The Best Zero Turn Mower for The Money: Swisher Response

The Swisher ZTR2766BS Response is one of the most powerful high-performance zero turn riding mower available on the market today. The manufacturer has combined some of the most efficient features from its range along with the latest innovations in commercial mowing technology to deliver a power-packed machine which will withstand tough and sustained commercial use with ease.

After trying out dozens of mowers we believe this one is by far the best zero turn mower for the money.

Things to consider when buying a commercial grade zero turn riding mower

There are definite advantages to buying a commercial zero turn riding mower over other types but as it is a significant investment it’s wise to consider the cons as well as the pros before making a decision on such a big purchase.

Advantages of a zero turn mower

  • Comfort; being seated obviously makes a huge difference to the amount of energy you use when mowing.
  • Larger deck options are available (54 inches and above).
  • Includes a standard smooth Hydrostatic transmission.
  • Fast speeds, average entry-level models can reach 5.2 mph while the Swisher Response can hit 8 mph.
  • Smoother even cuts with anti-scalping wheels.
  • Lots of accessories are available to increase the versatility & comfort (you can even fit a sun shade from Amazon).
  • Pressurized lubrication systems.
  • Faster mowing.
  • More professional cut & finish.

Disadvantages of a zero turn mower

  • They are considerably more expensive than standard push mowers and entry-level riding mowers.
  • The large size can make storage an issue.
  • Wider decks often fail to fit through average-sized gates.
  • Visibility is sometimes compromised when the engine is placed on the front side.
  • Not compatible with ground-engaging attachments (for example cultivators & tillers).

As with every purchase there are positives and negatives to consider.

However, most people who are in the market for a zero turn mower find the pros far outweigh the cons especially when they have large lawn areas to maintain.

We firmly believe that the Swisher Response 66″ is definitely the best zero turn mower for the money.

The Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money Is The Swisher Response

The Response comes in a variety of cutting deck sizes that range from a 66″ model available on Amazon.

Although you can’t go wrong with any of the Response cutting deck models by far the best value for money is the 66″ version.

On the 66″ model the Briggs and Stratton engine gives the machine an impressive 27 HP. Any mower that sports a 66″ cutting deck promises to give efficiency and speed and the Swisher Response certainly delivers on these promises.

best zero turn mower for the moneyThe zero turn radius and rapid response system enable the operator to maneuver the mower with extreme precision (hence the name “Response”).

You can expect a high level of productivity as the mower can cut about 4.80 acres per hour at around 80% efficiency, though this number may vary depending on the type of terrain and grass thickness the mower has to deal with.

The mower is capable of moving at a very impressive 8 mph both forwards and backwards. This is extremely fast for a riding mower and you actually feel like you are traveling at speed when you’re using it. The quality of cut is never compromised though even when operating at top speed.

The fabricated deck is made from sturdy 11-gauge steel and has 3 Gator blades; the cutting heights can be changed using the foot assist deck lift. The Hydro Gear 2800 transmission and the Ogura clutch makes for an exceptionally smooth and comfortable ride.

The mower delivers superior performance to give you the type of professionally manicured, clean-looking lawn that you’d expect from a commercial lawn service.

The Swisher zero turn mower comes in 2 models

Considering the amount of power and speed this mower provides, it is more than reasonably priced.

The 66″ Response:
find lowest price

When you read the current reviews you will see that the price tag is definitely justified.

Obviously the 54″ model is much cheaper:


As well as having a smaller cutting deck width it is also has a less powerful 24 HP engine – though still powerful in anyone’s book. There are two versions of the 54″; one is powered by the American built Briggs & Stratton engine while the other has a Kawasaki alternative.

If you opt for a Kawasaki engine, also 24 HP, the price tag goes up considerably (probably due to import costs of foreign motors).

The extra cost is not really justified and, in fact, the American Briggs & Stratton is the motor of choice on other riding mowers from other manufacturers. Currently the 54″ Kawasaki powered Swisher Response also ships from Amazon.

Many times the 66″ is actually cheaper than the 54″ Kawasaki model.

Major features of the best zero turn mower for the money – the Swisher Response

Major features include:

  • Integral Cyclonic air filter—helps filter out debris and dust (see video above.
  • Dynamically balanced crankshaft—keeps engine vibration and noise to a minimum while maintaining a high degree of comfort.
  • Enhanced sump and cylinder—gives the engine block superior durability.
  • Highly efficient head design—angled ports help optimize tumble and mixture preparation.
  • Magnetron® electronic ignition—ensures dependable and quick starting.
  • Robust starting system and MCR—provides reliable cold starting even under high inertia loads.
  • Unique debris chopper—enhanced debris management which results in a 30-degree cooler engine.
  • Cooling fin inspection panels easily inspect and collect any remaining debris.

Briggs and Stratton provide a 2-year commercial warranty against their engine when used in the Swisher ZTR2766BS Response 66″.

A detailed look at the motor features of the Swisher ZTR2766BS Response 66″

Our choice of the Swisher ZTR2766BS 66″ Response houses an American built Briggs and Stratton commercial engine.

The V-Twin OHV technology provides better fuel economy, lower emissions, and excellent balance than most of its rivals.

In addition, the engine has low vibration which makes for longer engine life due to less wear and offers much greater operator comfort than the alternatives.

The engine has a high HP to weight ratio which makes this a fast and powerful workhorse.

As you would expect from such a high-end machine the engine is not left unprotected.

It is shielded from heavy debris during longer mowing sessions by the innovate and patented 5-step Integrated Cyclonic Air Management System.

It also has a Dura-Bore cast iron cylinder sleeve which helps the engine withstand wear and tear. These advanced cylinders also provide improved oil control for the engine.

As far as the lubrication features are concerned, the Swisher ZTR2766BS has full pressure lubrication with a spin-on oil filter. This unique filter keeps the oil clean and ensures maximum lubrication.

The engine components are better protected and will last longer if properly lubricated so Swisher have placed the oil pump and pickup in the center to ensure faster priming and a high angle of operation.

An oil cooler helps keep the oil temperature at an optimum level which helps extend the oil changing intervals and also improves overall lubrication while in use.

Engine specifications (table)

Horsepower 27
Engine Displacement 810 cc (49.42 cubic in)
Engine Configuration Vertical
Bore 3.30 in
Stroke 2.89 in
Weight 87 lbs.
Oil Capacity 67 oz.
Compression Ratio 8.5:1
Air Cleaner Cyclonic Air Filter
Ignition System Magnetron®
Lubrication System Full Pressure Lubrication (includes Oil Filter)

The Swisher ZTR2766BS transmission is commercial grade

Hydro Gear 2800The transmission of the Swisher ZTR2766BS is a commercial-grade hydrostatic Hydro-Gear 2800.

It includes an Ogura which provides a smoother transition when moving over rough terrain.

The mower is capable of moving an impressive 8 mph both forwards and backwards.

The rear wheels are the main driving wheels.

It has a huge 66″ cutting deck

The cutting deck is fabricated (welded) and is constructed using 11-gauge steel. The width of the cutting deck is huge at a whopping 66-inches.

There are three Gator blades which provide smooth even cuts every time regardless of terrain or weather.

The cutting height can be controlled by using the ergonomically placed lifting pedal.

There are 4 gauge wheels which help minimize scalping.

Details of the cutting options are given below:

  • Number of blades: 3
  • Cutting Positions: 8
  • Cutting Height: 1.5-4.5 inches

What’s included with the mower?

The Rapid Response System is one of the best features of this mower and offers precise control and superior riding comfort during operation.

Armrests come as standard and remain in a natural resting position during operation, while the seat is an 18-inch high-back. A seat belt with a 6-inch adjustment range is also included and is a neat safety feature not often found in riding mowers.

The unit also has and a 12V adapter and a handy cup holder to store a cool beverage on a hot day.

A rear mounted hitch is also included in the purchase.

Maintenance and care are fairly easy

Purchasing a Swisher Response 66″ will mean you will never need to upgrade your mower unless you are a professional and buy it for commercial use; you may want to update your machine after a specific number of miles/cuts.

riding mower repairIn such instances, or if you just like updating your mower when a newer model hits the market, it’s important that you keep the mower’s service history.

Keep a regular service schedule and keep track of all the replacements and services. This will help retain the value of your machine should you ever decide to sell it.

A well-maintained machine will sell for more and a lot quicker than one that has no service history – something to keep in mind if you are thinking of buying a second machine yourself!

If you do not plan top sell the mower and have the skills yourself to maintain it by sure to follow all provided maintenance guidelines.

If do not have the expertise and knowledge to maintain and service your mower, then it is best to consult a professional even if you never plan to resell.

In fact, even if you have extensive knowledge, it never hurts to get a trained technician’s opinion at least once every 2 years. This is especially true for engine repairs; Briggs and Stratton have a wide network of licensed dealers who can help you with any problems.

The company trains all the technical staff who work at authorized dealers.

After sales and warranty options are among the best in the business

Be sure to read and follow all the guidelines given in your Owner’s Manual and Engine Operator Manual.

The Briggs and Stratton Commercial Series engines come with a 2 year limited commercial warranty. You can find more details on the manufacturer’s website or check the warranty policy documents. The online version of the warranty can be found here.

The manufacturer’s website also lets you download product manuals; you simply enter the model number of your engine and get detailed help.

If you want to locate licensed service dealers, you can visit the Service Dealer Locator section of the Briggs and Stratton website.

If you need replacement or maintenance parts both Swisher and Briggs and Stratton recommend purchasing genuine parts in order to guarantee longevity and performance. Check out the Service and Support section of Briggs and Stratton website for parts and replacement options.

Comparing the 2 Swisher Response Models With A Similar Machine

You will notice that the 66″ Swisher Response gives the commercial Big Mow a run for it’s money while being less than half the price.

Model Comparison Chart – the best zero turn mower for the money

Big Mow 66 in. 28 HP Briggs & Stratton Commercial Swisher ZTR2766BS Response 27 HP 66-Inch Swisher ZTR2454BS Response 54 in. 24 HP
Assembly Required Yes Yes Yes
CA (CARB) Compliant Not CARB Compliant CARB Compliant CARB Compliant
Commercial / Residential Commercial / Residential Residential Residential
Cutting Width (in.) 66 66 54
Deck Type Fabricated Fabricated Fabricated
Drive type Rear-wheel Drive Rear-wheel Drive Rear-wheel Drive
Engine Displacement (cc) 810 810 724
Engine Make Briggs and Stratton Briggs and Stratton Briggs and Stratton
Fuel tank capacity (gallons) 8 8 8
Horsepower (hp) 28 27 24
Included Batteries,Engine oil Batteries,Engine oil Batteries,Engine oil
Lawn Mower Type Zero Turn Riding Zero Turn Riding Zero Turn Riding
Maximum cutting height (in.) 5 4.5 4.5
Maximum forward speed (mph) 10 8 8
Maximum reverse speed (mph) 10 8 8
Minimum cutting height (in.) 1.25 1.5 1.5
Mulching Capability Yes Yes,with Proper Blade Yes
Number of Blades 3 3 3
Number of Cylinders Twin Cylinder Twin Cylinder Twin Cylinder
Number of deck wheels 6 3 3
Oil capacity (oz.) 67 58 64
Product Weight (lb.) 1380 lb. 855 lb. 600 lb.
Start Type Electric Electric Electric
Terrain Flat with Obstacles Flat with Obstacles Flat with Obstacles
Transmission Type Hydrostatic Hydrostatic Hydrostatic
Assembled Depth (in.) 113.5 in 81 in 81 in
Assembled Height (in.) 68 in 67 in 45 in
Assembled Width (in.) 83 in 75 in 63 in
Front wheel size (in.) 12 12 12
Mower Deck Width 66 66 54 in
Rear wheel size (in.) 23 20 20
Size of Yard 2 Acres or More 2 Acres or More 2 Acres or More
Turning radius (in.) 0 0 0
Manufacturer Warranty 3 year residential commercial 3 year limited 3 year limited

So What Makes This The Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money?

The Swisher 66″ ZTR2766BS Response is a powerful, super-fast zero turn riding mower.

The machine is made from robust commercial-grade material ensuring you get your money’s worth and although it is marked as a residential mower by the manufacturer it is being used widely for commercial purposes.

The mower can move quickly across any type of terrain and handles particularly well over rough ground because of its powerful engine and wide cutting deck.

The engine is as reliable as it is powerful. Briggs and Stratton has been manufacturing heavy-duty equipment for a long time and their USA built engines power 80% of all riding mowers available in the US market.

Operating the mower is easy because of the ergonomic joystick controls and Rapid Response system.

The mower is designed to suit the needs of any landscaper managing smooth or rough terrain either filled with obstacles or obstacle-free.

What owners say about the Swisher Response

The Swisher ZTR2766BS has high rating on all major review sites. On Amazon the mower mostly has 5-star ratings and a few 4-star ones. A wide majority of the purchasers voice their satisfaction with the mower’s overall performance and value for money.

One reviewer commented on the high productivity and stated that the mower was able to mow 3 acres in less than 2 hours which is greater than that advertised.

Another review praised the mowers easy to operate controls and comfortable seat.

A majority of the reviewers pointed out the fact that the mower can easily handle rough and hilly terrain with equal ease.

The durability and toughness of the mower also stood out as a major plus point when it came to reviews from users who operate the Response for commercial purposes.

A particularly pleased reviewer commented that the mower lived up to all the claims made by the manufacturers.

Almost all of these reviews on Amazon were written by Verified Purchasers; an important point as some vendors allegedly pay for positive reviews but with verified purchasers you can be sure the reviewer bought, and paid for full price, for the machine before leaving the review.

swisher response reviews

If you are a residential user with only a few acres you may want to consider a less expensive mower. However, for homeowners who need to look after larger lawns (4 acres or more) this mower will be an excellent time-saving and hassle-free option. The Swisher ZTR2766BS will zip through 4 acres easily in an hour.

Anyone with a large lawn full of obstacles such as trees, flower beds, hills etc. will find this mower indispensable.

A CARB (California Air Resources Board) option is also available directly from the manufacturer.

Summary: The Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money Comes In 2 Models

The Swisher ZTR2766BS is a power horse packed with a ton of amazing high-quality components. The most impressive of which is the Briggs and Stratton 27 HP engine.
Swisher has managed to come up with a product which has an excellent weight-to-HP ratio which will make any other brand a run for the money. If you are a commercial user or a residential user who has more than 3 acres to look after, the Swisher ZTR2766BS is a great option to consider.

The maximum driving speed (both backwards and forwards) is 8 mph. This fast speed combined with the precise maneuvering capabilities will allow you to mow several acres in an hour. The cutting deck has a width of 66-inches; it will cut through large swathes of grass at a time.

A cursory look at the features and impressive specifications will be enough to convince you. The mower includes a Rapid Response system which makes it extremely easy to maneuver the mower. The operator can guide the mower over obstacles and rough terrain using the joystick. Adjusting the cutting height is a breeze with the pedal controls. All in the entire mower responds well to all controls.

The riding mower is a significant investment for both commercial owners and homeowners. If you are looking for a robust zero turn which will outlast other lawn tractors, then the Swisher ZTR2766BS should be a logical choice. The mower is constructed using commercial grade materials and is built to last; the casters are large and solid and help support the mower when working on hilly, rough ground.

The 66″ Response:
find lowest price

When you read the current reviews you will see that the price tag is definitely justified.

The 54″ model:


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