Riding Lawn Mower Reviews & Top Rated Lawn Tractors

riding lawn mower

Foam Filled Tires for a Mower: Can it be done? (Yes, And Here’s How…)

Can you really use foam filled tires for a mower? If you are searching for an accurate answer to this question, you have come to the right place. The short answer to this question is Yes. But it’s crucial for you to understand the many factors that will go into the process required for you to achieve this feat. In the following sections, you will find everything that you need to know in order for you to successfully foam fill mower tires.

Understanding the Importance of Tire Maintenance

Mowers are the true epitome of convenience, power & efficiency. Bringing you the ultimate comfort in your work, these mowers are indeed a boon to the people who cannot spend hours cutting their yards or banks. But all is not a bed of roses with mowers. If taken care of being maintained, they can serve you for a long time. However, this maintenance has been known to be neglected by the people. This needs to be changed, and it is not that much difficult either.

Mower tires need to be checked regularly to see if they are in proper shape and condition. Prone to being punctured often as a result of stones on the yard, need to be taken care of. Contrary to their belief, maintenance of mower tires is not a tiresome job. It can be done with ease, and your mower will be back in action and serving you at its best – if you know how to correct the job yourself.

One of the most efficient but rarely known DIY techniques is that of foam-fill mower tires. This will not only ensure that your mower tires are restored to their original condition and give it a charm that will last long. It will also ensure durability, increase efficiency, and longevity.

However, before you pursue this method, you need to know every minute detail involved in the method. To assist you in your undertaking, we have taken it upon ourselves to research all about it, so you can just read this informative article and get to work.

Are Foam Filled Mower Tires Best for You?

Foam filled tires may not be the right choice for everyone. In fact, the majority of people, including “experts,” will recommend using tires with solid rubber cores. The truth is, for most people, foam filled tires are better suited for the task, especially for riding lawn mowers. Foam filled tires are harder, more durable, and can easily handle the rigors of a mechanical riding mower.

And because the tires are now inflated with foam instead of air, they will not deflate over time as the foam will not leak out. Meaning if your tires deflate every time you pull out of the garage, this might be the perfect solution for you. This is especially true if you have any type of riding lawn mower, whether it is a lawn tractor or a zero-turn.

Another key difference between foam filled and solid tires is that foam filled tires are more durable. There is very little reason to replace foam filled tires even if you only use them seasonally. Replace solid rubber tires every 1-2 years to protect yourself from an unexpected flat tire or blowout.

Another defining factor between solid rubber tires and foam filled tires is the cost. A new set of solid rubber tires will cost you well over $100 for each wheel. Adding up the cost of four tires to the cost of a new lawnmower is almost a deal-breaker for many people. A simple (albeit more labor-intensive) process of adding foam filled tires to existing solid tires will cost you no more than $40 for each tire. Adding just $15.49 in tire foam and another hour in labor can double your mower tire’s life. You can expect your new foam filled tires to last 3-5 years before you will need to do it again.

Pros & Cons of Foam Filled Mower Tires

Pros:

  1. The extra weight added due to foam will improve the stability of the unit.
  2. The foam will not leak out, and the tires will remain solid for three years at least.
  3. These tires will provide the best possible safety for your mower.
  4. The mower will be free from wheel wobble and will be much more stable while rolling.
  5. No more flat tires before you mow.

Cons:

  1. The foam may increase the wheel vibrations at higher speed, making the mower uncomfortable to drive.
  2. Less traction is a possibility.

Foam-filled tires are not flexible. Hence, less rubber comes into contact with the lawn, which leads to degraded traction. Most riding mowers weigh several hundred pounds, and you need traction to prevent wheel slippage. All traction comes from the tires themselves. If you lose traction, you could bottom out the mower, which could damage the frame or, even worse, cause a serious accident. So, you should be careful with the reduction of traction.

Are Foam Filled Tires Dangerous?

Foam-filled tires are similar to air-filled tires in a lot of ways. As long as you adhere to the proper filling procedure highlighted in this article, you should be fine. The key ingredient you need to keep in mind is bead sealer. Bead sealers are used to seal the tires from the outside elements. If you use any kind of tire sealer, please be sure to read the directions carefully.

You should also use foam-filled tires in cooler conditions. The heat will cause the rubber-based foam to expand and then contract as it is reheated. This will lead to cracking of the foam, causing your tire to become unsealed. As long as you use these tires under the proper conditions listed in your instructions, you should be fine.

Foam filling tires are easy to install and will rarely if ever blow out on you. They are a great choice if you are tired of your solid rubber tires leaking air & needing to be replaced every year. Pair these tires with a strong bead sealer & your riding mower tires will have a long service life about which you will be pleased.

How to Foam fill Mower Tires – 5 Important Steps

Foam-fill mower tires are easy to implement, but there are steps you need to follow to get the job done right. In the following sections, you will find these five important steps to ensure that your foam-fill mower tires go smoothly. But before we drive into the steps, let’s discuss the tools you’ll need.

Tools You’ll Need:

  1. Mower (obvious, I know, but good to mention)
  2. A valve stem tool
  3. A drill with a 3/8″ bit
  4. Premium quality, high density, minimally expanding tire foam sealant
  5. A hose tap (a hose-end or air chuck will do)

Note: Low-density foam is not as effective and will not inflate as much as a high-density foam sealant. Consider the fact that because of the weight added, foam-filled tires tend to make the wheel assembly heavier. Low-Density foam will not be able to handle the increased weight, and your tires will get damaged in a comparatively shorter amount of time.

Once you have assembled all necessary tools, be reminded that the foaming process should take between 20 minutes and 30 minutes and will involve four tires, so expect a total of four times that period. It is best to wear some goggles when filling tires with foam; secondly, get some rubber or nitrile gloves to protect your hands while you are doing this project. The following steps will outline exactly how to foam your lawnmower’s tires.

Step 1:

Since you want to ensure the longevity of the wheel/tire, you need to remove the valve from the wheel and throw it away because you’re not going to need it anymore. To remove this valve, you need to use the valve stem tool. Then attach the valve stem cap or air chuck, whichever you have, onto the valve stem.

Step 2:

With the foam can connected and the mask placed, the next step is to start drilling holes in your tire near the rim. Use a drill bit of the same measurement as the straw coming out of the foam can; I used a 3/8″ drill bit. It is best to keep the holes in the center of the tire as much as possible. The more even the holes are, the better.

Step 3:

Now it’s time to inject the foam. Make sure the tire is resting back against a solid object, such as an unmovable post. Then, insert the straw as far as it will go into the hole of the tire, pull the trigger, and hold the plunger for around 4–5 seconds. After waiting for four to five seconds, release the trigger and start over after five seconds. You need to repeat the process until you see some foam leaking from the tip of the hole. The foam should go in freely without sticking on the rim.

Step 4:

When you are finished filling the tires, it is important to let them “rest” for at least 24 to 48 hours to ensure that they are completely dry. You will know this happens when you take the cover off, and it won’t smell. Once this process happens, remove the sections that dried while in the bottom of the hole, and it should just flake or fall out. This is a good test that the tire has completely dried.

Step 5:

Now you can go ahead and put the wheels back on the mower. You may start mowing right away if you want to do so.

What If You Want to Revert Back to The Original Tires?

The difficulty of trying to reverse or convert the foam fill tires back to the old standard is that you’ve already ruined the tire’s natural tissue of rubber and inner material. It is best to take these tires to a reputable tire center for a re-inflate or to have new tires placed on the rims. They can handle this difficult conversion for you.

Conclusion

Foam-filling tires is not a hard process, and you can easily do this for yourself. However, taking great care and ensuring that the tires are properly dried are both important steps, both of which will determine the success of your tire projects. Thus, by following the steps listed above, you are sure to have a hassle-free foam-filling endeavor.

How to start a riding lawn mower

How to start a riding lawn mower

Many people eagerly hop aboard their new lawn tractor and realize that they don’t know how to start a riding lawnmower.

A riding lawn mower is a perfect tool for long stretches of grass, whether in commercial buildings or personal residences. They are great tools that offer you a lot of conveniences.

Not everyone understands very well how to operate these devices on their first try, so as the Mow Master, allow me to give you some tips to make the process of how to start a riding lawn mower a bit easier.

The most important thing to understand is that according to the brand, there will be certain differences in the mower. But in essence, they are much the same.

Much like driving a car, it pays to understand the machine before plopping down in the seat. Take 15 seconds to do a “pre-mow” check to make sure you know where everything is. This guide will help go over some of the most important things to pay attention to when using your machine.

It’s important to remember that riding mowers are heavy machinery, and thus, require a healthy oil level before cruising through your yard. The oil level should be displayed on the left side of the mower, although it varies within the different models of riding mowers. Before you turn the key and engage your mower, be sure to check the oil level, find a comfortable setting for your seat, push the choke lever up as far as it goes, and take the time to read the manual provided by the manufacturer.

This guide is not meant to be a substitute for any instructions provided by the mower manufacturer, it simply aims to remove any misunderstandings about how a mower works, and turn you into a mow pro.

Critical Components to Verify

Even though you have to start the engine of the riding lawn mower and use a gear lever, the mower is easy enough to use.

The first thing you have to do is check where the safety catch is so you can start the engine. This is a safety mechanism; some products include weight balances, which prevent the machine from being left on while no one is sitting on it. All of this has been created to help the operator avoid accidents.

Here are a few things to consider when starting ride on lawn mowers. These are the main key components that you want to make sure you set to the correct setting.

  1. Ignition switch: Verify that you know which one is the ignition switch… it sounds silly, but since you don’t always have to turn the key, it’s worth verifying the exact mode of ignition and how the engine starts.
  2. Check the oil: If you don’t check the oil… the oil will check you! When you check the oil level prior to turning on your riding mower, make sure that the oil is at the correct line on the dip stick.
  3. Disengage the parking brake: Ah, the parking brake… just like a car! We’ve all tried to start our ride on lawn mower only to realize that we have left the parking brake on. If your mower does not lurch forward, you will know why.
  4. Spark plug : A busted spark plug can mean engine trouble. If your riding mower has trouble with ignition, the spark plug may be the cause. Replacing a spark plug can be a technical hangup about on level with replacing a battery.
  5. Throttle lever: Is this beginning to feel like a pre-flight check? Most riding mower throttle lever systems are on the right side of the mower, but there are indeed others that are on the left side of the mower. Taking inventory of all the parts in your mower make certain that you will be able to pilot your mower like a champion.

What kind of fuel does my riding mower need?

Most riding lawn mowers are going to be compatible with unleaded fuel that you can pick up from any gas station. Simple as that. There are some mowers that take diesel fuel, and others that do not require fuel at all. A lawn mower riding experience is easy as 1, 2, 3 with the right fuel.

Your starter or ignition switch is how the engine starts up. Some mowers will require you to “choke” the mower, just like you would with a standard mower. Others may not have a switch at all, and will have you turn your key to the right, while having your left foot placed on the clutch. Getting familiar with your riding mower is key, as each model can come with some different issues, settings, blades, choke options, and other cutting attachments.

  • 4” deep fully fabricated with advanced airflow for an exceptional cutting performance.
  • The plush, high back seat featuring padded arm rests is adjustable from the operator position providing superior comfort while mowing.​​​​
  • Choose from 13 cutting positions, from 1½” to 4½”, in quarter-inch increments with just the turn of a dial.
  • 24HP/725cc Kohler 7000 V-Twin OHV Engine
  • 52-Inch, 3-Blade Fabricated Mower Deck
  • Hydrostatic EZT transmission
  • Large tires
  • High-Back Plush Seat With Armrests
  • 26hp Kohler 747cc 7000 Series V-Twin Engine
  • 54-Inch FAB 3-Blade Mower Deck
  • Electric Clutch Deck Engagement
  • Not available for sale in California

Be careful with the speeds

Although the machines cannot go TOO fast, you must be careful with the accelerator to avoid accidents. The most important thing about starting a riding lawn mower after starting the engine is to check the gear lever and be careful with the accelerator.

The vast majority of these products include a speedometer to keep track of everything, plus it prevents speeding. When working with an engine, it is necessary to be aware of oil changes as well as any sounds you may make.

The mower’s gear shift lever is the main component that drives riding lawn mowers. Anybody who has ever gone quadding should know! Make sure that your gear shift lever is not in the neutral position. Riding mowers do their best at moderate speeds, so take your time to get used to the mower speed before whizzing around your yard. You might accidentally wind up in your garden and wreak havoc on your herbs and spices!

How to start a riding lawn mower in the cold

Cold weather can do the same damage to a lawnmower as a car, as they have essentially the same internal mechanisms.

After the cold season, you will need to do an internal engine check to make sure everything is okay! This is an often overlooked step in how to start a riding lawn mower in the cold.

Likewise, it is good to prevent any kind of accident by letting the engine warm-up step by step, to verify that everything is still in order inside the engine. These machines were designed to weather this type of weather (if you don’t mind a bad pun) for long seasons, so you should not worry too much about its health during the cold season.

When you try to start a lawn mower in the cold, it becomes even more imperative that you check the oil level before you turn the key. If your mower has been sitting out in the weather during the winter, there is a good likelihood that when you turn the key to the right, the throttle will have some issues.

Once again, ti becomes essential here that you inspect the fuel level of your mower and verify the ignition switch is in the correct position. Back earlier in this article, we also mention that you should consult the manual to get an explanation of the different knob settings involved in starting the machine. Pull and push on the seat and look to see if the cutting deck is clean. Sometimes when you leave the mower in the cold, you’ll have to crank even harder to get it to start.

How to turn on a mower with a screwdriver

Riding lawn mowers have special keys to start the engine, and they are so small that they slip away very easily. It is possible to start this device with a screwdriver but it is not the most recommended way as it could be dangerous.

It’s a matter of putting the right wires together, but it’s not something you should do without knowledge.

Some models have a slightly simpler lock and it is possible to place the screwdriver there, but this is not entirely recommended. These instruments are really useful so it is best to treat them carefully since they are excellent support for every kind of grass.

If you are stuck on how to start a riding lawn mower, contact me for help! Click here if you’re looking to buy a small riding lawn mower for a mid-size yard.

How to start a craftsman riding lawn mower

Craftsman and other great mower brands all share their own documentation on how to work with their specific devices. While every machine is related in terms of its starting mechanisms, this is only a surface guide on how to start the machine.

Visit the Craftsman website to browse their different categories and determine how to take a seat and get your mower from neutral to fired up.

  • 12V 280CCA (Tests 400CCA) 12 Volt Sealed AGM Battery with Flag Terminal (Nut & Bolt)
  • Dimensions: 7.62" x5.12" x 6.56" Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Sealed and maintenance free operation, non-spillable construction design with safety valve for explosion prevention.
  • Replaces ALL Standard U1`Style Lawn Mower and Garden Tractor Batteries.
  • Double Check Positive and Negative Terminal Locations Compared to Your Current Battery!
  • CA12330 SLA is a 12V 33AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance free battery for Craftsman 25780, ZT7000, 90508011 Lawn Tractor Mower Battery
  • Dimensions: 7.68 inches x 5.16 inches x 7.13 inches. Listing is for the Battery and Screws only. No wire harness or mounting accessories included.
  • SLA / AGM spill proof battery has a characteristic of high discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service life and deep discharge recover.
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration. Long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures.
  • ML-U1 is a 12V 200 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Battery
  • Dimensions 7 75 inches x 5 11 inches x 6 25 inches Polarity Positive on Right Negative on Left Listing is for the Battery and Screws only No wire harness or mounting accessories included
  • Compatibility Craftsman 25780 Troy-Bilt Bronco Riding 19 HP John Deere L100 17 HP Cub Cadet Sit Down Under Seat Mower IHC Cub Garden 1250 Cub Cadet Hustler Fastrak Zero Turn DieHard Garden Tractor John Deere L110 17 5HP Law Tractor Toro Time Cutter SS5060 John Deere L130 John Deere 155C and many more
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position resists shocks and vibration Long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures
  • SLA / AGM spill proof battery has a characteristic of high discharge rate wide operating temperatures long service life and deep discharge recover

In summary

Either you are a lawn tractor owner or simply an aspirational mowing pro. We hope that this guide proves to be helpful for you in getting up to speed with your mower.

Once again, checking the following mechanisms will be essential to preserving your mower’s healthy lifespan.

  • Engine – perform a regular inspection of your engine, and if possible keep your mower indoors during the winter season so as not to freeze the engine
  • Fuel – always ensure that there is sufficient fuel in the mower before starting your yard care.
  • Brake – Both the parking brake and the regular brake on the right side are worth getting familiar with and making sure are operational.
  • Throttle – Before you put on Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue and go zipping around your yard, set the throttle lever to a reasonable position before starting things up.
  • Choke – Review your machine’s documentation on the choke mechanism
  • Battery – Take care to keep the battery of the mower at an optimal power level

Happy mowing to you in your yard! Your grass will be looking like the garden of Eden in no time at all. If you still have further questions, you may contact the Mow Master by email to be directed in the proper direction. If you have yet to purchase a riding mower, consider reviewing our guide to the best riding lawn mower for 2021.

Why Buy a Small Riding Lawn Mower in 2021

Small Riding Lawn Mower for 2021

An immaculately trimmed lawn is every homeowner’s dream. But when it comes to maintaining larger lawns, surely a push mower might not be the best option? The solution to getting your grass cut in an ideal manner is by purchasing one of the best small riding lawn mowers.

Lush green growth is excellent for any yard but that often means tons of work getting the grass trimmed.  They say that grass is cheap to install but often hard to maintain when it comes to landscaping.

Why do I need a small riding lawn mower?

You may wonder what some of the benefits and convenience of having a small riding lawn mower are.

Well, it’s all about comfort and convenience but also covering a wide area which would take you days to weeks on foot. The best riding lawn mowers are all about time and fuel efficiency and not having to go topless in the heat of summer.

Unlike pushed mowers, riding lawn mowers are convenient as well as both energy and time-efficient. They are diesel engine powered, so you can cover the entire yard in minutes and without breaking a sweat.

Typically you take half the time you would have taken walking behind the mower. More importantly, riding lawn mowers are designed for easy operation by both beginner and advanced lawn care experts.

A good lawn tractor will help you give your grass the right cut for lush growth and curb appeal.

Here is how to buy one.

What to look for in a small riding lawn mower

You might start off your search for the best lawn tractor knowing full well what you want, but the market is flooded with hundreds of brands and sizes making it difficult to discern the best within your budget.

small riding lawn mower

We know it’s hard to find one brand that perfectly fits your needs, your budget, and other requirements. But as you explore, these are some factors you need to consider when choosing one.

The Brand

When it comes to buying these mini tractors, the brand is arguably the most important thing to consider. Companies like Troy-Bilt, Murray, Husqvarna, John Deere, Cub Cadet, Kholer are among the leading manufacturers. Here are some short notes on our top three brands for lawn tractors.

John Deere

John Deere riding mowers have been around for many years as a quality outdoor equipment manufacturer, and any mower within their brand will serve you well for years with high-quality output.

Troy-bilt

Troy-bilt offers the perfect blend of quality outdoor equipment and affordability. It is ideal for private residential owners with small-to-medium

Husqvarna

Husqvarna is more of a luxury brand with high-quality equipment. Their brand is targeted toward residential owners with a need for easy to operate lawn tractors that boast both comfort and convenience features.

Lawn sizes and terrain

The type of mower that is appropriate for your lawn depends on its size and terrain. Hilly landscape requires more traction and larger sized wheels to prevent toppling over and provide sufficient power cut uphill.

Top speed of a small riding lawn mower

Speed needs no introduction as it obviously means getting the job done faster. There is another consideration to make regarding the speed which is single speed or multi-speed mowing. Multi-speed machines are better as they enable shifting to go faster or slower as desired.

Deck size

When speaking about lawnmowers, deck size matters because it affects not only the ease of mowing larger lawns the storage space an engine power required as well as the fuel efficiency.

It also affects maneuverability such that a large yard may require a 42-inch deck but it will not be ideal for a large field with a number of obstacles such as trees balls flowers and winding paths.

A smaller deck of about 28 to 34 inches is perfect for maneuvering. Also, storage space and entrance to your garage or shed are important to consider when choosing the right deck size.

Engine power and traction

Ideally, engine power should be 12 to 26 horsepower (HP) for an acre of land area. The steeper your yard, the more horsepower you should go for but that in turn means a hire purchase price plus fuel consumption. More power is not always a plus so you should go for optimal power.

Transmission

The type of engine mount determines the maneuverability and efficiency of the mower.

Small riding lawn mowers between 11 and 15 horsepower will have a rear mount engine and a smaller deck. Large front-mounted engines with hydrostatic transmissions deliver greater horsepower from 18 to 26 HP.

Comfort and convenience features

Luxury mowers come with a myriad of features for the safety and comfort of the operator. This includes reclining seats with adjustable positions, soft-touch cruise control, soft-grip steering electric clutch for easy blade engagement, and built-in cup holder among others.

Safety features

Safety is paramount when it comes to operating powerful equipment and these tractors are no exception.

Operator safety is enhanced by features like the following:

  • Compact size for maneuverability near obstacles
  • Anti-accidental reverse features
  • LED headlights for enhanced visibility when cutting during the evenings
  • Wide step area for easy mounting and dismounting
  • Anti-scalp wheels
  • Easily accessible control panel and brake lock system to prevent accidental release of brakes
  • More!

Maintenance tips for a small riding lawn mower

Care and maintenance of small mowers, you say? Well, caring for small riding lawn mowers is pretty much the same as that of large mowers except that they are that much more delicate. Here what to think about when you’re looking at taking care of them over time.

  • Read the operator’s manual and keep it
  • Check oil just as you would for your car
  • Clean and drain gasoline after each cutting season
  • If it cannot start, try changing the spark plug (Click here to learn how to start a riding lawn mower)
  • Unclog the undercarriage of grass and twigs
  • Sharpen your blades for proper cutting
  • Wear protective gear when operating the lawn tractor
  • Have your engine checked by experts at recommended intervals

The lifespan and service of your lawnmower ultimately depend on how well you use and maintain it. With regular engine tuning and repairs and replacements, you can enjoy your new mower for years to come.

If you’re looking at a lawnmower of any shape or size, make sure you refer to our riding lawn mower buying guide.

Why Buy a Riding Lawn Mower?

Whether you’re a homeowner with a massive yard or not, you may have thought at some point, “Why buy a riding lawn mower?”

This is one of the most common riding lawn mower FAQ’s.

Although standard walk-behind mowers can be quite a bit cheaper and use less gasoline, they do require a lot more force input to operate than a rider. This factor only scales up if you have a large yard.

When considering buying a riding mower, it comes down to two factors:

  1. Your property
  2. Your budget

Of course, many consider price before anything else. Even the most low end riding mowers will still run you in the vicinity of $1,000. And if it’s a mid-range of elite mower that you’re in search of, you’ll probably be spending somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000.

Is it worth buying a riding lawn mower?

The investment is believed to be worthwhile since a riding mower grants the rider the power to knock out their weekly/monthly grass mowing in a fraction of the time and effort it usually takes.

You should also evaluate what type of lawn you have, and whether or not a riding mower is warranted for the job. Medium and large lawns with lots of open space lend themselves perfectly to a riding mower. While small yards with lots of precariously perched objects might be more suited for a walk-behind mower.

electric lawn mower

These mowers allow you be the pilot, and drive them just like you would a small ATV, allowing the cutting blades beneath you to hammer out all of the hard work.

But although you might be eager to rush out and buy yourself a brand new riding mower, I want to first help you see how push mowers and riders fare pitted against each other.

Riding Mower vs Push Mower

While they work on the same job, riding and push mowers are two fundamentally different tools.

The usual walk-behind mower requires you to push behind it and steer it around your lawn. Typically, these mowers have cutting decks that rate around 30” wide. You could also opt for an electric lawn mower that uses no gasoline at all! 

This means that although they’ll cover wide sections of your lawn, they can still take a considerable amount of time (and energy) if you have a large property.

Push mowers are typically best-suited for relatively flat lawns that come in small or medium sizes.

Yard Size as a Factor

The reason herein lies that the tool relies on YOU and your force output to keep it going! This can be quite arduous on a larger property, as we’re not accustomed anymore to spending hours on our feet pushing around heavy equipment. 

Self-propelled models can come in quite handy here. They require virtually no force from the user to advance forward, although they still require you to be steering from behind.

So while they can be advantageous for average lawns, you still may get tired if your lawn is over an acre in size. In some situations, a push or self-propelled mower is superior. For example, lawns that have obstacles, abrupt edges, or narrow passageways.

When working in yards like these, push mowers are highly suited for the job due to their design that allows them to squeeze in and out of spaces that riding models would get stuck in.

Push Mowers for Slopes

What’s more, is that a push mower also invaluable in mowing lawns with steep hills and slopes. While a riding mower can do this too, I don’t necessarily recommend you try it out on a super steep slope. You could end up flipping the mower! Bad vibes.

If your yard has some rise to it, the conventional walk-behind models may serve you better. Better safe than sorry, after all. You will find plenty of affordable options here too; standard push mowers typically run from $150 to $500, which is half of the cheapest riding mower.

Self-propelled vs. Walk-behind

Self-propelled models have a bit of a higher premium. These puppies will run you between $500 and $750 or so. You’ll also want to consider the maintenance and operational costs between different models.

Basic push mowers only need a bit of gas, and are generally very reliable. And due to their simple design, the parts are commonly inexpensive to replace in comparison to a riding mower or self-propelled one.

Self-propelled mowers use more gas and need a lot more maintenance than your standard fare push mower, but the cost is usually much less than a riding mower. Riding mowers also require minimal effort to drive around your yard. Once you have your settings dialed in, just steer the mower and let the cutting blades handle the rest!

Riding lawn mowers also generally have wider cutting decks anywhere from 30” upwards of 50”. With that kind of cutting power, they can make quick work of a massive lawn while you enjoy an iced green tea. …or a beer.

Powerful mowers like these are prime for flat, large yards or properties that only subtle slopage. Remember, no steep hills!

Deciding Which Mower is Right

Now, riding mowers outpace push mowers in a variety of situations.

Here are a few situations that you’re better off with a riding mower:

  • When your lawn is an acre or more
  • If your lawn has thick grass or weedy patches
  • Your lawn is susceptible to overgrowth and being damp

The time and energy saved compared to belaboring behind a walk-behind model cannot be understated. Not to mention having to constantly empty the grass bag.

In terms of price, a riding mower ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. This spectrum will depend largely on the brand or add-ons that you select.

With the average price of about $2,000, you can own a high-quality riding mower with smooth performance, enormous cutting width, and lots of useful features:

  • Cruise control
  • Xeon Headlights
  • Cup holders
  • Plow attachments
  • Snow mode
  • More!

Zero-Turn Rider Mower vs Lawn Tractor

Have you been pushing a heavy mower through your lawn for far too long? Are you ready to invest in a riding mower?

Then my friend, it’s time to make a choice between a zero-turn radius mower or a lawn tractor. If you’re curious on the difference of a “lawn tractor,” we’ve done a write-up on that too.

Both types of riding mower will arm you with all of the necessary firepower and speed to outpace your standard push mower. But the zero-turn models have become especially popular due to how well they suit homeowners’ needs.

Turning Radius Compared

Now, both the zero-turn radius mower and the lawn tractor will be able to easily knock out your yardwork tasks. But the key distinction between the two styles of mower is HOW they mow the grass.

Lawn tractors have a turning radius of around 16” or so. This means that even when you complete your run of grass and turn your mower, there will probably be a small patch of grass you missed… leaving some clean up work for you in each pass.

But zero-turn mowers make a near 90 degree turn, enabling them to catch 100% of the grass in a single pass.

While owners of lawn tractors may waste more time backtracking on their mowing work, the zero-turn mower crowd will have the job done without the need to go back and do touch-up.

Another core difference between the two mowers is the way that they are controlled.

Although lawn tractors are equipped with a steering wheel that enables them to be driven like a car, zero-turn models have two handles. Both of these handles enable the drive to operate the mower’s rear wheels or front wheels, depending on what kind of fancy maneuvers they need to make.

Plus, the brakes on the mower are operated when the handles are in the neutral position, as opposed to stomping the pedals of a lawn tractor.

Why Buy a Riding Lawn Mower

If you’re a first-time purchaser who has been wondering why buy a riding lawn mower, you may be more attracted to the lawn tractor just because it operates like an automobile. But if you’re on your way to being a mower master and you already have experience with riding mowers, you could be just fine with a zero-turn radius mower.

And with the super sharp turning capabilities, the zero-turns let you mow even closer to unusual obstacles you may have in your yard. The steering input is very 1:1.

Even though zero-turn radius mowers are setting the pace in terms of speed, turning capabilities, and their high maneuverability, they still fall short to yard tractors in traversing slopes.

What’s more, is that lawn tractors are able to be outfitted with loads of accessories like carts, snow equipment, mulchers, gardening tools, spreaders, and much more. They can be used in any season and for any purpose, really.

Lawn Tractors for Hills

Generally, I recommend lawn tractors for hilly properties that have a slope higher than 10 degrees. This is because zero-turn models have a hard time handling these inclines, and pose a greater risk of slipping or even flipping over. More bad vibes.

If you’re trying to decide between a zero-turn radius mower and a yard tractor, evaluate your property first among all other factors.

The presence of trees, fountains, bushes, and other obstacles to mow around make a zero-turn model a better choice. But if you’re a homeowner with lots of hills and fewer obstructions in your yard, AND you want some extra options with your purchase, a yard tractor is the way to go. These are the usual reasons as to why buy a riding lawn mower.

Can you tow with a riding mower?

Yes you can! One thing that makes it worth buying a riding lawn mower, specifically a lawn tractor, is the power to tow objects.

Before you start hitching your mower to everything in sight, you’ll want to first determine what your model’s towing capacity is. This is a vital step, as you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and damage your mower.

If you know the riding mower’s towing capacity, then you can access the expansive world of accessories that can be attached to your mower.

Generally, most brands have their own line of products that are compatible with their various riding mowers. Popular options are:

  • Power graders
  • Carts
  • Snow blowers
  • Leaf vacuums
  • Grass bags
  • Stump grinders
  • More!

Picking one or two of these useful accessories really lets you tap into the great experience of owning a lawn tractor. Not only do you get the ability to hammer out your yard work in record time, but you now have access to unlimited landscaping projects and tricks!

It’s up to you to decide why buy a riding lawn mower. I hope this article has helped you get closer to choosing the best riding lawn mower!