Some people really enjoy mowing the lawn. They enjoy the exercise of pushing the mower around, the smell of the fresh cut grass and the opportunity to cop some sunshine after being locked up in an office all week. However, it’s safe to say these folks are in the minority. For most homeowners mowing the lawn is right up there with cleaning up after a party. It’s a chore. Therefore, they look for the fastest, easiest way to get it done, and that almost always means a riding mower.
If you’ve sifted through enough riding lawn mowers reviews you’re aware there are two distinct types: the so-called “lawn tractor” and the “zero turn mower”. Because there are important differences between the two I’m giving each one its own page. On this page I’ll be covering lawn tractors. So if you’re looking for zero turn mowers kindly click here. That said, let’s get to it.
Our Riding Lawn Mowers Reviews
Still trying to weigh up whether a riding lawn mower is the right choice for your yard? It's a tough decision, I know, which is why we've laid out what we consider to be some of the main pros and cons of riding mowers below.
Advantages of Riding Lawn Mowers
There are several different kinds of push mowers, but they all have one thing in common: you have to push them (unless you get a self-propel model). If you have a tiny big city yard this probably isn’t an issue. But if you have a typical suburban yard then you’re looking at a lot of pushing. When you factor in sunshine and summer temperatures you can even be talking heat exhaustion. With a riding mower your physical involvement is limited to turning the steering wheel.
A riding mower will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to mow the lawn, and the larger the lawn, the more time you’ll save. In just a few minutes you can mow an area that might take you 20-30 minutes with an average push mower. And you won’t even break a sweat. The time savings will be even more impressive on hilly yards.
With push mowers, especially electric push mowers, the amount of power you can bring to bear on the grass is limited. As a result, if your lawn consists of thick, heavy grass like Bermuda grass, it’s likely your push mower won’t be up to the task. Riding mowers have no such limitations. Regardless of the type of grass they’re going to slice through it like a hot knife through butter.
Lawn tractors are called that because they do a lot more than just mow the lawn. Most lawn tractors have optional attachments you can purchase that will turn them into powerful snow blowers, front end loaders, lawn aerators, snow plows and much more. Try doing any of those things with a push mower.
Cons of Riding Lawn Mowers
That Pesky Carbon Footprint
There’s a downside to everything and the primary downside to the riding lawn mower is that it’s going to pump out a fair amount of carbon dioxide as it powers through your lawn. Also, while today’s riding mowers are way more fuel efficient than those of 20-30 years ago, they still rely on fossil fuels, which is becoming harder and harder to justify.
Most lawn tractors are large machines. Some can be the size of a small car. Therefore, there’s little chance you’ll be able to slip it under the porch, and it might even be too big for the garage, depending on how much space you have around the car. If you’re going to buy a riding lawn mower you have to know in advance exactly where you’re going to store it.
There’s no way to sugar-coat it. Riding lawn mowers are expensive. If you read enough riding lawn mowers reviews you’ll notice some of the larger ones can reach into 5 figures. That’s a significant investment no matter how you look at it. That said, most homeowners who purchase riding mowers believe the financial stretch to be worth it.
A big riding mower is going to make a lot more noise than a reel mower or even a battery powered electric mower that you push. Most lawn tractors will produce anywhere from 90-95 decibels. That’s about the same as a blender or a table saw. Whether that much noise is a problem for you or your neighbors only you and they can decide.