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Lawn tractors test reports

Issue 08/2021

Which one mows best? Selber machen tests 7 lawn tractors and chooses the test winner 2021

If you have a large garden with a lot of green space, you often have to mow the lawn in the summer. This can quickly become quite exhausting and that is why some people resort to a lawn tractor. But which model is really a hardworking helper outdoors and which is rather not recommended? Selber machen tested seven models and chose the Honda HF 2317 as the test winner. The lawn tractor was able to convince with its great engine performance and yet low noise. Selber machen’s recommendation is the Herkules HT 92-16, which just barely missed 1st place. Issue 03/2018

Selbst ist der Mann tests 4 ride-on mowers with catch baskets

The do-it-yourself magazine “selbst ist der Mann” took a closer look at four ride-on mowers with catch baskets and tested them in terms of their catching and mowing quality. The winner was the Viking MR 4082, which scored full points in both areas. In addition, it can also be operated easily and comfortably. Second place went to the Honda HF 1211 HE, which was able to collect the clippings better compared to the other two ride-on mowers. Just making it onto the podium was the Wolf Garten Hydro Scooter Junior, which is not quite as easy to operate, however. Issue 03/2018

Selbst ist der Mann compares 4 ride-on mowers with front mower deck

The editors of “Selbst ist der Mann” put four ride-on mowers with a catcher box through their paces and focused in particular on the steering of the mowers. The Husqvarna R 214 T AWD secured itself the first place, which attracted attention apart from an enormous agility also with a favorable weight distribution. Second place went to the Stiga Park 220, Combi 95, even though its steering certainly requires some power. Another winner was the Gardol Front Mower G125-85F, whose speed is a little difficult to set, but which has an excellent price-performance ratio.

Best list

Lawn tractors in test: What are the best?

Testsieger.de’s lawn tractor best list is your guide to making the right purchase decision. Compare the most popular products and find current test winners. The best list contains 577 lawn tractors with test reports and customer reviews.

Lawn tractors test winner: How was it rated?

The Testsieger.de score is made up of test reports from respected trade media and a large number of customer reviews. The aggregated results of the test reports are given a weighting of 75% in the Testsieger.de score, while the average customer reviews are given a weighting of 25%. For example: A product receives an aggregated score of 1.2 from the test reports of the trade media and an average rating of 1.6 from customers. This results in the Testsieger.de score (0.75 x 1.2) + (0.25 x 1.6) = 1.3. Strengths

  1. fast progress thanks to high performance and large cutting width
  2. enduring work with large tank volume
  3. comfortable operation
  4. with accessories also suitable for snow removal

Weaknesses

  1. less maneuverability: frequent rework required
  2. weight of the machine can damage the turf
  3. high operating noise
  4. expensive

The engine of the M125-85F front mower from Mc Culloch is located under the driver’s seat … (Image source: amazon.de) Get on the mower, turn the ignition key, start mowing comfortably and look at the trimmed lawn after the work is done: What sounds tempting, however, cannot be implemented in every garden. One thing is clear: for the use of such a cost-intensive vehicle to be worthwhile, you must also have an adequate lawn plot of at least four-digit square meters.

How well do lawn tractors and ride-on mowers perform in tests?

The spectrum of marks for mowers ranges from “Very Good” (Etesia Attila 98X) to “Good” (Stiga Park 220 with Combi 95) to “Satisfactory” (Wolf-Garten Scooter Hydro). But then, unfortunately, you can not compare the motorized garden vehicles of different manufacturers so easily, because Lawn tractors and ride-on lawn mowers differ fundamentally in their design and thus also in their specific suitability for the garden and terrain. In addition, the criteria of area performance, cutting width and cutting height provide information about whether the respective device is up to its task. What the powerful machines have in common, however: They powerfully and reliably mow large to very large lawns without requiring you to exert too much physical energy.

Ride-on mower versus lawn tractor

On a ride-on lawn mower, the engine is located under the driver’s seat, while on a lawn mower tractor it is located in front. While there is a certain maneuverability to be denied to the lawn tractor, there are models of ride-on mowers that can be quite flexible. These so-called zero-turn circle or zero-turn mowers are particularly mobile and save you from having to rework. In turn, an advantage for the lawn tractor is that you can turn it into a lawn aerator, scarifier or seeder with the help of trailers or add-ons, but also into a snow blower or snow shovel, which saves you from having to shovel snow manually. Ride-on lawn mowers do not offer any technical possibilities for this. … while MTD’s Smart RC 125 lawn tractor has its engine at the front. (Image source: amazon.com)

Engine-powered lawn mowers versus push mowers

If you call a large lawn your own or do gardening professionally, a motorized lawn mower with a seat is essential. Especially for areas over 1,000 square meters, it is not only tedious to use a classic push mower, but also extremely time-consuming. From an area of around 2,000 square meters, the purchase makes extreme sense in terms of workload and time savings. With a large machine, on the other hand, you can do your work without much effort in a much shorter time and save up to half the working time compared to a lawn mower. Also, you will have to empty the grass in the catcher bag much less often, and the gasoline in the tank will last for several hours. However, you also have to put up with noise, weight and limited maneuverability. On the vehicles themselves, all controls can be reached comfortably from the seat. Lawn tractors are more responsible for the rough stuff. Although they have a greater cutting width than the push mowers and can cut a width of around one meter at a time, but in in corners, you will have to allow for a little extra work with a push mower or a lawn trimmer. The large machines usually have poor maneuverability. They are bulky and not very flexible. They are also heavy and can destroy the turf, especially when it rains. Many of the tractors also cause high noise and thus annoy the neighborhood. A problem – especially when used privately – is how to store them after work is done. This is because the motorized devices with a seat need their own parking space.

Ride-on mowers and lawn tractors with a particularly large area capacity

  1. 10000 m² without final score
  2. 8000 m² without final score
  3. 8000 m² without final score

Lawn tractors and ride-on mowers are perfect for larger lawns. Image: Getty Images/welcomia If you own a large garden with lawns beyond 1,000 square meters, you don’t want to cut them with a classic lawn mower. They should rather rely on a lawn tractor or ride-on mower. We show you below which models are worthwhile for you. The links marked with a symbol or green underlining are affiliate links. If a purchase is made via these links, we receive a commission – without additional costs for you! More info. Constantly pushing the lawn mower around your yard in the summer can get quite exhausting – especially if you have a particularly large yard with a lot of lawn space. In this case, it’s a good idea to switch to a lawn tractor. The gasoline-powered companions make mowing the lawn easy and a lot of fun. However, it will cost you accordingly. A lawn tractor will definitely cost you more than 1,000 euros, and particularly sophisticated models can cost five times that. To help you keep an eye on things and avoid spending too much money, this article will give you all the information you need about lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers.

The best lawn tractors in product comparison

What you can read in this article

A specialist editor has combed through the current range and test reports on lawn tractors as part of a product comparison and picked out four recommendations, which we present in detail below. Our top recommendation is the Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor for around 2,000 euros. The price tip MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is available at a lower price of around 1,750 euros. If you also want to plow snow with your lawn tractor in winter, you should go for the Alpina lawn tractor winter set AT4 84 A for around 2,500 euros. As a ride-on lawn mower, we present the Scheppach MR196-61 for around 1,300 euros. This is followed by a large buyer’s guide section. In it, we explain the differences between the various types of lawn tractors, which features you should look out for when buying and what price you have to pay for a good lawn tractor. Finally, we answer the most important questions from users. The collection bucket behind the lawn tractor catches the clippings. Image: STIGA GmbH

Top recommendation lawn tractors: Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor

  • Source: STIGA GmbHTop recommendation lawn tractors: Stiga lawn tractor Estate 2084The 7.9 hp of the Stiga lawn tractor Estate 2084 accelerates the lawn tractor to almost 10 km/h. Therefore, you need a class L driver’s license to use it on public places and roads. The model offers a cutting width of 84 cm and can shorten your greenery in seven steps from 25 to 80 mm.
Advantages
7.9 hp powerful engine
Has collection bucket
Cutting width optimal for areas up to 3,000 square meters
Disadvantages
Class L driver’s license required for public roads
Not suitable for huge lawns

Short summary: The Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor is a powerful lawn tractor for small lawns up to 3,000 square meters. However, due to its maximum speed, you can use it on public roads only with a class L driver’s license. Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor has a 7.9 hp gasoline engine with 2,900 rpm and a displacement of 352 cubic centimeters. The power is enough to drive two counter-rotating double blades in the mower deck on a cutting width of 84 centimeters. The height can be adjusted in seven stages between 25 and 80 millimeters. The cut grass can be optionally ejected at the rear (a rear plate is available as an optional accessory) or collected in a 200-liter basket, which you can empty afterwards. Alternatively, the Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor can also mulch your lawn. With a top speed of 9.7 kilometers per hour, it also covers your lawn at a decent pace. However, this is also a major disadvantage of the lawn tractor: for all companions with more than six kilometers per hour, a class L driver’s license, the so-called “small tractor driver’s license” is required for operation – this is relevant if you want to drive it on public roads or squares. However, the ride on the Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor is comfortable. The steering wheel has a soft grip, the seat is comfortable, there are small headlights and a bumper in the front. Stiga lawn tractor Estate 2084 can be expanded with accessories. In addition to the mentioned tailgate, there is, among other things, a snow blade for winter use as an extra. Together with the front lights, you can then clear snow in winter even in the dark. At around 2,000 euros, the Stiga Estate 2084 lawn tractor is one of the averagely expensive lawn tractors in terms of its size and equipment.

Price tip lawn tractors: MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor (partially assembled)

  • Price tip lawn tractors: MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor (partially mounted)The MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is suitable for lawns of 4,000 to 6,000 square meters thanks to its cutting width of 107 cm. Since it has a 12.3 hp engine, it is also suitable for slopes. The drive ensures that you need a class L driver’s license for public roads.
Advantages
Super powerful 12.3 hp
Cutting height adjustable in five steps
High cutting width of 107 cm
Disadvantages
Class L driver’s license required for public roads
No collection bucket
Ideal for large lawns from 4,000 to 6,000

Short summary: The MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is an affordable lawn tractor for lawns between 4,000 and 6,000 square meters. For smaller lawns, the high cutting width could become a problem. The MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor has a cutting width of 107 centimeters and is powered by a 12.3 hp gasoline engine from a 500 cubic centimeter cylinder. The fuel tank capacity of 3.8 liters is sufficient for long operation. However, the powerful performance is worth it only if you have a garden where you can use it. That would be gardens with at least 4,000 square meters of lawn or gardens located on a slope, where the 12.3 hp is necessary to maneuver up and down the hill. In smaller, flat gardens, the MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is a bit oversized. Its cutting width can even become a problem here, because you may have smaller corners or angles that it’s not as easy to maneuver through. In any case, the cutting height can be adjusted in five steps between 30 and 95 millimeters. The MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is delivered partially assembled. Certain components, such as the handlebars, seat and cuttings discharge, still have to be fastened by hand. In any case, a collection bucket is missing. The cut grass is simply ejected to the side. Due to the high power and maximum top speed, you need a class L driver’s license to operate this model in public. At 1,750 euros, the MTD SMART RG 145 lawn tractor is only slightly cheaper than our top recommendation – but in its class for lawn tractors for more than 4,000 square meters, it is very affordable.

Recommended lawn tractor for snow shoveling: Alpina lawn tractor winter set AT4 84 A

  • Source: STIGA GmbHRecommended lawn tractor for shoveling snow: Alpina Rasentraktor Winterset AT4 84 ADsince the 7.9 hp of the Alpina AT4 84 A certifies the lawn tractor to over 9 km/h, you need a class L driver’s license for it. It is suitable for areas up to 3,000 square meters. It comes in this set with winter equipment including snow chains and a snow blade.
Advantages
Comes with 5-piece winter kit
Powerful 7.9 hp engine
Manual transmission with six gears
Mower can be cleaned quickly thanks to water connection
Disadvantages
Mulching kit only as optional accessory
Cutting width more suitable for smaller areas
Class L driver’s license required for public operation

Short summary: With the Alpina lawn tractor winter set AT4 84 A, the next winter can come. The lawn tractor comes with a five-piece winter set that makes clearing snow a breeze. The highlight of the Alpina Lawn Tractor Winter Set AT4 84 A is not its ability to mow lawns, but the five-piece winter set that the manufacturer includes as standard. It includes a snow plow blade, snow chains for the drive wheels, a trailer hitch and a spreader trailer for sand and fertilizer. This allows you to clear paths and squares of snow and sprinkle them with sand in a single operation, so that they do not become a slipping hazard for pedestrians. For winter use, the Alpina lawn tractor winter set AT4 84 A brings plenty of power. The gasoline engine brings it with a displacement of 352 cubic centimeters and 2,400 revolutions per minute to an output of 7.9 hp. On a flat road, you can drive a maximum of 9.7 kilometers per hour with it. That’s decent, but it also means you’ll need a Class L driver’s license to operate it in public. Apart from winter maintenance, Alpina Lawn Tractor Winter Set AT4 84 A is, of course, a normal lawn tractor. On its underside work two counter-rotating double blades with a cutting width of 84 centimeters. The cutting height can be adjusted in seven steps between 25 and 80 millimeters. Feeler wheels prevent the cutting blades from contacting the ground. A catcher bag with a volume of 200 liters is included, but alternatively you can have the cut grass ejected out the back. A mulching kit has to be purchased separately, as well as a baffle plate for the rear discharge. The mower has a water connection, which makes cleaning a breeze. With a cutting width of 84 centimeters, the Alpina lawn tractor winter set AT4 84 A is best suited for gardens with a maximum lawn area of 3,000 square meters. In view of the extensive winter set, the price of around 2,500 euros is reasonable for this.

Purchase recommendation ride-on lawn mower: Scheppach MR196-61

  • Source: scheppach GmbHRecommended buy ride-on lawn mower: Scheppach MR196-61The Scheppach MR196-61 has a cutting width of 61 cm, making the ride-on mower ideal for smaller lawns. In addition, you can also mulch with it. Small downside: the minimum cutting height is limited to 35 mm.
Advantages
150 liter catcher bag is included
Compact lawn mower for small areas
Has a mulching function
Disadvantages
Unsuitable for large gardens
Tank holds only 1.2 liters
Cutting height below 35 millimeters not possible

Short summary: The Scheppach MR196-61 is a ride-on lawn mower with a cutting width of only 61 centimeters. It is thus best suited for small lawns. The Scheppach MR196-61 is a good choice if you have a garden with a lawn area of less than 2,000 square meters. The ride-on lawn mower, where you sit in front of the engine, unlike lawn tractors, has a cutting width of 61 centimeters, and you can adjust the cutting height in five steps between 35 and 75 millimeters. The cut grass is either mulched, ejected at the rear or collected in a 150-liter catcher bag. The engine brings it to 6.53 hp with 196 cubic centimeters of displacement. Due to its lower power, the Scheppach MR196-61 is also significantly cheaper than the other lawn tractors we have presented. It is already available for around 1,250 euros.

How much should I spend on a lawn tractor?

Good lawn tractors will cost you at least 1,000 euros. Exactly how much money you have to spend depends on the number of special features your lawn tractor should be able to handle and also on the area you want to mow with it. Tractors up to 3,000 square meters usually cost less than 1,500 euros, if you want to mow a lawn twice as large, the prices also increase proportionally.

What is a lawn tractor and how does it work?

A lawn tractor combines the features of a lawn mower with those of a tractor – it is thus basically a vehicle with which you drive your lawn and which has a lawn mower integrated. Lawn tractors usually have the engine at the front, with the rotating cutting blades and the seat and steering wheel in the middle. The collection containers for the freshly cut grass are often mounted behind on the four-wheeled companions. Important: Because lawn tractors count as vehicles, they must not be driven by children in public places and streets. The minimum age for operating a lawn tractor in public is 15 years. If your lawn tractor drives faster than six kilometers per hour, you even need a class L driver’s license if you want to leave your private property with it – this is the so-called “small tractor driver’s license”. You can obtain this license from the age of 16.

What types of lawn mowers are there?

Basically, there are six types of lawn mowers, depending on the type of mower and the area of application:

  1. Reel mowers Reel mowers have a reel rotating on a horizontal axis that presses grass against a fixed blade to cut it. They are most often used where a consistently accurate cutting height is important, such as on golf courses and sports fields.
  2. Sickle mower The standard lawn mower for the garden works with horizontally rotating sickles that virtually cut through the grass. This allows them to mow a large area quickly, but they are not as accurate as reel mowers.
  3. Air cushion mower A sub-variant of the sickle mowers are lawn mowers in which a blower in the housing bell creates overpressure so that the lawn mower lifts slightly off the ground. It is thus guided over the lawn on a cushion of air.
  4. Robotic lawn mower Similar to a vacuum cleaner robot, there are now also small, autonomously driving lawn mowing robots. They charge themselves by solar cell and at a charging station. For a robotic lawn mower, however, you will sometimes need to bury boundary wires at the borders of your garden, which the robot will recognize and stop at.
  5. Ride-on mower Ride-on mowers are lawn tractors where you sit in front of the engine and the collector. The reel or sickles that cut the grass are attached to the front of the vehicle.
  6. Lawn tractors On lawn tractors, you sit behind the engine. Sickles or spindles for cutting the grass are also attached to the front here.

Ride-on lawn mowers like the Scheppach MR196-61 differ from lawn tractors in their design. So you sit ride-on mowers usually less power and you sit directly above the engine. Image: scheppach GmbH

What should I look for when buying a lawn tractor?

First of all, you should clarify whether you need a lawn tractor at all. Lawn tractors are usually only suitable for lawns of 500 square meters or more. In addition, these should be as free as possible, so that you can reach every corner with the vehicle. A lawn interspersed with trees and flower beds with many narrow angles is not suitable for their use. Up to a lawn area of 2,000 square meters, a small lawn tractor with a cutting width of less than 72 centimeters is sufficient. Up to 4,000 square meters, you should aim for a maximum cutting width of 102 centimeters, and up to 6,000 square meters, a maximum of 117 centimeters. The engines are powered by either one or two cylinders. The larger version is only useful here if you also want to use the lawn tractor as a snow blower or couple it with a trailer. If you do not want to have grass residues lying on your lawn after mowing, you should pay attention to a sufficiently large catcher box.

Tips & tricks, maintenance and cleaning updates

The component of a lawn tractor that you need to clean most often is the mower deck, because grass and soil debris constantly gets stuck here. Therefore, it is advantageous if your lawn tractor has a water connection on the mower deck. This allows it to be easily rinsed and freed from dirt. This is also the best way to clean the collection bucket. The exterior surfaces of lawn tractors are usually impervious to dirt and easy to clean.

How much horsepower should a lawn tractor have?

Most models of lawn tractors have between five and eight horsepower. This is perfectly adequate for most gardens. You only need more power if your garden is located on a slope, for example, and/or if you also want to move a trailer with the lawn tractor. Then models with at least eleven horsepower are recommended. However, you should only consider more than 16 horsepower in exceptional cases.

How much does a lawn tractor cost?

Good lawn tractors will cost you at least 1,000 euros. Exactly how much money you have to spend depends, on the one hand, on the number of special features your lawn tractor should be able to handle and also on the area you want to mow with it. Tractors up to 3,000 square meters usually cost less than 1,500 euros, if you want to mow a lawn twice as large, the prices also increase proportionally.

How much do ride-on mowers cost?

Good riding lawn mowers will cost you at least 1,000 euros. How much money you should invest depends on the additional features you want your riding lawn mower to have and, of course, the size you want to work with it. Riding lawn mowers up to 3,000 square meters are usually cheaper than 1,500 euros; if the terrain to be mowed increases, then you will have to dig deeper into your pocket.

Which ride-on mower for uneven terrain?

For uneven terrain, you should buy a riding lawn mower with all-wheel drive. Thanks to this drive, such a lawn tractor can easily overcome slopes and even overgrown terrain.

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