The 5 Best Zero Turn Lawnmowers: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

A good zero-turn lawnmower is ideal if you need power, speed, and maneuverability. Given their qualities, zero turn lawnmowers are perfect when you need to mow large areas, or if you do landscaping professionally.

They can also help you to create your own backyard sanctuary. So, how can you narrow down the many mowers available? Here, we’ve highlighted the top five best zero turn lawnmowers. We’ve also included a buying guide, so you know exactly what to consider when deciding on your selection.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

1. Husqvarna Z254

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
  • A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
  • Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)

Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


This option from Husqvana has a maximum speed of six and half miles per hour and uses a 26 horsepower Kohler engine. There is a park brake system that is patent-pending and will automatically activate and deactivate when the steering levers are moved inward or outward.

The air induction system draws in air from the bottom and top of the deck which helps to improve grass and give your lawn a great cut.

You can discharge the clippings or they can be mulched or bagged. You need to purchase the bagger attachment and mulching kit separately. However, this can make quick work of taking care of your lawn and it can also keep the yard looking tidy by getting rid of the clippings properly.

There is a reinforced steel cutting deck which is constructed from steel for added durability.

Things we like:

  • The engine is really powerful. This makes for very efficient cutting, even when mowing large areas.
  • Easy assembly means you can get mowing almost right away.

Things we don’t like:

  • There can be issues starting the engine. This seems to be rare but it has happened with enough users to mention it.
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2. Ariens Apex 60

ERTL John Deere X320 Lawn Mower
  • Expertly Designed.
  • True to Life Detail.
  • Made from Quality Parts.
  • Ships from USA.
  • Brand New Item.

Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you are looking for a mower that’s easy to assemble, you may want to consider the Ariens Apex 60. This zero turn mower offers a cutting width of 60 inch and a cutting height of one and half inches to five inches. The engine gives you 25 horsepower of torque.

There is an electric start with this model and a fuel tank that will hold 5 gallons. That five gallons is smaller than the fuel capacity of some other models so you’ll want to decide if that is big enough to handle your yard without needing multiple fill-ups to finish.

There are two maximum speeds. The forward maximum speed is 8 miles per hour. The reverse maximum speed is 4 miles per hour.

Front wheel diameter on this model measures 13 inches in diameter and 6 and a half inches wide. The rear wheel diameter is 22 inches and the width of the rear wheels is 12 inches.

Things we like:

  • Easy assembly. When you receive this mower, you only need to reverse the handles and hook up the battery.
  • Quick work. This model makes quick work of mowing. You can expect to mow almost four acres in only an hour.

Things we didn’t like:

  • The seat could be a bit more comfortable. Over time, you’ll start to get uncomfortable which is something to keep in mind if you will be using it for long periods of time.
  • Fairly small fuel tank capacity means you might be filling up more often
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3. Swisher ZT2760B

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This option from Swisher has a fuel tank capacity of 8 gallons and a steel cutting deck for added durability. It has a low center of gravity and low profile. The fuel tank capacity is pretty good so you shouldn’t have to worry about taking multiple breaks to fill up.

It uses a 27 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine which offers an electric start. This is a great feature if you don’t want to have to manually start the mower every time. There is also an electric PTO clutch. The mower is non-CARB compliant. It has a pivoting front axle and a cutting height range of one and half inches to five inches.

There are three mulching blades as well as a storage compartment with this model. This option offers a lot of power and a strength that is long lasting. You’ll also stay comfortable while using this mower. It has an eighteen inch high-back seat and a six inch slide adjustment. Add that to the armrests and you should stay quite comfortable while mowing, even for long periods of time.

Things we like:

  • Heavy durable construction. This mower is built with durability in mind and is heavier construction than many others on the market.

Things we don’t like:

  • Belt issues. This model from Swisher seems to have belt issues pretty consistently. The belts need to be replaced often.
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4. Craftsman Z560

Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
  • POWERFUL BRIGGS AND STRATTON GAS ENGINE WITH READY START: Powerful gas engine suitable for larger yard jobs while ready start technology provides a quick, efficient start.
  • 46-INCH CUTTING WITH INCLUDED DECK WASH: Lawn tractor comes equipped with wide 46-Inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep. Included deck wash saves time when underside cleaning.
  • HYDRO-TRANSMISSION: Unit is equipped with foot hydrostatic transmission.
  • MOW-IN-REVERSE: Take your mower in reverse to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots.
  • SUPPORTIVE HIGH-BACK SEAT: High-back cushioned seat provides optimum comfort.

Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


This model from Craftsman offers a Briggs and Stratton gas engine that comes with ready start for easy use. You’ll enjoy 24 horsepower which will make quick work of a large lawn or area.

The cutting edge on this mower is 54 inches. This mower is able to cut even when moving in reverse which can be a real time saver. The only problem with the reverse is that this model doesn’t come with a rear view mirror. This can make mowing backwards a bit of a challenge. You’ll likely need to purchase a mirror to get full use out of reverse mowing. Of course, the mower also has a 360 degree turn radius so you can switch directions easily and quickly.

The seat on this mower will keep you comfortable over long periods of time. The seat is high-back and cushioned. The front wheels on the mower are 11 inches while the rear ones are 20 inches.

The mower can get a little hard to maneuver on steep declines so that is something to keep in mind if the area you’ll be mowing isn’t flat.

Things we like:

  • Powerful motor makes for quick and efficient mowing.

Things we don’t like:

  • No rear view mirror. This mower is pretty powerful in reverse but would benefit from a rear view mirror.
  • Not great going downhill. This mower can get a bit hard to handle when mowing on a decline.
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5. Husqvarna MZ61

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • Husqvarna 61 in. zero-turn lawn mower from the MZ series delivers commercial-grade power and amazing ergonomics
  • 27 HP Briggs Endurance engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
  • Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 54 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • High-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips and vibration dampeners make mowing comfortable for hours on end

Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


This model from Husqvarna offers 27 horsepower given the Briggs Endurance engine. You’ll get reliable startups and a 54-inch cut. The deck lifting system is ergonomically designed so you make easy adjustments right from where you’re sitting.

You have a few options when it comes to clippings. They can be mulched, discharged or bagged. The bagger attachment and mulching kit just have to purchased separately.

One thing we noticed with this model is that it is prone to leaving skid marks in the lawn when you make tight turns. If you plan on using a mower for professional landscaping work, you may want to consider that as your clients might not appreciate the look of those marks in their yard.

There are plenty of comfort features available with this model. Here is a high-back seat, armrests and hand grips that are foam-padded. There are even vibration dampeners so you can stay comfortable even when mowing for a long time.

There are some ease of use features as well. You’ll get an hour meter that will let you know when it’ time to have your mower services. If you purchase the bushel collection system, you’ll find the design is quite unique and you can install it in just a few minutes, making your job even easier.

Things we like:

  • Powerful motor makes easy work of mowing
  • Comfort features mean you can mow for long periods of time without fatigue and discomfort

Things we don’t like:

  • Makes a lot of skid marks in the lawn when turning
  • Doesn’t work as well on declines
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Education

There are plenty of things to consider when you purchase your zero turn mower. It is a decent size purchase and investment, so you want to make sure you buy the right one for your needs. Below, you’ll find some features that you should carefully consider when making your selection.

Ultimately, you want to find a mower that you are comfortable handling and maneuvering. Keep in mind that zero turn mowers will function and move differently than any other mower you’ve likely used. This is especially true if you have a lawn that has substantial dips and declines. You will get used to using a zero turn mower but it will take time and you want to find an option that makes you feel comfortable.

Weight

The weight of the mower you choose is a big consideration if you are planning to use the machine to perform landscaping work. In that case, you do not want a mower that is too heavy to easily transport.

You also don’t want it to be too heavy for the lift machine or jack you have. If you just plan on keeping the mower at home with you for personal use, the weight is likely less a consideration for you since you won’t be transporting it.

Proper Cut Width

Of course the engine in your zero turn lawnmower will be very impactful on your ability to get the job done. However, you should not overlook the cut width. This can really be just as important as the engine. You will often hear cutting width also referred to as mowing path, which essentially mean the same thing.

You might assume that the biggest cutting width is the best, but this isn’t always the case. A wide cutting width is obviously a time saver when it comes to the open spaces in your lawn. However, you will still need to find a way to maneuver around obstacles, which can actually be more difficult the wider the mowing path.

If you know that you are going to be mowing a lawn that has a lot of intentional plant life, or that has a number of garden areas, you may want to consider a cutting platform that is smaller so that you can maneuver between them. Then you aren’t as likely to cause any damage

Deck Size

As the cutting deck gets wider, the mower is able to cut more grass with each pass. A larger deck will simply make your mowing time shorter. With that said, you want to really think about what deck size you actually need.

Those mowers with larger decks are good for commercial landscapers and for those with very large properties. However, you still want to be able to maneuver around tight areas, if needed on your property or the properties you’ll be mowing.

For example, if you have a small lawn but your mower has a wider deck, you might find that you have to keep backing up to navigate. You might even find that you can’t get into all of the appropriate areas because the mower is simply too big.

You’ll also be backing up and maneuvering around if you have flowerbeds or trees scattered throughout the yard. The larger deck is really best for very large yards with open space.

Engine Size and Horsepower

Obviously, power is a big factor in determining which zero turn lawnmower is best for you. As the horsepower goes up, the better you’ll be at getting your work completed efficiently and quickly. You want the power to be sufficient for the work you need to get done.

With that said, if the lawn you plan on mowing is only about an acre or less, you likely don’t need a super powerful engine. If you plan on using the mower to do professional landscaping work or to mow a large estate, you’ll want to buy one with the most horsepower possible. That will just save you time and energy. The more powerful engine, the more money you should expect to spend so you want to choose the right power for your needs. This can also help you stay within budget.

Mowers that are single cylinder are typically less expensive. However, they also do not provide you with as much power. Smaller engines are just better for smaller areas and lawns. If a small lawn is what you have, you really don’t have to splurge on a powerful engine.

V-twin powered motors will cost you a bit more but they are also better when it comes to noise, vibration and gas mileage. They usually last longer than their single-cylinder counterparts, too. You really only need this kind of mower if you plan on using it professionally or if you have a large yard.

Mowers with high-powered engines are the best option for maneuvering hills or through large acreage. They are able to handle large and medium yards easily and they can drive at higher speeds. They’re also usually able to tow other accessories such as tools and other landscaping materials.

Fuel Capacity

The fuel capacity of your zero turn mower becomes more important as the size of the lawn you’ll be cutting gets bigger. You want a fuel tank that is large enough to take care of the lawn without you having to stop to refuel the tank multiple times.

Speed

Mowers all have variable top seeds. You want to think about that, particularly if you are purchasing a zero turn mower for professional landscaping work.

Faster and bigger zero turn mowers will let you get through more ground in less time. If you are a professional, this can literally mean more money for you. You finish one job quicker and you can move right on to the next one. For someone looking for a zero turn mower for personal reasons, it might not be quite as substantial a feature to keep in mind. Even for personal reasons, however, a quick-moving mower means that your chore is over faster.

Keep in mind that most mid and entry-level mowers will max out around six or seven miles per hour. Some of the semi-commercial mowers will get you to around eight or nine miles per hour. Finally, true commercial mowers typically top out around thirteen or fourteen miles per hour. It doesn’t sound like a lot but a quick-moving mower really can cut down your mowing time quite substantially.

You’ll need to determine how important it is to you to get the job done quickly.

Best Zero Turn Lawnmower Brands

We like to highlight some information related to the brands we include in our lists. Many times, the brands included are those with a trusted track record and reputation that dates back decades, if not longer.

Husqvarna

Husqvarna is a very well-known manufacturer of gardening and forest power tools including chainsaws, robotic mowers and lawn mowers. We’ve included two models by this manufacturer. Husqvarna mowers can be found just about anywhere and are easy to access.

Ariens

Ariens isn’t quite as well-known as some other manufacturers. However, it has been around since 1933 and was the first manufacturer of an American-made garden tiller. Ariens doesn’t just manufacture mowers but also other pieces of lawn equipment such as snow blowers and riding tractors.

Swisher

Swisher dates back to 1945 and produces a variety of outdoor equipment pieces. Everything is American made and commercial grade. The goal of this manufacturer is to cut down the amount of time it takes to perform outdoor chores.

FAQs

Q: What is a zero-turn lawnmower?

A: A zero-turn mower is really just a mower that has a turning radius of zero, or very close to zero. This type of mower typically drives much faster and costs more money than a standard riding mower.

Q: Can a zero turn mower pull a trailer?

A: If you need to pull accessories, such as seed spreaders, fertilizer or other mower attachments, it’s advisable to add a trailer hitch to the mower. Most brands of mowers will have accessories available for purchase.

Q: Do zero turn mowers have brakes?

A: Most models available do not come with a standard foot pedal break like what you’d find on a regular riding mower. With that said, there is a mechanism for slowing down and braking. The overall speed of the lawnmower depends on its levers. If the levers are in a neutral position, the mower isn’t going to move.

So, if you are moving, either forward or backward, you need just move the levers tot neutral and you will slow down and stop. If you need to quickly pause, you can disengage the blades. Then, just turn on the parking brake, which you should find on all models. Engaging that parking brake means that the mower won’t move until you return and start using it again.

Q: How are zero-turn lawnmowers on hills?

A: Zero-turn mowers are exceptional for working at high speeds. You want to drive them fairly slowly on hills with a 15-degree slope or less. If you are going up or down a hill, you really want to keep it at a constant four or five miles per hour.

Q: How do you steer a zero turn mower?

A: You might need to get used to steering a zero-turn mower. To move left, you push the right lever forward. You’ll want to remember, at first, that zero-turn steering is highly sensitive. However, you will get used to it quickly. If you need to slow down or stop the mower, you just pull the levers toward you and keep them in the neutral position.

Wrap Up

Any one of the five options we’ve highlighted here would make for a great zero turn mower. For us, the top choice for best zero turn lawnmower is the Husqvarna Z254. Husqvarna is known for its reliability. This model has an incredibly powerful engine which makes mowing quick and efficient.

In addition, you’ll enjoy that you can easily find compatible attachments. You have plenty of options for what to do with the clippings which means that you can keep the lawn tidy and looking nice. One of the best features of this model is that it is actually only of the most inexpensive on our list.