If you are looking to work on a small lawn with narrow pathways as a result of trees and obstacles, then you don’t need a big mower. You need a small lawn mower; something moderate that will be able to maneuver and cut grass without destroying your trees, flower beds amongst other artistic obstacles.
Like large lawn mowers, small mowers are also powerful with the only difference being the deck size. The best small riding lawn mower is more convenient as you will not find it difficult to take a turn on the squeezed spaces. Here, we’ll review the best small lawn mower for your small residential home that will give you the greatest value for money.
Best Small Riding Lawn Mower (2020 Reviews)
The Snapper 2911525BVE is our top on the list if you’re looking for the smallest lawn riding mower in the market. Equipped with a 28 in. of cut width, this machine is best for small yards with an average area of between 2 and 5-acres.
Although it is small, it is extremely powerful, powered by 344cc OHV engine to provide sufficient energy to power up the machine even on a sloppy backyard. Starting the engine is fast for all users. Not to forget that you can mow both in the forward and backward.
We love how cleaning the underside of the deck is simplified because of how it is made. Plus, controlling levers are pretty simple and the whole process of engaging the blade to start mowing is straightforward.
The small size means you can ride and maneuver between trees a lot easily if the trees are not too close to each other. Its blades cut clean and the lawn will resemble a carpet once you’re done.
Draining up the oil is also simple thanks to the hose oil spout feature that makes the procedure a breeze. Maintaining the whole machine is also friendly as well.
- Strong 344cc engine
- Easy to control the levers
- Maintaining is simple
- Machine not cheap
The Husqvarna YTH18542 is another best riding mover although it is a little bit larger than our first review. The 42” mower is great for wider lawns with sparse trees. What’s great about the deck is how it is made with air induction technology in order to constantly deliver a smooth and even cut.
The 18.5 hp engine which is manufactured by Briggs and Stratton is strong and reliable to offer you a high mowing performance, operating both in the forward and backward.
This machine utilizes hydrostatic transmission that lets you adjust the direction and speed more smoothly for optimal mowing control. The hydrostatic system is foot-pedal operated which means your hands are not distracted from the steering wheel for maximum driving control.
What we love most about this machine is the small turning radius of 16 in. that let you maneuver and mow a lot easily even in tighter spaces.
You’ll like the ergonomic steering wheel for easy operation as well as the adjustable back-seat that provides a lot of comfort for a fantastic mowing experience. Its compact size means you will not struggle with storage space.
- Air induction technology for constant even cut
- Adjustable back-seat
- Ergonomic steering wheel
The Yard Machines Riding Mower is equipped with a 42occ OHV engine to increase its ability on a sloppy backyard. Because of the plenty power this machine will reduce your mowing time by half.
Cut width is 42 in. which means you can cover a wide area in one pass instead of repeated movements which may take you a lot of time if you want to mow a large lawn.
Mowing on tighter spaces with obstacles is easy thanks to the 18. In turning radius which is sufficient for narrow paths.
To improve your comfort and enhance your productivity on large lawn, the machine includes an ergonomic seat that is also adjustable.
The best part is the 7-speed shift that gives you optimal control to mow at your own speed. Not to mention the large gas tank capacity that lets you mow a large lawn without refilling.
- Strong engine
- Ergonomic back-seat for optimal comfort
- Small turning radius
- It’s pricey
The Craftsman T225 is made with a 46 in. cut deck which is perfect for a small as well as larger lawn if your objective is to upgrade its size in future.
The long deck will reduce on mowing time while allowing you to mow larger yards with reduced time. It is even equipped with a deck wash that reduces on time when it comes to underside cleaning.
Controlled by a powerful Briggs and Stratton engine, this machine is made with a ready-start technology which is more reliable and efficient when compared to other modes.
It is made to run of hydrostatic transmission that is foot regulated to free your hands for total steering focus. Not forgetting that you can mow in reverse if you want to get out of tight spots.
The turning radius is phenomenal on squeezed parts, not to mention the smooth ride that lead to a constant even cut even on thick grass.
What more is the highly supportive back-seat which is cushioned to provide maximum comfort for ultimate mowing experience. The durable rear wheels are a little bit larger for maximum clearance and a lasting maneuverability.
- Powerful Briggs and Stratton engine
- Deck wash for underside cleaning
- Supportive back-seat
The Ryobi riding lawn mower is battery operated, made to run on 100Ah battery electric engine. Perfect for residential mowing by users who want something simple to maintain with zero environmental foot print.
This machine is quiet as it does not produce vibrations that are closely connected with gasoline mowers. What makes this possible are the three brushless motors that power the blades rather than belts which will be apparently noisy.
When fully charged, the machine can run for 2.5 hours allowing you to mow up to 2.5 acres without stopping. Maneuvering on tight spaces is smooth thanks to the phenomenal turning 16 in. point that make mowing squeezed spots and corners a breeze.
The machine is simple to use with a great mulching feature to discharge the clippings. Forward movement is smooth, while the backward movement is pretty bumpy when compared to gasoline versions. Steering is great and the entire product is pretty solid.
- Runs quietly
- No maintenance and pollution
- Not better than gasoline mowers
How to Choose the Best Small Lawn Mower
- Deck Size
Deck mowers size for a small lawn range from 28 in. to around 46. In depending on your lawn size. If you have a big lawn and you want to finish the work fast, then shopping for a mower with a big deck will help you reduce on work time.
The problem with a big deck is when you want to mow narrow paths as a result of trees or other obstacles. In such a case, choosing a small deck will be practical.
- Adjustable Speed
The higher the speed limit, the faster the machine will be able to complete the job in less time. Most models are made with a forward speed of 6 and a backward speed of 2, but is important you establish if the limits are authentic as indicated in the user’s manual.
Adjustable forward speed is a prerequisite when you want to regulate movement in a corner, on rough ground or around obstacles. Also, make sure it is made with a backward speed, as this will be important when it is impossible to take a turn on tight spots.
- Tank Gas Capacity
If you are looking for a gasoline mower, special attention should be placed on the fuel tank capacity which will be dependent on lawn size. What you need to consider is if the tank capacity is adequate to tackle the whole lawn without refilling. Generally, a small tank size will be sufficient for small and medium-sized lawns while a large tank is inevitable for large yards and commercial mowing.
- Mode of Transmission
Generally, we have three ways of power transmission to wheels: manual, automatic and hydrostatic modes. For manual transmission, a clutch is the primary method that control the mowing speed.
Automatic transmission models are regulated by a gas pedal that lets you control the speed to mow at your own pace. The hydrostatic mode is the same automatic transmission, with the only difference as fluid which is medium of power transfer in hydrostatic models.
When shopping for a mower, we’d recommend you settle for a hydrostatic based model because of its ability to offer a constant polished ride. You can also choose an automatic model if the latter is unavailable since the delivery is almost the same.
- Great Turning Radius
When getting around trees and narrow pathways, it will not be possible to maneuver and take turns efficiently if the mower is not made with a turning point. Zero-turn mowers are the best but may not be a great choice on hills and sloppy grounds because of their ability to take an instant turn which could be potentially unsafe.
- Comfy High-Back Seat
Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time to clear a large lawn. That’s why you should choose a mower with a high back seat if you want to avert possibilities of back pain. Make sure the seat is cushioned if you don’t want to feel uncomfortable after staying down for long.
Final Thoughts and Our Top Pick
There are lots of small mowers in the market which could probably get you confused whether you’re a novice or experienced user because honestly, it’s impossible to know the pros and cons of each model without literally using the machine.
Fortunately, we did the testing for you by analyzing all the popular models and shortlisting them based on their durability, cut width, engine performance, ease of use, user’s comfort and the overall mower’s performance.
Snapper 2911525BVE is the best small riding lawn mower in our opinion. This machine is powerful, easiest to control with the smallest cut deck if you’re literally looking for the smallest riding mower to match your small yard.