NFR Riding lawn mowers


Active Member
I'm looking to get a riding mower this season. I have 3k all in to get the mower and a bagging system. I own about an acre of grass. The terrain is fairly level, but not super flat -- this is not a golf-course lawn by any stretch. The grass here in Douglas county is not super thick and juicy like Seattle area grass. There are lots of oak trees that drop twigs, acorns etc. that, within reason, I want to be able to mow over and vacuum up. The ability to mulch up and bag leaves is paramount for this unit; Oct - Dec is leafaggeddon around here...

I also want the mower to be able to pull small attachments, de-thatchers, aireators, garden carts etc., but I don't need a snow-plow or tractor features. I'm not opposed to buying used if the deal is right.

So, what rigs should I be looking at? Interested in hearing your opinions, particularly when they're backed up with personal experiences. Thanks in advance
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Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I have been happy with my Deere X300. I only tow a lawn cart, though. Leaves (of which I get a lot) are devoured by a Billy Goat leaf vac.


Active Member
I have been happy with my Deere X300. I only tow a lawn cart, though. Leaves (of which I get a lot) are devoured by a Billy Goat leaf vac.
I'd love to get an x350 thats where they start putting in the Kawasaki engines. My understanding is that the X series is a huge leap above the E mowers sold in the box stores. I'd have to find a good used one to keep it under 3k with a bagger though
I bought a Simplicity with 20HP Kohler. 42" deck. Now 11 years old with minimal problems (600 hours) .
I'll replace it with a Deere (probably x300 with the Kawasaki engine when the time comes.
I cut 3/4 ac. weekly. I like the full width roller to create a "tailored" pattern like the pro stadiums. ( 'ol fart. too much time on my hands!)

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
until you mentioned you wanted to tow I was going to recommend a zero turn. I bought a Sears YT3000 about 5 years ago and think I was into it for somewhere under $1200. Spring sales should be coming up soon. I got it from my local Sears outlet in Moses Lake.
My son in law is the largest Kubota dealer in California, despite desperately wanting one for my 1/2 acre I couldn’t justify the cost for the smallest skid steer. I bought a John Deere 42” for $2k. I was told not to go bigger than two blades if even cuts are important.


Active Member
I have a 42" 20hp (Kawaski) Husqvarna lawn tractor. I can't recommend the machine. The cuts are uneven and the limited slip differential always tears up the lawn on turns. The engine also uses a lot more gas than my old Kohler engine of the same hp.


Member Active
I got a cub cadet and love it. I have a pretty good size yard. I was going to get the bag system but it cuts so good I don't need it. I fly and my cut time went down to about 35 minutes.


Ignored Member
About 20 or more years ago I bought a craftsman rider. I think at that time John Deere made riders for Sears. Good machine. Lasted over 15 years before the transaxle (whatever it’s called) went out. Bought another craftsman. Mistake. Quality wasn’t near as good. The engine started smoking so bad the machine couldn’t be used. It was a couple months out of warranty so neither sears or Briggs & Stratton wouldn’t stand behind it. I rebuilt the engine for a little over a hundred bucks in parts. After Briggs & Stratton basically told me to go screw myself on a motor about 2 years old I wouldn’t buy anything with their motors in it. I later figured out the mowers are made by poulan. Another name to avoid.