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size, and the number of blades among other things, but most z-turn mowers are several times more efficient than the outdated models.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Zero Turn Mower Comparison Chart
- 2 Benefits of Zero Turn Mowers
- 3 What To Look For In A Zero Turn Mower
- 4 Top 10 Zero Turn Mower Reviews
- 4.0.1 1. Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn Mower Review
- 4.0.2 2. Poulan Pro P54zx 54-Inch Zero Turn Mower
- 4.0.3 3. Husqvarna Z246i Briggs & Stratton 46″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- 4.0.4 4. Poulan Pro P46zx Briggs V-Twin Zero Turn
- 4.0.5 5. Husqvarna Mz61 61-Inch Mower
- 4.0.6 6. Husqvarna Z246 Kawasaki Z-Turn Mower Review
- 4.0.7 7. Husqvarna MZ 54S Zero-Turn Mower Commercial
- 4.0.8 8. Ariens Zoom 34 Z Turn Lawn Mower
- 4.0.9 9. Poulan Pro P61ZXT Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- 4.0.10 10. Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 XP Zero Turn Mower Review
- 5 Zero Turn Mower Reviews: Concluding Remarks
Best Zero Turn Mower Comparison Chart
|Product Name||Cutting Width||Engine Power||Productivity||Top Speed||Fuel Tank Size||Rating||Price|
|Husqvarna z254||54″||24 HP||2.8 acres/hr||6.5 mph||3.5 gal||$$|
|Poulan Pro p54zx||54″||24 HP||2.8 acres/hr||6.0 mph||3.5 gal||$$|
|Husqvarna z246i||46″||23 HP||2.4 acres/hr||6.5 mph||3.5 gal||$|
|Poulan Pro p46zx||46″||22 HP||2.4 acres/hr||6.0 mph||3.5 gal||$|
|Husqvarna MZ61||61″||27 HP||4.2 acres/hr||8.5 mph||5.0 gal||$$$|
|Husqvarna Z246||46″||21.5 HP||2.4 acres/hr||6.5 mph||3.5 gal||$|
|Husqvarna MZ54S||54″||25 HP||3.7 acres/hr||8.0 mph||5.0 gal||$$$|
|Ariens Zoom 34||34″||19 HP||–||6.0 mph||2.0 gal||$|
|Poulan Pro P61ZXT||61″||26 HP||–||8.5 mph||5.0 gal||$$$|
|Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 XP||46″||24 HP||–||7.8 mph||2.8 gal||$$|
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. Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn Mower Review
The Husqvarna Z254 is the BEST ZERO TURN MOWER in our reviews. From the first impression, this mower is superior and sturdy, noting that it weighs 640lbs. Its front tires are 6 inches in width and 11 in diameter. It comes with a high chair covered in vinyl for easy cleaning and care. The seat will make it possible for anyone of whatever height to reach the controls and adjust them when seated. It has a built-in slide for easy adjustment.
It is powered by a Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder engine; Endurance series with 24 horsepower. The side tank gives you easy access when refilling and checking the oil left, and it needs 3.5 gallons to fill. It works at 6.5 mph to cut 2.8 acres of grass in an hour.
- The Deck
The 54-inch stamped deck is made of steel, with a 12-gauge thickness. It has three blades for fast and efficient cutting, and four wheels to lift the deck and prevent scalping. The lifting system is hand-operated. The height adjusts at a minimum of 1.5 inches and a 4-inch maximum. This mower is top-heavy, and so it will not go 40 degrees down a slope.
- Sturdy build
- Powerful engine that cuts working time by half
- Manual lifting system
2. Poulan Pro P54zx 54-Inch Zero Turn Mower
Next up in our zero turn mower reviews, the Poulan Pro P54ZX. With a Briggs twin-pro engine, this mower is a commendable asset, especially for home mowing. It is sturdy in its make, and like most mowers from Poulan, it is beautifully designed.
The engine has a 24hp capacity, with a large 3.5-gallon tank. The front wheels measure 11 inches while the rear tires are 18 inches. It has a zero-radius turn and will clear 2.8 acres in an hour at 6mph.
- The Deck
It features a 54” three-bladed deck (with a 10-year warranty) that lifts from 1.5 to 4 inches with half an inch increments. Height adjustment is automatically operated, with the levers within reach while seated on the adjustable high chair. To prevent scalping your lawn, the deck has four wheels to hold it in place when lifted.
It is operated with rubber-padded dual levers with the controls on the right side of the levers. This mower is not ideal for working uphill, as it cannot function well at full speed. It is quite slow and could take you over an hour to get one acre done.
The body of the Poulan Pro P54zx has a 3-year limited warranty.
- Comfortable levers and chair
- Powerful engine that cuts operation time by half
- Adjustable deck
- The tires have poor traction.
3. Husqvarna Z246i Briggs & Stratton 46″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Courtesy of being a product of Husqvarna, this mower is already trusted by reviewers. Most lawn mower owners bought theirs from the company, and they have been served well, hence the stamp of approval.
The engine, a 23HP Briggs & Stratton, Endurance Series, has the power to reduce your mowing time by up to 25% or longer.
The reinforced stamped deck is smaller at 46”, but then again, that is not so bad for residential use. You can lift it manually when approaching an exposed area to avoid scalping your lawn. It has four smooth wheels that keep the deck in its place until you lower it.
Forget keys in this new tech-era. The Husaqarna Z246i zero turn mower has a smart switch starting; no choke starting. The levers will need a little test-driving on your first trial, but you will get the hang of it with more practice. The fuel tank holds 3.5 gallons of fuel.
- Deck lifting to prevent scalping
- Powerful engine that needs little maintenance
- Smart starting
- Small deck
4. 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
5. 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
6. Husqvarna Z246 Kawasaki 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
7. Husqvarna MZ 54S Zero-Turn Mower Commercial
It is seemingly small but has a 54-inch deck with 25hp motor power. This mower is not exactly meant for commercial work, but it does well in the residential sector. With the ability to cover 8mph, the motor power will make it possible to mow 3.7 acres in an hour.
The engine is from Briggs, as is common in Husqvarna mowers, and it runs on gasoline. A full tank with 5 gallons will last up to 5-7 hours depending on your terrain, (enough time to clear a few acres). Thanks to the speed of operation, you will use less fuel.
The 54” 12 gauge fabricated deck is built for durability. The outer part is steel and the edges are stamped for longevity. You can lift it to tend to raised areas, thanks to the three wheels that hold it in its place and make gliding possible. It is not ideal for inclines, as it slows down greatly even at maximum speed.
- Powerful and reduces mowing time.
- Durable material
- Manual lifting deck
8. 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
9. Poulan Pro P61ZXT Zero-Turn Riding Mower
The P in Poulan Pro 61″ is for ‘powerful.’ This mower offers comfort, durability and performance all in one. Performance because of its 22hp Briggs & Stratton professional series engine combined with a 5.0gal fuel tank volume(reserve).This mean machine can easily mow a good 2.4 acres in an hour.
Its 61-inch deck offers quite the cutting width and comes with a deck wash port for easy cleanup.The mower uses a hydro-gear EZT transmission and runs at 8.5mph maximum forward speed and 3.0 mph reverse speed.To reduce ugly scenes on your lawn thanks to scalping it has three anti-scalp wheels. Something special about it is it has a built-in cup holder.
- Comfortable to operate.
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Low vibration
- Learning curve from standard riding mower
- Shorter warranty time(2 years) compared to its counterparts in the market
10. Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 XP Zero Turn Mower Review
The Troy Bilt Mustang 46 XP mower boasts a twin hydro dual EZT transmission powered by a powerful 24 horsepower V-Twin Briggs engine that works at a maximum speed of 7mph. It has a 360 maneuverability to save time on tight corners and under trees. With its zero-turn capabilities, you will easily turn lanes without leaving chunks of grass in your wake.
The deck is 46 inches wide, which is ideal for clearing large lawns. You can attach a mulch bag to it for multi-functioning.
The frame gets a lifetime guarantee, while a 3-year limited warranty backs the rest of the mower.
- High speed
- Maneuvers tight spots
- The 18” chair is too high
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.