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Maintaining a big property is not easy. Without the proper equipment, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the mowing and sweeping, on top of other daily chores.
If you too can’t catch a break, I think it is time you splurge on the best garden tractor there is.
With the help of my garden tractor reviews, you will easily find your new best buddy. One that stands out, in particular, is the Ryobi RY48111 . It is electrical and equipped with powerful 100Ah lead-acid batteries that give you 2.5 hours of uninterrupted run time.
Keep on reading to find what my other top picks are!
In A Rush? Check Out Our Comparison Table
Let’s take a quick glance at the products we will talk about here.
5 Of The Best Garden Tractor Reviews
Ryobi RY48111 38 Inches Battery Riding Lawn Mower – Requires Least Maintenance – Best Overall
- Requires little maintenance.
- Powered by capable 100Ah lead-acid batteries.
- Features a 38-inch mowing deck.
- Up to 2.5 hours of runtime on one charge.
Are gas fumes slowly getting to you? It looks like you are ready for a change! The Ryobi RY48111 is a green alternative to traditional gas riding lawn mowers. It doesn’t need sticky and smelly gasoline and it requires little to no maintenance, as well!
The Ryobi RY48111 runs on 100Ah lead-acid batteries that will give you up to 2.5 hours of runtime. You can mow 2.5 acres of lawn on a single charge. Charging batteries is as easy as it gets. You simply plug them into a 120-Volt outlet.
The Ryobi RY48111 cuts grass quickly and efficiently, thanks to the 38-inch cutting deck equipped with two sharp blades. The cruise control lets you adjust the cutting deck in 12 positions, from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, to get a clean and level cut every time.
- Needs little to no maintenance
- Operates quietly
- 38-inch mowing deck
- 100Ah lead-acid batteries
- 2.5 hours of run time
- Easy to charge
- Cruise control with USB charger
- LED headlights
- Batteries may degrade over time
Simplicity 2691458 Regent Riding Mower – Most Comfortable
- Features exclusive suspension comfort system.
- Powered by a strong 25 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Engine.
- Features a big 48-inch mowing deck.
- Has electric height adjustment switch for the mowing deck.
Who says that sitting on a tractor has to be painful? The Simplicity 2691458 is one of the most comfortable tractors you will come across.
The Simplicity 2691458 has an exclusive suspension system that provides up to 25% less impact than a standard tractor with no suspension. Less vibration equals more comfort. The cushioned seat with a backrest will absorb major shocks and let you ride pain-free.
You won’t have to stay on a tractor’s seat for very long. The 48-inch free-floating mower deck has the size and capacity to turn any landscaping job into a breeze. The mower deck naturally follows the contours of your lawn, giving it a scalp-free cut.
The Simplicity 2691458 mows grass quickly. But, if your mowing ever gets delayed, you can rely on the LED headlights to get you through a night of work.
- Ensures comfort
- Rides smoothly
- 25% less vibration
- Reliable 25 HP engine
- 48-inch cutting deck
- Gives scalp-free cut
- Electric height adjustment
- Comfy cushioned seat
Ariens IKON XD 42 Inch Zero Turn Mower 915268 – Most Maneuverable
- Makes tight turns with a zero-degree turn radius.
- Powered by a premium 18 horsepower Kawasaki engine.
- Features a 42-inch cutting deck.
- Has 13 height adjustment positions.
Have lots of tight corners and obstacles in your yard? The Ariens IKON KD has the flexibility to get into all the nooks and crannies of your lawn.
The Ariens IKON ID is a zero-turn riding lawnmower that makes tight turns around trees, fences, and other obstacles. It has better maneuverability than any other mower on my review list.
The 42-inch cutting deck made of 11-gauge steel will make your landscaping chores quick and easy. With a turn of a dial, you can adjust the deck in 13 different height positions, ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. This feature ensures you get a clean and even cut on your lawn.
With the premium 18 HP 603cc Kawasaki engine under the hood, you will stay on top of your mowing game. It is strong, reliable, and most importantly, it brings power. All you can do is sit on the plush high-back seat with padded armrests and let the engine do the rest.
- Highly maneuverable
- Ideal for oddly shaded lawns
- Strong 18 HP Kawasaki engine
- Quick electric start
- 42-inch cutting deck
- Triple-blade cutting deck
- 13 deck height positions
- Adjustable seat
- Good traction and stability
- 2.7 gallons of fuel capacity
Husqvarna YTA24V48 24HP Tractor Mower – Garden Tractor With Most Power
- Most powerful tractor in this roundup because of its 24 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine.
- Pedal-operated automatic transmission for convenience.
- 4 anti-scalp wheels prevent the blade from damaging the lawn.
- Air induction ensures a clean and consistent cut.
The bigger the property, the more powerful tractor you will need. This one has an impressive 24 horsepower, 724 cc Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engine, ideal for landscaping up to 3 acres of land.
The engine starts with a simple turn of a key due to its ReadyStart feature. With the pedal-operated automatic transmission, your hands will be free to operate the control panel of the electric cutting blade. This design is as convenient as it gets.
This unit cuts a 48-inch wide area. The cutting deck is easily adjusted to your preferred height with a spring-assisted lever. With a 16-inch turning radius, you can quickly bypass obstacles and mow in narrow spaces.
The feature that you will appreciate the most is the adjustable high-back seat with armrests, which are rarely seen on garden tractors.
- Powerful 24HP, 724cc engine
- Smooth, chokeless start
- Automatic transmission
- 48-inch cutting deck
- Four anti-scalp wheels
- Improved deck airflow
- Comfy high-back seat
- Three-year limited warranty
- Variety of compatible accessories
- Has a difficult time going up hills
- Can be difficult to claim the warranty
Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Riding Mower – Best Designed Garden Tractor
- Best compact design with lots of premium features.
- 18.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Intek engine has amazing performance.
- Reinforced 42-inch cutting deck made of heavy flat-stock steel.
- Heavy front cast iron axle for superior balance on rough terrain.
The Husqvarna YTH18542 hides a variety of premium features in its well-formulated design.
Equipped with a powerful 18.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Intek engine, this machine is easy to maneuver and operate. The hydrostatic transmission is pedal-operated, so you can control the speed and direction with your feet.
This particular unit has a cutting width of 42 inches. It cuts the grass at least twice as efficiently as a large push mower. The cut is even and controlled because of the enhanced airflow in the deck, which lifts the grass before slicing it.
With a simple turn of a switch, you can mow in reverse, as well.
The adjustable mid-back seat will let you comfortably work. Under the seat is a safety switch that automatically shuts off the engine, if you were to fall off. This feature will give you peace of mind.
- Robust 18.5 HP engine
- Pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission
- Reinforced 42-inch cutting deck
- Air induction for better cut
- Great balance and stability
- Mows in reverse Auto-shutoff
- Adjustable sliding seat
- 2.5-gallon fuel tank could be bigger
Buyer’s Guide: How To Buy The Best Garden Tractor
It is safe to say that there are lots of different garden tractors you can pick from. However, not every model will be compatible with your yard.
So, what is the best garden tractor for your property?
The answer to this question depends on several factors:
- How big is your property?
- Is the terrain level or ridged?
- Will you use it just for mowing?
- What are your design preferences?
I know that the process of buying a good garden tractor can be overwhelming.
For that reason, I have put together a detailed buyer’s guide, so you can shop with confidence.
What To Look For In A Garden Tractor
Horsepower (HP) is a measurement used to describe an engine’s power output. The more power a garden tractor’s engine generates, the more it can be shared amongst its different running parts, like its blades, transmission, wheels, and headlights.
I recommend buying a garden tractor with an output of about 20 HP, give or take.
The Husqvarna YTA24V48 has an impressive 24 HP engine, which is ideal for mowing up to 3 acres of land, if not more. Pick a tractor that’s closer to 30 HP if you intend to also use it for heavy-duty work, like tilling and pulling heavy loads.
Lawn tractors have two different speed options: single and multi-speed.
Models with a single-speed system mow at a fixed pace. They are great for landscaping lawns with an open layout and few obstacles. They are also cheaper than multi-speed units.
Multi-speed tractors, on the other hand, can have two to seven different speed settings. Tractors with more speed settings are best for mowing around trees on flat or ridged terrain.
Cutting width tells you how wide of a path the blade cuts in one pass. The width of cutting decks can range anywhere from 36 to 72 inches for commercial use.
Consider the size of your property before making a decision. If you have a small lawn with lots of obstacles, you may want to buy a unit with a smaller cutting range. This will help you get into the nooks and crannies of your yard.
It is more labor efficient to buy a riding mower with a larger cutting deck for bigger properties. The Simplicity 2691458 cuts an area 48-inches wide, so you will be done with your mowing much quicker.
A transmission lets you covert an engine’s power into movement, so you can go forwards and in reverse. You can pick between these transmission types:
Manual transmission is found in older tractors. It requires the use of a lever and a clutch. Some models even need to be stopped before changing gear, which is not practical at all. On the upside, these tractors are more fuel-efficient than those with automatic transmission.
Automatic transmission lets you control the speed of the tractor with two levers. One is for forward and reverse, and the other controls the speed. Take a look at the Husqvarna YTA24V48 tractor mower for reference. It is a dependable machine for working on level ground and hauling light loads.
A hydrostatic system uses fluid to switch gears automatically. The Husqvarna YTH18542 and other models like it may be more expensive, but they also ensure a smoother ride and are very easy to use.
You change the speed and direction with either a fender lever or foot pedal, depending on the design. This transmission style is ideal for heavy-duty work.
Fuel capacity lets you know how much gas a garden tractor holds in its tank. A general rule is that bigger tractors have a bigger reservoir and vice versa.
Purchase a tractor with a fuel tank large enough for your property. Otherwise, you will have to stop working to refuel the tractor, which is pretty inconvenient.
I recommend buying a Ariens IKON XD 42 Inch Zero Turn Mower for a bigger yard since it has a 2.7-gallon fuel capacity.
These features will make tractor handling and riding much smoother for you:
1. Turning radius
This tells you the diameter of the smallest U-turn the tractor can make. For garden tractors, it typically ranges from 4 to 28 inches. The Husqvarna YTH18542 , for instance, has a 16-inch radius. The tighter it is, the easier you will maneuver around the obstacles in your yard.
2. Anti-scalp tires
Look for tires with solid traction, so you can easily drive on wet grass and go up hills. Anti-scalp tires, like that on the Husqvarna YTA24V48 , will also prevent the blade from slicing through the dirt when going over a high spot.
Suspension in a tractor is comprised of tires, springs, and other connective parts between the wheels and the body. A good suspension system supports riding on diverse terrain while absorbing shock and vibrations. The Ryobi RY48111 rides smoothly, based on reviews.
Every tractor looks sturdy on the first glance. But don’t let their appearance fool you.
It is in your best interest to find a unit made of high-quality parts that can withstand rough terrain and occasional bumps and jumps.
Find a garden tractor with a cutting deck made of at least 11-gauge steel, just like the Ariens IKON XD tractor.
Another part you should pay close attention to is the front axle. Hitting a ditch at a high speed can be detrimental to an axle not thicker than half an inch.
Cast iron axles are stronger than carbon steel ones. They are less susceptible to trauma and can better muffle the vibrations and defy heat and corrosion. The Husqvarna YTH18542 has strong cast-iron front axles that can withstand greater loads.
Image credit: flickr.com
Leaving your garden tractor out in the open is not recommended, especially if you live in a diverse climate. You can reduce wear and tear on your machine with proper storage.
Look at the dimensions of the unit and double-check if it will fit through the door of your shed… or maybe even next to your garbage cans! Our garbage can storage ideas for outdoor you can check out here may inspire you for non-traditional solutions.
If you are concerned about storage, the Yard Machines 42-inch lawn tractor Lawn Tractor is the smallest tractor I was able to find. It measures only 70x47x38.5 inches.
Take into account that any additional accessories, like a bag, trailer, and snow blade, will take up more space in your garage.
A garden tractor can do more than just mow the grass (for example, towing away big rocks from your yard) but only if you have the right attachments.
However, the more accessories a unit can use, the more expensive it will be.
For instance, a tractor with a power-take-off (PTO) hitch will certainly cost you more than one that does not have it.
Why? Well, a PTO tractor can host heavy-duty attachments, like an auger, tiller, and snowblower, that feed off the engine’s power.
All of the garden tractors on my list are non-PTO, but they can accommodate accessories like:
- Carts and trailers for carrying tools (check out this list of the best tools for gardening)
- Bin bagger for collecting grass clippings
- Mulching kit for finely cutting the grass that can also shred leaves
- Lawn sweeper for cleaning up the leaves and debris (check out this guide)
- Snow blade for removing snow
- Aerator for introducing oxygen to the soil
- And more
An amazing warranty will give you peace of mind. It also tells you how confident the manufacturer is in their product.
Different parts are usually covered by different warranties. For example, the Husqvarna YTA24V48 is covered by a 3-year limited bumper to bumper warranty. On top of that, it has a 5-year guarantee on the frame, front axle, and chassis, and a 10-year consumer coverage plan for the deck.
Just keep in mind that you may have difficulty claiming a warranty with some of the companies.
Technically, tractors may have titles, the same way cars do. However, it is not obligatory for you to obtain this document. If you want to know more details, read our post about whether tractors have titles.
How To Care For Your Garden Tractor Or Lawnmower
As with any power tool in your shed, a garden tractor one requires maintenance as well. With the proper care, it can last you for years. Take a look at these maintenance tips.
Before and after each use:
- Check if the tires are fully inflated
- Test the brakes
- Check the oil level
- Brush the grass clippings off the deck and engine
Twice a year:
- Lubricate the spindles and pivot points
- Replace the air filter if it is filthy and damaged
- Replace bent and broken blades
- Change the oil and replace the oil filter
Check out this YouTube video for more tips on how to winterize your garden tractor:
Answers To Your Questions
Who Makes The Best Garden Tractor?
A lot of people will agree that the best garden tractor is made by John Deere. But I can’t go without mentioning the Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt, and Craftsman, too. I recommend you check out the opinion of the fellow gardeners on Consumer Affairs.
Are Troy Bilt And Craftsman The Same?
Troy Bilt and Craftsman mowers are made by MTD Products Inc. MTD is an American manufacturer and worldwide leader of outdoor power equipment made for the mass market.
Over the years, they have acquired different brands and companies, including Troy Bilt and Craftsman.
Who Builds Troy Bilt Engines?
Troy Bilt collaborates with a major Asian manufacturer to produce engines under their exclusive brand name, Powermore. They say that their OHV engines can be compared to the Briggs & Stratton and Honda. For more info, check out their support website.
Garden Tractor Reviews: My Top Pick
It is reassuring to know that there are many garden tractors to pick from. With the help of my detailed reviews, you should easily narrow down your selection to find the best garden tractor for your needs.
What is the best garden tractor, in my opinion?
My top pick is the Ryobi RY48111 because it the easiest to operate .
Since it runs on electricity, it is eco-friendly and you do not need to inhale fumes as opposte to using a gas-powered machine such as Simplicity 2691458 .
The runner up worth mentioning is the Husqvarna YTH18542 . It has a slightly smaller deck and its engine is just as impressive, at 18.5 HP.
Featured image credit: flickr.com
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Last update on 2021-05-10 at 20:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API