Sumo Gardener

What is the Difference Between a Zero Turn vs Lawn Tractor

Ever felt tired after using a push lawn mower? After all, this type of mower produces quite a lot of noise and vibrations that can quickly lead to fatigue. If you want to maintain your lawn with ease, you should consider getting a zero-turn lawn mower or a lawn tractor.

Both of these machines offer sufficient mowing power without sacrificing speed and user convenience. However, which one among these two works best for your lawn? Here, we've compiled the similarities and differences between a zero turn vs lawn tractor.

From knowing the mowing pattern to the engines and available attachments of these pieces of lawn equipment, you'll surely be making an informed decision after reading our guide.

Zero Turn Lawn Mower

What are Zero Turn Lawn Mower?

The primary feature that distinguishes the zero turn lawn mower from all other types is its zero-degree turning radius. Essentially, this machine won't have any problems making turns as it traverses your lawn.

This advantage in maneuverability ideally lessens the operation time by as much as 50 percent. Aside from this, a zero turn lawn mower will feature rear-wheel steering and a deck size ranging from 34 inches up to 60 inches.

In terms of mowing speed, it usually goes from five to eight miles per hour as it precisely and completely mows your lawn with 180-degree turns. Powering this machine is a 15-20 horsepower twin cylinder engine.

While this is an expensive choice, garden owners will see it as a wise investment. In fact, people who work in professional landscaping will find a lot of value in using a zero turn lawn mower.

Read also:

Lawn Tractor

What are Lawn tractors?

On the other hand, a lawn tractor utilizes front-wheel steering to move at an average speed between three to five miles per hour.

The turning radius of this machine ranges from 15 to 30 degrees, so it will have a minor difficulty in making quick and precise turns. Moreover, it deck size can be as small as 26 inches to as big as 54 inches.

Lastly, powering the lawn tractor is a 15-25 horsepower single cylinder engine.

Differences Between The Two Machines

Now that we know the basic characteristics of a zero turn mower and a lawn tractor, let's discuss their noticeable differences. For example, the largest deck size of a lawn tractor is just 54 inches while zero-turn radius mower has a 60-inch deck size.

While there is only a six-inch difference, this can add up to significant savings in operating time. The narrower the deck size, the more you will need to keep the machine running to cover the entire lawn.

Difference between zero turn mower and garden tractor

Another aspect to consider is the speed. While the zero turn lawn mower can move as fast as eight miles per hour while the lawn tractor can only reach five miles per hour at most, some lawn owners would actually prefer a slow speed.

This is because there are people who enjoy the time they spend using these lawn care machines. Likewise, a slower speed would work better if the lawn has a lot of slopes to deal with.

Next, the variety of attachments available for each of them is important. One of the biggest advantages a lawn tractor has over a zero turn lawn mower is that it can be customized to do various functions. It can be attached to baggers, cart trailers, dump carts, spreaders, and aerators.

Furthermore, a lawn tractor can be attached to snow throwers and snow blades alike so it can be used even during the winter season. In contrast, the usual attachments to a zero turn lawn mower are limited for mulching and collecting operations.

Consequently, the mowing pattern will be a crucial factor in picking between the two. What makes the zero-turn radius mower the clear here is that is can change directors without leaving behind a grass blade uncut.

On the other hand, a lawn tractor with a 15-30 degree turning radius will miss sections of uncut grass with each reversal in direction. Aside from this, the lawn tractor takes some time to do turns, which prolongs the entire mowing operation.

Finally, we also have to consider how both of them deal with moving on slopes. A lot of people will recommend using a lawn tractor instead of a zero turn mower if your property has slopes exceeding 15 degrees.

Controlling the zero turn mower on hills and steep slopes can be troublesome. Still, the relative ease of using a lawn tractor over slopes does not mean that the machine itself won't succumb to rollovers.

As it moves toward the slope, it can flip in various ways. Thankfully, there are safety features such as roll bars and seat belts to protect the owner in case of a flip or rollover.


Overall, both a zero turn mower and a lawn tractor have various selling points. A zero turn mower has bigger deck sizes, and it can change directions with ease without missing sections of grass.

Still, it can be expensive, and hard to maneuver on slopes. On the other hand, a lawn tractor is easier to handle on hills and it can do more than mowing with a range of available attachments.

  • We hope that you learned from our guide. If you have any questions, do give us a comment.

Pin It!

Zero Lawn Mower vs Lawn Tractor

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: