Best Zero Turn Mowers

John Kopischke
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A zero-turn mower is, as the name implies, a mower with a turning radius so close to zero that it can be driven in a circle.

These machines are also known by the somewhat more descriptive terms, riding mower and rotary mower.

Zero-turn mowers are equipped with large wheels in the rear and smaller wheels in the front, which face forward like that on an ordinary lawn tractor. The driver sits on top of the mower, rather than between its handlebars like with a tractor.

The wheels driven by the engine are typically also larger than a tractor’s rear wheels, giving the rider more traction.

Zero-turn mowers are popular with people who maintain large lawns, usually on a commercial or semi-commercial basis.

NameCategoryProduct
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerBest OverallHusqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerBudget PickHusqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerUpgrade PickHusqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

1. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Our rating: 9 / 10

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

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Pros:

  • Gets a lot of compliments on how good it looks
  • Reasonably priced

The Husqvarna MZ61 is a reliable, budget friendly zero turn riding mower that does its job flawlessly.

If you’re in the market for a mower that’s not overly expensive, but still do a great job, then you might want to consider this Husqvarna mower. It comes with just about everything you need to get your lawn looking good, while not costing you an arm and a leg.

The best thing about this zero turn mower is that it can handle pretty much any type of terrain with ease including hills. It also has a huge deck, and it’s very easy to manoeuvre around any edges, retaining walls, or other obstacles cubby enough for you to go through.

2. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series

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Pros:

  • Innovative Comfort-Tilt steering wheel
  • Smooth, responsive engine and steering
  • Decent mulching performance
  • The deck doesn’t itch your face

Cons:

  • The hitch is hard to attach and remove
  • The deck is very heavy

V Twin OHV, 21" Deck.

3. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Our rating: 7 / 10

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

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Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Easy to use controls
  • Includes a hitch arm
  • Hassle free synching of the wheels
  • Saves time since there is no need to unload and load clippings
  • Fuel efficient

Cons:

  • Cost more than a traditional riding mower
  • Momentum-based riding mowers can be difficult to get used to at first
  • Can be difficult to control around turns
  • Can track in circles on hills or uneven terrain with no power steering

The Husqvarna MZ61 is arguably the very best available when it comes to hydros (3 wheel zero turn riding mowers), and has been for years. The MZ series has been in production for over 20 years, and the technology continues to improve with each iteration.

The MZ61 from Husqvarna doesn’t disappoint. With plenty of power, a comfortable padded seat, easy to use controls, a handy hitch arm, and the convenience of a zero turn mower, the Husqvarna MZ61 makes mowing fun again.

With a whopping 27HP engine, the Husqvarna will rip through your lawn in no time, but fuel efficiency is still preserved thanks to a fuel saver system that puts the engine into idle mode when you’re not mowing.

4. Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower

Our rating: 7 / 10

Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower

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Pros:

  • High end price point
  • 20 inches Autoflow
  • Large wheels for easy maneuverability
  • Two inch and three inch outlets
  • Heavy duty metal deck
  • Handles up to a 45 degree angle

Cons:

  • No self-propelled feature
  • No bag attachment

5. Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Our rating: 6 / 10

Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

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Pros:

  • Smooth riding
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent space saving design
  • Comfortable padded seat
  • Plenty of storage space for tools
  • 5—position adjustable height lever
  • 3” ball-bearing front axle

The Husqvarna Z242F is important for three reasons. First, it only weighs 580 lbs. Second, it has a unique design that gives it an incredibly small turning radius. Third, it comes with a 2 year manufacturer’s parts warranty to give you peace of mind.

The case can be locked, and the steering radius can be adjusted from 38” to 42”. Its height can also be adjusted from 32” to a maximum of 42”.

An optional large rear door will allow for you to stow the trash can, tools, and even a small cooler on the back. It is easily removed so that you can quick get what you need without getting off of the mower.

6. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Our rating: 5 / 10

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

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| Front-Engine, Two-Wheel Drive Zero Turn Mower—52 in. Deck

If you are looking for a top of the line zero turn mower that also comes with an efficient engine, then you should definitely consider getting the Husqvarna. It’s perfect for both commercial and residential usage.

The first thing you’ll notice when the Husqvarna arrives at your home is that it is really easy to get it assembled. It takes only twenty minutes for you to get it up and running.

7. Troy-Bilt WC33 420cc 33-inch Wide Cut RWD Lawn Mower

Our rating: 3 / 10

Troy-Bilt WC33 420cc 33-inch Wide Cut RWD Lawn Mower

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Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Space efficient
  • Controls conveniently located
  • High-quality construction
  • Both the seat and steering wheel are adjustable
  • Easy assembly
  • The handle height is adjustable
  • As well as the rate the blades revolve

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Does not have a fuel gauge

This innovative mower can be configured to handle a variety of cutting needs. It comes with a hydrostatic drive system that automatically adjusts to the job at hand and can reduce the cutting speed for maximum efficiency and make smaller cuts. There is an additional blade brake that stops the blades when the handle or pedal are released.

The mower’s lever-operated hydrostatic front wheel adjustor feature makes for easy set up and the deck and chassis are constructed with heavy-duty steel.

The Troy-Bilt WC33 is actually perfect for homeowners who don’t have the time to mow a yard for long hours. It can save an hour per acre because of its mulching ability. This mower might actually pay for itself when you consider how much time you’ll save not having to mow the lawn.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who makes the best zero turn mower?

We’ve been thinking about making this question a poll, but after a little research, we’ve discovered that there really isn’t a consensus on what “the best” zero turn mower is. So we decided the readers would answer this question in the form of reviews.

We scoured the web for the most important information on top rated zero turn mowing machines and came up with a list of 5 attractive finalists. All five models (and their key details) are below.

Of course, all reviews aren’t equal. We developed a scoring system after scouring the five finalists to come up with some of the key aspects of each model.

We then gave each features a point value depending on its importance, and the mowers were rated on overall quality.

What is the best zero turn mower under $5000?

The particular model you want will depend on how large an area you want to mow and whether you plan to use it for commercial or residential purposes.

The top pick is the award-winning HRX217HZA Ariens Lawn Mower. With a 96-inch deck, lightweight design, rear-wheel drive, and Honda engine, this 36-inch powered mower allows you to glide over hills and uneven lawns, mowing land as needed. And with a 20-inch wide cutting deck, you can cover more ground in less time.

Some zero turn mowers have as many as six forward and reverse speed settings, but the Ariens Lawn Mower includes five speed-shift controls and traction control for easier handling.

How do I choose a zero turn mower?

When choosing a zero turn mower, there are three specifics that need to be considered, namely: seat design, cutting width and seat belt design. You will also want to be sure that important features like deck size, horsepower, engine, and transmission are all in line with your needs and expectations.

In terms of seat design, there are two key attributes to look out for. First is the height adjustment capacity of the seat in relation to the handle. The seat should be comfortable, but also adjustable in regard to the height in which the mower cuts at. The mower deck should be around four to six inches above the seat of the mower as best possible.

The other seat design to consider is the seatbelt arrangement. You’ll want to be sure that the mower has a five-point safety belt similar to those in cars. Such belts will be more comfortable and safer overall.

Conclusion

A zero turn mower is a fantastic machine for groundskeeping of any size. Because it is a sit-down mower, a zero turn is safer to use than a rear-wheel drive mower. Also, there is no need to know how to steer a zero turn mower, as it will turn in any direction you wish. A zero turn mower is much more effective than a push mower, and much easier to use than a large lawn tractor.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerBest OverallHusqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerBudget PickHusqvarna Z242F 42 in. 18 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerUpgrade PickHusqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower