I am new to this group so I don't know if this subject has been covered. I
would like some opinions on which riding lawn mowers are best for around
$1500. We've been looking on the net at Sears and Lowes and I'm kinda of
going towards Sears. We live in the east and our yard is only about 1/2
acre. I'm disabled so the old push mower must go. Any information would be
For that money (actually just slightly more) the John Deere stuff is going
to make you happier than the Craftsman. I'm speaking from my own experience.
I have a 3 year old John Deere that is now the L110 and costs about 1650 at
home depot. It's a 17.5hp Kohler single with a 42 inch deck that mulches,
blows or bags (bagger of course is extra if you want it). I mow about the
same size yard as you and I am very pleased with the mower. Smooth and quiet
for a single cylinder mower. I've owned Craftsman and this is just far
better. It's not going to be like the heavier more expensive JD's but still
a far better product for the money.
We bought the John Deere 110 at the end of the season last year and my
husband uses it on our slightly less than 1 acre yard. He loves it and
actually looks forward to cutting the grass now. I think (but ask if you are
interested in this) you can buy a seat with a higher back for this tractor.
May issue of Consumer Report rated the top 3 riding lawn mowers as: John
Deer L110 #1, Troy-Bilt Bronco #2, and Craftsman DYT 4000 #3. Each are
around the same price (unless Sears runs it on sale), hp and mowing size (42
inch). However, the features on each one are different along with the
placement of levers and gauges. Check out each one (online and in-person)
before buying. Personally, I looked at all 3 and ended up with the Sears
Craftsman 4000 automatic version -- DYT 4000 -- (electric mower clutch vs.
mechanical and high-back seat -- very important when bouncing over the yard
and going uphill) to mow my 1-acre yard. I also liked the tire size and
ergonomic lever placement over the other two. Again, most of the
preferences are personal. Good luck.
At $1700 a good machine is the Husqvarna LTH2042. This is the tractor I
bought this year after much shopping. Powered by a 20hp Kohler direct lube,
cast front axle, big fat rear tires. I think It's a fantastic tractor.
I've been hauling heaping cartfuls of firewood around with no power
problems. Mower deck can take a beating as well.
I would strongly advise that whatever you get you go to a local equipment
shop. Sears cannot provide the personal service or technical know-how and
many times cannot easily provide parts. Your local small-engine outfit will
keep your machine running long with none of the hassle of Sears. My shop
will pick up and deliver equipment around town for free with a 15 dollar
minimum charge. This would probably be very helpful for someone disabled.
You probably have a Deere, Husqy, Airens, etc. dealer nearby that can
provide you with the same quality service. Believe me, the extra hundred or
two you might spend at a Mom-and-Pop will more than pay for itself.
Now are you guys talking US currency or CDN?
I bought a Craftsman from Sears (Canada) 2 years ago. 21 hp, 42". Regular
$3200 CDN, got it on sale for $2500.
The following year I added a grass catcher which works great also for
vacumming up leaves in the fall.
Has run great, no problems.
On it's first oil change I went to a partial synthetic oil.
Now, on my 03 Harley Davidson Softail, I went to full Harley Davidson
Synthetic. They say the engine runs about 15 degrees cooler with synthetic.
For personal use / half acre lawn I would think any $1500 tractor would do -
especially if the machine will be kept clean (under deck) and kept inside.
The regular MTD, Murray, Craftsman decks won't take the abuse that the
heavier duty machines will take, but if you take care of them they will be
fine. New machine - you shouldn't have to worry much about parts. Most
machines only need spark plugs, blades sharpened or replaced, and eventually
maybe a new belt. Those things are readily available in most places. If by
chance, a part does break or get lost, I don't think Sears is any worse than
the small equipment shops - nobody stocks many parts today - everybody has
to order it for you.
Sounds like you would be a light duty user - I do heavier stuff - more like
brush hogging, snowblowing, snow plowing, garden plowing, pulling a 5 x 8
landscape trailer, etc - so I like to tinker with the old (70's) heavy
tractors (Wheelhorse, Cub Cadet, John Deere & Sears). I need a few cause I
have 2 places 8 miles apart, do volunteer mowing at a couple cemeteries & a
church property, as well as the gardening.
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