Best Riding Lawn Mower For Small Yard Reviews 2021 | Top 5 Picks From Amazon

The key to an attractive and well-kept small lawn is a reliable lawnmower. However, using traditional lawnmowers can be quite tiresome and time-consuming. If this is a problem for you, you should go for the best riding lawn mower for a small yard. 

However, with all the options available in the market, finding the best one can be quite challenging. With this in mind, we have created this comprehensive guide about the best riding lawn mower for small yards. We include the 5 top-rated products and the top factors to consider when choosing to make the decision process easier. 

Among the 5 products we reviewed, we found out that the best all-around riding lawn mower for a small yard is the Husqvarna MZ61 Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower. Find out why we consider this the best among the rest and more about the other 4 units by reading on. 

Comparison Table for Riding Lawn Mower for Small Yards

Photo
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic...
Craftsman 17ARFACQ091 50-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero...
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton...
Ariens IKON XD-52 (52") 24HP Kohler Zero Turn Lawn...
Ariens APEX 48" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kohler 7000...
Title
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic...
Craftsman 17ARFACQ091 50-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero...
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton...
Ariens IKON XD-52 (52") 24HP Kohler Zero Turn Lawn...
Ariens APEX 48" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kohler 7000...
Brand
Husqvarna
Craftsman
Husqvarna
Albrta
Albrta
Transmission
Manual transmission
Dual hydrostatic transmission
Hydrostatic transmission
Hydrostatic EZT transmission
Hydrostatic EZT transmission
Engine
26 HP Kohler engine
24 HP engine
27 HP Briggs Endurance engine
24 HP engine
23 Hp engine
Fuel
Gas
Gas
Gas Powered
Gas
Gas
Warranty
3 years limited warranty
2-year limited warranty
Available
2 years limited warranty
2 years limited warranty
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
72 x 61.49 x 34.48 inches
84 x 59.75 x 34.75 inches
75.5 x 76 x 42 inches
Not mentioned
48 x 48 x 48 inches
Photo
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic...
Title
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic...
Brand
Husqvarna
Transmission
Manual transmission
Engine
26 HP Kohler engine
Fuel
Gas
Warranty
3 years limited warranty
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
72 x 61.49 x 34.48 inches
Buy Now
Photo
Craftsman 17ARFACQ091 50-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero...
Title
Craftsman 17ARFACQ091 50-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero...
Brand
Craftsman
Transmission
Dual hydrostatic transmission
Engine
24 HP engine
Fuel
Gas
Warranty
2-year limited warranty
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
84 x 59.75 x 34.75 inches
Buy Now
Photo
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton...
Title
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton...
Brand
Husqvarna
Transmission
Hydrostatic transmission
Engine
27 HP Briggs Endurance engine
Fuel
Gas Powered
Warranty
Available
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
75.5 x 76 x 42 inches
Buy Now
Photo
Ariens IKON XD-52 (52") 24HP Kohler Zero Turn Lawn...
Title
Ariens IKON XD-52 (52") 24HP Kohler Zero Turn Lawn...
Brand
Albrta
Transmission
Hydrostatic EZT transmission
Engine
24 HP engine
Fuel
Gas
Warranty
2 years limited warranty
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
Not mentioned
Buy Now
Photo
Ariens APEX 48" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kohler 7000...
Title
Ariens APEX 48" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kohler 7000...
Brand
Albrta
Transmission
Hydrostatic EZT transmission
Engine
23 Hp engine
Fuel
Gas
Warranty
2 years limited warranty
Zero-turn Design
Yes
Item Dimensions LxWxH
48 x 48 x 48 inches
Buy Now

5 Best Riding Lawn Mower for Small Yards Reviews

01- Husqvarna 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key Features: 

  • 26 HP Kohler engine
  • 6.5 MPH max speed
  • Park brake system
  • Air induction
  • Reinforced steel stamp
  • Dischargeable clippings
  • 54-inch cutting deck
  • Zero-turn design
  • Manual transmission
  • Comfortable seat
  • Gas-powered
  • 3 years limited warranty

What is this Product Best For? 

This is the best riding lawn mower for a small yard with plenty of corners and bushes because it is easy to maneuver, thanks to its compact and zero-turn design. 

Detailed Summary

When it comes to lawnmowers, Husqvarna is one of the top brands in the industry. This particular model is equipped with a 26 HP Kohler engine. This allows the machine to start up effortlessly and push it up to 6 MPH speed. Although it is not the most powerful engine, it is enough for small yard use.  

Despite that, the cutting blade is at a decent size of 54 inches. With this, you will only need to make a few passes. 

In terms of durability, its reinforced steel construction makes it one of the best. It’s corrosion-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it being exposed to the outside environment. This also makes it more long-lasting than others. 

In addition, this one is also equipped with a patent-pending park brake. This enables the brake to automatically activate and deactivate every time the steering lever moves around. This particular feature is an excellent added safety measure to mitigate unwanted accidents. 

Lastly, this machine also features an air induction moving technology. This draws air from top to bottom of the deck to give it the ability to make more consistent cuts, allowing you to get better-looking results. If you are worried about the clippings, you don’t have to because they can be bagged, discharged, or mulched. With this, you don’t have to deal with a lot of cleaning up later on. However, please take note that the bagger attachment and mulching kit are sold separately.

Pros
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Wide cutting deck
  • Consistent cut
  • Made with high-quality steel
  • Ready for bagging and mulching attachment
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent safety measures
Cons
  • No gas gauge 
  • Availing of the warranty can be complicated

Final Words

Overall, this is a product that you should consider if you don’t mind its smaller engine. You should also consider getting this if your yard is small because of its compact design. But, in terms of performance, safety, and features, this one is worth considering. 

02- Craftsman 17ARFACQ091 50-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower

Key Features: 

  • 24 HP engine
  • 50-inch cutting width
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Reverse cutting
  • Alloy steel construction
  • Gas-powered
  • Dual hydrostatic transmission
  • High-back seat
  • Zero-turn design
  • Sleek frame design
  • Liberty red color
  • 2-year limited warranty

What is this Product Best For? 

This product is best for small to medium-sized lawns and those looking for a riding lawn mower with exceptional maneuverability. 

Detailed Summary:

This machine features a 24 hp Kohler engine. This engine has a twin-cylinder which allows the machine to avoid issues such as choking and priming. With this engine, the machine has a reliable starting system. 

Aside from that, it also has a 50-inch cutting deck. This is quite wide given that it only has a 24 hp engine. At the same time, it also has a zero-turn design. This allows it to maneuver effortlessly even if used in a lawn with tight corners and plenty of bushes or trees. 

One thing that’s different on this machine that is not common for riding lawn mowers is that the seat is designed to be comfortable. You will see how much attention to detail the brand puts in ensuring that the seat is comfortable with its high-back design and comfortable cushioning. This is why even if you have to spend a lot of time sitting on it and it vibrates, you wouldn’t feel it that much, thanks to its well-thought-out design. 

To make this machine even more comfortable, it is equipped with hydrostatic transmission. It lessens the vibration of the entire unit. It makes it run smoothly throughout its operation.  Another excellent feature of this one is its adjustable cutting. The maximum cutting height of this machine is 3.75, while its minimum is 1.25 inches. It’s also super easy to make the height adjustment, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Pros
  • Comfortable seat
  • Durable construction
  • Adjustable cutting height
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Wide cutting with
  • No choking
  • Attachments are available
Cons
  • The warranty is a bit complicated
  • No other color is available

Final Words

In terms of performance, this one is on the top of the list. It has an engine that is proportioned with its body. Although the engine does not allow it to be very fast, it does have a wide cutting deck. This means that you can save time by making lesser passes.  With all those things considered, it’s an excellent choice, especially if you are looking for an option that will work well with your small yard. But, if you are planning to use it for commercial or bigger lawns, you might want to reconsider.

03- Husqvarna MZ61 Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key features

  • Manufactured by Husqvarna Manufacturing Corporation
  • Product Type Lawnmowers 20 Horsepower 27 lbs Product Series
  • MZ Custom Yarn Industry Big Rake Cutting Length 54 inches Cutting Width 60 inches Cutting Height 1-3/8 to 4-1/2 inches
  • Front Tire Size 20 x 8 – 8 Rear Tire Size 20 x 10 – 8 Service Factor 2 Tires Solid Cast
  • Aluminum Wheels Yes Operator Restraints Seat Height Adjustment Self propelled
  • No Engine Hydro-Gear EZT 3600 Hydrostatic
  • Wheel Size 20 in.
  • Blade Dual bladed Spindle Lock.
  • Deck Fabricated 11-gauge steel Mulch Capability
  • Mulching kit/bagger sold separately Discharge Material Capacity 9 bushels collection system.
  • Triples Remarks Mower deck is fabricated from 11 gauge steel cutting width is 60″, height 1 3/8 to 4 1/2″ cutting height.
  • Hydrostatic transmission for infinite cutting height adjustment and ease of use.
  • 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series Engine provides reliable startups
  • Turbo deck fabricated 11 gauge steel with welded cross bracing Hydrostatic transmission for infinite cutting height adjustment.
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 3600 Hydrostatic Transmission 3 Point Suspension
  • Ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
  • High back seat with armrests, foam-padded handgrips Clippings can be discharged.

What is this Product Best For? 

The MZ61 zero-turn mower from Husqvarna takes performance, productivity, and comfort to a whole new level. With an intuitive operator interface that’s heavy-duty enough for commercial use, steel frame construction with a hydraulic system that ensures ultimate cutting power no matter what terrain you’re facing – this is one product not BEING overlooked.

Detailed Summary

Two engines power the MZ61. A 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds. At the same time, the fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 54 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat.

Clippings can be discharged, mulched, or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately). A high-back seat with armrests, foam-padded handgrips, and vibration isolation make every ride more comfortable. The MZ61 also features heavy-duty rear axles, disc brakes on all three wheels, adjustable front and rear caster wheels, and hydrostatic transmission for infinite cutting height adjustment and ease of use.

The lawnmower deck has a welded center cross brace that provides additional strength, durability, and flat surface for mounting optional equipment such as a snowplow. Lawnmowers powered by 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series Engine provide reliable startups and high ground speeds. The high-back seat is comfortable, has armrests and foam padded hand grips. It features heavy-duty rear axles, disc brakes on all three wheels, front caster wheel adjustable height, 3 points hydrostatic transmission for infinite cutting height adjustment, and ease of use.

Pros
  • 0 Degree Turn Radius
  • Comfortable Steering
  • Hour Meter with Service Reminder
  • 9 Bushel Collection System
  • EASY-ACCESS SERVICE POINTS
  • Adjustable Tracking
  • Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower
  • Removable Foot Pan
  • Pedal-Assisted Cutting Deck Lift
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Packing is not good

Final Words

With a rugged, fabricated steel deck that is mulch and collection capable, the MZ is perfect for any property maintenance needs. With high back seats with armrests and adjustable ergonomic steering levers, it’ll be a comfortable ride after time!

04- Ariens XD Series 52-inch Zero Turn Lawn Mower

Key Features: 

  • 24 HP engine
  • 52-inch cutting width
  • 3-blade fabricated mower
  • Hydrostatic EZT transmission
  • High back seat with armrest
  • Made with a solid tubular frame
  • Gas-powered
  • Zero-turn design
  • DIal-operated cut height
  • With advanced airflow
  • 7 mph speed
  • 2 years limited warranty

What is this Product Best For? 

This one is a product best for residential use. However, it has several professional-level features that allow it to provide users with superior performance. 

Detailed Summary

This machine uses a 24 Hp Kohler 700 series engine. One of its features gives it a professional-grade vibe because it has consistent-cut technology and durable components. This means that you can use it for a long time without worrying about it breaking down while on the job. 

If you want to finish your mowing job quickly, you will appreciate the 52-inch wide cutting deck on this machine. This deck is made with highly durable 11-gauge steel fabrication that provides optimal airflow. This means that it can withstand even the most challenging mowing conditions without sacrificing the quality of its cuts. 

Moreover, in terms of ease of operation, this one is equipped with EZT hydro transmission. This allows a smooth yet responsive transmission. With the 24 hp engine and this transmission, this machine can move forward at a maximum speed of 7 mph, and in reverse, it can go as fast as 4 mph, which can significantly help lessen the time of your mowing tasks. 

On top of that, you would also appreciate that this machine has a high back seat. It also comes with an armrest so that your body feels comfortable while operating this machine.  Another noteworthy feature of this machine is its dial-operated cutting height. This allows effortless adjustment, especially because this machine has 13 preset cutting height positions ranging between 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches.

Pros
  • Comfortable seat
  • Smooth operation
  • Easy to adjust the cutting height
  • Easy to operate
  • Powerful engine
  • Fast speed
  • Made with durable material
Cons
  • On the expensive side
  • Attachments are sold separately

Final Words

Overall, suppose you are looking for premium, professional-grade features in a compact body riding lawnmower. In that case, this is the best choice for you. 

05- Ariens APEX 48″ Zero Turn Mower

Key Features: 

  • 48-inch cutting width
  • Zero-turn design
  • 23 Hp engine
  • Fully tubular steel frame
  • High back seat
  • Foot-operated deck
  • Self-adjusting belt technology
  • 1.5-inch minimum cutting height
  • 5-inch maximum cutting height
  • 8 mph ground speed
  • Gas-powered
  • 2 years limited warranty

What is this Product Best For? 

This product is also best for residential use, especially for smaller yards. 

Detailed Summary

Compared to the previously mentioned Ariens model, this one has a slightly less powerful engine with only 23 HP power. However, It’s the same Kohler 700 V-twin engine, so it is almost the same in terms of quality and durability. 

The deck durability on this model is also one of the best. Thanks to its construction, it is made with 10-gauge steel. The body of this machine is also made with a fully tubular steel frame allowing it to withstand the heavy operation. 

Another notable feature of this one is its self-adjusting belt technology. This makes it easy to operate and more convenient to use. Plus, it has a foot-operated deck lift, so that makes it even more efficient.  Lastly, its maneuverability is also worth noting. It can be easily used even in small yards. 

Pros
  • Comfortable seat
  • Easy operation
  • Decent size cutting with
  • Durable construction
  • Reliable cutting deck
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Attachment ready
Cons
  • Its speed is only at 4 mph
  • A bit expensive

Final Words

Overall, this is a good model worth considering if you only plan to use the riding lawn mower on your residence or in small yard projects. However, if you plan on using it on projects with bigger sizes, you might end up disappointed. 

Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower

Finding the best one for your needs can be challenging, with all the good options for riding lawn mowers out there. With this in mind, we have listed down the top factors to consider when buying this product to make the decision-making process easier for you. Here they are: 

Lawn Size

The first thing that you have to figure out is the size of your lawn. If your lawn covers multiple acres, then going for a lawnmower with a more powerful engine and wider cutting is the better choice for you. On the other hand, if your lawn is smaller, go for those more compact. 

Lawn Terrain

Does your lawn have a lot of trees and bushes? In this case, you need to look for a riding lawn mower with a tight turning radius or preferably those with a zero-turn design. This will help you have better movability, especially around the tight corners and sports. 

Other than that, riding lawn mowers with a tight turning radius makes it easier to drive. This also allows you to get a more uniform cut as a result. 

Speed

Another major consideration is the speed of the riding lawnmower. This will be the basis of how fast the machine can complete the task. The faster the riding lawn mower is, the more time-efficient it will be. 

Cutting Width

Another thing that can help speed up the lawn mowing process is its cutting. The wider the blade, the faster you will finish because it will require lesser passes. 

However, although going for riding lawn mowers with bigger cutting width is ideal if you want to save time, you have to note that the cutting width is, the bigger the machine’s overall size will be.

This can be a problem if you have a small lawn and not enough storage space for a big riding lawnmower. Moreover, bigger-sized riding lawn mowers are more difficult to maneuver, especially around corners and tight spots. 

Cruise Control

Ideally, it is best to ride a lawnmower with a cruise control feature because you can control its speed easily. However, most units with this feature are the newer models, and they tend to be a little pricier. If you don’t mind that, then that would be a good option for you. 

Engine Placement

Aside from the engine’s horsepower, its placement is one of the factors that will determine how powerful it is. Riding lawn mowers with rear engine placement are less powerful, but they are the ones with zero-turn designs most of the time. This is why these types of lawnmowers are only recommended for smaller lawns. 

On the other hand, front-engine mowers have more power and reliable cutting ability. But, their bodies tend to be bulk, making them not ideal for smaller size lawns. 

Accessories

Depending on the model, riding lawn mowers come with a wide range of accessories. This allows the machine to be more efficient. For example, some mowers have accessories that enable them to spread fertilizer or collect debris. 

It would be good to go for those with accessories that fit your needs. However, the more accessories the lawnmower has, the more expensive it can be. If your budget does not allow you to go for those with accessories already, it would be better to pick one that has provision for it to attach them later on if you have enough money to buy particular accessories. This will save you from buying a new riding lawn mower entirely. 

Warranty 

Last but not least among the factors that you should consider is the warranty. Make sure that it has a warranty that covers the engine and transmission of the riding lawnmower. 

It would be good if you researched whether the company is responsive when it comes to warranty concerns. You can check their review on third-party platforms for lesser bias.

Most riding lawn mowers warranty period is around 2 years, but some have warranty coverage up to 5 years like the eXmark models. However, when considering the warranty, make sure to read the fine print and understand the limitations of the brand. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best riding lawn mower for a small lawn?

The answer to this question depends on how small exactly your lawn is. If it’s very small, then ideally, going for a 20 something inch riding lawn mower is a good choice for you. This will allow you to have enough mobility and portability. 

What is the smallest cut riding mower?

The smallest cut riding mower is the Snapper 2911525. It has an 11.5 HP motor, and its cutting deck size is only 28-inches, making it perfect for small to medium-sized lawns. However, if you intend to use it on bigger lawns, it might take you longer compared to using a riding mower with a bigger cutting deck and motor power. 

How big of a yard justifies a riding lawn mower?

You can use a riding lawn mower in your yard regardless of its size as long as you are willing to pay extra for it. But, ideally, the rule of the thumb is to use a riding lawn mower for lawns that are ¾ acre to 1-acre since using the push mower version will take a lot of effort and time for these lawn sizes. 

What is the most compact riding lawn mower?

The most compact riding lawn mower that you could find is the Snapper 2911525 BVE Classic. Its cutting deck size is only 28-inch, and it has a very compact body, making it easy to store and use regardless of your lawn size. 

What is the smallest size riding lawn mower?

The smallest riding lawn mower is also the Snapper 2911525 BVE Classic. 

What is the most reliable riding lawn mower?

According to a survey done to 11,217 riding lawn mower owners, John Deere is considered the most reliable brand for riding lawnmowers. 

Is John Deere better than Husqvarna?

John Deer and Husqvarna are among the top riding lawn mower brands. Both have excellent features, but John Deer takes an inch in terms of reliability and durability. 

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

The best way to cut grass with a riding lawn mower is to maintain a consistent cutting pattern and only cut ⅓ of the grass blades at a time. 

When is the best month to buy a riding lawnmower?

The best time to buy this product is between September and early fall. This is because it’s the time after the hectic summer moving season when the product is in demand. 

What is the best riding lawn mower for one acre?

For 1-acre lawns, the best option would be the Husqvarna MZ61 riding mower because it has high efficiency in terms of performance. 

Final Words

There you have it; those are the best riding lawn mower for a small yard. If you notice, most of them don’t have powerful engines, but that’s okay since they are designed for smaller lawns anyway. Moreover, each of them has a zero-turn design allowing them to navigate tight corners easily.

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