Interesting how inviting a well-manicured lawn looks yet very few enjoy mowing the grass. Landscape mowing can be exhausting and time-consuming especially when using a push mower or an old lawn tractor to mow a large space. Pricewise and performance-wise, ZTRs can be rated same as lawn tractors.
They are better performers than normal ride-ons and of course a bit more pricey. However the best Zero Turn Mower for the money and certainly for your needs doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With a good search, you could still land a really good mower that’s affordable.
Unlike riding lawn mowers with inches of turning radii, a zero-turn lawn mower means just that; it has a zero turning radius making it an efficient unit. You literally take half, perhaps less than half the time you would have taken to mow using a typical ride-on mowing with a ZTR.
These units offer excellent maneuverability around obstacles and most will tackle your large lawn with little effort on your side. Most of them are rear drives, yet not necessarily great on a hilly terrain.
There are three types of Zero Turn Mowers
The residential ZTRs – if your yard is less than 2 acres and you need a faster stronger and more convenient unit, the residential ZTR comes as the best option.
Prosumer ZTRs – The prosumers fall between the residentials and commercials. They are designed with more heavy duty and durability features for heavy duty residential use. These units are common among individual mowing entrepreneurs and can withstand frequent use but not heavy full commercial applications.
Commercial ZTRs – these units are designed for the everyday landscaping professional who takes on large commercial tasks. They are tough, solidly constructed with commercial grade features and are quite bulky too.
Because you will need the best ZTR that you can afford, here are a few factors to check out
- Engine – Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, and Kohler are the most common among ZTRs. go for the right horsepower, fuel tank capacity, and engine accessories depending on the application you intend to put it into.
- Deck – you will need to select the right size depending on your lawn size as you also check out accessories like anti-scalping wheels that are equally important.
- Transmission – the dual hydrostatic transmission is the most common among Zero Turn mowers yet they are also the most efficient. You need a transmission that will tackle your yard without heating up.
- Wheels – independently controlled wheels are the best for maneuverability while larger rear wheels enhance traction.
Best Zero Turn Mowers for The Money
Husqvarna 967324101 V-Twin 724 cc Zero Turn Mower, 54
The Husqvarna z254 zero turn lawn mower comes with a 24HP Briggs & Stratton 724cc V-twin engine. This engine comes with exceptional power and is designed with first-class air filtration system, chromed valves, and bearing surfaces. It also comes with a huge cooling fan for optimal performance and enhanced durability.
The maintenance free Dual hydro-gear EZT transmission system is a proven performer as far as a quiet and smooth transmission is concerned. This is because it maneuvers each of the rear wheels independently making the entire unit quite easy to maneuver especially around obstacles.
54-Inch reinforced stamped cutting deck
Husqvarna 967324101 ZTR 54-inch stamped steel cutting deck is reinforced to prolong its useful life and ensure the sturdiness of the edges and trim sides. It is operated with the effective lap bar rather than a steering wheel. The engine powers the spring assisted deck to draw air from the top and the bottom and lift grass off the ground for a superior cut.
Other important features include 4 anti-scalp rollers to protect your grass from scalping, an electric clutch for easy blade engagement, anti-slip elements in the foot area to prevent slipping, and headlights for enhanced visibility especially towards the evening.
- Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower has ergonomic controls giving you full charge over the machine at all times
- Has a plenty of power for cutting tough grass on large lawns.
- The Dual hydro-gear EZT transmission system offers smooth operation and great maneuverabilitz
- Can optimally be used only on the lawns without slopes, rocks or ditches
- On attachments, only the light yard cart and bagging are recommended
Husqvarna Z246 23 HP 724cc Briggs Endurance Engine 46″ Z-Turn Mower 96732390
The Husqvarna Z246 is a great improvement to the extensive zero turn mowers line by Husqvarna. It may just be the best zero turn mower for the money considering its great functionality features, ergonomics and comfort. Its Smart Switch™ user interface quite conveniently allows for a keyless security, easy starting, and real-time feedback.
The lawn tractor is not only easy to start but is also designed with premium air filtration thanks to its Endurance™ V-Twin Engine from Briggs & Stratton. The 23 HP engine comes with chrome plated valves and big cooling fans for great performance.
With the 46-inch 13-gauge stamped steel cutting deck and double blade, this unit is set to deliver a fine cut. This mowing deck also draws air from the top and bottom, lifting off grass to facilitate the fine cut.
Finally because of its tough construction, the new z246 lawn mower can withstand long hours of use and hits from rocks without wear and tear.
Other Useful features and accessories
Another wonderful feature is the operator controlled discharge chute that adds efficiency by making it easy for you to quickly switch from discharging to mulching by a simple lift of the handle. It is also quite useful when you are approaching rads, flowers, and sidewalks as it will temporarily close up the discharge opening to stop it from littering these areas with much. .
Additionally, a mulching kit is included to provide ultra fine clippings and the comfortable armrest comes in handy during longer mowing sessions. The z246 has two-bagger systems, automatic park brake mechanism as well as a rear engine guard.
- The z246 has 3.5-gallon fuel tank and level window for long time of uninterrupted work
- Easy level height adjustment through springs
- Its EZT transmission does not require repair or maintaining
- Makes use of vented spindles for quality grass cutting.
- It is still considered a light weight hence bumpy in difficult terrain
- Engine is noisier when compared with other machines
- Cannot be used to tow heavy carts and attachments
- Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 22 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 46-Inch
Poulan PRO P46ZX Zero Turn Radius mower is another mower to look out for if you are considering excellent performance, comfort, and quality. Because of its sturdy construction, this unit has drawn the interest of homeowners and landscapers alike. It can actually mow 2.4 acres in an hour at its top speed making it a fast ZTR mower.
Powerful engine and deck
The lawn mower has a Powerful 24 hp Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Pro series engine. With an engine size of 540 cc and fuel tank capacity of 3.5 gallons, this mower will take you through a long uninterrupted mowing session.
Its conservative 46-inch cutting deck comes with two blades which are reinforced to provide the durability and the strength needed to cut tough sometimes overgrown grass. We also found it easy to engage the blade and cut high grass of up to 4 inches thanks to its electric clutch.
Poulan Pro P46ZX stands out for offering several features you will only find in the expensive Poulan models. For starters, the accessible control panel allows you to operate the dual levers without straining. The machine has larger rear 18-inch tires and front tires 11-inch tires; a clear indication of enhanced traction.
- Provides great maneuverability
- Has strong engines therefore, can easily tow objects
- Easy and comfortable to use
- You can use it with a variety of attachments
- Not recommended for mowing steep slopes
- Has a slow speed considering that its maximum is 6 MPH
- Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 24 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch
The Poulan Pro P54ZX is the ideal lawn mower for those with large featured lawns. This ZTR provides a combination of great maneuverability and speed; two very crucial factors in undertaking a large landscape.
The P54ZX is also designed with a big 3.5 gallon fuel tank and comfortable seating hence one can go for long sessions without experiencing fatigue. For the professional landscaper or homeowners with large yards, the P54ZX is worth considering as yet another best zero turn mower for the money.
Briggs & Stratton v-twin pro engine and reinforced deck
Considering that engine is the greatest determinant of the capability of a lawn mower, the B&G v-twin pro engine with 24 horsepower is certainly commercial rated and will tackle long tough grass on large spaces well enough.
The Poulan Pro P54ZX comes with a 13-gauge steel, 54-inches reinforced cutting deck. It is equipped with three adjustable blades between 1.5 to 4 inches cutting heights. Additional useful features include anti-scalp wheels ideal for uneven terrain, an aluminum spindle, and vented mandrels.
Hydro gear EZT transmission
The hydro-gear EZT transmission is an important feature that makes it easy to drive Poulan Pro P54ZX. This transmission system allows you to control each wheel independently and together with the zero turn technology, makes going round obstacles extremely smooth.
The lawn mower’s large tank can hold up to 3.5 gallons of gas which can take you through some significant mowing time before running out.
Comfortable seats are important bearing in mind that riding lawn mower for more than an hour can make you really tired. You will therefore, find the 15-inch high back seat and foam padded grip essential comfort features for your ride.
- It is a fast machine hence can mow about 2.8 acres in an hour
- Big fuel tank
- Very comfortable seat
- Poulan Pro P54ZX is not CARB compliant and therefore releases a lot of pollution for reduced air quality.
Ariens Zoom 34 – 19 hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin 34″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower
The Ariens Zoom Zero Turn Mower is ideal for homeowners seeking to switch from lawn tractor to zero turn functionality. It is compact enough to mow around yards with tight spaces. The small 34-inch deck with tri-blade system provides a perfect cut with little scalping in just one pass. Ariens Zoom design also takes into account comfort and safety which have become top priority for most operators.
Let’s check out features that have placed the Ariens Zoom 34 Zero Turn Mower ahead of the pack.
Ariens Zoom is powered by 19 hp 660cc Kohler 6600 series V-Twin four cycle engine. Along with an overhead valve to automatically cool and clean it, this engine set for optimal performance and durability.
Its design also integrates the modern Smart-Choke™ technology that ensures that you will always have an easy first-time start eliminating the need for priming or choking. It also has full pressure lubrication system.
Hydro-gear EZT Transmission
The Hydro-gear EZT Transmission is considered the best for mowers since it makes maneuvering an easy and convenient task. The transmission is also equipped with cooling fans as well as large hydraulic reservoirs to keep it running a long time.
Deck and blade Xlerator
The 34-inch cutting deck, the Ariens Zoom ZTR mower is small enough to mow tight spots and maneuver around obstacles. Together with the twin blades you can be sure it will deliver a fine cut. This deck is made of 12-gauge stamped steel making it sturdy and durable and comes with maintenance free spindles.
The fact that it can fit into a 36-inch gate makes it efficient for mowing areas of between 1 and 1.5 acres. It is designed with four preset cutting positions for precision.
- Ariens Zoom has an armrest that will improve the level of you comfort when working for longer hours.
- Includes a hitch kit which can tow a number of accessories like sprayers, utility trailers, and even carts.
- The Ariens Zoom 34 can make use of an extra non-powered bucket bagger that makes use of two compartments in collecting grass clippings and this extends bagging space for a non-stop mowing session.
- Ariens Zoom engines is only useful for small and medium sized landscapes
- Its small deck is not suitable for rugged terrain
- It requires you to refill the gasoline tank more frequently compared to others
ZTRs are great options if you need to slash your mowing sessions by half the time. They are fast thanks to their zero-turn technology and indispensable companions if you have a large yard. Our top ZTR mowers are not only great performers, their prices are worthwhile. Of the 5 ZTRs, we felt that the best zero turn mower for the money is the Poulan Pro P46ZX.
This unit is a mid grade ZTR yet the way it is constructed, you can mistake it for a commercial ZTR and quite honestly, it holds up quite well when put into commercial application. It comes with a powerful kohler engine which powers its 46-inch stamped steel cutting deck.
Again, comfort and convenience were not overlooked in its design. It comes with an easily accessible control panel for its levers and a comfortable seat which comes as a great advantage if you have to work long hours.