Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1,500 [2021]

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Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $1,500 – Craftsman T135

After researching and personally testing 15 different riding lawn mowers priced around $1,500, the best overall spot on our list goes to the Craftsman T135.

Here’s a quick look at the T135’s key specifications—

  • 18-HP Engine
  • 46-inch Deck
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Seat Suspension

The T135 is equipped with a powerful 18.5-HP Briggs & Stratton engine with Ready Start capabilities. Turning the key immediately starts the engine, allowing you to begin mowing instantly.

The engine also drives the 46-inch-diameter blades to mow through tall grass and weeds. The oversized wheels allow it to travel over all sorts of terrains and moderate slopes without tipping.

One of the best features is its ergonomically designed seat. It’s constructed in such a way to relive your lower-back from excessive stress from sitting for long periods.

Testing this model for hours at a time was not an issue, thanks to the seat suspensions.


  • Comfortable lower-back support
  • Powerful mowing and mulching performance
  • Built-in deck wash port
  • Reverse mowing


  • Foot pedal could be more responsive

The T135 deserves the top spot on our list for a multitude of reasons, but if you’re looking for maximum comfort while mowing over two acres of grassy fields, this is the riding lawn mower to choose.

Mowing acres of grass is no mean task, which is why heavy-duty mowing jobs call for heavy-duty riding lawn mowers. This time, we’re looking at mid-range models priced around $1,500.

After testing over a dozen different models by mowing more than 4 acres of fields, we’re confident that our list of the best riding lawn mower under $1,500 will help you choose the most suitable mower for your needs.

Top Riding Lawn Mower Under $1,500 Compared

Here’s a comparison between Top Riding Lawn Mower Under $1,500:

Product ImageProduct NameFeaturesPrice
Craftsman T135
  • Engine: 18 hp
  • Deck Size: 46 in.
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • USP: Seat suspensions
Troy-Bilt Pony 42X
  • Engine: 17.5 hp
  • Deck Size: 42 in.
  • Transmission: Manual
  • USP: step-thru frame
Troy-Bilt TB30
  • Engine: 15.5 hp
  • Deck Size: 30 in.
  • Transmission: Manual
  • USP: Soft-Touch Steering
Craftsman R105
  • Engine: 18.5 hp
  • Deck Size: 30 in.
  • Transmission: Manual
  • USP: Comes with Mulching Kit
Troy-Bilt Horse TB42
  • Engine: 18 hp
  • Deck Size: 42 in.
  • Transmission: Hydrostatic
  • USP: Deluxe High Back Seat

Reviews of the Top Riding Lawn Mower Under $1,500

Best Premium - Troy-Bilt Pony 42X

best overall rating

Key Specifications

  • 17.5-HP Engine
  • 42-inch Deck
  • Manual
  • Step-Thru Frame

The Troy Bilt Pony 42X is a riding lawn mower that would surprise most tight-budgeted shoppers out there.

It come with a powerful 17.5-HP engine that powers an ultra-wide 42-inch deck to reduce the number of passes needed to clear acres and acres of grassy fields.

The Pony 42X is a bit problematic when it comes to making sharp turns. Although this is typical for most riding mowers, at least the non-zero-turn variety, the 42X takes it to an extreme.

Thankfully, this riding mower has a reverse gear, so it’ll just take a bit more time to maneuver around corners.

The most prominent feature in this machine is the Step-Thru Frame. It helps users get into position easily and comfortably. Nothing is blocking your way when mounting and dismounting this mower.


  • Comes with headlights
  • Beefy engine and wide deck for cost
  • Durable lawn mower
  • Easy for first-time riders


  • Could have better fuel economy

For the professional landscapers out there, the wide Pony 42X can be your best friend. It clears acres of grass more efficiently than most budget-friendly options.

Best Budget - Troy-Bilt TB30

best overall rating

Key Specifications

  • 15.5-HP Engine
  • 30-inch Deck
  • Manual Transmission
  • Soft-Touch Steering

As the most budget-friendly riding mower on our list, the TB30 isn’t the most powerful, but it offers a comfortable balance between maneuverability and mowing width.

It’s equipped with a 30-inch deck that will make mowing residential-sized lawns in no time.

With manual transmission, operators have full control over the TB30’s ability to ride up and down hills.

The best part is soft-touch steering which turns the front wheels at the slightest touch. This will let mow around tree trunks and curved pathways easily.

The engine holds onto only 1.3 gallons of fuel at any time, so runtimes are pretty limited. However, for small-scale gardens, a single tank of gas should suffice.


  • Fast-moving machine
  • Excellent maneuverability
  • Fantastic mulcher
  • Great for small- and medium-range mowing jobs


  • Fuel tank could be bigger

For its price, the TB30 is hard to beat. This riding lawn mower is perfect for homeowners who have less than an acre of grass to mow.

Craftsman R105

best overall rating

Key Specifications

  • 18.5-HP Engine
  • 30-inch Deck
  • Manual Transmission
  • Mulching Kit

For those with limited yard space, the Craftsman R105 is an excellent rear-engine lawn mower to have. It comes with a massive 18.5-HP engine that powers the 30-inch blades that chop blades of grass incredibly well.

However, wet grass can bog the blades down, and without a reverse feature, you’ll have to manually clean the deck.

This isn’t a problem thanks to the built-in deck washing port. Just plug a garden hose in and turn the spout. One fantastic feature is the mulching kit that’s usually sold separately.

As soon as you receive the R105, you can mow your yard’s grass to fine, compostable clippings.


  • Fantastic mowing and mulching capabilities
  • Excellent durability
  • Convenient wash port
  • Comes with mulching attachment kit


  • Could mow wet grass better

If you’re in search of a riding lawn mower for lawns of around an acre, the R105 is an excellent choice.

Troy-Bilt Horse TB42

best overall rating

Key Specifications

  • 18-HP Engine
  • 42-inch Deck
  • Hydrostatic Transmission
  • Deluxe High Back Seat

The final riding mower under $1,500 on our list is the Troy-Bilt Horse TB42.

It’s a pretty decent 42-inch riding mower that turns incredibly well for its size, and its 18-HP engine ensures tall, dry blades of grass snap in half every time the Horse comes around.

This machine uses hydrostatic transmission for a virtually-bump-free ride when shifting between gears. It’s also one of the most comfortable riding mowers we’ve tried, thanks to the deluxe high back seat.

No more leaning forward or constant repositioning your bottom when sitting on this beast.

Sadly, the TB42 is incredibly hard to find. If you do, make sure you pick it up fast since they sell out super-quickly.


  • Extremely popular model
  • Comfortable ride on all terrains
  • Turns smoothly
  • Wide deck for cost


  • Could be easier to find

If you manage to get your hands on the Horse TB42, you will not regret your purchase at all.


In this section, we’ll address some frequently asked questions about riding lawn mowers.

How much should I spend on a riding lawn mower?

Even though this guide focuses specifically on riding lawn mowers under $1,500, you should know that more expensive models are more reliable for larger gardens. The general rule of thumb for any costly piece of equipment is to find the model within the upper limit of your budget. That said, if you don’t have a lot to spend, any of these riding lawn mowers on our list will more than suffice.

Should I get a riding lawn mower?

It really depends on how large your or your client’s lawn is. Generally speaking, riding lawn mowers are best suited for lawns over half an acre in size. For yards smaller than that, a high-quality walk-behind lawn mower should suffice.

Is it OK to wash a riding lawn mower?

Yes, it is. In fact, after every use, make sure to give the exterior and deck a thorough rinsing to remove grass clippings and dirt. Don’t pressure-wash the engine since water will seep into the spark plug and wreak havoc. Riding lawn mowers with deck washing ports make it easier to maintain.

Are riding lawn mowers worth it?

Yes, they are, especially if you value your time and don’t want to spend all day pushing around a lawn mower. Homeowners and pro landscapers both benefit from the speed and mowing performance of large riding lawn mowers, even models with affordable price tags such as the ones listed above.


Hope this helped to identify the right riding lawn mower under or around $1500.

In case of any feedback or queries, please let us know by commenting below. 

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Jerry Ward

Jerry has been fascinated with power tools, especially saws and drills since his childhood days. He loves to travel and contributes to various online platforms.

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