Best Lawn Mower for Hills: Deciding Between a Tractor Mower, Riding Mower or Walk Behind Mower

It can be challenging to mow a large grassy hill without the right tool for the job. While push mowers are fine, they aren’t nearly as fast as a riding mower. Not all riding mowers are created equally, however, and finding one that can comfortably handle a large hill is a valid concern. Most riding mowers are capable of performing on slopes between 10 and 15 degrees, but this is their upper limit. Of course, if you don’t intend on using your mower on such steep hills, this isn’t too much of a concern.

There are several types of riding mowers, each with different advantages. Rear-engine mowers are great for hills, as their engine provides good control and their low centre of gravity keeps them from tipping over. Lawn tractors are another kind of riding mower, and are a great choice if you foresee mowing particularly large hills. They are extremely durable and come with different attachments (lawn sweepers, leaf baggers, etc.)

Zero-turn mowers are great for precise mowing as they allow you to turn in-place. Unfortunately they are the riskiest to drive on hills. This is because they lack traction, which means you’re at risking of sliding or even worse tipping over. If you plan on mowing hills with a zero-turn mower, make sure the hill isn’t too steep and drive very slowly.

This table, courtesy of Lowe’s Riding Mower Buying Guide, will help you determine which riding mower will best suit your properties needs.

Feel free to use a walk-behind mower if the size of the hill permits. You can choose between a powered mower (electric or gas) or push mower based on your preferences. What walk-behind mowers lack in speed and efficiency, the make up for in cost and ease of use.

All of these lawn mowers have their benefits. Rear-engine mowers are extremely stable, lawn tractors have front steering plus are highly unlikely to tip backwards, and walk-behind mowers are less expensive and easier to store. You can mow your hills quickly and safely with any of these types of lawn mowers, which is why our comparison tables and product reviews will focus on rear-engine mowers, lawn tractors and walk-behind mowers.

Best garden tractor for hills

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If you foresee yourself having to mow large grassy hills on a regular basis, the Husqvarna YTH24V54 might be just what you’re looking for. Boasting a 48 inch cutting width, this machine is quite compact when it comes to garden tractors. This comes in handy when manoeuvring you’re manoeuvring your property or storing your tractor.

The Husqvarna YTH24V54 is extremely comfortable, and comes with an adjustable seat as well as ergonomic steering wheel. The transmission is hydro static which allows for fluid shifting between the several forward and reverse speeds. As a bonus, this tractor can be equipped with tow-able accessories and even a mulch kit to speed up your lawn fertilisation.

Coming in at just over $2000, this Husqvarna garden tractor is an extremely durable tractor that you’ll be able to depend on to mow your large hills.


Best riding lawn mower for hilly terrain

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If you’re looking to go all out on your mower purchase but have no use for a tractor, we recommend the Poulan Pro 960420186. Costing just under $2700, there’s not much more you can ask for from this riding lawn mower.

Thanks to its oscillating front axle with only a 6 inch turn radius, as well as it’s 54 inch floating deck, you can rest assured you’ll end up with a smooth trim even when driving over rough terrain. The deck shell is reinforced and even comes with a 10 year warranty.

The Poulan Pro 960420186 also features an easy to use auto hydro static transmission which allows you to adjust your speed with the simple motion of a lever, which will save you tons of time. It’s ReadyStart+Y 16 starting system adjusts the amount of fuel delivered based on the temperature of the engine. Gone are the days of priming and choking the engine before starting it.


Best self-propelled lawn mower for hills

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If you’re looking for something a little smaller, we consider Husqvarna 961450020to be the best self-propelled lawn mower for steep hills. At just around $500, we think it has the best cost to quality ratio of any self-propelled lawn mower.

It features Husqvarna’s exclusive 4×4 drive, which allows for easy manoeuvrability on any surface. Its mower deck comes with 3 options: side discharge, mulch or to put your grass in a bag. One of its sleeker features is the difference in height between the front and back wheels. With 11-inch rear wheels and 8-inch front wheels, you won’t have to worry about your Husqvarna 961450020 tipping while mowing up a hill.

Treat yourself to a durable, long lasting mower with all the best features: several mowing options, higher rear wheels and all-wheel drive.


Best push mower for hills

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Like the Husqvarna lawn mower featured above, the Husqvarna 7021P lawn mower comes with a 3 in 1 cutting system, higher rear wheels as well as all wheel drive. It has the advantage of being more compact and easier to maneuver in tight spaces. It’s also a good bit cheaper, coming in at around $300.

It features 9 different cutting height positions as well as a 2 year parts and labour warranty.

We highly recommend the Husqvarna 7021P as it’s an affordable machine and is an excellent push mower for hills.