The zero-turn mower market has grown quite competitive. There are veteran brands here and there showing off the best they’ve got and making comparisons even more difficult to accomplish. Many features define a potential zero-turn, but the most important and commonly considered traits are power, durability, convenience, effectiveness, and a way to look dapper as possible whilst hanging out on the grass under the scorching sun.

You might have decided to give your knees a break and invest in a riding mower, maybe you have fantasized about slashing the time and turning on a dime with a zero-turn, or are you seeking to try out a new brand? Either way, you have the Toro TimeCutter and Cub Cadet zt1 to the test with a spot for the best combatant. Which brand wins the key to your shed? 

I have compiled the best of both worlds, pointing out their highs and lows to assist you in weighing your options. This article centers on helping you notice both brands’ distinct features to enable you to discern which machine is best for you. Starting with the most important facts and how the brands compare. 

Nitty-Gritty Facts of The Cub Cadet ZT1 and Toro TimeCutter

toro timecutter vs cub cadet zt1
  • Engine Execution is Fairly The same, But The Cub Cadet Will Serve You Better

The Toro TimeCutter and Cub Cadet zt1 have models with different motors and capacities depending on the grade. They both use a collection of Kawasaki, Kohler, and in-house engines (for the Toro TimeCutter) to function effectively. The engines generate about 22 to 24 horsepower also depending on the grade of the model. For instance, the low-grade smaller deck mowers in question will have relative engines that generate 22 horsepower, and the high-grade with wider decks, 24 horsepower delivering a velocity of 7 – 8mph. 

Although the engines are mostly of the same company, the air filter system of the Toro TimeCutter is a little down the chart in quality as compared to the Cub Cadet. This makes the TimeCutter machine prone to overheating and wearing out quicker than it should. While it is possible to purchase durable air filters to prevent the problem, it’s a little inconvenient nonetheless and because of that, the Cub Cadet wins this round with their powerful and durable engines. 

  • Cutting Performance is Highly Competitive, But The Toro is More Customized

If the cutting performance isn’t the highlight of a good zero-turn mower, I cannot figure out what is. The Toro TimeCutter comes in an array of deck width sizes such as 42, 50, 52, 54, and 60 inches respectively. The decks are 10-gauge fabricated iron made with an exemption of two models 75740 & 75742 – both 42-inches in size– using stamped decks instead. 

The Cub Cadet Zt1 similarly has the same deck sizes with the exception of a size 52 deck. They make a good flaunt of their 11-gauge fabricated decks, which are highly dependable. Both brands have a cutting height difference of 1 – 4.5 inches, only that the Cub Cadet functions on a pin system to adjust cutting heights, and the Toro TimeCutter relies on a lever which I honestly prefer over picking and dropping a pin especially when you have to constantly take your eyes off the track. Wouldn’t it be much easier to intuitively pull a lever?

In retrospect, Toro TimeCutter has the luxury of being able to change cutting speed, although both of the machines have a good cut quality. On the other side, the Cub Cadet has a fairly tougher deck which would serve you better if you have obstacle-filled lawns. 

  • Stamina and Maneuverability Are a Win-Win

Yet again, both the Toro TimeCutter and the Cub Cadet have quite reputable frames and are almost indistinguishable in terms of stamina. The brands are both built for heavy-duty and do not deliver any less than that. You will also find that both machines use a dual hydrostatic drive system for ultimate maneuverability and ease of ride. 

While the TimeCutter possesses wider traction tires in comparison to the Cub Cadet and is much noted for their rocking seat features to help you ease vibration whilst mowing, the ZT1 is built for slopes, bumps, and uneven terrains. They are equipped with an exceptional suspension system to tread you on slopes angled at a crazy 20 degrees, surpassing the usual 15 degrees making it one of the best zero turn mowers for hills. If your lawn is as wavy as the sea, you definitely should jump on a Cub Cadet ZT1. There’s no rival for this brand in terms of beating those slopes. 

Why Should I Get The Toro TimeCutter?

why should you choose toro timecutter
  • Split Footrest System Allows For Ease of Entry

As simple as this may seem, you could get used to it quicker than you might suspect. One of the signature traits of the Toro TimeCutter is the ease of getting on and off; there’s a little gap right at the front edge of the footplate for you to place your foot in for a step. This peculiarity is very beneficial to the cutting deck of the machine. Although stepping or climbing on your cutting deck might seem natural, in the long term it will shorten the lifespan of the deck leading to even bigger problems. So, kudos to Toro company for this magnificent idea!

  • Extra Handy Space Known as Cuppy Holder 

The TimeCutter machines are distinct for having a small compartment right under the seat in front of you to store little gems you might have found during your adventure on the lawn. While the side pockets and cup holders are fun, the cuppy space would do a better job at keeping items secure from flying out of the mower with all the plentiful vibrations. Quite an interesting way to store your thoughts when you get occupied with other important duties!

  • The Smart Speed System Makes Mowing a Lot Easier

You can manage your mowing speed while maintaining the standard blade rotational speed on your lawn. Usually, for some brands, this feature is only added to the commercial zero-turn machines since they cover more acreages, but Toro has better plans for their residential ZTR mowers and now you get to change speed as you desire on the lawn. Sometimes, tougher much-resistant grass would have you running the blades over a spot more than once for a reasonable effect, but you could easily change the speed of your mower and linger on the area long enough to eliminate that cause. 

  • Spray Blocking Fenders Keeps The Clippings Away 

For the reason the cutting blades maintaining high rotational speed is applauded, there is a corresponding feature consisting of large wing-like spray blocking fenders to keep the grass from dowsing its landscaper with clippings. Though this might seem minor, have you ever tried mowing a very wet lawn? The clipping gets everywhere — into your lungs and mower engine — for a good measure. The blocking fenders offer good coverage from the unruly clippings during mulching and mowing on your lawn or land.

Why Should I Get The Cub Cadet ZT1?

why should you choose cub cadet zt1
  • They Are Endowed With Standard Headlights

Headlights are the kinds of features that you either get on commercial zero turns or you get installed, but the Cub Cadet has them fixed for you at the get-go! Headlights on zero turns have been quite the talk, so if you mow in areas that are peppered with lots of shades and darker skies, the headlights will offer an extra sense of security and stamina to the scene. My only problem with this feature is that there isn’t a way to turn the lights off. Not everyone wants to show off at all times, you know? Asides from that issue, I totally commend having headlights on your zero-turn and purchasing a Cub Cadet for that good reason. 

  • The Mowing Deck Has an AeroForce Cutting System

The AeroForce cutting decks are attributed to a select few of the ZT1 series. The decks are manufactured to incorporate aerodynamic force for a much more intentional distribution of clippings; to avoid clumping, stragglers, trailing, and improve the overall cutting quality of the deck. This feature aces in saving time and increases the general effectiveness of mowing.

  • The Spindles Are Maintenance Free

This simply means you wouldn’t need to bend over and grease now and then, and you also wouldn’t experience any spindle problems with the Cub Cadet ZT1. You simply mow and tow, and mow again forgetting the existence of a spindle. This is because the spindles are sealed properly to prevent impurities from getting into it, staving off the potential of wear and tear by 99%. 

  • The Signature Protective Anti-Corrosive Steel Bars Enclosing The Engine

The steel bars featured at the rear of the Cub Cadet zt1 might be for overall fancy-fancy, but they are built for protecting the engine from any exerted force that could be damaging should you bump into obstacles whilst mowing in reverse. This feature is mostly overlooked, but it’s highly important if you mow obstacle-filled lawns to ward off the possibility of damaging any important part in an accident. 

The Absolute Judgement 

There’s no winner in terms of durability and maneuverability. You could prefer the ease of entry or speed options that comes with the Toro TimeCutter, or rather choose to ride those hills with a Cub Cadet zt1 without worrying about the engine failing you; both brands come to the fight with very impressive features. At the end of the day, your priority is the winner of this long but worthy battle!

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