A zero turn mower is effectively a ride on lawn mower that has a turning radius so low that it’s effectively zero. There a few very nice options for you to pick from.
We have compiled a list of six examples of the best zero turn mower you can get your hands on.
We hope you find this guide useful for all your zero turn mower needs.
View The Best Zero Turn Mower Below
1. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
This zero turn mower from Husqvarna utilizes a 26 horsepower engine from Kohler to produce a maximum speed of 6.5 mph. It also contains a parking brake system that’s applied whenever the steering arms are moved inwards or outwards this system is patent pending. The system draws air from both the top and bottom of the deck meaning there’s less pressure put on the grass as you mow over it. The cutting deck is made of slat-stock steel and therefore it will last as long as possible. On top of all this, the transmission is innovative and maintenance-free, saving you time. This ensures you have a multiseasonal lawn mower that’s reliable and efficient.
As you mow along, the grass can be mulched or bagged. There are mulching kits, and a bagger sold separately if either of these were something you were interested in.
The shipping weight is 1,013 pounds.
+ Cutting heights from 1.5 inches to 4 inches
+ Simple ride-on mower design
+ Aesthetic design
+ 26 horsepower, a top speed of 6.5 mph
+ 54-inch deck
Why We Like It – This zero turn mower isn’t Amazon’s Choice of turning mower for nothing. We have selected it as the best zero turn mower because of its simple design, high horsepower, and patent-pending parking brake system.
2. Ariens IKON-X
We selected this zero turn mower from Ariens as the premium option on our list.
Measuring 77.5 x 63.4 x 40.9 inches, it’s slightly larger than the Husqvarna Z254 we chose as the overall best zero turn mower. Although it produces 23 hp compared to the 26 of the Husqvarna Z254, you get slightly more horsepower per ton.
The motor is a 726 cc Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine. It has a 52-inch 10-gauge steel deck that is also 4.5 inches thick. It also has a high-back seat that comes with armrests.
It arrives fully assembled in the crate and will be ready to use in around about 40 minutes after being opened. Unfortunately, you can’t currently purchase this lawn mower if you live in California.
+ Ariens is a well-known, trusted brand, as is the engine manufacturer Kawasaki
+ 23 hp 726 cc V-Twin engine
+ high back seat and armrests
+ 10-gauge steel 52-inch deck
Why We Like It – The main reason we chose to add this to our list as the premium option for a zero turn mower is for its wide deck and trusted brand.
3. Husqvarna MZ61
This is the second lawn mower on our list from Husqvarna, and not the last either. We selected this zero turn lawn mower as the best mower you can get in terms of value.
It has a 24 hp Kawasaki engine and a 61-inch cutting deck made of 11-gauge steel. This cutting deck can be easily adjusted from the driver’s seat to change the cutting length. Its large width means that you can cover the ground more quickly and reduce your overall mowing time. As well as this, the lawn mower comes with a ROPS (Roll Over Protection Structure) system, which makes it as safe as possible in all conditions.
At the back of the mower, you can either discharge, mulch, or bag the waste by using a 9-bushel triple bag collection system. The mulching kit and bagger attachment are sold separately to this mower, for your awareness, but are certainly worth looking up.
The high backed seat has armrests with foam-padded hand grips and vibration dampeners. This is a comfortable place to sit for as long as it takes you to mow your lawn.
At the time of writing, this product has a 100% 5-star record of reviews on Amazon.
+ 24 hp Kawasaki engine
+ 61-inch cutting-deck
+ Foam-padded hand grips
+ Vibration dampeners
Why We Like It – The Husqvarna MZ61 made it onto our list because of comfort. With a huge 61-inch deck and vibration dampeners, as well as the ROPS, this mower will help you do a great job quickly and in maximum comfort.
4. Swisher ZTR2454BS-CA
These great ride-on mowers from Swisher have a 24 HP 724cc Briggs & Stratton engine. The control system is a patented system, meaning you have an impressive amount of comfort and control while using the mower. It has a Hydro Gear 2800 transmission and Ogura clutch.
With a huge 8-gallon fuel capacity, you won’t need to fill it up very often. There are hitches on the front and rear.
On this zero turn mower, the cutting deck is 54 inches wide and has 3 Gator mulching blades.
+ 24 HP 724cc Briggs & Stratton engine
+ 8-gallon fuel capacity
+ Front and rear hitches
+ 54-inch wide cutting deck with three mulching blades
Why We Like It – This Swisher mower has been put onto our list because we like the simple transmission and large fuel capacity, as well as the front and rear hitches. The engine is also powerful and from a trusted engine manufacturer.
5. Husqvarna Z248F
Our third (and final) option from Husqvarna is the Z248F. This great little machine has a 21.5 hp Kawasaki engine that produces a maximum speed of 6.5 mph. The transmission is hydrostatic and maintenance-free. It can also tackle a variety of different cutting conditions using this.
The “ClearCut” deck is 48 inches long and is one of the best in its class. Because this deck has one of the best airflows available of a zero turn lawn mower, you will find bagging more efficient. As usual, bagging and mulching kits are available, but they are sold separately.
The seat is comfortable with an ergonomic control panel. There is also a non-slip panel for putting your feet, making this zero turn mower as safe as possible.
+ 21.5 hp Kawasaki engine
+ Top speed of 6.5 mph
+ Cutting deck is 48 inches long
+ Non-slip panel around your feet
+ Hydrostatic, maintenance-free transmission
Why We Like It – We like all products from Husqvarna because of the brand’s well-established history. With a deck that’s just 48 inches wide and a 21.5 hp engine, this is a smaller option than the Husqvarna MZ61 and the Husqvarna Z254, but if a smaller mower is what you want, then look no further.
6. Craftsman Z560
The final example on our list of the best zero turn mowers comes from Craftsman. The Z560 has a gasoline 24 HP Briggs & Stratton engine that comes with “ReadyStart” technology, ensuring a quick and easy start-up in the mornings, or whenever you choose to use it.
With a good-sized deck, you can drive along while performing a 54-inch-wide cut. On this mower, the blades continue to work while you’re reversing, so there’s no need to have to make complex turns or maneuvers when you’re using your riding mower to get the right cut.
The wheels on this zero turn mower are large and effective – 11 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear, to be precise. The seat has a high back and is cushioned for as much comfort as possible while you are mowing.
+ 24 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
+ “ReadyStart” technology
+ 54-inch deck
+ Blades continue cutting while you are reversing
+ 11-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the rear
Why We Like It – We like this one from Craftsman because of the ready start technology, powerful engine, and 54-inch wide deck that continues cutting even while you are reversing. You might want to buy this product if you like these features in particular.
Zero Turn Mower Buyer’s Guide
Who Makes the Best Zero Turn Mower?
As you will no doubt have noticed from our list, two of the biggest and most well-known manufacturers of zero turn lawn mowers are Husqvarna and Ariens. Ride on lawnmowers from Craftsman also come with a great brand reputation and a very wide variety of choice.
Other examples of well-known companies that produce ride on lawn mowers include Troy-Bilt and Poulan. If you’ve been looking at some zero turn mowers from these companies, you can also trust them to be of very high quality.
Husqvarna is a very old Swedish company with roots back to 1689 and a state-owned rifle factory. The Husqvarna Group, as it’s now known, has always attempted to supply what the market needs, with today being no exception. In 1872 it began making sewing machines, and since that time, it has delved into all sorts of industries, including kitchen equipment, bicycles, motorcycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws, and demolition robots. As the company has expanded, it now owns several smaller brands too. Nowadays, the company is one of the oldest in the business of lawn mowers, having been around long before engine-powered mowers. With this experience also comes a reassurance of quality.
Ariens was founded in 1933. The founder, Henry Ariens, had to close his previous business venture, Brillion Iron Works, in 1932, after having to file for bankruptcy during the Great Depression. Since 1958, Ariens has been producing ride on mowers from their manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.
Craftsman has been around for nearly a century, and is one of the most well-known tool producers in the US, producing power tools, hand tools, automotive equipment, outdoor tools, and accessories. Of course, this includes some of the best lawn mowers money can buy.
Troy-Bilt traces its roots back to Rototiller, Inc. In 1967 its name was changed to Troy-Bilt, in reference to being built in Troy, New York. Their most well-known mower is probably the Troy-Bilt Mustang range. Despite the name, Troy-Bilt is now based solely in Ohio, with no products being manufactured in Troy, NY anymore.
Poulan is owned by Husqvarna now. So although the Poulan brand has been around since 1912, when you purchase a Poulan riding mower, you are buying a Husqvarna product. This is by no means a criticism. As mentioned earlier, Husqvarna is one of the oldest manufacturers of lawn mowers, and you can trust Poulan products to come with this same level of quality.
Overall, there are good points to all of these companies, and it would be possible to argue that all of them produce the best zero turn mower. We feel that Husqvarna’s wealth of experience and knowledge puts them slightly ahead of the opposition. Still, you certainly might find that a zero turn mower from another company is best suited to your needs.
Who Makes the Best Engines for Zero Turn Mowers?
If you have read the above products, you will notice that the majority of zero turn mowers utilize engines from either Kawasaki or Briggs & Stratton.
Kawasaki, an engine manufacturer preferred by brands such as Husqvarna and Mountfield, has a worldwide reputation for many high-quality things. In the United States, it’s the most preferred engine manufacturer for lawn care professionals. Its engines power both small, walk-behind mowers as well as larger zero turn mowers. You will find all Kawasaki lawn mower engines to be 4-stroke, with some in the single-cylinder category and some using a V-Twin. Outside its lawn mower engine division, Kawasaki is most well-known for its production of motorcycles and performance engines.
Briggs & Stratton, on the other hand, produce engines that are specifically made for lawn mowers, whether they be zero turn mowers or simple push lawn mowers. You will find these engines in both single cylinder and V-Twin forms, being used in many, many different lawn mowers, with a strong reputation for reliability and power output.
Should I Bag or Mulch?
You’ll want to know what to do with all the grass clippings that are thrown out the back of your zero turn mower. You essentially have two options: to bag or mulch. There’s a good case for either of these methods, and we will go through both to give you the information you need. You can then use this to pick which one you want to apply.
Bagging your lawn clippings is what it sounds like. The grass is collected in a bag and then disposed of, either into a compost bin or the correct waste disposal system.
Mulching, on the other hand, is when the lawn trimmings are simply left out in the yard. Over time, they will decompose.
So, which of these is best for your use?
The best reasons for bagging are:
Visual appearance – If having a nice, tidy, straight-line-covered lawn is important to you, then it’s generally accepted that your lawn will have the traditional striped pattern and no lawn trimmings all over it.
If the grass is long, it’s better to bag it rather than mulch it. This is because long grass can rot and kill healthy grass underneath it if it’s just left.
If you see any signs of fungus on your lawn, it’s better to bag it. If you mulch it at this time, you might spread the disease through the lawn and cause more work for you in the future to get rid of it.
The best reasons for mulching are that
It takes far less time than bagging (you don’t have to go around to the back of the zero turn mower and dispose of the full bag of grass every few minutes)
The lawn clippings work as a fertilizer. They are full of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and as they decompose, these nutrients get put back into the soil. This means that your grass will be healthier. If you fertilize your lawn, you will also need much less of this. Experts think that lawn cuttings make up about a third of the amount of fertilizer that your lawn will need per year!
If you do decide to mulch, avoid cutting the grass when it’s wet, and keep your zero turn lawn mower blades sharp. This will make sure that all the lawn clippings that are thrown out while you’re mowing are small in size and won’t cause any of the problems listed in the “best reasons for bagging.”
You should also think about how big your property is. For example, if you live on several acres, it’s probably not so practical to bag all the lawn cuttings. It would probably take you as long as the grass would take to grow back!
What is the Safest Way to Store My Zero Turn Mower?
There are several things to consider when storing your zero turn mower.
First of all, you should keep it out of the damp, preferably in a relatively dry location such as a garage. This will prevent any of the metals from being attacked by rust in the long run. For a small amount of added protection, you might want to cover it with a dust sheet or something similar.
Think about the fuel. Many of these zero turn lawn mowers have large tanks. Fuel can go bad quicker than you might think – you might want to either stabilize the fuel or drain the system if it’s going to be stood for a long time.
Disconnect the battery from the zero turn mower and attach it to a trickle charger. This will prevent the battery from going flat and becoming damaged.
Once the battery has been disconnected, you should clean the blades and the areas around the deck on your zero turn lawn mower. Make sure you follow the instruction booklet to be careful with this, adhering to all the health and safety instructions. You’ll want to avoid any potential accidents with this equipment. Follow the instructions located in the booklet, cleaning all the grass and moisture out. You might potentially also like to sharpen the blades.
If there are grease points (often around the wheels), it might be a good idea to add some grease to these areas.
When you get your zero turn mower out of storage, you’re going to want to check the engine oil, oil filter, and air filter. You’ll likely need to change the oil and oil filter every season that it’s used.
You should find all of this information in the instruction booklet that will come with your zero turn lawn mower.
What is ROPS?
ROPS stands for Roll Over Protection Structure. In whatever zero turn lawn mower you purchase, you may like to check whether or not it has one of these. They do a great job of keeping you safe in the unlikely event of the lawn mower turning over.
How Do I Know How to Choose the Best Zero Turn Mower For Me?
We would recommend thinking about how big your yard space is and how often you’re planning to use it when you’re deciding what the best zero turn mowers are.
There are several factors you might want to consider taking into account (in no particular order):
- User simplicity and comfort (for example, high backed chairs, vibration dampening, simple-to-use controls)
- Deck width (the wider the deck is, the more grass will be cut at one time by your zero turn mower)
- Horsepower (if you’re going to need a lot of power to haul your zero turn mower up a hill, for example, you’re going to want more horsepower)
- Health and safety (you might like to think about purchasing from well-known brands that include warranties, zero turn mowers with ROPS, etc)
- Wheel sizes and ground clearance (bigger wheels tend to provide more traction)
- Fuel tank size
- How much maintenance you will need to do on the mower
We feel that a good analysis of these factors here will result in you being able to get the best zero turn mower for you.
Finally, we would always recommend reading customer reviews on Amazon to help give you a feel of what it’s like to live with one of these machines.
The best zero turn mowers will be helpful to you, rather than just an extra chore. When you are deciding which one of these (or other) zero turn mowers you might like to buy, make sure you get just enough – not too much and not too little.
This will give you the best chance of being able to use your zero turn lawn mower as efficiently as possible, without spending too much money or time on things you don’t want to be doing, such as maintenance, repairs, and storage needs.
If used safely, a zero turn mower or lawn tractor can be a lot of fun, as well as a practical tool for mowing your grass. It will save you an incredible amount of time compared to a traditional walk-behind mower.
Thank you for reading, and we hope this guide has been useful in helping you find the zero turn mower you want.