John Deere Zero-Turn Mowers: The Z Series Guide

posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 in Dealer News

A high-quality cut done quickly is every lawn owners dream, especially for those of us who have a whole lot of yard to care for.

If you’re looking for an easy to maintain, time saving mower with a comfortable ride to boot, opting for one of the zero-turn mowers from John Deere might be just the answer you’re looking for. They’re much faster than many traditional riding mowers and because of their turning radius, they’re also easy to maneuver so you’ll have no trouble managing your flower beds and other landscaping challenges. And, with all that agility around obstacles, you’ll be shaving even more time off your lawnmowing average. John Deere’s residential mower lineup falls into three categories, the first of which is the Z300 Series followed by the Z500 and Z700 Series, all of which are among some of the best residential zero-turn mowers available. We’ll walk you through some of top things to know about each category below.

The Z300 Series: Economical and Comfortable Zero-Turn Mowers


The Z300 Series has a total of seven different economical zero-turn mowers to choose from. One of the most important features to consider is speed. Z300s can reach speeds of up to 7 mph without compromising on quality of cut thanks to being equipped with capable v-twin engines as well as Accel™ Deep mower decks that are available in 42, 48 and 54-inches in width. It’s helpful to note that the width of your mowing deck is important because a larger deck often means a faster cutting speed. This group of Zs ranges from 20-25 hp, depending on the model.

When it comes to the finer details of mowing, you’re able to manage the height of your cut while seated. You can also lift and lower your deck, make on-the-go tracking adjustments and set the break all while staying in your seat. These zero-turn mowers offer a MulchControl™ Option so you can choose how to handle your material with the flip of a switch. If you’re unfamiliar with mulching in terms of lawn clippings, take a look at our previous post on the topic for more information.

Z300s are made with comfort in mind and can be easily adjusted to suit any operator, requiring some light tool work for the 15-inch seats while the 18-inch seats can be adjusted tool-free. Just like all of the Z Series, steering for the Z300s is done with two hand-operated control levers. Ease of use is further integrated into the functionality of each of these mowers with the ergonomically designed control panel located just to the side of the driver’s seat. What’s more, zero-turn mowers from the Z300 series are constructed with a strong, heavy-duty frame and come equipped with a maintenance-free dual transmission.

The Z500 Series: More Capable Zero-Turn Mowers with Higher Speeds

Next in the Z lineup is the more capable Z500 Series. This series of Zs includes five zero-turn mowers to consider with all the features the Z300 series has to offer along with some improvements and more comfort features. Z500s are faster, ranging in speeds of up to 8.5-9 mph varying by model. You’ll also find a higher overall horsepower even on more basic Z500s. The range with this series is between 24-25 hp respectively.


They’re larger framed than the Z300s and the available mowing decks now start at 48 inches in width and go up from there to 62 inches in width in the largest model—making quicker work of mowing larger properties. These Z500s come with extra convenience features like a bigger 4.5-gallon fuel tank for longer rides between refills. You’ll also find that the 15, 18 and 21-inch seat backs can all be adjusted without the use of tools. Certain models in this series like the Z540R boast even finer features like a commercial style cannister muffler that provides a significantly quieter ride.

The New Z700 Series: Best Residential Zero-Turn Mowers in Speed with Top of the Line Comfort Features

The Z700 Series is a newer addition to John Deere’s zero-turn taskforce and was released earlier this year. It takes the best of what the Z300s and Z500s have to offer and adds on for even better mowing and an even more comfortable ride. In this series you’ll find five zero-turn mowers ranging from 23-25 hp with top speeds between 8-10 mph. And though this lineup of Zs falls into the residential category, these mowers include some of the key benefits you’d get with commercial equipment thanks to their commercial grade construction. This also gives these mowers the ability to work on harder to handle terrains. Z700s have an 8-gallon fuel tank which is nearly double that of the Z300 Series, making it the largest in this category. The high capacity PRO mowing decks come in 48, 54 and 60 inches in width.


Locking these zero-turn mowers in place is done a little differently than the other two series and can be activated by pushing the control levers outward. Regular maintenance is more easily accessible with flip up seats and spindle covers, as well as a removable foot platform. All of which provide quick access to vital maintenance areas. Having more ground to cover is made even more comfortable with improvements in customization. For instance, with a quick turn of a dial, you can adjust the suspension to better suit individual operator body weight. The seat backs and armrests can also be readily adjusted among several other top of the line features and options. In short, the Z700 Series is as close as you can get to commercial grade equipment while staying within the residential category.

Zs in general offer a lot of benefits. One of the most notable of which is that you can get up to double the speed you would with a regular riding mower depending on the model, all with professional looking results. If however you’re in need of even more durability and horsepower, you might consider exploring options from John Deere’s commercial Z900 Series. Though they are primarily utilized by landscapers, some large property owners find these zero-turn mowers to be best suited to their acreage and chore lists. Want to learn more or schedule a test drive? Find your nearest Sunshine Dealer and let our team of specialists help!