Riding lawn mowers are a great asset for homeowners. Maintaining your own lawn is not only rewarding, but very financially savvy for the fiscally minded. And if you’re extra thrifty, you’re going to want to eventually replace your tires yourself. While it may seem daunting if you’ve never done so before, it’s actually easy once you find yourself a quality pair of spare tires.
The benefits of buying riding lawn mower tires
The biggest benefit of buying riding lawn mower tires is the money you’ll save. If you buy a high-quality riding lawn mower, it will almost certainly outlive the tires it came with. At that point, you’ll be faced with a choice: Take it to a professional or replace the tires yourself.
Professional help does have its benefits; for instance, they do this sort of thing all day, every day. But it can be expensive, and if you’re on a budget, that’s not exactly where you want to be spending your money, is it? That makes doing it yourself the obvious answer when you’re tight on cash.
Nowadays, most replacement tires will come with installation kits and instructions, so you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve never done before. There’s also plenty of online tutorials as well, so not only will you save money, but you’ll get the satisfaction of learning a new skill which will definitely serve you well in the future—an added benefit.
Factors to consider when buying riding lawn mower tires
The first thing to consider is whether or not you even need new tires. Many folks will like to have spares on hand, but if you’re on a budget, this isn’t necessarily wise. That said, if your lawn mower tires are showing obvious signs of wear, it’s time to replace them, because if you don’t, you’ll be looking at more expensive repairs in the future.
Secondly, figure out what type of tires you need. Oftentimes—in fact, usually—front and rear tires will be different sizes. It’s not very often that all four tires wear out at the same time, but it’s technically possible. Depending on your terrain, you may find your front tires wear out quicker than your back ones, for instance. Because the front tires are going to be smaller than the back ones, it’s important to get the sizing right so you know the tires you ultimately choose will be compatible with your unit.
Check out your lawnmower’s sidewall, and you should be able to discern tire specs from that. If you can’t, for whatever reason, go to the manufacturer’s website or contact them directly for the correct information. Once you know what size you’re supposed to get, only get that size—unless another close size is widely known to be compatible, which usually isn’t the case, but can be.
After figuring out your tire size, consider the tread. If lawn looks or grass health is important to you, choose tires that are specifically made for lawn mowers and feature a tread designed to be used on turf. Not all lawn mower compatible tires have this feature, so it’s definitely something to think about when you’re on the hunt for the ultimate replacement tire.
Sometimes you can get just one tire at a time. Other times, they might come in packs of two. Some brands might have an option of either, depending on your preference. If you plan to be installing your own replacement tires from now on, I personally recommend buying them in pairs, if you can. That way, you can be sure that the tires are as identical as possible, which will prevent problems down the road, so to speak. You could buy them one at a time if you had to, but if you go with an obscure brand, consider the fact that they may quit making that tire and the next tire you buy might be entirely different—that’s the biggest downside of buying the tires one at a time. Well, that and the fact that typically when one front tire goes out, the other will soon follow, so if you’re ordering them online, you can save on shipping by buying them in twos—another fiscally and tactically responsible move.
Tips on how to choose the best riding lawn mower tires to fit your needs
There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the best riding lawn mower tires to fit your needs. Consider the following:
- Always check the sidewall or with the manufacturer of your riding lawn mower to ensure the replacement tires you choose are compatible with your mower.
- If you’re new to installing tires, choose an easy-to-install option, perhaps one with a specific installation kit to help the process go smoother; also consider directions/instructions and other user-friendly installation perks that will help you, the apprentice, quickly become a master tire installer.
- Remember that buying tires two at a time is best, if you can; you save on shipping and you’ll always be sure to have two identical tires.
- Choose tires that have lawn-safe tread—it’ll be kinder to your grass.
- Think about weight capacity—it has to be able to bear the weight of your mower when combined with the mower’s other wheels.
Riding Lawn Mower Tire Reviews
Designed for Craftsman riding mowers
The 15in x 6.00-6in MARASTAR 21446-2PK replacement tires are specifically made to replace worn out tires on Craftsman riding mowers, so if you own a Craftsman, you can be absolutely sure that these tires will do the trick. Moreover, since they’re specifically optimized for Craftsman riding mowers, it makes changing out the tires a lot more streamlined.
This is a two-pack set, which means you get both front tire replacements in one package. The advantage of this is obvious if both of your front tires are wearing out evenly. That said, this isn’t always the case. Terrain and weather may be factors that play into each of your front tires wearing out at different times. And if one is wearing out faster than the other, going ahead with the two-pack versus buying a single tire is still to your advantage, because you can be sure to already have your next tire lined up, and therefore there’s no need to go tracking one down at unexpected and inconvenient times.
Pneumatic 4-ply rating
These are pneumatic tires, which means they function somewhat similarly to the tires on your car, consisting of rims surrounded by tubes filled with a certain amount of air pressure. Modern ply ratings don’t directly correlate to how many plies a tire has anymore, but the concept of load range still remains. A 4-ply tire, such as this front wheel set, is rated at 35 PSI, which makes it the sturdiest of the “light load” (aka “LL”) tire class. While it’s no good for a car, as you can see, it’s a pretty rugged riding lawn mower tire.
At a load capacity of 400lbs, these MARASTAR riding lawn mower tires are ideal for most Craftsman riding lawnmower models.
Unlike other replacement tires, you don’t have to be an expert—or hire an expert—to get the job done. Simply remove the old Craftsman tire and assembly that is damaged and replace everything with this new set. Because it’s specifically designed to work with Craftsman mowers, there shouldn’t be any installation issues, so you don’t have to worry about the stress of troubleshooting any issues—there won’t be any.
What to like:
- 2-pack MARASTAR replacement tires for Craftsman riding lawnmowers are both convenient and cost-effective
- Universal Craftsman riding lawn mower front tire size
- Weight capacity: 400lbs
- 4-ply (35 PSI rating)
- Turf Saver tread is already mounted on the wheel for extra convenience
- Coated steel wheel
- Oil-impregnated brushings, preinstalled; grease fitting
- 3in x 0.08in washers included
- Extra e-clip included
- Designed and optimized to replace the front tires of Craftsman riding lawnmowers
- Easy to install
What to consider:
- The manufacturer lists these tires as “not for highway speeds”—but neither are the original tires on the Craftsman lawnmowers these tires are designed to replace, so that’s not really a big deal. As a rule of thumb, most riding lawnmower tires are not for highway speeds, so this is pretty typical, though it may inconvenience some in rural areas.
Arnold Universal 15-Inch Lawn Mower Front Wheel
Wide compatibility range
Because Arnold intends these tires to be essentially universally compatible, they’ve been ensured to be compatible with a wide range of popular riding lawn mowers, including the following: Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Huskee, Yard-Man, Poulan, Poulan Pro, John Deere, Husqvarna and more.
These tires work with both 3/4-inch and 5/8-inch diameter axles.
The Arnold Universal front wheels feature Turf Saver Tread for lawn protection and measure 15in x 6in, a very typical front wheel size for many riding lawn mower makes.
Because Arnold’s replacement front wheels are meant to be universal, they ship these wheels with a universal installation kit, which features various brushings in order to ensure you get the best fit for your mower.
What to like:
- Universal 15-inch front wheel
- Turf Saver Tread
- Wheel measurements: 15in x 6in
- Compatible axle diameters: 3/4-inch and 5/8-inch
- Compatible with most major brands of riding lawnmowers like Husqvarna, Craftsman, Poulan, etc.
- Comes with own installation kit with brushings for better fit on various makes
- Easy to install
What to consider:
- Universal tires may sound like a dream come true, but as we all know, “universal” simply means the Arnold set fits many of the most popular riding lawn mowers. Because of this, it can be a bit confusing, trying to figure out if your mower is among the chosen universal mowers that’s compatible with the Arnold tires. I’m listing this minor frustration as a con, because it definitely can be. But there’s an easy and often overlooked solution that should clear everything up in a matter of minutes: If you’re still unsure after checking the specs, contact Arnold’s customer service for further details and they should be happy to assist and let you know if your mower is compatible or not.
Marathon 15×6.50-6″ Pneumatic (Air Filled) Tire on Wheel, 3″ Hub, 3/4″ Bearings
15in x 6.50-6in replacement tires
This set of 15in x 6.50-6in tires with wheels from Marathon are a very standard size for most residential riding lawn mowers, making them an excellent choice replacing your lawn mower’s front wheels after they’ve worn out.
These tires from Marathon are pneumatic, which means they’re filled with air. As always, you should ensure air pressure is correct before use, because shipping during very hot and very cold weather can cause changes in pressure—this is a general rule for any air-filled tire. Many will find that these tires are ready for use, however.
Installation is easy thanks to the included bearings and grease fitting, and of course being pre-filled with air.
At 400lbs weight capacity, these tires can take a licking and keep on ticking.
What to like:
- At 15in x 6.50-6in, this replacement tire offering from Marathon should be near-universal for most residential riding lawn mowers; check your lawnmower’s sidewall or call the manufacturer to verify, but it’s a pretty standard size for front wheels.
- 3-inch hubcap
- 3/4-inch bearings
- 400lbs capacity
- Tires with tubes
- Prefilled with air
- Grease fitting included
- Easy to install
What to consider:
- This tire isn’t rated for highway use, per the manufacturer; though most homeowners are aware the best way to transport riding lawn mowers at highway speeds is with a trailer or in the back of a pickup truck, so this isn’t that big of a deal, but worth mentioning just in case.
- Marathon warns customers to only inflate the tire with a manual pump; if you don’t already own one, they’re not very expensive and you may be able to simply borrow one from a neighbor.
Kenda K358 Turf Rider Lawn and Garden Bias Tire – 16/6.50-8
Great for riding lawnmowers
This tire set is slightly bigger than the rest in the roundup, but it can still be used on many residential lawnmowers. Additionally, the tread is safe for lawns—an important feature.
Not only can the Kenda Turf Rider tires be used for lawn mowers, they’re also great for other outdoor lawn equipment, upping their versatility.
Heavy load capacity
With a load capacity of 415lbs, Kenda Turf Rider tires are a great option for those with larger, heavier riding lawn mowers.
What to like:
- Perfect for riding lawn mowers
- Turf-safe tire tread
- Multipurpose—great for other outdoor uses
- 415lbs capacity
What to consider:
- Doesn’t come with a rim, which is rather frustrating and may make installation harder for a novice to intermediate DIY-oriented homeowners. That said, those with advanced skills or plenty of spare parts may view this as a pro.
- Kenda makes a rim, but it’s sold separately.
There were some very respectable offerings in this riding lawn mower tires roundup, but picking the winner was easy—the crown goes to MARASTAR 21446-2PK 15×6.00-6″ Front Tire Assembly Replacement for Craftsman Riding Mowers. The MARASTAR option wins for being both high quality and upfront about features with easy installation, making it a hard one to beat.