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The best zero-turn mowers you can buy

The best zero-turn models offer wide cutting decks, ergonomic designs, and large engines for handling big properties.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 | Best zero-turn mower overall
A Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 zero-turn mower on a grey background
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1
Best zero-turn mower overall
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Ryobi 48V | Best electric zero-turn mower
A Ryobi 48V zero-turn mower on a grey background
Ryobi 48V
Best electric zero-turn mower
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Toro Titan MAX | Best zero-turn mower for large properties
A Toro Titan Max zero-turn riding mower on a grey background
Toro Titan MAX
Best zero-turn mower for large properties
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John Deere Z315E | Best for smaller yards
A John Deere Z315E zero turn mower on a grey background
John Deere Z315E
Best for smaller yards
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Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 | Best budget-friendly zero-turn mower
A Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 zero turn mower on a grey background
Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42
Best budget-friendly zero-turn mower
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Zero-turn mowers are like the high-end sports cars of lawn and garden equipment. They feature a zero-inch turning radius, which allows you to pivot in place and maneuver in tight spaces without ruining your lawn, as well as more powerful engines and wider cutting decks than their regular riding mower counterparts. And their demand will continue to grow in the next five years as more people and businesses adopt them thanks to their ease of use and expedited cutting times. 

Also: The best riding mowers

You can choose models with cutting decks as narrow as 42 inches for suburban lawns or as wide as 72 inches for rural properties. And with engines up to 26HP, you'll get plenty of power to haul wagons of dirt, mulch, tools, or equipment without overworking the motor. Zero-turn mowers also feature hydrostatic transmissions, which means the more you push on the lap bars or the harder you step on the pedals, the faster you'll go. This makes it akin to driving a car, so they're easier to learn how to operate. However, the lap bar steering system does take some getting used to, so I recommend driving around your yard with the blades disengaged to practice before you mow your lawn with it for the first time. 

What is the best zero turn mower right now?

My pick for the best zero-turn mower is the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 for its ergonomic seat and lap bars, hydrostatic transmission, and 4-acre maximum cutting area. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 as well as our other picks for the best zero-turn mowers.

The best zero-turn mowers of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Hydrostatic drive
  • Ergonomic seat and lap bars
  • Steel deck and frame
  • Expensive
  • Steep learning curve with lap bar steering
  • No accessories included
More Details

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 was featured as my pick for the best zero-turn mower in our list of the best lawn mowers you can buy, and it's still my number one choice. It features a 50-inch cutting deck stamped from 11-gauge steel and a tubular steel frame design for strength, durability, and stability while mowing over different types of terrain. The 23HP Kawasaki engine uses a hydrostatic drive for effortless forward acceleration of up to 7.5 mph and quick reversing to maneuver around obstacles or go back over spots you may have missed. 

A removable floor plate gives you better and faster access to the cutting deck and engine when you need to clean things out or perform maintenance, while the smooth-tread front wheels allow you to drive, turn, and pivot without worrying about damaging your lawn. The ergonomic seat also features a suspension system to keep you comfortable and safely in place while driving over rough patches. At the same time, the lap bars have ergonomic grips for more comfortable operation. With a maximum cutting area of 4 acres, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 will feel at home in both larger suburban corner lots and big rural properties.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 tech specs: Cutting width: 50 inches | Power source: Gasoline | Transmission: Variable speed hydrostatic | Engine: 23HP 726cc | Mulching and bagger capable: Yes | Max cutting area:  4 acres 

Pros & Cons
  • Zero emissions
  • 120V outlet charging
  • Mow-in reverse feature
  • USB ports
  • Very expensive
  • Not compatible with bagger attachments
More Details

The Ryobi 80V zero-turn electric mower was one of my alternative picks on the list of best electric mowers, and after doing more research, I can say that it is the best electric zero-turn on the market. The 80V batteries can be swapped out for 40V tool batteries, so you won't have to worry about keeping special chargers and cables on hand to top up your mower when not in use. It also makes the Ryobi 80V easier to integrate into your garage or workshop if you don't have any other Ryobi tools or equipment that could share a battery with the mower. The battery gives you enough power on a full charge to mow up to 4 acres, which is excellent news for anyone with a larger yard.

It features a 54-inch cutting deck with three sets of blades for a more even cut on each pass, and the deck can be set to 12 different heights for the perfect mow all season long. A control panel lets you monitor battery levels, turn on the LED headlights, mow in reverse, and even charge your phone with the built-in USB port. 

Since the Ryobi 80V zero-turn mower doesn't have a gas engine, you'll save time and money by not having to do oil changes, spark plug cleanings, or fuel treatments at the start and end of every season. And no gas engine means no exhaust emissions, making this a more environmentally friendly option for lawn care.

Ryobi 48V tech specs: Cutting width: 54 inches | Power source: 80V battery | Transmission: Variable speed hydrostatic | Engine: Brushless electric motor | Mulching and bagger capable: Mulching only Max cutting area: 4 acres  

Pros & Cons
  • 7-gallon fuel tank
  • 10-Gauge, hardened steel deck and frame (for exceptional durability)
  • 260HP engine
  • 7-acre cutting area
  • Very expensive
  • Steering bars require some practice for novice riders
More Details

The Toro Titan MAX zero-turn mower was tailor-made for larger properties. It features a 60-inch cutting deck, 23-inch rear wheels, and a 26-horsepower Kohler engine for all of the power you need to handle properties up to 7 acres in size. 

The hydrostatic drive provides easier and faster forward acceleration up to 9.0Mph, so you can make short work of pastures and wide-open backyards while the pivoting front wheels give you enhanced maneuverability around garden beds, fruit and ornamental trees, and outbuildings. 

The Titan MAX is equipped with a 7-gallon fuel tank, so you can spend more time getting work done and less time refueling or worrying about getting stranded in the middle of your lot with an empty tank. The frame and deck are made of hardened, 10-gauge steel for extra strength and durability while driving over uneven ground and around obstacles. The Titan MAX also features a high-back seat with armrests and a cup holder so you can stay comfortable and hydrated while maintaining your property. 

Toro Titan MAX tech specs: Cutting width: 60 inches | Power source: Gasoline | Transmission: Variable speed hydrostatic | Engine: 26HP 747cc | Mulching and bagger capable: Yes | Max cutting area: 7 acres 

Pros & Cons
  • 42-inch deck
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Reverse mowing feature
  • Mulching/bagger/trailer compatible
  • Learning curve for lap bar steering
  • Proprietary engine requires John Deere technicians for repair
More Details

The John Deere Z315E is an excellent choice if you have a smaller property. It features a 42-inch cutting deck, which is almost perfect for lawns up to 2 acres in size and for maneuvering around obstacles like trees and landscaping. It's powered by a 22HP V-Twin John Deere engine with a hydrostatic drive for smoother operation and plenty of power for cutting grass, hauling equipment, or mulching leaves in the fall. It also features a reverse-mow mode that lets you quickly go back over any missed spots without disengaging cutting deck.

John Deere Z315E tech specs: Cutting width: 42 inches | Power source: Gasoline | Transmission: Variable speed hydrostatic | Engine: 22HP V-Twin John Deere 724cc | Mulching and bagger capable: Yes | Max cutting area: 2 acres

Pros & Cons
  • 4 acres max mowing area
  • Between $2500 and $3000
  • Electric PTO
  • Hydrostatic drive
  • Not compatible with roll cage or sun shade attachments
More Details

Zero-turn mowers are typically very expensive due to their design and size, but the Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 retails between $2500 and $3000, making it one of the most affordable on the market. It features a 42-inch cutting deck as well as a 22HP V-Twin Kohler engine for mowing up to 4 acres at once. The hydrostatic transmission allows for smoother, road-vehicle-like operation, and the electric PTO lets you quickly and easily engage/disengage the blades. The 2-inch tubular steel frame is fully welded for durability, while the high-backed seat and foam-grip lap bars help reduce vibration and discomfort.

Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 tech specs: Cutting width: 42 inches | Power source: Gasoline | Transmission: Variable speed hydrostatic | Engine: 22HP V-Twin Kohler 725cc | Mulching and bagger capable: Yes | Max cutting area: 4 acres

What is the best zero-turn mower?

My pick for the best zero-turn mower is the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1. It features an 11-gauge steel, 50-inch cutting deck with twin blade sets for an even, consistent cut on each pass and a tubular steel frame for strength and durability. The 23HP Kawasaki engine and hydrostatic drive make operating the mower easy while providing plenty of power to handle lawns of up to 4 acres.

Best zero-turn mower


Cutting width


Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1


60 inches

23HP Kawasaki

Ryobi 80V


54 inches

Brushless electric

Toro Titan MAX


60 inches

26HP Kohler

John Deere Z315E


42 inches

20HP V-Twin John Deere

Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42


42 inches

22HP V-Twin Kohler

 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which is the right zero-turn mower for you?

Once you've finalized a budget for your new zero-turn mower, you'll want to look at cutting deck widths, engine sizes, fuel tank capacities, and what attachments each model is compatible with. Smaller 42-inch decks are ideal for suburban lawns with lots of trees and other obstacles, while larger 54- or 60-inch cutting decks are more suited for wide-open rural properties.

Engine size also helps you determine which is right for you since higher horsepower means you can haul wagons of tools, mulch, or potting soil or use equipment such as lawn rollers and aerators without destroying the motor.

Buy this best zero-turn mower...

If you need...

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

A well-rounded zero-turn mower. The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 can mow up to 4 acres at a time, and it features an ergonomic seat for enhanced comfort.

Ryobi 80V 

An electric zero-turn mower. The Ryobi 80V gives you enough power to mow up to 4 acres on a full charge with the 54-inch cutting deck.

Toro Titan MAX

A zero-turn mower for larger properties. The Toro Titan MAX has a 60-inch cutting deck and a 7-gallon gas tank for mowing up to 7 acres at once.

John Deere Z315E

A zero-turn mower for smaller properties. The John Deere Z315E has a 42-inch cutting deck for maneuvering around obstacles and is rated for lawns up to 2 acres.

Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42

An affordable zero-turn mower. The Troy-Bilt Mustang Z42 retails between $2500 and $3000, making it one of the most affordable on the market.

Factors to consider when choosing a zero-turn mower:

While shopping for a new zero-turn lawn mower, there are a few factors to keep in mind before you make a purchase:

  • Cutting width and maximum cutting area: Not all zero-turn mowers will suit every property type. If you have a large, rural property, you'll want a zero-turn mower with a fairly large cutting deck so you don't spend all day trying to cut your grass. If you have a lot of obstacles like trees, outbuildings, or landscaping, you'll want a smaller cutting deck to maneuver easily. You'll also want to double-check that the zero-turn mower is rated for your yard size, especially if it's an electric model; you don't want to be stranded in the middle of your property when you run out of gas or your batteries die.
  • Power source: While gasoline-powered engines are still the most popular option for zero-turn lawn mowers by far, more electric models are entering the market every year. Gas-powered engines offer more power for mowing large properties, hauling equipment, or mulching leaves. Electric/battery-powered engines are much more environmentally friendly and don't require the same level of maintenance as their gas-powered counterparts. However, electric models are much more expensive.
  • Steering and accessories: Zero-turn mowers typically have a bit of a learning curve for operation due to their lap-bar steering. You'll use two levers to move forward, reverse, and maneuver around objects. There are a few models that are built with more traditional steering wheels for easier operation, and there are even models that are controlled with a joystick for one-handed operation. I also ensured that every model featured on this list can be used with bagger or mulching kits, small trailers for hauling supplies, and other accessories you may need for maintaining your property.

How did we choose these zero-turn mowers?

While researching each zero-turn mower featured on this list, I kept these criteria in mind:

  • Brand integrity: Choosing a zero-turn mower from a reputable brand ensures that you'll have access to a well-established customer service department if you ever need to make a return or exchange or troubleshoot an issue. Each model on this list was chosen from a reputable, national brand with verified customer service options.
  • Ergonomics: A zero-turn mower should be as comfortable to operate as a car. Each model on this list was chosen because it features an ergonomic seat and/or steering design to help reduce discomfort and repetitive motion injuries.
  • Repairs and replacement parts: Buying a lawnmower means maintenance, whether you choose a gas or battery-powered model. Each model on this list was chosen because either it's easy to source aftermarket parts for DIY repairs or to find an official dealer for fixes and parts replacement under warranty.

What is a zero-turn mower?

A zero-turn mower is a type of riding mower that has a zero-inch turning radius (hence the name). This means that you can use either the left or right rear wheel as a pivot point and turn in place, which gives the mower superior maneuverability around trees, garden beds, and other obstacles.

They also tend to have larger deck sizes than regular riding mowers, making them favorites with homeowners with larger properties.

What size lawn is a zero-turn mower best for?

A zero-turn lawn mower is best suited for any yard that is an acre or larger since they have more powerful engines and larger cutting decks than regular riding mowers. You can choose a deck from as narrow as 42 inches to as wide as 72 inches, letting you almost tailor-fit your mower to your lawn.

Are zero-turn mowers worth the money?

A zero-turn mower can be a very valuable asset in your workshop if you have a yard suitable enough for one. If you have a small suburban lot measuring less than .75 acres, there won't be enough room for your mower to actually do its job, plus it would be very difficult to store such a large mower in a typical backyard garden shed.

But if you have a 1-acre or larger property, a zero-turn mower is a good choice, since they can make short work of just about any lawn and are perfect for steering around orchards, outbuildings, and garden beds. If you want a more detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of a zero-turn mower, you can check out my handy guide on how to choose a lawn mower.

Do zero-turn lawn mowers have baggers?

Yes, zero-turn lawn mowers feature bagging attachments to collect clippings of grass. Depending on the model you select, you might have to purchase it separately from the mower. 

Are there alternative zero-turn mowers worth considering?

Aside from our top picks, here are a few other worthy options for your lawn:

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