We tested ride-on lawn mowers and name the Husqvarna Rider 214TC as the best ride-on lawn mower of 2020. The ride-on lawn mower is a very high performance model for large areas with lots of obstacles.
The best tractor model ride-on lawn mower (with the cutting motor in the middle) is the Viking MT 4097 SX, whose high comfort levels and versatile trailer and towing hook make it a useful tool in larger gardens.
All models have been tested over the long term for at least one summer. We assessed the mowing result both immediately after mowing and after a period of regular mowing. All of the ride-on lawn mowers were tested on a number of different grass areas with varying grass types and heights. We also mowed at different levels of moisture in the grass.
In our assessment we focused on the following characteristics:
How efficiently does the ride-on lawn mower cut the grass without impairing the mowing result? Can it cope with tall grass? How good is it at cutting tufts of damp grass?
Comfort & user-friendliness
How comfortable is it to operate the ride-on lawn mower? How easy is it to understand? Are there a lot of vibrations? How easy is it to clean and maintain?
How well does the ride-on lawn mower work in a garden with lots of obstacles? How efficient is it on larger surfaces? How does it cope with slopes, hollows, bushes and tight corners?
The ride-on lawn mowers were also assessed in terms of size, build quality, functionality, noise levels, petrol fumes, fuel consumption and available accessories. All of these points have been taken into account and a final score has been awarded on the basis of the lawn mower’s value for money.
We have tested a selection of the market's most popular ride-on lawn mowers. Compare prices of all the listed ride-on lawn mowers on PriceRunner.
Very high performance model for large areas with lots of obstacles
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 12.8 kW (at 3100 rpm) Tank volume: 12 l Cutting height: 25-75 mm (10 step) Cutting width: 94 cm Speed: Forwards: 9.5 km/h | Backwards: 9.5 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 244 kg Noise level: 83 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 2.5 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The Husqvarna Rider 214TC is a fast, rear-wheel drive ride-on lawn mower with a replaceable front mounted cutting deck. This actually makes it much more than a lawn mower, because it can also be equipped with accessories such as a snow shovel, brush or aerator. The design makes the steering intuitive and gives good visibility of the area you’re cutting. Unfortunately there are no headlights for mowing in poor light.
Accessibility and manoeuvrability are both exemplary and make it easy to mow around bushes and trees. However, you have to remember that the rear section can swing out and hit fences and walls.
The cutting width is nicely judged for larger areas with lots of obstacles. But it would have been nice if the cutting deck was 5 cm further out from the wheels, as this would make it easier to mow around flowerbeds.
The 214TC provides excellent comfort for both short and tall drivers. It has a comfortable seat, easily accessible controls, a compartment for drinks/tools and a pedal controlled hydrostatic gearbox. The hydrostatic transmission is worth its weight in gold in areas that require a lot of reversing.
The cutting result is very good and the cutting height can be set very low. Mulching is particularly effective as long as the grass isn’t too tall or wet.
It’s very easy to clean off the cutting deck as long as you have a hose. The 214TC is a clearly well-designed ride-on lawn mower, and despite its high price tag is very good value for money, which is why we designate it as our best ride-on lawn mower of 2020.
King of the ride-on lawn mowers, which gets maximum points in everything we give it to do.
Mows and navigates in an efficient way on both larger and fiddly areas – but this is reflected in the price tag.
Suitable for many different garden types and thus for a broad section of homeowners.
A versatile and good value-for-money tractor with good comfort levels
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 7.2 kW (at 3100 rpm) Cutting height: 35-90 mm (8 step) Cutting width: 95 cm Recommended grass area: Up to 6,000 m2 Weight: 197 kg Noise level: 86 dB Gearbox: Hydrostatic Manual (PDF):
We selected the Stihl RT 4097 SX as the best tractor in test due to its time efficiency, great cutting result and versatility. For example, the fact that it has a towing hook makes it an excellent tool for moving things in the garden. If you buy a small trailer the 4097 SX can cope with towing weights of up to 40 kg without problems. The good turning circle and strong drive help you navigate quickly and easily around the garden. The fact that it also has lights so that you can see clearly even at dusk is an obvious plus point. And when it comes to grass cutting, the 4097 SX is very impressive. It quickly and easily cuts large surfaces. The cutting result is uniform, even in tall, wet grass. It also does a very good job of grinding up the grass, which means that the lack of a mulching function isn't as noticeable (you can also buy a kit for about £40). The cutting head is centred underneath the machine as is always the case on garden tractors. This means that the 4097 SX doesn't find it as easy as front-mounted ride-on lawnmowers to access everywhere. It's therefore best suited to larger, uncomplicated lawns. In more complicated gardens you'll have to do quite a lot of additional cutting around raised vegetable beds, bushes and in tight corners.
Comfort levels are high. You have a very comfortable position on the well-padded seat, which effectively counteracts problems with vibrations when driving. It's easy to reach all the levers and pedals. In addition it has twin bottle holders. It's also easy to read the cutting head's height level. However, it can be a little fiddly to get the right level on the first try. The button for cutting while reversing is also a bit stiff. We'd also have liked easier removal of the cutting head. But by and large these are minor points, and generally user-friendliness is high. For example you can see what speed you're moving at, and the machine reacts smoothly to speed alterations. One disadvantage for lighter users is that the ride-on lawnmower is equipped with a non-adjustable weight lock to prevent use by children. It should activate at 35 kg, but it also activated for a tester weighing almost 50 kg. Overall, however, the 4097 SX is an extremely good value for money tractor that gives you a lot of ride-on lawnmower and tractor for the money, but is also great fun to ride and cut the grass with. Particularly in larger, uncomplicated gardens.
A very powerful garden assistant
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 12.8 kW (at 3100 rpm) Tank volume: 12 l Cutting height: 25-75 mm (10 step) Cutting width: 94 cm Speed: Forwards: 9.5 km/h | Backwards: 9.5 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 244 kg Noise level: 83 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 2.5 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The Husqvarna R 216T AWD is an extremely competent and versatile ride-on lawn mower for anyone seeking high build quality, a strong motor and great manoeuvrability.
This is a four-wheel drive ride-on lawn mower that doesn’t merely give great mowing results but also copes with pulling heavy loads too. For example, the lawn mower had no problems pulling a heavy pallet of limestone. The 216T is actually so strong that our testers used it to pull things rather than bothering with their four-wheel drive.
As we've said, the mowing result is very good. It's quite similar to that of its smaller sibling, the 214TC in that, thanks to the rear-wheel drive it's very efficient and easy to manoeuvre. You can easily navigate around obstacles, and the response is excellent.
But you do need to remember that the back end sticks out when you manoeuvre, so if you're turning in a narrow area you need to keep your eyes open. This means that small, winding areas can be rather time-consuming to mow. But as long as you're aware of this you’ll be fine. On open areas, it's very quick and, despite the speed, succeeds in mowing the grass thoroughly.
The 216T AWD is easy to start throughout the season, even when it's cold. It doesn't have a choke, and it's nice not to have to deal with one of these, while it doesn't seem to negatively affect the machine's ability to start.
The ergonomics are also very good. You have a comfortable position, there are few controls to deal with, and of course there's a cup holder. One advantage is that you can adjust the wheel so the lawn mower suits both tall and short users.
The Rider 216T is easy to maintain and has a counter so you know when it’s time for the next service.
The front LED is powerful. It's particularly useful for anyone also using the ride-on lawn mower to pull things. Most people cut their lawns in the daytime, but it's useful to also be able to work in the garden in the early morning or late evening.
But of course all this means it costs more. This is far from a cheap ride-on lawn mower, but as a premium mower it's quite simply in a class of its own. If you're looking for a machine that can replace both a four-wheel drive and a lawn mower on an undulating, large plot – even one with lots of obstacles – you should consider this mower. The 216T is a real workhorse.
Fast and efficient on larger green areas
Motor: AL-KO Pro 700 Motor power: 13 kW (at 2900 rpm) Cutting height: 30-80 mm (6 step) Speed: Forwards: 9 km/h | Backwards: 4 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 234 kg Noise level:72,3 dB (measured) Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The Solo by Al-KO T 22-111.7 HDS-A V2 is a garden tractor with low vibrations thanks to its combination of a plastic chassis and stable sheet metal frame. However, the plastic chassis is a little hard, which means the hood is rather stiff to open. You sit quite high up on this machine, which makes it difficult to get close to trees and bushes that have low hanging branches. At the same time the height gives you a very good overview of the area you're cutting. The turning circle is good and the steering bites immediately even with very small movements. The V2 motor makes the HDS-A V2 powerful, and it handles both tall and coarse grass easily. Cutting even a meadow with this machine is no problem. The tyres also give you a good grip. The comfortable seat combined with the low vibrations make cutting the lawn a pleasant experience. The seat is easy to adjust and there's plenty of legroom.
The Solo by Al-KO T 22-111.7 HDS-A V2 spreads the grass well from the discharge and has a large petrol tank that lasts a long time. The noise level is higher than average, even when the cutting deck is turned off, so you need to use hearing protection. The tractor doesn’t have a towing hook, which is a shame as it would have given it many more applications because it's such a powerful machine. However, you can buy one separately. The pro transmission gives a good speed, which is most useful over large areas. In combination with the strong motor and the large petrol tank, this means that the AL-KO T 22-111.7 HDS-A V2 is best suited to rough lawn mowing over larger green areas.
Agile giant with great ergonomics and good mowing results on flat areas
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 8.82 kW (at 3200 rpm) Tank volume: 12 l Cutting height: 25-85 mm (electronic) Speed: Forwards: 10 km/h | Backwards: 7 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 237 kg Noise level: 86 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 2.5 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic Transmission: Can have a combi cutting deck from 95 to 105 cm with multiclip and rear discharge
The Stiga Park 420 P is a relatively large but still convenient ride-on lawn mower that's quite quiet and easy to manoeuvre thanks to articulated steering. The major advantage of articulated steering is that the back wheels follow in the tracks of the front wheels. In other words, you don’t need to line up the back axle with the obstacle before you start turning – if the front wheels get around the obstacle, the back ones will too! This means that it’s very easy to manoeuvre even if you have a garden with lots of obstacles.
Despite the fact that it's relatively large, it never feels clumsy. One advantage of the size is that you're relatively high up, which gives you a good overview around you – even right in close to the machine.
However, we weren’t keen on the front frame on the cutting deck. The design means that you can’t get access to mow right up to something.
The biggest disadvantage of the 420 P is that it skids very easily. This is most noticeable when reversing on a slight slope, but it also happens on several occasions when we're starting to move forward after having been stopped or reversing. We suspect that it's the tyres that have poor terrain-handling abilities, and try deflating them a little, but this doesn’t help.
Its tendency to slip makes this model less suitable on undulating ground.
Otherwise, the 420 P is very nice to operate and has a high quality feel. It has electronic cutting height setting, instead of a lever or other solution. Even if this doesn’t really make much difference in purely practical terms, it gives a more premium experience.
The seat has holes in it, which keeps it dry as any rainwater or dew runs away quickly. The seat is also comfortable to sit on, even for a longer period.
All of the controls are easily accessible and the ride-on lawn mower has headlights so you can mow into the evening. It also has a reasonable sized cup holder.
The accelerator pedal is a little stiff – if you're going to change between going forwards and backwards often, your foot might get tired.
The 420 P delivers a reasonable mowing result. The substantial cutting width means that it mows large surfaces quickly. There are other models that shred the cut grass better, but the bits left over are still small enough to quickly disappear into the lawn.
One negative thing we noticed is that the cutting deck “jumps” a bit on uneven ground because of how it's suspended. It should be a much more springy movement, but doesn't always succeed. If you have an uneven lawn, this means that the mowing result will also be a bit uneven in places. But if your lawn is well trimmed, this won’t be a problem.
If you have a large, flat and relatively even garden, and want to be able to manoeuvre easily around bushes and trees, the Stiga Park 420 P is a very comfortable and easy to steer option.
Useful tractor with large cutting deck
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Intek 7200 V-Twin Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 11.45 kW (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 6 l Cutting height: 25-80 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 108 cm Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 180 kg Gearbox: Hydrostatic Miscellaneous: Towing hook
The Stiga Tornado 3108 HW is a relatively strong tractor model ride-on lawn mower. For example, it has no problems pulling a small trailer fully loaded with soil on a flat surface. Starting on an uphill slope sometimes tends to end up with the lawn mower skidding, so it’s important to keep the tyres free of grass to ensure the best possible grip.
The tractor goes quite fast, so when you’re not mowing the lawn but simply moving things from one place to another it’s quite efficient.
The 3108 HW can sometimes lock up because of the seat (which needs to sense there’s enough weight on it for the lawn mower to start). If this happens, you have to sit down again with a little more force to press the seat down. You can’t tell by looking that it’s locked – the only way you can tell is when the lawn mower doesn’t start. Otherwise, the lawn mower runs very well throughout the entire season.
It’s easy to control the speed of the 3108 HW, and at least as easy to set the cutting height. The lever on the left is rather heavy to adjust, but this also makes it more childproof. From a safety viewpoint it’s also great that the ride-on lawn mower is so quick to shut off when you stand up. At one point our tester happened to step the accelerator as they climbed off the lawn mower, and this could have been very dangerous if engine hadn’t stopped so quickly.
However, the tractor is sluggish to react when you’re trying to mow while reversing. If you accelerate fast with the cutting deck down the lawn mower cuts out immediately, but if you accelerate slowly to a higher speed you can continue mowing even while moving backwards without holding in the button you're actually supposed to need to mow in in reverse.
The advantage of tractor mowers is that they're so easy to manoeuvre over complex areas and you don’t have to think about a cutting deck at the front. At the same time, the 3108 HW struggles a little with mowing when the ground is uneven, because it has a relatively large cutting deck. The grass isn’t mowed evenly if the ground level varies, and this is quite visible. On large, relatively flat areas, however, it's very efficient because of the speed, a good turning circle and a strong cutting motor.
Unfortunately the petrol tank isn’t very big so you have to top it up quite often. According to the specification, it should hold 6 litres, but we don't even get a 5 litre can's worth in it. Given the price of the tractor, we’d have also liked to be able to see the level in the fuel tank without opening the hood.
It has a cup holder, a smaller square compartment just behind it and a larger compartment between the driver’s feet. The larger compartment could have been a bit deeper, but in general it’s really nice to have so many places to put your things. Particularly if you often carry tools and so on.
If you’re looking for a ride-on lawn mower that you're only going to use as a lawn mower, there are more affordable alternatives to the 3108 HW. But if you have a relatively flat and large lawn and want an efficient and versatile machine for more than just mowing, the Stiga 3108 HW is a good buy. Partly because it's stable and well-balanced, but also because it’s so user-friendly.
Neat and strong, but some design issues
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 6.4 kW (at 3000 rpm) Tank volume: 4 l Cutting height: 25-70 mm (7 step) Cutting width: 85 cm Speed: Forwards: 7 km/h | Backwards: 3 km/h Weight: 190 kg Noise level: 89 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 1.6 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The Husqvarna Rider 112C has an enormously good drive and very good terrain-handling abilities, which makes it suitable for many different garden types. It’s also quite neat and equipped with articulated steering, which means that you can mow into awkward nooks and crannies, and have good control when turning. We have no problem running it up slopes, cutting on a gradient etc., either in wet or dry grass.
Forward and reverse are controlled by two different pedals, instead of single one as is the case on many other ride-on lawn mowers. We like this solution as it means you have to move your foot when you change direction.
However, a clear disadvantage with the R 112C is that you have to get off it to change the cutting height. The height setting is at the front and you can’t reach it from the seat. Over time this easily becomes irritating, at least if you're used to being able to adjust the cutting height as you mow.
In addition, the height adjustment is meant to consist of seven steps, but we can only find five and a service position. The service position is used to tip the cutting deck, and unlike the cutting height adjustment the position of this is useful because you can stop the machine and are then immediately ready to start cleaning.
The petrol filler cap is also well positioned. However, we see it as a disadvantage that you can’t easily see how much petrol is left in the tank from the outside.
The R 112C gives a good result but it only has two blades at the front, plus two front wheels. This means that you can’t get close in when you're mowing around obstacles. However, it leaves your lawn nice and neat.
The ergonomics are good, too. You have a comfortable position and there’s a handy cup holder immediately in front of the seat.
The biggest disadvantage with this ride-on lawn mower is actually the design and build quality. The seat is formed in such a way that rainwater collects in it, which could have been handled better. It also has a tendency for parts underneath to break if you lower the cutting deck too quickly. Over a test period several months long, it manages to chew through both belts and plastic housings underneath. A drive wheel also broke, and had to be replaced after we lowered the cutting deck too quickly. We’d have liked to see a solution either where the cutting deck couldn't be lowered too quickly or a design that could stand up to it.
The machine is also equipped with plastic clips which lock very cleverly, but these aren’t very good quality. They break easily and cost quite a lot to replace.
However, it gets a bonus for having a towing hook.
If you’re careful when you lower the cutting deck, the R 112C is still quite a handy and neat ride-on lawn mower. Because it’s easy to manoeuvre and navigate around obstacles, it’s ideal for a winding or smaller garden. Of course you can use it on an open lawn too, but the design is most suitable for spaces where larger ride-on lawn mowers would have problems.
Fast, powerful ride-on lawn mower with a few unusual construction choices
Motor: Toro V-Twin, 708 cc Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 12.8 kW (at 2850 rpm) Tank volume: 11.3 l Cutting height: 38-114 mm Cutting width: 107 cm Speed: Forwards: 9.6 km/h | Backwards: 9.6 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 254 kg Noise level: 87 dB Drive: Double hydrostatic transmission
The Toro Timecutter ZS 4200 T is a very powerful ride-on lawn mower with a number of exciting construction choices. It’s special in that you control it with joystick controls. If you're used to operating a digger, you may appreciate the joystick controls because it means that you accelerate and steer with your hands. At the same time we can’t see why it wouldn’t have been more user-friendly – and reached a broader target group – if Toro had instead chosen to give it a steering wheel (this model is also available in a steering wheel version). However, if you're used to operating machinery with joystick controls, it’s easy to manoeuvre as a whole.
Unfortunately the controls for the choke, start and others are beneath the armrest, so you have to lean over the machine to see and access them. The choice of positioning for the cutting deck is also rather unusual. It isn't underneath like a tractor model, but nor is it at the very front like a normal front-mounted lawn mower. This means that it doesn't benefit from the front-mounted design’s advantage – better access. Instead you have to squeeze a large part of the machine – and yourself – into larger bushes and so on to access the lawn there. This makes it more like a tractor model.
At the same time you get a very good view when the cutting deck isn’t directly beneath you like it is on a tractor model. So there are both advantages and disadvantages with this design. However, we would have liked the large wheels on the cutting deck to be positioned differently or made smaller to increase accessibility. As it stands, it’s difficult to get in around trees and other obstacles if you don't approach them on exactly the right angle.
The TimeCutter ZS 4200 T does a good job on large, flat surfaces. The cutting deck is large and you can drive quite fast with it so you can get through a large area of lawn quickly. It’s obvious that the motor is 24 hp as it's very powerful. This is very clear when you're going uphill and even when you’re reversing on a slope. There are a total of three speeds and you choose between these with a centrally placed lever.
At the same time that the TimeCutter ZS 4200 T moves forward at high speed, it has no problems mowing the grass. Despite working at high speed, the mowing result is really good. The only times we notice it struggling a bit is if we allow the lawn to grow taller – 10 cm or more. And we also appreciate that it has plenty of choice when it comes to setting the cutting height.
However, it could have had better terrain-handling abilities. We notice several times that it continues to slide forward when we brake on a gentle slope. The wheels lock and there’s a risk that it will skid into obstacles.
However, it gets a bonus for having a towing hook. It also gets bonuses for the soft, comfortable seat with armrests on the sides, the fact you can see the fuel level from the outside and the fact that you have a good view over the motor.
Overall, the TimeCutter ZS 4200 T is best on large, flat and open surfaces where its speed and power really come into their own. In smaller or winding gardens it quickly becomes clumsy.
Strong garden tractor that also clears undergrowth
Motor: AL-KO Pro 450 Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 8.5 kW (at 2900 rpm) Tank volume: 7 l Cutting height: 30-90 mm (6 step) Cutting width: 110 cm Recommended grass area: Up to 10,000 m2 Speed: Forwards: 9 km/h | Backwards: 4 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 224 kg Measured noise level: 92 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 2-4 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The AL-KO T 15-110.6 HDS is a strong garden tractor that can quickly cut large areas. One of its main strengths is how easily it can mow down everything from normal grass to tougher undergrowth. For example, we gave it a try in an overgrown area with large numbers of bushes and it had no problems chewing up the branches – despite the fact that it's primarily intended as a lawnmower. Like other garden tractors, the T 15-110.6 is primarily intended for larger, uncomplicated gardens, and the cutting deck is centrally placed so it doesn't reach into corners or right out to the edges. The T 15-110.6's hydrostatic transmission is a little jerky and it doesn't have direct steering. This means that manoeuvrability is a bit lacking. At the same time it has a strong drive, a good turning circle and doesn't slip. It's also easy to understand how to operate the machine. The controls and pedals are easy to adjust and the lawn mower reacts directly.
The cutting result is good. The T 15-110.6 does a good job of grinding up and spreading out the grass cuttings, both on short lawns and very tall grass. The results are so neat that it's hardly noticeable that you've just cut the lawn – it just looks well-tended. And when it comes to maintenance, the bodywork is easy to clean. However, the cutting deck is a little bit awkward to remove and we would have liked to see a flush nozzle. Nor are the comfort levels brilliant. The seat is quite hard and you have to put up with a lot of vibration. The construction quality is rather plasticky in parts and some things are unnecessarily stingy. One example is that there is glass for lighting and lighting wires under the bonnet, but no bulbs. That seems misleading. We would also have liked a towing hook, which we think should be standard on a garden tractor. The T 15-110.6 is undoubtedly good at its core function of cutting grass. But given that it's actually a garden tractor, we would have liked greater versatility.
Primarily suitable for large open spaces
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 9.1 kW (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 3.8 l Cutting height: 30-95 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 107 cm Max gradient: 10° Weight: 175 kg Noise level: 82 dB
The MTD Smart RG 145 is a low-priced ride-on lawnmower that we expected to be quite simple in design – not particularly strong perhaps, but with a few, basic functions and producing a good cut. What we got, however, was something completely different to that.
For example, this mower isn’t particularly easy to use. MTD have messed things up with a complicated set of levers. You control speed, reverse and neutral using the pedal, but you set maximum speed and RPM with two other levers. And for example, if you set the RPM to the lowest level and the speed to the highest, the machine will become sluggish and the engine likely to cut out.
You also have to depress the clutch each time you select a new speed mode. So you can’t just pull the lever steplessly. The whole solution feels unnecessarily time consuming and complicated.
That the construction of the mower is fairly basic is in line with our expectations. All the same, we think that the solution whereby MTD has mounted the fuel tank using cable ties is perhaps too simple even on a budget machine.
But the Smart RG 145 does have an attractive design overall. The mower features a sporty steering wheel, which is comfortable to hold. The seat is also comfortable and you sit up quite straight. In addition, the mower also has lighting – albeit rather weak lighting. Unfortunately, the anti-slip protection for your feet becomes slippery immediately it gets damp, so you need to be a bit careful when you step on and off the mower.
If you want to adjust the position of your seat, you also have to use a few tools and loosen some screws. On other models, it's normal to hold a lever and move the seat forwards or backwards, so the MTD solution doesn’t feel very user-friendly. On the other hand, tank caps and filters are easily accessible for filling and maintenance. It’s also easy to set the cutting height.
The engine is powerful for the price and it seems to us that this is where MTD have focused. The engine can handle fairly tall grass and even some brush with good results. The cutting width is substantial so the mower is efficient in terms of time on open, straight areas. It also has a good, tight turning circle.
Overall, the MTD Smart RG 145 is suitable for anyone who owns a large, open, obstacle-free lawn and has a limited budget. However, you need a pretty good understanding of how engines work to continuously find the right setting in terms of strength and speed.
Budget model that gives a lot of strength for a reasonable price
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 6.3 kW (at 2800 rpm) Tank volume: 3.8 l Cutting height: 30-95 mm (5 step) Cutting width: 96 cm Speed: Forwards: 0-9 km/h | Backwards: 0-5 km/h Max. gradient: 11% Weight: 150 kg Noise level: 98 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 5 m/s² Transmission: Hydrostatic (hand control) User manual: PDF
The MTD Smart RF 130 H is a robust ride-on lawn mower of garden tractor type. The motor is strong and chews through metre high grass without problems. It’s also extremely fuel efficient.
The accessibility and manoeuvrability are both good for the price class, as long as there aren’t too many obstacles and the terrain isn’t too bumpy.
However, reversing could have been more straightforward. The lawn mower reverses slowly and you also have to switch off the cutting deck when you reverse because otherwise the motor stops for safety reasons.
The 130 H has hydrostatic transmission, which means stepless speed adjustment and you don’t have to stop when you change gear. However, the transmission is controlled by hand controls, which aren’t as straightforward as pedal controls. In practice, this makes fine adjustments difficult, and the speed tends to end up either fast or slow.
The cutting height and parking brake are easy to adjust.
The way the petrol tank is suspended feels rather improvised and not as reliable as you’d like. A headlight improves visibility in darker conditions.
It’s very easy to clean the cutting deck, despite the fact that it’s located beneath the driver and thus can’t be folded up. However, a flush nozzle would have made this easier.
The seat could have been softer, but overall the comfort levels are good.
The 130 H has no integrated collector, but you can buy one separately. You can also purchase a mulch plug, and many other accessories for towing, such as a trailer.
Easy to clean ride-on lawnmower with electronic height setting
Motor: Briggs & Stratton Motor type: Petrol Motor power: 7.4 kW (at 3200 rpm) Tank volume: 4.2 l Cutting width: 85-95 cm Recommended grass area: Up to 4,000 m2 Speed: Forwards: 9 km/h | Backwards: 7 km/h Max. gradient: 10° Weight: 212 kg Measured noise level: 88 dB Steering wheel vibrations: 0.3 m/s² Gearbox: Hydrostatic
The Stiga Park 220 ride-on lawnmower has articulated steering and a front-mounted cutting deck with electronic height setting that makes it easy to adjust the cutting height. The fact that it's front-mounted makes it easy to access even more complicated gardens. You don't have to do so much additional cutting as you would with a garden tractor. However, it does have a problem achieving a uniform cutting result on uneven lawns, because it follows the unevenness. It also leaves an unnecessarily large amount of grass uncut for a front-mounted ride-on lawnmower, which is due to a relatively long distance between the blades and the front edge. This ride-on lawnmower is also limited by a relatively jerky hydrostatic transmission and small wheels. In addition, it has a half steering wheel, which makes it more complicated than necessary to steer. Combined with the fact that it struggles with slopes, this means you're relatively limited in how you can drive it. When we cut a lawn in a tighter space it felt heavy to drive. Another disadvantage is that it sometimes slips when reversing and that this risks damaging the lawn. However, the tyre pattern means that it doesn't leave any marks when you drive forwards. We also feel that it's useful that it has direct steering, as this improves manoeuvrability.
The noise level is below average and above all the noise profile is relatively pleasant, with a low growling noise. Nor did we experience any problems with vibrations. The only disadvantage when it comes to comfort is that larger people may find it difficult to get at some buttons as their buttocks and thighs may tend to hide them. It's easy to clean both the bodywork and underside of the Stiga Park 220. We would have preferred it to be possible to tilt the cutting head a little more to avoid having to bend your back during high pressure cleaning, but on the whole it's easy to wash and keep clean. It also has economical fuel consumption and a good turning circle.
If you have a big lawn, mowing it can easily become both time-consuming and hard work. If so, a ride-on lawn mower can save you time and prevent injuries. A ride-on lawn mower can also be fitted with a range of accessories that increase its applications, such as ploughing, spreading fertiliser, sweeping and transport.
Ride-on lawn mowers can be divided into two main groups: front-mounted or mid-mounted. This relates to where the cutting deck is located on the machine.
As the name indicates, a mid-mounted ride-on lawn mower’s cutting deck is located in the centre, underneath the driver. Mid-mounted ride-on lawn mowers are often also called garden tractors.
It’s primarily this type of ride-on lawn mower that’s used with a range of accessories, such as snow shovels, aerators, fertiliser spreaders and transport wagons.
Garden tractors are usually front-wheel driven.
Front-mounted ride-on lawn mowers are normally rear-wheel or centrally driven. They’re generally more expensive than the mid-mounted garden tractors.
Their strength primarily lies in the fact that they are easier to manoeuvre and better at mowing edges. This means, for example, that they can more easily get in under bushes, around hedges, trees, fences, walls, paths and flower beds.
Front-mounted ride-on lawn mowers can also often be hooked up to other accessories.
More and more people are discovering the possibility of buying their ride-on lawn mower on the internet. The main reasons for this are probably as follows:
Low prices. Online shop prices are often the lowest on the market. This is partly because they can keep their costs down as they don't have to pay for physical shops, with everything that implies in terms of staff costs, maintenance, heating, rent etc. There's also often very tough price competition between online shops.
Cost-free home delivery. If you buy your ride-on lawn mower in an online shop, home delivery is usually included. This means that you don't have to find some way to transport the ride-on lawn mower home yourself.
In other words you can often save both time and money by buying your ride-on lawn mower online.
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