Best Zero Turn Mowers

UPDATED December 2019

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

BEST ZERO TURN
MOWER 2019

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

Mow your lawn quickly with this Troy-Bilt mower, which features adjustable settings and a comfy seat. It has a maximum speed of 4.25 MPH and a manual design that helps you reach that speed quickly.

PROS

A six-speed transmission and five adjustable settings let you cut your grass the exact way you want it cut. This Troy-Bilt mower has a maximum speed of just over four MPH and comes with a comfortable seat.

CONS

Some customers had issues with the assembly of this mower and with the support offered by the manufacturer. Others found that it would not work on their lawns because their grass was too tall.

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

Ryobi designed this mower to include a lithium-ion battery and a brushless motor that provides power for long and short grass. It also features a neon yellow shell and easy to use controls.

PROS

This mower is easy to move and an electric start that brings the motor to life quickly. It also has a neon yellow shell to help you see the mower as you work on your lawn.

CONS

The battery on this mower doesn’t last as long as many expected. Some owners also complained that they couldn’t repair the mower or find the replacement parts they needed.

Shopping Guide for Zero Turn Lawnmowers

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t look forward to mowing your lawn. By the time you finish, you’ll find yourself tired and sore with bright green stains all over your clothing and shoes. Using the best zero turn mower can turn mowing into one of your favorite tasks. The best zero turn mower 2018 models take some of the hard work out of that chore and allow you to complete the job in half as much time as it did before.

Though we don’t think shopping for zero turn mower 2018 models will change your life, one of these mowers will definitely change the way you think about yard work. These mowers have a turning radius that makes it easy to maneuver around all those obstacles that usually trip you up, including your kids’ play pool, lawn decor and vegetation that you want to protect.

Buying a zero turn mower can easily cost a few thousand dollars or more. This is not an investment that you should take lightly. You need to think about all your options and find a mower that is right for your yard. Our buying guide makes it easy for shoppers to find everything they need to know.

Zero Turn Lawnmowers Shopping Guide​

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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 2018, no matter what type of budget they had in mind.

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.

Zero Turn Mowers Selection Criteria

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

Troy-Bilt makes one of the smallest zero turn mowers on the market today. The Premium Neighborhood Riding Mower is a good choice for those who live in quiet neighborhoods and suburbs and those who have smaller lawns. It features an auto choke engine that works with a six-speed transmission to help you reach the speed you want as quickly as possible.

Also included is a 30-inch cutting deck that cuts a large section of grass each time you run the mower over your lawn. The five adjustable settings that work with that deck let you cut as much of that grass as you need with each mow. You can cut the grass down almost to the surface of your lawn, which lets you mow less often, or you can cut a smaller section of the grass away to give your lawn a lush look.

As this mower uses a manual design, you can easily decide how quickly you want to move. It starts so quickly though that you can mow your grass in less time than you could with other mowers. This premium lawnmower works on even terrains and lawns better than it works on hilly or uneven lawns.

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
In-Depth Product Review Troy-Bilt Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

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 2018 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.
In-Depth Product Review Ariens Zoom 34 Zero Turn Lawn Mower

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
What are Some of the Different Types of Mowers

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.

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
In-Depth Product Review Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn Lawn Mower

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.
Top Features to Look for in Zero Turn Mowers

Tips for Using 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.

The best zero turn mower for those on a budget is this model from Ryobi, which costs a fraction of what riding mowers do. This affordable lawnmower has an exterior shell in a bright shade of neon yellow that you can easily see as move around a kiddie pool or any other obstacles in the way. Weighing less than 70 pounds, this mower is easy for both adults and kids to use when mowing the lawn. It also has a 20V lithium-ion battery and a 40V brushless motor. You can use the mower as-is or attach a mulch bag to save grass clippings as you mow.

In-Depth Product Review Husqvarna Commercial Zero Turn Mower

How Much Should a Zero Turn Mower Cost?

While you can get a standard push mower for around $300 or less, riding mowers generally cost more. A traditional riding mower with a larger turning radius can cost $500 to $1,000, and some models cost even more. The price of zero turn mowers is higher because these mowers come with more features that help you quickly and efficiently mow your lawn.

The cheapest model we found retails for around $1,500, but most of the top models cost between $3,000 and $4,000. If you need something even larger like a commercial mower, you’ll spend at least $5,000 to $7,500 or even more. You may find that you can get a good used car for less than you would spend on a mower.

When you set your budget and know exactly how much you want to spend on a zero turn mower, look for models at the top end of your budget. This will help you find one with a solid deck made from forged steel or another durable material and a 20-horsepower motor or a motor that produces even more horsepower. The more you spend, the more features you will get.

How Much Should a Zero Turn Mower Cost?

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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