Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Review

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Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Review
9 Total Score
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Review
Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Review
  • 726 cc twin-cylinder Kawasaki engine
  • 23 HP
  • 50-inch cutting deck
  • AeroForce 3-cutting blade system
  • Smart Jet deck wash
  • Limited lifetime warranty on cutting deck
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmission

Powerful zero-turn riding lawnmower like the Cub Cadet ZT1 50 is incredibly popular with professional lawn care companies, golf courses, and commercial properties. It has all the nimble maneuverability to weave around landscaping features, as well as the size and speed to make quick work of wide-open spaces.

The beating heart of the Cub Cadet ZT1 50 is a powerful 726 cc Kawasaki, twin cylinder FR619V engine that produces an impressive 23 horsepower. This is then diverted to the heavy-duty drive train as well as the cutting deck. On a single tan of gas the Cub Cadet ZT1 50 can cut up to 4-acres!

The cutting deck measures in at 50-inches and features Cub Cadet’s AeroForce cutting system. This is a series of three integrated cutting blades that replicate their own mulching effect. There are 15 height settings that let you adjust the cutting deck as low as 1-inch or up to 4.5-inches high.

The deck itself is fully welded and backed by an impressive limited lifetime warranty. It also features a Smart Jet deck washing system to remove any stuck-on grass or other organic debris.

The Cub Cadet ZT1 50 has a Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmission that is known for being very responsive. It works in tandem with the zero degree controls to let you dance around trees, flower beds, and other landscaping features. Then it also lets you turn on a dime when you need to make short work of mowing rows in wide-open spaces.

This zero-turn riding lawnmower has a maximum forward speed of up to 7 miles per hour and a mow in reverse maximum speed of up to 3.5 miles per hour. Both of these stats are blisteringly fast compared to many of the closest competitors.

Cub Cadet also kept comfort in mind when they were designing the ZT1 50. It has a 20-inch adjustable high back chair. The lap bars are easily adjustable and the controls have a soft grip. These comfort features might not sound like much on paper, but a professional operator will surely appreciate them at the end of a long day.

Key Features

  • 726 cc Kawasaki engine
  • 23 HP
  • 50-inch cutting deck
  • AeroForce 3-cutting blade system
  • Smart Jet deck wash
  • Limited lifetime warranty on cutting deck
  • 3-year mower warranty
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmission

Performance

The power of the 726 cc Kawasaki engine translates into peak performance for the Cub Cadet ZT1 50. It can operate at up to 7 MPH going forward and mow in reverse at a blistering 3.5 MPH. The three cutting blades of the AeroForce cutting deck nearly replicate a mulching effect.

Ease of Use

The Cub Cadet ZT1 50 is very comfortable and easy to use. It has a 20-inch adjustable high back chair, as well as adjustable lap bars and soft-grip padded ergonomic controls. It truly is a zero-turning radius lawnmower that can turn on a dime when you want to chew through wide-open rows of the lawn. Yet it still has the nimble mobility to trim tightly around trees and landscaping features.

Cut Quality & Options

The 15 height settings on the cutting deck can sometimes seem a little excessive if you’re just going to be cutting residential lawns. Though if you need to use the Cub Cadet ZT1 50 for professional purposes like maintaining a golf course then being able to precisely dial in the height of the cutting deck is incredibly important.

On it’s lowest setting the cutting deck of the Cub Cadet ZT1 50 can go down as low as 1-inch. At it’s highest of its 15 settings it can cut at 4.5 inches.

Being able to cut up to 4 acres on a single tank of fuel is also very nice. Especially for professional lawn care companies that don’t need to waste time on multiple refueling stops.

The three cutting blades of the AeroForce cutting deck also do a good job of replicating a mulching effect. This encourages the cut grass clippings to decompose back into the layers of the turf, rather than dry out and turn into turf-choking thatch.

Maintenance

The Cub Cadet ZT1 50 will require all the normal maintenance that a gas-powered zero-turn riding lawnmower does. This includes giving it quality high octane fuel, as well as periodic oil changes and filter replacements. You will also need to sharpen the three cutting blades on the AeroForce cutting deck, or simply replace them seasonally.

Cub Cadet took the time to recognize this need and they engineered the ZT1 50withh an open floor plan. This makes it very easy to access critical areas and perform key maintenance tasks.

Safety Features

The Cub Cadet ZT1 50 has all the standard safety features and PTO blade engagement systems that you expect to find on a zero-turn gas-powered riding lawnmower Since the three cutting blades of the AeroForce cutting deck are small, they also tend to stop faster than one of two large cutting blades.

Special Features

The Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmission is very responsive and reactive, which is what you want to see in a zero-turn riding lawnmower. It lets you really put the power down when you want to mow near the maximum speed of 7 miles per hour. Yet it also lets you slow down quickly to handle the area around trees and tricky landscaping features.

The three blades of the AeroForce cutting system do a great job of processing grass clippings to nearly replicate a mulching effect.

The 15 height settings of the cutting deck further let you dial in the height you want to cut with precision. It’s especially handy for maintaining golf courses and commercial properties that need manicured landscaping.

Cost-Effectiveness

The Cub Cadet ZT1 50 is a very cost-effective gas-powered zero-turn riding lawnmower. The 726 cc Kawasaki engine can be a little thirsty at times, but it makes the most out of every drop of power. The open floor plan for easy access also makes maintenance quick. You’ll also save time on refueling stops with the large gas tank that lets you mow for up to 4 acres on a single tank.

 

9 Total Score
Professional grade zero turn riding lawnmower from Cub Cadet

PROS
  • 726 cc twin-cylinder Kawasaki engine
  • 23 HP
  • 50-inch cutting deck
  • AeroForce 3-cutting blade system
  • Smart Jet deck wash
  • Limited lifetime warranty on cutting deck
  • Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmission
CONS
  • High initial cost
  • Engine can be thirsty running wide open
  • Cutting blades are better to replace than to sharpen
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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