“Here are our top picks for the best zero-turn lawn mowers with detail reviews.”
Zero turn lawn mower is the efficient and convenient way to maintain a large landscape.
Unlike other lawn mowers, zero turn lawn mowers can turn 180 degrees which ensures maximum coverage even places around the obstacles (trees, fountains or other).
To choose the best model that suits your requirements, we recommend considering the below factors…
To choose the best zero-turn lawn mower, you have to consider these 3 key factors.
1. Cutting Deck Size – The cutting width will let you know how much grass a mower can cut in a single pass. The wider the deck size, the better its coverage area. Here is the general guidelines.
- For 1 acre – 36-inch to 42-inch is suitable.
- For 1 to 2 acres – 42-inch to 46-inch is appropriate.
- For 2+ acres – 48 inches or above is convenient.
2. Gas or Electric
Though both are effective, gas-powered mowers have powerful engines, expensive and heavy in weight. So, they are mowing large areas. Electric-powered mower is light in weight and affordable. So, it is suitable for small to medium yards. You should choose based on lawn size and terrain type.
3. Engine Power – It is measured as horsepower (HP). Choose a model with sufficient power for consistent results. This zero-turn mower have engine power range from 14HP – 27HP.
- Up to 1acre flat terrain – 15 to 20HP
- 1 and 2 acres under 15% slopes – 20 to 25HP
- 2 acres and more – 25HP or above
Also, there are various essential factors to consider while buying the zero-turn lawn mower. In our Buying Guide, we have provided insights on these factors along with other information required to pick the right zero-turn lawn mower, as per your requirement.
Best Zero Turn Lawn Mowers on the Market
Top Zero Turn Lawn Mowers for 2021: Reviews
Ariens is a highly popular brand of lawn mowers that is known for making powerful options of all kinds.
The Ariens 915223 IKON-X zero turn lawn mower is present in the 1st position in this article as it offers a lot of things for its given price. It comes with a decently large 52-inch cutting deck size that allows you to cut a lot of grass at once. Since this blade is powered by a highly powerful Kawasaki FR691 series 23 HP engine, it offers a great grass cutting performance. You also get a 3-year warranty with this engine for durability and reliability.
This zero turn lawn mower also offers an excellent build quality due to its fully tubular steel frame. As a result, you can easily use it for a long time without any issues. It comes with a 4 point dual arm deck hanging system that is quite useful. The seat of this zero turn lawn mower has soft padding along with a high backrest. And since the arm wrests of this lawn mower are also padded, you can comfortably use the Ariens Ikon-X lawn mower for a long time.
- 52-inch cutting deck size
- 726 CC engine
- 23 HP engine power
- 3-year warranty
- 4 point dual arm deck hanging system
- Padded and high backrest seat
- Fully tubular steel frame
- Dial operated blade height adjustment system
- Riding lawn mower
- User manual
- Warranty card
Husqvarna is one of the oldest brands of chainsaws and lawn mowers that needs no introduction. Apart from making all kinds of chainsaws, you can also find various lawn mower offerings from Husqvarna, including a zero turn lawn mower.
Husqvarna’s MZ61 zero turn lawn mower is present in the 2nd position in this article as it offers one of the largest cutting deck sizes. As per its name, you get a 61-inch wide cutting blade or deck size in this lawn mower. And since this is much larger than all of the other options present in this article, you can expect to cut a lot of grass at once using this blade. This blade is powered by a 24 HP engine from Kawasaki that offers excellent performance.
Since both Kawasaki, as well as Husqvarna, are highly reputable brands, you get a 3-year warranty and a great build quality with this zero turn lawn mower. It uses an 11 gauge steel cutting deck that is quite sturdy. You can either discharge, mulch, or bag the grass that you cut using this zero turn lawn mower. It also offers a 9-bushel triple bag collection system that can be quite handy. The padded hand grips and vibration dampeners of this lawn mower are quite useful
- 61-inch cutting deck size
- 24 HP engine power
- 3-year warranty
- Up to 8 MPH speed
- Comes with rollover protection
- Adjustment for seat
- 3 in 1 grass cutting modes
- 9-bushel triple bag collection system
- Foam padded hand grips with vibration dampeners
- Riding lawn mower
- User manual
- Warranty card
We have yet another zero turn lawn mower option from Ariens as it offers all kinds of options out there. But when compared with the previous option, this one is much smaller in terms of its deck size.
This Ariens Zoom 34 zero turn lawn mower is present in the 3rd position in this article as it can be an excellent option for a lot of users who are looking for a compact and small zero turn lawn mower. As this lawn mower comes with a cutting deck size of just 34 inches, it is much smaller than most other options available out there. Due to this, it can be a great option if you want to use one at your home without taking a lot of space in your garage.
As per the name of this lawn mower, it offers a Kohler 6000 series V-Twin gas engine. It can generate a power of 19 HP that is more than enough for its given blade size. This 660 CC engine is also quite reliable, which means that you can use it for a long time. Just like the previous option from Ariens, this one also comes with a 3-year warranty. Despite its smaller size, it is quite comfortable to use due to its well-padded seat.
- 34-inch cutting deck size
- 660 CC V-Twin engine
- 19 HP engine power
- 3-year warranty
- 12 gauge steel construction
- Foot-operated deck lift
- 4 point deck hanging system
- Speed of up to 6 MPH
- Riding lawn mower
- User manual
- Warranty card
As mentioned earlier, Husqvarna makes a wide range of lawn mower options, including multiple zero turn lawn mower offerings. Thus, we are here yet another zero-turn mower from Husqvarna.
The Husqvarna Z248F zero turn lawn mower can be a great option as it offers a great balance between size and cutting performance. This is due to the reason that it comes with a 48-inch cutting blade that is neither too big or small. And since this lawn mower is powered by a Kawasaki 21.5 HP motor, you can expect great performance from it. In other words, it can be used to cut a lot of grass at once without any issues.
As you would expect, this zero turn lawn mower also comes with a 3-year warranty due to its Kawasaki engine, just like the previous option present in this article. Its engine offers a maximum speed of 6.5 MPH that is quite decent for most users out there. You get 3 grass cutting modes in this lawn mower that allows you to either discharge, mulch, or bag the grass that you cut. It even offers a comfortable seat for using this lawn mower for a long time without any issues.
- 48-inch cutting deck size
- 5 HP engine power
- 3-year warranty
- Speed of up to 6.5 MPH
- 3 cutting modes
- Hydrostatic transmission for reliability
- Discharge, mulch, or bag the clippings
- High-performance blades
- Riding lawn mower
- User manual
- Warranty card
Last but not least, we have Troy Bilt that also makes various kinds of lawn mowers. And as you would expect, it also makes multiple zero turn lawn mowers, including the Mustang 54.
The Troy Bilt Mustang 54 zero turn lawn mower, you get a 54-inch cutting deck size that is quite large. It allows you to easily cut a lot of grass at once. You also get a highly powerful 25 HP gas engine from Briggs & Stratton Intek twin-cylinder engine. This is much more powerful than most 21 HP or 22 HP engines found in other lawn mowers out there. Due to this, you can expect an excellent performance from it while cutting grass.
You can use this engine to achieve a maximum speed of 7 MPP along with a reverse speed of 2.5 MPH. As a result, you can quickly cut all of the grass in your backyard without any issues. This lawn mower also offers 4 deck gauge wheels and a rear roller for ease of use while cutting grass in your backyard. It also provides a fuel site gauge that can be quite handy to get an idea of the remaining range of your lawn mower.
- 54-inch cutting deck size
- 724 CC engine
- 25 HP engine power
- 3-year warranty
- 4 deck gauge wheels
- Rear roller for added efficiency
- Forward speed of up to 7 MPH
- Reverse speed of up to 2.5 MPH
- Inbuilt fuel site gauge
- Riding lawn mower
- User manual
- Warranty card
What to Look for While Purchasing a Zero-Turn Mower?
Here is the list of essential features, which help you to differentiate between various models and pick the right one, as per your requirements.
1. Lawn Size & Type of Terrain:
The size and type of terrain you want to mow have to be considered before buying this lawnmower. In general, there are three main types of zero-turn lawn mowers available in the market – Residential, Prosumer, and Commercial mowers.
So, based on your lawn size and ground type, you have to choose one among these types. Let’s know about them in detail.
Residential Zero Turn Mowers – This type of mowers are lightweight, affordable, and suitable to mow yards with the size of up to 2 acres. It is not meant to mow on rough terrain or an inclined slope exceeding 15°. Also, they are perfect for homeowners (residential purpose) who regularly take care of their yards, as they complete the tasks quickly and efficiently.
Prosumer Zero Turn Mowers – It falls in between residential and commercial mowers. This type of mower can handle a yard, which measures 2 – 4 acres (up to 5 years for few models). It is ideal to invest in this type for people who mow daily, especially large estates or landscape owners (a budget-friendly option). It let you work easily and quickly than the residential type yet not as sturdy as the commercial type.
Commercial Zero Turn Lawnmowers – This type is designed to maneuver easily on steep inclines, large yards (5 acres & above), and on rough terrain. These are more durable, sturdier, and powerful that can be used on daily basis. It has powerful engines, suspension models, easy to use controls, and other features, which makes them a bit expensive and the right pick for those having landscaping business.
2. Gas Vs Electric:
There are two main types of power sources available for zero-turn mowers – Electric- and gas-powered mowers. Both are effective in mowing your yard but their selection depends on your yard size.
Gas-Powered Zero-Turn Mowers – This type of mowers are powerful, durable, and suitable to mow medium to large-sized yards. These are expensive, weigh heavy and need to refill the gas/fuel regularly. A bit older concept than an electric mower.
Electric-Powered Zero-Turn Mowers – An innovation that comes at an affordable price and has comparable power output like a mid-range residential gas zero turn mower. Here, in this type, one need not to spend on fuel/gas and all you need is to charge the battery and use the mower.
3. Engine Power:
The power output of an engine is measured in terms of horsepower (HP). In general, the more horsepower your machine has, the better it will perform the work quickly and efficiently. One has to consider the type of lawn and its size to know how powerful enough your mower should be to mow it easily.
For zero-turn mowers, its engine HP will range between 10 HP – 25 HP. Here we provided detailed insights on horsepower range and its capability.
- Engine with 10 – 20 HP: This range is ideal for most residential mowers, which are used to mow small lawns with a flat terrain, over 1 acre or less area. But it is not considered a great option for large lawns or multiple properties.
- Engine with 20 – 25 HP: This mid-range models suit best for residential mowers and prosumer mowers as well. These can handle medium-large yards, like up to 2 acres but not for rough terrain and incline exceeding 15°. Here the 20HP model suits for weekly usage, while a model with 25HP suits for daily usage.
- Engine with 25HP or Higher – This is suitable for commercial grade mowers (3 acres or more). These are powerful and designed for regular and repeated use, even on large plots of land, such as multiple large properties or golf course.
Note: Other than yard size, one has to consider other variables like stubborn grass (St. Augestine or Bermuda) require a zero-turn lawnmower with at least 20 HP. In case, if you’re using a less powerful engine, then it results in slower mowing pace, inconsistent cuts and quick wear out of the blades.
4. Size of Cutting Deck:
The deck size on a mower will determine how wide the mower can cut the grass in a single pass. It is measured in terms of inches.
We generally thought that a mower with a wider or bigger cutting means it has the best impact on mowing lawn, but it is not true. For instance, a mower with wide cutting width will let you mow the large lawn (open areas) quickly and efficiently but should consider other obstacles like stones, uneven terrain, etc.
So, check for a model that offers a wide enough deck size to handle large areas of lawn and at the same time, smaller deck size is easy to move around in narrow spaces. To help you out, we are providing a table with guidelines on lawn size with their suitable cutting deck size range. Have a look at it.
|Lawn Size||Cutting Deck Size|
|1 acre||36 – 42 inches|
|1 – 2 acres||42 – 46 inches|
|2+ acres||48+ inches|
5. Type of Deck:
There are two main types of decks – stamped and welded. Let’s know about each type in detail and then choose the type based on your requirement.
Stamped Decks – This type of deck is fabricated from a single piece of steel. So, the steel quality will be thin and weak than their counterpart. These lightweight decks are used mostly in entry-level zero-turn mowers, which is perfect for light yard works. They are cost-effective than a welded option.
Welded Decks – Here thicker steel metal used for decks, which makes it durable, sturdier and an expensive (costlier) option than stamped deck models. This type of decks is used mostly in commercial zero-turn mowers or heavy-duty mowers. It has special reinforcements to extend the deck’s life.
6. Engine Capacity:
This feature is essential to consider while purchasing a gas-powered zero-turn mower. The engine capacity of a mower is mentioned in a cubic centimeter (CC). So, a mower with a larger engine capacity (resembles a higher engine power rating) will aid in a better grass cutting performance.
For instance, if you find mowers with engine capacity like 660 CC or 720 CC while purchasing. Then you will pick the one offering a 720 CC engine, as it offers quick mowing performance and better driving speed. But they may result in low efficiency causing high fuel consumption than smaller CC.
7. Deck Height Adjustment:
We mostly found issues like over-cut or under-cut of grass, then a mower with a height adjustability feature will be your best option. Also, it is a quite useful feature while mowing steep or uneven areas. The height adjustability range of the zero-turn mowers comes between 1.5 – 4 inches.
For an effortless height adjustability, check for the options like foot assistant that allows you to adjust the height without disruptions or breaks (to get down and adjusting). In this option, you have to press the pedal to lower or raise the cutting deck, as per your cutting requirement.
Looking for a cheaper alternative to mow a flat surface/small yards without any obstructions, then opt for a manual deck raising model.
The transmission of a mower will transmit the power from the engine to its wheel to run/operate the mower efficiently. This will help to manage the speed of a mower by simply altering the torque based on its conditions.
A hydrostatic transmission is an ideal type of transmission for your zero-turn mower. It uses hydraulic fluids for switching gears and sending power to drive shafts. There are two types of hydrostatic transmissions for zero-turn mower – single and dual. Check it out.
Single Hydrostatic Transmission – This type of transmission is used mostly in mid-range and residential models. They are easy to maneuver, operate and can adjust their direction and speed with a lever or foot pedal. Since they come in an enclosed and sealed unit, it has to be removed completely for any repair. Also, this type can easily handle several hours of usage.
Dual Hydrostatic Transmission – They have dual transmission units placed side-by-side inside the mower. They come with better speed control, easy mobility and a bit expensive than a single transmission model. Simply, you can pull or push the levers to move or stop the mower.
Other than these two transmission systems, some zero-turn mower models come with any of the below transmission types.
- Manual Gear Transmission
- Friction Disc Transmission
- Automatic Transmission
- Electric Transmission
- Hybrid Transmission
9. Mowing Speed:
A zero-turn lawn mower can cut the grass nearly twice faster than any traditional lawn mowers/ tractors, which definitely enhance your mowing speed. For instance, a normal lawn tractor has a grass cutting speed of 3 – 4 mile per hour (mph), where a zero-turn mower will cut the grass at a speed of 5 – 8 mph.
However, the speed of a zero-turn mower will depend on the type of lawn and area. For example, a flat surface lawn with fewer obstacles has faster-mowing speed within less time, while a lawn with more obstructions requires more time due to less mowing speed.
Here is a table to provide a detail idea on required speed based on the area.
|Type of Mowing Area||Required Mowing Speed|
|Residential / Small Yards||5 – 6 mph|
|Medium Yards||6 – 7 mph|
|Bigger Lawn & Commercial Mowing||8 – 9 mph|
|Fully Commercial Mowing Purposes||13 – 15 mph|
10. Fuel Tank Capacity:
Another essential consideration while purchasing gas-powered zero-turn mowers, especially for those who maintain/have large lawns. It doesn’t matter how powerful or fast your mower operates but all it needs is to finish your job before ran out of gas. So, check for the model which is capable to mow your yard without stopping multiple times to refuel the tank.
- For mowing 5 acres (or above) land, go for a mower with a tank capacity of at least 4-gallons.
- To mow 4 acres (or less lawn), choose a mower with a 3-gallon fuel tank.
- To mow smaller areas (2 acres), opt for a mower with a 2-gallon fuel tank to perform work without any break.
11. Engine Types:
The zero-turn mowers come with either a single-cylinder engine or a twin-cylinder engine. Let’s know about them in detail before deciding which one suits best for you.
Single Cylinder Engine – This type of mower is less fuel-efficient and affordable, yet very loud while operating, as they are prone to increased vibration (less torque). It is suitable to mow yards (small lawn) on a regular weekly basis.
Twin Cylinder Engine – It is the best option for frequent mowing and extensive lawns, as it is more fuel-efficient, durable and operates quietly (reduces vibration) than a single-cylinder engine. But it is a bit expensive.
12. Battery Life & Runtime:
This battery runtime is essential to consider while purchasing the electric-powered zero-turn mowers. Also, this depends on various factors like the type of terrain, mower’s age, how it is driven, the weight of the mower, and tire treads for land grip strength will impact the lifetime and runtime of a mower’s battery.
The battery power is expressed in terms of ampere-hours (Ah) and its range for zero-turn mowers will be 75 Ah – 100 Ah. So, choose the battery for a zero-turn mower as per your yard size and mowing requirements.
- For yards over 2 acres or less, use a mower with 75 Ah batteries.
- For mowing yard not more than 3 acres, prefer to use 100 Ah batteries is required
- For mowing a multiple lawns (or) larger yard, it is better to invest in another battery (as an alternative to replace for continuous working).
13. Crankshaft Alignment:
There are two types of crankshaft alignments available for zero-turn mowers. They are vertical or horizontal crankshaft alignments. The horizontal crankshaft alignment aids in higher performance and less maintenance due to its better lubrication, uniform cooling and airflow to the engine. All these benefits will increase its durability and performance. Whereas, a vertical crankshaft alignment is not that much effective yet less expensive than the horizontal model.
14. Mower Size:
As we already mentioned, the cutting deck size of a particular mower will directly affect its physical size. For instance, a mower with large cutting blade sizes of 48 inches or 52 inches (or more in some cases), then they are quite large in size.
In some case, this becomes an issue if you have a small-sized garage or backyard. A large mower occupies more space in your garage while storing. So, one has to select the size of a mower as per their space availability and requirements.
Searching for a zero-turn lawn mower for commercial purpose, then check whether it is easy to maneuver or not. If you are using a truck/tractor or trailer for carrying it, then check the dimensions beforehand. Always prefer to choose a zero-turn lawnmower with four ply-rated tires for ease of mobility and speed.
Looking for a machine to do landscaping work, then don’t choose a mower that is too heavy to transport easily from one place to another, while mowing or storing. Also, it won’t be too heavy for the lift jack or lift machine. In case, if they are heavy then you are unable to lift them for regular maintenance or sharpening blades.
16. Engine Design:
Most of us, opt for a twin-cylinder OHV engine rather than a single-cylinder engine. A mower with a twin-engine is more powerful and run quite smoothly with less vibration. Also, check with other features like fuel tank, engine capacity, etc.
One has to check the build quality of a mower material before its purchase, as it essential to analyze the durability. Mostly a zero-turn mower can’t handle stability on slopes. So, make sure to choose a model, which is well-balanced, comfortable, and sturdy at a time.
While checking the stability or balance of a zero-turn lawnmower, you have to consider two main aspects – ergonomic adjustable lever controls and large wider rear wheels.
Most zero-turn mowers depend on hand controls for maneuvering. So, a mower with large wider rear wheels will distribute the weight evenly and thus exert less pressure on the surface of the land. Also, the models with a low gravity center will be able to provide better traction and stability, especially on uneven surfaces.
Also, ergonomic lever controls and ease of moving handles will aid in the better stability of the lawnmower. An adjustable lever is another beneficial feature to look at in your mower.
The seat of your mower should be comfortable and it should support your back while working/mowing. Its control panel should be easy to reach and operate from your seat. Also, it is essential to check whether all required accessories available from your manufacturer.
One has to consider various factors like robust engine, stable frame, consistent performance, quality of material, construction of deck & frame strength. An ideal mower should have two main factors – tubular steel frame or steel construction (12 gauge) and safety guard for rear-mounted engine, as they indicate the strength of the machine.
Also, read your reviews and ratings to know how other customers feel about the particular models.
While shopping for any type of mower, check for its seat, as one has to sit on the machine for a longer time to mow the yard. So, it has to be comfortable to sit and ride. It is always best to look for a properly padded seat cushion having high backrest to reduce user fatigue.
Also, pick a mower with an adjustable seat position and cushioned armrests, which let you to move the seat up/down (or) slide it back. It will let you work comfortably to operate the levers, irrespective of your height.
21. Levers & Controls:
To minimize hand fatigue while operating, one has to consider a mower having soft, comfortable and ergonomic padding. The reason is that this padding helps you to grip these levers perfectly, even you have sweaty hands while working on a hot sunny day. So, you can easily reach the levers and controls of a mower to change its settings without getting out of your seat.
22. Digital Displays:
A few models possess digital displays to show the operating speed (rpm), height setting of the cutting deck, etc. Also, this display will let you know about the mower and its changing operating parameters automatically, without dismounting and inspecting its settings manually.
The drive wheels with air-filled tires on a mower will not only make it move ahead but also grip the land that let you turn effectively. Also, the type of ground and the weather conditions (rains) in the area has to be taken into consideration while choosing a zero-turn mower.
If you want to operate the mower across rough ground or on wet grass, then opt for a mower with deep treads. Here the additional traction let you turn and accelerate the mower without any problem and at any conditions.
To run the mower smoothly, you have to select the machine with wider tires, especially with 4-ply rated tires. This will distribute its weight evenly over a larger ground and thus aids in better traction.
24. Safety Features:
Since, zero-turn mowers are powerful and larger machines, which are dangerous to operate (if you won’t have any operating skills). So, to make you operate the machine safely, most manufacturers offer built-in safety features such as automatic shutdown feature, parking brakes, automatic chokes, kill switches, headlights, etc. in their products to prevent any accidents done while it is operating.
Parking Brakes – This safety feature is used to mow sloping land. It will protect the user to get down from the mower due to any reason when cutting/trimming the yard.
Automatic Shutdown Features – As the name implies, it will shut off the machine automatically whenever it senses there is no operator in the mower’s seat. Also, it will definitely stop the mowing operation when you fall off accidentally (or) get off to remove an obstacle on its way.
The residential zero-turn mowers with a decent quality will come at a higher price, while the prices go even higher for commercial mowers.
Price Under $3500 – In general, a zero-turn mower are expensive and have to spend at least $3000 to get a decent residential lawnmower. Within this price range, we expect most of these mowers have small – medium sized decks with sizes that range from 45 – 50 inches.
Price with $3500 and above – A simple rule is the more you spend on a lawnmower, the more durable and versatile it will be. So, a well-built machine with a higher price can easily handle large yards and complex grass cutting jobs with ease. Within this price range, the mowers have wider decks with a size that range from 50 – 65 inches.
Warranty on a product will provide an insight into its durability and trustworthiness. Some manufacturers will offer a 2 – 3 years warranty on their product. While a few others even offer extended warranty on their product with an extra payment.
27. Other Features:
Many zero-turn mowers offer additional features, which helps to improve the user experience. Have a look at them.
- Mulching and Bagging – It reduces the collected grass to fine mulch (or) simply gathers that debris into a waste bag.
- 3-Blade System – A few zero-turn mowers offer a triple blade system to have cleaner cuts on any type of grass.
- Electric Starter – Whenever there is a temperature drop, then it becomes difficult to ignite the choke starter. So, having an electric starter will let you kick start the ignition and thereby start its engine without much effort.
- CARB Compliance – Choosing a CARB compliant machine will allow you to use the zero-turn mower in all states of your country.
Benefits of Zero-Turn Lawnmower:
Here are some of the benefits of this lawnmower, which you have to know before its purchase.
A Comfortable Ride – A mower having a comfortable sitting that comes with high back seats and cup holders will always let you enjoy the ride. Also, it ditches the steering wheel design for steering levers to control them easily.
Better Maneuverability – A mower with a zero-degree turning radius will easily make a complete turn-around in a tight area. This will avoid obstacles or let you start cutting in any direction. Also, they can easily turn or go from forward motion to reverse.
Covers Wider Area – A zero-turn mower comes with a larger deck than any other type of lawnmowers. Its deck size is about 45 – 60 inches, which let you mow even a large strip of grass within a couple of minutes.
Less Maintenance Yet Durable – With its larger deck, it results in reduced mowing time and thus requires less maintenance (like oil changing, regular cleaning, or parts replacement). Thus, this feature will make it last longer (durable) and use them for longer periods.
Safety Tips to Consider When Using this Mower:
We suggest you follow the below-mentioned safety instructions to prevent any accidents or injuries happens while using the mower.
- It’s always necessary to wear eye and ear protection while mowing the lawn.
- Never try to clean or remove the objects while the mower blades are working. All you need is to turn off the engine and wait until the module stopped completely before you clean or remove anything in the mower deck.
- When not using the mower, then simply turn off the blades, park your mower in its position and shut off the engine.
- It is not advised to allow your kids or any other people to ride the mower along with you. As they are not designed to carry around the passengers while mowing the lawn.
- One should be extremely careful while loading or unloading the mower into a truck or trailer.
- When you operate the mower on crossing roadways, then you have to pay attention to the traffic and continue your process.
How to Maintain a Zero-Turn Lawn Mower?
To maintain a zero-turn lawnmower properly, you have to consistently follow these maintenance tips.
- Regular inspection and replacement of oil, air filter and spark plugs will ensure effective and efficient working of your mower.
- It is necessary to clean the mower deck each time after its usage. This will prevent the build-up of grass, dirt and other debris. If not cleaned the moisture and this debris from the deck, then it results in damaging the deck and blades. Also, cleaning will aid in a smoother cut.
- Check the mower tires before using them, to ensure they are having the same air pressure and height for proper mowing.
- Make sure to sharpen your mower blades 2 – 3 times a year, based on your frequency of usage and type of terrain and length of the grass.
- After using and cleaning the mower, one should store it in an enclosed space, such as a garage or shed. This will prevent the mower from getting exposed to snow, rain or extreme sunlight, which may damage them over time.
- Depending on your use, you have to service your mower with a dealer once every 6 – 12 months.
How Does a Zero Turn Mower Work?
The working mechanism of a zero turn lawn mower contains three main parts – engine, wheels and control levers. Below, we have mentioned how each of these parts work.
- Engine: These machines usually use diesel or gasoline for powering the engine. However, some manufacturers have started using propane powered mowers due to the recent events of inclining towards clean energy.Zero turn lawn motors use hydraulic transmission come with the ability to control the mobility of each wheel separately. This additional feature improves the ease of moving the mower.
- Wheels: As the machine has to mow on uneven surfaces, wheels take a hard beating. In order to increase the life and efficiency, high quality tubeless tires are used as wheels for the mower. Front wheels are smaller than the back wheels. Front wheels are castors so they move rotate freely in any direction while back wheels are powered by engine so they move according to user control. Some zero turn lawn mowers come with additional fifth wheel which is usually placed behind the operator seat.
- Control Levers: Direction and motion of zero turn lawn mower is control using levers. However, modern models come with either regular steering or joystick. These new options are much easy to use than control levers. However, models with control levers are cheaper and don’t need much maintenance.
How to Operate a Zero Turn Lawn Mower?
Below, we have provided detail instructions on how to use a zero turn lawn mower. Read them carefully.
- Forward – In order to move forward, you have to push both the levers forward.
- Backwards – To mover backwards, you have to put the mower in reverse gear by pulling both levers backwards.
- Direction – For turning a particular direction, push one lever forward. The mower will turn to the direction the lever is pushed. For example – if you want to turn left, then push the right control lever forward and left control in neutral place.
- Half-Circle – To turn the machine in half-circle, keep one control lever still and turn other lever. This will turn the mower in 180 degrees.
- Zero-Turn – To a 360 degree turn, pull one lever back and other lever forward. This will make one when turn in reverse while other wheel moves forward making complete zero turning radius.
Important Note – While using the zero turn lawn mower on a slope you have to be very careful. If you turn too quickly, it will lose traction and topple over. It is recommended to use the machine after practicing several times.
Different Types of Zero Turn Lawn Mower Based on Deck Size
There are several types of zero turn lawn mowers in the market. When deck size is considered, they are primarily categorized into two types – mid-mount and out-front.
1. Mid-Mount Zero Turn Lawn Mower
In this types, decks are placed between rear wheel and front wheel of the mower which means they are present under operator’s seat and front of the engine. Other parts like engine, drive system, and push tires are present at the back of the mower.
While operating this lawn mower, the seat of user is present between zero-turn radius pivot point and drive wheels. In order to maintain stability and balance the mower, a mule belt is used to connect and clutch and deck.
2. Out-Front Zero Turn Lawn Mower
It is also referred as front-mount zero turn mower. In this type, deck is installed at front of operator seat. The seating is present at the front of the engine above powered drive tires. The out-front design is easy to clean, store and maintain. The mowing deck can be changed using snow throwers, dozer blades and rotary brooms.
Tips to Consider While Maintaining Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
In order to maintain the mower properly and increase its life, we recommend to follow tips mentioned below…
- Air Filter – In order to improve fuel efficiency, we recommend to clean the air filter regularly.
- Mower Deck – Lawn debris, grass clippings can build up in the deck. Clean them after each use/
- Mower Blades – For efficient trimming, we recommend to sharpen the blades 2 to 3 times in a year or as required.
- Tire Pressure – For easy mobility, check the tire pressure before each use.
- Storage – When not is in use, store in dry storage place.
- Lubrication – for best performance, we recommend to maintain the cutting blades and engine well lubricated.
- Oil Change – Follow the manufacturer instructions of oil change schedule to increase the life of mower.
- Mowing Hill – Take some extra precautions while mowing on a slope or hill as riding over can topped if the slope is too steep or grass is wet.
- Ear-Plug – Mower generates more noise while cutting the grass. If you are using the mower for a longer period of time, the continuous noise can damage the eardrums. We recommend using a noise protection ear plug.
- Operation Manual – Before using the mower, check out the operation manual. It will let you know everything about the machine, including safety information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use this zero-turn lawnmower at your home, especially while having a garden of over 2-acres. If your lawn smaller than a 1/2 acre, then go with a push-along/manual/self-propelled walk-behind mower rather than this zero-turn mower for cutting grass.
These models can easily handle a slope/incline of up to 15°, and with split differentials and hydrostatic transmissions, the mower can drive power to its wheels, which are stressed to gain grip/power. So, models with this roll-over protection will turn the machines easily when you are moving uphill.
Both these types have their own set of pros and cons, as per their situation. Zero-turn mowers are effective to use for medium to extra-large yards, which have a lot of curves but not many inclines. Also, it can be operated at a faster speed but require skills to operate/control the mower.
While lawn tractors come with controls (like a car), that are easy to learn. Even though, they won’t make the same sharp turns but provides better performance for inclines.
So, both these types are effective to use yet risk tipping over, if using them over inclines greater than 15°.
A zero-turn mower generally works on a lever system to move forward or backwards. So, you have to push the lever to make turns while steering the machine.
Push it slightly forward on the opposite side you want to turn. Also, push the left lever forward to turn right, the right lever to turn left. Thus, pulling the controls backwards will launch the mower into reverse gear.
In case, if you’re driving/operating this zero-turn mower, then you may find its controls a bit confusing. So, we suggest you take a couple of minutes to know how to steer the mower with its levers, rather than a wheel. Always set the engine at a low throttle when mastering its controls, as it let you move the levers to know it’s turning action, which helps you to get master on its controls.
For a yard with less an acre area, it may not a wise decision to purchase a zero turn lawn mower. These machines are designed to simplify the lawn mowing process but this doesn’t make any difference unless you have a large lawn to take care. Invest in a zero turn lawn mower only if you have a large yard.
lawn movers are heavy. So, if you try lifting them without proper assistance, then it can be damaged completely. Efficient way to do it is by using a jack lift or maintenance lift. These are specially designed to lift heavy machines like lawn mowers.
Some zero turn movers come with foot pedal brake while others don’t. Models that don’t have pedal brakes come with a different way of stopping the mower – bringing the levers into neutral position. Speed of the machine is based on the levers so if pull or push the levers into neutral position, the mower will stop moving
If you want a lawn mower that is highly powerful and comfortable to use while offering precise control while cutting grass, then zero turn lawn mowers can be a great option. Since these are quite popular, you can find a wide range of options out there, including the best zero turn lawn mowers present in this article. You can also find their significant features and options, along with a detailed buying guide. This comprehensive buying guide has all of the things that can come in handy while buying one for yourself. Although, if you still have any doubts and cannot choose the perfect one for you, here are some of our recommendations:
- The Ariens 915223 IKON-X zero turn lawn mower offers a lot of things for its given price to the user. As per its name, it comes with a large 52-inch cutting deck size that allows you to cut a lot of grass at once. This blade is powered by a highly powerful 23 HP engine that offers great performance for cutting the grass in your backyard lawn. The seat of this zero turn lawn mower is also quite comfortable and ergonomic. And since it uses a Kawasaki FR691 series engine, it comes with a 3-year warranty.
- But if you want a large-sized zero turn lawn mower for commercial usage or large-sized lawns, then you can go with the Husqvarna MZ61 zero turn lawn mower. This lawn mower offers a cutting blade size of 61 inches that is much larger when compared with all other options present in this article. It is powered by a Kawasaki engine that generates 24 HP that is more than enough for most users out there. Husqvarna also offers a 3-year warranty with this lawn mower for peace of mind.
- Most of the zero turn lawn mowers out there are quite large in size. As a result, if you want a smaller one for use at your home, then you can go with the Ariens Zoom 34 zero turn lawn mower. Just as per its name, you get a 34-inch cutting blade in this lawn mower that is much smaller than most other options out there. It is powered by a Kohler 19 HP engine that offers decent performance for the given blade size. Unfortunately, since this is an affordable option from Ariens, it only comes with a 2-year warranty.
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