Lawn Mower

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Small Yards (in 2021)

(Disclosure: I research online to find the best products, and As an Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Share To Remember!

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Small YardsDon’t you agree that there are certain tools – such as a lawn mower – that every homeowner should have? When I was growing up, no one wanted to trim lawns. It was tiresome and manually demanding.

These days, with the advent of riding lawn mowers, every homeowner wants to spend lazy Saturday afternoons mowing.

The best riding lawn mower for small yards isn’t just for convenience; the homeowner has fun while maintaining a neat lawn too. If you’re stuck on which model you should go for, I have used the bestselling lawn mowers and I’ll share a thing or two.

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Small Yards in 2021

1. Poulan Pro P46ZX Riding Mower

Poulan Pro P46ZX Riding MowerWith the right balance between speed and efficiency, the Poulan Pro P46ZX is the ultimate riding lawn mower for taking turns in tight spaces. The typical yards are small and truth be told, there isn’t enough space for smooth turns.

It was designed for cornering in tight spaces. There are two hydraulic transmission levers for each wheel allowing you to make tight turns by “drifting”. The 22 Horse Power engine has enough power to mow well while carrying a 200-pound rider.

A sturdy, welded frame and a 46-inch-wide cutting deck complemented by an easy to use panel give the rider a pleasant experience. The cutting height is adjustable from 1 and a half inches to 4 inches with 6 increments.

It can manoeuvre forward at a speed of from 1 to 6 miles per hour. With a 46-inch-wide deck, mowing through five acres is a breeze. You won’t need to re-mow with a push mower as the Poulan Pro P46ZX is quite decent at its job

Unlike the typical zero turn lawn mowers, it has no learning curve. You will be mowing like an expert on your first day riding it.

PRO TIP: Please note that zero turn mowers are unsuitable for mowing lawns in steep areas.

Features & Pros:

  • Easy to operate
  • Gives clean cuts even at high speed
  • Large 3.5 Gallon gas tank
  • Powerful 22 Horsepower engine
  • Isolated transmission to each wheel
  • No need to re-mow


  • Cannot mow yards on steep slopes

2. Cub Cadet XT1 Riding Mower

Cub Cadet XT1 Riding MowerI believe that the best riding lawn mower for small yards should be fuel efficient and this is where the Cub Cadet XT1 outshines the Poulan Pro P46ZX. This entry level lawn tractor utilizes a hydraulic transmission system for maximum torque.

Backed by an impressive 18 horse power engine from Kohler, it is clutch-less making operating it easy for beginners. The 42-inch deck has two blades beneath it for even cleaner cuts.

In winter when the grass is covered in snow, you could attach a snow plow and use it to shovel the driveway instead. Don’t you see that this is the most versatile riding lawn mower?

With just a single pedal, it offers seamless controls. If mowing I reverse is your thing, it will take some time before you get accustomed to mowing with it.

The optional snow plow and mulching accessories are a bit pricey and you may be better off without them. The seat was at times slippery but this wasn’t a deal breaker for me

Features & Pros:

  • Optional snow plow and mulching accessories
  • Easy to operate
  • Gives clean cuts even on wet ground
  • Sturdy frame
  • Standard-sized front wheel


  • Learning curve to mowing in reverse

Riding Lawn Mower for Small Yards Buying Guide

The size of your lawn

Large loans call for powerful mowers lest you spend the whole day there. Riding lawn mowers are better utilized when mowing a lawn that’s at least an acre in size. I mean, would you bring a gun to a sword fight? Of course not.

Push lawn mowers are more economical on most lawns. As you would expect, the size of the deck will be in line with how much time you spend mowing (and how economical the lawn mower will be). Naturally, you will go more trips when using a mower with a smaller deck.

The different technologies being in use by riding lawn mowers

It’s no surprise that the traditional riding lawn mower is referred to as a lawn tractor. It’s seemingly similar to a miniature tractor. These types of mowers are designed with powerful engines and wide decks for mowing wide areas at ago.

They’re best suited for mowing large tracts of land. Just like the Cub Cadet XT1, mowers in this category facilitate various attachments making them versatile workhorses

Zero turn riding lawn mowers, on the other hand, have their engines on top of the rear wheel. They are the best riding lawn mower for small yards with many obstacles as they have greater agility.

Even while taking tighter (low radius) turns, they’re still faster than tractor lawn mowers.
Then, we have riding lawn mowers for small lawns. They are smaller, fuel-efficient versions of zero turn mowers. They are better suited for mowing in residential areas as they are quieter.
Frequently asked questions

What type of transitions do riding lawn mowers have?

Just like motor vehicles, riding lawn mowers come in manual and automatic transmission too. In a manual transmission riding lawn mower, the driver shifts up (or down) based on the RPM. Older tractor style lawn mowers used to come with a clutch but these days they operate without one.

I recommend automatic lawn mowers as they’re easy to drive. The onboard computer will automatically shift up and down as you step on the pedal. All the new lawn mowers are using hydraulic transmission instead of transmission belts that needed to be replaced every now and then.

Which brand manufactures best riding lawn mower for small yards?

This boils down to personal opinion. Most homeowners believe that Tractor brands such as John Deere and Case make the best riding lawn mowers. Perhaps this is because riding lawn mowers resemble tractors.

Newer brands such as Troy Bilt and Husqvarna are giving classic brands a run for their money too. I would personally go for the Cub Cadet XT1 as it’s quite stable even when cornering at medium speed.

Related Reviews: 

Best Homeowner Lawn Mower – Review and Guide 2019

About the author


Shamim Hasan

I am the founder of Globo Gears, 27 years old, and a passionate content creator. After completing my master's degree, I am now a full-time blogger. Traveling and exploring natural beauties are my hobbies.

Leave a Comment