Lawn Tractors: Ratings of Sources
Total of 15 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentThorough, objective tests rank and rate 54 riding mowers in four categories, with specific ratings for handling, ease of use and performance in each of three modes: mulching, bagging and side-discharging. Evenness of cut is included in mode ratings; editors compare lawn tractors with similar size decks, since that affects cutting evenness as well as other factors. ConsumerReports.org still doesn't measure noise level but does compare brand reliability based on an annual survey of owners, plus owner-written reviews of specific models and a forum that includes useful comments from expert Peter Sawchuck. A few articles on lawn tractors are available to nonsubscribers in the ConsumerReports.org blog.
Strong Performance in Continuous Operation: Long-Term Mulching Lawn Mower Test
by Manfred Ecker Meier
Our AssessmentThis German comparison test, translated by Google, reviews eight lawn tractors that were tested over a whole summer on a variety of lawns. (Three additional tractors get separate reviews.) Based on ratings of 16 factors, the John Deere X304 is the clear winner for comfort and performance.
The Best Tractors For 2012
by Paul Sikkema
Our AssessmentPaul Sikkema, a landscape professional, provides the most detailed reviews available for current riding mowers sold at Sears and Home Depot -- including lawn tractors, zero-turn mowers and rear-end riding mowers. Reviews cover build quality as well as performance, and the site makes distinctions among series and models much easier to understand than do the Sears and Home Depot websites.
Lawn Mowers & Tractors
by Contributors to Lowes.com
Our AssessmentLowes.com makes it easy to browse the list of lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers sold here by showing the rating plus the number of reviews on which it's based. The site also lets you sort models by rating. When you click on a model, you can see the ratings further analyzed by quality, features, ease of use, design and value. It's also enlightening to see what percentage of owners would recommend the specific model to a friend.
Riding Mowers & Tractors
by Contributors to Sears.com
Our AssessmentSears.com publishes owner-written ratings and reviews of the lawn tractors, garden tractors, zero-turn mowers and rear-end riding mowers sold here. The site makes it easy to browse through models, showing the rating (though you have to click on a model to see the number of reviews on which this is based). Several models have accumulated enough reviews to make ratings quite credible.
Best Ride-On Mowers (To Help the Llama)
by Jean Vernon
Our AssessmentThis excellent but somewhat outdated review compares five lawn tractors, all of which meet stringent new European Union requirements for emissions, based on tests on a 4-acre lawn. In addition to pros and cons for each lawn tractor, the review rates each one for performance, convenience and value. It's the first review we've found that also evaluates each model for its green credentials. However, only one model -- the John Deere X304 -- is available in the U.S.
Shop by Style
by Editors of MowersDirect.com
Our AssessmentThis retail site features owner reviews and staff recommendations, though the latter are based on features rather than testing. Navigation is straightforward, with user ratings and the number of reviews they're based on front and center. It's also easy to see the staff recommendations, which tractors are top sellers and which are new models. The main drawback is that some popular brands are not sold here.
by Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Our AssessmentHomeDepot.com publishes owner-written reviews and ratings, but you have to click on each model separately to find out if it has any reviews. It's helpful to see how many of the owners would recommend a specific model to friends. We found enthusiastic reviews here for several zero-turn mowers by Ariens, Cub Cadet, John Deere and Toro. Some regular lawn tractors by the same brands also earn high marks from owners here.
by Contributors to Husqvarna.com
Our AssessmentHusqvarna publishes owner-written ratings and reviews of its lawn tractors. Most models earn reasonably positive reviews, but a few Husqvarna lawn tractors stand out with top ratings. Reviews here are often quite detailed, so if a Husqvarna model interests you, it's a good idea to check this site before making a final choice.
by Contributors to Troy-Bilt.com
Our AssessmentOwners rate and review Troy-Bilt lawn tractors here. Among regular lawn tractors, the 46-inch Troy-Bilt horse stands out for higher ratings, but Troy-Bilt's zero-turn mower and small rear-end riding mower earn even higher praise.
Lawn & Garden Tractors
by Contributors to CubCadet.com
Our AssessmentCubCadet.com makes it a little tedious to click through to the owner-written reviews of its lawn tractors, but many of the reviews are quite detailed and helpful. Ratings vary a lot; three models stand out among all the choices, however.
by Contributors to Ariens.com
Our AssessmentThe ratings shown on the main Ariens.com page for lawn tractors combine ratings for different deck widths. Exploring further shows that the deck width makes a big difference in owners' levels of satisfaction. For example, the basic lawn tractor with a 42-inch deck gets a higher average rating than the same model with a wider deck.
by Contributors to ConsumerAffairs.com
Our AssessmentThis site publishes feedback from users and is organized by brand and manufacturer. Almost every manufacturer receives complaints here; many cover various John Deere lawn tractors. Since the complaints are anecdotal, there's no accurate way to compare reliability across brands; the repair record survey at ConsumerReports.org is a better source. Also, some owners assert that the John Deere models sold in big-box stores differ from the same models sold by independent dealers -- while expert sources report that this is not true.
Riding Mowers & Tractors
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com is usually a good source of owner-written reviews, but few current lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers have any ratings here. The Weed Eater One rear-end mower is an exception, with over 100 reviews. About a dozen owners give the cordless electric Recharge mower mixed reviews.
Best Lawn Tractor
by Editors of Bestcovery.com
Our AssessmentFive lawn tractors covering a wide price range are featured here as the best choices, but the brief reviews lack credibility. Neither sources, nor testing or comparisons are documented. Sometimes a Bestcovery.com report gains some credibility via the expertise of its author, but for this one, the author isn't named. A similar August 2011 report here covers zero-turn mowers.