Best Rear Engine Lawn Mower Reviews of 2017

If you need help deciding which is the best rear engine lawn mower you should buy hop on to my Top List below where I listed my top picks for this year. If you need a few tips check the Pros & Cons about these type of mowers that follow after the list. In any case, have fun with your new mower!

The Top List
ProductDescriptionMy ScorePrice
My Choice
Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower Review

Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower Review

This small rear-drive riding mower is great for level, medium-sized yards, turns well and is fairly priced. I think it's a great rear engine riding mower that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

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Yard Machines 190cc 24-Inch Rear Engine Riding Mower Review

Yard Machines 190cc 24-Inch Rear Engine Riding Mower Review

This machine is not intended to be worked really hard or used on large stretches of land. I think that it's durable enough for day-to-day use but I really wouldn't push it too hard. It still feels like a cross between a toy and a mower to me.

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Pros & Cons

Unfortunately, a lot of people equate rear engine mowers with a lower quality product. While that might have been true at one point in time, nowadays it really isn’t. Sure, you can still consider these mowers to be more economical but they can no longer be considered to be inferior. It all depends on how you use them.

For me, the best rear engine mower is one that keeps its price low by not adding in a bunch of features that you might not need. In my opinion, these type of mowers are for basic lawns that need basic mowing. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a valuable tool.

In this guide, I’m going to tell you what you need to look for when searching for a rear engine mower and are looking through rear engine mower reviews. These tips will allow you to save a great deal of cash on a mower that can do a good of a job as just about any other riding mower—if you put it into the right conditions.

What Are Rear Engine Mowers Good For?

Rear engine riding mowers really excel in a number of different areas. They have smaller cutting widths than other riding mowers, so they are usually good for lawns that are medium size. You definitely don’t want to use them on small yards, you can use a push mower for that, or for larger yards, but medium sized yards are really their sweet spot.

They also tend to be pretty good on hills. Particularly hills that are steep. Since their engines are located in the rear, right under the seat, they tend to be fairly stable. I know that when I need to mow the hills near around my house, I often break out my rear engine rider. It does a brilliant job.

As I stated earlier, they are also cheaper than comparable models. This is because they’re smaller, have smaller engines and move slower. They also don’t usually have a lot of attachments that can be used with them. This gives them a cheaper price point than most other riding mowers.

These type of riding mowers are also easier to store and can get around pretty good in fenced-in areas or through narrow passes. They are also a whole lot easier to store since they tend to be smaller.

The Pros of These Mowers:

  • Lower Price
  • Good For Medium Size Yards
  • Decent On Hills
  • Easier To Store

What Aren't They Good For?

Like I said earlier, these mowers aren’t good if you need a lot of attachments. And since they have smaller engines they also aren’t good for power mowing or towing. Finally, they are pretty poor for large areas of grass or for grass that is tall.

The Cons Of These Mowers:

  • Lack Of Attachments
  • Lack Of Power
  • Not For Large Yards (over an acre)

Well, those are my pros and cons for rear engine mowers. As you can see, when used for their intended purpose, these mowers can be quite useful.

My Rear Engine Lawn Mower Reviews

Up for consideration, today is the Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower. This rear-drive riding mower looked kind of like a combination of a scooter and a mower when I first saw it but the real test is not how it looks but how it performs on my yard. Let’s see if it can get the job done, shall we?

The first thing that I want to mention about this riding lawnmower is that it will take about an hour to assemble it and you’re going to need a number of different tools to do it (mainly, 1/2-inch and 9/16th-inch wrenches). I had to uncrate mine, attach the steering wheel, the seat, and the battery and make a few adjustments, add gas and so on. So factor in some time to do the job right.

Once it was assembled and ready to go, I decided to give it a run on my property. It did a pretty good job of cutting my grass on level ground but it couldn’t handle the hills that were not even steep. Now I know that rear-drive riding mowers aren’t good for hills in the first place, but this one did a particularly poor job and I thought it was going to flip on me. So for the rest of this review, I decided to keep it on level ground.

I did notice that the engine had quite a bit of power and it cut my grass well—even some of the tall, wild grasses I had growing on the edge of my property. While it’s 30-inch deck is smaller than other higher priced riding mowers, it’s a lot more than a push mower so it handled the job of cutting my grass fairly well. As long as it stayed on the level ground.

It also has a pretty good turning radius. An 18-inch turning radius to be exact. Sure, it’s not a zero-turn radius mower but I was able to get a lot closer to my oak trees than I have been able to do with some push mowers I’ve owned, so that’s always a plus.

While it did a really good job of cutting grass, it didn’t handle as well as I would have liked it to handle. For one thing, I found the controls were positioned oddly. This might be fine for some people but it felt really strange to me and like I was reaching. I also didn’t like the brake and clutch combination. For me, it was a bit oversensitive and this led to a quite jerky ride for me.

Another thing that I want to mention is that you have to disengage the blades in order to go in reverse. Yes, I know it’s a safety issue and more and more mowers have this feature, but this one wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked and added to my mowing time.

The last thing that I would like to say about this riding mower is that it really isn’t meant for large pieces of property. If you have a large piece of property, then you’d probably want to buy a bigger mower.

8.6 Total Score
Bottom Line

This small rear-drive riding mower is great for level, medium-sized yards, turns well and is fairly priced. I think it's a great rear engine riding mower that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Performance
8
Features
9
Ease of Use
8
Value
9
Quality
9
PROS
  • Great for even, medium-sized yards
  • Makes sharp turns rather well
  • Powerful
CONS
  • Assembly takes some time
  • Have to disengage cutting blades to go in reverse
  • Handling is not perfect
User Rating: No Ratings Yet!

When I first saw the Yard Machines 190cc 24-Inch Rear Engine Riding Mower, I couldn’t decide if it was a lawn mower or a child’s ride-on toy. Of course, I being a little facetious here, but I do have to say that this mower is quite small. So if you’re a bigger guy who needs leg room, then this already might not be the rear engine mower for you. It also might not be the mower for you if you have a large yard because this mower only has a 24-inch cutting deck.

This mower does have a more than adequate 190cc Briggs & Stratton engine and a 6-speed transmission. When I first started using this mower, I noticed that it’s probably the perfect size to use in that space between my house and my outdoor shed, so I decided to give it a try and much to my surprise, I was able to squeeze the mower through it. Now I don’t have to use my weed whacker for that little alleyway anymore. And believe me, that’s a good thing.

I also noticed that it handled uneven terrain pretty well. While I wouldn’t use it on hills, I do have to say that it did a pretty good job handling the rougher terrain out behind my house. Which was a pleasant surprise to me. As far as cutting grass goes, it does a good job. Just don’t try to make it do heavy work because this little mower isn’t really suitable for anything but light grass cutting. It does have a good turn radius, however, and I could really zip around the trees in my back yard.

All things considered, this machine is not intended to be worked really hard or used on large stretches of land. I think that it’s durable enough for day-to-day use but I really wouldn’t push it too hard. After all, it still feels like a cross between a toy and a mower to me. I don’t really trust the build quality. It’s good for cutting the grass around a small yard but that’s all I’d use it for.

7.2 Total Score
Bottom Line

This machine is not intended to be worked really hard or used on large stretches of land. I think that it's durable enough for day-to-day use but I really wouldn't push it too hard. It still feels like a cross between a toy and a mower to me.

Performance
7
Features
7
Ease of Use
8
Value
8
Quality
6
PROS
  • Compact size
  • Good for small yards
  • Tight turn radius
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Not powerful
  • May be too small for bigger guys
  • Not for heavy grass cutting
  • Build quality could be better
User Rating: No Ratings Yet!