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Ride-on mowers review

Tractor-type ride-on mowers reviewed, and a guide to finding the right ride-on for you.
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We review eight tractor-type ride on mowers priced from $1699 to $3799.

Through our rigorous testing we reveal which ones:

  • are the best for mowing
  • where available, the best for mulching
  • the easiest to use, and
  • the safest ride-on mower.
On this page, you'll find Brands and models tested and How we test.

Brands and models tested

  • Cub Cadet LTX 1042
  • Husqvarna LTH2142DR
  • John Deere D110 Tractor 
  • McCulloch M19542H
  • MTD 420/38
  • Rover Mini Rider 
  • Toro Lawn Tractor XLS380
  • Victa VRX 19.5/42

How we test

Our testers evaluate cutting performance by assessing the consistency of cut grass, evenness, and whether the ride-on distributed cut grass evenly.

Where applicable, mulching performance is assessed on whether the ride-on mower produces fine mulch without undue clumping.

Ease of use is assessed through seat comfort and control use. Control use includes the ease of starting, controlling speed, engaging clutch or drive, brake use, blade drive, changing cutting height, checking fuel level, and steering comfort.

Safety is assessed based on warnings, whether the blades stop when reversing, the park brake cut out, and whether the belt or pulleys are covered.

Noise is measured at the tester's ear level at full throttle, blade engaged (dB). This is not part of the scoring.

Where are Cox and Greenfield Ride on mower models?
We survey each manufacturer prior to testing so we know which products will be available by the time we publish. Cox never responded to our survey, and Greenfield said they don't distribute to New Zealand, where we conduct our testing. We'll check again the next time we test.
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