Ariens Vs Toro Zero Turn Mower | Which Is Best?

A range of factors must be considered when deciding what brand of zero-turn mower to buy. These include the speed and engine size, chassis build and operator comfort, price, and after-sale customer service.

Both the Ariens and Toro manufacturers have produced quality small-engine machines since the early 20th century. Here’s a comparison of Ariens vs Toro zero turn mowers.

Which Is Best Ariens Or Toro Zero Turn?

To answer the question of whether Ariens or Toro makes a superior Zero Turn lawnmower, you need to determine which features and values are best for your situation.

As an American homeowner, I take my lawn seriously and once mowed my back lawn twice on the same day—until I got the crosshatch just right.

I’ll take you through the twists and turns of the Zero Turn lawnmower comparison, so you can decide whether you want to go to low-end commercial or high-end residential.

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Ariens Vs Toro Zero Turn Model Comparison

Here is the high-level run-down of two popular deck models from Ariens and Toro.

Ariens IKON XL 60 is a great zero-turn mower capable of handling most terrains. The robust fabricated deck and heavy-duty steel frame make for a long-lasting chassis.

This commercial model is fitted with an excellent 726cc Kawasaki engine. However, a relatively small fuel tank at 2.8-gallons.

An excellent zero-turn mower, powered by the very reliable Kawasaki engine allows the Toro Titan to stand up against any zero-turn in this price category.

Beautiful controls and capable of mowing on flat terrain or slopes up to 15 degrees. Just pipped by the MZ61 powerful 11-gauge frame, large fuel tank, and engine reliability.

Ariens IKON XL 60”

  • Engine Size: 726 cc
  • Max Speed: 7 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.8 gallons
  • Cutting Deck Type: Fabricated
  • Max Cutting Height: 4.5 inches
  • Max Cutting Width: 60 inches
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic
  • Terrain Type: Hilly Terrain
  • Acreage: 3+
  • Warranty: 3 year
  • Roll Bar: No

Toro Titan 60 Zero Turn

  • Engine Size: 708 cc
  • Max Speed: 9 mph
  • Fuel Capacity: 7 gallons
  • Cutting Deck Type: Fabricated
  • Max Cutting Height: 5 inches
  • Max Cutting Width: 60 inches
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic
  • Terrain Type: Slopes
  • Acreage: 4+
  • Warranty: 4 year
  • Roll Bar: No

Both Ariens and Toro make superb zero-turn mowers, but in the features comparison, the Toro Titan 60 just has the advantage with a larger fuel capacity, higher max speed, and longer warranty.

Who Makes Ariens Zero Turn Engines?

Ariens Zero Turn lawnmowers come in models with two different engine manufacturers: Kohler and Kawasaki.

Since 2017, Ariens has offered Kawasaki engines in its APEX, IKON XL, and IKON X Zero Turn lawnmowers. Previously, the company had for some years sold Zero Turn lawnmowers with just Kohler engines.

Ariens decided to offer Kawasaki engines in its commercial and residential Zero Turn lawnmowers after considering the excellent reputation of the engine manufacturer in the commercial-class market segment.

The company said the latest offerings improved engine efficiency and operator comfort. Notably, Ariens does not offer any Zero Turn lawnmower models with engines made by rival Toro Company.

Who Makes Toro Zero Turn Engines?

Toro’s Zero Turn mowers come in three different engine versions, including Toro-built engines and models from Kohler and Kawasaki.

The Kohler Command series is recognized as the manufacturer’s best mower engine. Many of these models offer closed-loop fuel injection for a 25% or greater improvement in fuel efficiency. Those top-line models also come with hydraulic lifters that eliminate the need for valve adjustments.

The ZT model is a well-respected engine for commercial purposes, while the 7000 series models are great options for the consumer-level engine. The professional-grade ZT and its consumer-class cousin share many of the same components.

The lowest-rated Kohler engine for Toro Zero Turn mowers is the Courage model, which offers poorly rated single-cylinder versions.

Kawasaki’s FX series is also a top-rated engine model in Toro’s Zero Turn lineup of lawnmowers. The FS and FT engines are built for commercial versions of the mower, which, of course, run more expensive. The FR engine is for higher-echelon residential customers, who can afford to buy a quality mower for their stately lawns.

Contrary to some online reviews, Toro has in recent years built its own commercial and residential mower engines.

Toro offers a variety of options for good value for varying budgets. The Toro ZX engine offers a good commercial value at an extremely good price for a top-tier commercial version. The Toro single-cylinder engine offers good value at the lower end.

However, buyers should consider negative reviews for these single-cylinder Toro versions and perhaps consider an upgrade to the commercial version.

All in all the Toro Titan 60 Zero Turn has the best output engine, especially compared to the Ariens Zero Turn. It can go nine mph, handles like a champ, and I even like the sound of it more than the Ariens.

Chassis Build Quality

Both Ariens and Toro offer models with a solidly built chassis including fabricated decks and 11-gauge steel chassis frames.

Fabricated Vs. Stamped Cutting Deck

Both fabricated and stamped cutting deck types confer advantages to the buyer. While stronger fabricated decks are seen more in commercial models, the stamped mower decks provide improved airflow.

Incidentally, a smaller mower might be more maneuverable if you’ve got lots of lawn ornaments and other obstacles on your property. 

Flat or Hilly Terrain

Both Ariens and Toro make quality zero-turn mowers for hilly terrain. But many reviewers give a slight edge to Ariens.

Some folks recommend the Ariens 915223 zero-turn mower for slopes, while others tout the IKON X as the better model. This model, incidentally, features a deck that extends more to one side than the other. The feature allows you to mow curbsides with greater precision.

Both of these machines are designed to handle large areas making them the perfect zero-turn mower for 5 acres or more.

Who Makes the Most Reliable Zero Turn Mower?

Both Ariens and Toro sell reliable zero-turn mowers with strong engines. The two rival manufacturers have produced lawnmowers since the mid-20th century, with models using many of the same engines with similar builds.

One key difference between the two noted by homeowners is that the Toro Timecutter specifically offers better drought resistance. Toro’s zero-turn mowers are better at giving you a perfect cut on even the roughest lawns. They’re also better at throwing mulch around too.

However, both manufacturers are known for building reliable zero-turn lawnmowers.

Zero Turn Service Intervals

Service providers generally recommend that you change the oil in your zero-turn mower engine every 100 to 150 hours of operating time. You should change the transmission fluid every 500 hours.

About once a month, I make sure to walk around my zero-turn mower and give the tires a good kick to check the pressure. You’ll want to remember this step to ensure efficiency and even mowing.


Most models built by Ariens and Toro offered the standard three-year limited warranties. However, the Titan’s four-year warranty adds just enough to get ahead of the Ariens IKON.

How Long Do Ariens Zero Turn Mowers Last

Generally, you can expect to get about 2,000 hours of operation from your Ariens zero turn IKON mower before needing serious maintenance or considering a trade-in.

How Long Do Toro Zero Turn Mowers Last

Like its rival, Toro zero-turn Toro lasts about 2,000 hours of operating time before requiring serious maintenance or a trade-in.

Customer Support

Both Ariens and Zoro receive terrible online reviews for their customer service, so it’s worth examining this topic a bit more.

Online reviews and social media continue to grow in importance for both the consumer and business owners, but reliability and negative bias may be problematic factors. After all, I know I tend to be more motivated to leave a review when a product disappoints me than when I’m happy with it.

According to a 2016 study, consumers are more likely to tell people about poor service rather than good experiences. “Americans across the board report telling more people about poor service (15 people on average) than about good experiences (11),” says research firm Forrester.

So most consumers understand that online reviews should be weighted for these factors when determining the winner of Ariens vs. Toro Zero Turn mowers. You should also keep in mind that both of these manufacturers have been making these small-engine machines for generations, for a combined experience of 195 years. That’s a lot of experience!

You should also note that while both companies generally receive negative reviews for customer service, the Internet is replete with glowing reviews of the actual product lines.

Is Toro Customer Support Good?

One customer service rating site gave Toro a 29 of a possible 200 score, based on 80 ratings. The site rates Toro’s customer service and support as “terrible.” The CustomerServiceScoreboard rated Toro as 583 of the 993 companies with ratings there, scoring just 29 of a possible 200 points.

Another site says Toro offers its customers poor to mediocre customer service for after-sales support. Toro is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but has a profile on the site.

Is Ariens Customer Support Good?

The CustomerServiceScoreboard gave Ariens a slightly better ranking than Toro for its after-sales customer support. Ariens received an overall score of 23.8 of a possible 200, based on just 13 ratings for a ranking of 458 of 993 companies. The site rated Ariens as “disappointing,” compared to Toro’s “terrible.”

Likewise, Ariens is not accredited through the Better Business Bureau but has a profile on the site with complaints.

Verdict: Ariens Vs Toro Zero Turn Mowers

It often comes to a matter of taste, but I’ll give the Toro Titan a slight edge for the average homeowner considering an upgrade to a zero-turn from the old push mower. My choice here is the Toro Titan 60 Zero Turn, which gives great performance and is an efficient option for covering lots of acreage on the “Back 40.”

An excellent zero-turn mower, powered by the very reliable Kawasaki engine allows the Toro Titan to stand up against any zero-turn in this price category.

Beautiful controls and capable of mowing on flat terrain or slopes up to 15 degrees. Just pipped by the MZ61 powerful 11-gauge frame, large fuel tank, and engine reliability.