Best Zero-Turn Mowers For Flat And Hilly Terrain | 2022 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
What is the best zero-turn mower? First, make sure that the machine comes with durable deck and engine. How can you tell whether the mower is durable? Look for a model with a steel frame and a low steel gauge. Secondly, consider the engine design. More powerful engines ensure the high-performance operation and smooth riding. Thirdly, pick a mower allowing for easy height adjustment. Models including this feature will let you cut grass at a specific height. Then, we recommend you to choose a machine with wide tires. The wider the tires are the better the unit works on large yards. The thing is that wide tires distribute the weight of the machine, facilitating the grass-cutting process. We believe that John Deere Z345M Zero-Turn Mower meets these criteria best.
What Types of Zero-Turn Mowers Are There?
Unmatched in speed and maneuverability, zero-turn mowers have changed the game since the late forties. Instantly, zero-turn mowers are able to pivot 180 degrees to trim every inch of grass in a tight space. With speeds ranging for five to nine miles per hour, these products are a godsend for large properties.
The majority of these modern motors achieve a zero turning radius by using hydraulic speed control of each drive wheel. For the most part, the only big distinction between these products are between commercial versus homeowner mowers.
Commercial and homeowner zero-turn mowers come with distinct engine power options, cutting deck sixes, fuel type, and pricing.
Commercial varieties of zero-turn models are very powerful, allowing you to cut between ten to fifteen acres in one go. Generally, they can hold much more fuel to achieve all day, uninterrupted performance.
These zero-turn mowers are built to withstand the most heavy duty, regular use. They can be used on both flat and somewhat hilly terrain.
By contrast, residential zero-turn mowers are somewhat smaller and feature a less powerful engine. It may not be possible to cut along the very hilly terrain; however, some residential brands now feature a floating deck that can cut over slopes.
Although they're meant for homeowners, most zero-turn mowers cut a property at least one to five acres in size with no trouble. In fact, it's not uncommon for lawn maintenance companies to opt for these slightly less expensive homeowner models.
Cub Cadet Zero-Turn Mowers
Cub Cadet offer three different series of zero-turn mowers: Ultima Series ZT, Ultima Series ZTX, and S/SX Series. No matter the type used, Cub Cadet mowers are recognized for their thoughtful ergonomic design and convenient maintenance features.
However, there are some important distinctions between the different series. Depending on the lawn type, size, and usage patterns, the right type of Cub Cadet zero-turn mower for the job may differ.
Ultima Series ZTX
The ZTX series provides the best in class action potential for commercial purposes. Built with business-grade engines, reinforced decks, and enhanced bagging size, all ZTX mowers can reach speeds ranging between seven to nine miles an hour.
Ideal for up to twelve acres, a ZTX can sweep through both flat and somewhat hilly terrain with ease. The enhanced deck and steel frame construction provides enhanced durability and wear-resistance that you'd expect from a commercial product.
Unlike the ZT, the ZTX comes with extra options for customizing the command center console and seating. The mower is comfortable and smooth enough to be used all day in even challenging conditions.
One ZTX mower, the new ZTX4-48, has integrated both speed and strength through installing maintenance-free spindles and high tensile strength deck reinforcements.
Ultima Series ZTX4-48: Check the current price
Ultima Series ZT
Designed on one continuous, square tubular frame, the strong and durable Ultima ZT mowers provide unparalleled performance on flat lawns. Compared to competitors, the patented deck and spindle design of ZT models provides the best cut in class.
What does that mean? The ZT provides a better overall cut appearance with more even grass, less visible ridges, and better next day appearance. Though it's not as far ranging as the ZTX, ZT products are just as reliable on yard sizes up to five acres.
Aside from its high performance, all ZT models come with a fully adjustable command center and comfortable seating customizations. Most can reach speeds up of to 7 miles per hour and reverse speeds of 4.5 miles per hour.
Among customers, the ZT1-54 remains a fan favorite. Like other ZT models, the powerful engine is known for starting reliably and quietly.
Ultima Series ZT1-54: Check the current price
S and SX Series
The S and SX Series is primarily meant for use on yards up to five acres in size. Known for their ease of use, S/SX mowers are very easy to maneuver and feature almost no learning curve.
All of these mowers are fit with patented Synchro-Steer technology that provides control for all four wheels, allowing for seamless movement in and out of tight spaces. The frame and deck are constructed from fully welded steel that's resistant to corrosion.
Generally, S/SX series mowers are cheaper than those in the Ultima line since they're meant for smaller properties. These products may struggle a little more on obstacles and hilly terrain; however, the deck and engine are just as durable as the commercial-grade Ultima components.
In particular, the Z-Force S 54 remains a classic of the S/SX Series. Season after season, the 25 HP V-twin engine and fabricated steel components perform strongly.
Z-Force S 54: Check the current price
Best Zero-Turn Mower Reviews
We have listed some of the most effective, heavy duty, and customer-approved zero-turn mowers on the market. Each mower has been selected for how well it holds up on different terrain types and its comparative advantage.
1. John Deere Z345M Zero-Turn Mower | Best Professional-Grade
Built for powerful all day performance, this John Deere zero-turn mower remains one of the best annual sellers. With mowing speeds that reach up to seven miles per hour, this gas-operated dual hydrostatic mower is known for its energy-efficient operation and ease of use.
Unlike other varieties, this mower features a deep-set 42-inch deck that yields more accurate cuts at higher speeds. The dual, 22 HP branded engine is sure to last through many seasons, which is just part of the reason that the John Deere name remains a favorite among both homeowners and lawn care professionals.
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John Deere: Check the current price
2. RYOBI 42-Inch Zero-Turn Mower | Best Eco-Friendly
Interested in environmentally conscious mowing? The 75 Ah battery-powered Ryobi creates absolutely no emissions and can mow up to 2.25 acres on a single charge.
This durable, 42 inch steel deck is fitted with two high precision blades that provide a clean cut every time. Using the advanced control panel, it's possible to configure speed settings, enable headlights, and view battery level.
Once you're done, simply plug the mower into a standard outlet that'll cost pennies on the hour to recharge. In particular, users appreciate the low maintenance aspect of this cutter - it has no belts, spark plugs, or messy filters that need to be replaced.
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Ryobi: Check the current price
3. Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 Zero-Turn Mower | Best for Hills
The Mustang Z42 features durable, welded, tubular framing that makes it ideal for both flat and slightly hilly properties. In fact, the manufacturers are so confident in the product that they offer a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty on the mower frame.
Designed to provide stability and absorb impact, the Z42 allows you to ride comfortably with minimized vibration. When coupled with hydrostatic transmission and true zero-turn performance, this mower is known for being extremely easy to navigate on large lawns.
Moreover, the large 3.5 gallon fuel tank means you won't have to stop for a fill-up after extended periods of use.
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Troy-Bilt: Check the current price
4. Toro TimeCutter MX5000 Zero-Turn Mower | Best Heavy-Duty
Though the TimeCutter is indistinguishable from a commercial mower, it certainly isn't the high price of one. Employing the high performance 24 HP dual engine, the 50-inch heavy-duty deck features a triple-forged cutting system for the most reliable cut every time.
Along with the zero-turn radius, the dependable hydrostatic transmission gives you super smooth control and maneuverability on both even and rugged terrain.
The mower comes with a three-year warranty on any of the hardware components - regardless of whether it's used residentially or commercially.
Customers appreciate the comfortable, 18-inch padded seat and integrated fenders that keep you clean the whole ride. In addition to your clothing, the engine itself is also protected from debris with a heavy-duty, rear motor guard.
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Toro: Check the current price
What Are the Trusted Brands of Zero-Turn Mowers?
Over the years, several brands have risen to the top of the zero-turn mower market: it's a stiff competition of innovation occurring at a breakneck pace. Now, it's not hard for a consumer to find a high quality, durable, and effective mower for the job.
John Deere continues to dominate the field with their powerful V-twin engines, floating deck, and comfortable seating. Customers appreciate how John Deere products are powerful over inclines and responsive to user control.
Cub Cadet is known for its steering and maneuverability. Though the majority of mowers steer the rear wheels with a lap bar, Cub Cadet actually allows for four-wheel control with the steering wheel.
Meanwhile, Ryobi offers a line of fully electric, 75 Ah battery-powered mowers. These powerful mowers can cut about two acres in one go without the need for expensive gas, messy refills, or oil changes. These mowers are known for their light, swift, and super quiet operation.
Troy-Bilt mowers are known for their high durability. The company's entire zero-turn line features steel, tubular framing and all corrosion-resistant components. Though they're just as powerful, they're less expensive than John Deere and Cub Cadet mowers.
Toro produces a series of TimeCutter mowers that can achieve commercial-grade performance by utilizing the power of a triple-cut system. Toro mowers are known for achieving a good quality cut in comfort, since the seating is fully adjustable and features thick padding.
5 Best-Selling Zero Turn Mowers Comparative Table
Zero-turn mowers are a must-have for anyone with large fields or lawns to mow. They make the grass neat, and the way they turn upon themselves ensures the lines are straight and even. A zero-turn mower is ideal for at least twenty thousand square feet up to four acres of grass. The mowers have anywhere from twelve to fifteen horsepower with standing decks ranging up to sixty inches.
The largest deck means less time spent mowing. The more powerful the engine is, the less time it will take to complete the entire field or lawn. For all brands and styles, the hydrostatic transmission is the most important things to consider. In multiple types of vehicles or machinery, the transmission can go bad without regular maintenance or care, and some models of zero-turn mowers can come with a faulty transmission.
When To Use A Zero Turn Mower
The best way to use a zero turn motor is also something to consider before purchasing. The zero-turn mowers work best on completely flat land. It makes the independent deck slide around smoothly with each turn without the worry it will catch on brambles or uneven ground. The quality of the cut will come with the immaculate lawn and the rider's ability to "float" over the grass.
A quality mower will also be easy to maintain for the average person. To be able to do this, the engine, key moving parts, and battery must be easily accessible and made with parts that can be bought from the average hardware store. Easy access to parts like the air and oil filters reduces the costs associated with ownership to what can be easily done at home or on the job.
For a mower with a seat to ride in, having a comfortable seat is a must for large amounts of land. Sitting for a long time can become tiresome and make one sore. The seat should be good quality, to last for years and be comfortable enough for rides that long.