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10 Best Zero Turn Mowers for Hills – [Reviews & Guide 2020]

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Our Choice
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Getting the best zero turn mower means getting one which would stand up to the test of time and the Husqvarna Z254 is the product to do just that.

Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills - Reviews & Guide

Is your garden located on hilly terrain? If yes, getting to mow and trim the grass on a daily basis might turn out to be the hardest job you have ever done. Each and every homeowner in this scenario needs a zero-turn mower but to pick out a suitable one is very hard for most people.

Why is it hard to pick the best zero-turn mower? Well, when it comes to mowing or cutting lawns in a sloppy ground, you need a device that can thread and steer with precise caution especially when it comes to a hill. You might not be an expert so it’s just so difficult to deal with any model from the market. You may end up getting the wrong type or better yet one that is not capable of maneuvering on sloppy and hilly environments.

In this article, we would teach you not to make these mistakes. We are also going to show you factors to look into when getting a zero-turn mower. Below are the Top 10 Best Products you can get for your hilly environment.

ProductWeight, poundsCutting WidthPower TypeHorsepowerMax speed, mphFuel tank, gallon 
Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP(Editor's Choice)64054Gas266.5 3.5Check Price
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52" 23hp63552Gas2372.8Check Price
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP77061Gas248.55Check Price
Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP77061Gas2785 Check Price
Snapper 2691317 360z52542Gas2373.0Check Price
Ariens 915213 19 HP 42 in.44042Gas1962.0Check Price
Husqvarna Z248F 48 in. 21.5 HP59548Gas21.56.53.5Check Price
Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 22HP 46-Inch71546Gas2272.8Check Price
Ariens 991151 Apex 60" 24 HP85360Gas2485Check Price
Troy-Bilt XP 25HP 60-Inch87560Gas2572.8Check Price

1. Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower – Best with Trailer

Husqvarna Z254 54 in. 26 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower review

The Husqvarna Z254 gives it’s users the best riding experiences found on any zero-turn mower.  One of the features that make this zero turn mower to stand out from others is the design of the 54” cutting deck.  This boosts the cutting ability which the Machine has to go through larger lawns. It can also have well on smaller lawns so you are guaranteed to finish your mowing just in time. The cutting deck is made up of heavy flat-stock steel which makes it one of the most durable products on this list. It has a powerful Kohler engine which is rated about 26 HP capable of cutting thicker grass.

This device does not only cut and mow your lawn but the outcome leaves your expanse of land perfectly fertile and full of manure! When cutting, you will notice that this zero turn mower gives you a consistent cut throughout your lawn.

When it comes to thick and tougher grasses it can also tackle that. Engines that are less powerful can’t be able to handle thicker grasses just as the Husqvarna Z254.

Don’t worry about the breaks because it comes with a patent-pending park brake system which makes it easy for users to stop when moving.

Pros
  • It is convenient for heavy use.
  • It can move through terrain well.
  • It has a very powerful 26 HP engine.
  • It comes with a patent-pending park brake system.
  • It has a unique cutting deck.
Cons
  • The bagger attachments and the mulching kit are purchased differently.

Author’s Opinion

With a patent-brake system, a 26 HP powerful engine, powerful tires, and a large cutting deck, there is no doubt that this product is the best zero turn mower in the market. It is designed to handle the toughest of jobs and even the lightest of projects too. I highly recommend this zero turn mower.

2. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series – Best with Bagger

Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52 Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki FR691 Series review

The Ariens 915223 is designed to give the user comfort and with the 23 HP engine, you would know that the company had this in mind during production.  This product is considered as one of the zero-turn mowers found in large mowing companies due to its impeccable ability to move very fast even though it drags about 770 pounds behind it as it moves. 

When mowing a hilly area, even with a fast zero turn mower, it may still be difficult for the user especially if they sit is not ergonomically inclined. This is the reason why a back pad was added in this product to make it more comfortable.  Another thing that made us love this device is the 13 different height cutting selections that are available to the user with a simple dial.  This makes it possible for customers to see what they are doing so as not to incur mistakes.

Pros
  • It has about 13 different cutting height adjustments.
  • It has longer blades.
  • The seats are padded to provide more comfort.
  • It has a strong 23 HP engine.
Cons
  • It is quite expensive.

Author’s Opinion

Hand any farmer the Ariens 915223 and you would get a perfectly mowed hilly lawn which won’t pose any difficulty for both the farmer and the zero-turn mower. Users love this device and people have reported using it for years because of its unique durability features.

3. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower – Best with Flip Deck

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower review

Just a few zero turn mowers have an engine with a capacity of 27 HP and this high power makes the Husqvarna MZ61 one of the best devices for heavy-duty mowing on hilly environments. With a powerful engine like that, there is no doubt that you would be done in no time.  Another factor that amazes us is the 3-blade cutting system which is effective and almost-perfect to take down a row of tall unwanted grass.  In addition to this, the blades are made out of 100% rustproof steel.

The hydrostatic gear found on this device is another feature users should look at. This feature makes sure that the control in this device is smooth and fluid as possible which is a plus when it comes to driving over a hill.  The durability is also spectacular with the 5-gallon fuel capacity, you can do a large expanse of land at a go.  This product has also been reported by most users to be comfortable. It has a driving seat with armrests installed to provide more comfort to whoever is using it.

Pros
  • It is perfect for bigger lawns and hills.
  • It has a 61” cutting deck for large cutting.
  • You can bag as much at just one go.
  • It has high maneuverability.
Cons
  • It is not convenient for long grasses.
  • It costs more than it offers.

Author’s Opinion

The Husqvarna MZ61 is just suitable for an only large expanse of lawn that is hilly and requires quick mowing services. If you want something for a smaller lawn, consider getting a smaller zero-turn mower. Either way, this amazing but lovely device is a recommended product.

4. Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower – Best with Cab

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower review

The Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 27 HP takes comfort, productivity, and performance to a whole new level.  This MZ series zero-turn mower drivers an amazing ergonomics and commercial-grade power.  It comes with a very powerful engine which rates at about 27 HP capable of high-speed grounds and reliable easy startups. It comes with a fabricated 11-steel gauge cutting deck. This offers about 61 inches of cutting with an intelligently designed deck lifting system which makes it possible for users to quickly and easily adjust their seats.

Waste collection is also available with this zero turn mower. The clippings can be bagged mulched or discharged using a 9-bushel triple bag collection system. One thing we didn’t like was that you have to purchase the attachment and the mulching kit separately.

This Briggs & Stratton engine powered and Hydrostatic Zero Turn Mower also boasts of seats that have armrests, vibration dampers and foam-padded hand grips which would make anyone operating this device to be comfortable.
Pros
  • It can maneuver complex situations.
  • It is perfect for a big expanse of hilly land.
  • It boasts of a 61-inch cutting deck.
  • It has a very comfortable seat.
Cons
  • Most users complained that the mower has no suspension.
  • Users complained that it creates skid marks when making a right turn.

Author’s Opinion

The heavy-duty steel frame, innovative operator interface and the commercial hydraulic system of this device help it create an amazing mowing experience on hills. The carefully designed armrests give users a comfort zone in the zero-turn mower for easy operation.

5. Snapper 2691317 360z Zero Turn Mower – Best with Catcher

Snapper 2691317 360z Zero Turn Mower review

The Snapper 2691317 is a professional zero turn mower that utilizes a 23 HP Briggs and Stratton V-twin engine.  This amazing zero turn mower has a Fabricated steel deck that measures about 42 inches.  It also comes with only two blades. However, the blades are capable of taking down tall grasses and mowing hilly lawns. With lovely but easily usable mower, operation hasn’t been much easier.

This product has easy to access maintenance points and a thick-walled front axle. The deck which is made up of steel makes sure that the mowing time is cut down drastically. It is also affordable. Snapper intelligently provided their users with a device that has commercial features that they can purchase at a smaller cost.

Pros
  • It is easy to operate.
  • It has a very powerful engine.
  • It is sold at a very affordable price.
  • It can be used for both private and commercial purposes.
Cons
  • It doesn’t have great customer service.
  • The seat is a bit too uncomfortable.

Author’s Opinion

Just one look at this zero turn mower, you would get to know why it is on this list. It has commercially inspired features with easy access maintenance points, steel frame deck, and durable design. The seats are a bit too uncomfortable though, but if you don’t mind, you can purchase this zero turn mower.

6. Ariens 915213 Zero Turn Mower – Best with Plow

Ariens 915213 Zero Turn Mower review

The Ariens 915213 is one of the best zero turn mowers you can get for your hilly lawn.  It boasts of an engine with about 19 HP capacity and a 42-inch cutting deck which trims and cuts through both short and tall blades of grass in no time.  One thing we loved about this particular zero turn mower is the engine. The engine requires minimal or no maintenance when it comes to just changing would and replacing the parts and it comes with a self-adjustable extension belt system.

When users drive this product, they would have a driving comfort and maximum maneuverability.

It also comes with a hydro transmission system and the 42-inch cutting deck is made with 12-gauge steel which gives more durability and functionality to this high end product.

It has about 12 different adjustable height range which goes from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches.

Pros
  • It is vibration-proof.
  • It has an adjustable seat for comfort.
  • It comes with a belt extension technology.
  • It is designed to stand the test of time.
  • It has 12 different height adjustment levels.
Cons
  • The back tires are not protected.

Author’s Opinion

The Ariens 915213 Zero Turn Mower is a very excellent system that is capable of handling jobs on hilly or sloppy grounds. It has a very comfortable seat in which users can find a safe place during operations. It is perfect for a smaller hilly expanse of land. I do recommend it.

7. Husqvarna Z248F 48 in. 21.5 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower – Best with Tracks

Husqvarna Z248F 48 in. 21.5 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower review

The Husqvarna Z248F is built with comfort and innovative design, just as most Husqvarna zero-turn mowers were built and users do like it because most times it doesn’t disappoint. This zero turn mower has a very amazing platform which is known as a clear-cutting platform. This gives the device more airflow, superior performance, and sturdy design.  The deck measures about 48 inches which contains about 3 blades that can trim both tall and short kinds of grass even on hilly roads.  It also has a maintenance-free hydrostatic transmission that allows smooth power operation and gear changes.

It is sturdy and it is made up of a high-strength steel frame that helps the device reduce or minimize vibrations during operations. All the controls on this device/machine is very easy to access. It has patent-pending automatic parking been. This feature allows the device to automatically stop in regards to the operator’s output.  The seats of this riding Zero Turn Riding Mower is also padded and armrest helps reduce user fatigue. 

Pros
  • It is comfortable and safe to use.
  • It is made up of a sturdy steel frame structure.
  • It is very durable.
  • It comes with amazing features.
  • It has minimal or no vibration.
Cons
  • Most users complained it wasn’t trimming equally.
  • Users complained that some parts do not last long.

Author’s Opinion

This zero turn mower tends to prove to be an extraordinary zero turn mower which one can use on their hilly lawns anytime. However, it is available to use for average to a smaller expanse of land and not big commercial lawns because of its features. I do recommend it.

8. Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 22HP 46-Inch Zero-Turn Mower – Best with Suspension

Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 22HP 46-Inch Zero-Turn Mower review

The Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 is manufactured to provide users with premium performance and speed so they can finish mowing their lawn as quickly as possible.  This zero turn mower boasts of a Dual EZT Transmission, an electric PTO and a powerful 24HP Briggs and Stratton twin engine.  These features make it more convenient for seamless controls and use on the larger surface areas. The wheels of this device also make it possible to comfortably drive on a hill.

This effective Zero-Turn Mower has a cutting deck that measures up to 46 inches which is convenient for efficient operation and cutting large landscapes. It has about 8 adjust height settings which can be accessed by the user at all times. The seats of this product is comfortable enough for the user or the person operating the device because of the dual suspension springs feature.

Pros
  • It has a very effective zero-turn maneuverability.
  • It has a 46” deck wide enough for cutting on large landscapes.
  • The seats are comfortable.
  • Powerful 24 HP engine.
Cons
  • Its customer service makes time to respond.
  • Some parts are not strong enough.

Author’s Opinion

This zero-turn mower a great product for a hilly expanse of land. It is manufactured and produced by a reputable company. It may not be the best but it can handle most jobs thrown at it. I recommend it.

9. Ariens 991151 Apex 60″ 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower – Best with V-Twin Engine

Ariens 991151 Apex 60 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower review

We don’t really know much about this Zero-Turn Riding Mower but we would try as much as possible to give you information we have about it. What we know is that it was made specifically for larger spaces and hilly grounds.  It boasts of a 25 horsepower engine which is made by Kohler and the V-Twin output performance makes it one of the best engines on a zero-turn mower. 

The cutting deck is made out of 12-gauge steel and it measures about 60 inches which are capable of cutting a large area. The Ariens 991151 has extra padding on the seats to provide users with a comfortable place during operations.

Pros
  • It has a powerful engine.
  • It has durable and strong components.
  • 13 cutting height positions.
  • It has comfortable seats.
  • It is affordable.
Cons
  • It is not suitable for long-term use.

Author’s Opinion

The Ariens 991151 is an incredible tool for farmers and landowners. It has a lot of features that give users professionalism just at a cheaper and more affordable rate. I do recommend this device.

10. Troy-Bilt XP 25HP 60-Inch FAB Deck Zero Turn Mower – Best with Joystick Control

Troy-Bilt XP 25HP 60-Inch FAB Deck Zero Turn Mower review

The Troy-Bilt XP is a commercial zero turn mower that is packed with all the features you need to cut your lawn faster at a more comfortable rate. This zero turn mower is a premium product that has a sturdy design and a cutting deck that measures 60 inches which are reinforced with heavy-duty steel. 

This mower boasts of a 25 HP engine that is capable of handling jobs that are thrown towards it. Besides this, it also has a superior ”power take-off” tech which manages the blades of this zero turn mower.  Although this zero-turn mower is designed to be durable, it still comes with a 6 months warranty. 

Pros
  • It has a powerful 25HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
  • It has a 60-inch cutting deck.
  • It has power take-off technology.
  • It is backed up by 3 years warranty.
  • It is made with steel reinforced skeletons.
Cons
  • The interlock switch is not situated well.

Author’s Opinion

Looking at the features of this amazing Zero Turn Mower you can tell it’s a very good candidate for the best zero turn mower for your lawn. It can handle large to medium expanses of the land but be careful about the location of the interlocking switch. A simple decrease in speed can help you handle this.

Buyer’s Guide

Factors to Consider when getting the best Zero Turn Mowers for Hills

Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills - Reviews & Guide

When getting a zero turn mower for a hilly area, there are some factors you need to consider so you would get a device that is very functional on unusual terrain.

Slope

The first factor anyone has to consider before getting a zero turn mower for hills is how sloppy the area is. Definitely, we are talking about hills here and you have to think about slope when you are getting a zero-turn mower. Some mowers are able to mow slopes of up to 15 degrees of the slope. While most brands would just advise that each user should keep the degrees below 10 for a more comfortable cut. So if you are handling slopes of about 10 degrees or less, we are convinced to say that any zero-turn mower would be good to go.

Ease of Use

Definitely, not all customers would know how to operate a zero-turn mower. So when you purchase, look for zero turn mowers which would be easier to drive.

If I may advise, I would suggest you rather go for a rear-wheel zero-turn mower. This is because most front wheeled devices would function properly when turning in a sloppy surface.

When purchasing ordinary mowers, speed is not a requirement with the recent developments but it’s mostly fast-moving mowers that always move the markets. When it comes to zero turn mowers on a sloppy environment, don’t even try to think of speed. This is because you would be mostly driving on slopes as high as from 10-15 degrees and slow and steady is the key in this scenario. So going for one in which the speed is between average is very fine. Don’t exchange your controls with acceleration when it comes to handling a zero turn mower on a hill.

Construction of Deck

Most commercial mowers feature several pieced deck made out of welded heavy gauge steel. Residential mowers, on the other hand, have an easier and lighter-gauge steel deck.  When picking out a zero turn mower, choose one with a strong deck and smaller wheels so you can take on the hilly platform easily.  This can also help prevent the device from getting too short.

Most reviews would just focus on the commercial features and it’s cheaper alternatives which one can use for private use on smaller spaces. Go for models with swiveling front wheels because they have a total of 4 wheels which can make it possible for your device to turn nicely in place.  Be reminded that these wheels are not typically controlled by steering wheels, there are two levers available that can operate and change the speed or direction of the zero-turn mower. 

Durability

Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills - Reviews & Guide

When getting a new zero turn mower, durability has to be on the user’s mind especially if it’s the first time you want to make use of it. The frame of the device must be sturdy and the construction of the deck has to be seamless to achieve this feature. Users can further their research by carefully checking the product’s specifications and the dimension of this steel frame then matching it to get the steel’s gauge and manner.

The way in which the steel gauge and the rear-mounted engine are protected would determine the durability of the zero-turn mower.

Price

Price is a factor every aspiring user has to look into. Make sure you get one within your budget. There are wonder zero turn mowers with reasonable features costing a reasonable fraction of price. Also, users who really need to get more special features from a zero-turn mower should know that it’s better to pay a little more at the time of purchase. The higher the price the more the features it can offer and the longer it might stay.

Most times, a higher price means higher quality and it is another key component for zero turn mowers that move between commercial and private purposes.

Most professionals suggest that companies that produce zero turn mowers for a large part of the population in a commercial way would end up tackling the price issue. These companies make lots of products at a less desirable profit so that they can get a good return on the investment.

Cutting Height Adjustment

Getting a zero turn mower with an easy but quick adjustment system is the goal here. This can allow the device to be easily raised while it offers more leverage for a shorter time.  An extra footplate changing cutting height makes most zero-turn mowers a snap and this can be done while on the sit.  Users can take this feature to the next level by getting one with a soft ride seat or an adjustable suspension system. Zero-turn mowers have levers that can be adjustable, armrests that are comfortable and a big platform to reduce the user’s fatigue.

Area of Use

Of course, you have to consider your area of land before you get a zero-turn mower.  These devices should be used at a bigger expanse of land so that it can be easy to drive around.  However, you can decide to get a zero turn mower which is much better than an average mower in speed as well as precision cutting. They can be used to move around even the most difficult of obstacles because of its turning abilities.

Comfort

Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills - Reviews & Guide

The seat of the zero turn mower has to be very pleasurable enough to support the back of the person operating the device. The control of the zero turn mower should be very easy to touch and operate. Also, check if the manufacturer makes and sells all the accessories needed for its function.

Comfort simply means how operating the device makes you feel and how easy it is for you to control it. These devices also affect your performance as it’s the user. A tighter control with a seamless ride at a fast but reasonable speed would help you stay fresh, finish faster and leave a professional result.

Wider Tire

Wider tires on a zero-turn mower mean more positive support to distribute the weight of the device on a larger area of land which can result in a smooth and better traction and movement. You need to get tires that would fit your exact specific needs.

When compared, professionals claim that a 4-ply-rated tire is the best amongst all types of tires because of its outstanding performance.

Big tires are much better because of the various features it boasts.

The back tires should size difference compared to the front tires so that it can offer a smoother ride and better traction. Also, there are some things you need to consider if you decide to change your rear-drive tires on your zero turn mower.

Design of the Engine

The design of the engine found on the zero turn mower you want to purchase has to be magnificent and outstanding. Instead of a single-engine, a twin-cylinder OHV engine is a more powerful option. It is very functional and easy to handle than a single-engine.

The main zero-turn-radius capability that gives this device it’s importance has to have a great impact on the riding-mower engine design. This means that the most significant changes are gotten from different types of transmissions as well as engines.

Currently, electric-start engines can have features such as diesel power, a liquid cooling system, and a V-twin engine. The adoption of overhead valves found in the engine design can provide lower dune emissions and better fuel economy. This means more torque as well as power.

FAQ

How to operate a zero turn mower?
A typical lawnmower is set up like a car, with the engines in front and the steering wheel with acceleration and breaks below. However, when it comes to a zero turn mower, the engine is featured at your back and the only thing you can see in front of your are two levers that control every movement on the device. This strange arrangement scares the user but most people found out that the controls are just as easy as driving a car. Zero-turn mowers are rear-wheel vehicles that the left and the right tires are independently controlled by a lever which makes it possible to achieve a zero-turn radius. As you drive a zero turn mower, pull the steering levers over your lap together to set the device as neutral. To move forward, push the two levers forward and to slow down, pull the levers backward. When pulling back, pulling them past neutral will put the device on the reverse. In turn, move the levels in the opposite direction. The wheels are very sensitive to movements so avoid making sharp turns.
How to change hydraulic fluid in zero turn mower?
To change the hydraulic fluid in your zero turn mower, prepare your device for maintenance. Clean the oil fill and also remove the dipstick. Next, find a siphon pump and drain the hydraulic fluid. Next, add a new set of oil as instructed or directed by your operational manual.

To change the oil using the drain plug method, Attach the drain hose and place a container under the drain hose to catch the excess oil. Remove the drain plug to empty your oil into the container. When that is done, add new oil and replace the dipstick while also checking the oil level. Replace the oil filter and make sure you clean any debris if there is any. Reattach the spark plug ignition wire and dispose of the old drained oil.

How to jack up a zero turn mower?
Start out by Parking the zero turn mower on a hard but leveled surface. Set the parking brake and put the ignition to off. Try raising the mower deck to the tallest point by pulling the mower deck lever all the way back. Raise the jack-up until the front part of the zero turn mower is 2ft off the ground.
How to put a belt on a zero-turn mower?
When putting a belt on a zero turn mower, users should start out by taking the first security step by parking it on a hard and leveled surface. Next, lower the mower deck to the lowest position. Remove the belt cover from the pulley at the right side where the grass chute is located at. Remove the belt cover from the pulley on the left side too. Next, raise the mower deck to the highest point. You can take a photo of the belt arrangement before you start fixing so you would have a visual representation at hand. Release the tension on the belt using a belt tension release lever. After that, remove the belt by holding the tension release lever and first slipping the belt off the PTO pulley under the engine. Fix the new belt on the mower deck pulley just as you saw the old one. Attach the covers back.
How to tow a zero turn mower?
To winterize a hot water pressure washer, run an antifreeze solution through the device. Unplug the water supply from your hot water pressure washer and connect the antifreeze container.

Try as much as possible to remove all the excess water and dry it. Flush out the detergent and water by placing the washers injection tube into a bucket of clean water.
Add the pump saver to the pump inlet.

Why does my hot water pressure washer smoke?
With a zero turn mower, you can tow it by just pushing it. To do this, you have to put your zero turn mower in a position where it can be pushed around with the back wheels disconnected from the hydraulic pumps.

Conclusion

Zero Turn Mowers are recommended for users and farmers with an acre of land or more but for some people, a simple mower or tractor is a better choice. They are mostly a device that isn’t suitable for normal-sized gardens. Although they are very swift to complete the job, the speed comes from the price of the machines.

Before you make your final choice, make sure you review the product you want to purchase carefully. Read and research more about it a hit won’t be caught unawares about any feature that you didn’t know about.

We hope we have helped you to pick out the best zero turn mower. Also, remember the more luxurious products may have a higher life expectancy.

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