Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills Today [With Reviews]

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Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills – Top 3 Picks

Pressed for time? Check our best picks

best overall rating★★★★★

Craftsman T225 Riding Lawn Mower

Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
  • Wide cuts
  • Mow in reverse capabilities
  • Long runtime
  • Wheels that handle rough terrain
best overall rating★★★★★

Ariens 915223 IKON-X Turn Mower 

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52' Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series

 

  • Comfortable seat and levers
  • Wide cuts of mower save lots of time
  • Fast riding/mowing
  • Long runtime
best overall rating★★★★★

Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn Riding Mower

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

 

  • Low maintenance
  • Fasting riding/mowing
  • Wide, clean cuts
  • High fuel capacity means long runtime

Our reviews are unbiased, fact-based, and comprehensively researched to help you make the right buying decisions.

 
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Riding lawn mowers make lawn care much easier. They make mowing the lawn go by quickly and more efficient. The right riding lawn mower can also handle different terrains better, such as hills.

Not all riding lawn mowers can handle hills well, however. Follow along below and see the best riding lawn mowers for hills.

Comparison Table of Top Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills in Market

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
  • 19 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 46" cutting deck
  • USP: Mow in reverse


Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
  • 23 HP engine
  • 2.8 gal fuel capacity
  • 52" cutting deck
  • USP: Fast mowing


Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 26 HP engine
  • 3.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 54" cutting deck
  • USP: 6.5 mph speed


Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 27 HP engine
  • 5 gal fuel capacity
  • 61" cutting deck
  • USP: Low maintenance


Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48111
  • 48 V 100Ah battery
  • 3 brushless motors
  • 38" cutting deck
  • USP: Long runtime


Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER 28 inch 11.5 HP 344cc Rear Engine Riding Mower 2691525
  • 11.5 HP engine
  • 1.35 gal fuel capacity
  • 28" cutting deck
  • USP: Vertical stand on


Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547cc Engine Tractor
  • 24 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 42" cutting deck
  • USP: Mulch and side discharge


Snapper 2691402 360z Mower
  • 23 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 48" cutting deck
  • USP: Cargo


Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 18 HP engine
  • 3.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 42" cutting deck
  • USP: Easy assembly


Husqvarna YTH18542 42 in 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower
  • 18.5 HP engine
  • 2.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 42" cutting deck
  • USP: Maneuverability


Reviews of Top Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills

Best Overall - Craftsman T225 Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower

best overall rating Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower

Key Specifications

  • 19 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 46″ cutting deck

The Craftsman T225 riding lawn mower can handle hills well. It is built with sturdy construction and the wheels are set up to give you the most clearance possible. The design is why it is so highly maneuverable.

In fact, the T225 has precise mow-in-reverse function that is highly effective as well.

This Craftsman mower has a 3 gallon gasoline fuel tank which makes it perfect for large lawns or lots. That combined with the 46” cutting deck makes it ideal for long mowing sessions.

The T225 has a strong engine and a hydrostatic transmission that helps it keep up with rough terrain or hills. This video shows a quick look at the mower

Pros

  • Wide cuts
  • Mow in reverse capabilities
  • Long runtime
  • Wheels that handle rough terrain

Cons

  • Assembly can be fairly time consuming

If you have a lawn or lawns with hills to mow, the Craftsman T225 is a great choice. Check it out!

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52

best overall rating Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52' Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series

Key Specifications

  • 23 HP engine
  • 2.8 gal fuel capacity
  • 52″ cutting deck

Not only is the IKON-X great for mowing hills, it is great for just about any kind of lawn. It has a zero degree turn radius and offers maximum precision.

It is just as comfortable as it is powerful. The seat is comfortable, and the levers are in a great ergonomic position. Longer mowing sessions are easier and go by quicker because of the 52” cutting deck.

Each cut is very wide. The powerful 23 HP engine lets you easily mow through dense, tough grass without tearing up the yard. Check it out in action right here

Pros

  • Comfortable seat and levers
  • Wide cuts save time
  • Fast riding/mowing
  • Long runtime

Cons

  • Loud mowing

If you want a riding mower that can handle hills and help you mow faster, the IKON-X may be the one for you. It is comfortable, precise, has a long run time, and has an impressive 23 HP engine.

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

best overall rating Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key Specifications

  • 26 HP engine
  • 3.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 54″ cutting deck

The Husqvarna Z254 is a fast riding lawn mower. Another zero turn riding lawn mower, the Z254 can hit speeds of 6.5 mph. It can handle hills and slope well without overexerting the engine.

It has a 54” cutting deck that delivers clean and wide cuts every single time. You get a side discharge chute with this mower, but there is room for a bagger and mulching attachments which have to be purchased separately.

The mower has a maintenance free no maintenance hydrostatic transmission which helps it keep up with lots of mowing and makes the Z254 last for years. Check it out right here

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Fasting riding/mowing
  • Wide, clean cuts
  • High fuel capacity means long runtime

Cons

  • Debris can get caught in the engine sometimes

Overall, Z254 riding zero turn mower is a great choice for those with large yards that have hills or slopes. It is also great for commercial use. Check it out!

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

best overall rating Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key Specifications

  • 27 HP engine
  • 5 gal fuel capacity
  • 61″ cutting deck

The main appeal of the MZ61 is that it can get the job done faster than most riding zero turn mowers. The 61” cutting deck makes it so that each cut covers a huge chunk of whatever lawn it may be cutting.

Not to mention the 27 HP engine that can handle hills, slope, steep banks, and tough grass with ease.

The levers have foam padded grips that are just as comfortable as the seat is making it a perfect mower for bigger lawns or multiple lawns in one day. It comes with side discharge function but if you want mulching and bagging functions you have to buy them separately.

Its fuel tank can hold 5 gallons of gasoline making it perfect for commercial use as well as residential. Check it out in this quick video

Pros

  • Huge fuel tank lasts long
  • Fasting mowing/riding
  • Powerful engine
  • Comfortable seat and hand grips

Cons

  • Very loud operation

This mower is best for huge lawns with some slight slope and hills. Check it out!

Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48111

best overall rating Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48111

Key Specifications

  • 48 V 100Ah battery
  • 3 brushless motors
  • 38″ cutting deck

This Ryobi mower is the best electric riding lawn mower that can handle hills. Despite being battery powered, it has an exceptionally long runtime.

It is not as ideal for large lawns and definitely commercial lots, but it’s great for residential use.

It sports a 38” cutting deck is wide enough to make big cuts without being overly cumbersome and taking up too much shed space. The 100aH battery is powerful enough to give you 2.5 hours of runtime.

The 3 brushless motors are strong. This Ryobi is much quieter than most riding lawn mowers. Here is a quick video that shows it off in action

Pros

  • Quiet mowing
  • Wide cuts every time
  • Does not take up much garage space
  • Long runtime

Cons

  • Battery recharge can take a while

If you have a small to medium sized lawn to mow that has some hills and incline, this Ryobi should handle it well.

Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER 28 inch 11.5 HP 344cc Rear Engine Riding Mower 2691525

best overall rating Snapper 2911525BVE Classic RER 28 inch 11.5 HP 344cc Rear Engine Riding Mower 2691525

Key Specifications

  • 11.5 HP engine
  • 1.35 gal fuel capacity
  • 28″ cutting deck

This classic style Snapper riding lawn mower can handle many different terrains. It is unique because it has vertical stand on capabilities. The 344cc rear engine is powerful and offers 11.5 HP.

Each cut is wide as the cutting deck is 28” wide. It is still slightly slimmer than other similar riding mowers which makes it easy to store in a shed or garage. The fuel tank can only hold 1.35 gallons of gasoline; however, this mower has great fuel economy.

Maintaining this mower is easy and it can handle wet washes without rusting up or losing function. The steering wheel is comfortable and easy to maneuver. Check out this video that demonstrates this Snapper riding lawn mower at work

Pros

  • Vertical stand on capabilities
  • Strong rear engine
  • Comfortable seat and steering wheel
  • Easy storage

Cons

  • Low fuel capacity limits the runtime

If you have a smaller lawn to mow that has hills, this classic style Snapper riding mower would be perfect. Try it out in your own lawn!

Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547cc Engine Tractor

best overall rating Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547cc Engine Tractor

Key Specifications

  • 24 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 42″ cutting deck

The best thing about the Troy-Bilt Pony is that has a lot of added value. It comes with mulching and bagging functions which most riding lawn mowers require separate purchases for.

It has a dual blade, 42” cutting deck. Each cut is clean and precise, and the mower has a good generous turning radius for a non-zero turn mower. The Pony also has a smooth, 7 speed transmission that is foot operated.

The Pony also has a 24HP 724cc which is powerful and why it can handle hills well. It has precise and effective reverse mowing capabilities as well and a number of safety functions.

The seat is comfortable, even after a lot of mowing.

Check it out in action right here

Pros

  • Comfortable seat
  • Accurate reverse mowing
  • Wide cutting deck saves time

Cons

  • It vibrates a lot while mowing

If you want a precision-focused riding lawn mower that won’t struggle with hills, the Troy-Bilt Pony is an excellent choice. Check it out for yourself!


Snapper 2691402 360z Mower

best overall rating Snapper 2691319 360z Mower, Riding, Zero Turn, Red

Key Specifications

  • 23 HP engine
  • 3 gal fuel capacity
  • 48″ cutting deck

The Snapper 360z uses a durable steel deck design and precise zero degree turn radius to mow lawns of all sizes quickly and accurately. Not only that, but it can handle rough terrain, thick grass and even some incline and slight hills.

The 360z also puts some options in your hands considering that there are 13 different options for height of cut. It is designed to last years and hold up to wear and tear and the elements alike.

The cutting deck is 48” wide which makes a big dent whether the yard is big or small.

With a 3 gallon gasoline tank, you don’t have to keep checking it while mowing worried it will die on you.

Pros

  • Multiple cutting height positions
  • Long runtime
  • Precise cuts and turns

Cons

  • Loud mowing

All in all, this mower is great for people with all types of lawns, big or little. Check it out and give it a try on your lawn!

Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

best overall rating Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key Specifications

  • 18 HP engine
  • 3.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 42″ cutting deck

This low maintenance, zero degree turn radius riding lawn mower is user friendly. It is just as easy to assemble as it is to operate, and that is saying something. The 18HP Kawasaki engine lets you ride and mow quickly without creating skid marks on the lawn.

With a 3.5 gallon fuel tank, you don’t need to think about refueling until you’ve gotten a couple mowing sessions under your belt. It doesn’t hurt that the Z242F also gets great gas mileage.

The reinforced cutting deck is 42” wide which is a great size for medium to large yards or lots. Check it out in action right here

Pros

  • Long run time
  • Wide, clean cuts
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • The levers are slightly tight

If you have a medium or large lot or need a mower for commercial use that can handle hills, check this one out!

Husqvarna YTH18542 42 in 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower

best overall rating Husqvarna YTH18542 42 in 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower

Key Specifications

  • 18.5 HP engine
  • 2.5 gal fuel capacity
  • 42″ cutting deck

Maneuverability is the name of the game with this riding lawn mower. The Briggs and Stratton engine and hydrostatic transmission make this one of the best handling riding lawn mowers out there.

The fuel capacity is somewhat low compared to other riding lawn mowers, but it gets fairly good gas mileage. Its engine is powerful and lets you ride and mow quickly. However, the stability and handling is mostly due to the hydrostatic transmission.

It does not have a zero degree turn radius; however, the mower reacts quickly to steering it. With unique air induction mowing technology, this Husqvarna mower is more accurate and provides cleaner cuts than many other riding lawn mowers.

Check out this video that accurately shows how well this riding mower performs

Pros

  • Wide, clean cuts that save time
  • Powerful engine with fast speeds
  • Can handle rough terrain and dense grass easily

Cons

  • The engine can get dirty and may need regular cleaning

This well-rounded riding lawn mower can not only handle big hills with grace, but it can make them look their best. Give it a spin in your own lawn and see how it handles those hills.

Best Zero Turn Mower For Hills

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52' Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series

Our top choice for the best zero turn mower for hills is the Ariens IKON-X 52” zero turn riding lawn mower.

Not only is it durable and can handle hills easily, but it can do it fast. This mower saves you time due to the generous cutting deck width as well as the fast and strong engine.

The 52” cutting deck saves you time so that you don’t have to constantly go back over patches that you have already mowed. It is the best because it makes you feel safe as well. Sometimes, mowing at an incline can feel slightly uncomfortable, but not with the IKON-X.

The seats and hand grips are comfortable, but so too is the sense of safety you feel when you are steering the IKON-X. It also helps that it has a 2.8 gallon gasoline tank perfect for multiple uses or for a long day of mowing multiple lawns.

Best Lawn Mower For Steep Banks

Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower

After much deliberation, our pick for the top lawn mower for mowing steep banks is the Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch mower. Besides having a powerful 19 HP engine, the shape and build of the T225 makes it handle steep banks well.

It is such a precise mower that even its mow-in-reverse capabilities are fine tuned and accurate. Mowing on steep banks is easy with the T225 and in fact, the turf-saver wheels feel like they were almost designed to handle them well.

There are 15” wheels in the font and 20” wheels in the back which gives the perfect leverage. Of course, you should always use caution when mowing a steep bank or hill and practice basic riding mower safety measures.

It is good for maneuvering around objects as well as it is not too bulky. Plus, the added bonus of deck wash means that you can keep this mower looking pristine even after mowing steep banks.

Best Commercial Mower For Hills

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Our choice for the best commercial mower for hills is the Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower. It has a powerful 26HP engine that can let you get up to 6.5 mph while mowing and can help support you while mowing on a hill.

The steel cutting deck is reinforced, sturdy and wide. No matter what the mower is, 54” is a huge cutting path. Combine a huge cutting deck with a powerful engine and supportive wheels, and you have a commercial mower perfect for hills.

The Z254 works best for commercial use mostly because of the fact that it is such a powerhouse. It is big in size and puts out a big performance. While in use, the Z254 can get to be quite noisy, but that is often the case with commercial mowers.

You could technically use it at your own home, but it definitely is best for commercial use.

Zero Turn Vs. Lawn Tractor For Hills

There is debate as to what is better for hills: zero turn mowers, or standard lawn tractor riding mowers. Each has their own benefits, and everyone has their own preferences. With that said, there is a case to be made for each of them.

Zero turn mowers have no turning radius. Because of that, they are more precise and often faster than lawn tractor mowers. That is also part of why many people think that zero turn mowers are better for hills than lawn tractors are.

Zero Turn Mower Pros

  • Maneuverability, instant turns
  • Wider cutting decks
  • Higher fuel capacity (often)

Cons

  • Very loud
  • Take up a lot of space

Lawn tractor mowers are controlled by a steering wheel and do have a turning radius. They are effective but less precise.

Lawn Tractor Pros

  • Easy steering
  • Faster than push mower
  • Easy to store/maintain

Cons

  • Takes longer than zero turn
  • Not ideal for huge lawns or lots

It is a matter of personal preference and what kind of lawns you are mowing. You can find both lawn tractor style and zero turn riding lawn mowers that can handle hills, banks, slopes and all kinds of rough terrain.

FAQs

How can you tell if a riding lawn mower is okay for use with hills?

Often times, you can find out if it is safe to mow hills with the mower by reading the specs directly from the manufacturer. Otherwise, you can inquire with them yourself. Many riding and zero turn lawn mowers are safe for mowing hills.

However, you want to be safe. Don’t mow from side to side. Instead, mow up and down. Mowing side to side creates an uneven slant and lack of traction that can be dangerous.

Are standard tractor mowers less effective than zero turn mowers?

No, they are not. They are different and work better for separate uses, but one is not better than the other for the most part. Zero turn mowers are helpful because they offer quicker turns and more precision.

Standard lawn tractor are just as effective, however. The key difference is that one has a turn radius and the other does not.

How can you tell if the hill is too steep to safely use a riding lawn mower?

It may be hard to eyeball at first but try your best to make sure that the hill is no more than a 15 degree incline. Any more than that, and you run the risk of the riding lawn mower losing leverage and potentially flipping.

It is a somewhat common mowing accident and the results are varied. If it looks just over 15 degrees, use a push mower instead as long as it is not more than 20 degrees.

Is mowing steep banks difficult with riding lawn mowers?

It depends on the terrain, the mower, and the grass. Rough terrain can always affect the quality of the cut, depending on the mower, and some mowers handle dense grass better than others. Steep banks that typically occur on the sides of roads or in back yards often easy to mow as long as it is within a safe incline radius.

Make sure it does not slope more than 15 degrees and you will be safe to mow it. Tradition tractor style riding lawn mowers work just as well as zero turn mowers for steep banks often times.

Last update on 2021-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Linda Johnson
About Linda Johnson

Linda has been working with power tools since she was 13 years old. As DIYer she works on wood and metal to develop artworks that she puts on sale. She loves traveling.

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