If you own any kind of sizable lawn, you probably want a riding mower to help with the weekly chore. However, the options available on the market can make shopping for one quite a challenge. Is it really worth spending an extra thousand dollars for the high-end mower? How big should the deck be? It's always smart to start the search with the best. Right now the top three lawn tractors on the market are the Troy-Bilt 382cc Premium, the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT, and the Poulon Pro 960460075. Read on to learn which one will fit your busy life and budget while delivering superior performance.

What size deck does each one have?

The bigger the yard, the bigger the deck is needed. The Cub Cadet XT1 comes with a 46-inch deck, which is well-sized for yards up to 2 acres. The Poulon Pro has a 42-inch deck, and the Troy-Bilt offers a compact 30-inch deck--which is great for 1/4 to 1/2 acre lawns.

What are the best deals on the top three mowers?

The Poulon Pro is the lowest priced option among the three and can be found for just $1099. The Troy-Bilt starts at $1249, but if you keep your eyes open for Troy-Bilt sales you can shave off a bit off the top. The Cub Cadet is designed for the homeowner willing to invest in powerful and durable machinery for their home and starts at $1600 when discounted. You may pay over $2000. Look for bundles that include mulching kits and bagging accessories to lower the overall price.

How big are the engines in each mower?

More muscle is needed when running a larger machine. The Cub Cadet churns out 22 horsepower and the Poulon Pro offers 17.5 horsepower. The Troy-Bilt has just a 382cc engine, but the same fuel tank as the other two. It will run farther on a single tank of fuel, but is not as fast.

What is the turning radius for each mower?

When the lawn is dotted with flower beds, trees, and shrubs a tight turning radius helps to reach into all the corners without stopping to reposition the lawn tractor. Even though it is the largest, the Cub Cadet has a tight turning radius of just 16 inches. The Poulon Pro needs a little more room with 18 inches as does the Troy-Bilt.

Are there available accessories like bags and wagons?

While you can find bagging attachments for all three mowers, they may not necessarily be designed exclusively for the particular model. The Cub Cadet XT1 does have its own line of accessories including a plow attachment, wagon, mulching, etc. The Troy-Bilt and Poulon Pro will be more of a hodge-podge.

Are any of the top three mowers CARB compliant?

Only the Cub Cadet XT1 is CARB compliant and able to be sold in the state of California. CARB compliant means it effectively scrubs the exhaust and works to lower the carbon footprint of your family's property. Good maintenance on the other two will keep them operating with a minimum of smell, stuttering, and backfiring.

Do the top three mowers handle hills and uneven terrain easily?

The Troy-Bilt is so light that it will struggle with most inclines and is recommended for fairly flat landscaping. The Cub Cadet with its 22 horsepower is best able to tackle inclines, but care must always be taken to ensure it does not tip over. The Poulon Pro is well suited for most suburban neighborhoods with large manicured lots. If you are caring for a larger property with large changes of elevation, you may need to look for professional landscaping equipment.

Which of the top three lawn tractors has a key start?

All three mowers have a key start--not a pull start. There is a key needed to activate the ignition, prime the choke, and turn a key or press a button until the engine catches. It is recommended to keep the battery on a trickle charger, clean out the carburetor, and stabilize the fuel in the off-season to keep it humming.