Best riding lawn mower for the job.

First time homeowner. We have 1 acre of fairly even mowing, however, there are many uneven spots. If our push mower shaves off the grass down to the dirt in areas and doesn’t seem to hurt the mower, is the same true for a riding mower? What brands are worth the bucks? We’re looking at a 17hp Craftsman/Briggs/Stratton.

Last year I bought a Poulan which, I think, is a generic craftsman.
It’s got a Briggs & stratton 14.5 HP and has a 38in. cut.
I only have about a half acre but whats the difference? I bought it because it was cheap ($800.) but I can’t find anything I don’t like about it. It starts right up every time and it drives faster than you would ever need to while cutting grass.

About hitting the bare ground with the blades: I’m sure it makes the blades dull over time but you can have them sharpened. The good thing about a riding mower is that you can raise and lower the cutting deck pretty easily while cutting.

If I had more money I would have spent more, but I’m happy. Good luck and happy mowing.