My Choice

Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

Up for consideration today is the Troy-Bilt 420cc 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.

The Troy-Bilt 420cc OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower 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
Very Good

This small rear-drive riding mower is good for level, medium-sized yards, turns well and is fairly priced. I think it's a pretty decent 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
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