A zero-turning radius is the smallest circular range that a vehicle, or in this case, a riding lawn mower, is capable of making. Essentially, a zero-turn mower is one with a turning radius that is effectively zero.
In this residential and commercial zero turn mower reviews, we’ll talk about the evolution of riding lawn mowers to explain why the move to zero or z-turn mowers is favored. Each release brings with it additional features that make it better than previous models and give you more options to meet your needs.
Z-turn mowers are not limited to the commercial sector. Manufacturers are availing them to residential users as well. They are usually faster and more efficient than their larger counterparts. Most of them are steered using hydraulic speed controls, as opposed to the wheel, which was a dominant feature of the older model.
Most zero turn mower reviews reviewers say the levers are a bit tricky, but once you have them figured out, you will be surprised by their efficiency. These mowers indeed take some getting used to, but practice makes perfect.
Most brands will be smaller than what we are used to. Thanks to their size and turning ability, they work faster to clear the same piece of property in half the time bigger mowers with a full turn would. Of course, a lot of it will depend on the engine, deck size, and the number of blades among other things, but most z-turn mowers are several times more efficient than the outdated models.
Best Zero Turn Mower Comparison Chart
|Product Name||Cutting Width||Engine Power||Top Speed||Fuel Tank Size||Rating||Price|
|Ariens Apex 60||60″||25 HP||8.0 MPH||5.0 gal||$$$
|Toro Timecutter MX4250||42″||24.5 HP||8.5 MPH||5.0 gal||$$$
|Ariens Zoom 34||34″||19 HP||6.0 MPH||2.0 gal||$$
|Husqvarna MZ61||61″||27 HP||8.5 MPH||5.0 gal||$$
|Poulan Pro p46zx||46″||22 HP||6.0 MPH||3.5 gal||$$
|Ariens Ikon X-52 Kawasaki||52″||23 HP||7.0 MPH||2.8 gal||$$
|Troy Bilt Mustang XP 50||50″||23 HP||7.0 MPH||3.0 gal||$
|Husqvarna Z246||46″||21.5 HP||6.5 MPH||3.5 gal||$|
|Swisher ZTR2454BS Response||54″||24 HP||8.0 MPH||8.0 gal||$$$
|Swisher Z3166CPKA 31HP Kawasaki Big Mow Commercial||66″||31 HP||10.0 MPH||4.0 gal||$$$$$
Benefits of Zero Turn Mowers
Before we look over the best zero turn mowers and you spend your hard earned money, we’ll look into the benefits of owning a z-turn mower. And then we’ll move onto the zero turn mower reviews.
Let us start with the obvious. A zero-turn mower has the smallest turning radius possible, which makes it easy to maneuver through corners and to turn when you get to the end of your line.
In the sense that most of them are made of better technology, these mowers will not only be faster but smaller too. Depending on the type of engine you will have on your selection, you will have better speed at your disposal. Most of these mowers slash the time taken by half. Who doesn’t want that?
Also worth noting is that you will be using levers in the place of wheels, and they give you better control of your mower. A little practice and you will note that these babies give you better control.
Efficient Fuel Consumption
If your mower is fast, it will help you finish your job faster, which also means using less fuel. The benefits are intertwined as you also get to attend to other duties instead of spending half a day mowing.
A zero radius will ensure that you do not miss the mark, and so you will not repeat a move to get to the grass between the last lane you cut and your next.
The brands upgrading to zero-turning radius are achieving this by investing in a more powerful engine than most of the outdated models. Our review shows that most users find these engines to be easy to clean, durable, and easy to maintain.
An efficient mower will mean not only better time utilization but also a more decent job. You will have to dig in deeper into your pocket than you would on lower quality, but the investment will be worth it many times over.
What To Look For In A Zero Turn Mower
This is probably the most important part of any moving asset. You want to ensure that you get the best deal for the engine because it will determine the pace at which you work and also the life of our asset. When looking at the design, you will note that the cheaper models will have single-cylinder engines. If you want a powerful and ridiculously fast mower, you may want to invest in a double-cylinder engine design.
Is it stamped? How durable is it? Residential mowers will have lighter-gauge decks that are affixed in press, while their commercial counterparts consist of pieces of welded heavy-gauge steel. Stamped decks are good enough, but welded ones are even better to endure rough terrains. A welded deck will hold well, even when used on rough terrain on a daily basis, which is why you find them on commercial models more often than not.
Additionally, you will want to check the number of wheels on the deck. Wheels will raise the deck on uneven terrain to prevent you from cutting the grass too short or scalping the lawn.
This will be determined by the sturdiness of the overall construction as well as the deck. When looking at the gauge of the steel, you will note that the lower it is,the thicker the material will be. Also, you should check the dimension and design of the steel frame, as well as the protection surrounding the rear engine. The quality of these should give you the idea on the overall sturdiness of the mower as well as durability.
Adjustable Cutting Height
Whether a residential or commercial purchase, this feature should be looked into keenly. Being able to adjust the cutting height in a moment will prevent you from over cutting grass in a steep area or on uneven terrain.
In addition to a hand lever, a foot assistant would be handy in raising the deck fast and for short periods such as when negotiating an exposed tree root. Avoid one that requires you to stop and manually adjust the deck as that beats the whole point of buying a mower that saves you time.
Current zero-turn mowers come with high chairs that accommodate any height. Comfort is paramount, seeing that you will spend about half an hour on your mower. You want to ensure that you can reach the levers and controls when seated to make your job faster. If the settings are not at par, does the manufacturer custom-make it to suit your needs?
You may also want to consider its user friendliness. You do not want to spend a week trying to get the hold of your mower.
A good residential z-turn mower will set you back from $2,500 to $6,000. The commercial kind will cost you more than that. Try as much as you can to get a high-quality one at the lower end, but do not compromise on quality. Most of the more expensive mowers have more features and are more durable so that they make a worthy investment.
Top 10 Zero Turn Mower Reviews
1. Ariens Apex 60 Zero Turn Mower
When it comes to precision, comfort, design, and durability the Ariens APEX is top if its residential class. Packed with many commercial features including the fabricated deck design, an industry leading frame, the APEX brings commercial performance home while raising the standard. This takes the driving experience to new heights.
The Ariens Apex 60 zero turn mower comes with a premium 25 HP Kohler 7000 series HD V-twin-cylinder engine which includes a large capacity filtration package for extra protection offering high productivity and powerful cutting performance.
And it comes with a commercial grade 10-Gauge welded deck design that’s 5-1/2 in. in deep with a reinforced leading edge provides the airflow needed to tackle tough mowing conditions. Plus, the 60 in. triple blade cutting deck mows more grass in fewer passes and less cutting time
Plus, you’ll love the Hydro-gear ZT-3100 commercial grade transaxles whic are designed for increased torque and load capacity with less vibration and smooth control. Allowing you to travel up to 8 MPH forward and 4 MPH in reverse.
- Adjustable high-back seat with padded armrests provides additional support and lessens fatigue during linger operating periods
- 5 Gal. fuel capacity to help minimize the need for refueling
- Commercial grade, durable design
- No lights
- No Hitch
2. Toro Timecutter MX4250 Mower
The Toro TimeCutter MX4250 is a hydrostatic zero-turn riding mower powered by a 24.5 HP at 3600 RPMs Toro Commercial V-Twin engine (708cc). It has a 42 in. heavy duty fabricated 2-bladed mowing system under a 4 in. deep, top discharge deck with convenient washout ports.
The mower boasts 7 cutting positions between 1-1/2 in. and 4-1/2 in. height. With its Smart Speed control system, you’ll have precise control and easy maneuvering with its Trim, Tow and Mow speed ranges making it the easiest to learn how to drive and the best for pulling attachments. Maximizing comfort, it comes with an 18 in. thickly padded premium seat with arm rests. It is equipped with an electric PTO and automatic parking brake for ease of operation.
An hour meter, foot assist height of cut pedal, and floor mat all come standard. A hitch comes standard for pulling Brinly-Hardy attachments.
- Heavy duty 10-Gauge steel frame for lasting durability and heavy duty front caster forks for added longevity.
- Ground speed of up to 7 MPH in Mow mode, 5.5 MPH in Tow mode and 4 MPH in trim mode.
- Easy to maneuver.
- Toro doesn’t offer the best customer service in the world.
3. Ariens Zoom 34 Z Turn Lawn Mower
The Ariens Zoom 34 ZTR mower is the first of its kind in the Ariens ZTR series of lawn-mowers. Made with specifications that suit small to medium-sized residential areas, this machine is out to give its competitors a run for their money because of its unique features.
With a 19hp Kohler 6000 series engine which is impressive for a non-commercial use mower, the Ariens Zoom 34 manages a 6.0mph maximum forward speed at any given time reducing your mowing time by half.
It has a 34-inch cutting width, perfect for squeezing through gates and doorways. The maintenance free Hydro-Gear EZT hydrostatic transaxle set up with cooling fans and a large hydraulic reservoir ensures that there’s as minimum shifting as possible. Plus, you can adjust the cutting height from 1.5 to 4.5-inches which is efficient for just about any kind of residential lawn grass. Its mechanical foot lift is another great add.
The downside of this mower is that its reverse mode is quite slow since it has a reverse speed of just 3.0mph.This often leads to it being stuck in the grass which can destroy the deck aside from making trimming one hell of a job.
- Easy to use because it’s lightweight
- Cuts well and fast
- Cannot pull more than 250lb
4. Husqvarna Mz61 61-Inch Mower
Husqvarna brings you yet another mower, this time larger and more powerful. This model features hydrostatic gear transmission with keyless starting and a pedal assisted deck-lifting system, which is unique to only a few of their models.
The V-twin engine is bigger and more powerful, with 27hp, and will only need minimal maintenance to stay in top shape.
The 61-inch reinforced deck is durable, and easy to clean, thanks to a removable foot pan. It is made of steel with an 11-gauge thickness. It features three roller wheels for aiding in deck lifting.
The Husqvarna MZ61 pedal assisted deck lift makes it possible to adjust the cutting height without stopping the mower. You can adapt to a minimum of 1.5 inches and a maximum 4.5. It has facilities to attach a mulch bag too.
This mower is meant for both residential and commercial mowing. With a speed of 8.5mph, you can count on being done with 4.2 acres of lawn in an hour.
- Foot-assisted pedal for deck lifting
- Powerful motor that gets job done faster
- An extensive deck
- Not good when working on a sloppy landscape
5. Poulan Pro P46zx Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn
Although most Poulan mowers are slightly lower-priced, it does not mean that they are of low quality. With its 22hp Briggs v-twin pro engine, it works slower than those with higher motor power, but it works well for residential use where you will not have tracks of land to mow. Typically, it takes an hour to mow 2 acres at its 6mph.
The Poulan Pro P46zx 46″ RZ reinforced deck has two blades, with an adjustable height of 1.5 inches to a maximum 4 inches. Poulan gives throws in a 10-year warranty on the reinforced deck, and a 3-year consumer warranty on the rest of the body.
The 15” high chair takes a little adjusting to get comfortable and is the only part of the mower that needs assembling when you get it from the manufacturer. Some people find it a tad too high or not adjustable, but you can have a handy person customize it to your liking.
- Great price
- Fast worker
- Not suitable for hilly landscapes
6. Ariens Ikon X-52 Kawasaki
The Ariens IKON X 52 in. residential zero-turn mower is packed with commercial quality and offers superior power and performance. From a 23 HP Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine to a 52 in. 11-Gauge steel fabricated deck, this is a tougher, longer-lasting zero-turn mower built to perform.
It’s constructed with a heavy-duty fully welded steel tubular frame for years of durability and performance and is equipped with three blades covering a 52 in. cutting width.
- 23 HP V-Twin Kawasaki FR series engine is a commercial-grade power plant that features cast iron cylinder liners for long life, automatic compression release for easy starting and internally vented carburetor for better fuel management.
- Commercial-style dual arm deck lift with a 4-point hanging system for superior deck stability and an even cut
- Fully welded tubular steel frame with 3 in. x 1.5 in. frame rails welded – not bolted at every joint – for extra strength and stability.
- The seat is the amazing compare to other same price mowers.
- Very smooth with turning.
- The offset of the mower deck.
- The dial in knob for cutting height.
- Over all just a really amazing mower for its price
- No floor mat
- Draining the engine oil can be a challenge, but can get done, just could have been in a better location.
7. Troy Bilt Mustang XP 50
This Troy-Bilt XP Mustang Zero-Turn Mower is loaded with extra power, extra durability and a host of extra innovative features to cut down lawn care time. A 724cc, 23 HP Briggs & Stratton Pro Series engine delivers the power and performance you need, with a 50in.W fabricated cutting deck and exceptional maneuverability to speed mowing time.
- 724cc, twin cylinder, 4-cycle 23 HP Briggs & Stratton Pro Series engine provides dependable power
- Dual EZT Hydrostatic transmission for smooth operation
- Built-in deck wash system for easy blade and underside cleaning
- Electric PTO for fast and easy blade engagement
- 8-position hand-operated deck lift offers adjustable cutting heights
- Pivoting front axle for exceptional maneuverability
Slow reverse speed.
8. Husqvarna Z246 Kohler Z-Turn Mower Review
This lawn mower is slightly smaller and has less motor power, but works well for residential lawns. With its adjustable high seat, this mower is quite comfortable because you can change a few settings to reach the levers and other controls with ease.
The deck, which is quite small, is still ideal in its 46”. It is reinforced with steel to ensure durability, both on the trim side and the leading edge, which are prone to wear. Air induction mowing technology makes it possible for air to circulate during lifts and improve the results of your mowing.
The rugged frame endures weather and usage, to give this mower a long life. Husqvarna has a 3-year warranty on the body and ten years on the stamped deck. The removable footplate gives you easy access to the deck for cleaning.
Is it ideal for inclines? Not really. First, most people complain about the wheels for lack of traction, but you can have those changed. Still, this mower is annoyingly slow on when going uphill, which makes it less ideal for that sort of landscape.
- Reasonably priced
- Not great uphill
9. Swisher ZTR2454BS Response
Swisher’s 54 In. electric start zero turn riding mower will turn a tedious chore into a fun and relaxing ride. Both powerful and affordable, the Briggs & Stratton® 24 HP (724cc) engine and the commercial-grade welded steel frame, combined with the Hydro Gear 2800 transmission and Ogura clutch, will have you finished with your yard in a fraction of the time.
Sail across the landscape at 8 mph in both forward and reverse. Achieve a beautiful and professional cut with the robust 11-gauge fabricated cutting deck and 3 Gator mulching blades. The mower deck adjusts effortlessly to height ranges of 1.5-4.5” with the foot-assisted deck lift. Swisher’s patented Rapid Response Control system gives you superior control and comfort, while the fluid 360° turns and low center of gravity offer ultimate maneuverability.
- 24 Horsepower Briggs and Stratton Engine
- Weight distribution is balanced and makes for great maneuverability
- Responds smoothly to the driver’s controls
- Wide 54” cutting deck houses 3 individual gator mulching blades
- Made for pain-free use with automated features like a electronic deck lift
- Super comfortable seating
- 8 gallon fuel tank will feed the engine for many acres of land
- Monstrous size compared to tractors and pushers
- Expensive price tag
- Regular maintenance is required
10. Swisher Z3166CPKA 31HP Kawasaki Big Mow Commercial
Looking for a Zero Turn Mower that can do it all!?! The Swisher BIG MOW is the machine for you. This commercial grade 66 in. mower is American made with fabricated steel.
The BIG MOW is powered by a Commercial Grade 31 HP (999cc) Kawasaki engine. You get a foldable roll over protection system and a seat belt. The professional high back suspension seat gives the BIG MOW a smooth ride that is fully adjustable.
The ergonomic Patented Rapid Response Control System makes steering the BIG MOW a breeze and keeps your arms in a comfortable position. The Swisher Z3166CPKA 31HP Kawasaki Big Mow Commercial 66 in. fabricated deck with 3 G6 Gator commercial grade mulching blades powers through thick grass without hesitation.
The front mount deck design is a must have for mowing under low clearance obstacles and for maximum visibility of the mowing path. The deck height adjustment is electronically controlled and flips up for easy cleaning.
The large chevron tread tires keep you moving on difficult terrain and are powered by twin commercial grade Hydro Gear 3400 transmissions. When the sun relaxes the BIG MOW stays hard at work, lighting the way with dual LED headlights.
Other features include cast iron blade spindles, steel floor pan, 12-Volt adapter, hour meter, and heavy duty, composite fenders with integrated storage, battery compartment, and cup holder. The Swisher BIG MOW can tackle the toughest mowing jobs with its American made Commercial Grade build.
- Patented rapid response control system for improved comfort and control
- Commercial Grade 31 HP (999cc) Kawasaki engine
- Hydro gear 3400 transmissions with electric PTO warner clutch
- Heavy duty, commercial Grade cast iron blade spindles with 3 G6 commercial Grade mulching blades
- Electric deck Height adjustment and electric flip up deck for easy maintenance
- Costly if you’re only for a small residence.
Zero Turn Mower Reviews: Concluding Remarks
A lawn mower, with all its movable parts, is prone to wear and tear. You want one that comes with a long warranty to ensure that you can cater for repair costs. Fortunately, we were keen to only select the mowers with reasonable guarantees.
The products we addressed are not the best zero turn mower for hills, but you can manage that by changing the wheels, given that it is not a design flaw. They are also not the best commercial zero turn mowers on the market, seeing that the majority of them have the motor power for residential purposes, but they are the best in their arena.
We recommend any of these mowers because this review has been done after extensive use and research. Any of these will be a worthy addition to your asset collection.