The 5 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Tall Grass in 2023

If you’re like a lot of homeowners who spend a lot of time in your backyard, keeping your lawn looking neat and tidy is a top priority. And if this is the case, then you probably don’t mind mowing the lawn yourself. After all, it’s a good way to get some exercise and fresh air.

But what if your yard is just too big for a push mower? Or what if the grass is so tall that it’s hard to even see where you’re going?

A lawn full of tall grass can be a real pain to mow. It’s hard on the back, and it takes forever. And if you have high-growing grass, using a riding lawn mower is the best way to get the job done quickly and easily.

If you’re looking for a riding lawn mower that will take care of tall grass quickly and easily, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the 5 best riding lawn mowers for tall grass in 2023. We’ll also provide some useful information on how to choose the right one for your needs. So read on to learn more!

Types of Riding Lawn Mowers

A riding lawn mower is a machine that was built to save you time and energy by allowing you to cut larger areas with much less effort. The engine is positioned behind the seat, and there are several handles on both sides for better control.

You may drive the mower ahead, backward, or in place to ensure that you cut grass correctly and around any tight turns or gaps, and, since the blades can be switched off while still operating, they are adaptable for a variety of terrains.

Let’s take a look at the different types of riding lawn mowers you could purchase.

Rear-Engine Mower

A rear-engine riding lawn mower has an engine situated at the rear of the machine and provides between 11 and 15 horsepower. It is safe to ride through flower beds, garden gates, and trellises, and is best for use in small to medium-sized lawns because it has a smaller cutting deck width.

They’re designed to reduce weight and strength, making them lighter, and the compact deck size and sturdy front axle allow for less room taken up in storage. Choose a rear-engine model if you want a starter Lawn Mower.

Front-Engine Mower

If you have trouble mowing around tight turns, beneath bushes, or near garden fences, a front-engine mower is ideal. It has a unique design that position the engine and the cutting deck in the front, to provide the proper amount of air pressure and give for a smooth cutting experience.

This type of mower is larger and more powerful on average than a rear-engine model, with an engine that has between 18 and 26 horsepower, and a cutting deck of 36 to 54 inches. This means you can cut a larger lawn in less time, as well as tow different mower accessories behind you, for various lawn maintenance tasks.

Zero Turn Mower

Zero-turn riding lawn mowers are so named because they have a turning radius of zero inches, allowing them to make a complete about-face turn when required. They’re one of the most maneuverable riding lawn mowers since they can turn effortlessly in confined areas.

You can mow your lawn faster and more efficiently with a zero-turn model lawn mower, because you can immediately turn and start mowing the next row of grass. These models work best in wide, open lawn spaces.

Lawn Tractor

The primary difference between a riding lawn mower and a lawn tractor is the position of the cutting deck. Riding lawn mowers have a front-mounted cutting deck, whereas on lawn tractors the deck is positioned centrally, directly beneath the rider.

Lawn tractors feature powerful heavy-duty engines with a typical cutting deck up to 48 inches in width. Furthermore, due to their strong motors and their detachable cutting decks, lawn tractors allow you to add additional towing attachments when necessary for more intricate yard work.

Mulching Mower

Mulching lawn mowers, unlike regular riding lawn mowers, do not merely cut the grass and leave the clippings for you to clean up yourself later. Mulching blades are so sharp and fast that they slice the grass into a very fine texture, giving your turf numerous advantages by producing mulch that your lawn can use for nutrients and to improve soil structure.

However, there is practically no need to buy a mulching lawn mower separately. To begin with, most riding lawn mowers already include a mulching kit, and even if this isn’t the case, most zero-turn mowers or lawn tractors may be converted by adding a mulching kit if necessary.

Transmission Types

There are four main types of transmissions that riding lawn mowers use that you should know about before making a purchase.

There are several advantages and disadvantages with each of these technologies. The CVT and Hydrostatic are expensive, but they make all mowing chores simple.

The friction disc is less powerful than the other transmissions, although the price is usually lower, and a manual transmission will need more readjustments each time you start at a new location.

Continuous-Variable Transmission

The CVT (Continuous-Variable Transmission) is a pulley-style metal band that is always in the proper gear position for all mowing activities you might need from it.

Manual Transmission

A manual transmission, like a car’s stick shift, allows you to change gear, speed, and other parameters. This does mean that you’ll be in complete control at all times.

Hydrostatic Transmission

The hydrostatic transmission has a pump and motor to power the mower. It can produce as much energy as you need.

Fraction-Disc Transmission

Finally, the fraction-disc transmission has two wheels instead of a chain that it uses to operate the mower. They aren’t as popular as the other varieties, but they can be quite useful in small spaces.

Buying Guide – Considering a Riding Lawn Mower for Tall Grass

Here are some factors you must consider before buying the correct riding lawn mower for your needs.

Fuel capacity

The fuel capacity of a riding lawn mower is an important consideration because it directly affects how long you can mow your lawn before needing to refuel.

As a general rule, the larger the fuel tank, the longer you’ll be able to mow your lawn without stopping. If you have a large lawn, or if you simply don’t want to stop in the middle of mowing to refuel, then you’ll want to choose a model with a large fuel capacity.

Engine size

The engine size of a riding lawn mower is another important consideration because it directly affects the power and performance of the mower.

As a general rule, the larger the engine, the more powerful the mower will be. If you have a large lawn or if you plan on mowing tall grass, then you’ll want to choose a model with a larger engine.

Cutting Deck Height

The height of the cutting deck on a riding lawn mower is an important consideration because it directly affects the quality of the cut, especially in tall grass. When mowing grass that is very tall, you should start with the cutting deck as high as possible, and therefore a mower with a higher option will be advisable.


This is one the most essential considerations when purchasing a lawn mower since it influences how successfully the machine can mow your grass. If your lawn is in a hilly location where the mower must climb and descend frequently, for example, you’ll need equipment with a strong and larger engine.

High grass also needs a more powerful mower to be able to tackle it successfully. A rear-engine model likely won’t be able to do the job.

Engine Type

Gasoline engines tend to be more powerful. These help a lot when you are stuck in a patch of tall grass, or moving up a steep hill that requires a larger amount of torque.

On the other hand, battery-powered mowers are more environmentally friendly and some have a lengthy battery life. They charge fairly quickly, are simple to maintain, and may be purchased at an affordable price. The two issues you’ll encounter here include limitations on the amount of time you can use the mower in one session, as well as reduced power, making it a better choice for smaller lawns and flat terrain.

Speed Settings

In terms of speed settings and deck width, each product will differ somewhat. Electric mowers, on average, are capable of traveling at least 5-8 MPH in forward motion and 1-3 MPH in reverse. The default settings for gas-powered mowers are comparable, but they reverse slightly more slowly.

Rollover Protection System

The rollover protection system, also known as the ROPS, is a key component that many commercial mowers for tall grass trimming include.

The aim is to protect the rider from being injured if the mower flips over during a turn. However, the ROPS can only do so much to keep the rider safe; anything else is up to you. The driver must always wear a safety belt and pay extra attention when cutting steep slopes and uneven lawns.

Additionally, do not operate a ZTR mower on an incline greater than 15 degrees. Mowing a lawn at a gradient of 20 or more may be dangerous with most other garden tractors.

Turning Radius

Zero-turn riding lawn mowers have a smaller turning radius than other types of riding mowers. A smaller turning radius is important when you need to quickly maneuver the machine around obstacles or make sharp turns.

The compact size of ZTRs also makes them ideal for cutting in tight spaces. If your property has a lot of trees, bushes, or other landscaping features, a zero-turn mower might be very useful. Otherwise, they are expensive and might not be worth the money if you don’t need them for any specific reason.


The warranty is important for whichever riding lawn mower you buy. Most products come with a 1-5 year warranty, and it’s advisable to purchase one that has a longer lifespan. This is especially important for gas-powered models as they tend to require more maintenance than electric ones.


Be sure to read the user manual before using the mower for the first time. This will help you understand how to properly take care of your equipment and avoid any issues.

It’s important that you change the oil regularly, check and replace the air filter as needed, keep the mower blades sharpened, lean the mower deck after each use, and lubricate all moving parts on a monthly basis.

How to Mow Tall Grass

Mowing tall grass can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can tackle even the tallest of grasses.

The first step is to not use a lawn mower right away. If you have a very high grass, like waist high or above, a scythe or string trimmer should be what you start with. Make a few passes with these tools to get it down to a more reasonable height.

After this, you’ll want to consider a riding lawn mower with a high cutting deck. Start by mowing around the perimeter of the area, then move inward in a zigzag pattern. This will help to ensure that all of the grass is evenly cut.

Also, take your time. Go slowly on the mower, as slow as you can to ensure that it doesn’t get jammed with too much grass. This process can take multiple days, and that’s okay.

The Top 5 Riding Lawn Mowers for Use in Tall Grass – Reviews

#1. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 24 HP Kawasaki engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
  • Roll-over protection system (ROPS) ensures safer operation in all conditions
  • Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 61 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • High-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips and vibration dampeners make mowing comfortable for hours on end

The Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower is the top riding lawn mower we have found for cutting tall grass. The deck measures a whopping 61 inches in width, and is constructed of 11 gauge steel, which gives you the opportunity to mow a larger area in less time and with less wear and tear done to the mower.

The cutting deck is also equipped with an ergonomic design that allows you to lift the blades with a foot paddle quickly. You can easily cut tall grass at any of the 12 different cutting heights, which range from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches (or 3 – 11 cm).

This mower offers high-quality performance and comfort, as well as dependability, and it comes with a strong Kawasaki engine that generates 24 horsepower for efficient grass cutting on any terrain.

The blades cut smoothly and never clog, even at high speed. A side discharge option is included on the deck for convenient waste removal, and you can attach a bagger or mulching kit you need one. A roll-over protection system (ROPS) is integrated into the chassis, so you won’t have to worry about your safety if it rolls over.

The MZ61’s fast speed and simple controls make it a pleasure to use. The control sticks and foam-padded dampeners minimize the Mower’s vibration for a smooth ride. The smooth riding experience is augmented by a high-backed seat with arm rests and commercial hydraulics. For maintenance and cleanup, the detachable foot pan allows easy access to the components.

#2. Ariens 991151 Apex 60″ 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower

ChickenlifeAriens 991151 Apex 60" 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box

The Ariens 991151 Apex 60″ 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower is next on our list of riding lawn mowers ideal for cutting high lawn grass. This riding mower is mid-to high-grade professional in terms of quality, and its toughness and strength set it apart from the competition.

The engine is a 24 HP motor that can swiftly carry the machine up any hill without losing much power. The cutting deck is super wide at 60 inches, and is made with a steel body that is incredibly durable and strong.

The mowing deck may be adjusted to three distinct choices – mulch, bag, and side discharge, and it comes with fifteen cutting height positions, allowing you to easily mow grass at various heights.

This is a top-rated lawn mower that comes with many exceptional features, including three-blade engagement on the aluminum spindles for better control, as well as hydrostatic transmission for harder-to-cut tall grass. The blades will provide clean cuts in an instant.

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

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
  • A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
  • Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)

The Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower is one of the most well-known and best-selling items produced by Husqvarna, one of the world’s biggest and most renowned outdoor power tool producers.

It has a massive 54-inch wide working area that is reinforced with heavy flat-stock steel for extra strength and durability. The deck may also be raised and lowered by a spring-operated mechanism within arm’s reach while you’re sitting on the mower. This means if you have a specific patch of grass that is higher than other grass around it, you can raise the cutting deck to account for this.

The 26 HP riding mower is equipped with state-of-the-art air induction mowing technology, which draws air from both the top and bottom of the cutting deck to produce a better cut by increasing grass lift.

It is one of the most simple-to-use, user-friendly, and comfortable lawn mowers on the market, with an ergonomic touch control panel right at your fingertips, a big anti-slip footrest region, and a detachable foot plate for easy maintenance.

Furthermore, this mower has an innovative, patent-pending automatic park brake technology that activates and deactivates as the steering levers are adjusted, making it safer and easier to use than other similar models.

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

Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
  • POWERFUL BRIGGS AND STRATTON GAS ENGINE WITH READY START: Powerful gas engine suitable for larger yard jobs while ready start technology provides a quick, efficient start.
  • 46-INCH CUTTING WITH INCLUDED DECK WASH: Lawn tractor comes equipped with wide 46-Inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep. Included deck wash saves time when underside cleaning.
  • HYDRO-TRANSMISSION: Unit is equipped with foot hydrostatic transmission.
  • MOW-IN-REVERSE: Take your mower in reverse to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots.
  • SUPPORTIVE HIGH-BACK SEAT: High-back cushioned seat provides optimum comfort.

The Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower is a high-quality lawn mower with a reasonable price point. This riding lawn mower has a 19Hp Briggs and Stratton Engine with Readystart technology, which makes starting the mower considerably easier and quick.

The T225 has a hydrostatic transmission, so there are no gear changes to make while using it. You may ride this mower with a foot-powered pedal. The Lawn Mower has a 46-inch cutting deck that cuts thick and tall grass with ease. The high-backed cushioned seat provides excellent comfort even when riding for hours. The deck wash port on the deck allows for easy cleaning of the cutting deck.

One functional highlight is the “Mow-in-Reverse” feature, which allows you to keep mowing even if you’re driving it in reverse. It’ll allow you to cut closer to shrubs and trees, as well as go around obstructions with ease. It also comes with turf tires, which have a cast-iron front axle and provide excellent mobility, even in tight spaces.

This mower requires little to no assembly, making it suitable for individuals with little or no technical expertise, and it comes with a one-year limited warranty.

#5. Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

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The Troy-Bilt 30-Inch Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower is one of the smallest riding mowers available, saving valuable storage area by taking up the same amount of storage space as a wide-cut walk behind mower. It can be effortlessly stored in your garage or shed, and it will fit in many tight spaces.

The 30-inch Troy-Bilt is great for any yard up to 1.5 acres in size due to its smaller size as well as a narrower cutting deck than the riding lawn mowers mentioned above.

The Troy-Bilt DGG7010A features a Shift-on-the-Go transmission, so you may alter between 6 speeds with ease and without stopping. It also has an addable mulching kit that lets you mulch the grass clippings to help keep your lawn greener and healthier while also recycling nutrients back into the ground. The rear hitch makes it a lot easier to attach carts, sprayers, and spreaders, while the vibration-reducing Soft Touch steering wheel helps you ride in comfort.

Summing Up

Lawn mowing is a necessary chore, and tall grass can be a hassle to cut with a standard push lawn mower. However, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you are looking for an easier way to take care of your yard, a riding lawn mower may be the perfect solution for you.

We’ve looked at the different types of lawn mowers and how they work as well as what you need to consider before purchasing a riding lawn mower for tall grass. We looked at different factors that you should consider when making your purchase, such as fuel capacity, reverse mow function, deck size and type of engine power. Finally, we shared our top five picks and gave you a buyer’s guide to help make your decision easier.

Our number one recommended mower would be the Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower, although every model on here is capable of doing great work in your backyard.

Hopefully, this buying guide will help take some of the guesswork out of your next purchase and make your life a little easier. Do you have any questions about our picks or anything else related to lawn care? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for reading, and happy mowing!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.

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