Best riding mowers available now

Best riding mowers available now

The Best Riding Mowers: A Comprehensive Review

Riding mowers are a popular choice for homeowners, especially those with large properties to maintain. When it comes to choosing the right riding mower for your yard, there are several factors to consider. In this article, we will explore the top riding mowers of 2023 and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.

The Benefits of Riding Mowers

Unlike push mowers, riding mowers come with a range of features that make them a versatile and convenient tool for lawn care. With cutting decks ranging from 42 to 72 inches, they can handle anything from small lawns to expansive properties like sports complexes and golf courses.

One important consideration when choosing a riding mower is the type of transmission. You can opt for a manual transmission, which allows you to set and forget your speed, or a hydrostatic transmission that operates more like a car. Some models even offer cruise control and all-wheel drive for enhanced traction.

While gas engines are more common among riding mowers, there is also a wide selection of battery-powered models available for eco-conscious homeowners. These models offer a more environmentally friendly solution without compromising performance.

The Best Riding Mowers of 2023

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP – Best Overall

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP
  • Pros:
    • 24HP engine
    • 54-inch cutting deck
    • Automatic transmission
    • Attachments and accessories available
  • Cons:
    • Pricey
    • 3-blade deck may require more maintenance

The Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP is the top pick for the best riding mower overall. With its powerful 24HP engine and 54-inch cutting deck, it can handle steep inclines, rough terrain, and even hauling tools and gardening supplies. The hydrostatic, automatic transmission makes it easy to operate, similar to driving a car. With a 3-gallon fuel tank, it can mow up to 4 acres in one go.

Ryobi 80V Electric Riding Lawn Tractor – Best Electric Riding Mower

Ryobi 80V Electric Riding Lawn Tractor
  • Pros:
    • 2.5 acre max range
    • Quick-charge batteries
    • LCD heads-up display
    • USB charging ports
  • Cons:
    • Very expensive
    • Four deck blades may require more maintenance

For those looking for an eco-friendly option, the Ryobi 80V Electric Riding Lawn Tractor is the best choice. It features a 46-inch cutting deck and enough power to mow up to 2.5 acres on a single charge. The batteries can be recharged in as little as 2.5 hours, allowing you to take care of other tasks while you wait. The LCD heads-up display provides real-time information, and the two USB ports are handy for charging devices while you mow.

Toro Titan Max – Best Zero-Turn Riding Mower

Toro Titan Max
  • Pros:
    • Mows up to 7 acres at once
    • Highly maneuverable
    • 10-gauge steel construction
    • Tool-free air filters
  • Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Twin-stick steering has a learning curve
    • Requires large storage area

The Toro Titan Max is the best choice for a zero-turn riding mower. Its exceptional maneuverability and larger cutting deck make it perfect for larger yards or properties with many obstacles like trees and landscaping features. The 26HP Kohler 7000 engine and dual hydrostatic drive ensure smooth operation and intuitive steering. The 10-gauge steel construction and tool-free air filters make maintenance easy.

Cub Cadet CC30E – Best Compact Riding Mower

Cub Cadet CC30E
  • Pros:
    • Battery-powered
    • Great for yards up to 1 acre
    • Compact design for small storage areas and narrow spaces
    • Push-button cruise control
  • Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Requires service from Cub Cadet dealers

For those with smaller suburban lawns, the Cub Cadet CC30E is the best option. Its compact design is perfect for storing in small spaces like sheds and garages, and it can easily maneuver through narrow areas and gates. With its 30-inch cutting deck and 56V battery, it can mow up to 1 acre or one hour at once. The hydrostatic drive provides smooth and intuitive control, and the push-button cruise control allows for easy speed adjustment.

DeWalt Z160 Commercial – Best Riding Mower for Large Properties

DeWalt Z160 Commercial
  • Pros:
    • Mow up to 10 acres
    • 5.5-gallon gas tank
    • Dual hydrostatic drive
    • Great for hills and inclines
  • Cons:
    • Very expensive
    • Twin-stick steering takes some getting used to
    • Very large

If you have a large property, the DeWalt Z160 Commercial is the best choice. With its 60-inch cutting deck and 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine, it can handle up to 10 acres of mowing in one go. The dual hydrostatic drive ensures smooth operation and maneuverability on hills and inclines. The 5.5-gallon fuel tank minimizes refueling time, and the optional bagger attachment can hold up to 11 bushels of clippings.

Which Riding Mower is Right for You?

Choosing the right riding mower depends on several factors, including your budget, yard size, and specific needs. Here is a summary of the best riding mowers and their key features:

Riding Mower Price Cutting Width Transmission Type
Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP $3000 54 inches Hydrostatic
Ryobi 80V Electric Lawn Tractor $5499 46 inches Hydrostatic
Toro Titan Max $7099 60 inches Dual hydrostatic
Cub Cadet CC30E $3599 30 inches Hydrostatic
DeWalt Z160 Commercial $7299 60 inches Dual hydrostatic

Consider the size of your yard when choosing a cutting deck width. For smaller yards up to 1 acre, a 30 or 42-inch deck will suffice, while larger properties may require a wider cutting deck. The transmission type also plays a role in your mowing experience, with manual or hydrostatic options available.

How to Choose the Right Riding Mower

In addition to budget considerations, the following factors should guide your decision-making process:

Yard Size

Determining the size of your yard is crucial for selecting the appropriate cutting deck width. For yards up to half an acre, a 42 or 46-inch deck will be adequate. Larger properties may require decks ranging from 50 to 72 inches.

Transmission Type

Manual transmissions allow you to set your speed and forget it, while hydrostatic transmissions operate more like a car. Hydrostatic models offer intuitive operation but come at a higher price.

Zero-Turn Mowers

Zero-turn mowers excel at maneuvering around trees, lamp posts, and other obstacles. They have a zero-inch turn radius, allowing for tight turns around objects.

Power Source

Gasoline engines are more common, offering longer run times and more power for steep inclines and rough terrain. Battery-powered models are more environmentally friendly and require less maintenance.

How We Chose the Best Riding Mowers

To select the best riding mowers, we considered the following criteria:

  1. Motor Size: A riding mower should have at least a 10HP engine for adequate power. Larger properties may require more powerful engines exceeding 20HP.

  2. Cutting Width: The cutting deck width depends on the size of the lawn. We chose mowers with decks ranging from 42 to 72 inches to suit various yard sizes.

  3. Transmission Type: Manual transmissions with 6 or 7 speeds are budget-friendly options. Hydrostatic drives offer smoother operation and increased maneuverability, but at a higher price.

  4. Accessories: We focused on mowers that offer the ability to attach trailers, baggers, and other accessories to enhance functionality and versatility.

Choosing the Right Riding Mower for You

To decide which riding mower to buy, consider the following factors:

  1. Determine the size of your lawn to find the appropriate cutting deck width. A 30 or 42-inch deck is suitable for half to two acres, while larger yards may require wider decks.

  2. Choose a transmission type that suits your preferences. Manual transmissions offer simplicity, while hydrostatic models provide more intuitive operation.

  3. Consider the power source. Gasoline engines offer longer run times and more power, while electric models require less maintenance and are more environmentally friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big of a yard do I need for a riding mower?

Riding mowers are best suited for yards measuring one acre or larger. A 42-inch cutting deck is suitable for properties up to two acres, while larger decks up to 72 inches are ideal for larger areas. For slightly larger suburban lawns, there are “mini rider” options available.

How long should a riding mower last?

Proper maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of your riding mower. For gas engines, regular oil and filter changes, spark plug cleaning, and blade sharpening are necessary. Using fuel treatments like STA-BIL helps prevent fuel contamination. Electric mowers require inspections for battery damage, corrosion, and blade sharpening. With regular maintenance, a riding mower can last over 10 years.

What is the cheapest riding mower?

While riding mowers are not typically considered budget-friendly, models like the Murray MT100 retail for under $2000 without compromising on power or cutting width.

Are there alternative riding mowers worth considering?

Numerous options are available from big-name stores, local hardware stores, and authorized brand dealers. The range includes gas and battery-powered models with cutting deck widths from 30 inches to six feet.

In conclusion, choosing the best riding mower involves considering factors such as yard size, transmission type, cutting deck width, and power source. By understanding your needs and budget, you can find the perfect riding mower to maintain your lawn with ease and efficiency.