To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best ride-on mower 2024: Cut the grass without the legwork

If you’ve got a large garden that’s your pride and joy, our handpicked ride-on mowers will help keep the lawn trim without all the effort

For lawns bigger than half an acre or for people with mobility issues, a ride-on mower is normally the best option – provided you’ve got somewhere undercover to store it during the winter months. A ride-on mower will not only make short work of any large lawn, it’s also great fun to ride.

With that in mind, I’ve scoured the online world, conducting extensive research of online and user reviews, datasheets and the manufacturers’ own websites to pick the models that are highly rated by both professionals and garden owners alike. If you’re looking for a mower that will cut a large lawn with almost zero effort, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for my recommendations but, if you’ve got any queries, you can skip to the bottom for our buying guide.

Best ride-on mowers: At a glance

Best ride-on mower for ease of useStihl RT 4082 (~£2799)Check price at Just Lawnmowers
Best battery-powered ride-on mowerEgo Power Z6 (~£4799)Check price at Mowers Online
Best tractor-style ride-on lawn mowerHonda HF 2317 HME (~£3999)Check price at Just Lawnmowers
Best ride-on lawn mower for undulating terrainHusqvarna RC 320Ts AWD (~£9899)Check price at Husqvarna

The best ride-on mowers you can buy in 2024

1. Stihl RT 4082: Best ride-on lawn mower for ease of use

Price when reviewed: £2,799 | Check price at Just Lawnmowers

  • Great for… simple operating, manoeuvrability, large grass box
  • Not so great for… slightly noisier engine than some models

If you’re looking for simplicity in the ride-on mower world, the Stihl RT 4082 should be your first port of call. You can simply hop on, adjust the seat as you would in a car, turn the key, push the hydrostatic transmission lever next to the steering wheel and hit the throttle pedal. To reverse, just pull back the lever. There’s a foot brake, too, lest you run out of control towards the rhododendrons, but that’s it.

This sterling ride-on is equipped with a centrally located 10bhp Stihl EVC 4.000 engine married to a hydrostatic gearbox for variable speed drive and smooth, easily maintained speed around the garden. The engine isn’t the quietest, though, and it’s worth being aware that the Stihl does require regular routine servicing.

I really liked the fact that the Stihl’s 80cm cutting deck has six cutting heights (35-90mm) and was impressed that it was suitable for gardens up to and beyond 4,000m² (an acre or more). There’s also a lot of capacity with the Stihl, with a massive 250-litre grass box on the back that’s emptied by simply extending a side-mounted lever and pulling on it. Handily, a beep is emitted when the hopper’s full.

If you’re in the market for an unflinchingly reliable ride-on that easily handles large gardens, is extremely simple to operate and isn’t prohibitively expensive, then this is the model to jump on.

Key specs – Garden size: 4,000m²; Cutting width: 80cm; Cutting height: 35-90mm; Grass collector: 250 litres

Check price at Just Lawnmowers

2. Ego Power Z6 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower: Best battery-powered ride-on lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £4,799 | Check price at Mowers Online

  • Great for… can turn on its own axis, very powerful
  • Not so great for… leaves you with a lot of cut grass clumps to clean up

The Z6 is one of the world’s first battery ride-ons and it’s an amazing machine, capable of cutting lawns and paddocks of up to three acres using a bank of six high-powered 12Ah batteries. Although battery-powered mowers are still in their infancy, I think they have much to recommend them.

With its huge 106cm twin cutting decks and ten cutting heights, this mower’s four motors produce an equivalent of 22hp, which is powerful enough to scythe through grass up to 25cm in height without breaking sweat. Like many larger-scale mowers, the cuttings are discharged out of the side chute so you’ll be left with a lot of clumps, which I felt could have been easily avoided. But once the lawn has been cut, subsequent cuts will leave a much tidier finish.

The Ego Z6 uses zero-turn technology, which means it can turn on its own axis, like a dodgem car. This makes it a fine choice for oddly shaped gardens that require plenty of tight turns. Moreover, the uninterrupted view up front makes it very easy to see exactly where you’re going. The soft-cushioned seat, meanwhile, is fully adjustable and equipped with full suspension for unparalleled comfort.

The Z6 comes with three driving modes – Control, Standard and Sport – and four blade-speed modes. Most users find that Control mode and blade-speed two are sufficient for long cutting sessions without draining too much battery power.

In the pantheon of ride-on mowers, this thing is very nippy (up to 8mph in Sport mode) and great fun to drive. Crucially, it cuts grass brilliantly well with acres of torque to handle even the roughest of conditions. And it’s keenly priced, too – at least for a battery model.

Key specs – Garden size: 8,000m²; Cutting width: 106cm; Cutting height: 35-90mm; Grass collector: 250 litres

Check price at Mowers Online

3. Honda HF 2317 HME: Best tractor-style ride-on lawn mower

Price when reviewed: £3,999 | Check price at Just Lawnmowers

  • Great for… incredibly reliable Honda engine, huge grass collector
  • Not so great for… those on a budget

This classic tractor-shaped mower is fitted with a reliable 530cc Honda four-stroke OHC V-twin petrol-powered engine that I think is likely to go on running for years. It has variable transmission for smooth pedal-operated speed control, five different speed settings that take you from a sedate 1.2mph to a spritely 5.5mph and a decent-sized 5.4-litre fuel tank. Everything under the hood is monitored by Honda’s intelligent diagnostic system.

For the cutting system, I was impressed that the Honda HF 2317 HME came with a medium-sized 92cm twin-blade cutting deck with seven height settings (29mm-80mm) and a massive 280-litre grass collector, which you can tilt back manually using a lever without having to leave the seat. Optional extras include a mulching kit and a tow hitch for transporting garden refuse.

The Honda HF 2317 HME is an excellent performer, exceedingly well built and comfortable for long sessions in the saddle. However, it’s Honda’s renowned reliability record that makes this ride-on an especially enticing proposition.

Key specs – Garden size: 5,000m²; Cutting width: 92cm; Cutting height: 29-80mm; Grass collector: 280 litres

Check price at Just Lawnmowers

4. Husqvarna RC 320TS AWD: Best ride-on lawn mower for undulating terrain

Price when reviewed: £9,899 | Check price at Husqvarna

  • Great for… large gardens up to 10,000m2, all-wheel drive for undulating gardens
  • Not so great for… price

It may be extremely expensive but, if you’ve got a seriously large garden to keep neat and tidy, the Husqvarna is an excellent choice. I liked the fact that it features a huge 112cm cutting deck with seven different cutting heights (from 25mm to 75mm), giving a multitude of options as you cut your lawn. This premium ride-on also boasts a large, transparent 12-litre fuel tank for extensive mowing sessions and articulated steering that enables the mower to make extremely tight turns. And since its plucky 656cc Briggs & Stratton petrol engine is mounted behind the driver, you get a much better view of the terrain ahead.

I think those with slippery slopes and gnarly terrain will find the Husqvarna all-wheel drive system a massive bonus, while its hydrostatic drive allows for faster acceleration. Its clog-free grass collection system is also worthy of mention, since it compacts clippings into its massive 300-litre grass collector, substantially increasing the length of time between trips to the compost heap. When you get there, you simply press a button and the grass collector tips backwards like a tipper truck, emptying all the cuttings in one fell swoop.

If you have a wildly undulating garden in excess of two acres and can afford the stiff asking price, you won’t rue the day you opted to buy one of these. It cuts most heights of grass stupendously well and steers like a dragonfly, while its superb grass-collection system ensures the sward is left in an immaculate state with no unsightly clumps left behind.

Key specs – Garden size: 10,000m²; Cutting width: 112cm; Cutting height: 25-75mm; Grass collector: 300 litres

Check price at Husqvarna

How to choose the best ride-on lawn mower for you

Cutting width is the key consideration when determining the best size of ride-on mower for your garden. Naturally, a wider cutting width will reduce the overall time spent mowing, but the mower itself will be larger, more expensive and not as easy to store.

Manoeuvrability is another important factor. If you have a large square or rectangular expanse of lawn with straight-edged borders and few obstacles, then any model will be fine. But if your garden is landscaped with curved borders or there are other obstacles such as trees, benches, gazebos and ponds in the middle of the sward, your best bet is a ride-on mower with either articulated steering or a smaller model with a tight turning circle.

Another consideration is seat position. Do you want a tractor-style model with the engine in the front and the driver cab to the rear, or a model with the engine in the centre or rear and the driver up front? Front-engined tractor-style mowers look better and make you feel more like Farmer Giles, but for greater visibility and easier lawn maintenance, a ride-on with the driver cab to the front is the best option. Up-front cabs are great for tight curves, obstacles and tricky edges, even if they are a bit ugly looking.

If at all possible, you should sit on the model you plan to purchase, if only to make sure you’re comfortable and you have enough leg room. Thankfully, most of the mowers in this list have adjustable seats.

READ NEXT: Best leaf blowers

Petrol or battery power?

Most current ride-on mowers use petrol-driven engines and some are more powerful than others, so make sure to check the horsepower specifications. Usually, the larger the cutting deck, the more power the engine has.

Unless you have a sizeable budget, we would advise a petrol ride-on lawn mower every time because, while the engine does require some TLC, unleaded petrol is easy to come by and when the engine runs out of fuel you can simply fill it up and continue.

However, if you have the funds and fancy embracing the future – albeit with a degree of inconvenience – a battery-powered model is well worth investigating. A battery-powered mower will be quieter and much better for the environment, but you will need to practise the art of battery management and always ensure you have your batteries fully charged in readiness for your next mowing session. Not many manufacturers have jumped on the battery bandwagon yet, but of those that have, Ego leads the way with its new high-tech Z6, which we conveniently review below.

READ NEXT: Best seed compost

What’s the best fuel for my petrol lawn mower?

When it comes to fuel, all ride-on mowers powered by a four-stroke engine use unleaded petrol. However, forecourt petrol has a tendency to go off after only a few months if left in the tank or in storage. If that happens, the mower’s engine may refuse to start properly and the carburettor may even start surging, where the revs climb and dip erratically.

Your best option is Aspen 4, a super-clean alkylate petrol that is methanol-free and virtually free from sulphur, benzene and solvents. Aspen 4 has a shelf life of three to five years, whereas unleaded lasts for only three to five months. Yes, at around £22 for five litres, this eco fuel is a pricey option for a ride-on mower, but its engine will love you for it and will start and run perfectly every time, even after a winter in storage. In fact, you should use Aspen 4 or Aspen 2 (the two-stroke variety) in all of your petrol-powered garden machinery. It’s that good.

↑Return to top

Read more

Best Buys