What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower for Hills?
Easy to Operate Mowers for Your Home

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Mowing your uneven and hilly lawn can be quite a dangerous tasks, especially if you entrust your safety in an unreliable mower brand. It’s quite understandable, as trusted mowers can come in very steep prices—but it doesn’t mean there aren’t good options that will fit your budget and keep you 100% safe.

In my quest to find the best, I’ve personally examined and compiled a list of the top riding lawn mowers for hills.

Best Overall
Husqvarna MZ61 61 In Riding Mower
Husqvarna MZ61 61 In Riding Mower
This is equipped with ergonomic steering wheel controls and a high back seat which enables easier mowing in extended shifts. This is considered as an excellent riding lawn mower for its easy to operate features.
Best Overall
Husqvarna MZ61 61 In Riding Mower
Husqvarna MZ61 61 In Riding Mower
This is equipped with ergonomic steering wheel controls and a high back seat which enables easier mowing in extended shifts. This is considered as an excellent riding lawn mower for its easy to operate features.

Reviews of the Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills

1. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

This heavy-duty lawn  tractor features a unique three-blade cutting mechanism and hydrostatic transmission. 

I find the Husqvarna MZ61 as one of the best riding lawn mowers for hilly terrain because of its precise zero-degree turn maneuvers. It is also designed with a deck lift system and oversized chassis that generates smooth operation and improves ride quality[1].

One that particularly caught my attention was the service reminder on its hour meter. Moreover, its nine-bushel collection capacity has significantly enhanced its versatility and productivity, offering what I’d describe as the ultimate mowing experience.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Mower

I chose the Husqvarna Z254 for its large deck and 26HP Kohler engine. The parking brake will automatically activate or deactivate as it detects the movement of the levers. The Z254 is a very sturdy riding lawn mower for hills and is outfitted with a reinforced steel cutting deck. 

The large 54-inch deck allows the Z254 to finish jobs much quicker than smaller versions. Couple that with the air induction technology, your cut job will be neat and pristine compared to a push mower.

You have the choice of mulching, discharging or bagging the clippings, but the kit is sold separately. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower

The Craftsman Z525 lawn mower has an auto-choke mecahnism integrated into the 679cc twin engine. With this much power, I recommend this lawn tractor for larger properties with hilly terrain. The 46-inch cutting deck will clear the grass in a single motion and decrease cutting time in half.

The cutting deck also features a wash, which will make cleaning the hard to reach places an easier job.

I’ve got to say, the gas-powered Z525 lawn tractor has some great features. Beyond its zero-turn capability, it can also mow in reverse, which comes in handy. When you’re out there working, you’ll definitely appreciate the comfort of the nicely cushioned high-back seat. And the dual Hydro Gear EZT with dual steering levers really gives you that extra control as you go about cutting your yard.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Riding Lawn Mower For Hills Buyer’s Guide

Type of Lawn Mower

With the abundance of top-notch riding lawn mower options available in the market, it can be overwhelming for some. You might have noticed how every product differs in size, power, engine, and cutting capabilities. 

To begin with, there are three fundamental types of riding mowers for hills. First on the list are rear engine riding mowers. Rear engine mowers are the smallest options. If you have a relatively narrow storage space or small to medium-sized lawn, this can be the best buy for you. 

But you have to note that these mowers have smaller cutting decks and move slower than other bigger lawn equipment. Riding mowers can also have manual, automatic, or hydrostatic transmission. Hydrostatic transmission is best because you can adjust speeds without manual gear shifting.

Now, let’s talk about lawn or garden tractors, another type of mower I’m quite familiar with. What’s great about these machines is their compatibility with various attachments and accessories, such as snow blowers and tillers. This versatility makes them particularly well-suited for tackling uneven surfaces and yards with tricky obstacles.

Last but not least is the zero-turn mower. If you’re dealing with an extensively wide grassy area, then there are top-performing zero-turn mowers under 5000 to buy in the market. This zero-degree turning radius mower is the quickest option for your lawn. It has no braking system unlike other types of mowers that have a braking mechanism.

Height and Size

Mowing steep hills can be a challenge, so you must consider the height and size of the lawn mower you’ll purchase. 

Consider the type of lawn you’ll be mowing. For a small and medium-sized lawn or yard, getting a large lawn mower like the Ariens 915223 IKON-X may not be a wise decision, especially if you have limited storage space in your backyard. The best small-sized riding lawn mowers are ideal for this land area. A good example is the Troy-Bilt 382cc mower.

You must also remember that riding lawn mowers for hills can’t be too heavy as it will cause a bit of trouble when you’re maneuvering on hilly terrains. 


The most suitable riding mowers for hilly areas are the ones that get the work done in a remarkably faster period than manual push mowers. Push mowers aren’t ideal for steep hills and any uneven surface area. When shopping for the best lawn mower, always select a  mower with adequate speed range.

Engine Horsepower

When choosing a tractor for mowing the terrain in your yard, horsepower matters. You can choose between electric-powered mowers, battery-powered mowers, and gas-engine mowers. It is crucial for engines to be at the optimum performance when mowing hilly terrain, so consider choosing a good power engine like an 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton. Also, it is important to know why your mower won’t start or not clicking, as it is usually an engine issue. 

Premier electric riding lawn mowers usually have hydraulic motors that provide extended power to the engine. Powerful engines equate to faster grass cutting action in hillds and gardens.

Battery-powered riding lawn mowers are popular for hills as well, although you have to be careful with the battery life. A good example of a battery-powered garden tractor is the Ryobi RM480ex.

Deck Size and Height

Some of the mowers I’ve encountered in this post come with adjustable cutting deck functions, which I find pretty handy. These features enable you to maintain your grass at a precise length, ensuring your lawn looks just the way you want it. And remember, as I mentioned earlier, rear-engined lawn mowers often have smaller decks to match their compact design.

You have to make sure that the deck of your desired lawn mowers suits the kind of area you intend to use it for. Whether you’re using the lawnmower for a big yard or a small garden, consider the total square meters and grass condition of the surface when choosing riding mowers.

Wheel Drive

In this list, I included zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors for hills that have impressive rear-wheel functions. This means that the back tires are designed larger than the front tires. Although considered more expensive, this kind of mower is suitable for bumpy surfaces, which you will likely encounter when mowing a hill or slope.

Aside from that, mowers with larger back wheels can give additional power to climb up hills and steep slopes without any hassle. The speed range function that it provides is remarkably faster than those with larger front wheel lawn mowers.

Turning Radius

The turning radius indicates how the mower can handle hill terrain and slope areas, as well as how smooth they’ll cut the grass.

When it comes to choosing the right mower, I always emphasize the importance of a safe and efficient turning radius, regardless of your terrain. It’s crucial to take into account the size of your turning space and the mower itself. Keep in mind that maneuvering on a slope can be challenging if your lawn mower has a broader turning radius. So, make sure to consider these factors to ensure smooth operation on your specific terrain.

Cruise Control

The cruise control feature of your handlebar also adds up to the efficiency of your mowing machine. 

Responsive and rubberized steering tires help beginners to navigate the mower at ease. These controls also make it convenient to adjust the cutting speed and match the mowing condition of your lawn.

Safety Tips

No matter how efficient these lawn equipment are for your backyard maintenance, safety operation is of utmost importance when using a lawnmower that could also ensure riding mowers longevity.

These are not simple push mowers, so make sure you’re putting safety precautions in place. To ensure that you have a pleasure cruise in your yard, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Read the instruction manual or safety guide that comes with your mower. This would give you a good grasp of the instructions on any safety features. It will give additional safety tips when you’re mowing your yard.
  • Always wear the seatbealt when you use a riding mower on slopes or hills.
  • Always remember to clear unnecessary obstacles in your yard that you might run into in the middle of mowing.
  • Use the adjustment steering functions for a safe grass mowing experience. You can keep the speed consistent even amidst turning around your lawn or yard. This will prevent sudden turns that can cause accidents especially on a slope.
  • While you ride a mower, the discharge chutes must be pointed away from  pets and people.
  • Avoid mowing terrain in a cross direction because this may lead you to fall of the riding lawnmower. Drive in an upward and downward direction only. Also, keep backward riding to a minimum.
  • Do not change your direction when you’re using riding mowers on a slope or on downhill paths. Instead, drive to the bottom of the yard and make your turn on a flat surface.
  • When you’re starting riding mowers, make sure it’s outside the lawn or yard. That way, if an explosion happens, the grass won’t catch fire.
  • Do not run riding mowers on too uneven terrain or slope where there are holes or ruts because this may cause it to tip over on these obstacles.
  • Keep the riding mowers out of reach of children and pets. Do not let kids and pets ride the mower.
  • Any person should never leave the key on the ignition socket. Children around may accidentally power up the machine.
  • For lawn tractors with LED headlights, always turn them on when necessary.


Cutting Width

As a property owner, each of us has different preferences regarding how we’d like to mow my lawn. Some want the yard all cleared, while others are all for grass trimming action. 

Each mowing lawn featured in this list has distinct grass cutting width features. Rear engine types like Cub Cadet have smaller cuts and the exterior is also small.These lawn tractors are suitable when you want to cut small and medium lawns. 

On the other hand, larger zero-turn mowers offer a more comprehensive cut range and deliver faster outcomes than small engines and structures.

Price and Warranty

Since lawnmowers generally motor operated, they have power components that need polishing and maintenance. With that being said, purchasing from brands that offer an extensive warranty period for defects is a helpful factor when selecting a lawn mower. 

The best cheapest riding lawn mower brands separate their warranty periods between commercial usage and residential usage. Others provide limited warranties of up to three years, depending on defects reported on tractors. And if you’re thinking of buying a used riding lawn mower for cheap ($500 below) or riding mowers under $2000, you might want to find one that is still covered by warranty.

The mower prices also vary depending on the type of lawn mower you’re looking for. As mentioned above, rear-engine mowers are generally less expensive as they are smaller in size and equipped with functions that only suit up to the medium-sized property. 

You must also remember that the more functions each mower offers, the more components it has. This also implies that such mower can get the work done faster and safer.

Mowers equipped with larger rear wheels like some of the best Husqvarna riding mower models are also more pricey compared to mowers with front-wheel drives. Despite that, I still believe its cost equates to the value.

More products: 

Top-rated riding lawn mower for 1 acre


What type of riding lawn mower is best for hills?

The type of riding lawn mower that is best for hills is a rear-wheel drive mower. It offers impressive traction and is suitable for bumpy and wet hilly lawns as its bigger back wheels provide support when climbing up steep slopes. They are also faster in speed than other kinds of mowing machines.

How do you mow a steep hill with a riding lawn mower?

To mow a steep hill with a riding lawn mower, you must carefully navigate the steering controls and maintain a consistent speed. Carefully move up and down the steep slopes. It’s wise to start from the bottom and work your way up the hills for safety. Take time to learn maneuvers through practice and reading manuals.

What is the best riding mower for 1 acre?

The best riding mower for 1 acre is Husqvarna MZ61. With its 61-inch cutting deck, you get the lawn work done faster. It has a powerful engine that makes the mowing performance remarkable. The blades are durable, so you won’t be worried even if you cut down your extensive lawn for hours.

Who makes the best riding lawn mower?

Husqvarna makes the best riding lawn mower in the industry. Since 1689, they delivered and manufactured various technological innovations, including the first commercial robotic mower in the world. Their products also feature industry-changing functions that enable the combination of usability, safety, and high performance.

My Top Pick For a Riding Lawn Mower For Hills: Husqvarna MZ61

For its key features such as an impressive HP Briggs & Stratton engine power, cutting system, and smooth steering wheels, Husqvarna MZ61 emerged as our top pick. It’s one of the best riding lawn mowers for hills that you can purchase.

This has won my verdict as one of Husqvarna’s innovative motor-based and functional machines to make your operations efficient and convenient. Its deck lifting system ensures precision in the cutting height adjustment.

The unique service reminder integrated on its hour meter prevents property owners from missing mowing activities and maintenance. And the fact that it has hydrostatic transmission and five gal fuel tank capacity, new riding mowers can proceed with continuous cutting process at ease.

To know more about Husqvarna MZ61, you can check our complete review of Husqvarna MZ61 zero-turn mower here. Read next!

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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