The 10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers 2020

The 10 Best Riding Lawn Mowers 2020

If you’re searching for the best riding lawn mowers of 2020 you’re in luck. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that includes the best in every category whether you’re looking for the best on the market today, the lawn tractor that offers the best value or the best compact model available for smaller sized lots. You’ll find it all here in our reviews of the top 10 riding lawn mowers of 2020.

Let’s get right into our riding lawn mower reviews.

Here are the best riding lawn mowers 2020:

  1. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50
  2. Ryobi 100 AH 38″
  3. Troy-Bilt Bronco 42
  4. Troy-Bilt Pony 42
  5. Weibang E-Rider
  6. Craftsman T210
  7. Husqvarna Z254F 23 HP
  8. Husqvarna YTH22V46
  9. Craftsman T110
  10. Craftsman Z510

1. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50

The best zero-turn riding mower in 2020

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 is a great choice if you’re looking for a zero-turn mower that can handle a lot of tight turns and harder to reach spots. It has a large 50-inch cutting width and with its V-Twin gas engine, it has more than enough power in reserve to handle some uneven terrain in your path. These are just a couple of reasons we’ve given it our seal of approval as the best zero-turn riding lawn mower of 2020.

When you’re spending an hour or more on a riding mower comfort is important. The ZT1 50 doesn’t disappoint in that category – it has extra padding in the seat for a comfortable ride. It also has great suspension, so you won’t feel every bump as you go. The dual lap bar steering system is easy to figure out and you’ll be impressed by its cutting power as well which features a triple-blade cutting system.

There weren’t many things about this machine that we didn’t like, but there were a couple. It would be nice if the manufacturer added armrests for extra comfort. The gas tank is also a bit on the small size with a 3.5-gallon capacity, so you may have to refuel in the middle of cutting to finish a large area. Some buyers have also noticed that the paint can easily scratch off if you’re not careful in areas with lots of branches.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Lawn Mower Image credit: Cub Cadet Check Home Depot

What we like (and don’t like) about the Ultima ZT1 50:

  • 50-inch cutting width.
  • Powerful V-Twin gas engine.
  • Zero-turn.
  • Extra seat padding for comfort.
  • Great suspension.
  • Straight forward controls.
  • Triple blade cutting system.
  • No armrests.
  • Small 3.5-gallon gas tank.
  • Paint easily scratches off.

The ZT1 50 from Cub Cadet is an impressive mower. It’s well constructed, it’s comfortable and it’s powerful. The zero-turn feature makes it ideal for lawns with lots of obstacles such as flower beds and trees. When you factor all of that with its impressive 50-inch cutting deck what you get is a reliable mower with a ton of great features.

2. Ryobi 100 AH 38″ (RY48111)

The best electric lawn tractor

The Ryobi 38-inch 100 AH battery electric rear engine riding lawn mower is our pick for the highest-rated electric model available in 2020. If you’re looking to make the switch to an eco-friendly machine this year then this model by Ryobi is a great choice.

It features a decent 38-inch cutting deck and the battery will last for about 2 hours under normal conditions. That means most homeowners will be able to easily get through the weekend cut without having to take a break to recharge.

We were impressed with this machine’s cutting power. It’s one of the best for tall grass we’ve reviewed and it turns on a dime. The fact that’s it’s electric also makes it extremely quiet and with no internal combustion engine to worry about there’s very little maintenance involved with this machine. You’ll never have to worry about running over to the local gas station to fill your gas can mid-cut again!

There are some concerns with this machine. For one, the seat doesn’t have enough padding and that can lead to discomfort if you have more than 30 minutes of lawn cutting ahead of you.

We’re also less than impressed with the steering wheel on this machine – it’s just a little on the small size which makes it feel a bit awkward when you steer. One other thing to keep in mind is that replacement batteries for this mower are relatively costly.

Ryobi 100 AH 38-Inch Electric Riding Mower Image credit: Ryobi Check Amazon

What we like (and don’t like) about the Ryobi 100 AH 38″:

  • Eco friendly – zero emissions.
  • 2-hour battery life.
  • Works well in tall grass.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Uncomfortable seat.
  • Small awkward steering wheel.
  • Expensive replacement batteries.

While we do have a couple of comfort-related concerns with the Ryobi RY4811 electric riding mower, overall it’s a great machine. It has an impressive 2 hours of battery life and it handles tall grass just as well if not better than many gas-powered models. If you’ve been avoiding making the switch to electric because of concerns about power, you don’t have to be concerned any more.

3. Troy-Bilt Bronco 42

The best riding lawn mower under $1500

Troy-Bilt has been a reliable name for outdoor power equipment for years and the Bronco 42-inch 19 HP riding mower lives up to the name.

We’ve selected it as our best riding lawn mower under $1500 for a variety of reasons. First off, the 42-inch deck gives you good cutting coverage and it has a powerful 544cc engine making it one of the best options for hills in its class. It has that classic tractor look which many will find appealing.

As far as extra features, most users are really impressed with the hydrostatic transmission that’s controlled via foot pedals and easy to operate. This is a comfortable mower with a nice padded seat that makes for a comfortable ride and a well-proportioned steering wheel that helps when making quick turns.

You do have the option to add a bag for collecting grass clippings with this machine and it’s also equipped with a mulching feature. All of this is backed with a 3-year warranty.

While this is overall a great machine we do have a couple of areas that could use improvement. The engine is quite loud so you should probably wear hearing protection while you’re operating it. We were also surprised that the clipping collection bag is sold separately – if you’re paying more than $1000 for a lawn mower you would expect it to be included.

Troy-Bilt Bronco 42 Riding Lawn Mower Image credit: Troy-Bilt Check Home Depot

What we like (and don’t like) about the Bronco 42:

  • Good sized 42-inch deck.
  • Powerful 544cc engine.
  • Foot-controlled hydrostatic transmission.
  • Comfortable seating and easy steering.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Engine is loud.
  • Clipping bag not included.

The Troy-Bilt Bronco 42 is one of the best values in the riding lawn mower sector. It offers a comfortable ride at an affordable price. Yes, the engine is a little loud, but that’s easily solved by proper hearing protection. This is a powerful machine that features a 544cc engine and it cuts a wide path with every pass with a competitive 42-inch deck. When you add to that a 3-year warranty it makes for an impressive package.

4. Troy-Bilt Pony 42

The best budget riding mower

The Troy-Bilt Pony 42 is our choice as the best mower for your money. If you shop around you may find this riding mower available for under $1000, although it typically retails for around $1200.

We think its 42-inch cutting deck is pretty impressive for a machine in this category and the engine size is impressive as well at 439cc. If you want a lot of machine without parting ways with too much cash this is the mower for you.

The 7-speed transmission is easy to operate and the twin-blade cutting deck handles thick grass without any problems. We feel it’s the best option for small yards that are just a bit too big for push mowers, but aren’t quite large enough for a larger machine.

It has a comfortable padded seat and the steering wheel reacts well to the user’s directions. It also has an 18-inch turn radius which is ideal for working around landscaping.

We don’t like the fact that extra accessories such as mulching and bagging attachments are not included at purchase, although this is not entirely surprising at this price range. Its engine also lacks the extra kick you may need for steep hills.

Troy-Bilt Pony 42 Riding Lawn Mower Image credit: Troy-Bilt Check Home Depot

What we like (and don’t like) about the Pony 42:

  • 42-inch cutting deck.
  • 439cc engine provides decent power.
  • 7-speed transmission.
  • 18-inch turn radius.
  • Bagging and mulching attachment not included.
  • Not enough power for steep hills.

The Troy-Bilt Pony 42-inch is a great choice for a budget riding mower. It does have a couple of shortcomings, but overall it outperforms similarly priced models. We really like the 42-inch cutting deck and the 18-inch turn radius is a nice feature as well.

5. Weibang E-Rider

The best compact electric riding mower

If you have a large yard, but minimal storage area then the Weibang E-Rider 30-inch electric riding mower is the perfect solution. Its compact design means it will fit just about anywhere and it still gets the job done. The 30-inch cutting deck isn’t the largest available, but it isn’t a major sacrifice.

It’s powered by a 72-volt lithium-ion battery that provides a surprising amount of cutting power. The E-Rider will run for about 2 hours under normal conditions and it uses a 2-blade cutting system with 10 different cutting positions to choose from. It even has front-mounted LED lights for working in low light conditions.

Like other electric riding mowers there are zero-emissions produced when cutting the lawn and you never have to worry about filling it up with gas – you just plug it in to recharge between cuts.

A major drawback of this mower is the seat – it’s not very comfortable. It has a hard surface and that can make for a rough ride. One other design flaw we found is that it does have a tendency to shut down by itself when you travel over bumpy terrain. There’s an automatic shut off mechanism under the seat that’s there for safety reasons and when a bump lifts you up it can engage the system.

Weibang Lithium-Ion E-Rider Electric Riding Mover Image credit: Weibang Check Home Depot

What we like (and don’t like) about the E-Rider:

  • Compact design for easy storage.
  • 72-volt battery provides good cutting power.
  • 2-hour battery life.
  • LED headlights.
  • Zero-emissions.
  • Smaller 30-inch cutting deck.
  • Hard uncomfortable seat.
  • Shuts off on bumpy terrain.

The Weibang E-Rider is a reliable compact riding mower. We think the LED headlights are a great added feature and with 2 hours of available battery life per charge, you may need them if you’re cutting the grass close to dusk. The seat is a little uncomfortable and it can shut off by itself on bumpy terrain, but if you have a relatively level lawn then this mower is a good option for homeowners with limited storage area.

6. Craftsman T210

The best garden tractor under $2000

The Craftsman T210 Turn Tight 42-inch riding lawn mower is by far the best garden tractor under $2000 available in 2020. As you might have guessed by the name already, this machine turns on a dime. It has a 5-inch turning radius and that makes it a lot easier to cut around trees and any landscaping that may pose an obstacle.

The 18 HP engine makes it one of the best options for residential use and its 42-inch cutting deck cuts a wide swath of lawn with each pass.

It has a high-backed and padded seat that makes it a more comfortable ride than other similarly priced mowers. The hydrostatic transmission that you control by using foot pedals makes this machine easy to use as well. Overall you get a lot for a great price with this mower including a 3-year manufacturer warranty.

One of the few complaints we have with this machine is that it doesn’t come with a mulching kit – that’s sold separately. It’s also important to be aware that having this mower serviced if you run into issues can be difficult. Craftsman require you to ship it to them which isn’t very practical for a riding mower.

Craftsman T210 42-in 18-HP Hydrostatic Riding Mover Image credit: Craftsman Check Lowe’s

What we like (and don’t like) about the Craftsman T210:

  • 5-inch tight turn radius.
  • 18 HP engine.
  • 42-inch cutting deck.
  • High-backed padded seat.
  • Hydrostatic transmission.
  • 3-year warranty.
  • Mulching kit sold separately.
  • Have to ship to the manufacturer for service.

There’s a lot to like about this Craftsman riding lawn mower. The 5-inch turn radius is a great feature if you have lots of landscaping to navigate around and we love the 42-inch cutting deck. It has more than enough power as well with an 18 HP engine. We’d be happier if the mulching kit was included, but they’re relatively inexpensive to purchase separately.

7. Husqvarna Z254F 23 HP

The best riding lawn mower under $3000

The Husqvarna Z254F is the best riding lawn mower if you have a budget of around $3000 and one of the most popular choices on the market today. It’s powerful 23 HP engine helps it plough through thick grass with ease and steep hills don’t pose much of a problem for this machine.

Did we mention that it’s equipped with a 54-inch cutting deck? It is and with the zero-turn feature, you can still get around obstacles without a lot of problems.

For us, one of the best highlights of this machine is its max speed of 6.5 miles an hour. That’s faster than a walking pace, but not so fast that it poses a serious safety hazard to small children or pets.

With its hydrostatic transmission, this mower is easy to operate and the brake system engages automatically as you push on the steering levers as an added safety measure. Husqvarna has also included a nice padded seat on this model which makes for a nice comfortable ride.

On the downside steering with steering levers instead of a steering wheel does take some getting used to, but it’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want a zero-turn mower. It’s hard to keep the machine straight as it tends to want to steer towards one side or the other.

The only other issue we have with this machine is that it doesn’t have the best traction, so if you’re cutting uphill on wet grass you may run into problems.

Husqvarna Z254F Zero Turn Mover Image credit: Husqvarna Check Amazon

What we like (and don’t like) about the Husqvarna Z254F:

  • Zero-turn mower.
  • Powerful 23 HP engine.
  • 54-inch cutting deck.
  • Max speed 6.5 miles per hour.
  • Automatic braking system.
  • Extra padded seat.
  • Awkward steering.
  • Veers to the sides.
  • Poor traction.

The Husqvarna Z254F is one of the most powerful riding mowers on the market and that’s not the only reason it made our list. It’s one of the best-selling models which suggests a lot of people agree with our assessment. With a 54-inch cutting deck and a max speed of 6.5 miles per hour, this machine is packed with great features.

8. Husqvarna YTH22V46

The best lawn tractor for uneven ground

Another great model by Husqvarna makes our riding lawn mower reviews as the best riding lawn mower of 2020 for uneven ground. The YTH22V46 is a beast on any type of terrain with a 22 HP engine and the company stands by its quality with a 3-year bumper to bumper warranty.

You can cut a lot of grass in a short period of time with this mower – it comes standard with an impressive 46-inch cutting deck. We also like the hydrostatic transmission that allows you to switch gears using your feet, so that you can keep two hands on the steering wheel at all times for safety. This machine’s also designed for comfort, with a high-back seat and an ergonomic steering wheel.

It’ not perfect. We were disappointed to discover that while it does have mulching capability, the kit is actually sold separately. It tends to cut a little short as well, even if you have it adjusted to the highest setting. The mower deck is also a little cheaply made and will wear quickly with use.

Husqvarna YTH22V46 Riding Lawn Mower Image credit: Husqvarna Check Lowe’s

What we like (and don’t like) about the Husqvarna YTH22V46:

  • 22 HP engine.
  • 3-year bumper to bumper warranty.
  • 46-inch cutting deck.
  • Hydrostatic transmission.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Mulching kit sold separately.
  • Cuts too short.
  • Cheaply made mower deck.

If it wasn’t for the cheaply constructed cutting deck that comes with this machine, it might have been our top-rated choice. Other than that we were impressed. It has a powerful engine and it cuts a lot of lawn with each pass at 46-inches. Add to that its ergonomic design and you have a good machine for under $2000 that’s great on uneven ground.

9. Craftsman T110

The best mower for 1 or 2 acre properties

The Craftsman T110 proves that you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a riding lawn mower for your home. It retails for under $1500, but it has a ton of great features.

It’s equipped with a reliable 17.5 HP engine with more than enough power for a 1 or 2-acre property. With its 42-inch cutting deck, it cuts quite a bit of lawn with each pass as well.

This isn’t a zero-turn mower by any means, but its 18-inch turn radius is okay if you don’t have too many tight turns around landscaping features. It has a 7-speed manually-operated transmission which makes it quite versatile. It also comes with a 2-year warranty out of the box.

One thing we really don’t like about this machine is its low back seat. These types of seats are hard on the back if you have a lot of uneven terrain or if you have a number of hilly areas in your yard. It would also be better if the mulch kit was included at purchase, but unfortunately, it’s not.

Craftsman T110 42-in 17.5 HP Riding Mover Image credit: Craftsman Check Lowe’s

What we like (and don’t like) about the Craftsman T110:

  • Reliable 17.5 HP engine.
  • 42-inch cutting deck.
  • 7-speed manual transmission.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Priced under $1500.
  • Only an 18-inch turn radius.
  • Low back seat.
  • Mulch kit sold separately.

For the price, this is a good choice for smaller properties – no bigger than 1 or 2 acres. The 42-inch deck is a good size and it has a reliable 17.5 HP motor. We just wish it had a better turn radius.

10. Craftsman Z510

The most reliable riding mower of 2020

The Craftsman Z510 zero-turn lawn mower doesn’t have many critics. It may not have the biggest cutting deck but at 42-inches its big enough to get the job done quickly. It’s equipped with a dependable 20 HP Briggs & Stratton engine and that means it can handle just about anything you throw at it. There’s no prime or choke on this mower, it just starts every time.

The Z510 has a dual-range hydrostatic transmission for easy transition between gears. It also comes with a high-back seat that makes it comfortable no matter what your height is.

One other thing that really impressed us with this riding mower is its amazing 3-year warranty and 5-year warranty on the frame. Craftsman is sending a clear signal that this is a reliable riding mower.

We believe this mower gets a lot of things right, but there are a couple of reasons it may not appeal to everyone. It is a zero-turn mower, so it doesn’t have a steering wheel and that’s a deal-breaker for some homeowners. Like many of its competitors, you also have to buy the mulch kit separately.

Craftsman Z510 42 IN. 20 HP Zero-Turn Riding Mover Image credit: Craftsman Check Lowe’s

What we like (and don’t like) about the Craftsman Z510:

  • 42-inch cutting deck.
  • Reliable 20 HP Briggs & Stratton engine.
  • Zero-turn mower.
  • Hydrostatic transmission.
  • High-back seat.
  • 3-year warranty and 5-year frame warranty.
  • Steer using levers not a wheel.
  • Mulch kit not included.

The Craftsman Z510 is a great riding lawn mower. It has the right mix of features and a reliable engine that few of its competitors can match. The 42-inch cutting deck is a good size and the warranty is one of the best around. If you want a reliable mower this is it.

Conclusion

The 10 riding mowers we’ve reviewed above are some of the best riding lawn mowers you’ll find on the market in 2020. If we have to pick a favorite we really like the Craftsman Z510 zero-turn lawn mower, but none of these models will disappoint. If you’re ready to start mowing any of these riding lawn mowers will put you on the path to a well-manicured lawn.

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