Which Is The Best Riding Lawn Mower For Hills?

Got hills and hate using your walk-behind… is doing your lawns become a chore and not no fun no more… if you’re looking to invest some coin in a riding lawn mower and not sure othe best riding lawn mower for hills and slopes… then this article is just for you.

Choosing a lawnmower isn’t the easiest thing to do and getting the right one doesn’t just come down to just price.

A few things you’ve got to consider when picking the right mower for you:

  • Hillslope
  • Safety
  • Type

This table summarizes the products we will review.

Here’s a couple of our favorites

How to choose the best type of riding lawn mower for you

As we know there are 3 main types of riding mowers we can check out:

  1. Zero-turn( ZTR)
  2. Tractors (includes lawn and garden tractors
  3. Rear engine riding mowers.

Each one has its limits and capabilities and when you start talking about hills, inclines, declines… this leads to a whole new matter.

To choose which mower is best, you need to know what slope your lawn is.

How to measure hill slope

For this exercise you will need:

  • 2 stakes, timber or steel. It don’t matter
  • A string line
  • Tape measure
  • Calculator or use this online one

Drive a stake into the ground at the top of the hill and then another at the bottom. If you’ve got a long run you can shorten it by the length of the string line you’ve got.

Tie the string on to the bottom of the stake at the top of the hill.

Then tie the string onto the stake at the bottom of the hill so that the string is level from the top to the bottom. Any of these string line levels will do the job if you don’t have any.

Once you’ve got the string line level than just measure the rise then divide it by the run, x that by 100 and that will give you slope %

So if you’ve got a run of 500 ft and a rise of 15 ft, the calculations will be

15 ÷ 500 = 0.03 x 100 = 3% grade or slope.

If you’ve got a rise of 15 ft you’ll need a stake over that distance of 500 ft of at least 15 ft plus the depth to peg into the ground.

That’s a pretty big stake to try and smash into the ground.

You don’t have to measure the entire slope at once. You can do it in intervals and get an average over the distances or pick the steepest section by eye and measure that.

We’re not looking for a precision degree here just a ballpark of ya steepest grade of the hill.

Once you’ve got this then you can move on choosing the best type of riding lawn mower.

 Hot tip: Always mow across slopes when using a walk-behind mower and up and down the slope when using a riding mower. 

Some things to think about when buying a riding mower

Everyone has there one things with what’s important to choose a mower for there lawns. So we want to offer a few options of things to consider when the time for when you’re ready to throw down some cash on a newie.


Do you want to bag the clippings and use em in a compost bin, place around the garden or dispose of. Not all riding mowers has this option and many will also have it as an extra add-on. Here you can see a list of 8 of the best riding mowers with baggers.

Yard size

For small lawns, the average and cheapest is a rear-mounted engine mower. Available in a range of decks from around 28″, versatile and with at least 14 ponies driving the girl

For yards in the one-to-three acre range, a zero-turning rider or front-engine lawn tractor may be appropriate. Look for a mower with at least 14-16 hp and a wide mowing deck – at least 38 inches – to get your lawn work done quickly.

Yards larger than three acres are best handled by a large zero turn mower or a garden tractor. Look for models that have at least 18hp engines and mowing decks in the 44-54 inch range.

Make sure to check the slope degree beforehand.

Best Riding Mower For Hills

Always refer to the owner’s manual as each lawn mower has different specs and whether the slope you’ve got is safe for you to mow.

As a rule of thumb, anything greater than 20 degrees don’t try to attempt with a walk-behind.

With tractors and ride-on anything more than 15 degrees will test the limits and zero-turns, best to try and stay under 10 degrees.

These degrees on angle will variate so make sure to talk to your dealer or refer back to the user manual for more specific details on your mower.


Husqvarna ts242xd

These two are specifically made for the hills and have different slip differentials to the standard series like the Husqvarna YTH18542

Sitting up front running this Husqvarna is a 21.5 hp Kawasaki engine that offers plenty of power when needed.

Has a deck cutting height from 1.5″ to 4″ and a reinforced 46-inch cutting deck and is fitted with anti-scalping wheels

The seat is easily adjusted without the need for any tools so you can get the perfect setup and seat position in minutes.


  • Heavy duty cast iron front axle
  • 4-gallon fuel capacity with 42″ cut deck
  • Designed for hills


Snapper 2911525BVE

The snapper is best suited for small areas and for those who just looking for a mower that will mow the lawn without all the bells and whistels.

This snapper range is recommended for slopes not exceeding 15 degrees.

The Snapper classic has a 11.5 Hp rear mounted drive engine with a 28″ cutting deck. Simple design no frills look makes it a good solid little mower.

Overall assembled width is around 32inches not including mulching kit or the side discharge cover.

The mower can be stored and stood on its backend for those whos got limited storage space. There’s no lights fitted on this bad boy and sorry guys no cup holder for those refreshing cold beers waters


  • Vertical stand on edge space saver
  • Cutting height ranges from 1.5 – 4
  • Can mulch and bag.


  • Bagger sold separately.
  • Not designed to pull heavy loads

Ariens 915223 IKON-X

The Arions Ikno-x comes has a 3 year warranty for piece of mind as shit does happen. Also services are available at dealers everywhere.

The machine is powered by Kawasaki's 23 ponies under the "bonnet" giving you plenty of power when needed eliminating any bog downs or stalls.

The scalping wheels come standard on this series just in case you've still got some untamed terrain on the place.

It's recommend not to be used with a slope over 15 degrees and if you have a section, try hitting that area downwards to be more safer.


  • Full-pressure lubrication system with full-flow filter for maximum internal lubication
  • 52-Inch, 3-Blade Fabricated Mower Deck
  • 13 optional cutting heights with 1/4″ increments for a perfect cut.
  • 3 Blade 3-in-1 (Side-Discharge/Bag/Mulch) cutting options


  • Doesn’t come with lights
  • Not recommended for hill more than 15 degrees
  • Some have had issues with deck tires coming loose

 That concludes my best riding lawn mower for steep hills roundup.

Most of us really don’t read the operator’s manual or feel these warning statements are “just guidelines.”

Even staying under 15 degrees there are still ways to tip your lawn tractor or zero-turn mower over.

Mowing commercially for many years I've had my fair share of close calls and giving the old pucker a workout.

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