Best Zero Turn Mowers in 2020

Husqvarna Z242F

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best value
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  • Engine Horsepower: 18 HP
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

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best choice
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  • Engine Horsepower: 18 HP
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

Ariens 25HP Zoom ZTR

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premium pick
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  • Engine Horsepower: 25 HP
  • Cutting Width: 50 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 6 Gallon

Best Zero Turn Mowers

By Ben Wilson

Published 8 months ago

Looking for a highly maneuverable lawn mower that will help you get the job done in half the time? Then you’ll want to invest in a great zero turn lawn mower. Zero turn lawn mowers are the best on the market – used by professionals the world over. Understandably, if you’ve never used a zero turn mower, then you may be approaching the concept with trepidation. However, getting all of the information and reading the literature about mowers will demystify them and get you driving around flawlessly with confidence.

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Table of Contents

Overview

Husqvarna Z242F

Best for – Demanding domestic use

If you’re looking for one of the best Zero Turn Lawn Mowers on the market today, at a great price – then look no further than the Husqvarna Z242F. This mower is extremely easy to use, sturdy and will actually make mowing your lawn fun. Featuring durable rugged frame and castors, plus an integrated front guard/ bumper that make this mower robust. Husqvarna manufactures some of the worlds best cutting tools, like mowers, chainsaws, tilers and edgers. So you’ll be investing in a top of the range mower, at a great price.

Power, style and performance delivered to you with the Z242F – part of the Husqvarna Z200 series of zero turn mowers. The Husqvarna Z242F comes with an 18 horsepower Kawasaki endurance commercial engine (engine model number FR600V). A top of the range engine that’ll power through and  cut your lawn evenly with ease. You can adjust the position of the deck with the handy deck lift feature, that allows you to place the 42-inch ClearCut™deck exactly where you need it with little effort. That gives you a cutting width of 42 inches. Which is not the largest on the market, but it all depends on the size of your lawn – this mower is ideal for demanding domestic use.

This stylish ride on zero turn mower features an ergonomic control panel as well as an anti-slip foot area. Allowing you to mow your lawn safely and effectively. Steering is a breeze with the Husqvarna Z242F, allowing you to manoeuvre tight areas and avoid obstacles. This is one of the most intuitive zero turn mowers on the market today and it’s also available at a great price. You can get a 2 year warranty on your new mower from your dealer. Whatsmore, if you live within 15 miles of a Husqvarna dealer then they also offer enhanced coverage – which will give you added peace of mind.

Pros

  • Powerful endurance commercial Kawasaki engine
  • Cyclonic air filtration
  • 18 horsepower (HP)
  • Ergonomic controls and features
  • ClearCut Technology
  • Maintenance free transmission
  • Durable rugged frame & castors
  • Removable foot plate
  • Automatic park brake system

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well on hills
  • Bright LED headlight kit not included (additional)
Our Verdict

The Husqvarna Z242F is a robust, stylish zero turn mower that actually makes mowing your lawn an enjoyable experience. Featuring just about everything that you could need in your zero turn mower at a fantastic price. One of the best mowers on the market. The only caveat is that it’s not great if you need to mow steep hills. Other than that – The Husqvarna Z242F is a brilliant machine.

Engine Horsepower: 18 HP

Cutting Width: 42 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

Best for – Comfortable, sturdy mower for slight rolling hills and slopes up to 4 acres

The Cub Cadet ULTIMA Series ZT1 50 FAB 50 is a zero turn mower built for enhanced durability, strength and comfort. Manufactured by Cub Cadet in the US, the ZT1 50 is part of their Ultima Series ZT. Featuring a 23 horsepower Kawasaki FR691V engine. The high-back seat on the Cub Cadet makes the whole experience of mowing your lawn more enjoyable as it supports your back, so that you can get the whole lawn done in one sitting. Brilliant for people with longer legs, as there is a decent amount of legroom, plus heavy-duty fabricated deck and rubber matting for safety. This machine is durable and comfortable without sacrificing power. The 23 horsepower engine will get your lawn cut in a flash.

Slight rolling hills are an issue for some zero turn mowers, but not the Cub Cadet. If you have a lawn with slight obstacles that is not necessarily flat, then the Cub Cadet could be the mower for you. The AeroForce cutting system is specially designed for fewer clumps and a finer finish. Maintenance is easy with the Cub Cadet Ultima as the floor pan is easy to remove, providing quick access.

Pros

  • Twin-cylinder engine
  • 23 horse power
  • Features Dual LED headlights as standard
  • Suitable for slight rolling hills up to 4 acres
  • Open frame design
  • Removable floor pan
  • Ergonomic hand grips
  • Triple deck blades
  • Lap Bar Control

Cons

  • Optimized bagging system additional

Our Verdict

The Cub Cadet ULTIMASeries ZT is a great machine for durability. It offers some top of the range horsepower and a decent 50” cutting width. If you’re looking for a sturdy zero turn lawn mower that will provide comfort and ease of use, even over slightly hilly landscapes – then the Cub Cadet ULTIMA Series ZT1 50 FAB 50 could be the mower for you. Ideal for people with longer legs that want to mow large areas quickly. A brilliant machine!

Engine Horsepower: 23 HP

Cutting Width: 50 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.5 Gallon

Ariens 25HP Zoom ZTR

Best for – Comfortable mower for larger estates/ heavier use

A powerful commercial grade ride on mower, the Ariens Max Zoom ZTR offers a massive 25 horse power from its Kohler twin-cylinder engine. Part of the Zoom series from Ariens.The perfect zero turn mower for larger estates. The Ariens ZTR will save a lot of time, as it offers substantial power – 25 HP is one of the highest performance engines available on a zero turn mower.

The Ariens ZTR is great for both commercial and private use. If you’re looking to cover a lot of ground quickly then the Ariens ZTR is a great investment. The fuel tank is 6 gallons, which is ideal to minimize the amount of refueling stops that you’ll need to do. Cutting width on the Ariens is great – at 50”. If you are looking for a zero turn mowing machine that will make mowing large areas a breeze then look no further than the Ariens.

Pros

  • High back seat
  • 25 horse power
  • Large 6 gallon fuel tank
  • Adjustable deck height
  • Kohler twin engine

Cons

  • Heavy

Our Verdict

A sturdy zero turn mower, suitable for commercial or heavy use. Ideal for mowing large areas, the Ariens offers some top of the range features. The fuel capacity is suitable for mowing estates, with minimal stops. A comfortable, durable machine for the more serious landscape gardener.

Engine Horsepower: 25 HP

Cutting Width: 50 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 6 Gallon

Poulan Pro P46ZX

Best for – Reputable zero-turn mower with great handling for flatter lawns

The Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin uses the Briggs & Stratton 22 horsepower (HP) engine – which is one of the most superior engines on the market. Poulan Pro has been around since 1944, and is a name you can trust. This ZTR range was launched in 2015. The sort of mower that will have you enjoying cutting the grass again, as you’ll be able to cut the time required for mowing down to a fraction of the time. Saving hours and cutting your grass cleanly with ease. One of the best things about the Poulan Pro P46ZX is that you get a 10 year warranty with the mower deck.

The P46ZX can reach speeds of up to 6MPH and can mow a width of 46”, which is reasonable. The handling is nice on this machine, similar to the Husqvarna machines.  Some owners have reported that the belt can fall off easily, while others have found this not to be the case. Unfortunately, the P46ZX is not suitable for hills or slopes, however if you’ve got a larger property with a flat lawn then this mower could do the job. The zero turning maneuverability is decent on this machine and the seat has extra padding for comfort.

Pros

  • 10 Year warranty on deck/ 2 year homeowner warranty
  • 22 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Comfortable 15” high-back seat
  • Smooth zero turn capacity
  • Intuitive controls
  • Spring-assisted deck lift
  • Easy to clean by removing footplate

Cons

  • Not great on hills
  • Deck doesn’t raise as high as some would like

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

Swisher ZTR2454BS

Best for – Speedy, powerful, agile domestic zero turn mower

The Swisher ZTR2454BS is designed to make mowing your lawn fun and enjoyable. Swisher has over 60 years of product design experience. You can ride at speeds of 8MPH which is more than most – which will seriously speed up the time it takes to cut your lawn. Despite being affordable the Swisher ZTR2454BS uses The Briggs & Stratton 24 horsepower (HP) engine, which is one of the best engines on the market. Additionally you can use the foot-assisted deck lift to adjust the height of the mower deck easily. With a low center of gravity, the Swisher ZTR2454BS is great for maneuverability, allowing you to turn 360 degrees easily.

Everything that you could possibly need for a home zero turn mower is supplied. Including the Swisher patented rapid control system that is designed for optimal comfort. The seat isn’t particularly tall compared to some other models, coming in at a height of just 10”. The fuel tank on this machine is brilliant, as it can store up to 8-gallons, which means you won’t have to spend much time re-fueling.

Pros

  • 24 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine
  • 3 gator mulcher for a fine finish
  • 8 gallon fuel tank
  • 360 degree easy turning
  • Weight distribution for added agility

Cons

  • Bulky/ heavy mower

Engine Horsepower: 24 HP

Cutting Width: 54 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 8 Gallons

When investing in a commercial grade mower, you’ll want to make sure that it is durable, powerful, has a large fuel tank and can live up to the job. There are a lot of factors to consider. Firstly, you’ll need a powerful engine. Here are 5 things to look out for in your commercial zero turn mower engine:

  • Cost – A cheaper machine will invariably mean an inferior machine. Make sure to buy a mower that is the best that you can afford. Commercial mowers need to be more durable so that you can use them day in and day out without a fuss.
  • Area/ coverage – Think about what sort of lawns you’ll be mowing. If you want to cut the grass on hills, then you’ll need more horsepower. Most zero turn mower manufacturers will advise what sort of surface the machine is best suited for. Nine times out of ten, you’ll be looking for a mower that has an engine above 25 HP for commercial use.
  • Maintenance – Some zero turn mowers have zero maintenance, which is  a nice touch. You’ll also want to look out for a removable deck, so that you can access the engine easily.

The manufacturer of the mower is not normally the same as the engine manufacturer. Look out for the top three engine manufacturers names: Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki or Honda. These three manufacturers offer powerful, efficient engines that provide superior results. Occasionally high-end manufacturers make their own engines.

If you’re sitting on your mower for hours on end, then you’ll want to invest in a mower that offers suspension. That will buffer the impact of going over rough ground, and make your job more enjoyable. Full suspension zero turn mowers are not only better for comfort, they also make it easier to maneuver tricky areas.

Husqvarna are one of the most reputable zero turn mower brands in the world. They provide top quality feature-rich mowers that will produce results that will wow your customers. Plus they are comfortable and easy to steer – which will make your life much easier.

Zero-turn lawn mowers are the best choice if you have large areas to mow. They’re sit-on (the kind you can ride around), super fast, economical and provide a cleaner cut. Zero turn lawn mowers offer comfort, ease and convenience. The name “zero turn” refers to their ability to turn around on the spot.

The reason that zero turn mowers are so agile is due to the fact that they have an engine on each of the rear wheels. You can use these sections independently – making accessing tricky areas much easier. Zero turn lawn mowers are elite lawn mowers that you can invest in to keep your lawn looking pristine, year after year.

Choosing the best zero turn mower is time consuming. We’ve done all of the legwork so that you can sit back and compare the best mowers on the market with ease. Using a zero turn mower is so simple you’ll be amazed how easy it is.

Zero turn mowers are cumbersome and heavy, and not so easy to move around. You can drive your mower over to your lawn, but what if you want to lift it? If you need to access underneath your zero turn mower, you might need to hoist it up in the air. To lift your mower you’ll need a lift jack or maintenance lift. This is necessary to clean and sharpen the blades.

Because zero turn mowers don’t generally come with breaks you might wonder how on earth do I stop? To drive your zero turn mower, you’ll use the lever on the side – this will set the speed. If you place the handle in neutral – then the mower will not move. You can use the lever to reverse, by pushing it backwards and set the speed by placing it further forward or backward. The blades can be disengaged when turning or parking your mower.

Although zero turn mowers are generally the same in appearance, there are some features that differentiate them. Here are the three main types of zero turn mowers:

  • ZTR – For personal/ residential use on lawns larger than 1 acre, and no larger than 2 acres. ZTR stands for “zero turn radius.”
  • Prosumer – More durable, mid-range zero turn mowers, suitable for small estates and landscaping.
  • Commercial Grade – These machines have enhanced suspension, and offer high all round performance and durability.

Zero turn mowers are a sizable investment – so understandably, it’s a good idea to decide if it’s worth it or not. Mowing the lawn can be a tedious process, especially in the spring if you have a lot of land. So a zero turn mower would be a good purchase for you if you have a lawn that spans a large area. Lawns larger than one acre are suitable for zero turn mowers.

If your lawn is over one acre and takes under 4 hours to cut then a residential zero-turn mower would be a great idea. It will save you time and effort, making the whole job much easier while producing a perfectly trimmed lawn. Larger lawns would require a prosumer zero turn mower.

If you have a yard that is less than one acre in size, then a zero turn mower wouldn’t be a good investment. They’re designed for lawns larger than one acre, preferably surfaces that are fairly flat. If your yard is hilly then a zero turn mower might not be of use, check if you have slopes of more than 15 degrees, if so then a zero turn mower is not the best option. Delivery of your zero turn mower is done via a freight truck and as such wouldn’t be deliverable to some more rural areas.

Your zero turn mower should be kept indoors in a dry place with a cover over it. Most mower manufacturers offer accessories designed to fit your specific mower make and model. If you keep your mower in good condition, away from the elements, then it will serve you for years.

The features that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a zero turn mower are as follows:

Engine Type & Horsepower (HP)

Horsepower or HP is the power of your engine. The higher the HP number, the stronger the engine. A more powerful mower will allow you to get your mowing done faster, which leaves you with more time to do things that you enjoy. As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve a small garden and a lawn that is about an acre, then you won’t need a strong HP. So you can save money by going for a machine with a lower HP. However if you have a lot of land to mow, then you’ll need a more powerful engine.

Cut Width/ Mowing Path

The cutting width or the mowing path is the width of the blades and will dictate how much grass you can cut at a time. If you have a lot of obstacles then going for a zero turn mower with a smaller cut width would be a good option. Think about your garden and if there are flower beds or trees that you need to work around. If so – go for a smaller cutting width. On the other hand, if you are cutting a large playing field, then a larger mowing path would suit.

Transmission

The transmission becomes particularly important for commercial landscapers or those with a lot of land. Smaller residential mowers don’t necessarily need a high transmission, but if you can afford it – go for a mower with a higher transmission as it will pay off in the long run. Higher transmissions on your zero turn mower are more reliable and powerful.

Fuel Capacity

Always check out the fuel capacity. The larger your estate or workload, the bigger you’ll want your fuel tank to be. If you have a smaller tank, then you’ll need to stop and refuel more often, which can be a pest if you have large surfaces to mow. The fuel capacity is normally measured in gallons.

Weight

Look at the weight of your chosen zero turn mower. If you are using your mower for commercial work, then you might want a sturdy machine. While someone looking to transport the device, might want to make sure that the machine is light. You’ll also want to be able to use a high lift jack so that you can clean and sharpen the blades easily. So make sure that you get a mower that is not too heavy, so that you can maintain it with ease.

Deck Size

Deck size is important when buying a zero-turn mower. Make sure that you have a good idea of the size of obstacles that you’ll need to work around. More obstacles means you should buy a smaller deck size. A broad deck can mean that you will not be able to mow around flower beds or trees easily. Here is a guide to choosing the right deck size:

  • Up to 1 acre – Required deck size is 42”
  • 1 to 3 acres – Required deck size is 42-46””
  • 2 plus acres – Required deck size is 48-60”
  • 5 plus acres – Required deck size is 72”

Yes, you have to “sit/ ride on” a zero turn mower to work it, but it differs from a ride-on mower. This can cause a lot of confusion for buyers. So let’s compare them to clear up any confusion.

Ever see those lawns that have two shades of green and look like stripes? Well, that is normally done with a ride-on mower. The main difference between the ride on mower and the zero turn mower is the pattern of mowing. With a ride on mower you have to turn at the end of each swath, then mow in the opposite direction (giving the neat lined look).

The zero-turn mower on the other hand can turn on a dime, 360 degrees around obstacles affording you more control. Additionally ride-on mowers have a steering wheel. While zero-turn mowers have two handles.

The Bottom Line

The type of zero-turn mower you choose will depend on what you are using it for. You’ll need more horsepower if you are using your mower a lot. Additionally you’ll need a larger fuel tank to travel across larger areas of lawn. Make sure to check out the mowing/ cutting width to ensure that you can fit your mower in between the planters, flower beds and trees in your garden. Zero turn mowers are more affordable than ever and if you maintain it then you’ll have a handy tool that will save you very many hours of your life.

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