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10 Best Zero Turn Mowers [Reviews for 2021]

Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money

If you have a large yard with trees, rocks, and other trouble spots to mow around check out the 10 best zero-turn mowers for 2021.  These Zero-Turn mowers quickly maneuver around trees, tight obstacles, and will help you reduce your lawn care time to less than typical riding mowers.  

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The Zero-Turn Riding Mower is in fact, considered the most efficient lawn mower on the market – by homeowners and professional landscapers alike. So, how do zero turn mowers work, and what is the best zero turn lawn mower to buy?  Keep reading to find out more about the 10 best Zero-Turn mowers, and to find the perfect-size zero-turn mower for your needs.

Note:  Don’t miss our FAQ section at the end, where we provide a Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Buyers Guide – to help homeowners make a well-informed choice – before buying a riding lawnmower.

How Does a Zero-Turn Mower Work?

Zero-turn lawn mowers differ from Riding lawnmowers based on their Steering Method. A zero-turn mower steers by the use of two independent Wheel Motors and lap bars, and unlike riding lawnmowers – which use a traditional steering wheel. Zero-turn mowers use lap bars to “pivot” the mower up to 180 degrees, by pushing one lap bar forward or backward more than the other.

With the lap bars in the straight position, the zero-turn mower drives straight. Because of their ability to more closely trim around trees, bushes, or other obstacles, zero-turn mowers virtually avoid the need for additional trimming and are therefore considered a major time saver for lawn care.

 

The 10 Best Zero-Turn Mowers For 2021

 
Editor’s ChoiceRunner UpBest ValueBest 60" Zero-Turn Mower
Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerHusqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerCraftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower, RedAriens IKON XD 60 inch 23 HP (Kawasaki) Zero Turn Mower 915273
Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerHusqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding MowerCraftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower, RedAriens IKON XD 60 inch 23 HP (Kawasaki) Zero Turn Mower 915273
$2,997.00$3,094.00Price not available$4,699.00
CLICK HERE FOR PRICECLICK HERE FOR PRICECLICK HERE FOR PRICECLICK HERE FOR PRICE

 

Editor’s Choice:   Husqvarna Z142 – 42″ Zero Turn Mower – Kohler Engine

Husqvarna Z142 42 in. 17 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Why We Like It

By combining the highly rated construction standards of Husqvarna – with the power of a 17-horsepower Kohler Brand engine, the Husqvarna Z142 offers one of the best zero-turn mowing experiences you’ll find. 

Winning our best zero-turn mowers residential 2020 award last year, The Z142 with its 42-inch mower deck, more than powerful Kohler engine, and dual Hydrostatic transmissions, make the Husqvarna Z142 your best choice for any residential lawn up to 2 acres in size.

Specifications

  • 42-inch mower deck
  • Max Speed 6.5 MPH
  • 3 Mowing Options:  Mulching, Bagging, or Side Discharge.
  • 17 – horsepower Kohler V-twin engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • 15 height settings
  • 18-inch adjustable seat
  • Heavy Duty Stamped Steel Cutting Deck
  • LED headlights, bagger, mulching kits sold separately
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

This is in our opinion is the best 42-inch mower for the money.  With sharp, responsive steering and enough power to tackle larger terrain efficiently, Husqvarna gets our pick for the best overall zero turn mower.

If you need a great zero-turn model that will deliver a precise, quality cut, all the features you really need, and not break the bank – look no further than the Husqvarna Z142 zero-turn mower 

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Husqvarna Z142 – 42″ Zero-Turn Mower

 


 

 

Runner Up:   Husqvarna Z254 – 54″ Zero Turn Mower – Kohler 26 HP

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

Why We Like It

With specs similar to the Husqvarna Z142 mower listed in our Editor’s Choice section, the Husqvarna Z254 is the “Next Level Up” in Zero-Turn Mowers.  The Z254 model from Husqvarna offers a 54″ deck (12″ wider) and a whopping 26 HP Kohler Engine.

For those who can afford those features, the Husqvarna Z254 is our pick for the best overall upgrade based on price and performance in zero-turn mowers.

The fast-cutting technology is an especially useful feature when you consider that this mower can top out at 6.5 miles per hour. 

Specifications

  • 54-inch mower deck
  • 26-horsepower V-twin Kohler engine
  • Dual Hydrostatic transmissions
  • Patented Parking Brake System (Push or Pull both bars to set brake)
  • Adjustable seat
  • Easy starting system
  • 2-year warranty

Our Take Away

The Husqvarna Z254 runs exceptionally well, steers like a dream, and offers a clean, even cut for your lawn every time. If you’re looking for an affordable Husqvarna zero-turn mower with a strong engine and a very capable 54″ mower deck, we recommend this model as the best upgrade for residential yards. 

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Husqvarna Z254 – 54″ Zero Turn Mower

 


 

 

 

Best Value:  Craftsman Z525 – 46-inch  Zero-Turn Mower – 21 HP Engine

Craftsman Z525 Zero Turn Gas Powered Lawn Mower, Red

Why We Like It

With a 21 horsepower V-twin engine, this Craftsman model has a slight leg up on some more expensive mowers with less HP. With mow-in-reverse technology, the user has precise control over forward and backward mower speeds, making this zero-turn mower a breeze to use in tight spaces. 

Specifications

  • 46-inch mower deck
  • 21 -horsepower V-twin engine
  • Full “Deck-Wash” built-in
  • Mow-In-Reverse 
  • High Back Comfortable Seat

Our Take Away

Overall, we’re incredibly impressed with the features and price of the 46-inch Craftsman Z525, which is why we think it’s the best zero turn mower for the money. If you need a zero-turn mower to get around obstacles in your yard but don’t want to break the bank buying one, the Craftsman Z530 may be the right machine for you. 

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Craftsman  Z525 – 46″ Zero-Turn Mower

 


 

 

Best 52-inch Zero-Turn Mower :   Ariens Zero-Turn Mower – IKON XD52

Ariens IKON XD-52 (52') 24HP Kohler Zero Turn Lawn Mower

Why We Like It

With a 52-inch deck and 24-horsepower Kawasaki engine, the Ariens IKON XD52 is a fantastic upgrade mower for homeowners with larger areas to mow.

Although the Ariens IKON XD52 zero-turn mower is primarily designed for homeowners, however, the engine used is a commercial-grade motor made by Kawasaki – that holds up well to heavy-duty residential or light commercial use.

Specifications

  • 52-inch mower deck
  • 24 – horsepower Kawasaki V-Twin engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • Padded arms and high-back seat for maximum comfort
  • 13 cutting heights
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

If you’re in the market for a 52-inch mower, the Ariens IKON XD52 is an excellent value for the money. This mower is extremely well-built and offers more than enough power for just about any yard with a grade of 15 degrees or less.

You’ll also be impressed with the cut quality, which reflects Ariens’ dedication to producing a top-quality, easy-to-use zero-turn mower.

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Ariens – 52″ Zero Turn Mower

 


 

 

Best 48-inch Zero Turn Mower:  Husqvarna 48-inch – Kohler 21 HP Engine

Husqvarna Z248F 48 in. 21.5 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

 Why We Like It

An enlarged version of the Editors Choice 42-inch mower is the Husqvarna 48″ – Z248F  Zero-Turn mower. With a larger mowing deck and 21.5 HP Kohler Engine, this zero-turn lawn mower is for those with a little more grass to cut – But don’t require the larger 52″ or 60″ Mowers.

The Husqvarna 48″ mower is small enough to slide through Shed Doors but large enough to make quick work of your lawn. Upgraded with a 20.5-horsepower Kohler engine this mower has plenty of power to handle all of your mowing needs.

Specifications

  • 48-inch mower deck
  • 21.5-horsepower Kawasaki engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • Adjustable seat
  • 15 height settings
  • Clear-Cut Deck
  • Fast – 7.5 MPH top speed

Our Take Away

Like the 42-inch model, the 48-inch Z248F delivers both in terms of quality and performance. With it, you’ll get a great cut and a fast as you need, comfortable ride. 

If you have a lot of yard to mow (over 4 acres) but still want the Husqvarna brand’s advantages, we recommend looking at the Husqvarna 61″ mower below – when you compare all zero-turn mowers. 

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Husqvarna 48″ – Zero Turn Mower

 


 

 

Best Value 60″ Zero-Turn Mower:  Ariens 60″ IKON XD with 23 HP Kawasaki Engine

Ariens IKON XD 60 inch 23 HP (Kawasaki) Zero Turn Mower 915273

 

Why We Like It

If you have up to 5 Acres of lawn to mow and have hilly or steeper terrain than normal, the Ariens IKON XD with a 60″ mowing deck could be your best choice.  Ariens offers a commercial-grade mower, with many of the features that landscape companies are using for larger residential lawns.

Specifications

  • 60-inch mower deck
  • 23 HP (726 cc’s) Kawasaki Built V-Twin Engine
  • Commercial Grade with Cast-Iron Engine Cylinders
  • 7 MPH forward and 3.5 MPH speed in Reverse
  • Welded Steel Deck
  • 11-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • 13- Position Cutting Height
  • Tilt steering column
  • High Back ergonomic seat, padded turn bars, and vibration dampening floor mat
  • Deck Port Wash
  • Arm Rests
  • LED headlights
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

This mower represents an exceptional addition to the Ariens mower lineup. If you’re not used to lap bar steering, you may take a little time to get used to the steering system, but once you do, it drives like a breeze.

The 11-inch front and 20-inch rear tires offer more stability on hillier slopes, so If you want the maneuverability of a zero-turn mower but have a hilly or uneven yard, this is quite possibly the best mower for you. 

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ARIENS IKON XD 60″ – Zero-Turn Mower

 


 

 

Best 61″ Zero Turn Mower  – Husqvarna MZ61 with 27 HP Engine

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

Why We Like It

The MZ Line is the “Ultimate” Husqvarna Zero-Turn lineup – for Residential or Light commercial use customers alike.  If you’re looking for the best 61″ commercial/residential zero-turn mower with all the bells and whistles, and a high-performance Briggs & Statton engine – this is it.

The Husqvarna MZ61 includes just about every feature you could hope for and at speeds up to 8mph – it allows you to mow multiple acres in record time.   

Either way, the roll-over protection feature is one more reason to look closely at this zero-turn mower. engineered for use on uneven terrain. Thanks to its more powerful engine and 48-inch deck, this model is also better suited for larger yards.

Specifications

  • Rated for Lawns up to 7 Acres
  • 61 in. Reinforced Steel Mowing Deck
  • 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series Engine
  • Hour Meter with Service reminders
  • 13-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels
  • Premium High-Back Seat with Arm Rests
  • V-Twin OHV Engine with 5.5 Gallon Gas tank
  • The transmission has a longer lifespan thanks to charge pumps, larger drive axles, and expansion tanks
  • Rear Wheel Transmission – Max. Speed up to 8 mph
  • 1 1/2″ x 3″ Tubular Steel Frame
  • Commercial grade dual Hydro-Gear Transmission
  • 3-Way Adjustable Lap Bar Settings
  • 12-Deck Height Adjustment
  • Industry Leading 4-year warranty
  • Full Lineup of Attachments (optional)

Husqvarna MZ Series Zero-Turn Mower Video:


 

Our Take Away

This zero-turn mower truly is the “ultimate” residential mowing machine.  WIth cutting height adjustments from 1.5 – 4.5 inches, tons of options, power and speed, and the reliability of a Husqvarna.  If you have a large property, and a larger budget to match – This mower should be at or near the top of your list.

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Husqvarna MZ Series – Zero-Turn 61″ Mower 

 


 

 

“Best Upgrade” Zero Turn Mower:  Toro TITAN 54-inch With 24.5 Hp Engine

 Why We Like It

If you have a large yard, a 42-inch or even a 50-inch mower may be a little too small to get the job done efficiently. That’s where a 54-inch model like the Toro TITAN can come in handy. This mower’s size and power make it a natural fit for large yards, and it’s even suitable for limited commercial use. 

Specifications

  • Ideal For Yards Up to 7 Acres
  • TORO patented “My Ride” Suspension for ultimate comfort
  • 54-inch mower deck
  • 26-horsepower V-Twin Kohler engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • 3-year – 300-Hour Commercial Engine warranty
  • Commercial drop pin height of cut adjustment
  • Canister Filter – Rubber Chute
  • Shock absorbing dampening ride

Our Take Away

Overall, the 54-inch Toro TITAN is an excellent upgrade for buyers who want the power and convenience of a Toro mower but need a larger mowing deck to deal with more acreage. Because of its size and power, the handling of this mower is of excellent value.

You won’t find a smoother ride, or a zero turn mower easier to maneuver around tight obstacles than this one.

Note:  Toro has over 3,000 servicing dealers in the United States – making this mower far easier to service than some other brands.

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Toro – 54″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower

 


 

 

Best Commercial Zero Turn Mower:  Toro TITAN 60-inch Zero Turn Mower

Why We Like It

 If you’re a landscaping contractor, own a large amount of land, or mow multiple lots, you may need something a bit beefier than even the largest residential lawnmower. For these situations, the Toro TITAN 60-inch is a great option. 

The Titan 60-Inch mower from Toro includes a very wide 60″ deck that makes it easy to mow even the largest areas efficiently, while a smaller mower would take up too much of your valuable time. 

Specifications

  • 60-inch mower deck
  • 24.5-horsepower engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • Enhanced suspension system
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

Although a 60″ mowing deck isn’t the right fit for every buyer, the Toro TITAN 60-inch is a fantastic choice if you have a very large yard to mow. 

Even though the TITAN makes short work of large areas, you’ll find that this commercial-grade zero turn mower also produces an even, high-quality cut. 

Note:  Toro has over 3,000 servicing dealers in the United States – making this mower far easier to service than some other brands.

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Toro – 60″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower

 


 

 

Best Electric Zero Turn Mower:  Ryobi 42-inch Electric

Why We Like It

The prospect of maintaining a gas-powered mower can be a bit daunting for homeowners who don’t have the time or much experience with outdoor power equipment. 

Enter the Ryobi 42-inch electric zero turn mower, which runs on a 75-amp-hour battery and offers the low-maintenance advantages of electric motors. “Got Electricity.” Buy an Electric Mower.

With the Ryobi 42″ mower and its 12 grass height settings – you’ll be able to maintain your lawn without wrestling with oil changes, belts, and other routine maintenance issues. 

Specifications

  • 42-inch mower deck
  • Battery power
  • 12 height settings
  • Four brushless motors
  • Towing hitch included
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

 If you need a low-maintenance mower for a mid-sized to a sizeable residential yard, this Ryobi model could be the perfect fit for you. It handles well and does an excellent job of cutting, all while reducing your carbon footprint and keeping the time and money you’ll spend maintaining it to a minimum. 

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Ryobi Electric Zero-Turn Mower

 


 

Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers for Sale Near Me:

Note: Every zero-turn lawn tractor for sale in this review can be shipped directly to your home for free. No trailer to rent, borrow and haul. The mower shows up with a scheduled delivery to your doorstep.

Note: Most riding lawn mowers are shipped within 7-10 business days – an exact date will be confirmed at CART check-out.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are Zero-Turn Mowers Easy To Use?

If you’ve never used a zero-turn mower, or if you’re wondering if zero-turn mowers are easy to use, the answer in our opinion is Yes.  If you have ever used a typical riding mower, the principal is similar – with the main difference being; zero-turn mowers use lap bar steering instead of a steering wheel.

Lap bars are quite simple to use, allow you to turn on a dime, and navigate any larger yard with ease.

While lap bar steering takes a few minutes to get comfortable with, most zero-turn owners with big yards, and lots of trees or other obstacles, would never consider any other type of mower.

Still not sure?  Here is a good checklist by Cub Cadet to determine “Is a Zero-Turn Mower Right For You?”

 

What Are the Top Rated Zero Turn Mowers?

Husqvarna, Ariens, and Toro are the top-selling zero turn mower brands on a national level. Both of these brands have a large network of local dealers that perform service on them. As mentioned, these are also two of the brands that qualify for Home Depot’s “white glove” delivery service. 

 Together, these three brands make up the bulk of the market’s best residential zero-turn riding lawnmowers. 

What is the Best Type of Zero Turn Mower: Lap Bar or Steering Wheel?

In general, zero-turn lap bar mowers are more agile and maneuverable, making them an excellent choice for large, flat grass lawns that have a lot of trees or other obstacles. 

For that purpose and for yards between 4-10 acres – the Lap-Bar design Zero Turn Mower is the best choice.

Best Zero Turn Mower For Hills

Keep in mind, that a zero turn mower with lap bar steering, is not well suited for mowing hills or sloped terrain, due to its use of “floating front wheels”.

The floating wheels are not connected to the steering and do not grip the ground as typical riding mower tires do.

If your yard includes hills or steep slopes, Choose a zero turn mower with a Steering wheel – which connects the steering directly to the front tractor tires, and provides much more traction to the ground.

What you may lack some responsiveness over the lap bar steering, the safety, and traction you get with a steering wheel – will more than make up for any maneuverability concerns.

What Is the Difference Between Hydrostatic and Manual Gear Transmissions?

Manual transmissions use a lever to switch gears manually, while hydrostatic transmissions utilize hydraulic systems to shift easily and seamlessly from one gear to the next. 

Most better zero-turn mowers use hydrostatic transmissions, but you’ll still find manual transmissions on some entry-level, budget-friendly mowers. 

How Large An Area Can I Mow With a Zero Turn Mower?

The answer to this question depends on the mower you get while 42-inch mowers are best for lawns of 2 acres or less, larger models like the Toro TITAN 60-inch ideal for mowing up to 7 acres. 

You can do even larger areas with any size mowing deck. It will just take longer if you’re using one that’s undersized for your yard. 

Zero Turn Lawn Mowers Buyers Guide – Steps To Choose Mower

 

1)  Select the Zero-Turn Mower “Brand and Model”

The first thing to do when you’re getting ready to buy a zero-turn mower is to choose the grade, or quality, of the mower based on your budget and the size of your yard. 

Entry-level mowers are typically lower-powered and feature single-cylinder engines and manual transmissions. 

Mid-range mowers, which encompass most of the models listed in our reviews above, typically have larger V-twin engines and hydrostatic transmissions. 

2)  Select the Mower “Deck Size”

Picking your mower deck size is likely the most critical decision you’ll make when choosing a zero-turn lawnmower. 

For most homeowners, The most popular size is the 42-inch mowing deck, which is typically good for lawns of up to 2 acres. 

Larger zero-turn mowers include the 42, 48, 50, 52, and even 61-inch mowing decks.

Keep in mind, the more acreage you need to mow, the larger the mower deck you should consider. In the case of a mowing deck selection, size does matter.

3)  Select the Mower “Steering Type”

As you can see from the reviews above, zero-turn mowers come with two basic steering types. The most common (and nimble turning) is called Lap Bar steering. Lap bar steering uses two laterally placed arms to steer the direction of the mower. 

The second choice involves the more traditional Steering wheel of the sort that you would find on a regular riding lawn mower or vehicle. 

Lap bar steering offers greater maneuverability and sharper turning, but mowers equipped with this type of steering don’t handle well on hills or sloping yards.  This is due to the “front floating wheel” design, vs. the Steering wheel design, which links steering directly to front tractor tires

Mowers with the traditional steering wheel, on the other hand, can handle hills much more effectively, but there’s a slight trade-off when it comes to nimble steering.

The right choice for you will depend heavily on the slope and terrain of your yard. 

Wrapping Up

Based on our reviews, we found the Husqvarna Z142 to be the best overall zero turn mower for homeowners in 2020. 

The Husqvarna Z254 gave the Z142 a stiff run for its money, but based on a higher purchase price, captured our Runner-Up category, while the Craftsman Z525 stood out to us as the best value zero turn mower.

Keep in mind, though, that the best choice for you based on your budget or needed features, could be a different mower in our list of reviews. 

Fortunately, all of the mowers we reviewed here are of top-rated quality; Once you determine your budget and the mower size you need, the clear choice will hopefully be much easier.

Thanks for visiting Best Home Gear – And please leave us a comment or suggestion below!

 

Additional References and Reading:

2 Comments

    1. Billy, thanks for your positive comments, and best wishes on finding the right zero-turn mower for your needs.
      Kevin

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