Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 145
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by itasor Best residential zero turn mower on the market!
The Ariens Zoom 42 is without a doubt the best built and best value residential zero turn on the market today. I did a lot of research before buying this mower, and looked at similar 42-50" Toro, Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, Craftsman, John Deere, and Husqvarna models.
The MTD-built mowers (Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet, etc.) don't mow in reverse (due to a lawsuit), so the PTO disengages the blades when you pull the levers back for more than a second or so...very annoying. You can bypass it by modifying the wiring, but who wants to do that on a brand new mower? The Ariens mows in reverse with no modifications.
The Toro Timecutter SS 42" model was at the top of my list until I saw how the deck was attached. Like most of the residential zero turn mowers, the deck attaches with just 1 linkage bar in the front. The back of the Toro deck has brackets that hang on a rod. Other models have 2 rear brackets that connect to linkages with cotter pins. The Ariens has a beefy doubled front linkage and 4 (FOUR!) deck attachment points. It's so secure that the deck doesn't bounce at all when mowing a really bumpy yard.
The Ariens is also the only mower I found in this price range with a foot deck lift. This is important because with both hands on the steering levers, you can't grab a lever to raise the deck to mow over a tree root, etc. The foot lift system is excellent and really easy to lift the deck.
Consumer Reports (who loves the Troy-Bilt zero turns at Lowes) always gives points to the zero turn mowers that have the parking brake built into the steering levers (when you close them, the parking brake disengages electronically). I actually like the separate parking brake on the Ariens much better...it feels much more solid and isn't electronic, plus it makes opening and closing the steering arms much smoother.
The only complaint I read about during my research on the Ariens Zoom 42 was that it burned the grass if you stopped in one spot, but that Ariens dealers can get and install a heat shield to prevent the issue. I'm happy to report that my Ariens Zoom 42 came with this heat shield ALREADY INSTALLED, as well as a trailer hitch. See pictures attached to this review. Since this was the biggest complaint, I almost ordered the heat shield from Ariens before receiving the mower so I could put it on right away...I'm glad I didn't!
I ordered the Ariens Zoom 42 on a Thursday from HomeDepot.com, I received an e-mail that it shipped the next week on Tuesday via New England Motor Freight. By Thursday it was at my local Ariens dealer (which normally only sells Ariens snow blowers), prepped, and ready to go. I could have had it delivered that Thursday but chose Friday. My particular dealer went above and beyond prepping the mower...even going so far as to highlight important things in the manual and color the hydro-bypass levers (to push the mower) to make them easier to find. I'm not sure if they adjusted the deck or not, but it's perfectly level and the cut looks GREAT.
I have mowed once with the Ariens so far and you can immediately tell it's a quality built mower, which is really hard to find in the residential price range, even with tractor style instead of zero turn mowers. I've never driven a zero turn mower before, but within 10 minutes I figured it out and had no issues. Even while learning the steering, I still mowed by yard (around .75 acre) in half the time.
I was originally planning on getting the mulch kit...not so much to recycle grass, but just to block the chute to keep grass out of the driveway, landscaping, etc. I do use my mower to mulch leaves in the fall, and had just the simple plastic chute blocker on my old Craftsman lawn tractor, which worked well. The Ariens deck does have the 2 little bars near the chute that look like a chute cover would bungee to, so I'm going to try to find or make a basic chute cover instead of getting the mulch kit. The mower cuts up the grass so well that barely anything comes out of the chute anyway.
Anyway, if you're in the market for a residential zero turn mower, I think the Ariens Zoom series is the way to go. I went with the 42", which I think is the perfect size unless you have a much larger yard. I'm sure the Ariens 50" is an equally awesome machine.
August 16, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by trs0722 Great entry level residential zero turn mower
This is my first ride mower. I did a lot of research and decided to splurge on a zero turn instead of a standard ride mower. I narrowed my choice down to this Ariens and similar Gravely. They both have 3 blades, reliable powerful engines, great reviews, and excellent consumer warranties. I then learned that they're the same company with Gravely manufacturing mostly commercial equipment. My local Ariens/Gravely dealer assured me that the new Kohler 7000 engine was as good as the Kawasaki on the more expensive Gravely. Additionally, my landscaper told me he'd always had great luck with Kohler engines.
I've only used it three times so far but it's been a true joy to use. It takes some getting used to maneuvering it but it's not terribly difficult. You have to be careful cutting near structures and objects because the deck protrudes out from what you see in front of you. The 3 blades cut very well and it has plenty of power and speed for my 1/2 acre.
Servicing the engine shouldn't be too hard although the oil plug is awkwardly situated (that's why why they provided a rubber tube). I would have liked a 3 gallon gas tank as I've gone through about 1.5-1.75 gallons per cut so far. I expected a little better mileage. Adjusting the handles, seat, and cutting height were easy. I did try the deck wash out port with a hose but not sure I did it correctly. I only saw water coming out on one side and did not run the cutting deck. I am considering some car ramps or a jack so that I can get to the blades and scrape out any residue underneath.
May 11, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Steve So far so good.
Purchased at the end of the season I've not mowed enough for a very thorough test, but the few hours I have it's worked great. It has impressive power and cutting ability at high speeds. My first zero turn mower so I wondered about learning to steer but it's easy. I mow 1.5 acres with many trees and obstacles and will get my mowing done much faster. The only problem is mowing on a side hill. I was warned of this with the zero turn mowers and it does not work.
November 4, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Kent Very well built mower
The Ariens Zoom 42 has turned out to be a much better than expected machine. I did some research and found out this company has been around for a long time and after using this more a few times I can easily see why. The deck mounting system is far better than the competition being that it has 4 deck hanging points, you really can stand on it. Don't try that on a different brand, I tried it on a floor model in front of the store and it didn't turn out well. I almost immediately installed the mulching kit and it works very well. I had some really tall grass to cut behind my yard the first time I used the machine and the engine didn't hesitate one bit. I'm happy with the purchase and strongly recommend this mower over any of the same-priced units of any other brand.
August 25, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Ron 2015 Ariens Zoom 42 Model 915159
Very very satisfied with my new 2015 Ariens Zoom 42 Model 915159. One of the best decisions I've made. I also purchased the Ariens 715131 Mulch kit from an online vendor which was fairly easy to install (2 hrs work) and works great. Only thing is there is no discharge cover with the kit. Excessive amount of grass clippings fly out the space between mulch kit and cut deck at the deck's discharge chute and come back on the mower and operator. Also it deposits a small line of clumped cuttings on the lawn. Anyone else have this problem? There are two anchor studs welded to the cutting deck on either side of the discharge chute as if they were designed to hold the discharge cover straps. I've searched and cannot find an Ariens (or Gravely) discharge cover. Is there a compatible discharge cover that will fit the Ariens (Gravely) 42" Zoom (ZTR) deck? It would be the compliment and finishing touch to this Mulching Kit.
September 8, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DSM Great purchase
this is my first zero turn. it is very powerful, and easy to operate. it has cut my mowing time almost in half.
October 6, 2015
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by RatPack38 Overall pretty good machine
Got older so needed a rider and didn't like the tractor type and most rear engine mowers are too narrow. Started out loving this mower but ran into some problems. Thing leaks oil like mad all over the lower part of the engine. Did not trust anyone to tear it apart and MAYBE fix. Just keep adding oil. DO NOT stop on your lawn long after mowing a while. Very poo muffler design and your nice green grass will develop dead brown rectangles where ever you sit and quickly. Cutting is nice and even but keep your blades, 3 of them, sharp and buy a lawn mower lift. This thing is heavy. Deck height adjustment is okay and controls are easy to learn. Get an extra key. I only had one with mine and it broke in short order. Suction is fair and my $500.00 bagger is a nice decoration as thee grass spends a lot of time clogged up in the pipe. If you get a bagger you will loose your hitch to pull your tool trailer. I would not go back to a push mower if I could but I would probably spend more time researching zero turn mowers.
August 6, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Rick Zero Turn Riding Mower
I live in a rural area and have a ditch running in the front of my property by the road. The ditch has a incline on both sides and if the ground is damp from rain the mower will side a little and leave skid marks in the grass. The other problem I found is if you make a sharp zero turn around in one spot the mowers rear wheels will tear up the grass. The cut I get with the mower is very nice and even. Thats what I like about this Ariens mover is the nice even cut, It makes your lawn really stand out looking nice.
June 9, 2015