The Best Zero-Turn Mowers for 5 Acres of 2022

Cut large areas of grass in much less time with one of these fast, powerful zero-turn mowers.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated Jul 21, 2022 10:15 AM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Options

Photo: homedepot.com

When caring for a large property, it pays to become familiar with zero-turn mowers. In the old days, a lawn tractor was the go-to machine for tasks like mowing the grass, plowing the driveway in winter, hauling firewood, and toting tools and supplies. Unfortunately, these tractors are not efficient when it comes to lawn care. Those who want to mow their acreage quickly and efficiently—and achieve a great-looking finish—are increasingly opting for zero-turn mowers.

Unlike a lawn tractor, a zero-turn mower is a grass-cutting specialist. These machines are built to navigate the landscape with maximum maneuverability, which is made possible by independent wheel motors that let them turn on a dime. While a conventional lawn tractor may be capable of rounding a 16-inch-diameter circle, a zero-turn mower can trace a zero-diameter circle, or even pivot 180 degrees to retrace its previous path. Thanks to this extreme dexterity, a zero-turn mower can cut an acre of grass in half the time of a lawn tractor with the same size mower deck, saving operating time, fuel, and maintenance costs.

If you need to mow 5 acres or more, there are several excellent zero-turn mowers that could be just right for your property. Ahead, learn more about the key specifications and features that we considered while compiling this list, and see why these models are some of the best zero- turn mowers for 5 acres.

  1. BEST OVERALL: John Deere Z530R 60 in. Zero-Turn Riding Mower
  2. RUNNER-UP: Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4 60 in. Zero Turn Mower
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: John Deere Z515E 60 in. Zero-Turn Riding Mower
  4. QUICKEST CUT: DeWalt Z260 Commercial Zero Turn Lawn Mower
  5. MOST COMFORTABLE: Toro Titan 60 in. Zero Turn Riding Mower with MyRIDE
  6. BEST SEMI-PRO: Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: Bad Boy ZT Elite 60 in. Zero-Turn Mower
The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Options

Photo: homedepot.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Zero-Turn Mowers for 5 Acres

After settling on the idea of a zero-turn mower, there are numerous choices to make. For those with large acreage, the key shopping considerations include the cutting deck, engine, fuel capacity, transmission and, of course, operator comfort.

Cutting Deck

The construction and adjustability of the mower deck is arguably the most important feature on the mower. “The wider the better” only holds true to a certain extent. Most owners of 5 acres or more choose a 60-inch mower deck. However, decks as narrow as 54 inches may be more appropriate for maintaining shorter grass on undulating terrain, or where narrow passages and other obstructions factor in. If the grassy area is open and flat, though, a wider deck may be a better choice.

The deck itself may be either fabricated or stamped. A fabricated deck is assembled by welding individual pieces of steel together, while a stamped deck is pressed from a single sheet of steel. Fabricated decks offer superior rigidity and durability, but stamped decks offer better airflow. Deeper decks, both fabricated and stamped, pull the grass up straighter for a cleaner cut than shallower alternatives.

Other factors to consider include the number of blades, height-adjustment increments, overall height-adjustment range, and bagging and mulching capabilities. When the deck size is the same, a mower with three shorter blades cuts cleaner with less risk of clogging than one with two longer blades. The more height-adjustment options, the greater overall flexibility the mower has for different types of grasses and growing conditions. The same goes for bagging and mulching capabilities.

Engine Power and Type

Battery-powered zero-turn mowers are available, though it is not clear if a residential electric model exists yet that has adequate size and battery runtime to mow 5 acres without stopping to change batteries or recharge. Even then, electric zero-turn mower deck sizes rarely go beyond 42 inches. Most are self-rated for properties “up to two acres.”

At this time, a fast, efficient cut on larger properties still requires gasoline power. Most zero-turn mowers for 5 acres are powered by two-cylinder gas engines, ranging from 22 to about 27 horsepower (hp). The most common engine size for mowers with 60 inch decks is 24 hp, which delivers plenty of power to the drive wheels and two or three blades.

In addition to their maneuverability mentioned earlier, the other way that zero-turn mowers outpace lawn tractors is with faster mowing speed. Zero-turn mowers boast an average maximum speed of about 8 miles per hour; lawn tractors mow 4 to 5 miles per hour at most.

Fuel Capacity and Battery Runtime

Residential zero-turn lawn mowers usually hold between 3 and 7 gallons of fuel, while some commercial-grade models hold more than 12 gallons. An expectation for any customer shopping for a zero-turn mower is that it should cut all the grass without stopping to refuel. For 5 acres of grass, 3 gallons of fuel should be adequate in most cases. Tough terrain with lots of obstacles may increase fuel consumption.

Transmission 

Residential zero-turn mowers use dual hydrostatic transmissions to power the two drive wheels independently. The hydrostatic system uses fluid pressure to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. This configuration eliminates clutch and gears for smooth acceleration when the drive lever is moved forward or backward. The additional transmission is reflected in the higher cost of a zero-turn mower relative to that of a lawn tractor.

Safety and Comfort 

Performance may be top of mind while shopping for mowers, but safety and comfort features make the difference between a machine that is simply adequate and one that’s enjoyable to operate. Look for features like a seat-safety switch, rollover-protection system (ROPS), seatbelt, and automatic parking brake to prevent accidents and injuries. In terms of comfort, a high-back seat, armrests, cupholder, large rear wheels, and seat-suspension system can make mowing a pleasure.

Our Top Picks

Bearing in mind the above shopping considerations, we scoured the internet and examined dozens of models to find the ideal large-property mower. The models ahead represent some of the best zero-turn mowers for 5 acres.

Best Overall

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: John Deere Z530R 60 in. Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Photo: homedepot.com

John Deere’s reputation for quality and performance shines through in the Z530R 60-inch zero- turn mower. It features a John Deere–branded Kawasaki V-twin 24-hp engine, 60-inch triple-blade cutting deck stamped from 10-gauge steel, 23-inch rear wheels, and a cut-and-sewn 22.5-inch seat. The cutting height ranges from 1 to 4 inches, and the fuel tank holds 4.5 gallons. The Z530R weighs 842 pounds.

Additional features include LED headlights, a cupholder, covered side and under-seat storage compartments, a foot-operated deck lift, and a low-fuel warning light. The foldable roll guard and retractable seat belt provide added safety. The Z530R would make a solid choice for mostly flat terrain.

Product Specs

  • Engine: Kawasaki 726 cc, 24 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; stamped 10-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 9 miles per hour
  • 3 blades
  • 4.5-gallon fuel tank
  • Premium 22.5-inch sewn seat with armrests

Cons

  • Premium price

Get the John Deere Z530R zero-turn mower at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or John Deere.

Runner-up

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4 60 in. Zero Turn Mower
Photo: homedepot.com

Weighing in at 1,092 pounds, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4 is a heavier mower, giving it an edge on sloped ground where good traction is critical. This zero-turn mower features a professional-grade 24-hp Kohler 7000 Series V-twin engine, a 60-inch fabricated 10-gauge steel deck, 22-inch rear wheels, and a 20-inch high-back seat with armrests. The cutting deck adjusts from 1 to 4.75 inches in height, and the fuel tank holds 5.5 gallons.

Other notable features on the ZTX4 include a super-strong 1.5-inch by 3-inch tubular steel frame, standard ROPS, an ergonomic design with adjustable lap bars, electric blade engagement, and LED headlights. This would make a strong choice for mixed terrain.

Product Specs

  • Engine: Kohler 725 cc, 24 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; fabricated 10-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles, hilly

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 7.5 mph
  • 3 blades
  • 5.5-gallon fuel tank
  • 20-inch high-back seat

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not as fast as John Deere mowers

Get the Cub Cadet zero-turn mower at The Home Depot or Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: John Deere Z515E 60 in. Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Photo: homedepot.com

There is no need to sacrifice performance quality to save on the bottom line. John Deere’s Z515E 60-inch zero-turn riding mower offers similar performance to its premium model, the Z530R, at a discounted price. The John Deere–branded Briggs and Stratton V-twin 24-hp engine, 60-inch triple-blade 10-gauge steel stamped deck, 22-inch rear wheels, and 18-inch cut-and-sewn seat provide outstanding comfort and performance for the money. Mowing heights range from 1 to 4 inches, and the fuel tank holds 4.5 gallons. The mower is also relatively lightweight, coming in at 631 pounds, which makes it better suited for flat terrain.

Value is the key here. Although the Z515E lacks some premium upgrades found on other John Deere models, it holds up very well within the industry in terms of power, performance, and comfort.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Briggs and Stratton 724 cc, 24 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; stamped 10-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 8.5 mph
  • 3 blades
  • 4.5-gallon fuel tank
  • 18-inch high-back seat with armrests

Cons

  • Lacks premium upgrades

Get the John Deere Z515E zero-turn riding mower at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or John Deere.

Quickest Cut

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: DeWalt Z260 Commercial Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Photo: homedepot.com

At 1,130 pounds, the DeWalt Z260 Commercial Zero Turn Mower weighs nearly twice as much as the lightest mower in this roundup. The heavy build and aggressive 23-inch rear tires give it superior traction on sloped ground, while the 9-mph maximum forward speed allows it to blaze across flat ground. This mower is powered by a 24-hp commercial-grade Kawasaki engine. The automotive-inspired adjustable high-back seat and large tires provide excellent cushion for the ride. Its 60-inch 10-gauge steel fabricated deck adjusts from 1 to 4.75 inches in height, and the tank holds 5.5 gallons.

This mower includes a standard ROPS for safety on sloped ground. It is compatible with a DeWalt bagger or mulching kit (both sold separately). The deck’s offset wheel and caster system is designed for high-accuracy cutting and optimal trim capability while operating at high speeds. Ergonomic, adjustable lap bars and a wide foot pan add to the comfort. The DeWalt Z260 is an excellent option for large properties with tough terrain.

Product Specs

  • Engine: Kawasaki 726 cc, 24 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; fabricated 10-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles, hilly

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 9 mph
  • 3 blades
  • 5.5-gallon fuel tank
  • 23-inch tires

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less fuel-efficient due to heavy weight

Get the DeWalt Z260 zero-turn lawn mower at The Home Depot, Northern Tool + Equipment, or DeWalt.

Most Comfortable

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: Toro Titan 60 in. Zero Turn Riding Mower with MyRIDE
Photo: homedepot.com

With a top forward speed of 8.5 mph and a weight of 819 pounds, the Titan by Toro is built for traction and stability on relatively flat ground. Powered by a 26-hp Kohler engine, the mower rides on 22-inch rear wheels. The fabricated 10-gauge steel deck adjusts from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, and the fuel tank holds 5 gallons.

Toro Titan’s MyRIDE suspension system smooths out the roughest terrain for unparalleled operator comfort at top speed. The suspended platform allows for more than 3 inches of isolated, cushioned movement so that the frame takes the pounding, not the operator. Plus, the adjustable high-back seat offers plenty of cushion as well. With ample cutting power and a butter-smooth ride, the Titan would be a strong choice for any large, mostly flat property.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Kohler 747 cc, 26 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; fabricated 10-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 8.5 mph
  • 3 blades
  • 5-gallon fuel tank
  • MyRIDE suspension system

Cons

  • Not good for hilly terrain

Get the Toro Titan zero-turn mower at The Home Depot or Tractor Supply Co.

Best Semi-Pro

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
Photo: amazon.com

This mower comes at a bargain price, but that affordability is no sign of poor quality. The Husqvarna MZ61 features a strong, sturdy build for a full day’s work. The 61-inch fabricated 11-gauge steel deck adjusts to cutting heights from 1 to 4.5 inches. It is compatible with Husqvarna’s mulch kit and bagger (sold separately). The mower is powered by a 24-hp Kawasaki engine and reaches a top speed of 8 mph. The 5.5-gallon fuel tank will cover 5 acres and keep going. At 770 pounds, this midweight zero-turn mower gets good traction for the flats and slight inclines.

The high-back operator’s seat with armrests sets up a comfortable ride, and it’s enhanced by the ergonomic padded hand grips with vibration dampeners. Commercial-grade hydraulics ensure smooth acceleration and effortless steering. A foldable ROPS protects against accidents while operating on slopes. The Husqvarna MZ61 makes a thrifty value choice for large-property owners or small-business owners.

Product Specs

  • Engine: Kawasaki 726 cc, 24 hp
  • Deck: 61 inches; fabricated 11-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 8 mph
  • 3 blades
  • 61-inch fabricated steel deck
  • Ergonomic high-back seat with armrests

Cons

  • No deck wash port
  • Thinner-than-average steel used for the deck

Get the Husqvarna zero-turn mower at Amazon, Safford Equipment, or your local Husqvarna dealer.

Also Consider

The Best Zero Turn Mowers for Five Acres Option: Bad Boy ZT Elite 60 in. Zero-Turn Mower
Photo: tractorsupply.com

Starting with its 7-gauge steel deck and continuing through the 26-hp Kohler engine and commercial-grade hydraulics, the Bad Boy ZT Elite is overbuilt—in a good way. The thicker steel and more powerful engine add up to a stout 841-pound mower that will handle flat and rolling terrain with ease. The 60-inch deck adjusts to mowing heights from 1.5 to 4.5 inches, and the fuel tank holds 6.5 gallons of gas.

When it comes to comfort, the ZT Elite offers an 18-inch high-back seat with armrests, along with a patented independent front-suspension system to cushion the ride. The 22-inch tires are slightly narrower than comparable models at 11 inches wide, as opposed to the 12-inch widths seen on the others in this lineup, which likely improves traction but may temper comfort slightly.

Product Specs

  • Engine: Kohler 747 cc, 26 hp
  • Deck: 60 inches; fabricated 7-gauge steel
  • Terrain: Flat with obstacles, rolling

Pros

  • Maximum forward speed of 7 mph
  • 3 blades
  • Super-heavy-duty fabricated 7-gauge steel deck
  • Commercial-grade hydraulics

Cons

  • Fewer comfort features than others on this list
  • Slower maximum speed

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

Our Verdict

Our top recommendations of the best zero-turn mowers for 5 acres came down to two mowers from legacy brands, both with extensive reputations for high quality and reliability. The John Deere Z530R features an impressive blend of speed, power, and comfort. We think it offers the capability to produce a superior cut and provides a level of comfort to make you actually want to mow. For those in rolling terrain, the heavier Cub Cadet ZTX4 features the traction and safety features to mow the slopes while keeping you safe and comfortable.

How We Chose the Best Zero-Turn Mowers for 5 Acres

Relying on the shopping considerations outlined earlier, we scoured the internet for medium to large zero-turn mowers built with homeowners in mind. We quickly homed in on the right-sized combination of a 60-inch three-blade deck and 24-hp engine. Finally, we settled on six industry-leading brands to choose from, each offering its own nuanced approach to designing and manufacturing zero-turn mowers. These brands also happen to be widely available through nationwide retailers and dealer networks.

We included high-quality picks at a variety of price points without sacrificing reliability or durability. The value-priced models in our lineup offer excellent power and performance, but they may not deliver top end comfort or efficiency. Our higher-priced suggestions offer more in terms of comfort, speed, power, or styling. If you are serious about buying a new zero-turn mower, we believe that these recommendations will help narrow your search.

FAQs

If you’ve made it this far, you may have additional questions. Read on for answers to common concerns.

Q. What should I look for in a machine that can mow 5 acres?

To mow 5 acres of grass without having to dedicate an entire day, look for a mower with a 60-inch deck with three blades, a 24-horsepower engine, and a fast mowing speed of at least 6 miles per hour. A machine like that should do the job in 1.5 hours or less.

Q. What is a zero-turn grass mower?

Zero-turn mowers feature independently controlled drive wheels in the back and swivel caster wheels up front. They are capable of pivoting or turning in place without driving around in a circle. This maneuverability helps them to navigate smoothly around landscape obstacles. These machines also travel at twice the speed of conventional lawn tractors.

Q. Can I use a zero-turn mower at my home?

Zero-turn mowers are most effective when mowing lawns a half-acre and larger. They excel where there is lots of grass with obstacles like trees but few dead ends or bottlenecks (such as gates) to navigate. Most zero-turn mowers do not perform well—or safely—on steep slopes.

Q. How do I steer a zero-turn mower?

Movement is controlled by the two hand levers, and it becomes intuitive after a short practice session. When you first sit down, the levers are separated in the “park” position. Bring the levers together over your lap to the “neutral” position. Push them both forward or backward to move forward or backward. To turn right, push forward on the left side lever. To turn left, push forward on the right side lever. To pivot, push forward on either side while pulling back on the other.

Q. Are zero-turn mowers efficient on hills?

Most zero-turn mowers are not as efficient or safe for use on hills. Larger, heavier machines are more stable, but they should be equipped with a rollover protection system (ROPS). Steep hills increase the risk of rolling the mower over. Consult the manufacturer’s specifications for gradient maximums before purchasing any zero-turn mower for hilly terrain.

Q. How do I pull a zero-turn mower?

When towing a zero-turn mower on a trailer behind a vehicle, remember that the heaviest part of the mower is at the rear. Load the mower by backing it onto the trailer. Be sure the mower is centered and the rear wheels of the mower are slightly forward of the trailer axle. Once everything is well balanced, strap it down.