What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1500? Cheap Prices, Great Quality (2023)

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Garden tractors are considered essential lawn equipment, but buying one can cost an arm and leg. Homeowners and pros have searched for the best riding lawn mowers under $1500, but unfortunately, no units fall under this price bracket.

But if you’re still looking for budget mowers that are close to 1,500 bucks, our experts have you covered! These are the top-performing units we’ve tested: 

Premium Option
Husqvarna YTH18542
Editor’s Choice
Troy-Bilt 30-inch
Budget Option
Craftsman T135
Husqvarna YTH18542
Troy-Bilt 30-inch
Craftsman T135
• 42-inch cutting width
• Hydro transmission
• Briggs & Stratton
• 18.5 Horsepower
• Powerful engine
• 30-inch cutting width
• Adjustable settings
• 18-in. Turning radius
• 46-inch cutting width
• CVT transmission
• Durable wheels
• Mow-in-reverse
Premium Option
Husqvarna YTH18542
Husqvarna YTH18542
• 42-inch cutting width
• Hydro transmission
• Briggs & Stratton
• 18.5 Horsepower
Editor’s Choice
Troy-Bilt 30-inch
Troy-Bilt 30-inch
• Powerful engine
• 30-inch cutting width
• Adjustable settings
• 18-in. Turning radius
Budget Option
Craftsman T135
Craftsman T135
• 46-inch cutting width
• CVT transmission
• Durable wheels
• Mow-in-reverse

Reviews of the Top Riding Lawn Mowers Under $1500

1. Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

Troy Bilt 30-inch Neighborhood Lawn Mower

When it comes to powerful riding lawnmowers, a Troy-Bilt is a great option due to its 382cc OHV engine with an automatic throttle. It is both low-priced and low-maintenance.

Because of its eye-catching color scheme, the Troy-Bilt mower may appeal to the buyer’s sense of style. The mower has six different speeds, allowing you to cut grass as thin or thick as you like.

This riding lawn mower’s cutting width measures 30 inches, allowing you to quickly and efficiently mow a big area. You’ll never want to use a manual mower again once you’ve experienced this one. It is a high-quality riding mower that will last for many years.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Husqvarna YTH18542 18.5 HP Hydro Transmission

Husqvarna YTH18542

Husqvarna YTH18542’s simple yet smart design prioritizes the operator’s comfort with features like ergonomic anti-scalp wheels, an adjustable seat and straightforward controls within arm’s reach. 

The tractor’s cutting power comes from a dependable Briggs & Stratton engine that produces 18.5 horsepower. The mower’s hydrostatic lever-controlled gearbox allows for simple gear changes and comfortable, stress-free travel in either direction.

Husqvarna’s riding mowers typically have Air Induction Mowing Technology, which improves airflow inside the deck to prevent wet grass from accumulating and is one of the company’s most distinctive designs. We had a convenient time riding it around medium-sized lawns. The lawn tractor’s controls were intuitive, and we learned how to use them in minutes.

Interesting Read: Top-Rated Husqvarna Zero-Turn Mowers

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Craftsman T135 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton

Craftsman T135

If you’re looking for the best riding lawn mower under $1500, the excellent power and cutting capability make the Craftsman T135 a good budget alternative. 

The grass may be neatly trimmed, mowed, and clipped with ease thanks to the 46-inch cutting deck. There’s also a deck wash included, which makes cleaning the machine’s underside much less of a nuisance.

You can even reverse the direction of the cut, which means you can access those previously inaccessible nooks and crannies! The mower’s seat is designed to support your back while riding it. Finally, the machine’s 20-inch rear and 15-inch front wheels allow precise steering and a comfortable ride.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER 28 inch 11.5 HP

The Snapper 2911525BVE Mower is a reliable and proven lawn tractor that can easily and efficiently cut thin or thick grass of any type.

If you need a cheap option for working on rough terrain up to 2 acres in size, Snapper is your best bet. Its pneumatic tires and powerful 11.5 HP rear-mounted engine ensure it can handle any turf.

What we like best is that it has an anti-vibration feature built into the design, which keeps the ride stable even on rough ground. The Snapper 2911525BVE Classic Rear Engine Riding Mower is a good option that can last many years of use.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. John Deere S100

John Deere S100

The John Deere S100 is a compact and reliable garden tractor. It features a 2.4-gallon gasoline tank that allows you to swiftly and easily cover lawns up to one acre in size. Its hydrostatic transmission lets you steer and adjust to suit your needs, making both the forward and reverse journeys smooth and trouble-free.

With a cutting width of 30 inches and a turning radius of only 18 inches, the discharge mowing deck makes short work of grass and makes it simple to navigate tight spaces.

The John Deere S100’s large rear and small front wheels are an effective design that lets it do intensive mowing on difficult and mountainous terrains.

(For more information, check this John Deere S100 review!)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower

Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547cc Engine Tractor

The Troy-Bilt Pony 42 is the greatest option for just a little more than $1500, so it’s worth serious consideration if that’s your budget.

It is equipped with a massive 42-inch broad-cutting deck. You’ll be able to cut corners in comfort, and the big wheel in the center of the steering column will make it simple to make directional changes.

We can’t express enough what a terrific mower the Troy-Bilt Pony 42 is at such a great price. One of the greatest little engines currently on the market, the Briggs & Stratton 15.5 HP engine powers this Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower. Moreover, the 7-speed Shift-on-the-Go transmission makes shifting gears quick and easy.

(More options from this brand? Check out high-quality Troy-Bilt riding lawn mowers here.)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series

The XT1 Enduro Series lawnmower from Cub Cadet is a dependable machine in terms of durability, adaptability, and convenience of its 42-inch deck. The 18 HP Kohler OHV engine powering this mower is a major factor in its effectiveness.

It also allows for a hydrostatic transmission, eliminating the need for gear shifting and providing a more streamlined driving experience. As a result, all you need to do is put your foot down and go! 

This fantastic Cub Cadet XT1 mower features a robust motor, making short work of anything in its path. It offers a large cutting surface that will make your cutting process much quicker.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Riding Lawn Mower Under $1500 Buyer’s Guide

Riding Mower Type

Zero-Turn Mower

ZTR or Zero-turn mowers can turn with a tighter radius and travel faster because of their rear-mounted engines. These mowers normally don’t come with a steering wheel but rather a pair of levers that can steer in whichever direction is desired.

Front-engine Mower

A front-engine riding mower feature more powerful engines (between 18 and 26 horsepower) to accommodate the larger decks and increased workload; they need engines with additional power to pull extra weight, such as a dump cart or a spreader.

Rear-engine Mower

Mowers with a rear engine place the power plant behind the rider, usually just below the seat. They’re cheaper and easier to store than any other types and take up less space.

John Deere S100

However, they don’t usually cut as effectively or rapidly as other riding mowers, and their mowing decks are often smaller.

Horsepower

The heart of any machine is its engine and horsepower. A larger horsepower is preferable if you need to mow tall grasses on your lawn.

Newer models may have anywhere from 12 to 24 HP, which should be sufficient for most users’ needs [1]. However, you should know that more powerful devices can come with a hefty price tag because of the impressive results they can deliver.

Fuel Capacity

If you mow your lawn often, then owning a mower that can hold a lot of gas is helpful. It’s not necessary to have a huge tank to accommodate a tiny yard.

stepping on Cub Cadet XT1 brake

Two gallons of gas is often the maximum capacity for a riding lawn mower of a moderate size. It is common for larger mowers to have a fuel capacity of 3 to 4 gallons.

Durable Design

The best riding lawn mower under $1500 should still have a durable construction. Some are constructed with a steel mower deck that can last for years of constant use—all premade decks with a limited lifetime warranty.

Industrial versions inspired this lawnmower’s design; therefore, it features a welded steel frame, an extra-thick-walled front axle, and an aircraft-grade aluminum spindle.

Easy to Use and Maneuver

There could be several abrupt halts when cutting the lawn. Therefore, a machine with excellent maneuverability will allow you to access tight spaces.

The mower’s maneuverability is significantly affected by its turnaround radius. When mowing grass, it’s helpful to have riding lawn mowers that can easily go around obstacles.

Snapper 2911525BVE

Smaller riding lawn mowers with shorter cutting decks are easier to manage than their larger counterparts. However, complete mowing may require more time. You should prioritize ease of use while looking for the best.

Comfortable Ride

Trimming and cutting the lawn require lengthy periods of sitting; thus, a lawn mower with a comfortable seat is essential. Therefore, making sure the machine is working is crucial.

Try sitting on the chair when you can see if it suits your needs. You won’t get bored sitting comfortably on a mid-back seat because it supports your back.

Deck Size

Lawnmowers with larger cutting decks leave a broader swath of grass behind after each pass. Most experts advise a deck depth between 30 and 60 inches.

Lawns with few barriers and turns benefit more from larger decks, while those with tighter spaces around trees and flower beds can use smaller ones.

Cutting Height and Positions

A ride-on mower and tractor, like a push mower or walk-behind lawn mower, have many cutting heights. These range from 1-3 inches on compact ride-on mowers to 0.5-4 inches on huge, heavy-duty machines with ten cutting height settings.

Deck Settings for Slopes

A slope is among the most challenging hurdles you might face when mowing your lawn. Getting a riding lawn mower up a hill is just as demanding as getting it down, and it’s not easy to do either. 

If your yard has a steep slope or is hilly, you’ll need a riding lawnmower to tackle an elevation. One of the safest ways to transition between passes is with a three-point turn.

However, if you drive downhill, your mower may slip, and you may fall. Rather, execute a three-point turn uphill and backtrack.

FAQ

What is the best month to buy a riding lawn mower?

The best month to buy a riding lawn mower is in September and throughout the holiday season when the biggest discounts are offered. The end of the busy mowing season is typically when residential and commercial mowers will be at their cheapest.

Which is the best method of cutting grass on a riding mower?

The optimal technique for using a riding lawn mower to cut grass varies from lawn to lawn. Some people like to do it in rows, while others choose a spiral pattern. 

Several variables, including area and accessibility, should be considered while deciding on the most appropriate method.

Our Top Pick For a Riding Lawn Mower Under $1500:
Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

Troy Bilt 30-inch Neighborhood Lawn Mower

Although not the best riding lawn mower under $1500, the Troy-Bilt 30-inch lawn mower is a budget unit that provides ample power for easy mowing on inclines and other challenging terrains. 

The compact form was another selling point for us, and it may be the perfect solution for those with limited storage space.

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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