Tell me about your riding lawnmower.

I currently have a 7 year old Husqvarna 54” ZTR with a Kawasaki engine but I’m thinking about replacing it. The engine smokes. The deck won’t stay level and no matter how often I change the blades, it always leaves an uncut strip. So I’m thinking about getting a new one.

I currently mow an acre of fairly rough ground with several trees. I’m moving next month to a house on a lot that is a little less than an acre so I don’t really need a monster.

What do you have? Any recommendations?

We have a John Deere with a 42" deck - we’ve had it between 5-10 years, I think, tho it could be older. Our yard is mostly wooded, but we still have about an acre to mow, some level and a fair amount sloped. Ol’ John has served us well, and we get it serviced at a local shop every other year. My biggest complaint is that the plastic of the seat cover has split - I would have thought that keeping it stored in a shed would have prevented this. But it’s been reliable and very useful for both mowing and towing a small cart full of yard debris as needed.

Troy built with maybe a 42" deck. Even though I have a bad knee I still use the push mower because fixing the damn deck is harder on my knee than a pushing a mower around. So the deck has been off for years and now I just use it to haul crap around. I’d rather get a big self-propelled reel mower, apparently a favorite of landscapers.

John Deere Z425 Zero-turn mower, 48" deck. I bought it new in 2010 to mow my 1 acre property, partially wooded. I’ve been pretty happy with it, just replaced the battery this season. I’m selling it only because I’m tired of getting out there every weekend, and the place around the corner where I’ve gotten it serviced every year just closed down. The next closest place is about 20 miles away. The zero turn is nice though, I can do my property in 40 minutes. The thing flies.

Hustler Raptor 54" here. The deck flips vertically by use of the electric jack screw that adjusts the height. Makes it easy to wash out under the deck as well as change blades. It has a fabricated deck rather than one stamped from thinner steel.

Other than the sloped lawn, I’ve got this exact thing going on. Same mower, same maintenance schedule, same rip on the seat (and I keep mine in a shed). Mine ripped in the top right corner, though, clearly in the place where I put my hand to hop on.

My dad had the same mower but he managed to blow it up by running it without oil. Somehow it had an oil leak and he never checked the oil level so something from inside the engine ended up outside the engine one day and it was dead. He liked it enough that he bought the latest model again.

I have a base model John Deere LA105 that cost about $1,500 new and is about 10 years old now. I mow about an acre of level ground and it’s been great. I changed the oil once or twice and changed the blades once, put a new battery in, that’s it. I keep it in a storage building. When putting it away for the winter I hook the battery to a solar charger and put Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer in it and run it for 5 minutes or so. It always starts first crank in the spring. I check the oil and go on my way.

I cut 85% of my grass with a tractor and bush hog, but for the acre or so around the house I bought a 42", 15HP Husqvarna rider. It’s not fancy at all, but it does a pretty good job overall. The only complaint I have is that the blade deck doesn’t raise high enough to clear some of the tree roots that run along the top of the ground. It’s not enough of a bother to tempt me to spend more money at this point.

I have 10 year old Deere X300 42-inch deck mower that my son-not-in-law uses to mow about an acre of unsloped but rough lawn.

Two weeks ago I noted that one of the mower deck wheels is bent 180 degrees from where it should be. This explains why my lawn is being scalped despite a usually high deck setting. Would have been nice to be told that it happened, when it happened. Now I have to get that fixed, or decide if it’s new mower time. I have not been good to my mower.

I’ve liked this mower, except it will not bag for shit. Great when I have the mulching blade on, but bagging is a constant struggle.

I’m on my third riding mower and I’ve never had any luck with bagging. The chutes always clog after about 5 minutes. And even if they do work, you still have to find something to do with all that grass.

I just had a new mower delivered yesterday. Cut the grass with it for the first time tonight. I have bought several used mowers and just been frustrated with them. I bought a Troy-bilt Pony and it crapped out after a few years. the deck on that thing was never quite right.

It’s a John Deere E140 48" cut with a 22 hp hydrostatic engine. I got a $200 rebate gift card from Lowe’s and used my brother-in-law’s military discount, along with a cash back credit card I’ll pay off as soon as the bill hits.

I chose this mower because it was rated #5 in the Consumer Reports buying guide. Most of the other E-series mower had something called an Easy Oil Change system requiring JD kit, which is $40-50. I’m quite capable of changing my oil myself. This mower didn’t have that “upgrade”. Hopefully it’s serve me for many years.


In 2011 I bought a Craftsman riding mower with 54 inch deck.

It’s been a good mower. But I also keep up on the maintenance. This year, in addition to the standard stuff, I went ahead and replaced the three mandrels on the deck. Wasn’t too bad of a job. Last year I replaced the starter.

My only complaint is that the deck rusts from underneath. Mostly my fault, I suppose; I don’t always scrape the underside the deck after each use.

Does it have a wash-out port? My new mower does. I’ve never had one of those before, and I’ll have to figure out how to use it.


John Deere X530. I was afraid I’d bought too much tractor when I got it but it turned out to be just right. 48” deck, locking differential (which gets used occasionally) and gnarlier all terrain tires. I could have gotten by with a smaller tractor for mowing but I do enough other stuff such as pulling heavily loaded trailers and pulling downed trees out of the brush to be cut up to justify a bigger rig. My house is on about 3/4 acre of grass and I own about 3 acres of woods across the road with some mowed areas and trails.

I bought a Bolens/MTD 38" tractor about 10 years ago for $700 - $800. With a chute and grass catcher that mounts on the back, which worked fine but I stopped using it a couple of years ago because I’m too lazy to stop and empty the bags.

Like a snowblower, once you have it, you go, why didn’t I do this a long time ago? I’m happy with it, takes about 40 minutes to do what I gotta do.

I’ve had it in the shop a couple of times, usually for less than $200. One time when I put it in gear, nothing happened and the other time I think was probably just a spark plug, but me and small gas engines do not get along, I don’t mess with them. I do zero maintenance on it, just run the gas out at the end of the season and take the battery out and hook it to a trickle charger. Store it outdoors under a tarp.

The headlight is hilarious.