Best Riding Lawn Mower for 1 Acre: Tried & Tested

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Out of all the chores you have on the list, mowing the yard probably tends to be the most tedious one for some of you.

What more if it’s an entire ACRE lot? Yeah, no thanks.

That’s why, instead of the classic walk-behind mower, you have a riding mower!

And not just any riding mower. Oh, no.

Having an acre (or even more!) land in your possession, you might find it uneven with how the earth does not find it in itself to go along, or maybe you have shrubs or other plants decorating the place to make it seem fuller.

So, instead of simply using a riding mower, you’ll need a zero-turn mower.

You’ll find out why as you continue reading some of the best mowers to ride on for one acre or more!

Best Riding Lawn Mower for One Acre in 2021

Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Known to be one of the names that dominate the greens, Craftsman gives you the quality that your yard deserves.

Powered by a Craftsman-made twin-cylinder engine, the Z525 is run by 22 horsepower to be a mower you can ride on for one acre or more!

As a zero-turn mower, though, you can change directions at a snap of your fingers when it has a 360-degree turning radius to have the ability to maneuver at all sides.

You can even mow in reverse, so goodbye forever to troublesome U-turns and annoying pauses in-between mowing!

Now, before starting it up, you better follow the instructions given from start to finish. Specific gas and oil must be applied for it to work at the drop of a hat.

If not, well, you’re a sitting duck with your Z525 as a dead fish.

To keep yourself from surging forward and get yourself thrown off your seat, Craftsman features an auto-choke to control its speed, especially if it’s been a while for you to get back into mowing.

A modest 46-inch cutting width is what’s available for the Z525, which is perfect for one to two acres, at max.

However, this has no adjustments for cutting height, making it exclusive for flat yards only.

So, if you have a flat yard with shrubs or flowerbeds, then this should be good for you!

The blades can be easily cleaned since it has a deck wash, and Craftsman even comes with a shoot bracket along with the mower!

That makes a good deal for a riding lawn mower, right?

Pros
  • 22 horsepower twin engine
  • Zero-turn riding mower
  • Can mow in reverse
  • Has auto-choke
  • 46-inch cutting width
  • Has deck wash
  • Includes shoot bracket
Cons
  • For flat yards only

Husqvarna Z254 54 inches Zero Turn Riding Mower

Although foreign, Husqvarna made a name for itself when it made a home among American homeowners all over the US.

Compared to Craftsman, Husqvarna’s more compact and gentle curves that you can probably tell is a signature from European designs.

Out of all the riding mowers in this selection, the Z254 has the most power with its dominating 26 horsepower, ran by the American-made Kohler engine; one of the leading brands for engine manufacturers out there!

Besides that admirable feat, Husqvarna has been dabbling with the steering levers usually associated with zero-turn mowers.

Instead of using a foot pedal or a hand brake, the Z254 makes use of the steering levers as the mower’s (patent-pending) park brake system! Simply move the levers outward or inward to activate or deactivate them.

Now, moving onto the essentials of what makes a riding mower exemplary is its grease zerks that you can see featured on Z254’s deck. This way, you’ll be able to do maintenance on the deck and blade housing bearings.

Another matter is its gas consumption.

Since the Z254 is run by a powerful engine with horsepower just as powerful, it won’t drain too much of your gas.

So, pair that with a Z254’s 54-inch cutting width and you’re looking at three acres worth of lawn to be mowed in a jiffy!

However, as there’s no gas gauge pre-installed, you might have a hard time eyeballing how much gas you have left in the tank afterward.

Other than that minor issue, it’s safe to say that the Z254 makes it in as one of the best mowers out there for one acre and more!

Pros
  • 26 horsepower
  • Zero-turn riding mower
  • Has a patent-pending brake system
  • Has grease zerks
  • Three acres worth with plenty of gas to spare
  • 54 inches cutting width
Cons
  • Has no gas gauge

MTD Gold 13AA625P004 50-Inch Riding Lawn Mower

This MTD Gold has the basics for riding lawn mowers implemented through and through, with more to spare!

Just second from the Husqvarna Z254, the MTD Gold has 23 horsepower bringing it to life run by a Briggs and Stratton engine.

The foot pedal is where it’s at in driving this mower with hydrostatic transmission combined to make it a breezy drive around the yard.

And you better have a big yard (ideally, around two to three acres wide) because a big lawnmower would need it since this one has a 50-inch cutting width!

Once again, just second from the Husqvarna Z254.

However, you might find it problematic hunting this one down on the internet because it’s listed as discontinued, all except for its spare parts.

So, if you have an MTD Gold already, the good news is you have parts listed down at the ready. 

As for those who are eying this particular riding mower, well, who knows? Maybe your local hardware store might be worth checking. 

If you’re not in luck, then you’ll just have to look into other riding mowers, instead.

Pros
  • 23 horsepower
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • 50-inch cutting width
Cons
  • Discontinued

Husqvarna YTH18542 42 inches Riding Mower

Another one from Husqvarna and this one’s just as bulky as the MTD Gold.

Other than appearance-wise, what else makes this different from the Z254?

Well, whereas the Z254 has the most power in its engine, this Husqvarna has the least amount out of this selection with its humble 18.5 horsepower, with the Briggs and Stratton engine running it.

Despite its little power, it’s supported by hydrostatic transmission to give you a somewhat smooth ride. You can even have a drink with you as this Husqvarna has a cup holder right next to your seat for maximum comfort!

Reverse-mowing is something featured in this zero-turn mower, and you can access it from the reverse foot pedal right before the acceleration one to make it easier for you to get used to.

The cutting height for this one, however, has a spectacular range between 1 to 6 inches that you can adjust in-between, so this makes it great for uneven landscapes.

Speaking of adjustments, this Husqvarna is equipped with speed control for you to keep from surging forward right at the start like what you can see from Craftsman.

For cleaning, you have a washout port on the deck, but it’s not built to allow greasing on the blades and bearings.

Another small detail featured here is its headlights, which you can turn on or off compared to other riding mowers out there that have the headlights forever left on with no way of turning them off.

Pros
  • 18.5 horsepower
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Has cup holder
  • Can reverse mow
  • Deck height can be changed from 1 being the lowest and 6 being the highest
  • Has a speed control
  • Has deck wash
  • Headlights can be turned on or off
Cons
  • Unable to be greased

Craftsman 17ARFACT091 46-Inch Zero Turn Mower

Another one from Craftsman but, just like the Huqvarnas, with key differences between the two.

One thing you probably won’t notice immediately is their horsepower. While the Z525 only has 22, this one took one step further when it has 23 horsepower, ran by Kohler-made twin-cylinder engine instead of Craftsman-made.

Combined with this engine is a hydrostatic transmission for the heights you’ll reach in regards to comfort.

However, one thing you should take into account is, compared to the Z525’s auto-choke feature, this Craftsman neither has that or a prime in its arsenal.

For safety measures, maybe you should invest in having a seatbelt attached to it, or simply just stamp your feet to stay in place to keep you from surging forward once the mower sputters to life.

Other than that, it has an adjustable cutting height, which is an advantage from the Z525.

However, there’s another problem for it to take a step back.

Its lowest, minimum cutting height already reaches 1.25 inches while the maximum is 3.75 inches.

But what about riding over hills? What about slopes? The depressions on the earth?

With how small the cutting range for your deck, it might be for the best if it sticks to even plains instead of anything exciting.

Pros
  • 23 horsepower
  • Zero-turn riding mower
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Cutting height of 1.25 to 3.75 inches
Cons
  • No prime and choke
  • Surges at the start
  • Best for flat yards

How to Choose the Proper Lawn Mower to Get

What’s Up with Your Yard?

The entire reason why you’re getting a lawnmower is for your yard because why else would you purchase one in the first place?

As the homeowner, it’s your job to familiarize yourself well enough with what you have going on outside your house since, legally, you still own the amount of land surrounding it.

So, as you make this your problem, be sure you know just what it is you have there.

How wide is the land you own? Do you have a plain, flat yard? What about gardens?

So on and so forth.

The first thing you’ll have to fuss over is how many acres of land do you have. If it’s below half an acre, then the cheap, classic walk-behind mower can get the job done.

Now, anything above half an acre deserves a riding mower at that point.

Having a cutting width of 42 inches on your riding mower should be the average, and it only goes up from then because the wider the cut, the faster it is to get the job done.

What’s Your Cut?

This second one has a connection to the rest of the questions.

A plain, flat yard with an empty, suburban green makes it easier for you to measure how short or how long you want your grass to be. Just list down one number and, poof! You’re done!

The trouble comes in when you have uneven earth with slopes and everything, and/or a complicated garden decorating the yard.

Including a feature that can adjust the cutting height of your riding mower will come in handy in these cases, that’s for sure.

And throwing a zero-turn mower into the mix can be the hole-in-one you’re aiming for!

Having a zero-turn mower in your control maneuvers around flower beds or landscaping since you can steer the mower away quickly from them to cut anything else by accident.

You’ve Got the Power!

The engine is everything for a zero-turn mower.

Having a bigger engine means more power. 

As you can see from Craftsman’s Z525, it’s equipped with a twin-cylinder engine. This twin-cylinder engine makes it bigger than the single-cylinder, which creates far more power to distribute to every bit of component inside the mower evenly.

Since none of the parts will be competing against each other for more power, this means there will be less vibration and much quieter performance.

Less vibration and quiet performance mix together into a spectacular blend of a smooth ride at its fullest.

Besides that, your engine will be kept nice and cool when it’s not getting worn out, prolonging its life even further.

Final Words

In mowing, you’ll need all the help you can get in getting it done, be it half an acre or five.

Now, in 2021, making investments is a wise choice when you need to balance your budget for surviving the pandemic.

Choosing the best riding lawn mower is part of those investments you’ll be making, so it better be compatible with your yard in every way!

That’s why other than scouring the internet for details upon details about your best options for riding mowers, you should be well-acquainted with your lot that you’ll be able to tell what can work with it AND you, as well.

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