When you have a yard that’s hilly or uneven, you need a riding mower that can handle the steep grades. Ones offered by Poulan, Troy-Bilt, Toro, Cub Cadet and Craftsman are going to be your best bets. They offer durability, power and reliability whether traveling uphill or downhill.
Even if you decide the ones below aren’t ideal for your purposes, there are a few things you should ensure. First, it should have a high horsepower (HP) that’s 18 or more. Second, the wheels and steering should provide the utmost ease in maneuverability. Finally, make sure the brand is a long-time trusted name with a warranty you can live with.
- Best Overall Riding Mower: Poulan Pro P46ZX
- Best Riding Mower for the Money: Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Single Cylinder Rear Engine
- Best Zero Turn Riding Mower: Toro TimeCutter 54-Inch Deck
- Best Riding Mower for Small Yards: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT
- Best Riding Mower for Large Yards: Craftsman T310
Best Overall Riding Mower: Poulan Pro P46ZX
Poulan’s 46-inch cutting deck on their riding mower has a Briggs & Stratton V-twin engine and comes with 22 HP. There are dual blades while the wheels allow you to move in all directions easily. It’s durable and gives a clean-cut look to your yard. All this makes riding and cutting over hills a piece of cake.
It’s ideal for almost any type of terrain and provides a range of heights for optimal cutting lengths. It can handle almost 2½ acres an hour. The electric clutch makes Poulan Pro P46ZX easy and simple to operate. However, there is some assembly required even though the model comes already built.
It has a gas-powered engine and user-friendly dual levers, a digital meter, a nose roller and anti-scalp rollers. It also has a three-gallon tank and can reach up to six miles per hour.
|Super powerful with a 24 HP Engine||Poor traction and not very strong|
|A range of options for cutting heights||You do have to assemble some of it yourself|
|Can handle nearly 2½ acres within an hour||Warranty is unknown|
Best Riding Mower for the Money: Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Single Cylinder Rear Engine
This model by Troy-Bilt is the most inexpensive riding mowers available on the market. It comes with a single-cylinder rear engine that has 382cc and a 30-inch mowing deck. This is a gas-powered auto-choke engine and comes in six speeds along with a mulching kit.
This riding mower is easy to maneuver and use, with the rear engine making rocks, trees and other obstacles a breeze to get around. You can even opt for side discharge as you mow. But, it’s only ideal on small, insignificant hills. It may not do well with large hills and steep grades.
|Readily available||Not good for rough or steep hilly terrain|
|Costs less than most riding mowers||Poor battery life and performance|
|Easy to use||Tends to choke easier than most other riding mowers|
Best Zero Turn Riding Mower: Toro TimeCutter 54-Inch Deck
Toro’s TimeCutter is the ultimate zero-turn riding mower. This gas-powered V-twin dual engine comes with 24.5 HP and a 54-inch, 10-gauge cutting deck that comprises forged iron. It also has a sturdy suspension system and a hydrostatic transmission.
This riding mower by Toro provides total control over your direction and speed for precision. There are also features that help protect you from randomly flying debris while maneuvering around more woody or rough terrain. This is useful for when your yard has a large hill you have to conquer.
The whole machine is easy to use, comfortable to operate and provides a flawless cut. Plus, Toro is a trusted brand that offers some of the best yard equipment around.
|Handles any terrain or obstacles||So loud it hurts the ears|
|Easy to use and simple to operate||Belt snaps and deck doesn’t last|
|Allows for cutting large yards||Too expensive compared with other models in its class|
Best Riding Mower for Small Yards: Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT
The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT is ideal for small yards due to its 42-inch cutting deck with 12 adjustable cutting positions. It has 18 HP and a hydrostatic transmission with a 16” turning radius. This makes cutting around hills fun and easy.
This ease and maneuverability reinforces with the responsive steering technology, the three-gallon fuel tank and rear wheel drive. But you will have to assemble the mower yourself and it can be somewhat challenging.
There are other special features that help you clean off debris and grass after each and every mowing session. You can buy additional attachments to help haul things like sod or soil as well as remove snow.
|Smooth, fun to use and easy to operate||Unreasonable price compared to others like it|
|Three-gallon fuel tank||Lack of extra accessories|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Refueling occurs more often than with other similar mowers|
Best Riding Mower for Large Yards: Craftsman T310
With 24 HP and 54-inch steel deck, this riding lawn mower by Craftsman proudly comes from Martin, Tennessee. That means it’s 100% made in the USA. It comes with a front bumper for protection, a soft-touch steering wheel and a three-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
The steering and maneuvering provide a whole new experience from the Turn Tight technology and a 5-inch turning radius. This means you get all the pleasure of a zero-turn mower with the most ideal maneuverability around hills.
The hydrostatic transmission and Kohler twin-cylinder 7000 series engine gives you the power you need to make it up and over large hills. Even in wet and moist conditions, the tires provide the best traction combined with the force of the engine.
|Made proudly in the USA||Attachments are at an additional cost|
|Gives comfort and support with smooth transitions||Starting up the machine is not reliable|
|Provides agility while also making precise cuts||Doesn’t have Craftsman’s lifetime warranty|
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.