5 Best Zero Turn Mowers for 1-2 Acres | Gas and Electric

If you own a property with a lawn of between 1 and 2 acres, you will undoubtedly appreciate the difficulties of staying on top of its maintenance. A lawn of this size is too big for a push mower so you’re making the right choice in looking for a zero-turn mower to make mowing efficient and effective. 

Clearly purchasing a zero-turn mower is a considerable investment. That’s why I have laid bare each of the main factors you need to consider when making a buying decision. Hopefully, you will find this information useful and feel like you are clued up to take the plunge into this growing niche of outdoor power equipment.

I’ve highlighted the best zero turn mowers for 1-2 acres based on my personal experience and detailed the key product features that will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Best Zero Turn Mowers

This is an involved buying decision and this article covers every aspect of selecting a zero-turn mower for a mid-sized lawn. But if you’re in a hurry and just want to see the top recommendations, here they are… my recommendations for the best zero-turn mowers for 1-2 acres.   

EGO Power+ Z6 ZT4204L 42 in. Electric 56 V Zero Turn Mower

Best Electric Zero Turn Mower

EGO Power+ Z6 42 in. Electric 56 V Zero Turn Mower

Lightweight and nimble, but still produces 22hp and travels up to 8mph. Perfect for 2-acres or less. Fully charged in under 2 hours.

Toro TimeCutter 708cc Zero Turn Mower 42"

Best Gas Zero Turn Mower

Toro TimeCutter 708cc Zero Turn Mower 42″

Toro V-Twin 708cc engine producing 22hp. Great machine for 1-2 acres, very fast and produces a very clean cut…all for less than $3,500

Why Buy a Zero-Turn Mower?

Almost all ride-on mowers I’ve used leave behind small uncut areas of the lawn with each turn. These semi-circle or teardrop-shaped gaps are inconvenient and will slow you down as you reverse back and forth to cut them. Well, that’s where a zero-turn mower is different.

A zero-turn mower that lets you turn in a 0-degree radius due to the individual drive wheels. Their distinctive lap bar controls combine separate wheel controls and precision steering to let the rider turn 360 degrees on the spot. This eliminates time-wasting and delivers a crisp clean cut.

The zero-turn mowers’ agility, power, speed, and longevity have earned them the title “Ferrari of lawnmowers.” However, only the best zero turn mower will achieve the best results…So what makes ‘the best mower’… Let’s find out.

Choosing the Best Zero Turn Mower for 1–2 Acres

Information is power! You must know what to look for in a category that is getting more sophisticated each year. So I’m going to give you what I consider to be the critical factors when looking for a zero-turn mower for your one- to two-acre lawn:

Gasoline Vs. Electric Zero-Turn Mower 

Gas-powered mowers are a popular option for lawnmowers, however, this is mainly based on legacy. What I mean is, at one time you could only buy gas-powered movers, so naturally gas-powered machines are tried and tested and the market accepts them as incredible tools for lawn mowing. But things have changed over the past few years. Electric zero turn mower technology has progressed to challenge gas machines, especially when we are looking at residential use. 

Gas Powered Zero Turn Mowers

Available in all shapes and sizes, with prices ranging from $2,000-$10,000, there is a gas zero turn mower for pretty much all situations, from right through to heavy-duty commercial use. 

With Outdoor Power Equipment I think it’s fair to say you typically get what you pay for, and it is no different here. Larger models with more robust engines, higher gauge steel, and more technology included, tend to be more expensive. However, that being said when looking specifically at zero-turn mowers for 1-2 acres, there are many great options with a price range between $3,000-$5,000.  

Gas Engine Fuel Capacity

Despite the mower’s power or speed, you can’t finish the job if you run out of fuel. Fortunately, zero-turn mowers generally have a fuel tank capacity of 2-3.5 gallons. That’s plenty to mow your entire 1-2 acre lawn on a single tank. So let’s not get bogged down in technicalities.

Horsepower

You want a machine that can deliver suitable engine power output. Zero-turn mowers have varying horsepower levels, so make sure you choose one that befits your lawn acreage. As a rule of thumb I suggest:

  • 10 to 20 HP ZTRs work best in small, relatively flat yards. The horsepower is sufficient for an acre or more.
  • 20 to 25 HP ZTRs are excellent mid-range residential mowers equipped to mow up to three acres with relatively smooth terrain and a maximum incline of 15 degrees.
  • Over 25 HP ZTRs are almost exclusively commercial zero-turn mowers. 

Battery Powered Zero Turn Mower

On the other hand, Electric Zero Turn Mowers are relatively new and have a similar price range to mid-level gas-powered equivalent mowers, in the $4,000 to $7000 price range.

A typical electric zero-turn mower isn’t as powerful as a commercial gas mower, however, it is comparable to a residential gas mower. They are also easier to start, run quieter and do away with engine maintenance and gas emissions, making them ideal for most homeowners.

Lithium Battery Run Time Ah

Electric zero-turn mowers are powered by rechargeable lithium battery cells. Similar to those used on golf buggies and other outdoor leisure equipment. 

The continual run time of an electric zero-turn mower will be determined by the lithium battery storage capacity. The storage is rated in Amp Hours (Ah), which essentially stated how many Amps the battery will discharge per hour. 

Let’s say a battery or set of batteries for a mower is rated 75Ah and a mower draws 75Amp per hour. In this case, the mower would run for 60 minutes of continual use on a single battery charge. 

In the product reviews section below I have stated the battery Ah rating, run time in minutes, or the acreages the mower can cut per charge to assist you in determining which model will suit your backyard.

Cutting Deck

The cutting deck is the area where the mower blades rotate while cutting. It deserves our attention as it is a critical part that determines your zero-turn mower’s cutting width and grass cutting height. The method used to manufacture the cutting deck will have a significant bearing on the price and durability of your mower. Let me explain…

Stamped Vs. Fabricated Deck

The mowing deck’s design is a significant factor in the overall quality of any zero-turn mower. Not only does it determine the cutting path and cutting height, but how it was manufactured also has a bearing on its durability. Decks are made by either stamping steel into shape or by they are fabricated.

Stamped decks – The decks are “stamped out” of one single sheet of steel in a large press.  Generally, this will be 12-gauge steel or on occasions, a thicker 10-gauge still will be used. Just to be sure to emphasize, this process is an excelling production method for creating high-quality cutting decks. However, if you are working a lawn that has obstacles and you need a cutting deck built like a tank, then you really need a fabricated deck.  

fabricated deck
Fabricated Deck
stamped deck
Stamped Deck

Fabricated decks – These decks are made with steel plates welded together. Usually, 10 or 12-gauge plate steel will resist cracking and warping.  Fabrication, or in other words the welding together of steel plates, creates a deck that is stronger and capable of withstanding heavy knocks and bumps without taking on dents or buckling. 

Commercial grade mowers will use fabricated decks, whereas stamp decks are often used on mowers intended for lighter use or on flat lawns without obstructions.

Deck Width for 1-2 Acres

At first, purchasing the largest cutting deck seems like the best option to clear your lawn faster, but it may well turn out to be counterproductive.

Mowers with large cutting decks are difficult to move between or around obstacles like tree stumps, garden furniture, or outbuilding. For domestic use, you may want something smaller to mow around the objects in your backyard. Think of it as trading off size for dexterity.

For most homeowners with a lawn of 1-2 acres, a cutting deck of 36-46-inches would be ideal. 

  • One acre or less – 36 to 42 inches
  • One to two acres – 42 to 46 inches
  • Over two acres – 48 inches or above

Deck Cutting Heights

If you are going to switch cutting heights during mowing lookout for a cutting deck with the ability to make adjustments whilst seated. Otherwise, you’ll be getting off the mower to lift the deck by hand. While some models often have optional deck-lift attachment kits, you’re better off with a mower with foot or hand levers that lift the deck quickly whilst you’re still seated.

Maximum Speed

Now let’s not get over-excited about maximum speed. Most zero turns will achieve a top flat speed of between 6-8mph, some can go 10mph. 

But I urge you to ask yourself if you really need speed as a critical purchasing criterion. In my view, it’s not important. Here’s why… 

Your lawn is between 1 and 2 acres so you’re not covering expansive areas of land. More importantly, it is generally accepted that the optimum cutting speed is 5mph. This will give you the cleanest cut. So aim for a machine that is comfortable, reliable, and easy to operate, don’t lose focus on comfort and quality, and think top speed will add value. 

Hydrostatic Transmission

The mower’s transmission type dictates its speed and how it handles different lawn conditions like inclines and mud. Generally, you’ll choose between hydrostatic and manual transmission.

A hydrostatic zero-turn mower is the most high-powered transmission among the two. The mower’s transmission does away with belt drive and instead uses hydraulic fluids to control power transmission to the wheels producing a smoother drive experience. 

Best Zero Turn Mowers Under 2 Acres Reviews

Now that we understand the main product features, it’s time to review the leading brands in the market to help you find the perfect zero-turn mower.

EGO POWER+ Z6 Zero Turn Mower 42-Inch

Best Electric Zero Turn Mower

EGO POWER+ Z6 Zero Turn Mower 42-Inch
  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped 10-gauge
  • Cutting Height: 1.5-4.5”
  • Power (V): 56V
  • Run Time: 2 acres
  • Battery Power: 40-60 Ah (up to 2hrs)
  • Speed: 3-8 mph
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Pros      

  • A single battery charge will power this mower for up to two acres, with 2 extra battery slots for upgrading to 3 acres run time
  • Quiet 56V motor powered zero turns with Zero-emissions
  • A single battery charge will power this mower for up to two acres
  • This mower has 6 battery slots and 4 x 10Ah batteries included
  • Outstanding onboard LCD onboard control panel 

Cons

  • None when purchasing this mower for residential use up to 2 acres

Looking for an eco-friendly, robust, durable machine with an excellent run time? The Ego 56V 42-inch Zero Turn mower is an incredible machine that stands out in a crowded marketplace. I really do love this mower and it’s no surprise it’s become such a popular machine.

The manufacturer rates the 42-inch ZTR mower as equivalent to a gas-powered 22 HP engine and in use, I can’t argue, it has plenty of power. 

EGO POWER+ 42” Z6 Zero Turn Riding Mower Product Overview - Ace Hardware

The batteries are interchangeable with any other 56V outdoor power tool from the Ego power tool range. This model ships with 4 x 10Ah batteries included with the option of adding a further 2 x 10Ah batteries to add to the six battery slots available, allowing this machine to run to over 3 acres on a single charge.

Battery recharge time is incredible. Just 2 hours to charge all four batteries to a maximum 10Ah capacity. This is the fastest charge time I have seen on large storage units such as 4x 10Ah batteries

The battery bank supplies power to dual drive motors and two deck motors (for the two 21-inch blades). The onboard LCD interface allows you to regulate the lap speed, blade speed, drive modes, and lap bar sensitivity. All that control is meant to increase mowing efficiency, cut quality, and battery run time. 

This is the best all-around residential zero-turn mower in some way. It will no doubt surprise a few people to see an electric machine taking my top spot…well battery technology has come a long way in recent years and Ego has really optimized all of the best of what it has to offer. This particular machine has deservedly earned its place as the best electric zero turn mower

Toro TimeCutter 708cc Zero Turn Mower 42"
  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Cutting Height: 1.5-4.5”
  • Engine: Toro Commercial V-Twin 708cc
  • Run Time: 2 acres
  • Fuel Tank: 3-Gallons
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • Great machine for 1-2 acres, very fast and produces a very clean cut…all for less than $3,500
  • Fitted with the powerful Toro Commercial V-Twin 708cc engine producing 22hp
  • Side discharge with mulching and bagging kits are available
  • Handy built-in storage compartments under the seat and cup holder

Cons

  • Nothing at this price

Gas-powered Zero Turn Mowers deliver high cutting efficiency and speeds as their electric counterparts, but at a lower cost. Topping the list of gasoline zero-turn mowers is the reliable Toro TimeCutter.

Get The Best Cut Lawn with a Toro® TimeCutter® Zero Turn

This efficient gas-powered ZTR is ideal for mowing two acres or less of relatively flat terrain. It has a 22.5 HP twin-cylinder engine and a 3-gallon fuel tank capacity so there’s plenty of power but the 42” cutting deck is better suited to medium-sized lawn areas. Anything over 2 acres then shoot for a 50-inch deck or larger. 

This residential mower can reach a maximum of 7 miles per hour in forward motion and 3 miles per hour in reverse. 

You can adjust the height of the two powerful blades within the mower’s 42-inch 13-gauge steel cutting deck. The mower can also work with a side-discharge chute, mulching feature, or bag. 

You’ll also like the extra padding on the control levers that reduces hand fatigue and boosts your grip to maintain control. With this zero turn you’re getting the reliability and build quality of a Toro mower…which is always solid, but also the type of cruise comfort that makes mowing your lawn enjoyable. I can highly recommend the Toro TimeCutter as an outstanding residential zero turn mower for lawns of between 1and 2 acres. 

Husqvarna Z242F Zero Turn Riding Residential Lawn Mower 42”
  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped 10-gauge
  • Cutting Height: 1.5-4.0”
  • Engine: 18hp FR Series Kawasaki 603cc
  • Run Time: 2 acres
  • Fuel Tank: 3.5-Gallons
  • Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • Built around the exceptionally reliable Kawasaki FR Series engine 603cc, 18hp
  • Solid 10-gauge steel cutting deck featuring 6 height settings
  • Thick padded seat and easy to use controls make this mower perfect for residential mowers
  • For the level of performance, quality, and reliability you get… this mower is a hit for $3,000

Cons

  • Some may argue there are not enough features. But in truth that is part of the beauty of this particular mower…its simplicity.

Big lawn spaces need a powerful zero-turn lawnmower with excellent fuel capacity and safety features, which I found in the Husqvarna Z242F. This is a stripped-down model with basic features and easy-to-use controls, which for some will be perfect. For others, it may feel a little basic, albeit very comfortable. 

This 42-inch ZTR runs on a quiet Kawasaki engine that delivers reliable and smooth performance. The chassis has a maintenance-free transmission system and a stylish and bold bumper and rear engine guard. The Husqvarna Z242F also comes with an optional LED headlight kit for added visibility in the dark.

The mower’s anti-slip footrest area enables comfortable and safe use, and the removable footplate lets you access the cutting deck easily. It also has robust casters and frames that reduce chassis flex and ensure durability.

The Husqvarna Z242F deck has an automatic park brake system and strong 10-gauge steel construction with additional reinforcement strips. It also has an outstanding fuel capacity of 3.5 gallons and comes with a mulch kit and dump cart.

I think this zero-turn mower is definitely worth a look if you’re looking for a high-performing engine on a reliable zero-turn mower for under $3,000. I think it will be a popular choice for a lot of people who need reliability and simplicity. 

Craftsman 46 in. Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower

Most Powerful Backpack Blower

Craftsman 46 in. Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower
  • Cutting Deck: 46 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Cutting Height: 1.25-3.75”
  • Engine: Kohler Twin Cylinder 23hp
  • Run Time: 2 acres
  • Fuel Tank: 3.5-Gallons
  • Speed: 5.5 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • At $3,500 this Craftsman zero turn represents great value for money with its Kohler Twin Cylinder engine and beefy 23hp
  • Comfortable high back seat and control grips
  • Dual-hydrostatic transmission

Cons

  • Low top speed and low maximum cutting height compared to the other options I have shortlisted

High-power transmission, comfort, and excellent fuel tank capacity are the leading considerations for landscapers looking for ride-on lawnmowers, and Craftsman’s 46-inch hydrostatic ZTR offers all these.

The gas-powered machine comes with a tank capacity of 3.5-gallons, and its 23 HP twin-cylinder engine drives the dual cutting blades. It delivers sufficient power to clock a 6.5 MPH top speed, but it isn’t ideal for slopes beyond 15 degrees.

The mower’s cutting deck is 46 inches wide, and I can adjust the height between 1.25 and 3.75 inches. I like its sufficiently padded, high-back seat that offers additional comfort. Finally, it leverages dual-hydrostatic transmission technology to increase traction and control, hence its exceptional maneuverability.

Ryobi Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower 42 in
  • Cutting Deck: 42 Inches
  • Deck Type: Stamped
  • Cutting Height: 1.5-4.5”
  • Motor: Ryobi 48V Motor
  • Run Time: >3 acres
  • Battery Power: 100Ah  
  • Speed: 7 mph
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Pros

  • 100Ah of battery capacity included with this model
  • 12 deck adjustment positions
  • Bagging and mulching accessories are available

Cons

  • For $4,500 I would recommend taking a look at the Greenworks or Ego Power+ electric zero-turn mowers.

With a wide cutting deck, incredible speed, and excellent battery runtime, only a few ZTRs can match the Ryobi Electric riding zero-turn mower. Ryobi is not the first brand name to come to mind when talking about zero-turn mowers, but they have produced a solid range of residential electric zero tuns and ride-on mowers. 

The machine’s 12-gauge steel cutting deck is 42 inches wide and houses two cutting blades for longer or shorter cuts. It weighs 700 pounds, and you can engage the cutting blades, charge your phone, or check the battery level via an onboard control panel. The ZTR has top speeds of 7 MPH and 4 MPH for forward and reverse mode, respectively.

A single 100Ah battery charge is sufficient to cut up to three acres. Once the battery is exhausted, you’ll only have to plug the machine for charging into a standard 120-volt power outlet. A full charge requires up to 10 hours, so connect it to the outlet overnight if you plan to use it.

Zero Turn Mower Comfort and Controls

You’ll be sitting on the mower for long enough to need a good quality comfortable seat and a few other features. So let’s take a look at a few of these options and what you need to bear in mind.

Seat Position and Comfort

Extended mowing can wear you out, so check for features that reduce fatigue when riding. These include a high backrest, cushioned armrests, adjustable seat position, and a generously-padded sitting cushion. 

Personally, I prefer a high back seat, to support me better and allow an upright posture. I am 6’3” tall, so most people will be able to do with a standard seat. It may also be worth looking at the seating position and the adjustment options. 

Tall people and short people will require a good deal of movement to move the seat position either forwards or backward. If you are between 5’5” and 6’2” all of the zero-turn mowers on my list will be fine for you.

Steering Controls

Typical lap steering controls comprise of two levers that power the drive wheels when pressed forward. One lever controls the left drive wheel, while the other is dedicated to the wheel on the mower’s right. The best zero-turn mowers have ergonomic, soft padding to reduce hand fatigue and help you grip the levers even when mowing in the hot sun.

Tires

Most ride-on mowers run on air-filled drive wheels that propel the machine forward and help grip the ground for efficient turns. Consider deep-threaded tires if you’re operating the mower across rough terrain or on wet grass. Their additional traction enables seamless turning and acceleration no matter the conditions. 

Safety Features

Zero-turn lawn mowers can be dangerous, so manufacturers incorporate specific safety features to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents, including:

  • Parking brakes – The simple addition can protect you whenever they have to get off the machine on sloping lawns. 
  • Headlights – These are more of an additional feature, and they can help you complete the mowing if you have to mow for another 30 minutes after sunset. 
  • Automatic shutdown – This feature automatically deactivates the ZTR mower whenever the driver is off the seat to remove an obstacle or after an accidental fall. 

Notably, you can ensure all these comfort and control features are working optimally through regular maintenance.

Zero Turn Mower Maintenance Tips

A zero-turn mower is a big investment so you will want to take good care of it. Regular maintenance work is important and can extend the vehicle’s lifetime. The following maintenance best practices may be useful to you:

  • Check and replace spark plugs, air filters, and oil regularly for efficient operation.
  • Clean the deck after use to prevent debris build-up that can damage the blades and deck. A clean mower deck also delivers a smoother cut.
  • Sharpen the blades two or three times every year, depending on how regularly you use them.
  • Ensure tires have the same height and air pressure before use
  • Store your ZTR mower in an enclosed space like a garage or shed to prevent extended exposure to the elements.

The above best practices will ensure the ZTR mower serves you for long, whether you’re buying a new or used machine.

Is Buying a Used Zero Turn Mower a Good Idea?

Buying a new zero-turn mower means the machine is in its best state. However, the apparent benefit of a second-hand zero-turn mower is it’s always going to be cheaper.

You can get a better, more powerful ZTR for the same budget as a new product. Of course, it has to be well-maintained and refurbished. Personally, I am not a big fan of purchasing second-hand outdoor power equipment, as you never know how it’s been treated by the previous owner.

Verdict: Best Zero Turn Mower for 1-2 Acres

Of all the zero-turn mowers on this list, the 422-inch EGO Power+ Z6 ZT4204L is by far the best electric ZTR mower today. It’s eco-friendly, maneuverable, offers plenty of power, and has intrusive controls to make your lawn maintenance a breeze.  When it comes to medium-sized lawns I would also pick it over other similar specification gas machines. 

EGO Power+ Z6 ZT4204L 42 in. Electric 56 V Zero Turn Mower

Best Electric Zero Turn Mower

EGO Power+ Z6 42 in. Electric 56 V Zero Turn Mower

Lightweight and nimble, but still produces 22hp and travels up to 8mph. Perfect for 2-acres or less. Fully charged in under 2 hours.

Toro TimeCutter 708cc Zero Turn Mower 42"

Best Gas Zero Turn Mower

Toro TimeCutter 708cc Zero Turn Mower 42″

Toro V-Twin 708cc engine producing 22hp. Great machine for 1-2 acres, very fast and produces a very clean cut…all for less than $3,500

The 708cc Toro TimeCutter is ideal if you need a larger style zero-turn mower without breaking the bank. It’s also durably built with an outstanding cutting area, and you can cut more extensive lawns quickly and easily. 

The other options will also give you value for your money, so consider prioritizing your needs. 

FAQs for Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

The most common questions regarding zero-turn mowers include: