Lawn Tractor Vs Zero Turn – Everything You Must Know

If you have been looking for lawn mowers to get your garden clean for the longest time then we are sure you must have come across both of these types,

  • A lawn tractor
  • A zero turn

Finding a lawn mower is a hard job. You don’t always get what you are looking for so to ensure you don’t end up regretting your purchase, we have enlisted down all the differences between a lawn tractor and zero turn for you to be able to make a choice.

Lawn Tractor Vs Zero Turn

Difference Between Lawn Tractor and Zero Turn

The main differences between both of these types are cost, functionality, maneuverability, location and speed. Take a look at all the differences below and make your choice!

  • Maneuverability

The major and by far the most prominent difference between riding a zero turn and a lawn tractor is the aspect of maneuverability.

The lawn movers have much bigger turn radius as compared to zero turns. Here you will have to ride across already cut grass over and over again until you’re done.

While a zero turn mower has a turn radius of 180-degrees that will allow you to easily turn it and cut the grass as effectively as possible without having to go over the grass you’ve already dealt with.

A lawn tractor will leave small portions of grass on the ground that will make you have to go over it again and again. A zero turn will not only prove to be time efficient but it will also save you money by consuming lesser fuel.

  • Terrain

If you’re planning on buying a zero turn mower then we would advise you to rethink your decision if you have uneven terrain in your lawn. In a mower, the drivers sits a bit higher so if there is an angle higher than 10-degrees, chances are he will lose his balance and slip off.

When cutting grass through slopes and having to dive through various obstacles, it is always better to use a mower that you operate manually by walking behind. Otherwise, on plain ground, a lawn tractor and a zero turn will both work well.

(See our Top 10 Pick  for Best zero Turn Mower under 3000 )

  • Deck size

Whenever you’re onto choosing a mower, one thing that matters the most is the deck size. This will determine the timeframe to mow your lawn and how rapidly it will be done.

Most of the times, the zero turns that we have come across have larger decks which is why they don’t take long to mow the grass. They work much efficiently and help you save time, like mentioned before, as compared to a lawn tractor.

Also, when determining the size of the deck, you also need to consider the distance between obstacles in your lawn. Sometimes, people end up buying mowers that have large deck size and that covers up the distance between rocks, not allowing them to clean the lawn efficiently.

  • Speed

As far as speed is concerned, you must have guessed by now that a zero turn is much faster than a lawn tractor. The speed of a zero turn ranges between 8-16mph whereas the speed of a lawn tractor ranges between 3-7mph.

We are not saying that lawn tractors are too slow. You will be able to get your work done quickly with a lawn tractor as well but a zero turn will have you done by it within half of that time.

  • Machine control

A lawn tractor is much easier to control as compared to a zero turn. A lawn mower features a steering wheel just like a car which means riding it will be like a walk in the park.

Zero turn on the other hand features a lever for breaks, acceleration and steering. Understating this lever system will take some time and is a bit difficult for beginners to drive. It will take some time for you to get the hang of it and it isn’t the most convenient even though it’s very innovative.

  • Maintenance cost

When it comes to how much will it cost you to own a lawn tractor or a zero turn, we have to saw that here lawn mower again takes the cake.

The maintenance cost of lawn mowers is much cheaper than maintaining a zero turn. It will not cost you a lot to change the filters, the oil and the blades of a lawn tractor.

However, since zero turns feature much more powerful engines and offer more strength, their maintenance also costs a lot. If you happen to be on a limited budget and cannot invest too much on the lifelong maintenance of your tools then going for lawn mower would definitely be a better option.


So, these are some of the solid differences we found between a lawn tract and a zero turn. As you can see, the zero turn is much more powerful and efficient then a lawn tractor. It cuts your grass in halftime than the lawn tractor does and provides much more functionality.

But keeping a zero turn at your garage will cost you more. Its maintenance is difficult and very costly while the lawn tractor doesn’t really cost anything. It might not be as efficient as a zero turn but it doesn’t cost a lot and is very easy to use.

So it is completely up to you that which model you would like to go for. If you have a large garden and are buying a mower for commercial purposes then investing on a zero turn would be a wise choice but if you only need it for home then lawn tractor would suffice.


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