5 Best Garden Tractors : Reviews and Buying Guide

A garden tractor is more than a traditional lawnmower. A garden tractor will work on all the complex yard care needs you have at your property, from tilling and cultivating to towing heavy items. Some tractor models can also help you in plowing snow and dirt.

But you’ll need to find a powerful garden tractor that is capable of completing all the tasks you have at your property. You need a model that is easy to use and follow. The great news is that there are many useful models out there that work for every need. This look at the five best garden tractors around will help you identify what works for your property.

 

Buying Guide

What Is a Garden Tractor?

A garden tractor is like a traditional riding lawnmower in appearance, but there’s more to the appliance than what you might expect. You can use your tractor for heavy-duty projects all around your yard. These include tasks like aerating the turf, dethatching in the spring, spreading seed, and many other things.

The tractor requires an attachment to make it work. You can get an aeration or seeding item applied on the tractor to help with dispersing seeds or removing plugs from the soil, among other things.

You’ll be better off getting a garden tractor if you have a large property, or you have lots of needs that have to be facilitated. A garden tractor works better when removing items.

What Makes It Different From a Lawn Tractor?

A garden tractor differs from a lawn tractor in that the garden tractor is more powerful. A garden tractor has an engine with at least 24 horsepower, and it focuses on towing heavy-duty attachments. The wheels are also larger, thus making it easier to handle on a slope or incline.

Factors to Consider When Buying Garden Tractors

Towing Capacity

Look at how well your garden tractor can tow weight. You’ll have to get a useful attachment on the back end for whatever you’re planning. Be sure that your tractor can also support whatever attachment you’re trying to plan on using.

Engine Power

While the engine on a garden tractor is much more powerful than what you might find on another smaller tractor, you’ll have to look at what your features. Your tractor should have an overhead valve engine and a two-cylinder layout for the best performance.

The horsepower in your engine refers to the amount of power running at a time. A higher total means that the mower can handle heavy-duty items and blades. You’ll need something strong enough to handle all the things you want to work with, not to mention something that can go up and down an incline without losing control or struggling to climb.

Mowing Deck

The mowing deck on the tractor is measured in inches. The deck refers to how much grass is cut at a time. A larger deck will cut more grass, but you should consider this alongside how well you can turn the tractor.

Physical Design

The material used in the design of your garden tractor is essential to note. A front axle needs a design with a steel body. Anything that is welded on the frame also helps.

Incline Support

While it is true that a garden tractor can handle inclines well, you’ll have to watch it if the slope on your yard is greater than 15 percent. A tractor with a traction control system will be ideal in this case, as it would provide added stability.

A locking rear differential will also work. The design locks the wheels on an axle together. The layout makes it work as though they were on the same shaft. The wheels will move together regardless of the traction or lack of traction for turning wheels separately from one another.

Wheel Size

The front and rear wheels should be measured to see that they’re good enough to go over your yard and provide a good sense of control. Larger wheels are easier to control and can go through more places. Naturally, the rear wheels are always going to be larger than the front wheels. There should be enough of a difference to where the front wheels can move along well enough and provide a more responsive steering experience.

Handling Grass Clippings

You have to look at how well your garden tractor can handle the grass clippings. A mulching kit may work for a tractor. The kit will attach to the discharge chute and allow the clippings to come out on the side. The design keeps the grass from being stuck under the mowing deck.

A bagger is a second choice. The bagger goes on the rear of the mower and clears out the cut grass from the deck by moving it through a chute and getting it in a bag. The bag can be emptied later on.

Turning Radius

The turning radius on a garden tractor is the radius of the smallest possible circular turn that your tractor can make. The measurement is over what happens when turning the mower and going in the opposite direction. A shorter radius provides you with enough control without worrying about going too far when turning.

The number in inches specifically refers to inches that your mower will travel in general when turning all the way. A tighter turn is possible if the radius is small enough. The turning radius is particularly critical to note if you have a smaller spot.

What Does It Cost?

You would have to spend a few thousand dollars to get a garden tractor ready. The value will vary based on what you hire, so be sure you look at what’s included in a model while comparing it with your budget.

A Comparison of the 5 Best Garden Tractors

ModelMowing Width (inches)Engine Power (horsepower)Turning Radius (inches)Real Wheel Size (inches)Front Wheel Size (inches)
Husqvarna TS354D 54-Inch Mower5425182316
John Deere E160 48-Inch Mower4824152015

Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro GT Garden Tractor
5425162216

Simplicity Legacy XL Subcompact Garden Tractor
523335 for 2WD, 55 for 4WD
4025

Husqvarna LGT48DXL Kohler Garden Tractor
4825202216

Added Details on the Best Choices

1. Husqvarna TS354D 54-Inch Mower – Keep Everything Stable

When finding a garden tractor, you’ll have to ensure you have a model that is easy to control. Husqvarna makes the TS354D as a mower that features a sturdy body that is more stable.

The cast iron body features a front axle that produces stability. The spindle housings are also made with cast iron to stay durable.

The deck features a deeper design that ensures the grass is trimmed well enough. The unit will be cut fast and effectively.

The 25-hp engine provides enough power for inclines and other rough spots. The 54-inch deck provides enough room for cutting more grass at a time. You can use the mulching kit on the mower to help you with grinding up the grass, although you can use a two or three-bin attachment on your mower to collect the grass as necessary.

The rear wheels are 23 inches in size, thus providing a firm grip. The front wheels are 16 inches and provide better control.

An electronic differential lock also works on the tractor. The design allows the tractor to keep working even when there’s a dense slope or the road is slippery. The all-season service here provides a better layout for work.

Pros
  • The cutting deck features a steel body for added durability

  • The high-back seat provides a better spot for control

  • The four-gallon gas tank gives enough room for a full job

Cons
  • The electric clutch can be tough to shift at times

  • Takes a bit to get one of the bin attachments applied

2. Craftsman T225 Tractor Mower – Simple to Maintain

Many parts of a garden tractor may be tough to support. Craftsman made the T225 as a tractor that works more effectively than other models.

The 19-hp Briggs and Stratton engine provide the best performance around, while the 46-inch cutting deck uses a curved blade to lift the grass and provide a better cut. The design also prevents grass from building up inside the mower. The mulching chute is also wide enough to remove grass without worrying about things building up all around.

It is also easy to maintain your Craftsman garden tractor. The electric blade setup will turn the mower on with the pull of a knob. You can also apply an attachment to the back end of the tractor or the mulching chute to help facilitate how the grass is collected or how you’re going to handle other tasks.

You can use the mowing in reverse feature to move back and forth in tough to reach areas. The hydrostatic foot pedal transmission also offers a simple approach to motion that works in moments and does not entail any unusual shifts or movements.

The welded steel frame provides a firm body as well. The cast-iron front axle also ensures the mower stays stable and will not vibrate or otherwise be difficult to control or use.

Pros
  • Provides a short turning radius on its 20-inch front wheels

  • Works at varying cutting heights from 1 to 4 inches

  • The electric start works in moments

Cons
  • The fuel tank only handles about two gallons

  • The seat is difficult to adjust and position

3. Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Tractor – Easy to Adjust

Having a garden tractor with a transmission that works at various speeds is critical for ensuring you can get over even the hardest yards. The Troy-Bilt Pony 42X tractor uses a seven-speed transmission to ensure you can move through even the hardest yards. The 24-hp twin-cylinder engine can even help you move in reverse.

The mulching and side discharge features ensure grass moves out well. The steel front axle also gives you control over how well the tractor moves in one space.

You can use multiple cutting height positions when using the tractor. The smooth lever provides full control over how you’re getting the grass trimmed. The design is ideal for yards of all types, which is essential considering how grasses of all sorts need to be cut in different heights. Don’t forget that it comes with dual blades to lift and remove grass in moments, thus giving you a simple approach for cutting through items.

Pros
  • The 3-gallon fuel tank is easy to fill and control

  • The physical body resists corrosion

  • The oil filter is easy to clear out

Cons
  • The two-compartment bagging system doesn’t work as well as hoped

  • The grooves on the wheels aren’t deep enough for some movements

4. Troy-Bilt TB2246 Lawn Tractor – Features a Sturdy Engine

You can use the Troy-Bilt TB2246 garden tractor if you have a massive yard or more heavy-duty needs when working on your property. The 22-hp Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder engine provide a foot-controlled hydrostatic feature that lets you keep moving fast. You can also move the tractor in reverse for some of the tighter spots all around. You can also start the engine well when the conditions are hot or cold where you are.

You can use six cutting length options here. A deck wash system also works on the inside the clear out the grass and prevent debris from being a threat.

The cruise control feature adds a good touch. The speed remains the same when you adjust the cruise control, thus keeping the mower from going too fast or slow depending on the condition. The design reads when you go up or down hills as well, so you won’t lose control.

Pros
  • The throttle works fast with no choke involved

  • The transmission shifts between gears in moments

  • The internal brake works during wet and dry conditions alike

Cons
  • Difficult to figure out the precise cutting height on your model

  • The steering wheel can be difficult to grasp depending on the position

5. Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower – Enjoy a Smooth Ride

Being able to keep your tractor under control is critical for your success when mowing. The Husqvarna LGT48DXL garden tractor features 22-inch rear wheels to produce a smooth ride. The cast iron body on the mower also absorbs vibrations when mowing, thus producing a more efficient motion.

The steel cutting deck is 48 inches wide and works alongside three mowing blades. The wheels also feature firm bodies that move gently and will not scalp or scrape along your yard.

The 25-hp Kohler engine works with an ignition setup that allows the unit to go when it is cold or hot. An air filter also prevents outside debris from potentially entering your mower.

You don’t have to struggle with trying to shift the tractor either. The automatic transmission on this model ensures the mower goes forward without shaking or otherwise struggling when going forward. The hydrostatic transmission absorbs energy fast and produces a more efficient layout for moving forward or backward.

Pros
  • It takes only a few seconds to get the engine ready

  • Works with many attachments

  • Easy to shift between forward and reverse

Cons
  • Takes up lots of space when in storage

  • The grooves on the tires aren’t deep enough for some rough spots

Conclusion

A garden tractor can be useful for your work needs, but you’ll have to ensure you have a model that fits in well with your needs. You’ll appreciate how well a garden tractor can work when you’re trying to handle some of the more heavy-duty projects you need to complete. You can get one that has enough power for even the most stubborn yard, not to mention something that can cover more grass at a time.

Be sure to also look at how well you can control your tractor and how it can remove grass or collect it while in use. You’ll need to find a quality model that can go over many spots and operate fast and without bearing with a struggle.

Recommendation

Our choice for the best garden tractor today is the Husqvarna TS354D 54-Inch Mower. The efficient design of this tractor provides a better approach to cutting with support for many attachments. You can also use the Husqvarna mower on hilly terrain while the wheels grip the surface well. The short turning radius and the various heights for cutting the grass add to the quality of the model, thus making it ideal for many tasks throughout the year.

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