Consumer Report Best Zero Turn Mowers: Reviews & Picks
For keeping your garden spic and span, you need a mower and not just any mower, but a zero turn mower, which makes it less tricky for you to cut borders, edges, and corners. The benefit of a zero turn mower is that they can turn or pivot on their own axis, thus saving you the time for circling around to mow the un-mowed surfaces, which is a common problem with regular mowers.
With a zero turn mower at your disposal, you can easily take care of your garden/lawn without investing much time; however, buying a zero turn mower is not that easy as you have too many options to choose from.
To make things easy for you, I have compiled a list of five best zero turn mowers, so you can go through the consumer reports for best zero turn mowers in which I’ve presented a detailed an unbiased review of all five products. By the end of this post, you will be in a much better condition to buy a zero turn mower that suits your requirements.
Reviews Of 5 Best Zero Turn Mowers Consumer Report
1. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
This mower is a perfect blend of style, power, and performance. The sporty look of the mower is the first thing that you’ll get attracted to after which the 54-inch cutting width will grab your attention because there aren’t too many zero turn mowers with such a wide mowing path. Besides, reinforced steel cutting blades, there are plenty of features in the mower that makes mowing a breeze.
The inclusion of Ready Start with the amalgamation of ‘Automatic Choke System’ makes starting the machine quick and easy. To improve the grass lift and better cutting, the air is drawn from the top and bottom of the deck using the ‘Air Induction Technology’.
As far as transmission of the mower is concerned, it is maintenance free and comfortable to ride. Other features of the unit include automatic park brake system, removable foot plate, anti-slip area, engine, ergonomic control panel, rear engine guard and bumper. This mower is a great solution to all your mowing related needs.
2. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
If you were hunting for a powerful zero turn mower, then your hunt ends here. This mower is made up of high quality and sturdy materials that will last for many years to come. The ergonomic design of the unit along with plenty of useful features make mowing of the lawn a comfortable task.
The cutting width of the unit is 52 inches, which is higher than many zero turn mowers. You can easily cut a large area of land in a short amount of time. This unit sports a 23 HP Kawasaki engine, which will ensure that the mowing task is done in a comprehensive manner. If you are looking for a proficient and reliable unit, then don’t look beyond Ariens IKON-52.
3. Husqvarna MZ61, Briggs And Stratton Zero Turn Riding Mower
You are looking at a great specimen as to how a zero turn mower should look. Husqvarna MZ61 features a 27HP Briggs & Stratton Endurance V-Twin engine, which is known for its incredible performance.
Moreover, the 61-inch cutting width is ideal for trimming a big area in a short amount of time. This mower offers precision cutting of the lawn, courtesy of hydraulic wheel-drive, which ensures rotating of the mower without any turning radius, around its axis.
Sporting an ergonomic design, this mower won’t let you experience fatigue, as it has rubber isolators, comfortable steering, an hour meter and 9-bushel collection system for a comfortable mowing experience.
4. Ariens Zoom 34 - 19hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin 34" Zero Turn Lawn Mower
It doesn’t make sense to buy a large zero turn mower when you have a small yard to mow. If you want to buy an ideal mower for small yards, then a few mowers match with Ariens Zoom 34. With a cutting width of 34 inches, this mower is perfect for trimming grass in small gardens/lawns.
Beautiful design, sharp cutting deck, and high durability aren’t the only plus points of the unit, but a wide range of features incorporated into the mower is also appreciable. The unit features a 19HP engine that offers speed up to 6 MPH in the forward direction and 3 MPH in reverse.
To ensure uninterrupted mowing, a 2-gallon tank has been installed into the machine along with a 12 gauge stamped deck. Like large mowers, this machine is also equipped with a foot operated deck lift through which you can easily change the cutting height. The company has designed this mower for smaller fields, however, if required, it can be used on larger fields as well.
5. Swisher ZTR2454BS Response 24HP 54-Inch B&S ZTR Mower
Swisher ZTR2454BS has introduced a new standard to the design of zero turn riding lawn mowers and raised the bar of expectation high for contemporaries. While this mower has plenty of features, but I will start with 24HP Briggs & Stratton engine, which is powerful and efficient.
The engine incorporates a rapid response control system that extracts the best performance from the unit. The maximum speed of the unit is 8MPH in the forward direction as well as in reverse. For efficient cutting of the grass, the unit makes use of 3 Gator mulching blade, which reduces the mowing time to 50 percent.
The mower is equipped with Hydro-Gear 2800 transmission to alleviate the difficulties that arise during mowing. The presence of a front debris shield at the front keeps the grass off the mower deck, resulting in better airflow and grass discharge. With a fuel capacity of 8 gallons, this machine can stay on for a long period of time. Other features of the mower include integrated storage and hour meter. All in all, an excellent mower for large gardens/lawns.
What to Look For When Buying a Zero Turn Mower?
Scouring the market for a zero turn mower without knowing anything is going to lead you nowhere. If you want to get the maximum out of your investment, then make sure you know some basic details about the product. This section is all about the factors that you need to check while purchasing a zero turn mower. Let’s delve into details of the same now.
Engine Size And Horsepower
Mowing the lawn is an arduous task, therefore, it is imperative to have a powerful mower. A zero turn mower that features a powerful engine will get the work done more quickly and efficiently. You will be able to mow the lawn with impressive speed and precision, given that the machine has enough power to carry out the desired work.
How powerful of a mower you need depends on the area you want to mow. If you garden/yard is not larger than an acre, then you can resort to a less horsepower model, however, if you want to carry out a professional landscaping work then you need a machine with plenty of horsepowers to get the job done quickly and easily. Generally, zero turn mowers feature single-cylinder engines and V-Twin engines.
- Single Cylinder Engines: You will find these engines mostly in mowers that are meant to mow a small area of land because these engines are not as powerful as V-Twin Engines. These engines don’t produce as much torque as V-Twin engines, thus making them a total misfit for haul heavy attachments.
- V-Twin Engines: Every powerful zero turn mower will be equipped with a V-Twin Engine because it is packed with incredible power, plus it offers better mileage. V-Twin Engines are quiet and environment-friendly, which make them the most preferred choice for home users as well as professional landscapers.
When scouting for a zero turn mower, set your focus on the deck size of the mower. Reason being, the size of the deck will help you notify as to how much grass the mower can cut in one pass. The more grass it cuts, the more time and fuel you can save. However, you can’t just have the mower with the biggest deck, especially when you have to navigate within tough spots and tight spaces.
While a big deck would cut more grass in one go, but their efficiency is not as high as a mower with a smaller deck, especially when the mower is being used to cut denser grass. To mow a land of one acre or less, a deck size of 42 inches would be sufficient. For 1-3 acres of land, you can choose the mower having a deck size of 42-46 inches. For 2+ acres of land, you can choose the deck size from 48 inches to 60 inches. If you have a land bigger than 5 acres, then go for a mower that has a deck size of 72 inches.
A zero turn mower is available in two types of transmissions, low-level transmission, and high-level transmission. A low-level transmission is used in garden/lawns that are easy to mow or where there aren’t too many obstacles to overcome. If you have a big piece of land that you want to mow, then it is better to opt for a mower with a powerful transmission because that will let you easily go through tough spots on the land and cut the grass in a comprehensive manner.
If you are at the crossroads of whether to opt for a cheap lawn mower with a weak transmission or an expensive mower with the better transmission, then I would suggest that you should go with the second option. Reason being, a mower with powerful transmission will work more efficiently on a small piece of land that hardly has any obstacle, whereas a low-level transmission can’t work on a big field with N number of obstacles. It is true that a mower with powerful transmission will be on the expensive side, but then, it will get the job done in a more efficient manner.
Roll-Over Protection Structure
While mowing a piece of land, chances of rollover can’t be ignored, especially if the terrain is uneven. Thousands of incidents are reported every year in which operators are either pinned or crushed beneath zero down mower. Seeing a sharp increase in the number of accidents due to overturned mowers, companies had to come up with a new technology, which they have in the name of ‘ROPS’.
This is a special structure in which a seat belt is installed in the mower to protect the operator in case, the mower overturns. This is a flexible area on the mower, which means; it can be ascended or descended depending upon the area to be mowed. Therefore, you must look for ‘ROPS’ when buying a zero turn mower.
Fuel Efficiency & Capacity
Zero turn mowers save you from retracing your steps and finding the grass that you missed mowing earlier, therefore, you will save a lot on the fuel, but even then, you need to check the fuel capacity of the mower. You will not want to refuel the mower in the middle of mowing your lawn/garden, so in order to save yourself from that inconvenience, opt for a mower that comes with large fuel capacity. You must have found a couple on the list of products I’ve reviewed above.
Weight is an important consideration because you can’t afford to use a heavy mower on a land where there are many tricky and tight spots to mow because maneuvering in those spots will be very difficult. Moreover, you should check whether your lift jack/machine is capable of lifting up the machine or not because if it is not, then you can’t get the lift under the mower and sharpen the blades.
To make your garden or lawn look beautiful, you must get an efficient unit like a mower, but then, if you want to get the mowing job done quickly, then it is better to invest in a zero turn mower.
To help you with your quest for the best zero turn mowers, you can go through the consumer reports for best zero turn mowers, which include five of the best products that are available on the market right now. If you don’t want to waste time in searching for the right zero turn mower, then just take a look at the five zero turn mowers reviewed in this post.