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2018 Best in DIY: Lawn Tractors

4 models, 4 prices

1 / 5
garden tractorsFamily Handyman

2018 Lawn Tractors Best in DIY

We found 21 lawn tractors in the $1,100 to $2,200 price range and chose these four models as good representatives of the price levels within that range. But don’t limit your shopping to these machines. The manufacturers of these lawn tractor models all make others within your price range.

And you’ll want to empty out the gas in your lawn tractors before winter, and be sure to check out these other crucial winterizing tips.

2 / 5
lawn tractorFamily Handyman

Troy-Bilt TB Bronco

Cost: $1,199

This very affordable Troy-Bilt 42-in. lawn tractor (13AK78BS011) cuts and rides like the more expensive models we tested. The 19-hp Kohler engine is powerful enough to handle hills. The CVT transmission worked flawlessly, but you must manually shift from forward to reverse. That’s not a problem if you cut long swaths, but if you had to do much maneuvering around trees or at the end of a path, it could get old fast. It’s a lot of machine for the price.

And if your lawn tractor blades are dull, be sure to sharpen them twice a season to get the best cut.

3 / 5
Poulan pro lawn tractorFamily Handyman

Poulan Pro PP20VA46

Cost: $1,399

The Poulan PRO cuts a wide path (46 in.) and has a powerful two-cylinder 20-hp Briggs & Stratton engine. The CVT transmission operates with a rocker-style foot pedal, so you don’t have to operate a shift lever to switch from forward to reverse. The deck engagement lever is located near the steering wheel, which makes it easy to operate without diverting your attention. It’s a great machine if you need a wider cutting path but are watching your dough.

Check out these other riding lawn mower reviews.

4 / 5
cub cadet lawn tractorFamily Handyman

Cub Cadet XT1-LT42

Cost: $1,499

This 42-in. Cub Cadet has electronic fuel injection, which eliminates many starting problems associated with ethanol fuel. Plus, it’s more efficient, providing a 25 percent gas savings. The hydrostatic transmission is smooth, and the mow-in-reverse feature just requires turning the key. The fuel level windows let you check the tank without popping the hood, and the hour meter keeps track of run-times. Overall, a very solid machine for a reasonable price.

Check out these lawn tractor maintenance tips to prevent expensive repairs in the future.

5 / 5
John Deere D155 lawn tractorFamily Handyman

John Deere D155

Cost: $2,200

This 48-in. lawn tractor has push-button blade engagement and push-button mow-in-reverse features, which make it a pleasure to use. The hydrostatic transmission was smooth and easy to operate. The fuel gauge is located right below the seat, so you can check it while driving. The seat is extra comfortable, and the unit comes with a front bumper—a feature we think should be standard on every lawn tractor.

Here are the best features to look for when buying a lawn tractor.