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5 Most Reliable Riding Lawn Mowers (2020)

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most reliable riding lawn mowers

You’ve just moved to a new house and you noticed a fine yard that would make for a good view – but that requires immediate mowing – and so you decide to mow your lawn by yourself. So you decide to get a riding lawnmower.

Now there are tons of riding lawn mowers in the market and there are a bunch of things you must look out for when buying one. Fuel capacity, cutting deck size, engine, and warranty are just some of the important factors to consider.

Most Reliable Riding Lawn Mowers: Our Top 5 Picks

With so many products in the market, all seemingly displaying the same specs, getting a durable and reliable riding lawn mower could be a tedious task. Luckily for you, we have done all the work for you.  We’ve done our research, checked every spec, and singled out several riding lawn mowers that have found a permanent place in the shed/garage of users.

This list should serve as your guide, helping you to decide on the perfect riding lawn mower that would give you value for your money.

1. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Riding Lawn Mower

 

The Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Lawn Mower packs a lot of features, making it a good deal for homeowners with small or medium yards.

With a large cutting-deck size of 30 inches and a reliable 382cc, 6-speed transmission, and OHV engine, this mower might be everything you’ve ever needed. Its powerful engine can deliver forward speeds of up to 4.25 mph and there are multiple cutting height options with up to 5 adjustable positions.

The large cutting-deck size and the auto-choke OHV engine means you could get more done in a shorter period of time. This is an impressive feature for those that have only a little bit of time to put their lawn in shape.

To give you all the comfort you would need while mowing your lawn, the Troy-Bilt 382cc Lawn Mower comes with an adjustable, mid-back seat. Right in front of the seat is a 13-inch soft grip wheel with an 18-inch turning radius.

This along with the manual power take-off (PTO) allows for easy maneuvering and fast blade engagement. If your lawn is not even, then this would make for a useful feature. You can easily navigate through the terrain without damaging the mower or mowing in a wrong manner.

Still, on the ease of use, the Troy-Bilt 382cc Lawn Mower is equipped with high-grade, durable wheels measuring 13 x 5 inches at the front and 16 x 6.5 niches at the rear. These wheels are sturdy and built to handle rough terrains.

To power the engine, there is a 1.3-gallon fuel tank. If you’re considering using this mower for a large lawn, say more than 7 acres, you may have to refuel more than once. This would slow you down and make the entire experience more laborious. But this unit was built to serve medium and small-scale lawns and it will do so with ease.

While this mower is by every means user-friendly, it has its own downsides. For example, you could experience a jerky start during take-offs. This usually happens during the first few times you use the mower, but after that, your take-offs should be pretty smooth.

Overall, the Troy-Bilt 382cc Lawn Mower is a decent product for its price. Due to its small size, it is quite easy to maintain and should fit into your garage.

Features

  • Engine: 382cc OHV engine
  • Cutting Deck Size: 30-inch cutting deck
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.3-gallon tank
  • Max Speed: Top forward speeds of 4.25 mph
  • Transmission: 6-speed transmission
  • Blade: 5 height adjustable blade
  • Wheels: 13 x 5 inches front wheels / 16 x 6.5 inches rear wheels
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

Pros

  • 18” turning radius
  • Delivers high performance on small lawns and flat terrains
  • Powerful 382cc auto-choke OHV engine

Cons

  • Poor performance on uneven terrains

2. Husqvarna Z254 54” 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

 

Husqvarna has remained a market leader in the lawnmower industry for decades and that is for a good reason. Husqvarna products are considered durable and feature a deep cutting-edge design that appeals to customers.

The Husqvarna Z254 is one of the many impressive riding lawn mowers from Husqvarna. This mower features zero-turn transmission which makes it a great choice if you have a lot of obstacles in your lawn. The zero-turn feature would help you reach those hard-to-get areas without much effort.  

This high-grade unit is well built to handle heavy-duty tasks like mowing large lawns. With it, you should be able to cut a lawn of up to 7 acres in just 2 or 3 hours. This high efficiency is guaranteed by a line of exceptional features in the mower.

It comes with a deck size of 54 inches. As you know, the larger the deck, the faster you can mow. A max speed of up to 6.5 mph means you can get more work done in a shorter period of time. Finally, a 26 Kohler engine gives you all the power you need while mowing.

The Husqvarna Z254 uses hydrostatic transmission which is more efficient and effective. It would also save you more on maintenance though you would have to spend a small fortune on the initial purchase. An ergonomic control panel ensures that you won’t have a hard time using or operating the mower.

To deliver a superior cut that would give you a well-trimmed lawn, this unit makes use of air induction mowing technology. This implies that air is drawn from the top and bottom of the deck. The end result is that grass lift would be improved and you should get a better cut when you mow. You also get 6 adjustable blade settings with increments from 1.5 inches to 4 inches.

The Husqvarna Z254 is designed for large lawns and it serves that purpose them. Well, the design doesn’t disappoint. It features a rugged frame and casters that allow the unit to withstand pressure, collision, and reduce chassis flex. It also comes with a fuel capacity of 3.5 gallons.

Other notable features such as integrated headlights,  three anti-scalp rollers, and an automatic parking brake system make this mower one of the best heavy-duty options for large lawns.

Features

  • Engine: 24 HP Kohler engine
  • Cutting Deck Size: 54-inch cutting deck
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.5-gallon tank
  • Max Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic transmission
  • Blade: 6 height adjustable blade
  • Warranty: 3 years

Pros

  • Air induction mowing technology
  • Powerful Kohler engine
  • Innovative, maintenance-free transmission

Cons

  • Seat becomes uncomfortable during long mowing sessions

3. Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Riding Lawn Mower

 

Craftsman’s T225 19 HP Riding Lawn Mower has retained its favorite spot as a reliable lawn mower among homeowners for decades.

It packs a powerful 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine that makes it a formidable unit for your medium or small-sized lawn. Along with its high-performance engine, the unit features a cutting deck size of 46 inches. There are 12 deck positions and also a supportive high–back seat for optimum comfort.

The key-starter unit comes with all the necessary features that would make mowing your lawn very easy. It also features an attachment area at the back for your lawn sweeper and is compatible with a bin grass bagger, and a mulch kit. All these features allow you to mow and clean up your lawn as fast as possible.

You would find its steering wheel, brakes, and other parts very easy to reach.  Thankfully, it is well designed with comfort in mind.

Though the T225 19 HP Riding Lawn Mower packs a decent amount of features, it fails to provide some basic features you would expect in a conventional mower. With lawn mowers, moving forward is easy, but going in reverse or making a turn is usually a hassle. Zero-turn mowers usually allow you to turn as much as you want while other riding lawn mowers allow for an 18-inch turn radius. The unit, however, only allows for a 5-inch turn radius. This means you’d have a hard time maneuvering than with other lawnmowers.

The good news here is that you won’t have to worry about maneuverability whether your lawn is even or contains few obstacles. This unit adapts well to difficult terrains. Undulating terrains, on the other hand, would pose an issue and increase the running time.

Nevertheless, the T225 19 HP Riding Lawn Mower is a great addition to your garage. Its small size allows it to fit in with parked vehicles, and its hydrostatic transmission means you won’t have to worry about maintenance every now and then.

Features

  • Engine: 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Cutting Deck Size: 46-inch cutting deck
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.8-gallon tank
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic transmission
  • Wheels: 15 x 6 inches front wheels / 20 x 8 inches rear wheels

Pros

  • Can easily mow in reverse
  • Great value for the money
  • Low maintenance due to hydrostatic transmission engine

Cons

  • Too slow for large lawns

4. Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Riding Lawn Mower

 

Gas-powered lawn mowers are amazing and efficient, but with all that power comes many inconveniences. First, you’d have to deal with the noise from the running engine while you mow. If you’re going to be mowing for hours, you would have to go with a pair of earmuffs or earplugs to help keep the noise out.

Another thing is that you’d have to purchase gas every time you want to use the mower. Finally, you’d have to follow a strict maintenance schedule if you want your gas-powered mower to last very long. You’d have to check the filters, spark plugs, and other parts to ensure that it is in good working condition at all times.

With battery-powered lawn motors like the Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Riding Lawn Mower, you can enjoy a low-maintenance, noise-free mowing experience and still save on gas.

The Ryobi Riding Lawn Mower features dual high-powered brushless motors powered by a rechargeable 100 AH battery which together with the 38-inch cutting deck gives one of the neatest cuts on your lawn. This unit is well-designed to be durable and rugged with large tires and a sturdy seat that should allow for a comfortable mowing experience.

This unit has a runtime of 2.5 hours on a single charge. This should enough for you to mow up to 2.5 acres. That said, the Ryobi Riding Lawn Mower is only efficient on small lawns. You should also consider the terrain of your lawn. Uneven lawns may pose a challenge and would not be best for this vehicle.

At its highest, this mower can achieve maximum forward speeds of up to 8 mph and a maximum cutting speed of 5 mph. The maximum reverse speed is slower at 3 mph. With a wheel turning radius of 16 inches, this mower can easily reach edges that would be otherwise out-of-reach with other mowers.

Features

  • Drive Type: Rear-wheel
  • Power Type: Cordless Electric
  • Cutting Height: 5 – 4.5”
  • Max Speed: 8 mph
  • Cutting Deck Size: 38-inch cutting deck
  • Battery Capacity: 100 AH
  • Runtime: 2.5 hours

Pros

  • Comfortable adjustable seat
  • Low maintenance
  • 3 brushless motors allow for superior performance

Cons

  • Blade spacers are plastic and break easily

5. Husqvarna MZ61 61” 27 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

 

The Husqvarna MZ61 61 inches 27 HP Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower is a heavy-duty mower best suitable for commercial use. That means this lawnmower would be perfect for you if you have a big lawn that is up to 10 acres.

To perform perfectly, this mower packs a 27 HP hydrostatic Briggs & Stratton engine with a cutting deck size of 61 inches. With a max forward speed of 8 mph,  the mower can work large lawns in a shorter period of time than with other mowers.  Although the Husqvarna MZ61 is really fast to mow with, it is quite bulky and so handling may constitute a problem for first-time users and the elderly. You should start with smaller mowers or/and run several driving tests with this mower before eventually using it.

The Husqvarna MZ61 also features a zero-turn radius. This makes the mower perfect for uneven lawns and those with lots of obstacles. The zero-turn feature allows for greater maneuverability and speed – two necessary things when mowing a large acre of land.

To power its high-performance is a 5-gallon fuel tank capacity. With a full tank, you would be able to mow up to 7  acres. However, you should keep a reserve nearby to make refueling easier when you run out.

The Husqvarna MZ61 is not just all about performance, but also comfort. It comes with a well-padded vinyl seat with cup holders to hold your cup of coffee or tea while you mow. To elevate your comfort, there are several additional key features like rubber isolators designed to separate you from the frame and reduce fatigue during operation.

It also comes with ergonomic controls. This makes it easy for you to operate the steering and make on-the-go adjustments without complications.

The unit features a hydrostatic transmission engine; and though they are one of the most expensive, they are also the easiest and cheapest to maintain. Maintenance features like an Hour Meter with Service Reminder will help to remind you to service your mower as at when due. This would prolong its lifespan and keep it in the best working condition at all times.

Husqvarna says you would be able to mow 4.2 acres per hour with this unit, but you shouldn’t take them for their word. The acres you mow in an hour would depend on your mowing skills and the terrain of your lawn. However, the Husqvarna MZ61 should cut your normal mowing time by half regardless of the landscape of your lawn or your driving skills. All things considered, you should be able to mow 6 acres in less than 4 hours.

Features

  • Engine: 27 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Cutting Deck Size: 61-inch cutting deck
  • Fuel Capacity: 5-gallon tank
  • Max Speed: 8 mph
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic transmission
  • Blade: 12 height adjustable blade
  • Warranty: 4 years

Pros

  • Air induction mowing technology
  • 61-inch wide cutting deck
  • Easy comfortable controls

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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