The 7 Best Zero Turn Mowers Under $3000 | 2020 Reviews & Comparison

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  • 42-inch cutting deck
  • It has a strong and durable steel frame.
  • 23 HP powerful engine.
  • 54-inch wide cutting deck
  • It has a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour.
  • Spring-assisted deck lift
  • 42-inch wide cutting deck
  • It offers a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour.
  • Can be used on terrain.

What is a zero-turn mower, you may ask? For people who are unaware of this awesome machine that has revolutionized the concept of yard care, a zero-turn mower is a type of mower the user can ride while sitting on a seat mounted on the top and ride it with the help of easy to navigate controls and trim and mow the lawn in no time. These mowers not only help you save time, but they also make sure that there is no fatigue in the user and also are very useful in covering large areas in a short span of time. 

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Some people might find it difficult to find zero-turn riding mowers that fit in their budget, which is why we have collated this list of seven of the best zero turn mowers under $3000. All these mowers can match up to their expensive counterparts and each one of them has features that make them a great mower. All you need to do is assess your needs and choose a mower that is most compatible with your needs. 

Advantages of using a zero-turn mower 

advantages of a zero turn mower
  • Very easy to ride and maneuver
  • Speeds up the process a lot
  • Increases the efficiency of mowing
  • Covers larger areas in less amount of time
  • Very versatile
  • Can choose what you need to do with the clippings – discharge, mulch or bag
  • It is not tiring for the user
  • Can mow around obstacles easily

The Best Zero Turn Mowers Under 3000

1. Husqvarna Z242F Zero Turn Riding Mower

This riding zero turn is the top on our list of mowers under $3000 and it is no surprise because we can safely say that Husqvarna is one of the companies that dominate the market of lawn care. With a 42-inch cutting deck, this is one of those mowers that can be used in large areas easily.

We love that this zero turn mower is made for hilly terrain, so you don’t need to worry about any bumps in your yard, nothing too difficult for the Husqvarna Z242F to handle. This is also an investment that you will make once in a while, so investing in a mower that is built to last for years is something that you must consider, and we are happy to say that the Z242F has paid a lot of attention to this fact.

Key Features:

  • It has a 42-inch wide cutting deck.
  • The 18 HP Kawasaki engine is very powerful and reliable.
  • It offers a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour.
  • It has a smooth and easy hydrostatic transmission.
  • The cutting height can be adjusted.
  • The clippings can be discharged to the side, mulched or bagged.
  • What We Like
  • The automatic parking brake is very convenient and can be activated or deactivated with the steering.
  • The blades of the cutting deck are of great quality.
  • It can be used on challenging terrain as well.
  • It is very easy to maintain.
  • Very comfortable for the rider.
  • What We Don't Like
  • The mulching kit and bag are not included with the mower.
  • Assembly can be a little complicated.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

2. Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit Riding Lawn Mower

If one of the few features you are looking for particularly is for the zero-turn mower is compact but still super powerful, then the Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit Riding Lawn Mower is the perfect mower for you! And you know what’s better? It is under $3000! Built with the best quality materials and an extra durable construction, this is an impressive buy as it will last for many years to come while ensuring that your lawn is in the best shape it has ever been in!

Key Features:

  • It has a powerful 452cc engine.
  • Impressive and effective hydrostatic transmission.
  • Highly maneuverable zero-turn feature for best time-saving results.
  • The cutting deck width is 34 inches.
  • It has a 1.2-gallon fuel capacity.
  • It has a great suspension system for an easy and comfortable ride.
  • What We Like
  • We love the EZT hydrostatic transmission and the ease of riding.
  • It can also mow in reverse.
  • It is comfortable for the rider as it has a high-back padded seat.
  • It is compact and slim compared to other zero-turn mowers.
  • It has a lot of legroom.
  • What We Don't Like
  • This zero-turn mower is not suitable for large industrial size yards and lawns.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

3. Snapper 2691402 360z Zero Turn Riding Mower

The Snapper 360z is one of the top contenders for the best zero turn riding mower under $3000. With the perfect balance of quality and performance, there are so many features that make it such a popular choice amongst mowing enthusiasts. With 13 different cutting heights between 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches, you can trim your lawn based as per your requirement thanks to this feature.

A powerful engine runs this beast of a zero-turn mower and has great tires that can be used on rugged terrain, and trust me, this mower will not disappoint. We love the 23 HP Briggs & Stratton engine but remember to take good care of it so that you can prolong its life and ensure that it runs well for a long time to come. 

Key Features:

  • It has a 23 HP powerful engine.
  • It has a 42-inch cutting deck.
  • It has 13 different adjustable cutting heights (1.5-4.5 inches)
  • It has a strong and durable steel frame.
  • It has a foot-operated cutting deck adjuster.
  • What We Like
  • It is a great option for large yards and for commercial purposes.
  • The steel frame is fully welded and made of high-grade steel.
  • The ReadyStart system is easy to operate.
  • The deck has great and super sharp blades.
  • It has a comfortable padded seat.
  • What We Don't Like
  • You need to take extra good care of the engine to make sure it runs properly.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

4. Snapper 2911525BVE Classic Riding Mower

We love this riding mower because it has a 5-speed on-the-go shifting transmission that is easy to use and very powerful. With no complicated clutches to taint the experience of riding this powerful mower, Snapper has come up with another model of a riding lawn mower that has an impressive 250cc engine capable of giving your lawn the ultimate makeover you desire. You will only require a day or two to master this machine and then it will be your and our lawn’s best friend. 

Key Features:

  • It has an 11.5 HP engine.
  • It has a recoil start.
  • It has a 28-inch wide cutting deck with a 3-in-3 design that is capable of discharging the clippings to the side, mulching and bagging.
  • It has 5 adjustable height settings.
  • It is built out of a 14-gauge stamped steel.
  • What We Like
  • It has high-grade pneumatic wheels.
  • It can mulch, side discharge, and bag the clippings easily.
  • The turning radius is tight and easy to maneuver.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.
  • It is very easy to drive forward and backward.
  • What We Don't Like
  • It does not have an electric start.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

5. Husqvarna Z254 Kohler Zero Turn Riding Mower

With a 54-inch cutting deck width, this zero-turn mower is one of the mowers with the biggest deck widths on this list. Made specifically for large yards, it is a surprise that you can get such an impressive mower for under $3000. Built out of stamped steel that is quite resilient and gives your lawn the smoothest and freshest appearance, we love this mower as it is the perfect blend of strength, power, and dependability.

It also features an air-induction mowing technology that gives you better cutting results. We also like the automatic parking brake that is a trademark of all Husqvarna mowers. The parking brake is very easy to use, all you need to do is move the steering lever inward and outward to activate and deactivate it. 

Key Features:

  • It has a 26 HP Kohler engine that is powerful and reliable.
  • It has a 54-inch wide cutting deck.
  • It has a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour.
  • It has a spring-assisted deck lift.
  • It has a unique Air Induction Mowing technology.
  • What We Like
  • It is ideal for heavy-duty use in large areas.
  • It can be used on uneven terrain with great ease.
  • The grass clippings can be discharged, mulched, or bagged.
  • It is very budget-friendly.
  • It is made out of high-grade stamped steel.
  • What We Don't Like
  • You will have to buy the mulching kit and bagging attachment separately.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

6. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower

The Ariens IKON-X is an incredible zero-turn mower that is one of the best that this brand has to offer. Ariens is often seen as a very strong competitor for other brands dealing with lawn care, and this one surely is one mower that performs so well without burning a hole in your wallet.

With all the features suggesting a powerful performance, once you use this riding mower you will find it incredibly difficult to find another that can match up to its standards. What’s really impressive is the 10-gauge tubular steel frame making it a very sturdy mower and the seat is also very comfortable for the rider to sit on for long durations of time at one go. 

Key Features:

  • It has a 23 HP 726cc Kawasaki V-Twin engine.
  • It has a 52-inch cutting deck.
  • The seat for the rider is padded with armrests as well.
  • It has a 4 point dual-arm deck hanging system.
  • It has a sensible and ergonomic design.
  • What We Like
  • The seat has a high backrest and armrests that are padded for extra comfort.
  • The construction is made out of 10-gauge tubular steel.
  • It is ideal for commercial use and for use on large yards.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty.
  • Using this mower is very easy and comfortable.
  • What We Don't Like
  • The operation of this mower can be quite noisy compared to other zero-turn mowers.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

7. Simplicity 2691318 Courier Riding Zero-Turn Mower

While this may be the last zero-turn mower on this list, in no way is this any less impressive! With a V-Twin 23 HP engine, this mower has a massive 3-gallon fuel tank which means that you don’t need to go to get fuel every other time when you are using this mower. With a very easy to start mechanism which we call ReadyStart mechanism, this mower does not have a choke and can be started easily with just a push of a button. Also what is unique to this mower is the incredible front and rear suspension system that takes away 25% of the impact you would have felt otherwise. 

Key Features:

  • It has a 23 HP 724 cc Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engine.
  • It has a 42-inch cutting deck.
  • It has 13 different cutting heights that can be adjusted between 1.5 to 4.5 inches.
  • It has a maximum speed of 7 miles per hour.
  • It has a maximum reverse speed of 4 miles per hour.
  • It has an excellent front and rear suspension system.
  • What We Like
  • It has a large fuel tank.
  • It has an easy to start ReadyStart mechanism.
  • It is made up of a high-grade 12-gauge fabricated steel.
  • It has an effective Hydro-Gear EZT Transaxles transmission.
  • It has a powerful front and rear transmission system.
  • It has an easy-to-use parking brake.
  • What We Don't Like
  • It is a bit bulky for some users.

Check the latest price on Amazon!

Factors to consider before buying a Zero-Turn Riding Mower – The buyer’s guide

Before we go ahead and talk about the different features you need to look for before buying a zero-turn mower, it is important to understand the capabilities of different cutting deck widths. 

  • A zero-turn mower with a cutting width less than 42 inches is not the most preferred choice if the yard you are looking for mowing has many slopes or is very uneven. With these mowers, make sure that no slope is over 10 degrees to get the best possible results from it. These are also often referred to as small zero-turn mowers and are preferred for small to medium-sized yards and lawns.
  • Mowers with cutting widths between 42 to 46 inches are ideal if you want to make sure that they can fit in the back of the pickup truck. They are conveniently sized and are best used for yards that have an area of 1 acre.
  • Mowers whose cutting widths are between 48 to 50 inches are very quick and convenient to use and are 20% faster than the ones mentioned earlier. These are ideal for lawns that are one to three acres large.
  • Cutting widths that are 50 to 60 inches save about 40% of the time compared to other mowers with smaller cutting widths. They are also great with slopy terrain and can be used for commercial purposes as well. They are extremely reliable and sturdy.

Here are some of the features you must consider before setting your heart on any particular zero-turn riding mower – 

  • The engine

Making sure that you invest in a mower with a high enough horsepower engine is very crucial because it needs to be able to take the weight of the work you need to the mower to do for you. The higher the HP, the more powerful the mower will be. A powerful engine will also ensure that you are trimming your lawn in the most efficient and quick way possible. A heavy-duty engine will tend to heat up quickly, so make sure that you invest in a cooling fan or a blower to extend the life of the engine of your zero-turn mower. 

  • The blades of the deck

The deck needs to have blades that are made up of high-quality steel or any other durable material that tends to stay sharper for a longer time. The blades are the soul of the zero-turn mower, so you must pay attention to this aspect specifically. Also, depending on your requirements, you must go for a deck that has different levels of heights for the blades, giving you more options for cutting the grass as per your wish. Also, make sure that the deck of blades is easy to maneuver around the obstacles your lawn has so that you don’t end up damaging any plants and other design aspects of your lawn. 

  • Transmission

These days, for zero-turn mowers, people prefer automatic or hydrostatic transmission the most as these are easy to use and master. While these transmissions are great for small or medium-sized yards, these are not as effective in commercial mowers that are used on very huge areas. For those types of mowers, you may have to settle for gear transmission or shell out a lot of money to find a mower with an excellent and simple transmission system.

  • Fuel tank capacity

Zero-turn mowers run on gas, and if you are using your mower for a commercial purpose or on a yard and it is quite expensive, it is a good idea to check on the capacity of its fuel tank. Otherwise, it would be really annoying to get halfway through your mowing and have run out of gas. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, invest in a mower with a large fuel tank. 

  • The cutting width

Like we explained earlier in this article, the cutting width of your deck should depend on the size of your lawn. Also, it is a good idea to invest in a deck with airflow technology as these types of decks give a superior cut and also keep the deck clean and well maintained. Also, go for decks that have a good deck lift so that you can easily maneuver around obstacles. 

  • Your budget

Probably the most important aspect of them all, you need to first fix and decide what your budget is. For a good quality zero-turn mower, $3000 is a decent budget and we have reviewed 7 of the best mowers in that price range. Hopefully one of these seven mowers is the mower of your dreams!

Best Zero Turn Mowers FAQ’s

  • Q1) Are zero-turn riding mowers expensive?

There are zero-turn mowers available at all different price ranges. While there are very expensive ones as well, there are some mowers that fall under a very reasonable price too.

  • Q2) Are these mowers easy to use?

Yes, these riding mowers have very simple controls that can be mastered in just a day or two. They are incredibly easy to use.

  • Q3) Can this mower be used by children?

No, we suggest that these types of mowers be used only by experienced adults.

  • Q4) Can this mower be used for commercial purposes?

Yes, zero-turn mowers with big cutting widths are ideal for commercial use.

  • Q5) What can you do with the grass clippings after mowing the lawn?

Zero-turn mowers offer the option of mulching, bagging, and discharging the clippings to the side. 

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a zero-turn mower specifically for larger areas, then we find the Husqvarna Z254 one of the best options for you. Easy on the pocket and offering a power-packed performance, this mower has a 26 HP engine and a 54-inch wide cutting deck that can mow your lawn very quickly and efficiently.

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