The Best Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers Recommended by Consumer Reports

Are you in the market for a new lawn mower? If your yard is bigger than half an acre, chances are you’re shopping for a new zero-turn lawn mower. But with so many models to choose from, how do you choose the best one for satisfying your lawn maintenance needs? The good news is that we have the inside track on the best zero-turn lawn mowers recommended by Consumer Reports. Let’s find out which new mowers made the cut. 

What is a zero-turn lawn mower?

Zero-turn lawn mowers are one of the most common types of lawn mowers.  They ride on four wheels and are controlled by a pair of levers, making them one of the easiest lawn mowers to maneuver. According to Consumer Reports, zero-turn mowers are also among the best lawn mower types for big yards. 

There are downsides to zero-turn lawn mowers, however. The Spruce reports that this type of lawn mower can be dangerous in uneven and bumpy conditions. Zero-turn lawn mowers are also known for being expensive. So if you’re shopping for a new lawn mower on the cheap? A zero-turn mower might not be the best choice for you.

The best zero-turn mowers by John Deere

The John Deere logo on a tractor, John Deere makes some of the best zero-turn lawn mowers according to Consumer Reports
John Deere | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As for the best zero-turn lawn mowers? Turns out, Consumer Reports recommends quite a few. Among them are several John Deere lawn mowers too. Take, for example, the John Deere Z515E. Consumer Reports gave this year’s model an 86 overall score, making it the best zero-turn John Deere mower it recommends. The organization also gave it Excellent ratings in side-discharging, cutting evenness, mulching, and handling.

The Z515E isn’t the only zero-turn lawn mower by John Deere that Consumer Reports recommends either. The organization also gave the John Deere Z375R-54, John Deere Z355E, and the John Deere Z345R-42 pretty high marks. It’s the John Deere Z335E-42, however, that also earned a Consumer Reports Best Buy designation. So if you’re after the best zero-turn lawn mower but don’t want to break the bank? The John Deere Z335E-42 might be the best zero-turn lawn mower for you.

These lawn mower brands make the best zero-turn mowers

John Deere isn’t the only lawn mower brand manufacturing zero-turn mowers. Popular lawn mower brands such Toro, Craftsman, and Cub Cadet also sell this type of lawn mower. Consumer Reports recommends several mowers from each brand too. When it comes to Toro, the Toro MYRIDE TimeCutter 75755, Toro 75750, and Toro TimeCutter SS4225 75742 are the best zero-turn lawn mowers recommended by Consumer Reports.

The organization also recommends two zero-turn lawn mowers from Craftsman. The Craftsman Z530 earned itself an 82 overall score, along with Excellent ratings in side-discharging, cutting evenness, mulching, and handling. Consumer Reports gave the Craftsman Z5200 similarly high scores.

As for Cub Cadet? The Cub Cadet RZT SX 42, Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2-50 Fab, and the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 are the best zero-turn lawn mowers recommended by Consumer Reports. All three Cub Cadet lawn mowers earned Excellent ratings in side-discharging, cutting evenness, mulching, and handling too.

The Gravely ZT HD 48 991152 is the best zero-turn lawn mower

The highest-rated zero-turn lawn mower that Consumer Reports recommends is the Gravely ZT HD 48 991152. The organization gave it a 92 overall score, ranking it ahead of mowers like the Toro MYRIDE TimeCutter 75755 and the John Deere Z515E. “This Gravely 48-inch zero-turn-radius tractor boasts top-notch handling and delivers Excellent performance in both side-discharging and mulching modes,” Consumer Reports explained.

Perhaps the only downside to this zero-turn mower is its price. At $5,300, this mower is the most expensive model that Consumer Reports recommends. But if you’re after the best zero-turn lawn mower on the market today? You really can’t go wrong with the Gravely ZT HD 48 991152.

“This is one of the most expensive riding mowers CR has tested, but the high-level performance and solid feel arguably justify the price.”

Consumer Reports

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