You’ve seen them out there – burning around, making tight turns, and mowing down epic amounts of grass. With lawn weeds flying everywhere! It’s a homesteader on their best zero turn mower for 5 acres – and boy. That looks fun!
And it is.
Alright. Let’s jump right into why we’re here today, reviewing the seven best zero-turn lawnmowers for properties of around five acres.
A zero-turn lawn mower can change how you look at lawn care. It makes caring for multi-terrain landscapes so much faster, easier, and, yes, enjoyable.
So, let’s first give a quick definition of a zero-turn mower for those who aren’t sure what they are, and then look at the factors to consider when choosing the best option for your property and terrain type.
After that, we’ll review what I believe to be the seven best zero-turn lawnmowers for five-acre homesteads in 2023.
OK, let’s burn some laps!
- What Is a Zero Turn Lawnmower?
- How to Choose the Best Zero-Turn Mower for 5 Acres
- 7 of the Best Zero-Turn Mowers for 5 Acres In 2023
- 1. Best Overall: Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Mower
- 2. Runner Up: Cub Cadet ZTX4
- 3. Best for Hills: Bad Boy ZT Elite
- 4. Best Semi-Pro: Toro Titan Max
- 5. Best Electric: EGO POWER+ ZT5207L
- 6. Best Warranty: John Deere Z530R
- 7. Best Budget: Troy Bilt Mustang 54
- Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 54 vs Troy Bilt Mustang 54 Zero Turn Mower
- 8. Best Avoided: Z-BEAST
- Want More Zero Turn Mower Options? Here's How to Choose the Best Zero-Turn Mower for Under $3,000
- Time to Mow Down Some Dang Grass & Weeds!
What Is a Zero Turn Lawnmower?
Zero turn lawn mowers are modified riding mowers featuring very tight turning radii – effectively 0 degrees. This tight-turning ratio is possible by the forces of two separate drive wheels, each rotating in the opposite direction.
You can think of a zero turn mower’s turning style as that of a military tank. In other words, it can sit nearly still and spin circles without moving forward or backward.
Zero turn mowers operate with two separate steering levers, not a traditional steering wheel like your car or standard riding mower has. These levers make the zero-turn mower able to turn on a dime, and the most significant reason why most landscaping professionals choose this style of mower.
Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a homesteader, like me, that has about 5 acres or less of property to care for, it just doesn’t make any sense from a production viewpoint to use a traditional riding mower any longer. Plus, zero-turners allow you to navigate around challenging obstacles with precise ease.
Zero turn mowers get designed and manufactured to blast down grass and tough weeds about twice as fast as conventional lawn tractors. They can cut down even the thickest yard growth at rates between 5 and 8 mph. We’ll talk more about their top speeds in a bit.
Alright! Now that we all understand what they are – let’s review some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best zero-turn mower for your unique property and needs.
SAFETY DISCLAIMER: Drinking too much beer while operating your best zero turn mower for 5 acres can be dangerous!
How to Choose the Best Zero-Turn Mower for 5 Acres
Depending on your needs and wants, there are various considerations you’ll need to address before deciding on which zero-turn mower to buy to take care of your three to five-acre property.
Some of the most important include whether it’s gas- or electric-powered, the size of its engine, deck size, pricing, and the availability of various optional features. For example – a snow blower, mulching attachment, or a post-hole digger.
Electric vs. Gas-Powered
I like a powerful engine! I’m an old-fashioned country boy who naturally gravitates more toward gasoline-powered motors. But – I must admit that there are attractive features associated with electric-powered engines.
There is a massive demand and an international market for electric-powered vehicles. The high demand means manufacturers are more mindful of what consumers are after. The best zero turn lawn mower manufacturers also understand that nobody wants to invest much money into lawnmowers that can’t deliver the power they demand. Plus, it needs to handle uneven terrain and offer a comfortable ride.
My point is that modern EV zero turn mowers are surprisingly strong. Although, gasoline engine mowers still have the edge in optimal power. However, the average homesteader doesn’t necessarily require the most power possible and can meet her lawn care needs with clean, quiet, and low-maintenance energy demands powered via batteries.
Also – electric mowers operate quietly, meaning you could mow your lawn very early in the morning – or even late at night. Shhh.
Plus, gasoline-powered lawn mowers require routine maintenance – like changing the oil, ensuring that the spark plugs and electrical system don’t foul, maintaining the drive belts, and maintaining other mechanical components. You won’t have to worry about that with an electric-powered zero-turn mower.
Myself, I have never operated an electric zero-turn mower. So I can’t say how well these commercial mowers stack up against gasoline-powered versions. However, as I mentioned above, the manufacturers are hip, and they understand what people want and what it takes to repetitively manage heavy, dense, weedy, and wet terrain.
You’ll also need to consider the operation range between the two versions. Electric-powered zero-turn mowers are typically said to be able to handle about 3 acres before needing a recharge or new battery switch out. Comparatively, gasoline-powered zero-turns commonly can mow down up to five acres before needing to be refueled.
On that note, if you have to refuel, it’s much faster to pour gasoline into your tank and be on your way again than it is to stop and recharge your battery pack, which can take six hours or more. So, unless you have a secondary battery available, when you’re out of power, you’re pretty much down for the day.
I recommend understanding upfront what the cost of a new battery or electrical system will be in your zero-turn mower should you decide on an EV option. Make sure you consider all potential expenses up-front before making your decision.
A mower deck houses its blade assembly, meaning that the larger the cutting deck is, the larger the blades are. Larger blades cut more grass faster than smaller blades, so the heftier your cutting deck is, the quicker you’ll mow down your entire yard.
Most modern zero turn mowers have their cutting decks positioned in the front end. This frontal positioning allows the operator to see and better control the vehicle. Cutting decks can be stamped from metal sheets, like aluminum or steel. Or, they can get manufactured with hard plastic.
I recommend metal, especially if you must navigate backyard obstacles like boulders, trees, mailboxes, or outbuildings. Even the sturdiest plastic can break. I much prefer the strength and heavy-duty characteristics of a metallic cutting deck. But the choice is yours!
Most zero-turn lawnmowers are equipped with hydrostatic transmissions, meaning they use fluid energy – instead of belts to transfer power from the engines to the wheels. The hydrostatic transmission empowers the machines to operate through a broad range of speeds instead of only being able to function within preset gear speed parameters.
The result is smoother operation, more fluent controllability, increased durability, and significantly less need for routine maintenance.
Reducing mowing time isn’t worth low-quality results. Some of the mowers on our list today have top speeds over 12 mph. Zero-turns typically advertise paces between 5 and 10 miles an hour, with seven or so being the average. But don’t get too caught up on a mower’s top speed! Because you probably won’t be using it that often anyway.
It’s impractical (and inefficient) to operate any mower at top speed when mowing through tall, wet grass. The blades won’t work as efficiently, and you’ll likely have to go back over the area or settle for a subpar result. Nobody wants that!
Sure. You can operate a zero-turn lawn mower at 10 miles an hour while cutting. It will work well when caring for a football field or other large unobstructed, relatively flat area. But when you add land grades, trees, boulders, boggy areas, bunny rabbits, snakes, and other obstacles, you’ll likely find that you do not need to operate the machine at maximum speed.
Plus, it’s dangerous. You can flip. It’s true. It happened to my brother, Mark, and he cut his thumb off, and the blades were spinning inches from his throat! True story. Be careful when operating ANY equipment that spins metal cutting blades at high speeds!
It’s all relevant, but if you are concerned about it, 9 miles an hour is pretty quick, and I don’t see the need to go much faster than that unless you’re in some wild, backwoods, zero-turn mower dirt race!
Yee-Haw! Let’s Get It!
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7 of the Best Zero-Turn Mowers for 5 Acres In 2023
Alright, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – our list of the top seven best zero-turn mower for 5 acres, and for properties from three to five acres.
We’re going to review the key details and features of these types of mowers, including:
- Husqvarna MZ61
- Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4
- Bad Boy ZT Elite
- Toro Titan Max
- EGO POWER+ ZT5207L
- John Deere Z530R
- Troy Bilt 54
Let’s wait no longer. I Now Introduce the Husqvarna MZ61!
1. Best Overall: Husqvarna MZ61 Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Mower
11-gauge steel (lighter than 10-gauge) contributes to the comparatively low 770-pound weight of the Husqvarna MZ61 zero-turn mower. Nonetheless, it’s a tremendously sturdy lawnmower featuring an extra-large 61-inch cutting deck that adjusts between 1 and 4.5 inches.
This high-quality Husqvarna is equipped with a 24hp Kawasaki engine, reaches top speeds of 8 mph, and can cover a typical 5 acres of lawn on 5.5 gallons of fuel. It also features an ergonomic seat & design, commercial-grade hydraulics that enhances steering and acceleration, and a foldable ROPS protection system.
According to customer reviews, this zero-turn yields excellent engine power and a smooth ride. This speed and power combination is perfect for large properties and takes top spot in the competition for best zero turn mower for 5 acres.
2. Runner Up: Cub Cadet ZTX4
The 1.5- X 3-inch tubular steel frame of the Cub Cadet ZTX4 zero-turn mower contributes to its 1,092-pound weight. It’s one of the heavier mowers on this list. That weight yields a lot of traction, making this lawnmower a capable machine – and especially useful for those with hilly terrain where superior wheel grip is mandatory.
It also features a 24hp 7000 Series Kohler V-Twin engine. That power ensures it’s ready to deliver exceptional driving and cutting power.
With a top speed of 7.5mph, the ergonomic ZTX4 also features a 60-inch fabricated deck of 10-gauge steel, a 20-inch backrest with armrests, a 5.5-gallon fuel tank capacity, and, yes, una cerveza (beer) holder! Seriously though, this is one superb 60-inch zero-turn mower.
3. Best for Hills: Bad Boy ZT Elite
The Bad Boy isn’t a mere push mower! The 841-pound Bad Boy ZT Elite zero-turn mower gets fitted with a 26hp Kohler-made engine and a 60-inch adjustable height cutting deck forged from fabricated 7-gauge steel.
Its hydrostatic transmission rocks commercial-grade hydraulic components, and this capable mowing machine rolls up and down challenging terrain without whining. Being overbuilt in every way, it lives up to its super-macho name.
Other standard features include a 6.5-gallon fuel capacity, 11-inch-wide tires, cushion-ride independent front suspension, and a beer holder! Overall, it’s an excellent choice to consider for challenging terrain scenarios. It deserves a place in our top list of best zero turn mower for 5 acres!
4. Best Semi-Pro: Toro Titan Max
‘Acreage doesn’t stand a chance,’ says Toro. And it won’t with this beast of a mower! The Toro Titan Max uses the same technology as Toro’s commercial line of mowers, which is why it’s our best semi-pro mower on our best zero turn mower for 5 acres list.
Nothing will stop you with its 26 HP Kohler engine, tubular steel frame, and IronForged® 10-gauge steel deck. Lifting the deck is easy with the deck lift pedal, and
And would it be on the best mower list if it didn’t have a cup holder? Nope.
Toro says it best:
“If you’re looking for commercial level features, unmatched durability, user-friendly amenities, and powerful reliability all in one mega monster – Meet Titan MAX. Born and raised in the heartland of America, this MAXed-out machine grabs work by the horns, rides roughshod over it and shuts it down.”
5. Best Electric: EGO POWER+ ZT5207L
As I mentioned, I hail from a small country town in Ohio – at least a few years ago – and I grew up in a gasoline-loving, big motor-running, dirt-track-racing world! (Wooooooo!)
To me, gas mowers are more powerful and capable machines – although I admit that the EVs are enticing in several other ways. I wonder if the EGO POWER+ ZT5207L can handle long hours of operation on sloped areas or if it only performs well on flat ground.
So, I’m not sure about all these electric mowers, automobiles, semi-trucks, and bicycles so frequent on the market these days.
It seems a bit weird to this old hippie – and I like the extra power for rough ground mowing!
But I’m trying to learn new tricks. I like the idea of a cleaner operation, with no combustion of fossil fuels, black exhaust plumage contaminating the clean air, and the repetitive need for refueling, tuning up, and otherwise maintaining. Electric vehicles are clean, futuristic, and run quietly, which I like! However, it’s probably best on flat terrain, not rough terrain.
So, anyways, the EGO POWER+ ZT5207L features:
- Up to six EGO 56V ARC Lithium batteries
- 25 HP equivalent engine
- Mow up to four acres on a single charge. Add more batteries to mow 5, 6, 7, or more acres.
- Top speed of 8 MPH
- 52” 10-gauge fabricated steel deck
- Charger charges 6 x 12.0Ah batteries in 4 hours
- Adjustable seat suspension
- A 5-year warranty backs mower, batteries, and charger.
- LED lighting
- Solid steel blades
- USB charging ports
- Adjustable cutting heights
- 1-finger LCD control interface
On the downside, this electric zero-turn mower advertises that it can only complete about four acres of typical cutting before needing recharging. You’ll need to add more batteries to mow 5 acres or more. On the good side, it charges those 6 batteries in only 4 hours with what could arguably be the world’s fastest battery charger.
I’ve also included it on the best zero turn mower for 5 acres list today because I felt that the electric vehicle market deserves recognition, and this EGO+ model stood out to me in my research. And it looks ultramodern and exciting, even though it doesn’t offer the most significant operation range. I’m not sure how it does on uneven ground or wet ground. Anyway, it’s worth a look.
(It also has a ton of neat fun-looking techno-gadgets and features – which I would love to play with.)
And now, back to the old-school Gas-Guzzling Models!
6. Best Warranty: John Deere Z530R
A 24hp V-Twin Kawasaki engine and hydrostatic transmission join to make the John Deere one of the most capable zero-turn mowers for 5 acres of land. Even on rough terrain, this powerhouse tractor makes light work of cutting down tall grass and stubborn weeds. 10-gauge steel houses its triple-blade, 60-inch deck, contributing to its 842 pounds of weight.
An ideal choice of mower, the Z530R also features 23-inch rear wheels, a foot-controlled deck lift, a 4.5-gallon fuel tank, and a 22.5-inch cut-n-hewn driver’s seat. This zero-turn mower has a top speed of 9 mph – and, yes, it has a beer holder. Now those are some near-perfect options!
7. Best Budget: Troy Bilt Mustang 54
Powered by a 24hp Kohler engine and dual hydrostatic gearbox and equipped with a 54-inch fabricated cutting deck, the Troy Bilt Mustang 54 provides excellent stability and impact absorption. It’s effective on hilly terrain, and its 12-gauge steel construction isn’t as heavy-duty as some other mowers on our list. But this machine is still plenty-durable and capable, especially with regular maintenance as recommended.
It isn’t meant for speed, as it tops at a turtle-like 5.5 miles per hour. However, as discussed, top speed shouldn’t be the first consideration when purchasing a new zero-turn lawnmower. Engine power, durability, and a smooth drive experience all matter more, at least to me. Overall, this Troy Bilt tractor is an excellent, budget-friendly option for your short list of zero-turns!
8. Best Avoided: Z-BEAST
The gas-powered BEAST zero-turn mower features a smaller 48-inch cutting deck. But it makes up for the reduced width with a 20hp Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engine and a dual hydrostatic drive gearbox. It makes up for the narrower cutting swath with top ground speeds of more than ten miles per hour, making it one of the fastest zero-turners on today’s market.
The BEAST weighs 850 pounds and costs significantly less than most other options. In other words – it isn’t loaded with luxurious amenities. It does, however, have a beer holder! Could the BEAST be the BEST? Maybe so, but can it handle the roughest terrain? Perhaps not so much as other, beefier options.
In my opinion (and other reviewers’ – just check out the reviews on Amazon) this one’s best avoided if you want to do some serious mowing!
Want More Zero Turn Mower Options? Here’s How to Choose the Best Zero-Turn Mower for Under $3,000
We know that homesteading budgets are tighter than ever these days. And choosing the best zero-turn mower is a tall task unless you’re a qualified diesel mechanic.
That’s why our in-house qualified mechanic, Dan Meager, helped us pen an epic guide teaching how to choose the best zero-turn mower for under $3,000.
The article eliminates any guesswork and makes choosing the best zero-turn mower a piece of cake.
We also analyze a handful of low-cost zero-turn mowers that we didn’t include in this list. Check it out if you’re hungry for more.
Time to Mow Down Some Dang Grass & Weeds!
OK – we did it! We reviewed 7 of the best zero-turn mowers for 3 to 5 acres of grass. Any of these capable lawn machines can perform a lot of hard work while you sit atop, having fun, driving tank style, feeling invincible, and sipping a delightfully chilly beer!
I hope you had fun and learned about these product options and the zero-turn industry. I can assure you that operating a zero-turn mower is quite a different experience for anyone like me, who loves driving traditional garden tractors and other farm machinery. The dual lever control of zero-turns opens up a new way of maneuvering. It could be the world’s first perfect machine.
Until next time, may your mowing endeavors be safe, fun, and effective. Here’s to enjoying a more powerful machine and a smoother ride on every acre of grass you cut!
(And remember – all joking aside – don’t drink and drive. Stay safe!)
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