January 23, 2018

Best of the Small Zero Turn Mowers

small zero turn mowers

Homeowners can now have have the same professional landscaping results as huge corporations and the incredibly wealthy because they now have access to powerful lawn mowers that have been traditionally only available to commercial landscapers. Small zero turn mowers reduce the physical demand associated with keeping a lawn trim while offering the type of exceptional maneuverability and professional quality of cut that is usually only offered by high-end commercial-grade machines.

Below we list the best small zero turn mowers for residential use. Each of these machines has zero-turn maneuverability and offers commercial-like performance without the commercial pricetag.

Contents

Small Zero Turn Walk-Behind Mowers

Walk-behind lawn mowers are by far the most popular residential mower type. However, unlike standard residential walk-behind mowers the lawn mowers listed below have zero-turn maneuverability.

They are motor-driven machines which are guided by an operator who walks behind them using a handlebar.

 Our Top 3 Picks

Troy-Bilt WC33 zero turn walk-behind mower

Troy-Bilt WC33 small zero-turn mower

Product Info:

  • 420cc OHV engine 
  • Self-propelled walk-behind mower
  • Easy electric start
  • 33″ cutting deck
  • Twin blades
  • Wide area cut

Features:

  • Four forward speeds
  • Rear wheel drive system
  • Integrated deck wash
  • Zero-turn maneuverability to “turn on a dime”
  • 2-in-1 convertible to side discharge and mulch
  • 3-year limited warranty
Swisher Predator 24″ zero turn walk-behind mower
Swisher Predator small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 11.5 HP Briggs & Stratton recoil start engine
  • Self-propelled Walk-Behind
  • Easy electric start
  • 24″ cutting deck
  • Commercial grade lawn mower

Features:

  • 1-3/4″ cutting height range
  • 4-Speed transmission with reverse
  • Adjustable handlebar with hand controls
  • Ideal for rough terrain
Turf Beast 36″ zero turn walk-behind/stand-on mower
turf beast small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • Quick adjust floating deck, no tools required
  • Dual hydrostatic drive for ease in maneuverability
  • 36″ wide cut
  • Substantial heavy duty construction with 7 gauge steel welded deck
  • Soft start clutch and spindle brakes for longer belt life and lower maintenance

Features:

  • 18,750 ft./min tip speed for a clean professional quality cut
  • 8 mph forward speed for faster cutting
  • Quality cut at high speeds through tall grass with the high capacity deck
  • Convertible – walk-behind or stand-on

Troy-Bilt WC33 Wide-cut 33″ Small Zero Turn Mower Review

Troy-Bilt WC33 small zero-turn mower

Product Info:

  • 420cc OHV engine 
  • Self-propelled walk-behind mower
  • Easy electric start
  • 33″ cutting deck
  • Twin blades
  • Wide area cut

Features:

  • Four forward speeds
  • Rear wheel drive system
  • Integrated deck wash
  • Zero-turn maneuverability to “turn on a dime”
  • 2-in-1 convertible to side discharge and mulch
  • 3-year limited warranty

Troy Bilt WC33 small zero turn walk behind mowerSince 1937 when Troy-Bilt’s outdoor equipment began to change the farming landscape in America it has become, and still remains, committed to local communities as well as major corporate interests.

They have a reputation for building outdoor machines which are durable, rugged, and reliable.

So, it is no surprise that their Troy-Bilt WC33 offers the same high quality and cutting power that Troy-Bilt has become known for.

 

About Troy-Bilt WC33

This electric start wide-cut lawn mower is a walk-behind self-propelled mower which offers zero-turn maneuverability and teh type of cut you’d usually expect from a high-end zero turn riding mower.

The Troy-Bilt WC33 may be of one of the smallest zero-turn mowers but the 420cc OHV engine is more than capable of tackling rough terrain and steep inclines.

Its rear wheel drive system comes with a variable throttle control and four forward speeds.

You will never run out of fuel since its clear view gas tank easily displays the amount of fuel in the mower at all times.

WC33 Troy Bilt Zero Turn walk-behind mowerIts twin-blade cutting deck which is a huge 33″ wide, for a wide-cut, seamlessly adjusts to eight settings with a single easy-use lever.

The eight settings of the twin-blade that range from 1.25″ to 3.5″.

Its large 16″ pneumatic rear wheels, and 8″ front casters with ball bearings are usually key features of high-quality zero-turn riding lawn mowers so using them in a walk-behind mower shows that the machine has been not only built to perform at a level equal to a zero turn riding mower but that it is also built to last.

Troy-Bilt WC33 comes with a 3-year limited warranty and a 2-in-1 cutting deck for both mulch and side-discharge.

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Product Info:

WC33 Troy Bilt Zero Turn walk-behind mower controls

  • Walk-Behind Mower
  • 12 HP, 420cc OHV Engine
  • Variable transmission
  • Mulch, Side-Discharge
  • Single-lever height Adjustment

Features:

  • 33” dual blade cutting deck
  • 18’’ turn radius
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Reverse mowing
  • Hour meter with maintenance reminder
  • 3-year warranty

 

Engine

Troy-Bilt WC33 is powered by a 12HP 420cc OHV engine.

Troy-Bilt WC33 engineThere is no pull cord on this small zero turn mower; a simple turn of the key and the engine comes to life every time without any need to prime and without.

Its variable throttle control provides maximum performance for its users.

It also has an hour meter with a maintenance reminder.

The engine is great with regards to its fuel and oil consumption.
 
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Height Adjustment

The Troy-Bilt WC33 has a great height adjustment range for a walk-behind mower.

Its range of 1.25″ to 3.5″ allows for cut height to be increased or decreased via a simple lever.

 

Cut Quality

Troy-Bilt WC33- Wide-Cut-RWD small zero turn mowerThe consistency of its cut-quality is equal to any 33″ zero turn riding mower on the market today.

The ability to turn the machine on a dime adds to the ease of maneuverability and as a walk-behind mower can access areas where a riding mower would be too bulky to reach this machine can actually be better for lawn areas with challenging designs and “nooks and crannies”.
 
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Maintenance

Troy-Bilt WC33 Operator ManualAs with any mechanical and as-powered machine this walk-behind mower does require some amount of maintenance but no requires no more attention than you would give to a motor vehicle you only used once or twice per month.

Provision is made for a highly detailed manual to put users through everything they need to know about the maintenance of the Troy-Bilt WC33.

Unlike the larger more complex ride-on zero turn mowers this walk-behind zero-turn mower requires much less maintenance.
 
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Predator 24″ Rough-cut Commercial-Grade Small Zero Turn Mower Review

Swisher Predator small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 11.5 HP Briggs & Stratton recoil start engine
  • Self-propelled Walk-Behind
  • Easy electric start
  • 24″ cutting deck
  • Commercial grade lawn mower

Features:

  • 1-3/4″ cutting height range
  • 4-Speed transmission with reverse
  • Adjustable handlebar with hand controls
  • Ideal for rough terrain

Max Swisher began building handmade lawn mowers in Warrensberg, MO before electricity even came to rural Missouri. He was so good at it that by 1949 he had invented the very first commercially available zero-turn mower and called it the “Ride King“. This was the beginning of the world-renowned Swisher brand.

To date, Swisher Acquisition Inc., dedicates itself to innovating products of high quality. Following their anticipation of market trends and the needs of residential consumers as well as commercial users, they came up with the small walk-behind zero turn mower called the Swisher Predator 24”.

 

About Predator 24″

No standard lawn mower, and few small zero turn mowers, can match the abilities of this self-propelled walk-behind rough-cut mower.

Swisher Predator small zero turn mowerIt is perfect for cutting trails through the woods and easily clears the densest undergrowth and saplings.

It comes with a heavy-duty cutting deck which is fabricated with a 3″ to 4.75″ cutting height range. This small zero turn mower features a powerful Briggs and Stratton engine with a whopping 11.5 HP.

The adjustable height handlebar gives its operators greater control.

No matter how tough a terrain is, the excellent traction of its large pneumatic chevron tires rolls over the ground easily in all conditions.

The four-speed transmission moves the self-propelled mower at a comfortable pace that is fast enough to get through tough environments but not too fast to have the mower run-away from you. Although the machine is large for a walk-behind mower it handles very well and can also easily back out of any rough spot using its handy reverse mode.

Unlike many other powerful zero turn mowers the Predator 24″ is fully compliant with the requirements of all 50 states. So, California residents can take advantage of this fantastic machine.

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Product Info:

  • Walk-Behind Mower
  • 5 HP, 344cc Engine
  • Four-speed transmission
  • Gas powered
  • Carb Compliant

Swisher Predator small zero turn mower controls

 

Features:

  • 24” heavy duty cutting deck
  • Power reverse
  • Simple-keyed electric with recoil start
  • Reverse mowing
  • Adjustable Handlebar
  • 1-year warranty

 

Engine

The Predator 24″ may be a small zero turn mower but it comes powered by a hefty 11.5 HP 344cc 4-Cycle Briggs and Stratton engine. A engine that is more powerful than some riding mowers.

It offers operators an option to use a recoil or simple key start to bring its engine to life. This mower bears the tagline “rough-cut” for a reason; the four-speed transmission allows users to move at a comfortable pace as they mow regardless of the challenges of the terrain.

Another thing that helps to make the Predator 24″ one of the best walk-behind zero turn mowers is the provision of an adjustable handlebar with easily-accessible hand controls. Something that is a must when tackling exceptionally rough terrain.

The fuel and oil consumption of its engine is economical considering the power offered but is obviously greater than a standard residential machine though considerably less than a ride-on mower.

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Height Adjustment

Like zero turn riding mowers, the Predator 24″ comes with a cutting-height adjustment range.

The Swisher Predator HandlebarThe range it offers is between 3″ to 4.75″ which means that its operators can easily adjust its height to suit the grass they want to cut.

As this is a walk-behind mower it is advisable to start at a greater height on very rough terrain and then once the area is reduced to a manageable level go over it again at a lower cut-height to avoid scalping.

This is good practice even if you are using a mower powerful zero turn riding mower.

 

Maintenance

The Predator 24″ does not require too much maintenance.

Upon purchase, it comes with a detailed manual which operators read through to learn everything they need to know on how to maintain this small zero turn walk-behind mower.

 

Cut Quality

Swisher Predator rough cut small zero turn mowerAs you would expect from a zero-turn mower, and especially from Swisher, the quality of the cut is top-notch.

The Predator will give an even cut across even the roughest of terrain.

However, the real advantage of this machine is in tackling very challenging environments.

For this reason is a great choice for commercial users.

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Turf Beast 36″ Stand-On/Walk-Behind Mower Review

turf beast small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • Quick adjust floating deck, no tools required
  • Dual hydrostatic drive for ease in maneuverability
  • 36″ wide cut
  • Substantial heavy duty construction with 7 gauge steel welded deck
  • Soft start clutch and spindle brakes for longer belt life and lower maintenance

Features:

  • 18,750 ft./min tip speed for a clean professional quality cut
  • 8 mph forward speed for faster cutting
  • Quality cut at high speeds through tall grass with the high capacity deck
  • Convertible – walk-behind or stand-on

The Turf Beast 36″ is manufactured by GXi Outdoor Power LLC. The company is the relative “new kid on the block” having been founded in 2001. Since then though, it has carved a niche for itself in the development and manufacture of zero turn mowers.

The company which is headquartered in Clayton, NC manufactures a range of outdoor power equipment that includes the small, but powerful, stand-on zero turn mower the Turf Beast 36″.

 

About Turf Beast 36″

This heavy duty commercial-grade zero turn mower is powered by an electric start Subaru eh65v 22 HP (653cc) commercial duty engine.

Turf Beast small zero turn mowerThough it falls under the category of small zero turn mower, it is perfect for landscapers and large lot owners as well as residential users.

Its ease of use results from an offering of an infinitely variable speed control and superior maneuverability and the unique ability to use the machine as either a stand-on or walk-behind lawn mower.

As with most modern commercial machines you do not require tools to quickly and easily alter the deck height of its quick adjust floating deck.

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Product Info:

  • Stand on Mower
  • Can be used as a walk-behind mower
  • 22 HP 653cc Engine
  • Dual Hydrostatic Drive
  • Exclusive V-Bar E-Z hydro speed control
  • Sift Start Clutch and Spindle Brakes

Turf Beast stand on small zero turn mower controls

 

Features:

  • 36″ wide cut
  • Dual break-away blade
  • Electric start with battery
  • Rear Bag, discharge, mulch
  • Quick adjust floating deck
  • 1-year warranty

 

Engine

The electric start Subaru EH65V 22HP (653cc) commercial engine sported by the Turf Beast is paired with dual hydrostatic drives. It is perfect for those that own large lots and landscapers as well.

It comes with a dual hydrostatic drive system that makes it possible for operators to enjoy variable speed control in addition to the superior maneuverability that a zero turn mower provides.

By allowing for quality cut at high speeds, this mower gets more area cut in less time.

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Height Adjustment

The Turf Beast 36″ comes with a quick adjust floating deck that allows an operator to alter the deck height depending on the height of the lawn grass to be cut.

Most importantly, although the turf Beast is marketed as a commercial lawn mower, it is building in popularity as a residential machine due, not only to its cut quality but also, due to its hybrid nature; you can use the lawn mower as a walk-behind or stand on mower.

 

Maintenance

Turf Beast 36″ is easier to maintain that most zero turn riding mowers.

Turf Beast stand on small zero turn mowerTo make things easier for its operators, a detailed manual written for non-technical users is provided upon purchase. All the details required to adequately maintain this stand on mower are provided.

 

Cut Quality

This small zero turn mower, with its 36″ blade and powerful engine, has the capability to give a perfect cut equal to even the best zero turn riding mower. The wide-area deck allows the turf beats to cut a wide area with each pass.

The mower is also capable of delivering an even cut across a range of challenging terrains and sloped lawns. Its floating deck can be adjusted to the level required for a clean cut via a handy lever.

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Comparison of Troy-Bilt WC33, Predator 24”, and Turf Beast 36″
Comparison Chart for Small Zero Turn Walk-Behind Mowers
Troy-Bilt WC33 33" Predator 24" Turf Beast 36"
Mower Type: walk-behind walk-behind stand-on
Horse Power: 12 HP 11.5 HP 22 HP
Engine Displacemet: 420cc OHV 344cc 633cc
Cutting Width: 33" 24" 36"
Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years 1 year 1 year
Transmission Type: Variable Four-Speed Dual Hydrostatic Drive
Start Type: Electric Electric with coil Electric
Number of Blades: 2 1 2
Price: check Amazon check Amazon check Amazon

Small Zero Turn Riding Mowers

Obviously riding mowers differ from walk-behind mowers because the operator sits on it while cutting the lawn. However, there is a misconception that all zero turn riding mowers are large machines. You can get small zero turn riding mowers and below we have chosen those lawn mowers which we feel deserve a place on our list of best small zero turn mowers.

The following are some of the best small zero turn riding mowers for 2018.

 

Our Top 4 Picks

Toro Timecutter 32″ small zero turn riding mower
time cutter small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 32 ” Cutting Deck
  • 452cc OEM Branded Toro engine
  • 10-Gauge steel frame
  • Single blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres
  • Smart speed trim/tow/mow ground speed ranges

Features:

  • 7 height positions from 1.5 to 4.5 in
  • 7 mph forward
  • 3 mph reverse
  • 3-year limited warranty with unlimited hours
  • Free White Glove Service
Ariens Zoom 34″ zero turn riding mower
ariens zoom zero turn riding mower

Product Info:

  • 34″ Cutting Deck
  • 19 HP Kohler 6000 series engine
  • 12-Gauge steel stamped xlerator deck
  • Dual blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres
  • Hydro-gear EZT transaxles with 1″ axle shaft

Features:

  • Foot operated deck lift
  • 7 height positions from 1.5 to 4.5 in.
  • 6 mph forward speed
  • 3 mph reverse
  • Free White Glove Service
  • 3 year consumer warranty
Cub Cadet RZT 34″ zero turn riding mower
cub cadet 34 small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 34″ Cutting Deck
  • 452cc Cub Cadet Single-Cylinder Engine
  • 13-Gauge Steel
  • Rust-resistant heavy-duty dual-blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres

Features:

  • Narrow wheel-base fits through 36 in. gates
  • 8-cutting positions from 1-1/2 to 4 in
  • 7 mph forward
  • 4 mph reverse
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty
John Deere Z355E 42″ zero turn riding mower
john deere 42 small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 48″ cutting deck
  • 22 HP V-twin John Deere branded engine
  • 11-Gauge Steel
  • Triple blades
  • Size of Yard 2 – 4 Acres
  • Dual EZT transmissions

Features:

  • 7 mph forward
  • 4 mph reverse
  • Free White Glove Service
  • Warranty – 2 years or 120 hours, whichever occurs first.

Toro Timecutter 32″ Small Zero Turn Riding Mower Review

time cutter small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 32 ” Cutting Deck
  • 452cc OEM Branded Toro engine
  • 10-Gauge steel frame
  • Single blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres
  • Smart speed trim/tow/mow ground speed ranges

Features:

  • 7 height positions from 1.5 to 4.5 in
  • 7 mph forward
  • 3 mph reverse
  • 3-year limited warranty with unlimited hours
  • Free White Glove Service

We begin our review of the top 4 small zero turn riding mowers with the Toro Timecutter 32″.

The Toro Company first mounted innovative five reel lawn mowers back in the year 1919 and has never looked back since then. They have grown to have a strong base of professional distributors, dealers, and retailers in over 90 countries across the globe.

The company has maintained its mission to design and deliver superior innovation within its field and they have certainly achieved that aim as far small zero turn mowers are concerned with the introduction of the Timecutter 32″.

 

About Timecutter 32″

The Timecutter 32″ comes with a smart speed control system and is powered by a 452cc Toro engine.

This hydrostatic zero-turn mower is one of the smallest zero turn riding mowers available on the market.

TimeCutter 32" small zero turn mowerIt boasts 7 cutting positions that range from 1.5″ to 4.5″.

The Trim, Tow, and Mow speed ranges offered by this small zero turn mower offer its operators speed with easy maneuverability and precise control.

Its 32″ blade is located under a top discharge deck that is 4″ deep with a convenient washout port.

There is provision for a standard floor mat, an 18″ extra-tall seat, an electric PTO, an automatic parking brake, and a hitch for pulling Brinly-Hardy attachments.

 
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Product Info:

  • Ride-On Mower
  • 452cc Toro Engine
  • Dual Hydrostatic Transmission
  • Engine Guard
  • Hitch for pulling Brinly-Hardy equipment

Timecutter heavy duty rear engine guard

 

Features:

  • 32″ wide cut
  • 1-blade mowing deck
  • 18” extra-tall seat
  • Automatic Parking Brake
  • Extra large 3-gallon fuel tank
  • 3-year warranty

 

Engine

The test range of the engine’s horsepower was 3,600 RPM. It is in accordance with SAE J1940 and SAE J2723.

Toro Timecutter small zero turn mower engineThis Toro branded engine which meets emission, safety, and operating requirements means that even though this is a small zero-turn mower it is more than capable of that type of pulling attachments commercial users would be familiar with.

Its smart speed control system offers Trim, Tow, and Mow ranges of speed that supports easy maneuvering. The speed control system is specifically designed to help this machine achieve maximum cut performance even at maximum speed.

This makes it one of the best small riding on zero turn mowers available in 2018.

We do, as with all mowers we review, suggest you do not mow at top speed (especially in reverse) as you will always run the risk of scalping your lawn unless it has exceptionally flat terrain.

 
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Height Adjustment

Not many small zero turn riding lawn mowers offers operators the number of height adjustments available on Timecutter 32″.

The 7 cutting positions it offers range from 1.5″ to 4.5″ in height. All an operator needs to do is adjust the height via a height lever.

 

Maintenance

As the Timecutter is a riding mower it does require more maintenance than an walk-behind zero turn mower but maintaining it is no more difficult than with any other motor vehicle. Just ensure you gave it an oil change at the allotted time, clean out the deck via its handy wash-port and give it a tune-up every year or two and it will run for decades.

The machine comes with an operating manual which details everything that pertains to its maintenance.

 

Cut Quality

The Toro Timecutter 32″ is one of the best small zero turn riding mowers when it comes to the quality of its cut.

Although it has only one 32″ blade due to its professional quality of cut and competitive price tag it can often be seen as well-worked member of many a professional landscaper’s commercial fleet.

Timecutter 32 inch small zero turn riding mowerDue to its compact size it easily gets into tight places and because it has zero-turn maneuverability no lawn area will go uncut.

With a top speed of 7mph forward and 3mph in reverse the mower is more than a match for even the largest of lawns.

We do recommend that you mow at top speed using any machine (especially in reverse) but this small zero turn riding mower performs very well on reasonably flat terrain at 7mph and will at lower speeds can create an even cut on even the most challenging terrain.

 
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Ariens Zoom 34″ Small Zero Turn Mower Review

ariens zoom zero turn riding mower

Product Info:

  • 34″ Cutting Deck
  • 19 HP Kohler 6000 series engine
  • 12-Gauge steel stamped xlerator deck
  • Dual blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres
  • Hydro-gear EZT transaxles with 1″ axle shaft

Features:

  • Foot operated deck lift
  • 7 height positions from 1.5 to 4.5 in.
  • 6 mph forward speed
  • 3 mph reverse
  • Free White Glove Service
  • 3 year consumer warranty

Ariens had just 4 employees when it began operations back in in 1933.

The company was founded in Brillion, Wisconsin, after Henry Ariens showed his sons the gas-powered roto-tiller he had invented.

Since then to now Ariens has built machines which contributed to the shaping of America’s landscape. The company which puts its family name on the line with each new machine they build have excelled yet again with the small zero turn riding mower named “Zoom”.

Although the Ariens Zoom comes in different sizes we have believe the 34″ Ariens Zoom deserves a spot in our top 4 small zero turn riding mowers.

 

About Ariens Zoom 34”

The Ariens Zoom 34″ ranks in the category of the small zero turn mower but despite its compact design it offers the type of premium power and a superior cut usually reserved for its much bigger brothers.

Ariens zoom 34" small zero turn mowerThe Zoom is designed for residential operators with fairly large swaths of land.

The machine has a cutting width of 34″ for a wide enough cut to get a mowing job finished in good time but which also means it is small enough to easily fit through a standard gate.

It can mow both small and large yards quickly and although rated as a residential mower it is powerful enough to be used by commercial companies the length and breadth of the country.

The power required to operate this small zero turn mower is provided by a Kohler 6000 series engine with 19 HP.

 
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Product Info:

  • Ride-On Mower
  • 19 HP 6000 series V-Twin Kohler Engine
  • Hydrostatic transmission
  • Bag, Mulch, Side-Discharge
  • 12-guage steel

The Ariens Zoom 34 inch profile view

 

Features:

  • 34” wide cut
  • Foot operated deck lift
  • 2 blades
  • Electric start
  • 2-gallon fuel tank
  • 3-year warranty

 

Engine

The Kohler 6000 engineLike all riding zero turn mowers, the Ariens Zoom 34” requires a powerful and efficient engine to perform at its maximum best and the a 19HP Kohler engine is equal to the task.

The 6000 series engine operates on 2 cylinders.

It allows the zt-mower to mow a yard quickly at speeds up to 6mph speed when moving forward and 3mph while in reverse.

This engine provides the torque required to handle most mowing conditions and terrains. As its a Kohler engine is reliable and easy to maintain.

 
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Height Adjustment

Zero turn riding lawn mowers are known for their ability to cut grass evenly or in patterns. This is because they are equipped with an easy lever to adjust their cut height and the traction they give ensures an even cut regardless of the challenging environment.

The Ariens Zoom 34″ offers its operators 7 cutting positions. The range of their height is from 1.5″ to 4.5″.

 

Maintenance

Ariens small zero turn mower Zoom 34 inchIt is common knowledge that walk behind zero turn mowers are easier to maintain but this riding mower does not require much in terms of maintenance.

As with the other small zero turn riding mowers reviewed on this page cleaning the deck, via the handy wash port, after every use along with a regular oil change and the standard type of maintenance you would perform on any motorized vehicle is all that is required to keep the Zoom in perfect working order for many years.

You will get a detailed manual on how to maintain this machine upon purchase.

 

Cut Quality

To be ranked as one of the best small zero turn riding mowers, in our opinion, a zero turn mower must have a high quality of cut.

The Ariens Zoom in actionThe Ariens Zoom 34″ gives one of the best quality cuts on average residential lawns making it one of the best mowers among the many machines in its class out there thus making it a preferred choice for mowing small and large residential yards.

Its 12-guage steel stamped xlerator mowing deck and high quality dual blades powered by a Kohler 600 series engine provides everything needed for an excellent cut.

 
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Cub Cadet 34″ RZT Small Zero Turn Mower Review

cub cadet 34 small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 34″ Cutting Deck
  • 452cc Cub Cadet Single-Cylinder Engine
  • 13-Gauge Steel
  • Rust-resistant heavy-duty dual-blade
  • Size of Yard 1/2 – 2 Acres

Features:

  • Narrow wheel-base fits through 36 in. gates
  • 8-cutting positions from 1-1/2 to 4 in
  • 7 mph forward
  • 4 mph reverse
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty

Cub Cadet makes one of the best small zero turn riding mowers on this list. The company has a timeline filled with rich history.

Since 1961, when its first product hit the market, their drive for innovation has kept them competitive and well poised for the future. Their innovations in zero turn riders led to the invention of Cub Cadet RZT range that is available in “L” class (lever controls) and “SR” class (steering wheel operated).

 

About Cub Cadet RZT L 34″

The Cub Cadet RZT range are designed for residential use and some models are available with lever operation controls or steering wheel control.

The “L” models, that use the traditional dual levers for steering,

The “S” models are available on the larger machines, from 42″ and up, and use a standard steering wheel for users who prefer to skip the usual, but short, learning curve involved in operating a zero turn mower.

Cub Cadet RZT small zero turn mowerThe smaller 34″ RZT is available as an “L” model but it is easy to adjust the lap bars of this machine for comfortable operation and within the space of 20 minutes you will be expert in its manuarability.

The Cub Cadet RZT 34″ was designed for operators that mow tough lawns but that need a compact machine. It fits easily past even small gates of 36″ wide and up.

It is one of the best zero turn riding mowers to be powered by a single cylinder engine.

The 452cc Cub Cadet branded engine, although single cylinder, provides enough power for even the most demanding residential user.

which is the longest and narrowest available capable of passing through a 36″ gate.

It also offers its operator more legroom than other zero turn riding lawn mowers. You are assured of this tractor’s durability based on its steel frame, chassis, and heavy-duty fabricated front axle. It has the ability to handle tight spaces which is great for an operator who does heavy and frequent mowing. An operator will never feel uncomfortable tackling the rough as these provisions combine with the machine’s ball bearing hubs.

 
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Product Info:

  • Ride-On Mower
  • 452cc Cub Cadet Single-Cylinder Engine
  • Dual-Hydro transmission
  • Front axle shields with LED lights
  • Narrow wheel-base

Cub Cadet small zero turn mower RZT controls

 

Features:

  • 34” wide cut
  • Ball bearing hubs
  • Rust-resistant heavy-duty dual-blade cutting deck
  • 8-cutting positions
  • Full rear bumper
  • 2-year warranty

 

Engine

Although this mower has one of the smallest engines on our list the 452cc Cub Cadet branded single cylinder engine offers more than enough power to deliver.

A plus of having a smaller engine is that during operation, this small zero turn mower is exceptionally smooth and operates more quietly than the other riding machines on our list.

The Cub Cadet RZT 34 inch may have the smallest engine but it offers the best speedDon’t let the smaller engine deceive you into thinking this is the least powerful zero turn riding mower on our list because it isn’t.

As the old adage goes “size doesn’t matter it’s how you use it”.

Even though there are less cc’s available the engine is still capable of high speeds; while moving forward, it can travel at a speed of 7 mph matching 2 of the larger-engined models on our list and beating one.

In reverse The RZT 34″ is the fastest machine on our list giving a maximum reverse speed of 4 mph while still cutting even beating out the larger 744cc 22HP 42″ John Deere!

 
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Height Adjustment

The RZT-L 34″ offers 8 cutting positions which allow operators to select from the range of 1.5″ to 4″ – again beating out its competition (the standard being only 7 cutting positions).

The RZT L 34 small zero turn mower being operatedAlthough this is a small, and some would argue, insignificant detail it is just another added advantage that makes this small zero turn mower loved by all of us at How Does Your Garden Mow.

 

Maintenance

The cost of maintaining this zt-mower is almost as low as that of walk behind zero turn mowers.

For instance, its hour meter offers an operator insight to the status of the mower as well as maintenance schedule.

It also comes with a detailed manual to act as a guide.

Cub Cadet use anti-rust paint on their machines which gives them a very long-life but as with all the riding mowers on this page regular oil changes and cleaning of the deck after every use (via the handy wash-port) will add many years onto the life of the machine.

 

Cut Quality

Cub Cadet RZT 34 small zero turn mower in actionThe Cub Cadet RZT-L 34″ is one of the best small zero turn mowers on the market (if not the best) when it comes to the quality of cut provided.

Its dual-blade cutting deck helps to give lawns that excellent professional look many people pay commercial landscaping companies for.

It offers a clean-cut and the very respectable 34″ cutting deck means the machine has ability to cut wide areas of lawn in the shortest possible time.

 
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John Deere Z355E 42″ Small Zero Turn Mower Review

john deere 42 small zero turn mower

Product Info:

  • 48″ cutting deck
  • 22 HP V-twin John Deere branded engine
  • 11-Gauge Steel
  • Triple blades
  • Size of Yard 2 – 4 Acres
  • Dual EZT transmissions

Features:

  • 7 mph forward
  • 4 mph reverse
  • Free White Glove Service
  • Warranty – 2 years or 120 hours, whichever occurs first.

The core values of the John Deere Company, which was founded in 1837 is simple, work every day to uphold its founder’s core values which are integrity, commitment, quality, and innovation. 

Based on their commitment to offering the public quality and innovative products, the John Deere Z355E 42″ small zero turn riding mower was created for residential users who want the same professional quality as commercial users without the price-tag or maintenance requirements.

 

About The John Deere Z355E 42″

The John Deere Z355E 42″ ranks high among the small zero turn mowers on this list. It is the largest of the machines we have included in our list of best small zero turn mowers and with a cutting deck of 42″ is, arguably, not really that small.

The John Deere Z335E small zero turn mowerWe have included the Z355E because it is designed to be used on residential lawns and is therefore considered to be a small zero turn mower (though many considerate to be a medium sized machine.

However, the Z355E 42″ is such a good zero-turn mowing-machine that we just couldn’t leave it off our list!

There is no questioning the quality, performance, and comfort which this machine offers its operators.

This John Deere 42″ mower comes with the exceptional maneuverability and trimming capability that only a zero turn mower can offer but its positive selling-points don’t stop there.

Some of its best features include large tires for better traction, convenient controls, and a heavy-duty commercial-grade frame with a 42″ triple-blade cutting deck. These features combine well to provide its users exceptional quality in cut and incredible value for money.

 
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Product Info:

  • Ride-On Mower
  • 22 HP V-Twin John Deere branded Engine
  • Dual EZT transmission
  • 42″ Accel. Deep Deck
  • A Heavy-duty frame

The John Deere Z335E controls

 

Features:

  • 42″ wide cut
  • 3 blades
  • Gas-powered
  • Bag, side-discharge, mulch
  • 1 gallon fuel tank
  • 2-year warranty

 

Engine

The John Deere Z355E 42 inch engineThe Z335E has a John Deere branded engine which offers 22HP and huge engine displacement of 724cc.

The OEM branded engine supports a mowing speed when going forward of up to 7mph and a reverse mowing speed of 3.5 mph (beat out only by the smaller Cub Cadet RZT).

The quality of its engine performance is helped by its dual EZT transmission.

 
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Height Adjustment

The height adjustment offered by this zt-mower is great and falls within the industry standards of other zero turn riding mowers.

It comes with a minimum cutting height of 1″ and a maximum cutting height of 4″.

The John Deere Z335E small zero turn mower size comparison

 

Maintenance

The maintenance of John Deere 42″ can be likened to that of walk behind zero turn mowers in terms of ease and simplicity.

It comes with a foot platform which easily flips up to provide easy access to the top of this mower’s deck. This allows for convenient maintenance and cleaning.

Detailed instructions on how to maintain this small zero turn mower can be found in its manual but as with all riding mowers we recommend regular oil changes and cleaning (via the handy wash-port) of the deck after every use as this will greatly lengthen the life of the machine.

John Deere Z355E small zero turn mower

 

Cut Quality

As the the John Deere Z335E 42″ is bordering on being a commercial machine you can expect the same type of quality those mowers deliver.

Its 42″ accel. deep deck ensures that operators enjoy an improved cut quality while speeding through even the largest of lawns.

 
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Comparison of Top 4 Small Zero Turn Riding Mowers
Comparison Chart for Small Zero Turn Riding Mowers
Timecutter 32" Ariens Zoom 34” Cub Cadet 34” John Deere 42”
Horse Power: N/A 19 HP N/A 22 HP
Engine Displacement: 452cc 660cc 452cc 724cc
Number of Cylinders; Single Cylinder V-Twin Single Cylinder V-Twin
Cutting Width: 32" 34" 34" 42"
Top Forward Speed (mph): 7 6 7 7
Top Forward Speed (mph): 3 3 4 3.5
Maximum Cutting Height (in.): 4.5 4.5 4 4
Minimum Cutting Height (in.): 1.5 1.5 1.5 1
Transmission Type: Hydrostatic Hydrostatic Hydrostatic Hydrostatic
Start Type: Electric Electric Electric Electric
Commercial / Residential: Residential Residential Residential Residential
Size of Yard: 1/2 – 2 Acres 1/2 – 2 Acres 1/2 – 2 Acres 2 – 4 Acres
Cutting Options: Bag,Mulch,Side-Discharge Bag,Mulch,Side-Discharge Side-Discharge Side-Discharge
Number of Blades: 1 2 2 3
Manufacturer's Warranty: 3 years 3 years 2 years 2 years
Price: Check Home Depot Check Home Depot Check Home Depot Check Home Depot

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