best riding lawn mower for rough terrain
Lawn Care

Find Out How to Choose the Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain

Everyone enjoys the sensation of sitting and reading a book or playing sports on a wonderful freshly cut lawn!  People tend to think that mowing a lawn nowadays is a real piece of cake thanks to the technology that enabled us to have all kinds of lawn mowers!  But is it always so simple? We would say that it probably would be if the terrain was always as flat as a soccer field. However, this often isn’t the case. 

Most of the terrains have some bumps and humps and even if in general, this doesn’t bother you, when you have to mow the lawn it can become a problem.  Of course, it is not impossible to mow rough terrain with a simple machine but it can take a lot of time and energy. However, there is a way you can finish the job and enjoy your beautiful and healthy lawn practically without any effort. The only thing you need is a rough terrain lawn mower.

Top 5 Best Riding Mowers for Rough Terrain: Comparison Chart

Cutting DeckPower SourceEngineMax Forward SpeedWeight
Craftsman Z52546 inchesGasoline23 HP Briggs & Stratton7 MPH625 pounds
Husqvarna YTH1854242 inchesGasoline18.5 HP Briggs and Stratton5.5 MPH490 pounds
Husqvarna Z248F48 inchesGasoline21.5 Kawasaki6.5 MPH770 pounds
Ariens 915223 IKON-X52 inchesGasoline23 HP Kawasaki7 MPH635 pounds
Husqvarna Z25454 inchesGasoline26 HP Kohler6.5 MPH640 pounds

How to Choose Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain

Reasonably if this is the first time you are looking for the best mower for uneven ground you are probably completely clueless on how to find the model that can correspond to your needs.  In general, all riding mowers are powerful machines that can easily cover large and rough terrains without requiring any effort from you.  They are an excellent option if you want to avoid pushing gas or electric mowers and save time and energy. However, they are not all made equally, and not every one of them will be the best riding lawn mower for uneven terrain. We imagine that seeing all the models out there can be puzzling. To come to your rescue and help you decide do you need a tractor or best zero turn lawn mower for rough terrain we created these riding lawn mower for rough terrain reviews. We hope you will find all the answers you need and make the right choice. 

Cutting Deck Size

The cutting deck is the most important part of the mower as it is cutting the grass. The size of the cutting deck will determine how much grass you will be able to cut at one go. The bigger the cutting deck the faster you will finish the job.  Of course, you will choose the size of the cutting deck based on the size of your lawn. 


When you are looking for best ride on mower for uneven ground you need to pay attention to the engine power. For rougher terrains, you need more powerful machines as the purpose is to do the job with the least effort possible.  Whether you are buying a tractor riding lawn mower or best zero turn for hills you should know that the power is expressed in horsepower the same as in cars.  The majority of them have between 13 and 30 horsepower. If the terrain you are working on is smaller you don’t need the most powerful models.  


There are three types of transmission. You can choose from a manual, automatic, and hydrostatic option. 

  • Manual: Manual transmission is similar to the transmission stick you have in the car.  You are adjusting the speed by yourself as you are moving through the terrain.  This type of mowers comes with more power and it is easier to control the speed. Nevertheless, you should buy this model of riding lawn mower for rough terrain only if you are familiar with the system. Otherwise, it can be difficult to operate. 
  • Automatic: Many people prefer this option. Same as cars, these mowers shift the gears by themselves as you go. The automatic transmission uses a belt and pulley system. It is much easier for a lot of people because they can focus on mowing instead of worrying where your hand is and when to change the gear. 
  • Hydrostatic: Mowers with hydrostatic transmission are the most powerful but also most robust.  This system uses water to transfer power from the engine to wheels.  This model is also the most expensive. 

Seat Comfort

riding lawn mower for rough terrain seat comfort

Same as when you are choosing a bicycle or motorcycle you need to pay attention to seats when you are buying best mower for uneven ground. Keep in mind that you will be sitting on this machine sometimes for a longer time especially if you are working on a large terrain.  For this reason, you have to make sure that the seat is comfortable enough. Different models of riding lawn mower for rough terrain offer various seat options. Some come with high back or armrests and padding. 


The suspension is an important factor when you are purchasing lawn mower for uneven terrain. A machine with good suspension will enable you to feel more comfortable while working regardless of how many bumps on the road you might encounter. There are plenty of models out there with pretty good shock absorption. 

Safety Features

Lawn mowers are powerful machines and it is important to know how to operate them before you start using them. However, regardless of how skilled you are accidents can always happen. According to Nationwide Children’s, more than 8,490 children under  18 are admitted to hospitals each year due to mowing related injuries. Some of them are mild but there are also devastating injuries such as amputations. Most manufacturers think about safety and include various safety features such as locking differential. The best way to get informed about this is to check the manual with instructions. 

Other Features to Look For

  • Deck levers: Deck levers come in groupings from one to four. One is practical but has a linkage that increases the weight of the mower. If the machine has to levers the linkage is better and you can have a cleaner cut. Keep in mind that you need to oil the levers regularly. 
  • Ground speed control: It is necessary to understand whether you like ground speed control or not. The best way to do so is to try the machine while it is still in the shop. The control might be included in the transmission handle. The harder you press the faster mower goes. There also might be a separate lever for ground speed control. 

Notable Brands


This is one of the most known manufacturers of all types of lawnmowers.  They produce trimmer, tractors, zero turn mowers, etc. Husqvarna has a decades-long reputation and uses the best and newest technology to provide its customers with the best gardening tools. 


This is another company that takes pride in using the latest technology to create the best riding mowers, push mowers, snowblowers, etc. It was founded in 1937 and since then its engineers work tirelessly to innovate and make the most reliable tools. Each of the machines is carefully tested before it is sent to the market.


Snapper is founded in 1951 and since then tends to be the leader in manufacturing gardening equipment.  It offers a wide selection of outdoor tools that are easy to use – walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, zero turn mowers, and so on. Besides being easy to work with, these machines are well designed and versatile. 


What Attachments Can Be Fitted on Riding Lawn Mower?

lawn mower for rough terrain attachments

It is worth mentioning that not all riding all mowers come with attachments. If you are interested in it you should check what if any attachments the one you picked has.  Common attachments are aerator, bagger, spreader, and utility cart. These attachments are especially important if you are working on a large piece of land. 

How Often to Sharpen Riding Lawn Mower Blades?

If you want that your riding lawn mower for rough terrain performs at its best all the time you have to make sure that the blades are always sharp. A lot of people are unsure about when to sharpen them. Of course, it depends on how often you use the mower. However, on average we recommend that you do it after every 20 to 25 hours of use. 

How Do I Maintain Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain?

  • Regularly check oil
  • Check the condition of air filters
  • Check for debris
  • See if there are loose nuts, bolts or screws and tighten them
  • Make sure that tire pressure is okay
  • Change spark plugs regularly
  • Make sure that the mower is clean


As you can see there are plenty of things you need to consider when you are looking for a best riding lawn mower for rough terrain 2023. When you get well informed and understand all different features and how they affect the performance of the machine choosing the one that will accommodate your need will be a breeze. If you find these topics interesting we are happy to invite you to revisit us and find out what is the best zero turn mower for rough terrain. 

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