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Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1500 in 2024



by Bryan Mckenzie


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Hi, guys! This is Bryan McKenzie here to tell you about some of the most intriguing discoveries on the market of economical riding lawn mowers in 2020. I bet most of you have never even thought you could buy anything worthy of attention for less than $2,500. Well, today is going to be a revelation. I’ve examined five most trusted and feature-packed machines at around $1,500 (spoiler alert: some cost even less than that and still manage to do the job excellently!). Hopefully, you can use this review to pick the best affordable riding lawn mower that will take good care of your gardening needs and serve faithfully for many years to come.

I have personally tested three of the five products on the list and heard a lot of nice stuff about the other two. All of them are intended to work on different types of terrains and be able to handle lawns of various sizes. However, what they all have in common is feature-rich and versatile functionality, attractive, user-friendly design, stable and smooth performance, and remarkably low price!

So, without further ado, let us go and find you the best riding lawn mower under 1500!

5 Best Riding Lawn Mowers Under $1500


1. Husqvarna Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower — A Most Comfortable Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrains

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When you compare different types of riding lawn mowers by Husqvarna, you will see that all of them share the same excellent performance and impressive durability. Husqvarna YTH18542 is among the most reliable and comfortable riding lawn mowers of the past years. Its compact but well-balanced design makes the machine easy to manipulate and steady on the hills.

For the operator’s greater convenience, Husqvarna YTH18542 offers a simple but ingenious design with an ergonomic wheel, adjustable 13-inch mid-back seat, and intuitive controls that are within the driver’s easy reach.

The mowing tractor is driven by a reliable Briggs & Stratton Intek engine with 18.5 HP power output. The mower’s hydrostatic lever-controlled transmission ensures easy switching of the gears, as well as smooth and relaxed operation of the machine in both the forward and the reverse directions.

One of the unique features present in the majority of Husqvarna’s riding lawn mowers is Air Induction Mowing technology that enhances an airflow within the deck, prevents the wet grass beneath the deck from clumping and rowing, and guarantees consistently clean cutting every time.

The reinforced 13-gauge deck of the mower can cut 42 inches of grass in one swipe, which means it will make a quicker work of your yard than most other machines in this category. The cutting height of the blades can be adjusted to six different positions ranging between 1.5 to 4 inches to satisfy your immediate grass trimming needs. The two anti-scalp pneumatic wheels make sure that the mower does not pull out patches of grass, scarring the lawn.

The machine’s cast-iron front axle adds stability and balance on rough terrains even when it goes at its top forward speed of 5.5 mph or the reverse speed of 2.5 mph. The dual draglinks allow for a tighter turning radius that means Husqvarna YTH18542 can be much more maneuverable when cutting around obstacles.

I enjoyed riding this one a few years back in my cousin’s mid-sized yard. The lawn tractor was very manageable, and it took me almost no time to get used to its controls. Even though I usually prefer rear-driven mowers because I cannot handle all that knee-level vibration, I found the Husqvarna YTH18542 rider to be very responsive and comfortable.

  • Mighty 18.5 HP engine
  • 42-inch reinforced cutting deck
  • Perfect for varied landscape elevations
  • 3-in-1 discharge options
  • Headlights included for safely operating the machine in the early morning or late evening
  • The initial set-up can be a hassle without the Owner’s Manual included
  • Rather expensive

2. Troy-Bilt 30″ Riding Lawn Mower — The Most Reliable Riding Lawn Mower of 2024

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Troy-Bilt TB30B is a durable and top-quality mower made to last you for a long time and efficiently serve your versatile gardening needs. This small but powerful unit requires very little maintenance and comes with a reasonable price tag and a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.

The mower has an appealing red-and-black design, and its deck is made of 14-gauge steel, which ensures increased durability of the construction. The total weight of the lawn mower is only 340 pounds, so loading it on your truck for transportation is easy.

Its functional and robust 10.5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine placed in the rear allows developing the maximum speed of 4.25 mph. It might not be the best pick for trimming more massive or bumpy lawns, but for cutting small- to mid-sized areas, this machine is a perfect option.

The gas tank capacity is 1.3 gallons, which is more than enough to let you handle a variety of small mowing jobs in your yard, but for heavier-duty tasks, you might want to keep a gas can close at hand. Another cool design choice thing implemented in the construction of the gas tank is a convenient window for quickly checking the level of the remaining fuel.

This riding mower has a smooth 6-speed transmission, which lets you change the gears on the go, without stopping or clutching. The unit features the operator-controlled reverse (OCR) system that allows cutting the grass when the machine goes into reverse. The operator can alter the height of the mower blade according to his immediate cutting needs and put it into one of five different positions available here.

The 30-inch cutting deck makes it possible to cover bigger surfaces in less time. However, its 18-inch turning radius means you are likely to have a bit of a hard time cutting around shrugs and navigating the mower to avoid potential hazards.

My personal experience with this compact riding lawn mower has been great. To start with, it came almost fully assembled, so I did not have to go into too many technical details or risk doing something wrong here. I just had to fix the steer, seat, and bagger, and it was all good to go. Another point of satisfaction for me was how feature-packed and still incredibly easy-care the unit was. I will be honest I’d hate to spend more time on cleaning the mower than riding it.

In general, this Troy-Bilt lawn mower is a very reasonable investment for homeowners with the minimum mowing experience and those shopping on a tight budget. The functionality of this unit is very impressive and utterly adequate for performing smaller grass-trimming jobs on even surfaces, and the price of under $1500 is certainly a great bargain.

  • Compact and maneuverable
  • Easy-to-pilot
  • Good height setting range
  • Fuel tank window shows how much gas is left
  • Precise and even cutting
  • Durable and low-maintenance solution
  • Gets a bit loud
  • Can lose stability on steep slopes

3. John Deere S100 — The Best-priced Riding Lawn Mower for Flat Terrains

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John Deere S100 is a sturdy and compact machine trusted by many. Its 2.4-gallon fuel tank is sufficient for letting you mow over small-to-medium size lawns of up to 1 acre in one smooth stride. The hydrostatic transmission allows adjusting the speed and direction to your up-to-the-minute needs and ensures hassle-free and clean cut on the forward and the reverse ride.

The mower’s OEM branded engine with the handy auto-choke feature guarantees many years of reliable and consistent performance with very little maintenance required. Depending on the type of terrain you are dealing with, you can switch quickly and safely between five different blade heights ranging from 1.25 to 3.75 inches, with man-powered take-off.

The discharge mowing deck with the cutting width of 30 inches and the 18-inch turning radius ensure extra easy cutting and improved maneuverability around flower beds, shrubs, and trees. Besides, a 30-inch cutting deck is pretty compact to let you store this mower in your garage.

Thanks to the efficient design of its larger rear wheels and smaller front wheels, John Deere S100 is capable of performing some heavy-duty mowing jobs even on rough and hilly terrains. However, it is flat lawns of between 1 and 2 acres is where the machine can perform at the top of its abilities.

The driver’s satisfaction is ensured by the ergonomic design of the adjustable steering wheel with extra soft grip and a very user-friendly mid-back seat that enables you to stay comfortable even during long rides across uneven surfaces. The mower is also very easy and fast to set to work as it comes almost fully assembled, and requires just a few tweaks before it is good to go.

TB30 Neighborhood Rider is, of course, not without fault: you cannot use it for too big or hilled terrains since it is just not powerful and stable enough, and the tank engine is only 2.4 gallons. However, what I like about this model is its cost-effectiveness. With the price tag of slightly over $1,500, its functionality, durability, and performance are on par with some of the best and most expensive riding mowers.

  • Affordable price
  • Extra comfortable soft grip on the wheel
  • Small size; lightweight model
  • Convenient fuel window
  • The engine has the auto-choke feature
  • Low-maintenance, high-automated mower
  • Durable 14-gauge steel body
  • Driver’s seat needs a lot of adjusting
  • Plastic footrests are slippery despite the anti-skid feature

4. Troy-Bilt Pony 42X — The Best Affordable Riding Lawn Mower for Handling Large Areas

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This is already the third Troy-Bilt product on my list, and there is a good reason for this. The manufacturer is famous for its wide range of inexpensive and most durable riding lawn mowers, which are perfect for homeowners with zero gardening experience. That’s because of how easy they are to manipulate, how clean they cut, and how very long they can last with little care required.

Even the top rated riding lawn mowers sometimes struggle to cope with vast stretches of grass or terrain that is too bumpy. However, this is not the case with the 547cc gasoline-driven Troy-Bilt Pony 42X. This sturdy little worker is designed to perform at the top of its abilities under these very conditions. Its 42-inch deck with dual blades and side discharge makes for smooth and clean cutting.

The dual blade can be adjusted into five different positions, with the height range between 1.5 inches and 3.75 inches. The model comes with anti-scalp deck wheels that do not let the mower slice off large bits of grass or ruin the beauty of your work. Just like many other Troy-Bilt models, Pony 42X is equipped with the OCR system, which makes it capable of evenly mowing in reverse.

This is one of the best home riding lawn mower models in terms of how smooth and comfortable it is in operation. The 7-speed cruise control hydrostatic transmission means that navigating the mower will be hassle-free, with no clutching or stopping the machine when you need to change the gear.

Pony 42X’s 18-inch turning radius allows you to cut the grass close to obstacles such as trees or flowerbeds; however, it is not as accurate as with more expensive models, so you might have to use special trimming tools here.

Speaking about its user-friendliness, Troy-Bilt Pony 42X is built to make riding it for a long time as comfortable for the operator as possible. The seat has a suspension that ensures maximum comfort and convenience for the driver. The mower has a tank capacity of 3 gallons, meaning you will be able to cover larger areas before you have to refuel.

Overall, this Troy-Bilt lawn mower will be a dependable solution for homeowners who need to take care of big lawns with a few slopes here and there. It is a solid choice that includes all the essential features that a good riding lawn mower should have and delivers those at a very affordable price.

  • 42-inch mower deck for a bigger cutting swath
  • Anti-scalp wheels
  • 7-speed transmission
  • OCR function for mowing on reverse
  • 3-gallon gasoline tank capacity
  • Copes with larger lawns and uneven terrain
  • Built-in cup holde
  • Works noisily
  • Low-back seat

5. Snapper Rear Engine Riding Mower — A Quality Riding Lawn Mower for Varied Terrains

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Snapper 2911525BVE Mower is a time-tested and trusted lawn tractor capable of providing consistently excellent results on lawns of any type and size. This compact, lightweight, and maneuverable model can go where most others will be stuck, for example, between trees or in other tight spaces.

The machine has a plain but intelligent ergonomic design which offers easy access to all the essential controls. Whatever you need to start and operate the mower is located close at hand. Snapper will be a good bargain if you have to work on rugged terrains of up to 2 acres. Its pneumatic tires and the robust 11.5 HP rear-mounted engine can cope with any type of green surface.

This riding lawn mower boasts a convenient 5-speed shift-on-the-go disc drive gearbox, which allows you to change the gears smoothly and easily while riding, without the need to stop the machine first. Another point of satisfaction for the customers will be its super-handy stand-on-the-edge feature for safe and easy access to the bottom part of the cutting deck for performing cleaning and maintenance jobs. Those who are concerned about their limited storage space will also be glad to know that the model offers an increased storage convenience due to the neat vertical stand at the back.

This mower starts effortlessly with a single turn of the key, no need for priming or choking the engine first.  For the operator’s further convenience, there is an anti-vibration feature implemented in the design of the mower that ensures a steady ride even on the most rugged terrains.

The mower’s 28-inch turning radius is a bit too wide to cope with more delicate, precision-requiring tasks, but the overall set of features, coupled with impressive ergonomic design and a friendly price make it one of the highest rated lawn tractors available. Snapper 2911525BVE Classic Rear Engine Riding Mower is a decent choice for homeowners in need of a dependable and stable machine that will last them for years.

  • Easy start with just a turn of the key
  • Compact and lightweight model
  • 11.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Intek engine
  • Handy stand-on-the-edge feature for easy cleaning and convenient storing
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Nicely suited for tackling medium to large lawns
  • Slow turning
  • Its price may exceed the said $1,500

FAQs About Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1500


Here you can find the answers to the most popular questions about riding lawn mower under $1500.

Who makes the best riding lawn mower?

Defining what makes a riding lawn mower the best is subjective. Generally speaking, if we compare riding lawn mowers, the best one is the one that satisfies your unique mowing needs and wants, is adequate to the size and geography of your lawn, and fully meets the expectations of your budget.

If your goal is to find the highest rated lawn tractor that will cost under $1,500, your choice is limited to just a few well-known brands such as Troy-Bilt, Husqvarna, Snapper, John Deere, and a few others.

What to look for in a riding lawn mower?

Here are the main features to look for in a good riding lawn mower:

  • a user-friendly design that makes you feel comfortable at all times;
  • the transmission type and cutting deck size adequate to your mowing needs;
  • the construction of the mower made of durable materials;
  • increased stability on the slopes;
  • at least a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer.

What is the best way to cut grass with a riding lawn mower?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the best way of cutting grass with a riding lawn mower. Some prefer to do it in spirals, others in rows. To choose the best technique, you need to consider a few factors, such as square footage and distance. The number of turns is of importance, too, unless you can find zero turn mowers under 1500$, in which case this does not matter.

Ultimately, it all comes to your preferences; however, specialists claim that it is a good idea to change your mowing patterns regularly so that your mower does not wear grooves, which is often the case with heavier models.

When is the best time to buy a riding lawn mower?

As with any seasonal goods, riding mowers are at their cheapest when the demand is low, which usually happens at the end of the active mowing season. Therefore, you may want to start monitoring online and offline prices in September and continue doing so up until Christmas when it is time for large sales!

A Few Final Thoughts

All the five products reviewed in this post are definitely worthy of your attention as they uniquely combine all the most essential features you want to see in your home riding mower and an extremely affordable price.

I would personally recommend Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower as the most reliable and easy-to-operate machine for working on flat lawns. However, if your backyard features a more rugged and uneven landscape or if the territory is well over 2 acres, Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER or Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower might be more suited for the task.

I would also appreciate your telling me what mowing tractor you use to get the job done. Have you ever tried any of the riding lawn mowers described above? Feel free to visit the comment section below and share your ideas on the subject!

Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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