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Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

If you've got multiple acres or tight, winding landscapes, a zero-turn mower can trim your mowing time as effectively as it cuts your lawn.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Best Zero Turn Mowers For 2022 Ft Higher Res Via Spartanmowers.comVia Merchant

Buying a Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

Zero-turn radius (ZTR) lawn mowers make mowing your lawn faster and far more enjoyable. The first time you slip behind the lap bars of a zero-turn mower, you might be a little intimidated. But you’ll be amazed by its ability to turn on a dime and accelerate much faster than a traditional lawn tractor.

Features to look for when selecting a zero-turn mower include:

  • Engine: More powerful engines can drive larger mowers and max out at a higher mowing speed. ZTRs often hit up to seven mph, almost double the speed of other riding mowers.
  • Power source: ZTRs are traditionally gas-powered, but an increasing number are battery-powered. Electric mowers require less maintenance and operate far more quietly than their gas-powered equivalents.
  • Cutting deck: That’s where the blades are. A wider cutting deck means fewer passes to cut a lawn, so they’re great for big yards with few obstacles. A smaller deck lets you squeeze between trees and through gates. If durability is a concern, look for a deck that’s fabricated, not stamped. Decks can house one blade or multiple sets. Multiple blades are more common on larger decks since they’re easier to power and maintain.
  • Features: Chances are you’ll spend a fair amount of time on your ZTR mower. 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.
  • Accessories: Whether you want to bag clippings or aerate the soil, many manufacturers provide accessories for additional tasks while you mow. Check the options available for your specific model of ZTR mower. Not all accessories fit all brands.
  • Maintenance: All mowers require blade sharpening and cleaning under the cutting deck to prevent grass clogs. Gas-powered machines also 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.
  • Cost: For a typical ZTR, expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000. Some models fall outside that range, and we’ve included a few here, but they’re either specialty products or targeted to professionals. Many retailers offer financing, even zero percent, for pricey purchases. As always, do your homework before buying any mower.
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Toro Zero Turn Mowers Ecomm Via HomedepotVia Merchant

Best Zero-Turn Mower for Big Lawns

Big lawns give zero-turn radius mowers room to shine. If you have a large lawn, a model like the newly released Toro Titan ($6,899) maximizes deck size, engine performance and speed.

Yes, this is expensive for a consumer ZTR. But the impressive 60-inch cutting deck and 26 horsepower (hp) Kohler V-twin engine, hitting a maximum speed of 8.5 mph, means you’ll cruise through mowing the lawn. Even better, you’ll do it in comfort with Toro’s patented, adjustable MyRIDE suspension system.

This beast of a mower is backed by a three-year, 300-hour commercial engine warranty.

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Ryobi Zero Turn Mowers Ry48ztr100 64 1000Via Merchant

Best Electric Zero-Turn Mower

We’ve been fans of the Ryobi line of cordless mowers and included their 42-inch model the last time we assembled this list. This year, Ryobi upped its game with the RY 48V Zero Turn Electric Riding Mower with an extended-life option.

This longer-lasting electric model mows up to three acres on a single charge from a standard 120-volt outlet. Its 42-in. cutting deck houses two blades. The mower includes features like LED headlights and easy-to-read displays for battery life and estimated run time. It ships with side discharge and mulching options. A bagging kit is sold separately.

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John Deere Z355e Ecomm Via LowesVia Merchant

Best Zero-Turn Mower for Tall Grass

The John Deere Z355E ZTrak Zero-Turn Mower is a terrific entry point for homeowners on tighter budgets who don’t want to spend every weekend tending their lawn. This 22-hp mower comes with a 48-in. deck that houses three blades. John Deere touts this “Accu Deep” triple-blade design as the best way to cut tall grass.

Judging from online reviews, they’re on to something. Lowes.com reviewer Luis writes: “The four acres out back, that grass was HUGE. We had just bought this home and I’m telling you, grass was about three ft. tall or so. I didn’t know if this mower was up for the challenge but there was only one way to find out.

“I did have to cut that grass slower but it did it with no problem all with just one tank of gas!”

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Toro Zero Turn Mowers 75734 64 1000Via Merchant

Best Zero-Turn Mower for Small Yards

When we talk about ZTRs, a small yard means a half-acre to an acre. Yards this size may feature obstructions like a swimming pool, bushes or trees. Weaving between them on a rear-engine rider or lawn tractor can be a chore.

The cutting deck on the 34-in. Toro TimeCutter Zero-Turn Mower is narrow enough to pass through most gates. (Pro tip: Measure yours first!) And its 22-hp V-Twin Kohler engine lets you get up to seven mph on open spaces.

If 34 inches is still too large, Toro also makes a 32-in. TimeCutter Zero-Turn Mower. At $1,479, it’s even more budget-friendly. You give up some power with the 16-hp engine, but it maneuvers better in narrower spaces. It’s also not as widely available, so you may have to shop around to find one near you.

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Smartan Mowers Series Ecomm Via SpartanmowersVia Merchant

Best Zero-Turn Mower Splurge

We’ve looked at several ZTR mowers that tout vibration reduction and padded seats, but one brand is hyper-focused on user comfort: the customizable Spartan SRT line. With a base price of $10,400, it’s far more expensive than the other ZTRs on our list. But if you value comfort and have the means to splurge on a smooth-riding zero-turn mower, this is the line for you.

The SRT stands for Smart Ride Technology. This mower features a vibration-control deck, ergonomic cockpit, seat cushions, radial tires and a neoprene torsion bar suspension. Overall, the SRT series delivers on premium-priced luxury.

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Cub Cadet Ultima Zt2 Ecomm Via HomedepotVia Merchant

Best All-Around Zero-Turn Mower

For a great balance of value and performance, check out the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 Zero-Turn. This ZTR comes with a 50-in. fabricated cutting deck and a 23-hp V-twin Kawasaki engine.

The Ultima ZT2 offers easy-access maintenance features like a tilt-up deck and a SmartJet hose port to clean grass clippings from the deck and blades. And design touches like padded armrests make your ride more comfortable.

The rest of the Cub Cadet Ultima line ranges in power and size, so you can almost certainly find the right fit for your yard. They’re all backed by a three-year/unlimited-hour warranty.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.

Dan Stout
Ohio-based freelance writer and author Dan Stout is a former residential remodeler, commercial site supervisor and maintenance manager. He’s worked on nearly all aspects of building and DIY including project planning and permitting, plumbing, basic electric, drywall, carpentry, tiling, painting and more. He also publishes noir fantasy thrillers, including The Carter Series, from Penguin imprint DAW Books.