Best Zero Turn Mowers

UPDATED September 2020

No matter what obstacles you encounter, a zero turn mower helps you get around them.

BEST ZERO TURN
MOWER 2020

BOTTOM LINE

One of the highest rated zero turn mowers on the market is the MZ61 from Husqvarna. It’s easy for those with less experience to use and will work with other lawn and gardening tools.

PROS

With a 27-horsepower motor and a 61-inch cutting deck, this mower can quickly cut your grass. It works with some other Husqvarna products to contain your clippings too.

CONS

Some shoppers complained that they had to go to the motor manufacturer with problems rather than the mower manufacturer. Others wished that Husqvarna had better quality control.

BOTTOM LINE

Ariens designed the Zoom 34 for smaller lawns and added convenient foot pedals and a gear shifter that you can easily reach from the included seat. Its larger back wheels work with its smaller front wheels to help you move effortlessly across your lawn.

PROS

The Zoom 34 has a 34-inch cutting deck that makes it suitable for smaller yards and lawns. This mower comes with a powerful 19-horsepower engine and large back wheels.

CONS

Users who are taller may have a harder time leaning down to reach the gear shifter. The deck on the bottom may feel a little flimsy also.

BOTTOM LINE

Troy-Bilt competes directly with Husqvarna and other leading manufacturers with this zero turn mower that comes with a Briggs and Stratton motor. The mower also has a comfortable seat and a fuel gauge that lets you check the gas without getting off.

PROS

The 54-inch deck cuts more grass in less time and is easy to clean. It also features maximum speed settings of 2.5 mph in reverse and seven mph when moving forward.

CONS

Some of the electrical parts can break quite easily. A few customers complained that it took too long to get repairs done when they had problems.

BOTTOM LINE

Suitable for use as-is and with an optional clipping bag, this mower is one that you can push and pull rather than ride. It has both a rear wheel drive system and an FWD design.

PROS

An FWD design makes it easy to move this mower across your lawn and around any obstacles on the grass. It also comes with a rear wheel drive system and a deck that you can quickly clean.

CONS

You may have some issues finding replacement parts when parts on the mower fail. It takes quite a bit of pressure to use the controls and turn the mower also.

BOTTOM LINE

Mowox gives you the option of using a zero turn push power with this model that has a self-propelled design that pushes itself forward. You get a charger that quickly recharges the lithium-ion battery also.

PROS

With an electric start and lithium-ion technology, this motor turns on quickly and doesn’t require the use of a pull start. You can adjust the height in six different ways via a small lever on the mower.

CONS

The three-wheel design of the mower can do some damage to your lawn as it mows unevenly. It doesn’t work well on uneven surfaces and can get caught on lawn ornaments and other objects.

Shopping Guide for Zero Turn Lawnmowers

Mowing the lawn is probably one of your least favorite chores. Whether you have a push or a riding mower, you need to wear old clothes to prevent grass stains and spend a lot of time outside in the heat. Depending on where you live, you might have rules about how tall your grass can grow or what patterns you mow into the lawn too. A good way to take care of that grass and save some time is with a zero turn mower.

Zero turn mowers make it easy to navigate around any of the obstacles on your lawn. It takes mere minutes to mow the area around a swimming pool or a sandbox and seconds to get around the toys that your kids leave behind. These mowers come in different types that fit your mowing needs and budget too.

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To help you find the best zero turn mower, we tracked down the five best models that you can buy online. You no longer need to visit department and home improvement stores, compare prices and track down workers to get their opinions. We updated our shopping guide to include the top five zero turn mowers for 2020 and other information that you should know about these mowers.

Riding vs. Push Mowers

Though you’ll find both push mowers and riding mowers available, our list includes only the top riding movers with zero turn design. The benefits of these mowers over push mowers include:

  • Putting less pressure on your back and lower body
  • Letting you mow without getting your shoes and clothing dirty
  • Easier to start
  • Can collect grass clippings and other debris as you mow
Shopping Guide for Zero Turn Lawnmowers - 1
Shopping Guide for Zero Turn Lawnmowers - 2

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Selection Criteria​

Weeding out the worst mowers was the first goal we had in mind when creating a buying guide to the top zero turn lawnmowers. These mowers are quite expensive and can cost twice as much or more when compared to a traditional riding mower. We wanted our readers to find the best models for 2020, no matter what type of budget they had in mind.

Zero Turn Mowers Selection Criteria

Before creating our list, we turned to some of the top shopping sites on the web and looked at the reviews posted by those who purchased these machines. We quickly eliminated any model with an average star rating of less than three and then weeded out those mowers with just one review. If a mower has only one rating or review, it’s a sign that it’s not a very popular model.

After taking an in-depth look at all the top models, we quickly found our top five options. These models all have multiple reviews from customers and a rating of at least four stars on a standard scale of up to five stars. We offer in-depth reviews of each one of those products further down on the page, but you can use our guide to find other useful information about zero turn mowers too.

The best zero turn mower is the Husqvarna MZ61, which gets good ratings from those who used it. They like the comfortable seat that they can adjust to stay comfy when mowing a large lawn and the 61-inch cutting deck. You can adjust that deck to evenly cut your grass and to meet any regulations in your neighborhood. It also comes with a 27-horsepower motor designed by Briggs and Stratton with a v-twin design that makes it last longer. Some shoppers did complain that Husqvarna doesn’t offer support for the motor and that it makes customers go through Briggs and Stratton for any repairs that they need.

What is a Zero Turn Lawnmower?

If you ever used a traditional riding mower before, you might wonder what a zero turn mower is and why you should use one of those models over the one you already own. Traditional lawnmowers have a cutting deck located underneath the machine, which allows grass clippings to fly out from the mower. With a zero turn mower, the deck sits on the front or the side of the mower and extends out from the side. These models will work with systems designed by each manufacturer to collect the grass before it spreads across your yard.

The name comes from the fact that these lawnmowers have a much smaller turning radius than traditional lawnmowers have. When you make a turn, the mower will quickly pivot in the direction that you want to move. If you have a yard with a number of corners or unusual angles, you can use one of these mowers to move around those corners without stopping frequently to back up. These mowers also help you maneuver around any of the obstacles found in your yard too like the toys that your kids leave out. Zero turn mowers also have two handles that move the mower to the left or right.

What is a Zero Turn Lawnmower

What is a Zero Turn Lawnmower

  • Larger rear wheels with smaller wheels in the front
  • A foot pedal for adjusting the speed of the mower
  • Large motor with a horsepower rating of 20 or more

With a name like Mustang 54, you might expect this Troy-Bilt mower to perform like a sleek sports car. Not only does it provide the performance that you want, but it can make mowing your lawn more fun and less time-consuming. This mower comes with a Briggs & Stratton 25-horsepower motor with twin cylinders. That motor works with the included oil filter to keep everything running smoothly. The hydro-static transmission prevents common mechanical failures too. It also features a front axle that floats to help you reach the axle and make repairs when needed.

If you’re looking for a zero turn mower that offers a comfortable ride, look no further than the Mustang 54. The leather seat hugs your body and helps you get in the best position for mowing. No matter how or where you sit, you can easily reach the handles that let you adjust the path and direction of the mower too. It reaches a maximum speed of seven mph when you move across your grass and can hit a top speed of 2.5 mph when you back up. This mower also has four wheels with a thick tread for moving across the grass and a large deck that adjusts to the height you need for cutting.

Unique Features of the Troy-Bilt Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

  • A bracket that functions as a tow hitch
  • A key start engine
  • A two-year warranty from the manufacturer

What are Some of the Benefits of Owning and Using One?

The benefits of using a zero turn mower on your lawn include:

  • Complete jobs faster: These mowers allow you to make quick turns and mow around corners while also moving around potential hazards.
  • Save money: As zero turn mowers work faster than traditional riding mowers do, you’ll save money on the cost of the fuel needed to run that machine.
  • Do gardening: Many models either come with a mulching kit or are compatible with those kits. You can use the kit to lay down mulch and to make mulch and gardening supplies from your lawn clippings.
  • Better cuts: The blades used on these mowers are often sharper and larger than those found on other mowers. Those blades allow you to make better and cleaner cuts that make your lawn look better.
  • Get more out of your investment: The main benefit to buying a zero turn mower is that you will get more out of your initial investment. These mowers typically last twice as long as traditional mowers do, and commercial models can last even longer.
What are Some of the Benefits of Owning and Using One

Environmental Benefits

The top 2020 models have some benefits for the environment too. When used with a collection unit, you can reduce the pollen in the air that comes from the grass clippings that would otherwise fly out of the machine. You’ll also reduce the emissions produced by the mower because you use less fuel.

Those looking for a zero turn mower with a short learning curve may find the Ariens Zoom 34 appealing. It features two large handles on the front of the mower. You can use one or both handles to steer the mower across your lawn. Though this mower looks large on your computer screen, it comes with a comfortable seat that lets you get as close to the handles as you need, which gives you even better control.

The large cutting deck located underneath the mower can cut a swath of grass up to 34-inches in size as you mow. One feature that many shoppers love is just how quickly this mower responds to their movements. Many customers found that they could easily maneuver the mower around obstacles on their lawns like gates, fences and lawn decorations.

Convenient foot pedals sit close to the gear shifter located right beside your feet. This design makes it easier for you to change gears based on the slope or design of your lawn and lets you adjust your top speed too. The 34 comes with a power 19-horsepower KOHLERA 600 Series engine that reduces the time between when you turn the mower on and when you hit its top speed.

Insider Tip

Zero turn mowers will work on most types of grass and most types of vegetation, including crabgrass and weeds.

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Fescue grass
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Hedge Bindweed
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Lawn grass
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Chili
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Pea

What are Some of the Different Types of Mowers?

Zero turn mowers typically fall into two different categories: residential and commercial models.

Residential models are suitable for smaller yards and for those who mow every few weeks or less often. You can get one of these mowers at a more affordable price that is on par with some of the top riding lawnmowers.

Commercial mowers are larger in size and come with bigger motors. These mowers are best for those who take lawn care seriously and those who mow once a week or more often. Many landscaping companies use commercial mowers to mow the lawns of all their clients. These companies may use a mower up to 10 times a week or even more.

You’ll also find some middle of the road models that combine elements of a commercial model but cost just a little more than residential models do. Though these mowers can’t handle daily or weekly mowing, one will handle the regular mowing that you do in your yard. You’ll find features on these models such as:

  • An adjustable deck
  • A taller or higher seat with extra padding
  • Cruise control

Other Types

Push Mowers

Push mowers are one example of a zero turn mower that you can buy for your lawn. As the name implies, this is a type of mower that you stand behind and push across your lawn. They help you save money and are easy to use. Even your teenagers and older kids can mow the lawn with one. Self-propelled push mowers are far better than standard models. They allow you to use less force when mowing your lawn. These mowers have a design that allows them to consistently move forward, even if you do not squeeze a handle or press any buttons.

Riding Mowers

If you want to stay clean when mowing your lawn and put less pressure on your body, you should opt for a riding mower. They usually come with a comfortable seat that lets you get in a position where you can reach all buttons and handles needed to operate the mower. Once you start the mower, you’ll pull the handles or the levers on the top to make it move forward and backward or to the right or left. Many models either come with a clippings bag or are compatible with these bags. Adding one lets you clean up your yard as you mow.

Winter Uses

If you live in a cooler climate with cold winter temperatures, you can leave your zero turn mower out during those colder months. These mowers are compatible with:

  • Snow brushes
  • Snow blades
  • Snow brushes

Using any of these accessories lets you clear away the snow and ice that builds up on your lawn and driveway.

What are Some of the Different Types of Mowers

If you prefer pushing a mower rather than riding one, the WC33 might be the best zero turn mower for the money. It has a 420cc motor that comes to life quickly with one press of the electric start button. Though the motor is powerful, it runs quieter than others. A 33-inch cutting deck lets you adjust the depth of the cutting blade based on the height of your grass. It also comes with a three-year warranty and lets you use the discharge area on either side. You can attach a mulch bag to the mower too.

Poulan Pro Mower Accessories

  • Grass Baggers that help you collect all the grass that you cut from your lawn
  • Mulch kits that easily connect to your mower for mulching

Top Features to Look for in Zero Turn Mowers

When it comes right down to it, there are a number of things that you should look for in terms of features. The top features include:

  • Engine: Though zero turn mowers all feature different types of engines, you want one that has a high horsepower rating and a fast speed. You’ll find some models with a top speed of between four and 10 MPH.
  • Deck size: The size of the deck tells you how much grass the mower will cut as it moves across your lawn. While you may feel confident with one that has a 30-inch cutting deck, you’ll want a cutting deck of at least 50-inches for a larger lawn.
  • Overall comfort: If you have the chance to try out different models before you buy, you should make sure that the mower you buy feels comfortable. The top of the seat should stop at your neck or shoulders, and the seat should fit comfortably without requiring that you sit too far forward. If there is a gap between your back and the seat when you put your feet flat, you can place a rolled-up towel or a pillow behind your back.

Tips for Using Zero Turn Mowers

Top Features to Look for in Zero Turn Mowers
  • Wear some type of protective gear on your ears as you mow. These mowers are quite loud and can actually damage your ears when used regularly.
  • Check the slopes around your lawn carefully before using a zero turn mower. You should never use one at an angle greater than 10-degrees.
  • Avoid using the mower on heavier or larger items, including patios, sidewalks and even your driveway. When the blades come into contact with concrete and similar materials, it can bend or break the blades.

Push mowers can perform just as well as riding mowers, which the Mowox Self-Propelled Zero Turn Lawn Mower proves. It costs less than other zero turn mowers to help you save money and comes with both a lithium-ion battery and a battery charger. That start saves you the hassles of dealing with a pull start and lets you turn on the mower with one push of a button. Thanks to the charger, you can keep the battery and mower powered and ready to go on your next day off work. Thanks to the six-stage height lever, this mower takes the guesswork out of choosing the right height. You simply adjust this lever and let the mower cut all the grass to the same height.

One of the top features of this mower is the front wheels. You can lock those wheels to ensure that you follow a straight path and make even cuts. When you unlock the wheels, you can maneuver around any object because the wheels turn in a 360-degree direction. The three wheels on the mower include one smaller one up front and two larger wheels in the back that offer more traction and give you more control. Mowox put the oil compartment in a convenient place to make checking the oil level easy too.

Manufacturer Warranty Should Cover, Including:

In-Depth Product Review Ryobi RY40180 Zero Turn Mower - 1
Labor Costs of Repairs
In-Depth Product Review Ryobi RY40180 Zero Turn Mower - 2
Replacement Parts
In-Depth Product Review Ryobi RY40180 Zero Turn Mower - 3
Motor
In-Depth Product Review Ryobi RY40180 Zero Turn Mower - 4
Cutting Deck

How Much Should a Zero Turn Mower Cost?

A good riding mower can easily cost $1,000 to $1,500 and lack some of the features found on the top zero turn mowers. Husqvarna has a strong reputation for the mowers and other equipment that the company makes. While you may need to pay as much as $5,000 for one of the company’s best zero turn mowers, you also get a warranty that lasts for years. The MZ61 retails for $5,000 and comes with free shipping. Ariens offers a more affordable mower that sells for $3,000. This is the bottom end of what we recommend spending on a new mower. You get a good cutting width and a powerful engine. While you may find some cheaper zero turn riding mowers, most will have a smaller cutting deck that requires multiple trips across your lawn. Troy-Bilt also makes a riding mower that sells for around $3,300.

Zero turn push mowers are more affordable. The WC33 from Troy-Bilt sells for around $2,000 but comes with features that you won’t find on most push powers, including a cutting deck with twin blades and a design that lets you expel lawn clippings from the right or left. The cheapest push mower that we recommend is the Mowox, which you can bring home for less than $500.

Paying for a Zero Turn Mower

Shoppers today can pay for a Zero Turn Mower with cash or check, but many shoppers also purchase mowers with:

  • financing through the shop or website
  • personal credit card
How Much Should a Zero Turn Mower Cost

Cost of Good Zero Turn Mower

Frequently Asked Questions

A: An alternative to a zero turn mower is a machine called a lawn tractor. Tractors look like traditional riding mowers but are compatible with different attachments and accessories that let you mow, bag up any debris created as you mow and lay down or use much.

A: As you shop for zero turn mowers, you may find that these machines use different types of fuel. Though some use the same gasoline that your car does, others use diesel that you can get from the gas station. You can also purchase a mower that runs on propane, though these aren’t very popular.

A: Depending on the model that you buy, the grass that you cut will either come out from underneath the side of the mower or the back of the mower. When you use a collection bag, you can attach the bag to the cutting deck and let it collect the grass as it comes off the mower.

A: There is a steep learning curve associated with zero turn mowers. It may take a few attempts before you feel comfortable using the handles to manoeuvre around your yard.

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