10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers in 2021

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Mowing a lawn has to be one of the most unappealing tasks for a homeowner. Let’s be honest, most of us would not do it if it wasn’t needed. Fortunately, lawnmowers have seen various advancements over the years.

Today, the riding lawn mower is a gardener’s favorite type of mower. These highly convenient and efficient machines don’t just make the task easy but also enjoyable. Needless to say, these vehicular machines tend to be quite expensive for obvious reasons. Therefore, you have only one chance to buy the right one for your garden. 

Our buying guide below would help you in choosing the correct mower. If that’s not enough, here is a list of the 10 best riding lawn mowers out there. 

For some of us, even 10 options are too many. To make the selection process easier for you, we have narrowed down the choices and listed our top 3 picks for you below.

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Best Overall

Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower

Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower
  • Low maintenance
  • Simple to use
  • Brushless motor leads to quiet operation

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Premium Choice

Swisher Z3166CPKA Zero Turn Mower

Swisher Z3166CPKA Zero Turn Mower
  • Easy to handle
  • Maximum functionality
  • Extremely durable

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Best Budget

Husqvarna YTH18542 Lawn Tractor

Husqvarna YTH18542 Lawn Tractor
  • Powerful Stratton engine
  • Air induction mowing technology
  • Great maneuverability

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Top 10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers in 2021

If you are looking for more options before choosing one, read on to find the complete list of the 10 best riding lawn mowers along with further details of our top three picks. We have also included a comprehensive buying guide for you below. Read both sections if you really want to make the best choice and get the most out of your money.

1. Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower

Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower

Battery-powered riding lawn mowers are getting immensely popular. This mower consists of 100 Ah lead-acid batteries. Due to this, it delivers a superior cut to about 2.5 acres. On a one-time charge, you can use it for 2.5-hours.

Furthermore, the engine contains a 3-brushless motor. Consequently, it produces only 70 dB of noise. This is why it is best suited for those who want a quiet machine. It has a dual-blade 38-inch deck with 12 angles. You have the freedom to adjust it manually. Overall, the size of the mower is fantastic for grooming a big yard.

Not to be outdone, it has exclusive features, such as LED headlights, cruise control, and a port for a charger. This USB charger port connects your smart device, so you can entertain yourself while you clean your lawn.

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Pros 

  • Good battery runtime
  • Special features like LED lights, USB port, and cruise control
  • Easy operation and maintenance 

Cons

  • Seats without suspension

2. Swisher Z3166CPKA Zero Turn Mower

Swisher Z3166CPKA Zero Turn Mower

This commercial-grade mower is built with industry grade fabricated steel. Most importantly, it comes with a 31 HP Kawasaki engine. Since it has a high capacity of 4-gallon fuel tanks, you can easily use for a huge lawn. Moreover, it comes with a protection system that is not only foldable but also comes with a seat belt.

The back suspension saves the seat from unnecessary vibrations and increases the level of comfort. The intelligent patented rapid response control system allows easy steering. With this, the machine retains your arms in a secure position. 

The 66 inches deck has 3 G6 Gator blades to cut thick grass without any restriction. Other than easy cleaning, the tires keep you going on bumpy terrains. This is due to the 3400 transmissions of the system. 

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Pros 

  • Robust engine
  • Dual reliable LED headlights
  • Sturdy frame

Cons 

  • A little big in size

3. Husqvarna YTH18542 in 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower

Husqvarna YTH18542

If you’re looking for a ride-on lawn mower that offers premium performance but costs low, the YTH18542 is the right choice for you. This compact lawn mower is not just easy to store, but it offers maneuverability like no other lawn mower. Having a 16-inch turning radius, the machine is perfect for small gardens and those with many obstacles.

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To give you the best performance, the YTH18542 comes with a powerful Stratton Intek engine. This is complemented by the fender-mounted cutting height adjustment, adjustable seat, and hydrostatic transmission. To make sure that you get clean and uniformly cut grass, the 42-inch cutting deck of this mower is reinforced with superb air induction mowing technology.

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Pros

  • Powerful Stratton engine
  • Air induction mowing technology
  • Great maneuverability

Cons 

  • Needs more features

4. Husqvarna MZ61 61 Riding Mower

Husqvarna MZ61 61 Riding Mower

The Husqvarna MZ61 is an entry-level zero-turn lawn mower with a high-quality exterior. Zero-turn means that instead of a steering wheel, you have a pair of levers to operate this mower. Pushing the lever forward turns the mower in place. The handling of this mower is smooth, and the top speed is higher than tractors.

In this mower, the manufacturers have incorporated a Briggs & Stratton engine. These are powerful engines with a V-twin option. So, it gives you 27HP when you run the engine. As a result, the forward drive speed is 8.5 mph, and 5mph is the estimated reverse drive speed. 

It has a 61-inch cutting deck. Due to this, the Husqvarna lawn mower handles a large area of grass at a time. On top of that, its blades are sharp enough to cut the grass rapidly. All in all, the MZ61 from Husqvarna has all the right features to complete the job in less time.

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Pros 

  • Durable steel body
  • High cut quality adjustable cutting deck
  • Carburetor less to start it faster 

Cons

  • Learning to drive may take a while

5. Ariens 915223 IKON-X Mower

Ariens 915223 IKON-X Mower

This Turn Mower guarantees commercial quality and longevity. Made up of a tubular steel frame, it’s very strong and can withstand stress. 

Besides that, the cutting deck gives maximum airflow when you mow in tough conditions. It comes with a 4-point deck suspension feature to make sure it works on uneven and flat ground. It can climb a hill that has a 15-degree inclination to cut the grass. 

One side of the deck is somewhat more extended for improved functionality. The torque of its engine is high even when the speed is low. Plus, you get all of these features at an affordable price.

Due to the design of the deck, you see the curves and hindrances. With 13 cutting heights with different increment ranges, you can give the desired look to your yard.

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Pros 

  • Easy to operate
  • Simple Handling
  • Great cut quality

Cons 

  • Cannot climb hills

6. Husqvarna Z254 Riding Lawn Mower

Husqvarna Z254 Riding Lawn Mower

If you are searching for a Zero Turn Mower with excellent maneuverability, then you have come to the right place. This mower has an Air Induction Mowing system to lift the grass, which leads to more efficiency. It draws air from the top and bottom area of the deck cuts the grass. 

For those who find it difficult to drive these mowers, this mower has simple controls. Because of its advanced hydrostatic transmission, anyone can control it.

A large number of consumers are satisfied because of its controls and speed. As compared to other types of mowers, it cuts the unwanted grass faster. 

Also, it has cast iron blades along a fabricated deck. The motor generates a good amount of power and keeps the rpm maintained irrespective of the terrain.

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Pros 

  • Great level of maneuverability
  • Strong exterior
  • Smart automatic choke technology

Cons

  • Headlights are not included

7. Craftsman Z525 Lawn Mower 

Craftsman Z525 Lawn Mower

The Craftsman Z525 Lawn Mower is suitable for every large lawn project. For an amazing result, it comes with a decent cutting width and deck wash. In addition to that, the riding lawn mower gives you extraordinary maneuverability. The high-back seats are adequately cushioned to allow maximum comfort.

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The powerful Briggs & Stratton 24 HP with twin-cylinder gas engine gives the Z525 the strength to complete any lawn project with efficacy. The Craftsman Z252 is a gas-powered lawnmower with a 46-inch deck to cut and trim the grass on any surface. Its wash deck cleans the mess for you. 

In addition to the mow-in-reverse function, this lawnmower has hydro-transmission to swiftly dodge obstacles. As a bonus, the Craftsman Z252 riding lawn mower comes with a 2-year warranty.

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Pros 

  • High-performance cutting deck
  • Greater comfort level
  • Reverse mowing function

Cons 

  • Starting the engine can be a problem sometimes

8. Simplicity 2691455 Lawn Mower

Simplicity 2691455 Lawn Mower

Simplicity 2691455 Lawn Mower has a unique free-floating deck that allows it to move through the curves of your yard to produce a fine weed-free cut. Its full-width back rollers give an even finish to the area.

The designers have made sure that it delivers top-notch endurance and power. Therefore, this mower is equipped with Briggs and Stratton engine. Consequently, it has higher power, faster starting, and smoother operation.

You get to adjust the cutting deck height by pressing a switch. The electric system gives you the choice to cut the grass on 4 heights. To help you see the position of the deck, it has an indicator.

Additionally, it has an upgraded hood styling for a stylish look. Similarly, it supports improved heat management to keep the machine cool. The LED headlights of this mower give sufficient light for night projects.

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Pros

  • Simple Operation
  • Beautiful structure with good efficiency
  • Smart heat management technology

Cons

  • Not for big lawns

9. Ariens 991151 Zero-Turn Riding Mower

Ariens 991151 Zero-Turn Riding Mower

The Ariens 991151 riding lawn mower is well known for its commercial features. It consists of a fabricated deck design and a constant belt tension technology. This system increases the durability of this machine.

Speaking of durability, it is made with a top-grade gauge steel tubular frame. This factor makes it undeniably sturdy. The intuitive foot-operated deck lift system is what grabs the attention of the users. Over the years, Ariens has always impressed the audience with their improved designs. 

We all are aware that every lawn may have an equal amount of grass growing all over its surface. This is when this system becomes useful. With the help of this machine, you can change the cutting position, height, and augmentations.

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Pros 

  • Constant belt tension technology
  • Various cutting choices in 1/4-inch increments
  • Sturdy frame that lasts longer

Cons

  • Average quality seat
  • Sitting can be uncomfortable

10. Simplicity 2691318 Courier Mower

Simplicity 2691318 Courier Mower

The 2691318 Courier Mower from Simplicity has to be one of the most loved riding lawn mowers on this list. It comes with a 12-gauge steel frame coupled to front axles that are built with steel. Indeed, this structure is highly durable. In addition to that, it has Briggs and Stratton Professional engines as well. 

At an rpm of more than 3000, the horsepower rating is 23. The exceptional feature of this engine is the Ready Start technology. In simple words, it comes without a choke for hassle-free starting. Regardless of the weather and the internal temperature of the mower, the engine starts instantly. 

Apart from that, with suspension control, the 2691318 Courier Mower reduces impact by 25% that is produced by the force. Mainly, this feature differentiates it from its other variants.

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Pros

  • High power engine
  • 3-year warranty
  • Choke less start technology 

Cons 

  • Uncomfortable seats 

Best Riding Lawn Mowers – Buying Guide

Every buyer should know how to judge a product before making the purchase. For that, you need a helpful buying guide that allows you to separate good products from the bad ones. The following buying guide will tell you the most important factors that you should consider while buying the best riding lawn mower for yourself. 

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Transmission

The transmission of a riding lawn mower refers to the transfer of power from its engine to its wheels. You can easily guess that this allows the machine to move forward or backwards. Riding lawn mowers come in three transmission options: manual, automatic, and hydrostatic. 

Manual transmissions allow you to choose from a range of set speeds. Like old vehicles, old riding lawn mowers may make you use a clutch to change your speed. It may even require you to stop for this purpose. It goes without saying that this method is outdated and impractical. If you still wish to go for a manual unit, get one that allows easy shifting while your mower is moving.

As for automatic transmission, it also works like the transmission in a modern car. This type of transmission allows you to change the speed of your mower by pressing or releasing a gas pedal. Such vehicles are not only easier to drive but also give you great control over themselves and their speed. Whether you want to slow down frequently or drive around a number of obstacles, the automatic transmission is convenient.

The hydrostatic transmission is not too different from automatic transmission. Hydrostatic systems, as the name suggests, use fluid to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. If you want your rides to be smooth without providing a lot of maintenance to the machine, the hydrostatic transmission is for you.

Horsepower

The horsepower (HP) of an engine tells you the power output of the engine. This power generated by the engine is used by the different parts of a riding lawn mower. These components include important parts, such as the cutting blades and drive transmission. 

With a higher HP, the engine generates more power for various tasks. For example, you can drive the mower across your lawn while cutting a lot of grass very easily. If you own a large lawn or challenging lawn, consider getting a mower that has an HP of 20 or more to do these tasks simultaneously.

Cutting Width

The cutting width tells you how wide a row of grass a mower can cut in one pass. Of course, small mowers have a small cut width, which can be as low as 30 inches. In contrast, large mowers can have a cutting width of up to 50 inches or even more.

The selection of cutting width depends on the size and type of your lawn. For small yards or those that call for a lot of maneuvering, a mower with a small cut width is ideal. On the other hand, a large garden with few or no obstacles calls for a larger unit to get the job done in less time.

Fuel Capacity

As the name suggests, the fuel capacity tells you how much fuel a mowing machine can hold. Generally, larger lawnmowers have greater fuel capacities. If you don’t want your mower to stop before you’ve finished, make sure you buy one that has enough fuel capacity to completely mow your lawn.

Riding lawn mowers with a small fuel capacity are absolutely fine for both small and medium-sized yards. That being said, if you own a large property, you should go for a mower with a large fuel capacity.

In Conclusion

No matter what kind of riding lawn mower you’re looking for, we have an advice for you. While choosing your riding lawn mower, do not let the cost come in between the perfect mower and your garden. Since you buy a lawnmower only once in maybe a decade, you must focus more on the machine’s features, durability, and the benefits you will reap because of it. It is a long-term investment, so make sure it is a good one.

Written by: Herbert Miller

Hi there! My name is Herbert Miller and I´m one of these you could call a real handyman. My hobby is to fix everything whenever it comes to cars or stuff in my garden. I created this website to share my knowledge with all the different tools I have tried through the years.

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