A hilly landscape lawn makes for a beautiful sight, but maintaining it can be a real pain in the neck. If you have a smaller sloping backyard, a robust self-propelled lawn mower will make lawn maintenance a breeze. For those who live in the rolling countryside, a quality self-propelled lawn mower can make life much easier.
But, if you have a larger yard, pushing a walk-behind mower from sunrise to sunset probably doesn’t seem so appealing. Powerful, easy to operate, and built to last, a riding lawn mower is a great investment for a larger hillside property and necessary if you aim on using a pull behind tiller.
The best lawn mower for hilly yards will save you a lot of time and energy down the line, and they are excellent for attaching a lawn sweeper to clear mess from the grass. But, to make sure you get the right machine for your yard, you need to do a bit of research first. To get started, here are the 10 best lawn mowers for hills money can buy.
Our Top Pick: Toro TimeCutter
- 24.5 HP Engine
- 42” cutting deck
- Heavy-duty construction
- Zero-turn radius
- Comfortable saddle
- 1 PowerSmart DB8620
- 2 Husqvarna Z254
- 3 Snapper CRP218520 Ninja
- 4 Snapper P2185020E HI-VAC
- 5 Honda HRX217K5VKA
- 6 Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
- 7 Ariens Zoom 42
- 8 Ryobi RY48111
- 9 Troy-Bilt Super Mustang XP 50 Riding Lawn Mower
- 10 Toro TimeCutter
- 11 Things to Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower for Hills
- 12 Conclusion
- Weight: 86 lbs
- Cutting Width: 20”
- Engine capacity: 196 cc
The PowerSmart DB8620 is a speedy, self-propelled gas lawn mower that promises to get the job done in a jiffy. It can tackle steep and tight areas quite nicely. When you’re mowing grass on uneven terrain, its rear-wheel-drive takes care of the hard work for you.
Turning on passes is a breeze, thanks to the single front caster wheel. It moves with an assured swiftness across hills and rocky ground.
The PowerSmart is highly maneuverable. But, despite having just one zero-turn front caster, the mower is incredibly sturdy.
The mower allows you to adjust the cutting height from 1.2” to 3.15”. It offers precise and even cuts. The handle is very easy to adjust.
Everything about this mower is pretty straightforward. Once you take it out of the box, you should be able to get it up and running in about 15 minutes. There are no throttles or choke to deal with, just pull the start cord and you’re ready to go.
The lawn mower offers mulching options, side discharge, as well as bagging. If you decide to go the bagging route, the bag is very easy to remove.
It’s such a great tool for mulching, you won’t see the clippings at all. Even though it’s a lightweight mower, it sports a robust 196 cc engine.
Its 18-gal bag is something you don’t see so often on such lightweight models. Considering everything this mower has to offer, the price point is very attractive.
- Highly maneuverable
- Rear-wheel drive
- Zero-turn capability
- Non-variable speed control
- Fuel Capacity: 3.5 Gal
- Cutting Width: 54”
- Horsepower: 26 HP
Husqvarna makes superb riding lawn mowers, and the Z254 is no exception. Its innovative design has earned it a spot on this list.
Its cutting-edge features deliver high performance in a sleek fashion. The mower is equipped with a rugged 54” cutting deck consisting of 12-gauge steel sheets. This unique ride really takes the work out of lawn mowing.
The 26 HP Kohler 7000 Series engine makes it a particularly robust machine. It’s all about power and durability. The engine features an oversized cooling fan, finished bearing surfaces, chrome plated valves, and premium air filtration.
The air induction technology makes this mower really cool (no pun intended). The impressive cooling fan ensures a stellar cut job and maintains stability.
For exceptional cut quality, it offers an improved grass lift. The ergonomic control panel makes the Z254 quite a user-friendly model.
It is also equipped with a few nice extra features, such as the 3-anti scalp rollers, an automatic parking brake system, and a bumper with integrated headlights. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best-performing models in its class.
- Zero-turn transmission
- Powerful and reliable
- 26 HP Kohler 7000 Series engine
- 54” steel reinforced cutting deck
Snapper CRP218520 Ninja
- Weight: 93 lbs
- Cutting Width: 21”
- Engine capacity: 190 cc
If you are looking for a heavy-duty mower that will perform well summer after summer with minimal maintenance, you can never go wrong with Snapper.
This superb machine features reinforced bracings, a steel axle, and a 14-gauge steel mowing deck. With its super-smooth turn differential and rear-wheel drive system, the Snapper Ninja can conquer every hill it comes across.
The Ninja is all about smoothness. It’s great for dealing with tough-to-cut-grass, such as St. Augustine. Its easy-rolling wheels are fitted with ball bearings, allowing you to work with ease on uneven terrain.
The Ninja tackles ditches with ease. The lawnmower features easy-to-use cutting height adjusters and a sturdy cutting deck.
Its robust Briggs & Stratton engine almost always starts on the first pull. The quality 190 cc offers quieter operation and professional-grade features. The spin-on oil filter is a nice touch.
Although it’s not always the best idea, the Ninja can cut wet, damp, and uneven grass with great ease. You can adjust the cutting height from 1.25” to 4”.
Its one-of-a-kind disk-drive transmission offers great speed control on hills. If you are looking for a leisurely, self-propelled mower that will do most of the work for you, the Ninja is a safe bet.
- Foam-grip handlebar
- Quieter operation
- Highly dependable and long-lasting
- Easy height adjustment
- No bagging option
Snapper P2185020E HI-VAC
- Weight: 85.2 lbs
- Cutting Width: 21”
- Engine capacity: 190 cc
The Snapper HI-VAC is all about convenience and excellent performance. This workhorse offers a fast and powerful solution for each and every yard of grass on your hilly property. With proper maintenance, this mower can last for decades.
Whether you’re mowing damp grass or tackling stubborn hills, its rear-wheel drive offers excellent traction.
Maneuvering the HI-VAC is super easy. To ensure you don’t mess up your lawn in your uphill battle, there’s the smooth turn differential. Whether the grass is weedy, thick, or tall, its high 10” wheels will glide over it with ease.
Though it’s a big and sturdy mower, the HI-VAC does great in tight spaces. Whether you want to use side discharge one week, bag the next, or mulch a week after, the HI-VAC’s got you covered. It’s a great option for those who like to convert mowing styles.
Selecting the speed is really easy, and the same goes for the height-of-cut adjustments. The HI-VAC’s “operator zone” is like no other, everything is within easy reach. It even includes a cup holder.
The seven different-cutting adjustments will help make sure your yard always gets an ultra-clean-looking finish. To ensure a safe experience every time you power up the machine, the mower comes with blade control, engine speed control, and ground speed control.
The rolled deck edge and cutting-edge blade generate massive suction, allowing you to easily tackle dirt, sand, twigs, and leaves. It’s a powerful vacuum just as much as it’s a lawn mower.
- Easy height adjustment
- 3-in-1 mowing options
- Powerful, durable engine
- Starts on one pull
- Weight: 96 lbs
- Cutting Width: 21”
- Engine capacity: 187 cc
Honda’s self-propelled 4-in-1 lawn mower delivers outstanding grass-grooming performance. This versatile machine offers everything you need to efficiently mow up to ¾ acre of hilly terrain.
Its 5-setting auto-transmission and 4-stroke GCV 190 cc engine help ensure a smooth cut up and across inclines. Thanks to its rear-wheel drive and easy pull start, you’ll be able to mow your sloping backyard without breaking a sweat.
The-pressure-sensitive propulsion controls are perfectly optimized and the Variable thumb lever is within easy reach. This lawn mower is truly a work of masterful engineering.
Its twin-blade MicroCut system can deliver surgically precise cuts. The mower is equipped with a huge 2.5-bushel bag. You can mow your lawn for hours before you need to stop and empty the payload of grass.
If you can’t decide whether to mulch or bag, the Honda 4-in-1 has got you covered. You can custom-measure the percentage of clippings you want to use as nutrients and the portion you want to mow. It’s all made possible by its one-of-a-kind Versamow feature.
The speed dial allows you to adjust the mower’s pacing to perfection. Considering it’s a Honda, it’s safe to say this mower is built to last. Its durable construction can take a beating, so you can rest assured it will serve you for the seasons to come.
- Exceptionally reliable
- Built to last
- Wide bagging system
- Easy start
- Small gas tank
Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Lawn Mower
- Fuel Capacity: 1.3 Gal
- Cutting Width: 30”
- Horsepower: 12 HP
The Troy-Bilt 382cc Riding Lawn Mower is one of the best options for medium to large yards. The model moves more deftly than its larger, more robust competitors.
This is partly due to its compact size. By looking at it, one may get the impression that they are dealing with a wide-cut walk-behind gas model.
It can reach a top forward speed of up to 4.25 MPH, thanks to its robust auto-choke, 6-speed transmission engine. There is also the 5-position cutting height setting that allows you to select the ideal cutting height for your lawn.
Its large 13” soft grip steering wheel and adjustable seat allow for a very comfortable ride. The-padded mid-back seat is like no other. It retains its coziness even at higher speeds.
For improved durability, the mower is equipped with a 30” cutting deck made of 14-gauge steel. And, for better maneuverability, it has an 18” turning radius.
While it doesn’t pack as much power as bigger, more robust models, the convenience it offers may be worth the trade-off. When it comes to storage, its size is a big plus.
- Great value for money
- Easy to maneuver
- 5 different cutting height settings
- Comfortable saddle
- Somewhat noisier than the average mower
Ariens Zoom 42
- Fuel Capacity: 2.0 Gal
- Cutting Width: 42”
- Horsepower: 19 HP
Ariens is a manufacturer renowned for their exceptional heavy-duty machines. But, their smaller riding lawn mowers are also worthy of praise. If you are looking for a mid-sized riding lawn mower, the Ariens Zoom 42 may be the best solution for your lawn.
This compact riding lawn mower allows you to maintain your turf with great precision, convenience, and comfort. Jarring stops and starts are never a problem with the Zoom 42, thanks to its intuitive engineering.
To allow for a super-precise cut, the 12-gauge steel deck does a great job of maximizing airflow. Unless the grass is damp, the heavy-duty cutting deck lets you cut 42” swaths on every pass.
Its padded high-back seat makes it quite a comfortable ride. To offer the rider a luxurious experience, the seat is designed to eliminate pressure points. There are also the adjustable control bars and the 3-way adjustable armrests.
And, despite being a compact ride, it offers plenty of legroom. It’s sliding adjustable seat is really tough to beat.
You won’t ever have to worry about butchering the grass underneath you as the Zoom 32 is equipped with 4 anti-scalp wheels. One of the most impressive things about this model is how easy it is to maneuver in tight areas.
- Exceptionally comfortable
- Easy to maneuver
- Adjustable control bar
- Anti-scalp wheels
- Included trailer hitch
- Exhaust gets hot
- Battery: 100 Ah lead-acid batteries
- Cutting Width: 43”
- Voltage: 48V
Electric riding lawn mowers are gaining in popularity these days, but finding one that can mow hilly landscapes is no easy task. Ryobi RY48111 is a great solution for those who are looking for an alternative to riding lawn mowers.
It can handle 15% inclines and does a good job of tackling hills, but, unlike with gas-powered models, you will have to break manually when going downhills, which is the only significant trade-off you’ll have to consider if you go with this eco-friendly alternative.
The Ryobi RY48111 can mow up 2.5 acres on one charge, making it a great choice for a large yard. One of the best things about it is how quiet it is. This lawn mower won’t ruin your joyride around your peaceful and beautiful property by piercing your ears and coughing up diesel smoke.
Aside from the much-appreciated cruise control, the Ryobi RY48111 comes with a couple of more cool features, such as the USB charging port and LED headlights. So, since it has a super quiet engine and USB port, this is one of the very few riding lawn mowers that let you listen to music while you’re manicuring your turf.
- Quiet engine
- USB charging port
- 12- position mower deck height
- Mows 2.5 acres on one charge
- Easy to maneuver
- Doesn’t break automatically downhills
Troy-Bilt Super Mustang XP 50 Riding Lawn Mower
- Fuel Capacity: 3.0 gal
- Cutting Width: 50”
- Horsepower: 23 HP
The Troy Bilt Super Mustang XP is a high-quality, heavy-duty lawn mower that is built to last. This zero-turn mower can effortlessly chew up a large lawn in a jiffy.
The 50” cutting deck makes it a perfect choice for cutting larger lawns. The power and maneuverability it offers are really hard to beat.
The Troy-Bilt Super Mustang has everything you need to get around your lawn efficiently and effectively. The front casters can handle a big bump or two without any problem.
The lap bar controls are very easy to operate. The durable wheels, heavy-duty components, and the robust frame reflect Troy-Bilt’s passion for quality.
But the little details on the Super Mustang XP 50 show us that it was engineered with great care. For instance, it comes with high-quality metal belt pulleys.
Maintenance should come easy, partly thanks to the full pressure lubrication system. For maximum power and fuel efficiency, the mower is equipped with a 724 cc Briggs and Stratton engine.
Its one-of-a-kind EZT dual hydrostatic transmission makes it one of the smoothest and most reliable riding lawn mowers out there. The self-cleaning blade system is also a very nice touch.
- Full pressure lubrication system
- Easy to operate
- Self-cleaning blade system
- Powerful engine
- High-quality components and heavy-duty steel frame
- No armrest
- Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal
- Cutting Width: 42”
- Horsepower: 24.5 HP
If your yard is rife with trees and other obstacles, the Toro TimeCutter will bring your landscaping frustrations to an end. With this lawn mower as your ally, you won’t have to dance a careful circle around each bush.
Thanks to its improved efficiency and maneuverability, you won’t have to bother with a weed whip anymore. To allow you to work close to trees, this zero degrees lawn more can nearly turn on a dime.
The Toro Timecutter is a fast and agile machine that will significantly reduce your mowing time. It can reach a top speed of 8.5 MPH, even with the blades still engaged.
Usually, speed and comfort don’t play well together, but that’s not the case with the Toro Timecutter.
It’s nicely padded saddle will make your landscaping chores much more enjoyable. It features reclining armrests and a nice suspension cushion.
Thanks to its heavy-duty transmission, the Toro Timecutter can climb inclines with ease. It doesn’t lose much speed when handling uneven areas.
The 5-gallon fuel tank allows you to zip around at high speed without worrying whether you’ll suck through the gas.
But, for the inexperienced, its speed may be a drawback. Riding a lawn mower on a hill requires extra care, especially if the mower can go as fast as this one.
- Large fuel tank
- Great for areas with many trees
- Fast and agile
- Heavy-duty frame
- Bagger attachment not included
Things to Consider When Buying a Lawn Mower for Hills
Lawn Size and Terrain
Generally, for a homeowner that has a yard of ½ acre, a walk-behind mower would suffice. However, for someone who has a hilly yard, that’s a lot of work, even if they are using a self-propelled mower. You are undoubtedly better off with a riding mower, see here for the best garden tractors, if your yard is over ½ acre, if you have a small yard have a look at the best electric lawn mowers.
Mowing hills with zero turn mower or lawn tractor can make things much easier. But, if you have many lawn decorations such as fountains, rocks, or flower beds, you should consider getting a zero-turn-radius mower.
If you want to know how wide and big the blades on a mower are, check the deck size. A big deck equals big blades. The average deck size of a self-propelled mower is 20”. When it comes to riding lawn mowers, decks range from 30” to 70” or larger.
With a wider deck, you can get the job done faster, as it can cut larger paths. However, lawn mowers with wider decks are harder to maneuver around trees and other obstacles.
Riding Lawn Mowers vs Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
For a big hilly yard, a riding lawn mower is the best solution. Save for the deck size, the bigger the everything, the better it will perform.
But, even riding lawn mowers have their limits. Riding lawn mowers can’t handle inclines over 15°. A self-propelled mower gives you more flexibility.
They are easier to maneuver and easier to store, and, since they are self-propelled, they do most of the hard work for you. For a smaller yard, a self-propelled lawn mower is a more cost-efficient solution.
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When it comes to mowing hilly landscapes, safety is of the utmost importance, and this especially goes for zero-turn riding mowers.
On steep slopes, always ride in low gear. Make sure the breaks are always well-maintained and well-adjusted. When mowing hills, only ride downhill or uphill, but downhill is always better.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s safety guide. It should include a section on mowing hills.
Because of its great performance, exceptional efficiency, and excellent maneuverability, the Toro TimeCutter is the best zero-turn lawn mower for slopes up to 15°.
For smaller sloping yards, the Snapper Ninja is the best solution. It’s an agile self-propelling lawnmower that never fails to do a great job, no matter the terrain.