A sit on mower with an automatic transmission (often referred to as hydrostatic or CVT transmission) can offer a smoother, more comfortable ride, especially if you have lots of flower beds or intricate areas to mow. If you have a complex lawn and use a sit on mower with a manual gearbox, then it may take much longer to cut the grass than an automatic.
Like a car, the engine will make or break a sit on lawn mower. A good engine manufacturer is always recommended. Briggs and Stratton is one of the biggest and most reliable sit on lawn mower engine manufacturers in the world. Others, such as Honda and Kawasaki are good also. When looking at the engine of your mower, consider the power rating. A high cylinder displacement (cc) indicates more power, while a twin cylinder engine offers more power than a single. Typically, most sit on lawn mowers are petrol or diesel fuelled. Diesel is more fuel efficient, however the cost savings may be limited unless you use your mower a lot.
A sit on lawn mower with a large cutting width will allow you to cut more grass in a single pass with your lawn mower. When considering which cutting deck to purchase, remember to take into account the narrowest area of your lawn. A good cutting deck will be reinforced to help limit damage if you drive into any hidden tree stumps or objects when cutting the grass.
By their very nature, front mowers and their cutting blades are easier to maintain and clean, than cross mowers and garden tractors. Because the deck is at the front, they can be easily released and viewed. Tractors and cross mowers are harder to maintain. Look for features like quick release cutting blades and hose piper inlets on cutting decks so that you wash off dirt and debris that may harm your mowers performance.
If you plan on making your sit on lawn mower your helper for a variety of tasks, first check which attachments are available. Does your chosen mower have a broom to help clear leaves from your driveway, or a scarifier to help remove moss and thatch from your lawn, or even a trailer to help you carry useful tools from one area of the garden to the other?