All across the country, more and more Americans are taking pride in their land, their yards, and their gardens. With the advent of modern zero-turn mowers, keeping your property looking amazing – with minimal effort and expense – is now easier than ever.
In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to be diving into the details, figuring out why people choose zero turn models, what factors you need to consider when purchasing one, and how to get the best quality discount lawnmowers.
Of course, we won’t just be discussing lawn mower deals and giving our zero turn mower reviews – we’ll be exploring how you can make the most sensible decision, what budgetary factors you need to pay attention to, and much more!
Let’s get started by taking a look at the benefits of a zero turn motor and seeing why so many people are now choosing to invest in one.
Table of Contents
- Why do People Choose Zero Turn Mowers?
- What to Consider When Buying a Zero Turn Mower
- Reviews of The Best Zero Turn Mowers on Market
- Accessories for Zero Turn Mowers
- The Final Conclusion of our Zero Turn Mower Reviews
Why do People Choose Zero Turn Mowers?
Pride in how your property isn’t a new thing, not at all. But you only need to look at how extensive the market nowadays is, to see how rapidly it’s become much more popular than it once was. Lawncare products (like tools, fertilizers, seeds, etc) are flying off shelves, and more and more everyday Americans are getting out in the garden and looking after their lawn.
Zero turn mowers, in turn, have become such a hot commodity (and a necessity for keeping your property looking perfect) because of how fast the residential world of lawn care is moving. Zero turn mowers are commercial quality, high-powered mowers – and were originally designed as much larger machines for use on commercial property (farms, etc).
The smaller, residential versions of zero turn mowers have quickly become the new favorite toy for amateur gardeners – and professional landscapers – all across America. They have all of the power, finesse, and precision of their bigger brothers out on the commercial property – with none of the drawbacks that come with a machine of that size.
There are four main subcategories when it comes to zero turn mowers and we’re going to take a look at what they are before we move on to our advice for buying one. Here are the types you’ll encounter in your search:
- Entry-level mowers: These cheaper models may be ideal for amateur gardeners who only mow their lawn on occasion, but they’ll never stand up to daily use by professional landscapers.
- Mid-grade zero turn mowers: These models usually come fitted with a wider-sized deck than your standard, entry-level mowers. They may be fairly similar in terms of hardware, but the improved size helps tackle more land in less time. Perfect if only being used once a week or so.
- Semi-commercial zero turn mowers: Faster than the previous models and with an even larger deck. Semi-commercial zero turn mowers are ideal for landscapers working on several lawns a day. If you need to tackle multiple jobs and need a higher-quality machine, these are the mowers for you.
- Commercial zero turn mowers: These are the big boys and will probably never be needed by amateur gardeners or small landscape companies. Huge beasts with massive decks and impressive power, these machines can set you back a pretty penny. Only really used by the larger companies (or passionate amateurs with a big, big budget and lots of lands).
As you can see, there is quite a range of models available and it’s important to decide which is best suited for your needs before any purchase. Let’s take a look at what else you need to consider when making your decision.
What to Consider When Buying a Zero Turn Mower
Making the most well-informed decision for purchases like this is absolutely essential. The only way you can truly be sure that you’re making the best choice is to be fully aware of what factors you need to consider and what details you need to evaluate.
In this section, we’re going to take a look at a whole bunch of the elements of zero turn mowers that you’ll need to assess when deciding what model is best for you. Many people simply search for the lawn mower price or look up the best deals on zero turn mowers, when in fact, they should be evaluating a variety of factors.
Here are what to look out for when making your decision:
Grade, Quality, Type
Whatever word you want to use for this, it’s simply what we discussed in the first section. This should be the first thing you consider when you decide to purchase a zero turn mower. If you have the need for a semi-commercial model, then obviously you shouldn’t go buying an entry-level one.
Thankfully, this is a factor that you will probably have already considered. Let’s move on to the more detail-orientated elements of a zero turn mower which will help you more fully understand what kind of model you will be best suited to.
Engine size (and the horsepower they provide) is essential to consider when buying because of how much it can affect performance. Obviously, a larger, more expensive mower will come fitted with a larger engine. Some users may need this big engine with a lot of horsepowers, while others are okay with a smaller one.
Here are a few things that the engine size of your zero turn mower can affect:
- Less horsepower means it’s harder to handle tilted surfaces.
- Less horsepower means thick grass can’t be as efficiently cut.
- Less horsepower means a weaker motor more susceptible to breakdown.
If you’re worried about this happening (and you have the need for one), then it may be best investing in a larger zero turn mower such as the semi-commercial models. Especially if you plan on getting a lot of daily use out of it and really putting it to the test.
The deck size is very important because depending on what area you need to mow, you may need a different sized deck. If you mow several different sizes of land, then it may be worth opting for something in the middle range – just be aware of how much it can handle before taking on a big job.
Deck size also affects maneuverability and the larger the size of the deck, the harder it is to mow the lawn on a slanted surface. It’s essential to keep this in mind when making your decision as it could greatly affect the surfaces you’re able to work on.
As a general rule, the higher quality and more expensive a zero turn mower, the larger the deck size. Unless you have acres and acres of smooth land, it’s best not to go about the 61” mark. For smaller lawns, something like 41” should work perfectly and give you enough leeway to traverse small hills and tilted ground.
How fast you can mow a lawn might not be a problem for you if you’re simply an enthusiastic gardener. If you work as a professional landscaper for a living, though, this could be the difference between squeezing in another job through your day or not.
Larger engines with a wider deck size can very often cover more acres than their smaller counterparts, for obvious reasons. A bigger engine provides more speed and the larger deck means you can cover more surface area of lawn at any given time.
The majority of zero turn mowers use one of four different fuel types. Here they are:
The simplest way to decide which fuel type you’re best suited to using (and therefore, which model zero turn mower to go for) is by establishing which fuel is easiest for you to obtain and figuring out if it’s also the most financially viable for you (or your business).
There isn’t much of a difference in performance between the four types, although as we move forward in time, expect to see a lot more electronic fuel-injection (EFI) engines enter the market. These can increase fuel efficiency and overall performance by up to 25%!
This might seem like a non-issue but for some people, the location in which grass is discharged can be an immensely important deciding factor. Most zero turn mowers discharge from either the side or the rear.
If you’re just a hobbyist, then you might not really care which end the grass comes back out. If you’re doing this for a living, however, knowing where the grass leaves your mower can help you with efficiency and getting the job done right.
Another point to consider is the fact that how the grass is processed and what state it leaves your mower in can sometimes be affected by where the discharge leaves. Make sure to think about this before picking your favorite model.
Controls & Handling
As with any vehicle, the control and handling of your future purchase should be a HUGE part of the purchasing decision. If it’s something you’re going to be using every single day, you want to ensure it’s easy-to-handle, comfortable to use, and handles well.
Ergonomics and comfort might not be something you thought you’d ever have to consider when purchasing a zero turn mower, but it’s important. Check out the suspension, the seat, the design of the levers, and anything else you can think of before buying. If you’re spending all day on one of these things, you have to ensure you’ll be comfortable and won’t injure yourself in any way.
What’s your Budget?
Price is a factor in any buying decision, as it should be. It is, perhaps, even more of a deciding factor when it comes to zero turn mowers because of how expensive the upper end of the models can end up being. Even entry-level mowers can still set you back a fairly large amount.
The lowest prices you’ll find for a quality product will usually be around the $2,000 mark. As with anything, you’ll probably be able to find cheaper if you look around – but as a general rule, this is where entry-level prices start. The upper end of the spectrum, however, can start at as much as $5,000+ (and very often a lot more – some costing as much as $15,000+).
Here’s what to consider when deciding on your budget:
- Is this for professional or personal use?
- How long do you want the mower to last you?
- Will it be used daily?
- How many acres a day/week/month will you be mowing?
Keep all of this in mind before a purchase and base part of your decision on what you can afford, what you want, and whether you’ll end up making your money back in the long run. This is the best way to handle any budgetary concerns.
Now that we’ve covered all of the factors that can play a part in deciding what model to opt for and how much to spend, let’s take a look at what’s available for purchase on the market. We’ve covered a wide range of products here; from gravely zero turn mowers to Hustler zero turn mowers; from Ariens lawn mowers and onwards.
Let’s take a look.
Reviews of The Best Zero Turn Mowers on Market
If you’ve read this far, you probably have a decent idea of the capabilities you want in your zero turn mower. Because of that, we’ve included a wide variety of machines, everything from high-end, quality machines to the very best discount lawn mowers.
Of course, with such a wide range of machinery on offer, we couldn’t include every single model. We’ve tried to choose three fairly different zero turn mowers, so you can get a glimpse of the full scope on offer across the market.
Let’s start off our list with:
Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn Mower
Performance and style hit the grass running with Husqvarna’s Z200 series of zero-turn mowers. Cutting-edge design, proven performance and innovative features combine to make lawn maintenance an event instead of a chore. Featuring a 54 in. reinforced steel cutting deck, the Z254 mower is powered by a 26 HP Kohler engine. Plus, an innovative, maintenance-free transmission makes this an easy mower to own, season after season. Look no further for your next turf cutting machine.
- 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
- A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
- Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
- Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
- Clippings can be discharged, mulched, or bagged
Ariens Edge 52 in. 726 cc Zero-Turn-Radius Lawn Tractor
This striking Ariens zero turn mower looks like it has more in common with a racing car than a lawn mower. Don’t be fooled by the top-notch design and killer looks, though. This zero turn mower is still a powerhouse of a machine and gets the job done.
- Featuring a 52” fabricated deck constructed of strong 11-gauge steel.
- Powered by a 726cc Kawasaki FR651 engine.
- Foot-operated deck lift, high-back seat with seat springs, sealed ball bearings
As you can see, it’s got a decent engine (considering the price point) and can certainly tackle any number of jobs you throw its way. But it’s not just the engine that impresses. The ariens edge 52 in. 726 cc zero-turn-radius lawn tractor comes with a comfortable high seat with armrests and 5-gallon fuel capacity. It’s an all-rounder, in the truest sense.
Husqvarna MZ61 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
With a whole host of excellent stats and a solid mid-range deck, this Husqvarna zero turn mower is the perfect middle ground for those unsure about what type of mower they need to get. This model can easily tackle small and large jobs, with minimal effort.
- 24 HP Kawasaki engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
- Roll-over protection system (ROPS) ensures safer operation in all conditions
- Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 61 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
- Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
- High-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips and vibration dampeners make mowing comfortable for hours on end
As you can see, it’s not just built around power – the Husqvarna zero turn mower is designed for ease-of-use and comfortable handling. It’s built for convenience, which is perfect for those who are used to mowing lawns as a chore!
Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower
Here we have a model of zero turn mower from the popular Craftsman brand – this thing is definitely on the high-end of the spectrum. The Craftsman is ideal for professional landscapers with a lot of work on their hands!
- POWERFUL CRAFTSMAN GAS ENGINE WITH AUTOCHOKE Powerful 679cc twin engine suitable for larger yard jobs while its autochoke feature provides a quick, efficient start. Get to mowing in no time
- 46-INCH CUTTING WIDTH WITH INCLUDED DECK WASH: Riding lawn mower comes equipped with wide 46-Inch deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep. Included deck wash saves time when underside cleaning
- MOW-IN-REVERSE: Mower can continue to cut when in reverse; no need to pause your yard work
- 360 DEGREE TURNING RADIUS: Change direction in an instant for more efficiency
- SUPPORTIVE HIGH-BACK SEAT: High-back cushioned seat provides optimum comfort
The huge deck size and powerful engine mean this beast is only for those of you with some serious land to mow. Remember, a large deck size is perfect for covering acres of smooth property but can cause trouble as soon as there are any hills.
Simplicity 2691318 Zero Turn Courier Mower
- The exclusive suspension comfort System complete with front or front & rear suspension allows you to feel 25% less impact while operating, resulting in enhanced comfort versus a non-suspension Zero turn mower. Plus, an ergonomic mesh Seat keeps you cool and comfortable.
- A fully-welded steel frame, thick-walled pivoting front axle, durable mower deck and ball bearings in the castor spindles ensure durability and a quality cut for years to come. Plus, an integrated parking Brake adds even more convenience and ease-of-use.
- Trusted, durable and powerful engine options from both Briggs & Stratton and Kawasaki are now available. Offering you the power you need to get the job done when out in the yard.
- Easily adjust between 13 different height-of-cut positions from 1.5 to 4.5 inches.
The versatile & functional courier zero turn mower has the features you want & the compact footprint you need for your home. With the suspension comfort System (select models) taking the bumps out of your ride & The utility cargo bed (select models) making yd chores that much easier, The courier is made to get things done comfortably. Plus, with compact 36″ Deck options available, you are able to mow even the tightest areas of your lawn.
So, we’ve covered a few of the best zero turn mower models out there, but what else is on the market? Here are a few other options for you to check out if you want to see a wider range of mowers:
- Gravely zero turn mowers
- Hustler zero turn mowers
- Scag mower prices
You can find plenty of other, more in-depth reviews on the web for all of the different models available out there. Make sure to fully read up on any potential purchase and take a look at other customers’ reviews. These will help you highlight the pros and cons of the machine you’re interested in.
Before we move on to our final conclusion, let’s see what else you may have to consider when purchasing a new zero turn mower.
Accessories for Zero Turn Mowers
Much like any purchase, zero turn mowers have a variety of accessories and added upgrades you can fit them with. Not all of these are essential, but if you’re hoping to get the most out of your purchase, you may want to invest in some of them.
These aren’t just extra ways to try and get money out of you. Many of these accessories provide additional uses to your zero turn mower or improve your mowing experience immensely. It’s worth considering whether you’ll benefit from a small, inexpensive purchase alongside your big buy!
Here are a few examples of the accessories available:
⦁ Seat covers
⦁ Twin baggers
⦁ Tow hitches
⦁ Mulch kits
⦁ Waterproof covers
⦁ Trimmer holders
⦁ Plow fitting
⦁ Discharge shield
⦁ Headlight kits
⦁ Support bar
⦁ Tool trays
If you really want to ‘pimp out’ your mower, there are a whole host of options and accessories out there. Not only can they make your machine more efficient and comfier, but you can also even purchase items that will make your mower more versatile and give it many more uses for around the garden.
We would consider items like waterproof covers and canopies to be essential (depending on the weather where you live/work). If you happen to do a lot of work in the early mornings or late at night, headlights can go a long way to making your life easier!
Accessories that improve comfort, like seat covers/padding, can really help you out during those long and hard days working. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your zero turn motor, you’re going to want to make sure it doesn’t cause any back pain or repetitive injuries – so these could prove to be invaluable additional purchases.
So, we’ve reached the end of our epic guide. Now it’s time for…
The Final Conclusion of our Zero Turn Mower Reviews
Decisions like this – which can involve a lot of money – should never be undertaken lightly. This is an investment and should be treated as such. Ensure you’re 100% sure which model will suit you and your needs best before making a purchase.
The main decisions you need to make should be fairly easy – are you using your new zero turn mower for yourself and your own property, or are you buying it to put to use in a small landscaping business? This is the most important question you should be asking yourself and, thankfully, it’s an easy one to answer.
Once you’ve established purpose (and the frequency with which you’ll be using your mower), you can start to think about what else will have an effect on your decision. Make sure you list all of the specific factors which can play a part and fully understand why they matter.
Another great way to aid your final decision is by checking out riding lawn mower reviews online and hunting down other zero turn mower reviews. They should be very easy to find and – when combined with our huge buyers’ guide – they’ll give you a better idea of what model is perfect for you.
Whatever choice you make, make sure to stay safe mowing – and enjoy yourself!