When it comes to yard work, the right tools for the job are essential, and a commercial zero turn mower could be just what you need. There’s a lot to consider before making your choice, however, and it’s important to find the right fit for you.
With that in mind, our gardening pros have had a look at some of the top-rated commercial zero turn mowers on the market.
So, read on to see our favorites.
9 Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers
|Product||Craftsman Z525||Husqvarna Z24||Ariens 915223||Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit||Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP||Husqvarna MZ61 24 HP||Simplicity 2691318||RYOBI RY48ZTR100-1A||Ariens IKON XD|
|Engine/power||679cc||26HP||726cc/ 23HP||452cc||27HP||24HP||23HP||100 Ah||726cc/ 23HP|
|Size||84 x 52 x 34.8”||72 x 61.5 x 34.5”||77.5 x 63.4 x 40.9”||78″ x 45″ x 35″||75.5 x 76 x 42”||75.5 x 76 x 42”||72 x 55 x 42”||74 x 55 x 42”||77.5 x 56 x 41”|
- 46” wide cutting deck
- 679cc V twin engine
- Auto choke
- Built-in deck wash
- Reverse mowing
The Craftsman Z525 makes mowing the lawn like a pro as easy as can be. The Autochoke feature means you won’t have to worry about getting started, even in the cold. It automatically takes care of adjusting the fuel and air mix, ensuring a quick and efficient start each and every time. Besides convenience, in the long run, those efficient starts will save you money on fuel costs.
The engine itself is a 679cc V twin that provides around 16 horsepower, plenty of power for all but the largest yards. Despite its entry-level price and the fact it is often considered a budget option, the Craftsman has a lot going for it. With enough power to tackle most jobs with ease, the 46” cutting deck makes short work of even the most unkempt yards.
An in-built deck wash saves you a lot of time and effort clearing out the underside and ensures you can keep on top of maintenance with minimal effort. Comfort is prized on the Craftsman, and the seat features a high back to keep you comfortable for as long as the job takes. The dual steering levers are also ergonomically positioned for both safety and convenience and are extremely easy to operate.
Overview: the Craftsman Z525 is great for those on a budget, but it also boasts a number of fantastic features that make mowing the yard easy and comfortable. Ideal for newbies, the Autochoke and easy-to-use controls mean you can get going straight away. However, pros can also find lots to love about the Craftsman, and it’s great for those small to medium-sized jobs.
- 54” reinforced steel cutting deck
- 26HP Kohler engine
- Max speed of 6.5mph
- Patent-pending automatic braking system
- Mulching kit and baggage attachment available
Husqvarna’s Z254 is among the most powerful mowers on this list, and the 26HP Kohler engine certainly has a lot of oomph. The mower can comfortably reach more than 6 mph and the engine will run consistently regardless of the conditions. Despite its hefty power, the Z254 is easy to maneuver, and the controls are extremely responsive.
The automatic braking system is activated or deactivated in conjunction with steering levers, meaning you’ll never find yourself moving when you don’t want to. High-quality materials, such as the reinforced steel cutting deck, ensure durability, and many customers have seen consistently good results even after many years of use.
It’s an extremely versatile mower too. A number of additional attachments can be purchased and easily fitted, such as a handy headlight, a mulching kit, and a useful bagging attachment. While the Z254 is more or less good to go from the crate, you may need to fine-tune the drive sticks to ensure they’re properly balanced. If in doubt, or in case of any issues, your local Husqvarna dealer should be more than happy to help you out.
Overview: All together, the powerful engine, quality cutting blades, and ease of control result in faster, more efficient cutting. The Z254 is best suited to larger yards and people who are comfortable working with a large, powerful engine. Ideal for pros rather than beginners, it’s a fantastic upgrade for those that need to mow large areas.
- 52” fabricated cuttin deck made from 10-gauge steel
- Kawasaki® FR691V engine (726cc/ 23HP)
- 13 cutting positions from 1.5” to 4.5”
- Optional bagging and mulching systems
Ariens has a long history of creating high-quality gardening tools and machinery, from snow blowers to mowers. The IKON-X features a 726cc Kawasaki engine, with 23HP, ensuring plenty of power for all your mowing needs. A durable 52” cutting deck made from 10-gauge steel is built to last while offering a supreme cut.
It’s also available for a great price, and while considered a residential mower, it certainly gives some commercial mowers a run for their money. For small to medium yards, it’s a fantastic choice, but it may struggle with larger areas and more complex terrain, particularly steep hills. Having said that, it does handle gentler inclines fairly well.
Easy to start up each and every time, you’ll never struggle to get going, and once the engine is chugging along, the IKON-X is easy to control. The steering and brakes are responsive, allowing even novice mowers to feel comfortable within a short time. The ride can feel a little bumpy from time to time, and the suspension does leave a lot to be desired if you’re mowing rough terrain.
Overview: with its easy start-up and simple controls, the Ariens IKON-X is a superb choice for beginners, and is best suited to small to medium plots. For more challenging terrain, you might need a mower with larger wheels and a little more power to help you on the inclines and through soft patches.
- 34” cutting deck ideal for neighborhood plots
- 452cc Troy-Biilt engine
- Mow-in-reverse capability
- Dual suspension springs
- Integrated deck wash
- Optional mulching kit and bagger
This is one of the slimmest mowers on our list, and while it has a smaller engine than many of the others, it’s still more than powerful enough for most residential yards and plots. Indeed, the 34” cutting deck with side discharge is compact enough that the mower will fit through standard 36” gates. The smaller size also makes it a little faster than other models on the list, with a top speed of 7mph.
It offers a comfortable ride, with a high-backed seat and plenty of legroom, while all the controls are close at hand. The controls are simple and responsive, and the dual EZT transmission makes it easy for beginners to get started in no time. In terms of maneuverability, its small size and relatively lightweight make it easy to operate.
While lighter than other models on this list, the Mustang offers a sturdy, reinforced heavy-duty frame that will last for many years. From the frame to the engine to the wheels, each section is built to last from quality materials. It’s worth knowing the limits of this mower, however, and for larger, more rugged terrain, a bigger, more powerful machine is probably more suitable.
Overview: ideal for beginners and smaller, neighborhood yards, this is a perfect budget option. Built from quality parts, it’s designed for longevity and, with proper care and use, it should last you many years. It’s not the best choice for larger plots and more rugged terrain, however.
- Fabricated 11-gauge 54” steel cutting deck
- Briggs & Stratton 27HP Endurance engine
- Ergonomic deck lifting system
- 9 bushel triple bag collection system
- Comfortable design
With one of the most powerful engines on this list, the MZ61 packs a full 27HP, making it ideal for tackling large areas and plots. Its hefty weight, engine power, and relatively large wheels enable it to negotiate tricky terrain and soft spots without issue. It’s also good with inclines, with excellent traction going uphill, though downhill can be a little tricky.
The 54” cutting deck ensures effortless grass cutting, and an ergonomic deck lifting system that can be operated with ease from the seat makes avoiding obstacles a piece of cake. You can save even more time with the 9-bushel collection system, which is easy to install and remove, and collects trimmings in 3 bags.
Despite a powerful engine, the MZ61 remains easy to control and offers a comfortable ride. Quality parts ensure a smooth mowing experience each and every time. The high backed seat with comfortable armrests and shock absorbers reduce rider fatigue considerably, allowing for several hours of mowing. This ergonomic design also improves steering, braking, and deck adjustment on the fly.
If you do need to service your MZ61, most of the service points — the battery, electrical system, oil and filter, and hydraulic drive system — are easy to access. This ensures you can get up and running as quickly as possible. The tracking is also easy to adjust without tools, while the removable foot pan allows for easy cutting deck washing and access to deck belt pulleys and spindles.
Overview: This is among the best choices for commercial use, and is best suited to seasoned pros. Self-servicing is made easy if you’re familiar with the processes, while service centers across the country can also help. The powerful engine and excellent controls make it a top choice for large plots of land and ensure it can handle tough terrain. Finally, ergonomic controls and comfortable seating ensure hours of mowing.
- Fabricated 11-gauge 61” steel cutting deck
- Kawasaki 24HP engine
- Roll-over protection system (ROPS)
- 9 bushel triple bag collection system
- Comfortable design
This is the twin of the previous mower, and the major difference is the engine. This one is fitted with a 24HP Kawasaki engine, which, while slightly less powerful than the Briggs & Stratton engine, doesn’t impact the control in any way. It’s just as capable of handling large plots with ease and can negotiate fairly tough terrain.
Over-sized wheels, dampeners on the controls, and shock absorbers on the comfortable high-backed seat ensure a smooth and comfortable ride for many hours. It can be prone to sliding slightly on inclines, though this has little impact on overall control. Unlike the previous model, this one is fitted with a roll-over protection system, which functions as a roll bar, offering additional protection. It’s worth noting that this feature can be difficult to install.
It offers a fantastic cut and can slice through overgrown plots with ease, leaving a smooth finish on the first pass. The large size can make it difficult to reach those smaller areas between structures or objects, but for large areas, it’s a top choice.
Overview: again, this is a great option for light commercial use or heavy home use. It’s most suitable for experienced users, though a brave beginner won’t take long to get used to its ergonomic controls.
- 42” cutting deck with 13 point cut height adjustment
- V-twin Briggs & Stratton 23HP engine
- Suspension Comfort System
- Cargo bed with +50 lb. capacity
The name says it all, the Simplicity is easy to operate and starts with ease straight from the crate. It offers plenty of power from the 23hp Briggs & Stratton engine, allowing you to tackle large residential plots with ease. Meanwhile, the 13 point cutting deck is easily operated from the seat via a foot pedal, and cuts at heights ranging from 1.5 to 4.5”.
Comfort is prized on the Courier Mower, which is packed full of features to keep you comfortable while mowing. The high-backed mesh seat is ergonomically placed to make using the controls easy and comfortable. Meanwhile, the suspension comfort system absorbs up to 25% of the impact you’d typically feel on a tractor mower, allowing for many hours of enjoyable mowing.
The Simplicity Courier Mower is available in several sizes, from the compact 36” deck for smaller yards, up to 52” decks for larger plots. Different engines are also available, with various models from both Kawasaki and Briggs & Stratton. Finally, the Courier features a 50 lb. cargo bed, transforming your mower into a versatile workhorse that can fulfill a multitude of tasks.
Overview: as the name suggests, the Simplicity Courier is easy to use and a great choice for use on small to medium residential plots. Comfortable and multi-functional, it’s ideal for home gardeners, while larger models can be suitable for light commercial use.
- 12-height 42” cutting deck
- Fully electric
- Zero emissions
- Low maintenance
- Optional mulching kit and bagger
As more of us become more aware of our carbon footprint, the shift from gas to electric is slowly taking place in the world of automobiles. However, the same logic can be applied to ride-on mowers, and the Ryobi RY48ZTR100-1A is a great choice. Powered by 100 AH Batteries and 4 High-Powered Brushless Motors, it boasts more than 3-acres of cutting on a single charge. For larger jobs, a spare battery is provided and can be replaced quickly and easily.
Charging is simple, with an easy-to-access rear charging port, compatible with a standard 120-volt outlet. As an electric mower, it’s much quieter than traditional gas models and doesn’t produce any fumes. It’s also easier to maintain and vibrates less while packing just as much power as a gas model.
Maneuverability is fantastic and the controls are easy to use, even for beginners, though it can be a little fast at first (7mph) — however, the low-speed setting keeps things under control. It drives well and can handle mixed terrain, with good suspension reducing the bumps. The high-back seat is also comfortable, though it does lack armrests.
The electric control panel shows the battery level in real-time so you won’t ever be caught out. It also powers the LED headlights in case of low light situations, and adjusts the speed of the cutting blade, with a slow-speed function. A handy USB charger is also included, and there are some useful storage compartments.
Overview: this electric zero-turn mower is great for beginners as it’s pretty easy to operate, starts without issue, and requires very little maintenance. It’s powerful enough to cover small to medium plots with ease and does a great job of cutting even heavily overgrown grass. It’s not ideal for larger plots and jobs that may require several hours of use, as the battery may run out of juice halfway through.
- 52” fabricated steel cutting deck
- 23HP Kawasaki V-twin engine (726cc)
- 13 dial operated cutting heights
- Comfortable high-back seat
The IKON XD is packed full of features that ensure a smooth ride and premium grass mowing. The 23HP Kawasaki engine has plenty of power to tackle large jobs and runs extremely smoothly regardless of speed and terrain. It also starts up with ease in any weather.
The cutting height is easily adjusted at the turn of a dial, allowing you to cut between 1½” and 4½”, in quarter-inch increments. In case of obstacles, a foot-operated secondary height adjuster allows you to lift the deck up fully, saving time and effort.
The three blades can cut grass up to 6” at high speed, though you may need to slow down a little for taller grass. A single pass is typically enough to ensure a smooth cut that looks great. A mulching kit and bagger are also available separately.
Twenty-inch rear wheels aid in stability and offer improved comfort. Combined with a plush, high-back seat with padded armrests, this ensures a smooth, comfortable ride for hours at a time.
Overview: with a powerful engine, superb cutting deck, and easy-to-use controls, as well as supreme comfort, the IKON XD is great for big jobs. It’s well-suited to professionals on a budget and can handle light commercial use with ease, being particularly good on relatively flat surfaces.
Buying Guide for the Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers
Having seen a number of commercial grade zero turn mower reviews, it’s clear to see that they come in many shapes and sizes.
The right choice for you might not necessarily be the one that ranks highest among professionals, however. It all depends on your specific needs.
For example, if you only have a small residential yard, there’s no need for a high-end zero turn commercial mower. In fact, if you decide on something too big for your needs, you could even do more damage than good.
Also, don’t forget to account for things like gates; there’s no point in buying a large mower if it won’t fit through the gate.
Commercial Zero Turn Mowers: Key Features
Understanding the key components of zero turn mowers allows you to make a more educated decision when it comes to buying the best one for you. So, here are three things to bear in mind when choosing a commercial zero turn mower.
- Deck Size
The deck size refers to the cutting deck width and is typically measured in inches. In general, the larger your yard, the larger your cutting deck should be. Getting the right size can save you a lot of time mowing, but bigger isn’t always best, and there are other things to consider.
As a general rule of thumb, the following guidelines will typically work well:
- 40” or less for lawns or yards less than half an acre.
- 40-50” for lawns or yards that are between half an acre and 2 acres.
- 50” or more for areas larger than 2 acres.
Bear in mind that you might have a large yard, but if there are many obstacles (furniture, structures, etc.) close to one another, a larger deck might actually slow you down. In this case, measure the distance between any obstacles and choose a deck size that is more likely to fit between them. For large, open expanses, however, a larger deck will normally be quicker.
It’s also worth noting that a larger cutting deck doesn’t necessarily equate to a faster mower. You’ll need to look at other factors, such as horsepower and engine size, top speed, and cutting ability to make a fully informed choice.
On most commercial zero turn mowers, engine power is measured in horsepower (HP). The more horsepower you have, the more powerful the engine is, and the faster it will go. For large, open areas, a powerful engine will speed you up considerably. However, in smaller yards, or those filled with obstacles, using an engine that is overpowered can be a waste of money — it’s unlikely you’ll use it to its full potential.
It’s also a question of how comfortable you are with operating the mower. If you’ve never driven a commercial zero turn mower before, an engine that is too powerful might be difficult to control. Stay within your comfort zone and don’t be tempted to buy the most powerful engine — it won’t always work out faster.
Also, be sure to keep an eye on fuel tank capacity if you choose a gas-powered mower. Generally speaking, the larger the better, as it reduces the likelihood of having to refuel midway through the job.
Overlooking the comfort of your new ride-on mower can cause regret later on. Fortunately, in this day and age, the best commercial zero turn mower manufacturers spend a lot of time ensuring a comfortable ride.
There are several things to look out for.
- Seat: high backed with good padding and padded armrests is the best. The armrests stop you swaying too much over rough terrain, while the padding helps absorb the shock of those bumps and vibrations. In hot climates, a mesh seat can be a great choice, as it encourages airflow and prevents sweating.
- Suspension: front and rear suspension can really help keep you comfortable, especially if you’ll be mowing on large expanses of rough terrain. Each potentially bone-shaking bump will be softened considerably depending on the quality of the suspension.
- Legroom: no one likes to stay cramped up for too long, so it’s good to find a ride-on mower that offers plenty of space for your legs.
- Controls: an ergonomically designed zero turn commercial mower will have all the most important controls within close reach of the seat. In this way, you can remain comfortable while operating your mower. Easy deck height adjustment is always great, as you can lift over obstacles like sticks, rocks or toys without losing your mowing rhythm.
- Personal comfort: things like cup holders and USB chargers can make each mowing session just a little more comfy. Top brands are beginning to offer such features as standard, though it’s always good to look out for them.
Electric vs Gas Lawn Mower
Electric mowers aren’t a particularly new innovation, however, in recent years, high-quality electric ride-on zero turn mowers have started to make an appearance. Like other electric vehicles, they’re designed to reduce emissions and noise pollution but come with a host of additional benefits. There are some limitations, however, and in some cases, they’re not the best choice.
Are electric riding mowers worth it?
Electric zero turn mowers are an excellent choice for small to medium yards and lawns, particularly if they’re relatively flat and open.
They’re also great for beginners who might be wary of using and maintaining a gas-powered mower. Here are the main benefits:
- Easy to use: electric mowers start easily without having to worry about priming the engine or adjusting the choke. The controls are straightforward and intuitive, and with electric control panels to help the novice get the job done properly, they’re very user-friendly.
- Low maintenance: traditional gas mowers require oil and filter changes, spark plug servicing, and a host of other jobs to keep them in top condition. This isn’t often an issue for pros, but for the home gardener, it might be a hassle you could do without. With an electric mower, you don’t need to worry about anything other than keeping the battery charged.
- No emissions: electric mowers don’t pump out fumes, and they’re also a lot quieter than gas-powered ones. Overall they have a low carbon footprint but remain just as powerful as most gas models.
- Increased comfort: while gas mowers are notorious for vibrating during use, which can become uncomfortable after an hour or two, electric mowers typically don’t have this issue.
- Extra features: LED headlights, USB chargers, and an intuitive control panel are all great features that you won’t typically find on traditional mowers.
While electric zero turn mowers sound great so far, they’re not the ideal choice in every situation.
Compared to gas mowers, even the best electric ones cannot compete on range, and the battery will need to be charged long before you’d need to refuel a typical gas model. As such, they’re best suited to smaller plots, up to about an acre in size, though some models can manage up to 3-acres on a single charge.
The best commercial zero turn mower for you is dependent on several factors and it’s not just about buying the biggest, most powerful model you can find. Making the wrong choice can either cause a lot of damage to your yard or leave you spending much longer mowing than necessary.
For us, the top choice for small to medium residential plots has to be the RYOBI RY48ZTR100-1A Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower. It’s great for beginners and can handle up to 3-acres with ease.
If you’re looking for something a little larger to tackle bigger jobs on a regular basis, the Husqvarna MZ61 is well worth considering, with the 24HP Kawasaki engine just having the edge over the slightly more powerful Briggs & Stratton engine.