stihl zero turn review

Stihl Zero Turn Mowers Review – New Mower Line

Well, well, well, what have we here? Stihl dives head first into the commercial and residential zero turn market. Maybe this surprises some, but I think most (myself included) saw this coming. Maybe not in this way, though…

Stihl isn't building a zero turn. They are partnering with Briggs & Stratton to build the mowers for them. Not only Briggs & Stratton but essentially partnering with Ferris mowers to build them with a contract manufacturing relationship. 

Not only is Briggs & Stratton building these mowers, but they are essentially just rebranding the Ferris mowers to Stihl. Most would ask… why would they do this?

That's a great question that I could only speculate on. This was a quicker and simpler way for Stihl to get into the zero turn mower game. Why would they reinvent the wheel when they have a brand presence better than anyone and one of the largest marketing budgets in the industry?

Let's be real. Making zero turn mowers isn't that easy. It is way different from than handheld equipment they're used to.

Briggs & Stratton has a long legacy of power applications. They have incredible manufacturing expertise, but will they have the manufacturing capabilities to produce mowers for both brands? Of course, only the future will tell, but Steve Andrews (Briggs & Stratton CEO) seems to think they will be able to pull it off due to their increased capacity and workforce.

So here we are, Ferris mowers painted a different color. Let's look at the Stihl mower lineup first, and then I'll go into some details and answer frequently asked questions.

stihl commercial mowers

Stihl RZ 900 Series Zero Turn Mower

SpecsRZ 960iRZ 960 KRZ 960i KRZ 972iRZ 972 KRZ 972i K
Deck Size60″60″60″72″72″72″
EngineVanguardFX921VFX1000V EFIVanguardFX921VFX1000V EFI
Drive SystemZT-5400ZT-5400ZT-5400ZT-5400ZT-5400ZT-5400

We'll start with the top-of-the-line mower for Stihl. This is the Stihl 900 series mower. It comes in 60 or 72-inch decks. There are a few engine options, including Kawasaki FX921V, Kawasaki FX1000V, and Vanguard Big Block with Oil Guard. 

These engine options are some of the best commercial engines on the market. The mower is also equipped with Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 transaxles. These are heavy-duty commercial and allow the mower to up to 12 mph.

The Ferris equivalent of this mower is the ISX3300.


  • Great Kawasaki and Vanguard engine options
  • Heavy-duty commercial transaxles
  • 11-gallon fuel tank for all-day mowing
  • 12 mph top speed for mowing quickly
  • Four-wheel suspension system with independent front suspension (ForeFront)
  • Premium Suspension seat
  • 3-year or 1500-hour warranty


  • Stihl RZ 960i: $17,899.99
  • Stihl RZ 960 K: $17,899.99
  • Stihl RZ 960i K: $18,199.99
  • Stihl RZ 972i: $18,399.99
  • Stihl RZ 972 K: $18,399.99
  • Stihl RZ 972i K: $18,699.99

Stihl RZ 700 Series Zero Turn Mower

SpecsRZ 752iRZ 752 KRZ 752i KRZ 760iRZ 760 KRZ 760i K
Deck Size52″52″52″60″60″60″
EngineVanguardFT801VFT730V EFIVanguardFT801VFT730V EFI
Drive SystemZT-4400ZT-4400ZT-4400ZT-4400ZT-4400ZT-4400

 The Stihl 700 series mower is a step down from the 900 series. This is still a fully commercial mower that is built for professional, all-day mowing. Like the 900, it also features great Kawasaki and Vanguard engine options. 

This mower comes in 52 or 60in deck sizes. The 700 series mower is an all-around great mower with the same great ride as the rest of the lineup. 

The Ferris equivalent of this mower is the ISX2200.


  • Kawasaki FT730V EFI, Kawasaki FX801V, and Vanguard 810 EFI with Oil guard engine options
  • Hydro-gear ZT-4400 transaxles
  • Large 11-gallon fuel tank
  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • Independent front suspension (ForeFront suspension)
  • Premium Suspension seat
  • 3-year or 1500-hour warranty


  • Stihl RZ 752i: $13,149.99
  • Stihl RZ 752 K: $11,899.99
  • Stihl 752i K: $11,849.99
  • Stihl RZ 760i: $13,849.99
  • Stihl RZ 760 K: $12,499.99
  • Stihl RZ 760i K: $12,449.99

Stihl RZ 500 Series Zero Turn Mower

SpecsRZ 552RZ 552 KRZ 560RZ 560 K
Deck Size52″52″52″60″
EngineCommercial SeriesFT730VCommercial SeriesFT730V
Drive SystemZT-3400ZT-3400ZT-3400ZT-3400

 The Stihl 500 is the “entry-commercial” mower within the lineup. It is still capable of commercial use but has slightly different specs, sizes, and prices than the other two mowers. 

The largest difference is the engine options and transaxles. The suspension is also a little small than the 700 or 900 series, but it still has one of the most comfortable mower rides in the industry. The only downside of this mower is the 5.5-gallon fuel tank is a little small.

The Ferris equivalent of this mower is the ISX800.


  • 52″ and 60″ models
  • Kawasaki FT730V and Briggs Commercial Series engine options
  • Hydro-gear ZT-3400 transaxles
  • Top speed of 10 mph
  • 5.5-gallon fuel tank
  • ForeFront Suspension
  • Premium Suspension Seat
  • 3-year or 1500-hour warranty


  • Stihl RZ 552: $9,949.99
  • Stihl RZ 552 K: $10,449.99
  • Stihl RZ 560: $10,499.99
  • Stihl RZ 560 K: $10,999.99
stihl residential zero turns

Stihl RZ 261 Zero Turn Mower

 The Stihl RZ 261 mower is a step up from the 100 series. It has slightly better engine options and better transaxles. This is a great higher-end residential mower for a homeowner with a larger yard. The pivoting front axle provides a comfortable ride, and the seat is fairly comfortable.

It is most comparable to the 61″ Ferris 500S.


  • 61″ deck size
  • Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series engine
  • Hydro-gear ZT-3100 transaxles
  • Pivoting front axle suspension system
  • Speed of 8.5 mph
  • 3-gallon fuel capacity
  • 3-year or 500-hour warranty


  • Stihl RZ 261: $7,449.99

Stihl RZ 100 Series Zero Turn Mowers

SpecsRZ 142RZ 152
Deck Size42″52″
EngineBriggs PXiCommercial Series
Drive SystemEZTZT-3100

The Stihl RZ 100 Series mowers are the smallest in the lineup. These are the beginning of the residential lineup. The 152 model is clearly a Ferris 500S mower… but what is the Stihl 142 model? A unique mower? Not so fast. It very closely resembles the 42″ Simplicity Courier… which is also made by Briggs & Stratton. 

Same specifications and the same design. The only differences are there is no cargo bed, and there is a different seat with armrests. In my opinion, the Simplicity seat sucks anyway. The cargo bed may be a small loss.

Other than that, both mowers are high-quality residential zero turns that are perfect for anyone with a 3 to 5 acre yard.


  • 42″ and 52″ deck sizes
  • Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series (52″) and Briggs PXi (42″) engines
  • Hydro-gear ZT-2800 (52″) and EZT (42″) transaxles
  • Pivoting front axle suspension system
  • Deluxe Seat
  • Speed of 8.5 mph (52″) and 7 mph (52″)
  • 3-gallon fuel capacity
  • 3-year or 500-hour warranty


  • Stihl RZ 142: $3,899.99
  • Stihl RZ 152: $5,649.99

Stihl Vs Ferris Mowers

ferris isx3300

Now for the part you've probably been waiting for… First, I should say this entire relationship is a huge round of applause for the Ferris mowers and their technology. For a company like Stihl to choose them as the mowers they wanted to sell says a lot.

So, are they exactly the same?

 Of course, these mowers are similar (almost identical), but there are a few noticeable differences. Let's take a look at them.


Let's use the Stihl RZ 900 Series and the Ferris ISX3300 as an example. The Stihl 900 series (60″ deck with Kawasaki FX921V engine) will be about $17,899.99. The equivalent ISX3300 mower is about $17,099. So there is about an $800 difference between the mowers. 

Keep in mind this is only the MSRP, it will depend on what your local dealer is actually selling the units for. However, from this perspective, it seems like Ferris is less expensive in most cases, with larger units having a wider gap than the smaller units. 

Both of these things make perfect sense. Since Stihl is buying the mowers from Ferris, it would be expected that the price will be higher. Stihl also has a much larger brand presence and can probably command a higher price.

This entire situation kind of reminds me of the DeWalt zero turn mower situation between Stanley Black & Decker and Cub Cadet. I guess the only difference is Stanley owned Cub Cadet (MTD) at the time of introducing the Dewalt mowers. Either way, my point is that Dewalt commanded a high price mainly because of their increased brand presence.


The most obvious difference between these mower brands is the warranty. Stihl features a 3-year or 1500-hour warranty for their commercial products, while Ferris offers a 4-year or 500-hour warranty. 

I am assuming this means Stihl is covering warranties on its own. Otherwise, this wouldn't make much sense why Ferris would offer a higher warranty than Stihl. I wouldn't be surprised if Ferris increases the hours on their warranty soon. 

This could definitely be a difference maker on which to choose. It's just a bit strange to me that these two mowers have such different warranties.


The Stihl zero turns come with preinstalled headlights on all of their mowers. This probably doesn't make much difference, but it is a nice feature when you need it. 


This depends on personal preference, but the Stihl mowers look pretty sharp. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of a white seat, but other than that, they are good-looking mowers.

Stihl Bundling Capabilities

One perk of buying a Stihl will be their ability to bundle zero turn mowers with their other handheld products. This could be like a mower fleet deal that includes their other equipment. With such a wide breadth of product solutions, they can do things like this that many other competitors can't. 

Another big advantage that has already been confirmed is bundling equipment while financing. So if you finance a Stihl zero turn mower at 0% interest, you can add on Stihl weedeaters, blowers, or any other equipment.

Stihl Zero Turn – FAQ

Does STIHL make zero-turn mowers?

Yes, as of January 2023, Stihl will have its own line of zero turn mowers. 

Who makes STIHL zero-turn mowers?

Stihl has partnered with Briggs & Stratton (Ferris Mowers) to introduce a line of zero turn mowers. All of these mowers are produced in the USA. Stihl will pride itself on strict specifications and great manufacturing provided by Briggs & Stratton. These mowers will reach the market around 2023 and are the next step in growing Stihl's portfolio of outdoor products.

What brand is comparable to STIHL?

Stihl is most comparable to Ferris mowers mainly because they are essentially the same mowers, built in the same manufacturing plant. Outside of that, Toro, Exmark, and Scag would be a few comparable brands that are just as reputable. 

Who makes the smoothest zero-turn mower?

Technically, Ferris makes the smoothest zero turn mower. However, they are now producing the same mower with the same suspension technology for Stihl. This makes Ferris and Stihl two of the smoothest zero turn mowers on the market.

Wrapping it up

There we have it for the new Stihl zero turn mowers. They were quite a hit at GIE 2022, and more information will be available once these mowers actually hit the market. It will be an interesting story to follow and see how it works out.

We will continue to update this article as new information is available and so more real-life reviews are out.

What do you think?

Are you planning to get a Stihl zero turn mower? Let us know in the comments!

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Images from Stihl

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