2015 Toro Zero-Turn Tractors | My Review

This review will help you decide if the new Toro TimeCutter Zero-Turn Tractors are the best choice for you.

I’ve spent considerable time going over and driving both the Cub Cadet and Toro steering wheel zero-turn mowers and I have to say Toro did their homework and got the 2105 Toro TimeCutter Steering Wheel Zero-Turn Mower right. These “Zero-Turn Tractors” feature heavy-duty construction and are nearly maintenance free. In addition Toro now offers a new engine designed specifically for these new mowers that gives you consistent power and long life.

One of the main reasons I am going to rate these new zero-turn tractors so well is Toro is both a turf-grounds maintenance company and a residential mower company. The equipment they sell is used on virtually every golf course, college campus and large acreage site in the world. Mowing contractors rate the Toro/ExMark brands as 2 of the top 4 choices for all brands of mowers. (Contractors Rank ZTR Brands) What that means for you is many of the features you find on the new Zero-Turn Tractors have been proven first on the commercial equipment. Everything about these new mowers is built with strength and years of use in mind. No corners are cut in the design just because it’s “for residential use.” (Some of the parts used on these new mowers were first used on their $10,000 zero-turns)

Why are the Toro Zero Turn Tractors The Best Choice Over a Lawn Tractor Or Lap-Bar Zero-Turn?

Better Side-Hill Stability than a Lawn Tractor– The wheel base (width) of a lawn tractor doesn’t change for the size of deck. Even a 54 inch Garden Tractor is only and inch or two wider than a 42 inch Lawn Tractor. The 50 inch SWX5050 and SW5000 Toro Zero-Turn Tractors wheel base is much wider than a lawn tractor and offers better stability when mowing on slopes. The combination of the front wheels controlling the steering and the wider wheel base make these two models the best choice of all the residential mowers for working slopes. 

Better Rear Traction Than a Lawn Tractor– Todays lawn tractors are very light in the rear. The aluminum and resin cases on the transmissions are 100s of pounds lighter than the garden tractors of the 60’s and 70’s. Because of that lawn/garden tractors have very poor traction pulling loads or going up slopes.  The new Toro Zero-turn tractors have a lot more weight on the rear end. In addition the heavy-duty ZT-2800 drives on the SWX 5050 and SWX 4250 models will give you more pulling power than you have had in a very long time. These transmissions are not “ground engaging” but I have no problems recommending them for any yard work you may want to do around your property. (now if they make a snow blower….)

It Will Turn At The Bottom Of A Hill– Since the front wheels actually control the turning you have more traction when turning at the bottom of a hill. The front wheels don’t have camber like a lawn tractor so they will still skid on slippery turf but they are many times better than trying to turn a conventional zero turn. Please slow down when making the turn and they will work well for you.

Better Side-Hill Stability than a Zero-Turn and Less Load on Transmissions When Mowing Slopes– With a conventional zero-turn all of the mower’s weight is controlled by the down hill transmission.  This causes a tremendous stress on that tranny and they are susceptible to over heating and failure if you run them that way for extended periods. If you mow long road ditches or septic mounds many will actually over heat and fade so you can no longer hold the mower on the slope. Do that often enough and you burn out the tranny.  With the front wheels controlled by a steering wheel on the Toro Zero-Turn Tractor there is no extra stress placed on the down hill tranny. All steering control is on the front wheels and the load is evenly spread between the two transmissions. Because of that the transmissions run at normal operating temperatures and don’t fade.

Please follow all Warnings and Rules in your operators manual when using these mowers on slopes!

Is this the right mower for you?

  • You need a mower that is very easy to get on an off. The Smart Park system lets you get off the mower and the engine stays running. A simple flip of a button restarts the deck.Smart Park
  • You or someone in your family does not like lap-bar zero-turns.
  • This is a true zero-turn mower but will not tear up your turf.
  • The 42 and 50 inch models will handle hills better than a lawn tractor with a locking differential.
  • You get the control and side hill stability of a lawn tractor with the maneuverability and time savings of a zero-turn lawn mower.
  • 50 inch SWX model will handle side hills better than any lawn tractor.
  • If you have thick, dense turf. The engine is designed specifically for zero-turn mowers.
  • This ZTT comes with a hitch. It will pull yard carts, lawn sweepers and other stuff. You can now have your lawn tractor and your zero-turn mower too.
  • You can get off the mower and leave the engine running.
  • Has a functional reverse mow feature that is easy to use and can be locked out for inexperienced users.

Why this mower may not be the best choice for you:

  • You need a Garden Tractor and want to do ground engaging tasks.
  • You like to quickly pull the deck and use the tractor for pulling firewood out of the timber.
  • You want to use a tractor mounted snow blower.

Toro TimeCutter Zero-Turn Tractor Features:

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.  Thank you EAU CLAIRE LAWN EQUIPMENT

Toro Timecutter Engine2015 Toro V-Twin ZX Series Engine – The biggest advancement of these new mowers is not only the steering but the new The Toro ZX Series engine. These engines were specifically created to deliver the best performance by matching the torque curve of the engine to the power needs of the Toro deck it powers. The completely intelligent design and close tolerance speed sensing helps the governor respond faster. It gives the engine more available power when you need it.

Heavy-Duty Engine Components and Innovative Features:

  • Automotive style piston – Triple ring design reduces engine oil consumption and blow by for maximum power. Long skirt increases engine life.
  • 5-Bolt Heads -Cast-iron cylinder lines – The 5 bolt heads are stronger and provide a tighter seal for added durability. Cast iron liners for longer engine life
  • Large Bearing Mounts – The increased size of the bearing mounts distributes the internal loads better and helps the engine last longer.
  • Heavy duty air cleaner hinge – Tough components throughout the engine are built to last.
  • Two-Barrel Carburetor – This feature is not common on this size motor. The two barrel carb allows air/fuel mixtures for each cylinder. This gives maximum power and performance.
  • Vacuum Override Choke – Once the engine starts the choke is overridden automatically – allows for smoother and quicker starts.
  • Self-Cleaning Air Filtration – The is a new patent-pending system that features a self-cleaning air box, dual element air filter and a sloped bottom in the air box that keeps debris out of the engine. Vents inside the air box allow the engine fan to blow debris out of the box.
  • Quick Drain Oil Hose – Just pop the hose out of its holder to drain the oil. No tools required.
  • 3 Year Limited Warranty – Need I say more?
Toro Premium Engine

Toro Premium ZX 24.5 HP

No Tool Oil Drain

No Tool Oil Drain

Oil Filter

Oil filter on same side as oil drain and fill.

Large Fuel Filter

Large Fuel Filter


Easy to clean battery compartment

3 Ring Piston

3 Ring Piston

Two Barrel Carb

Two Barrel Carb

Automatic Choke

Automatic Choke


Heavy-Duty Rear Engine Guard – This heavy-duty steel guard protects the engine from branches and debris as you maneuver around your lawn. It helps keep you chain link fence intact! Heavy Duty Rear Engine Guard
Hitch Kit Standard – Hitch kit comes standard on all TimeCutter models. It’s easy to increase the versatility of your zero turn mower by attaching a dump cart, de-thatcher, fertilizer spreader or other attachments.

3-Gallon (11.4 Liter) Fuel Capacity – All TimeCutter Zero-Turn Tractors feature a large 3-gallon fuel tank for more mowing with fewer fill-ups. Knowing when to fill up is simple thanks to the translucent tank, which also helps to prevent overfilling.

Deep Discharge Decks

Deep Discharge Decks

32, 42, and 50 inch Mowing Decks – Toro’s four-inch (10.2 cm) deep, top discharge deck design provides superior cutting performance in all conditions.7 cutting positions between 1-1/2 in. and 4-1/2 in. in height. The 4 inch deep deck give you the height inside the deck to create a good lift so the deck cuts very evenly. The top discharge design means the clippings leave the discharge in an even and wide pattern so there is less clumping when the grass is a little damp. Anti-scalp wheels allow the deck to float over the turf and reduce scalping. Even the 50 inch fabricated deck on the SWX 5050 cuts and handles grass among the best.

32 Inch Deck

32 Inch Deck


42in mowing deck

50 in deck

50 in deck

Recycling Kit – Toro has been developing mulching kits and decks for over 30 years now and they simply have the best. Their unique system cuts and re-cuts the clipping until they are very small and then drives them into your turf. If you like to mulch most of the time the Recycling Kit for the 32, 42 and 50 inch decks is the way to go. Create your own natural fertilizer by adding a Recycling Kit® or make yard clean-up a snap with an optional Twin Bagging system.



Washout Port – Of course the decks all have a washout port. Deck washout ports create a pressure washer under your deck providing quick cleaning. Cleaning your deck maintains optimum airflow for optimum cutting performance.

42 in Toro Deck

Washout fitting on 42 inch deck

Heavy-Duty Construction – The Zero-Turn Tractors have 10-gauge steel uni-body frames, heavy-duty engine guards and large caster forks for added durability. This gives you a very stiff chassis so you get the best possible cut in all conditions.

Heavy duty front axles

Heavy duty front axles

Dual Hydrostatic Drive System – Independent hydrostatic drive systems provide responsive maneuverability and zero turning capabilities. These independent drives are anchored to Toro’s unibody frame and reinforced with a cross member for lasting durability and performance. DualHydrostaticDriveSystemco2382_tcz_hydrostatic_drive.jpg

Smart Park™ Braking System – Toro’s unique braking system automatically stops the mower deck and sets the parking brake when you need to get off the mower while keeping the engine running.

Smart Park

Smart Park

Here is a short clip explaining the new Smart Park

High Back Seat – When you’re mowing for an extended period, there’s no substitute for a good seat. The high back seat offers premium support during longer mowing sessions. Three long springs under the seat give you lots of suspension for the rough spots.

Key Choice™ Mowing System – Remove the key to prevent others from mowing in reverse for added piece of mind. Do you have inexperienced drivers? Do you have someone who wants to mow, but you can’t quite trust them backing up anymore? The Key Choice system is more than just a reverse mow feature. You can remove the key so the operator can not override your wishes.  The best feature – if the key is removed and the operator backs up ONLY the deck shuts off. (With other systems the engine dies) A quick lift on the PTO switch re-engages the deck. Key Choice

Adjustable Steering Column – Steering column adjusts for maximum comfort for any operator.

Wheel Lowest

Wheel Lowest

Wheel Mid

Wheel Mid

Wheel Up

Wheel Up

Toro Zero-Turn Tractor Online Reviews:

I don’t know what is going on with Home Depot but they have managed to mess up the reviews on the Toro tractor pages. Even though no one actually has one of these new mowers the pages show 75 reviews – some as old as three years. It just goes to show that if you have any concerns about reviews always ask me first.

Which Toro Zero Turn Tractor is the best for you?

There are 5 models to pick from. Read my short explanation below to help you chose the right one for you.

SWX5050: Great for 2 acres or more. Heavy duty transmissions. The best slope stability. Buy Here from Home Depot and see the full specs: TimeCutter SWX5050 50 in. Fab 24.5 HP V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower /

SW5000: Wide track. Also great for 2 acres or more. This is a great choice larger areas and you want the benefits of a zero-turn without the learning curve of a lap-bar model. Buy Here from Home Depot and see the full specs: Toro Lawn Mowers TimeCutter SW5000 50 in. 24.5 HP V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Park 74790

SWX4250: This is about as heavy of a 42 inch residential mower you can buy.  This one is built to last the life of your mortgage. If you have less than 3 acres to mow, want a mower that will last and don’t need it to move snow this is a very good choice. Buy Here from Home Depot and see the full specs: Toro Lawn Mowers TimeCutter SWX4250 42 in. Fab 24.5 HP V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Park 74787C

SW4200: This will be a very popular mower for most homeowners. All the positives of both a zero-turn and a lawn tractor. This is the model I would pick for my one acre lawn. Buy Here from Home Depot and see the full specs: Toro Lawn Mowers TimeCutter SW4200 42 in. 24.5 HP V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Park 74784

SW3200: This is a special purpose mower and I will suggest it for very few people. It works well for small areas or if you have narrow (36 inch) gates to go through. But, since this is a full uni-body frame it is very stiff and you will have traction issues on rough, bumpy lawns.  It’s also very narrow so don’t even think about it for mowing ditches or slopes. Buy Here from Home Depot and see the full specs: Toro Lawn Mowers TimeCutter SW3200 32 in. 452cc Zero-Turn Riding Mower with Smart Park 74780

Still not sure if the Toro Zero Turn Tractor or Zero Turn Mower is the best for you?

Use the Toro® Custom Z-Builder app to help you find the right one.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.


  1. Dick B June 9, 2017
    • Paul June 10, 2017
      • Dick B June 10, 2017
  2. Jereme September 21, 2016
    • Paul September 21, 2016
  3. Pat September 14, 2016
    • Paul September 15, 2016
    • Wayne June 10, 2017
      • Pat June 13, 2017
  4. Joe Peretti September 12, 2016
    • Paul September 12, 2016
      • Joe Peretti September 12, 2016
        • Paul September 12, 2016

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