Selecting the right mower for your property can feel like a monumental task. Between different styles of mowers, multiple deck sizes, fuel type and horsepower, the options seem almost limitless. While the task of selecting a new mower can seem daunting, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to simplify the selection process.
The first thing everyone in the market for a new mower should ask is how big of an area do you need to mow regularly? Knowing the size of your lawn will get you started down the path of selecting the correct mower.
Typically, lawns and yards less than one acre can be maintained well with a gas or electric walk-behind mower and string trimmer. The narrow walk-behind mower will allow for clearance in tight spaces through gates, next to trees, or along fence lines. They are usually simple to operate, and most people are familiar with them. Ride-on mowers, also referred to as lawn tractors, are another option for those looking to mow a yard or lawn around one acre efficiently.
“Walk-behind and ride-on mowers are very popular and effective for most yards,” says Tom Vachal, Kubota Senior Turf Product Manager. “However, once the land you are mowing reaches a few acres, it’s time to consider a zero-turn mower. These nimble ride-on mowers get their name from their almost zero-degree turning radius. This makes them ideal for yards of all shapes with features like trees, fountains and flower beds. They combine the precision of a walk-behind mower with the comfort and convenience of a ride-on mower. Plus, they are easy to operate.”
Zero-turn mowers like the Kubota Z200 series cut neatly and efficiently, making quick work of larger landscapes, and they can easily navigate obstacles in the form of patios, fire pits, water features, shrubbery, or paved walkways.
Deck sizes can range across residential zero-turn mowers from 42 inches up to 60 inches. Deck size will depend greatly on the topography of your property, how many obstacles and fixtures you’ll need to mow around, and how important saving time is to you. A larger deck can help you mow your lawn faster, but not if you need to navigate around trees, gardens and other fixtures.
One tip to determine a starting point for your deck size is to measure the width of the narrowest point between two obstacles you’ll need to mow between. If your deck size is larger than that space, you’ll likely need to come back and finish that area with a walk-behind mower or a string trimmer.
If your property spans beyond a few acres, and you have large expanses of mostly flat lawn, a larger more equipped mower like the Kubota Z400 Series may better suit your needs. The Z400 series offers models with more horsepower, larger cutting decks and more comfort features than the Z200 series. But remember, bigger does not always mean better.
Once you’ve determined the style of mower you’ll need and have an idea of an appropriate deck size, many of the other considerations like seat type, tire specs and lighting come down to personal preference, or specific things your lawn or mower may require that others do not.