The Best Riding Mower Under $1,500 — Cutting Costs to Cut Your Grass

When you’re tending to your lawn, the easiest option is often the most expensive. A riding lawn mower can make mowing faster and easier, but at a higher than other options. Choosing the best riding mower under $1,500 is a good way to make sure you won’t break the bank. But there are other things to consider than price when picking out your lawn mower.

Some lawns aren’t suited to riding mowers, particularly if they’re too small. Other larger lawns may require a more significant investment regarding your lawn mower. A mower at that price point may not be able to handle larger lawns effectively. But, if you want a riding mower experience on a budget, we’ve picked the best riding mower under $1,500 for you.

Finding the Best Riding Mower Under $1,500

Taking care of your lawn is an integral part of taking care of your house, but it can be expensive to get started. Finding the right mower to keep your yard neat can be a difficult task, especially if you have a more massive lawn. If you do have a larger yard, you may be interested in finding a lawn mower that fits your budget. The best riding mower under $1,500 can be hard to find. But, when you pick a lawn mower that both fits your lawn and your budget, you’ll be sure to have a rewarding lawn care experience.

Of course, lawn mowers are relatively expensive. To keep the price down and still get a riding lawn mower, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to afford a zero-radius turning (ZRT) mower. Your better bets are lawn tractors and rear engine mowers. Lawn tractors are most likely what you think of when you picture a lawn mower. The engine sits in front, pulling your tractor and giving you more power. These tend to have more power and larger cutting decks. Lawn tractors are also larger than rear engine mowers. Rear engine mowers only have a steering column in the front, giving you better visibility of the lawn. They tend to be less expensive than lawn tractors, but also a bit less powerful.

Why pick a riding mower?

Riding mowers are naturally going to cost a bit more than other types of lawn mowers. Push mowers can save you money at the expense of time and energy. If you have a bigger lawn or would have trouble using a push mower, a riding mower is better for you. Riding mowers are faster, more powerful, and easier for you to use. They often cut as much as 48 inches in one pass, because their powerful engines can pull wider cutting decks. They also take up more space in storage than other mowers. If you have limited space, consider a smaller rear engine mower.

Consider why you need a riding lawn mower as well. For smaller lawns, a riding mower may not be practical at all. If all you’re looking for is a low-priced lawn mower, the best riding mower under $1,500 may not be the best choice overall. If you have a small lawn, a push mower can save you more money. Additionally, it will save you trouble, as a yard under 1/2 acre may be too small to comfortably use a riding mower. If your lawn is big enough, or you need the ease of use a riding mower offers, then a riding mower is best for you.

What to look for in a riding lawn mower

Now that you’ve decided that a riding mower is best for you, consider what you want from your mower. The best riding mower under $1,500 will make the fewest compromises for the price. With any lawn mower, you want to get the widest cutting deck you can for the price. Of course, those under $1,500 are no different. However, for a lower price like this, you will often find a smaller cutting deck. Some decks on mowers under $1,500 are as small as 30 inches. Even so, some mowers are still as large as 42 inches, or even more.

It’s also important to consider the size of your lawn mower. If you have a yard that is less than half an acre but must have a riding mower, a smaller mower will ultimately be better. It will be more maneuverable in the tighter spaces of your lawn. If you have a larger lawn and are trying to compromise on cost, bigger is better. A large lawn tractor will cover the most ground on each pass, and save you time. Under $1,500, mowers are generally lower horsepower. But focusing on this means your mower will cover more ground faster. That can make up for a smaller cutting deck.

How We Picked the Best Riding Mower Under $1,500

The best riding mower under $1,500 isn’t easy to find. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. The riding mowers here are some of the best available for the price. They offer good cutting capability and reliability without breaking the bank. We chose our top riding mowers under $1,500 based on what other users thought. The mowers that were best rated by customers, and were selected by trusted sites like Mowers Direct and Popular Mechanics, were all considered for our list.

We list products that have scored 4.0 out of 5 stars or higher on the customer approval scoreboard. You can be sure that the best riding mower under $1,500 is here for you.

How Much Will These Actually Cost?

While we’ve set a limit of $1,500 on our riding mowers, there’s still a pretty good range of prices included in our list. It’s not easy to find a decent riding mower under $1,000, so all of the mowers on our list cost at least around $1,200. Of course, the most any of these lawn mowers cost is about $1,500, or more often $1,499 as listed. Many of these mowers are available at their proprietary websites

Our Favorite Riding Mowers Under $1,500

Here we’ve included our selections for the best riding mower under $1,500. While some of the mowers included here may not be available for under $1,500 everywhere, you will be able to find them in that price range here. We have not ranked our best mowers in any numerical order, but they are listed alphabetically.

Cub Cadet CC30H Rider

Cub Cadet’s CC30H Rider is a rear engine mower at the top of the price range. Costing just under $1,500, this mower may push the limits of your budget. However, it will also give you a superior mowing experience. The Cub Cadet CC30H mower comes with a hydrostatic foot-controlled transmission. This lets you easily change gears on your mower with just the tap of your toe. And if you find yourself cutting into the evening, this lawn mower also includes bright LED headlights. You’ll never have to worry about visibility with this mower. The mower deck is a modest 30 inches, which is about average for mowers under $1,500. It’s also pretty standard for rear engine lawn mowers.

Consumers liked the CC30H overall. On the Cub Cadet website, this mower earned 3.9 out of 5 stars from 27 customers. It also received 4.4 stars out of 5 from reviewers on Mowers Direct. Some customers claimed that the mower’s blade was not sharp enough to cut their grass. Others were happy with its size and tight turning radius, and recommended it for flatter yards. The CC30H Rider is available for $1,449 to $1,499.

Cub Cadet XT1 LT42

Like the CC30H, the Cub Cadet XT1 LT42 brushes the top of the price range for our under $1,500 mowers. At most outlets, this mower actually exceeds our budget. This powerful lawn tractor has 18 horsepower and a tight 16-inch turning radius. The mower also offers 12 cutting heights and a lever engaged PTO. That lets you quickly set your blade height and engage it while running the mower. The XT1 LT42 is a powerful lawn tractor with a 42-inch cutting deck. It gives up some of the smaller size of the rear engine mowers in exchange for a more powerful engine. However, if you have room for the wider cutting area, this mower will make short work of any lawn.

On Home Depot, this mower had positive reviews from 1,610 customers. They rated it 4.4 stars out of 5. One customer said that the mower took a little time to get used to, but is a very smooth and powerful mower overall. The Cub Cadet XT1 LT42 costs $1,499.00 to $1,699.00, and is available for under $1,500 at Home Depot.

Poulan Pro PP19A42

The Poulan Pro PP19A42 is comparable to the Troy-Bilt Bronco in terms of construction, size, and power. As a lawn tractor, the PP19A42 offers higher horsepower and a wider deck than rear engine mower models. This mower also includes a pedal-operated transmission which lets you change speed and direction without stopping. That feature can be especially helpful with its mow-in-reverse function. It also comes with a tight 16-inch turning radius for those tight corners.

Over 1,000 customers reviewed the PP19A42 on Home Depot’s website. They rated it 4.1 stars out of 5. One of the top reviewers said it was unbeatable for the price. The Poulan Pro PP19A42 costs $1,405 to $1,499.

Troy-Bilt TB30 Neighborhood Rider

Troy-Bilt’s TB30 Neighborhood Rider is a mower built and priced for smaller lawns. With a 30-inch cutting deck, this lawn mower will fit in just about any lawn you might need it to. Of course, with the reduced power of a rear engine, it won’t be able to handle larger lawns very efficiently. It is made to balance the benefits of a riding mower with the size of a push mower. That means, if you are unable to use a push mower, the TB30 is still small enough to take care of your lawn.

Customers reviewed the TB30 on Troy-Bilt’s website, rating it 4.3 stars out of 5. One customer warned that there were certain issues, such as getting the mower to start. They did not like that they had issues so early in its use. Another reviewer had issues with the mower, but still recommended it for its small size. The TB30 costs between $1,199 and $1,270.

Troy-Bilt Bronco 42-inch AutoDrive Riding Mower

The Troy-Bilt Bronco lives up to its name by being the most powerful Troy-Bilt on our list. It is one of the largest cutting decks, as well. Its 42-inch deck is as large as the Troy-Bilt Pony as well as the Poulan Pro PP19A42. At 19 horsepower, this lawn tractor can power through your lawn with ease. It also comes at a reasonable price, falling well below our $1,500 limit.

The Bronco received good reviews on the Troy-Bilt website. Out of 521 customers, it earned 4.2 stars out of 5. Some customers warned of it breaking quickly. More than one negative review said gasoline would flood parts of the mower. However, many others liked the Bronco. Some called it the best mower for the money, with a mow-in-reverse feature as well. They also said oil-changes were easy, and it had one of the highest horsepowers at this price range. The Troy-Bilt Bronco 42-inch auto-drive mower costs $1,199 to $1,299.

Troy-Bilt Pony 42T Lawn Tractor

The Troy-Bilt Pony 42T has a little kick to it, as fits its name. In addition to the 42-inch cutting deck — one of the best on our list — this mower also has seven speeds. With Shift-on-the-Go transmission, that means your mower will be able to keep up with whatever you need it to. Its cutting deck also comes with anti-scalp wheels to make sure your lawn is cut evenly all over. If you can afford the space, the Pony gives you speed and technology to give your lawn a perfect cut.

On the Troy-Bilt website, 49 customers reviewed the Pony and gave it 4.3 stars out of 5. One user has been mowing with theirs for over four years. Another said it mows a 3/4-acre plot in less than an hour, meaning it is ideal for small yards. It is available for $1,099 to $1,299.

What Is the Best Riding Mower Under $1,500?

Finding the best riding mower under $1,500 is a matter of balancing size, power, and price. You want a mower that can handle the tight corners of smaller lawns while still letting you ride on it, without breaking the back. Well, the good news is that a mower like that isn’t so hard to find! If it was up to me, Troy-Bilt’s Bronco 42-inch mower would be the mower to buy. It has a solid 19 horsepower and a wide, 42-inch cutting deck. Both of these will make short work of your lawn. What’s even better, this mower falls nicely below our $1,500 limit at around $1,200. If you want a faster mower, or a smaller one, Troy-Bilt still has you covered. Its Pony 42T and TB30 mowers fill each of those spaces nicely, and at similar price points.

Of course, what you ultimately decide is the best riding mower under $1,500 is up to you. Any of the mowers on our list are not only good options. They are the best of the best, and by picking one of them, you can be sure that you’re getting a good product at a low cost.