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Best zero turn mowers are easy to maneuver and allow you to cut at speeds not achievable by other mowers. They use less gas than other riding mowers and they cut down on the mowing time. Finally, they are fun to use.

Finding the best zero turn mower is not an easy task since there are hundreds of models available to purchase.

We sat down and decided to spend many hours researching zero turn mowers, so you don’t have to. The result is our list of 8 best zero turn mowers and a guide that will give you valuable information.

In Short

If you want the best zero turn mower, then the Husqvarna Z254 Zero Turn Mower 967 32 41-01 54” is a great choice. It is easy to use and comes with a powerful engine. It comes with a large deck that allows you to work on large areas in less time. It has neat safety features and an awesome air filtration system. It works well on wet and tall grass, and there are many useful accessories for it available on the market.

On the other hand, if you want a cost-effective mower, then the Troy-Bilt Mustang 54 Zero Turn Mower 17CDCACW066 is a good choice. It is comfortable to use and has a great engine. It has a large deck and impressive safety measures. It is easy to use and maintain, and it has an enlarged foot section for extra comfort. It can trim hard-to-reach areas allows you to manually adjust the deck.

Best Zero Turn Mower in 2019

PRODUCT NAME
  • HORSEPOWER
  • CUTTING WIDTH
  • ENGINE
  • Price
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  • Reliable
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Powerful engine
  • Large cutting deck
  • Reduced noise
  • No fuel gauge
  • Tricky going downhill
check price

This 27-horsepower zero turn mower is made of 11-gauge steel and does wonders when it comes to cutting grass.

It is a reliable mower that might be a bit hard to use if you’ve never used something similar. Luckily, it comes with a great manual that will teach you everything.

If you need the best zero turn mower that is efficient and economic, then Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower could be a great choice.

Design and Features

We love beautifully designed machines, and MZ61 is one of them. It looks great, but it is also comfortable. The vinyl seat comes with armrests and foam-padded hand grips. You can stop worrying about MZ61 being uncomfortable because the seat comes with vibration dampeners. So, if you want to use this zero turn mower for hours, you can do it without any comfort problems.

This riding mower comes with the 27 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. It is a very efficient engine that doesn’t produce a lot of noise during use. It is also very durable, which is to be expected from Briggs & Stratton. This engine is capable of supplying power to the unit for a long time, provided that you maintain it.

We love the fact that the body of this unit is made of strong steel, and so is the cutting deck. So, if you work in a rocky area or an uneven terrain, you can rest assured that you will be safe from harm. The wheels are capable of surviving rugged terrain, which is always appreciated.

The 61-inch cutting deck is great for trimming large lawns. It helps you save time when you have a massive grass-cutting task in front of you. The deck is made of 11-gauge thick steel, and it is very easy to clean. You can lift the deck via a pedal, which means that you don’t have to stop the mower while lifting the deck. It can go as low as 1.5 inches and as high as 4.5 inches. It is also worth mentioning that this zero turn mower comes with three blades.

This zero turn mower is useful in both commercial and residential mowing. You can expect it to go up to 8.5 mph, which lets you work quickly on large grassy areas. The hydrostatic gear transmission gives you total control over many kinds of lawn surfaces. Moreover, you won’t have any problems starting this zero turn mower. You only have to put in the key, and the engine will come to life.

You might need some time to learn how to control this riding mower, but, once you get the hang of it, you won’t look back. You also have a choice between collecting or mulching the grass clippings.

Things to Consider

It is hard to find anything negative about this zero turn mower. The only complaint we have noticed it that it creates skid marks during tight turns. Fortunately, skid marks can be avoided if you take your time to make a tight turn.

The lack of a fuel gauge is a minor annoyance that can be ignored. The bigger problem is the fact that going down a hill on this mower might be tricky.

Summary

If you want the best zero turn mower with lots of power, then Husqvarna MZ61 is exactly that.

It has a powerful and durable 27 HP Briggs & Stratton engine that won’t wake up your neighbors. It is comfortable to use and offers a great cutting deck.

Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower 61″ is comfortable to use, and it offers great speeds.

Using it takes a little bit of practice, but it is worth it. The price might be steep, but it is understandable since Husqvarna MZ61 is one of the best zero turn mowers.

All in all, if you want a mower great for commercial and residential use, you should consider this one.

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  • Economical
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Isn’t noisy
  • Good turning radius
  • Not for hilly terrain
  • Small cutting deck
check price

If you are looking for a comfortable zero turn mower that is reliable and performs well, Poulan Pro P46ZX is worth thinking about.

It is a maneuverable mower that lets you go around trees without any problems. It allows you to finish your work at a fast pace without sacrificing the quality of the cuts.

Poulan Pro P46ZX is a smart choice for residential work as it isn’t as loud as the other ones on the market.

Design and Features

This machine is comfortable to use thanks to the high-backed seat. It offers you good back support, so you don’t have to sacrifice your health while working.

This zero turn mower features the Briggs v-twin pro engine that runs on 22hp. It might not be noisy, but you will feel the vibrations while working. It is a durable engine that has proven its worth time and time again. It is ideal for small fields, but it also gives enough power for medium-sized fields and yards.

P46ZX comes with a 46-inch deck. It might not be big, but it does its job well enough. The cutting deck promotes the lifting of grass, which, in turn, leaves you with smooth results. The deck is made of steel and is reinforced, which gives it durability. It also lets you adjust the cutting height manually by using the levers, and it comes with two cutting blades. The cutting height ranges from 1.5 to 4 inches. The deck even has a washout port that gives you the power to clean it quickly and efficiently. The grass spreads to the side, which means that you can easily mulch it.

The top speed is 6mph, which is OK. It also boasts a 3.5-gallon fuel capacity, which allows you to cut over two acres of land without refueling. Moreover, the fuel tank is made of glass, so you can always see the fuel level.

This zero turn mower is very maneuverable. You can zip between the trees without any problems since this mower is easy to use. We love the fact that P46ZX can rotate in place. It is both a practical and fun feature.

We love mowers that don’t need a choke to start, so it is easy to understand why this model is dear to us. We also love awesome safety features included in this zero turn mower. You can only start the engine when the mower deck is disengaged, the parking brake is on, and the steering is in the locked neutral position.

Things to Consider

Obviously, the cutting deck could have been larger since plenty of users will find 46 inches to be small.

We have noticed that many customers complain about this mower working poorly on slopes. So, if you tend to work in hilly areas, you should consider a different model.

Finally, there are some complaints about the seat being uncomfortable during turning around.

Summary

If you want to get your cutting job done fast, then Poulan Pro P46ZX might be a decent choice.

Yes, the cutting deck isn’t huge, but it gets the job done and produces smooth results.

P46ZX comes with a reliable and powerful engine that won’t wake your neighbors, but it will help you finish your cutting tasks early.

The top speed could have been better, but it is enough to let you finish most of the medium tasks without any hiccups.

In conclusion, Poulan Pro P46ZX is the best zero turn mower for residential areas, provided that you don’t mind a bit smaller cutting deck. It is comfortable to use, easy to operate, and it cuts well.

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  • Efficient gas consumption
  • Easy to use
  • 7-step height adjustment
  • Sturdy
  • Great mulching kit
  • Doesn’t work in hilly areas
  • Wet grass clogs the deck
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If you need to keep a residential area neatly mowed, Ariens Zoom 34 might be the best zero turn mower for the job.

This machine saves your time and effort and ensures that you are left with a neatly trimmed lawn. It is designed for commercial lawn care, but nothing is stopping you from using it in your backyard.

It is highly mobile, easy to use, and it boasts an efficient fuel consumption.

Design and Features

This gorgeous zero turn mower turns heads thanks to its high-back seat. Plenty of companies out there don’t pay a lot of attention to comfort. So, it is nice to see a seat that is comfortable even after prolonged use. The padding is firm, but it doesn’t cause any discomfort. We only wish that we could adjust the seat.

The overall construction of Ariens Zoom 34 Kohler 6000 Series seems to be sturdy. All of the steel and plastic parts seem to be hard enough to survive plenty of abuse. The only minor annoyance happens to be the weight. This zero turn mower weighs 425 pounds, which makes us think that it might have problems tackling sloped areas.

Ariens Zoom 34 comes with a 19-horsepower 6000 Series V-Twin 4-Cycle Engine created by Kohler. Kohler is well-known for powerful and durable engines, so it is nice to see one of their gasoline-powered engines in this zero turn mower. If you need to mow half an acre, then it will probably take you around half an hour with this engine.

The deck is made of steel. It is a 34-inch deck that is 12 inches thick and stamped for extra fortification. It has seven heights, and you can easily adjust them from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. The deck is a bit limited when it comes to the capacity of handling clippings, but it comes with three sharp blades. So, try to use this zero turn mower on grass that is shorter than the deck.

Ariens Zoom 34 Kohler 6000 Series comes with a 5-gallon tank, which is not bad at all. We would definitely like to see a bigger tank, but at least this one lets you see how much fuel is left inside.

We are glad to notice that Ariens Zoom 34 comes with plugs for both bagging and mulching. Of course, you will have to buy the bags separately, as well as the attachments. Bagging is done well, so you will notice the clippings dropped to the side only when the bag is full. Mulching is done admirably, albeit consuming a bit more gas.

Things to Consider

The only problem with this zero turn mower is that it doesn’t perform well in hilly areas. It won’t go uphill or downhill, so it is best used in flat residential areas.

There is another problem that concerns deck clogging. Fortunately, it happens only during rainy days. Wet grass will clog up the deck, so make sure to pay attention to your deck if you plan to work on a wet day.

Summary

Ariens Zoom 34 is one of the best zero turn mowers we’ve seen. It looks good and works even better. It has a solid and durable engine that will make your job a breeze. The high-back seat is a pleasure to sit on, and the adjustable deck is pretty good.

This zero turn mower can both bag and mulch, but it can’t perform in sloped areas.

If you need a zero turn mower that is easy to use and saves your time, consider the Ariens Zoom 34.

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  • Cost-effective
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use & maintain
  • Low noise & vibrations
  • 8-step height adjustment
  • Safety features
  • Not good in constant uphill climbs
  • Smooth front wheels
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This zero turn mower is highly efficient and user-friendly. It has a great engine which helps you save time during work.

Troy-Bilt Mustang 54 might be the best zero turn mower for large fields. It offers many height positions, and it is comfortable to use for a prolonged time.

If you need a zero turn mower that comes packed with great features and offers plenty of power, you should consider the Mustang 54.

Design and Features

If you have long working hours, then you are going to love this machine. It is designed with comfort in mind, which becomes obvious when you notice the dual suspension. It also boasts an enlarged foot deck section, which allows you to relax your legs during hard work. Mustang 54 also comes with a high-back seat that is comfortable even on bumpy terrain. The lap bars are fully adjustable and they provide you with impressive controlling abilities.

Mustang 54 comes with a 54-inch deck that is highly compatible. It is made of 13 gauge aluminum and offers three blades that are optimized for flat areas. The deck offers eight heights ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. You can also adjust the deck manually if you are so inclined.

The 24-HP Briggs & Stratton V-twin engine is powerful, yet silent. It is easy to maintain and clean, and it even comes with an overhead valve that makes it less likely for the engine to overheat. The engine is economical with the fuel, and it lasts longer than other models on the market. The fuel tank has a capacity of 2.8 gallons, and it has a window that makes monitoring the fuel levels a breeze. All in all, you can expect to achieve a maximum speed of seven miles per hour, which is good enough for hilly areas.

The zero-turn feature works great. It allows you to trim even the trickiest corners of the field. The hydraulic steering throttles also play an important role in making this mower capable of trimming down hard-to-reach areas.

The safety measures of this zero turn mower are awesome. You need to be seated for the engine to start, but that’s not all. You also have to enter a code that you’ve set before the engine roars to life. Finally, when you leave the seat, the mower stops automatically.

The wash port is great, and it helps you clean the grass without exerting a lot of effort. You also receive a cup holder, which is a neat little addon.

Things to Consider

The first thing we have noticed is that the front wheels are too smooth. Front wheels lack traction, which could be a problem.

Another problem concerns constant uphill climbs. While Mustang 54 works well in hilly areas, constant uphill climbs are a problem.

Finally, this zero turn mower lacks LED lights found in other mowers. It is a minor flaw, but a flaw nonetheless.

Summary

Troy-Bilt Mustang 54 is a great zero turn mower. It is very cost-effective, and it comes with an awesome engine.

It is a zero turn mower that comes with plenty of useful features, and it has a great adjustable deck. It might not perform well in constant uphill climbs, but it can tackle sloped areas.

Mustang 54 is easy to maintain and clean, and it seems to be very sturdy. It has a powerful engine that doesn’t make a lot of noise, but it would benefit from LED lights.

All in all, Troy-Bilt Mustang 54 is worth thinking about if you are browsing for the best zero turn mower.

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  • Large cutting deck
  • Powerful engine
  • Durable & sturdy
  • Safety features
  • Lots of attachments
  • Grass clippings build up on the deck
  • Can’t cut horizontally on sharp slopes
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If you need a machine with the best airflow, then the Z254 might be the best zero turn mower for you.

Husqvarna Z254 is sturdy and maneuverable. It is very easy to use, despite looking like a complicated machine. It utilizes a great engine which helps it work wonders on large grassy areas.

If you need a zero turn mower for your lawn care service, you should consider giving the Z254 a go.

Design and Features

We love mowers that offer an automatic choke system, and Husqvarna Z254 does not disappoint. Starting this machine is effortless and it doesn’t require a lot of user input.

The overall design is great. This machine looks like a sturdy piece of hardware, but it manages to be pleasing to the eyes. Z254 can survive plenty of small, annoying hills, and it can go over bumpy surfaces without toppling over.

This zero turn mower comes with a 54-inch cutting deck. The deck is reinforced with steel, which makes it durable and capable of withstanding lots of punishment. The deck allows the three blades to function well without succumbing to wear and tear. You can easily raise or lower the deck in six different positions ranging from 1-½ inches to four inches.

The 747cc Kohler 7000 Series Twin Cylinder Engine is one of the best engines out there, and we are happy to see it in this mower. It comes with an air filtration system that increases the airflow, which is great if you want your mower to last for a long time. The filtration system will also reduce the foliage block. This engine is proven to work well on tall and wet grass, and it delivers an even cut every time. A neat addition is the rear engine guard that adds extra protection to the engine and your mower.

When it comes to the speed, this zero turn mower can go up to 6.5 miles per hour. It is not the best, but it is certainly nothing to scoff at. The fuel tank has a capacity of 3.5 gallons, which is not bad, but a bit more fuel capacity wouldn’t hurt.

The zero-turn functionality works fairly well, allowing you to rotate the mower without a turning radius. Unfortunately, the maneuverability is lacking on terrains with many slopes, as well as on terrain riddled with obstacles like trees and rocks.

We love noticing useful safety features, and Z254 does not disappoint. It comes with an auto parking brake system that adds an extra layer of safety. You activate and deactivate the brakes by positioning the steering levers, which is convenient.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that there are plenty of attachments for this mower on the market. You can purchase an armrest kit, a front scoop blade, a rear hitch kit, a lawn sweeper, an LED headlight, and plenty more.

Things to Consider

The most annoying problem with the Z254 is the accumulation of grass clippings on the deck. It can be quite a nuisance, especially when you have to stop working to clean the deck.

Another problem is that this zero turn mower can’t cut horizontally on sharp slopes, which isn’t a big deal. But, if you have a yard that could benefit from cutting horizontally on sharp slopes, find a different model.

Finally, we have noticed minor problems with warranty claims in the past. We hope that those problems remain in the past.

Summary

Husqvarna keeps reminding us why so many people trust it. It delivers awesome-performing machines that don’t empty your wallet.

Husqvarna Z254 is one of the best zero turn mowers we’ve reviewed, and it comes with all the necessary bells and whistles. It features an impressive engine that offers lots of power. The engine is durable and has a great air filtration system.

While most zero turn mowers have problems with grass clippings accumulating on the deck, this one seems to gather more clippings.

To conclude, if you want the best zero turn mower, and you need a large cutting deck, then Husqvarna Z254 might be a great choice.

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  • Innovative control system
  • Large cutting deck
  • Sturdy & durable
  • Great maneuverability
  • 8-gallon fuel tank
  • Easy to use
  • Expensive
  • Large
check price

Swisher is a company with over 70 years of experience. It creates quality zero turn mowers that come packed with the latest features.

Swisher Response Gen 2 is a residential zero turn mower with a strong frame and an excellent engine. It is a zero turn mower that can be used by professional landscapers and amateurs.

If you want a zero turn mower that is built like a tank, you might want to consider the Swisher Response Gen 2.

Design and Features

We weren’t joking when we said that this mower is built like a tank. It is massive and powerful, so some consider it an industrial model. It has a high-back seat with armrests, which is always appreciated. We love the all-black design that makes it look like a secret military vehicle that is easy and comfortable to ride.

It comes with a 54-inch cutting deck made of fabricated steel. It holds three mulching blades that get the job done efficiently. Adjusting the deck is a breeze with the foot-assisted deck lift. You only have to use your foot to change the cutting height between 1.5 and 4.5 inches. The front debris shield works wonders on the airflow, but, most importantly, it prevents the grass from escaping under the front and blowing back in your face.

Powerful 724cc Briggs & Stratton V-Twin OHV Engine makes sure that this zero turn mower is a powerful machine. It is a reliable engine that comes with a digital 24-hour meter that lets you know when you need to maintain the engine. The engine is less noisy than the other ones on the market, giving you the ability to work without waking up the neighbors. If you are worried about slopes, Swisher ZTR2454BS will make your worries go away. This zero turn mower handles slopes with ease, which is awesome.

When it comes to speed, Swisher Response Gen 2 does not disappoint. It allows you to go eight miles per hour forward, as well as reverse. The fuel tank offers eight gallons of capacity, which is impressive. You won’t have to sacrifice your work-time to refill the tank since you won’t be doing it often.

Finally, this zero turn mower utilizes a joystick-like system and calls it Rapid Response control system. Lap bars aren’t hard to use, but a joystick is much easier. It saves your energy and makes controlling the mower a breeze. Moreover, joystick controls are more responsive than lap bar controls.

Things to Consider

It is hard to find faults with this machine, but does that fact make it the best zero turn mower?

Unfortunately, there is one flaw that concerns fuel. Swisher ZTR2454BS isn’t very fuel-efficient. It uses a lot of fuel, but at least it comes with a large fuel tank.

One minor issue is that the seat is up high, which some users treat like a downside, but we do not.

Finally, this is an expensive machine. If you are not prepared to cough out a lot of dough, then our advice is to find a different zero turn mower.

Summary

Swisher Response Gen 2 is an amazing zero turn mower that brings a couple of innovations that feel like a godsend.

It is a sturdy machine with a 54-inch cutting deck that houses three mulching blades. The deck height is easily adjustable, and the engine is a beast that doesn’t roar but instead purrs.

Swisher ZTR2454BS isn’t fuel-efficient, but at least it comes with an eight-gallon fuel tank. It is expensive, but we think that the price is worth it.

All things considered, this might be the best zero turn mower if you can afford it.

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  • 13-step height adjustment
  • Powerful engine
  • Reverse mowing feature
  • Great maneuverability
  • Comfortable & sturdy
  • Consumes more gas than competitors
check price

Ariens is a well-known name. It is a company that has been creating high-quality products for a long time, and it continues that tradition to this day.

If you need a residential mower that has all of the qualities of an industrial zero turn mower, then Ariens IKON-X might be a good choice.

It is a sturdy machine with a powerful Kawasaki engine with great torque and excellent cutting capabilities.

Design and Features

IKON-X 52” comes in a gorgeous orange color that reminds us of muscle cars. It also comes with a great seat that features comfortable padding and armrests. It is obvious that Ariens wants you to be comfortable during work by keeping the arm fatigue to a minimum. This zero turn mower is sleek and lets you work for a long time before discomfort sets in.

IKON-X 52” comes with a 52-inch fabricated deck that houses three blades. You can set the cutting height by using a dial that is more accurate than the pin-and-lever process. You can choose between 13 cutting positions that range from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. This zero turn mower is versatile and allows you to perform different trimming tasks. IKON-X 52” is one of the best zero turn mowers out there thanks to how effortlessly it lets you adjust the cutting height. Moreover, the deck features a 4-point hanging deck suspension that produces even cuts on uneven terrains.

The 726cc Kawasaki FR V-Twin Engine is a monster of an engine. It gives more power than the majority of other ones on the market, and it makes your job easier than before. The engine allows you to take on the most demanding mowing tasks like golf courses. Moreover, it is a reliable engine that doesn’t quit on you when you need it the most.

You receive a 2.8-gallon fuel tank. It isn’t a lot, but it is enough to allow you to finish work on even the largest yards. IKON-X 52” can go up to seven miles per hour, which allows you to get more work done in less time.

What makes this zero turn mower exceptional is its ability to turn on a dime. It allows you to mow the trickiest spots without any hitches. It also utilizes the reverse mowing feature that is extremely useful when you don’t want to do a 180-degree turn. Moreover, it has a hill mowing ability that makes it stand out from the rest of the pack.

Things to Consider

It is hard to find a fault in Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″. The only problem we have noticed is that doesn’t come with a mulching set, which we kinda expected at the price this mower is offered at.

We noticed a couple of complaints related to users not being able to find a local place that sells Ariens parts.

Finally, this zero turn mower tends to consume more gas than other zero turn mowers.

Summary

Ariens has outdone itself with the IKON-X 52”. It is an awesome zero turn mower that is comfortable to use. It gives you 13 cutting positions and a powerful engine that makes mowing feel easy.

This zero turn mower lets you work on slopes up to 15 degrees, which other zero turn mowers fail to provide. It might not be the cheapest on the market, and it doesn’t come with a mulching set, but it lets you mow in reverse.

In conclusion, if you want the best zero turn mower, and you don’t mind spending a bit more on gas, then IKON-X 52” could be a smart choice.

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  • Large cutting deck
  • Great engine
  • Durable
  • Precise
  • Comfortable
  • Problems with the safety switch
check price

Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP comes with a large cutting deck that lets you work on large plots of land. It is an excellent choice for residential mowing, but it is also a good choice for commercial use.

It is a zero turn mower that is worth considering if you have plenty of demanding lawn work. Troy-Bilt Mustang comes with plenty of useful features and provides you with the premium performance needed for quick and easy mowing.

Design and Features

Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP looks sleek and modern. It comes with a comfortable high-back vinyl seat that allows you to work almost effortlessly. It is wide and tall enough to allow you to work without the need to hunch over. This mower also comes with dual suspension springs that let you work on rough terrain without experiencing harsh discomfort. Moreover, the long-lasting heavy-duty frame adds to the longevity. You can even add rear bumpers to protect both you and the machine.

This machine comes with a durable 60-inch fabricated deck. You are free to choose between eight different deck heights ranging from 1.5 to 3.75 inches. If you need the best zero turn mower for large landscapes, then this one is probably it.

The 724cc Briggs & Stratton Commercial Turf Twin engine is powerful and durable. It allows for a maximum speed of seven miles per hour, and it has an electric Power Take Off system for fast blade engagement. Many customers thank the engine for cutting their mowing time in half. The fuel tank has a 2.8-gallon capacity, which could be better, but it is nothing to scoff at.

This zero turn mower is precise when it comes to maneuverability. It allows you to make sharp turns on a dime. You won’t have to do follow-up trimming with Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP. Front caster wheels help with achieving superior mobility. Front wheels are greasable, which ensures longer bearing life.

Finally, this zero turn mower comes with cruise control that maintains speed for you. It is a neat feature that we are happy to see included with Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP.

Things to Consider

The biggest problem seems to be the seat safety switch. It seems to shut off the blades when going over small bumps, which is not ideal. The safety switch can be bypassed, but it is an important safety feature we don’t recommend bypassing.

Summary

Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP is probably the best zero turn mower for commercial usage, but it can also be used in residential areas.

It boasts a powerful engine with an electric Power Take Off system, and it comes with a large 60-inch deck.

It is an exceptionally mobile zero turn mower, but it comes with a safety switch that might cause problems.

In closing, if you want a zero turn mower that is durable, versatile, and comfortable to use, Troy-Bilt Mustang 60 XP could be a smart choice.


Useful Info About the Best Zero Turn Mowers

There are hundreds of zero turn mowers on the market, and finding the best one can be challenging. That’s why the information we have provided here will help you find the best zero turn mower.

All of them cut grass, but the differences are noticed in comfort, speed, durability, price, and more. We will teach everything you know so you don’t have to scratch your head when you need to make the final decision.

Is it Difficult to Drive a Zero Turn Mower?

The difficulty of riding a zero turn mower stems from the type of steering. Some come with a steering wheel, so if you’ve driven a car, you won’t have a problem with them. But, there are a couple more steering options.

The most common steering option is lap-bar. You might need some time to get used to the lap-bar, but it shouldn’t take you too long. If you move the right bar forward, the right wheels will move forward. The same goes for the left side. So, if you push both bars forward, the mower will move straight forward. It is similar to the controls in a tank.

Some zero turn mowers utilize a joystick for steering, which is great if you’ve played video games. Stand-on mowers are not common, and they are used by professional contractors, so you probably won’t be using them.

All in all, even if you’ve never driven a zero turn mower, you shouldn’t have any difficulties. Of course, there is a slight learning curve, but it is nothing that can’t be mastered after a couple of mowing tasks.

Types of Zero Turn Mowers

While there is no official classification of zero turn mowers, we’ve decided to help you out with our classification.

  • Entry-level: These are the perfect choice if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. They are also a good choice if you don’t plan on using them often because they are not designed for daily use. They tend to have less expensive components, and they always use two hydrostatic transmissions. Entry-level zero turn mowers can be hard to use if you’re a beginner, and they usually have a shorter life than more expensive types. Finally, most of them typically have a stamped deck.
  • Mid-grade: The first boost in quality with mid-grade zero turn mowers is noticed in the deck. Mid-grade models tend to have heavy-duty fabricated decks made from heavy gauge steel. They have a stronger transmission with increased torque ratings, which makes them able to handle heavy loads. Mid-grade models are most popular because they strike a great balance between price and quality. They have higher speeds than entry models, and they come with better seats and tires.
  • Semi-pro: These zero turn mowers are popular with landscaping contractors with a lower budget. They can also be used by property owners who need them for daily use. They come with heavy-duty transmissions, large fuel tanks, and heavy-gauge steel frames. They are capable of achieving speeds of up to eight miles per hour, and they offer plenty of comfort features. Semi-pro zero turn mowers also handle bumps better. If you want to work comfortably, then a semi-pro zero turn mower is a great choice.
  • Professional/commercial: Professional zero turn mowers are large and heavy. They are sturdy and come with the largest cutting decks. They feature the most powerful engines that make them go up to 15 miles per hour. These zero turn mowers are exceptionally sturdy. They are created for all year long work, and they are comfortable to drive. Unfortunately, they are expensive. So, they are a smart choice for professional mowing contractors that work on large fields.

Which Deck Size do I Need?

The size of the deck depends on the kind of work you intend to do and the terrain you will be mowing.

  • Under 42 inches: Our advice is to avoid these zero turn mowers. They are unstable on slopes, hard to use, have lousy traction, and can mess up your lawn. They are OK if you want to save money, but they require practice to use them well.
  • 42-46 inches: They are a good choice if you have a 1-acre yard. They cut well and don’t have any problems that smaller decks have. They are a good choice for residential lawns.
  • 48-50 inches: These decks are a good choice if you plan to work on between one and three acres of land. Try not to tackle slopes if you are not sure that the mower won’t topple over.
  • 52-54 inches: These decks are an excellent time-saver. They can do what a 42-46 inch deck can, but 30-40% faster. They are a smart choice if you need to work on areas greater than three acres. They have a wider wheelbase, so they can handle slight slopes.
  • 60-61 decks: Most of the pros go for these decks. If you want to cut up to five acres of land, these decks can do it in around one hour, if the engine is powerful enough. These decks cut fast, and, most importantly, well. They are also good at handling moderate slopes.

Important Features of the Best Zero Turn Mowers

You need to be aware of some important features before you can commit to a purchase. Some of them will decide the way that you steer your new zero turn mower, while the others will decide how long you can work uninterruptedly.

  • Engine: The best choice is to go for a V-twin cylinder engine. Single-cylinder engines are cost-effective, but not powerful for hard tasks. The maker of the engine is not very important if you have spare parts readily available. But, if you don’t have a spare part dealer nearby, you might want to consider a different engine maker. Try to go for engines that offer at least 20 horsepower.
  • Deck: We have helped you choose the deck size, but there is one more thing you need to know. Mower decks can be stamped or fabricated. Fabricated decks are more durable than stamped ones, but they are more expensive. They can also survive rugged terrain and long mowing sessions. Stamped decks are lighter and allow good airflow. They are better suited for mulching and bagging than fabricated decks.
  • Speed: Most of the time, the faster the mower is, the faster the work is complete. But, speed means nothing if the engine is not powerful enough. Speeds of 4-6 miles per hour are OK, but try to go for a model that offers speeds around eight miles per hour.
  • Wheels: Try to find a zero turn mower with wide rear wheels. Rear wheels add to the maneuverability and ease out the pressure put on the grass. Large rear wheels are important if you want to work on slopes and uneven terrains. On the other hand, if you intend to work on flat terrain, you can go for smaller rear wheels.
  • Fuel capacity: If you want to work without interruptions, then you need a large fuel tank, especially if you’re a contractor. Fortunately, most zero turn mowers come with a fuel tank that is good enough for most landscaping jobs.
  • Comfort: Since you will be spending a lot of time on your new mower, you need to make sure that you feel comfortable using it. Look for lap bars that are adjustable and padded. Try to find a seat with a high backrest and a suspension system that will make bumpy rides less harrowing. You can also look for a seat that has armrests if you are so inclined. Don’t forget about the leg space because you wouldn’t want to end your day of work with cramped legs.
  • Accessories: If you don’t want to pay extra for useful accessories, try to find a zero turn mower that offers at least some accessories. Some machines come with baggers or mulching kits, and they are a good choice. You can also try to find engine guards and light kits, as well as seat covers. Finally, you can try to find wheel covers and non-stick sprays.

Maintenance Tips

If you want your new zero turn mower to perform well and last for a long time, you need to do a couple of things.

Always get acquainted with the manual. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure that you follow them. You should also grease your zero turn mower regularly if you want optimal performance.

Don’t forget to sharpen the cutting blades. The blades dull over time, so if you want a smoothly cut grass every time, sharpen your blades often. You should also remember to change the oil regularly. If you own a car, you know the importance of clean oil, so apply the same knowledge to your new zero turn mower.

Always clean your mower. Make sure that you clean all the grass out of it if you want it to perform well all the time. Cleaning the mower also increases its longevity, so don’t skip doing it.

Finally, maintain your ears by wearing earplugs or some other kind of protection. Prolonged exposure to noise can induce hearing loss and cause tinnitus.