The Complete Lawn Mower, Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Garden Tractor, Zero Turn Name Brands List | Who Makes What, Who Are The Major Mower Manufactures

89 Riding Mower Brands, 38 U.S. Mower Manufactures, | The Complete List Of Who Makes What Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Garden Tractor, Zero Turns

This article lists most of the riding mower, lawn tractor, garden tractor and zero turn mower brands sold here in the United States and to the best of my ability lists who owns them for the 2014 model year.

Many of the old independent names that have been around for years have now been bought and merged into huge corporations.  There are even a couple of “American” names that are used solely by Chinese manufactures.  Of the 89 brands I can find, many are owned by the same few companies, but some of those names have moved from one manufacture to the next making it hard to sort it all out. I know this list is not complete so feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article with the ones I missed.

Bookmark this page!  I will update it as I get new info. Latest update 6/04/2014

The “landscape” is constantly changing and I expect a few of these companies to disappear this year, a few new names to emerge, and a few to get sold to someone else.

The riding mower brands in this list include the manufactures for riding mowers, lawn tractors, yard tractors, garden tractors, estate tractors, zero-turns, and commercial mowers.  It does not include the hundreds of  manufactures of pull-behind and mounted agricultural equipment.  If you are reading this list and make riding mowers and attachments aimed at the residential and/or commercial lawn care market feel free to add a comment about your product in the comments section.

I’ve included the smaller companies because many of these market locally at trade shows and county fairs.  Just about all of them are high quality machines and they may be right for you.  I also included the commercial mowers (mainly zero-turns) because some of you may be tempted to purchase a used “commercial” machine and it would be nice to know if you can still get parts. Commercial mowers can greatly reduce your mowing time, (as much as 80%) but you need to be aware that they are considerably more expensive to repair.

Husqvarna, MTD, and Briggs & Stratton make most of the riding mower and lawn tractor brands sold by retailers here in the U.S. John Deere still makes their own.

2014 Riding Mowers Sold in the United States By Manufacture:

Note:  I have verified these relationships by researching the latest information on the Internet and talking directly to some of the manufactures.  It is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

acrease Acrease Gary Kunz and his son Matt have a great line of high quality, heavy duty finish and rough cut mowers.  These mowers are designed to pull behind or along-side of your existing mower and reduce your mowing time and trimming considerably.  For example, I used two or their 60 inch commercial wing mowers with a 60 inch Exmark Laser and could mow up to 17 acres an hour.  They are more expensive than the Swisher, Agri-Fab and Stanley wing mowers, but worth every penny in increased productivity and strength.

ALTOZ Precision Mowers ALTOZ | Precision Mowers ALTOZ zero-turn mowers. High-performance commercial and residential machines, each built with a dedication to excellence and the promise of a precision cut.

ariens logo Ariens: The “other” big brand that makes a complete line of mowers. They are one of the oldest names in the mower market and make a great line of mowers under various names.

  • ariens Tractor Ariens Tractors at Home Depot: The 2011-2012 models appear to be old Craftsman units made by Husqvarna for Craftsman back in 2008 and 2009.  It looks like they just changed the paint and name on the hood.
  • Max Zoom 60 Ariens: Homeowner Products.
  • Gravely Zero Turn Lawn Mower Gravely: A great name and Ariens has maintained the quality this name has always been know for.  They currently have a line of homeowner, commercial, golf and large area mowers.  If you have a local dealer, take a good look at these brands.
  • Locke: This is the mower they use to get the stripes at Yankee Stadium.
  • Stens: The parts division of Ariens.  Trust this name for parts for all your mowers.
  • ByNorm: Arien’s owns this great Australian company.
  • High Grass Countax: Sold in England but the “go anywhere, mow anywhere” mowers are a product we could use here in the U.S. Hopefully they will bring over the high grass cutting decks.

mz_magnum_wall_2 Bad Boy: Advertise that they have the toughest decks in the industry. Look at the MZ series for your home.  Great mower at a competitive price.

beeline Beeline: A work in progress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA B&H Manufacturing:  Yard Shark is now the Jazzer Terra Pro   This is a fairly unique mower and I like it.  If you have a “problem” lawn and a good local dealer, take a look at this zero-turn.  It has huge tires and will be good for sandy, wet or hilly properties.  It is labeled “commercial” but is cheap enough for many residential owners.

Bush Hog Bush Hog: Land Pride, and Woods: Ag companies that also sell lines of zero-turn mowers.  You will see a lot of these in rural areas.

basco_logo Briggs & Stratton: The other big mower manufacture.  Go to this page to see all of the companies they own.  They also make spec mowers for Craftsman and other brands including Massey Ferguson.

636x264_Sears Craftsman logo Craftsman: Riding Mowers & Tractors Craftsman sells a riding lawn mower for every homeowner lawn in the U.S.  Everything from a 30 inch rider to a 54 in estate zero-turn. They have the largest nationwide service network and you can easily get parts for their machines going back 10, 15, 20 years old and more.  But, they have never manufactured their own products and have always “spec’d” their mowers to the unique wants and needs of the Sears shopper.  Because they are built to “Sears Specifications” they need to be included in the list.  Some of the current specs that are unique to Craftsman for the 2014 model year are: Unique decks that are rated as some of the best cutting decks by Consumer Reports, Turn Tight Steering (6 inch) on the YT and GT models, Greasable spindles on the YT and better models, 7.5 mph on the T3000 series and G5500 Garden Tractor.

Sears Holdings Corporation: SHC is a multi-unit corporation and it has many separate “companies”  Craftsman is one company, Sears Full-Line Stores (Mall) is another Kmart, Sears Repair Services, SearsPartsDirect others. Each “company” makes their own business decisions and that can be very confusing for you and me. They are letting some of the “companies” branch out and do business with other corporations and that even adds more to the confusion.

  • Sears Full Line is the largest retailer that sells not only Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore but also sells many other brands as well.
  • Kmart is the 2nd largest and sells not only Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore but also sells many other brands as well.
  • Sears Repair Services. This “company” does all the repairs on your mower (Tractors/ZTR’s at your home)
  • Sears Parts Direct. This is the company that has all the individual parts for your Craftsman. If you need a steering gear for your old green Craftsman this is the “company” you get the parts from.
  • Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore are brands owned by Sears Holdings but are allowed to sell in non-Sears owned stores.
  • Sears Hometown Stores, Sears Hardware, Sears Outlet: These stores are no longer part of Sears. They are an independently owned company and have no ties to Sears Holdings.
  • Sears Canada is a separate company but still has ties to Sears Holdings

What does this have to do with mowers? Sears Hometown Stores, and Ace Hardware now have their own line of Craftsman. They are Black/Yellow and Mauve in color.

Here are the Craftsman mowers, who sells them and who manufactures them for the 2014 year:

  • Craftsman T1000 series:  Sold by Sears and Kmart. Manufactured by MTD. Red color
  • Craftsman T2000, T3000, G5000 series: Sold by Sears and Kmart. Manufactured by Husqvarna. Red color
  • Craftsman Rider: Sold by Sears and Kmart. Manufactured by MTD. Red color
  • Craftsman Zero Turns: Sold by Sears and Kmart.  MTD & Husqvarna. Red color
  • Craftsman Pro & Limited: Sold by Sears Hometown Stores and Sears Outlet.  Husqvarna Built. They are Black/Yellow and Mauve in color.
  • Craftsman at Ace. As far as I can see these are made by Husqvarna. Red color
  • CRAFTSMAN™/MC. Sold by Both MTD and Husqvarna make these mowers. Red or Black color
  • CRAFTSMAN PROFESSIONAL™/MC. Sold by Usually Husqvarna. Black/Yellow in color.

XLT Country Clipper: This is another of my favorite zero-turn mowers.  I like the single joystick steering.  Country Clipper Zero Turn mowers are built in America’s heartland for you. Country Clipper has the performance, features, and quality you need to tackle any residential, estate, or professional job. Featuring high quality Hydro-Gear and Parker transaxles, pumps and wheel motors, Country Clipper ensures you tough, dependable zero turn performance. Powering both residential and commercial mowers are industry leading Kohler and Kawasaki engines. Only Country Clipper allows you to select your control options. Choose either our exclusive Point & Go Joystick or traditional Twin Lever speed and direction controls. All Country Clipper mowers feature our revolutionary, patented Stand-up Deck for quick, easy under deck access. The rugged, welded steel deck is reinforced with a triangular front bullnose as well as at other strategic points to make it virtually indestructible. Country Clipper’s Edge XLT, Challenger, Charger, and Defender models feature an Pivoting Front Axle and floating Deck that reduce gouging and scalping while providing a smoother ride for you.

Raven-MPV7100S Denver Global Raven MOWER. VEHICLE. GENERATOR. GAME CHANGER. Go Take a look More Info(Catalog For You To Download) No matter what the job entails, the Raven MPV can help you get it done. It’s not just a 3-in-1, it’s a 1-and-Done. Utilizing gas/electric hybrid technology, the Raven MPV switches from mower to multi-purpose vehicle to generator in minutes. Equipped with front off-road style shocks and suspension, it’s a serious workhorse that’s seriously fun.

Dixie Chopper: Known as the “world’s fastest mower” Great line, high quality zero-turn mowers.  Just because you don’t mow grass for a living doesn’t mean you should compromise quality.  The Dixie Chopper Zee 1 series of mowers is the right fit for any residential home owner. With a more compact design, the Zee 1 fits in those tight residential areas, but is fast enough to knock out over two acres per hour!  Dixie Chopper has always been the king of commercial mowing, and now you can be the king of your own yard.  Stop push mowing or using that clumsy old riding mower and cut your mowing time in half with a Zee 1 from Dixie Chopper.

atm 162 logo Deweze: Dedicated hillside mowers.  As a homeowner you probably can’t afford one of these.  Be careful buying a used one.  Most of the used ones I have seen need a lot of work (and expense) to get them back into great shape.

Excel Industries: Hustler Big Dog Hustler: Hustler focuses on Zero Turn mowers and have the only working electric right now.  They have a line of great quality residential mowers.

Grasshopper: Like Dixon, these mowers have always been very popular in the rural areas.  Good, heavy duty mowers that will last you many years.

GXi Outdoor Power: DEK, Beast, and Stanley GXi Outdoor Power is a US based company who manufactures their products in China and completes final assembly in the US. They manufacture zero-turns, walk-behinds and wing mowers under the names DEK, Beast, and Stanley.  The Stanley logo looks identical to the old U.S. name that has been around for years.

Husqvarna: An all encompassing name that includes the following:

  • Husqvarna ResidentialHusqvarna Residential Like John Deere, Husqvarna has a “big box” line and a “dealer” line.  The dealer line usually features heavier (welded) decks and the new Husqvarna Rider.
  • Husqvarna Landowner: Seriously look at the landowner line of you have slopes or hills.  These machine have heavy duty transmissions and the weight needed to work on hills.  Read my review of the MZ5424S (see the menu to your right)
  • Husqvarna Commercial:  Husqvarna Commercial.  This is a new line of well designed heavy duty machines.  If you have a large lawn seriously take a look at the 61 inch.  Like The Yard Shark it has huge tires and a light footprint making it an ideal residential mower.
  • DixonDixon Arguably the best “homeowner” zero-turn. The Husqvarna residential and landowner series came from this great line.
  • 1999 McCulloch sold its European division to Husqvarna AB. Nine years later, Husqvarna also acquired the rights to the McCulloch brand on the North American market. Since then, McCulloch is a brand within the Husqvarna Group.
  • Yazoo/Kees: Husqvarna officially discontinued this line Oct. 2011.
  • FlymoFlymo

John Deere: John  As far as I can tell John Deere currently does not use any other brand names to market their mowers (used Sabre in the past)  I do want to point out that they have a specific line (100 series) that are marketed by the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. The 100 series sold at the Dealer Stores IS THE SAME TRACTOR AS SOLD AT THE BIG BOX STORES!

  • John Deere is a worldwide organization and many of their parts and products are made outside of the U.S.  They currently use Briggs, Kohler, Kawasaki and have their owned line of branded engines in the residential mowers.
  • The 100 series Deere’s are made in the U.S. by John Deere. The 300, 500 and 700 Series are made in Wisconsin
  • The independent John Deere Dealers also market the “standard” Deere that includes residential, and commercial mowers. There are also Golf and Commercial Divisions that cater to those customers.

Kut Kwick: These are special purpose commercial hillside mowers.  You will see these mowers out on the highways and parks mowing places you can barely walk on. These are big machines that weigh more than your 3/4 ton pickup!  I owned a Super Slope Master to mow berms and hills that couldn’t be mowed any other way.  Every once in a while you will see one of these show up on the used market. As a homeowner be aware that a repair to one of these machines will usually cost more than two brand new Craftsman Garden Tractors!

Kubota: When most people think of Kubota they think of the compact tractor series.  But did you know they also make a great line of homeowner riders? The FZ2100 was one of my favorite mowers.

Lastec Articulators: No, you can’t afford one but it is one of the most unique mowers on the market.

MTD:  MTD has always had a mixed reputation among homeowners because they make a complete line of residential mowers from the cheapest sold to some of the best quality available. For every homeowner MTD makes a mower in a quality/price range that you will be comfortable with.  I’ll leave all of the opinions for the tractor/mower forums.MTD makes and sells mowers under the following brand names.  They also make spec mowers for Toro, Craftsman, Lesco and other retailers.

  • Bolens: Primarily sold in Canada.
  • Cub Cadet: At one time –  one of the best lines of homeowner mowers here in the U.S.  My uncle was part of the design team for the first model produced by International Harvestor.  MTD purchased Cub Cadet in 1981.
  • Cub Cadet Commercial: The Tank is very popular for homeowners with large lawns and “two guys and a truck” mowing contractors.  I like the application equipment for fertilizing and weed control.
  • Columbia: Columbia Columbia is MTD’s Canadian brand but the name is starting to be used in the U.S. It is an all-incompassing brand that carries Mowers, Tractors, Riders and Zero-Turns
  • Troy-Bilt The tractors are mainly sold through Lowes.  The rest of the line (tillers) are sold everywhere.
  • White Outdoor: It looks like the White brand name is being phased out here in the U.S. There is still a website up, but no products are listed.   You may still see some of these riders at dealers.
  • Yard-Man: Yard-Man is MTD’s economy line.  The focus of these products in on price.  Most homeowners get many years out of these products.
  • Yard Machines: is another economy line manufactured by MTD.  I would not be suprised to learn that there are more 38 inch Yard Machine tractors produced than any other.
  • Arnold: This is MTD’s parts division.  These are the factory/OEM parts you need for MTD made products.
  • GardenWay: The GardenWay corp originally made Troy-Bilt and MTD bought all of the company years ago.  You will find a few products under that name in smaller retailers and garden centers.
  • MTD Pro: This name seems to be targeted to the “two guys and a truck” lawn care businesses.  These little guys don’t have enough lawns to warrant a large commercial mower but need something a little better than a residential lawn tractor.  The products tend to have less features and more value than MTD’s residential lines.
  • MTD Gold: In my opinion this brand is just a different name so MTD can sell at both of your local hardware stores.
  • Huskee: Primarily sold at Tractor Supply Stores.  The current models are made for them by MTD

Here is a fairly complete list of names MTD has sold under over the years (from

Bolens, Columbia, Cub Cadet, Cub Cadet Commercial, Cub Cadet Yanmar (joint with Yanmar), Farm King, GardenWay, Gold Series, Gutbrod, Gutbrod-Kehrer, Lawnflite, Mastercut, Mow Master, Mow Master Mastercut, MTD, MTD Black Edition, MTD Silver Edition, MTD Gold, MTD Mowmaster, MTD Platinum Pro, MTD Platinum SD, MTD Pro, MTD Super, MTD Taral, MTD Tradesman, MTD Turbomax, MTD 2000 Elite, Novotrac, Ranch King, Rasentrac, Remington, Ryobi (sold to TTI), Troy-Bilt, Ventzki, Ventzki MTD, White Outdoor], Yard Machines, Yard-Man, Yard-Man Elite, Yard-Man Select, YardWorks

Power Trac PowerTrac: A heavy duty line of commercial multi-purpose machines.

recharge_g2 Recharge Mower: Recharge is an American Company that makes an electric riding lawn mower.  The mower is made in China.  They got a lot of press in 2010 because it is an all-electric machine. Watch this company in 2012.

rich Rich Convertible: Convertible Currently marketed by DR Power Equipment as the VERSA-PRO Z-Mower. If you have a large lawn with a lot of slopes and ditches take a look at this unique machine.

Scag: For many areas of the country when you see a small landscape contractor, he or she will have a Scag or three on the trailer.  Scag makes a great line of high production mowers.  Some models will mow well at 16 mph!

Schiller Grounds Care: Schiller is a diversified lawn maintenance manufacture that produces some of the best quality products on the market.  Mantis and Steiner are two names that you know and trust. Their BobCat division made the Craftsman Professional Zero-Turn.
They make products for the commercial and residential markets under the names: Ryan Turf, Steiner, Bunton, BobCat, Brouwer, Mantis, Little Wonder, and Classen

Swisher: Make a great, high quality residential zero-turn.  If you are looking for a wing mower please take a look at the Acrease mentioned earlier before you buy Swisher’s Trailmower.

1017-large Textron/Jacobson/Ransomes: merged Jacobsen and Ransomes with the Jacobson name used here in the U.S. and Ransomes used in Europe.  They primarily market to golf courses and large area mowing but you will find a large number of their out-front mowers on the used market.  Don’t buy the 3 wheeled version.  The rest are good machines, but expensive to repair.

 Toro: Toro is also another huge, worldwide corporation like John Deere, but they mainly market lawn care products.  They have Homeowner, Commercial, Golf, Irrigation and Sports Field Divisions. It looks like the lawn tractors are made by MTD.

  • Toro also owns ExMark:, and Hayter: (British)  ExMark is the mower of choice for independent landscapers and mowing contractors.  Hayter is one of the oldest names in Britain and prides itself in “makers of the finest mowers”
  • The Toro Grandstand and ExMark Vantage are my favorite mowers.  If you currently own a Craftsman, Cub Cadet or John Deere Garden Tractor and it is taking you say, 6 hours to mow and trim your yard, you can easily cut that mowing/trimming time in half with one of these mowers.
  • It looks like the Toro Tractors are being made for them by MTD.  As far as I can tell the rest of their products are made by Toro.

Ventrac Ventrac: If you own an acreage and want to do more than mow lawn with your equipment this may be the tractor for you.  One of the unique benefits of this brand is the maneuverability and ability to handle up to 30 degree slopes.

Walker Mower Walker: Walker mowers are high end residential and commercial mowers that have a specific purpose.  They are designed to bag and bag well.  These mowers will give you the best looking lawn in the county. If you have trees, trees, and more trees, berms, and many landscape beds to go around take a close look at this great brand.

Worldlawn Power Equipment Inc:  Encore Encore has been struggling for a while now and it looks like they have been bought out by , a Chinese Company.  UpDate: It looks like worldlawn has kept the factory in Beatrice and is promoting the line under the World Lawn name. Encore always had a good mower, just a poor dealer network, so don’t be afraid to look at this mower.

Wright: I would recommend any of the mowers Wright sells.  The Stander X is my third choice for the best mower on the market today.  The Stander ZK is one of the fastest, high production single deck mowers on the market.  I also like the Sentar series. If you have a large lawn, with a lot of slopes seriously look at this brand.

Zipper: Zipper Mowers’ design philosophy is to build high quality products that are focused on the needs and requirements of professional users where quality and function are more important than looks and price. They believe that by not trying to be all things to all people we are able to actually build an innovative, no compromise machine. Machines that large companies designing product to a price point, for every market segment, and by committee just can’t. Their use of domestically produced components is about being able to monitor and control quality, deliver products in a timely manner, and sustain our US manufacturing to enable building high quality products. Not about purchasing the cheapest part to better margins at the expense of their customer’s experience.

Engine Manufactures:

Briggs & Stratton: American Made!

Kawasaki engines: American made!

Kohler engines: American Made!

Toro – ExMark: Loncin


MTD: PowerMore – Zongshen. Usually labeled the same as the brand. i.e., Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt

Rato: Currently no snow blower engines but very popular on pumps and generators. They have the capability to produce any engine you may need for Lawn & Garden equipment including vertical shaft twins.

Attachment & Accessory Manufactures:

Agri-Fab: Tools and Attachments.  The snowblower or utility blade on the front of your tractor was probably made by this company.


Ohio Steel: A complete line of Lawn & Garden products for you lawn tractor and garden tractor.


Callout MTD:

Many companies don’t make their own equipment. Craftsman is a typical example. These companies usually contract with different manufactures to make their products. Some years all of the tractors will be made by one company and other years the there may be two or more manufactures making the items. MTD is one of those companies that usually gets some of the action. MTD not only makes and sells their own brands but also make products for other brands. In other words MTD is a primary manufacture and has made products for many different companies over the years.

The table below represents some of the more popular private label brands and the retailer that has sold them. Taken from:

Ace® Ace Hardware
Aircap® Discount & Mass Retail
Atlas® TruServ Hardware
Big-O® Orgills
Bolens® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
Central Park® Handy Andy
Craftsman® Sears
Crusader® Heilig-Meyers
Cub Cadet® MTD Brand – Independent Cub Cadet Dealers & Select Major Home Improvement Stores
Garden King® Mid-States Distributors
Gardenway® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
Gardenway by Troy-Bilt® MTD Brand – Sam’s Wholesale Club
Hardware Hank® United Hardware
Huskee® Tractor Supply
Lawn Chief® TruServ Hardware
Lawnhawk® Ernst Home Centers
Lowes® Lowes Home Improvement
Malmo® Ernst Home Centers
Mastercraft® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
Mastercut® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
MTD® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
MTD Pro® MTD Brand – Independent Cub Cadet Dealers & Sam’s Wholesale Club Stores
Penncraft® J.C. Penney
Power Pro® K-Mart
Ranch King® Quality Farm & Fleet
Remington® MTD Brand – Independent White Outdoor Dealers & Hardware Stores
Ryobi® Costco
Servistar® TruServ Hardware
Signature® Montgomery Wards
Snowflite® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
Statesman® Southern States
Town & Country® Tractor Supply
Trim King® Fred Meyer
Troy-Bilt® MTD Brand – Troy-Bilt Factory Direct, Independent Troy-Bilt Dealers, Home Improvement & Hardware Stores
Turf King® Central Tractor
Turf Power® Stambaugh-Thompson
Turf Pro® Heilig-Meyers
Western Sun® Intermountain Farmer
White Outdoor® MTD Brand – Independent White Outdoor Dealers & Hardware Stores
Wizard® Western Auto
Wolf-Garten® MTD Brand – Primarily sold in Europe
Yard Boss® MTD Brand – Independent White Outdoor Dealers & Hardware Stores
Yard Machines® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified
Yard-Man® MTD Brand – Retailers Unspecified

Gone Away, But Not Forgotten

  • Derby: Now part of Simplicity
  • EverRide: as of 2011 the Everride name is being discontinued and the products merged into the Gravely Name.
  • Great Dane: This name is also going away.  The Great Dane Surfer and Wright Stander’s were the first stand-on mowers available.  I was influencial in designing the Super Surfer back in the late 1990’s
  • Honda Honda has not made a tractor since 1997 for the U.S. Parts are getting hard to find for the ones still running. John Deere has discontinued their walk-behind mowers and snow blowers and will be selling Honda products starting in 2012.
  • Howard Price: The website has not been updated for a while and only looks to be up for historic reasons only.  These mowers are big, slow, but mow well.  Beware, they are very expensive to repair.
  • Heckendorn: I can no longer find a website for this brand.  They were the mower of choice for cemeteries in the 60’s but never got into the zero-turn market well.
  • National: National mowers are designed for mowing golf courses.  They mow too low for most homeowners. Ariens has absorbed the brand
  • Schweiss: Schweiss mowers  It looks like the Schweiss is gone. The name is being used by B&H Manufacturing for a 3 point hitch snow blower.
  1. Hi – some good information here. I hope you don’t mind if I point out that you consistently used the word manufacture(s), when the word should be manufacturer(s). Example: in the title of the article, “Who Makes What, Who Are The Major Mower Manufactures”, the word manufactures (which is a verb) should be replace with the word manufacturers (which is a noun).

    • Hi Becky, no I don’t mind at all. My spelling checker does not catch those kind of mistakes and I have just gotten into the habit of writing it wrong. Feel free to correct me anytime.

  2. Hi Paul, Great site with an abundance of information. You are very dedicated to supplying relevant info. Looking at the Craftsman pro series GT 54″ model 98645, which is available for $3000.00 at Sears, I’m trying to determine what transaxle it uses. I would prefer to get a tractor with a heavier duty transaxle such as a Hydro Gear G730 or a Tuff Torq K 66. Do you know if this tractor uses a comparable transaxle? Use plug aerator, de-thatcher and sweeper on sloping ground. Michael – Black Hills South Dakota

    • Hi Michael, That is the 2014 Craftsman Pro made by Husqvarna and yes it does use the G730. Just so you know the 2015 Craftsman Pro 20445 which is made by MTD uses the K58.

      • Hi Paul, Thanks for the feedback on the transaxle. The GT 54 is on order. You mentioned the 2015 20445 uses the K58. Hoping I chose the right tractor for my conditions. Thanks again, Michael. Piedmont, South Dakota

  3. Paul, I was considering the Craftsman 20442 or 20445 professional series lawn tractors for my 1.5 acre flat yard. However, I just talked someone at a big box store who suggested the Toro Time Cutter SS5000 zero turn. The yard is very flat and i use the tractor to primarily cut grass and a few times each year to move a 14′ foot fiberglass boat and trailer weighing about 700 lbs to the driveway. They said it has a trailer hitch and would not be a problem plus it would cut down on the mowing time considerably. I was wondering what you think. Jim – Western PA

    • Hi Jim, The Home Depot guy was right….compared to the other stuff he sells at his store the SS5000 will cut down the time. BUT, you will not save that much time when comparing it to the Craftsman Pro series. Why?

      The tractors he sells all have a standard 16 or 18 inch turning radius and mow about 4 mph. Where you save the time with the SS5000 is the zero-turning radius and the 50 inch width. It will still only mow well about 4 mph.

      The Craftsman 20442 on the other hand turns almost as short as the SS5500. The 5 inch Turn-Tight Extreme steering will save you almost as much time as a ZTR. The 46 inch deck will only cost you about 12 minutes extra time compared to the 50 inch Toro on 1.5 acres.

      Finally, putting a trailer hitch on the SS5000 to pull a boat bothers me. The transmissions in the Toro have the smart speed control but they are the smallest in the industry. If the yard is flat – fine, but don’t use it to pull the boat out of the water up a ramp.

      Finally, are you used to using a ZTR? It does take some time to learn how to drive them without tearing up your property. Don’t get me wrong, I like the SS5000 but is saving you about 12-15 minutes each time you mow worth almost $800?

  4. Hey Paul. I appreciate the time and effort you put in to creating this list. It has been a very good read and extremely helpful. I have done so much research for zero turns I feel like I could walk into any dealership and be a successful salesman for them now haha. but on a serious note. I have finally narrowed my search down to these 3 mowers:

    Scag Tiger Cat 61″ Velocity Plus Cutter Deck, 26hp Kohler EFI (STC61V-26CV-EFI 61)
    Toro Z master 60″ 25 HP EFI 747cc (74958)
    Hustler X-one or the Hustler Super Z

    My land is flat and about 10 trees around the house. I’m not worried about the 60″ deck fitting through them as I mow with a cub cadet LTX 50 right now. I have horses and turn out pastures and several acres of yard that I try to keep nice and pretty. I could use my tractor and howse shredder for it all but it would tear my yard up horribly. I’ve noticed nobody on this site has brought up any Scag products. I know you have them listed but not a lot of talk about them on here or Hustler for that matter. Anyways my list above is put in order by which ztr I like the most. I have always wanted a Scag but really don’t know why haha. If you could tell me your thoughts on these I would greatly appreciate it. Also I am for sure wanting some kind of suspension preferably suspension seat due to my back condition. Thank you again From TEXAS

    • Hi Austin, I’m not an expert on the commercial zero-turns so I don’t discuss them unless you bring them up. The only Scag I owned was a Turf Runner.

      Toro, ExMark and Scag make up the lion’s share of the market. The commercial guys tend to be very brand specific. For example, once they lock into a Scag they don’t buy anything else. I feel it may have to do just as much with the dealer though as the product.

      One thing about the Hustler mowers. Beside the suspension seat you can install front flex forks. This helps to reduce the front end jar.

  5. HI Paul,
    I’m looking at purchasing a Higher end residential, lower end commercial ZT for residential use. I think i have narrowed it down to a 60″ BAD BOY CZT with Kawasaki FS 726cc and Grammer seat, or the 61″ Ferris IS 700z with vanguard 810cc. What are your positives and negatives on both of these mowers? What would your preference be?

    • Hi Justin, Are you looking at the Bad Boy at TSC? Bad Boy® 60 in. 747cc CZT Elite Commercial Grade Mower at TSC
      icon. If you are be sure you understand the service. I would make sure you have a local dealer (within 40 miles) so you can get blades, belts etc, or answer any questions you have on the mower. I have no other issues with the Bad Boy. I am very impressed with the build quality, mowing quality and speed of this Zero-turn.

      I am also very impressed with the Bad Boy company itself. This is a company where the customer always comes first.

      The Ferris I am very neutral about. I have many owners that love their IS600z’s but I also have many owners who have a lot of little complaints. From a commercial standpoint a lot of small operators bought the 700z-ish mowers but have since gone back to ExMark or Scag. In a production setting the Ferris doesn’t cut as well as the ExMark and the Scag spends a lot less time in the shop. In my opinion the suspension on the Ferris is just extra parts to go bad.

  6. I need a bit of help. I mow about three plus acres every ten days or so here in North Florida. Some of it is a bit rough, some of it is a ditch, 25-35 degrees (approx 10%) and I even cut the weeds in my horse pasture from time to time. I had a Craftsman lawn tractor with a twin Kohler engine for about ten years. The transaxle went bad so I purchased a new Craftsman, but not with the Kohler engine, too much money. I found a very good deal on a new 21 HP, 46″ deck, model 917.28852. It is three and a half years old and six months ago I had to replace the engine rings. It now makes a grinding noise and the man that keeps it tuned for me thinks the transaxle might be going bad. He recommends I purchase a Bad Boy ZTO (sold locally at Tractor Supply). They are definitely not in my budget, but then neither is another mower of any kind. So, before I wreck the Craftsman (could sell it to off-set some of the cost) and my budget, I am looking at the ZTOs. I have access to Lowe’s, Sears, Tractor Supply and a Kubota Dealer. I can travel to a bigger city with John Deere (dealer) and probably a few more. I see Sears with a few different models and Tractor supply is providing 18 months with no finance charge on Bad Boy and Cub Cadet, but all-in-all, I need a mower that will do the job, slopes included (ditches) as they are too numerous to trim. I guess I would like to stay at three thousand or less. I will even consider a slightly used one…any help will be appreciated.

    • Hi Sally, The various types of mowing you do plus the ditch really warrants a Zero-turn with a fabricated deck and at least ZT-2800 transmissions.

      I’m sorry to tell you this but if you stay at $3000 or less you are only going to get 4-5 years out of the mower. If you move up to the $3800-$4000 range the mower will last much longer.

      So, Tractor Supply: 1. The MZ Magnum Bad Boy does not have the heavier transmissions. You have to go up to the $4499 MZ Elite to get the heavy deck and heavy transmissions. 2. The Cub Cadet® 60 in. Heavy-Duty Z-Force L 60 At $3999 does have both the heavy deck and heavy drives.

      Sears: Craftsman Pro 24 HP V-Twin Kohler 48” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower about $3899.

      Home Depot: 1. Ariens Zoom XL 48 in. 22 HP Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin ZT2800 Transaxles Zero-Turn Riding Mower at $3899 2. Toro TimeCutter MX5050 50 in. 24 HP KOHLER V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Speed

      • Thank-you very much for your in depth response. I read just about everything on your website including the “Do you really need a ZTR” article. With the ditches and their slope, I might not be a candidate. I don’t want to slide int the bottom of the ditch (pond!). I do like the Husqvarna articulating mower you have, but it is a bit out of my range. I am looking at Sears outlet website and think I might best get the Twin Kohler 24 or 26 hp mowers with tight turn technology. Since a ZTO doesn’t mow much faster on open ground, it isn’t a necessity for me. My limitation is more the money, not the time.

        There are several Crafsman models and they do get confusing. I believe they are Lawn, Yard and Garden respectivily with Garden being the most heavy duty. Then of course there is the Pro series, but some of them are in the Yard Tractor price range so I guess they don’t have the heavy duty trans. You did suggest one Craftsman heavy Duty and one Poulan that looks just like the Craftsman Pro. Any advice on Craftsman/Kohler or Briggs twin cylinders and heavy duty trans? I really can’t go over $3,000 (tax, tags & title)and that is tight as I just spent a pretty penny for a new metal roof and the cupboard is bare.
        Thanks in advance for all of your help. I make great jelly if you need some!

        • Hi Sally, I understand the new roof. I had to have one two years ago and I ended up doing a lot myself because I refused to go out and get a loan.

          There are two way we can go. Both of these tractors use a “better” Briggs & Stratton twin cylinder engine.

          The first is a Garden Tractor. For about $2899 the Craftsman G5500 24HP 54″ Complete Start™ Turn Tight® Garden Tractor – Non CA gives you a big deck and the heaviest transmission Craftsman uses. The engine will last and the transmission will never go bad.

          The second is a lawn tractor. For about $1849 you get a lawn tractor about the same size as the 28852 you now have but has a great 22 hp v-twin engine and a 48 inch deck. The wheels are a little wider than the ones on your tractor. This lawn tractor has a very strong CVT transmission. If you liked your current Craftsman for size and getting around but wanted one that has a bigger engine and deck this one is a good choice. You should easily get 10 years out of this tractor. You can check it out on here: 22 HP V-Twin 48″ Turn Tight Fast Riding Mower – Non CA

          • Thank-you. I am not sure what a CVT Transmission is, but from reading all of your posts, I guess is is a sort of manual one. My last Sears tractor’s Hydrostatic transmission went bad after 10+ years of hard use. I bought my present one, but find it not nearly what the last one was. It was top of the line with the twin Kohler. I think I will try to find the one with the strongest transmission I can, even if it is Hydrostatic.
            And again, Thank-you for all of your help.

            • Hi Sally, The two I mentioned are about the strongest you can get for the money. The G5500 is the strongest of the two.

              I know, we get too technical here sometimes. (if you have a new economy car there is a good chance it has a CVT in it instead of an automatic but no one asks that question at the dealer)

              A CVT drives like a hydro. You won’t know the difference from the operator’s seat.

              • I hope this is the last question…but are these the only two with strong transmissions? I feel any of the Briggs or Kohler 2 cylinders are okay (yes, no?), but I know nothing about the transmissions. I see several model numbers with a similar sequence such as GT6000 and 20393. This is just a short list. Would any twin cylinder in the same price range be similar?

                • Hi Sally, I’m sorry – I forgot you were only looking on the searsoutlet site. They only carry repaired and older stuff there. For example the GT6000 you mention is at least 2 years old and could be 5 years old.

                  The searsoutlet site is loaded based on the used, reconditioned and clearanced items in your area. If I looked at it up here in Wisconsin I would get different tractors.

                  I am still assuming you want a tractor with a transmission and engine that will last longer than the last two you owned. There is more to it than just a twin cylinder engine but the sales sheet on searsoutlet will not tell you what transmission is in the tractor.

                  Please tell me the model numbers of the tractors you are looking at and I’ll compare them to the two I have suggested.

  7. I found it interesting that you mentioned that the CUB Cadet was first manufactured by International Harvester. I worked at the IH foundry in Indianapolis in 1965. I was an electricians apprentice there. In addition to being a foundry they also built diesel engines there . One day I noticed several management types were hovering over a little yellow yard tractor, which I later learned was the Cub Cadet. I lost track of the Cub Cadet for a long time then started noticing them again. I found out they had been sold but I didn’t know who bought them or what quality they were later on

    • HI Charlie, Cub Cadet’s are also near and dear to me. My uncle was one of the engineers at Moline and was involved with building the first prototype. He’s still around and loves to talk about those “fun” times at IH.

      The XT3 still has a lot of the philosophy of design of the original Cub Cadet. Shaft drive, extra strong, etc.

  8. Do you have any YouTube or internet reviews and comparison site on the Briggs Snapper/Simplicity/Massey Ferguson zero turn mowers sent for more info from the companies website and keep getting emails back that site and or email address is default and goes to spam any help Thanks Rick Rossway Digby Nova Scotia Canada

  9. We have the Massey Ferguson zero turns up here and the 2346 with 24 hp efm briggs engine and cast iron spindles with zt2800 pumps and cast iron front axle and 3 blade 46 inch deck sells for 4500 plus taxes as usual great site and great advice Thanks Rick Digby Nova Scotia Canada

    • @Rick, Ah, I forgot Massey is a great name in Canada. That is actually a good price for that size of mower. That rates very well to the $4000 to $5000 ZTR’s here in the U.S. The 3 blade decks cuts very well, but doesn’t bag well. If you want to use a bagger you will have to get an aux blower to blow the grass into the hoppers.

  10. Hey Paul do you have any thoughts on the Massey Ferguson 2300 series zero turn mowers I am looking at the 46 inch deck model how does it compare to the John Deere Husqvarna and Toro in the same class such as the JD z255 or the Toro ss or mx models as well for the Husqvarna .Does MF make these themselves or sub`d out and is series and model something new for them great site glad we have some one to help sort this huge selection to pick from for mowers Thank`s take care and be well Rick

    • @Rick. Briggs & Stratton makes this mower for Massey Ferguson Lawn. It is the same mower as the Simpicity ZT1500 Series and the Snapper 285 Series. The Massey has a great engine in it.

      If I remember right Briggs came out with this model 2 years ago. Most of these are sold with the Simpicity labeling. I can’t say I have ever seen one with the Massey name on it.

      Spec-wise it is very comparable to the Husqvara 46 inch, Craftsman 46 inch, JD 200 series and the Toro Time Cutter. These are all good machines for flat lawns but they all have the EZT hydro transmissions. If you have slopes or ditches to mow look at higher priced zero-turns with the ZT2800 or ZT3100 transmissions.

  11. Does anyone remember seeing a Yamaha riding mower. My brother had one and I did my lawn a few times with it. Wasn’t a bad mower.

    • @Ed+, Yes, and there are lot of people who loved the Yamaha snow blowers. They left the U.S. market in the mid 90’s.

  12. Anyone here recall the Yeasu (or Yeashu) lawn mowers? I believe they were the first to use a bicycle spokes in the rear wheel that was about 12-14″ is diameter and was the driven wheels using what they called their “tractor drive” technology.

    • @Michael, Sarlo mowers have been around since 1935 and use large, spoked rear wheels

  13. So I have a old mower. I don’t know really that much harder about it except it says it’s a maverick 8 hp Transaxle. I know it sat in a barn for about 25 years and a little bit of work and boom it runs again. All original. It’s yellow with a little bed with a tail gate on it. Any info would help. After looking all over, only thing that looks close to it is the bonanza. Please help

    • @Zac, The members over at mytractorforum can help you better than I can. I know a lot about old commercial mowers but not that much about the old residential brands.

    • @Dave, Thanks for reminding me to add them. When I put this list together they were not selling a mower. Landpride pretty much only focuses on farmers and there are very few dealers in most area of the country. It appears they got back into again.

  14. between all the zero turn commercial mowers with the kawasaki or the vanguard which would be the best ?

    • @John, There is a large following for Kawasaki engines. Myself, I have no preference between the Kawasaki FX series, the Briggs Vanguard or the Kohler Confidant.

      All three are designed to give the commercial landscaper well over 2000 hours of use. Briggs, Kohler and Kaw all have 3 year warranties.

  15. I am looking for a 8 to maybe 10 hsp riding mower with all the controls on the right side including the brake —I am small and have physical challenges….please help.

    • @Lee Anne, Good news and bad news. There are no small riders like you want with hand controls but there are two lawn tractors with speed controls on the right side. The Craftsman Model 20381 and 20390 are the best choice. Here is my review: Model 20381 with hand controls and Model 20390 with foot controls.

      Why are these a good choice? The way the transmissions work you do not need to use the brake on the left side of the tractor. The hand control and foot control both stop the mower. In fact the foot control version has internal braking so when you let off on the foot control the mower stops and the brake is set. The only time you need to use the left foot lever is to start the tractor. (write back and I can tell you about a work-around so you don’t even need to use it then.)

      Those are two ideas to get you started. But I would like to ask a few more questions. How large is your yard? Are you able to use both your hands and arms? Can you use your right leg? I have one more option that may work even better for you.

  16. Paul, I see one of the comments listed a Briggs & Straton engine as a “Con.” Is the B&S in the Craftsman 54″ 24 HP a good engine? I hope so, I have had B&S engines for decades and they seem to last forever. I just purchased a 20403 G5500 for $2707.49.

    • @John, it’s really a Ford or Chevy thing. In other words if you are a Ford guy you could never like a matter how much someone else wanted you to.

      The B&S in the 20403 is a full pressure/oil pump Briggs. What that means is oil pumped throughout your engine just like in your car. The oil is pumped right to the critical locations. No splash lube. It works well on hills and slopes. The B&S Platinum engine in your new tractor is expected to get 25% more life than your old engine. Change the oil, oil filter and air cleaner regularly and it will last a long, long time.

      Great Price!

  17. Hello Paul,
    We have a new construction home one a 1.5 acre lot that was formerly a corn field (southern Maryland). Almost half of our lot is flat with the sloped areas being between 10-20 degrees. The contractor graded & seeded 3/4 of our lot and just mowed the rest (dead cornfield). What would be the best new riding mower/tractor for us – on a budget? We’re considering buying from Sears.

    • @Karen, I would guess you want a Craftsman that will last you many years. If it was cornfield you don’t have many trees to mow around :) You may want to level off the area he didn’t plant and seed it later on so you want a tractor that would pull a length of chain-link fence or an old farm drag section to smooth and get the dirt ready to plant. So I am going to recommend three tractors and you can pick based on your budget. All three will handle cleaning your yard and then mowing it for years to come.

      The tractors costing less than $1699 will do the job for a while … but you will always be wishing you spent an extra 2-300 dollars on a little better tractor. So I suggest if the three tractors are too expensive for your budget right now just save your money for another month or three and then buy the tractor that really fits your yard. The neighbors won’t start complaining about your overgrown lawn until the end of May….

      $1699 Craftsman 22HP 42 Turn Tight Fast Yard Tractor 49 States 1 Acre and Above. You can mow your yard in 2 hours or so.
      $1999 Craftsman 22 HP V-Twin 48" Turn Tight Fast Tractor - Non CA 1 Acre and Above. You can mow your yard in less than two hours.
      $2699 Craftsman 24HP 48 Hydrostatic Transmission Turn Tight Garden Tractor - Non CA 16" x 6.5" - 8". Your new lawn and the field will be rough for a few years. This one has larger tires and a big comfortable seat. They will allow it to ride better over your "lawn."

  18. Thanks for help. I finally settled and went today and bought a new craftsman 2600 with a kohler engine

  19. What about the drive shaft. I have not seen any other ones with a shaft. What is your comment on this. Thanks

    • @Karen, Today 99.95% of the lawn tractors use a vertical shaft engine and a belt to drive the transmission. Only the 2000 series Cub Cadet still uses the horizontal shaft engine and a drive shaft. They start at $5000 with a deck.

      Unless you planning on converting the tractor for tractor pulling at the county fair a drive shaft mower is not needed.

      Now the real issue is to repairs on the mower will be expensive. There were very few made because they were expensive compared to the other mowers of the time and used parts will be impossible to find. In addition the old green Craftsman and that era John Deere’s cut better, turned better and it is easier to find parts.

      If you want a tractor that old you can find a good John Deere for the same money or a “like new” green Craftsman for about $400.

  20. I am still looking for a mower. I found a cub cadet 2166 17hp. Nice shape but used. It has drive shaft and a kohler engine. 38in deck with bagger. What can you tell me about this. Thanks

    • @Karen, The 2166 was sold around 2003 and also came with a 42 inch deck. It always had a good solid reputation. I looked around and good ones are going for $800 to $1200 plus the bagger. The only thing I remember is major engine parts for that Kohler may be hard to find.

  21. Paul, I have the same questions as Howard sent you on jan 27th. I only have about a half acre, although i like to pull my thatcher and bag. Is the craftsman Howard is talking about made by Husqvarna? Thank you :-) Woodland, WA Karen

    • @karen, Yes the Craftsman Turn-Tight tractors are made by Husqvarna. You can go here to read my complete review:

  22. Paul – Nice website! I am in the market for a new rider. I have it narrowed down to 3 different brands / models:
    1 – Cub Cadet LTX1042KW
    Pros – Features and Kawasaki engine.
    Cons – Bad reviews on the deck.
    2 – John Deere D130
    Pros – Looks well made and mostly good reviews.
    Cons – Briggs engine.
    3 – Craftsman Turn Tight 42″
    Pros – Very economical tight turning / price
    Cons – Bad reviews, seems very cheaply made.

    Which one of the 3 models would you own and why should I buy one over the other?


    • Readers, I’ll let you answer this one. 2 acres, flat land, 20 trees or so. Which one would you recommend and why?

  23. Your list is no really complete without lisying Sarlo, the oldest family owned lawnmower manufacturer in the United States. They have been producing quality push mowers since 1935. They specialize in marketing to prison systems, so when I was looking for a good quality push mower to use in a lawn care business, I chose Sarlo. I figured that if a prisoner who really doesn’t want to be there can’t tear it up, then it was perfect for my workers to use, and I have not been dissappointed. They also claim to be Briggs and Strattons oldest customer, which I don’t doubt, but what really impressed me was calling and Marc Sarlo, thr president of thd company, taking my order

    Marion Arkansas

    • @michael, Yes Sarlo is one of the oldest and most rugged designs. If you buy one, you’ll never have to buy another mower. I didn’t include them or other heavy duty walk behinds like Billy Goat, Bachtold, Roof, Outback, Danos, DR and McClane because this blog tries to stick with just riding mowers.

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  25. Paul, I find your site to be outstanding, do have a question, is there a site that has the number of tractors/mower build by each co? I’m into electric mowers. I have several GE Elec-trac’s that I use.

    Thank you for the great site

    Jerry R in Paulding OH 45879

    • @Jerry, No, I’m not aware of any company that gives out production numbers or any site that has kept track of how many were made. It would be an interesting fact to learn though.

      Just in the last 5 years I’ve seen some manufactures only sell a few hundred of one model but a hundred thousand of another model.

  26. Can anyone help me find a manual for a NOMA Huskee A4514-010. I need diagrams for the tractor and 45″ deck. I’m in the middle of a rebuild. I’d also like to know who made the Green Star 8/32. I figured this was a good place to ask with the wealth of knowledge and all. Great site.

    • @Darren, I did a google search for NOMA Huskee A4514-010 and this came up . It looks like it was made by Murray so if you can’t find a specific manual go over to and ask around in the Murray section. You’ll have to register to read and ask questions.

  27. Hello,
    I have a 1999 Toro 455D ground master lawn mower. Model # 30455 with a s/n 80249
    I need Toro part # 76-7830 (wheel shaft) and my dealer is telling me
    that part has been discontinued???
    He said best bet to google and here I am. Please help me!!

  28. I must say that I have found this website extremely informative, even with an all ready healthy knowledge of mowers and tractors over the years, and if possible I would like to know if an ariens 936060 mower [home depot] can be upgraded with a cast front axle, cant seem to find any numbers to cross, and no dimensions, I know this is a light duty mower, and have already replaced front wheel bushings with ball bearings and also grease fittings on mandrels for deck, don’t like hydro drive prefer gear and this is my mower, so I want it right as I can get it. thanks for any help. and keep up the good work here! excellent page. michael

    • @michael, that is an almost impossible task because the tractors with a cast front axle have a different frame. Now, the Husqvarna chassis that this Ariens is built on is a good frame and I don’t know of anyone who has had a issue with that welded front end. The axle itself holds up well.

      Craftsman used that axle for many years and there were no problems with it. The reason most owners want a cast axle is before 1993 at lot of the cheap MTD and AYP front axles bent. Since 1995 AYP (Husqvarna) made a point of designing their welded axles to last.

      I have heard of a few instances of the spindle assemblies bending, but I have a feeling these owners were abusing the tractor or running it at full speed over really rough ground.

      You will be able to get parts for that lawn tractor for many years through Ariens.

  29. Thank you Paul! I’ll check it out.
    My old Craftsman was a model 917.273140 and only had a 42 inch deck. Unfortunately we can’t do a much larger one since a great deal of the areas we have to mow are narrowish yet too much to weed eat. Thanks again!

    • @Kris, take a close look at the YT42XLS. I feel the price is very reasonable for the extras you get.

  30. Great website with lots of good information! I am in the market for a new riding lawn mower since my old Craftsman just fully croaked. We have a farm in southwest Virginia (mountains) and a LOT of mowing to do, so it was barely adequate even on a good day. The terrain here is littered with boulders and rocks the size of your fist, as well as very sloped in many areas. The only good thing about the old mower was that it fit between the boulders to cut the grass. Have had to replace a LOT of blades though, since heavy rains often make rocks show up where there formally weren’t any- that gets expensive quick. Since we do own a working farm and constantly have many other items which need fixing and spending on- we’re looking for the best value on a durable riding lawn mower. We don’t need it to do anything else (we have a tractor), just mow, and hold up well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • @Kris, Husqvarna has a couple of dealer-only tractors with fabricated decks. These deck are heavier than the stamped decks on all the other mowers. Plus these tractor have differential locks so they will go up your hills well. You didn’t say what size your old deck was so I can’t suggest a specific model.

      go to husqvarna tractors and look at the models that end in XLS.

  31. Your website is very helpful. I just purchased a home with a well established lawn of about 2.5 acres. Relatively flat with about 6 trees. I am interested in your advice on what mower to purchase. My priorities: 1) safety 2) cut the yard in 90 minutes or less. Would like to stay under $6k, but might invest more if there is valid reason. Would also consider used mower or tractor/bush-hog if in great shape. Kinda like the idea of a John Deere, but can live without the green/yellow. Live in Atlanta suburb, so grass grows almost year-round. Any advice would be appreciated! ThanX John

  32. I believe it is about a 1981 or 82. I am thinking it is a Murray, but not sure at all. It kind of reminds me of the Murray that I had that was a 1992 model. it was a very good mower and lasted until about a year ago and I have a very large amount of lawn for it to mow. I think I will give this one a try even though it is old. murray, at least in the earlier years seems to be a excellent mower.

  33. I just found a “Green Acres” riding mower with an 18HP briggs engine, 42″cut. I am wondering who manufactured this mower and if you know anything about them. cant find any info on them anywhere

    • @Larry, Sorry I’m just getting to your question. I was at the 50th Anniversay Celebration of the John Deere 110 lawn tractor this weekend.

      no idea on that one. How old do you think it is? During the 90’s just about every farm store chain had Murray or MTD building a cheap tractor just for them.

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  35. What is the pic of the riding mower you have on this article! It looks to be 4×4 with a single blade.

    • @Kevin, That is a Masport Crossjet. It’s a 4X4 roughcut mower that will cut down just about anything and go just about anywhere. Yes, It does have a 38 inch deck but is usually 2 blades. It’s a Japanese built machine and is fairly expensive. (around $9000) Here is a video of it: Crossjet

  36. Why is there no information for Deines… anywhere… Been around for about 40 years now

    • @Jason, I completely forgot about Deines. I haven’t seen a “Marty J” anywhere for about 20 years. They are a great mowing mower, but I always felt like I was riding a horse when I tested them years ago. I’ll get them included in my next revision.

  37. What about Murray? they were closed down by Briggs & Stratton in 2005, in 2012 they came back to making mowers, but the rider’s are now as of 2013 made by MTD. the push mower’s with no bag are made by Husqvarna and the higher end Murray push mower’s are made by MTD.

    • @MowerGuy, Please tell us where you are getting this information. It looks like all of the U.S. Products including the zero-turn are made by MTD. The low end push mowers are the same as MTD is selling at the other retailers. According to the Briggs & Stratton website, the name Murray is still owned by B&S.

  38. Great site, lots of good info. Folks might like an update on new stuff however. Husqvarna has just started selling their articulated rider with an out front mower deck. I still have an old Bolens lawnkeeper of the same design and can’t wait to get my hands on Husqvarna’s version. According to their web site the top end model has AWD. The old Bolens was always more stable than ANY zero turn, hence my desire to upgrade from my Snapper Z-rider. You also say Deere makes all their own, but I am under the impression MTD makes the Deere product sold at the box stores.

    • @Walt, There has been a short review up on this site since Oct. R 120S ReviewYou can buy the 4WD version at your local Husqvarna dealer the R 120S with free shipping at online. (get the link on the review page)

      My local Husqvarna dealer has a dozen of the 2WD and 4WD out on lawns but I am not ready to write a performance review yet. I want the owners to get a few mowing’s before I get their response. The machine is not for everyone, especially at $2999 to $4999.

      It’s funny how outdated information and out-right lies hang around on the Internet. MTD has never made the 100 series Deere. They are made by Deere in their Georgia plant. The 300, 500 and 700 series are made here in Wisconsin. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BOX-STORE 100 SERIES AND THE DEALER VERSION. If a dealer tells you there is – I would run away as fast as I can from him.

      Oh,,, I have owned both the original Yellow articulated Bolens with the gearbox steering and the later white version with the cable steering. I’ve also owned the Heston and Smithco articulated’s. Like you I would love to own the new Husqvarna 4WD!

  39. We have a fairly flat yard, approx. 1/2 acre, maybe a little more since we keep expanding it. We have a LOT of trees – about 100 or more since it’s an orchard. We have 3 greenhouses, 2 sheds, 1 house and a workshop building that we mow around. There are 2 ditches that we mow but we do that with a push mower because of the slope. Most of the brands are available to us within 50 miles. We are looking at the Bad Boy mower. It seems to be made well and the reviews we have read are mostly positive.

    • @Mary, The Bad Boy is a good choice. A Grasshopper may also be a good fit because the out-front deck will let you get under the trees better. With a mid-mount like the Bad Boy you may be spending a lot of time bending out of the way when trying to mow around all those trees in the orchard.

      If you can walk under your trees without bending over the Bad Boy will work. If you walk through your orchard and have to duck under the branches consider a front-mount zero-turn like the Grasshopper.

  40. Great site, but lots of info. Looking for a reasonably priced zero turn. What would be your top three.

    • Mary, I need more info before I can give you suggestions. How large is your lawn? Do you have slopes to mow? Will you be using it, teenagers or someone who can be rough on equipment? Are you just mowing around the house or will you also mow around the farm buildings, fence-lines and waterways?

      Farmer’s lawns tend to be a little rough and a heavier duty machine is usually called for. What equipment dealers do you have near you? What brands do they carry?

      Let me know and I can help you better.

  41. How about Sarlo mowers? Bases on Florida they make a line of push mowers that are some okf the best. Their primary customers are State and Federal prison systems, bjt they can be purchased, or oddered thru northern tool, or you can call and order one and have jt delivered. I called 3 YEARS AGO and got mine , the president of the xompany answered the phone, small company. If a prisoner who really doesnt want ro be pushing a mower cant tear it upn then then it is tough. They have bewn building these since1926, the oldest family owned lawn mower manufacturer jn the US.

    • @michael, Thanks for letting the readers know about Sarlo. There are about a dozen walk-behind manufactures that I did not include on this list of riding mowers. Sarlo is one of the best. Bachtold, MeanGreenProducts, Havener and Billy Goat are a few more heavy-duty American machines that come to mind.

  42. I mow professionally. I purchased one of the “Convertible Mowers” from Rich Manufacturing. Although some are re-branded under the DR Power name, heavier, commercial duty mowers are available from Rich Manufacturing through their dealer network. The dealer network is not big though. I love the thing. One mower works for every situation on every property I mow. I did add liquid ballast to the rear tires to improve traction, made a day and night difference. Great blog, keep up the good work, thanks for putting in the time.

    • @B&S I remember the first year he had one at GIE-EXPO. I liked it a lot but ended up buying Great Dane Surfers instead. I had 2 Toro walk-behinds for areas I couldn’t mow with a zero-turn.

  43. Walker thinks that Virginians no longer need a dealer close by. They have a traveling salesman from Denton NC . I can’t see how they will provide service or parts so I’m going to buy some other manuf. mower . Too bad . Looks like a good product with no dealer here in Northern Virginia.

    • @R.Irwin, Yes Walker is very committed to their dealers but there are areas of the country where they don’t have many dealers. I suggest you go to their website and request your local dealer info. You may find one you didn’t know about.

  44. All Husqvarna,Poulan,Poulan Pro and the Craftsman YT and GT Riders are made in Orangeburg,SC, the push mowers are made in i think McRae,GA.

  45. Have you completed any reviews on the Walker Mowers including the 2013 Models. If so please advise how I may acess same, and at what cost. Thanks.

  46. Is the new Tore Titan ZX4820 (74841) made by Toro or MTD please tell me Toro it looks to strong and heavy to be made by MTD Thank`s Do you have any ratings for Toro products

    • @Rick, As far as I know the Titan is made by Toro and all the zero-turns are made by Toro.

      Only the tractors are made for Toro by MTD.

  47. Hi,
    I need some advice. My property is just 1/2 acre, fairly flat. I just bought [and am returning] a Craftsman 17.5hp, 42″. It is a terrible machine; I can only keep deck on highest setting to avoid scalping in many spots [my old 38″ never did at lower settings]. The side chute design is cheap; bagger is held on with rubber bands and paper clips, its in 3 sections and falls apart often when opening to unload clippings. All the Craftsman tractors are like this now! The mesh bag creates a cloud of grass & dust surrounding me. I could go on…I think all these machines are made very cheaply.
    And, I write to you because I see that many others Troy, Yard Man, Snapper etc all seem to have the same design for this deck chute to attach the bagger. It seems they cut and vacum well but…again, most with the mesh bags only.
    Isn’t there a decent small machine out there made well at a reasonable price?
    Please reply to my email address as well as this post. I will try to find this site again and am hoping to get a reply.
    Many thanks, Jesse

    • @Jesse, Yes, you purchased the least expensive Craftsman and it is what I call a “price point” tractor. 90% of the customers who look at it because of the price end up purchasing a higher priced machine because the 28881 just does not have the features and creature inemities that most people want. From what I can tell most people end up buying the YT3000 42 in 21 hp Model 28851 because it does not have the issues you identified.

      Husqvarna also makes a 38 inch 18.5 hp tractor that is the quality you want. Both and carries that tractor.

      Both of these tractors have a better bagger available. These baggers have a heavier chute than the one for the 17.5 hp and a little indicator that tells you when the bagger is full. They are also easier to take on and off. Here is the bagger for the 38 inch through Lowes and the 42 inch bagger from Sears.

      Unfortunately there is only one hard shell bagger left on the market and that is for the YT 3000 Craftsman 42 inch hard shell bagger. Why because most people feel the mesh bags are not as dirty because the air exits out of the bag instead of out by your head with a hard shell bagger.

      Finally, a decent machine at a decent price today is around $1400. The days of a good $1000 machine are gone……………………..

      p.s. Sears also has a great machine with a great bagger for around $3000. I know that is a lot of money but it is one of the best 42 inch mowers on the market today Craftsman CTX9000

  48. Pingback: Who Makes Sears Craftsman Tractors and Mowers? |

  49. I also just noticed this. Ferris, Simplicity, Snapper and Snapper Pro are all owned by Briggs and Stratton. As such there is a lot of cross branding of the same mower between the 4 lines.

    I also noticed that you left out Woods too. In addition to belly mount and bush hog type tractor mowers they also market 4 different ZTRs. 1 out front and 3 mid mounts.

    • @Rich, Woods is listed right above Briggs along with it’s twin, the Bush Hog Brand. Yes, the Snapper and Simplicity lines are melting into one. This also includes the red Craftsman Zero-turns.

  50. Both Schweiss and Yard Shark are made by B&H Manufacturing. B&H owns Schweiss and builds the Yard Shark in that plant.

  51. Have you heard of a Hampton Brand deck mower? I am trying to get info on model XM 3604. Who makes it? Where can I get info or manuals on it?

    • @Eric, You got me on this one. Do you have a picture of the mower? Maybe I can get an idea of what it is then.

  52. Great website and lawnmower reviews. I have been shopping for a new mower about 2 weeks now. Been to all the stores, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, etc… I am replacing an old Snapper YT12 TwinII Hydro drive with 42″ deck and dual bagger, payed $300 for it 14 years ago. Its cut my 2/3 acre yard well for 14 years. All these new tractors are very expensive for what my old snapper could do at a fraction of the price back then.
    I would like to BUY AMERICAN. I apreciate the “Who makes What” site great resource. Question: Is there any Mower SEARS sells that is made in the USA? I am seriously considering the Husqvarna at Sears. Just wondering where its made?


    • @ Chris, All the Husqvarna and Craftsman mowers are made in the USA. The Husqvarna and YT 3000 and YT 4000 are made in South Carolina. The LT1500…and smaller Professional models are made in Georgia.