While push mowers have their place, they can be insufficient when you're trying to tackle large lawns or pastures that need mowing. Riding lawn mowers offer extra mowing strength, plus comfortable maneuverability and steering, to help you maintain your landscape. Not all riding lawn mowers are made equal. Discover several riding mowers that have garnered high praise from independent sources, such as "Consumer Reports," so you can get the best quality for your money.
Poulan XT PXT16542
The Poulan XT PXT16542 is one of the best riding lawn mowers for homeowners on a budget, according to Consumer Search, a website that provides research on products. Consumer Search polled various user and editor reviews from several sources, including The Home Depot. Critics liked the lawn mower because of the brand's reputation for reliability and its durable steel design. Because it's a budget model, you'll give up more advanced features found on other mowers, such as automatic transmission.
Model: Poulan XT PXT16542
Retail Outlets: The Home Depot and various farm stores
The Zeon is one of the few electric riding lawn mowers on the market, and it's one of the best, according to the April/May 2009 issue of "Mother Earth News" magazine. You can ride in comfort knowing that you're helping reduce emissions caused by burning fossil fuels like diesel and gas. The magazine's editor loved the Zeon because it is "eerily quiet" with easy-to-use controls and simple maintenance due to a lack of standard engine belts and pulleys. A single charge to its four internal batteries gives you 80 minutes of mowing--the manufacturer says that's enough for an acre of lawn--and a welded steel frame ensures durability.
Manufacturer: Hustler Turf
Retail Outlets: Direct from manufacturer and authorized resellers
John Deere X304
The John Deere name is ubiquitous in the tractor industry, and the X304 carries the brand's reputation into the riding lawn mower world with an impressive 17-horsepower, air-cooled engine--powerful enough for basic farm towing--and advanced features like four-wheel steering and headlights. Consumer Search named it the best lawn tractor overall, after aggregating reviews from landscape critics at the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper, "Family Home and Garden" magazine and "Consumer Reports" magazine. Reviews were positive on its 15-inch turning radius, durable construction--the mower is made from heavy-duty welded cast iron--and its reliable cutting results. The mower is capable of both mowing, debris collection and mulching.
Manufacturer: John Deere
Retail Outlets: The Home Depot, Sears, direct from manufacturer and many farm stores