Zero turn vs riding mowers is a hot topic among lawn care enthusiasts who want to know which one is better. The best mower out of the two is the one that suits your lawn and budget the most.

Choosing Between Zero Turn and Riding Mowers

We will be discussing all the major points in which these two machines differ from one another.

After reading this article, you can decide which mower to put your bucks behind.

Features Zero Turn Mower  Riding Mower
Price Expensive Relatively cheaper
Size of The Cutting Mower Deck Medium to large-sized decks Small to medium-sized decks
Best For Lawn Sizes
  • Medium to large-sized lawns
  • Areas covering more than one acre
  • Medium to moderate-sized lawns
  • Areas up to one-acre
Turning Mechanism Takes zero degree turns Built-in steering mechanism
Speed Of Lawn Mowing
  • Fast speed
  • Up to 10 miles an hour
  • Medium speed
  • Seven miles an hour
Cutting Quality Good  Excellent

How Is A Zero Turn Mower Different From A Riding Mower?

A zero turn type mower is faster with larger decks because it works through dual-hydrostatic transmission. On the other hand, a riding mower works like a vehicle with steering and pedals for speed control. Riding-style mowers are less expensive and better suited for lawns up to one acre.

– Useful Specs Of Zero Turn Type Mowers

The zero turn type of mowers have a unique phenomenon, and they cut grass much faster as its speed has been specified. Moreover, it has a variety of deck options, this is why it sis best for lawns with curves. Be cautious, when you are around slopes or hills. 

A zero-turn mower is the fastest mower in the world, with the largest deck sizes available. This should be the go-to mower for anyone owning more than an acre of land with grass growing.

– Zero Turn Phenomenon

The first thing anyone notices in these mowers would be the need for steering in front of the rider. It is quite working, if you think about how you would begin to ride it, because this mower works through a dual-hydrostatic transmission system controlled by two levers. 

The simple way to put it is how one lever controls the right-side wheel, and the other controls the left-side wheel. When you think of this, consider how you get to control the speed and direction of both wheels separately, and how they are supposed to maneuver around your lawn.

This system takes some time before the rider gets the hang of it. You will have to manually push each lever forward to increase the speed of the zero-turn lawn mower. On the other hand, one task that you should have into mind is how once you become comfortable with it, you will realize how easy it is to maneuver this mower, but again, this doesn’t happen after one go. It can turn 180 degrees right on the spot without losing any extra ground or missing grass patches.

– Cutting Grass Much Faster

There is no doubt that zero-turn lawn mowers are the fastest type in the world. Their no-turn and steering wheel-less design makes for a speedy machine that can go up to 10 miles per hour.

Combine this speed with their large deck sizes, and you can cover very large land areas in a reasonably short amount of time. This would simply show that as it is doing the work and going through this speed, the machine is fast enough to have a better functionality and faster pace at the same time.

No wonder we see most professional garden maintainers going for these mowers. Going at maximum speed will affect the quality of the grass being cut. At average speeds, though, z-turn mowers are just as efficient as riding ones, in this are, because of the way that they go ahead. 

Zero Turn Characteristic Details

– A Variety of Deck Options

No other mower can compete with a zero turn lawn mower when it comes to deck size. You have the option of choosing from among a variety of deck sizes. These mowers also offer the largest deck sizes compared to all other mowers. As everyone knows, the larger the deck size of any mower, the faster it will cut grass.

Which means that when you have a land that is larger than one acre, this is how you will use the machine by receiving its best result every time that you try doing so. In short, it will help you move fast and function well, covering the task efficiently. 

For comparison, tractors and riding ones have average deck sizes ranging from 42 to 56 inches. With Z-turn mowers, the range starts from 42 inches but goes up to 60 inches. The final decision will depend on the lawn’s size or the mowed pasture. 

If there are narrow gates etc., on your property, then a wide-decked mower will not be able to pass through them. Only go for a very large deck if you need it and if there is a proper storage space available, which means that the land that you cover, the waste has been taken care of, where you do not need to spend further time in worries.

– Best For Lawn With Curves

When a lawn is sprinkled with many trees, flower beds, and large bushes, mowing it with a regular mower becomes a hassle. Riding-type mowers need to improve at taking turns and tend to miss spots around lawn edges.

You will never get neatly trimmed grass around all these trees with these mowers. A z-turn will help solve this problem and more, because it has been made for this specific issue to be tackled. 

Great Choice for Lawn Curves

The same goes for a lawn that is circular or has a lot of curves, as some houses or lands are built in that way, already. The term zero turns means that this mower turns around on its axis. You will be able to cut the grass around the lawn’s trees without missing any spots. 

Remember how this machine is specialized by its trait of having two levers. Which would signify that in order to move ahead, both of these levers are pressed forward. You may aim to turn to one side, the lever on that side is pulled back, and the other lever is pushed ahead. This way, the mower rotates in a perfectly tight circle.

– Be Careful Around Slopes And Hills

These mowers are perfect for medium to large-sized lawns with areas exceeding one acre. Not only do they move fast, but they also have bigger cutting decks that mow faster. Be careful if you have a particular sloppy lawn or a good hill on the property. Only mow the grass while riding this mower upwards. 

It would be best if you did not take these mowers on slopes that are steeper than 15 degrees for safety purposes. Lawn tractors provide better friction and are a safer alternative on slopes.

Useful Specs of Riding Mowers

Riding lawn mowers are ones that are excellent for a medium sized lawn, they work with a steering mechanism as they move. In addition, they have a variety of attachment options, they have a slower speed, giving you a better cut, on top of this, they are quite cheaper. 

On the other hand, you should also remember how these mowers are ones that have the ability to cut grass neatly in a short period and are extremely easy to drive around.

– Best For Medium-sized Lawns

Going by the books, the need for riding-style mowers and lawn tractors arises when the lawn is up to an acre large. Such a large area will take forever to be mowed by self-propelling or push-type mowers. 

Even if your lawn is medium-sized and less than an acre in size, these mowers will help save a lot of time and energy during mowing. However, if your lawn is actually bigger than an acre, it will have a difficulty because this machine is more compact built, hence it is a bit slower, as a reason of the latter, it would work perfectly for a medium to a small sized lawn. 

– Works With A Steering Mechanism

These lawn mowers work on the principle of a basic steering wheel like any other vehicle. Anyone who can drive a car can easily start a riding type mower and get to work cutting grass in the lawn. 

Even kids can legally drive these mowers within the specified boundaries of their homes. This makes the machine more flexible and provides a facility for the chore to get done, it isn’t complicated, which makes the task run faster and in an efficient way. 

That is how easy these mowers are to drive and maneuver, the wheels are controlled by the steering wheel, just as a golf-cart would move, this mower would move also, but at the same time it would be accomplishing a huge task of cutting your grass.

With a pedal system for controlling speed and a steering wheel for changing directions, there is nothing complicated about riding these mowers.

Riding Mower Information

– A Variety Of Attachment Options

With tractor mowers, many attachment options are available that add extra features to the machine. You can customize a whole new machine for yourself as per your wishes. They are able to pull medium-sized trailers and grass collectors behind them as they move. 

The reason why it is a special machine is that you can attach a snow cab, sunshade, and a tool basket in the back, in short, it can have a variety of uses and benefits when you invest in one. These attachments do not even have to be a one-time purchase. You can keep purchasing attachments whenever the need arises or when you have collected enough money. 

– Slow Speed Provides A Better Cut

When speeds are compared, zero-turn mowers are undoubtedly faster, with average speeds upwards of 10 miles per hour. Riding-style mowers and tractors are way slower, with an average speed of four miles per hour and a maximum limit of seven miles per hour. 

Slow Speed Provides Good Cut

These mowers may take a bit longer to cut the same sized lawn but provide a much neater cut in comparison. It is basically taking its time in order to accomplish the task of cutting the grass in a precise manner, where you will have a perfectly manicured lawn. 

This should not come as a surprise because the quality of grass cutting inevitably declines with the increasing cutting speed. This is especially true in hills and slopes where lawn tractors are better able to maintain friction and cut better. 

– Cheaper Option

Let’s admit it, riding and z-turn mowers fall on the pricey side for an average-lawn owner. However, riding-style mowers are still more affordable than the z-turn ones. Even among riding-type mowers, lawn tractors are the most reasonable price-wise, especially if you buy them without any extra attachments. 

Although the downside is how it is a bit slower, which means that it wouldn’t accomplish the task in a quick manner, on the contrary, it would take some time, as it is applicable for a small to a medium sized lawn. 

Attachments of your choice can be added later as per need and convenience. They are also worth all the money spent on them because of their low long-term maintenance cost. Besides lawn mowing, they are also able to pull stuff like carts and spreaders as well. In case of a limited budget and a straight lawn with little to no trees, this mower is the right choice.


This concludes our informative guide comparing the two most advanced technology lawnmowers today. These mower types have been designed to give users ease, efficacy, and excellent results in the shortest possible time.

If your lawn is moderately-large or contains hills and slopes, then a riding mower is what you need to go for. There is no better option for lawns larger than this but flatter than a z-turn style mower, although it is a little more expensive, but it is going to go faster, and the grass cutting will take much less time than a regular riding mower would.

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