Best Lawn Tractors for the Money: Superior Value for Your Investment


When it comes to maintaining a lush and healthy lawn, the right equipment can make all the difference. Lawn tractors, with their power, versatility, and efficiency, are invaluable assets for homeowners with larger gardens. This article delves into the world of the best lawn tractors, helping you navigate through options to find the one that suits your gardening needs perfectly.

Top Picks Lawn Tractors For 2024

Summary of Best Lawn Tractors

FeatureCub Cadet XT1 LT46Troy-Bilt TB30Craftsman T2200Ryobi Brushless 30″Toro 42″ TimeCutterJohn Deere S100Cub Cadet Ultima Z1 50″
Engine23 HP Kohler 700010.5 HP Briggs & Stratton19.5 HP Kohler48V Battery (3 brushless motors)Toro (16-22 HP)17.5 HP John Deere23 HP Kawasaki FR691V
Drive SystemHydrostatic6-speed ManualHydrostaticElectricZero-TurnHydrostaticZero-Turn
Cutting Deck46-inch stamped30-inch stamped steel42-inch stamped steel30-inch durable steel42-inch IronForged®42-inch Edge™50-inch fabricated steel
Ideal for LawnsUp to 1.5 acresUp to 1.5 acresUp to 1.5 acres1/2 – 1 acreUp to 2 acresUp to 2 acresUp to 4 acres
ProsPowerful engine, comfortable ride, mulching/baggingCompact, maneuverable, budget-friendlyPowerful engine, tight turning radius, comfortableQuiet, low maintenance, easy to startFast, cuts tight corners, comfortableAffordable, easy to operate, durablePowerful engine, zero-turn, wide deck
ConsBumpy ride, limited warrantyLess powerful, smaller deckLimited online infoBattery life, charging timeFootprint, learning curveLimited features, bumpy rideLearning curve, bumpy ride

1. Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT46 Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Engine: 23 HP (725 cc) Kohler 7000 Series twin-cylinder engine
  • Drive System: Hydrostatic transmission
  • Cutting Deck: 46-inch stamped, 12-gauge, twin-blade deck with 12 cutting positions
  • Turn Radius: 16 inches
  • Warranty: 3-year/no hour limit warranty (includes powertrain) and 5-year chassis and front axle unlimited hours
  • Ideal for: Mowing up to 1.5 acres of mostly flat terrain and a few obstacles

The Cub Cadet XT1 stands out as an ideal lawn tractor, boasting a 46-inch mowing deck suitable for expansive lawns of up to two acres while maintaining a compact 16-inch turning radius for effortless maneuvering around obstacles like trees and garden beds.

Powered by a robust 23 horsepower engine, this tractor ensures the mowing blades maintain optimal performance. It features a hydrostatic transmission for seamless speed adjustments and includes a push-button cruise control for added convenience during extended mowing paths. The tractor deck is adjustable, offering 12 height settings for precise grass cutting control. Additionally, it’s equipped with a convenient deck wash system, allowing for easy cleaning by connecting a garden hose to a port on the deck’s surface.

Pros and Cons of Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT46


  • Powerful Engine: The tractor boasts a 23 HP Kohler 7000 Series engine, which provides ample power for tackling even tough mowing jobs on large yards.
  • Hydrostatic Drive: This allows for smooth operation and easy maneuvering around obstacles and tight spaces.
  • Wide Cutting Deck: The 46-inch cutting deck allows you to mow large areas quickly and efficiently.
  • Comfortable Ride: The tractor features a wide entry point, comfortable seat, and rubber-based footrests for a more enjoyable mowing experience.
  • Versatility: The XT1 LT46 offers options for mulching or bagging grass clippings, giving you flexibility in how you manage your lawn.


  • Bumpy Ride: Some users report that the tractor lacks suspension, which can lead to a bumpy ride on uneven terrain.
  • Price: Riding lawn tractors are generally expensive, and the XT1 LT46 is no exception.
  • Limited Warranty: Compared to some competitors, Cub Cadet might offer a shorter warranty on the XT1 LT46.
  • Difficult to Find Information: Detailed specifications and manuals might be harder to find online compared to other popular brands.

2. Troy-Bilt TB30 (10.5 HP Briggs & Stratton) Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Engine: 10.5 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine
  • Drive System: 6-speed manual transmission
  • Cutting Deck: 30-inch stamped steel deck (discharge method likely side discharge, but mulching kit may be included)
  • Cutting Height: 1.25 inches minimum to 4.25 inches maximum (adjustable)
  • Turn Radius: 18 inches
  • Ideal for: Smaller lawns (up to 1.5 acres) with relatively flat terrain

The Troy-Bilt rear-engine model is a standout choice. This tractor is powered by a 10.5-horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine and features a 30-inch cutting deck, complete with a mulching kit for added convenience. Its compact design, with a turning radius of just 18 inches, allows for easy navigation in confined spaces.

What sets this model apart are its larger-than-average wheels for a rear-engine tractor, providing enhanced mobility over rough or sloped terrain and soft ground. Although it operates with a manual transmission, the tractor includes a Shift-on-the-Go capability, enabling speed adjustments without the need to clutch or halt, simplifying the gear-shifting process across its six settings.

Pros and Cons of TB30B


  • Compact Design: Ideal for fitting through narrow gates and storing in sheds or garages.
  • Maneuverable: Easy to handle around obstacles due to its smaller size.
  • Briggs & Stratton Engine: Provides reliable starting and decent power for mowing up to 1.5 acres.
  • 6-Speed Manual Transmission: Offers control over speed without needing to clutch.
  • Mulch Kit Included: Helps return nutrients to the soil and reduce grass clippings that need disposal.
  • Budget-Friendly: Generally less expensive than larger riding lawn tractor.


  • Less Powerful Engine: May struggle with overgrown grass or large yards.
  • Smaller Cutting Deck: Takes longer to mow larger areas compared to wider decks.
  • Manual Transmission: Requires you to shift gears which some might find inconvenient.
  • Limited Comfort Features: May not be as comfortable for long mowing sessions compared to higher-end models.
  • No Headlights: Not suitable for mowing in low-light conditions.

3. Craftsman T2200 Hydrostatic Turntight Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Engine: 10.5 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine
  • Drive System: 6-speed manual transmission
  • Cutting Deck: 30-inch stamped steel deck (discharge method likely side discharge, but mulching kit may be included)
  • Cutting Height: 1.25 inches minimum to 4.25 inches maximum (adjustable)
  • Turn Radius: 18 inches
  • Ideal for: Smaller lawns (up to 1.5 acres) with relatively flat terrain

The Craftsman T2200 is a versatile lawn tractor designed for both wide coverage and agility. It has a 42-inch mowing deck for handling up to 1.5 acres efficiently, complemented by a tight 5-inch turning radius for easy maneuverability. Powered by a strong 19.5-horsepower Kohler engine and equipped with a hydrostatic transmission for smooth speed changes, it also offers 12 height adjustments for precision cutting. The inclusion of a brush guard, cushioned high-back seat, and soft-touch steering enhances both durability and comfort, making the T2200 an excellent option for comprehensive lawn care.

Pros and Cons Craftsman T2200


  • Powerful Engine: The 19.5 HP Kohler single-cylinder engine provides ample power for tackling most mowing jobs.
  • Turn Tight Technology: Allows for sharper turns with a turning radius of around 5 inches, making it easier to maneuver around obstacles and tight spaces.
  • Hydrostatic Transmission: Offers smooth operation and fingertip control over speed and direction.
  • Wide Cutting Deck: The 42-inch steel deck cuts a large swath of grass in a single pass, saving you time mowing larger areas.
  • Comfortable Design: Features a high-back seat and footrests for a more enjoyable riding experience.
  • Mulching capable (with separate kit): Allows you to return nutrients to your lawn by finely chopping grass clippings and distributing them back onto the soil.


  • Limited Online Information: Detailed specifications and manuals might be harder to find compared to other popular brands.
  • Price: Riding lawn tractor are generally expensive, and the T2200 is no exception.
  • Warranty: Compared to some competitors, Craftsman might offer a shorter warranty on the T2200.
  • Bumpy Ride on Uneven Terrain: The T2200 lacks suspension, which can lead to a less comfortable ride on uneven ground.

4. Ryobi Brushless 30 in. Electric Rear Engine Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Power: 48-Volt battery powered with brushless motors (3)
  • Runtime: Up to 1 hour or 1 acre per charge (depending on mowing conditions)
  • Cutting Deck: 30-inch durable steel deck
  • Cutting Height: 7-position manual deck adjustment (1.5 inches to 4.5 inches)
  • Cutting Options: Mulching, side discharge (bagger sold separately)
  • Drive System: Electric (no gears)
  • Speed: Maximum forward speed of 5.2 mph
  • Battery: 50Ah lead-acid battery (replacement model: Leoch 6-EVF-50)
  • Charging: Charges through standard 120-volt outlet

The Ryobi riding tractor, powered by a 50Ah 40-volt lithium-ion battery and equipped with brushless motors, offers superior power and runtime, capable of covering up to an acre on a single charge. Its compact size, with a 30-inch deck and 16-inch turning radius, allows for easy navigation and storage, making it ideal for yards between 1/2-acre to 1-acre.

Pros and Cons of Ryobi Brushless 30 in. Electric Rear Engine


  • Clean and Quiet Operation: No gas or fumes, making it ideal for neighborhoods with noise restrictions and environmentally conscious users.
  • Low Maintenance: No need to change oil, spark plugs, or air filters.
  • Easy to Start: Simply charge the batteries and turn the key.
  • Durable Deck: The 30-inch steel deck is built to last.
  • Up to 1 Acre or 1 Hour Runtime: On a single charge, which is plenty for most yards.
  • Maneuverable: Fits through standard 36-inch fence gates.


  • Battery Life: Runtime is limited by battery capacity. You may need extra batteries for larger lawns or extended mowing sessions.
  • Charging Time: It can take several hours to fully charge the batteries.
  • Price: Electric tractor can be more expensive upfront than gas-powered tractor.
  • Less Powerful: May not be suitable for very tall grass or thick weeds.

5. Toro 42-inch TimeCutter Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Cutting Deck: 42-inch (107 cm) IronForged® high-strength steel deck with bullnose reinforced leading edge
  • Engine: Toro engine (horsepower varies by model, typically between 16 HP and 22.5 HP)
  • Drive System: Zero-turn technology for maneuverability
  • Speed: Up to 7.0 mph forward ground speed (may vary by model)
  • Cutting Height: Adjustable cutting height (typically with foot pedal or lever, specific range may vary by model)

The Toro TimeCutter elevates lawn mowing efficiency with its robust 22 horsepower engine, surpassing the standard 16-20 horsepower in similar tractors. Its speed, adjustable between 4 and 7 mph through the Smart Speed feature, allows for both fast coverage and detailed maneuvering. The MyRide suspension system guarantees comfort, while added conveniences include a front step-through, cup holders, and an under-seat storage cubby.

Pros and Cons of Toro 42-inch TimeCutter


  • Cuts tight corners with zero-turn maneuverability.
  • Choose the right power (16-22 HP) for your yard size.
  • Mow comfortably at any speed with Smart Speed Technology.
  • Enjoy a smooth ride with supportive seats and optional suspension.
  • Durable IronForged® deck tackles years of mowing.
  • Some models even mulch, bag, or side-discharge clippings.


  • Price: Zero-turn tractors are generally more expensive than traditional riding lawn tractors.
  • Footprint: These tractors tend to be wider than traditional riding lawn tractors due to the zero-turn technology, so consider your storage space.
  • Learning Curve: Operating a zero-turn tractor requires some practice to get used to the controls and tight turns.
  • Limited Night Use: Headlights may not be standard on all models, limiting mowing in low-light conditions.

6. John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Engine: 17.5 HP (13 kW) air-cooled, single-cylinder engine with cast iron cylinder liner for extended engine life
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic transmission for smooth operation
  • Cutting Deck: 42-inch (107 cm) Edge™ mower deck with spring-assisted lift lever
  • Control Panel: Easy-to-read control panel with choke, throttle, and blade engagement controls
  • Seat: Adjustable seat for operator comfort
  • Ideal for: Mowing lawns up to 2 acres

The John Deere S100 is a budget-friendly, robust lawn tractor featuring a 17.5-horsepower engine and a heavy-duty cast-iron front axle, designed for efficient mowing, mulching, and bagging across various terrains. It comes with a versatile deck that offers 13 height adjustments for precise cutting between 1 and 4 inches. The tractor is compatible with a range of accessories including mulch kits, baggers, front bumpers, and tow-behind tools for added functionality.

The S100 also boasts practical features such as an 18-inch turning radius for easy navigation, distinct gas pedals for forward and reverse movements, and comfort-focused additions like an adjustable seat, a cup holder, and a compact storage space for convenience during use.

Pros and Cons of John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor


  • Affordable: Compared to other John Deere models, the S100 is a budget-friendly option.
  • Easy to Operate: The S100 features a hydrostatic transmission and side-by-side foot pedals, making it comfortable and convenient to use.
  • Durable: Built with a tough 13-gauge steel mowing deck, the S100 is designed for years of reliable use.
  • Versatile: The S100 offers options for mulching, bagging or side-discharging grass clippings, giving you flexibility in how you manage your lawn.


  • Limited Features: Lacks some features you might find on higher-end models, such as cruise control or cup holders.
  • Bumpy Ride: The S100 doesn’t have suspension, so the ride might be bumpy on uneven terrain.
  • Smaller Cutting Deck: The 42-inch cutting deck might not be ideal for very large yards.

7. Cub Cadet Ultima Z1 50 in. 23 HP Zero Turn Riding Lawn Tractor

Technical Specs

  • Engine: 23 HP Kawasaki FR691V Series, twin-cylinder OHV engine
  • Drive System: Dual Hydro-Gear™ EZT-2200™ hydrostatic rear-wheel transmissions for easy maneuvering
  • Cutting Deck: 50-inch fabricated steel deck with SmartJet deck wash system for easy cleaning
  • Cutting Height: 1 inch to 4.5 inches, adjustable with a foot pedal (15 positions)
  • Ground Speed: 7 mph forward and 3.5 mph reverse
  • Ideal for: Mowing large yards (up to 4 acres) with obstacles and slight inclines.

Cub Cadet is known for its premium lawn tractor featuring comfortable designs, and the Ultima Z1 stands out with its seat suspension system for a smooth ride on uneven terrain, complemented by ergonomic hand grips for ease of operation. Equipped with a robust 23-horsepower Kawasaki engine, the Ultima Z1 reaches speeds up to 7.5 mph and incorporates a hydrostatic transmission for seamless speed adjustments. Its 50-inch Aeroforce Deck is adept at managing large areas up to 2.5 acres, efficiently dispersing grass clippings to avoid clumping. While its size may not suit lawns with intricate landscaping, it’s an excellent choice for extensive grassy areas.

Pros and Cons of Cub Cadet Ultima Z1 50 in. 23 HP


  • Powerful engine tackles challenging terrain.
  • Zero-turn for sharp turns and clean edges.
  • Wide 50-inch deck mows large areas fast.
  • Comfy seat with armrests for long mowing jobs.
  • Easy control with hydrostatic transmission.
  • Deck wash simplifies cleaning after each use.


  • Price: Zero-turn tractor are generally more expensive than traditional riding lawn tractor due to their superior maneuverability.
  • Limited Night Use: Headlights may not be standard on all models, limiting mowing in low-light conditions.
  • Learning Curve: Operating a zero-turn tractor requires some practice to get used to the controls and tight turns.
  • Bumpy Ride on Uneven Terrain: The Ultima Z1 lacks suspension, which can lead to a less comfortable ride on uneven ground.

What to Consider When Picking a Lawn tractor ?

  1. Tractor Size and Lawn Terrain: If you have a large, mostly open lawn, prioritize a tractor with a wide cutting width to cover more area quickly. For lawns with many obstacles like trees and bushes, a smaller mower that can navigate tight spaces might be more suitable​​.
  2. Cutting Method: Decide between bagging, side discharge, or mulching based on your lawn’s needs and your personal preference. Bagging collects clippings for a tidy finish, side discharge is suited for taller, less frequently cut grass, and mulching cuts the grass into fine pieces that decompose and nourish the lawn​​.
  3. Transmission Type: A hydrostatic transmission offers ease of use compared to manual transmissions, as it doesn’t require stopping to change gears. This can make the mowing process smoother and faster​​.
  4. Accessories and Attachments: Consider the versatility of the tractor. Many models can be equipped with various attachments like trailers, spreaders, or snow blowers to enhance functionality throughout the year​​.


In summary, choosing the ideal riding lawn tractor requires assessing key aspects such as lawn size and terrain to decide on the tractor’s size and cutting width. Options for bagging, side discharge, and mulching allow customization according to your lawn’s needs and the desired outcome. The transmission type, particularly hydrostatic for easier use, and the availability of various attachments enhance the tractor’s versatility and user experience. By considering these factors, you can find a tractor that efficiently caters to your lawn care requirements and offers convenience​


  1. What should I consider when choosing a lawn tractor for a large yard?
    When selecting a lawn tractor for a large yard, consider factors like the engine power, cutting deck size, and fuel efficiency. A powerful engine can handle uneven terrain and thick grass more effectively, while a larger cutting deck reduces mowing time. Additionally, look for features that enhance comfort for extended use, such as adjustable seats and ergonomic controls.
  2. Can lawn tractors be used on hilly terrains?
    Yes, lawn tractors can be used on hilly terrains, but it’s essential to choose a model with appropriate features for slope stability. Look for tractors with a low center of gravity, wide wheelbase, and traction control. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding maximum slope angles to ensure safe operation.
  3. How often should lawn tractors be serviced?
    The frequency of servicing a lawn tractor depends on the model and usage, but generally, it’s recommended to perform basic maintenance such as oil changes, air filter replacements, and blade sharpening at least once per mowing season. Consult your tractor’s user manual for specific maintenance schedules and procedures.
  4. Are there environmentally friendly options for lawn tractors?
    Yes, there are more environmentally friendly options available, such as electric lawn tractors, which produce zero emissions and operate more quietly than their gas-powered counterparts. Additionally, some gas-powered models are designed with fuel efficiency and reduced emissions in mind, adhering to stricter environmental standards.
  5. What is considered the most reliable lawn tractor brand?
    Reliability can vary by model and personal experience, but brands like John Deere, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, and Toro are often praised for their quality, durability, and customer service. Reading user reviews and conducting thorough research on specific models can help you determine which brand and model might be the most reliable for your needs.
Joel Cunningham
Joel Cunningham
Forestry Author

I'm Joel Cunningham, an expert in pruning and weed management with over a decade of experience. My skills are rooted in formal training and extensive practice, focusing on advanced pruning techniques and efficient weed control. I'm known for my quality work, precision, and deep understanding of plant health and soil dynamics. My contributions extend to educational initiatives where I share sustainable practices and advice, establishing myself as a reliable and authoritative figure in the gardening community.


It's all about how much you mow and how you service your equipment. I'm a landscaper by trade and have used Deeres, Exmarks and Grasshoppers. I only mow 1 acre at home and picked up a Cub Ultima Z and really like it. Service frequently and avoid mowing wet grass, and budget friendly mowers like these are fine. Have fun this summer!

Daniel Adams
March 16, 2024 12:24 pm

Most of the choices, listed here, are m.t.d. products. Same parts out of the same factory and will last a few years, maybe. If you buy a John Deere, don’t buy anything with the “one lung” 17 horse motor, also used by their competitors. If you do your homework, it will be obvious that none of the above are great choices.

Daniel Adams
March 11, 2024 12:05 am

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