The 5 Best Zero-Turn Mower Models for a Picture-Worthy Lawn in 2023
Whether you've got multiple acres or tight, winding landscapes, you need the best zero-turn mower to trim both your lawn and mowing time.
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Finding the best zero-turn mower can be an overwhelming task. Considering most zero-turn mowers cost thousands of dollars, it’s important to be informed before making such a big purchase. Although zero-turn models might not be the most affordable lawn mowers, if you want a riding lawn mower and have a yard full of trees, shrubs and flower beds, they may be your best bet. (And if you keep your eyes peeled for lawn mower sales, you may get your machine for a steal!)
Unlike push mowers and electric lawn mowers that can only move back and forth, zero-turn lawn mowers pivot on an axis and can move in any direction. These are the best lawn mowers for navigating around plants, walkways and other outdoor obstacles, as they never leave any uncut grass. Let’s get to trimming.
Best Overall Zero-Turn Mower
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower
The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is our top pick when it comes to the best zero-turn mower. Because it’s equipped with a 50-inch deck, more of your lawn can be mowed per pass. The foot-operated deck lift allows users to adjust the deck by 1 to 4.5 inches to achieve the precise cut that you desire. With speeds up to 7.5 mph, this zero-turn Cub Cadet mower makes lawn work quick and efficient. If you plan on mowing on an incline, this machine can handle jobs on smaller rolling hills.
- Features a 50-inch deck
- Gets up to 7.5 mph
- Has an adjustable cutting height
- Offers dual hydrostatic transmissions
- Requires some assembly
Best Budget Zero-Turn Mower
Craftsman Z5400 Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
As far as zero-turn mowers go, the Craftsman Z5400 is not only one of the cheapest, but one of the best. This Lowe’s-exclusive mower features a 24 horsepower V-twin engine, a 54-inch-wide cutting deck and a hydrostatic transmission, making quick work of large lawns. Easily engage and disengage the cutting blades with a simple push of a button. The cutting height of the mower deck can be adjusted in 0.25-inch increments, so you can cut your grass to the optimal height.
This best zero-turn mower has a 3-gallon fuel tank that lets you mow for extended periods without needing to stop for refueling. Anti-scalping wheels help it navigate over uneven terrain, preventing accidental damage to your lawn. It also comes with a three-year limited product warranty, so you can be sure it will stay in top shape for years to come.
- Has electric blade engagement
- Features a high-powered engine
- Has an adjustable deck
- Not compliant with the California Air Resources Board
Best Zero-Turn Mower for Large Properties
Toro Titan Zero-Turn Riding Mower with MyRIDE
Possibly the most durable zero-turn mower on the market, the Toro Titan is built to last—and built to tackle big lawns. Its 26 horsepower V-twin engine and anti-scalp wheels get you across large, varied terrain without damaging your yard. Pair that power with a wide 60-inch deck and you can cover a lot of ground in a lot less time.
If that wasn’t enough, a dual hydrostatic transmission allows you to maneuver around trees and other obstacles with ease. Plus, the innovative MyRIDE suspension system absorbs bumps and vibrations, making mowing the lawn just about as comfortable as it gets.
- Features a 60-inch cutting deck
- Gets up to 8.5 mph
- Has anti-scalp wheels and high-back seat
Best Residential Zero-Turn Mower
John Deere ZTrak 42-Inch Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
If comfort is just as important to you as performance, the John Deere ZTrack might be the best zero-turn mower for you. Its ergonomic high-back seat provides lumbar support, so mowing won’t leave you sore or stiff. It’s so comfortable, you might get upset that its 20 horsepower V-twin engine can mow up to two acres in almost no time at all!
This model is the best zero-turn mower for residential areas, because it was designed for easy maintenance. It features a removable foot pan that provides quick access to the mower’s interior components. Its 42-inch cutting deck is forged from heavy-duty steel, meaning this is a durable machine that will last for a long time.
- Comfortable seat with lumbar support
- Dual hydrostatic transmissions
- Easy to maintain
- Four-year/300-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty
- Can bag and mulch clippings while mowing
- Not compliant with the California Air Resources Board
Best Electric Zero-Turn Mower
Ego Power+ 56-Volt Battery Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Looking for an eco-friendly mower that doesn’t skimp on power? The Ego Power+ Zero-Turn Riding Mower is powered by four 10 Ah batteries with a combined 560 watt-hours of power, giving you hours of time to mow your property without having to worry about harmful emissions. The battery takes only 60 minutes to fully charge, too!
This electric zero-turn mower gets the job done quick with its 42-inch, heavy-duty steel cutting deck and top speed of 8 mph. LED headlights allow you to mow before dawn or late into the night, and an adjustable padded seat keeps the ride comfortable.
- Has an eco-friendly electric motor
- Three-in-one function: mulching, bagging and side-discharge
- Includes LED headlights
- Gets up to 7 mph
- One the pricier side
What to Consider When Buying a Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
When buying a zero-turn mower, there are a few factors to consider. More powerful engines can drive larger mowers and can max out at a higher mowing speed. You also should think about the size of the lawn you will be cutting when considering how big of a cutting deck you’ll need. Wider cutting decks are ideal for big yards with few obstacles while smaller decks let you squeeze between trees and through gates.
Zero-turn mowers can require a lot of maintenance. You should consider whether or not you are willing to splurge for a lower maintenance mower if you don’t have the availability or means for regular upkeep.
Chances are you’ll spend a fair amount of time on your zero-turn mower, so you should make sure you like its features. Consider options like an adjustable seat with proper back support, vibration control and cup holders. These make a long day of lawn care more enjoyable. Other common features include LED headlights and easy-to-read digital gauges.
Types of Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
Gas-powered: Zero-turn mowers are traditionally gas-powered. These machines require changing the oil and replacing spark plugs and belts as needed. Some models make maintenance easier by providing washout ports so you can clean the deck with a garden hose.
Battery-powered/electric: Electric lawn mowers run off a rechargeable batteries, require less maintenance and operate far more quietly than gas-powered ones. Plus, they release fewer emissions that are bad for the environment—and not fun for you to breathe in, either.
How We Found the Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like, and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Are zero-turn mowers good on hills?
Yes, however, if you’re looking to use a zero-turn mower on a hill, we recommend doing so on hills with an incline of less than 15 degrees. Additionally, it’s best practice to drive at a lower speed to maintain good traction and avoid rolling over.
Do zero-turn mowers have baggers?
Although some zero-turn mowers are equipped with baggers, like most push mowers and walk-behind mowers, not all zero-turn mowers do. If that’s the case, there are many different kinds of bagger lawn mower attachments you can purchase and connect to collect grass clippings.
How much should I spend on zero-turn mowers?
Zero-turn mowers vary in price, depending on their size, features and the size of the lawn you’re looking to mow. You can expect to spend a few thousand dollars (an average of $3,000 to $7,000) on a high-quality zero-turn mower.
Are riding lawn mowers faster than zero-turn mowers?
No, zero-turn mowers are typically faster than riding lawn mowers. Many zero-turn mowers usually can reach 7 to 8 mph while riding lawn mowers typically can ride at around 5 mph.
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