What is the Cheapest Riding Lawn Mower? Trim Your Garden Without Overspending

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Riding lawn mowers are incredible machines for cutting extensive grass on lawns. They make an excellent option for homeowners who own massive lands, plus, they make cutting fun. 

That being said, I’m well aware that many of these machines come with a hefty price tag. Knowing the constraints of budget-conscious homeowners, I’ve personally handpicked a list of the most affordable yet reliable riding lawn mowers out there, ensuring you get the best value for your money.

Best Overall
Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Best for Comfort
Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42-Inch Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42-Inch Riding Mower
This lawn mower’s engine capacity is powerful and fast enough to mow large-sized lawns seamlessly.
This riding lawn mower comes with all the features that can be adjusted to make cutting fast and comfortable.
Best Overall
Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
This lawn mower’s engine capacity is powerful and fast enough to mow large-sized lawns seamlessly.
Best for Comfort
Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42-Inch Riding Mower
Cub Cadet XT1 LT 42-Inch Riding Mower
This riding lawn mower comes with all the features that can be adjusted to make cutting fast and comfortable.

Reviews of the Cheapest Riding Lawn Mowers

1. Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

If you want a combination of efficiency and beauty, this Husqvarna zero-turn riding mower has it all. This lawnmower is designed with a heavy-duty steel material to enhance durability and ruggedness.

What makes Husqvarna Z254 Riding Mower exceptional is its powerful 26HP Kohler engine. This engine powers the mower and enables it to attain a maximum speed of 6.5 MPH [1].

From my hands-on experience with various mowers, what stood out to me about this particular one is its intuitive park brake system. It cleverly activates or deactivates as soon as you adjust the steering levers, enhancing user safety.

Moreover, in my time using it, I’ve found that this mower offers exceptional ease of navigation and a comfort level that’s hard to beat.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

This budget riding lawn mower includes what you need to mow your medium-sized and small lawns in a timely fashion. Also, it is constructed with high-quality steel materials to maximize its longevity.

The Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower has a 30-inch cutting deck that allows you to cut a medium-sized yard. Plus, the mower is powered by a potent engine and six-speed transmission for more cutting efficiency.

I was satisfied with the 18-inch turning radius as the mower made sharp turns. With the adjustable settings and soft steering wheel, navigating the mower won’t pose an issue.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Cub Cadet XT1 LT42” Riding Mower

If you’re looking for a lawnmower to handle some inclined and somewhat flat lawns of more than an acre, Cub Cadet XT1 LT42″ is a great choice.

Although it has a relatively smaller engine, the 18-HP engine is powerful enough to mow on flat lawns of up to two acres.

Having spent a good deal of time with this mower, I’ve noticed how its 16-inch turning radius combined with the automatic hydrostatic transmission allows for swift and fluid movements. Additionally, I can personally attest to the comfort of its high-back seat, making the mowing experience all the more pleasant.

Cub Cadet XT1 LT42″ has a 42-inch cutting deck that enables the mower to cover an extensive area in no time.

(For a more powerful engine capacity, you can also check the 26-HP Husqvarna Z254 mower here)

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Cheap Riding Lawn Mower Buyer’s Guide

From my years of experience in the field, I always recommend giving a mower a test run to ensure it aligns with your needs. But if you find yourself in a situation where hands-on testing isn’t feasible, here are some key factors you should carefully weigh before finalizing your purchase.

Build and Size

The best riding lawn mowers sizes differ. They come with different cutting deck sizes and cutting heights that determine how well and fast they would be when cutting grasses.

The bigger mowers perform better on large lawns due to their large cutting decks, while smaller zero-turn mowers are better on a small land area. There are top-performing riding mowers that can be used in hills as well. 

In terms of the build, you should purchase a lawn that’s constructed with premium-quality materials, such as steel, as they impact the machine’s lifespan.

Type of Riding Lawn Mower

Riding lawnmowers differ in types and designs. They are categorized into three – lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers, and rear-engine riding mowers.

In my experience with lawn tractors, one can’t help but notice their substantial size and weight. They typically house formidable, front-mounted engines. These engines generally possess either single or twin cylinders and can be paired with either a lever-operated or a variable transmission. The design and functionality speak to their robust capabilities in managing lawn care tasks.

Zero-turn mowers are smaller than lawn tractors. They are easy to control, and the rear wheels can turn the mower 360 degrees. This type of mower is better on lawns that are shapeless. They are the most expensive type of riding lawn mower, but as powerful as the other types.

Rear-engine riding mowers have their engines located on their backs. They have relatively smaller decks and are compact, making them easy to navigate. Also, they come with single-cylinder engines and a continuously variable transmission. 

Horsepower

When buying riding lawn mowers, you need to consider the engine’s output. 

More horsepower results in more power for the lawnmower, making cutting much more easier.

Engine Power

The engine power of a top-notch electric riding lawn mower also determines its cutting efficiency. The higher the engine power, the faster and more efficient the cuts would be. 

Lawnmowers come with either single-cylinder engines or dual-cylinder engines. Dual-cylinder engines are faster and more efficient than single-cylinders, but are more expensive.

Comfort and Safety

It is inappropriate to buy a riding lawn mower that has poorly cushioned seats. This will not only disturb you but will also affect the mower’s maneuverability and safety.

Your mower’s seat should be cushioned appropriately to maximize comfort. Additionally, the steering wheel and the levers should be at a comfortable height.

Fuel Capacity

The fuel capacity of a high-quality lawnmower intended for hills depends on its size. Larger mowers have a more significant fuel capacity, making them suitable for extensive cutting tasks. Smaller mowers are best suited for smaller lawns.

Price and Warranty

Riding lawn mowers vary in prices and warranties. Some riding lawn mowers cost just under $800, while others can cost more than $3,000. The cost depends on what you want to purchase. For instance, zero-turn riding mowers are great options for medium–sized lawns. Although they are more expensive than lawn tractors and rear-engine riding mowers, their features are worth the price. The best small riding lawn mowers, on the other hand, are great and efficient for small-sized lawns. 

My Top Pick for a Cheap Riding Lawn Mower: Husqvarna Z254

Based on performance and features, I concluded that Husqvarna Z254 54-In 26HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower is the best option for the cheapest riding lawn mower. This comes with a powerful engine that ensures you mow your lawn, regardless of size, at a high-speed.

Additionally, the lawnmower is built with a sturdy steel material that maximizes the mower’s toughness and resistance to wear and damage. It’s effortless to maneuver, and the seat is comfy, making it excellent for large-sized lawns.

Are you having trouble with your riding mower? Read how to fix a riding mower when there’s no clicking next!

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.
Robert Johnson

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