The most popular riding lawn mower on the market is the $1,800 lawn tractor by Husqvarna.
Because it cuts big lawns 2x faster than rear engine mowers and is 1/2 the cost of zero turn mowers.
In other words: it hits the sweet spot for most people.
However, zero turn mowers are second most popular. So I guess many big lawns have obstacles requiring tight turns with speed.
Just like push mowers, the different types of riding mowers have pros and cons.
Here’s what they are, and how to know which should matter to you.
Lawn Tractor Riding Mowers
Lawn tractors find the middle ground in the riding mower category. They’re mid-range price and mid-range speed. So how are you supposed to know to get one over a rear-engine mower or zero turn mower?
These riding mowers are best suited for wide open lawns in the 1/2 acre to 2 acre range. The fastest lawn tractor mower, at max speed, mows 1/2 acre in 10 mins and 2 acres in 40 mins (that’s 1 football field every 30 minutes).
They come equipped with the ability to have work attachments: tow around a trailer or garden thatcher or be a small dozer.
Zero Turn Riding Mower – Fast, Nimble and Fun
Zero turn mowers are able to turn on a dime and can mow more than 2x faster than a lawn tractor riding mower. That means at max speed you could mow an over 1 acre public park with swings, toys, trees and other obstacles in not much more than 10 minutes.
These mowers are the ones you’d have the most fun racing around in. They’re the IndyCar of the mowing world.
This nimble speed comes at the cost of money and stability. Zero turn mowers are more expensive than the other types and because of their small front tires have a tendency to slide and not perform great on sloped terrain.
Rear Engine Riding Mower
Rear engine mowers have a smaller cutting width than the other riding mowers and are also the slowest (but also most affordable)…
…For these reasons they’re best suited for lawns under 2 acres. And just for your information – it would take a rear engine mower about 1.5 hours to mow 2 acres (lawn tractor would take 40 mins and zero turn would take 20 mins).
But the thing is: you don’t buy a rear engine mower for speed, you buy it for stability on hills and to avoid pushing a mower around a large lawn. In comparison to the other riding mowers it seems slow but it’s still 2.5x faster than pushing a mower at average walking speed.
So if you want the most affordable riding mower to have a relaxing mow on a Saturday – try a rear engine mower.