Quick Comparison: Zero Turn And Riding Lawn Mowers

So, you've been looking around at yard mowers and you've noticed -- I see both riding and zero turn mowers all around. The question is: how do you decide which to consider?

Here's something to note: both of the choices above can each save time, get your yard looking great and most certainly prevent you from having to push mow a 2-acre lot. Not sure if this is on your bucket list, but that probably amounts to about x number of hours you will never get back in your life!

It really comes down to the size of your yard, specific features, and whether or not you will be using the equipment for a commercial purpose.

For this thorough review, we're going to look at two different pieces of equipment in the lawn mower family -- the zero turn and riding mower.

If you'd like to jump to a specific topic on the page, go ahead and use any link in the handy table of contents below!

What's The Differences?

There are different terms used around town to describe mowers: riding lawn mower, zero turn mower, zero turn rider, and lawn tractor for some of the common occurrences.

It doesn't mean that the way you say it is right and the way I say it is wrong, but some people refer to it the way they know.

Below are examples of the benefits, and how to know what type is right for you.


LAWN TRACTOR (AKA Riding Mower)

Used for hilly areas or smaller (1-2 acres of land)


When you've got an area of land that is greater than one-acre, but smaller than two, you might want to consider getting a lawn tractor. The great part about this is when you need to mow hilly areas, or something that isn't quite flat, you don't have to worry.

You'll get used to these if you've driven a car because they are fitted with a steering wheel and the traditional gas/brake combination. You can steer with the front wheels (instead of rear wheel driving) and this helps with the mower being stable and easier to handle if you're riding on a hill.


zero-turn-mower

Image Source: jackssmallengines.com

ZERO TURN RIDER (or zero turn mower)

Typically used for a flatter area without hills


If your yard contains grass with 2+ acres, this might be more for you. These types of mowers are designed to give you more control over the mower for tighter turns and accuracy.

Instead of a steering wheel, they contain independent handlebars used to control either side of the mower. Push the left bar forward, move the mower to the right. Move the right bar forward and give the right side more power to help turn left.

With this type of control, you'll be dodging lawn gnomes, bird baths and sleeping dogs in no time!


What Are Considerations I Should Think About?

Aside from the obvious issue - cost, what are some reasons you might consider one or the other?

First thing, if you plan on using the mower with multiple people, having equipment that is age appropriate will help base the decision. Some feel that a teenager might not be suitable for using a zero turn mower. If this is the case, look into riding mower options.

Are you looking for storage? Read about our storage options here in this article.

Another consideration: a zero turn mower can make cuts at the end of a row by turning 180 degrees. This can be extremely helpful when thinking about efficiency.


What Are Some Of The Most Common Models?

There are many models on the market that get the job done. What are some of the most common/well-known?

Troy Bilt Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower

Mower Nerd Stats: 10.5HP, 30" Cutting Deck

Definitely great for a general sized landscape (around .5 acre or so) and simple terrain. Simple to start, run, and maintain.

Husqvarna Z246 Zero Turn

Mower Nerd Stats: 23HP, 46" Cutting Deck

Great, versatile all-around mower. Implemented in 2015, the Z246 comes with SmartSwitch technology (licensed by Husqvarna) to reduce having to use the old-fashioned key and ignition setup.

If you're interested in reading more about these, here's an in-depth article about Husqvarna Z200 series mowers.

Poulan PRO PP175G42

Mower Nerd Stats: 17.5HP, 42" Cutting Deck

One of the greatest features about this Poulan Pro is it offers 6 different cutting deck adjustments. Also, the deck is reinforced to help sustain longevity of the mower.


When Is The Best Time To Buy One?

Many people don't consider this. May comes around and it's time to cut grass. What happens? Time to go mower shopping.

One of the best times to find yourself a new mower is during the fall or winter months. Supply and demand is not very high, unless you find a mower that has a snow plow on the end of it.

You might consider utilizing this time to find a mower that suits your needs. If you don't need to use it until the beginning of spring, great. At least you can save the money and look forward to using that extra savings in the spring or summer months.

Where To Buy These Mowers?

Believe it or not, you can actually order a riding lawn mower or zero turn online.

If you're more interested in going to pick one up, you can do that too! The majority of home improvement stores and local dealers can help get what you're looking for.

Quick Conclusion

As long as your budget fits it, I certainly think a zero turn mower is the way to go. You're going to get the efficiency, speed, and just pure fun. This is given the fact that the yard you own will accommodate the mower.

Traditional riding lawn mowers have the ability to work in a "multi-use" fashion, but it's going to take longer to get the same area done if you were to sit the mowers side-by-side.

Another advantage you will get with a zero turn is that the cutting decks tend to be larger, with the ability to get more grass under the blade.

zero-turn-mower

Husqvarna Zero Turn Mowers: Extensive Feature List Review

husqvarna zero turn mower

Chances are that if you've arrived here to check out one of Husqvarna's best zero turn mowers, it's because you are trying to save time, become more efficient, or just simply trying to have the best mower in the neighborhood!

Whatever the case may be, in the following text, you'll see the best features and how to maintain your lawn better. It's not a secret that Husqvarna produces great, high quality mowing equipment.

Click here to skip the review and look at more information on Amazon.

In this review and feature list, we're going to cover the best parts of Husqvarna family -- what makes it a great mower, how to get the most out of it, and things to look forward to.

If you'd like to jump to a specific topic on the page, go ahead and use any link in the handy table of contents below!

​What Lines Of Products Does Husqvarna Offer?

The great part about Husqvarna as a company is that they offer a model that fits into different categories. Whether that's residential, semi-professional, or commercial, you're sure to find the right mower.

Look at the line-ups in the areas below to find the right fit for your needs. Do you have a specific feature you're looking for? Don't worry, we'll cover that too.

RESIDENTIAL


These are typically designed for those who own a home - also called homeowners. 
If you're not sure what a homeowner is, the mortgage bill doesn't come in your name every month!

Looking for a more robust mower? Go ahead and look ahead at the semi-professional or commercial line.

One of the biggest advantages of the residential products are that they are smaller, more compact, and made to help you get around the yard better. In return, you're going to be more efficient, and have less trouble just squeezing into the areas that your push mower gets.


SEMI-PROFESSIONAL


Simply put:
You're going to get a commercial viable mower, but at an unbelievable cost. Husqvarna states these are developed alongside commercial models - offering the same perks for a great value.

Worried about power? No problem. Thinking of that feature that might be missing. It's most likely going to be included if it's a part of the commercial line.


COMMERCIAL


Here's where you're going to get the best performance and high efficiency mowing.

  • Heavy-Duty Steel Frame
  • Commercially Rated Hydraulic System
  • Many More Quality Traits Not Listed

When looking for the most power, best cutting width, commercial drive system, and other equipment packed features, look no further. You're going to get all of these plus more. A heavy duty selection with the best options in the industry - including roll over protection on select models.


What Type Of Engines Are In A Husqvarna Zero Turn?

There are three types of engines that Husqvarna primarily use: Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, and Kohler. Below, we'll talk about the benefits of each engine and how they help to get your yard mowed.

Each [engine] has a fuel tank volume of 3.5 gallons and it's located on the side instead of the front or back. Without getting too technical, here are common differences:

Briggs And Stratton
2.4 acres/hr

Model: Husqvarna Z246i

23 HP

The tried and true, well-known Briggs and Stratton engine - the world’s largest manufacturer of air cooled gasoline engines. You know there's something good on your hands when the engine name is: Endurance Series V-Twin.

Kawasaki
2.4 acres/hr

Model: Husqvarna Z246

21.5 HP

Kawasaki is the maker of some top-of-the-line engines when it comes to zero turn mowers. Offering options in both the commercial and residential retail space, their nationwide network of dealers make them one of the most accessible engines. Perfect for these type of mowers.

Kohler
2.8 acres/hr

Model: Husqvarna Z254

26 HP

These can be traced all the way back to the near 1920s.

Kohler was originally a power and light company, but decided to focus more on small engines right before 1940. When the one millionth engine came off the assembly line in 1966, the company knew they were onto something.

Do These Mowers Offer Different Cutting Widths?

Not only do these Husqvarna's mower offer different cutting widths, but you are looking at a range anywhere from 30"-72". As mentioned previously, depending on what type of equipment you are looking for to get the job done, there are a variety of options.

Many of the models include a reinforced steel cutting deck to get that hardcore, I can-run-over-anything type of bottom. Seriously, what did you run over if this thing breaks?

One of the best parts: cutting decks come with a limited lifetime warranty so you don't have to be worried about anything when you run over that boulder.

Looking for storage and size options? Check out our lawn mower storage review -- you probably won't believe the last one!

What Are The Top Models Husqvarna Offers?

One of the best known models that have been created is the Z200 Series. These are all around great mowers with features that simplify your mowing time.

Bottom Line: They look great, they feel great, and work great.

Have a look below at some of the common attributes of a Z200 mower:

FEATURES


Although offered on many models, they are not all standard features. Also, this is not an all-inclusive list.

  • Smartswitch™ Keyless Ignition
    convenient one touch starting
  • Hands-Free Deck Lift
    operation without worries
  • Commercial Duty Chassis
    offers less debris build-up
  • Anti-Slip Foot Pad
    prevent falling on your face
  • Air-Induction Mowing Technology
    air goes from top-to-bottom for cleaner cut

Can I Get One Of These Things Delivered To My Doorstep?

This is the crazy part.

Can you believe you can get a mower like this shipped to your house?

Granted, it might show up on your doorstep in a crate (may be different in some cases - like if a local dealer ends up delivering). And, a signature is required in most cases; you know, so nobody links their truck up to the crate and drives off with it once delivered and you aren't home. I'm not condoning the security, just thought it was worth mentioning.

Where To Buy A Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower?

With the online craze of shipping just about anything to your door, you can now purchase zero turn mowers on places like Amazon and Sears. Other retailers like Lowes and Home Depot - both local and online - offer them for purchase.

It's pretty amazing to think about. Aside from the this is going to be so fun to cut my grass at the speed of a golf cart (or faster) thoughts, you can literally have a seat on your couch and wait for a 600 lb. piece of equipment come to your front yard. Add gas, one touch start, and you get the work done.

Summary & Thoughts

Husqvarna zero turn mowers are the top of the line. They offer a unique quality by being invested in the design of their mowers. Especially if you're going for looks, you're not going to be disappointed.

They also have many other features that aren't known the other brands. Things like the Smartswitch feature, protection against mowing while children are around, and many varieties of sizes or ways to clean.

Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money: Z200 Series

husqvarna-z246Okay, so you want to find out about the best mower for your money? You’ve come to the right place!

This review is all about the Husqvarna Z200 series. We’re going to look at a ton of features including what makes this such a great model zero turn.


​What's So Special About The Z200 Series?

The best zero turn mowers offer some of the most notable benefits - cutting grass in a fraction of the time, being comfortable while on the mower, being durable, reliable and the list goes on and on.

If you'd like to read reviews about the best zero turns on Amazon, click here.

Hyperspeed jump to the section you're looking for with the contents below!

Husqvarna continues to get better with designing tasteful mowers. They have a signature, bright orange paint coat recognizable from across a field and a simple, but powerful way to show their mowers mean business. It truly is a cutting-edge design.

When they set out to create the Z200 series, which is based off of their residential line-up, the Director of Regional Product Development, stated the following:

At Husqvarna, we take pride in continually striving to improve mowing performance and equipment durability, and we have achieved both with the Z200 series.

Source: husqvarna.com

Sean Dwyer
Director of Regional Product Development

As you can see, the company cares about the evolution of the brand and what they have to offer their customers. It's important to note that Husqvarna is the world's largest producer of outdoor power equipment.

Regardless of their commitment to great equipment, let's get into the details of what you can expect when covering the features of a Z200 series zero turn.

Check out this video for an engaging look at the Z200 Series mower:

How Many Models Are There In This Lineup?

Husqvarna has 6 models that encompass the special features of the Z200 series. They are the Z242F, Z248F, Z246, Z246i, Z254 and Z254i.

Helpful hint: the numbers within the product model (ex: Z254i) actually mean something. Anything after the "Z" and the "2" are the mower cutting deck width.

The letters are used to indicate different specifications of the mower - for example, the "F" is denoted for the fabricated deck and the "i" is used for which mower has the SmartSwitch™ technology.

What's The Deal With This Smart Technology?

Most arguably the best option introduced with the Z200 series is the SmartSwitch™ technology. It allows the mower to be started without a key, makes it more secure around children and gives a real-time status on how things are working with the mower.

Husqvarna asked multiple customers about some of the most wanted features of top rated zero turn mowers and these are the things that were added. Apparently, it really makes a difference for some people to know they don't have to worry about a key getting lost. And, the safety of family, especially children is a concern that has validity.

Best part about this piece of tech?

One touch start.

Here's the run-down: all it takes is a simple security code to make sure other people (strangers) and children (kids) can't start the mower without you present. There's also warning lights to let you know of anything halting the mower from starting.

The above reasons are just the beginning of why the Z200 Series just might be the best zero turn mower for the money.

ONE OF A KIND FEATURES


  • Smartswitch™ Keyless Ignition
    keep safe around children
  • Open Design Chassis
  • ​Fabricated Deck
    same quality as a stamped deck
  • ​Different Deck Sizes
  • Aesthetically-Pleasing Design
    Looks great to show off to neighbors
  • Spring-Assisted Deck Lift
  • Automatic Mechanical Brake System
  • LED Headlight
    Not huge, but saves money!

Things To Consider:

Really think about these. Do you need a mower that's going to cover 84 acres, or 1 acre? It's important to know how much you will be using the zero turn to the max benefit.

It's kind of like buying a sports car that has 450 HP, but you drive 40 mph every day on cruise control. Are you getting the use of the car at this point?

That's the great thing about the Z200 series -- you're going to have the features to choose from that will determine what you're looking for.

Yard Size

Do you have a smaller lawn, or would it take multiple hours to mow even if you had a larger deck on your mower? If you own a home with a smaller yard, you'll want a smaller deck size. This will allow for better trimming around areas of bushes, trees, or other landscaping.

For more of a medium sized [residential] yard, you might be interested in looking for a medium sized deck. Surprised? The 46" or 48" decks are the median and will suit you well.

Lastly, for the largest area, the biggest deck size provided is a 54". You'll be pleased to know that in addition to the 54", there's also the Z254i which offers the SmartSwitch technology™.

Cutting Deck Width & Type

Each width will offer different results when comparing to amount of efficiency. Obviously (for most), a bigger deck will help with faster cuts, acres per hour, etc. But, another thing to consider is the fact of how much you'd like to hug turns, obstacles, and other areas of the parts you're mowing.

Also, with a bigger mower comes more weight. The heavier the mower, the more gas will be consumed and more strain on the engine.

Some of the models include an aluminum vented blade type, whereas other models might actually give you a cast aluminum blade. In some cases, a cast iron one is available. Check the comparison chart to find out for a specific model.

Engine

Power Matters. When you're trying to get a job done, depending on the mower that's being used, it makes a difference with the manufacturer of the engine and, if you're a bit of a thrill seeker, the max mph.

Use the comparison chart to well, compare.

Features

For the majority of the Z200 series, you're going to get many of the same features across the board, but, keep in mind that there are features you might specifically be looking for while determining the mower that fits your needs. 

Some of these will include: chokeless start, the infamous SmartSwitch™, a water hose connection (for easy cleaning), reinforced cutting deck, and many others. If you're not worried about these, no big deal -- just keep in mind, we're trying to get the best zero turn mower for the money!

Comparison Chart

Z242F

Husqvarna Engine
23 HP Power
42" Cutting Width

Kawasaki Engine
23 HP Power
42" Cutting Width

Z246

Z246i

Engine: Kawasaki

21.5 HP Power
46" Cutting Width

Engine: Briggs & Stratton

23 HP Power
46" Cutting Width

Engine: Briggs & Stratton

23 HP Power
46" Cutting Width

Z248F

Briggs & Stratton Engine
23 HP Power
48" Cutting Width

Kawasaki Engine
23 HP Power
48" Cutting Width

Z254

Z254i

Engine: Kawasaki

24 HP Power
54" Cutting Width

Engine: Husqvarna

24 HP Power
54" Cutting Width

Engine: Kohler

26 HP Power
54" Cutting Width

Engine: Briggs & Stratton

24 HP Power
54" Cutting Width

Best Places To Purchase

Yes, shipping is an option for these! Find out more information here.

You can check on Amazon.com or a local home improvement store like The Home Depot or Lowes. An advantage you might consider is if you want to go pick up the mower locally and purchase through the web. That way, you don't have to worry about missing out if it's the last in stock, you have a limit on your credit card for in-store purchases, etc.

Final Thoughts

We've covered a ton of information including features, things to consider, comparisons, and other stuff about the Husqvarna Z200 series mower. You're really getting a power-packed mower with many benefits for your lawn.

Who Is It For?

  • Residential or Small Business
    typically with smaller lawns
  • A person who loves newer tech
  • Great Value Seeker
  • Owner with kids
    with SmartSwitch™ safety

When Should I Avoid It?

  • Need a mower deck smaller than 42"
  • Or a deck larger than 54"
  • Small, residential yard
  • Can't handle over 20 HP

Husqvarna is known for their quality, commitment to service, and an overall innovative company. Be confident knowing that your purchase is justified and you undoubtedly are getting the best zero turn mower for the money. If you aren't a Husqvarna lover, check out some of the other reviews on the site.