5 best riding lawnmower for hills: definitive reviews and buying guides
Handling your lawnmower while you push it up and down hills can be a dangerous task if you aren’t using the right type of lawnmower. To help you obtain the right lawnmower for this challenging task, we’ll cover a few different kinds of mowers that can effectively handle hills so that you’ll have the right equipment.
No matter how large your yard might be, having the right type of lawnmower for your landscaping needs can save you time, money, and keep you safe. If your yard houses several steep slopes and other severe types of terrain, then you’ll want to make sure you purchase one of the best riding lawn mowers for hills that you’ll find on the market today, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
1. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30″
- Excellent fuel sight window
- Designed for balance with larger back wheels
- Large cutting deck of 30 inches
REASONS TO AVOID
- The seat could be more comfortable
If you’re in the market for a pleasant riding mower that can handle hills well, then you might want to consider the Troy-Bilt 382cc 30”. This Troy-Bilt lawnmower isn’t a large one, but for its size, it still packs a punch of power that can take care of your mowing needs quickly and easily.
The Troy-Bilt 382cc does well on hills because of its large cutting deck, which is 30-inches. You can modify that deck to get five different heights with your grass. You’ll also get a 382cc motor that features an auto choke and brings you six speeds on your transmission.
Plus, you can hold plenty of fuel in your fuel tank with 1.3 gallons. There is a fuel sight window that allows you to see your fuel level. That means it’s straightforward for you to know when you’ll need to refill your tank.
This riding mower handles hills well because it’s designed for balance. The back wheels are more significant than the front wheels, allowing the mower to move with ease. It maneuvers very well around obstacles and hills. So, for those of you that own a larger piece of property with hills, this might be a fantastic lawnmower for you.
2. Craftsman M105 140cc 21-Inch 3-in-1
- Affordable and efficient mowing option
- The auto-choke feature makes it easy to start this mower
- Powerful 140 CC engine works well on hills
REASONS TO AVOID
- Small cutting deck means this mower isn’t ideal for large yards
If you are shopping for your new lawnmower on a budget, then we’d like to recommend the affordable and efficient Craftsman M105 140cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 lawnmower. As a push mower, you’ll have plenty of control to get over those annoying hills. Also, you’ll get a powerful 140 CC engine with this mower, which means you’ll have the power you’ll need to get over the hills in your yard.
This Craftsman mower features a recoil and auto choke feature which makes it very easy to start the mower. With one simple pull, you should be able to start up this mower easily.
With a 21-inch cutting deck, this mower is designed to be used on smaller yards. You might have a more massive yard to trim, and if so, then this might not be the mower for you. It won’t get the job done as quickly if you’ve got a large yard to mow.
However, if you are looking for something cheap and reliable to maintain your smaller yard, then this might be the mower for you. This mower does have three powerful features which include mulching, a side discharge, and rear discharge. Also, you can pick from six different cutting heights on this mower.
3. Husqvarna 18.5 HP Pedal Tractor Mower
- Powerful 18.5 horsepower engine
- Continuous variable transmission modifies speed easily
- Very comfortable seat
REASONS TO AVOID
- This lawnmower may not be efficient for larger yards
If you want to purchase a mower that comes from one of the most renowned lawnmower manufacturers on the market today, then the Husqvarna 18.5 Pedal Tractor Mower would be an excellent option for you. This lawnmower works excellent on hills because of the 18.5 horsepower that’s packed into the engine, giving you plenty of power and control.
This lawnmower has a bit of a different design when compared to some of the other choices on our list. The deck on this Husqvarna is 38 inches, which means it’s tinier than a Troy-Bilt lawnmower. Since it is a smaller riding mower, it may not be ideal for large properties. However, it does have a full deck, and could still do a fantastic job on a medium-sized lawn.
Even though this mower has a smaller deck, it’s engine packs a punch. With this engine, you’ll get a continuous variable transmission, so it is effortless for you to alternate speeds when using this mower. Because of the way this mower is designed, it feels much like you are driving a car when you use it rather than riding around in a riding mower.
We also love the comfortable seat designed into this mower. The seat has springs and an effective cushion, which will give you the comfort you need when mowing hills or steep terrain.
4. Greenworks 20-Inch 40V Twin Force Cordless Lawn Mower
- No cords to worry about with this mower
- You’ll get the battery charging system included when you purchase this mower
- You’ll get plenty of control with this mower
- Dual blades provide a high-quality cut
REASONS TO AVOID
- 20-inch cutting deck means this mower won’t work well on larger yards
Another excellent lawnmower for hills is the Greenworks 20-Inch 40V Twin Force Cordless Lawnmower. One unique thing about this mower is that you won’t need to worry about any cords. With this Greenworks mower’s battery-powered design, you’ll use Li-Ion batteries, which come with the mower, and you’ll also get the battery charging system you’ll need to power up your mower when you purchase this option.
Since this is a push mower, it will give you a lot of control on those hilly, difficult spots in your yard. It’s designed to have an excellent balance and gives you a 20-inch cutting deck as well. The cutting deck is designed to help you better maneuver your mower over steep terrain.
However, a 20-inch cutting deck is not impressively large, so for those of you with a more extensive yard, this might not be the mower for you. It may be too slow of an option for people that have massive lawns to mow.
Still, there are plenty of other features that make this mower a worthwhile option. For example, this mower comes with dual blades, which means you’ll get a high-quality cut each time you mow your yard. You’ll also get a feature that’s called “smart cut technology,” which helps the mower adjust the cut depending on how thick your grass has grown.
5. Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro
- Large 3.5-gallon fuel tank means
- 46-inch cutting width
- You get a six-position cutting height adjustment
- This lawnmower is very easy to maneuver
REASONS TO AVOID
- When riding this mower on sloppy areas, this mower doesn’t always perform well
If you want a lawnmower that delivers excellent performance on hills, then you might want to consider the Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro. This mower comes with a robust 22 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine, which means you’ll get plenty of power to overcome any hills or steep terrain. Plus, you’ll also get a sizeable 3.5-gallon tank to fuel your mower, so you won’t need to worry about running out of gas whenever you mow your lawn.
This Poulan Pro would work well even for more extensive lawns because it has a 46-inch cutting width. With such a large cutting width, you’ll be able to cut more grass in less time, making this mower ideal if there is a lot of grass to cut.
Plus, this mower brings you an excellent control system that provides easy maneuverability because of the mower’s dual wheel hydro transmission. That dual wheel hydro transmission gives you, as the driver, all of the control you’ll need to tackle even the most challenging terrains as you mow.
Poulan Pro designed this mower with a six-position cutting height adjustment, so you’ll have plenty of options for the height of your grass. That way, you know you’ll get the perfect cut for your yard every time you mow.
Mowing Hills with Riding Mowers
Now that we’ve covered the five best riding mowers for hills, we want to include a few safety tips for when you are mowing hilly ground with a riding mower. If you aren’t careful, even your well-balanced riding mower can flip or roll. Much of the safety practices you’ll use with your lawnmower won’t just be about your mower itself, and it will also be about you honing your mowing skills.
Whenever you mow hills with a riding mower, you should use a lower speed. Lower speeds ensure that you’ll be able to control your lawnmower better. So, remember to pick a low gear, and then leave the mower speed at a steady rate.
Whenever you are riding over a hilly slope, you’ll want to avoid shifting or braking, because that can throw the riding mower off-balance. You also want to make sure you don’t overdo the attachments on your riding mower when you are riding over steep hills. That’s because some accessories, even the ones with the best intentions, can throw your riding lawnmower off-center.
One of the best ways to approach mowing hills is to mow up and down the hill’s face area. This approach means you will be able to brake without rolling over. It is possible to mow across the hill’s face while using a riding mower, but it’s not as safe as using the up and down approach to mowing.
Mowing Hills with Walk-Behind Mowers
If you’ve decided to purchase a walk-behind mower to handle your hilly yard, then you won’t have much with which to worry. Walk-behind mowers work well on hills because they don’t tip easily. They also tend to be more lightweight and more comfortable to move than riding mowers.
Some walk-behind mowers also come with all-wheel drive capabilities, which can be very helpful if you are dealing with a very hilly yard. With all-wheel drive features, your mower won’t slip or lose any power as you go up steep hills.
With a walk-behind mower, you can either mow up and down or across the face. You’ll need to determine the best course for your yard when you do this. However, even with a walk-behind mower, it’s typically safer to mow up and down the hill’s face area.
Safety Tips for Mowing
No matter what type of mower you decide to purchase for your yard, you’ll need to know a few important safety tips before you get started. We’ve listed our safety tips for mowing below.
- Before you start mowing, make sure you remove obstacles from your yard, so you don’t need to stop and do that while you are already in the middle of mowing.
- Whenever you mow your lawn, you’ll want to dress in the right type of clothing and also use protective gear. Since lawn mowers can be loud, some people like to protect their ears with earplugs. We also recommend using eye protection whenever you mow your lawn.
- Never allow passengers to ride with you if you own a riding lawnmower. Riding lawnmowers are built only for one rider at a time.
- Whenever you mow your yard, try to keep a consistent speed. When you need to turn, do so gradually. Avoid making fast turns.
- Practice using safety features as well as your emergency brake on your lawnmower before you start mowing your yard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What’s the best cutting method to use when mowing a lawn?
Whenever you mow your lawn, you should go up and down the slope of your hill. It’s much easier to go up and down the slope of your hill than it is to cut directly across the hill. If you use a riding mower and you cut across the hill, you might wind up tipping your riding mower.
Q. Is it okay to make sudden stops or turns when I mow my lawn?
No. You should avoid making sudden turns, stops, or starts whenever you are mowing on an uneven hillside. Instead, you’ll need to mow at a slow, consistent speed, and make sure you plan so that you don’t do anything suddenly. If you make any sudden movements, your lawnmower can become off-centered and lose its balance.
Q. What’s the best type of mower for a more massive yard?
For those of you with a more extensive yard, even if it’s hilly, a well-balanced riding lawnmower would be the best option for you. Riding lawnmowers will save you a lot of time cutting grass in a more massive yard. Plus, there are plenty of riding lawnmowers that handle hills well.
For those of you that own small yards with several hills, you may want to consider a push mower like the Greenworks 20-Inch 40V Twin Force Cordless Lawn Mower as long as you own a small yard. However, a push mower may not be the best option for those of you with a more massive yard.
If that’s the case, you may want to consider one of our riding mower options, like the Husqvarna 18.5 HP Pedal Tractor Mower. This riding mower option still provides the balance you’ll need to deal with steep terrain.
The Poulan Pro P46ZX and Briggs V-Twin Pro also work well for more extensive lawns since they both have a wide cutting area. On the other hand, our other riding mower option, the Troy-Bilt 382cc 30″, would be better for medium-sized yards because the cutting area isn’t as wide.
If you want an affordable, budget-friendly mowing option, then we recommend purchasing the Craftsman M105 140cc 21-Inch 3-in-1 mower. This mower will get the job done on a smaller yard and is great when you are shopping on a tight budget. However, for those of you with a more extensive yard, then you’ll need to think about investing in a riding mower like the Troy-Bilt 382cc 30″.