Every person on this planet who owns a yard knows that garden maintenance can sometimes be difficult. There is always something you will have to fix, change, and tidy up. That’s why it is necessary to possess good equipment that will make your work easier. So, how to find the best small garden tractor?
The first tip we have for you is – do not rush! Many brands will try to convince you that their “products” are the best possible on the market. Yet, there are several different things that you need to know before buying a garden tractor.
Table of Content
- 1 3 Best Rated Garden Tractors
- 2 Types of Garden Tractor
- 3 Size of Your Garden
- 4 Top 5 Garden Tractors
3 Best Rated Garden Tractors
- Editor’s Choice
Power Output: 24 hp
Cutting Width:48 in
Power Output: 19 hp
Cutting Width:46 in
Power Output: 26 hp
Cutting Width:54 in
Types of Garden Tractor
“Why exactly do I need a garden tractor?” is the first question you should ask yourself. The reason why you want to get one will help you determine which type of garden tractor will satisfy your needs. There are three different types you should know about
- Riding Lawn Mowers
- ZTR Lawn Tractors
- “True” Garden Tractors
Riding Lawn Mowers
Some people call them “lawn tractors” and their only purpose is mowing your lawn. You can find them in different sizes because they come with different mower deck configurations and sizes. If you are looking for tractors that you can use for any type of heavy work, then this type of garden tractor is not for you. However, they are ideal for cutting big areas of lawn or pulling a small trailer of weeds and leaves.
Finding the best riding lawn mower is not an easy task. You will be able to find hundreds of them and that is the reason why we will review them later.
ZTR Lawn Tractors
Zero-Turn Radius Lawn Tractors are similar to the riding lawn mowers. The owner will not be able to use them for some heavy work. Their only purpose is to cut grass.
We need to mention their biggest advantage. They are designed to make cuts close to curbs, path borders, trees, etc.
“True” Garden Tractors
The only reason why we named them “true” garden tractor is because you will hear that name in everyday conversations. People that need tractors for some heavy jobs should look for this sort of equipment. For instance, they have large wheels on the back, a heavier frame, etc.
Size of Your Garden
The size of your garden plays a crucial role in your decision-making process. For example, a garden tractor with a 42-inch mower deck would be perfect for yards that are less than one acre. The 46-inch deck would finish your job for properties around two acres.
Top 5 Garden Tractors
Our goal is not to convince you to buy neither of these tractors. We want to suggest you tractors for different purposes that will completely satisfy your needs. That’s why we will provide you with garden tractor reviews. They will make your decision-making a lot easier.
Here are 5 garden tractors that we want to suggest you
- Husqvarna YTA24V48
- Craftsman T225
- Husqvarna Z254
- John Deere E180
- ZT Elite Residential Zero-Turn Mower
The list doesn’t show the full story. That’s why we will analyze each tractor from the list in details.
- FAST auto transmission for a maintenance free operation
- Features choke less start, charge port and electric clutch
- Air Induction mowing technology improves airflow within the deck, ensuring a consistent cut every time
- Convenient fender mounted deck lever is spring assisted for easy operation
- 3 year limited, 5 year frame/chassis and front axle, 10 year cutting deck consumer warranty
The key feature of this model is that maintenance is actually free. You won’t need to constantly maintain it. It has an electric clutch, a charge port, and a chokeless start as well. Besides that, it has an air induction mowing technology. That means it is able to improve the airflow.
The second good thing is that you can use it all year round because it comes with snow blades, trailers, and brushes.
Something that could be a negative side of this tractor is the uncomfortable seat. This could be a problem if you are spending too much time in your vehicle. Except that, the power output of this tractor is 22hp. It is something that could be improved a little bit. However, that doesn’t mean that this machine is not one of the top riding lawn mowers.
- All Year Round Usage
- Air Induction Mowing Technology
- Maintenance Free
- Uncomfortable Seat
- Power Output
- POWERFUL BRIGGS AND STRATTON GAS ENGINE WITH READY START: Powerful gas engine suitable for larger yard jobs while ready start technology provides a quick, efficient start.
- 46-INCH CUTTING WITH INCLUDED DECK WASH: Lawn tractor comes equipped with wide 46-Inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep. Included deck wash saves time when underside cleaning.
- HYDRO-TRANSMISSION: Unit is equipped with foot hydrostatic transmission.
- MOW-IN-REVERSE: Take your mower in reverse to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots.
- SUPPORTIVE HIGH-BACK SEAT: High-back cushioned seat provides optimum comfort.
This machine is suitable for gardens around 46 inches big which mean you will have to spend some longer time in it. The good thing is that the seat is comfortable and it protects your back.
The users will not need to get their hands dirty after finishing the job. T225 comes with a deck wash that will take care of everything. Besides that, the good thing is that this machine can mow in both directions.
Still, there are also things that could be better. It’s true that T225 has a pair of headlights that will allow you to work at night. Yet, that is not recommendable. The bulbs are not bright enough and that won’t allow you to complete your job in a high-quality way.
- Powerful 19 HP engine
- The build quality is excellent
- Comfortable seat
- You can use it for wide cutting area
- Deck cleans itself
- It features “mow in reverse”
- Headlights should be much brighter
- 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
- A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
- Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
- Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
- Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
Thanks to ZTR mower, this machine gives us an automatic choke system that provides simplified starting. Besides that, the zero-turn radius makes it a highly-effective lawnmower.
It also comes with air filtration and cooling fan. More precisely, it has a robust fan on the bottom of the deck which improves performances by drawing air. This mechanism ensures a better-looking job done.
Just like the previous model, this also comes with the Briggs & Stratton engine. Still, this is 24 horsepower strong which makes it perfect for this sort of work.
Of course, we won’t skip the negative side this time as well. Some users reported a mistake with cutting deck. For example, they had to constantly maintain it or they had a problem with the buildup of grass. Keep in mind that stability is one of the advantages of this model. If your deck breaks up, there is a big chance you got a defective model. That is the reason why you need to check the warranty before buying a new garden tractor.
P.S The best riding mower usually comes with a 2 or 3-year warranty. That’s a good sign that will show you if your supplier is good or not.
The second disadvantage of this “tool” is that you won’t be able to cut horizontally on a sharp slope. However, the majority of tractors will not ensure you that. There are some products that are dedicated to that sort of work.
- It has a zero-turn radius
- Good air filtration
- A big cooling fan that keeps your machine healthy
- Powerful 24hp engine
- You will have to maintain it constantly
- The users won’t be able to cut horizontally on a sharp slope
John Deere E180
This machine contains a front-mounted V-twin engine that can maximally deliver 25 horsepower. It is excellent for those people that are dealing with uneven and hilly terrain.
Something that makes this machine attractive is a cutting width of 54 inches. It is rear to find a garden tractor with that width. You can set up the blades in 11 different positions between 1 inch and 4 inches high. This advantage will allow you to determine the exact lawn height. Many people want to have different lengths of grass in their garden. This machine will help you do that in only a few seconds.
The best place to use this tractor is open fields and large yards because it has a wide turning radius of 18 inches.
People that are professionally dealing with landscaping jobs should use this vehicle because of its versatility and power.
Finally, it has a soft and ergonomic seat that takes care of your back. This is especially important for jobs that require time.
However, do not use this equipment if your intention is to work at night. It has powerful headlights that will provide you with good visibility in low-light moments. Yet, they are not powerful enough to ensure safety in a completely dark situation.
- Powerful engine (it can reach 25hp)
- The cutting width of 54 inches
- You can set up blades in 11 different positions from 1 to 4 inches (good for professional landscaping jobs)
- Wide turning radius of 18 inches
- Comfortable and ergonomic seat
- You won’t be able to work at night because headlights are not good enough
Bad Boy Mowers 4800 Kawasaki ZT Elite
Bad Boy is probably the most popular company among tractor users. The biggest advantage of this model is high horsepower engines. They allow you to finish the job in a lot faster way.
The access to the machine is easier than ever before. The floorboard lifts up for all-access to the belts for servicing and cleaning. The heavy-duty rubber floor mat protects the deck surface. Besides that, it also provides no-slip on and off access.
You won’t have to worry about fuel. The machine can hold 6.5 gallons of fuel. Except that, the machine is ergonomically designed to improve deep storage capacity and cup holder.
There are not many disadvantages that we could mention about this product. The biggest once is about the price. These sorts of garden tractors are high-quality, but they are also expensive.
Because of the price, it is recommendable that first-time users do not buy this product immediately. They should buy it after they learn how to use this type of equipment properly.
- High HP engine
- Easy access
- Ergonomically designed
- It might be expensive for people that are not ready to invest a large amount of money.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I buy a new garden tractor? The best time to do that is around September because you will be able to find many discounts in that period of the year.
Which riding lawn mower is the best one? The precise answer doesn’t exist. You will have to determine why you need a garden tractor before you buy it
How long does an average garden mower last? Around 9 or 10 years, but it could potentially last longer if you maintain it actively.
Which one should I choose – Petrol tractor or Diesel tractor? Diesel tractors are cheaper for maintenance, but petrol tractors are cheaper to buy. It depends on how much money you have to invest.
We hope that our lawn tractor reviews will help you find the right one. Yet, the best riding lawn mower is the one that will completely satisfy your needs. Start from the size of your garden. That could give you many answers. Imagine how exactly you would like to design your yard. Is there any specific height of the grass that you would like to see? Are there some places that are tough for cutting (for instance, near trees)?
After you determine all the things we mentioned, you will be ready to find the best possible equipment for your needs. Wait until September if you are ready to invest a lot of money. You can find many discounts at that period of the year.
Do you have any other suggestions? Share your thoughts with us!