Large properties with massive lawns can be hard to manage, and that’s exactly where a lawn mower comes handy. The regular mowers are towed or pushed for operations, while a riding mower has a seat for the operator. Understandably, riding mowers are best suited for large properties, where there’s at least half an acre of lawn to be mowed. In this post, we are going to guide you on how to find the best riding mower for the money.
Should you buy a riding mower?
Yes, absolutely, especially if you have a large property. Riding mowers are designed to save time, and you will also save considerable effort in the long run. The best ones are designed for performance, and no matter what kind of grass or plants you have in the lawn, clean-up is an easy job. Using a riding mower is also easier. You can save on the labor costs, as the job can be easily managed by anyone in the house.
There are varied kinds of riding mowers in the market today and selecting one can be confusing. Before we talk of the factors that actually matter, let’s first understand the options.
- Rear-engine riders. These are the cheapest and smallest of all other mowers. You can easily store one in limited space, and the cutting deck is usually 30 inches.
- Traditional lawn tractors. If you want to go for something conventional, go for this option, which usually has a 42-inch cutting deck. These mowers are more common for larger properties and are meant to last. You will find a standard steering wheel with these.
- Zero-turn-radius (ZTR) mowers. Finally, we have zero-turn-radius (ZTR) mowers. As the name suggests, these can turn in place, but there is no steering wheel. Instead, you have arms that help in navigating in the lawn. These can have a better speed, as well.
If you are looking for one that can work in the plains, zero-turn-radius (ZTR) mowers are your best choice, and probably the most expensive one, as well. On the other hand, traditional mowers are ideal for hilly regions, while the rear-engine riders are great for smaller properties. It is important to consider the property size before you look for a mower, because for large lawns, a wide-deck tractor is probably the best choice, because you can cut more grass in each pass. The best riding mower for the money is the one that fits your requirements, and below are the factors you must consider.
Factors to consider
Expectedly, you will ride the mower – hence the name ‘riding mower’. Most property owners agree that buying one has helped them in many ways. Here’s what you need to check.
- Deck size. Riding mowers have better engines and horsepower, and therefore, the deck size is considerably larger than a push mower. The bigger deck size you have, the more grass you can cut in one go. Usually, 30-inch is the standard for smaller variants, while some of the bigger ones meant for commercial use can 60-inch decks. As mentioned, final choice depends on the property size.
- Movement and rideability. At the end of the day, you would want the riding mower to be effective enough for regular use, which is why buying the biggest deck isn’t the best idea, unless you are into landscaping business. Make sure that maneuvering isn’t a hard thing, especially when you have a lot of obstacles in the lawn, such as trees.
- Storage space. When the grass is cut, it is stored in the mower, and for that, storage is an obvious consideration. The ones that have big decks usually have more storage, but that’s something you must consider separately.
- Check horsepower and torque. Many grass varieties are significantly thicker than others, and for that, the mower needs to have the right engine with considerable horsepower and torque. Manufacturers may focus on keeping things in balance but check the reviews before choosing one.
- Some of the new riding mowers have additional accessories, which may include tools for leaf collection or even snow blowers. If you are looking to pay the price, this can be a point of contention while checking for choices.
Top three choices
When you want to get the best riding mower for the money, consider some of these options.
This one is a compact mower with a 30-inch deck and 382cc Auto Choke OHV engine. You have 5 adjustable settings, which works perfectly for standard lawns, and the price is pretty neat at about $1300, which is again discounted online.
If you need a mower for your big lawn, this product from Poulan is a great fit. It comes with 46-inch deck that’s backed a decade of warranty, while the 22 HP Briggs v-twin pro engine is powerful enough for big lawns. The fuel tank is considerably bigger too. price: Above $3000
When you need something below $2500, this is a good investment. This mower from Husqvarna comes with an 18.5Hp Briggs and Stratton Intek OHV engine with automatic transmission. The deck size is 38-inch – just perfect for small and medium lawns, including twin blades. It also features a mid-back seat backed by 3 years of warranty.
As you can guess, riding mowers are handy and work as the perfect long-term investment for maintaining your yard and lawn. Unless if you have a huge property that requires a big mower, most of the standard ones should fit the bill, and you will find some amazing deals on most products online. Check what you get in terms of warranty, compare products based on the brand, popularity and accessories before you take a call. The best riding mower for the money is the one that doesn’t require frequent repairs and is easy to maintain, at least for next five years.