The Best of the Zero Turn Mowers

We tested dozens of zero turn mowers and the results are in.


The Exmark’s Lazer Z S-Series’ engine lineup includes a propane model.

Photo By Matt Stallbaumer

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Using a machine perfectly suited to its task gives a certain special pleasure. For my first 35 years of mowing lawns, I never felt that pleasure. Every riding mower I used was clumsy, frustratingly slow and occasionally dangerous. Then I rode a zero turn radius mower.

Today’s zero turn mower is based on an ingenious steering mechanism that controls the direction of travel by operating the drive wheels with two small hydrostatic transmissions. The wheels can be driven in the same direction at varying speeds to make a gradual, precise turn, or they can turn in opposite directions, causing the mower to spin, literally, on a dime.

See our picks for the best zero turn mowers on MOTHER EARTH NEWS: Best Zero Turn Mowers 

Publisher Bryan Welch enjoys mowing several acres in Douglas County, Kansas.