Are you trying to decide between a riding lawn mower vs zero turn mower? When considering buying a new lawn mower, there are important factors to keep in mind.

We’re going to compare Riding Lawn Mowers vs Zero Turn mowers in detail in this blog post. We will also help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Either of these options is a big investment. If you have a large yard, it’s an investment that’s totally worth it, in my opinion. 

riding lawn mower vs zero turn: which is  right for your yard #mowers #landscaping

Since a riding or zero turn mower is such a big investment, it can be tough to make a decision between the two.

We recently purchased a zero turn mower for our 2 acre yard because we decided that was the best option for our needs.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the pros and cons of riding lawn mowers vs zero turn mowers. This will help you decide which one comes out on top for your needs.

What are Riding Lawn Mowers?

riding lawn mower vs zero turn: which is  right for your yard #mowers #landscaping

Riding lawn mowers are a type of mower that is operated while you’re seated on the machine. The cutting deck is directly below you, situated mid-mower.

They come in a range of sizes. From smaller riding mowers that work well for home use to larger models that are designed for commercial jobs.

A riding lawn mower has a traditional steering wheel and operates at relatively slower speeds than a zero-turn model.

Riding mowers are typically powered by a gas engine and have a large engine.

They have a cutting deck that can be adjusted to get the desired cutting height. You can also purchase riding lawn mowers with different deck sizes.

With this option, you can cut larger areas of grass with each swipe. That is, of course, if you want to cut down on the time spent cutting.

Riding mowers are perfect for lawns that are too large to be mowed with a push mower but too small to require the services of a lawn company. 

Riding lawn mowers can be either rear or front-wheel drive. Typically, they have a maximum speed of around 5 to 7 miles per hour.

They also have safety features like seat belts, emergency shut-off switches, and automatic shut-off mechanisms.

Overall, riding lawn mowers are an excellent choice for those with large yards.

They are for those who want their lawn maintenance to be easier and faster and done in a comfortable seated position.

Pros and Cons of Riding Lawn Mowers

Riding lawn mowers, also known as lawn tractors, are a really handy tool for maintaining your lawn if you have a large property.

They come in different sizes and configurations for different lawn sizes, terrains, and tasks.

Here are some pros and cons of riding mowers:

Pros of Riding Lawn Mowers:

1. They save time: Riding lawn mowers can cut down on the time it takes to mow a lawn, especially for larger lawns.

2. Easy to use: Riding mowers are relatively easy to use. All you need to do is steer and maneuver it around the lawn. 

3. Versatile: Riding mowers can be used for several different tasks, like mowing, bagging, and even snow removal in some models.

4. Comfortable: Riding mowers offer a comfortable seating position and most allow the user to enjoy a smooth ride.

Cons of Riding Lawn Mowers:

1. Costly: Riding mowers can be expensive in comparison to a push mower, especially if you need a large one with more features. 

2. Limited Maneuverability: Riding mowers have a larger turning radius, making them less maneuverable than other types of lawn mowers. This can mean a lot more weed-eating if you have a lot of obstacles to mow around in your yard.

3. High Maintenance: Riding mowers require more maintenance than other types of mowers, like blade sharpening, oil changes, and other routine maintenance.

4. Safety Concerns: Riding mowers can be dangerous if not used correctly. For instance, if your yard has hilly terrain or extreme slopes, a riding mower can be dangerous to use because it can be top heavy.

In summary, riding lawnmowers offer a range of benefits, including time-saving, versatility, and comfort. However, they can be expensive to purchase, require more maintenance, and can pose safety risks if not used correctly. 

What are Zero Turn Lawn Mowers?

Zero turn lawn mowers are an advanced type of lawn mower that gives you a unique and very precise cutting experience.

Unlike a regular riding lawn mower, zero turn mowers are designed to be incredibly maneuverable and agile.

They can turn on a dime and this is thanks to their two large rear wheels that are independently controlled, allowing for a complete 360-degree turn in place.

This level of control makes zero turn mowers perfect for tight spaces and areas with a lot of obstacles to mow around. 

Zero turn mowers come in a range of sizes and configurations, from residential models that work well for smaller lawns to heavy-duty commercial mowers used by landscaping professionals.

They are powered by either gas or electric motors. Some models have additional features like mulching capabilities or even the ability to attach a snow blower or other accessory.

They often have a wider deck than a traditional riding lawn tractor. They cover more space in large areas at once.

Even small zero-turns can cut large properties faster than a traditional riding mower.

Overall, zero turn mowers are an excellent choice for anyone who wants a professionally cut look and efficiency when cutting their lawn.

The unique design and control system allows for more efficient mowing, resulting in a cleaner and better-looking lawn in less time. Cutting with a zero turn mower is fast and easy! 

Pros and Cons of Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn lawn mowers have gained a lot popularity for residential use in recent years. This is because of their agility, maneuverability, and speed.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using a zero turn lawn mower.

Pros of Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

1. Faster Mowing: Zero-turn lawn mowers can cut grass at a faster speed compared to riding mowers, which makes them great for large lawns. A zero turn mower’s typical top speed is 10 MPH, while a tractor mower may reach about 7 MPH. If you don’t like to spend a lot of time mowing, a zero turn mower is a great choice.

2. Maneuverability: These mowers can make a 360-degree turn, making it easier to navigate tight spaces and obstacles. If you have a lot of things to mow around on your property, like flower beds, this can really cut down on the amount of weed eating you have to do since you can make tight turns.

3. Precision: Zero turn mowers are highly precise and great for people who want a specific mowing pattern to appear in their yard. You’ll end up with a cleaner and more professional look to your lawn with a zero turn mower deck.

4. Comfort: These mowers come with a comfortable seat and a responsive steering system, making it easier to operate for long periods without fatigue. They just feel easier to operate than traditional riding mowers.

Cons of Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

1. Cost: Zero turn lawn mowers are expensive compared to riding mowers. Of course, you can find some regular riding mowers at comparable prices, but zero turn mowers tend to be much higher overall.

2. Learning Curve: Zero turn lawn mowers can be challenging to operate, and it takes time to learn the skills to control the mower. Once you learn, it’s easy, but it can be intimidating to some at first.

3. Maintenance: Because of their complex design, zero turn lawn mowers require regular maintenance and servicing, which can be expensive.

Overall, zero turn lawn mowers have a lot benefits that make them an excellent choice for those who prioritize speed, maneuverability, and precision.

But they also come with some downsides like a higher cost, a steeper learning curve, and more maintenance requirements.

Average Cost of Riding Lawn Mower Vs Zero Turn Lawn Mower

When it comes to purchasing a lawn mower, one of the most important considerations is the cost.

Riding lawn mowers and zero turn mowers are both popular options and they differ in price, but they can carry a hefty price tag.

Riding lawn mowers are generally less expensive than zero turn mowers.

The average cost of a riding mower ranges from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the size and features. They can be more expensive than that, if you go all out on the options.

On the other hand, zero turn mowers typically start at around $2,500 and can go up to $10,000 or more for commercial-grade models.

Resale on Riding Mowers and Zero-Turns

While the initial cost of a riding lawn mower may be lower, you should also consider long-term expenses.

Riding mowers typically have larger engines and use more gas than zero turn mowers, which can increase the cost of operating the machine over time.

Zero turn mowers also have a higher resale value than riding mowers because of their durability and performance.

Speaking of resale value, if you’re working with a smaller budget than a new mower requires, you could consider looking for a used mower.

Take your time and find the right mower, one that has been taken care of and fits your needs for the size of your yard.

The price range for a used mower, riding or zero turn, will be lower. but keep in mind that one that has been well taken care of may still be expensive.

Buying used could still be a good option if you’re trying to save money where you can. For the best outcome, look for used mowers at dealers rather than from individuals. 

Ultimately, the cost of a lawn mower should be weighed against your specific needs and budget.

If you have a smaller lawn and don’t need the precision of a zero turn mower, a riding lawn mower may be the more economical choice.

If you have a larger lawn with lots of landscape features and want the most efficient and precise mowing experience, a zero turn mower may be worth the investment.

Riding Lawn Mower Vs Zero Turn: Which Should You Choose?

Choosing between a riding lawn mower and a zero turn mower can be quite a dilemma.

Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it all depends on your personal preferences and the type of lawn you have.

The differences between the two are pretty big differences, but either one will get the job done! It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for.

Let’s compare the two options side by side and help you decide which one is best for you.

Mowing Speed

Are you looking for a mower that can cut your lawn quickly? If so, a zero turn mower is your best bet.

Zero turn mowers can mow up to twice as fast as traditional riding mowers.

Riding mowers just aren’t as fast and can take more time to mow your lawn. If speed is a priority, go for the zero turn mower.


When it comes to maneuverability, there’s no competition between the two.

Zero turn mowers can easily make sharp turns and navigate around obstacles with ease. This makes them perfect for small lawns with many obstacles. Again, this reduces the amount of time you’re going to spend mowing your lawn every time. 

Riding mowers, on the other hand, have a larger turning radius. This can make it difficult to navigate through tight spots.

With a riding mower, you can end up doing a lot of back up and pulling forward, over and over. This is just to reach areas that a zero turn will cover with one turn. That will increase the amount of time you’ll spend cutting or weed eating.

If maneuverability is a priority, the zero turn mower is the way to go.

Cut Quality

Both riding and zero turn mowers can give you excellent cut quality. But the quality of the cut usually depends on the mower deck and blade design.

In general, zero turn mowers tend to give you a more even cut. This is because they can maneuver around obstacles without leaving any missed spots.

Riding mowers can sometimes leave some missed spots, especially if you have a lot of obstacles on your lawn.


In terms of cost, riding mowers are typically less expensive than zero turn mowers.

Zero turn mowers tend to be pricier due to their advanced features and higher performance. But the price difference can be worth it if you have a large lawn that requires fast mowing and maneuverability.


We have now analyzed the pros and cons of both riding lawn mowers and zero turn mowers. It’s clear that the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference, specific needs, and budget.

Do you have a small to medium sized lawn and prefer a smoother ride with more comfort features? If yes, a riding lawn mower may be the best option for you. They’re also typically more affordable than zero turn mowers. This makes them a more accessible choice for those on a tighter budget.

Do you have a larger lawn with obstacles to navigate and need to cut your mowing time in half? If yes, a zero turn mower may be the better choice. They’re also easier to maneuver, making them a great option for those with physical limitations.

Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both types of mowers before making a decision.

When choosing between a riding lawn mower vs zero turn, consider factors like lawn size, budget, and personal preferences.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

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Riding Lawn Mower vs Zero Turn