Compbrella Guide to The Best Riding Lawn Mower of 2019
Winter is here and it’s the perfect opportunity to shop for next summer’s weekly pastime: mowing the lawn. While it can be quite a chore, choosing the right lawnmower is crucial to making it easier and leaving your lawn pristine. Lawnmowers today can be pushed or if you have a really big lawn, ridden like a golf cart. Push lawnmowers are great if you need something simpler and Compbrella has you covered with a guide to just that, but today we’re going to focus on riding lawn mowers that you’ll drive around your property. Riding lawn mowers are also sometimes called lawn tractors. Lawnmowers come in two basic types, gas and battery-powered.
Why use a riding Lawn Mowers?
If your lawn is bigger than half an acre, mowing it can be a real pain. Pushing around a big lawnmower in the summer heat is hard on your back and takes much longer than using a riding lawn mower. A riding lawn mower is more powerful and will let you cover more ground faster than a push mower. The best riding lawn mowers also come with accessories that allow you to mulch and collect the grass in bags as you drive around, making clean up easy.
The most important feature when picking a riding lawn mower is deck size. Deck size refers to the area your lawn mower can cover at once and so the bigger the deck size the fewer passes you will have to make over your whole lawn. If your lawn is less than 1 acre you’ll need one that’s up to 42”. 1-2 acres need 42”-46” deck size, and if your property is 3 acres or more (nice work by the way!) you’ll need a deck size of 46”-54” inches.
What types of riding lawn mowers are available in the market?
There are two basic types of riding lawn mowers: rear engine riding mowers and zero turn mowers.
- Rear Engine Riding Mower: These models are great for smaller yards or homes with less storage space. They have narrower decks (30”) so they’re easier to store. They’re not as powerful as zero-turn models so mowing will take a longer, and usually, they have fewer features like ergonomic seating and dashboard fuel gauges.
- Zero Turn Mowers: These models are the most nimble and easiest to maneuver riding mowers. They’re more powerful and faster than rear engine models allowing you to maintain your lawn faster and more efficiently. The downside to them is that rear steering wheels may damage lawns more than rear engine models, and they are not suited for hilly or sloped lawns.
What to consider when shopping for riding lawn mower?
Before you make your purchase there a few features to consider:
- Landscape: As mentioned above, the topography and size of your yard will make a difference in which lawn mower you need. Rear engine models are suitable for yards with narrow areas, zero turn models are for wide and flat yards.
- Hour Meter: This shows how long the engine has been running since previous maintenance work, helping you keep your riding lawn mower in top shape. Some models can even send you messages to your smartphone, keeping you up to date.
- Fuel Gauge or Cutout: Make sure you pick up a model that lets you see how much gas you have. You don’t want to get stuck without any fuel.
- Ergonomic Design: You’re going to be sitting on this thing for a while in the sweltering summer sun, so make you have a seat that supports your back and won’t leave you in agony.
- Cruise Control: Just like in a car, cruise control lets you set your speed and ride around in pleasure.
- Transmission: Riding mowers have three different types of transmissions. Manual, where you adjust the gears according to your speed; automatic, where you only control the speed and the transmission adjust automatically (useful if you need to maneuver around trees or bushes) and hydro-static, which is like automatic but uses fluid rather than gear belts, so the ride is much smoother.
- Grass Clippings: What are you going to do with all that clipped grass? You have a few options. Side-charge mowers shoot the clippings back out on the lawn where you rake them up yourself. Beggar models allow you to attach a bag to the discharge and collect all the clippings for you. Mulching models turn your grass into mulch by grinding them up and depositing them back on the lawn where they help the shorter grass grow like fertilizer.
Compbrella Pick for Top 3 best riding Lawn Mower
Best Overall: Husqvarna Z254, An impressive construction, and powerful motor make this machine one of the best on the market and highly recommended.
Runner Up: Husqvarna Automower, A game-changer in the world of lawn care, this little lawn mower will leave your lawn in excellent shape and give you more time to enjoy your day off.
Most Versatile: Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch, Easy to handle while still being powerful enough to handle the toughest of lawns, this riding lawn mower offers great value to homeowners