Poulan Pro P46ZX Riding Lawn Mower

Zero Turn Mowers: The Definitive Guide

Last updated on September 20th, 2017 at 10:21 am

In this guide you’ll find:

  • The best Zero turn radius riding lawn mowers (scroll to comparison▼)
  • A quick overview of how zero turn mowers work
  • What to consider and how to pick the best zero turn mower for your needs

How zero turn mowers compare to regular riding mowers

Poulan Pro zero turn lawn mower
Using levers to steer a zero turn mower for precise cuts

Zero turn radius mowers tend to have large cutting deck widths which mean greater cutting capacity. They are often used commercially and are usually pricier than the regular riding mowers. However, there are also some affordable models for home users. 

Most zero turn mowers don’t have a steering wheel. Instead, you use two levers to guide the mower.

While the regular riding lawn mowers usually use front-wheel steering, zero-turn mowers turn around the rear wheels and can spin on the spot. Zero turn mowers are equipped with two engines, independently propelling the rear wheels.

Pushing both levers forward moves the mower straight ahead, pulling both levers back makes the mower go in reverse. For a regular turn you pull one lever forward while keeping the other in neutral position. And for a zero radius turn you pull one lever back as you push the other lever forward. This is the basic principle on how zero turn mowers work.

What you’ll want to consider when buying a riding lawn mower

  • Intended purpose (home or commercial use)
  • Deck size, reliability (mower and engine brand)
  • Cutting width – most riding mower manufacturers have models with deck widths ranging from 30 inches to 54 inches. You’ll find sizes in between like 36″, 42″, 46″, 48″, 52″. 54-inch mowers are best for large yards of surface area 2 acres and more.
  • Cutting height – most models offer cutting height of 1.5″-4″ and 4-6 settings to choose from.
  • Cutting methods – collect, mulch, side discharge.
  • Transmission type – manual or automatic.
  • Max forward speed – around 5-8 mph.
  • Comfort

Best zero turn radius riding lawn mowers

In the table below you’ll find the top rated ZTR mowers. With the aim to help you identify the single best zero turn mower for you, we’ve included the brand and model name, picture of the mower, cutting width, price, the rating and a link to reviews from previous purchasers. Click on the mower image or name for more information about each mower or scroll further down the page for our expert zero turn mower reviews for each of the mowers.

 MowerMower brand & modelDeck SizePriceReviews
1#1 Bestseller
Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 22 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 46-Inch
46-inch$2805.584.1 (21)
2Top rated
Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower, 61-Inch
61-inch$4599.994.2 (7)
3Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 24 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch54-inch$2995.004.2 (17)
4Husqvarna 967324101 V-Twin 724 cc Zero Turn Mower, 54"54-inch$3299.004.2 (29)
5Husqvarna 967334101 MZ54S 25V Commercial Zero Turn Mower, 54"/Twin54-inch$3999.954.2 (4)

Top 5 Zero Turn Mower Reviews

Scroll down for our individual expert-led zero turn mower reviews. The reviews you find below are a combination of our research, testing and information from numerous previous mower purchasers. Note that these are the same mowers that you saw in the comparison table above.

1. Poulan Pro P46ZX

Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 46-Inch

#1 Bestseller

Poulan Pro P46ZX Riding Lawn Mower

Buy Poulan Pro P46ZX

The 46-inch cutting width, 6 mph top speed and a whopping 3.5 gallon fuel tank allow you to cut up to 2.4 acres in an hour!

This zero turn radius mower from Poulan Pro features dual wheel hydro transmission, allowing you to independently move the wheels forward, backward, right, or left simply by moving your arms forward and back.

P46ZX offers six cutting heights from 1.5″ to 4″ in .5″ increments, and comes with a robust 46″ steel two-bladed deck.  

With such incredible maneuverability and ability to control and focus your mower, you’ll need less trimming to achieve a clean look. Since you’ll be achieving the same results in less time, you won’t be working the engine for as long, meaning less wear and tear and so far greater durability.

This riding mower is powered by a 22 HP Briggs v-twin pro engine, hydro gear EZT transmission, and a top quality electric clutch.

Other equipment: comes with a cup holder, digital hour meter, 15″ high back vinyl seat. 

2-year consumer warranty.

Pros: Many happy owners, powerful engine, steel frame, zero turn radius
Cons: Great for home use but if you’re looking something for a commercial use we suggest Husqvarna

Bottom Line: This mower is great for larger yards and rural homes that require great (ZTR) maneuverability. 

2. Husqvarna MZ61

27 HP Zero Turn Mower, 61-Inch

Top Rated Largest Capacity

Husqvarna MZ 61 zero turn radius lawn mower

Buy Husqvarna MZ61

A true monster lawn mower, the MZ61 by Husqvarna is built on a heavy-duty steel frame and comes built on an oversized chassis (2″x3″). The 61″ rugged fabricated steel cutting deck (11-gauge twin sheets) is the largest you can find and is capable of grass collection as well as mulching.

Husqvarna MZ61 features a pedal assisted cutting deck lift, allowing you to adjust the precise cutting height or move over the occasional rock or toy with ease.

The powerful 27 HP Briggs and Stratton Endurance V-Twin engine, hydrostatic gear transmission and 3 blade cutting system, you’ll have everything you could possibly need for a productive, high performance cut.

Easily accessible service points (incl hydraulic systems and battery) make oil change and maintenance fast and easy so you can get back to mowing.

With its comfortable design, featuring high back seats, armrests and adjustable ergonomic steering levers, you can mow that lawn with more comfort and speed.

With great uphill traction and durability that Husqvarna is known for, this zero turn mower is guaranteed to tackle your garden for years.

Get those large lawns cut in less time with this 61 Inch Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower.

Pros: Large capacity, commercial quality, durable, reliable, comfortable
Cons: Comes in a large crate that takes some time to disassemble, pricier than other models

Bottom Line: Perfect for large yards and starting landscape businesses where reliability and speed are of utmost importance.

3. Poulan Pro P54ZX

Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch

Poulan Pro zero turn riding mower

Buy Poulan Pro P54ZX

Offering a great combination of comfort and performance, your 54 inch Poulan Pro P46ZX Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower features dual wheel hydro transmission, allowing you to independently move the wheels forward, backward, right, or left simply by moving your arms forward and back.

With such incredible maneuverability and ability to control and focus your mower, you’ll need less trimming to achieve a clean look.

Since you’ll be achieving the same results in less time, you won’t be working the engine for as long, meaning less wear and tear and so far greater durability!

Features a 24 HP Briggs v-twin pro engine, hydro gear EZT transmission, a top quality electric clutch, a whopping 3.5 gallon fuel tank.

Pros: Good performance and quality for the price
Cons: Not ideal for commercial use

Bottom Line: Perfect for larger gardens and rural homes. Save yourself time with this super speedy, high quality lawn mower!

4. Husqvarna Z254

724 cc V-Twin Zero Turn Mower, 54-inch

Husqvarna Z254 zero turn riding mower

Buy Husqvarna Z254

This is the 54 Inch zero turn mower model Z254 from Husqvarna.

Comes with a high quality 54-Inch fabricated cutting deck, 24 HP Briggs and Stratton Endurance V-Twin engine, dual hydro-gear EZT transmission and 4 anti-scalp rollers, you’ll have everything you could possibly need for a productive, high performance cut!

The mower draws air from both the top and bottom of the deck, giving you improved grass lift and delivering a superior cut.

The impressive 24 HP Briggs and Stratton Endurance V-Twin engine features premium air filtration, chrome plated valves, super finished bearing surfaces, plus an oversized cooling fan giving you superior performance and a lawn mower you can rely on to last for years.

New features also include anti-slip foot area, bumper with integrated led headlights, automatic park brake system and rear engine guard.

Pros: Reliable, durable, comfortable
Cons: Not recommended for mowing too steep downhill

Bottom Line: Perfect for large, relatively flat landscapes to get the job done quickly!

5. Husqvarna MZ54S

Husqvarna MZ 54S zero turn mower

Buy Husqvarna MZ 54S Zero Turn Mower

Another semi-professional grade mower from Husqvarna with a capacity of 3.7 acres per hour. This means more power and reliability than the residential-grade mowers. It also shows in the price but if you’re in it for the long run, the added quality pays off.

The MZ 54S comes with a 54″ reinforced 12-gauge steel cutting deck that is mulch and collection capable. Choose from 12 cutting height steps from 1.5 to 4.5 inches.

The engine is a powerful 25HP Briggs & Stratton Gas “Endurance Commercial” model with cooler running cylinder heads and improved crank support offering extended life. 

Capable of max speed of 8MPH.

Comes with 6-inch wide caster wheels and pneumatic tires that are easy on turf and offer greater durability.

Other features: foot activated deck lift, premium integrated zero-turn transmissions, larger drive axles, hour meter and service minder, 5 gallon fuel tank, comfortable spring vinyl seat, high seat back, and armrests.

Homeowner and commercial warranty: 4 years or 400 hours.

Pros: Great reliability and capacity, good warranty
Cons: Can be pricey for an average homeowner

Bottom Line: If you want better quality and more power than the regular residential-grade mowers offer then this is the zero turn mower for you. Also capable of commercial use (e.g. starting landscape businesses).

 

Don’t quite have the budget for a zero turn mower? Take a look at this riding lawn mowers guide for the best lawn tractors and riding mowers.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a mower for a small to medium sized yards up to 1 acre? Then, have a look at our robotic lawn mowers guide, and walk-behind push lawn mower reviews.

Mike

I'm just a good guy

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