Zero Turn Vs Riding Mower: Key Differences Explained By Real User

zero turn vs riding mower


We found that a lot of people want to know about zero turns vs riding mower, but we didn’t find any well-written article.

Our research team wrote their practical experience to help you find the best mower for your projects.

If you have a spacious lawn at your house, then you must know the efforts behind the beauty of it.

Maintaining the large lawns demands lots of time and effort.

In this case, a lawnmower can help you to mow your lawn efficiently and quickly with less effort.

There are many types of mowers, such as zero turn mower and riding mower.

But, how do you know which kind of mower should you chose for your lawn?

Here, in this primer, we’ve come up with a few critical points about zero turns vs riding mower.

Have a look here and choose the best kind of mower for your beautiful lawn.

Recommended Best Zero Turn Mowers on Amazon: 

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
  • A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
  • Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of heavy flat-stock steel for maximum durability
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • Husqvarna 61 in. zero-turn lawn mower from the MZ series delivers commercial-grade power and amazing ergonomics
  • 27 HP Briggs Endurance engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
  • Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 54 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged with a 9-bushel triple bag collection system (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • High-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips and vibration dampeners make mowing comfortable for hours on end

Recommended Best Riding Mowers on Amazon: 

Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
  • POWERFUL BRIGGS AND STRATTON GAS ENGINE WITH READY START: Powerful gas engine suitable for larger yard jobs while ready start technology provides a quick, efficient start.
  • 46-INCH CUTTING WITH INCLUDED DECK WASH: Lawn tractor comes equipped with wide 46-Inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep. Included deck wash saves time when underside cleaning.
  • HYDRO-TRANSMISSION: Unit is equipped with foot hydrostatic transmission.
  • MOW-IN-REVERSE: Take your mower in reverse to easily maneuver in and out of trouble spots.
  • SUPPORTIVE HIGH-BACK SEAT: High-back cushioned seat provides optimum comfort.
Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower
  • Powered by a reliable 19 HP/540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek engine and a Foot-Pedal automatic transmission
  • Featuring power and operator comfort, this automatic mower is ideal for mowing large areas
  • Soft touch steering and a mid-back seat for ultimate comfort
  • Equipped with a large 46-inch side discharge mowing deck and Mow-In-Reverse capabilities
  • Backed by a 2-year limited warranty

Zero Turn vs Riding Mower

Both the zero turn mower and riding mower performs the same task. But they work in different ways. Let’s know more about them.

The Pattern of Mowing

Pattern of mowing

The main difference between riding and a zero turn mower is their pattern of mowing. While running a riding mower, you have to reach the end of every grass swath.

Later, you have to mow again in the opposite direction. The full turning radius of the riding mower leaves a few patches of uncut grass while turning in the other way.

A zero-turn mower can turn on the dime for cutting carefully around the barriers without messing a blade of grass. So, mowing the lawns with zero-turn radius mowers is faster than riding mowers.

Now you decide which kind is the best for your lawn. If you don’t know how to drive a zero-turn lawn mower, click to read the expert’s opinion.

Machine Control

Most people find it easy to operate riding mowers. They have steering wheels, and so people see it comfortable to use. The zero-turn mowers have two handles usually to control the mower.

There’s a pedal to break the zero turn machine. Also, it is essential to maneuver both the stems into the neutral position to apply the brake.

The rear wheels of the zero-turn mowers can take tight turns under the control of the operators while the riding mower makes those turns with the front wheels.

The zero-turn mowers mow the trees and all the obstacles of the lawn within a short time. Spotting the challenges on the ground becomes more comfortable with a zero-turn mower.

Deck Size

Zero turn mower deck size chart

Choosing the deck size is crucial when you’re buying a zero turn mower or a riding mower. It doesn’t matter which kind of mower you buy if your mower cuts a swath too narrow. With such machines, mowing the lawn will take a long time.

It will be useful if you have an idea about the distance between the obstacles in your lawn. Thus, you can avoid purchasing a mower with the deck size too broad. The deck size of the riding mower should be 54 inches, at least. The zero-turn mowers deck size is usually 60 inches or more.

Mowing Speed

Between zero turn and riding mower, zero turns are faster than riding mowers. They are faster than a riding mower by a couple of miles per hour usually. The speed of a typical riding mower is around 3 to 4 mph.

Again, the speed of a conventional zero turn mower is 5-8 mph. Commercial zero-turn radius mowers cut at a speed of up to 13 mph.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Question: How Does a Zero Turn Mower Cut Faster Than a Riding Mower?
Answer: The zero-turn mower will cut the lawn within a half of the time that a riding mower may require. Zero-turn mowers allow you to mow around the trees, driveways at a close distance. While a riding mower will enable you to cut as close as the mower’s turning radius allows. Since the turning radius of a zero-turn mower is zero, you can go as close as you need.

#2. Question: Why Do Zero Turn Mowers Cost More Than Riding Mowers?
Answer: The zero-turn mowers usually have more massive decks, engines than traditional riding mowers. Also, they use more steel than riding mowers. So, the cost of the machine is a bit much.

In Conclusion

Everybody wants their lawn to be smooth. A smooth lawn depends on its trimming. Both the zero-turn and riding mowers can help you to trim your lawn within a short time. Between zero turn and riding mower, zero-turn mowers provide many facilities to mow the trees.

Here, in this article, the key differences between zero turn vs riding mower are pointed out. I hope our article will help you to decide which the best mower for your lawn is.

Related to you: 
#1. Top Lawn Spreaders Reviews and Buying Guide 2020.

About the author

John Paterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.