Zero-Turn Mowers Vs. Traditional Mowers

The zero-turn mower is different from regular lawnmowers, and here's how.

How zero-turn mowers compare to regular mowers.

Which Lawn Mower is Right for You?

Your lawn is a valuable asset that frames your entire home. Whether you’re trimming it for an outdoor party or simply to upgrade the appearance of your living space, you want to have the most powerful and efficient tool to get the job done. Choosing the best lawn mower is, therefore, a decision that requires a lot of thought and planning. If you can’t decide whether a traditional lawnmower or a zero turn mower is best for you, it’s important to consider the qualities of both. The following guide can give you a deeper understanding of the two kinds of mowers and help you determine which one fits your needs.

What is a Zero-Turn Mower?

A zero-turn mower is essentially a standard lawnmower that is built for a specialized purpose. Unlike traditional mowers, which have the mowing deck located underneath the machine, zero-turn mowers are built with the mowing deck in front of the machine. This type of engineering is what allows zero turn mowers to have a turning radius of zero inches, which is what gives them their name.

There are numerous types of zero-turn mowers that you can choose from. The three main types are:

  • Riding mowers
  • Stand-on mowers
  • Walk-behind mowers

Additionally, all zero-turn mowers tend to have the same type of build. Most of them have four wheels and two handles that control the wheels. The front of the mower has two swiveling wheels, while the back has two large drive wheels. For the majority of zero-turn mowers, the deck size can go up to sixty inches. This structure typically favors people who have more experience and can maneuver the machine with more ease.

Benefits of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero-turn mowers come with a number of benefits. Some of the major ones are:

  • Smooth and quick 180-degree turns
  • Higher efficiency
  • Faster than standard mowers
  • Ideal for making precise cuts

When compared to standard mowers, zero-turn mowers are the better choice for landscapes that contain many obstacles and are difficult to maneuver. Moreover, these lawnmowers allow the owner to focus more on the details of her landscape by making precise cuts. The higher speed and smoother turns that go along with zero turn mowers also make them a more efficient option for buyers. When you don’t need to go back over a missed patch of grass, it saves you valuable time and gives your lawn a more polished appearance.

Limitations of Zero-Turn Mowers

However, there are several drawbacks of zero-turn mowers. These include:

  • Lower versatility
  • Not ideal for hilly landscapes
  • Not multi-functional

Because the tires on a zero-turn mower tend to spin easily, the machine does not normally operate well on wet turf. Zero-turn mowers are also designed primarily for flat land, which may be an inconvenience for buyers who have slopes or hills on their property. Finally, these mowers are not intended to be used with extra attachments and therefore make multipurpose work a challenge.

What is a Standard Mower?

Standard mowers are built differently than zero-turn mowers. Instead of having two separate handles, standard lawnmowers contain a steering wheel that is typically easier to maneuver. The deck of a standard mower is also about 54 inches instead of the 60-inch deck of a zero-turn mower. For people who have less mowing experience, a standard mower may be the more practical choice.

Benefits of Standard Mowers

Standard mowers have their own set of benefits, which include:

  • Ideal for use on open land
  • Well-functioning on slopes and hills
  • Highly versatile
  • Multi-functional

Unlike zero-turn mowers, standard mowers are designed to be used with ease on hilly properties. In addition, a standard mower can function well with attachments and is ideal for multipurpose work.

Limitations of Standard Mowers

There are also a number of limitations to consider when you’re deciding whether to buy a standard mower. Some key disadvantages are:

  • Lower speed
  • Less precise cuts
  • Lower efficiency

Due to their lower speeds, standard lawnmowers may make your job more time-consuming. Using a standard mower may also force you to go in reverse and trim missed grass, causing you to lose precious time and energy.

While you’re making your decision, be sure to consider the pros and cons of each type of lawnmower. It’s best to opt for the machine that fits your needs and is most suitable for your particular property's landscape. Whichever one you choose to buy, a good lawnmower is a worthwhile investment that can make the job of maintaining your lawn seem effortless.

Resources - SF Gate, Lawn Paradise