The Best Riding Lawn Mowers According to Bob Vila

Spring is in full swing, and summer is just around the corner. For many, that change in the weather signifies the need for a new riding lawn mower. But if you’re unsure of which lawn mower to pick? We recommend checking out Bob Vila’s picks for the best riding lawn mowers. Let’s find out what they are.

The Cub Cadet XT1 LT is the best riding lawn mower

Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers on display, the Cub Cadet XT1 LT is the best riding lawn mower is the best riding lawn mower according to Bob Vila
Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers on display. | Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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According to Bob Vila, there’s a lot to like about the Cub Cadet XT1 LT. It comes equipped with a powerful 24-hp twin-cylinder Kohler engine and features a 50-inch cutting deck, making it the best riding lawn mower for lawns up to 1.5 acres. With three cutting blades and 12 easily adjustable cutting heights, this riding lawn mower’s cutting deck provides more than enough cutting power, too, Bob Villa reports. 

This mower also boasts features like cruise control and a SmartDeck jet wash system, which lets you attach a garden hose to the mowing deck so that you can rinse out the interior of the mower. As for how much this riding lawn mower costs? According to Home Depot, you can expect to spend roughly $2,199 on the Cub Cadet XT1 LT.

The Troy-Bilt Pony riding lawn mower gives you the best bang for your buck

Perhaps you’re not looking to spend that much on a new lawn mower. Instead, you would prefer a more affordable riding lawn mower for under $2,000. If that’s the case, Bob Vila reports that the Troy-Bilt Pony will give you the most bang for your buck. Priced at $1,349, it’s also significantly cheaper than the Cub Cadet XT1 LT.

The good news is that its cheaper price tag doesn’t mean that this riding lawn mower makes any compromises when it comes to features. In fact, according to Bob Vila, this affordable riding lawn mower benefits from features like a twin-blade deck that offers more than enough cutting power, a seven-speed shift-on-the-go transmission, and an 18-inch turning radius. It also comes equipped with LED headlights and an integrated washing port.

Upgrade to the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 for one of the best riding lawn mowers

Cub Cadet zero turn mowers on display
Cub Cadet lawn mowers on display. | Luke Sharrett for Bloomberg

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For a high-performance zero-turn lawn mower, Bob Vila suggests taking a look at the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2. Priced at $4,299, this zero-turn riding lawn mower comes equipped with a 24- Kawasaki twin-cylinder motor and a 3.5-gallon gas tank. It also boasts a 60-inch deck and can mow lawns that are three acres or bigger. It can also reach speeds of up to 7.5 mph.

Bob Vila reports that this zero-turn mower is pretty comfortable too. It features a cushioned seat with armrests, along with comfortable hand grips. It also comes outfitted with LED headlights so that you can mow your lawn even in lowlight conditions.

The John Deere E120 is one of the best lawn tractors to buy

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Now, this one should come as no surprise. After all, John Deere is well-known for having some of the best riding lawn mowers out there. But when it comes to the best one that you can buy? Bob Vila suggests going with the John Deere E120.

This riding lawn mower features a 20-hp V-twin engine along with a 42-inch deck. According to Bob Vila, this particular John Deere riding lawn mower is best suited for lawns up to 1.5 acres. Its deck also has multiple height adjustments and an 18-inch turning radius that makes navigating around trees and gardens easier than ever. As for how much the John Deere E120 costs? You can expect to spend about $2,100 on this riding lawn mower.

Pick the Toro TimeCutter commercial mower for the best zero-turn lawn mower

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For those looking to save time cutting their lawn, the Toro TimeCutter might just be the perfect fit. This zero-turn riding lawn mower is driven by a 22.5-hp engine that can reach up to 7 mph. Overall, Bob Vila reports that this mower is among the best riding lawn mowers for cutting lawns up to two acres.

Those aren’t the only reason to consider this zero-turn lawn mower either. Bob Vila reports that this $2,879 lawn mower knows just how to please when it comes to features. In fact, chances are you’ll find yourself enjoying features like an under-seat storage cubby and multiple cup holders when mowing your lawn with this zero-turn mower.

The best riding lawn mowers for small and big yards, according to Bob Vila

Now, say your yard is bigger than three acres. If that’s the case, Bob Villa suggests a Toro TimeCutter with a 54-inch deck. This mower is equipped with a 24.5-hp twin gas engine and features a plush high back seat with armrests to keep you comfortable. The bad news is that this mower is on the more expensive side of things. In fact, opting for this riding lawn mower will have you spending approximately $4,199.

And if you’re in the market for the best lawn mower for small yards instead? Consider the Ryobi 30 in. 50Ah electric rear engine riding lawn mower. This electric lawn mower is among the best lawn mowers for small yards and charges via a standard 120-volt outlet. Choose this lawn mower, and you can expect to spend about $2,449.

Choosing the best riding lawn mower doesn’t need to be stressful

Shopping for a lawn mower takes time, effort, and research. But with these picks in hand? Choosing the best riding lawn mower for your yard doesn’t need to be a stressful endeavor. Instead, when shopping for your next lawn mower, we suggest keeping these picks in mind.