It used to be that mowing your yard by hand or with a ride-on lawnmower took forever. This was especially true if you had a yard with many trees and other landscape features. It would seem like you spent more time stopping, backing up and maneuvering than you did going in straight line. All that changed with the introduction of zero turn mowers into the market. Nowadays if you have the best zero turn lawn mower model you can buy, then you can cut your yard mowing time significantly.
The Good and Bad Things about Using a Zero Turn Mower
Let’s start by being honest. Zero turn mowers are great for most people to use but they are not the perfect lawn mowing fit for every homeowner. That is why we will start this article by taking a look at the pros and cons you get with zero turn mowers. Anyone looking to purchase a zero turn mower must consider both the pros and cons of these normally beneficial lawn care products.
- They make fast work of most lawn mowing tasks
Let’s face it zero turn mowers were designed to do one thing well and that is to cut your lawn fast. They are very good at it too. The reason for that is that there is no stop and start maneuveringaround landscape obstacles like there is with other types of ride on mowers.
Why is a zero turn lawnmower faster at cutting your grass than with a regular garden tractor? It’s because of the fact you don’t have to adjust your mower position when mowing around trees, bordered walkways and plant beds. This saves an unbelievable amount of time because these mowers are designed to effortlessly turn on a dime.
- Superior lawn cutting performance
Since zero turn mowers are only designed for cutting your lawn, manufacturers take great pains when designing these lawn machines to add everything to them that makes them do this task well. That makes them better and faster at cutting lawns than any other type of riding lawn mower or tractor. They are very good at what they do to say the least.
- Hills and wet conditions can be a problem
There are some characteristics of zero turn mowers that make them less than ideal for use on lawns with steep slopes or very hilly terrain. For one, they do not have small tires on the front of them that provide very little traction. These tires don’t dig into the ground to provide a little extra stability like bigger lawn tractor tires do. They also tend to be a little top-heavy which you have to be wary of when working on steep slopes or hilly ground too.
The same top heavy and poor traction characteristics of zero turn mowers that makes them bad for use on hilly terrain also makes them not perform as well under wet ground conditions. If you have constantly muddy spots in your lawn or a large amount of poor drainage area, then you may want to consider another type of riding mower to cut your grass with.
- Not versatile
Zero turn mowers were designed for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to mow your lawn as quickly as possible. They do a great job of that but they are not good for much else when you compare them to something like a riding lawn tractor.
With other types of ride on mowers you can do such things with them as hook up garden carts or snow blowing attachments. Zero turn mowers in most instances are not set up to have anything but lawn mowing attachments on them.
So if you want your ride on mower to be more versatile, then you should purchase something other than a zero turn mower.
Here are some reviews of top zero turn mowers you can buy.
Top 5 Best Zero Turn Lawn Mower Reviews
1. Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 22HP 46-Inch Zero-Turn Mower
Troy-Bilt is a big name when it comes to gas powered tools and tractors and this fine model zero turn mower is no exception. It does everything well when it comes to cutting your lawn. This mower uses an excellent combination of speed and power cutting to get your lawn mowing tasks done right.
It all starts with its very nice 22hp gas powered engine. This is more than enough power to handle mowing even the biggest lawns. It is a mower that goes through its gears smoothly and can move along at a rapid 7mph. That means more time relaxing and less time spent on your mower.
This mower is not only powerful but it cuts great too. It has a very generous 46 inch wide cutting deck. That is almost 4 feet wide of cutting path on each pass which will help make short work of most mowing tasks. Even though it has a wide mower deck it can still easily go around trees and landscape features in your yard thanks to its zero turn capability.
This is a mower that is built for comfort too. It has a high backed seat and enough suspension to help smooth out the ride on any size lawn. Troy-Bilt also backs this model zero turn mower up with 3 year warranty and a lifetime warranty on the frame.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
- Powerful 22hp engine
- Wide cutting deck
- Comfortable and smooth riding
- 3 year warranty protection
- Mowing deck can be tough to level
- Won’t fit through standard size fence openings
2. Husqvarna 967324101 V-Twin 724 cc Zero Turn Mower, 54″
Here is a great zero turn mower from the reputable company Husqvarna. It is a beast when it comes to getting large lawns done in a hurry. This mower cuts nice and with its zero turn radius leaves very little edge trimming to be done afterwards. It does a great job on medium to large size lawns.
Part of the reason you can get your lawn mower chore done fast with it is because of its extremely wide cutting deck. It features a durable and reinforced stamped deck that is 54 inches wide. There are also 4 anti-scalp rollers attached to the cutting deck to help keep you from leaving bare spots on uneven ground.
Power is no problem with this zero turn mower either. Its 724cc engine features up to 24 horsepower that it can supply to the mower deck and power train at any time. That is more power than you will see in many comparable sized zero turn mowers. The motor is built by Briggs & Stratton which is a company that is well-known for making great small engines that last a long time.
Other handy features on this model zero turn mower include a non-slip foot area, automatic parking brake and a guard that keeps people away from the hot engine. It even has headlights for night time mowing.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- 24hpv-twin engine power
- Extremely wide mower deck
- Smooth transmission
- Anti-scalp lawn protection
- Larger engine means more gas consumption
- Needs a double gate to gain entry into fenced yards
3. Poulan Pro 24HP Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch
This is a really well-designed zero turn mower. After we reviewed it we could clearly see why Poulan is starting to become a big name when it comes to powered lawn care products. This is an excellent zero turn mower which will significantly cut down on your time spent mowing your lawn.
It has a very good sized 24hp engine. As many of the best lawn gas powered mower products do its engine is built by none other than Briggs & Stratton. That means you can rest assured that you are getting a durable engine that will last you well into the future if you take care of it.
The cutting deck on this zero turn mower is a very generous size too. It cuts a path in your yard over 4 feet in length on each pass. That means you need less passes to get your yard mowed. Less passes on your grass mean more time in your house doing the things you enjoy doing.
You also will save time because you don’t have to refuel this mower so often. It has a 3 ½ gallon gas tank. This mower also features a solid welded frame and a nice 3 year warranty. There is even a 10 year warranty on the mower deck itself.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- V-twin engine powered
- Over a 4 foot wide mowing path
- Strong welded frame
- 10 year mower deck warranty
- Could be a little faster when going straight
- Seat may be a little uncomfortable for taller persons
4. Husqvarna Z24623HP 724cc Briggs Endurance Engine 46″ Z-Turn Mower
Here is the second quality Husqvarna zero turn mower on our top review list. It is a little smaller than its sister model we reviewed. This mower works great if you have a small to medium sized lawn. It is built solid to last and will really make any lawn mowing task much simpler to accomplish.
One of its best features is its 46 inch wide mowing deck. That makes it convenient to use when going in a straight line or when maneuvering around the landscaping features in your yard. The nice mowing deck on this model also has 3 built-in ant-scalping rollers. Its mowing deck also engages very smoothly thanks to its electronic clutch and it’s spring assisted to help lowering or raising it too.
Power is not a problem for this model lawn mower either. It features a 23hp, 724cc Briggs & Stratton gas engine. That translates to some serious speed and power when you are out there mowing your lawn.
The nice things about this fine lawn mowing product don’t stop there either. It also has a very easy to use multi-speed transmission. There are headlights to help you do still get your mowing done after getting home late from work and an ergonomic control panel to help make it comfortable to operate.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- 23hpV-twin engine
- Almost 4 foot wide cutting path
- Electronic blade engagement
- Headlights for night mowing
- Steering controls take a little getting used to
- A little bit of a bumpy ride
5. Poulan Pro P46ZX 22 HP Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 46-Inch
Just like Husqvarna has a little smaller sister model mower on our list so does Poulan. This is a little smaller mower than the one we reviewed in review item number three. It is yet another very good zero turn mower that works especially well in small to medium sized yards.
It has more than enough power to cut good and still move along at a steady speed. This is due to the fact it has a very good power plant. It features a 22hp Briggs & Stratton engine that is designed to last for a very long period of time. You won’t find a better small engine maker than Briggs & Stratton.
The mower deck itself is top of the line too. Poulan equipped this mower with a decent sized 46 inch wide cutting deck. The deck is built out of sturdy stamped metal that is nicely reinforced in several areas too. That is why Poulan can back the deck up with a full 10 year warranty.
It has such other nice features as a smooth shifting transmission, a generous 3 ½ gallon fuel tank and spring assisted electronic mower engagement too. This mower can cut your lawn at one of 6 different heights and also comes with a full three year warranty.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
- 22hp Briggs & Stratton power
- 46 inch electric engaging mower deck
- 6 different height adjustments
- Generous 3 year warranty
- Front wheels could be made with a softer compound
- Not recommended at all for yards with steep hills
Best Zero Turn Mowers Buying Guide
There are a lot more zero turn mowers in the marketplace than you might think. Some of the ones like those we reviewed are excellent quality machines and there are other models out there that are not so good. Since zero turn mowers are not cheap it is best to take your time when looking to buy one.
Here are some of the key characteristics of zero turn motors you should focus on when shopping for a new one:
A zero turn mower is not an inexpensive item when it comes to lawn care products. They can run as much as several thousand dollars. That is why we recommend setting a shopping budget for yourself before you start shopping for your new mower.
There is no use spending time talking with salesman and doing research on zero turn mowers you are never going to buy in the first place. When you set a budget it helps you focus on only those models that fall within your budget range and you would consider purchasing. This can save you a lot of time and effort on your zero turn mower search.
Let’s face it, certain brands of mowers are well-known and others not so much. You may pay more for a reputable brand name zero turn mower but chances are its mower products have been time tested and have a reputation of being sound lawn mower products.
Lesser known brands or newer manufacturers may have zero turn mowers models that have not been out long and improved over time. They might still offer you some advantages though. Companies that are new or less well-known will usually offer products that are more affordable and sometimes have some innovative new features too.
Most likely you are buying a zero turn mower so you spend less time mowing the lawn and more time inside in your nice air conditioned house. That means you want a mower that moves along at a pretty good rate of speed. In order to do that you will need a powerful engine on your lawn mower.
That means for bigger lawns you should have a zero turn mower that is in the 20 – 25 horsepower range. Don’t forget your engine also powers your mower deck to so that is a big demand on any small engine. So make sure you buy a mower that is well powered to handle the lawn mowing task you are asking from it.
- Cutting deck
Along with the engine this is the key component in your zero turn mower. There is a lot to take a look at with a mower deck when deciding which mower model is right for you.
You have to consider the width of the mower deck you want to have. The wider the deck the less number of passes you have to make to get your lawn done. A bigger cutting deck will save you a lot of time when mowing your lawn for sure.
Be aware of drawbacks with larger mower decks too. They may not fit through the fence openings in your yard and they will increase the price you pay for your mower in most cases too. A bigger deck will also make it tougher to maneuver your mower if you have many closely placed landscaping features in your yard.
Your mower deck will take more of a beating than any other part of your lawn mowing machine. You want it to be built very tough because of that. Look for a zero turn mower that has a deck that features such things as welded seams, stamped steel construction and reinforced areas.
You want your cutting deck to operate smoothly when you are mowing the lawn too. That means you want to be able to do such things as easily raise and lower the mower deck to be able to smoothly engage the cutting blade. Look for these types of nice features when doing your mower shopping.
- Other considerations
Little things in a zero turn mower make a big difference and it’s no different with the cutting deck. Other considerations here are such things as maintenance hatches to the underside, safety foot rests and steps to get on the mower. Also look for attachments to the cutting deck such as anti-scalp rollers.
There is more to zero turn mowers than just cutting decks and engines too. Sometimes it is the little things that make one zero turn mower better than another model. Be sure to look for such things as comfortable seating, ergonomically placed controls, headlights, adequate suspension and more when you are doing your mower shopping. These little things can make a big difference in how much you enjoy cutting your lawn.
It’s no secret that any lawnmower will usually take a beating when you are using it and zero turn mowers are no different. Bumps, uneven lawns, wet grasses, hard objects and high temperatures can really take their toll on any riding mower. That is why you need to consider what type of warranty you are getting with your new zero turn mower.
The longer and more comprehensive the warranty package the better. It is a nice peace of mind to have when buying a fancy lawn mowing product like a zero turn mower.
Summing Up Our Zero Turn Mower Reviews
Without a doubt if you just need a riding machine to cut your grass you can’t get better equipment for that job than a zero turn mower. They just make cutting any lawn simpler and faster. All of the models we reviewed here were very good but one did stand out among them. That was the Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 22HP 46-Inch Zero-Turn Mower.
Why is this one special? There is just a lot to like about it. It’s built sturdy to last, is nicely powered and its mower deck is solid all the way around. The controls are well positioned and the overall design makes it simple for anyone to operate too. It’s definitely a model worth considering when shopping for a superior zero turn mower.