When you move into a larger acreage, push mowers become a hassle. It’s time consuming and physically exhausting to spend your Saturday mowing the lawn, instead of enjoying time with your family. This is usually when it’s time to invest in a riding lawn mower.
In general, you’ll be looking at $2000 and up for a residential lawn tractor, and even more if you choose to get a zero turn mower.
In this review, we’ll take a look at some value for money options, and what our favorite choices are for 2 to 5 acre lawns.
Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Large Yards
The best riding lawn mowers for 2 – 5 acres are:
- Best for 5 Acres: Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Riding Mower
- Best for the Environment: Ryobi RY48110 Battery Electric Rear Engine Mower
- Best for 2 Acres: Husqvarna YTH18542 Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic
- Best for Comfort: Simplicity 2691337 Broadmoor Mower
- Best Zero Turn Overall: RedMax RZT Riding Zero-Turn Mower
- Most Powerful Zero Turn: Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn
- Best for Trees: Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn Riding Mower
This information is shared as personal opinion for our situation only, and does not constitute professional advice to you – so make your choice wisely and if in doubt, consult your nearest gardening shop!
First, we’ll provide a comparison table, then under this we’ll do a detailed review of each product.
Full Reviews of the Best Ride-On Lawn Mowers for Large Yards
1. Best for 5 Acres: Craftsman T225 Riding Lawn Mower
Our Rating: 9/10
The Craftsman T225 is one of the most highly rated riding mowers on the market.
The mower is sufficiently powerful thanks to the 19HP Briggs & Stratton mower which is an industry standard engine brand for reliability and performance. We use Briggs & Stratton motors in a lot of our yard equipment. So, based on our experiences, we wouldn’t expect to see too many issues with this engine after repeated use.
A 46” deck is compact enough for easy storage yet also large enough to easily handle most yards that are 5+ acres. We like the 20” rear and 15” front tires, which we feel are well equipped to handle small slopes without tearing up dry turf during use.
There’s a very tight 5′ turning radius on this mower and while this can’t compete with a zero turn mower, it’s sharp enough to work around small obstacles, and the option to mow in reverse means you can easily get to all areas of a yard with this mower.
Overall, we can’t find too many faults with this mower and it’s a great investment for residential use. It’s reliable, comfortable, and sufficiently powerful enough for use on most medium – larger sized lawns.
|Front Bumper: The included front bumper is an excellent safety feature that you’ll appreciate if you have a lot of trees, stumps, or logs that you could accidentally run into.|
Comfortable: The high back seat and cruise control make mowing the lawn both comfortable and effortless.
Highly Rated: There aren’t too many reviews online for this model but the majority rate it very highly as there aren’t too many downsides with this mower.
Fully Assembled: This mower is shipped fully assembled, just add gas, connect the battery and you are good to go.
|Shipping: This mower is delivered in industrial packaging. It is great for avoiding damage during shipping but be prepared to spend a while unpacking it.|
2. Best for the Environment: Ryobi RY48110 Electric Riding Mower
Our Rating: 9/10
The Ryobi RY48110 is a revolutionary mower that replaces the traditional gas powered mower with a more eco-friendly, electric powered solution.
The 3 brushless motors ensure that this mower matches the power output of most gas powered equivalent motors and does so with a more economical solution.
We also like that electric models often have much lower maintenance requirements than their gas counterparts. There’s no need for belt or oil filter maintenance and the electric model runs incredibly quietly making it well suited to residential neighborhoods.
The 38” deck and limited battery life (2 hours run time, equivalent to 2 acres) mean that this mower is definitely more suited to a smaller yard, though the deck height is adjustable from 1.5” – 4.5” in ¼” increments for incredible accuracy on your cutting finish.
We also really like the additional features on this mower which include cruise control, LED lights, and a USB charging port which makes this a very modern mower that’s also enjoyable to use.
Overall, this isn’t the largest or most powerful motor on the market and is therefore not suited to oversized lawns. It is, however, an excellent step into the future in our opinion and is a real joy to use on small – medium sized yards.
|Price: This mower is an incredibly competitive and affordable price compared to some of the more premium mowers in this category.|
Low Maintenance: This battery powered mower requires incredibly low levels of maintenance for ease of use.
Additional Features: A cup holder, USB charging port, LED lights, and cruise control are a great combination of essential and modern features.
Neighborhood Friendly: The electric mower runs very quietly when in use making it a great residential mower for homeowners living in family oriented neighborhoods.
|Battery Life: The battery life will cut up to 2 acres on a full charge so keep in mind that if you have a lawn of more than 2 acres in size then you’ll need to take multiple sessions to do a full cut.|
3. Best for 2 Acres: Husqvarna YTH18542 Hydrostatic Riding Mower
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The Husqvarna YTH18542 is a compact and easy to use mower that is ideal for smaller yards.
The 42” deck is on the slightly shorter side (compact design) when it comes to ride on mowers and while it will be decent over 1 – 3 acres, you might find it will take longer to cut upwards of 5-acre yards.
What many users like about this mower is that it’s quite simply very easy to operate and maintain. It can mow in forwards or reverse, has a built-in wash port for easy cleaning of the deck and the build quality is solid (steel deck, steel transmission housing and cast iron axle) for durability.
Pedal-operated, hydrostatic transmission is great for speed control in forward or reverse and this mower is powerful enough to tackle small hills and slopes.
Overall, we consider the Husqvarna YTH18542 to be a compact and easy to maneuver mower that we’d be very keen to try out for a 2-5 acre yard size.
|Quick Clean: The deck wash port is included for quick and easy cleaning of the deck after use.|
Reverse Mowing: The reverse mowing and 16” turning circle mean this mower is well suited to tight spaces and smaller yards.
Additional Accessories: There is a range of additional accessories that are compatible with this mower and include mulching kit, tow trucks, bagger, and canopy (all at an extra cost).
|Oil Plug Location: The oil plug is awkwardly positioned and a side panel needs to be removed in order to gain access which can be quite tedious.|
Sealed Spindles: The sealed spindles mean they can’t be greased and therefore it will be difficult to maintain the functionality of this mower in the long term.
4. Best for Comfort: Simplicity 2691337 Broadmoor Mower
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The Simplicity Broadmoor mower combines comfort with ergonomics for ease of mowing large lawns rather than it feeling like yard work.
Comfort is something that Simplicity has really tried to emphasize with this mower. Their rear suspension system is quite literally called “Suspension Comfort System” which reduces impact when traveling at faster speeds (mainly on larger lawns).
While it might be designed for comfort, it’s also well suited for performance. A powerful 25HP Briggs & Stratton mower complements the 52” deck (which also has a free floating deck feature to move over contours on your yard) and is overall well suited to larger yards.
What we like most about this mower is the ergonomic design of the dashboard. Everything you need is in one convenient position right in front of you from deck height adjustment to an hour monitor and even a simple push start button.
While the brand might not be the most well-known, this is certainly a great option in our opinion and Simplicity seems to check a lot of boxes when it comes to a ride on mower.
|Ergonomic Cockpit: All the controls that you need are within arm’s reach for efficient and easy control during use.|
Powerful: A 25HP Briggs & Stratton engine is both powerful and reliable for easy starts and durability.
Comfort: The enhanced suspension system and mesh seat allow for comfortable riding on even the most uneven terrain.
|Brand: While the Briggs & Stratton engine is of course a reputable brand, Simplicity is certainly not as well-known compared to other manufacturers like Craftsman and Husqvarna.|
5. Best Zero Turn Overall: RedMax RZT Riding Zero-Turn Mower
Our Rating: 8.5/10
The RedMax RZT is designed so that the homeowner can mow “like a pro” with a mower that features commercial grade parts.
The key selling point with this mower is of course the fact that it is built to a commercial grade quality. A 23HP Kawasaki engine is built for reliability and power whilst the fabricated deck is heavy-duty and durable.
Zero turn functionality allows for precise control during use and while this mower is definitely more suited (and aimed at) larger yards or farms, it should also handle just as well over smaller yards due to the impressive turning control.
This mower is also comfortable for long duration use thanks to the ergonomic control location and 18” high back seat with spring suspension.
We can appreciate that due to the commercial grade aspect of this mower and price range that it might be out of the budget range for some people. With that said it’s a high quality mower that should prove excellent value in the long term and is well suited to all size lawns.
|Long Lasting: A 5 Gallon, Kawasaki engine is both powerful and holds enough gas for long duration work in larger yards.|
Commercial Grade Build: The fabricated steel deck and Kawasaki engine are both commercial grade quality for heavy-duty, repeated use.
Ergonomic Control: All controls are located within arm’s reach of the rider for ease of use.
|Price: There’s no denying this is a high quality product however it comes at a higher price due to its commercial grade appeal so may not appeal to all budgets.|
6. Most Powerful Zero Turn: Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn
Our Rating: 8.5/10
This is the second Husqvarna on our list – and for good reason. They’re a trusted brand in the industry. Again, the Husqvarna MZ61 is a high-end, heavy-duty mower with commercial grade specs.
This zero-turn mower is well suited to cutting a yard between 2 and 5 acres. Zero turn control and ergonomic pedal assisted deck height adjustment allow this mower can provide accurate cutting capabilities even in tight spaces.
What really sets this mower apart from some of the competition is the power and productivity that you get with it. A 61” deck offers a huge cutting capacity whilst the engine allows for speeds of up to 8mph to give a cutting capacity of 4.2 acres/hr.
This is by far one of the largest cutting capacities for a residential mower and it’s the commercial grade aspects that really make this mower suitable for even the largest of yards.
Comfort is also catered to nicely with a high back seat, armrest and adjustable, ergonomic steering handles making for both comfortable and productive yard work.
While these commercial grade features might be at the very top end in terms of residential requirements, this is still an excellent mower that will make light work of most sized yards and its productivity will pay for itself in hours saved during use.
|Comfort: A high back seat, armrest, and adjustable steering levers all combine to make a comfortable ride over most terrain.|
Heavy-Duty: A heavy-duty steel frame, fabricated steel deck, and durable 6” castor wheels all combine to make for a heavy-duty and durable mower.
Productive: A top speed of 8mph and cutting capacity of 4.2 acres/hr make this an incredibly productive mower.
|Quality Control: While it may be close to a commercial grade mower, some customers have had some issues with quality control and parts breaking too easily after a short period of use.|
7. Best for Trees: Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn Riding Mower
Our Rating: 8/10
Whether it’s a 2 or a 5-acre yard, the Poulan Pro P46ZX does a great job of quickly maneuvering around any size yard with multiple obstructions thanks to its precise zero turn functionality.
This Poulan Pro mower is equipped with a powerful 22HP Briggs & Stratton motor that allows for top speeds of 6.5mph allowing users to quickly cover ground in any yard.
The zero-turn functionality allows for ease of maneuverability around the yard. However, it appears the traction on the tires leaves a little to be desired, so we feel that this mower is not best suited to hills (although, if you’re after a zero turn for hills, we’d strongly recommend our review article of the best zero turn mowers for hills).
Ease of maintenance is another great feature with this mower, a removable footplate allows quick and easy access to the deck and a built-in wash port makes cleaning the deck straightforward after use.
While the mower has a solid build with a steel stamped deck, the reassurance comes with a 2-year engine and 10-year deck warranty for peace of mind with this purchase.
This zero turn mower combines power with maneuverability and while it doesn’t have too many advanced features, it’ll likely do a good job for most mid – large size lawns, especially those with plenty of trees.
|Maneuverability: With zero turn functionality, this mower is good for smaller lawns with tight obstacles but also larger lawns with numerous trees, etc.|
Easy Maintenance: The removable footplate and deck wash port mean this mower is quick and easy to maintain after use.
Warranty: A 2-year warranty on the engine and 10-year warranty on the deck is great for peace of mind with this purchase.
|Difficult On Hills: The tires do not offer the best traction on slopes (especially when incline cutting) and therefore this mower isn’t easy to handle on hills.|
Parts: Additional or replacement parts can be difficult to locate with this mower and many people claim that they can’t find a bagger to fit it.
What we Look for in Riding Mowers for Large Yards
Engine power is of course a major consideration. We also think this consideration gets more and more important as the area you need to mow increases. Overall we expect a good 19 – 25 HP engine in most gas riding mowers, and we put greater emphasis on Briggs & Stratton motors because, personally, we feel they’re a brand who have earned their strong reputation in the industry.
Size of Cutting Deck
Cutting deck sizes vary significantly. You can get smaller riding mowers with cutting decks as low as 36″ and up to 61″. Usually you’ll find a general residential use riding lawn mower to have a cutting deck somewhere in the 36″ – 50″ range, while those larger cutting decks tend to come in some of those super larger (and expensive) zero turn mowers used on golf courses and public parks.
Smaller cutting decks can serve a good purpose in a 1 or 2 acre yard. They’re especially good if you find you’re navigating through thin strips of grass and in between trees which those larger cutting decks may not be able to access.
One of the main times the tires really make a difference is when riding on hills. Larger rear wheels with strong grip can make a big difference in these situations. Expect at least 20″ tires on the back, and smaller 15″ tires on the front. We tend to find lawn tractors are more effective than zero turn mowers in such conditions, as many zero turn mowers tend to have very small front tires that don’t do much for traction.
Lawn Tractor vs Zero Turn
Lawn tractors and zero turn mowers are very similar. The main difference is that zero turn mowers are more capable of steering in tight spots. However, we also find that lawn tractors tend to be the best riding lawn mowers for hills. The other major difference is price: a zero turn mower will be much more expensive than a lawn tractor, which is why you don’t find that many zero turn mowers outside of professional landscaping settings.
Another benefit of lawn tractors is that they can be used for additional purposes, such as for carrying around dump carts. A dump cart can help you to carry around large amounts of soil manure, sandstone, branches, leaves, etc., which most handymen are dealing with most weekends! For more on dump carts, you can check out our article on the best dump carts for lawn tractors.
To find out more about some great lawn tractors that are designed to handle more of a beating than most, check out our article on the best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain.
What is the Best Riding Mower for Small Yards?
People with smaller yards have much more freedom to choose between a wider range of options.
For a 1/2 to 1 acre yard, it’s almost worthwhile having a smaller cutting deck in order to ensure you can get around smaller areas in the yard, such as the likely smaller gaps between trees and fences. On our 1 acre block, we often end up having to use a push mower for those smaller gaps – so a mower with a smaller cutting deck would have been nice to get into those nooks and crannies.
For smaller yards, you’re also freed up to choose an electric riding mower, which is both better for the environment and causes less noise pollution in built up environments. So, it’s a good option for outer suburban and semi-rural areas where you may have a half or full acre, but are still surrounded by other houses.
It’s not easy to find the right riding lawn mower for 2 to 5 acre lots. This review of the best riding lawn mowers for larger yards has provided some examples and our ratings of them for our personal circumstances. Personally, we’re quite bullish on the Craftsman T225 for ourselves. With its quality Briggs & Stratton motor and relatively affordable price tag, we like this model. Of course, none of this constitutes advice – professional or otherwise – for you or your circumstances, so do your own due diligence and consult a professional.
We hope this general information has been useful though as you go about searching for the best riding lawn mower for acreages!
Simon & Chris