The amazing ability of zero-turn mowers to make a complete circle on the spot means that there will be no circle of uncut grass left trailing while you cut. Unlike riding mowers, zero-turn mowers help users cut across and around obstacles.
Our Top Recommendation for Zero Turn Mower!
The Husqvarna Z-Turn mower ensures to make lawn maintenance an event instead of a burden, combining innovative features, cutting-edge design, and a powerful V-Twin engine.
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There are hundreds if not thousands of zero turn mower brands in the market, reading through all can be a daunting experience that’s why our team of experts has selected the best zero turn mowers under $3,000 to review. Have a nice read to make an informed purchasing decision.
Best Zero Turn Mower under $3,000
|Husqvarna Z254F 54” Z-Turn Mower
|• 26hp Kohler 747cc 7000 Series V-Twin Engine
• 54-Inch FAB 3-Blade Mower Deck
• Electric Clutch Deck Engagement
|Husqvarna Z248F 48 – 21.5HP Kawasaki Zero Turn Mower
|• Comfortable seat
• ClearCut deck offers a best-in-class 48 in
• 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
|Husqvarna Z248F 48” Zero Turn Mower
|• 48-Inch, Fabricated (Welded) 3-Blade ClearCut Mower Deck
• Mows up to 2.8 acres/hour at speeds up to 6.5 mph
• Hydro Gear EZT Hydrostatic Transmission
|Craftsman 50" Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower
|• Powerful Engine
• Adjustable Cutting Heights
• Durable AND Reliable
|Husqvarna TS348XD 48” Land Mower
|• Electric Locking Differential
• Comfortable High-Back Seat
• 48-Inch Fabricated (Welded) Steel ClearCut Deck
#1. Husqvarna Z254F 54” Z-Turn Mower
This Husqvarna Z254F 54-inch z-turn mower promises to trim more grass with little effort in no time. It is a well-built, sturdy mower with welded frames, offering excellent strength. Moreover, the orange finishing topping off the frame makes this machine stand out in the dark.
It features a wide 54-inch cutting deck with a three-blade design that enables you to manage large landscapes easily. Also, you will get heavy-duty cuts. In addition, the mower houses Kohler V-twin engine delivering 26hp.
You will also benefit from a zero-turn transmission system. This means you can take sharp turns and corners. So it’s your ideal landscaping partner.
The mower comes with a 26hp Kohler V-Twin engine, allowing it to cut grasses effortlessly and quickly.
The cutting width of 54 inches is substantial enough to cover a larger landscape.
Maintaining your lawn is an easy affair, thanks to the innovative design of this mower.
Pros & Cons
- 26hp 747cc V-Twin engine
- 54 inches cutting deck with a three-blade system
- Features electric clutch deck engagement.
- It won’t cut more than 10 degrees of slope.
#2. Husqvarna Z248F 48 – 21.5HP Kawasaki Zero Turn Mower
The Husqvarna Z254 tops this list of the best zero-turn mower for its overall exceptional performance. This mower houses a 21.5hp Kawasaki motor that provides excellent power for trimming your grass to perfection. More so, you will find a 48-inch cutting deck that makes it suitable for home and commercial use.
The ClearCut deck features a compact, deep deck design, allowing fluid and swift turn on a dime. This mower is easy to operate and user-friendly. You can take it on to trim grasses on any landscape and various cutting conditions. In addition, the large handle offers convenient access to use while sitting comfortably on the padded ergonomic seat.
There’s also enough room for your legs in the front bay. And the anti-slip foot area prevents slipping when you get on or off the mower. Overall, the 48-inch cutting deck makes it a top choice for landscapers to yard up to 4-acres in size.
Husqvarna Z248F houses a highly efficient 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine to take your lawn maintenance to the next level. In addition, the engine boasts a lot of turf-cutting muscle.
Deep Deck Design
This zero-turn mower flaunts a deep deck design that provides a convenient 48 inches cutting deck. Plus, you get better bagging.
Anti-slip Foot Area
The anti-slip foot area prevents slipping when you get on or off the mower.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful 21.5hp Kawasaki motor
- 48 inches cutting deck
- Padded ergonomic seat, handles, and control panel
- Anti-slip foot area
- High-performance blades
- Excellent airflow
- Suitable for various cutting conditions.
- Nothing specific.
#3. Husqvarna Z248F 48” Zero Turn Mower
Another top-quality product from Husqvarna is this Z248F zero-turn mower. Thanks to its 48 inches cutting deck, this machine is very versatile. You can use it efficiently on lawns of different sizes. The best thing is that it will be a good fit for both small and medium-sized lawns.
In addition, the 7000 Series V-Twin engine offers adequate power to the blades. Paired with a 48 inches cutting deck, the cutting speed is exceptional. It ensures a maximum 6.5mph forward speed.
More so, the mower packs a hydrostatic transmission, and you will enjoy additional control over your mower. Overall, the machine is durable, and you won’t face any problems in terms of quality.
The 26hp/747cc Kohler 7000 Series V-series engine provides the exceptional power necessary for a clean and clear cut.
You can cover a large surface area in record time because of the wide 48-inch cutting deck.
Cutting Edge Design
The mower flaunts a cutting-edge design, combined with new innovative features that make lawn maintenance easier.
Pros & Cons
- A 48-inches cutting deck
- Cutting-edge design
- It houses a 26hp/747cc Kohler 7000 Series V-Twin engine
- Features a hydrostatic transmission that’s maintenance-free
- 3-blade clearcut mower deck.
- It might not be ideal for huge lawns.
#4. Craftsman 50″ Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower
Another great choice for big yards is this Hydrostatic gas zero-turn mower from Craftsman. It features a 50-inch cutting deck that will get your landscaping done in no time. What you will really like is the mower’s excellent maneuverability. You can zoom around in different directions easily with no effort.
Plus, you get a dual hydrostatic transmission that maintains a perfect power balance between two rear wheels. In addition, there is also a high-back seat for added comfort and support while mowing your terrain. What also makes this mower a great choice is the ability to set the cutting height as per your needs.
You can set the cutting height from 1.25-inch to 3.75-inch. Now, the 24hp Kohler twin-cylinder engine powers this machine to mow large estates in no time.
With a powerful 24hp twin-cylinder engine, this mower offers a durable starting system without a prime or choke.
The dual hydrostatic transmission maintains a perfect power balance between two rear wheels and minimizes service intervals.
Adjustable Cutting Height
Mow your lawn according to your choice by setting the right cutting height that will work best. For example, you can set the maximum height up to 3.75-inch.
Pros & Cons
- Hydrostatic transmission
- 50-inch cutting deck
- It comes with a padded ergonomic seat
- Rugged design
- Easy to manoeuver control levers
- Suited for professional use.
- It doesn’t come with added accessories.
5. Husqvarna TS348XD 48” Land Mower
This 48-inch riding land mower from Husqvarna is designed for versatile use and high performance. It houses a powerful 24HP Kawasaki engine and a fabricated cutting deck of 48-inch. More so, thanks to the cutting height adjustment system, an ergonomic steering wheel, and an adjustable seat, you can steer this machine to different places simply and comfortably.
Additionally, you get a hydrostatic transmission that delivers smooth, reverse, and forward speed. What’s impressive is its air induction mowing technology. It will ensure that you achieve a clean cut every time you use the mower, combined with a 48-inch triple blade. In addition, you can set the speed and direction as per your needs.
In addition, the 18-inch turning radius makes this machine ideal for tighter and uneven areas.
The powerful Kawasaki FR Series V-Twin OHV engine boasts a 24HP rating.
The wide 42-inch cutting deck covers a more surface terrain compared to traditional mowers.
It features an ergonomic design that provides easy and comfortable handling.
Pros & Cons
- 24hp Kawasaki V-twin engine
- Foot pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission
- 48-inch ClearCut fabricated cutting deck
- There’s an 18-inch turning radius for mowing tighter spaces
- Adjustable back seat and ergonomic steering wheel
- 48-inch triple blade.
- The frame is poor
- The dozed blade and front bucket adapters are thin.
What is a Zero Turn Mower?
Zero turn mowers are a great improvement to traditional mowers because of their inherent capacity to dissipate much energy and closely trim down tight corners in the lawn. Without having to exert much energy of your own, owners can take care of their lawns in record time.
The name “Zero turn” comes from their ability to turn in almost a zero degree radius. Without having to cover extra grounds these mowers can rotate in a full circle.
You should invest in a zero turn mower if time is of the essence. You will manage to get your lawn done in record time and still do a great job. The technologically advanced buttons make for an excellent operation of the lawnmower.
Read more: How to Drive a Zero Turn Mower?
Buyers Guide for Zero-turn Mowers
Great Zero turn lawn mowers don’t come cheap so when it comes to investing in a piece there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration.
One of the most important things you need to take into consideration is the engine. Without a solid engine whatever you have as the covering is worthless.
You should ask the right questions like how much power is the engine capable of delivering? Shedding $3,000 on single equipment is not easy, so make sure you get an engine power commensurate with the price tag.
Types of Zero Turn Mowers (According to use-case)
Working knowledge of the different types of lawn mowers will ensure you make an informed investment decision on a model that suits your needs. There is no point in purchasing an expensive high grade zero turn mower when all you need is a residential zero turn mower for the few acres in your lawn.
Let’s take a closer look at the various types of lawn mowers in stores:
1. Entry level Residential Zero-turn Mowers: If you have a sizeable garden to mown then an entry-level residential lawn mower is ideal. These are the most affordable for homeowners and the best use-case mowers if you cut garden grass up to once a week. They are the smallest of all zero-turn mowers with delicate but cheaper components.
Entry level zero-turn mowers are not designed for everyday use, so if you run a landscaping business opt for a mower with more power.
2. Mid-Grade Residential Zero-turn Mowers: Slightly larger than entry-level z-turn mowers, mid-grade residential lawn mowers offer more power and efficiency. With a wider deck size than entry level mowers more surface areas can be covered.
Small landscaping business owners can opt for mid-grade z-turn residential lawn mowers. However, they fall short when it comes to serious commercial use.
3. Entry level Commercial Zero Turn Mowers: These mowers fall outside the range of house use and are more fitted for light commercial purposes.
They offer more power, speed and are more durable than residential mowers.
The perfect choice for a landscaping business, built to last almost a lifetime with proper maintenance.
4. Full Commercial Zero Turn Mowers: For serious professionals with large landscaping business running into thousands of dollars in net income. Commercial grade mowers are ideal for large golf course-like terrains where daily use and trough conditions are required.
Unless you run a serious business making thousands of dollars in net income stay away from commercial zero-turn mowers. Some can cost in excess of $15,000.
Mowing the lawn efficiently requires power. Engine power is the first point of call when you are planning to purchase a lawnmower. The horsepower grade (HP) must be in line with your gardening or lawn cutting needs. The higher the horsepower, the faster and more efficient the cut.
As long as the power backing your machine engine is ample for the work, you will effortlessly power your way with impressive speeds.
A lower Horsepower model should be enough for a regular lawn or garden while a model with plenty of horsepower will fit in for landscaping businesses and large estates.
Cut Width/ Mowing Path
Propeller blades are as important as engine power. There is no point having the right horsepower propelling the wrong cutting width. The cutting width of the blades needs to be given deep consideration.
Don’t get things mixed up; large cutting widths don’t always give the best cutting impact on the lawn. Large cutting width will get you around large areas in the lawn but they become problematic when it comes to mowing corners and getting around obstacles.
Gardens or lawns with sensitive plant life like flowers will benefit more from mowers with cutting platforms that aren’t too big.
Look for a mowing path that is big enough to take care of large areas while also been of moderate size to navigate through tight spaces.
There are about seven types of zero-turn lawn mower transmissions. These transmissions are pump/motor, electric, hydrostatic, friction disk, gear, and automatic.
In-depth details of each of these transmissions will be covered in subsequent articles. Gear transmissions were once the most popular but automatic and hydrostatic transmissions have replaced them in popularity.
One thing is for sure, lower level transmissions are ideal for small yard work but they fall short when heavy usage is required for full-time landscaping. Be prepared to pay more for a decent transmission.
The fuel capacity, although not a very important factor for residential use, it becomes significantly more important if you intend to use your z-turn mower for professional work covering large acres of land.
Without requiring you to stop and constantly refill your tank, opt for a mower with a reasonably sized tank if you envisage that you will need the machine working for long hours.
Next to Engine power in the scale of importance is the deck size. You should pay proper attention to the deck size of the z-turn mower you buy. The deck size covers the surface area of grass that can be cut at any given time. A large deck size means that the mower can cut a wider area of grass than a smaller deck size.
Bear in mind also that a large deck size can hinder the proper cutting of intricate areas in the lawn. So you will be better off with a smaller deck size on a residential plot to cut around beds, flowers and rounded corners.
For homeowners something between 30 and 40 inches is ideal for maximum maneuverability around obstacles and corners.
If you need the mower on large commercial sites, opt for a deck size between 50 and 60 inches.
The demand of the user will determine the kind of speed required. Don’t go about looking for the fastest speed in the market when you only need to cut your yard once in a few weeks. Look for something that is comfortable and of moderate size for your needs.
The game changes when it comes to professional use-case. If you run a landscaping business that employs people, getting the job done in time becomes essential. Large commercial zero turn mowers with top speeds will allow the operator to finish up most jobs in record time.
Price will always be an issue when it comes to zero turn mowers. These machines do not come cheap so it’s better you have a set budget at the back of your mind.
A mindful budget will streamline your choices to those within range. Even entry-level machines can cost as high as $2,500.
Any price tag above $3,500 means you have entered into the territory of commercial grade machines. Question your requirements to ascertain if you need that much size or power.
Most of the zero-turn mowers listed here are for residential houses because they cost below $3,000. For professional landscaping business, your search should start from $3,500 and above.
Ideally, a more expensive model should have more features, power and last longer than lower priced models.
Performance is key. Rugged and top performance comes from a combination of speed, strength and power. Most of the z-turn mowers listed here are sufficiently powerful enough to provide top performance any day at any time. Look at the stats of the lawn mowers listed and you will find that the average mower has a horsepower of approximately 20.
Any horsepower engine below 20 should be thoroughly examined unless they are been purchased for residential use only.
How efficient the engine, is tied to fuel consumption and the speed at which the mower works. Gasoline is the major fuel used to power up zero-turn mowers with electrically propelled mowers still in the making.
Efficiency is something you ought to concern yourself with to get the best out of your investment money.
Savvy investors look for Engine power while others concentrate on design. Generally, the design is perceived as a less important factor when serious mowing work is required. It’s just a mower that cuts grass, so pay less attention to the design. If it cuts grass well, then don’t be too bothered about which mower looks good and which one doesn’t. However, there are times when body design can affect maneuverability, even at that it’s not a significant factor to consider deeply.
Comfort is also a key element to consider deeply. With the end-user in mind big time brands have incorporated newer features like armrest to their overall design features to improve the comfort of the rider. Shock absorption and heavy duty balance springs are all features that make for a bumper free comfortable ride.
If you will sit for long periods of time on your zero-turn mower, then you need to make sure it’s very comfortable to ride on. The magnitude of comfort becomes more evident for owners who run professional landscaping business.
Durability is one of the most underestimated factors that people overlook, probably because it’s one of the most difficult factors to determine. The only way to ascertain the durability of any equipment is to read user reviews of that product.
A great product ordered online can work excellently well for the first six months but as regular usage wears it down you begin to think it wasn’t all that great in the first place.
We highly recommend investors to be on the lookout for long warranty periods as this is the only guarantee you can get from manufacturers that a product will last at least for the given warranty period. And if something happens along the line, you can always take the mower to a certified technician to get it fixed.
We advise customers to undertake due diligence when it comes to choosing the right zero-turn mower for their needs. These machines don’t come cheap, so save yourself the hassles of coping with a bad mower.
We have taken the pains to review some of the best lawn mowers you can get under $3,000 so your research has been cut in half. A lot of hours went into writing this piece.
We consulted with field experts and read thousands of community-based reviews to ensure you make the best choice. Keep this review handy, if need be, share with friends and family. Someone out there needs it.