If you want to mow your lawn with the least amount of manual labor necessary, you should consider getting a riding mower. However, these hefty machines don’t always come at a bargain price. In fact, a riding mower can be considered an investment for the sole purpose of lawn maintenance. Luckily for you, we know the best riding mowers under $2000 that should provide you the best bang for your buck.
Top 3 Best Riding Mowers Under $2000
Types Of Riding Lawn Mowers
Before we review some riding mowers, you must first learn the difference between various types of riding lawn mowers. Knowing their characteristics will help you pick the right riding mower for your lawn.
Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mowers
If you want a riding mower that doesn’t take up a lot of space in the storage area, you should go for a rear engine riding lawn mower. Similarly, this is a good choice for lawn owners who have fence gates that can’t be passed through by bulky machines. A rear engine riding lawn mower has a relatively small cutting deck and a small engine. Not only does this make it smaller in size compared to the other types, but it helps to lower its overall price.
For people with a small lawn that measures just around an acre, a rear engine riding lawn mower is a great choice. Compared to a push or walk-behind lawn mower, the use of a rear engine mower should reduce the total mowing duration by more than half aside from keeping you well-rested.
One downside, however, is that this riding mower moves at a rather slow speed. You should expect this to move at a speed of five miles per hour. If you want a relaxing mowing operation, this should do well. In addition, a rear engine riding mower isn’t constructed to be compatible with huge attachments. This limits the number of its secondary functions apart from mowing the lawn.
Riding Lawn Tractors And Garden Tractors
Unlike a rear engine riding mower, these ones are designed to work with heavy attachments. Apart from this, riding lawn tractors and garden tractors are powered by hefty engines with a horsepower averaging from 17.5 to 27. Still, these machines aren’t for commercial purposes.These might not be fastest variants at a maximum speed of just around 5.5 miles per hour, but they compensate for that with sheer power and size. The cutting deck ranges from 42 to 60 inches, which is wide enough to efficiently mow down 1-2 acres lawn.
Zero Turn Mowers
The third type is the zero-turn riding mower, which can move at an impressive speed of eight miles per hour. Still, the biggest selling point of this riding lawn mower is how it can make turns with such ease. You could have it turn a complete 360 degrees without any worries due to the steering system. In other words, this is a speedy riding mower with the greatest amount of maneuverability among the three types.
Of course, agility and flexibility aren’t the only benefits of this riding mower. The deck size of a zero turn riding mower can just be 34 inches wide to access narrow areas of your lawn with ease. However, you can opt to get a zero turn mower with a 66-inch deck size to significantly cut down the operation time. Likewise, power isn’t a problem with models that use 30-horsepower engines.
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Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Riding Mowers Under $2000
Apart from knowing the different types of riding lawn mowers, you also need to be aware of the various factors that help differentiate one model from another.
Manual Or Automatic Transmission
For lawn owners with properties which barely have any obstacles and are pretty much an open area, they can pick a manual riding mower. After all, they could manually change the gears with ease. Plus, riding mowers with manual transmissions cost less than the automatic counterparts.
However, you are better off with an automatic riding mower if your lawn is characterized by various narrow spaces and the need for turning and changing directions often. Such a mower could have the cruise control setting, which lets the riding mower travel at a steady pace as it mows a large portion of your lawn.
As previously mentioned, riding mowers are usually compatible with a lot of attachments. When you don’t need to mow the lawn, you can still use the machine for other functions. These include plowing the snow, mulching the grass, moving a cart, and leaf blowing.
Steering And Maneuverability
The most basic method of steering for riding mowers is to use the steering wheel. Using this method can be time-consuming so many lawn owners go for models with a zero-turn steering method instead. This second method is made possible through two levels in charge of moving the rear wheels.
Here, you have to find a balance between performance and convenient storage. After mowing your lawn, you have to properly store your riding mower. You wouldn’t want it to be exposed to rain and snow, among other natural elements. If you lack sufficient space in your shed, it wouldn’t be a wise decision to get a massive riding mower with a 60-inch cutting deck.
The most powerful engine isn’t always the most suitable one. When it comes to engine size, you should get one that is right for the size of your lawn and what you require of it. If you have a large lawn, a high-powered engine will help in efficiently mowing your property. Likewise, such an engine is good for using the heavy attachments. If you have a small or regular-sized lawn and you only want to mow, the average engine would do.
Finally, you must consider the deck size, which is one of the most significant advantages of a riding mower compared to a push lawn mower. A 60-inch wide cutting deck will definitely cut down the mowing time, but it’s not the best choice if your lawn is composed of narrow areas. In this situation, a 30-inch deck is the wiser option.
Top 3 Riding Mower Under $2000 Reviews
Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic Riding Lawn Mower
The first riding mower features a foot-pedal automatic transmission for a hassle-free gear change no matter how many turns and reversals you need to conduct. With a 46-inch steel cutting deck, Troy-Bilt has balanced cutting efficiency with maneuverability – it’s not too small and not too big. You can even raise and lower the cutting deck in five different ways. This will help you find the right mowing height to reduce the need for multiple passes.
Also, this riding lawn mower proves to be versatile since it can mow your grass even when in reverse. Mobility in uneven terrain shouldn’t be an issue with the 15 inch by six-inch front wheels and the 20 inch by 8 inch rear wheels. This model has the Soft Touch Steering Wheel, which allows the riding mower to precisely move in tight areas. In addition, the Step-Thru frame makes it easy to move the Troy-Bilt mower in and out of your lawn.
Moreover, user comfort is improved with the easily accessible mid-back seat. What powers this Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower is the 19-horsepower 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek engine. This is good enough for the sizable cutting deck and the durable wheels. For cleaning and maintenance purposes, Troy-Bilt built an integrated deck wash system. If there any problems, Troy-Bilt has included a two-year limited warranty.
What We Didn't Like
- Reverse mowing option only offers a single slow speed
- Traction in wet areas is average
Poulan Pro 960420188 Briggs and Stratton 20 hp Pedal Control Automatic Drive Riding Mower
Up next, we have another riding mower with a foot-pedal automatic transmission for convenient gear changing and a 46-inch steel cutting deck. What makes it different compared to the first riding mower, however, is the reinforced vented cutting deck in Poulan Pro 960420188. Basically, this design improves the airflow under the cutting deck as you mow down tall grasses.
Instead of priming or choking this mower has an easy start, you could rely on the Ready Start Starting System. This helps the engine to automatically identify its temperature in order for adequate fuel adjustments to take place. If you are in uneven terrain or in a path near hedges and trees, you can use the oscillating front axle. This has a six-inch turning radius for maintaining a level cut at all times.
While both the Troy-Bilt 540cc Intek Automatic Riding Lawn mower and the Poulan Pro 960420188 use Briggs & Stratton engine to move their 46-inch decks, the latter uses a 20-horsepower Overhead Valve (OHV) engine. Combined with the internal oil pump, this type of engine ensures fuel efficiency and a good engine lifespan. Furthermore, the 20-hp engine uses pressurized lubrication to help it run cool and provide more power on demand.
As for attachments, the Poulan Pro 960420188 can easily be used for mulching or bagging purposes. If any problems arise regarding the deck shell of this Poulan Pro riding lawn mower, you can take advantage of the ten-year limited warranty.
What We Liked
- Fuel-efficient and powerful 20-hp Briggs & Stratton OHV engine
- Works well with a snow blade attachment for winter use
- Ten-year limited warranty for the deck shell
- 46-inch vented cutting deck made of reinforced steel
What We Didn't Like
- Bagging attachment works inefficiently
- Does not always have an easy start even with the Ready Start Starting System
Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
This riding mower uses an impressive OHV Troy-Bilt engine that packs between 14 and 15 horsepower. The engine is powerful enough to move the 30-inch cutting deck, which has five adjustable settings. Also, blade engagement is superb due to the manual power take-off.
While this deck width is undoubtedly the shortest among the three riding mowers on this list, it also makes it the most compact riding mower. Thus, storing this in your garage or shed should be easy. The maximum forward speed is 4.25 miles per hour, which is good enough for mowing medium-sized lawns that mostly have an even terrain.
In addition, the front wheels measure 13 x 5 inches while the rear wheels measure 16 x 6.5 inches. Handling the 13-inch steering wheel has a soft grip to maintain the comfort during operations. Similarly, the seat can be raised to mid-back whenever you want. For precise turns, there’s an 18-inch turning radius.
To find the best mowing speed, this Troy-Bilt riding mower uses a six-speed transmission. Moreover, the fuel tank has a capacity of 1.3 gallons. Identifying the current amount is simple, thanks to the fuel sight window. Finally, this riding mower comes with a two-year limited warranty.
What We Liked
- Mid-back seat fits well no matter the operator’s body size
- Instructions are well-written to ensure proper assembling
- Performs with relative quietness despite the mowing power
- Steering is easy and smooth
- Fuel-efficient mowing operation
What We Didn't Like
- Footrest should have more traction to prevent slipping
- Seat should have two sturdy springs instead of a single one
Best Riding Mowers Under $2000 - Winner
Overall, our favorite riding mower under $2000 is the Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower. It doesn’t have 46-inch cutting decks, but the 30-inch deck is a decent width for people with small and medium-sized lawns.
In addition, this is the most compact riding mower, which makes it easy to move around narrow areas – especially with the help of the 18-inch turning radius.
Furthermore, you can choose among five cutting decks settings while the transmission offers six-speed options. The wheels are sturdy, and the soft-grip steering wheel works well. Whether you are short or tall, the mid-back seat should keep you comfortable all throughout the mowing operations. Lastly, it does its job of efficient cutting without creating a lot of noise.
We hope that you learned a lot about relatively affordable yet reliable riding mowers. You do not always have to pick the models with the most powerful engines and the biggest deck widths. What matters is you find one that is well-suited for the lawn you have. If you have any queries, do give us a comment.