Man mowing alongside tree with ZTX175
Buying Guides

Buying a lawn tractor or zero turn mower? 5 Factors to consider

Before buying a lawn tractor or zero turn mower, it is important to learn about both types. Zero turn mowers and lawn tractors have different characteristics that make them better suited for certain situations. But which type of riding mower is the best fit for you? Consider the following factors to make the right choice.

1. Garden layout

How your garden is laid out is one of the factors that determines whether a lawn tractor or zero turn mower is the best buy. If your garden has a straight lawn, a lawn tractor is a good choice. However, if you have a lawn with curves, different garden sections, trees, bushes, flower beds, or other garden elements, then you will benefit more from a zero turn mower.

With a zero turn mower, you can make a turning circle of almost 0 degrees. The mower can therefore easily make sharp turns and is easy to maneuver around flower beds, trees, and other obstacles. Lawn tractors, on the other hand, have a larger turning circle. When mowing in curves and narrow passages, you often have to stop and reverse with a lawn tractor before being able to mow again. Apart from being inconvenient and inefficient, it can also lead to damage to your lawn.

Woman mowing alongside flower bed with ZTX105

2. Hills and slopes

A lawn tractor has more grip on hills and slopes than a zero turn mower. This makes the lawn tractor a better choice for you when you have a lawn with hills and slopes. You can keep the front wheels under control and maintain grip while driving up a hill or slope with a lawn tractor. With a zero turn mower, this is less effective, especially when driving sideways over a hill or slope. A zero turn mower has pivot wheels at the front that turn downhill while driving on a hill or slope. If you try to correct this by keeping the nose of the zero turn mower straight, you will most likely damage your lawn.

3. More possibilities

With lawn tractors and some models of zero turn mowers, it is possible to use the machine for more than just mowing grass. Besides mowing grass, you can use the machine to move tools and tow things like sprayers. Although our Snapper zero turn mowers are already more than just lawn mowers, a lawn tractor is even more versatile in use. A snow plow or snow blower can be attached to a lawn tractor, making it usable all year round.

Snapper tractor attachments

4. Speed and precision

If you want to mow your lawn in the shortest possible time with a beautiful result, then a zero turn mower is the best choice. In addition to the fact that a zero turn mower can reach higher speeds than a lawn tractor, time is also saved due to the maneuverability of the zero turn mower. The combination of speed and maneuverability allows you to mow more area in less time. And because you have a clear view of the mowing deck, you can mow more precisely.

5. The way of steering

The steering of a lawn tractor is similar to that of a car. It has a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal. In short, you press the accelerator pedal and you move forward. To change direction, you turn the steering wheel. And if you want to slow down, you release the accelerator or press the brake.

The steering of a zero turn mower works from the levers. The steering is similar to driving a shopping cart. If you want the machine to move forward, you push both levers forward. If you want to turn right, you push the left lever further forward. Depending on your speed and the sharpness of the turn, you push the lever further forward.

Man on ZTX175 hero

Which is the best fit for you, a lawn tractor or zero turn mower?

As you've read, both a lawn tractor and a zero turn mower have their own advantages and disadvantages that you need to carefully weigh against your needs. Our advice is:

If you have a garden with a flat lawn, different garden sections, trees, flower beds, and/or other obstacles, and you want a fast riding mower that can mow very precisely, choose a zero turn mower.

If you have a lawn with hills and slopes, or if you want to use your riding mower for other purposes such as snow plowing, choose a lawn tractor.