Best Zero Turn Mower Brands – Who Makes What
I’m going to discuss almost all the current zero turn mower brands sold in the U.S. (Let me know if I miss one) I’ll give you a general description of the ZTRs they offer and give you my opinion of the mowers/brand in general. Currently, Toro, Ariens, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, John Deere, and Bad Boy are the most well-known brands mainly because they are sold at the “big box” retailers and spend the most on advertising. But, there are also thirty-one high-quality brands that are sold only at local dealers and farm equipment stores that have been around for years.
The Best Zero Turn Mowers save you time and many are built to last many, many years. Of the almost 400 different models of zero-turns available on the market for 2022, about 150 of those models are designed specifically for residential use.
Zero-turn mowers are available in gas, diesel, LP, and battery electric. They range in size and quality from inexpensive, economy models designed to mow your one-third acre lot to high performance, heavy-duty models designed to mow over 150 acres a day. While most zero-turn mowers are capable of mowing 10-15 degree slopes there are a few that can handle 40 degrees and can even be controlled remotely for extreme conditions. Almost all of them are made in the U.S.A. under 38 different brand names. Deciding which one is best for you can be hard to do. This article will help.
Check out the quick history of zero-turn mowers at the end of this article.
Please bookmark this article – it’s long and you’ll want to reference it from time to time.
Check out my YouTube Page: Paul Sikkema
The information in this article is my opinion only. No company, brand, or individual has paid or influenced me.
What are the top brands of zero turn mowers? – The List – January 2022
The list is in no particular order and only lists zero-turn mowers that are currently offered in the U.S.
Note: All zero-turn mower brands make their mowers in the U.S.A except for three battery-powered machines.
- Website: Ariens YouTube Page: Ariens
Ariens is part of Ariens|Co – and is family-owned. Why Ariens? You know Ariens snowblowers but you may not know Ariens also offers a complete line of residential ZTRs. From the Economy Edge, the very popular IKON XD and heavy-duty APEX to the commercial-inspired Zenith for large acreages, the Ariens ZTRs are some of the best value mowers in the industry right now.
15 Models ranging from economy residential to high-end residential
Website: Gravely YouTube Page: Gravely
Gravely is part of Ariens|Co – and is family-owned. Why Gravely? Here in the U.S. I consider Gravely to be the commercial side of Ariens|Co’s Outdoor Power Equipment. Yes, They have a residential IKON XD equivalent but don’t carry an EDGE equivalent. They also have an IKON XD equivalent with stronger transmissions called the ZT XL for those of you who like the IKON XD but want the stronger ZT2800 transmissions.
From there up in the model line it’s all about rugged, dependable zero-turns that are designed for every level of mowing contractors. From the Pro-Turn Z that’s great for the “two guys and a truck” crowd to the Pro-Turn 600 that will mow all day long – every day – for years.
Gravely was also the first of the major zero-turn mower brands to offer the Pro-Turn EV electric zero-turn mower. If you are required to use battery power or if you just want to take your lawn care business “green” it’s the first mower you should look at.
63 Zero Turn models ranging from mid-priced residential to high-end commercial
9 Stand On commercial and high-end commercial models
6 Commercial Electric Zero-Turn models
Website: Toro YouTube Page: Toro
Toro is part of The Toro Company Why Toro? Toro offers the most residential, commercial, and municipality mowers of all the zero turn mower brands. Personally, I feel Toro focuses on the best cut and the best quality mowers for the price.
Toro offers 31 residential zero-turn models ranging from 42-inch economy models to high-end models designed for large lawns. They are even offering “styled” mowers if you want great looking mower that also cuts and rides well. (No. I didn’t forget the 34-inch TimeCutter – It’s too small and I don’t recommend it)
Besides cut and quality Toro also has one of the best operator suspension systems on the market. The Toro MyRIDE® Suspension System takes out the bumps and jars of mowing and allows you to mow faster and not get worn out from the rough ride ZTRs are known for. Unlike other highly advertised suspension systems, the MyRide does NOT affect the quality of the cut.
Toro also offers 80 Commercial Models ranging from 42 to 144 inches. Owner-Operators can get dependable mowers in the size they need and businesses and municipalities can couple these high-quality zero-turns with Toro’s groundskeeping products to mow hundreds of acres a week, keep the sports fields in perfect condition and maintain Masters Level golf courses.
19 Stand-On Models ranging from 40 to 60 inches
Commercial Electric Models – 3 stand-on and 4 zero-turn announced
Robotic Models – Large area concept units have been announced
Website: Exmark YouTube Page: Exmark
Exmark is part of The Toro Company Why Exmark? Exmark is aimed at the landscape contractor. In fact, if you see a trailer load of mowers heading for a worksite there is a good chance they will all be Exmarks.
Although Exmark and Toro zero-turns are made in the same factory Exmark features a high ground speed deck that can mow in just about all weather conditions. If you are a mowing contractor who needs to mow every day, rain, or shine and still get a picture-worthy cut you can’t go wrong with an Exmark Lazer Z.
Exmark’s website is hard to figure out so I’m not able to list exactly how many different models are available.
Mid-price zero-turn residential models ranging from 42-54 inches
Commercial Models range from 42 to 144 inches including a rear discharge deck for working around people.
Front deck models with integrated grass catcher
Stand-On Models ranging from 32 to 60 inches
Commercial Electric Models – stand-on and zero-turn announced
Robotic Models – Concept units have been announced
Website: Spartan YouTube Page: Spartan
Spartan/Intimidator is part of The Toro Company Why Spartan? Spartan started out just a few years ago by disrupting the market. They came out with economical models that looked heavy-duty and were styled to look cool. Homeowners with a few acres could buy a ZTR that looked like a commercial mower for thousands less than the other zero-turn mower brands. Needless to say, the brand exploded overnight.
Spartan mowers have a few unique features like armrests that actually work and two-inch receivers on the front and back for mounting accessories like baggers and sprayers.
Today they are a full-line brand that now includes commercial and stand-on models. Spartan/Intimidator was just purchased by Toro. (January 2022)
WebSite: Ventrac YouTube Page: Ventrac
Ventrac is part of The Toro Company Why Ventrac? Zero-turn mowers are designed to mow lawns but many of you want a mower to cut pastures, paddocks, set-aside, slopes, ditches, and fire breaks. The Ventrac is not a zero-turn as such but it is the rural-lifestyle or commercial system you need for those areas a zero-turn just can’t do. The Ventrac has over 40 available attachments including pasture mowers, brush mowers and even finish mowers for your actual lawn.
Website: Country Clipper YouTube Page: Country Clipper
Country Clipper is a division of Shivvers Manufacturing Inc. – and is family-owned. Why Country Clipper? Country Clipper has been around as long as any other brand on the market. But they have always concentrated on being one of the best – not one of the biggest.
Country Clipper offers three levels of residential and three levels of commercial mowers ranging in deck widths from 42 to 72 inches.
Country Clipper mowers are built well, cut well, and will last most of us many, many years. I have a neighbor who mows 3 acres, never puts the mower away, never does any maintenance and his Country Clipper is still mowing after 26 years!
Country Clipper mowers offer a few unique features that other zero-turn mower brands do not.
Joystick Steering – Country Clipper offers a unique joystick steering system that anyone can use. It’s easy to learn and fun to use. The one-hand control has what I call a “speed gate” so that you can maneuver the mower at slow speeds but the ramped control reduces the movement of the joystick so at full-out high speeds you don’t make quick, dangerous turns accidentally like you can with lap-bar steering controls. The joystick is designed so that even the most novice operator won’t make divots on your lawn. You can also get your Country Clipper with lap-bar steering.
Stand-Up Deck – All Country Clipper mowers feature the Stand-Up deck so you can easily clean under the deck, sharpen blades, etc. (Optional electric assist)
Handicap Features – Country Clipper offers front steps for getting off and on the mower easily. They offer handrails to assist you if you have balance issues. Your local dealer can also move the joystick to the right or left side. In other words, if you are old and stiff they have accessories to help you get on and off. If you have bad shoulders using the armrests and moving the joystick to your good side will let you mow with a minimum of pain. You can literally mow with one hand.
If you have a Country Clipper dealer near you I highly recommend you check them out.
Website: Walker YouTube Page: Walker Mowers
Walker is part of Walker Manufacturing – and is family-owned. Why Walker? There are many great zero turn mower brands on this list and almost all of them make a mower I can recommend for you – but if I had to pick just one brand it would be Walker with its unique line of mowing systems.
Walker offers one residential mower that is designed to give you the very best cut.
All the other models are commercial units and can be equipped with various decks, collection systems, and other attachments to make your Walker work all year-round for you.
Walkers out-front decks move independently from the power unit. If you have a highly contoured lawn this is a real advantage over mid-mount ZTRs. It cuts the dips evenly and doesn’t scalp on the bumps. You can cross-stripe berms without scalping the top or gouging the bottom
All the models feature flip-up decks for easy deck maintenance and to take less room on your trailer. All models feature easily removable decks and with the commercial units you can swap out decks or attachments for different types of mowing and other tasks. In other words, in the morning you can mow/bag a lawn on the top of a skyscraper, and that afternoon change the deck and mow the 10-acre park at street level – all with the same power unit. (Yes, the Model S will fit in an elevator
With the drive wheels in the center of the mower, you have the best traction all the time and with a little practice, you will not divot any type of turf. The center of gravity is the lowest so it handles slopes better than sit-down mid-mount ZTRs.
It’s the fastest for complicated properties. If you have a lot of small areas to mow, more trees you can count, many landscape beds to mow around and mounds to mow over it is hands-down the fastest mower to use for that type of landscaping.
Walker offers seven power units, four different types of decks ranging from 36 to 74 inches, and over sixteen attachments so that you can mow any lawn and do many other tasks including snow removal, sweeping, spreading, and debris management.
ALTOZ | Precision Mowers
Website: ALTOZ YouTube Page: Altoz
ALTOZ is part of Central Boiler – and is family-owned. Why ALTOZ? ALTOZ products are all high-quality and high-performance commercial and residential machines, each built with a dedication to excellence and the promise of a precision cut. ALTOZ mowers are built heavier-duty than most of the ZTRs you will see sitting in your local big box or hardware store. They have the only track-drive zero-turn and track-drive stand-on mower currently on the market.
Wright Stander Zero Turn Mower
Website: Wright YouTube Page: Walker Commercial Mowers
Wright is part of Wright Manufacturing, Inc – and is family-owned. Why Wright? Wright does not offer a residential zero-turn mower but they do offer some of the best lap-bar ZTRs and stand ons in the industry.
Stand on mowers from 32 – 72 inches
Lap-Bar ZTR mowers from 48-72 inches.
If you want to start your own lawn service and have a dealer in your area – check them out.
Website: SCAG YouTube Page: SCAG Power Equipment
SCAG is part of Metalcraft of Mayville, Inc. Why SCAG? In the latest industry numbers, I have, SCAG is the number three commercial mower manufacturer. (Toro/Exmark is first/second) SCAG has a huge number of commercial owner/operators who will buy nothing else.
Six different levels of mowers ranging from the 36-inch residential Liberty Z to the 72-inch Turf Tiger II. The Turf Tiger II can be equipped with a 40 HP EFI engine.
Website: Bobcat YouTube Page: Bobcat Company
Bob-Cat (Schiller Grounds Care, Inc.) mowers were purchased by Bobcat about a year ago. Why Bobcat? Bobcat updated the mowers and they are now available through your local Bobcat equipment dealer.
They look good and I expect them to live up to Bobcat’s reputation for making quality commercial products. If you are a contractor and spend more time at the Bobcat dealer than the John Deere franchise – check these mowers out.
Website: Bad Boy YouTube Page: Bad Boy Mowers
Bad Boy is partnered with The Sterling Group. Why Bad Boy? Bad Boy has a cult following because they look cool, have wicked styling, and you can spot them on a lawn from a mile away. They always have an over-the-top display at the larger OPE dealer shows like GIE-EXPO.
They offer a full line of residential and commercial zero-turn mowers
Website: Bradley Mowers YouTube Page: Bradley Mowers
Bradley Mowers is part of Havener Enterprises, Inc and is privately held. Why Bradley Mowers? Bradley is a small company that only makes six sizes of stand-on mowers. But, they have been around since the early ’90s and the quality of every mower they produce is outstanding. They don’t have a large dealer network but they do have a phone that always gets answered if you have a problem or need parts. Anything you need is quickly handled – sometimes by the owner himself. Because of this Bradley offers some of the highest quality mowers for much, much less than the other brands.
Website: Bush Hog YouTube Page: Bush Hog
Bush Hog is part of The Alamo Group Why Bush Hog? If you live in the middle of nowhere and your only dealer is a farm implement dealer who sells anything not painted green, Bush Hog is a very good choice. It is a great choice if you need a ZTR to mow your acreage. They are tough, they mow well, and are made for the beating any farm lawn can dish out. Over the years these ZTRs have been sold under various names including Woods, Land Pride, and Bush Hog but the quality and durability has always been great.
Website: Dixie Chopper YouTube Page: Dixie Chopper
Dixie Chopper is part of The Alamo Group Alamo is a large farm-oriented brand and you can be assured Dixie Chopper has finally found a good home. Why Dixie Chopper? Dixie Chopper has had a long and storied history. (Remember the dual engine 50HP, 72-inch ZTR?) Dixie Chopper got its claim to fame with its stainless steel side panels and slogan “World’s Fastest Lawn Mower.”
Today, Dixie Chopper has been moved to central Illinois and the two residential and four commercial ZTRs have all been updated.
Website: EGO YouTube Page: EGO
EGO is part of Chervon and is Chinese-owned. Why EGO? EGO OPE (Outdoor Power Equipment) is based around their 60-volt battery system. The batteries will fit all of their OPE – meaning the same battery will power your string trimmer, leaf blower, walk behind mower, and zero-turn mower.
The 42-inch ZTR comes with four 10 AH batteries and has slots for two more. This allows the ZTR to mow up to 4 acres with the six batteries.
The 52 inch comes standard with six 12 AH batteries for up to 4 acres on one charge.
The EGO ZTRS are computer-controlled and you can adjust many settings like forward speed and blade tip speed so you can use it at full power for normal/heavy grass or dial it down for lighter mows.
Website: Ryobi YouTube Page: Ryobi
Ryobi is part of TTI. (Techtronic Industries) The main office is located in Hong Kong. Why Ryobi? Ryobi was one of the first brands to offer a residential battery ZTR and now offers both a 42-inch and 54-inch model.
The Ryobi’s are the most popular battery ZTRs right now because they are the least expensive. They are the least expensive because they are still using lead-acid AGM batteries instead of the more costly Lithium-ion. Compared to the other brands using Lithium-ion technology, you will have to replace the batteries more often. Of course, the replacement batteries of the Ryobi are much cheaper than a Lithium-ion so the total cost of ownership over time is about the same.
Website: Ferris YouTube Page: Ferris
Ferris is part of Briggs Stratton. Briggs Stratton is owned by KPS Capital Partners. Why Ferris? Ferris is the only brand that suspends the entire mower with shocks and springs. This gives you a car-like ride. Depending on the model they offer swing arm front with rear suspension to full, four-wheel independent suspension. The deck moves up and down with the chassis – not the wheels. This type of suspension works very well on smooth, finished lawns the best.
Ferris has one residential model and nine commercial models
Website: Snapper YouTube Page: Snapper
Snapper is part of Briggs Stratton. Briggs Stratton is owned by KPS Capital Partners. Why Snapper? Snapper is currently offering one economy residential and one mid-level zero-turn mower. If you are looking for a “standard” heavy-duty zero-turn mower for your larger residential lawn without all the bells and whistles the 360Z XT ZERO TURN MOWER is a good choice.
Website: Simplicity YouTube Page: Simplicity
Simplicity is part of Briggs Stratton. Briggs Stratton is owned by KPS Capital Partners. Why Simplicity? The Simplicity name has been around for a long time and their Prestige and Legacy Garden Tractors have a stellar reputation. They have also been offering mid-mount zero-turn mowers since the early 90’s.
With the exception of the entry-level Courior, the current Simplicity zero-turns are all modeled after the Ferris commercial machines. They offer six models ranging from the economy Courier to the high-end residential Cobalt LE. If you have a local Simplicity dealer and you are looking for a good to high-quality zero-turn for your larger residential lawn – check them out.
Website: Cub Cadet YouTube Page: Cub Cadet
Cub Cadet is part of Stanley, Black Decker. Cub Cadet Zero-Turns are manufactured by MTD which is also part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why Cub Cadet? MTD has used many different brand names over the years but Cub Cadet has always been MTD’s flagship line. Cub Cadet offers residential and commercial models.
The residential models have always had a few more features than MTD’s other brands and are highly rated by the companies that rate residential OPE equipment like Consumer Reports. All Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers use a fabricated deck (except ZT1 42) Cub Cadet has the largest dealer network of all the MTD brands. Almost all of you will be able to find a servicing dealer within 20 miles of your home.
Cub Cadet currently offers:
Ultima ZT1 – Economy residential zero-turn mowers. If you want a good mower for your 1/3 to 5-acre lawn these are some of the best-value mowers for you.
Ultima ZT2 – features, stronger transmissions, decks, and engines than the ZT1. If your lawn is rougher, you want to pull more than a small yard cart, or you just want the stronger components this is also a good-value series.
Ultima Electric ZT – The Ultima Series™ ZT1 42E is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion zero turn that uses a lot more metal than the other electric zero-turns on the market right now.
Ultima ZTS – Of all the 2022 residential mowers available this is my personal favorite! Why? It drives like a car – foot control forward/reverse, cruise control, and a steering wheel that automatically keeps the rear wheels from tearing up your turf. You can drive it with one hand! Even more, it will handle ditches and slopes up to 20 degrees! (All other residential ztrs only handle 10-15 degree slopes.)
Ultima ZTX – The ZTX4, ZTX5, and ZTX6 mowers have commercial-grade components and features at a residential price. These mowers can easily handle up to 12 acres.
Pro Z Commercial – Cub Cadet offers a complete line of lap bar, stand-on, and steering wheel mowers for professional and commercial uses. New this year is the SurePath line of GPS-equipped commercial zero-turns. These mowers are designed to reduce your mowing time by using GPS to minimize the overlap and give you that “show-worthy” striping.
Website: Craftsman YouTube Page: Craftsman
Craftsman is part of Stanley, Black Decker. Craftsman Zero-Turns are manufactured by MTD which is also part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why Craftsman? Craftsman at Lowes is the least expensive line of zero-turn mowers available right now. Stamped cutting decks, lightweight frames, adequate power from the engine gives you a ZTR that will mow your “typical” lawn well. With a little maintenance, you can easily get your money’s worth out of these mowers.
Craftsman ZTRs are offered in four sizes – 42-inch, 46-inch, 50-inch, and 54-inch.
Website: Troy-Bilt YouTube Page: Troy-Bilt
Troy-Bilt is part of Stanley, Black Decker. Troy-Bilt Zero-Turns are manufactured by MTD which is also part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why Troy-Bilt? Troy-Bilt at The Home Depot is the least expensive quality zero-turn mowers available right now. Stamped cutting decks, lightweight frames, adequate power from the engine and minimal accessories give you a ZTR that will mow your “typical” lawn well. With a little maintenance, you can easily get your money’s worth out of these mowers.
Troy-Bilt ZTRs are offered in four sizes – 42-inch, 46-inch, 50-inch, and 54-inch.
Website: DeWALT YouTube Page: DeWALT
DeWALT is part of Stanley, Black Decker. DeWALT Zero-Turns are manufactured by MTD which is also part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why DeWALT? DeWALT is a name you trust so why shouldn’t DeWALT sell mowers?
I almost had a chance to test a DeWALT last spring but the pandemic got in the way. That said, these mowers appear to be made in the same factory as the high-end Cub Cadets and fit between the Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX and the Cub Cadet Pro Z. So, they are commercial mowers that cost less than the Cub Cadet Pro Z line and just a little more than the high-end residential Ultima ZTX series.
If you are a smaller owner/operator or just getting into the lawn care business check them out here: DeWALT mowers
Website: Excel Hustler YouTube Page: Hustler
Excel Hustler is now part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why Excel Hustler? Excel Industries has made more different types of zero-turn mowers than any other brand over the years. From the first residential zero-turn that you rode like a pony to slope mowers that automatically kept the operator level up to 45 degrees, to large area airport mowers that could crab-steer along noise control slopes.
Eventually, the market changed to the point where the mid-mount ZTR became the most popular mower on the market. Excel/Hustler changed with that trend and the Raptor was introduced. The Raptor is a very popular mower and has been sold in Lowes, The Home Depot, and rural-lifestyle stores. Today, Hustler is primarily sold at dealers.
Hustler offers eight residential modes and twelve commercial models ranging from 34 inches to 104 inches. They also introduced a 42-inch electric ZTR for 2022.
It was just announced that Stanley, Black Decker just purchased the company. We’ll see where that takes Hustler in the next few years.
Excel Big Dog
Website: Excel Big Dog YouTube Page: BIGDOG Mower Co,
Excel Big Dog is now part of Stanley, Black Decker. Why Excel Big Dog? When Excel/Hustler decided to sell their mowers at the big box store the dealers wanted an exclusive brand that they could call their own. Big Dog is sold exclusively at dealers and you can primarily find them at rural-lifestyle dealers and farm stores. Although they are basically Excel Hustler mowers painted red they carry the best warranty in the industry – 7 years!
It was just announced that Stanley, Black Decker just purchased the company. We’ll see where that takes Big Dog in the next few years.
Website: Grasshopper YouTube Page: Grasshopper
Grasshopper Mowers are family-owned by Moridge Manufacturing. Why Grasshopper? Grasshopper front-deck mowers have been around for a long time and are popular not only with rural-lifestylers but municipalities. Farmers and municipalities like them because they are built like tanks and last. They cut well but are particularly suited to areas that don’t get mowed every week. The deep decks can handle overgrown turf better than most other brands. Buy the mid-mount if you want a durable, compact mower – buy the front deck if you want a great ride and a very, very rugged machine.
Husqvarna Z246 Zero Turn Mower
Website: Husqvarna YouTube Page: Husqvarna
Husqvarna is part Husqvarna Group. Why Husqvarna? At this point in time – I don’t know. Five years ago Huqvarna residential zero-turns were among some of the most popular and they were moving into the commercial market big time. But today the U.S. lawn garden division has been merged with another division and the only product they want to talk about is Robotic Lawn Mowers.
Case-in-point: GIE-EXPO is the nation’s largest lawn/snow equipment show and has over 20 acres of outdoor booths where you can test-drive new equipment. Husqvarna always has a large demo area. This year 80% of the area was dedicated to robotic mowers, 10% to commercial forestry, and only 10% for the commercial and residential Husqvarna/Red Max mowers and OPE.
Yes, all the zero-turn mowers are listed on the Husqvarna/US website, and they are also painted red and listed on the 30. RedMax website.
Feel free to enlighten me and let me know if I am missing something obvious about Husqvarna in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section at the end of the article. I’ll gladly revise this section based on the verified info I get from you.
Website: John Deere YouTube Page: John Deere
John Deere is part of John Deere Company. Why John Deere? John Deere makes a wide range of zero-turn mowers ranging from the economy Z300 residential series to the popular ZTrak 900R commercial mowers.
Homeowner: I prefer the Z500 series for most homeowners. The mowers ride well, handle well, and have some of the best cutting decks in the industry.
Commercial: The ZTrak mowers are very popular with many landscape contractors.
Website: Kubota YouTube Page: Kubota
Kubota U.S. is part of Kubota Tractor Corporation. Kubota is a Japanese corporation but about half of the products sold in the U.S., including the zero-turn mowers, are made in the U.S.A. Why Kubota? Kubota has always been known for its quality – not just the compact tractors but also the many different commercial mowers they have produced over the years. Their out-front floating deck mowers were the industry standard until the mid-mount craze took over the market. Kubota has greatly expanded the zero-turn mower line over the last five years and now has over 36 individual models.
Mean Green Mowers
Website: Mean Green Mowers YouTube Page: Mean Green Mowers
Mean Green Mowers is part of DR Power Equipment, a division of Generac Holdings Inc. Generac is owned by CCMP Capital of New York. Why Mean Green? Mean Green was the first all-electric commercial brand. They have more electric mowers out mowing “green-space” than any other brand at the moment.
They have kept up with the technology and are constantly updating their offerings. If you have commercial space that requires you to have an all-electric fleet – Mean Green is the first brand to consider at this point in time.
Website: GreenWorks YouTube Page: GreenWorks
Greenworks is part of the Globe Group. It is a Chinese company and all products are made in Changzhou, China. STIHL has a minority share in this company. Why Greenworks? Greenworks offers both commercial electric mowers and now residential models. The CRZ 428 shown above is their new residential model and uses the same 60 Lithium-ion batteries as their other UltraPower 60-volt tools. The CRZ 428 will be available at Tractor Supply this spring.
I don’t have a lot of info on these mowers yet. I saw them at GIE-EXPO last fall, they are well-built and they will be a strong competitor to the Ryobi and EGO brands.
Website: kut kwick YouTube Page: kut kwick
kut kwick is a privately owned company from Brunswick, GA, and has been in the business of making mowers since 1942. Why kut kwick?
kut kwick zero-turn mowers are unique in the fact that they can mow a 40-degree slope and have a patented swivel seat that allows the operator to be comfortable using it on the steepest slopes. If you are mowing right-of-ways, dam embankments, and other extreme mowing areas this is the first mower you should look at. They have models that are great for fire control and brush removal. The model pictured above is also available with remote control.
They have different blades available for finish mowing, rough cut mowing, and extreme fire/brush removal.
They have two models that are the largest horsepower ZTRs on the market – 72 HP!
These mowers are built to last – I personally know of a 1991 model that is still going strong. They are expensive but they are much more productive than the remote control brush mowers on the market right now. If I was a landscape contractor in an area that is prone to brush and wildfires I’d have one of these in my arsenal. Get the word out and property owners, municipalities, and corporations would keep you busy year-round!
Website: Lastec YouTube Page: Lastec
Lastec is part of Wood-Mizer Holdings Group. Why Lastec? This zero-turn mower is specifically designed to mow golf courses and high-quality turf that needs a perfectly even cut.
The articulating and flexing decks are important for golf courses that have rolling hills, mounds, and slopes. These ZTRs don’t scalp any type of landscape features like other mowers.
WorldLawn Power Equipment
Website: WorldLawn Power Equipment YouTube Page: WorldLawn
WorldLawn Power Equipment is based in Beatrice, Nebraska, and is part of Jiangsu World Plant-Protecting Machinery Co., Ltd. WPM is part of a larger company, WorldGroup, which is one of China’s Top 500 companies. Why WorldLawn? WorldLawn purchased Encore Mowers in 2011 and made two good decisions. One, they decided to base all their mowers off of the well-established and reliable Encore design, and two, they decided to keep all production of the zero-turn mowers in Beatrice. Encore and Worldlawn mowers are the same – just different decals.
Website: Encore YouTube Page: Encore
Encore/WorldLawn Power Equipment is based in Beatrice, Nebraska, and is part of Jiangsu World Plant-Protecting Machinery Co., Ltd. WPM is part of a larger company, WorldGroup, which is one of China’s Top 500 companies. Why Encore? Encore is one of those brands that make good, dependable zero-turn mowers – you’ve just never heard of them. Why? Encore originally had a unique business model. They used sales associates to go around and demo the equipment on your property. While that worked well for sales, they never developed a good dealer base to help with service after the sale. So, they never really gained market share and in 2011 WorldLawn bought them out.
They still don’t have a widespread dealer base but if you have a dealer near you check them out.
Briggs Stratton: American-made vertical shaft lawn tractor and zero-turn engines!
Kawasaki engines: American-made!
Kohler engines: American Made!
Toro – ExMark engines: Loncin. The Toro and Exmark branded engines are developing a great reputation.
TOP 5 Zero Turn Mowers for 3000 | 2022
LCT: At this time they mainly sell snowblower engines. Just the best reputation. Found on Ariens and Husqvarna snow blowers.
MTD: Power – Zongshen. Usually labeled the same as the brand. i.e., Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt. They have single and twin-cylinder EFI engines for residential use.
Generac: Generac primarily makes engines for generators but a few have found their way to zero-turn mowers. Great Reputation, great engines
Yamaha: For 2018 Yamaha has entered the Zero-turn mower market.
Attachment Accessory Manufactures:
Acrease Tow-Pull Behind Mowers and Till-Ease Tillage Equipment
Acrease is owned by Kunz Engineering. Acrease mowers are not ZTRs but are designed to compliment your heavy-duty mower – especially if you have two or more acres to mow. Matt Kunz has a great line of high quality, heavy-duty finish and rough-cut mowers. These mowers are designed to pull behind or alongside your existing mower or UTV and reduce your mowing time and trimming considerably. For example, I used two or their 60-inch commercial finish mowers with a 60 inch Exmark Laser and could mow up to 17 acres an hour. They are more expensive than the Swisher, Agri-Fab, and Stanley wing mowers, but worth every penny in increased productivity and strength. Their rough-cut mowers are the best for ditches, fields, horse pastures, and paddocks.
Agri-Fab: Tools and Attachments.
OxCart: YouTube: OxCart. If you are tired of cheap yard carts that only last a few years check out the OxCart. They offer models for your zero-turn all the way up to heavy-duty, high-speed carts for pulling behind your UTV.
Ohio Steel: A complete line of Lawn Garden products for your zero-turn, lawn tractor, and garden tractor.
Plus 20 other large and small attachment and accessory manufacturers.
The 5 best cheap lawn mowers: Top mowers for under 350
What is the best cheap lawn mower? Our pick for the best cheap lawn mower is the RYOBI Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower. We analyzed features like pricing, ratings, cutting width, and more to choose our top picks, plus some honorable mentions.
Lena Muhtadi Borrelli has several years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, allconnect, Healthline, Reviews.com, HomeInsurance.com, My Slumber Yard and MYMOVE. She is a financial expert who previously worked for Morgan St.
Lena Muhtadi Borrelli has several years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, allconnect, Healthline, Reviews.com, HomeInsurance.com, My Slumber Yard and MYMOVE. She is a financial expert who previously worked for Morgan St.
There’s nothing like a lush green yard, but you need the right tools to make that happen. A major part of having the best yard is also having the best lawn mower.
However, lawn mowers can come with a hefty price tag. The average price of a lawn mower is just over 1,000. But if you’re looking for something cheaper, there are plenty of lawn mower options that you can find that come in at a more reasonable price range.
Make those HOAs happy by keeping your yard neat with the right cheap lawn mower that also won’t break the bank. We’ve rounded up the best cheap lawn mowers for your yard.
RYOBI Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower
Best overall cheap lawn mower
The RYOBI Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower matches performance with value, offering a competitive price tag to help your wallet. With 3-in-1 capabilities, you receive mulching, bagging, and the option for add-on side discharge all in one lawn mower. It is battery-powered instead of gas, offering a 6.0 Ah high-capacity battery with a simple push-button start. You have the option of seven different grass heights, so you can always get the type of lawn you prefer. Plus, there is a removable lock-and-release bagger so you can remove and empty a bag easily. When you are done, storage is easy, thanks to the lawn mower’s vertical design and collapsible telescoping handles.
A limited warranty is included, offering five years for the tool and three years for the battery with a 90-day no-risk satisfaction guarantee.
- Cordless model
- No gas or cords necessary
- Low maintenance fees
- Not ideal for hills
- Best for smaller yards
- No side discharge
American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower
Best cheap reel mower
The American Lawn Mower Company brings the Push Reel Lawn Mower, giving you the best cheap lawn mower when you prefer a manual reel lawn mower. It includes a five-blade bearing reel and simple maneuverability with 10-inch polymer wheels that offer not just ease but also durability. The adjustable blades are made from heat-treated alloy steel with a height that gives you up to 1.75 inches. Ideal for smaller yards, it has a cutting width of 14 inches, which is about seven inches smaller than some of the other models on our list.
There is a limited one-year model for the Push Reel Lawn Mower.
BLACKDECKER 20 in. Corded Electric Lawn Mower
Best cheap corded lawn mower
The BLACKDECKER 20 in. Corded Electric Lawn Mower is an electric model that skips the gas and allows for an easy push-start. It does triple duty with bagging, mulching, and side discharging capabilities. There is a wide cutting area at 20 inches and with seven positions, rivaling the RYOBI model and making it suitable for larger yards. BLACKDECKER’s Edge Max deck design is matched by a powerful 13-amp motor that gives a flexible grass height anywhere from 1.5 inches to four, and its fully-nylon grass collection bag measures 13 gallons. Plus, this cheap lawn mower is easy to transport and store with built-in carrying handles.
A limited two-year warranty is included.
- Powerful motor
- Lightweight design
- Limited warranty
- Cord can get in the way during operation
CRAFTSMAN Gas Push Lawn Mower
Best cheap gas mower
The CRAFTSMAN Gas Push Lawn Mower is the most expensive on our list but it wins the best cheap gas lawn mower you can buy today. It boasts a 140cc engine with a recoil start and auto choke for smoother, more powerful operation. Features include a 21 cutting deck for extra-wide mowing, plus it has both side rear discharge mulching capabilities. The dual lever allows you to adjust the height of your grass, depending on your preference. It is all powered by seven-inch wheels in the front and eight inches in the rear, using zag treading for better traction.
The CRAFTSMAN Gas Push Lawn Mower comes with a two-year warranty.
Sun Joe MJ401E Corded Electric Push Mower
The most affordable lawn mower
The Sun Joe MJ401E Corded Electric Push Mower is a great match for smaller yards and serves as our best budget lawn mower pick. It is a corded electric model made of alloy steel in an attractive dark blue. It has a cutting width of 14 inches, which is not the highest but still on par with many of today’s models. It has three positions for you to choose the height of your grass and works as a manual lawn mower with a 13-amp motor. Included is a 10.6-gallon bag for easy discharge. Compact at just 29 pounds, it is easy to store when you are done so you can get back to enjoying your newly-trimmed yard.
A full 2-year warranty is included.
What is the best cheap lawn mower?
With an affordable price tag and strong performance, the Ego Power 21-Inch Self-Propelled Cordless Electric Lawn Mower is our pick for the overall best cheap lawn mower. It has a good number of positions with a competitive cutting width for an all-around best pick. However, we have also gathered the best cheap lawn mowers for several types of lawn mowers, including the best cheap gas mower and the best riding lawn mower.
Number of positions
RYOBI Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower
American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower
BLACKDECKER 20 in. Corded Electric Lawn Mower
CRAFTSMAN Gas Push Lawn Mower
Sun Joe MJ401E Corded Electric Push Mower
Which cheap lawn mower is right for you?
The best cheap lawn mower for you all depends on your specific needs and preferences. To help you find the right one, here are our expert recommendations.
Choose this best cheap lawnmower.
If you want.
RYOBI Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower
Excellent features with great value
American Lawn Mower Company Push Reel Lawn Mower
A reel mower for your yard at an affordable price
BLACKDECKER 20 in. Corded Electric Lawn Mower
A corded lawn mower that will perform for your yard
CRAFTSMAN Gas Push Lawn Mower
A gas lawn mower with a reasonable price tag
Sun Joe MJ401E Corded Electric Push Mower
The best affordable lawn mower when you are on a strict budget
The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier
These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023
One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.
The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.
Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.
Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.
Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.
What to Consider
A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.
Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.
Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.
An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.
A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.
With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.
Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.
A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.
Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.
Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.
This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.
expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.
Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.
Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.
How We Tested and Selected
We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.
That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.
Honda HRN 216VKA
Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.
If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.
All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.
In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.
One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.
Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion
Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.
We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.
Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.
Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.
Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower
This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.
Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.
Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.
Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace
The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.
The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.
With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.
If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.
Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.
It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.
The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.
Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.
What’s the best zero turn lawn mower? #johndeere
Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.
Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.
Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?
Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.
Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.
My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?
It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.
Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.
What Lawn Mowers are Made in the USA?
Most Americans enjoy the lower typically associated with products made overseas, but they also want to support American industry and protect American jobs. As a result, when it comes time to purchase a new lawnmower many wind up asking the question: “What lawn mowers are made in the USA?”
The outsourcing of production and the outright relocation of factories to other countries has created a situation where it is difficult to determine exactly which lawn mowers are made in the US, which are made overseas, and which are assembled in the US from parts that are manufactured overseas.
Lawn Mowers Made in the USA
In an attempt to bring some clarity to the situation I have compiled the following list of companies that are known to build their lawnmowers here in the states, using a majority of parts that are also produced in the USA. Let’s get started.
Bad Boy Mowers
Bad Boy Mowers was founded back in 2002 when it showcased its first lawn mower model at the Lawn and Garden Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2005, the company launched its first catalog. Today, Bad Boy Mowers makes use of the latest advancements in robotics to produce a wide range of American made lawn mowers.
Bad Boy Mowers is very open regarding its manufacturing. According to the company’s website, Bad Boy Mowers strives to manufacture as much as possible within the USA. It primarily produces its products at a facility in Batesville, Arkansas. Only a very small amount of Bad Boy Mowers’ components come from overseas, and some of its models are 100% American made.
Cub Cadet started life in 1960 as a line of garden tractors built by International Harvester. In the early 1980s, International Harvester sold the brand to MTD, a privately-owned American corporation that specialized in outdoor equipment. In 2018 Stanley Black Decker bought a 20% stake in MTD as well as the option to purchase the entire company in 2021.
There is much speculation that SBD might shift production of Cub Cadet lawn mowers overseas. But as of this writing, they have not done that. Cub Cadet mowers are currently made in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi. They state their mowers are “Built in the USA” which, in accordance with FTC guidelines, means they are produced in the US using parts that are either all or mostly made in the US as well.
McLane has been in the mower business since 1946. It’s an American owned and operated business based in Bronson, Florida. Over the past few decades, McLane has been producing lawn mowers for both professional and consumer use, all of which are produced in the USA.
According to the company’s website, McLane doesn’t like the fact that companies use the phrase “made in America” when components and materials come from overseas. McLane’s mowers are all produced at a facility in Bell Gardens, California.
How Can You be Sure if Lawn Mowers are Made in the USA?
Some companies will state categorically that their mowers are “Made in the USA”. Others will state that their mowers are “Assembled in the USA”. But that is not the same thing. The FTC requires that if a majority of the parts that go into a mower are sourced from overseas, the company that makes it cannot claim it is “Made in the USA”. Instead, they can only say it was assembled here. Something “Made in the USA” must be assembled on American soil with a majority, or all, of its parts also made here.
Is “Made in the USA” the Same as “Built in the USA”?
In 2017 the FTC ruled that “Built in the USA” and “Made in the USA” were, in its eyes, the same thing. This issue came up because consumers were complaining that some companies were claiming their products were “Built in the USA” when in fact they were simply assembled here from parts made overseas. As a result of the 2017 ruling, a company can no longer claim their mowers are “Built in the USA” unless they meet the FTC’s standards for “Made in the USA” (see above).
What Popular Lawn Mowers Are Not Made in the USA?
Snapper – Snapper assembles some (not all) of their gas-powered mowers in the US, but most of the parts for those mowers come from foreign sources. Also, all of their electric mowers are manufactured overseas.
Toro – Toro is another popular lawn mower brand that many assume is American-made but is actually just American-assembled in Wisconsin, Florida and elsewhere. While some of the parts for Toro mowers are sourced in the USA, most, including the motors for their powered mowers, are produced in Japan.
Craftsman – For decades Craftsman was considered about as red, white, and blue a brand as you could find. Today, Craftsman’s original parent company, Sears, is on its last legs and the Craftsman brand has been sold off to Stanley, Black Decker. Like Toro mowers, Craftsman mowers are mostly assembled in the USA from parts made elsewhere.
The American Mower Company – This company used to be a solely American based company. It produced all of its mowers in the US at facilities in Indiana. However, recently, The American Mower Company has moved its manufacturing to China. While it does still conduct some of its production in the US, it looks like the company mainly just assembles some of its units in the US.
The Bottom Line
The answer to the question “What lawn mowers are made in the USA?” is; “not many”. There are only 3 brands that produce mowers that meet the FTC’s standards for “Made in the USA” that I could find. There are, however, several companies, including some big names many assume are all-American products, that either manufacture their mowers overseas, or simply assemble them in the US from foreign-made parts.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the lawn mower guru (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
Thank you for this Info, it is getting really sad that you can’t find a good mower that will last more than a season or two.
Your information is most appreciated! We need to replace our self-propelled lawn mower, hoping to find one manufactured in the USA. I bought it for my husband 28 years ago at Montgomery Ward. It has never given us trouble until this past summer.
Hi David. From what I understand, this has been more or less true for the last 20 years. While not all Cub Cadets use the same engine, many use a Powermore branded engine. These engines are designed and manufactured by MTD at a facility based in China. The engines are then shipped to the USA and the mowers are assembled here. Hope this helps
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Why is My Lawn Mower Blowing Blue Smoke?
The most important piece of equipment you own to take care of your lawn is your mower. Mowing your grass regularly at the right height and at the right interval will keep it healthy and looking its best. So if you notice your mower smoking, it’s easy to be concerned. Mowers can be expensive to repair or replace. The good news is that usually blue smoke isn’t as bad as it looks. Lawn mower blowing blue smoke?
Let’s identify the problem and tell you what you need to know to fix it.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Sometimes, even if you use your lawn mower with extra care and caution, follow my recommendations for spring lawn mower maintenance, and winterize your mower properly, you might encounter issues.
That may leave you scratching your head and asking, “What could be wrong with my lawnmower?”
It’s important not to blame yourself – these things happen. Look at it as an opportunity to learn, so you can avoid the same issue in the future.
There are many indicators that your lawn mower needs a tune-up or perhaps needs to be retired and replaced. Maybe your mower isn’t starting properly, or you notice a vibration or wobble during use.
But this article focuses on one issue, and that’s what to do when you see blue smoke coming out of your lawn mower. What’s the cause, how do you know for sure, and what should you do to fix it?
What Causes Your Lawn Mower to Blow Blue Smoke?
Seeing your lawn mower blowing blue smoke can be concerning.
This is especially true if it’s something that you haven’t encountered before, or you don’t consider yourself a pro at fixing stuff. The good news is it’s probably a simple, minor issue:
If blue smoke is coming from your lawn mower, it typically means that your machine is burning excess oil. If you wait it out for 10-15 minutes, the blue smoke should soon dissipate. You probably just need to wait until the extra oil burns off.
Often, this is something that you should not worry about, nor does it require any repair service.
However, it is also essential to understand what caused your lawn mower to billow blue smoke so you can take the necessary measures to prevent it from happening again.
Let’s not make this a habit, eh?
Below are some of the common reasons your lawn mower blows blue smoke, and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t keep happening.
Oil Spill on the Engine
Excess oil may spill onto the engine when you change the oil in your mower. Then, when you fire up the mower, the spilled oil will burn on the hot engine and generate smoke.
The simple solution to this is to let the spilled oil burn off, which will take just a few minutes (and a few concerned looks from your nosy neighbors).
The same thing can happen if you’ve overfilled the mower’s oil reservoir.
Checking the Oil Level
To check the oil level, use the dipstick in the reservoir. Just remove the dipstick, which is attached to the bottom of the cap, then wipe it dry with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick back into the reservoir. Remove the dipstick once again and check the oil level against the “fill” line on the stick.
It’s important to do this check when your mower has been sitting still and before starting the motor. Otherwise, you will not get an accurate reading because the oil will have sloshed around.
If the oil level is too high, you can drain the oil by tipping the mower on its side.
Drain a small amount of oil into a safe container, then check the level again with the dipstick. You can repeat the process until the oil reaches the correct level, as seen on the dipstick.
Finally, run the mower to burn off the excess oil. When the smoke clears, your lawn mower is good to go.
Another way to drain oil from the reservoir is by unbolting the sump plug. However, note that not all lawn mowers are built with a sump plug (check your manual to be sure).
If your lawnmower doesn’t have one, you can use an oil extractor pump to drain oil. Oil extractor pumps are available in most mower shops, and you can buy them online as well (here’s one on Amazon).
Mower has been Tipped on its Side
Sometimes, engine oil can make its way to the cylinder if you tip your mower at a 15-degree angle.
This can happen if you tilt the mower when inspecting under the deck or when you’re replacing the blades. Using your lawn mower on a steep slope may also cause the oil to spill.
You can solve this problem by letting the engine run idly to allow the spilled oil to burn off and smoke to clear.
If you tip your lawn mower for cleaning or maintenance, it is also always a good idea to check the owner’s manual to determine the best ways to reduce oil leaks. Most mowers are designed to tip to one side, but not the other, so consult your manual for best results and to avoid oil getting where it isn’t supposed to go.
Usually, you only want to tip walk-behind mowers toward the oil cap. This is how many of these mowers are designed to have the oil drained.
Oil Residue in New Lawn Mowers
Perhaps you’ve recently bought your first lawn mower (or upgraded from an old one), and when you started the engine, it smoked.
Don’t panic. Sometimes, residual oil may be found in brand new lawn mowers. This is usually the reason why your brand new mower is smoking.
Just let your mower run for up to 15 minutes, then the smoke should clear.
The above issues should not be a cause for alarm. However, if after 15 minutes, smoke continues to billow from your new mower, then you might be dealing with a more serious problem.
Returning and exchanging it for another mower may be your best bet.
Bigger Problems Causing Lawn Mower to Blow Blue Smoke
Here are a few problems you should look out for when troubleshooting blue smoke from your mower.
Typically you’ll only see these issues with older mowers.
Damaged Head Gasket
The head gasket is usually in between the cylinder head and the cylinder block of the mower’s engine. Its main purpose is to keep the engine blocked off from oil or other elements.
If your lawn mower has a blown head gasket, the smoke won’t likely disappear even if you try to drain oil from your mower’s reservoir. Since it’s not sealing the cylinder as it should, oil can leak into it. That oil will burn and give off smoke.
If your lawn mower’s head gasket is damaged or cracked, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.
This is a job for a pro, and it can be expensive. Check to see if your mower is under warranty. If not, get a price from a local small engine repair shop – that’s where you’ll probably get the best deal.
Defective Crankcase Breather
The crankcase breather, also known as the PVC valve, traps gases that escape during combustion to relieve pressure and reduce buildup of corrosive material in the lawn mower’s engine.
If it doesn’t work properly, it may cause damage to other parts of your lawn mower. It may also allow pressure to increase, causing blown seals and gaskets which result in oil leaks.
Replacing the crankcase breather is the best solution and it is relatively fast and easy, without need to tear your lawn mower’s engine apart.
Worn Out Piston Rings
The piston rings of a lawn mower seal the combustion chamber, keeping the oil engine from accessing it. Piston rings may get worn out from frequent use or if the mower is poorly controlled. They may also get damaged if your lawn mower’s air filter is dirty and unable to block dust and other debris.
Not replacing the engine oil in your lawn mower frequently may also result in poor lubrication and cause the piston rings to dry and crack.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy fix if your lawn mower’s piston rings are worn out, damaged, or faulty. Your best option may be to have the entire engine replaced, and depending upon your mower’s value, it may be time to go shopping.
Why Your Lawn Mower is Blowing Blue Smoke
Your lawn mower blowing blue smoke is usually caused by an oil spill or leak. If the smoke clears in less than 15 minutes, then the oil spill is small enough not to cause any major damage to your lawn mower.
The tips and information I’ve shared in this article should help most people diagnose their problem, and prevent any reoccurrence.
However, if your lawn mower continues to blow blue smoke after 15 minutes, you might want to call in a professional small engine repair service for help. Alternatively, if your mower is still covered by warranty, then you can have it checked by the manufacturer.
Either option will probably be less expensive than getting a new one. The biggest cost will be time lost while your mower is in the shop, but you can always ask a neighbor to borrow their mower for a week if needed.