Zero Turn Vs Riding Mower: The 4 Differences That Matter

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Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by John Patterson

It’s the season of summer, and you’re probably wondering which mower is best for your lawn.

Some people opt to go with riding mowers because they are able to get a wider cut in less time.

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed lawn care, and for good reason.

The summer is coming to an end and the leaves are changing colors.

The debate of riding mower vs zero-turn mower has been going on for decades, but it’s not a one-sided argument.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of lawn equipment, so choosing the right type depends on what you need from your lawn care services.

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 mowers.

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

Zero Turn vs Riding Mower

Zero Turn Vs Riding Mower

Preview
Best Zero-turn Mower
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
Best Riding Mower
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Title
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
4.9/5
Prime Status
-
-
Best Zero-turn Mower
Preview
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
Title
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
-
Best Riding Mower
Preview
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Title
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Editor's Rating
4.9/5
Prime Status
-
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and...
  • A patent-pending park brake system automatically...
  • Air induction mowing technology draws air from the...
  • Reinforced steel stamped cutting deck is made of...
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged...

Both the mowers perform the same task. But they work in different ways. Let’s know more about them.

What Is a Zero-turn Mower?

What Is a Zero-turn Mower

A zero-turn mower is a large, powerful machine that can be used to quickly and efficiently cut grass in the yard.

One of the benefits of this type of lawnmower is that it has a turning radius as small as 10 inches, allowing for tight turns on steep hillsides.

Zero-turn mowers are also more maneuverable than traditional riding or walk-behind mowers because they have two sets of wheels instead of one set like other models do.

This makes them easier to operate around landscaping features such as ponds and trees

Finally, many zero-turn mowers come with additional safety features such as multiple hand grips which allow you to maintain control even if you’re cutting uphill.

Homeowners who are looking for a new lawnmower might be wondering what is the difference between a zero-turn mower and other types of lawnmowers.

A zero-turn mower, such as the Husqvarna Z248F” 21.5 HP Professional Lawn Mower, has a wheel that rotates in place so you can turn on any spot without turning your body.

Unlike traditional push or lawnmowers, they also offer more power with an engine size that ranges from 13 to 54 HP (Husqvarna offers both gas and electric models).

Imagine a lawn that is perfectly manicured, with never-ending rows of perfect grass.

You can have this type of look on your property without having to spend hours and hours each week tending to the garden or hiring professional landscapers.

Zero-turn mowers are designed for fast, efficient cutting and trimming. These machines use a spinning blade at the bottom that quickly trims off any excess grass in its path, leaving you with an even cut across the entire lawn.

This means that homeowners don’t need to worry about uneven patches from missed blades or clumps left behind after someone else has trimmed their yard – it’s all done in one go!

What Is a Riding Mower?

What Is a Riding Mower

A riding mower is a type of lawn tractor that has a seat on top. Riding mowers are the most popular type of lawnmower, and they come in many different styles.

This article will explore the history behind the invention, how a riding mower works, what to look for when purchasing one, and tips for operating it safely.

For many people, the thought of a riding mower conjures up images of large, expensive machines that are difficult to operate and maintain.

However, this is not always the case. Riding lawn mowers can be much easier to use than push mowers and provide the same quality of cut as their larger cousins.

Zero Turn and Riding Mower Key Differences

The 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 0 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 as comfortable to use. The 0 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 0 turn mowers can take tight turns under the control of the operators while the riding mower makes those turns with the front wheels.

The 0 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 0 turn mower.

Deck Size

Zero turn mower deck size chart

Choosing the size is crucial when you’re buying a 0 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 size of the deck of the riding mower should be 54 inches, at least. The zero-turn mowers 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 0 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 lawn Mower?

Answer: The zero-turn mower will cut the lawn within 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 lawn Mowers?

Answer: The zero-turn mowers usually have more massive decks, engines than traditional riding mowers. Also, they use more steel than riding lawn mowers. So, the cost of the machine is a bit much.

#3. What are the best commercial zero-turn mowers for the money?

Answer: Read our recommended list here.

In Conclusion

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

Here, in this article, the key differences between these two types of mowers 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 Buying Guide 2021.

About the author

John Patterson

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.