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Zero-Turn vs. Walk-Behind Mowers

2/22/2023 9:18:37 AM

Walk-behind mowers are standard residential mowers that you’ll see running in your neighborhood this summer. They use a small motor and hand controls to drive the mower forward while the operator walks behind. Zero-turn mowers are mowers with 360-degree steering. They’re a high-powered, perfect fit for commercial landscaping or maintaining larger residential yards.

If you’re a homeowner in the market for a new mower, the size of your lawn is the most important factor to consider. Mowing any lawn larger than .5 acres can take a lot of time and energy with a walk-behind mower, which might make zero-turn the better fit. Of course, every piece of land is different. Here are some details of each type of mower to help you make the right choice for your lawn.

Walk-Behind Mower Advantages

For most households, a standard walk-behind mower will get the job done. The right walk-behind mower will have enough power to handle any small-to-medium-sized lawn. While they may not be as fast as a zero-turn mower, walk-behind mowers have their own advantages.

1. Cost
A walk-behind mower is a less expensive option when looking to purchase, operate, and maintain than a zero-turn. This makes them perfect for households without large lawns that don't need the power of a zero-turn mower.

2. Convenience
Walk-behind mowers are typically much smaller than zero-turn mowers, taking up far less room in the garage or tool shed. By collapsing the handles and removing any attachments, you can even fit your mower in the trunk of a car or store vertically in your garage. This makes bringing them in for service and storage much simpler.

3. Maneuverability
The smaller size of walk-behind mowers gives them an edge in yards with narrow spaces and hard-to-reach spots. They’re also much lighter and can be carried or rolled to new locations with ease.

Zero-Turn Mower Advantages

Zero-turn mowers are highly maneuverable riding mowers that quickly cut through even the most overgrown lawns. They can be driven in a standing or seated position, depending on the model, turning your mow into a comfortable ride that’s much faster than it would be with a walk-behind mower.

For large lawns and commercial applications, zero-turn mowers have an edge over walk-behind mowers for many reasons.  

1. Speed
Zero-turn mowers are substantially faster than their walk-behind counterparts. With some practice, you’ll be able to mow (on average) twice as fast as you would with a walk-behind. This makes them perfect for commercial use, potentially doubling the number of lawns your business can mow in the same time period.

2. Control
You might think that a riding mower can’t be very maneuverable – but that’s not the case. Zero-turn mowers can turn on a dime. Practiced drivers can finish entire lawns in no time without missing a single patch of grass.

3. Power
Acre after acre, hour after hour, a zero-turn mower can quickly cut through anything in its path. More powerful models can even use a hitch to pull a small trailer behind, which is great for fertilizing and other yard treatment tasks.

Want to learn more? Check out our mower lineup!