Help me pick a mower

   / Help me pick a mower #1  


New member
Jul 6, 2021
None yet
I have been lurking here for some time and have found the information very helpful.

We recently purchased a home with 2.5 acres. Two acres are mostly flat without obstacles and .5 acres is wooded. First, I am assuming any type of big box store riding mower, while a good price, will not be the best option because the decks are usually limited to 54 inches and durability. Therefore, we are debating between a ZT and SCUT (Kubota BX). Probably 80 percent of the work will be mowing grass, which makes me think the ZT is the best option. Also the ZT is less expensive. These are the reasons I am still considering the SCUT:

1. We have a 250 foot steep driveway that will require snow removal in the winter. Is this too much work for a push snowblower?
2. I worry there could be other uses for the FEL that may come up (e.g., moving mulch or debris). Just last week in a storm a large tree limb fell and the FEL would have been helpful to haul away the cut up logs. Instead I had to pay someone.
3. I wonder if the options for leave removal will better with a SCUT.

I asked my five nearest neighbors what they have and these were the results: two have only SCUTS (Kubota BX), one has only a JD X720, and two have SCUTS and ZTs. They said they had the SCUTS for many years before ZTs were widely available and now use the ZT for weekly mowing and the SCUTS for snow removal, leaves, and occassional loader bucket tasks.

I really don't want to pay for/maintain two mowers. So I see the options are buy a ZT because cutting grass is 80 percent of the work and find other ways to deal with other needs (e.g., pay someone to remove snow, enlist help of a neighbor, etc.). Or buy the SCUT and know we are self sufficient but it will take longer to do the task we do 80 percent of the time.

   / Help me pick a mower #3  
In your case, I’d buy a SCUT with a 60” MMM. It’ll do everything you need it to do and hold it’s value over a long period of time if you decide to go in a different direction sometime in the future.

   / Help me pick a mower #4  
We recently purchased a home with 2.5 acres. Two acres are mostly flat without obstacles and .5 acres is wooded.

Probably 80 percent of the work will be mowing grass, which makes me think the ZT is the best option. Also the ZT is less expensive.

That's ZT territory.

A SCUT with a mower will mow, but it is NOT a mower. They weigh a ton (literally) ride rough and can rut a lawn fairly easily. Trust me, I have one.

A ZT is purpose built a a mower, but some now seem to be able to do a few other things like pull a cart/wagon. Some have leaf collection options.

Then maybe pick up an older/smaller 'garden tractor' for some of the other tasks. Some of those will take loaders and small plow blades for snow. You don't say how much snow, how often or how fast you need it cleared (quickly so you can get out to go to work?). Contracting a plow driver may be an option. I usually just let it melt as I only drive one or two days a month.

A SCUT as a snow plow will probably require things like tire chains which aren't a lot of fun.
   / Help me pick a mower #5  
The amount more money you will spend by buying a tractor and snow blower you could prob pay someone to clean your driveway for 20yrs and buy a zero turn.

Also a CUT vs a ZTR are only similar in they make grass short..that's about where the similarity ends. You just cant beat the cutting speed, quality of cut and how nimble a ZTR is. A ZTR with 48in deck vs 60+in finish mower and the ZTR will win hands down.
   / Help me pick a mower #6  
I suspect that it will actually be more than 80% mowing. A ZT is the way to go. And I'd get a big deck that extends out beyond the tires -- makes it much easier to trim and get up under shrubs, etc.

You asked about a "push" snowblower. This is a good time of year to start looking for a snowblower. (Craigs list maybe . . . ) I've bought 2 "used" ones that were like new. Lots of people buy a snowblower due to a single big storm or forecast and then never really use them. A 24" or 26" self-propelled snowblower with electric start and all the frills can be found for $300 - $450 used and new for a little more. You don't have to push and it will handle your driveway. That might cover one of the more troublesome tasks.
   / Help me pick a mower #7  
I mowed about 2 acres with a walk behind Scag (60" deck) for several years at our old place. I think it cost me $1500 and it was indestructible. Relatively flat, trees, gardens to mow around, etc. I think it took me about an hour and a half each week. We moved to a new place, and I am mowing about 7 acres now. I started with the Scag, but the new place has more hilly terrain, and it got to be too much (in addition to the fact that I was walking 7 hilly acres). I bought a 72" 3-pt mower for my tractor and some turf tires on wheels (so I could swap out the R1's when mowing). Even with the loader assembly off and the lighter turf tires, it still left impressions in the lawn. Note that I alternate the direction I cut each week, so I am not mowing the same path every time. It also took almost as long with the tractor as it did to walk it. Last spring, I bought a Jacobsen Turfcat with a 72" deck. I can mow up, down, or across any hill on the property, it takes me a little less than two hours to mow the entire thing. I might be able to mow faster with a ZT, but the previous property owner had one and had some difficulty with the hills.

The point of my long-winded story is that a ZT is purpose built for mowing, and will do a better and faster job than any CUT/SCUT mower combo. For two acres, a 60" ZT would be about a 45 minute job. I'll bet you'd spend twice that with a SCUT. If you don't have a lot of tractor-specific chores to do, it would be far cheaper to find alternative methods to get them done, and have the ZT for mowing.
   / Help me pick a mower #8  
My preference is a zero turn for mowing grass, but I also have a tractor for other tasks. If I absolutely had to choose one or the other, I would have a tractor with large rear finish mower.
For many people time is a factor. As others have stated, a ZT will cut circles around a scut - likely to the tune of twice as fast (or more). I mow 16 rural properties ranging from 1.5 - 6 acres each. The 3 acre lots take around 3 hours on a box store lawn mower and 45-60 minutes on a large ZT.

Snow plowing on 250' steep driveway introduces issues with a scut. Certainly doable, but you may need chains or have to plow only downhill. Weight is King in snow plowing.
You mention a walk behind blower. They are much more capable than many realize! I use a 32" walk behind for sidewalks, and occasionally my 500' driveway for fun. I can do the whole thing in around 45 minutes or so in moderate snow.
   / Help me pick a mower #9  
What about a front mount mower with a rotating brush for snow.
Last edited:
   / Help me pick a mower #10  
Another vote for a ZT. 54” decks have less chance of scalping. Something in the $4500-5500 price range will last you over 20 years. Cutting 2 acres will take about a hour and reduce or eliminate trimming.

Snow recommendations will depend on your location. How many inches a year do you get? Also, do have a place to push snow or do you need to blow it?