The 9 Best Zero Turn Mowers

Updated June 12, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If superior efficiency and maneuverability are important to you when you take on domestic or commercial gardening jobs, one of these zero turn mowers should be well-equipped enough for your needs. Many of our picks include high-speed cutting blades that deliver clean results, while allowing you to effortlessly change directions in order to zip around obstacles, like trees or plant borders. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best zero turn mower on Amazon.

9. Troy-Bilt Mustang

The Troy-Bilt Mustang offers a smooth ride, thanks to the dual suspension springs underneath its high-backed seat. Its two-way adjustable lap bars accommodate operators of all sizes, and they will also automatically engage the mower's parking brake when you stand up.
  • comfortably angled footrest
  • lifetime warranty on the frame
  • wheels have a tendency to slip
Brand Troy-Bilt
Model 17ADCACT066
Weight 695 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

8. Ariens Zoom 34

The Ariens Zoom 34 is ideal for medium-sized lawns. Its 19-horsepower motor is strong enough to push up moderate inclines and hack through tough vegetation, but not so large as to needlessly waste fuel. The machine is also easy to maneuver around obstacles.
  • integrated wash-out port
  • seat provides good back support
  • pricey for its size
Brand Ariens
Model 915211
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Spartan RZ Pro

The Spartan RZ Pro is a commercial-quality model that features a simple push-start keypad, meaning you never have to worry about a careless employee losing the keys. An LED display shows you all the pertinent information you need at a glance while you operate it.
  • exceptional incline traction
  • foot-assisted lifting deck
  • soft-riding radial tires
Brand Spartan Mowers
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. John Deere Z345M

The John Deere Z345M is just as sturdy and reliable as all of this brand's products, so you can rest easy that it will last through years of use. The 22-HP V-twin motor can easily propel it up inclines where other models would struggle.
  • deep-tread 18-inch rear wheels
  • can run for hours on one tank of gas
  • armrests flip up and down smoothly
Brand John Deere
Model Z345M
Weight 496 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Ariens Ikon-XL

With a 52-inch deck, the Ariens Ikon-XL makes short work of even the largest yards, so it is definitely a smart choice for lawn care companies when time equals money. Plus, its well-padded armrests and seat will keep you comfortable all day long.
  • 15 cutting positions
  • impressive five-gallon fuel capacity
  • three-year unlimited-hour warranty
Brand Ariens
Model MZ61
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Husqvarna Z200 Series

Setting the Husqvarna Z200 Series apart from the competition is its use of air induction technology to draw air from both the top and bottom of its deck. This action maximizes its ability to lift large amounts of grass, while also improving your overall cutting efficiency.
  • helpful led headlights
  • oversized cooling fan
  • auto releasing parking brake
Brand Husqvarna
Model 967271501
Weight 720 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Swisher ZTR

Thanks to its low center of gravity, reliable Hydro Gear transmission, welded steel frame, and rapid response control system, the Swisher ZTR ensures superior performance and maneuverability across almost any lawn, regardless of its size.
  • travels at speeds up to 8 mph
  • built-in cupholder
  • made in the usa
Brand Swisher ZTR
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Poulan Pro PPX46Z

The Poulan Pro PPX46Z is one of the most affordable units with a cutting swath wide enough to tackle sprawling yards. It's 46-inch deck is vented for optimal airflow and features a welded in reinforcement bar to ensure its longevity and durability.
  • smooth electric clutch
  • can handle tall and wet grass
  • accepts mulchers and baggers
Brand Poulan Pro
Model PPX46Z
Weight 689 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Husqvarna MZ61

The Husqvarna MZ61 has a triple-blade cutting system that doesn't leave behind any stray blades of grass. Its 61-inch deck and 27-horsepower V-Twin engine allow operators to blow through the toughest vegetation without ever slowing down, making it ideal for commercial use.
  • armrests are well cushioned
  • handles uphill slopes easily
  • sturdy thick steel frame
Brand Husqvarna
Model 967277501
Weight 776 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Get The Right Mower; Enjoy The Best Lawn

Before you consider whether or not a zero turn lawn mower is right for your property, you're going to want to make sure the grass in question is healthy and robust. Even the most affordable zero turn mower will still set you back more than a thousand dollars, so you owe it to yourself to also invest in growing a lush, resilient lawn. Before we talk about the machine you'll use to cut the grass, let's talk about the process of growing healthy grass and about a few reasons why people consider these machines for cutting said grass.

In most regions, grass will go dormant during the winter and begin its growth cycle again as temperatures warm in the spring. When the soil temperature hits 55 degrees Fahrenheit, most domestic grasses will start to grow.

When the weather is still cooler, water twice a week and allow about one inch of water to fall on the grass per session (you can measure this depth by leaving buckets or pans out where your sprinklers will fill them.

As it warms up, increase watering to three times per week (or more as needed) and aim for closer to two inches per session. Also, make sure to water in the early morning or evening to decrease evaporation to avoid burning the grass.

You should plan to fertilize your grass over six to eight weeks during the growing season. Make sure to choose a fertilizer that is right for your climate and yard.

All that proper lawn care results in quickly-growing grass that requires frequent cutting in order to maintain its health and aesthetics. And the more you can cut your grass, the better: grass left taller and cut regularly creates the healthiest, greenest lawn possible. That means either a whole lot of time spent sweating behind that push mower, or a few easy passes in that lovely new zero turn mower.

So, is your home ready to invest in a zero turn lawnmower?

For those who own or work with a professional landscaping and lawn care service, a zero turn mower is an expense well worth incurring. These mowers increase efficiency as compared to traditional sit-on-style riding mowers (and are beyond compare to push mowers) and will soon pay for themselves in terms of increased productivity.

Why Horsepower Matters

The process of choosing the right zero turn mower starts, not surprisingly, with budget. You can spend as much on one of these machines as you would on a great used car, so make sure you know what you're getting into.

First off, what exactly is a zero turn mower, you might be wondering? Rather than a traditional riding style mower that uses a car-like system of wheels on axles with steering controlled by a steering wheel, a zero turn mower's powered wheels each have their own motor and will operate independently, with the wheels turning in opposite directions when needed, which turns the machine around in place. So yes, they turn, quite literally, on a dime when needed.

Once you are comfortable with your budget, the next thing to consider is horsepower. The larger your property, and the more hills it has, the more power you will want. There are models that feature just 15 horsepower that might be great for a large flat lawn, and there are zero turn mowers that boast closer to 30 horsepower and ready to charge up hills with ease.

And of course the more horsepower a lawnmower has, the more cutting power it can offer, as plenty of that power goes not to the wheels, but to the blade. At the small end you'll find zero turn mowers with "cutting decks" measuring just 30 inches across. That's not much bigger than some push mowers, but for a hilly property or for the older or less physical able person, these are perfectly viable machines. On the other end of the spectrum, you can get massive zero turn mowers with cutting decks more than 60 inches across. A beast of that size will make short work of golf-course sized plots of grass.

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you ever start cutting grass with a zero turn mower, you should master driving the mower with the blades disengaged.

Raise the cutting deck and don't plan to turn on the blades until you are comfortable with the forward, reverse, and turning controls of your mower. Controlling these machines is actually quite intuitive once you get the hang of it: more forward pressure moves you forward faster; pulling back on the right handle turns you right, and so on.

Just make sure to position the handles such that their neutral resting position is comfortable for you, and take it slow until driving your zero turn mower is second nature. Then open up that throttle, engage the blades, and enjoy the easiest lawn mowing session of your life.

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Last updated on June 12, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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