5 best garden tractors: complete reviews and buying guides

best garden tractor

During the turn of the century, lawnmowers perhaps saw the biggest improvement. From hand-propelled to zero turn and now riding mowers: the equipment has been redesigned multiple times. So it goes without saying that customers are a little more than confused when picking the right mower.

Are you looking for the best garden tractors, but haven’t been able to find the right one? Well, you’re in luck because we went out of our way to scour the internet for the best lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers.

And for your convenience, we have reviewed the best lawn tractors that are great all-rounders. Scroll down and see for yourself.

What is the best electric knives?

For the best garden tractor, If you want to rely on our Editor’s choice, then we would suggest taking a look at the Craftsman T225. This tractor is the best not only for its high power output, but it works great on gardens. It’s gentle, unique, and gets the job done in no time.

And if you have already found your tractor of choice, then we wish you the best of luck. Taking care of a garden is no easy task, and there’s definitely more to it than people think. So may your garden thrive, and your greens grow abundant!

The 5 Best Garden Tractors you can buy right now

1. best garden tractor of all time: Ariens Apex 60 Lawn Tractor


  • Better for small lawns
  • No assembly required
  • Large tank capacity
  • Comfy seat
  • High-value deal


  • Rattling noises from body

The Ariens Apex 60 is the perfect garden tractor for smaller lawns. It features the most economical design with a robust orange color. The comfortable and relaxing seat makes lawn mowing a breeze.

This mower has a 60-inch wide cutting width, so it gets most of the grass and weed in a single cut. The Ariens Tractor has a moderate fuel capacity, about 5.0 gallons. It can reach a maximum speed of 8 mph in the forward direction and 4 mph in the reverse direction.

With the Ariens Apex 60, you get double the wheel size. The rear wheels have an average diameter of 12 inches.

With strong wheels like those, you get more mobility and traction. The best part is that the rear and front tires won’t burst open, even after years of use.

This is a zero-turn tractor, which means that it can maneuver around objects smoothly. So if your lawn is small or too compact, the Ariens Apex 60 will be the best choice.

To further all that, these tractors use a Kohler V-Twin Cylinder engine. These engines are the best for their efficiency and maintenance. However, they do produce a lot of noise, so you have that. The body seems to rattle too much.

Overall, the Ariens Apex 60 is the best garden tractor of all time. Especially for the low cost and high effectiveness.

Features we liked:

  • Zero-turn radius.
  • Comes fully assembled.
  • 5.0-gallon tank capacity.
  • Cushioned leather seat.
  • Kohler V-Twin Cylinder Engine.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. best lawn tractor for smaller lawns: Husqvarna Z242F Riding Tractor and Mower


  • Gets into narrow spaces
  • Perfect for smaller lawns
  • More engine output
  • Easy maintenance


  • Slower speed
  • Dissipates more heat

Looking for a modest tractor that mows your garden and saves you on power? The Husqvarna Z242F may be the right contender for you.

This tractor uses an 18 horsepower Kawasaki engine. For those of you who don’t know, Kawasaki engines are good for their durability and lack of maintenance. But they can dissipate a lot of heat, so the output will be less.

This tractor can run at 6.5 mph at its max speed. This is significantly lower than the others. Also, the cutting radius is only 42 inches.

We normally don’t judge the cutting radius, as that’s subject to the customer’s requirements. However, the entire point of a riding mower is to make mowing quickly. Still, 42 inches isn’t too bad, and it helps to get into narrower spaces.

Husqvarna’s Z242F tractor utilizes a patent-pending system for park brakes. It allows the tractor to automatically brake when the levers are reversed.

Like the other tractors on our list, this is a zero-turn tractor as well. So it will generate less mobility, allowing cleaner cuts around trickier corners. Due to the low speed and small cutting width, we recommend the Husqvarna for small lawns.

Moreover, the Husqvarna features a Hydrostatic transmission. This type provides the mower with more versatility. And it requires almost zero maintenance. The Husqvarna Z242F is the best lawn tractor for smaller lawns that require lesser power.

Features we liked:

  • 42-inch cutting width.
  • Zero-turn radius tractor.
  • 18 HP Kawasaki engine.
  • 6.5 mph max speed.
  • Hydrostatic transmission.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. best garden tractors for small lawns: Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52” Zero Turn Mower


  • More durable engine
  • Easy assembly
  • More coverage
  • Wide cutting radius
  • Easy maintenance


  • Can’t go over hills
  • No lights for the night

Here’s another zero turn tractor from Ariens. This IKON model is the perfect start for anyone looking for a comfy ride. It features a zero turning radius, which makes cutting around bushes easier.

This tractor comes fully assembled. All you need to do is remove the item from the crate and attach the charging cables. The Ariens IKON-X features a 52 inch wide cutting radius. This radius is pretty standard given the price range, but it’s more than enough.

The Ariens IKON-X utilizes a Kawasaki engine, which comes close to a Kohler engine. Kawasaki engines are great for their efficiency, low noise, and durability.

Your Kawasaki will last you a while if you maintain it properly. Also, this engine gives you more coverage, up to an acre in an hour.

Truly, the IKON-X is one of the best garden tractors for small lawns. However, the IKON-X can’t go over anything that’s higher than an altitude of 15 degrees. So small hills and impressions will be harder to maneuver.

7 mph is about the highest speed you can get on this mower. Given that it’s made for slow cutting on small lawns, the speed shouldn’t be an issue.

With the IKON-X, you can most probably take down an acre or two in just an hour. And when you get used to the controls and steering levers, that number will be much bigger. But it would be better if the IKON-X featured lights for cutting in the dark.

Features we liked:

  • Kawasaki engine.
  • Comes pre-assembled.
  • Can take down 1 acre in 1 hour.
  • 52-inch cutting radius.
  • No oil spills or fuel leaks.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. best garden tractor under $3000: Craftsman T225 Riding Lawn Tractor and Mower


  • Powerful engine
  • Wide cutting radius
  • More speed control
  • Comfortable leather seat
  • Great for medium to large lawns


  • Durability could be improved on

Here’s another non-zero turn lawn tractor. The Craftsman T225 is the best garden tractor under $3000 for racking up some high speeds. It features a 19 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine powered by gas. 19 horsepower is enough to adequately cut a medium to a large lawn with moderate density grass.

The Briggs and Stratton engine is best known for its quick and easy startup. So you spend less time getting the tractor started and more time cutting grass.

To complement the powerful engine, this tractor features a 46 inch wide cutting radius. A cutting radius this wide means that it can tackle lawns of any size. Larger lawns will take more time, but not more than say 35 minutes.

The best part is that the Craftsman is equipped with hydrostatic transmission (HST). HST implies that your tractor can vary its speed very precisely. So it’s not limited by certain preset gear shift speeds. This makes it a better candidate for larger lawns that require faster mowing.

Craftsman’s T225 utilizes 15-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the rear. And the leather chair has been designed to provide a comfortable lean-back.

The only issue is that most of the components are held together by weak equipment. So the body isn’t all that durable, and the components tend to come apart often.

Features we liked:

  • 19 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
  • 46-inch cutting width.
  • Hydrostatic Transmission.
  • Leather seat.
  • 15-inch front and 20 inch rear wheels.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

5. best heavy duty garden tractor: Yard Machines Riding Lawn Tractor


  • Best for larger lawns
  • More control over speed
  • Wider coverage
  • Easy to use and steer
  • Faster cutting


  • Hard to assemble
  • Not for narrower cuts.

Have a bigger lawn and want more mobility? Then this lawn tractor from Yard Machines should do the trick. This is one of the best garden tractors that aren’t a zero-turn mower. That translates to higher mobility, a wider moment arm, and faster cutting. For lawns that are medium size to big, a faster tractor is a perfect choice.

To facilitate the quick operation, Yard Machines features a powerful 420CC engine. The exact model is an MTD Powermore. This engine is able to rev up monumental amounts of speed.

And to give you even more control, the tractor features a 7-speed gear shift. This allows you to change the speed of the engine and get higher coverage.

Yard Machines also features a 42-inch cutting width. This cutting width is actually quite normal among non-zero turn mowers. Plus, it’s the perfect width for utilizing the max power of the engine without dissipating much heat.

The only downside we see with this is that it is pretty heavy, so it’ll be harder to pull it out and assemble. It’s the best heavy duty garden tractor within an affordable budget.

The best part about using the Yard Machine is easy mobility. While zero turn mowers feature levers, this tractor has a steering wheel. So it feels close to what you feel in the car. And the equipped Shift on the Go Drive system makes it all the more mobile.

Features we liked:

  • MTD Powermore 420CC engine.
  • 7-speed gear shift.
  • 42-inch cutting width.
  • Shift on the Go Drive system.
  • Not a zero-turn mower.

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

How to choose the best garden tractors?

Here are a few things everyone should know before buying their favorite lawnmower:

The Size of Your Property

The size of your lawn or garden decides the type and speed of mower you need. For larger lawns and fields, the speed should be between 7 and 9 mph. For smaller gardens, we recommend a zero-turn mower. The speed should be between 5 and 8 mph.

The Terrain

The terrain usually refers to the thickness of the grass and surface level. This is decided by the horsepower. For thicker grass, a higher power output, between 19 and 25 HP, is required.

For thinner fields, anywhere above 16 HP should do the trick. You’ll also be able to find the best garden tractor for hills within that range.

Under the Hood

Like any other vehicle, underneath a garden tractor’s hood lies the engine. The quality of the engine is measured in terms of efficiency, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Two engines are popular in the lawn mowing world: Kawasaki and Kohler. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks. John Deere and MTD make some great engines too, but they aren’t as highly acclaimed. Briggs and Stratton is another great engine choice.

The Transmission

There are two types of transmissions in lawn tractors: HST and CVT. Hydrostatic Transmission (HST) means that the tractor’s speed can be varied very finely. As espoused to that, a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) has preset gear-shift speeds.

You might be better off with a CVT if you’re afraid of losing too much power. But if you want additional control, then go for the HST counterparts.

A Power Take-Off

Power take-off means to use the power of an engine to power other equipment. On lawnmowers, PTO is essential for keeping the parts moving and the gears turning. Faulty PTO normally results in loss of control and quality.

Other Accessories and Options

Most tractors come with a complementary fuel can. Some may come with their own cleaning and maintenance kit. While others may come with spare wheels and towing equipment. It all depends on the deal you buy.

Know Your Tractors

Let’s face it; you would never buy from an unreliable brand. Craftsman is the biggest name, with its one hundred different product lines and variations. Aside from that, Ariens, Honda, Husqvarna, and Snapper are all great tractors to try out.

Deck Size

For a small lawn, say half an acre, we recommend a cutting width of 40 inches or smaller. For half to 2-acre lawns, 40 to 48 inches is sufficient. And for larger than 3 acres, we suggest that the deck should be bigger than 50 inches.


The horsepower is what drives your engine and keeps the cuts sharp and quick. For smaller lawns with thinner grass, you’ll need lesser horsepower, normally between 16 and 20. For bigger or thicker lawns, get an engine of up to 25 HP.

Engine and Torque

Torque is very important for the cutting deck. It drives the blades and keeps the cuts nice and clean. Generally, higher torque translates to better and faster cuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What can you do with a garden tractor?

Not only are garden tractors made for mowing, but you can also tow equipment behind them. So you can tow say a cart or a plow. This feature may not be available in certain types of mowers, so be very cautious of that.

Q. What is the difference between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor?

The primary difference is in use. Garden tractors can not only mow, but plow, tow, and clear snow. They can also till gardens and are great for planting new seeds in your garden.

You can see this Video for more information.

Q. What is included in a garden plan?

A garden plan starts off with a design and ends with implementation and maintenance. If you have a garden that you want to see thrive, you’ll need to follow a well-thought-out plan. And to maintain it, you’ll need a garden tractor.

Q. What kind of transmission would be best for me?

If you prefer control over your tractor, we suggest a manual transmission. For lesser energy loss and more automation, go for CVT. For a wider speed range, you might want to try an HST.

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