Are Zero Turn Mowers Worth The Investment?

Zero turn mowers are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners looking for a way to make lawn care easier and more efficient.

These mowers offer several advantages compared to traditional riding mowers, including greater speed and maneuverability. But with a higher price tag than other mowers, are zero turn mowers worth it?

In this discussion, we will explore the potential pros and cons of zero turn mowers to help you decide whether they are worth the investment.

Are Zero Turn Mowers Worth It?

Zero turn mowers offer several advantages over traditional mowers, from improved maneuverability to increased speed and efficiency. These mowers can be a great choice for anyone looking to get a better cut and save time while cutting grass. However, they also come with a higher price tag than traditional mowers, so it’s important to consider whether the benefits are worth the cost.

The primary benefit of a zero turn mower is improved maneuverability. A zero turn mower can turn on its axis and navigate tight corners, making mowing much easier in small spaces. This is especially helpful for those with smaller yards or uneven terrain. Additionally, zero turn mowers are typically faster than traditional mowers, allowing users to cut their grass in less time.

The improved speed and maneuverability of zero turn mowers can also help to save on fuel costs. The mowers don’t have to make as many turns, meaning less fuel is used. As a result, those who use a zero turn mower may be able to save money in the long run.

Finally, zero turn mowers come with various features that may make lawn care easier and more enjoyable. These include mulching decks, adjustable cutting heights, and more. These features can help make mowing easier and more enjoyable and may be worth the investment for those serious about lawn care.

In the end, the answer to the question of whether zero turn mowers are worth the investment depends on the individual. Those who want to save time and get a better cut may find the features and benefits of these mowers to be worth the cost. However, those on a tighter budget may want to consider more affordable options. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide if a zero turn mower is the right choice for them.

Overview Of Zero Turn Mowers

Overview Of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn mowers are a relatively new addition to the lawn care industry, rapidly becoming popular for homeowners. They offer a variety of advantages over traditional lawn mowers, such as improved maneuverability, significantly reduced mowing time, and a more professional look to the lawn. With all these features, it is no surprise that zero turn mowers are a desirable investment for many homeowners.

Zero turn mowers are designed to be highly maneuverable and can easily make sharp turns. This allows the user to cut their lawn quickly and efficiently, as they can make quick turns to go around objects or change direction quickly. This is a major time-saver for those with a large lawn that would take forever to mow with a regular lawn mower.

Their improved maneuverability allows them to cut grass in an even and uniform pattern, giving a lawn a more polished and attractive look. Furthermore, with the reduced mowing time, the lawn can look freshly cut more often.

Despite the advantages of zero turn mowers, they are not cheap. Depending on the model and features chosen, the cost can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. This is an important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to invest in a zero turn mower.

Types Of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn mowers are the latest and greatest in lawn mowers. They offer unparalleled speed, agility, and precision when mowing your lawn. There are generally two types of zero turn mowers: residential and commercial.

  1. Residential zero turn mowers are designed for home use and typically have a cutting deck of 42 to 54 inches. They usually have a smaller engine, a lower top speed, and are generally less expensive than commercial models.
  2. On the other hand, commercial zero turn mowers are designed for heavy-duty use in commercial landscaping and turf management. They have larger engines, bigger cutting decks and are often faster and more powerful than residential models.

Within these two categories, there are also various subtypes of zero-turn mowers, such as mid-mount or out-front deck designs, stand-on mowers, and electric zero-turn mowers. Choosing the right type of zero turn mower for your specific needs and budget is important.

Benefits Of Investing In A Zero Turn Mower

Investing in a zero turn mower comes with many benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity – With the ability to turn on a dime, zero-turn mowers can cover a large amount of ground quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort.
  • Maneuverability – Zero turn mowers are highly maneuverable. They can easily navigate obstacles like trees, landscaping features, and other obstructions, putting less strain on your body and making mowing tasks less physically demanding.
  • Precise cutting – With the mower’s ability to pivot and turn on the spot, you have greater control over the cutting path, allowing you to easily cut close to edges and uneven terrain and produce an even, neat finish.
  • Versatility – Zero turn mowers are versatile. They can handle cutting various grass types and thicknesses, making them suitable for use in different environments like golf courses, parks, and large residential lawns.
  • Longevity – Investing in a high-quality zero turn mower can last years with proper maintenance, making it a worthwhile investment that pays off over time.

Disadvantages Of Zero Turn Mowers

Although zero-turn mowers have become increasingly popular among homeowners and landscapers in recent years, there are a few potential disadvantages to consider before investing in one:

  • Higher Cost: Zero-turn mowers tend to cost more than traditional riding mowers, which may not be within everyone’s budget.
  • Complex Steering: Zero-turn mowers have a different steering mechanism than traditional mowers, which can take some time to get used to. The learning curve may be steep for some users.
  • Poor Traction: Zero-turn mowers aren’t as effective on slopes or wet or slippery terrain as traditional mowers, which can cause difficulty when mowing on these surfaces.
  • Limited Comfort: Some zero-turn mowers have limited or uncomfortable seating, which can become problematic for users with back or joint issues.
  • Maintenance: Zero-turn mowers may require more maintenance than traditional mowers, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Cost Of Zero Turn Mowers

Cost Of Zero Turn Mowers

The cost of zero turn mowers can be a major factor for potential buyers. It is important to understand that the initial purchase cost of a zero turn mower can be higher than a traditional lawn mower due to its advanced features.

The starting cost of a zero turn mower can range anywhere from $2,999 – $4,000 depending on the size, brand, and features it offers. This cost can be daunting for many buyers. However, long-term savings can be worth the initial investment.

A zero turn mower offers speed, agility, and maneuverability, making it much more efficient than a traditional mower. This efficiency can lead to shorter, more efficient mowing times, ultimately saving more time. The time savings can equate to significant savings on labor costs and can be a major factor in deciding if a zero turn mower is worth the investment.

The cost of a zero turn mower must also be weighed against the maintenance required to keep it running smoothly. The maintenance costs of a zero turn mower can be higher than a traditional mower due to the increased complexity of the machine and the need for specialized parts. It is important to factor in regular maintenance and repairs costs to determine if the zero-turn mower investment is worth it.

In addition to the cost of the mower, potential buyers should also consider the cost of accessories necessary to get the most out of the mower. Accessories such as a bagger, mulching kit, or snow blade can help increase the mower’s versatility and be a major factor in deciding if the zero turn mower is the right choice.

Maintenance Considerations For Zero Turn Mowers

There are several things to remember when it comes to keeping your zero-turn mower running smoothly. Here are some maintenance considerations for zero turn mowers:

  • Regularly check and replace the oil and filters. These are important components to keep your engine running smoothly and avoid any unwanted breakdowns.
  • Keep an eye on the blades, as they are the heart of the machine. Ensure they are sharp and well maintained, as dull blades can result in a poor cut and even damage the grass.
  • Check the tire pressure, as improper tire pressure can affect the performance and balance of your mower.
  • Clean the underside of your deck after each use to prevent the buildup of grass clippings and debris. This will help to maintain optimal cutting performance and prevent corrosion.
  • Keep your air filter clean and replace it when necessary to keep your engine running smoothly and avoid overheating.
  • Finally, store your mower in a dry and secure location to prevent rust and other damage. This will prolong the life of your zero turn mower and ensure it’s ready to go when you need it next.

Comparison Of Zero Turn Mowers To Other Lawn Mowing Options

Regarding lawn mowing options, zero turn mowers have some advantages over traditional mowers like push mowers or riding mowers. Here are a few key differences to consider:

  • Speed: Zero-turn mowers are typically much faster than other mowing options, thanks to their ability to quickly turn and pivot in tight spaces.
  • Maneuverability: Zero turn mowers are also much more maneuverable than traditional mowers, meaning they can easily navigate obstacles like trees, flower beds, and other landscaping features.
  • Cost: Zero-turn mowers can be more expensive than other mowing options, particularly compared to push mowers. However, they may be more cost-effective in the long run thanks to their speed and efficiency.
  • Maintenance: Like any mower, zero-turn mowers require regular maintenance to keep running smoothly. However, some models may require more maintenance than others.

Ultimately, the best lawn mowing option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. A zero turn mower may be the best choice if you have a large, complex lawn with many obstacles. But a push or riding mower may be more appropriate for smaller or simpler lawns.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Zero Turn Mower

When buying a zero turn mower, several factors must be considered to ensure that you get the best one for your needs. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  • Deck size: The deck size is important as it determines how much grass the mower can cut in a single pass. Some deck sizes available include 42, 48, 52, and 60 inches.
  • Engine power: Another important factor is engine power. A more powerful engine will cut through tough grass more easily and be more efficient overall. Typically, engines range from 15 to 25 horsepower.
  • Maneuverability: Zero turn mowers are known for their maneuverability, and it’s important to consider how easily you can navigate the mower around obstacles and tight corners.
  • Comfort: Comfort is also important, as you’ll spend a lot of time on the mower. Look for comfortable seats, adjustable handles, and minimal vibration.
  • Price: Of course, price is always a consideration. Determine your budget and look for a mower that offers your desired features within your price range.

Popular Brands Of Zero Turn Mowers

Popular Brands Of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn mowers have become increasingly popular in recent years as they offer an alternative to traditional lawn mowers. Zero turn mowers are designed to move quickly and turn on a dime, enabling them to achieve a closely manicured look without requiring extensive time and effort. Several popular brands of zero-turn mowers are on the market, including John Deere, Ariens, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, and Gravely.

  • John Deere zero turn mowers are the most popular and well-known brand. They offer various models with different features and capabilities, making them suitable for various lawns and terrains. John Deere mowers are known for their reliability and durability, strong warranty, and excellent customer service.
  • Ariens is another popular brand of zero turn mowers, offering a range of models with powerful engines and user-friendly features. Ariens mowers are known for their superior quality and performance, and a strong warranty backs them.
  • Husqvarna is another popular brand of zero turn mowers, offering a range of models that feature powerful engines and adjustable cutting decks. Husqvarna mowers are known for their superior quality and performance, and a solid warranty backs them.
  • Cub Cadet is also another popular brand of zero turn mowers, offering a range of models with powerful engines and adjustable cutting decks. Cub Cadet mowers are known for their reliable operation and excellent customer service.
  • Gravely is another popular brand of zero turn mowers, providing a range of models with powerful engines and adjustable cutting decks. Gravely mowers are known for superior quality and performance; a solid warranty backs them.

Tips For Operating A Zero Turn Mower

Operating a zero turn mower can be intimidating at first, but it can become a breeze with a few tips and practice. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Practice on a flat surface to get familiar with the controls and steering of the mower.
  2. Start mowing in a straight line, then gradually work up to making turns.
  3. Use the lap bars to control the speed and direction of the mower. Push both forward to go forward and pull them back towards you to go backward.
  4. Use the steering handles to maneuver the mower. To turn left, push the left handle forward and pull the right handle back, and vice versa for turning right.
  5. Always be aware of your surroundings and make sure there are no obstacles before turning or changing directions.
  6. Keep the mower blades at a safe height to avoid damaging or injuring yourself or others.
  7. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines before operating the mower.

Safety Practices For Zero Turn Mowers

Using a zero turn mower can be a time-saving and efficient way to maintain your lawn, but it’s important to prioritize safety when operating your equipment. Here are a few safety practices to keep in mind when using a zero-turn mower:

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as eye and ear protection, closed-toe shoes, and pants. Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could become entangled in the mower.
  • Inspect your mower before use to ensure that all safety features, such as seat belts and roll bars, function properly.
  • Keep children and pets away from the area where you are mowing, and never allow children to operate the mower.
  • Avoid mowing on hills or inclines, which can increase the risk of tipping over. If you must mow on a slope, ensure that your mower is specifically designed for hills and that you use it properly.
  • Never remove safety guards or shields from your mower, as they protect you from flying debris and other hazards.
  • Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when operating your zero turn mower. By following these safety practices, you can help to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries while using your mower.

Pros And Cons Of Riding Mower Vs. Zero Turn

When it comes to choosing between a riding mower and a zero turn, there are several pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Riding Mower

  • Comfortable ride: Riding mowers typically have a more comfortable seat and a smoother ride.
  • Good for uneven terrain: Riding mowers have better traction and are more stable.
  • Larger cutting radius: Riding mowers usually have a larger cutting radius, which can save time when mowing large lawns.

Cons of Riding Mower

  • Limited maneuverability: Riding mowers are often limited in turning tight corners and navigating narrow spaces.
  • Slower mowing speed: Riding mowers may not be as fast as a zero turn, making mowing large lawns time-consuming.
  • Higher cost: Riding mowers are more expensive than push or zero turn mowers.

Pros of Zero Turn

  • Excellent maneuverability: Zero-turn mowers can turn around in place, making them ideal for tight spaces and obstacles.
  • Faster mowing speed: Zero turn mowers can mow up to twice as fast as a riding mower, which can save time.
  • Precision cutting: Zero-turn mowers offer high precision when cutting around obstacles or in tight spaces.

Cons of Zero Turn

  • Rough ride: Zero-turn mowers are not as comfortable as a riding mower and offer a bumpier ride.
  • Limited traction: Zero-turn mowers may not be as stable on uneven terrain as a riding mower.
  • Higher cost: Zero-turn mowers are more expensive than riding and pushing mowers.

Choosing between a riding mower and a zero-turn will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as the size and shape of your lawn, budget, and comfort level with operating different mowers.

Speed Of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn mowers are a great investment for anyone looking to save time and effort on lawn care. These mowers offer many benefits, but the speed of zero turn mowers makes them stand out from the crowd.

Zero turn mowers can cut your lawn up to three times faster than a standard riding mower. This is because the zero turn mower can make sharp turns, allowing it to quickly and precisely mow your lawn in a fraction of the time it would take a standard riding mower. This means you can spend less time mowing and more time enjoying your lawn.

In addition to saving time, zero turn mowers also offer improved maneuverability. These mowers feature a zero-radius turning radius, meaning they can turn on a dime. This allows them to mow around tight corners and obstacles, such as trees and flower beds. This makes mowing the lawn a breeze, as you don’t have to worry about avoiding obstacles or taking extra time to maneuver around them.

Not only do zero turn mowers cut your lawn faster, but they also offer improved traction, which can be especially beneficial on hills or wet grass. This is because the mower can use its weight to gain traction and maintain control on slopes or wet grass. This added control allows you to mow confidently, knowing you won’t slip or slide around.

Riding Mower Vs. Zero Turn For Hills

When mowing hills, one must consider the type of mower best for the job. Riding mowers and zero turn mowers are popular choices, but each has advantages and disadvantages.

Riding mowers are generally more affordable and better suited to smaller yards and simpler terrain. They are also easier to maneuver due to their shorter wheelbase. However, they lack the precision of a zero-turn mower, which can be better suited to larger, more complex yards with steep hills or sharp turns.

Zero-turn mowers, while more expensive than riding mowers, offer the most versatility and superior performance. They are designed with a wide wheelbase, which provides greater stability and control when mowing hills and other challenging terrains.

The zero turn mower also has a higher ground speed and a smaller turning radius, which allows for faster mowing and more precise trimming around obstacles. Additionally, the zero turn mower has a much higher top speed and a greater range of motion, allowing for faster mowing and greater efficiency.

So, when it comes to mowing hills, the choice between a riding mower and a zero-turn mower comes down to personal preference. If you have a large yard with complex terrain, a zero turn mower may be worth the additional cost, providing superior performance and greater efficiency. A riding mower may be better if you have a smaller yard or simpler terrain.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your own needs and preferences.


In conclusion, zero turn mowers are a great investment for those who want to save time and effort when mowing their lawns. They are more efficient, faster, and easier to use than traditional mowers and can make mowing your lawn a much more enjoyable experience.

Whether you’re a homeowner, landscaper, or commercial operator, a zero turn mower can provide you with the quality of cut and speed you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are zero turn mowers any good?

Yes, zero turn mowers are very good. They are efficient and maneuverable, allowing you to mow large areas in a short amount of time. They are also easy to use and maintain, making them a great option for commercial and residential lawn care.

Why are zero turn mowers better?

Zero turn mowers are better because they offer better maneuverability, faster cutting speeds, and greater cutting efficiency. They can turn on a dime, making tight turns and navigating obstacles quickly. They can also cut large grass areas faster than traditional mowers, saving time and energy. Furthermore, the cut is more even and efficient, meaning fewer clippings are left behind.

What are the most common problems with zero turn mowers?

The most common problems with zero turn mowers involve steering and blade issues such as difficulty turning, uneven steering, dull blades, worn-out spindles, and faulty belts. Other problems may occur with the engine, fuel system, or transmission. Regular maintenance is important to prevent and address these issues promptly.

Are there any safety concerns with operating a zero turn mower?

Yes, there are several safety concerns to be aware of when using a zero turn mower. When operating a zero turn mower, it is important to wear appropriate safety gear and keep hands and feet away from the blades. Reading the operator’s manual and following safety instructions is crucial, and it is important to stay alert while mowing and avoid mowing in reverse or downhill. When mowing near drop-offs, ditches, or embankments, caution should also be taken.

How long do zero turn mowers typically last?

The life expectancy of a zero turn mower can vary depending on the make and model and how it is maintained and used. Generally, a quality zero turn mower should last between 10 and 15 years if it is properly maintained and serviced.

What types of terrain are best suited for a zero turn mower?

Zero turn mowers are best suited for flat terrain and small, open areas with few obstructions. They are not well-suited for rough terrain, steep grades, or areas with many trees and shrubs.