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10 Best Zero Turn Mowers for [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 cut your lawn much faster than typical riding mowers.  

The Zero-Turn Riding Mower is in fact, considered the most efficient lawn mower on the market – by homeowners and professional landscapers alike. Keep reading to check out the 10 best Zero-Turn mowers, and find that perfect sized zero-turn mower for your yard.

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.

And: If you find a zero-turn mower you like – you can get one shipped directly from Home Depot to your doorstep at no additional charge.  Yes – free-home delivery. (more about that in the “Zero Turn Mowers Near Me” section below).

What Is a Zero-Turn Mower and How Does it Work?

Zero-turn lawn mowers differ from typical Riding lawnmowers based on their Steering Method, and by their use of Two independent Wheel Motors.  Unlike riding lawn mowers, zero-turn mowers do not use a steering wheel, but instead, use lap bars that can “pivot” the mower 180 degrees, by pushing one lap bar more gently than the other.

Conversely, If both lap bars are 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 therefore are considered a major time saver for lawn care.


The 10 Best Zero-Turn Mowers For 2021




Editor’s Choice:   Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 – 42″ Zero Turn Mower

Why We Like It

By combining the well-known construction standards of Cub Cadet with the power of a 22-horsepower Kohler engine, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 offers one of the best zero-turn mowing experience you’ll find. 

With its 42-inch mower deck, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is our best choice for a residential lawn up to 2 acres in size.


  • 42-inch mower deck
  • 22-horsepower Kohler V-twin engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • 15 height settings
  • 18-inch adjustable seat
  • LED headlights
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

This is in our opinion is the best zero-turn mowers for the money.  With sharp, responsive steering and enough power to tackle larger terrain efficiently, Cub Cadet 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 Ultima ZT1. 


Editor’s Choice – Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

Cub Cadet Zero Turn Mower





Runner Up:  John Deere Z345M – Zero Turn Lawn Mower


With specs similar to the Cub Cadet zero-turn listed in our Editor’s Choice section, the John Deere Z345M is a natural runner up. Like the Ultima ZT1, the Z345M utilizes a powerful 22-horsepower V-twin engine on a 42-inch mowing platform to provide excellent performance. 

The John Deere Z345M delivers better cutting quality at higher speeds.

The fast cutting technology is an especially useful feature when you consider that this mower can top out at 7 miles per hour. 


  • 42-inch mower deck
  • 22-horsepower V-twin engine
  • Dual John Deere EZT transmissions
  • 18-inch adjustable seat
  • Easy starting system
  • 2-year warranty

Our Take Away

The John Deere Z345M runs exceptionally well, steers like a dream, and offers a clean, even cut for your lawn every time. If you’re looking for a John Deere zero-turn mower, we recommend this model to be one of the best options for residential yards. 


Runner Up – John Deere Z345M

John Deere – Zero Turn Mower





Best Value:  Toro “TimeCutter” 42-inch Zero-Turn Mower

Why We Like It

With a 22.5-horsepower V-twin engine, this Toro model has a slight leg up on both the John Deere Z345M and Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1. Thanks to Toro’s SmartSpeed technology, the user has precise control over mower speed, making this zero turn mower a breeze to use in tight spaces. 


  • 42-inch mower deck
  • 22.5-horsepower V-twin engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • SmartSpeed control
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

Overall, we’re incredibly impressed with the 42-inch Toro TimeCutter, 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 TimeCutter may be the right machine for you. 


Best Value – Toro Timecutter 42″ Zero-Turn Mower

Toro – Zero Turn Mower





Best Value 52-inch:   Ariens Zero-Turn Mower IKON X 52

Why We Like It

 With a 52-inch deck and a 23-horsepower Kawasaki engine, the Ariens IKON X 52 is a fantastic upgrade mower for homeowners with larger areas. 

Although the Ariens IKON X52 zero turn mower is primarily designed for homeowners, the engine used is a commercial-grade motor that holds up well to heavy-duty residential or light commercial use.


  • 52-inch mower deck
  • 23-horsepower Kawasaki 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 X 52 is an excellent value for the money. This mower is 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 top-quality lawn equipment. 


Best 52″ Zero Turn Mower –  Ariens – IKON X 52

Ariens – Zero Turn Mower





Best 50-inch Zero Turn Mower:  Cub Cadet 50-inch Kawasaki 23HP

 Why We Like It

 An enlarged version of the 42-inch Ultima ZT1 that made our pick as Editor’s Choice, is this 52″ Cub Cadet zero turn lawn mower for those with a little more grass to cut.

The Cub-Cadet 50″ mower is upgraded with a 23-horsepower Kawasaki engine similar to the one mounted on the 52-inch Ariens mower discussed in the last category. 


  • 50-inch mower deck
  • 23-horsepower Kawasaki engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • 18-inch adjustable seat
  • 15 height settings
  • LED headlights
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

 Like the 42-inch model, this 50-inch Ultima ZT1 delivers both in terms of quality and performance. With it, you’ll get a great cut and a comfortable ride. 

If you have a larger yard to mow but still want the Cub Cadet brand’s advantages, we recommend looking at this model when you compare all zero-turn mowers. 


Best 50″ Zero Turn Mower – Cub Cadet 50″ WIth 23HP Kawasaki Engine

Cub Cadet – Zero Turn Mower





Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills:  Cub Cadet 42″ with “Steering Wheel”

Why We Like It

The one problem most zero turning radius mowers have is they’re not suitable for steep slopes or hills. Traction is an issue because the front wheels by design – actually “float, or spin,” which provides minimal traction on steep ground.

Fortunately, Cub Cadet solved this problem with its 42″ Steering Wheel model. This particular zero-turn mower features a traditional steering wheel instead of the usual lap-control arms, making this mower excpetionally safer and easier to manage on hills or sloped yards – without damaging your turf or losing control of the mower. 

With a steering wheel directly connected to standard lawn tractor wheels, this mower plants all four wheels firmly to uneven ground.


  • 42-inch mower deck
  • 679cc Cub Cadet engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmission
  • Tilt steering column
  • Electronic blade engagement
  • Deck Port Wash
  • Eight cutting heights
  • LED headlights
  • 3-year warranty

Our Take Away

This mower represents an exceptional addition to the Cub Cadet line. If you’re 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.

If you want to the maneuverability of a zero-turn mower but have a hilly or uneven yard, this is quite possibly the best mower for you. 


Best Zero Turn Mower For Hills – Cub Cadet 42 inch. Mower With Steering Wheel

Cub Cadet – Zero-Turn 42″ Mower




Best Zero Turn Mower With “Roll-Over Protection” – Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX 54″Deck

Why We Like It

The Ultima ZTX Line is the “Ultimate” Zero Turn Mower from Cub Cadet.  If you’re looking for the best commercial/residential zero turn mower for hills, and large yards (4-10 acres) and prefer Lap-Bar Steering over the Cub Cadet Steering Wheel zero-turn mower (above) – check out this Ultima ZTX with Roll-Over Protection

If you have a larger property or any sloping or steep terrain, this mower is definitely the one zero turn mower to consider.

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX includes just about every feature you could hope for, and does so along with the safety of having roll-over protection. If your mower should ever flip over the tubular steel welded frame is designed to protect the operator.  The safety roll-over bar can be engaged in-place, or lowered if not required. 

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.


  • Rated for Lawns Between 4-10 Acres
  • 54 in. AeroForce Max 10-Gauge Reinforced Steel Mowing Deck
  • Roll-Over Protection System (ROPS)
  • 24 HP Kohler KT-Pro7000 Series
  • V-Twin OHV Engine with 5.5 Gallon tank
  • Rear Wheel Transmission – Speed up to 8 mph
  • 1 1/2″ x 3″ Tubular Steel Frame
  • Commercial grade dual Hydro-Gear ZT-3100 Transmission
  • 3-Way Adjustable Lap Bar Settings
  • Electronic blade engagement
  • 17-Deck Height Adjustment
  • Industry Leading 4-year warranty
  • Dual LED Headlights
  • Full Lineup of Attachments

Our Take Away

This zero turn mower truly is the “ultimate” mowing machine.  If you have a large property, and a large budget to match – This mower should be at the top of your list.


Best Zero Turn Mower with Roll-Over Protection – Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX

Cub Cadet – Zero-Turn 54″ 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. 


  • Ideal For Yards Up to 7 Acres
  • 54-inch mower deck
  • 24.5-horsepower engine
  • Dual hydrostatic transmissions
  • Enhanced MyRide suspension system
  • 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 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.


Best Upgrade Zero Turn – Toro TITAN 54-inch Mower

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. 


  • 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.


Best Commercial Zero-Turn Mower – Toro TITAN 60″ Mower

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 and 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. 


  • 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. 


Best Electric Zero Turn Mower – Ryobi

Ryobi Electric Zero-Turn Mower



Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers for Sale Near Me:

If you’re interested in a particular mower featured in this article, just click any of our links and you will be directed to Home Depot dot com –  where you can see the current price and more details about that particular Zero-Turn mower. In addition, you can also choose to place an order, and set up either an in-store delivery or free home-delivery – whichever method is most convenient for you. 

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

Additionally, some brands, such as John Deere, and Toro include a “white-glove” delivery service. White-Glove delivery includes:  At home delivery, set-up, and mower orientation, to get you on your zero turn and mowing quicker,

Note: Most riding lawn mowers are shipped from Home Depot within 7-10 business days – an exact date will be confirmed at 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?

John Deere and Toro are the top-rated 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. 

We feel, however, that an honorable mention has to go to Cub Cadet. While the brand doesn’t have as many service centers, it’s still an excellent line of machines that perform extraordinarily well. Together, these three brands make up the bulk of the market’s best 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 like 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 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 lawn mower. 

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 48, 50, 54, and even 60-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 Cub Cadet ZT1 to be the best overall zero turn mower for homeowners in 2020. 

The John Deere Z345M gave the ZT1 a stiff run for its money, capturing our Runner-Up category, while the Toro TimeCutter stood out to us as the best value zero turn mower.

Keep in mind, though, that the best choice for you could still 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:


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

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