If you’re the proud owner of a large garden (at least 2 acres), made up of slopes and hills, flower and herb beds and trees, maybe even a rocky patch or boulder here and there, you need something better than a mere ride-on or tractor mower to navigate those challenges easily. Fear not – the perfect mower for you exists: the zero turn mower.

While this type of mower is basically built like the classic ride on mower, it offers you a unique and very handy extra: as the name suggests, those mowers have a turning radius of literally zero degree. You can rotate or turn your mower easily on the spot without moving forwards or backwards.

In terms of power and engine, the zero turn mower are pretty similar to those of a tractor mower. Yet, if you feel you need something more powerful, you will find what you’re looking for in a semi-pro or commercial zero turn mower class.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Zero Turn Mower

If you’re looking for more power, higher torque, greater speeds than your average mower, you should consider looking into the upscale variety of zero turn mowers – these usually come with heavy duty engines such as Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, or even Kawasaki.
Basically, entry level zero turn mowers are smaller, less durable and will serve you well if used frequently but not too often, while semi-pro or even commercial level mowers will be stronger, heavier and last longer if used frequently. However, the upper grade levels naturally come with higher costs and will be more work-intensive in terms of maintenance.
Further information about different grade levels are available in my zero level buying guide.
The distance between obstacles (trees being the most usual things you need to manoeuvre) will effectively determine which type of zero turn mower will fit you best. If you have very little space to navigate around between obstacles, or if you have very narrow passages to traverse, you will need one of the smaller, more compact basic level zero turn mowers; if your obstacles are evenly spaced with quite a bit range between them, you might consider a more expensive, bigger and more powerful mower.
True suspension will typically be only found in the top of the range zero turn mowers. However, even the smaller types usually come with some type of semi-suspension that makes riding more enjoyable and ensures a constant mowing height.
Obviously, this will be your main concern. Larger decks will reduce the time required to mow the entire yard, however, a larger deck ultimately means a larger mower. Again, the space you have available in terms of maneuvering will have great influence in terms of which size of mower and therefore deck you can comfortable use.

Top Rated Zero Turn Mowers

Stanley 54ZS

Stanley 54ZSThis mower features a Kawasaki commercial duty engine that generates ample energy to keep both the mower itself as well as the 54 inch deck powered for the perfect cut on every terrain. The floating deck is easy and quick to adjust which makes adapting to different needs a breeze. The halogen headlights makes mowing until dusk or later possible, or help you to get a headstart in the morning. If you’re the type of gardener that enjoys rising early, the integrated cup holder will keep your morning coffee at hand, and is a nice extra.

  • Pros: powerful engine; seatbelt and roll bar for added safety; 54 inch deck; smooth ride
  • Cons: a little on the heavy side

Husqvarna RZ5424

Husqvarna RZ5424The Kohler engine despite delivering quite powerful energy output is actually very quiet. With top-speeds of 6.5 mph you can mow up to 2.8 acres of grass within a single hour. The Husqvarna’s 54 inch deck helps you achieving a great cut by effectively sucking air from the top and bottom of the deck in order to lift up even the finest blades of grass. A great plus of this mower is the fact that it leaves hardly any tire-track at all on your freshly mowed lawn. All in all it’s a sturdy, good quality mower that will keep you happy for a long time.

  • Pros: great engine; rides smoothly; three grass clipping management options; very affordable
  • Cons: mulching kit affects mower performance; blades need to be sharpened often if used on dense grass