Garden

Best Zero Turn Mowers 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

By August 1, 2017 No Comments
best zero turn mower 2018

If you happen to be one of the very few people on the earth who actually enjoys mowing your lawn, then we envy you.

For the rest of us, it’s a chore that takes up hours of your time, often in the hot sun, when you’d rather be relaxing, spending time with your family, or doing literally anything else besides mowing the lawn.

That’s why if you have a big lawn, it’s so important to have a reliable lawn mower that will help you get the job done as efficiently as possible.

This is where zero turn mowers come in.

These are essentially riding lawn mowers that have a zero turn radius, ensuring that you won’t miss even the smallest speck of grass on your lawn. But what is the best zero turn mower to buy?

There are a quite a few options out there so we’ve compiled a list of the seven best zero turn mowers to help you choose the one that’s going to be the best for your lawn.

There’s a lot to these mowers so this review will be fairly comprehensive, but at the end, you’ll be able to choose the one that’s going to get you off your lawn mower, and back to doing things you actually enjoy.

We also recommend our guides on the best backpack leaf blower and the best hose nozzle.

Top Rated Zero Turn Mowers 2018 Compared

Before we get into the individual product reviews, let’s take a quick look at a list of all the products we’ll be reviewing.

Lawn MowerCutting RadiusWeightOrder Online
Poulan Pro 96733100154”754 pounds
Husqvarna 96733410154"840 pounds
Poulan Pro P46ZX46”760 pounds
Husqvarna MZ6161”770 pounds
Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang42”700 pounds
Troy-Bilt Mustang 4646"680 pounds
Ariens Zoom 4242"440 pounds

Perfect! Now that we have an overview of a couple of the key features, let’s get into it!

1

Poulan Pro 967331001 - Powerful at a Good Price

best zero turn mower

If you haven’t done much research on zero turn mowers, let us provide a little bit of an intro. Their main benefit is their “zero turn” radius, hence the name.

With typical riding lawn mowers, when you finish mowing one row on your lawn and turn to go back the other way, if you’re not careful about exactly when you turn you can end up accidentally leaving a small patch of grass in between the rows.

With a zero turn mower, you never have to worry about that since the turning radius is about as close to zero as you could possibly get.

This stems from the how you actually control the steering. Instead of just using a steering wheel as with traditional riding lawn mowers, you actually have two separate levers (one for your right hand one for your left hand) that you use to independently control the front and back wheels.

This allows for extremely precise control that you just can’t get with a traditional steering wheel. If you haven’t actually driven a lawn mower like this before, then it might take you a couple rounds to get used to it and feel like you have control but once you do, mowing your lawn will never be the same again.

One final thing to note before we get into the reviews – most zero turn mowers are of commercial grade or semi-pro grade. This means that they are definitely going to be a bit pricier than your typical riding lawn mower so make sure you expect that when looking at the prices.

They’re really only necessary if you have acres of lawn to mow. We’ll include a range of mowers however that are great if you have a really giant lawn or even if you have a smaller lawn but just want to cut it as efficiently as possible.

Okay perfect. Now that you have a little bit of background on zero turn mowers, let’s get into the product reviews and really dissect each other mowers on our list.

 best commercial zero turn mowers reviews

Up first, we have the Poulan Pro 967331001. This is an excellent zero turn mower that comes from an extremely reliable manufacturer of all things lawn care related.

Poulan doesn’t just manufacture zero turn mowers – they also manufacture regular lawn mowers, lawn trimmers, leaf blowers, and just about anything else you can think of that you use to take care of your lawn. So they are no stranger producing efficient, reliable lawn care products that you can trust.

The Poulan Pro 967331001 is reasonably priced at around $3,000 – which is a great price considering it has a 54” deck. At 54” or higher, you’ll be hard pressed to find a machine at that price. The deck with this also comes with a 10 year warranty so you know you’re getting quality and you know that Poulan stands behind its product.

It also comes with a 24 HP Briggs v-twin pro engine which is an extremely powerful engine at this price point as well. It also features an electric clutch and a 3.5 gallon tank, allowing you to mow just about any lawn on a single tank of gas. It has hydro gear EZT transmission as well allowing for optimal air flow.

Let’s talk about the logistics of getting a 700 pound lawn mower shipped to your house for a second. Since it’s over 300 pounds, the maximum for most carriers to be able to deliver directly to your door, you might need to either arrange special delivery or have extra help on hand to get it out of the truck upon arrival.

Always make sure to check the specifics for your area before committing to having it delivered as you could end up incurring extra fees – something you don’t want after dropping $3,000 on a brand new lawn mower.

It does come mostly assembled but there is going to be some work involved as far as getting it out of the box and assembling the last bit before it’s ready for use.

With most of the zero turn mowers, and with this one specifically, Amazon offers professional assembly that’s backed by Amazon. They partner with local specialists in your area and for an extra $130, you can have it expertly assembled.

While this may seem a little bit steep, you wouldn’t want to damage your brand new expensive purchase so it could be worth paying only 4% of the total cost to make sure it’s assembled correctly.

However if you’re handy or like do it yourself projects, then by all means assemble away.

top commercial zero turn mowers

This mower is extremely easy to maneuver and you’re actually able to control each wheel individually for maximum control.

In fact, it’s so easy to maneuver this Poulan can easily cut your mowing time in half. It has a top speed of about 6 mph and you can ultimately cut up to 2.8 acres per hour!

Not bad. Also since you are shaving so much off the time you spend mowing, you won’t be putting as many hours or as much strain into the engine. This will ultimately make your engine last much longer. And with a cutting blade that’s 54”, you will speedily zoom through almost any lawn.

As far as the cutting height, you’re able to adjust it anywhere between 1.5” and 4.5” which should be sufficient for most cases. However if you’re really particular about your lawn and what it at a height not in between there, make sure to do your research. Poulan also offers a wide array of branded parts and accessories to supplement the mower e.g., a mulcher and collector if you wish to take your mowing to the next level.

And coming from Poulan, you know you’ll be able to trust their accessories. Also something you should keep in mind is how the mower will handle inclines and declines.

The Poulan Pro 967331001 handles both very well. It’s able to handle just about any type of terrain with ease.

You don’t have to worry about the small rocks, acorns, twigs, etc that you would normally have to worry about with smaller mowers. With that being said – you shouldn’t necessarily go around running over every rock you see, but there is a little bit of leeway if you accidentally run over a couple of rocks.

Poulan really manages to make an extremely solid zero turn mower at a completely reasonable price, especially at 54”. The engine is reliable, it easily handles inclines, declines, and any terrain, the blade is huge, and it’s very easy to maneuver.

One thing that we do want to note is that the seat isn’t super comfortable so if you have a pretty big lawn and you’re going to be spending hours sitting on this, consider getting something to make the seat a bit more cushion-y.

We do also wish that it came with a few more accessories for the price as well i.e., a mulcher and bagger but in the grand scheme of the price of the mower, they aren’t that expensive to purchase and once you have them, they’ll last you a while.

This is a decent first contender that’s going to be difficult to beat. If only for the fact that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with this mower.

The one thing that we recommend is that unless you’re used to working with lawn mowers or work on cars a lot – go for the professional assembly that’s offered through Amazon.

You get the guarantee that comes with Amazon’s services and for only $130, you’ll get peace of mind that your mower was set up correctly straight out of the box and that everything is safe and ready to go.

PROS
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Large cutting width
CONS
  • Seat isn't very comfortable
2

Husqvarna 967334101 - All the Bells and Whistles

best zero turn mower 2017

Just about every mower on this list is going to come from a reliable brand name that’s recognized in the industry and is known for putting out quality products.

Usually we’re not a stickler for brand names, but when making such a large purchase (such as a $3000+ lawn mower), we think it’s important to purchase from a company that has a long history of producing lawn care products.

You wouldn’t really want to buy a brand new car from a company that’s new to the market and just started producing cars? You want the assurance that they’ve spent years and years going through the manufacturing process perfecting everything that they can about the product. This is especially true with something as complicated, expensive, and large as a zero turn mower.

Of course, that’s why next up on our list is a zero turn mower from Husqvarna, the Husqvarna 967334101.

Just like Poulan, Husqvarna is extremely well known in the industry and they have an excellent reputation of producing products that live up to and often beat industry standards.

This Husqvarna 967334101 definitely looks heavy duty, and it is – this is a commercial grade mower, but how does it stack up against the previous Poulan? We started off with a strong contender for the best zero turn mower so let’s see if this Husqvarna can compete.

As far as the cutting radius, it’s actually the exact same as the previous zero turn mower we reviewed at 54”. It’s actually a bit heavier though giving it the feeling of being a little bit sturdier and a little more heavy duty.

The Poulan Pro 967331001 weighs 754 pounds and the Husqvarna 967334101 weighs almost 100 pounds more at 840 pounds. You’ll definitely be able to feel the difference when you’re riding this.

It just feels more commercial grade and you are paying for it with the price, but it will give you the freedom to not worry about mowing over rocks, twigs, acorns, etc.

It also features an air induction mowing technique that actually draws air from both the top and the bottom of the deck that greatly improves the gas lift for a much more superior cut.

Your lawn will be cut even every time and you won’t have to worry about wet (or dry) grass clogging up the deck. You’ll also be able to mow extremely long grass with confidence as you know the grass and air flow is second to none.

You’ll also be able to feel the power from the engine as it’s a 25 HP engine. This is extremely powerful, especially for a lawn mower being used residentially. It honestly makes it that much more fun to drive as well. Just like the previous Poulan, the height positions also varies from 1.5” to 4.5”.

Unlike the Poulan however that offered 8 different heights in that range, the Husqvarna 967334101 lets you choose from 12 different positions within that range giving you even more precise control over how you want your lawn to look.

zero turn mower

The cutting deck also feels very heavy duty. The stamped cutting deck is reinforced with heavy flat-rock steel for even more durability.

As far as the operator interface, it’s very intuitive and even if you’ve never as much as touched a zero turn mower like this, you’ll be able to learn it in no time and be able to shave off some mowing time on your first go.

Guaranteed. It also features 2 anti-scalp wheels in the front that helps to minimize damage to your lawn. This is especially useful if you’re mowing when the grass is wet and when you’re going downhill as that’s when your lawn is most susceptible to being damaged by the weight of the wheels on your mower.

There’s also a simple switch to pull that engages/disengages the blade making it easy for you to control exactly when you want to be cutting.

Do you have a while to drive the mower before you actually get to where you want to start mowing? This makes it super easy to switch the engagement of the blade.

Another nifty feature is that it has an hour meter that actually shows how many hours you’ve been using it. You might think that this isn’t a big deal but it’s useful when you’re trying to figure out exactly when you should perform maintenance.

This is a small but thoughtful feature that will help keep your mower in pristine condition and will save you money and headaches later on down the road.

This is an easy, fun mower to operate. It’s incredibly easy to go around bushes, trees, etc. and you’re able to go almost five hours on one tank of gas! Another great aspect that’s going to save you time, hassle, and money.

This is a commercial grade mower that can easily be used in residential settings. You’ll get all the features of a commercial grade mower but you will unfortunately have to pay for them.

The last mower was only about $3,000 and the Husqvarna 96733410 comes in at a whopping $4500. But with that comes some peace of mind.

This mower is able to handle rocks, sticks, and debris much easier than the previous one, it gives you more options as far as what height you want to cut the grass to, it’s easier to drive (dare we say, fun to drive), and you can go almost five hours on one tank of gas.

And while the seat in the last mower was fairly uncomfortable, this one has a 15 inch high seat back that also includes spring suspension.

This will definitely lessen the blow of any bumps or hills that you go over and make it much more comfortable to use. While this might seem like a small thing to consider, you won’t exactly think so when you’ve used it for 20 hours and your back is starting to hurt.

Again, like with the previous mower – make sure you look into your local courier’s delivery policy and are ready to handle the delivery process.

And if you’re not the most mechanical person in the world, definitely consider opting for the professional assembly offered and backed by Amazon.

Overall this mower is definitely a bit pricier, but since everything is of commercial grade, if you live in a place with a lot of obstacles and debris the extra money can be worth the piece of mind. It will also save you money on repairs down the line. Another thing to consider – if you’ve never used a zero turn mower with this type of steering, Husqvarna makes it very easy to learn on their machines.

Everything operates smoothly and the interface is extremely intuitive. So if you’ve never driven one of these machines before, this would be an excellent option for you to learn on.

Since it is commercial grade, it’s also a good option if you own a small lawn care business and are going to be mowing a wide variety of lawns. This can easily handle any terrain even if there’s a lot of debris or hills.

You’ll also be able to easily track exactly when you need to do maintenance with the hour meter which will help to keep your mower running smoothly for years to come.

All in all, we really can’t fault the Husqvarna 967334101 too much. If budget is not an issue and you’re looking for one of the highest quality machines out on the market today, we can guarantee you’ll be satisfied with this purchase.

PROS
  • Seat includes dual suspension
  • Has 12 different height cutting options
  • Intuitive controls
CONS
  • On pricier end of spectrum
3

Poulan Pro P46ZX - Great Budget Option

best zero turn mowers for commercial use

We loved the first Poulan we reviewed so much (Poulan Pro 967331001), that we decided to include another one on our list – the Poulan Pro P46ZX. Like it’s cousin mower, it’s definitely earned its spot on the list. Both of these mowers are testaments to the high standards that Poulan holds itself to.

The first one that we included had a 54” blade and this one is a bit smaller at only 46”. However this isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on your exact needs.

If you have a smaller lawn and want to save a couple hundred dollars, then this could be a good alternative to the Poulan Pro 967331001. While the blade is a bit smaller, the size is the same. This weighs almost exactly the same as the first Poulan mower.

The engine in this one does have about 8% less power, however.

The first mower was 24 HP but this one is only 22 HP. Unless you know a lot about engines, we really don’t think you’ll be able to notice much of a difference.

It also features Hydro gear EZT transmission making it extremely easy to maneuver. We also almost forgot to mention that the stamped reinforced deck even comes with a 10 year warranty. That kind of warranty really lets you know that a manufacturer stands behind its product.

While you might lose a little bit of HP and a few inches from the blade, you are going to save a bit of money. The Poulan Pro 967331001 will run you about $3000 but this model of the Poulan Pro only costs you about $2800.

Not really a significant savings, but if you don’t need the extra inches then you might as well save the money. You can easily take that money and use it for the professional assembly offered through Amazon, and then still end up saving a bit of extra money.

As we mentioned, it has a hydro gear EZT transmission which makes this mower extremely easy to maneuver. You have precise control over each wheel and you can actually operate each wheel independently either forward, back, left, or right – all just by moving your arms forward or back.

Not a bad deal. Because it is so easy to maneuver, this mower can easily cut your mowing time in half. Even if you’ve never driven one of these types of mowers before, you’ll be able to learn in your first use. It’s particularly easy to change direction and you can mow about 2.4 acres per hour with this.

Like we mentioned with the previous Poulan, this also will put less wear and tear on your engine.

The faster and more efficiently you’re able to mow your lawn, the less strain you’ll be putting on your engine, ultimately extending the life of your zero turn mower.

Also since it’s so easy to maneuver, you’ll be able to get right up against any trees or bushes you might have which will save you time that you’d spend trimming your lawn afterwards. The Poulan Pro P46ZX will give you hours of your life back that you didn’t even know you were missing.

top 10 commercial lawn mower

The wheels on this mower are also of extremely high quality and will do wonders for your yard. Even in wet weather or going down a steep incline, these wheels will barely do any damage to your yard. What’s the point of a beautifully cut yard if the wheels are just going to leave lasting indents?

The rear tires are 18 inches and the front ones are 11 inches which is a great ratio that will get you up any incline swiftly and safely.

The castor wheels are extremely durable and well made and will leave your lawn looking fresh, even, and bright green.

The clutch blade is also within easy reach giving you quick and simple access making it extremely simple to engage. With a smaller mower you would expect the tank to be much smaller, right?

Not with the Poulan Pro P46ZX. You’re still getting a full 3.5 gallon fuel tank that will get you through just about any size yard.

With how easy it is to steer, you can go much faster as you don’t have to be as weary about all the obstacles around. This can easily go over small debris and you can quickly, easily, and safely maneuver around trees, bushes, and anything else that may be in your yard.

Another great thing about this Poulan Pro is consistency. This is easily one of the most consistent mowers on the market ensuring that you’ll get a beautiful even cut every time you mow.

Even if you let your grass grow a little longer than usual or if the grass is a little wet, your lawn will come out looking crisp and fresh.

You also have eight different height levels that you’re able to easily adjust to. You can do it with your foot right from the mower so even if you want different parts of your lawn to be at different heights, you won’t have to jump off the mower, turn it off, and then adjust the blade height.

You can do it easily and conveniently from the comfort of your seat without having to stop or turn off the mower. This may not be a huge deal to everyone, but if your lawn requires you to cut it to variable heights, this is definitely something that can be to your advantage.

best zero turn mower brands

We love the Poulan Pro P46ZX. Yes the blade size may be a bit smaller and there may be a few horses missing from the HP but overall you’re getting all the same features from a reliable brand in the industry, all while saving a couple hundred dollars.

You do also lose a bit of speed – the 967331001 cuts at about 2.8 acres per hour while this one only cuts at 2.4 acres per hour.

In the grand scheme of things however, those are all fairly negligible and you’re still getting a pretty sweet deal if you ask us. But in all seriousness, those are really the only three things that you’re sacrificing.

So if you don’t have a giant yard to begin with and can sacrifice the 8 inches on the blade, save yourself the money and go with the Poulan Pro P46ZX over the Poulan Pro 967331001.

It’s still incredibly easy to maneuver, you still get a 3.5 gallon gas tank, you still get the high-quality castor wheels that are durable and won’t ruin your lawn, and it also provides a comfortable seating experience.

Another thing to note is that it also comes very nicely packaged. This is often a worry when getting expensive, giant things shipped but this will come nicely in tact and you won’t have to stress while it’s en route.

Since you are saving money with this model, we highly recommend going for the professional assembly offered by Amazon.

We think it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that you’ll get from knowing your brand new mower was assembled by an expert and no parts will be coming loose any time soon.

This is one of the cheapest zero turn mowers on our list and also on the market.

You’ll be hard pressed to find one of such high quality from such a reliable brand. It’s the perfect blend of price, comfort, and efficiency. The price is worth the hours alone you’ll get back from upgrading your mower to the Poulan Pro P46ZX.

We can confidently say that you won’t be disappointed with this purchase any time soon.

PROS
  • Extremely easy to maneuver
  • Can purchase professional assembly
  • 3.5 gallon tank
CONS
  • Difficult to assemble by yourself
4

Husqvarna MZ61 - Huge Cutting Width

zero turn mowers

If you hate spending hours and hours mowing your lawn, then you’re already taking a step in the right direction towards solving that problem by considering your first zero turn mower.

However after you’ve done that, there are then two main factors with zero turn mowers to consider that will even further reduce the time that you spend mowing your lawn. The first is maneuverability.

You could have the fastest zero turn mower on the market with the most HP and a 10 foot blade – if it’s difficult to maneuver then it will all mean nothing.

When researching, make sure that you read about the maneuverability and interface of the mower. Is it easy to learn? Are the controls intuitive?

Are there features in place to reduce operator fatigue so you won’t get tired out easily while you’re mowing? It’s a simple but important factor to consider when looking to purchase your first zero turn mower.

The second factor that really helps to shave minutes if not hours off your mowing time, is the size of the cutting deck. If you have a relatively small lawn then this might not matter as much but if you’re cutting a bunch of lawns or you have tens of acres of your own lawn to mow – you’ll want to consider looking for the largest cutting deck that you can find.

If you add 13+ inches to your cutting deck, it could end ultimately end up saving your an hour or two every time you mow which adds up to an entire work day per month!

When you put it that way, the size of the cutting deck really starts to matter. With that intro, let’s take a look at the maneuverability and size of the cutting deck of the Husqvarna MZ61.

Well as you can imagine with all that leading information, the Husqvarna MZ61 has one of the largest cutting decks on our list and possibly on the market at 61 inches!

That is absolutely huge when you think about it – it’s an inch over five feet of grass that you’re cutting in one pass and 33% bigger than the last Poulan Pro we just reviewed. So if using the Poulan your yard take six hours, you could get it down to four hours buy getting a mower with a larger cutting deck.

Two hours of your life back every time you mow your lawn can really add up. Or if you use this to run your lawn care business, that means more money in your pocket as you’ll be more efficient and able to take on more clients. Sounds like a win-win situation.

It also features one of the most powerful engines at 27 HP. It also has a hydrostatic gear transmission which brings us to our other point – maneuverability.

Don’t let the size of the Husqvarna MZ61 fool you. While it may be large, it is still extremely easy to navigate, the interface is extremely user friendly, and you’ll be able to zip around any yard with agility and grace.

There’s also a pedal assisted cutting lift deck so it’s very easy to engage or disengage the blades, saving you even more time while you mow.

best commercial lawn mower review

As far as the cutting system, it features a three blade cutting system while a two blade cutting system is typical of zero turn mowers in this category.

This allows you to not only cut through even thicker grass, but it also provides you with a more even and consistent cut every single time you mow.

While these features are not included, the deck is in fact capable of both mulch and collection if you decide that you do want to add those later on down the line. Husqvarna offers high-quality bags and munchers that are easy to install as well. With the additional blades and width adding to the cutting deck, the Husqvarna MZ61 is especially capable at handling things that aren’t grass – i.e. acorns, twigs, rocks.

If you have a yard with a lot of trees, it also does a surprisingly good job at cutting and processing those leaves without slowing you down or causing an uneven cut on your lawn. One thing to note is that this is a bit larger of a machine so you’ll need to be careful about leaving marks in your yard. It doesn’t include a break pedal so if you are going fast around a turn, it has the potential to cause marks in your yard if you’re not paying attention.

It’s extremely smooth and pretty fast, so it will take a little bit to get used to the steering and control if you’ve never driven a machine like this before. You should really have no trouble on flat ground and it does a fine job at going uphill, but you’ll want to be careful going downhill as you could lose your steering a little bit, especially if the grass is wet or there’s a lot of bumps.

This mower is as commercial grade you can get without leaving the residential zone – it’s a “semi-pro mower” you could say.

The cutting radius is huge, it has a ton of power, and can easily take a 10 hour job with your typical riding mower and turn it into a 4 hour job. If you have a giant field to mow or are going to be using this for business purposes, it will make you extremely efficient saving you both time and money.

We really can’t fault the Husqvarna MZ61 with anything really. The only thing we would caution about is the handling when going downhill and going around turns. It does go pretty fast so it’s easy enough to lose your steering for a second or even more annoyingly, put dents in your lawn that could be a pain to get out.

The last thing we haven’t mentioned yet – the price. Keeping in mind that this is a semi-pro mower and is essentially a commercial grade mower, the price truly isn’t that bad. It comes in at  $4900. This isn’t the highest on our list but it isn’t necessarily the lowest either.

If you’re upgrading from a standard riding lawn mower, this easily turns a 10 hour job into a 4 hour job which more than makes up for the extra money you’ll be paying. And if you’re going to be using this for a lawn care business, you could potentially double the amount of lawns that you could take on.

You could more than make your money back in just a few months.

If efficiency is your goal – especially if you’re using this for business purposes, you’re truly getting a good deal on the Husqvarna MZ61.

You’ll be able to do more lawns, take in more money, and easily pay for this. And if you add the optional bagging and mulching, you can save yourself even more time giving you the ability to make even more money.

Not much to complain about with this Husqvarna, aside from the small issues we have with the control when you’re trying to mow on a decline or around corners.

But if you just take a little bit of time to master the steering, then you should be good to go without damaging your lawn whatsoever. So we say if you have the cash to splash, go for the Husqvarna MZ61.

It’s a solid investment that you can’t afford to not purchase.

PROS
  • 61 inch cutting width
  • Good at handling debris (rocks, sticks, etc)
CONS
  • Difficult to store and transport
5

Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang - Speedy and at a Good Price

zero turn mower 2017

When making such a large purchase, you want to know that the manufacturer that you’re purchasing from actually believes in the product that you’re buying. It’s an extremely comforting feeling when you purchase something and there’s a good warranty behind it because either you know it’s going to work because obviously the company doesn’t want to fix it; or if it doesn’t work, they will fix it! There’s nothing more comforting than three year, five year, ten year, or if you’re lucky – a lifetime warranty.

While it’s almost impossible to find a lifetime warranty on any mechanical part, after all it is a moving part that experiences wear and tear and will give out eventually, it’s not impossible to do so on a static piece. And if you’re wondering why we decided to bring it up with the Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang then wonder no longer.

One of the amazing features with this mower is that it actually comes with a three year limited warranty which in itself is a pretty decent warranty, especially on such a heavy piece of equipment that withstands a lot of wear and tear. However the warranty doesn’t stop there!

In addition to the three year warranty on the actual mower, the frame comes with a lifetime warranty! This is very rare to find with lawn mowers so if you’re the type of person to always be on the lookout for a good warranty, then this is one of the best ones that you’ll find. Even though the Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang comes in at a relatively lower price point then all of the other mowers ($2751), you know that you’re still getting a quality product from Troy-Bilt.

But aside from the warranty, is this a mower that’s going to get the job done?

After all, a lifetime warranty is useless if the specs don’t stack up. In this case however, they more than stack up.

The width of the blade is definitely a bit smaller compared to the rest on our list. It’s only 42 inches so we definitely recommend this mower if you have a smaller lawn or even if you’re just looking for a good budget option and don’t mind the small width.

It’s powered by a 22 HP Kohler Twin Courage engine however so you’re still getting a lot of power for a smaller machine. Another great feature is that the Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang actually has electric power take off (Electric PTO, for short). This gives you fast and easy blade engagement.

Literally all you have to do to get started is press a button and the blades are automatically engaged. This makes it super easy to get started on your lawn. It features a dual blade cutting system with a side discharge deck and also an integrated premium deck wash. So instead of having to manually clean out your mower, it features an attachment where all you have to do is screw in your normal garden hose, turn it on, and the water pressure will do the rest for you.

Pretty simple, huh?

The seat is also extremely comfortable on this mower – more so than a lot of the other ones. It’s very high so it offers a ton of support and makes it so you’ll be comfortable while mowing even the largest of yards.

Another important aspect regarding the seat, it has dual suspension springs. This is important to look out for if you frequently mow for long periods of times or if your yard is especially hilly/bumpy.

It can save you a lot of pain later on down the road. It also offers decent options as far as cutting heights. You have eight different options ranging between 1.5” and 4.5”, which is basically industry standard with residential zero turn mowers. You can tell the construction of this machine is very high end and the machine feels very sturdy and well put together.

This may be a smaller, cheaper machine but when you’re driving it, you’ll feel like you’re zooming on a commercial grade mower.

lawn mower

The Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang definitely lives up to its name – it has a maximum speed of 7 mph forward and 2.5 mph backward.

This is definitely on the faster end of the spectrum out of all the mowers on the market. So what you lose in cutting width, you are able to make up with in speed. There’s also a rear bumper on the back of this mower to protect the frame from any damage while you are zipping through your yard at 7 mph.

Because of its speed, it’s really good at going both up and down hills and is very durable, allowing you to drive on just about any terrain.

And admittedly, since it does go a bit faster, it’s pretty fun to drive! You feel like you’re driving a slow go-cart. Might as well have a bit of fun while doing chores if you can, right? One small down side is that the fuel tank is only 2.8 gallons.

But presumably if you’re using this for smaller lawns, that should be more than enough to get you through most, if not all of your lawn. This is definitely a residential machine through and through but not to say that in a bad way! Residential machines might not have the bells and whistles of a commercial or semi-pro machine, but they do have the benefit of being cheaper, more compact, and also more user-friendly.

Overall this is a nifty little mower. The price is great, the speed is fast, the engine is powerful, and the warranty is amazing. If you don’t need the power and features that come with a commercial or semi-pro machine and just want a more efficient way to cut your own yard, this is going to be the zero turn mower for you.

Not only is it extremely efficient and powerful given its size, it’s also comfortable and fun to ride! It’s user-friendly so anybody is able to hop on and learn how to use it in no time and more importantly, it’s extremely good at handling both inclines and declines.

This is a safety issue that you definitely need to think about if you have a hilly yard and aren’t necessarily a professional in lawn care. It also offers the option to attach a muncher or collector bag down the road, although it would be nice if it were included, we’re not going to be too picky given the price.

It is a bit lighter compared to the rest on our list at only 700 pounds, but it’s still going to be way over the limit that most couriers will accept to deliver straight to your door. So either be prepared to pay a little extra or have your own methods of being able to get this off the crate and unboxing it.

It can be a bit tricky and you won’t want to damage the mower before you even get to use it, so make sure to do your research before just getting this shipped straight to your house.

Other than that, we truly do not have much to complain about with the Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang.

This is a great zero turn mower if you’ve never used one before and are looking for an entry point.

PROS
  • Really fast (7 mph)
  • Great on all terrain
CONS
  • Smaller gas tank (2.8 gallons)
6

Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 - Extremely Comfortable

best zero turn mowers for commercial use

There are a couple of factors to consider when making such a big purchase online. The first, which we discussed with the last product, is obviously the quality of the product. And one huge indicator of the quality of the product is the warranty that is offered by the manufacturer. If you’re spending $3000 on a brand new piece of machinery but the manufacturer doesn’t offer any type of warranty – it’s really going to make you stop and think why.

Don’t they believe in what they’re selling?

Fortunately with this Troy-Bilt Mustang 46, it offers the same exact warranty as the previous Troy-Bilt.

You’ll receive a three year warranty on the actual mower and a lifetime warranty on the frame.

Again, not too shabby. Another major challenge when ordering such a large piece of machinery online however is shipping. It’s not exactly the same scenario as ordering a new pair of shoes online and having it show up on your doorstep in a couple of days. You’re getting a 700 pound hunk of metal sent potentially across the country – that’s going to come with its own set of challenges.

Not everybody has the luxury of being close to a dealer of their favorite mower once they find it so often getting it shipped is the only option. So what are you to do? If you have shipping anxiety when you order something online, i.e. you’re constantly worrying about when it will arrive, whether it got lost, or the condition it’s going to arrive in then this mower might help to quell some of those worries

The amazing thing with the Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 is that it’s actually sold by and shipped by Amazon, one of the leaders in the world in logistics and shipping. So you’ll be getting a killer warranty from the manufacturer and also the peace of mind that comes when Amazon is handling your shipping.

Amazon has long been known for their customer service and promptness to handle complaints so should anything go wrong, you have the two best people on your side (Troy-Bilt and Amazon) to swiftly and efficiently resolve your issue.

With two of your major concerns taken care of, let’s take a look at the actual mower.

This has a slightly larger cutting width than the previous Troy-Bilt on our list at 46 inches so on average, you’ll be about 10% more efficient than the previous model. It also has a more power Briggs & Stratton engine at 24 HP and a twin hydro dual EZT transmission, making it extremely easy to maneuver – even for beginners.

This one also has a forward top speed of 7mph so you’ll be flying around your yard.

As far as the blade settings, it has 8 adjustable height settings ranging from 1.5” to 4.5” which is pretty standard when it comes to zero turn mowers. Just like its 42” brother, it also features an 18 inch high back seat that makes it very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. It also includes one of the cooler features that we love – an integrated premium deck wash that allows you to easily, safely, and efficiently clean out your lawn mower.

Another really handy safety feature that we love is that it comes with two way adjustable lap bars.

These essentially keep you secure in the lawn mower but then you raise them to stand up, it will automatically engage the parking break. Safety is a huge factor when it comes to lawn mowers – especially ones of this caliber, so we really appreciate this thoughtfully designed safety feature on the Troy-Bilt Mustang 46. It also features electric power take-off for easy blade engagement.

AKA, all you have to do is simply press a button to engage the blades and get this mower going.

best rated zero turn residential mowers

The wheels on this mower are also very high quality. They’re greasable castor wheels that will last a long time without having to be replaced – if you ever even have to replace them.

While unfortunately this mower doesn’t come with any mulching or bagging accessories, it does accept all FastAttach accessories which makes it extremely easy to just throw them on without any additional tools or hassle. The cutting system on this mower is also pretty nifty.

The cutting system is perfectly designed for optimal airflow and actually creates a vacuum so that the grass is lifted quickly and easily, ensuring that you’ll get a nice even cut every single time you have to mow.

Overall this is a powerful mower given the size and price. It’s made domestically in the US and is of only the highest quality. We think that this mower even makes mowing fun!

It goes fast, which always makes things a bit more interesting, and delivers a nice even cut no matter which of the eight height adjustments you choose to cut at.

We also love the electric power take-off so you’ll never have to worry about spending frustrating time at the beginning of your work trying to get it started. The seat is extremely comfortable and not only features an extremely high back, but also dual suspension.

We can’t stress how important this can be for your back. If you have back problems or just a really bumpy yard, you’ll want to make sure that the seat features suspension.

Otherwise, even if you buy a cushion, you’re going to be tossed around a lot and could result in back pain both short-term and long-term. The design as been thought out carefully from the wheels to the engine to the seat. It has the ever important adjustable lap bars to make sure that the second you stand up, that the lawn mower will stay in its place. And no more trying to manually wash below the deck!

The integrated premium deck wash makes it so all you have to do is plug in your hose and you’re good to go.

best zero turn mowers for commercial use

Another reason that this mower will be hard to beat – you just can’t beat the warranty backing that you get from Troy-Bilt and you can’t beat the logistics backing that you receive from Amazon shipping your product.

You know that your mower will arrive safe and in tact and then if anything goes wrong in the next few years, Troy-Bilt will swiftly take care of it.

We firmly believe in the importance of a manufacturer standing behind its product and looking out for the consumer – especially when you’re making such a big ticket purchase.

For almost $3000, you could purchase a decent used car! So you’ll want to seriously consider every aspect when purchasing such an expensive mower.

And while it doesn’t come with any accessories (which is definitely a bummer), it’s compatible with all FastAttach accessories so if you feel like spending the money later down the road, you can easily pop them on without any trouble whatsoever, giving you even more versatility with this mower.

We can say with the utmost confidence, that if you purchase the Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 that you will receive a quality mower in good condition and you’ll have a beautiful lawn that you cut in a jiffy. You really just can’t go wrong with this one. Give it a go and let us know how it works out for your lawn!

PROS
  • Great warranty
  • Good safety features
CONS
  • Smaller gas tank
7

Ariens Zoom 42 - Compact Residential Machine

compare zero turn mowers side by side

Just because you’re purchasing a zero turn mower, doesn’t necessarily mean that you want a massive piece of equipment. Perhaps you only spend an hour or two cutting your lawn but you absolutely hate that you spend even that much time cutting your lawn so you want to be able to get it done in one fowl swoop in, let’s say, 20 or 30 minutes?

You’ve done your research and most mowers seem far too big for your lawn – especially the giant 61” or 54” width ones.

Well not to worry!

We’ve discovered the perfect compact zero turn mower, although that may seem like a contradiction of sorts. This is the perfect blend of a zero turn mower and the smaller, more traditional riding lawn mowers.

It’s only 42” so you get a much smaller cutting width but much larger than a regular riding lawn mower and this is specifically designed to suit smaller lawns. Because of its size, it’s obviously much easier to store and also much easier to maneuver. And to top it off, it’s definitely the most user friendly and easiest to handle out of all the mowers on our list.

However – often times with a downgrade in size, you also experience a downgrade in features and specs.

Does that happen with the Ariens Zoom 42? Is it worth getting a smaller mower but losing out on specs?

Lucky for your, Ariens is a fantastic company that has managed to squeeze in just about everything you need in this compact 42” mower so you don’t have to compromise on anything. Like we mentioned, the width is 42”.

The engine is a Kohlera 6000 series engine which is an extremely reliable and powerful engine. While it may only be 19 HP, it seriously feels more like 22 or 24 HP. It truly is a professional grade motor that is sitting in a residential machine.

The deck lift is also foot operated so you don’t need to divert any of your attention away from steering the machine.

With the flick of your foot, you can engage or disengage the deck at a moment’s notice. We also mentioned before this is the most user-friendly machine that you’ll find on the market.

Period.

When engineering this machine, you can tell that they truly considered operator fatigue and did everything within their power to ensure that you can use this machine for long periods of time without losing focus or becoming tired – something important if you’re mowing the lawn for three hours at a time. It features twin blades that are very well constructed and will give you a nice even cut.

Every single time.

Another great aspect is that the deck is actually stamped from one piece of steel so it allows for maximum air flow. This is important because you don’t want any of the cut grass getting stuck on the blades or left behind on the newly cut grass. This can often times lead to grass that’s not cut completely evenly. With the maximal air flow situation however, this will not happen.

ike a couple of the other zero turn mowers we’ve reviewed, this one also features a deck wash out port. So all you have to do is simply plug in your regular garden hose that you have laying around, turn it on, and your machine will be washed in no time. As far as speed, this is another factor you won’t have to compromise on.

While it may not be fast as the Troy-Bilts (and we don’t fault Ariens – the Troy-Bilts are abnormally fast), it still manages to hit top speeds of 6 mph going forward and 3 mph in reverse. These numbers are right on target with industry averages.

One thing that we do have beef with however is the gas tank. It’s only a two gallon tank and while this isn’t necessarily the end of the world, it can be a bit annoying to have to stop your mowing and refill your gas tank. However, since this is a smaller mower, Ariens probably just assumed this would be used on smaller lawns and thus a two gallon tank would be sufficient.

And if you are buying it for that purpose, they would be correct.

We’ve alluded to it already but this is definitely a much smaller mower than a lot of its competitors on this list. This also in turn means that it’s much easier to store.

So if you’re short on space or just don’t want a giant lawn mower taking up valuable space in your garage, this is a great option for you.

So as far as features and specs, so far Ariens hasn’t really skimped on anything – except for maybe the gas tank. Although we can easily forgive that one as this mower will most likely be used on much smaller lawns than the mowers that typically come with 3.5 or 4 gallon tanks

If you’re looking for a space-saving solution for your small to medium sized lawn then look no further!

The Ariens Zoom 42 is your solution. It has a professional grade engine in a residential machine, giving it the sturdiness and power that you wouldn’t expect in such a small machine.

While all the other zero turn mowers on the list easily weigh over 600 pounds, with some coming close to 800 pounds, the Ariens Zoom 42 weighs only 440 pounds! This not only makes it easier to maneuver, but it also makes it much easier to deliver. While 600+ pounds is definitely above the range for any courier to deliver directly to your door, 440 pounds may not be.

It’s not guaranteed so check your local delivery policies specifically, but there’s a much higher chance that this can be delivered with much extra hassle. It’s extremely easy to maneuver and the foot operated deck lift makes it easy to adjust the cutting height of the blade at a moment’s notice.

The air flow through the deck is second to none and will give your lawn a beautifully even cut every time you mow it.

Guaranteed.

If you do plan to use this on a smaller lawn, then you should also be able to get past the smaller tank size and focus on the rest of the positive features Ariens managed to pack in.

Besides the fact that it’s so compact and easy to store, our other favorite aspect is that it’s extremely user friendly and is designed specifically to reduce any sort of operator fatigue.

This is perfect if you’ve never used a zero turn mower and are nervous about operating it for the first time or if you plan on letting your teenage kids mow the lawn with this. You can be sure that they’ll know that they’re doing from the first moment and that this mower was designed to keep them operating the mower safely and efficiently.

This could easily be the best residential zero turn mower. We love the Ariens Zoom 42 and are confident you will too.

PROS
  • Easy to store
  • Good to learn on - very user friendly
CONS
  • A bit pricey for the size

Best Zero Turn Mower - Buyer's Guide

Buying a zero turn mower might end up being one of the largest purchases that you’ve made in a couple of years. And with large, expensive, mechanical purchases comes a lot of different factors that you need to take into consideration.

We know it can be overwhelming reading tons of different reviews and trying to keep track of the key features that are important to you. It can be helpful to have a list of the main features that you definitely need to be on the lookout for. Of course ultimately it will come down to what your exact needs are for your lawn, but regardless of what your needs are, there are still some important factors to consider. Check them out below.

Cutting Width

This is a big one that can vary. A lot. The cutting width can be as low as 42 inches or go as high as 61 inches – almost 50% higher. If you’re cutting acres and acres of lawn or if you’re using the lawn mower as part of your lawn care business, that can mean valuable hours that translates into money.

But maybe you don’t really care about efficiency and you’re more concerned with portability or storage. Then you’ll want to make sure you look out in the opposite direction and that you’re not buying a zero turn mower that you won’t be able to store or even worse, a mower that you won’t be able to transport. So whatever your needs are, make sure you keep an eye out for the width. It will usually be one of the first things the manufacturer lists about the mower and will often times even just be in the name.

Seat

Zero turn mower seat

Now this may be silly to include as a factor but we can guarantee that you’ll be glad that you did – especially if you’re mowing extremely large lawns that take hours to complete.

It can mean the difference of being sore the next day or feeling perfectly fine. Not to mention, an uncomfortable seat or one that doesn’t have any suspension, can potentially cause long-term back problems. So there are two things to look out for: seat height and whether or not it has any sort of suspension to lessen the blow of the bumps.

In general, the higher the seat back the better as it provides more support. And obviously you’ll want it to include suspensions, especially if your lawn is particularly hilly or bumpy.

Engine

Make sure you look out for firstly who makes the engine, and also what HP it has. This may not be important to everybody but if you want a sturdy mower that’s not going to cause you many problems, make sure you’re getting a quality engine. Aside from the blades, this is potentially the most important thing.

It’s great if you have a state of the art mower with premium blades and body but if the engine doesn’t do anything, then you might as well have nothing at all.

Warranty

This is a big one, especially for such a big ticket item. Regardless of how much you actually care about warranty, trust us you’re going to want to have some sort of warranty on the machine.

Nobody ever plans on receiving a faulty machine but sometimes it happens and you want to know that the manufacturer you purchased it from is going to stand behind their product.

A lot of companies offer a three or five year warranty on the mower itself but it’s fairly common to see a lifetime warranty on the actual frame. You can never be too greed when looking for a fair warranty!

Gas Tank

In general, the larger the mower the larger the gas tank will be – but not always! If you have a acres of property to mow, the last thing you want to do is run out of gas midway through your mowing and have to walk all the way back to the garage or truck to get it. Make sure your mower has a large enough tank to do whatever job you have to do.

Shipping

With most products this isn’t an issue but when you’re getting a 700 pound hunk of metal shipped to you, you need to be prepared. It’s not as simple as UPS showing up at your door and you signing for the package. Make sure you thoroughly research exactly what you’ll need to do or have when the mower arrives.

Do you need special machinery? Or maybe you’ll just need a few extra hands to move it. Depending on where you live, you might need to arrange for a special courier to deliver and move it so be prepared! This can also factor into the total cost of the machine so be weary.

Conclusion


There were a lot of really solid zero turn mowers on our list. They all varied widely in their use and purpose and each one will suit a different type of person. But of course, as always, there’s always one that ticks a couple more boxes than the rest and is slightly more versatile, making it usable for a wider audience.

It was a close race this time around so which one ended up being the best zero turn mower for 2018? After much research and consideration, the wait is finally over!

The best zero turn mower has to go to the Troy-Bilt 42 XP Mustang. We fell in love with it from the second we saw it. It has electric power take off, dual blade cutting with an integrated premium deck wash, a comfortable seat with dual suspension, a three year limited warranty, and also a lifetime frame warranty – woah!

Not to mention it’s at a great price and is extremely fun to drive. It can tackle any terrain and can easily go both up and down hills. It also goes up to 7 mph, the fastest we’ve seen on any mower! Not everyone needs a 61” cutting width and for a majority of people, the 42” that the Troy-Bilt provides will do just fine.

Thanks for reading! Buying a zero turn mower can be tricky and stressful but we hope that we managed to help make your decision even a little bit easier. Hopefully you find the mower that’s right for you and have fun making your lawns look beautiful and effortless!

Leave a Reply