8 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for 2 Acres or More

Riding lawn mowers are more practical to use on large and hilly yards compared to walk-behind lawnmowers. They have a broad deck that cuts large patches of grass on every pass, and you don’t have to walk. Plus, riding them is fun.

I have tested several of these mowers and found that mowers with at least a 38-inch deck are preferable for expansive lawns.

Since there is a wide variety of such units, I have narrowed it down to the best riding lawn mowers for 2 acres or more.

Best Riding Lawn Mowers

If you don’t have time to check out the full reviews, here are the top recommendation for the best riding lawn mowers for 2-5 acres. If you need an option for smaller lawns then maybe have a read of this article The Best Zero Turn Mowers for 1-2 Acres.

TS348XD Main.

Best Ride-On Mower

Husqvarna 48″ Deck Riding Mower

Exceptional Kawasaki FR Series engine. This mower is built to last and is versatile. Cuts a perfect lawn and a whole lot more.

Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower

Best Zero Turn Mower

Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower

Excellent Zero Turn mower built around the fantastic Kawasaki 726cc engine with 23hp and 7mph.

Choosing a Riding Lawn Mower

As a rule of thumb, you need a 42-inch deck to mow two or more acres. However, considering other factors, like the terrain and obstacles, I lowered the minimum size to 38 inches to simplify navigation.

Before we look at specific models, we need to review the various riding mowers available. There are three main categories on the market: Garden or lawn tractor, rear engine riding mower, and zero-turn mower. 

Garden or Lawn Tractor

The garden or lawn tractor models are traditional riding lawn mowers. They have a tractor design with a steering and front-mounted engine.

Rear Engine Riding Mower

These lawnmowers also have a steering wheel for directing the front wheels, but the engine is at the rear, below the seat. They let you have a better view of the ground ahead for easy spotting of rocks and other potential projectiles before mowing over them. Typically the best small riding mowers if you are looking for something smaller than a 42″ cutting deck.

Zero-Turn Mower

Zero-turn mowers have front caster wheels for support only. You control the unit using two lap bars, which drive or stop the rear wheels independently.

Such control enables you to make a zero turn and maneuver easily around obstacles or tight turns. Since the front section does not have a lot going on, you can easily see the ground ahead and plot your move.

Choosing the Best Riding Mower for 2 Acres

Finding the best riding lawn mower requires some in-depth consideration. Below are several things to keep in mind and evaluate before picking the best unit for your yard.

Size of Lawn (Acres)

For two-to-four-acre lawns, a mower with a 42 to 54-inch deck width is ideal for the task. You can use a mower with a similar deck size to manicure four to six acres, but it will take more time to complete the job. A 54-inch to a 62-inch-wide deck is better. I recommend a 60-inch deck for any yard larger than six acres.

You can get mowers with smaller decks from 30-inch upwards, but these are best for mowing 1 acre or lawn or less. So stick with the 42-deck or wider for efficiency.

Landscape Layout and Obstacles

Zero-turn mowers can make sharp turns, so they are good at circling obstacles. I recommend them for trimming lawns with many trees, furniture, lights, etc. However, you can still use a tractor or rear-engine mower with a narrower deck like 38 inches.

Hilly Terrain or Slopes

Since zero-turn mowers have front caster wheels, they are almost uncontrollable when mowing uphill or downhill. You can’t control where the vehicle will go. There are some zero-turns designed for slopes up to 15 degrees so if you are not sure then why not check out Best Riding Mowers for Hills which has a selection of suitable zero-turn mowers and standard riding mowers for most hilly or sloppy terrain.

If your yard is hilly, I recommend picking a tractor or rear engine riding mower because they have steering wheels for turning the front wheels, so you have more control when directing the vehicle.

Undercover Storage

Keeping your phone, keys, and other items in your pockets is not a good idea when mowing. The vibrations can make them fall off, and tracing some of these items can be difficult afterward.

Under-seat storage will help keep all your stuff safely within close reach. Some units even have cup holders to help keep things more organized, and I highly recommend these features.

Reviews: Best Riding Lawn Mower for 2 Acres

Now that we’ve gone over each crucial consideration, it’s time to look at the top models on the market. Keep the above points in mind as you browse our list of seven mowers below.

TS348XD Main.
  • Type: Lawn Tractor
  • Engine: Kawasaki FR Series
  • Power: 24hp
  • Cutting Path: 48-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 5.2mph
  • Price Range: $3,999

Pros

  • Features the outstanding Kawasaki FR Series 726cc engine
  • Lawn Tractor style mower offers a huge amount of versatility over and above just mowing your lawn beautifully
  • Ultra-comfy 18″ high back seat with lots of seating positions, suited to people from 5’4″ to 6’3″ tall

Cons

  • Nothing at this price

The Husqvarna TS 348XD is a powerful lawn tractor featuring side discharge. This mower is built for medium to large lawns so handling our requirement for 2 acres is a simple task for this machine. In fact, it is suited for up to 4, possibly even 5 acres. Due to the tractor-style chassis, you’re purchasing much more than just a ride-on mower with this type of machine. It can be used to haul brush, move your wood chipper, pull small trailers or fertilizer spreaders, mow lawns and uneven trail paths, and for those of us who need it…it can haul your firewood. It’s a great all-around utility machine, delivering exceptional value for money.

The chassis and cockpit have a high-quality feel all built around the exceptional Kawasaki FR Series. This truly is a fantastic engine that delivers 24hp and will last forever.

The seating position range is good. I’m 6’3″ and I am comfortable when the seat is pushed back, my wife is 5’4″ and she can still reach the peddles when the seat is pushed forwards. It has an 18-inch high back chair that features cushioned armrests, with a few other minor luxuries available from the driver’s position such as cruise control, auto-choke and other bits and pieces that you would expect for this caliber of lawnmower.

Overall, it scores big on style points, it’s really comfortable and it can do just about everything including mowing your lawn with a beautiful clean finish. Seven cutting positions ranging from 1.5″-4″ across the 48-inch fabricated cutting deck give you plenty of versatility. Engage the cutting blades through a switch on the dashboard control panel and get to work.

If you’re unsure what riding mower to go for, then you should definitely consider the Husqvarna TS 348XD for under $4,000 you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Cub Cadet X1 Enduro 42 Inch Riding Lawn Tractor
  • Type: Lawn Tractor
  • Engine: Kohler 541cc
  • Power: 19.5hp
  • Cutting Path: 42-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 5.5mph
  • Price Range: $2,200

Pros

  • Affordable but does not compromise on build quality
  • IntelliPower technology
  • Smooth hydrostatic transmission
  • Cruise control capability
  • Comfortable seat

Cons

  • Lacks zero turning capability

While the Ryobi mower above is super expensive, this X1 is relatively affordable, and I recommend it for those on a tight budget.

Despite its price, the mower is quite intelligent. It features IntelliPower technology that continuously monitors the outdoor conditions on the engine and engine speed to optimize power output.

The system then automatically adjusts the throttle position to provide up to 20% more power instantaneously. As a result, challenging conditions like wet, heavy grass will not bog down the engine.

A 547-cc gas engine provides the power, while a hydrostatic transmission smoothens operations because there is no shifting. Simply push the gas pedal and go. Once you find your ideal mowing speed, there is a cruise control button that you can press to maintain the pace.

The mower resembles a tractor due to its front-mounted engine and steering wheel, so if you prefer this design, check it out.

Regardless of your body size, the mower will be comfortable to use because the seat inclines 10 inches and has a large base plus an adjustable open high back.

The only downside is that the tractor lacks a zero-turn capability. Check the Cub Cadet X1 latest price at Home Depot.

Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower
  • Type: Zero Turn
  • Engine: Kawasaki 726cc
  • Power: 23 hp
  • Cutting Path: 50-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4.5-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 7mph
  • Price Range: $4,500

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • Creature comforts on the command center
  • Washout ports for easy cleaning
  • Toolless filter and oil changes

Cons

  • Not ideal for hilly terrain

The Toro Time Cutter comes off as an easy to control riding lawn mower due to its Smart Speed Technology. You can pick your pace without sacrificing blade tip speed using either mow mode (up to 7 MPH), tow mode (up to 5.5 MPH), or trim mode (up to 4 MPH).

Its command center offers creature comforts, such as cup holders, an under-seat storage cubby, and a step-through front end to enable you to walk in and out of the mower comfortably.

Toro also made it easy to clean the vehicle by giving it washout ports where you can attach a garden hose directly to blast away caked-on mud, debris, and grass build-up using pressurized water.

Maintenance is also easy because the mower features toolless filter and oil change mechanisms, so you can have the unit back up and running in no time.

A 23 HP Kawasaki engine spins the two blades under the 50-inch deck, while a zero-turn feature enables you to cut the mowing time by 50%. However, the tool is not CARB compliant, and you can only use it on flat terrain. Check Toro Timecutter’s latest price at AMCE Tools

Ryobi 42 Inch Electric Zero Turn Mower
  • Type: Zero Turn
  • Engine: Electric Motor
  • Power: 75 Ah Battery
  • Cutting Path: 42-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 7mph
  • Price Range: $4,200

Pros

  • Powerful and efficient electric mower
  • Advanced control panel
  • Convenient rear access charging port
  • 40V trimmer and blower inclusive.

Cons

  • Expensive

If you prefer the quietness and cleanliness of an electric vehicle, you should consider getting this Ryobi mower. It combines the power of 75 Ah batteries, four efficient high-powered brushless motors, and a 42-inch deck with two steel blades to enable you to cut up to 2.5 acres on a single charge.

The tool has an advanced control panel that displays the battery level and shows you the remaining runtime so that you can plan the work ahead of you. If you run out of power, a rear-access charging port ensures convenient charging.

You can also activate the slow speed function, blades, or the LED headlights if cutting during low light visibility from the control panel, so you have all the commands at your fingertips.

Included with the mower is a 40V string trimmer and blower, plus their batteries and chargers. Therefore, if you encounter hilly terrain or tough-to-reach areas, deploy the trimmer, then clean up the mess using the blower.

I find this very useful, especially considering the mower is only ideal for flat terrain with obstacles. However, the extra tools jack up the price, so you will have to dig deep into your pockets to buy this product.

Check the latest price of the Ryobi Electric Zero Turn mower

Ryobi 48V 38 Inch Electric Riding Lawn Mower
  • Type: Riding Mower
  • Engine: 48V Motor
  • Power: 75 Ah Battery
  • Cutting Path: 38-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4.5-Inch
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Top Speed: 8mph
  • Price Range: $3,000

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Fully electric, no emissions
  • USB phone charger
  • Cruise control

Cons

  • No zero turning capability

The Ryobi 48V lawnmower is also fully electric, but what stands out most about it is its compact size. With a 38-inch cutting width, the vehicle cuts a small section on each pass, but it is easily maneuverable and comes in handy when mowing yards with multiple obstacles.

It runs on a 75 Ah battery, powering three efficient brushless motors for up to two hours, which is enough time to trim a lawn covering two acres. A rear-access charging port makes it convenient to charge the unit when you run out of power.

Convenience does not stop there. The mower features a USB phone charger and cruise control to cut at your preferred speed.

Two precision-cut steel blades do the trimming work, and you can adjust their cutting height using a 12-position deck from 1.5 – 4.5 inches.

It is not possible to make a zero-turn when using this unit, though. The best you can get is a 16-inch turning radius, which might slow you down a bit.

Check out the Ryobi 48V Riding Mower latest price at Home Depot

Troy Bilt Pony 42 Inch Lawn Tractor
  • Type: Lawn Tractor
  • Engine: Briggs & Stratton 500cc
  • Power: 15.5hp
  • Cutting Path: 42-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 3.75-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 5.5mph
  • Price Range: $1,850

Pros

  • Shift-on-the-go transmission gives more control
  • CARB-compliant engine
  • Rugged step-through frame
  • Built-in cup holder
  • Soft-touch steering wheel

Cons

  • Low back seat

Some people prefer to have more speed control when towing, and the Troy Bilt Pony gives you just that. It features a 7-speed shift-on-the-go gear-drive transmission that places speed and directional change control on your hands, enabling you to switch between seven front speeds, reverse or neutral.

Power comes from a front-mounted 500 cc single-cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine, which is CARB compliant, so you can buy the unit if living in California.

Although the mower has a tractor design, it features a rugged step-through frame that makes it easy to hop on and off. You also get a cup holder so you can drink and drive. Well, not alcohol.

Lawns are usually not smooth, and the vibrations when riding can increase operator fatigue. However, this unit has a soft-touch steering wheel that reduces these vibrations.

Troy Bilt might have compromised a little bit on comfort by giving this mower a low-back seat, which does not offer the best support.

Check Troy-Bilt Pony Lawn Tractor price here.

John Deere S140 48 Inch Lawn Tractor
  • Type: Lawn Tractor
  • Engine: 724cc
  • Power: 22hp
  • Cutting Path: 48-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 5.5mph
  • Price Range: $2,600

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Electric blade engagement pull knob
  • Easy to use hydrostatic transmission
  • Convenient MowerPlus monitoring app

Cons

  • Does not have zero turning

John Deere is well known for making durable and reliable tractors and machinery, and the S140 is in line with this philosophy. It features a solid robotically-welded one-piece steel frame with sturdy steel rails for maximum toughness.

The tractor also features a sturdy shock-resistant cast-iron front axle that can withstand heavy loads & impacts and a durable bumper for front-end protection.

There is a 13-position mower deck lift lever to raise or lower the blades from 1 – 4 inches and an electric blade engagement pull knob on the command center.

John Deere developed the MowerPlus App, which you can download for Android or iOS smartphones to monitor your current mowing session, the area covered, average mowing speed, and several stats like the battery health and fuel level.

An 18-inch turning radius can slow your mowing speed, though, when compared to zero turning. Check the John Deere S140 latest price at Home Depot.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower
  • Type: Zero Turn
  • Engine: Kawasaki 726cc
  • Power: 23hp
  • Cutting Path: 50-Inch
  • Max Cut Height: 4.5-Inch
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • Top Speed: 7.5mph
  • Price Range: $3,500

Pros

  • Wide 50-inch cutting width
  • Reinforced leading edges for even cutting
  • Premium, commercial-grade 23 HP Kawasaki engine
  • Fully adjustable ergonomic seat
  • Durable steel frame

Cons

  • Not CARB compliant

When you have a large lawn to trim, the bigger the deck, the better. The Ultima ZT1 features a broad 50-inch, 11-gauge triple-blade fabricated Aeroforce deck that can cut up to four acres and is ideal for slight rolling hills with several obstacles. The deck has reinforced leading edges that result in even lawn cutting, reduced stragglers, and fewer clumps.

A premium 726 cc twin-cylinder Kawasaki engine powers the mower, churning out 23 HP to deliver commercial-grade performance to tackle even the toughest of yards. The engine also powers the wheels via a dual hydrostatic rear-wheel transmission, resulting in 7.5 MPH forward speed and 3.5 MPH in reverse.

You can dial in your cut height via a control knob and a foot-operated deck lift, which enable you to make 15 quarter inch adjustments from 1–4.5 inches to suit your preferred lawn height.

At the heart of the command center is an ergonomic, high-back, 18-inch seat. It minimizes vibrations using an advanced polymer suspension system to maximize comfort.

You also get adjustable lap bars for easy control, industry-exclusive over-molded rubber handles for firm grip, and rubber floor mats to dampen vibrations. All these give you a comfortable working space that ensures you experience minimal fatigue.

A sturdy 2 x 2-inch tubular steel frame holds all these components in place, and it has a triple guard corrosion defense system for maximum durability.

The only problem is that the mower is not CARB compliant, so you cannot buy it if you live in California. Check Cub Cadet’s ZT1 latest price here.

Riding Mower Features and Design

Riding lawn mowers are complex machines with various features. Familiarize yourself with the following terms and design elements to ensure you purchase the ideal mower for your lawn.

Engine Power: Gas or Battery

Riding lawn mowers either have a gas engine or batteries and motors to run the wheels and blades. With a gas engine, you have the potential to cut a large lawn continuously, and refueling takes a few minutes. However, they produce CO2 emissions and are noisy.

On the other hand, battery-powered mowers are super quiet and don’t produce any emissions. However, if the battery runs out, you have to leave it charging for several hours.

Run Time: Fuel or Battery Cell Capacity

Following up on the engine power above, the size of the gas tank determines how long you can run the mower before refueling. The larger the tank capacity (measured in gallons), the better. However, with electric mowers, you need to check the ampere-hours (Ah).

Amp Hours (Ah)

An ampere-hour is a unit of electric charge that manufacturers use to show the battery capacity. The higher the rating, the more power the battery can hold, which means a longer run time.

Transmission Type

Riding lawn mowers can have one of the following types of transmission: Hydrostatic, gear-driven, or automatic.

Hydrostatic

A hydrostatic transmission system functions like an automatic but transmits energy using hydraulic fluid, not belts. It is smooth, durable, requires little maintenance, and is easy to use. You only have to switch between forward and reverse.

Gear-Driven

A gear-driven transmission uses a set of toothed wheels to transmit power. Different gear ratios (wheel sizes) make it possible to shift between low & high RPMs and reverse movement. As a result, you get more control over speed and direction changes. In simple terms, it is a manual gearbox.

Automatic

As explained above, automatic transmissions differ from the hydrostatic type by using belts instead of hydraulic fluid to transmit power.

Steering and Controls

While most riding lawn mowers have similar controls for cutting height adjustment, steering is different. It can either be a wheel or two lap bars.

With a steering wheel, you control the front wheels and direct the mower where you want to go.

However, with lap bars, you control the speed of the rear wheels independently. Pushing the bars forward moves the mower forward and pulling them reverses the movement.

If you want to turn, you push one bar forward to rotate one of the rear wheels while the other remains stationary. Such movement gives mowers with lap bars an advantage called zero-turn, which saves time when mowing.

However, this makes the front wheels uncontrollable since they are like supermarket trolley wheels. It is almost impossible to navigate such a unit up or down a hill.

Turning Radius

Lap bars give a zero-turn, but steering wheels turn around circularly, resulting in a turning radius. Measured in inches, the wider the turning radius, the slower it will be to turn and continue mowing. I recommend a 16 to 18-inch turning radius maximum to keep the turns a bit sharp.

Deck Size & Cutting Height

The deck determines the mower’s cutting width. It contains a set of blades underneath (usually two or three) that span the entire width of the platform and cut that patch of grass on each pass.

A broad deck covers more ground on each pass but is not easily maneuverable. Also, it might be challenging to store, especially if you have small garage space.

As for the cutting height, most riding lawn mowers have a lever to adjust the blade elevation, which determines how high or low you level the grass. The wider the range and the more adjustment points, the better.

Braking and Tires

Like automobiles, a riding lawn mower has brakes to slow down movement when you want to turn or stop. The steering wheel type has pedals, but the lap bar type uses the same bars to halt.

As for tires, large ones make it easier to navigate through uneven terrain without getting stuck. Also, check for deep treads because you will be doing some off-roading.

Seating and Comfort

Mowing two acres or more is not a one-minute job. You might spend two or more hours on the mower, so it should have a comfortable command center. Check for an ergonomic and adjustable seat with a high back.

Rollover Protection (ROPS)

Rollover protection usually comes in the form of two posts that extend above the head. If you topple to the side on a slope, these posts will keep you from rolling, which can put a heavy load on your body.

Warranty and Maintenance

Like a vehicle, a riding lawn mower has many moving parts that require maintenance. I recommend those that are easy to manage, such as the electric type. They don’t need oil or filter changes.

If you have to go with a gas engine type, those with toolless oil and filter changes will give you an easier time.

When cleaning, washout ports make it easy to get rid of dirt and grass caked under the deck.

With a warranty, the terms can get a bit technical. Different parts, like the frame, deck, and front axle, might have separate coverage periods and conditions, so make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

Safety: Riding a Lawn Mower for 2 Acres

For safe use and maintenance of your riding lawn mower, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Read the instruction/user manual before use
  • Wear goggles, gloves, long pants, and hearing protection before use
  • Keep the blades sharp
  • Avoid mowing over potential yard missiles (toys, stones, debris, etc.)
  • Avoid mowing when wet
  • Don’t insert hands or feet under the mower
  • Avoid pulling a mower backward or reversing as much as possible
  • Remove the spark plug or disconnect the power cord before changing the blades
  • Don’t mow sideways on a slope; go up and down the hill instead

Verdict: Best Riding Lawn Mower for 2 Acres

There you have it. I have curated this list based on my experience, and I recommend the  Husqvarna Lawn Tractor as the best overall riding lawn mower for two acres due to its optimal-sized 48-inch deck. An incredible engine, and a real workhorse of a machine.

TS348XD Main.

Best Ride-On Mower

Husqvarna 48″ Deck Riding Mower

Exceptional Kawasaki FR Series engine. This mower is built to last and is versatile. Cuts a perfect lawn and a whole lot more.

However, if you need zero-turn capabilities and have a slightly largest expanse of lawn to contend with the Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower is an outstanding residential ride-on mower that is built to last and has great performance.

Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower

Best Zero Turn Mower

Toro TimeCutter 50 Inch Zero Turn Mower

Excellent Zero Turn mower built around the fantastic Kawasaki 726cc engine with 23hp and 7mph.