How To Choose The Best Riding Lawn Mower

All across the country it has become common practice for landscape companies to utilize riding lawn mowers as an integral part of their businesses.  Residential home owners are also increasingly using riding mowers as well.  A riding lawn mower, when compared with manual push mower, makes it much easier to care for yards.  So the question is, which riding lawn mower is best for your situation?

If you have a lawn that is bigger than half an acre, then your optimal choice is a riding lawn mower.  When selecting the best riding lawn mower, the front cutting deck is what you need to pay the closest attention to. The front cutting deck is the housing that covers the cutting blade.  The longer that a cutting deck is, the bigger the cutting blade is.  And the bigger cutting blade you have, the more grass it will cut.  Therefore, if you have a big lawn, you want to get a mower that has a longer cutting deck so that your cutting time is sped up.

Using a riding mower makes cutting your lawn a much faster job.  In addition, riding mowers are much better for people who have health problems since there isn’t nearly as much manual labor required.  There are other purposes that riding lawn mowers serve, like being used as a small trailer or snow plow.

Don’t confuse riding lawn mowers with lawn or gardening tractors.  There is a significant difference.  The cutting decks on riding tractor are mounted in the middle instead of the front.  This makes riding tractors a lot less maneuverable.

Gas Powered vs. Electric Riding Lawn Mower

Just like cars, there are both electrically and gas powered riding lawn mowers that are available.  If you buy an electric mower, before you use it you need to ensure the battery is completely charged.  Electric mowers are more environmentally friendly and quieter.  In terms of the negatives, given that the mower is battery-powered, there is always the chance that the battery will completely drain before finishing the job.  Electric mowers can also be very expensive.

One big advantage that gas powered mowers have is they are much more efficient compared to electric mowers.  They expend less energy as well and handle wet conditions a lot better and are less expensive than electric mowers are.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each kind of mower.  When trying to decide which kind of mower you want to buy, you need to weigh the efficiency advantage versus the environmental advantage.

Maintaining Your Mower

Whether you buy an electric or gas mower, you will need to keep it well maintained at all times.  Keeping the blades sharpened is the most important thing that you need to do.  If you have a sharp blade your lawn will look a lot better.  Dull blades, on the other hand, will give your lawn an uneven and raggedy appearance.

Low tire pressure,  similar to a vehicle, and have a negative impact on how well your riding lawn mower performs.  Low tire pressure can cause the mower to use up more battery power or gas while you are using it.  However, it is also important to not over-inflate your tires.  Over-inflated tires can burst whenever you run over something sharp like a stone or glass.

Before each use, you should clean the engine compartment and rider.  Your objective is clean any debris out that might have built up from the last time you used it.  Also check the air filter since over time debris and dust build up and can cause airflow issues.  When there are airflow problems, this will lead eventually to efficiency issues.

Monitor the oil level at all times.  Just like a car, if the engine is run while low on oil, it can cause the engine to seize up.  When an engine seizes up, it can ruin the motor and will have to be replaced.  The oil should be changed at the beginning of each season or every 50 hours worth of use.

A final thing you should do, is check the cables and battery on a regular basis.  Any corrosion that begins to build up should be eliminated by using a damp rag.  Acid leaks coming from the batter can cause corrosion to build up.

Dangers and Cautions

Riding lawn mowers are more dangerous to operate than manual mowers given they are so much larger.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a study that showed that some of the more common dangerous problems associated with riding lawn mowers include users being run over by a mower, riders falling off of the seat and mowers tipping over.

In order to completely protect both yourself and family members, the following precautions should be taken:

– The first thing you should do is read the owner’s manual

– Don’t allow children to operate a riding lawn mower

– Before turning the blade on, test ride the mower first

– Don’t wear loose fitting clothing that can potentially get caught up in the mower’s blades

– Don’t transport other passengers on the mower

– Always clear your lawn before mowing to ensure that you don’t run over anything dangers that can be sent airborne

– Service your mower on a regular basis and keep it properly maintained

– Shut off the mower before attempting to make repairs

– Only operate the riding lawn mower when you are seated in the driver’s seat

– Never add gas to the tank while the engine is on

– Shut the blade off whenever you are riding on gravel areas, the driveway or sidewalks


It can be a very hard decision trying to select the best riding lawn mower.  Ultimately, the factors that will mainly influence you will be safety and price. It is nice to have bells and whistle, however they are not completely necessary.  Before buying a riding lawn mower, make sure to first carefully read customer reviews, consumer reports and product descriptions.