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hello I am getting ready to purchase a riding lawn mower and I was looking for some advice on the best bang for my buck. Here is my situation I have a mow about 1 acre of land not to many trees except right around my house but not to many. I have two push mowers right now but it is still to much to mow just with those takes me like 6 hours to mow it right now. My budget is in the $1000 range I don't want to go to much more than that so I was looking for advice on the most options the largest engine and the biggest cutting deck for the money. What brands do you all like and the best place to start looking and searching for my new mower. thank you for your posts
 

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Hello taylor,

Would you consider buying a used tractor instead of new? That's the best way to get the most 'bang for your buck'. You could get a very good quality lawn tractor for less than $1,000 that would have every bit the ability of a new one. Have you narrowed your search down to a certain brand?
 

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I don't know how to say this other than direct. Your budget is unrealistic. I'm thinking you'll need to at least double, if not triple, that. Yes, there are lawn tractors that can be had for that $1k mark, but I will not endorse them for I would not buy one.

With regard to mower type, unless you have the need to perform a lot of ground engaging, landscaping activities (something I wouldn't do with anything less than a garden tractor given the size of your property), you simply cannot beat a ZTR when it somes to mowing speed. In fact, if you did get one, you'll be wondering what to do with all of your spare time.

However, and again this goes directly to your budget limitations, even the cheapest homeowner unit I see at Home Depot is x2 what you want to spend.
Ariens Zoom 34 in. 14.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower - 915157 at The Home Depot
I know nothing about this model, and quite frankly, most likely would not consider any entry level ztr.

If you don't mind continuing to walk, then a similar sized unit is still x0.5 more than you're willing to go.
Ariens 34 in. Self-Propelled Wide Area Walk Behind-Mower - 911413 at The Home Depot
Again, I know nothing about this machine.

Some may suggest a used commercial unit, and that may be a possibility depending upon where you live, but I've never seen a commercial anything at a dealer around here priced at less than $2500, and then they've all been high hour (2500+) units.

Just for reference, my property is mostly flat 1.5 acres with about 10 mature trees. Four years ago, I purchased a new Dixie Chopper Silver Eagle LT2700-60D (yes, that's 27 hp with a 60" deck). At that time, this unit was $6500; today it's over $8k. If I were to buy today, it would be a toss-up between a Husqvarna MZ6128ZT, or an Ariens Max Zoom 60 (also known as a Gravely ZT 60 HD). Any of these can be purchased for $5k. I might consider a 52" - 54" deck, but with only $500 difference between the two, why bother?
HUSQVARNA MZ6128ZT - Zero turn mowers
Zero Turn Lawn Mowers, Ariens® Max Zoom 60 Product Overview
Zero Turn Mower - Gravely ZT HD
 

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I'd agree that $1000 isn't realistic for something new. Anything that cheap at the box stores really isn't worth buying, especially for an acre of property.

However, there are a lot of used riding mowers and even some garden tractors in the used market for that price. I'd suggest stopping by an equipment dealer (like a John Deere, Simplicity, etc.) and checking out what they have on the lot. You can discuss your needs and your budget with them, and they'll be able to show you some options.

ZTR is cool, but it's clearly not in the OP's budget. Any sort of riding mower would definitely be an improvement over push mowing for 6 hours.

When shopping, don't get obsessed with horsepower. That's not a good measure of the unit's capabilities. On units with a hydrostatic transmission instead of a gear drive, the hydro transmission is the weak link and determines the capabilities of the unit. For example, the little hydro transmissions you'll find in box-store level riding mowers are only really good for mowing flat areas. They're not good at steep hills or large amounts of work like towing a cart or snow removal. So when you're shopping for used, don't shop for a bargain on a low-end model, but instead look for the most tractor you can get and still stay within your budget.
 

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Boy, Taylor152007, have you gotten some very good information and advice here. These fellows are telling you straight up facts.

Not knowing where you live, it's hard to say for sure, but I would suggest keeping my eye open for a John Deere STX38 or STX46. If you get a one in good shape you will be very pleased with the performance. I only suggest this brand/model because I have one and am familiar with them. They run a Kohler 12.5 HP or 15HP on the 46 (if I remember correctly), and the engine is very well suited for the size of mower. I will put my 12.5 up against about anything else with the same size deck. I can mow in 4th gear easily on normal grass, and 3rd on the heaviest. (5th is for transport.) Sure you can buy a 27hp $1000 mower with a 42 inch deck. All you are doing there (once again in my opinion) is feeding 12 more head of horses while the first 15 are taking care of business.

Maybe others can chime in here with their opinions on a great entry level name brand machine that has earned it's reputation by being very reliable and a quality machine.
 

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I would suggest a Snapper RER (Rear Engine Rider) they are very dependable and easy to maintain and you can find a good used one with a bagger for pretty cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you all for your advice there really isn't many used mowers where I live that aren't at the literal Tractor level with a brush hog behind them so I did settle for new and so far it works great it is just a small craftsman with a 42" deck and 21hp motor it seemed to be the best buy for the money given my tight budget thanks again for all of your advice and the next rider I will buy will defiantly be a ZTR I have kept my eye on them for a while
 

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Have you checked craigslist for used mowers?
If you must get a used, do yourself a favor, get a warrenty. Anything for under $1000 is bound to be cheaply made.
Looking around, Homedepot has a poulan 42" deck, 17.5 Hp mower for just over $900. Reviews however, are questonable.
At TSC (Tractor supply Co) They have a Huskee 42" deck 17 Hp mower for $1000. If you have a tractor supply co near you, get this, it has good reviews, but, as I said Spend extra, get a warrenty. If you do decide on something different, read reviews before buying it.
 

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Im always gonna recommend John Deere. 1400 gets u a 42 inch very nice automatic tractor. I cant go any larger than 42 inch unless I want to increase my trimming time. 42 inch is perfect for my yard which is just under an acre.

I went and bought a 42" Craftsman with a Kohler motor and beat the crap out of the thing till I could afford my JD.

SO if I was to give advice I guess it would be just to buy any working piece of crap (not that the Craftsman was a total piece of crap, just not my dream tractor) to get you by till you can afford your dream tractor.

PS I understand pushing an acre.
 

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It's tough deciding on which machine to buy, but it sounds like you made yourself a good decision based on your situation. Keep us posted on how your Craftsman continues to work for you.
 
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