What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1000? (Zero-Turn Unit) (2022)

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Admit it or not, buying yard machines isn’t a cheap investment. So it’s only natural that you’re having a hard time finding the best riding lawn mowers under $1000. 

We understand your budget constraints, so our team decided to comb through the market to test different riding mower options and non-riding alternatives closer to the $1000 price tag. 

Premium Option
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
Editor’s Choice
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower
Budget Option
Weed Eater WE-ONE Riding Lawn Mower
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower
Weed Eater WE-ONE Riding Lawn Mower
• Compact Lawn Mower Design
• Ergonomic Steering Wheel
• Adjustable Cutting Blade
• Cutting Width: 28-inch
• Rear-mounted Engine
• Reverse Mowing
• Oil-change Hose
• Ergonomic Mid-Back Seat
• 7 Speed Adjustment Options
• Steel Mower Deck
• Dual Cutting Blades
• Mulching Feature
• Steel Front Axle
• Reverse Gear
• Cutting Blade Adjustment: 3-inch
• 26-inch Mower Deck
• 3-speed Adjustments
• Friction Disk Transmission
• Non-slip Foot Pedal
• Full Electric Start
• Fuel-efficient Capacity
Premium Option
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
• Compact Lawn Mower Design
• Ergonomic Steering Wheel
• Adjustable Cutting Blade
• Cutting Width: 28-inch
• Rear-mounted Engine
• Reverse Mowing
• Oil-change Hose
Editor’s Choice
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower
Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower
• Ergonomic Mid-Back Seat
• 7 Speed Adjustment Options
• Steel Mower Deck
• Dual Cutting Blades
• Mulching Feature
• Steel Front Axle
• Reverse Gear
Budget Option
Weed Eater WE-ONE Riding Lawn Mower
Weed Eater WE-ONE Riding Lawn Mower
• Cutting Blade Adjustment: 3-inch
• 26-inch Mower Deck
• 3-speed Adjustments
• Friction Disk Transmission
• Non-slip Foot Pedal
• Full Electric Start
• Fuel-efficient Capacity

Reviews of the Top Riding Lawn Mowers Under $1000

1. Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower

Key Features

Above anything else, the feature that makes Troy-Bilt Pony 42x an indispensable riding lawn mower is its powerful engine. If you’re mowing residential lawns with complex obstacles, a cutting tool with a 24HP Twin-Cylinder motor should help you cut grass smoothly. 

Unlike other options, this riding lawnmower operates with hydrostatic transmission. Thanks to this, our testers didn’t have a hard time running the mower deck in reverse. And since Troy-Bilt Pony 42x is constructed with a 30-inch cutting deck, moving around narrow spaces like flower beds wouldn’t be as hard as when using other mowers.

On top of that, it requires minimum maintenance. You’ll have no problem cleaning this Troy-Bilt unit after cutting grass because it has a reliable deck wash system.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Troy-Bilt Pony is the best lawn mower to buy if you’re keen on reverse mowing and want a unit that requires minimum maintenance. Although it’s easier to assemble than other riding mowers, its features suit those users who are already familiar with using lawn mowers. 

2. Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower

Key Features

If user-friendliness is on the top of your list, you should check out Snapper 2911525BVE riding mower. New users will experience no hassle driving this unit because its lever position can be adjusted in any direction. 

Besides its easy-to-handle steering wheel, this riding mower gives users enough visibility. Its construction and design made it easy for us even for pregnants to use the mower and move around flower beds and trees on flat terrain. It also includes reverse gear, so navigating the cutting deck backward should come easy. 

Another feature we like about this riding lawnmower is its oil-draining hose. Thanks to this, you can easily drain oil from the fuel tank before putting the unit away for storage.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Given that this lawn mower has its engine mounted on the rear, users can expect stable operations when you cut grass. Many professionals recommend this unit for newbies not only because it’s compact but also because it’s easy to maintain than most options. 

3. Weed Eater WE-ONE Riding Lawn Mower

Key Features

If you’re eager to find the best riding lawn mower under $1000, all you need to do is add a few hundred bucks to buy Weed Eater WE-ONE 26-inch Riding Lawnmower. Besides its affordable price range, this riding mower has a lightweight construction capable of swiftly completing any cutting task. 

Upon test drive, we concluded that its 26-inch cutting blade and powerful engine are enough to deliver a decent grass-cutting experience. You can adjust the cutting blades in five positions to ensure that your mower captures all the grass clippings[1]

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Unlike a heavy-duty riding lawn tractor, WE-ONE is light enough to run at a speed of 4.25 mph. On top of that, it features wider cutting blades, so you can expect faster operations when you cut thick grass. 

4. EGO Power+ ZT4204L Riding Mower

Key Features

If an environment-friendly option is what you seek, the right mower for you is a battery-operated unit like EGO Power+ ZT4204L. Although it’s operating with lithium batteries, you can compare its offered power capacity to a 22 HP engine. 

Its cutting deck runs with a zero-turn radius, so the unit is less likely to leave any lawn grass corner uncut. This zero-turn lawn mower can also cover 2-acre of land on a single charge. If you need to mow wider areas, all you need to do is add more batteries. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Some may argue that a battery-operated lawn mower isn’t as powerful as gas units. However, EGO Power+ ZT4204L proved that it could deliver high-powered performance thanks to its 56V Arc Lithium batteries. The model is also compatible with universal mower accessories for bagging, mulching, and side-discharging. 

5. Craftsman Z560 Zero-turn Mower

Key Features

It’s a zero-turn mower, so users can expect Craftsman Z560 to deliver a smoother job than regular lawn mowing equipment. Don’t worry about maintaining its wide cutting deck because you can rely on its deck wash system for easy cleaning. 

This Craftsman riding lawn mower is also surprisingly lighter. Because of this, it can finish the mowing job faster than typical mowers. 

In addition, it has a 24 HP engine that can withstand tough lawn conditions. Even if your cutting deck has to run through complex obstacles, trust that you can rely on its durable front and back wheels.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Consistency should be your main objective when buying this Craftsman model, as it allows you to adjust speed options depending on your needs. On top of that, it’s compatible with mulching kits and other accessories that’ll help you in different lawn care tasks. 

6. Husqvarna YTH18542 Riding Mower

Key Features

For a mower equipped with a powerful Briggs & Stratton engine, it’s only natural that this unit is sold in a higher price range than typical brands. 

Changing direction during the cutting operation won’t be a hassle because it operates with hydrostatic transmission. Because of this, you have better control over the mower with just a pedal push. 

If you look closely, you’ll notice that its cutting deck is made of durable stainless steel. It also features air induction technology that produces better airflow on the deck, leading to a more even cutting experience.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

It’s the perfect mower for users dealing with tough landscaping as it’s equipped with a high-powered engine and durable wheels. However, it’s important to note that this unit belongs to the higher price range. 

7. Husqvarna MZ61 Zero-turn Riding Mower

Key Features

Another unit you may want to consider if you’re not tight on a budget is Husqvarna MZ61 Zero-turn Riding Mower. Powered with a 27HP engine and 61-inch size, we don’t doubt that it can cater to different commercial mowing needs. 

Using this mower is bliss because you can easily access the adjustment options from the operator’s seat. As if that’s not efficient enough, the manufacturers of this machine also equipped it with no-hassle startups and higher ground speeds to get the job done swiftly. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Given its price range and massive features, we’ll only recommend MZ61 if you’re mowing extensive and tough landscapes. It’s designed with a high-powered motor and high-capacity cutting deck, so rest assured that it can withstand rough mowing conditions.

8. Cub Cadet XT1 Riding Lawn Mower

Key Features

Not many cutting machines can navigate well at night, but Cub Cadet XT1 proved us wrong with its front dividers. With this feature, users can get enhanced visibility during the mowing operations. 

Another unique feature of this Cub Cadet unit is its e-coat. It’s a protection system protecting its components from rusting, making them long-lasting and durable even when used in tough weather conditions. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Overall, this unit is the ultimate time-saver. Not only does it allow mowing in reverse, but it also features a massive handle that allows users to lift and lower the deck without any hassle. Catering to long mowing hours won’t leave you all fatigue because it’s a lightweight unit with an adjustable seat for utmost user comfort. 

Top Alternatives for Riding Lawn Mowers

Best Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower
Best Robotic Lawn Mower
Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower
Best Cordless Lawn Mower
Worx WG744 Cordless Push Mower
EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower
Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower
Worx WG744 Cordless Push Mower
• Stainless Steel Mowing Deck
• Battery-powered Operations
• Brushless Motor
• Fast Charging
• DIY installation
• Bluetooth Connectivity
• Quiet Mowing
• Cutting height: 2 to 3.6-inch
• 20V PowerShare battery
• Height Adjustment Options: 6
• Mulching & Bagging
• Charging Gauge
Best Walk-Behind Lawn Mower
EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower
EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower
• Stainless Steel Mowing Deck
• Battery-powered Operations
• Brushless Motor
• Fast Charging
Best Robotic Lawn Mower
Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower
Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower
• DIY installation
• Bluetooth Connectivity
• Quiet Mowing
• Cutting height: 2 to 3.6-inch
Best Cordless Lawn Mower
Worx WG744 Cordless Push Mower
Worx WG744 Cordless Push Mower
• 20V PowerShare battery
• Height Adjustment Options: 6
• Mulching & Bagging
• Charging Gauge

1. EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower

Key Features

Not even the best riding lawn mower can solve the needs of small complex lawns, so the best option you can consider is the likes of EGO Power+ LM2021 Push Lawn Mower. Besides the lower price tag, this unit conveniently folds and takes up less space in your storage. 

Some users may argue that it’s not powerful enough to tackle obstacles in the grass field, but it has a brushless motor to aid you with that. And given that its deck is made out of steel, you can rely on this mower in any weather and land condition. 

On top of that, it’s also battery-powered. That’s why you can say goodbye to the noise-filled cutting operations produced by regular gas mowers. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

As this unit is mainly designed for short mowing operations, it’s highly recommended only to utilize it on small to medium-sized lawns. It’s also a great choice if you don’t have much storage space, as this push mower can be folded. 

2. Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower

Key Features

If you’re mowing a small turf of less than half an acre, Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower could cover your grass-cutting needs without a problem. As a truly modern lawnmower, you’d be surprised that this robotic unit can be navigated through Bluetooth connectivity. 

During the tests, we were also impressed with how quiet it was amidst the cutting operations. It has sensors for lifting and tilting, so you don’t need to worry about colliding with obstacles and other external factors like pets and kids. 

And did you know that this robotic cutting tool is weather-resistant? Because of its automated nature, you can schedule it for mowing at any time of the day.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Despite its small cutting capacity, EGO Power+ LM2021 is a great alternative to the best riding lawn mower under $1000 due to its affordable price and modern features. If you’re the kind of lawn owner with limited time, using automated mowers like this could save you time and money. 

3. Worx WG744 Cordless Push Mower

Key Features

Battery-powered tools are not known for high-powered operations, but Worx WG744 Cordless Lawn Mower went against all odds with its dual 20V PowerShare batteries. With a 40V power capacity, this unit can deliver the same performance as gas-powered lawnmowers. 

What we liked the most about this mower was its adjustable torque control. You can turn it up and set it back, depending on the lawn condition of the parts you’re mowing. It doesn’t matter how long or short you want your turf to be because it has cutting height adjustments to adjust to your needs. 

It’s also multi-functional, so bagging and mulching are part of the deal when buying this unit.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Verdict

Using a cordless mower like this is convenient and won’t limit your movement. However, it’s important to note that it only suits shorter mowing times and small landscapes. 

Riding Lawn Mowers Under $1000 Buyer’s Guide

Lawn Mower Type

You may not know, but there are different types of lawnmowers on the market. When you go out of your way to shop, the varieties you’ll find are categorized depending on power, size, construction, and drive system. Here are the ones you need to choose from. 

Hover Mower

If you’re mowing a flat turf, then a hover mower is a great option to consider. Although this unit cuts in rotary motion, it forms air between the deck and the ground, leading to a cleaner cut. 

Besides that, it has great maneuverability that suits the needs of oddly shaped lawns. True to its name, it can hover back and forth in a straight line. 

Walk-Behind Power Lawn Mower

Another mower type meant for smaller lawns is the walk-behind machine. It’s also called self-propelled because the user must push it in the direction one wants to mow. 

If you ask us, the main perk of walk-behind mowers is their flexibility. You don’t need to hop on and off the mower to move the obstacles out of your way. In fact, it can mow thoroughly in narrow spaces, unlike other massive riding mowers out there. 

Do you want to buy a walk-behind lawn mower? Menards sells lawn mowers from a variety of manufacturers, the majority of which are walk-behind models, since Menards doesn’t have riding lawn mowers in their stores.

Robotic Mower

In this modern age, mowing tasks are also tackled with modern solutions using robotic mowers. You may not know, but there are cutting tools you can control remotely as long as it has a wireless connectivity option like WiFi or Bluetooth. 

These mowers have special sensors, so you don’t need to worry about them colliding into obstacles during the mowing. Besides, these units can be set to mow your turf at any time of the day because they’re weather-resistant and durable.

Push Reel Mower

If a truly manual mower is what you seek, it’s time to turn your eyes to efficient push reels. Unlike other kinds of cutting tools, there’s no power source needed for these units. All you need to do is push the mower, and its sharp blades will rotate to cut the grass for you. 

However, since it doesn’t have a motor, don’t expect a powerful cutting performance from these mowers. On the bright side, it’s beginner-friendly and lessens the chance of having soil compaction on your turf.

Riding Lawn Mowers/Ride-on Lawn Mowers

Compared to other types, riding mowers operates faster and delivers more power to the cutting operation. Since it’s technically a vehicle, most of them are equipped with high-performing engines that can withstand larger grass areas and tough terrains. 

It’s also the only kind of mower where the operator is seated. Because of this, you can tell that it’s meant for extensive mowing and designed to enhance user comfort throughout the operation. The same is true for mowing shoes designed to be comfortable and safe for long hours of mowing.

Performance

Your riding mower’s cutting performance depends on factors like engine power, lawn condition, and machine weight. But if you ask our experts, the type of drive system dictates how well your unit will mow. 

With a hydrostatic drive system, mowers can operate freely using a variety of speed options. It’s easier to maneuver, making the cutting path more accurate. 

On the other hand, manual drive systems require users to set speed options beforehand. Because of this, the cutting performance may not go as smoothly due to the operator’s lack of experience. 

Engine Power

Did you know that your mower’s engine power depends on what type of motor they’re running with? Some riding mower options have single-cylinder engines, which means they operate with 12 to 19 Horsepower. It may not suit large lawns, but this power range capacity is enough for mowing residential turfs. 

And then there’s also the V-Twin mower engine option. These engine types are powerful, ranging from 19 to 27 HP. If your lawn has complex slopes and hills, you can rely on their durability when mowing. It can handle mower attachments better than the previous option we mentioned, as it can produce more power. 

Lawn Terrain

Before making your final choice, you should consider the condition of your terrain. Keep in mind that not all lawnmowers can cater to hilly landscapes or ones with many obstacles.

Deck Size

Besides the engine, the feature that determines the speed of your mowing is the mower deck size. The wider it is, the less time it’ll take to complete the lawn cutting task. Commercial lawnmowers tend to have a bigger deck size range as it houses multiple blades and bigger engines. 

Cutting Width

You’ll also see width specifications labeled on the mower you want to buy. For this feature, you must remember that larger width means more efficiency. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy ones with higher specifications. Our lawn care experts still recommend basing your decision on your lawn’s size. 

If your land is sized around half to one acre, the basic rule is to get a mower with 30 to 42 inches blade width. For 2-acre land, 42 to 50 inches should give you the best results. Anything larger than that land mass should be mowed with a bigger specification.  

Controls

Although you can always consult the user manual when using a riding mower, we still recommend buying units that have highly accessible controls. You should check if the adjustments can be made within your reach while on the operator’s seat. Through this, you wouldn’t waste more time figuring out where the controls are. 

User-Friendliness

Cleaning and maintenance are crucial parts of your mower’s user-friendliness, so we suggest checking if it has a wash system or a hose attached to it. On top of that, it must have a padded seat and armrests to reduce user fatigue, especially if you intend to use the mower for longer hours. 

An adjustable seat could also give users better visibility when mowing. As you know, not all operators have the same height or build, so being able to adjust the height of your seat lessens the restriction when mowing. 

What are the Key Functions of a Riding Lawn Mower?

One of the key functions of a riding mower is its user convenience and efficiency. These cutting machines are often equipped with durable and powerful motor engines, so they’re expected to deliver a long-lasting and accurate mowing experience. 

On top of that, it’s designed to keep the users comfortably sitting as they tackle tough lawn tasks that typical mowers can’t overcome. 

Garden Tractor Options

If your lawn requires more than getting rid of grass, you should consider buying a garden tractor. These units are not only used for mowing, but they’re designed to clear snow on your front porch, towing heavy materials, or tilling gardens. On top of that, these options have a more heavy-duty construction.

Why Purchase a Riding Lawn Mower?

You should buy a riding lawn mower if you want to save time when mowing a large landscape. These cutting tools are mainly designed for extensive mowing operations thanks to their high-capacity fuel tanks and wider mower decks. 

FAQ

When should riding lawn mower blades be changed, and can they be sharpened?

Your lawn mower blades must be changed after every 200 hours of usage. If you don’t want your mower blade to rust early, you should sharpen it every 25 hours of mowing. 

What does ‘cc’ mean?

CC means cubic capacity. Technically, it indicates the power output your mower engine can produce. The higher it is, the more air and fuel will be mixed to produce power for your mowing operations. 

How do I find out the HP in my riding lawn mower?

Your mower’s HP specifications are usually labeled on the operator’s manual or the engine. Find the number with ‘HP’ or ‘cc’ texts typed next to it. 

What is the usual price range of lawn mowers today?

The usual price range of lawnmowers in today’s market depends on the type of machine you’ll buy. Basic mowers could range as low as a hundred dollars for manual machines to the most expensive ones sold for over $20000. 

Can you cut long grass with a lawn mower?

Yes, you can cut long grass with a lawn mower. However, letting your lawn grow over 6-inch tall could damage your cutting tool when you try to mow over it.

What does a CARB-compliant mower mean?

A CARB-compliant mower means that the product complies with the standards of the California Air Resources Board. The emission standards ensure that your mower has a control system that minimizes certain air pollutants.

How quickly can I mow my lawn using a lawnmower?

Your mowing time depends on the mower type you’ll use and how wide the area you’ll be mowing. Typically, residential mower options can operate 5 to 8 miles per hour. On the other hand, commercial mowers can go as fast as 7 to 13 mph. 

Our Top Pick For a Riding Lawn Mower Under $1000: Troy-Bilt Pony Riding Lawn Mower

After comparing several riding lawn mowers, garden tractors, and push mowers, our lawn care experts hailed Troy-Bilt Pony as our top pick for this round-up. 

Although it doesn’t belong to the category of the best riding lawn mowers under $1000, we believe it’s close enough in price range and offers features any professional mower would want to ease their mowing tasks. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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