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 out what my other top picks are!
- 1 In A Rush? Check Out Our Comparison Table
- 2 5 Of The Best Garden Tractor Reviews
- 2.1 Ryobi RY48111 38 Inches Battery Riding Lawn Mower – Requires Least Maintenance – Best Overall
- 2.2 Simplicity 2691458 Regent Riding Mower – Most Comfortable
- 2.3 Ariens IKON XD 42 Inch Zero Turn Mower 915268 – Most Maneuverable
- 2.4 Husqvarna YTA24V48 24HP Tractor Mower – Garden Tractor With Most Power
- 2.5 Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Riding Mower – Best Designed Garden Tractor
- 3 Best Small Tractor for Gardening – Comparison
- 4 Buyer’s Guide: How To Buy The Best Garden Tractor
- 5 Best Yard Tractors – Advantages
- 6 Answers To Your Questions
- 7 Garden Tractor Reviews: My Top Pick
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! It’s not so common to find quality and durable electric garden tractors, but this one exceeded all my expectations.
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.
I should say that if you’re after a heavy duty garden tractor that will deal nicely with taller grass that has been left untouched for some time, this tractor might not be the best choice. It worked seamlessly in my garden, where I mow the lawn once a week, but I tested it on my friend’s lawn, on the grass that was much higher (about 5 inches), and it struggled to give us optimal results in the first run.
I also was not entirely satisfied with how this mower dealt with the dump grass as well. As far as wet grass goes, I know it’s not an easy challenge for most lawn mowers, and hopefully, it’s not a common practice in your garden, but for the sake of tests, I tried to cut damp grass with this tractor, and I was not able to get a clean cut.
However, like I said, cutting damp grass is no easy feat and should generally be avoided, so I’m not holding this against the Ryobi RY48111.
What I appreciate about this tractor is its speed. It will work perfectly for you if you want a mower for regular lawn maintenance and need something to quickly work around your garden. The Ryobi RY48111 is also very quiet, which is a considerable advantage for me (I don’t like to work in high loudness conditions, as many other people I’m sure), so if you pay attention to these sorts of things, you’ll be happy with this garden tractor.
What I Like
- 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
What I Don’t Like
- Batteries may degrade over time
My rating: 5/5
Simplicity 2691458 Regent Riding Mower – Most Comfortable
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- Features exclusive suspension comfort system.
- Powered by a strong 25-horsepower Briggs & Stratton Engine.
- Features a big 48-inch mowing deck.
- Has an 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. I worked on it for two hours straight with no interruptions and was very pleased with the level of support and comfort it provided me with.
But, 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.
One disadvantage I found in this tractor was its fuel efficiency. On longer trimming jobs, I was forced to refill the tank more often than I would like to, so it’s something worth keeping in mind.
But the level of comfort this mower provides made up for this small flaw, making it one of the best yard tractors I had the opportunity to test. Still, its price is rather high, so you’re definitely paying for this comfort.
What I Like
- 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
What I Don’t Like
My rating: 4.5/5
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.
I really had some fun with this lawn mower, going into all the difficult-to-access parts of my garden and the way this tractor performed almost blew me away! I had never worked on such a precise and easy-to-maneuver garden tractor, and once I tried the Ariens IKON ID, it was hard for me to go back to something else.The lawn mower was very easy to ride, providing great stability and traction even on slightly uneven terrain. It’s a solid heavy duty garden tractor, although, again, it comes with a hefty price tag.
What I Like
- 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
What I Don’t Like
My rating: 4.5/5
Husqvarna YTA24V48 24HP Tractor Mower – Garden Tractor With Most Power
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- 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.
It’s also one of the easiest lawn mowers to operate, offering great versatility. It will work great in medium and larger lawns, making your job extremely easy. Husqvarna YTA24V48 comes with exemplary cruise control, which may prove to be useful for those with less experience in operating a lawn tractor.
This model offers an engine with an automatic choke. This is not something that is seen very often, as most lawn mowers have a manual choke, which normally requires the operator to open and close the choke when starting the machine cold. This is another simplification and one that many regular users will appreciate.
It’s also basically maintenance-free, which, again, will make it a fantastic choice for first-time garden tractor owners. I would say this model had some issues going up hills, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to those who have very uneven terrain with lots of knolls.
Still, if you’re in the market for a very reliable and easy-to-operate lawn mower, this model should meet most of your expectations.
What I Like
- 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
What I Don’t Like
- Has a difficult time going up hills
- Can be difficult to claim the warranty
My rating: 4/5
Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Riding Mower – Best Designed Garden Tractor
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- 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.
Contrary to the other Husqvarna model presented in this review, this tractor has no issues going up hills whatsoever. It’ll be much more suited for uneven terrains than some other tractors presented here, so if that’s what you’re dealing with, go with Husqvarna YTH18542.
Additionally, this heavy duty garden tractor offers fantastic stability and balance, so riding it is easy and enjoyable.
When it comes to maintenance, I’ve noticed that the tractor does not come with an hour meter, which most people use to check the oil level. This seems like a minor oversight since it’s not very expensive to purchase, but some people like to have everything they’ll need to maintain their lawn mower included.
For me, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but I thought it was worth mentioning. My biggest reservation concerns the size of the fuel tank. For my personal liking, it could be bigger, but the performance of this tractor is still very good, so it’s not the end of the world.
Husqvarna is a reputable brand with stellar products for lawn maintenance, so I wasn’t too surprised by how both of their models performed and what type of quality they offered. Either one of them could be a good fit for you.
What I Like
- 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
What I Don’t Like
- 2.5-gallon fuel tank could be bigger
My rating: 4.5/5
Best Small Tractor for Gardening – Comparison
|Ryobi RY48111 38||Simplicity 2691458||Ariens IKON XD 42||Husqvarna YTA24V48 24HP||Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP|
|Engine Size||–||25 HP||18 HP||24 HP||18.5 HP|
|Fuel Tank Volume||Battery|
|3.5 Gal||2.7 Gal||3.0 Gal||3.0 Gal|
|Dimensions||63″ x 38.5″x 46″||712″x 54″ x 47″||77.5″ x 54.2″ x 40″||69.3″ x 41.5″ x 59″||69″ x 49″ x 41.4″|
|Price||Check here||Check Here||Check here||Check Here||Check Here|
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 No products found 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 No products found cuts an area 48-inches wide, so you will be done with your mowing much quicker.
A transmission lets you convert 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 No products found 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 No products found 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, so it’s something to think about when choosing your best yard tractor.
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 an 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 No products found, 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 No products found, will also prevent the blade from slicing through the dirt when going over a high spot.
Suspension in a tractor is composed 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 at 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 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 No products found has strong cast-iron front axles that can withstand greater loads.
Image credit: flickr.com
I definitely don’t recommend 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, if you need some inspiration for non-traditional solutions.
If you are concerned about storage, the No products found Lawn Tractor is the smallest tractor I was able to find. It measures only 63″D x 38.5″W x 46″H 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
From what I’ve seen, Husqvarna makes an impressive variety of attachments for their lawn tractors. You can check the compatible parts for No products found model on their website.
An amazing warranty will give you peace of mind. It also tells you how confident the manufacturer is in their product. From my experience, I can say that the best yard tractor will come with a minimum of 2 years warranty.
Different parts are usually covered by different warranties. For example, the No products found 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.
Best Yard Tractors – Advantages
Why is it worth it to invest in a lawn mower on wheels? If you’ve read my garden tractor reviews, you may already know that these bad boys can do your job of maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn much easier and more time-efficiently.
The most considerable advantages of owning the best yard tractor are:
- Time efficiency – you can cut the grass on your lawn so much faster, getting clear cut with very small effort.
- Easy lawn maintenance on larger parcels – if you have a large garden, you know exactly how hard it is to lawn it using a regular lawn mower. Having a tractor lets you cover more ground in less time.
- Can handle rougher terrain – due to their built and capabilities, tractor lawn mowers are better equipped to handle more difficult terrain.
- Their construction is more robust – this means they are more durable and need repairs less often.
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 (you can also read more about garden tractors vs lawn 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 is the easiest to operate.
It has cruise control, which is more practical to use than the hand-operated system on the No products found Lawn Tractor.
Since it runs on electricity, it is eco-friendly, and you do not need to inhale fumes as opposed to using a gas-powered machine such as No products found.
The runner-up worth mentioning is the No products found. It has a slightly smaller deck, and its engine is just as impressive, at 18.5 HP. It’s also a great tractor that allows you to do all the maintenance of your lawn, including mowing after overseeding.
Featured image credit: flickr.com
Last update on 2023-05-28 at 05:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API