10 Best Zero Turn Mowers for Big Lawns

Zero turn lawn mowers are becoming a common sight in many neighborhoods. No longer reserved for professional landscapers, many people are finding them to be good choices for home lawn care as well. For those of you who are wondering what the best zero turn mower available today is, we have compiled a list of ten top choices. Read on for a detailed review of these ten zero turn mowers. Our picks for the best zero turn mower for specific applications are at the end.

Product FAQ

If you are in the market for a new lawnmower, you have probably seen many different types. Zero turn mowers are gaining in popularity and are comparable in price to similarly-sized standard lawn tractors. They offer excellent maneuverability and can be a good choice for many people. If you are unsure about zero turn mowers, read on to see some common questions about them along with our answers.

1. What Is a Zero Turn Mower?

Man riding in lawn mower

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Zero turn mowers are powered by their rear wheels. These operate independently of each other and are generally controlled by separate handles. Because of the unique way they steer, you can literally turn one on a dime so there is no gap in mowing coverage. They maneuverability makes them ideal for lawns with curving edges or obstacles.


2. What Are the Benefits of a Zero Turn Mower??

Zero turn mowers offer a mowing experience that is quick and efficient. Since they can turn with a zero turning radius, you will not have to backtrack to cut missed spots. They also offer exceptional maneuverability around lawn obstacles like trees, gardens, and decorative pieces.


3. Can You Use One on Hills?

Most zero turn mowers are designed to operate on relatively flat surfaces. However, many can handle slopes up to 15 degrees, which is a fairly significant hill. Heavier mowers will be more stable on hilly areas.


4. What Features Will the Best Zero Turn Mower Have?

What features you want or need in a zero-turn mower will vary depending on your landscaping needs. There are some features that the best zero turn mowers all share. Look for a hydrostatic transmission for easy operation. Large rear wheels will help with stability and control on varied terrain. Make sure the fuel tank is large enough that you won't constantly be stopping for a refill.

Independent mowing decks are helpful if you are going to be covering uneven or hilly terrain. Debris shields will help keep blades sharp and undamaged longer. Some models will offer multiple options for grass clippings, so if you are a dedicated mulcher or bagger, check to be sure the mower you choose can accommodate that.

Convenience features are nice to have as well. A comfortable, padded seat with a high back will ease strain during extended mowing periods. Armrests can add to comfort as well. Cup holders and storage for cell phones can help you stay hydrated and connected while maintaining the lawn. If you are planning to mow in the evening, headlights can help you spot obstacles or debris on the lawn.


5. Are They Difficult to Operate?

There is a slight learning curve in operating them. Even the best zero turn mower will take a time or two for you to get used to its features and operation. If you have used a traditional riding mower with a steering wheel, you may find the lever operation somewhat awkward. Avoid tight spaces for the first few uses until you are more comfortable and confident in your ability to steer.

How We Reviewed

lawn mower

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The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. Finding the best zero turn mower for your yard can be a daunting task, so we carefully reviewed customer feedback and expert ratings to inform this unbiased review of the top mowers available today.

Overall Price Range

A zero-turn mower is a big investment. The models we reviewed range in price from around $2500 to more than $5000. Features like mowing deck width, transmission types, horsepower, and convenience features can impact pricing. Generally, larger and more powerful mowers are more expensive than smaller ones.

What We Reviewed

  • Ariens Ikon X 52-Inch Zero Turn
  • Ryobi Electric 42-Inch 75AH Zero Turn
  • Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn
  • ARIENS APEX 60 Lawn Tractor
  • Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn
  • Swisher ZTR2454BS-CA Zero Turn Mower
  • Troy-Bilt Mustang Zero-Turn Mower
  • Swisher ZTR2454CL Zero-Turn Mower
  • Ariens 915213 Zero Turn Mower
  • Craftsman Z560 Platinum 54-Inch Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower

Features

Ariens has a long history of making quality mowers for commercial and residential use. The Ikon-X Zero Turn mower is no exception. A generous 52” mowing path means you will make quick work of larger yards. It can maneuver nimbly on rough terrain and slopes up to 15 degrees. The mowing deck is made from 10-gauge steel for durability. A padded seat and armrests ensure you are comfortable even when mowing a large area.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty fabricated steel deck
  • 23hp Kawasaki engine
  • Generous 52” cutting path

Cons

  • Fasteners come loose easily – check and tighten them before mowing
  • No headlights

Warranty

Warranty coverage on this popular model is for three years.

Features

Ditch the gas and still tackle a mid-sized lawn with this fun battery-powered zero turn mower from Ryobi. Suggested use is for lawns up to two acres. Headlights allow you to mow into the evening, and an intelligent control panel will help you stay on top of the mower's status with ease. Because of its small, lightweight design, this mower is most suitable for flat laws with obstacles.

Pros

  • No gas or oil to mess with
  • Nimble and fun to operate
  • Mulching, bagging, or side discharge capable

Cons

  • Batteries can be expensive to replace
  • Only suitable for flat yards
  • More expensive than a comparably sized gas-powered mower

Warranty

Ryobi warranties the mower for three years from your date of purchase. Batteries are covered for one year.

Features

If you are looking for power, the Husqvarna Z254 Zero turn mower is a solid choice for the best zero turn mower for your yard. Featuring a 26 horsepower Kohler engine and a 54” mowing width, you will tackle even large yards quickly. Its robust size makes this mower a great choice for hilly and rough terrain. Multiple grass handling option includes the ability to mulch, discharge, or bag with attachments.

Pros

  • 26hp Kohler engine
  • Multiple options for grass clippings
  • Great for rough and hilly terrain

Cons

  • No headlights mean daytime-only operation
  • Stiff seat with no armrests
  • Difficult to uncrate on delivery

Warranty

Husqvarna offers a three-year warranty on this mower.

Features

A robust mower weighing in at just over 1,000 pounds, you can rest assured that the Ariens APEX 60 can tackle rough and hilly terrain with ease. An incredibly generous 60-inch mowing deck makes quick work of even the largest spaces. This mower is suitable for yards of 4 or more acres.

Pros

  • 25 hp engine
  • Massive 60” cutting width

Cons

  • Rough riding experience
  • Stiff seat

Warranty

Ariens warranties its mowers for three years from original purchase date.

Features

For those looking to mow a smaller yard, the Poulan Pro P46ZX zero turn mower is a solid choice. It is powered by a 22 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine that is suitable for level yards with obstacles. A 46” mowing deck will clear a mid-sized yard in a fair amount of time.

Pros

  • Comfortable seating
  • Six cutting heights
  • 10-year warranty of mower deck

Cons

  • No armrests
  • Limited horsepower
  • Lack of headlights limits use to daylight hours

Warranty

Poulan Pro offers a three-year warranty on most components of this mower. The steel mowing deck is covered for ten years.

Features

This carb-compliant zero turn mower from Swisher runs at up to 8mph, so you'll have even a large yard mowed in no time. Convenience features like a high-back padded seat and cup holders offer comfort while operating it. Front and rear hitches are a nice touch.

A 54” mowing deck is equipped with three Gator blades to cut through thick grass. Operation is helped with a front debris shield that helps keep blades safe from damage and aids in grass cutting efficiency.

Pros

  • Dual hitches
  • 8-gallon fuel tank
  • Convenience features

Cons

  • Some may find horsepower lacking for a mower of this size
  • Not suitable for very hilly lawns

Warranty

Major components of this mower are warrantied to be free from defects for three years from the original date of purchase. The fuel system components carry a two-year warranty.

Features

Troy-Bilt has designed a mower for heavy residential use. Powered by a 25hp Briggs & Stratton engine, its 54” mowing deck will cut through event thick grass with ease. You can safely operate this on mild hills and rough terrain.

Pros

  • Customize your cut with eight height adjustments
  • High-backed comfortable seat
  • Integrated deck wash system

Cons

  • No armrests
  • Lack of headlights
  • Some assembly required

Warranty

Troy-Bilt backs their mower with an industry-standard three-year coverage plan.

Features

Swisher mowers are made to provide years of service. This 60” zero turn model is no exception. Powered by a 27hp Briggs & Stratton engine, it can handle even the biggest yards. An electric start and convenience features make it easy and comfortable to operate.

Pros

  • 60-inch cutting width
  • 27hp engine for extra power
  • Electric start

Cons

  • Non-carb compliant
  • Requires continuous maintenance

Warranty

Swisher warranties its mowers for three years from original purchase date. Fuel system components are covered for two years.

Features

Small yards can benefit from a zero-turn mower too. The Ariens 915213 mower will provide years of service at an affordable price. Its 42” mowing deck can get into tight spaces that larger mowers may struggle with. Since it's ready to operate out of the crate, you will be admiring your manicured lawn in no time at all. A 19hp Kohler engine provides enough power to handle smaller, flat lawns with obstacles.

Pros

  • Affordable zero turn mower for smaller yards
  • Hydro transmission
  • Comes fully assembled

Cons

  • Very small fuel tank
  • Not suitable for large yards

Warranty

This mower is covered against defects for two years from the original purchase date.

Features

If you are looking for a basic zero-turn mower that is easy to operate and maintain, the Craftsman Z560 is a top pick. It has a generous 54” mowing deck and is powered by a 24hp Briggs & Stratton engine. The seat is comfortable enough that you won't mind spending time mowing.

Pros

  • Ample 54” cutting width
  • Easy start mechanism
  • High-back comfortable seat

Cons

  • Hard to control on hilly lawns
  • No headlights
  • Lack of convenience features

Warranty

This mower is covered for two years from the original date of purchase.

The Verdict

There are so many good zero turn mowers available today, it is hard to pick which one is best. However, after comparing features, availability, cost, and customer feedback, here are our top picks.

People looking to mow very large yards and pastures will appreciate the huge mowing deck and impressive horsepower of the Ariens APEX 60. It is our choice for the best zero turn mower for large yards.

Smaller yards don't have to be left out, though. The Ariens 915213 mower features a 42” mowing deck and smaller frame that is perfect for smaller spaces. It is out choice for the best zero turn mower for small yards.

For those of you who are trying to limit your carbon footprint, the Ryobi Electric 42-Inch 75AH Zero Turn mower is a solid choice. In fact, it is our choice for the best zero turn mower powered by batteries.