Zero-turn mowers have become super popular among homeowners and professional landscapers because of their maneuverability and efficiency in cutting grass.
But here’s the thing: not all zero-turn mowers are created equal. Some of them just don’t live up to the hype.
In this article, I will walk you through some of these zero-turn models that have potential issues that can mess up your mowing experience. Let’s get started.
6 Worst Zero Turn Mowers
Troy-Bilt is a brand of zero-turn lawnmowers that has faced some criticism and negative feedback from users.
While it may not necessarily be considered the absolute worst brand, several issues and problems have been reported by customers.
Poor performance is a common complaint about Troy-Bilt zero-turn mowers. Users have reported instances where the mowers failed to start, experienced vibration issues, lost power, and stalled while in operation.
These performance issues can be inconvenient and reduce the mower’s overall effectiveness.
Some users have questioned the durability of Troy-Bilt zero-turn mowers. There have been reports of components wearing out or breaking prematurely. These durability issues may necessitate frequent repairs or the purchase of replacement parts, raising the overall cost of ownership.
Another issue that users have raised is the issue of uneven cutting. Uneven tire pressures, worn or damaged deck components, or a clogged or improperly leveled mower deck can all cause an inconsistent and undesirable cut. Getting a consistently even cut requires adjustments and repairs.
Some customers have complained about Troy-Bilt’s customer service. There have been reports of difficulties obtaining assistance, delays in response times, and inadequate resolution of issues.
Customer service is really important in fixing problems and getting a positive ownership experience, and Troy-Bilt’s shortcomings in this area have contributed to the company’s negative reputation.
Troy-Bilt zero-turn mowers have fewer features and options when compared to other brands.
Users have noted the absence of certain desirable features to improve ease, comfort, and efficiency during operation. This lack of features can make the mowers less attractive to buyers who want a complete set of functionalities.
Defective Troy-Bilt Models
Here are some troy-bilt models that you might need to stay away from in the market due to their bad reputation:
i. Troy-Bilt Mustang XP
Users have reported issues with the Mustang XP model, including problems with the mower deck’s cutting performance. There have been complaints of uneven cutting, blades not engaging consistently, and poor-quality cuts.
There have also been reports of the mower deck belt slipping or breaking too soon.
ii. Troy-Bilt Mustang ZT50
Reported problems with the Mustang ZT50 model include problems with the mower’s hydrostatic transmission. Some users have experienced loss of power or difficulties controlling the mower due to transmission-related problems.
Also, there have been reports of the mower deck not leveling correctly, leading to an uneven cut.
iii. Troy-Bilt Mustang Pivot S 46
Some users have reported issues with the Mustang Pivot S 46 model, particularly with the mower’s steering system. Users have experienced difficulties steering and controlling the mower, which can impact its overall maneuverability.
There have also been reports of the mower deck not engaging consistently or producing an uneven cut.
iv. Troy-Bilt Mustang Fit
The Mustang Fit model has been reported to have durability and build quality issues. Some users have experienced excess damage to components such as belts, pulleys, and bearings very early. There have also been reports of the mower’s frame and chassis not holding up well under regular use.
Ryobi is a well-known brand that offers a range of outdoor power equipment, including lawnmowers.
While Ryobi has received positive reviews for some of its products, a few models have been criticized, particularly in the zero-turn lawnmower category.
Here are some insights on the features that make Ryobi not a very good zero-turn mower:
Lack of Cutting Performance
One of the common complaints about Ryobi zero-turn lawnmowers is their lack of cutting performance Users have reported that the mowers struggle with cutting through overgrown grass and do not provide a clean, even cut.
Some Ryobi zero-turn lawnmowers are electrically powered and rely on batteries for operation. While electric mowers have advantages, such as reduced noise and emissions, Ryobi’s battery-powered models have faced criticism for their power limitations.
Users have mentioned that power levels drop toward the end of the battery’s capacity, affecting the mower’s performance. Additionally, slow charging times have been noted as a drawback for these models.
Another point of concern for Ryobi zero-turn lawnmowers is the limited options available in terms of deck size.
While the brand offers zero-turn models with 30, 42, and 54-inch deck sizes, some competitors provide a more comprehensive range of deck sizes to accommodate different lawn sizes and user preferences.
Comfort is an essential factor when operating a lawnmower for extended periods. Some users have complained about the seating comfort of Ryobi zero-turn lawnmowers. Mowing can be a tedious and unpleasant task if you have uncomfortable seating.
While there are positive reviews and satisfied customers for Ryobi zero-turn lawnmowers, there are a considerable number of negative reviews and user complaints regarding their performance, battery limitations, and comfort issues.
These mixed reviews led to the perception of Ryobi as one of the worst options in the zero-turn lawnmower category.
3. Country Clipper
Country Clipper is often mentioned as one of the worst zero-turn lawnmower brands due to several issues affecting its performance.
Here are some reasons why Country Clipper is considered one of the worst zero-turn lawnmower brands:
According to research and user reviews, Country Clipper mowers deliver subpar performance compared to other brands. Users have reported various problems, including starting issues, engine sputtering, blades not turning, joystick problems, and excessive oil consumption.
These issues can significantly impact the mowing experience and cause users to become frustrated.
Country Clipper mowers have been associated with reliability issues. Users have reported issues such as the engine failing to start, the engine failing to shut down, the blades failing to disengage, and the plastic housing breaking.
These issues can result in frequent breakdowns, costly repairs, and a shorter lawnmower lifespan.
Poor Customer Support
Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the customer support provided by Country Clipper. Customers have reported difficulties resolving their issues and receiving proper assistance from the company.
Poor customer support can further increase the frustration of users facing mower problems.
Lack of popularity
Country Clipper may not be as famous as other brands in the zero-turn lawnmower market. This lack of popularity can be attributed to factors such as the brand’s performance issues and the limited availability of dealers.
The popularity of a brand can often be an indicator of its reliability and customer satisfaction.
4. Cub Cadet
Due to several issues and limitations, Cub Cadet is also regarded as one of the most problematic zero-turn lawnmower brands.
Here are the details on why Cub Cadet is considered among the worst zero-turn lawnmower brands:
Due to performance issues, Cub Cadet has been included in the negative list of zero-turn lawnmower brands.
While Cub Cadet mowers are balanced and durable, they lack certain features, such as a springless seat that falls abruptly, screeching sounds, and low traction tires.
Common Cub Cadet problems include difficulty starting the mower, the mower stopping while in operation, smoke coming from the mower, a faulty hydrostatic transmission, steering issues, a lack of movement, vibrations, uneven cuts, gas leakage, and hard starting.
Quality and Durability
Cub Cadet mowers have been reported to have low-quality materials and construction, as stated in a Consumer Reports review. This can lead to wear and tear, resulting in leaking engines and decreased overall durability.
Issues in Humid Climates
Cub Cadet mowers face problems in humid climates. These issues include engine problems, spindle and belt malfunctions, and poor slope performance.
Cub Cadet has been criticized for its subpar customer service. Poor customer service can lead to frustration and difficulties in resolving issues with the lawnmower.
Defective Cub-Cadet Models
Here are some Cub-Cadet models that users have been dissatisfied with:
i. Cub Cadet RZT S46
Some users have reported issues with the deck belt slipping or breaking too early on the Cub Cadet RZT S46 model, leading to decreased cutting performance and the need for frequent belt replacements.
ii. Cub Cadet Z-Force S Commercial:
There have been reports of transmission problems with the Cub Cadet Z-Force S Commercial model, including issues with belt slippage, failure to engage, and overall reliability concerns.
iii. Cub Cadet RZT L
Some users have experienced problems with the steering system on the Cub Cadet RZT L model, including difficulty maneuvering and a less responsive steering mechanism.
It’s important to note that while Cub Cadet is not considered among the best zero-turn lawnmower brands by some sources, there are also positive reviews and recommendations for specific Cub Cadet models.
For example, the Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 is recommended as the best choice in the zero-turn mower category by ZDNet. Cub Cadet also offers a variety of models with varying features and specifications to meet various needs.
5. Dixie Chopper
Dixie Chopper is a zero-turn lawnmower brand that has received mixed reviews and has been criticized by some customers. Here are some areas where it struggles:
Performance and Quality
Some users have expressed concerns about the performance and quality of Dixie Chopper mowers.
There have been reports of mechanical issues, such as engine problems and belt failures, that have led to frequent breakdowns and repairs. These problems can cause inconvenience for users, lowering the lawnmower’s overall reliability and effectiveness.
Some customers have mentioned dissatisfaction with the lifetime of Dixie Chopper mowers. They have reported issues with the deck, frame, and other components wearing out or breaking early on, requiring expensive repairs or replacements.
This can be frustrating for users who expect their lawnmowers to withstand regular use and maintain performance over an extended period.
Another aspect that has received criticism is the customer support provided by Dixie Chopper.
Poor customer support can increase the frustration experienced by users when dealing with faulty equipment.
Dixie Chopper mowers have also been criticized for their relatively high price compared to other zero-turn lawnmower brands.
While price is subjective and can vary depending on the model and features, some customers feel that the performance and quality of Dixie Chopper mowers do not justify the higher cost.
Some customers have noted that Dixie Chopper mowers may not be as readily available as other brands, making it more challenging to find authorized dealers for servicing or purchasing replacement parts.
Limited availability can contribute to delays in obtaining necessary support or maintenance, causing inconvenience for users.
Husqvarna also has its share of issues and problems that some users have experienced with their zero-turn mowers. Here are some details on why some consider Husqvarna among not the best options for a zero-turn lawnmower:
Common Problems and Issues
Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have been reported to have several common problems. These include:
- Difficulty starting the mower. This can be due to low or bad oil, worn spark plugs, a blocked fuel filter, or dirty/clogged mechanical parts.
- Mower dying during operation. Some users have experienced their Husqvarna zero-turn mowers stalling or dying while mowing, which can be caused by various factors.
- Blades not engaging. Problems with the blades not engaging properly have been reported, which can hinder the cutting performance.
- Smoking. Some users have reported issues with their Husqvarna zero-turn mowers smoking excessively, which can indicate problems with the engine or other components.
- Weak hydrostatic transmission. A weak hydrostatic transmission can result in reduced power and poor performance when maneuvering the mower.
- Steering problems. Steering-related issues, such as difficulties in turning or controlling the mower, have been reported by some users.
- Mower won’t drive. There have been instances where Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have experienced problems with the drive system, leading to the mower not moving forward or backward.
- Vibrations. Excessive vibrations during operation can affect the user’s comfort and indicate potential issues with the mower’s components or balance.
- Poor quality cut. Some users have reported unsatisfactory cutting performance, such as an uneven or inconsistent cut quality, which can impact the overall appearance of the lawn.
- Fuel line damage and leaks. Husqvarna zero-turn mowers have been known to develop fuel line problems, such as damage or leaks, which can lead to fuel-related issues.
- Charging system failure. Issues with the charging system, such as the battery not charging correctly, have been reported by some users.
- Clogged clipping and bagging. Some users have experienced difficulties with the clipping and bagging system, such as clogging or inefficient grass collection.
Defective Husqvarna Models
These Husqvarna problems don’t have the best reputation in the market, and their users have had bad things to say about them.
i. Husqvarna Z254
Users have reported problems with the Z254 model, including issues with the mower deck belt slipping or breaking early on, resulting in decreased cutting performance. Others have experienced difficulties with the mower’s hydrostatic transmission, such as loss of power or the mower not moving correctly.
ii. Husqvarna Z246
Users have reported issues with the Z246 model, including engine problems, excessive smoking, and overheating. Some have also experienced issues with the mower deck’s cutting performance, such as uneven cutting or blades not engaging correctly.
iii. Husqvarna M-ZT52
Users have reported problems with the M-ZT52 model, such as the mower deck vibrating excessively during operation, which can affect the quality of the cut. Others have experienced issues with the mower’s electrical system, including charging system failures or malfunctioning electrical components.
iv. Husqvarna Z560X
Users have reported issues with the Z560X model, such as the mower’s blades not engaging consistently or the mower deck is experiencing difficulties maintaining a level cutting height. Some have also experienced problems with the steering system, such as difficulty turning or controlling the mower.
v. Husqvarna M-ZT61
Users have reported problems with the M-ZT61 model, including issues with the mower’s drive system, such as not moving forward or backward properly. Others have experienced issues with the cutting performance, such as an uneven or inconsistent cut quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the common issues to look out for in zero-turn mowers?
Some common issues to be aware of in zero-turn mowers include poor maneuverability, unreliable engine performance, inadequate cutting quality, excessive vibration, and frequent breakdowns. These issues can significantly affect the overall performance and user experience of the mower.
How can I identify a low-quality zero-turn mower?
There are several indicators of a low-quality zero-turn mower. Look for signs such as weak construction, poor material quality, a lack of brand reputation, and negative customer reviews. Additionally, pay attention to features like limited warranty coverage and insufficient customer support. They can also be signs of a low-quality product.
Can a low-quality zero-turn mower negatively affect lawn health?
Yes, a low-quality zero-turn mower can have a negative impact on lawn health. Mowers with inferior cutting systems or uneven deck height adjustments may result in an inconsistent and uneven cut, leading to an unhealthy lawn appearance. Additionally, unreliable engine performance can affect the mower’s ability to distribute fertilizer and promote healthy grass growth.
While these above-mentioned zero-turn mower brands might have some significant issues, that doesn’t mean that they should be sidelined altogether.
All you need to do is make your decision wisely while choosing your mower, and don’t be entirely hesitant to buy these mowers because some of their models are defective, but they, too are a trademark of quality.