The Best Commercial Zero-Turn Mowers of 2022

These machines offer the power and reliability to get tough landscaping jobs done—all day, every day—with ample comfort for the operator.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated May 25, 2022 1:24 PM

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The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Options

Photo: homedepot.com

For lawn-care professionals, commercial zero-turn mowers are essential pieces of heavy-duty equipment that can cut grass all day, every day, leaving a high-quality finish. These machines are built with independently controlled drive wheels that give them the ability to turn, quite literally, on a dime or even pivot in place. And because time is money, pros know that speed, reliability, and easy maintenance are the keys to success. For this reason, commercial-grade mowers are built to withstand the stress of constant use and simplify routine maintenance tasks to maximize production and minimize downtime.

Compared to their residential counterparts, zero-turn commercial mowers are built with thicker steel in the deck and frame, stronger engines, and higher-quality components like spindles, pulleys, and hydraulics. Commercial mowers also travel at speeds up to twice that of residential models and offer a more comfortable ride thanks to high-back seats, larger tires, and robust suspension systems. And commercial mower fuel tanks hold up to 12 gallons or more, so they can run all day without stopping to refuel.

If a commercial zero-turn mower sounds right for you, you’re in luck. We’ve taken a close look at some of the most popular models on the market for this guide. First, read up on the crucial shopping considerations we used as criteria to develop our lineup, then check out our reviews to see why we count these among the best commercial zero-turn mower options available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Exmark Lazer Z X-Series
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bad Boy ZT Elite
  3. BEST ON HILLS: Scag Turf Tiger II
  4. BEST FOR OPEN GROUND: Hustler Super Z
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Kubota Z700 Series
  6. BEST UPGRADE OPTIONS: John Deere ZTrak 900 Series
  7. BEST SUSPENSION: Ferris ISX 3300
  8. BEST COMFORTABLE RIDE: Toro Titan
  9. BEST START-UP COMMERCIAL: DeWalt Z260 Hydrostatic Commercial Zero-Turn Mower
The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Options

Photo: deere.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Commercial Zero-Turn Mowers

Brand reputation and customer comments are important, but the best way to select a mower is by comparing the measurable differences. Read on to learn how we chose the mowers on our list.

Cutting Deck Size

Matching an appropriate deck size to the landscape is an important step toward operational efficiency. A larger deck cuts flat, open spaces faster; a smaller deck navigates narrow passages and uneven terrain more easily. These sizing guidelines can help:

  • Less than 1 acre18- to 36-inch deck
  • 1 to 3 acres36- to 48-inch deck
  • 3 to 5 acres42- to 60-inch deck
  • 5 or more acres54- to 72-inch deck

The most popular commercial zero-turn mower deck sizes range from 48 to 72 inches wide. Smaller decks are often found on commercial stand-on mowers and walk-behind mowers that provide a better vantage point for the operator. Bear in mind that deck width does not include the chute, which adds 8 to 12 inches to the overall width of the mower.

Engine Power and Speed

Engine power drives both the wheel hydraulics and the blades. Smaller, lighter zero-turn mowers with 48- to 60-inch decks and top speeds under 10 miles per hour (mph) are typically equipped with 24 horsepower (hp) engines. Larger, heavier commercial mowers with top speeds upward of 14 mph require heavy-duty 28 to 38 hp engines.

Fuel Capacity

Commercial mower fuel efficiency varies from 1 to 2 gallons of gas, or 0.9 to 1.6 gallons of diesel, per hour, depending on engine size, machine weight, terrain, grass height and thickness, and other variables. These machines are built with fuel tanks large enough to run a half day or even a full day without stopping to fill up. They typically hold at least 10 gallons, and most hold 12 gallons or more.

Weight

Commercial zero-turn mowers weigh between 750 and 2,000 pounds. Mower weight makes an impact on the bottom line while mowing and while the mower is being towed. Heavier mowers get more traction while working on slopes, but they may use more fuel and offer less speed than lighter-weight mowers that are similarly equipped. Towing a heavier mower from one work site to the next increases fuel usage in the towing vehicle and reduces the available payload capacity for tasks like debris removal and hauling other tools and equipment.

Safety and Comfort

To keep the operator and bystanders safe, commercial zero-turn mowers are built with numerous safety features. Some safety examples include belt guards, a rubber debris chute, and high-visibility or reflective surfaces. A seat safety switch cuts off the engine when there is no longer an operator in the seat. A rollover protection structure (ROPS), commonly called a roll bar, protects the operator in case the mower overturns. Many commercial zero-turn mowers also include a seatbelt for added protection.

Other features increase operator comfort. A well-padded, adjustable, high-back seat with armrests has become standard equipment. Larger rear tires help cushion the ride, as does a good suspension system. A larger foot pan area lets users stretch their legs, while a foot-operated deck lift makes adjusting the mowing height easier. The hand controls may be ergonomically designed, adjustable, and may include vibration-dampening features. A relatively quiet engine makes for a more pleasant experience as well.

Our Top Picks

We consulted turf care professionals and dug into scores of manufacturer listings to construct this list of the best commercial zero-turn mowers. Those looking for a new machine are likely to find a solid lead here.

Best Overall

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Exmark Lazer Z X-Series
Photo: exmark.com

Exmark Lazer Z is one of the most commonly seen zero-turn mowers on all kinds of commercial landscape jobs. With a top speed of 11.5 mph and deck sizes of 60, 72, or 96 inches, the X-Series covers lots of acreage quickly. The mower is competently powered by a 25.5 hp, 852 cc Kawasaki V-twin engine, fueled by a 12-gallon gas tank to keep it running all day long.

Some of the features that set the Lazer Z X-Series apart include no-maintenance sealed spindles that never need to be greased; adjustable, hydraulically dampened levers for smooth operation; and a deluxe vibration-controlling seat with three-way motion isolation for superior comfort. Large 24-by-12 drive tires help cushion the ride and give excellent traction on sloped terrain. A foldable ROPS protects the operator on steep ground.

Those shopping for zero-turn mowers should be prepared for sticker shock, as this true commercial mower sells for about the same price as a good used automobile. But for a reliable all-day, everyday mower, this is one of the best.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: 852 cc, 25.5 hp Kawaski gas
  • Deck: 10-gauge steel top; 7-gauge steel skirt; 60-, 72-, or 96-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,302 pounds (with 60-inch deck)

Pros

  • Highly functional and efficient
  • Smooth and comfortable ride
  • Extensive selection of sizes and engines
  • Easy maintenance

Cons

  • Not the fastest commercial zero-turn mower on the market
  • Premium price point

Get the Exmark commercial zero-turn mower at your local Exmark dealer

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Bad Boy ZT Elite
Photo: tractorsupply.com

Although it is technically a residential-grade mower, the Bad Boy ZT Elite zero-turn mower has the power and heavy-duty construction to tackle commercial projects, and it comes at a budget-friendly price. This mower features a stout 7-gauge steel deck, commercial-grade hydraulics, and a 26 hp, 747 cc Kohler engine, but it weighs in at just 841 pounds. It’s easy to use, easy to haul, and includes comfort features like an adjustable 18-inch high-back seat and a patented independent front suspension system.

A few residential-level features remain, like the smaller 6.5-gallon fuel tank (good for several hours of mowing per fill-up, but maybe not all day) and the moderately sized 22-inch tires, which may not get as much grip as truly commercial-grade equipment. But for those just getting a landscaping business off the ground—or folks with an extra-large property to maintain—the Bad Boy ZT Elite has what it takes to do the job while saving you money.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: 747 cc, 26 hp Kohler gas
  • Deck: 7-gauge steel 60-inch deck
  • Weight: 841 pounds

Pros

  • Heavy-duty 7-gauge steel deck
  • Upgraded hydraulics
  • Suitable for flat or rolling terrain
  • Commercial-grade components at a residential mower price

Cons

  • Not as fast as other commercial mowers
  • Fewer comfort features

Get the Bad Boy commercial zero-turn mower at Tractor Supply Co., Rural King, or your local Bad Boy dealer.

Best on Hills

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Scag Turf Tiger II
Photo: scag.com

Scag has been a leader in the commercial zero-turn mower industry for decades, and the Turf Tiger II builds on that legacy. This heavy-duty machine is available in an assortment of configurations with deck sizes ranging from 52 to 72 inches and a choice of commercial engines in 25 hp propane; 31, 37, or 40 hp gasoline; or a 25 hp diesel engine. It boasts a top speed of 12 mph and a 12-gallon fuel tank to minimize refueling stops. Easy maintenance features, like toolless belt covers and conveniently placed air and oil filters, eliminate unnecessary downtime.

In varied or hilly terrain, the Turf Tiger II excels because of its heavyweight construction, excellent power, and lower center of gravity. On sloping ground, the standard ROPS and seat belt help keep the operator safe. The drive system is made up of 16 cc Hydro-Gear pumps and Parker wheel motors for smooth, powerful performance. The suspension seat may be a weak point, since comfort ratings are not as high as for others in our lineup. Also, while the Velocity Plus deck excels at pulling grass blades upright for a crisp cut, it’s somewhat more likely than competitors to cause scalping in larger configurations and uneven terrain. For pro-grade speed, power, and overall performance, particularly in hilly terrain, Turf Tiger II would make an excellent choice.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 25 hp Kohler propane; 31 hp Kawasaki gas; 31, 37, or 40 hp Briggs Vanguard gas; or 25 hp Kubota diesel
  • Deck: 7-gauge steel 52-, 61-, or 72-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,418 to 1,739 pounds, depending on the configuration

Pros

  • Smooth, easy operation from heavy-duty hydraulics
  • Heavy machine that’s well built for hilly terrain
  • Velocity deck leaves an excellent finish
  • Easy-access maintenance features

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Scalps easier than the competition in some configurations/terrain

Get the Scag commercial zero-turn mower at your local Scag dealer.

Best for Open Ground

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Hustler Super Z
Photo: hustlerturf.com

When there’s lots of ground to cover, going fast is as important as going big. Fortunately, the Hustler Super Z does both. The Super Z platform is available in four deck sizes, up to 72 inches, and four powerful gasoline engine options up to 38.5 hp. With a top mowing speed of 14 mph, it is capable of cutting 6 to 7 acres of grass per hour on mostly flat, open ground. The 11.7-gallon gas tank keeps it working all day long.

The Super Z gets its speed from engine power driving its heavy-duty 21 cc PY pumps and Parker wheel motors. The suspension seat and 24-inch drive wheels provide a well-cushioned ride at top speed. Any concern about the deck’s ability to lay down a quality finish at that pace is unfounded. The 5.5-inch-deep decks, in either side or rear discharge configuration, create an excellent vacuum to pull grass upright for a clean cut. This is the mower to choose for wide-open spaces and linear mowing, such as on-road medians or utility right-of-ways.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: 27, 35, or 38.5 hp Kawaski gas; or 36 hp Vanguard gas
  • Deck: 7-gauge fabricated steel 54-, 60-, 66-, or 72-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,420 to 1,566 pounds (rear discharge)

Pros

  • Top speed up to 14 mph
  • 21 cc PY pumps and Parker wheel motors
  • 5.5-inch deck depth stands grass up for a clean cut
  • Mows up to 7 acres per hour

Cons

  • Hills, turns, and obstacles reduce mowing speed
  • Premium price

Get the Hustler commercial zero-turn mower at your local Hustler dealer.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Kubota Z700 Series
Photo: kubotausa.com

The Kubota Z700 Series of commercial zero-turn mowers are built tough for difficult mowing conditions. They come with a 48-, 54-, or 60-inch deck, and are powered by 22.5 to 29.5 Kohler or Kawasaki FX air-cooled gas engines. They may not be the fastest zero-turn mowers, with top speeds of about 11.2 mph, but they’ve got plenty of deck power and a low center of gravity to power through tough grass and rough terrain. And the 21.2-inch high-back seat receives top marks for comfort, with adjustable seat suspension providing 3 inches of vertical travel and 6 inches of front-to-back travel.

The Z700 Series offers several key features that lend durability for tough mowing conditions. The mower frames are manufactured of heavy-duty 2- by 3-inch tubular steel (compared to the industry standard 1.5- by 3-inch steel) for greater strength and rigidity. The fabricated 8-gauge steel decks are 6 inches deep, creating an outstanding vacuum for an impeccably clean cut. Plus, the Parker transmissions integrate the hydro pumps and wheel motors into single units with individual oil supplies. And the low-profile 24-inch tires, mounted on 14-inch rims, provide improved traction while decreasing ground pressure. Where power and precision trump speed, the Kubota Z700 series may be the best bet.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 22.5, 23.5, or 25 hp Kohler gas; or 23.5, 25.5, or 29.5 hp Kawaski gas
  • Deck: 8-gauge steel-fabricated 48-, 54-, or 60-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,168 to 1,285 pounds

Pros

  • 2- by 3-inch tubular steel frame
  • Dual Parker transmissions with individual oil supplies
  • Fabricated 8-gauge steel 6-inch-deep decks
  • Outstanding comfort ratings

Cons

  • Not as fast as some of the others on our list

Get the Kubota commercial zero-turn mower at your local Kubota dealer.

Best Upgrade Options

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: John Deere ZTrak 900 Series
Photo: deere.com

The basic mower configurations in John Deere’s ZTrak Pro 900 Series lineup offer solidly competitive performance. The series includes powerful 25, 27, and 35 hp gasoline engines as well as a 24.7 hp and a 37.4 hp diesel option. The standard 7-gauge stamped steel decks come in 48-, 54-, 60-, and 72-inch sizes. Operating at speeds of up to 12 mph, these mowers keep pace with the competition and produce an excellent quality finish. The standard fuel tank holds 11.5 gallons.

Like the rest of the industry, John Deere offers shade canopies, baggers, lighting, and several other optional features to solve unique user needs. But what really stands out is the full extent of the available options. For starters, no-maintenance, flat-free Michelin X Tweels come standard on several models and are offered as an upgrade for others, providing three times the wear life over standard air-filled tires. Also, some deck sizes can be upgraded to mulch-on-demand, while others may be upgraded to rear discharge. To top it off, recent introductions include a string trimmer rack, tool cargo tray with 20-pound capacity, and tool carrier for long-handled tools like rakes and shovels. For next-level functionality, check out the ZTrak Pro 900 Series.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 23.5, 25, 25.5, 27, 31, or 35 hp gas; or 24.7 or 37.4 hp diesel
  • Deck: 7-gauge stamped steel 48-, 54-, 60-, or 72-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,178 to 1,841 pounds

Pros

  • Tons of comfort and convenience upgrades available
  • Competitive power and performance
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • May be confused with the residential ZTrak lineup
  • Less comfortable than competitors with the basic configuration

Get the John Deere commercial zero-turn mower at your local John Deere Dealer.

Best Suspension

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Ferris ISX 3300
Photo: ferrismowers.com

As far as overall power and performance are concerned, the Ferris ISX 3300 Series mows on par with the industry leaders. Powered by one of four Kawasaki FX or Vanguard Big Block gas engines, and equipped with either a 61- or 72-inch deck, these mowers cruise at speeds up to 12 mph. The 11-gallon fuel tank will keep them running all day.

Standout comfort features on ISX 3300 mowers include large 26-inch drive tires that cushion the ride over bumpy ground and a premium suspension seat with three-way adjustability in the headrest, lumbar, and back tilt. The icing on the cake is the ForeFront Suspension System, which is made up of four control rods and shocks that hold the front caster bearings vertically for outstanding motion control. The result is a smoother ride, a better cut, and improved long-term durability.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 31 or 38.5 hp Kawasaki FX gas; or 36 or 40 hp Vanguard gas
  • Deck: 61- or 72-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,470 to 1,717 pounds

Pros

  • Powerful Kawasaki FX and Vanguard Big Block engine options
  • Premium adjustable suspension seat
  • ForeFront Suspension System
  • 26-inch drive tires

Cons

  • Lighter 10-gauge steel deck
  • 2-belt cutting system instead of single belt

Get the Ferris commercial zero-turn mower at your local Ferris dealer.

Best Comfortable Ride

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: Toro Titan
Photo: homedepot.com

For yards riddled with bumps and ruts, the Toro Titan is the answer. This affordable mower was designed for the residential market but includes commercial-grade features throughout, including the MyRIDE Suspension System. The patented system features a suspended operator platform that floats on front and rear adjustable shocks. It lets the whole mower frame absorb the bumps and keeps the deck level with the ground so that users can comfortably mow at top speed.

The Toro Titan features a fabricated 10-gauge steel 60-inch deck and is powered by a 26 hp Kohler V-twin gas engine. It mows at speeds up to 8.5 mph, and the fuel tank holds 5 gallons of gas. This mower weighs in at just 819 pounds and is not designed for hilly terrain. It makes a great choice for landowners with up to 7 acres or small-scale commercial operators who want to save half the price compared to full-on commercial-grade equipment.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 26 hp Kohler gas
  • Deck: Fabricated 10-gauge steel 60-inch deck
  • Weight: 819 pounds

Pros

  • Outstanding comfort
  • Pro-quality cut at a residential mower price
  • Available at The Home Depot or Tractor Supply Co.

Cons

  • Not as fast as the true commercial mowers
  • Not designed for slopes greater than 15 degrees

Get the Toro commercial zero-turn mower at The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., or your local Toro retailer.

Best Start-up Commercial

The Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Option: DeWalt Z260 Hydrostatic Commercial Zero-Turn Mower
Photo: homedepot.com

DeWalt’s recent introduction of commercial lawn equipment was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. The recently released Z260 fills the gap between large residential-grade equipment and heavy-duty commercial zero-turn mowers. Unlike residential equipment, the Z260 is built for everyday use, with a rugged frame made of 1.5- by 3-inch tubular steel, 23-inch drive wheels, and a pro-grade 24 hp Kawasaki engine. It weighs in at a hefty 1,130 pounds and is designed to grip the slopes as well as the flats, mowing up to 9 mph.

This machine is sized well for large residential landscaping jobs and for repeatedly loading and hauling on a landscape trailer throughout the day. The 5.5-gallon gas tank will keep it running for about a half day per fill-up. Unlike most residential mowers, the Z260 comes with a standard ROPS and is rated for hilly terrain. It offers all the capability a landscaper would need, but it comes across as somewhat spartan in terms of comfort due to the lack of a suspension seat.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 24 hp Kawasaki FS gas
  • Deck: Fabricated 10-gauge steel 60-inch deck
  • Weight: 1,130 pounds

Pros

  • Affordable option for a budget-minded start-up
  • Excellent performance for the money
  • Great for most terrain and mowing conditions

Cons

  • Lacks a comfortable suspension seat
  • 10-gauge deck is a bit light for extended commercial use

Get the DeWalt commercial zero-turn mower at The Home Depot or Northern Tool + Equipment.

Our Verdict

Quite honestly, we could have picked half of the mowers in this roundup as the top dog, but we had to go with one, so we chose the Exmark Lazer Z. While some commercial zero-turn mowers have more regional appeal, the Lazer Z X-Series is available and popular all over the country. It offers outstanding performance, durability, comfort, and value, but it does cost a premium. Homeowners and start-ups looking for power and performance at an affordable price would do well to take a hard look at the Bad Boy ZT Elite. It may be a bit slower and somewhat less comfortable than the top competitors, but it’s rugged and dependable, lays down a great cut, and costs thousands less.

How We Chose the Best Commercial Zero-Turn Mowers

Our first intention was to show what makes commercial zero-turn mowers different from, and significantly more expensive than, their residential counterparts. Then we wanted to provide a list of top models that both large-acreage homeowners and business owners would find helpful. To illustrate the full spectrum, we included a few top-end residential machines and highlighted the best true commercial mowers available.

We sourced these picks by consulting with commercial and residential landscapers, social media groups, and Google rankings. After compiling a starting list of 46 mower models, we lumped together models from the same brand and series to develop our final listing. Then we compared the manufacturer specifications for each series and/or model to determine the award winners.

Safety and Maintenance Tips for Commercial Zero-Turn Mowers 

A commercial zero-turn mower can upgrade your yard-maintenance program. It will do the job much more quickly than either a riding mower or residential-grade zero-turn mower, possibly save on fuel costs, and produce a higher-quality finish. The increased power and precision will set you back as much as twice the price of standard homeowner equipment, but with regular maintenance, you should expect a satisfactory return on that investment. Protect yourself and your equipment by following these safety and maintenance guidelines:

  • Protect yourself from flying debris by wearing eye and ear protection while mowing.
  • Keep the ROPS, if equipped, in the upright position while mowing.
  • Allow a safe zone of two mower widths around hazards, like water, retaining walls, and drop-offs.
  • Avoid driving on steep slopes in excess of the mower’s capability. Consult the owner’s manual for details.
  • Blow debris off the deck after every use.
  • Sharpen the blades, grease the spindles, and inspect the belt after every 25 hours of mowing. Save time by keeping a second set of blades ready to go.
  • Change the air filter every 50 hours.
  • Change the motor oil every 100 hours.

FAQs

If you’re sold on buying a commercial zero-turn mower but still have lingering questions, you are not alone. We address some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Q. What is the best commercial zero-turn mower I can buy?

If you’re not sure what size mower to buy, determine your needs based on the mowing conditions and then find a mower that is built for the job. For an outstanding combination of performance, durability, comfort, and pricing, we like the Exmark Lazer Z X-Series.

Q. Who makes the toughest zero-turn mower?

Based on our research, it’s hard to beat Kubota for heavy-duty construction, simplified maintenance, and overall durability.

Q. What makes a zero-turn mower commercial?

Zero-turn mowers for commercial and large residential landscape maintenance, golf courses, sports fields, parks, and other professional applications are built to be tougher than residential-grade equipment. Commercial zero-turn mowers are constructed with thicker steel in the frame and deck, more powerful engines, heavy-duty spindles and wheel motors, larger fuel tanks, and other features designed for dependable daily use.

Q. What are the advantages of a zero-turn lawn mower?

Zero-turn mowers are faster and more efficient than lawn tractors. The operator of a zero-turn mower has a clearer vantage point for better precision. The mower itself is engineered with features like a deeper deck and shorter blades that improve the finished appearance of the grass compared to a lawn tractor. They are grass-cutting specialists, best for those who maintain large areas of grass.

Q. Why do commercial mowers cut better?

Commercial mower decks create a stronger vacuum to make the grass blades stand up straighter, which leads to a cleaner cut. These mowers also travel much faster than residential mowers, so they get the job done in half the time.

Q. How fast do commercial lawn mowers go?

Commercial zero-turn mower speeds vary, with some capable of mowing 14 mph or faster. Most commercial zero-turn mowers operate at speeds of 7 to 13 mph. To put that in perspective, push mowers typically operate at 3 mph or less, and lawn tractors mow at speeds around 3 to 5 mph.