Best Riding Lawn Mowers for 2024

I’ve been using riding lawn mowers ever since my dad picked up a secondhand Snapper more than 30 years ago. While I wouldn’t include that particular model on my best riding lawn mower list now that we’re in 2024, it sure did make cutting the lawn more efficient. Today’s models are far more advanced than they were back then, and I’ll walk you through the landscape of my top picks for residential, commercial, and electric zero-turns and lawn tractors.

Considering walk-behind mowers? Check out our Best Lawn Mower main page.

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Best Commercial Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Hustler HyperDrive Series Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

Best Mowers Hustler Super Z

Professional lawn care crews who focus on residential lawns (affectionately known as “mow and blow” crews) have to cover a lot of lawns every day during the mowing season and they’re tough on their equipment. Exmark, Hustler, and Scag all come up frequently in conversations about the best commercial mower, and my top choice is the Hustler Hyperdrive series.

While the Super Z series is likely more popular, the HyperDrive series adds additional durability to the transmission system, keeping your downtime to a minimum. Plus, you get a drive system that’s smoother, more responsive, and more precise than competing mowers. In my opinion, it’s worth spending the extra to step up.


  • Excellent engine options
  • More durable hydraulic system
  • Incredibly smooth and responsive hydraulic system
  • Outstanding top speed
  • Generous warranty length


  • Limited deck sizes
  • Hydraulic oil changes can be a pain if you do them yourself

Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 60 – 72 inches
Engine Options 35 HP Kawasaki
38.5 HP Kawasaki EFI
40 HP Vanguard EFI w/Oil Guard
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 16 MPH
Fuel Capacity 12 gallons (2 x 6-gallon)
Cutting Height 1.0 – 5.5 inches
Deck 7-gauge, fabricated steel

Price: Contact your local dealer

Best Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Toro Timecutter MyRide Max Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

Best Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Toro Timecutter MyRide Max Zero-Turn Lawn MowersBest Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Toro Timecutter MyRide Max Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

Toro’s TimeCutter series is a popular choice for residential zero-turn mowers thanks to its excellent balance of performance, comfort, and reliability for the price. There are quite a few mowers in that line, and it’s the MyRIde Max versions that I gravitate towards.

The line as a whole offers a more robust build compared to entry-level ZT’s. While I don’t have any hesitation recommending the entire TimeCutter line, consider upgrading to the MyRide models to get the best comfort. The entry-level models are fine if you’re cutting 1/2-acre to a full acre. But if you’re going to spend an hour or more in the seat, your body will notice the difference.

When you step up again to the Max part of the line, you’re able to move into the 60-inch deck class. For those of you with more than 2 acres to maintain, that’s the deck size I’d go with.

The top of Toro’s residential ZT lineup is the Titan series. Those mowers offer even greater durability, faster driving speeds, higher fuel capacity, and more power. Unless you have particularly challenging terrain with more bumps and rocks, or you want to move even closer to a Pro-level build, you likely don’t need it.


  • Upgraded ride comfort with suspension
  • Upgraded cutting power
  • Pro-inspired design
  • More robust build than entry-level residential ZTs


  • MyRide and Max upgrades are not available across the entire TimeCutter deck size range
  • Engine options do not include EFI

Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 50 – 60 inches
Engine Options Kawasaki 23 HP
Kohler 24 HP
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 7 MPH
Fuel Capacity 5 gallons
Cutting Height 1.0 – 5.0 inches
Deck 10-gauge, fabricated steel

Price: $4,299.99 – $5,199.99

Best Lawn Tractor

Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro FAB Series Lawn Tractor

Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro FAB Series Lawn TractorCub Cadet XT1 Enduro FAB Series Lawn Tractor

When I dive into the world of lawn tractors, the two brands that consistently rise to the top are Cub Cadet and John Deere. If you’re looking for the best lawn tractor among them, I recommend the XT1 Enduro FAB series from Cub Cadet. They’re a bit more expensive than others in the XT1 line, but they upgrade from a 13-gauge stamped steel deck to an 11-gauge fabricated steel one, improving the long-term durability.

Available with a 50 or 54-inch deck, these mowers are suitable for covering larger lawns than lawn tractors in the 30 – 48-inch range. Thanks to a Kohler 24HP engine, they have better overall performance than most of their competition as well.

While they don’t turn as tight as a zero-turn, they have a 16-inch turning radius that gives them a tighter turn than others. These models also cost less than quality zero-turns with the same deck size by a significant amount.


  • Larger deck sizes than most lawn tractors cover large lawns more efficiently
  • Improved durability with a fabricated deck
  • Lower cost than a zero-turn
  • Includes a rear tow hitch


  • Large deck size may be too much for lawns under 1/2 an acre
  • No fuel gauge
  • No EFI engine options

Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 50 – 54 inches
Engine Options 24 HP Kohler
26 HP Kohler
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 5.5 – 6.2 MPH
Fuel Capacity 3 gallons
Cutting Height 1.0 – 4.0 inches
Deck 11-gauge fabricated steel

Price: $2,799.99 –$3,299.99

Best Electric Commerical Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks Commercial 82V OptimusZ Series

Best Electric Commerical Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks Commercial OptimusZ Lawn MowerBest Electric Commerical Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks Commercial OptimusZ Lawn Mower

Greenworks was one of the first to push into the commercial electric zero-turn lawn mower market, and its development team has learned a lot over the years. The culmination of that experience plus the best of today’s brushless motor and battery technology come together in the Greenworks OptimusZ zero-turn, earning my recommendation as the best electric commercial riding lawn mower.

The line includes both ride-on and stand-on models. We even got to see an operational prototype of a fully autonomous version at Equip Expo in Louisville. Focusing on the ride-on models, there are 48 – 60-inch deck sizes with either 18KWh or 24KWh battery packages. On the 60-inch mower, the larger battery bank can run up to 8 hours on a charge.

The top speed is impressive, reaching up to 16 MPH with the blades on. Security is already onboard thanks to 4G and GPS connections. If all that sounds great, but you’re still not sure it can hold up, remember that Greenworks backs these mowers with a 5-year/2,000-hour warranty.


  • Commercial-grade build
  • Excellent cutting power
  • Runtime that can get crews through an entire day
  • PTO ports
  • Features gas mowers don’t have, such as LED headlights


  • Expensive
  • On-the-go charging solutions are still a challenge

Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 36 – 60 inches
Battery Capacity Options 8 – 24 kWh
Transmission Not Listed
Top Speed 12 – 16 mph
Estimated Runtime 5 – 8 hrs
Cutting Height Not Listed
Deck ~ 7 gauge

Price: $22,999.99 – $26,999.99

Best Electric Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks MaximusZ

Best Electric Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks Maximus ZBest Electric Residential Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Greenworks Maximus Z

Greenworks, EGO, and Ryobi are pushing each other to develop better battery-powered zero-turn mowers for homeowners. Thus far, it’s been a back-and-forth fight with each new launch. Greenworks made a big move by releasing the MaximusZ—a mower we first saw at Equip Expo and later got some seat time here in Lakeland.

The most obvious difference is how much beefier the MaximusZ is compared to its residential counterparts. It looks and feels more like a Prosumer mower on the gas side than the lighter-weight battery-powered models available. Its 31 HP equivalent power, 8 MPH top speed, and 10-gauge fabricated steel deck help solidify that position.

The mower’s primary power sources are 60V 20Ah suitcase-style batteries. Four additional slots accommodate standard 60V batteries to extend your runtime, which is roughly 3.5 acres with the batteries that come in the kit.

Additional features include a 200-pound rear dump bed and a 300-pound towing capacity. Furthermore, you have an electronic takeoff output for future accessories. Together, these elements make the MaximusZ more of a utility mower than other battery-powered options.


  • More robust build than competing models
  • Excellent cutting power
  • Rear dump bed
  • Expandable power with additional Greenworks 60V batteries
  • Electronic Takeoff Output for future accessory support
  • ROPS bar


  • More expensive than competing models

Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 54 – 60 inches
Battery Capacity Options 60V (2) 20.0Ah, (2) 8.0Ah, & (2) 4.0Ah
Transmission Not Listed
Top Speed 8 mph
Estimated Runtime 2.25 hrs
Cutting Height 1.0 – 4.5 inches
Deck 10-gauge, fabricated

Price: $6,497

Best Electric Lawn Tractor

Ryobi 80V Lawn Tractors

Ryobi 80v brushless lawn tractorRyobi 80v brushless lawn tractor

There are several battery-powered lawn tractors to consider, but deciding which is the best is currently a battle between EGO and Ryobi. In my opinion, Ryobi has the edge. Both models draw on the classic lawn tractor design. However, Ryobi goes with a beefier deck and produces higher power. Moreover, it has improved cut quality from its stacked CrossCut blades, covers more acreage, and has a rear bed.


  • Versatile design that can mow, haul, and tow
  • Excellent power
  • Cut quality advantage of CrossCut stacked blades
  • Fabricated steel deck
  • Larger 46-inch deck option


Key Decision Factors

Deck Sizes 42 – 46 inches
Battery Capacity Options 80V 10Ah
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 7 mph
Estimated Runtime 1 hr
Cutting Height 1.5 – 4.5 inches
Deck 10-gauge fabricated steel

Price: $4,499 – $4,999

More Riding Lawn Mowers to Consider

The mowers above are excellent choices. But, no two lawns are alike, so there’s a good chance you might be looking for something a little different. Below, I’ve added several other mowers I heartily recommend.

EGO Riding Lawn Mowers

E-Steer Zero-Turn Mower ZT4205S

EGO E-Steer 42-Inch Zero Turn Lawn Mower ReviewEGO E-Steer 42-Inch Zero Turn Lawn Mower Review

If you love the idea of a zero-turn mower but lap bars don’t appeal to you, EGO’s E-Steer is exactly what you need. With electronic zero-turn steering tied into a steering wheel on the front, it’s incredibly easy to master in very little time. Better yet, EGO put the controls and display right on the steering wheel in a highly convenient layout.

Want lap bars? Check out EGO’s Z6 42-inch or 52-inch zero-turn mowers!

Deck Sizes 42 inches
Kitted Battery Capacity (6) 12.0Ah
Transmission Manual/Gear
Top Speed 8 mph
Estimated Runtime 2.5 acres (w/ (4) 12.0Ah)
Cutting Height 1.5 – 4.5 inches
Deck Stamped Steel

Price: $5,499 with four 12.0Ah batteries and a charger

TR4204 56V Lawn Tractor

best ego riding lawn mowers

TR4204 56V Lawn Tractorbest ego riding lawn mowers

TR4204 56V Lawn Tractor

EGO’s lawn tractor takes the concept of a classic design and electrifies it. Because the design is so similar to gas models and the power level matches up with a 21 HP engine, you’ll only miss the noise, fuel, maintenance, and emissions. What you’ll learn to love is the customizable controls and helpful information the screen displays right in front of the steering wheel. And since this mower operates on the same batteries that power EGO’s other lawn care tools, you use them in other tools or use the batteries you already have if you need to extend your runtime.

If you need another reason to pull the trigger, the mower’s $3,999 kit price is incredibly attractive when you look at what else is available in the battery-powered lawn tractor space.

Deck Sizes 42 inches
Kitted Battery Capacity 56V, 6.0Ah
Transmission Manual/Gear
Top Speed 6 mph
Estimated Runtime 2 hours
Cutting Height 1.5 – 4.5 inches
Deck Stamped

Price: $3,999 with six 6.0Ah batteries and a charger

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Small Lawns

John Deere S130 Lawn Tractor

John Deere S130 Lawn TractorJohn Deere S130 Lawn Tractor

Lawn tractors are great for small- to medium-sized lawns. That said, the John Deere S130 lawn tractor is my choice as the best riding lawn mower for small lawns. The S100 comes in at a lower price, but moving up to the S130 is worth it.

Both feature a 42-inch mowing deck, but the S130 has a significantly stronger 22HP V-twin engine. What’s more, it has John Deere’s super-easy 30-Second Oil Change system. The S130 also upgrades with cruise control and an electronic PTO system. Overall, it balances ease of ownership and performance well while keeping a safe distance away from the price of zero-turn mowers.

Deck Sizes 42 inches
Engine John Deere 724cc, 22 HP V-twin
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 5.5 mph
Fuel Capacity 2.4 gallons
Cutting Height 1.0 – 4.0 inches
Deck 13-gauge, stamped

Price: $2,899

Did you know John Deere now has battery-powered zero-turn lawn mowers?

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Medium Lawns 1 Acre to 5 Acres

Stihl RZ 700 Series Zero-Turn Mower

Stihl RZ 700 Series Zero-Turn MowerStihl RZ 700 Series Zero-Turn Mower

Stihl’s RZ 700 series zero-turn strikes the right balance for commercial demands. It has the build Pros need and solid engine options from Kawasaki and Vanguard, including plenty of EFI models. For regular maintenance cuts and even moderate overgrowth, it’s a great mower.

The “wow” factor is the comfort level, though. With an adjustable suspension and luxurious seat, it’s one of the most comfortable riding mowers we’ve ever tested.

If you have larger properties or want more power, you can step up to RZ 900 series. However, I believe the RZ 700 series has the right balance of performance, features, and price to make it your go-to choice.

Deck Sizes 60 inches
Engine Vanguard 28 hp, 810cc
Transmission Hydro-Gear ZT-4400
Top Speed 10 mph
Fuel Capacity 11 gallons
Cutting Height 1.5 – 5.0 inches
Deck Fabricated

Price: $13,999.99

Husqvarna Xcite Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

Husqvarna Xcite Zero-Turn Lawn Mower ReviewHusqvarna Xcite Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Review

For residential use, the best riding lawn mower for medium-sized lawns is the Husqvarna Xcite zero-turn. There are two models available featuring a 54-inch 10-gauge deck that’s a great size for one- to five-acre properties.

What’s exciting about the Xcite is a combination of innovative features and a design that feels more Pro, even though these target residential users. Starting from the top, your start/stop and blade engagement controls are on the lap bar ends where you can easily reach them with your thumbs. Then there’s the suspension system. Four bar links and 10 adjustment settings let you customize the setup based on your size, weight, and preferences to dial in a comfortable ride.

Depending on the model, you get either a 24HP or 26HP Kohler engine with a top speed of either 7 or 9 MPH. On the business end, this mower has stock blades that can go up to 5 years without needing to be sharpened. Indeed, Husqvarna went for a Pro feel with the convenience and ease of ownership homeowners crave, and they nailed it.

Deck Sizes 54 inches
Engine 24HP Kohler 7000 Series, 26 HP Kohler 7000 Pro Series
Transmission Tuff Torq TZ-350, Parker HTE10
Top Speed 7 – 9 mph
Fuel Capacity 4.0 gallons
Cutting Height 1.5 – 4.5 inches
Deck 10-gauge, fabricated

Price: $5,499 – $6,999

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Large Properties

Exmark Lazer Z Series Deisel Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

Exmark Lazer Z Series Deisel Zero Turn Lawn MowersExmark Lazer Z Series Deisel Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

When it comes to maintaining large areas where you need a cleaner cut than a bush hog leaves behind, there are a few large-deck options. So, leading the pack in size (and its robust professional resume), the Exmark Lazer Z Deisel is my choice as the best riding lawn mower for large properties.

When I say large, I mean it. The Lazer Z diesel line includes 60, 72, and 96-inch options along with a monstrous 144-inch model. And get this: Exmark rates the largest mower’s cutting rate at up to 11.5 acres per hour! In terms of productivity, that’s going to be tough to beat.

These mowers aren’t cheap, though. They start at just over $27,000 and the 144-inch model is over $35,000.

Deck Sizes 60 – 144 inches
Engine Yanmar 1,267cc
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 11 mph
Fuel Capacity 12 gallons
Cutting Height 1.0 – 5.5 inches
Deck 10-gauge top, 7-gauge side skirt

Price: Starting at $27,099

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Hills

Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 SD Zero-Turn MowerCub Cadet Pro Z 972 SD Zero-Turn Mower

If you have hills, you need both power and traction to mow effectively. In my opinion, the best riding lawn mower for hills is the Cub Cadet Pro Z 972 series SD/SDL models. What sets these mowers apart is a combination of their dual rear wheel and steering wheel control designs.

Four rear wheels help prevent the back end from slipping, even in wet conditions. In fact, we noticed this in our testing, given our region’s wet conditions. The steering wheel makes it easier to manage on slopes and there’s an option for a swing seat that keeps you more upright on those hills. As part of Cub Cadet’s commercial mower lineup, you can expect a commercial-level build and high-end comfort features as part of the package.

Deck Sizes 72 inches
Engine 35hp 999cc Kawasaki FX1000v
Transmission Parker HTG 16cc pump / 310cc wheel motor
Top Speed 12 mph
Fuel Capacity 2 x 7.45-gallon tanks
Cutting Height 1.0 – 5.0 inches
Deck 7-gauge, fabricated steel shell

Price: $22,753.89 – $28,192.89

Best Riding Lawn Mower for the Money

Toro Timecutter 42-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

Best Riding Lawn Mower for the Money

Toro Timecutter 42-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn MowerBest Riding Lawn Mower for the Money

Toro Timecutter 42-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

What’s the best riding lawn mower for the money? For that, we return to the Toro TimeCutter series. Specifically, it’s the 42-inch 75746. This isn’t the least expensive 42-inch in the line, and it’s not the most expensive, either. By upgrading from the entry-level version, you’re moving from a 15.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine to a much stronger 22 HP Kohler engine. You also move up to a more durable 10-gauge fabricated steel deck.

If your lawn is 2 acres or less, this model offers the best balance of performance, durability, comfort, and price. But what if you have more than 2 acres? Stick with the Toro TimeCutter and move up in deck size to match your lawn.

Deck Sizes 42 inches
Engine 22hp, 725cc Kohler
Transmission Hydrostatic
Top Speed 7 mph
Fuel Capacity 3 gallons
Cutting Height 1.5 – 4.5 inches
Deck Fabricated

Price: $3,699.99

What We Look for in the Best Riding Lawn Mower

Lawn Tractor or Zero Turn?

When you’re choosing the best riding lawn mower for your lawn, the first thing to decide is which style you want.

Lawn tractors have several advantages. They tend to be a smaller overall size, are less expensive, and are easy to use with their steering wheel/pedal control systems. The downsides are that they tend to be slower and don’t reach larger deck sizes. They also aren’t as efficient in your mowing pattern because they require a larger turning radius.

Zero-turn lawn mowers make it easier to efficiently mow straight lines. While they’re more expensive, larger, and can take some time to get used to lap bar controls, you can get larger deck sizes, they have higher speeds, and they’re better for large properties. If comfort is a high priority for you, you’ll find better options with ZTs and lawn tractors.

Gas or Battery?

Now that battery-powered riding lawn mowers are at a point where they really can replace gas, the conversation is shifting away from just power and runtime.

Gas mowers tend to be less expensive, and you can usually find someone to service/repair them within a reasonable drive of your home. The trade-off is the noise, emissions, managing fuel and oil, and more required maintenance.

Battery-powered mowers have a push-button start system that’s ready when you are, assuming you charged the batteries. They’re remarkably quiet compared to gas, have no emissions, and your HOA isn’t going to suddenly rewrite the rules to eliminate them. Maintenance primarily boils down to blowing off the deck and rinsing under the deck. The primary downsides at this stage are that you don’t have as wide of a selection as gas, they’re more expensive, the batteries need replacing every 3 – 5 years, and there aren’t nearly as many service centers close by.

Durability and Reliability

As you go up in price from entry-level riding lawn mowers to mid-range and high-end models, there are significant changes. A more powerful engine is part of it. The design of the engine and its quality typically improves as you move up the line, giving you a more reliable engine to go along with the higher performance of more horsepower.

You also see the strength of the build improve. Some of it is the thickness of the metal or moving from stamped steel to fabricated steel on the deck. Other components come into play as well, with higher quality transmissions and electronics packages improving.

Generally speaking, if you’re looking at an entry-level model, see if your budget has room to move up into the middle or even high end of the line. The durability and reliability you gain are worth it in the long run.

Deck Size

The deck size you need depends on the property you’re mowing. 42-inch riding lawn mowers are a good starting point for lawns up to an acre or where you need to squeeze through a narrow gate. If you have more than an acre, go ahead and look at models up to 60 inches.

Realistically, it’s a matter of finding the right balance between how much lawn you have to cut, how much storage space you have available, and what your budget is.


Speed is primarily a concern for professional lawn crews who need to move from one property to the next quickly or on campuses with significant travel distance between the shop and where they’re mowing. They usually want a mower with a top speed of over 10 MPH.

Even homeowners can make their mowing chores more efficient with some decent top-end speed, though. 7 MPH or more is a good benchmark for those models. If you tend to take your mowing more casually, 5 – 6 MPH is just fine.


The larger your lawn, the more time you need to spend in the driver’s seat of your riding lawn mower, and the more comfort comes into play. Entry-level mowers are going to bounce you around more than mid-range and high-end models. Look for a seat with plenty of cushioning, an adjustable tension knob, and enough travel for you to sit without having to scrunch up.

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews to Recommend Riding Lawn Mowers

The are a whole lot of publications and authors out there trying to convince you that they know what the best riding lawn mower is for your needs. Let’s give credit where credit is due—they use good SEO writers and may have even used a few mowers in the process.

But do they have more than decades of experience using riding mowers, understand the key features to look for, and have they experienced the differences in the quality of components in the field? Have they been around to see advances in battery and electric motor technology, engine efficiency, and how new regulations are changing the landscape?

We have. We’ve been testing and reviewing lawn mowers for more than a decade, and they’re a core part of lawn care equipment for professional crews and residential users.

So, you can take the advice of whatever Big Media company decided to offer product reviews designed first and foremost to rank for Google, written by someone who may or may not understand the full landscape of what’s available. Don’t forget to check out their recommendations for bed sheets and blenders while you’re there.

Or you can trust Pro Tool Reviews because tools are what we do. When I recommend a riding mower for you, it’s because it’s the one I would buy. My primary motivation is to recommend what I genuinely believe is the best in each category based on more than a decade of experience and being involved in the lawn care industry every day. And if you choose to buy something I recommend, I hope that it works exactly the way you expected.

That’s how I hope to earn your trust. Not because I work for a high-profile media company with massive name recognition. But because I’m like you, and when I choose to make a purchase, I see the dollars come out of my bank account. I expect the products I buy to work when I need them. I want authentic recommendations when I’m shopping, and I’m committed to offering you the best of my experience and knowledge when you see my name as the author.

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