If you’ve got a lot of lawn maintenance but don’t need quite as much cutting power as a tractor, a zero-turn lawn mower is probably your best bet. But unfortunately, these nimble, versatile machines aren’t cheap. The good news is you can find a zero-turn riding mower you’ll love for less than $4,000 if you know where to look. We’ve rounded up several of the best.
Advantages of zero-turn lawn mowers
A tractor has a mid-mounted cutting deck, making it harder to turn and maneuver into small spaces, The Spruce reports. On the other hand, the cutting deck on a zero-turn lawn mower is mounted in the front. It also has four wheels — two in the back and two up front that swivel. Each drive wheel is controlled individually, so when only one wheel is engaged, the mower can pivot on the spot.
This zero turning radius makes these mowers easy to navigate around obstacles, but most models don’t handle bumpy conditions well. They’re not great on wet grass, and the wheels’ movement can tear up turf if you’re not careful.
With that in mind, if the faster, more maneuverable style of a zero-turn mower is what you want, here are some great options to consider.
Top zero-turn lawn mowers under $4,000
With input from Lawn Care Guides and Bob Vila, we’ve compiled eight of the best zero-turn lawn mowers you can get for less than $4,000.
Best choices for smaller yards
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 V-Twin Gas Zero Turn Mower
With a 50-inch cutting deck and a 3.5-gallon gas tank, this machine works quickly and sticks with the job until done. It’s a great choice for lawns measuring two to five acres.
Poulan Pro P46ZX 22 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
Slightly smaller than the above Cub Cadet, this Poulan Pro has a 46-inch cutting deck. It also offers six cutting heights.
Husqvarna Z254 54-Inch Zero Turn Riding Mower
Made by a trusted name in outdoor power tools, this Husqvarna mower has a 54-inch cutting deck and an anti-scalp roller to prevent you from cutting the grass too close.
Best choices for large yards
Ariens IKON-X 52 inch 23 HP Riding Mower
This versatile Ariens model has attachments for mulching, spreading, dethatching, aerating, and more. It also features a 52-inch deck with 13 cutting positions.
Toro TimeCutter IronForged Zero-Turn Riding Mower
The TimeCutter is a reliable zero-turn lawn mower with a 50-inch cutting deck and three adjustable stainless-steel blades. Its three-gallon gas tank will keep you on the job longer without refueling.
Best for hilly terrain
John Deere Z375R Gas Dual Zero Turn Riding Mower
Zero-turn mowers struggle to navigate uneven ground. But this rugged option has pneumatic tires with deep treads to grab the ground securely. With a 54-inch cutting deck, this John Deere is a great choice for rugged yards over four acres.
Husqvarna MZ48 23 HP
With a heavy front end and sturdy tires, the Husqvarna MZ48 23 HP has added stability to climb hills. And the 23-hp engine can handle inclines without protest.
Best electric mower
RYOBI Battery Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower
If you want to cut emissions while cutting the grass, the RYOBI Battery Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower can cover three acres on a single charge. It uses a standard 120-Volt outlet and can even charge your phone while you mow. It’s not great on hills, though.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a zero-turn mower, don’t let the cost hold you back. You can find plenty of options for under $4,000. With the right one, your mower and your yard could be the envy of the neighborhood.