Last updated on January 24th, 2021
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Is mowing your lawn taking your entire weekend, week in and week out? Maybe you need a ride on lawn mower so at least you’re sitting comfortably. And you’ll have extra time to barbeque and show people your amazing lawn. Compact mowers allow even gardeners with small lawns to appreciate the convenience of driving around and cutting grass. For those who have an acre of so of grass to worry about, semi-professional ride-on mowers will do the job.
We cover such a variety of mowers in this Best Ride on Lawn Mowers review. All of the mowers here have petrol engines but non-cable electric ride on mowers (battery) are also available. Our Buyer’s Guide explains what features to look for in each function of a ride on mowers. Read this guide to help you make your purchasing decisions.
Our Best Pick is the Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission). The Honda high quality is backed up by a 5-year warranty. This petrol ride on lawn mower has a 16 L fuel tank for long mowing sessions. This lawn mower is suitable for both domestic and commercial use. Check it out if you have large areas of grass to mow.
The Mountfield 827H Compact Ride on Lawnmower is one of the least expensive mowers in this review. Its compact size gives it the ability to get into the small and difficult grassy spaces in your garden. Consider this mower if your lawns are smaller and you don’t want a hefty ride on lawn mower (or price tag).
Our Best Pick is the Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower with (automatic) Hydrostatic Transmission has all the fine qualities of a piece of Honda machinery. This is backed up by their 5-year warranty for domestic use but even professionals get 1-year warranty too. The seven pre-defined cutting heights (from 30 mm to 80 mm) offer the perfect length for the blades of your grass. This ride on lawnmower could be for you if you mow large lawns frequently and want a mower with some power. Honda manufacture without a doubt, some of the best lawn mowers and have a great reputation.
If your buying a ride on lawn mower, we highly recommend buying one from Mowers Online because they build, start and check every tractor before delivering on the agreed day ready to use.
The Mountfield 827H Compact Ride on Lawnmower is one of the least expensive mowers in our review. It’s a compact mower that has many of the same features as the larger and more expensive lawn mowers. The engine is less powerful than the other mowers in this review, but this mower handles small and medium lawns well. This mower as a Hydrostatic drive ensures that the blades turn at a constant speed regardless of the speed at which the mower is travelling. If you have a smaller lawn and don’t want a large ride on lawn mower, take a look at this Mountfield model. This comes with a 2-year warranty for home use.
Best Ride on Lawn Mowers Reviews
1. Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission)
From the well-renowned car company, the Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission) has the features that you need to keep your lawns (up to 2,000 m2) looking well cared for. Designed for both domestic and professional use, this mower is suited to large gardens and other sizeable areas of grass.
The Honda engine is 4-stroke and provides 337cc of high performance every time. The large fuel tank holds 6L of petrol for a long session of mowing. The hydrostatic transmission is an automatic transmission that produces a clean cut at all speeds. And you choose what speed you want to cut the grass at. The cutting blades turn at a constant rate regardless of how fast you’re going for a more consistent cut, it just makes mowing much simpler. You don’t have to worry about patchy lawns with this mower. Start the mower easily with the electric starter that’s engaged by turning the key but there is a standard recoil pull-start acts as a backup if needed.
The Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawnmower handles cutting and collecting very well. The cutting width is 71cm (21 inches) which is wide enough to cut down on the number of passes across your lawn that you have to make. You have a choice of seven pre-defined cutting heights from a short 30mm to a shaggy-look 80mm. Your lawn will be the correct length for the season and weather. In addition, the turning radius of the lawn mower is 0.75m so you can make tight corners and mow strips close together.
This Honda lawn mower has two functions – cut and discharge and cut and collect. Discharge of the grass clippings is handled through the rear of the mower, keeping the grass cuttings out of your way as you mow in strips. Collection of the grass clippings is into a large 170 Litre bag which is mounted also on the rear of the lawn mower. With a collection bag this large you won’t have to continually stop to empty it.
The warranty is 5 years for domestic use which is perfect for the home user and offers peace of mind. For the professional user, a 1 year for commercial warranty is provided which is pretty standard for ride on lawn mowers and some don’t even other warranty for commercial use.
We like the Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission) for its advanced transmission and for the features that make it suitable for home and commercial use. Plus it’s also from Honda which ensures that the mower is of a high quality with a very reliable engine, easily one of the best and is backed by a 5-year warranty for home use.
We’ve made this Honda mower our Best Pick for ride on lawn mowers and also recommend it as the best mower for very large gardens.
If you have large areas of grass to cut, perhaps frequently, this is a good mower for you and is well worth the investment.
2. Mountfield 827H Compact Ride on Lawnmower
The Mountfield 827H Compact Ride on Lawnmower is one of the least expensive mowers in our review. It has similar features to the Best Pick (Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission), it even has a hydrostatic drive that ensures that the blades turn at a constant speed regardless of the speed at which the mower is travelling. This model is best suited to small to medium size areas of grass making it a great alternative to our Honda best pick.
As its name says, the Mountfield 827H mower is of compact power and size. The engine is a reliable Mountfield Series 5750 ES OHV which is 38% more powerful than the previous models.
If you like Mountfield mowers, consider moving up to a more powerful one. This mower has a standard transmission and starts with a key. The 9Ah battery is included with your purchase as is the high amp charger. The fuel tank is of 3.8 Litres capacity which is in keeping with the reduced size of this mower.
Cutting and collecting the grass is made easy with a cutting width of 66cm. The adjustable cutting heights mow in five steps from a close 30mm to 80mm for a longer finish which is the same range as most larger mowers. For cut-and-collect, the 150 Litre collection bag does all the work. This bag is not much smaller than the bags on other, larger and more expensive, mowers including our Honda alturnative.
A mulching kit is available but it’s an add-on to the price but it may be worth considering if you would rather not collect. There’s also a generic cover (also optional) to keep your mower clean and dry when you’re not using it.
The warranty is two years for domestic use, this obviously much shorter than the Honda mower but this is much more affordable.
Available extras include 1.4 L of Briggs and Stratton SAE30 engine oil. Also available is 250mL of Briggs and Stratton Fuel Fit which keeps your fuel stable for three years. This also keeps the carburettor clean and safe against the corrosive effects of ethanol in the fuel.
We’ve made the Mountfield 827M Compact Ride on Lawnmower the Runner-up in our review.
If you’re looking for a compact ride on mower for your not-so-large but large enough lawn, we recommend this Mountfield 827M Compact Ride on Lawnmower. Although it’s a budget model, it delivers many of the same features as a more commercial model but has been designed with domestic use in mind with a much friendly price tag attached. This is a great choice for most people who just have there own lawn to attend to.
3. Racing 62PR Ride-On Lawn Mower
The Racing 62PR Ride-On Mower is one of the most compact and manoeuvrable mowers that we review. And it’s the least expensive mower here too. It’s narrow enough to fit through a standard 72cm (21 inch) gate. You can easily ride your mower from your front garden lawn to cut the grass in your back garden even if you just have a narrow gateway which is why this mower may be the best choice for you.
Note that “Racing” is the brand of the mower and not a comment on its performance. The Racing engine is 4-stoke with an overhead valve motor that produces 196cc of fuel-efficiency and power. The engine produces 6.5hp / 4.8kW @ 3600rpm. The automatic five-speed transmission ensures that the grass is cut at the right speed for your landscape and the grass conditions. You don’t need to pull on the recoil cable to start this mower, just turn the key to engage the electronic ignition system.
While this is certainly not the most powerful ride on lawn mower in this review, it’s strong enough to cut lawns up to 2,000 m2. You can travel at between 1.5 kph and 2.3 kph forwards and 2.3 kph in reverse. However, this Racing 62PR lawn mower doesn’t cut when you’re going backwards.
The cutting width is a respectable 61cm for even strips, this is only 5cm less than the Mountfield model. You adjust the cutting height with a lever in five steps from 30mm to 70mm. This is similar to the height ranges found in larger and more powerful ride on mowers. Grass clippings are discharged from the rear of the mower or collected in the generous 150 Litre collecting bag. This is slightly smaller than the bags on other mowers but it’s still large enough (especially for smaller lawns) that you aren’t worn out making trips to the compost bin to empty it.
Think about purchasing the optional cover to keep your mower in good shape when you’ve finished using it. This Racing 62PR has a two-year warranty for domestic use which is the same as other budget-friendly models such as our Runner-up.
If you’re on a budget, want a ride on lawn mower and your grassy areas are small to medium in size, the Racing 62PR Ride-On Mower could be for you. A deal-decider may be that it’s narrow enough to pass through standard gates. You can drive it around your property without worrying about how you’re going to get it into enclosed areas or restricted. Our next pick is good to compare to if you need a more premium model as it also designs with narrow gateways in mind.
4. AL-KO R7-65.8 HD (Hydrostatic) Compact Ride On Lawn Mower – £1599
The AL-KO R7-65.8 HD (Hydrostatic) Compact Ride On Lawn mower is a mid-range lawn mower that is suitable for medium to large lawns that have restricted access to them just like the Racing 62PR Ride-On Lawn Mower is. The difference is that this mower is more of a premium alturnative with a much longer 5-year warranty compared to 2 years. It handles tight areas, curvy lawns and most obstacles well.
The AL-KO R7-65.8 HD has a 223cc Briggs and Stratton engine. Briggs and Stratton are well known for the high quality of their products and more importantly reliability. The transmission is hydrostatic which means that it’s automatic. To start the mower, just turn the key. You don’t have to change gears; you operate the mower by pressing foot pedals that are ergonomically placed to relieve tension in your foot and leg. To change direction, just increase or decrease pressure on the pedals and turn the steer, it’s as easy as that.
This mower has a compact design, especially for angled lawns. The manufacturer has considered your comfort and the operator’s seat has a medium-rise back for lumbar support. Its step-through design gives a low entrance for you to easily climb on to the machine. These little features just make it that little more enjoyable to use.
Cutting grass is efficiently carried out through the 62cm single blade. The blade is offset from the centre so you can mow close to walls, fences, lawn edges and borders. The narrowness of the mower (77cm) lets you get into tight areas in your garden. The turning radius of 93cm adds to this ability.
The cutting height is adjustable from 25mm to 75mm in four steps. The lower end of this range gives your grass the shortest cut of any lawn mower we’ve reviewed here. The forward speed is up to a fairly quick 6.2 kph and the mower can reach 3.6 kph in reverse. For your convenience, and to save time, you empty the rear-mounted 130 L collection bag using a telescopic lever from your seat. No more hopping on and off the lawn mower. If you’re returning the clippings directly to your lawn, the discharge chute is also at the rear of the mower.
The warranty is a 5-year conditional domestic guarantee for full peace of mind.
Optional extras include a universal cover for all garden machinery, a green 5L plastic fuel can and Briggs and Stratton Fuel Fit. The Fuel Fit stabilises your fuel and keeps the carburettor safe from ethanol (from the fuel) damage.
If you have a medium to a large amount of grass to cut, the AL-KO R7-65.8 HD (Hydrostatic) Compact Ride On Lawn Mower is worth considering. Its compact design enables you to reach those difficult places that you’ve had to cut by hand before. The hydrostatic transmission efficiently uses fuel and inflicts less wear and tear on the engine. All in all this is a good choice for anyone with narrow spaces to fit through such as a smaller gate if 80cm of larger.
5. Stiga Park 416 P VM 2WD Front Deck Ride-On Lawn Mower
The Stiga Park 416 P VM 2WD Front Deck Ride-On Lawn Mower is the fastest and most customisable mower in our review. It is, not surprisingly, also the most expensive. But you enjoy an ergonomic mowing experience from this responsive mower.
The Stiga mower is a two-wheel front-drive vehicle with power-assisted steering. Its Stiga7750 Series petrol engine produces 452cc of power. The hydrostatic (automatic with extra features) transmission is efficient and allows you to travel with a wide range of speeds. This mower has a large fuel tank suitable for going out and mowing a large lawn. You don’t have to mow solely in daylight as the mower has a front set of headlights. There’s also an hour metre that informs you when to service the mower which is important for the 3-year warranty.
The Stiga Park 416 P VM is a good choice if you have uneven or hilly areas to look after. It also handles restricted and awkward shaped grassy areas. This mower handles lawns over 10,000m2 with ease. Its top speed is 10 kph so you can cut your lawns in record time. Both the cutting width and height range are the best range of all the mowers we discuss here.
The cutting blade is an awesome 100cm wide. This also reduces your cutting time as you need to make fewer passes across your lawn. Your choice of cutting heights ranges from 25mm to 105mm. While several of the mowers here hit the 25mm mark, none of them comes close to the 105mm height. Moving from 25mm to 105mm in 10 pre-defined steps makes sure that you get the correct length of grass for your garden. If worth noting that the mowing decks need to be purchased separately but there are a few to choose from depending on what you need such as a mulching deck or just cut and discharge the grass as it falls. There is no option to collect clipping with this mower.
As already mentioned, available as extras to customize your mower are two electric cutter decks that add functionality to your Stiga ride on lawn mower. The two-blade electric cutter deck lets you electronically change the cutting height from the comfort of your driving seat. This model cuts in the range of 25mm to 85mm, still the widest range of the mowers in this review. The three-blade cutter also allows for the electronic adjustment of the blade. This model is for semi-professionals and really serious gardens, and it cuts from between 25mm-100mm in height. Both of these cutter decks have a mulching function as well.
This Stiga mower comes with a three-year conditional warranty which basically means it is subject to annual service at an authorised dealer.
If you’re looking for a ride on lawn mower with all the bells and whistles, the Stiga Park 416 P VM 2WD Front Deck Ride-On Lawn Mower should satisfy your wish list. Even without the optional cutter deck, it’s an impressive piece of machinery. Made especially for uneven spaces and tricky places, this mower delivers the power and flexibility needed by the largest gardens. Just don’t forget this mower does not collect so you need to either mulch which we recommend of cut and drop.
Buying a ride on lawn mower is a significant purchase and you want to be sure that you’re getting the power and features that you need. In this Buyer’s Guide, we briefly introduce the different types of ride on mowers and then discuss power, transmission, cutting, collecting and ergonomics of ride on lawn mowers.
Types of ride on mowers
Searching for your perfect ride on lawn mower, you’ll come across three types of mower, each with their own pros and cons.
Tractor ride on lawn mowers include both garden and lawn tractors. Generally equipped with powerful engines, these are mowers that are also mulch purpose such as attaching a trailer, suitable for anything in your garden. Engine sizes usually range between 18hp and 25hp and some have fuel injection. Tractor mowers have steering wheels but they’re best for large expanses of lawn without any obstacles.
Rear engine ride ons
These could be your entry point into the world of ride on lawn mowers. They’re somewhere between a walk-behind mower and a tractor mower. They’re more compact and have a narrower cutting width so they work well in smaller gardens under 1 acre and those with a narrow passage between their front and back gardens. You often stand on the back of these lawn mowers but we didn’t include any in this review as you can get some small ride-on lawn tractors now that are not much smaller.
Zero turn radius lawn mowers
We don’t have any of these in this review but they’re worth knowing about. These mowers turn 360 degrees tightly within a very small radius. They’re great for manoeuvring around obstacles and in tight spaces. Some newer models have steering wheels rather than levers to operate the mower. These mowers are faster than the other types of lawn mowers and are often used by professional ground keepers and councils. They work best in flat areas and don’t handle hilly terrain very well.
Ride on lawn mowers are mostly powered by petrol but some electric battery powers models are starting to hit the market but they are very expensive usually starting at around £4000. All the mowers in our review use petrol and we cover your options for that here.
The power of ride on lawn mower engines is matched to the size of the mower deck (blades) and its capabilities. Engine size ranges from about 344cc up to 700cc or more. Their speed varies with the type and model of ride on but generally can go up to over 10 kph particularly with zero-turn radius mowers.
Manual transmissions have pre-defined speeds that you can select. Some ride on mowers of this kind let you change speed without having to press the clutch down.
With ride on mowers with automatic transmission, you change the speed by using the pedal. Make sure you select a mower that lets you change gear easily in case you need to slow down quickly for obstacles.
Hydrostatic transmission works something like an automatic transmission. However, instead of using a belt to transfer power to the wheels from the engine, the hydrostatic transmission use.
All the ride on mowers in this review are petrol driven. Additional accessories for some of the mowers are a fuel additive to prevent corrosion and a specialised oil. The fuel tank size on these lawn mowers varies but are in the range of 3.8 L to 30 L of petrol. Some models have a petrol tank that is see-through so you tell at a glance how much fuel you have. Others have a gauge that is visible from the operator’s seat. Choose your mower’s engine according to the size of grass you want to cut and the conveniences you prefer.
Ride on lawn mowers usually have an electronic starter and sometimes come with a traditional recoil starter as back up. Most electric starters are activated by a key.
Many lawn mowers don’t allow you to mow when you’re going backwards. They automatically stop the blades when you switch to reverse. However, some models let you overcome this limitation if you hold down the button or turn the key for the reverse direction. Look for this is mowing in reverse is important to the look of your lawn.
Cutting and collecting
Both cutting and collecting are functions that are key to how good your lawn looks after mowing it. And how quickly you can mow the grass. Some models cannot collect grass clipping.
Your decisions here relate to the width of the blades on the lawn mower and to the variety of grass heights you want to cut.
The cutting width of a lawn mower refers to the width of a strip of grass you mow in a single pass. Ride on mowers have wider cutting widths than walk-behind mowers. The width of the blades on riding mowers ranges from 61cm to 100cm. Carefully select the right cutting width for your garden size. A small width with a large area of grass means you spend more time going back and forth; a large width in a smaller garden may be unable to go around obstacles such as trees and flower beds.
You have a selection of cutting heights with your ride on lawn mower. You move through the cutting heights of all the mowers in this review in predefined steps. Cutting heights can range from 25mm to 105mm in 5 to 10 steps. When looking at cutting heights be aware that a difference of only 5 mm takes your lawn from a little shaggy to close-cropped.
Also check how you adjust the height for grass cutting. Changing from one to another height is sometimes done by using a central lever. Other models have an electronic button you can press from your seat on the mower.
Ride on mowers have different turning circles. This is the width of the circle that you make when you turn a corner with your mower. A smaller turning radius lets you mow strips that are close together when you change direction at the end of a mowed strip. Only zero turn radius mowers claim to turn tightly. If you have many obstacles in your garden you may want a mower with a smaller turning circle that can mow closely around them.
The mowers in this review are mainly dual function – cut and discharge the grass clippings back to the lawn or cut and collect them in a bag. Two selections come into play before you purchase your lawn mower. Do you want the clippings discharged to the side of the mower or behind it? The collection bag will be positioned in the discharge direction. If you select a mower with side discharge, plan to mow away from the clippings.
The second selection is of how large you want the collection bag to be. Smaller bags make you stop more often and take the clippings to the compost heap. Larger bags mean less frequent trips but are heavier on the mower. The collection bags for ride on mowers are usually about 150 Litres.
Mulching is an option for collecting the grass cuttings. However, this function is not usually standard on ride on mowers but is an add-on. In mulching, the mower cuts the clippings finely and returns them to the grass. This fertilises the grass and gives it the needed nutrients.
Ergonomics, comfort and convenience
Beyond the practical functions of ride on lawn mower, look for the “extras” that contribute to your comfort and convenience and provide ergonomic design. Here are a few to think about.
- A high seat back that is ergonomically designed to be supportive and comfortable even if you spend hours on the mower. Also, look for armrests, extended legroom and lumbar support if you spend long hours on the mower.
- A cup holder for your cold beverages on a hot day.
- Cruise control that lets you lock in your speed on straight stretches.
- A bumper to protect the hood of the mower if you smack into a tree or other obstacle.
- Headlights so you’re not limited to mowing in the day.
You may decide that a petrol ride on lawn mower will make a necessary and worthwhile addition to your garden equipment. No more walking for miles with a walk behind mower; no more having a sandwich for supper when you don’t have time to barbeque. The lawn mowers in this review offer a wide range of power and functionality. Perhaps you’ve found one that suits you.
Our Best Pick is the Honda HF1211H Ride On Lawn Mower (Hydrostatic Transmission). This mower is well suited for large lawns. It comes with the Honda quality and a 5-year warranty. The hydrostatic transmission adds to the smoothness and fuel efficiency of your mowing time.
Our Runner up has the compactness required from a ride on mower that can operate in small spaces. The Mountfield 827H Compact Ride on Lawnmower has the features you need at a budget price.
If you’ve found that a ride on lawnmower isn’t for you at this time, please read our reviews on other types of lawn mowers:
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API