"
  • No. Height Settings: 4-Point
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Zero-Turn is easy to operate
  • 4-Point Height Setting with Dial Turn
  • Comfortable Seating with Padded Armrests
Cons
  • Not for Sale in California
  • 42" Deck is Not Helpful when Mowing Close to a Fence or Edge

Husqvarna’s Z200 series is a zero-turn mower, with a cutting edge design and air-induction mowing technology, the performance is proven. This mower has innovative features, six-blade heights, a 54” reinforced steel cutting deck, and has a 26 HP Kohler engine.

The 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a speed of 6.5 miles per hour. There is a patent-pending parking brake system that will automatically activate or deactivate when steering levers are moved. The reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy, flat-stock for maximum durability.

The maintenance-free transmission makes the Husqvarna Z200 series easy to take care of.

The performance and style provide comfort with a cutting-edge design. The proven performance and innovative features combine and make mowing the yard fun, not a chore. The zero-turn mower has an air-induction system that draws air from the top and bottom of the deck it improves your grass and delivers a superior cut.

Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged when you purchasing the mulching kit and bagger attachment (sold separately).

If a user chooses to get the expert assembly as the mower will need to be put together, you will get the construction of one customer-supplied riding lawnmower. The mower will be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions and has a typical assembly time of three hours.

The assembly team will remove all packaging but save it for the user. If the product will require more work, let the team know and contact the provider. They will give you an estimate.

Key Features
  • 26 HP Kohler engine means it'll start reliably
  • Parking brake system is automatically powered by steering system
  • Air induction mowing technology pulls air from the top and bottom of the deck
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Reaches a speed of 6.5 MPH
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 54
  • No. Height Settings: 6
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Park brake system easy to use
  • Air-induction mowing technology
  • Works well on not-level surfaces
Cons
  • Some Assembly Required
  • No Warrenty Noted

The Husqvarna YTH22V46 has a 46” blade with a hydrostatic transmission that provides high-quality results. The compact size is excellent for rough terrain and easy maneuverability. The mower’s size allows for easy storability. Air induction technology improves deck airflow, which ensures a clean cut each time.

The 22HP Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin Engine give a rider the smooth and powerful performance that they are looking for.

The foot, pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission allows the rider to change speed and direction with their feet. This system provides for the mower to keep their hands on the wheels while adding another level of safety.

The cruise control allows the tractor to maintain a consistent speed, even in rough terrain. The reverse operating system gives the operator a chance to mow in reverse if they missed a spot. Going backward with a mower is as simple as a flick of a switch. The tight 16-inch turning radius allows the mower to turn in a small range and tighter spaces. The 46-inch cutting deck is reinforced with an air induction mowing technology that most of the Husqvarna mowers have.

The mower requires assembly, which can either be done by an expert or by the user. It'll take around 3 hours.

 

Key Features
  • 22 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin engine
  • Speed can be changed via foot pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission while keeping your hands on the wheel
  • Cruise control for consistent speed
  • 16 in. turning radius for easy navigation around corners and obstacles
  • Can mow in reverse
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 46"
  • No. Height Settings: 3
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Smooth and Powerful Performance from the 22 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin Engine
  • Foot Pedal-Operated Hydrostatic Transmission
  • Cruise Control
  • Tight turning radius; easy to maneuver
Cons
  • Some Assembly Required

The Snapper 460Z is the right mower for a big job. It is a heavy-duty, steel-frame and cast-iron front axle design, and the zero-turning mower is built for rough terrain. Use the Briggs and Stratton Engine for high power and smooth operation. The durable, hydro-gear ZT-3100 transaxles will provide low maintenance mowing while on the comfortable 18 inches, high-back, padded seat.

The large wheels are grass-friendly and will leave your grass without any tire markings.

The features of the Briggs & Stratton engine let this commercial series be a workhorse machine. The advanced debris management system that has rugged cylinder blocks for reliable mowing power all season. And it'll last for many seasons after.

The 5.5 gallon fuel tank holds plenty of fuel for several sessions of uninterrupted mowing. When it is time to fill up the tank, you’ll find an easy-off cap and a wide-neck opening to pour your fuel without incident.

There are 12 height settings from 1.5 to 4.5 inches high. The foot-pedal assist deck lift makes changing the mower height easy and safe.

All tractors from Snappers feature easy operation, streamlined design, and smooth convertibility with extra accessories and attachments sold separately.

Key Features
  • Heavy-duty, all-steel construction frame and cast-iron front axle
  • Comfy 18-inch high-back zero turn mower seat
  • Durable Hydro-Gear ZT-3100 transaxles for low maintenance mowing
  • Built for harsh zero turn mowing conditions
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 48 inches
  • No. Height Settings: 12
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Plenty of height settings
  • Large wheels for grass-friendly mowing
  • Advanced debris management system
Cons
  • Might be a little bulky for smaller lawns

The Husqvarna’s MZ series of zero-turn mowers features a 61-inch cutting deck to handle your residential or light professional lawn maintenance. The 24-inch HP engine comes in a heavy-duty steel frame, a roll-over protection system with commercial-style hydraulics.

The cutting deck is crafted from 11-gauge steel and offers an ergonomically designed, the deck-lifting system for quick adjustments of the 61-inch blade. These adjustments can be made from the operator’s seat. The roll-over protection offers safety at all angles.

The high back seat comes with foam-padding, hand-grips and vibration dampeners for comfortable mowing for hours on end. Collect, mulch, or back the clippings with a nine-bushel, triple back collection system. (Bagger and mulching kit sold separately.)

 

Key Features
  • 24 HP Kawasaki engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
  • Roll-over protection system (ROPS) ensures safer operation in all conditions
  • Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 61 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • High-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips, and vibration dampeners for comfortable mowing
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 61"
  • No. Height Settings: 12
  • Warranty: 4 years
Pros
  • Very comfortable ride
  • Plenty of cutting height options
Cons
  • Bagger and Mulcher Sold Separately

This classic, rear-engine rider has become an icon in the lawn mowing community. It has tried and true features and an easy to use design. It is great for all lawn sizes, and the straight-forward design offers an easy-to-reach control system, and a convenient on the go 5-speed, shift-drive. With a vertical, stand-on-edge capably, this Snapper class is simple to maintain and can be stored even in a tight space.

 

Key Features
  • 11.5 hp Briggs & Stratton Power Built 4-Cycle OHV Engine
  • Vertical Stand-on-Edge Capability for storage in a small footprint
  • 28-inch turning radius
  • Disc drive transmission with 5 speeds
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 28-33 inches
  • No. Height Settings: 5
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Oil Change Hose for Easy Changing
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Very simple design, easy to operate
Cons
  • Uneven Weight Distribution
  • Cutting Deck is Narrower than Wheel Spacing

The hydrostatic transmission of Husqvarna allows for a smooth ride with a quality result. This mower has features such as fender-mounted cutting height adjustment, adjustable seat, and an ergonomic steering wheel. The compact size of this model allows for secure storage and easy-to-reach in tight places.

The cutting deck is crafted from 11-gauge steel and offers an ergonomically designed, the deck-lifting system for quick adjustments of the 42-inch blade. These adjustments can be made from the operator’s seat.

The high back seat is adjustable, with an ergonomic steering wheel and a smooth step-through design made for comfort and easy operation. The 18.5 Briggs and Stratton Intek engine offers powerful performance. The foot-operated hydrostatic transmission to change speed and direction with safety.

 

Key Features
  • 18.5 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek engine offers powerful performance
  • Foot pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission allows you to change speed and direction
  • Tight 16 in. turning radius for navigating tight spaces
  • 42 in. reinforced cutting deck with air induction mowing technology and dual anti-scalp wheels
  • Can mow in reverse with a simple turn of a switch
Specifications
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Cutting Width: 42"
  • No. Height Settings: 5
  • Warranty: 3 years
Pros
  • Adjustable Height Seat, comfortable ride
  • Hydrostatic Transmissions
  • Compact and Easy for Storage
Cons
  • Accessories are sold separately

When shopping for a riding lawn mower there is a lot to consider. How fast do you want it to go? Do you need a sharp turning radius so that you’ll be able to navigate around lots of obstructions and other obstacles in your yard? Do you have a hilly property that will require a mower with power and stability so it won’t tip over on you? Do you want lots of control and options over how long or short to mow your grass?

Another consideration is what happens to the cut grass. Lawn mowers have different options, whether it’s simply spitting the grass back out onto the lawn, collecting it in a bag, or even mulching it. These are other factors you need to take into account when choosing the best riding lawn mower for your needs. You can also consider a lawn mower that can be made even more useful with accessories like a hitch or a snowplow attachment.

The riding mowers in this guide have the latest technologically and savvy gadgets; including hydrostatic transmissions, digital service monitors, and see-thru gas chambers (to know how high your gas levels are). There are also self-cleaning cutting decks and oil hoses for easy maintenance.

In this guide, a user will find Troy-Bilt, Craftsman, Ariens IKON-X, Snapper, and Husqvarna. Between the editors choice, the premium choice, the pinned choice, and the best value badges given by the Review This writers and editors, and the schematics inside each description of the weight, blade-heights, special features, warranty information, and more we have helped pare down all the items to make it as smooth of a purchase for you as possible.

Remember to use caution and safety with any riding mower you get. Be sure to read all the instructions in your users manual before you take the inaugural ride, so you know exactly how to operate it. Protective eye and ear plugs are always a good bet. Items can kickback from a riding lawn mower and will hit you, make sure to stop by the accessories and pick up your safety-wear today. Pants and long sleeves are usually the best lawn-mowing attire so you won’t get injured by flying debris. Finally, it goes without saying that only responsible adults should operate your lawn mower, never kids! And don't forget to take good care of your lawn mower, even through the winter, to make sure it lasts you for years to come.

Resources — Mowers Direct, Consumer Reports

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