The job of keeping your lawn looking beautiful requires you to make an extra effort into doing so. If you have a large lawn, using a zero turn mower can make your work much easier, but they are among the most expensive gardening tools because of their size and functionality.
Choosing a good zero turn mower (or ZTRs, as they are also called) requires money, as well as consideration of other factors like performance, durability, and so on. The reasons why they tend to be expensive are due to the engine and build specs; but the good news is that you can get good ones if you are on a budget. It can be difficult to find one that works for you though, so we have done the task of compiling some options in the market for you.
Note: These products are currently unavailable on Amazon, so we will link to the manufacturer websites where possible.
Best budget zero turn mowers comparison table
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Husqvarna RedMax RZT 48x mower
Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP mower
1/64 Kubota Z700 lawn mower
Craftsman Z560 riding mower
Snapper 360Z lawnmower
Husqvarna RedMax RZT 48x 23Hp mower – best for
This is a very strongly built residential mower, and yet it operates like a professional-grade mower. If you own a large piece of land, or want to be more consistent in taking care of your lawn, then this is an option you can consider.
- High-performance engine
- Residential mower that has the capability of a commercial-grade mower
- 3.5 gallon fuel tank
- Cutting deck of 48 inches
- 18-inch seat to give comfort and support
- 10-gage fabricated decks that will ensure flawless use and durability
- Kawasaki engine
The mower uses a high performance engine system, as well as relying on 10-gauge fabricated decks, which is a heavy, dense form of steel that commercial mowers use. Therefore, it is safe to say that you can rely on this machine when it comes to the issue of durability.
Thanks to the high back seat that has a height of 18 inches, you will remain comfortable while using it. The cutting methods it has available are diverse as well, and they include side discharge, collection, and mulching, so you are more in control of your distribution of the leftover grass clippings.
The cutting width is 48 inches, and it has three blades that also work as electric clutches. The other advantage of the mower is its Kawasaki engine, which is among the most trusted engine manufacturers on the scene.
- Both the rear and front wheels are large enough to support high maneuverability and strong grip
- Attachable hitch for when you want to drag your tools
- Easy to operate and maintain
- The seat and deck heights are adjustable
- Lacks armrests
Thanks to its construction, this mower is a high-class mower that aims to give you a commercial mowing experience without forcing you to break the bank.
Husqvarna MZ61 – best for a smaller lawn, our choice
This mower is rated among the best zero turn mowers for those on a budget, especially if you have a mid-size lawn of 3 to 5 acres. Like the previous pick on this list, it aims to offer you commercial-grade design and features alongside elegant results and time saving.
- Runs on a 27 HP Briggs & Stratton engine
- 11-gauge steel cut deck will offer you a 54 inch cut
- It has a comfortable-to-use deck lift system to help you make easier adjustments
- Allows for bagging, mulching and discharging of clippings (though the bagger attachment and mulch kit are sold separately)
- High back seat that is coupled with foam-padded hand grips, armrests, and vibration dampeners
Thanks to the commercial-grade features, this mower lets you achieve results that are long-lasting, reliable, efficient, and durable in no time.
Additionally, the mower gives you an enjoyable mowing experience, due to its large fuel tank that measures 5 gallons, and its peak speeds of 8 mph. that alone will allow you to cut your grass to professional standards through the heavy-duty 61 inch deck, as well as 12 cutting height adjustments.
- Easy to maintain and control
- Very easy to maneuver during use
- Long life alongside premium zero-turn transmissions
- Very accurate quality of your cuts, due to zero-turn steering
- Very heavy
Due to its structure and design elements, the Husqvarna MZ61 is very easy to maintain, use, and service, and it yields professional-quality results.
Kubota Z700 zero turn mower – good for mowing on hilly areas
This mower aims to provide excellent levels of performance, and is the most compact zero turn mower we have seen so far – yet its size is not a hindrance to your mowing goals and progress.
- Hard rubber tires and a die cast body that has plenty of plastic parts
- Motor is a spring, reverse-wind type
- Zero turn axle and wheels
- Decorated with colors and graphics
- Ergonomic design to promote high performance
The mower has three size adjustments of the cutting deck, and its build ensures strength and durability. In fact, you would not initially assume that the deck is 6 inches deep and includes anti-scalp rollers, and yet it does – the company even promotes it as much as possible. Despite its size, it also includes a foot parking brake, which is a feature conspicuously missing from most zero turn lawnmowers, even those similar to it.
The controls are ergonomically designed as well, which makes it very easy to reach for everything you need easily. You will not necessarily need to engage the parking brake either, because the mower’s controls use a hands-free approach to make it easy for you to focus on other things.
- Very easy to use and maintain
- Comfortable due to the ergonomic controls
- Adjustable cutting and pedal heights
- Durable build
- None noted so far
There is rarely anything you would need in your budget zero turn mower that you would lack in this unit, because the company has made good on its promises through it.
Craftsman Z560 zero turn mower – best for a large lawn
This mower aims to give you the best mowing experience, in particular due to the powerful 24 HP twin cylinder engine from Briggs & Stratton. This in turn provides a no-choke starting system, and you get a 54-inch cutting deck along with it.
- Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine with an engine power of 24 HP
- Large wheels measuring 11 x 6/20 x 10 inches
- 2-year limited warranty
- Adjustable ultra-high back seat to provide relaxation and comfort
- 13-gauge, 54-inch cutting deck with an optional mulching kit
- 3.5-gallon tank with an oil filter
- Maximum operation speed of 7 mph
The first thing we notice about the Craftsman Z560 was the ease of use, as the manufacturers aim to provide you with the optimum mowing experience. Among these are the 360-degree turn radius as well as the 54-inch deck wash and cutting width, which provide you with excellent levels of maneuverability.
The powerful performance is another highlight, as it uses a powerful 24 HP Briggs & Stratton twin-cylinder engine. One aspect we particularly like is the EZT hydro-gear system, which also includes easy-to-control levers, although the noise levels during operation are the main drawback here. It is offset though because it can turn around even at sharp angles, which makes it easy to maneuver around obstacles.
- Excellent levels of maneuverability
- Very cost-effective, and its design is user-friendly
- Offers you the chance to sue reverse mowing
- Saves you time due to its efficiency and speed
- Quite noisy during operation
This mower offers you a very quality cut, as well as clean results and clipping-free experience, while coming at a very economical price. It aims to give you a relaxing experience, even when mowing your land, without adding fatigue or stress.
Snapper 360Z zero turn mower – best for
This mower does not just have an engaging and attractive appearance, but it also allows you to mow your lawn and get a professional-looking result.
- 42-inch, 12-gauge cutting deck that has electric blade engagement
- V-Twin series engine, with an engine power of 21.5 HP
- Total fuel capacity of 3 gallons, though it also uses an electric start system
- 13 various cutting adjustments that range from 1.5 to 4.5 inches
- EZT transmission technology with a peak speed of 4 mph (reverse speed) and 7 mph (forward speed)
It does have a very strong and thick 48-inch deck, under its dense tube frame. This makes the mower a more commercially-oriented type, along with its 13 varieties of cutting height adjustments that range from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches.
The size of the mowing deck is great for a small or mid-size lawn, and it allows you to decide whether you want to mow the grass very closely or leave some height free. The mowing deck is the most vulnerable part of the mower, but the company adds a 13-gauge mowing deck that does its best to hold up to any battering that might occur.
- A very durable frame that is electrically welded
- Saves plenty of time
- Uses an automated electric start
- Cost effective
- Lacks anti-scalp wheels
The Snapper 360Z mower aims to give you plenty of useful commercial-grade features while remaining at a budget-friendly cost. It also increases your convenience due to its padded seat along with adjustable positions.
What to consider when choosing a budget-friendly zero turn mower
Before you buy a zero turn mower, you need to ensure it is the best option for you – especially because they are quite the investment. In case you are thinking about getting one for your lawn maintenance, here are some factors you need to keep in mind:
The deck size is easy to find out because the manufacturer will indicate this in the middle or front of the zero turn mower. Different decks will fit different mowers, so choose one that works for your lawn size and overall needs.
Aside from the deck, the frame is made up of all the metal parts that shape the mower itself. This is important, because the frame connects to the deck, in order to feature a variety of services or functions that the mower needs to perform.
The main thing to look at when examining the frame is its durability, and the manufacturer can provide some specifications about the strength of the frame – like the thickness of the steel. The thicker the frame is, the stronger and more durable the lawnmower is.
There are additional aspects like the comfort levels, as well as the accessories that come with the mower.
The main aspect that distinguishes a zero turn mower from conventional mowers is the hydraulic system, aside from the axle structure. If you are switching from an older mower to a new one, then the cost of replacing the hydraulic system is reduced by half. When choosing the mower, make sure you select the one that has a good hydraulic rating, as well as a good warranty policy overall – at least 2 years is good to go.
Aside from the hydraulic system, this is also very essential to consider because it will power the hydraulic system. There are a variety of engine brands, and the higher-grade mowers will have more powerful engines compared to residential mowers.
Choosing the best zero turn mower in a low price range is not the easiest task, but hopefully our list should give you some helpful pointers on suggestions to look for. Choosing one of our picks here should help you get a professional-quality result, even though the mower itself is a residential-grade type.
Is it very challenging to use a zero turn mower?
It can be very tricky using this kind of mower at first, although practice takes out the awkwardness. Just ensure to practice navigating in a straight direction, changing directions, parking, and braking it, before you begin using it.
What lawn type should I use them on?
Zero turn mowers are great for any yard, but they work best in large spaces.
Do the mowers last long?
As long as you maintain them properly, then yes – they should last a minimum of 3000 mowing hours.