Best Ride-On Mowers

If you’re tired of pushing your walk-behind mower round a huge garden, a reliable ride-on mower could save you time, labour and buckets of sweat. But since these backyard beauties don’t come cheap, it can be helpful to know what to look out for before shelling out the big bucks on your lawn care. Continue reading...

Brand
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Rating
Price
$499 to $34,980
$499
$34,980
Engine Type
Brand
Show more
Engine Displacement
40 cc
Power Source
Features
Show more
Catcher Type
Cutting Deck Material
Cutting Width
42 mm
Number of Blades
1
Zero Turn
Horsepower
11.7 hp
Depth
172 mm
2,530 mm
Width
112 mm
2,425 mm
Height
850 mm
2,190 mm

Based on 869 reviews
Razorback All Terrain

Razorback All Terrain 🏆 2024

4.5  (59)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width957 mm
  • Height of Cut0 mm to 150 mm
Will B
Will BQLD7 posts
  CMX1402
AS-Motor AS 940 Sherpa 4WD

AS-Motor AS 940 Sherpa 4WD

4.8  (24)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $27,000
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width900 mm
  • Height of Cut50 mm to 105 mm
Everett
Everett
 
Exceptional serviceAfter 25 hours of use a bearing on the fan belt tensioner failed on my new Shirpa 940XL. This meant the unit was immobile. I rang Reg Hall and the problem was fixed within days. The product service and care provided by Reg and his team is exceptional. Show reply
Rover Mini Rider

Rover Mini Rider

3.9  (45)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width760 mm
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Jeff
Jeff
  Mini Rider Hydro
John Deere X300 Select Series

John Deere X300 Select Series

3.5  (42)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,070 mm to 1,280 mm
  • Height of Cut250 mm to 1,000 mm
Michael A.
Michael A.
  Fair Incentive X300
Rover Lawn King

Rover Lawn King

3.5  (22)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,070 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 100 mm
Reginald W.
Reginald W.QLD
  21/42
Husqvarna 100 Series

Husqvarna 100 Series

3.2  (32)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width760 mm to 1,070 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 102 mm
u2inoz
u2inoz14 posts
  TS 142
Easy to use, reliable yard tractorThis is a great mower for small to medium yards. With pedal operated automatic transmission and a powerful engine, it gets the job done with a minimum of fuss and effort. Comfortable adjustable seat with convenient cup holder and optional mulch adapter .. gardener's dream.
Easy to store and service.
Great buy.
John Deere 100 Series

John Deere 100 Series

2.5  (169)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width920 mm to 1,220 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 900 mm
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Jay C.
Jay C.
  100 Series E110
Awesome MowerAwesome mower. This was my first purchase when I bought a new house. First mow was June 2020. Haven't had a problem. I have a hilly yard and it does great. Runs like a Deere. Show details
Hustler FasTrak

Hustler FasTrak

3.2  (25)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,196 mm to 1,500 mm
  • Height of Cut38.1 mm to 114 mm
Chap
Chap2 posts
  54" Kawasaki FR691
Husqvarna 200 Series

Husqvarna 200 Series

2.7  (61)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width970 mm to 1,220 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 102 mm
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jcjqld
jcjqldQLD3 posts
  TS 242
Victa SPX

Victa SPX

4.1  (11)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,060 mm to 1,500 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 100 mm
Sam D.
Sam D.VIC2 posts
  23/48
Good machine but poor qualityLots of power, good starting & handles well.
Unfortunately, even with lots if care & regular maintenance, the diff failed, ceased & locked up. Show details
Kubota Z200 Series

Kubota Z200 Series

3.6  (15)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,067 mm to 1,397 mm
  • Height of Cut3 mm to 127 mm
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PETE
PETE15 posts
  Z232KW-42
A fantastic mowerThis Kobota 42 inch z232 mower is heaps better than my toro,I had the mulching kit fitted and works an absolute treat,cuts the lawn beautifully,it’s easy to operate in all aspects and has a separate handbrake,I cannot fault this machine
Toro Timecutter MX Series

Toro Timecutter MX Series

3.0  (25)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width107 mm to 1,270 mm
  • Height of Cut3.81 mm to 114 mm
david r.
david r.NSW
  MX5050
Hustler Raptor

Hustler Raptor

2.8  (33)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,066 mm to 1,371 mm
  • Height of Cut38.1 mm to 114.3 mm
Terry J.
Terry J.
  FR691V
Masport Crossjet

Masport Crossjet

3.5  (14)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width920 mm
  • Height of Cut50 mm to 120 mm
Tim Z.
Tim Z.14 posts
  2WD
RYOBI 48V Battery-Powered Ride-On Mower

RYOBI 48V Battery-Powered Ride-On Mower

3.4  (15)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $4,999
  • Power SourcesBattery (Removable)
  • Cutting Width960 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 114 mm
Peter Lyons
Peter LyonsQLD5 posts
 
Grillo Climber 9 Series

Grillo Climber 9 Series

3.8  (10)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width910 mm
  • Height of Cut30 mm to 70 mm
Trevor
Trevor
  9.18
Kubota T Series

Kubota T Series

2.5  (33)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesBattery (Built-In) and Petrol
  • Cutting Width1,016 mm to 1,219 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 102 mm
Paul
Paul4 posts
  T2080
Victa ZTX

Victa ZTX

3.6  (10)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,170 mm to 1,220 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 114 mm
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Joey
JoeyNorthern Territory3 posts
  23/42
Waste of money, flimsy deck and few replacement partsReplacement parts are difficult to find with long waiting periods. After just 2 years we need a new deck however, Victa no longer make replacement decks for this model and there is no alternative so have to replace the whole mower. Show details
Husqvarna Z Series Zero-Turn

Husqvarna Z Series Zero-Turn

3.0  (13)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,067 mm to 1,300 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 102 mm
Never Again Bob
Never Again Bob2 posts
  Verified Z242F
Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 48 Zero Turn

Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 48 Zero Turn

4.8  (5)
 Summary
Dazza
DazzaMelbourne40 posts
 
Grillo Climber 7 Series

Grillo Climber 7 Series

3.2  (10)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width850 mm
  • Height of Cut35 mm to 85 mm
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Luke I.
Luke I.
  7.13
Stiga Tornado

Stiga Tornado

3.1  (10)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width980 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 80 mm
Need advice.
Need advice.QLD8 posts
  5108 HW
Issues after 3 monthsMow lawn twice a week. Today mowed, turned off to close gates, mower wouldn't turn over. Had to leave mower in yard.Don't expect this from a new mower. Show details
Stiga Combi

Stiga Combi

4.0  (6)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width660 mm to 6,600 mm
  • Height of Cut30 mm to 80 mm
Steve s
Steve sNSW5 posts
  166
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 46

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 46

5.0  (4)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $7,399
  • Power SourcesPetrol
kaydo321
kaydo321
 
Rover RZT 42 Zero Turn Mower

Rover RZT 42 Zero Turn Mower

3.8  (6)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,070 mm
Peter J.
Peter J.NSW2 posts
  RZT 42
Great MowerBought this after a normal John Deere ride on. Really easy as it turns on a pin and great to use. You do have to be careful turning sharply as it can dig up the lawn. Only problem is it seems to go through belts, as they get loose and then come off. I would buy it again. Show details
Toro eS3000 75500

Toro eS3000 75500

2.9  (10)
 Summary
  • Price (RRP) $4,499
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Gary
GaryQLD3 posts
 
Toro
Toro   DM   
More
Kubota ZD Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

Kubota ZD Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

4.8  (4)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,524 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 127 mm
Axle
AxleQLD2 posts
  ZD1211-60
Excellent MachineWe have upgraded to a larger property, house block has 5 acres to mow.
Have upgraded from a Toro timecutter HD 48 to the Kubota 1211-60-2-AU.
The kubota is a an amazing machine, comfortable heaps of grunt and quick as you like. I couldn’t be more happy with this investment, it’s the best money I have ever spent on a mower by far. Show details
Jonsered YT Series

Jonsered YT Series

4.0  (5)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,067 mm to 1,219 mm
  • Height of Cut38 mm to 101 mm
artisanau
artisanau3 posts
  YT42
Cub Cadet Enduro Series

Cub Cadet Enduro Series

2.7  (10)
 Summary
  • Power SourcesPetrol
  • Cutting Width1,067 mm to 1,070 mm
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Ck P.
Ck P.
  XT1 LT42
  • Price (RRP) $4,499
  • Power SourcesBattery (Built-In)
  • Cutting Width980 mm
  • Height of Cut25 mm to 105 mm
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Fertgal
FertgalNSW24 posts
 

A tractor style ride on mower cutting grass in a field

Is it worth buying a ride-on mower?

Zipping around on a ride-on mower definitely looks like it beats the back-breaking work of pushing around a mower under the hot sun (and needing about twenty ice-cold lemonades or beers to cool down afterwards).

However, ride-ons are the most expensive type of lawn mowers you can buy - starting at around $3, 000 and ranging to well over $15, 000. So it makes sense to spend some time thinking about whether you really need a ride-on mower to take care of your lawns.

Pros
Quicker to use than a push mower. Their cutting widths are much larger (27-46 inches), compared to standard push mower cutting widths (around 18-19 inches).
Less labour intensive than using a push mower.
Good heavy-duty or all-terrain models can cut more than grass, tackling tall and overgrown brush and weeds as well.
More enjoyable than using a cumbersome push mower, especially mowers with a steering wheel.
Cons
Expensive to purchase and maintain.
Can be over the top for small gardens, like suburban gardens or those smaller than 500 square metres.

Properties over half an acre

Properties that are half an acre (around 2000 square metres) or larger are potentially a good match for a ride-on mower. There's enough lawn here to makr the price of a ride-on mower worth spending. On the other hand, a smaller property - including most suburban properties - will do just fine with a walk-behind mower.

Rural properties

In the case of large rural properties that have acres in the double digits, a reliable ride-on mower with a maintenance regime that's cost-effective can actually save you money. This is because you won’t have to pay handsomely for a regular lawn mowing service. A ride-on mower can also bestow you with the satisfaction that you can capably maintain your property yourself, including lawns as well as any overgrowth of weeds or brush.

Types of ride-on mowers

Tractor-style ride-on mowers

Pros
Suited to large lawns with minimal obstacles​.
Usually have powerful engines with good horsepower, averaging around 18-25 horsepower.
Cons
Solidly built machines that have weight and bulk to them. This makes them trickier to manoeuvre around obstacles.
The bulky front engine often compromises visibility in front of the mower.

These are usually what people picture when they think of a ride-on lawn mower. They always have an engine positioned at the front of their mower. Tractor-style mowers are controlled by a steering wheel and pads, and can use automatic transmission (referred to as ‘hydrostatic’ models) or manual transmission.

They’re usually a good match for properties around 4, 000 square metres or larger, especially those with few trees or obstacles like veggie patches.

Tractor-style lawn mowers are further divided into two styles - lawn and garden.

  • Lawn ride-on mowers are often small riding mowers that are more agile and more likely to be able to navigate through tight spaces than garden ride-ons.
  • Garden ride-on mowers are more powerful, with a larger build and bigger cutting widths for larger jobs.

Rear engine ride-on mowers

As their name suggests, rear engine models have their engine positioned at the back of the mower. They are the most basic type of ride-on lawn mower, and are comparable to a high-powered push mower in terms of their power.

Rear-engine models are designed with smaller builds and smaller cutting widths compared to their front-engined counterparts.

Rear-engine mowers are also operated using steering wheels, which makes them more straightforward to operate (than machines that use a level.

Pros
Easy to manoeuvre and more lightweight than tractor-style ride-on mowers.
Small, compact design often gives them a tight turning circle.
The most affordable type of ride-on mower available for purchase.
Sufficient for lawns with a smaller surface area.
Cons
Less powerful than other ride-on mower types.
Smaller cutting widths means you’ll need to make more passes to finish mowing your lawn. This can be a pain if you have a larger lawn.

Zero-turn mowers · See all

These have a turning circle so tight and seamless that you can rotate them at a 360-degree angle, which gives them their ‘zero-turn’ nomer. This means you don’t have to do million-point turns to avoid obstacles and get to the spot you need to.

Zero-turn ride-on mowers are the most premium ride-on mowers that you can invest in. The reason is that they combine generous cutting widths with light frames and rear engines. This makes them quick, efficient and easy to manoeuvre.

Pros
Outstanding for getting around obstacles like trees and flower beds, with ease and precision.
Their lightweight chassis adds to their easy manoeuvrability.
Good for large properties that aren’t just made up of uninterrupted lawns.
Cons
Some models lack a steering wheel, and are operated by levers instead, which can be tricky to get used to at first.
The price is dear - you’ll pay extra for the convenience and superior manoeuvrability of a zero-turn mower.

How to choose the right ride-on mower for you

Here are some things to keep an eye out for before you inspect a potential ride-on mower in person.

Engine position

Rear engines tend to be less powerful than front engines. If your yard is around 1 acre, a rear engine mower with 16-20 horsepower will probably be sufficient. However, mowing a larger area is likely to be frustrating with a rear-engine ride-on mower. You’ll be better off with a tractor-style or zero-turn mower instead.

Engine type

There are two main engine types here; single-cylinder engines and V-twin engines.

Single-cylinder engines

  • These engines are more basic, smaller and generally less durable than V-twin engines.
  • They offer less horsepower, which is the measure of power that moves the lawn mower forwards, and allows it to accelerate. A single-cylinder will offer around 12-19 horsepower, which is towards the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to ride-on mowers.

V-Twin engines

  • More horsepower: In comparison, a twin engine offers more raw power, with around 19-27 hp. This is more suited to lawns that have slopes or hills, or aren’t otherwise flat - as these lawns will need a little more grunt.
  • Makes less vibrations than single-cylinder engines. This makes them quieter, more stable and comfortable to ride, and also makes for a more durable machine, due to less wear and tear on other components.
  • Can pull attachments like trailers with ease, whereas with a single-cylinder powered ride-on, you’d have too much rattle and not enough power.

Cutting width

The cutting width of a ride-on mower refers to the width of the cutting deck, which houses the blades. The larger the cutting width, the more lawn your mower will cut with each pass.

Larger cutting widths make for more efficient mowing. However, they’ll also make a lawn mower more expensive, so it’s good to choose the correct cutting width based on the size of your lawn. Here’s a rough guide to help.

  • ½ acre to 1 acre: Source a mower with a cutting width 30-42 inches. Opt for the lower end of the width spectrum if you have a lot of obstacles on your property to contend with.
  • 1-2 acres: A cutting width of 42-50 inches will do the job.
  • Larger than 2 acres: Source a cutting width of 50 inches or larger.

Cutting height

Depending on how you like to stylise your lawn, some ride-on mowers offer adjustable cutting heights. This refers to the height, in millimetres, that you’d like your lawn to stand after the mower has done its cutting work.

Transmission

There are two options here, manual and automatic. Most ride-on mowers offer automatic transmission. These are commonly referred to as hydrostatic transmission, since they’re powered by both a hydrostatic pump and motor.

Hydrostatic transmission

These let you move freely at a variety of speeds. They are easier to drive and run smoothly.

Manual transmission

Much like manual cars, these use gears that operate the mower at different speeds that are pre-set into the mower. These may take more time to learn how to use, especially for riders who are unfamiliar with manual vehicles. However, on the plus side, manual ride-on mowers are cheaper than those with hydrostatic transmission.

Fuel tank size

The size of the fuel tank is important, because it determines how often you’ll need to keep re-fueling. If you have a relatively small yard for a ride-on, a 6-litre fuel tank may be sufficient, but for larger spaces sourcing a larger fuel tank will save you time and hassle.

Grass disposal method

Mulching

Mulching mowers chop blades of grass to tiny pieces, which are distributed back onto your lawn by the mower. These grass clippings will dry up and decompose, providing it with nutrients. This also saves you time having to dump grass clippings in the bin, offering a win-win situation.

Catching

Some ride-on mowers have in-built catchers that will catch the cut grass so you can collect it later and dispose of it in the green bin. If you have a larger lawn, choose a larger catching bin, so you won’t have to stop part-mowing through your mowing session to empty the catcher.

Catchers can be rigid (for example, made of plastic) or collapsible, such as a flexible netted material that will take up minimal storage space.

Discharging

A discharging mower spits cut blades of grass out of the mower and back onto the lawn. This is usually done from the sides of the mower. This is sometimes more suitable for coarse grass that’s difficult to mulch. However, it can be time-consuming to rake away all the grass afterwards.

Comfort and ease of use

Make sure to put yourself in the driver’s seat of a ride-on mower before parting with your money. Check to see the following can be ticked off:

  • The seat: Should be comfortably cushioned, with a high back, and ergonomically-friendly design. It should be height adjustable.
  • The steering wheel: A telescoping steering wheel allows you to adjust it to the optimum position for you.
  • The controls: Along with any levers (if you’re using a lever-operated mower), these should be easy to reach without you having to stretch, and easy to use.
  • Visibility: This is aided by a height-adjustable seat, and also shouldn’t be excessively restricted if you’re using a tractor ride-on mower.

Cleaning

The underside of the mowing deck requires regular cleaning, so that grass clippings don’t stick to it and make it clogged. This can interfere with a mulching function, and also cause the deck to rust (especially if clippings are wet).

Riding lawn mowers with deck washing systems allow you to easily clean the deck without too much labour, for example by attaching a hose to a wash port on the deck.

If your riding mower doesn’t have a deck washing system, you can use a hose and sometimes a pressure washer. Just be careful to avoid any electrical components or bearings, which are not waterproof and can become damaged if they become wet.

Maintenance

Check the manufacturer’s recommendation of how often the mower needs to be maintained, for example, after a certain number of hours in operation. Maintenance will include more general tasks such as checking fuel and oil, but will have more specific requirements depending on the machine you choose.

Maintenance of a ride-on mower can be expensive, so factor the yearly cost of maintenance into the ongoing cost of a riding mower when you buy one.

Storage

It’s important to balance build quality with convenience. For example, a durably built ride-on mower might be quite bulky, and be difficult to turn and/or take up a lot of space in your garage or shed. Consider side and weight alongside build quality - and that you have a reliable parking space, ideally indoors or otherwise, sheltered.

The larger the cutting deck is, the wider and bulkier your riding mower will be - and therefore need more storage space.

Should you buy a second-hand ride-on mower?

If you’re thinking of investing in a riding lawn mower for residential use, you might be thinking that they’re not exactly cheap. Buying second-hand is always an option, however a series of rigorous checks will have to be done before you can safely ensure the ride-on you're buying is right for you.

In a nutshell, buying a second-hand ride-on mower that's reliable and still in good working condition - and won't cost you an arm and a leg in maintenance and repairs - is likely to save you money. However, finding the right fit will be time consuming.

Avoid buying a ride-on mower on the spot, no matter how attractive the deal looks. Do independent research online first - read reviews on the make and model, and check there are no product recalls.

Secondly, make sure you ask for a test drive from the vendor first. This will also allow you to inspect the mower and its condition. This includes checking the condition of the wheels, cutting deck and blades, engine, belt, wiring, brakes and fuel tank. To go this route, you need to know what you are looking for, so you can either use your new knowledge from this guide, or take someone trustworthy with you who knows all about riding mowers.

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