Shopping for zero turn lawn mower is similar to shopping for a car.
There are luxury cars. There are economy cars. Both get you from Point A to Point B.
Likewise, all zero turning radius (ZTR) lawn mowers cut grass. They just do it with varying degrees of comfort and quality of components.
To make the shopping experience easier, we classify every zero turn mower into one of four grades.
If you pick a grade first, your selections will narrow and your decision will be easier.
are ideal for the weekend warrior wanting the excitement of a zero turn mower without a professional price tag.
These dependable - yet affordable - mowing machines will cut a yard twice as fast as a lawn tractor. But, don't expect to beat your local landscaper in a race. They feature smaller, less-powerful engines with smaller gas tanks, maxing out at 6-7 miles per hour.
In addition, entry-level zero turn lawn mowers are constructed with less expensive components like stamped vs. welded decks and steel vs. cast iron spindle materials. They're typically not designed for daily use, but they will still cut your weekend mowing time in half.
Mid-grade zero turns
won't go much faster than entry-level models, but they will cut faster because their decks are much wider.
Most mid-grade models feature more powerful and more expensive Kawasaki engines. The higher-quality engines are designed to last longer, but don't add much speed. The extra horsepower is diverted to a third cutting blade instead.
The other components aren't quite professional grade, but definitely durable. Instead of 12-gauge stamped decks, mid-grade zero turns are built with thicker 10-gauge welded decks with doubler plates and aluminum spindles.
Semi-pro zero turns
are extremely popular with landscaping entrepreneurs, who can't afford the major leagues yet, and heavy-duty homeowners with their own Field of Dreams.
These durable zero turns are designed for daily use. Yet, they cost almost half the price of commercial zero turn mowers.
Unlike cheaper options, semi-pro mowers can accelerate up to 8 miles per hour and mow 4-5 acres without having to stop and gas up.
And talk about comfort features: High back seat, adjustable arm rests, multiple cup holders (because one is never enough!) and cruise control. Get a semi-pro zero turn, and you'll actually enjoy "sitting the bench."
If you want to step up to the big leagues, a commercial zero turn will take you there. Just like the great state of Texas, everything is bigger on a commercial ZTR mower.
The biggest mowing decks, the most powerful engines, the largest fuel tanks, the fastest speeds and, yes, the biggest price tag as well.
Commercial zero turn mowers are so big and fast, you can mow 3-4 acres per hour. These units are built for everyday use, helping landscaping professionals make their living.