Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Review
Dual HG ZT-3100 transmission
Rugged, 11-ga. fabricated steel cutting deck
Pedal-assist height adjustment for easy and precise deck height settings from the driver's seat
Adjustable 1.5in. to 4in. cutting height
This is a semi-commercial mower with a 27-horsepower Briggs and Stratton Endurance Series engine. Made of 11-gauge steel, the 61-inch deck is fully fabricated and can chew up a huge path on every pass. It’s also been reinforced at the bottom for extra durability. It comes with aluminum greasable spindles that are accessible via two locations. The side chute is made of hard plastic and the deck has 12 cutting heights that are easy to control through the foot pedal. A control panel to the right of the operator’s seat includes an hour meter. The standard vinyl seat has armrests, and a cup holder is available.
The transmission on this bad boy is a commercial-grade hydro gear ZT 3100 that allows the Husqvarna MZ61 to max out at about 8.5 miles per hour. At that rate, you could knock out a little more than four acres per hour. As you may have guessed, this zero-turn mower is for larger yards, farms, or commercial properties. Its gas tank can hold five gallons of gas.
Mowers can install a toe hitch kit in back as well as a bag that will pick up all debris with a vengeance.
- Large 61-inch fabricated cutting deck
- Powerful 27-horsepower Briggs and Stratton Endurance V-twin engine
- Hydrostatic gear transmission
- Pedal-assisted cutting deck lift
- 3-blade cutting system
- 6-inch-wide caster wheels
- Removable foot pan
- High-back vinyl seat, armrests, and cup holder
- 5-gallon fuel tank
- 3-year residential warranty; 1-year commercial warranty
- 42 x 76 x 75.5 inches
As a zero-turn mower with plenty of power and speed, the MZ61 is highly efficient and can knock out a 3- or 4-acre area in an hour. The seat feels great and it rides as sturdily as it may look. Vibration is pretty minimal thanks to dual levers that are padded, and on a mower this fast, that’s a good thing.
The durable caster wheels measure 6 inches in front and have specs of 12 x 10 x 10 in back. Given the rear wheels’ large size, the MZ61 is a highly balanced machine that doesn’t tend to slip on flat land. The key is knowing how to use it, because the machine will spin and tear up lawns, even on flat ground, if you can’t control it.
Overall, this mower is designed with performance, productivity, and comfort in mind. Operators will find the controls highly intuitive, and the mower’s heavy-duty steel frame and commercial-rated hydraulic system is impressive. It’s a great mower for big, flat terrain. It handles hills fine going upward, but it can tend to slide going down slopes. If you carefully plan how you’re going to negotiate steep downgrades, you should be okay. You can also load the tires for additional traction and weight.
Ease of Use
Some things on the MZ61 such as the steering wheel and dual levers may take some getting used to. Since these parts of the mower determine speed and steering, you may find yourself at first turning to fast or too many times–but you’ll get better the more you use it. These levers allow for powering across ditches and obstacles that aren’t that big of a deal; for larger-scale obstacles, you’ll have to get off the cushy seat and move them yourself.
Take it slow at first using the MZ61, especially if you’ve never used a zero-turn machine. It’ll take a bit of time to fully gauge how the wheels and handle operate together on terrain.
With its chokeless start, the MZ61 is designed to start right up with the turn of a key, no matter if it’s hot or cold outside.
Cut Quality & Options
The durable fabricated steel deck on the MZ61 can mulch clippings or is capable of holding a bag, a nice option if you truly want to clear out all yard debris. The long-life 6-inch-wide front pneumatic tires go easy on the terrain, while the removable foot pan provides easy access to the deck-belt pulleys and spindles, and makes cleaning up after each mow easy.
Riders on this mower will be impressed with the oversized chassis and the 2-inch by 3-inch chassis, in conjunction with large rear and front tires. All of this adds up to high-quality strength and an easy ride. In addition, while sitting at control central, operators can adjust everything easily and quickly. The ergonomically designed deck-lifting system provides super-precise cutting height adjustment for a pristine-looking lawn.
You may notice the mower leaving lines on the yard, even when it’s not cutting. In addition, the chute can sometimes spew out clumpy-looking piles of grass, and the deck itself can sometimes get mucky with lots of clippings. You’ll need to keep an eye out for this and clean as needed, probably after every single mowing job.
The plethora of maintenance needed for the MZ61 may overwhelm some people and is too plentiful and detailed to mention here. You’ll need to follow the maintenance schedule listed in the manual, and rest assured, there is plenty to do to keep it fully operating season after season.
Beyond the easy-pull parking brake, the MZ61 has a whole safety system that may be regarded as overkill to some operators. In order for the engine to start, the mower deck must be disengaged, the steering controls are in the neutral position, and the parking brake is on. And, of course, you also need to use the key to start up the machine. Also, the mower doesn’t start up unless the operator is sitting on the seat.
Folks have said that sitting on the vinyl seat of the MZ61 is like sitting in a luxury-style car. When you combine the nice armrests and cup holder to boot, this mower does have a luxuriousness about it, I suppose. Its other great features include 6-inch-wide caster wheels, a removable foot pan, a pedal-assisted cutting deck lift, and an oversized chassis that cuts a wide swath. Being a zero-turn beast, the MZ61 is fast, efficient, and powerful.
Mowing experts who have been in the business for years will tell you that the MZ61 offers astounding power for the money. Additionally, its sturdy design is a bonus and more impressive than some in its class. Also, considering that you can book through 3 or 4 acres in an hour using this machine, you’re saving on another precious commodity–your time.
On the flip side, technical or durability issues with a zero-turn mower will inevitably pop up. After you get through the honeymoon first few season with the MZ61, you may find yourself having to make needed repairs, everything from parts that inexplicably fall off to possible engine issues. Luckily, it comes with decent warranties for commercial operators and homeowners. Make sure you take good care of it to prevent premature mowing failings.
- Starts reliably
- Powerful engine
- Zero-turn capability
- Large, durable deck
- Reduced noise, low vibration
- Not stellar on tall grass
- No fuel gauge
- May have durability issues
- Tricky on hills going down
- Can scalp lawns
- Lots of maintenance