best zero turn for hills
Lawn Care

Learn Which Zero Turn Mower for Hills to Pick This Season

Do you know what’s great about having a well-kept lawn? How beautiful it makes your land look. But the downside? Lots of hard work. At least this is what most people believe in. Of course, no one denies that keeping a lawn fresh and clean does require work, especially if the area is uneven and hilly. But this work does not necessarily have to be hard anymore. All because now we have a way to make this job a lot easier, with the help of mowers for hills called zero-turn lawnmowers.

And these would be a huge help if you live on rocky terrain and need extra help. However, it does not mean that you can just purchase any machine – you need to know the specifics, important details, and what to look for to choose only the best zero turn mower for hills.  And we’ll show you an easy and simple way to pick only the best zero-turn mower for hilly terrain!

Top 5 Best Zero Turn Mowers for Hills: Comparison Chart

Cutting DeckPower SourceEngineMax Forward SpeedWeight
Ariens Edge52 inchesGasoline21.5 HP Kawasaki6 MPH710 pounds
Husqvarna Z25454 inchesGasoline26 HP Kohler6.5 MPH640 pounds
Husqvarna MZ6161 inchGasoline24 HP Kawasaki8 MPH770 pounds
Craftsman Z52546 inchesGasoline23 HP Briggs & Stratton7 MPH623 pounds
Husqvarna Z254F54 inchesGasoline26 HP Kohler6.5 MPH770 pounds

What Is a Zero Turn Mower?

As the name suggests – a zero-turn for hills is a land mower that has a zero-turning radius. This type of mower was invented in 1949, by Warrensburg and Swisher, that called it the “Ride King”. The biggest feature of the zero-turn mower is the fact that it’s a lot faster than the regular mower, and effectively gets into the tighter parts of your lawn.

How Does a Zero Turn Mower Work?

The best zero turn for hills does not have a steering wheel and instead comes with two levers. These levers control the two motors connected to the rear wheels. Thus if you push the two levers forward, your mower will move that way while it reverses if pulled back. That is what allows the mower to turn in a zero-degree radius.

Standard Riding Mower vs Zero Turn Mower

There are several main differences between a zero-turn mower and a standard riding one:

  • The pattern of mowing: Thanks to the full-turning radius, the zero-turn mower makes your lawn a lot smoother and well-cut, unlike the regular riding mowers. This feature is what makes zero-turn the best mower for hills.
  • Speed: Their design makes zero-turn mowers a lot faster than the standard ones.
  • Maneuverability: Zero-turn mowers have a better turning radius and thus saves a great amount of effort and time of going over a patch that is undone.  
  • Price: Zero-turn mowers are usually pricier.
  • Maintenance: Zero-turn mower will be a little more difficult to maintain than your standard mower.

Factors That Make Up The Best Zero Turn For Hills

The Type and The Style

There are four types of zero-turn mowers for the hills:

  • Lap-bar: This type is the most common with two levers to steer the mower. They are also considered to be the best riding lawn mower for hills. 
  • Steering wheel: This one works just like driving a car with a foot pedal and steering. 
  • Joystick models: As the name suggests, these zero-turn mowers have joystick controls.
  • Stand-on mowers: These are mostly used by professionals. Moreover, all the best zero-turn mowers for hilly terrains of this model are very powerful and have two levers.

And as for the overall style, there are 2 types – front-deck or mid-deck zero-turn mowers.

Ease of Driving

Since you are going to operate your mower on hilly terrain for quite some time, it’s essential to pick the one which can be easily controlled. Moreover, it must have a detailed manual, explaining how to use the machine correctly.


The best ZTR for hills must have enough built-in safety measurements like roll bar systems and safety belts. These features are what make zero-turn safer than a regular lawn tractor for hills.

Warranty and Return Policy

According to zero turn mower reviews, buying a mower that does not come with a warranty is a great loss. They are pretty expensive, and thus you must never compromise with quality. Carefully check the warranty period and return policies before you decide to choose this model.

Additional Attachments

All the best zero-turn mowers for the hills usually have in-build, useful attachments. Some of them are:

  • Leaf vacuums: Great for removing the dry, scattered leaves in your lawn;
  • Snowplow: Snow can be a nuisance in the winters, and a mower that comes with a snowplow is a great help in this matter.
  • Bagging system: It would be great if your zero turn mower for hills has a bag to collect the grass clipping? That will just save you more time.

However, do keep in mind that the more attachments the ZTR for hills has, the pricier it will be.

Other Important Factors

Oh, but that’s not all! There are also another few essential things you need to pay attention to, in order to choose only a high-quality, best zero turn mower for the hills. These factors are:

Quality Grade of Mower

There are five grades of quality when it comes to zero-turn mowers. Let’s take a look at them: highest to lowest quality:

  • Industrial grade
  • Commercial grade
  • Semi-pro grade
  • Midgrade
  • Economy grade

Thus you need to choose the quality grade depending on your financial capability since higher quality means better performance but also greater price.

Your Grass Height

All the best zero-turn mowers work perfectly if your grass is less than 6 inches tall. If the grass is taller, then you’ll need a good-quality rough cut mower for this job.

Why Is It Important to Determine the Slope Degree 

using clinometer when mowing

Determining the slope degree is very important in deciding which equipment will be the best option for you. For example, a standard zero-turn mower is capable of mowing up to a 15-degree slope (mowing greater slopes can be dangerous regardless of the type of riding mowers). Meanwhile, all the best walk-behind mowers can handle 20-degree slopes.And to figure out the slope degree of your lawn, you just have to use a clinometer. This is a device that determines the degree of soil slope.

Tips For Maintaining Your ZTR

  • Use the right fuel for your ZTR. While creating these zero turn for hills reviews, we’ve learned that using gasoline that has more than 10 % ethanol in it, is rather harmful to a machine. Plus, it’s always important to use a fuel stabilizer, for the best performance of your zero-turn mower for hilly terrain. 
  • After using your mower, dry the excess water and keep it under shade or inside the box. 
  • Keep the deck of your mower clean. If it catches rust once, the entire machine will begin to depreciate at a faster rate. 
  • A good and quiet lawn mower can be a little tight on the budget but make that investment instead of buying a cheap one and suffering later.

Safety Tips

Considering that in 2016, more than 90,000 people in the US were treated for injuries caused by lawnmowers, it shows that you have to be very careful while operating this machine.

  • Wear appropriate footwear when you use your zero turn mower.
  • Segregate the stones and pebbles before operating your mower. 
  • Wear fully covered clothes and a helmet. 
  • Do not let children play outside while you mow your lawn.
  • Avoid pulling it backward. 

Final Word

Every zero-turn mower for hills is a huge help for anyone that needs to work on uneven terrain – fast and, most importantly, clean. And while it may seem rather challenging at first, but you can easily pick a good machine: as long as you know what to pay attention to. Thus, first of all, you need to determine the type of ZTR mower for hills you need to use, and from that point, determine and judge the quality, price attachment e.t.c.

So overall, just keep in mind these little but important tips, and we’re certain you’ll find only the best zero-turn mower for the hills 2023 in no time! 

And if you already have some experience with these machines, perhaps you can also share with us your knowledge? We’re always welcome to learn more from you!

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