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Compare the best zero-turn mowers

Tackle large yards in a snap.

Mowing large lawns can be time-consuming, even with a riding mower. Luckily, you can slash your cutting time with the right zero-turn mower for your yard size and layout.

Compare some of the best zero-turn mowers

NameAverage priceDeck size (inches)Top speed (miles per hour)Engine (horsepower)Purchase
Husqvarna MZ61
$5,00061827Buy now
Ariens IKON X
$3,10052723Buy now
Toro TimeCutter SS3225
$2,60032722Buy now
John Deere Z525E
$4,000548.524Buy now
Swisher Commercial Grade Response Pro
$7,41060821.5Buy now
Beast 48ZBM19R
$2,800481020Buy now
Data obtained January 2020. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

What is a zero-turn mower?

Zero-turn mowers don’t have a front steering wheel. Instead, they are controlled using two levers that control each rear wheel.

The mower pivots on its back wheels, allowing it to turn on a dime — with a zero-turning radius. This allows zero-turn mowers to move quickly and cover large areas more efficiently than smaller riding and push mowers. On the other hand, zero-turn mowers are larger than other types of lawn mowers, so they’re best for wide open spaces.

Zero-turn mower options

Several types and sizes of zero-turn mowers are available. The right one for you will depend on your experience level and the size and layout of the space you’ll be mowing.

  • Entry-level. The most affordable zero-turn options, they’re perfect for the average homeowner who’s looking to cut their lawn care time in half.
  • Mid-grade. These are heavier-duty than entry-level ones, and usually have a more powerful engine that can reach faster speeds.
  • Semi-pro. Popular among professional landscapers and contractors, these machines are ultra-durable, can mow several acres on one tank of gas and have built-in features to maximize comfort.
  • Commercial. Also called industrial mowers, these models are built for everyday use and are the cream of the crop. They feature the largest mowing decks and engines, and fastest speeds. But they also sport the biggest price tags.

Pros and cons

Zero-turn mowers can be helpful machines for the right person and job, but they’re not for everyone.


  • Can cut grass quicker than other types of mowers
  • Can easily cut around trees, flower beds and other larger obstacles
  • A wide range of attachments and extra features are available


  • Not ideal for small yards and tight spaces
  • More expensive than other types of mowers
  • Can be more difficult to operate than other mowers

How to compare zero-turn mowers

Consider these key features when narrowing down your search for the perfect mower:

  • Price. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for a new zero-turn mower. The larger the mower and the more features, the bigger the price tag.
  • Deck size. A larger deck size means you’ll be able to cut more grass in one pass. But if you have a yard with lots of trees and other obstacles, a smaller deck size may be best.
  • Engine. Commercial-grade zero-turn mowers typically have the highest horsepower engines. The higher the horsepower, the easier it will be to cut through thick grass and weeds — as well as navigate hills.
  • Speed. Most zero-turn mowers are considerably faster than the average riding mower. Check the specific maximum speed rating for the model you’re considering to see how it stacks up against the competition.
  • Extra features. Some models come equipped with extras like cruise control, attachments and an ergonomically-designed seat. While these are nice perks, they usually come at a higher price.

How to operate a zero-turn mower

Before operating your new mower, be sure to read the user manual and operating instructions that came with it. The following steps are just general guidelines to help you better understand how zero-turn mowers work.

  1. Use proper eye and ear protection.
  2. Make sure the mower deck is up, the emergency brake is engaged and the handlebars are in the “out” position.
  3. Bring the throttle halfway up. Put the choke all the way up if the mower has not already been running.
  4. Turn the key.
  5. Push the levers in towards you in the neutral position to begin moving.
  6. Push both levers forward at the same time to move forward.
  7. Pull both levers backward at the same time to move backward.
  8. Push the right lever forward and the left one back to turn left.
  9. Push the left lever forward and the right one back to turn right.
  10. Control the speed based on how far you push and pull the handles forward or backward.

Bottom line

A zero-turn mower can really come in handy if you have large acreage to mow at home or are a professional landscaper. Compare some of the most popular models, looking at the key features outlined in this guide to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Ready to buy? Compare top zero-turn mowers

Not sure a zero-turn mower is right for you? Compare popular riding mowers, or check out our buying guide for the best push-mowers.

How did we choose these products?

To create our list of the best zero-turn mowers, we conducted independent research to determine some of the most popular models currently available, comparing the price, deck size, engine and overall features.

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