Riding Mower Buyer's Guide

Riding Mower Buyer's Guide

How to Pick the Perfect Riding Lawn Mower

Jake, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert

You work hard and deserve to be rewarded. So why just mow the lawn when you can ride in luxury and enjoy the summer breeze?

Most people ditch their walk-behind mower for a riding mower not just because they are physically unable or unwilling to push it anymore, but because they want to enjoy the experience of mowing again.

Riding lawn mowers come in three types:

  • Rear engine riding mowers
  • Tractors (includes lawn and garden tractors)
  • Zero turning radius (ZTR) mowers

Each mower type has its own uses and characteristics, so pick the one that works best for your lawn. Take a look at the comparison chart below:

RIDING MOWERS Rear Engine Tractors Zero Turn
Rear Engine Riding Mower Lawn Tractor Zero Turn Lawn Mower
190 - 500 cc 420 -747 cc 452 - 810 cc
Cutting Width: 26 - 33" 38 - 54" 30 - 74"
Top Speed: 5 MPH 8 MPH 13 MPH


Rear Engine Riding Mowers

Cub Cadet Rear Engine Riding Lawn MowerIf you want a relaxing, easy, comfortable mowing experience, then consider a rear engine rider.

The smallest mower out of the bunch, their smaller cutting decks are ideal for yards with narrow passes like fence gates. They're a more affordable alternative to tractors and zero turn mowers, and they take up less space in your garage or shed.

However, rear engine riders are considerably slower and aren't designed to pull attachments. If you have more than a 3/4 acre lot, opt for another mower. 

Learn More: How to Pick the Perfect Rear Engine Riding Mower


Lawn and Garden Tractors

Lawn Tractors & Garden TractorsIf you want more than just mowing, then lawn tractors and garden tractors are for you.

These tractors are built to be work-horses all over your property and haul heavy attachments. Equipped with powerful engines, they have the muscle to accomplish big jobs.

These are like linemen on a football team: big and strong, but not the fastest, most agile players. If you're looking for high-speeds or your yard has lots of obstacles, tractors aren't your best bet.

Learn More: How to Pick the Perfect Lawn & Garden Tractor


Zero Turn Radius Mowers

Zero Turn Lawn MowerIf tractors are linemen, then zero turn mowers are the running backs and receivers on the team. These high-performance mowers zip around your lawn at speeds up to 8 mph and can turn on a dime.

Their steering system allows you to make nimble 360 degree turns with ease. Because of their faster speed and improved maneuverability, zero turn mowers will save you the most time while mowing.

Learn More: How to Pick the Perfect Zero Turn Lawn Mower

Jake, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert
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