Best Zero-Turn Mowers Reviewed and Rated
Given their popularity, there are several brands manufacturing all types and sizes of zero-turn mowers, and you may feel overwhelmed trying to decide on one that best meets your needs. Whether you have a small lawn and backyard or acres of land that need mowing, there are essential features that you need to look out for in a zero-turn mower. With their zero-turning radius feature, it is now impossible to miss any patches of grass or weed growing in hard-to-reach corners of your flower bed or lawn. In the next section, we meticulously walk you through the criteria you need to keep in mind while shopping for your first or upgrading your existing zero-turn mower.
Our Top 3 Picks
10 Best Zero-Turn Mowers
1. Swisher ZTR2760BS
You have total control over the cutting height as the ZTR2760BS is equipped with the foot-assisted deck lift that allows you to select your preferred cutting height. Furthermore, the mower comes with a front and back hitch, making it possible to haul spreaders, carts, or aerators with the rear hitch. The front hitch is reserved for hauling the mower itself under different circumstances such as when it accidentally stalls or develops a mechanical problem. In spite of their ineptness at climbing slopes and hills, the Swisher ZTR2760BS Response 27HP 60-Inch B&S ZTR Mower has a bar placed behind the driver’s seat to provide rollover protection. So you don’t have to worry about cutting down the tall grass growing on the sides of the slope next to your house.
It comes with a bunch of other comfortable features to help make you feel comfortable when working. For instance, the unit has a keyed start. Also, you will be able to sip your favourite drink as you listen to music from your phone since the machine a factory-installed cup holder and 12V adapter to ensure your phone battery never drains out. There are also compartments within the fenders where you can store your additional tools. With a tank capable of holding a maximum of 8 gallons of gas, you are sure to be working for several hours before needing to refill.
- Wide 60-Inch cutting deck for speedy cutting
- Equipped with a powerful 27 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
- Smooth and effortless manoeuvrability
- Commercial-grade frame with steel welding for durability
- Bulky hence difficult to store
2. Husqvarna 967324101 Z254
Because the Husqvarna 967324101 zero turn mower has a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour and three cutting blades, you can spend just an hour to completely cover 2.8 acres of land. Furthermore, the mower comes with a big 3.5-gallon tank meaning that you will cover a substantial area before stopping for a refill. The Husqvarna 967324101 zero turn mower rolls together three functions, thereby giving you a choice between mulching up grass, discharging it from the sides or bagging it at the back. Whether the grass is centipede or fescue, you can easily adjust the height of the cutting deck within a range between 1.5 and 4 inches to give it the best professional-looking cut.
Mowing is an effortless and energy-saving endeavour with the Husqvarna 967324101 zero turn mower, given that it is equipped with an electrical blade clutch. It also has an automatic park brake system that alternatives between self-activation and self-deactivation in response to the inward and outward movement of the steering levers. To ensure commercial-grade performance, the 967324101 features a cutting deck measuring 54-inches and constructed entirely from reinforced steel giving it exceptional resistance to the destructive repercussions of rust, dents, and damage resulting from intensive use. After a long day spent cutting grass, you will be able to quickly clean beneath the deck, thanks to the inclusion of a deck washout port.
It packs other additional features for convenience. For instance, there is a cup holder to allow you enjoy a drink of your choice as you mow. Secondly, the mower's seats can easily be adjusted to a relaxed possible, thus ensuring you work for longer with relative comfort. And to top it all off, the unit is covered by a 36-month limited warranty, which, given the mower's built quality, you may never need to use.
- Compact design to make it more efficient
- Easy to use
- Powerful engine for effortlessly cutting through thick grass
- Expensive and a bit noisy
3. Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX
There are three blades and four anti-scalp rollers placed within the cutting deck of the P54ZX, making the mower a top-performing machine in its class. Plus, because the cutting deck is reinforced with steel, there is no need worrying about mowing through rough terrains or the adverse effects of rust and dents. Steel is both durable and ultra-light and therefore does not compromise the performance of the zero turn mower. The flexibility of the mower is further demonstrated by the fact that it offers you three choices of either discharging, mulching or bagging grass. The mower is fitted with two levers, one to the right and the other to the left, to give you more control over its movement, especially when faced with an unfamiliar and unforgiving terrain.
The Poulan-Pro P54ZX is equipped with an hour meter to give you an easy time tracking usage and allow you carry out maintenance whenever necessary. Unlike the Husqvarna, though, it provides with a 24-month warranty, which in our opinion and considering the striking similarities between the models, makes the Husqvarna a better investment. You may not need to the warranty though if you carry out regular maintenance and use the mower properly.
- An impressively wide 54-Inch cutting deck
- Features the easy-to-operate hydro-gear EZT transmission
- Sufficiently long 120-month warranty
- High-end construction
- Powerful and top-performing Briggs & Stratton engine
- Slow 6 miles per hour speed
4. Swisher ZTR2766BS
The Swisher brand put a lot of resources and effort into making the Swisher ZTR2766BS zero turn mower as comfortable as possible so you can mow over a large area with relative ease. The controls feature an ergonomic design in a way that allows you effortless movement across different types of terrain, irrespective of whether they are flat or hilly and sloppy. The Swisher ZTR2766BS has very responsive and sensitive controls. The brakes, throttle, and steering respond almost immediately to the slightest touch or squeeze. Consequently, you have a machine that you can maneuver with a lot of ease, which is important if you will be using it for extended periods of time on a frequent basis.
The manoeuvrability of the Swisher ZTR2766BS ensures you don't waste time continually backtracking on patches of grass you missed to give your field a consistent and uniform look. These features come handy when you have to cut grass growing in otherwise hard-to-reach spots such as near trees, ornamentals, and flower beds without the need to encroach. Additionally, with the inclusion of a foot-assisted deck lifts on this model, you have the freedom of adjusting the height of the cutting deck to your preferred height to give your lawn the look you've always wanted.
Additional features of the ZTR2766BS, which are also pretty standard on almost all products manufactured by the Swisher Acquisition Inc., are the inclusion of three cutting blades within the cutting deck. You will have an easy time scheduling maintenance thanks to the hour meters that assist in monitoring hours of usage. With the Swisher ZTR2766BS's 8-gallon tank capacity, you will have far fewer interruption to refill, giving you more time in the field or the lawn. When mowing over a tough terrain, a little comfort goes a long way. To this end, the Swisher ZTR2766BS comes with foldable arm rests and a deluxe 18-inch high back seat with a belt to securely keep in your seat. You can also store additional tools you may have in the composite fenders.
- Large cutting deck with steel reinforcement for durability
- Reliable engine
- Front and rear towing capability
5. Husqvarna MZ52
For convenience and ensuring an ease of use, the mower is fitted with an ergonomically designed pedal which allows you to make adjustments to the cutting height in accordance to your preference. The cutting deck is capable of reaching a maximum height of 4.5 inches while the minimum height allowable is 1-inch, with twelve different steps in between. The Husqvarna brand is known for the versatility of their products, which is also exemplified by its ability to mulch, collect, and side discharge cut grass. Furthermore, you have the potential to make precise turns and movements with the Husqvarna MZ52, thanks in part to its zero turning radius. Hence, there will be no difficulties whatsoever cutting the patches of grass growing near flower beds, around trees, or at the edge of the lawn.
Other than the ergonomically designed pedal for adjusting the height of the cutting deck, the Husqvarna MZ52 comes with a bunch of other features aimed at increasing your comfort while mowing. The foam padding of the two steering levers is designed to make it easy for you to steer the mower under all circumstances. The large welded frame of the zero turn mower gives it additional support while also ensuring the greater comfort of the driver. Industrial-strength vinyl is used to make the driver's seat, which also features a high back to make you as comfortable as possible when working for long hours on end.
A fundamental knowledge of the Husqvarna MZ52 can be of great use in helping you carry out simple maintenance since the mower's service points can be accessed with relative ease. The zero turn mower has a weight of just 740 pounds and is 42 inches high. It is sold with a 36-month limited warranty to homeowners and 12-month limited warranty to professionals.
- Exceptional speed
- Exceedingly large fuel tank capacity for prolonged operation
- High-end performance
- Little vibration
- Heavy and a little bulky
- Not ideal for slopes and hills due to lack of wheel traction
6. John Deere Z333E
For durability, the entire body features an all-steel construction while the cutting deck is made from 12-gauge steel ensuring it is both durable and light to encourage long hours of use. You can make adjustments to the height of the cutting deck which has a maximum and minimum cutting height of 4 and 1-inch, respectively, with increments of just 1/4-inches.
Whether you will be using the mower to mulch or discharge grass through the rear or sides, you won’t have difficulties working on a wet lawn or field as the mower comes with large wheels for superior traction. Upon purchasing a separately sold MulchControl kit, you will be able to effortlessly alternate between side discharging and mulching grass by simply flipping a lever. You’ll additionally have the freedom of attaching a rear mulching blade.
The John Deere thoughtfully and carefully designed their mower to make you comfortable and safe while mowing. You will be able to differentiate between the numerous controls with ease thanks to colour coding. For convenience, the two lever motion controls can be adjusted to as much as eighteen positions. Furthermore, the padding of the driver's seat ensures comfort and proper support, and you are allowed to adjust it to fit your size. Working on a rough terrain will actually be fun since the machine is equipped with two steel springs for suspension and absorption of shocks.
To summarize, the Z333E zero turn mower features a compact and lightweight design targeted at the residential homeowners’ niche. The machine has a paltry weight of only 650 pounds with a cutting deck measuring 42-inches and a depth of 4.5 inches, enabling you to give your field and lawn the professional-looking finish you’ve always wanted.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Powerful 20 horsepower V-Twin OHV engine
- Hydro-Gear EZT dual transmission
- Electronic ignition
- Heavy at 650 pounds
7. Ariens Zoom 34 19 HP Kohler 6000
It has a foot control feature for adjusting the height of the mower deck through seven positions of between a maximum allowable height of 4.5 inches and the minimum of 1.5-inches. Nevertheless, the machine only has the standard side discharge for grass trimmings. It also has a width of 34-inches, making it a perfect mower for small-scale lawns, particularly the ones obstructed with trees and flower beds that would be challenging for commercial-size mowers.
Unlike its bigger siblings, it is not ideal for mowing patches of grass on sloppy terrains largely because of its lightness and because the rear tires lack the necessary traction as they are quite narrow. In spite of these drawbacks, the mower will sure provide you with more than adequate power for performing light-duty trimming, discharging trimmings uniformly with very minimal clattering. Should you come across a jagged terrain such as those occasioned by protruding tree roots, you can easily raise the cutting deck. For comfort, the Ariens Zoom 34 zero turn mower has a comfy padded seat that supports your back and avoids injury even with several hours of use. You can also change the position of the control arms according to your preference.
- Exceptional cutting and driving accuracy
- Astounding cutting ability
- Lightweight and compact design for easy storage
- Easy to shift between gears with its hydro-gear EZT transmission feature
- Not perfect for cutting on slopes
- Not ideal for hauling more than 250 pounds attachments
8. Poulan Pro 967330901
The cutting deck can be adjusted to a maximum height of 4-inches and a minimum of 1.5-inches, with increments of 0.5 inches, thereby giving it optimal flexibility. The mower features an easy-to-use and intuitive deck lift that you can operate with either leg so you can give your lawn, backyard or field your favourite look. The inclusion of three anti-scalp rollers does an excellent job preventing a very close cut. You will be pleased with the incomparable cutting speed of the mower in addition to its self-activating trimming disposal. The easy manoeuvrability of the Poulan Pro P46ZX makes it ideal for trimming the patches of grass close to flower beds and trees.
You will not have to strain when operating it, especially with its incorporation of simple-to-handle twin levers with their foam padding on the handles. There is a durable and comfy seat that comes with an additional 15-inches of the high back. Lastly, the control panel is easily accessible from the seat, and do not necessitate straining to reach them.
- Comfortable operation
- Straightforward and easy to use
- Astounding manoeuvrability
- Almost indiscernible vibration
- Powerful performance
- Less efficient operation on small hills and slopes
9. Troy-Bilt Mustang 54
The second most important part of a mower other than its engine is the mower deck, and the Troy-Bilt brand invested considerable amounts of time and effort into coming up with a practical and functional one. The mower’s deck measures approximately 46-inches in width and is packed with several important features enabling you to spend a mere 1 hour 30 minutes to mow through 2.4 acres. Furthermore, the deck is compatible with several types of mulch bags. The mower evenly side discharges trimmings with minimal clipping to make it easy for you to collect later.
Other than its side discharging ability, the Mustang 54 XP is also capable of mulching trimmings hence helping you to return essential nutrients to the soil. As is the case with most zero turn mowers, the mower has an adjustable mower duck that is foot-operated, allowing you to choose the most appropriate height that suits your circumstances. And you don't have to be daunted by the thought of cleaning the deck after work. The machine is equipped with a deck wash port that eases the task of maintaining it. Removing remnant clippings from the deck only requires running water through the wash port and in a matter of seconds, you will be left with a sparkling clean deck and ready for safe keeping.
- 60-Inch cutting deck
- Powerful 24 Horsepower engine
- Ideal for heavy-duty operations
10. Toro TimeCutter SS4225
It can effortlessly climb slopes and small hills of no more than 15 degrees, you should take care not to mow over holes, rocks, dips, and rises as they are capable of drastically changing one's driving angle, causing you to topple over.
The mower comes with a translucent three-gallon tank to help you monitor fuel usage. Because it is equipped with anti-scalp wheels, it does not easily scalp and considering its ease of use, novices will have an easy time familiarizing themselves with its working in a matter of seconds.
- Easy to use
- Offers fast but quiet operation
- Powerful and very functional 22 Horsepower engine
- Heavy-duty steel reinforced frame for durability
- Superior and robust construction
- Reasonable pricing
- Lacks adequate wheel traction for slope mowing
Criteria for Evaluation
Size of Cutting Deck
The size of the cutting or mowing deck is a vital criterion that cannot be overlooked, not if you have your eyes set on efficiency and exceptional performance. Large cutting decks are renowned for reducing patches of grass and other taller debris into smaller passes, thereby reinforcing the efficiency and money-saving argument. Other than cutting grass, larger mowing decks are increasingly more manoeuvrable, especially around tight spots. Consequently, you should have your mind set on getting a zero-turn mower with a deck measuring between 40 and sixty inches in width since wide decks will give a relatively easy time cutting.
A powerful engine is a difference between a professionally-looking and shoddily done lawn. While commercial zero-turn mowers are generally more expensive than their entry-level and residential property counterparts, they come with the biggest and professionally-built engines with greater horsepower. The more powerful an engine is, the easier it will be to cut down grass and other types of debris with ample ease. You are however to run into mechanical problems cutting down thicker and wetter grass and weeds with a less powerful engine, which means a powerful engine is worth the investment, in the long run. Plus, a higher horsepower really helps with climbing slopes and hills with relative ease.
Ease of Use
A complicated and hard-to-use zero-turn mower is not worth using, despite how powerful and quick it may be. Ease of use is an essential factor to consider, especially if you intend to mow through vast pieces of land as fast and as professionally as possible, which is why you need to consider the mower’s controlling system before making that payment. Zero-turn mowers are controlled with the use of dual lever system which when aligned in a straight line ensures straight mowing. Modern zero-turn mowers incorporate ergonomically designed joysticks to make them more maneuverable and easy to control.
Position of Discharge
Zero-turn mowers have the ability to discharge clippings either on the sides or the rear, and you need to understand the difference between the two before settling on any one particular mower. The advantage of a side discharge is that it comes with a relatively small outlet, allowing you to easily create a vacuum process. Rear discharge has gained considerable popularity and traction over the last couple of years, and it is the best alternative when mowing under tough conditions, such as ditches.
Q: What are zero-turn mowers?
A: A zero-turn mower is basically a riding lawn mower, with the two performing the same tasks: mowing lawns, backyards, and fields. However, a zero-turn mower comes with a zero-turning radius, meaning simply that it can achieve a radius of zero, allowing you clear patches of grass in a single move rather than having to go over the same area repeatedly to achieve the same. They also have two throttles for controlling rotational and directional speed.
Q: How many different types are there?
A: Zero-turn mowers fall into three basic categories: residential property, entry-level commercial, and commercial zero-turn mowers. The first category consists of mowers optimized for use by homeowners and are ideal for mowing not more than 2 acres of land in a week. Expectedly, they come in different sizes and speeds and are generally less costly compared to entry-level commercial and commercial ones. Entry-level commercial zero-turn mowers offer additional functionality and speed compared to the first category and considerably more expensive as they feature steel-constructed parts. Consequently, they are ideal for small-scale mowing. Lastly, commercial zero-turn mowers are ideal for more demanding commercial tasks. They feature a more durable industrial-strength reinforced steel frames and top-end components, capable of withstanding all types of mowing conditions. Obviously, they are also more expensive.
Q: What is the Roll Over Protection Structure and what does it do?
A: The Roll Over Protection Structure is a mechanism aimed at protecting the driver in case the zero-turn mower rolls over. There are rampant cases where operators have suffered serious injuries after being pinned down by mowers. Together with the mower’s seat belt, the ROPS ensures the operator remains as safe as possible. Because operators have the freedom of either raising or lowering the structure in response to their mowing conditions, they often forget to return it to its intended position, thereby increasing chances of a crash or injury in the event of a rollover. With this in mind, we highly recommend leaving the ROPS in its original position and instead resort to push mowers where a zero-turn mower cannot cut.
Zero-turn mowers differ vastly in features and mowing capabilities, and seeing as the market is flooded with them, it is prudent that you familiarize yourself with the different brands and understand your needs before making a purchase. While residential property mowers are optimized for domestic use, commercial ones are better constructed and therefore ideal for heavy-duty tasks. All the mowers featured on our list have exceptional features and capabilities that make them stand out from the competition. Other than the zero-turn ability, they are also solidly built, safe and easy to use, and are guaranteed to provide with several years of high-end performance.