Ariens vs Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower | Which is Best?

There are many considerations to account for when purchasing a zero-turn mower. The engine lifespan, the chassis quality, and how much punishment the cutting deck can take are chief concerns.

However, due to the difficulty of shipping or transporting a mower of this size or acquiring parts, you want everything to be reliable for a long time.

Should something go wrong, little details like the quality of the warranty can tip the decision to one side.

So, let’s pry open the shed doors and compare the Ariens vs Husqvarna Zero Turn Mowers.

Which to Buy: Ariens or Husqvarna Zero Turn

Both companies offer a variety of models designed to suit any needs, both commercial and residential. 

For commercial zero-turn mowers, Husqvarna stopped using the Briggs and Stratton engine. They switched to Kawasaki, Yamaha, or Kohler instead. However, they dominate the commercial market compared to Ariens by offering more power spread over more products.

Ariens chooses to cater more to the residential market and only offers one commercial mower that lacks power compared to what Husqvarna offers.

So, today I think it is only fair to compare residential zero-turn mowers Ariens and Husqvarna offer. 

A well-built zero-turn mower with a welded fabricated cutting deck. The chassis is 11-gauge steel. Fitted with a 726cc Kawasaki FR691 engine that delivers a flat speed of 7mph. 

This is a quality machine that is slightly under-gunned with a 2.8-gallon fuel tank which is small for a 60-inch zero-turn mower. 

This strong 11-gauge steel chassis and fabricated cutting deck are built to last. Coupled with a 27hp Briggs and Stratton 810cc engine that drives 8.5 mph of flat speed, you know you are riding a beast.

The 5-gallon fuel tank is ample for residential mowing and you can cover over 4 acres with ease on the MZ61.

A 4-years residential warranty cover is the icing on the cake.

Husqvarna vs Ariens Zero Turn Comparisons

Ariens Ikon XD-60

  • Engine Size: Kawasaki 726cc
  • Max Speed: 7 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.8 Gal
  • Cutting Deck Type: Fabricated
  • Max Cutting Height: 4.5 in
  • Max Cutting Width: 60 in
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic
  • Terrain Type: Flat, Hilly
  • Acreage: 4.2
  • Warranty: 3 Years or 300 Hours
  • Roll Bar: No

Husqvarna MZ-61

  • Engine Size: Briggs and Stratton 810cc
  • Max Speed: 8.5 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 5 Gal
  • Cutting Deck Type: Fabricated
  • Max Cutting Height: 4.5 in
  • Max Cutting Width: 61 in
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic
  • Terrain Type: Flat, Hilly
  • Acreage: 4.2
  • Warranty: 4 Years or 400 Hours
  • Roll Bar: Optional

Husqvarna’s line of MZ zero-turn mowers offers the best range of residential options with 48-inch up to 61-inch cutting decks.

Ariens Ikon XD line offers 42-inch up to 60-inch cutting decks and is the most similar to the Husqvarna MZ line.

Out of these two lines, I think the Husqvarna MZ61 and the Ariens Ikon XD-60 compare the best in the $4,400 to $5,400 price range, with Husqvarna costing the most.

There are a lot of similarities between these two mowers, but the Briggs and Stratton 810cc engine Husqvarna uses, along with nearly twice the fuel capacity, steals the spotlight.


Who Makes Ariens Zero Turn Engines

Ariens uses Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki, and Kohler engines across all of their lines. However, they use Briggs and Stratton on their smaller models intended for residential areas, while the Kawasaki and Kohler engines appear in entry-level, mid-range, and high-end models.

The Ikon XD-60 uses a 23hp Kawasaki FR691 ​engine. This engine is a 726cc V-Twin, and the mower holds 2.8 Gal of fuel, with a top speed of 7 mph.

Who Makes Husqvarna Zero Turn Engine

Husqvarna also uses Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki, and Kohler engines across all of their lines. The biggest difference is that Husqvarna uses all three companies equally across the range of entry-level, mid-range, and high-end zero-turn mowers.

The MZ-61 Husqvarna uses the robust, high-output 27hp Briggs and Stratton Endurance 810cc V-Twin engine. This model holds 5 Gal of fuel, with a top speed of 8.5 mph.

Chassis Build Quality

Ariens uses heavy-duty tubular steel for their chassis across all their lines. This steel helps fortify the frame and extends the life of the machine.

Husqvarna prefers to use 2 IN by 3 IN heavy-duty tubular steel for its chassis. Tubular steel offers more strength and extends zero-turn mower life.

Fabricated vs. Stamped Cutting Deck

Fabricated steel usually has more strength than stamped steel because manufacturers form stamped steel by using extreme heat to press the steel into a shape and let it cool. Stamping steel is fast and cheap. But for a rugged zero-turn mower deck, fabricated steel is superior.

The Ikon XD line from Ariens offers a fabricated 4.5 IN deck, allowing for the best airflow in tricky conditions to ensure a good cut.

The Husqvarna MZ line goes a step further by offering the Clear Cut fabricated cutting deck system on certain models, featuring airflow control baffles that aid in discharging, bagging, or mulching.

Flat or Hilly Terrain

The Husqvarna MZ61 and Ariens Ikon XD-60 feature 13-inch diameter tires, 6.5 inches in width, which offer solid traction on flat or hilly terrain. Both mowers perform so comparably in this category that they are safe on slopes up to approximately 15-degrees.

Read Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills


Who Makes the Most Reliable Zero Turn Mower?

While it is interesting to learn about the tires, the cutting deck, the engines, etc. Nothing is more important than reliability. None of the specs matter if the mower breaks down. Ariens vs Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have good reputations, but are they reliable?

Ariens does not do so well because owners report a range of problems, small to large, some shortly after purchase, and experience difficulty getting repairs in a timely fashion. Also, when owners reviewed their Ariens, I noticed nobody mentioned its reliability in terms of years.

Husqvarna runs away, in this category, with a clear win due to its reliable Briggs and Stratton engine. With proper maintenance, these zero-turn mowers last for many years or many thousands of hours.

Zero Turn Service Intervals

Service intervals differ from mower to mower due to variables like weather, how often the mower runs, for how long, and terrain. Under normal circumstances, I recommend you work changing the air filter, fuel filter and checking the spark plug into regular maintenance every 100 hours or one to two times a year.

In zero-turn mowers, oil changes work in hours the way oil changes in cars work in miles. As a result, change the oil filter and engine oil two times a year or every 50 hours. Every few weeks, or 20 hours, check the pre-cleaner, axles, and caster and keep them properly lubricated.

Warranty

Ariens offers a 3-year or 300-hour warranty, whichever comes first. Their warranty only covers products registered.

Husqvarna offers a 4-year or 400-hour warranty, whichever comes first. To use the warranty, take qualifying products to the original purchase location or a Husqvarna repair center with a warranty card or proof of purchase. 

One more important thing to note, customers report that it is difficult to use the Husqvarna warranty after online purchases and often have to foot the bill themselves.

How Long Do Ariens Zero Turn Mowers Last

With proper maintenance, Ariens’ zero-turn mowers should last for years. However, without a better track record of customer reviews to back that claim up, I find it hard to give Ariens the same stamp of approval Husqvarna gets.

Instead of giving rave reviews about their reliability, customers often report that parts break, and they wait months for repairs.

How Long Do Husqvarna Zero Turn Mowers Last

Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have a solid track record of success. It is easy to go online and read reviews of people buying new and used machines that last for many years or thousands of hours if well-maintained. 

In addition, business owners report using residential mowers for commercial purposes without issues.

Customer Support

The cheapest zero-turn mowers on the market cost thousands of dollars, and the most expensive ones cost many thousands of dollars.

If something goes wrong or breaks, you have to be able to rely on the company to honor its warranty or supply a needed part. After getting everything else right, if the customer support is a let-down, people walk away with a bad taste in their mouth.

Is Husqvarna Customer Support Good

If Husqvarna focused on providing good customer support the way they do when crafting fine zero-turn mowers, I would have very little to criticize. Unfortunately, they have a low Trustpilot rating of only 1.5.

However, it is worth noting that the low ratings mainly concern Husqvarna’s cheaper products and not their high-end ones like zero-turn mowers.

Is Ariens Customer Support Good

I want to start with their Trustpilot rating and then explain my conclusion. First, the rating is 3.4, which initially sounds decent. But when I dug deeper, I noticed that there are only three ratings one is a five star, and the other two are one and two stars.

Based on the complaints in the latter two about struggling to get any kind of customer support, I cannot conclude that Ariens is outshining the competition in this category.


Verdict: Ariens Vs Husqvarna Zero Turn Mowers

Both companies need to improve after-sales customer service, but they make quality zero-turn mowers that last for years. However, Husqvarna takes the lead in too many categories, so I have to give them the win in the Ariens vs Husqvarna zero-turn mower comparison.

Best Zero Turn Mower

Ariens Ikon XD-60

Husqvarna MZ-61

This strong 11-gauge steel chassis and fabricated cutting deck are built to last. Coupled with a 27hp Briggs and Stratton 810cc engine that drives 8.5 mph of flat speed, you know you are riding a beast.

The 5-gallon fuel tank is ample for residential mowing and you can cover over 4 acres with ease on the MZ61.

A 4-years residential warranty cover is the icing on the cake.

The Husqvarna MZ-61, with its powerful Briggs and Stratton engine, offers additional power and flat speed. Add to this the larger fuel tank and 4-years warranty and you have a stand-out winner.

Does this mean Ariens makes a bad zero-turn mower? No, the Ariens Ikon XD line is full of capable machines, but they have some work to do to convert fans of Husqvarna.