Zero Turn Mower vs Riding Mower: Which one Suits Best for your Lawn?

Are you trying to find the best mower for your lawn? A mower that is suitable for you and that would satisfy all your needs.

Well, you are in the right place. Because here we will be discussing some important points of zero turn mower vs riding mower.

Both of them are absolutely fantastic at their own places but yet it is important to note down which one is superior.

Table of Contents

So let’s go through every aspect of zero-turn mowers and riding mowers for knowing each and every dissimilarity.

Stay tuned if you wish to find out the best for your own self.

Points to be Considered Between Zero Turn Mower vs Riding Mower


Every person with a lawn wishes to have a mower as cutting grasses manually is a work that requires extraordinary time and energy.

Not everybody can manage to buy a zero-turn mower. A zero-turn mower has a lot of features that normal riding mowers may not provide.

Also, the cost of maintenance for a zero turn mower is much higher than a normal mower.

Parts that need to be replaced over a period of time such as oil filters, blades, etc are highly expensive for zero turn mowers as compared to normal mowers.

Though the price for a zero turn mower is not pocket friendly still it is worth purchasing one because of its highly impressive features.

But if you are a little tight in your budget, we would recommend you to go for a riding mower.


When it comes to the maintenance of mowers, not everybody would like it to do.

Not only maintenance needs more time but it also needs more money to invest in buying the appropriate tools and replacement parts.

Since zero-turn mowers have super fast engines and two hydrostatic transmissions, it makes them more difficult to keep maintained.

In other words, due to the less complicated nature of riding mowers, they need less maintenance and zero turn mowers need more maintenance which adds on to extra efforts and of course extra money to put in.

One thing that we would like to mention is the time period of maintenance. Though zero turn mowers need extra maintenance still the time period of maintenance is less than that of riding mowers.

Frankly speaking, parts of riding mowers need to be exchanged over a shorter period of time. Whereas, in the case of zero-turn mowers you would not be requiring to replace the parts until you face some issues.

Steering System

You must be aware that zero-turn mowers do not have a steering wheel as compared to riding mowers who have a steering wheel resembling a car.

A zero-turn mower has two levers that make it more complicated for the user to understand the machine control.

As we all are aware of how to control a steering wheel therefore it is easier to control and manage a riding mower.

Zero-turn mowers do not have an accelerator. The two steering levers in a zero-turn mower when pushed forward will cause the mower to move in the forward direction. 

For turning right, you would have to move the left lever and vice versa for turning left.

This is the way you control a zero-turn mower that is totally different from the way riding mowers are controlled.

To know all the machine controls of a zero turn mower, a beginner may require a few weeks to understand each and every detail.

Also, you will have to practice riding the zero-turn mower a few times before you actually start moving your fields.

Hence, if you are not a patient worker and want everything to be done in a blink of an eye, we will recommend you to have a normal riding mower.

Because it will take you a couple of days or maybe weeks to learn how to ride a zero-turn mower.


Well, you might not be patient for learning the rules for riding a zero-turn mower.

But here comes the plus point, the mowing speed for a zero turn mower is much better than that of a normal riding mower.

As already told, a zero turn mower has a super-fast engine which makes the blades run faster, and hence it allows you to cut the grass with increased speed.

On the other hand, riding lawn mowers will take almost double the time of a zero-turn mower to clear the entire lawn.

The reason lies in the slow engine and therefore slow power supply. Also, if you have a riding mower then it may take you two rounds for cutting the entire lawn uniformly as riding mowers may leave some patches of uncut grass.

Mower Deck Size

Since we are already talking about the mowing speed it is important to throw light on the deck size as well.

As already mentioned, zero-turn mowers have a greater capacity and speed to cut the grass not just because of the efficient engine but also because of the deck size.

The deck size of zero-turn mowers is wider than that of riding mowers. 

Therefore, it takes nearly half of the time to cut the grass with a zero turn mower as compared to a normal mower.

Zero-turn mowers can have a deck size up to 72″. Whereas, riding mowers can only have a deck size up to 52″.

So, it may take a longer time for learning to ride a zero-turn mower. But once you have a good hand and experience of mowing the fields with a zero turn mower, you will end up saving a lot of time and effort every time you use it.

Final Words:

Both of them have their own sets of qualities and it makes it very difficult to choose one. That is why, to facilitate you guys for selecting the best option for your lawn, we created the above-mentioned points.

We hope at the end of reading this article, you may have created the right choice and we also hope that you have found the required information that you have been looking for.

We wish you a happy journey with your new mower and happy mowing!

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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