Last updated: 10 / 2 / 2020

What is the best riding tractor lawn mower? To find out, we have compared all large tractor lawn mowers that are available in 2020.

Using the comparison table we have created for you, you can easily find the right ride-on mower for your needs. Simply enter the size of your lawn, pick your preferred brand and fill in other details to save time and money.

In the overview, you can directly compare the best models available on the market and see their technical features.

If you wish to learn more about ride on lawn mowers, jump to the buying guide below or read more in-depth guides from us on lawn mowers.

Riding lawn mower buying guide

What is a ride on lawnmower?

Ride-on mowers, or Lawn tractors, as some call them, are the biggest and most powerful type of lawn mowers you can buy for maintaining lawns on larger areas. Mowing with these machines is particularly effective because they have a large cutting width, which means that large areas of lawn can be mowed in a very short time. They are powered by large and powerful gas engines, although there is also electric ride on mowers out there, their power isn't on par with their gas-powered alternatives.

Many tractors also have a gear shift box, which allows the rider to adjust its speed and apply more power when needed, on slopes for example. Over the years, lawn tractors and ride-on mowers have become more modern and, above all, cheaper. There are now high-quality models that do not lack comfort and have outstanding driving characteristics. They're like golf carts that mow your garden.

Do i need a riding lawn mower?

Ride on lawn mowers quite a bit more expensive than other alternatives like gas, self propelled, battery or electric mowers. The investment is worthwhile only if you have a large area that needs to be mown quickly.

If you own a garden approximetaly 5000ft2 or bigger, you might consider owning one. Because mowing larger areas than this will be quite time consuming.  Especially when the terrain is somewhat level and without a large stock of shrubs and trees, working with a lawn tractor is fast, comfortable, and very efficient.

Due to their versatility, however, these machines can also be used for other purposes, so that they offer useful added value, especially for home and property owners. For example, manufacturers often offer various accessories that add interesting additional functions to the lawn tractor.

Types of riding lawn mowers

Ride on lawn mowers, AKA garden tractors are powerful machines. Therefore they not only mow your lawn, with customization options they help you in many other areas as well. With an optional trailer for instance, you can load and move around heavy material. Or you can perhaps attach shovels up to 60 inches wide for mowing snow or dirt.

The many possible applications of ride-on mowers are therefore a further purchase criterion for many buyers, which we also take into account in our lawn mower tractor comparison 2020.

If you're in an area that gets heavy snow during winter, a ride on tractor could save you from investing more dollars into a snow mower. It'll also clear walkways and parking lots can way faster.

Advantages of riding mowers

  • Great for very large gardens
  • Powerful engine that can handle high slopes
  • Riding position offers a comfortable mowing time
  • Efficient and fast mowing
  • High cutting width
  • Can be used for other purposes as well such as mulching or mowing snow

Disadvantages of riding mowers

  • Much more expensive than other type of lawn mowers
  • Maintenance and repair costs are more expensive if it breaks down
  • Not the best option for very high slopes, angles and narrow passages
  • A lot noisier compared to other types of lawn mowers due to big and powerful gas engines.

What is the best riding lawn mower to buy

There are many brands on the market offering ride-on mowers. Before making your final judgment, you should decide on what functionalities you want your mower to perform.

Some tractors already come pre-installed with extra functionalities, and others offer them as add-ons. Headlights on your ride on lawn mower, for example, can be beneficial if you plan to use your mower at night or in winter in poor visibility.

Here are some of the extras you can get on a riding lawn mower:

  • Grass bag for catching the grass clippings when you don't want to leave them on the ground
  • Side ejection function
  • Mulching kit to spread the grass clippings equally
  • Wide shovel for mowing snow in winter.
  • Headlights for better visibility at night and in winter time.

What oil does a riding mower use?

As with many things, it depends on the type and drive of your ride on lawn mower.

The selection of the suitable gear oil depends on the drive of your lawn mower tractor. Depending on the equipment, either a mechanical, non-synchronised or hydrostatic transmission can be installed. Mechanical transmissions are permanently filled with a transmission oil. Hydrostatic transmissions are filled with suitable multigrade oil. In any case, you must check the gearbox data before filling in order to select the correct oil.

What are the best riding lawn mowers?

You can find very good lawn tractors or ride-on mowers from manufacturers such as Honda, STIHL, Mountfield, Husqvarna, John Deere and Troy Bilt.

But which model is best? That's a complicated question that changes on your lawn and mowing needs.

In the comparison tool we created for you, you can get a quick overview of models that suit your preferences and requirements.

What is the difference between ride on mower and lawn tractor?

Although they're mostly used interchangably, there are a few differences between ride on mowers and lawn tractors.

On a tractor, the engine is located under the deck right in front of the driver and they look just like a regular tractor that used in heavy duty agricultural work. riding mowers on the otherhand, have engines placed right underneath the driver, which looks a bit more like a normal lawn mower, except you can sit on this one.

In addition, tractors usually have a higher engine power, a wider cutting width and are more versatile. While a ride on lawn mower can only mow your grass, a garden tractor can wear many more hats and help you in many other areas of your daily gardening work from mowing to mulching  as they can be extended with extra hardware.

Can you drive a lawn mower on the road?

Driving a lawn mower doesn't require insurance or a driver's licence, but you'll most definitely get pulled over for riding one in public roads. Taking one to highway could even get you arrested. When you need to transport the machine for maintenance or repair please call your certified dealer. They'll either pick it up or repair at home.

How to sharpen riding lawn mower blades

In principle, we recommend that you check the cutting blades of your tractor regularly and replace them before they're even worn out. With a little manual skill, you can sharpen the blade yourself, but we advise against it.

If you sharpen the cutting edge the wrong way it might seem like it's cutting better, but the blade loses stability, shape and mass. If you do the sharpening yourself, you must make sure that the blades are carefully balanced after each sharpening. There are special sharpening and balancing kits that you can use for this purpose.

But it's best  to leave it to professionals since sharpening the blade probably the cheapest part of ride on lawn mower maintenance.

TIP: Before doing any maintenance or sharpening on the blades REMOVE remove the ignition key and also the tractor's spark plug connector to avoid accidents.

How to stop a lawn mower from smoking?

There are few possibilities. Check your choke settings if you have one. It allows you to restrict the airflow going into the engine and adjust the fuel mixture. If it's not the problem, overfilling oil could also cause white smoke on ride on tractor lawn mowers.

Preparing your riding lawn mower for winter?

Before storing your lawn tractor for the winter, remove all fuel from the tank to avoid freeze and cracks in the tubes. The oil and fuel caps must also be tightly closed. Cold weather is not the only thing to worry about when storing your mower away. You should also remove ignition key and store it in a safe place to make the life harder for thieves. In the long term, moisture is harmful to the lawn tractor, so we recommend that you always cover the lawn mower with a suitable cover.

Can you use a riding mower to plow snow?

YES!

Depending on the brand and model you own, you can add more functions to your lawn tractor with additional winter equipment. Among other things, the equipment can be combined with a sweeper, snow chains, snow blades or even snow shovels for plowing. Note that ride on lawn mowers will have less functionality compared to lawn tractors.

What is the reverse switch on my riding lawn mower?

The "reverse switch" is the reverse gear system. Specifically, it is a function that allows the driver to mow with the lawn tractor in the reverse direction.

What to consider when buying a lawn mower?

Price

Ride on lawn mower prices vary a lot depending on the brand and functionalities, engine, and many other factors. While the budget options for smaller yards start from around a thousand dollars, heavy duty commercial ride on lawn mowers may and will cost thousands of dollars more. If you have a very large plot of land and want to use a lot of additional features, you should choose a professional tractor.

Top riding lawn mower brands

These days almost all lawn mower manufacturers also have tractors in their catalogs. The best known are Husqvarna, McCulloch, John Deere, Scag, Toro, Honda, Cub Cadet and Kubota. All of them offer high-quality lawn tractors in a wide range of models and for various applications.

How much does a riding mower cost?

For a good ride-on mower that won't break down in the middle of the work you should plan to invest at least a thousand dollars and upwards. Depending on the lawn and the situation of the property, the tractor should have enough power and several gears so that you can mow fast and efficiently on slopes.

In our lawn tractor and ride-on mower comparison you will find the best models including a price comparison.