John Deere Z235 Zero Turn Mower

Spring is my favorite time of year.  Not only do I get to be outside but I get to test mowers!  Last year we showed you the John Deere D170 tractor and this year we tested John Deere’s entry level zero turn mower the Z235.  It is a 20hp 42″ deck zero turn mower.  We got this unit from our local John Deere dealer, Buck Bros. I prefer the dealer experience to the big box stores.  Dealers have trained service technicians, a huge inventory and there is no one more knowledgeable about your mower than the dealer.  The Z235 is perfect for smaller lawns and tight areas.  A deck wash system allows you to keep your deck clean and free from grass buildup.  The first thing you notice about the Z235 is its size, it is small.  This was great for me, I am 5’8″.  Taller people may want to look for a bigger mower.

John Deere z235 1


John Deere z235 2

The 42″ deck is great, but the wheel base is the same, if not just a smidgen bigger than the deck.  This causes the wheels to come in contact with objects when making tight turns if you are not careful.  The lap bars on this mower are the smoothest I have ever used.  They have a precise, smooth, quality and fluid feel thanks to added shock absorbers.  The entire mower had a good quality feel to it.  John Deere really does a good job at making their units quality.  The powder coated paint job was flawless and the welds were top notch.  All of the controls are located on one side of the unit to make it easier for the operator.  The parking brake is a big, easy to use color coded orange handle on the left side of the unit.  To the right of that is the deck height adjustments.  This also has a removable handle that has a socket on one end to adjust things like the lap bars, tracking and to remove the floor to access the deck belts.

John Deere z235 15


John Deere z235 14

Under the seat is a covered storage compartment and a compartment that houses the fuses and battery.  Maintenance on this mower is easy, everything is designed to be easy access like the oil change tube and the removable top cover to clean out grass clippings.  The hour meter allows you to keep track of your maintenance intervals.  The Z235 mows at about 7 mph which is relatively fast, even through overgrown grass it left a nice cut and didn’t bog down once.  The mower holds 2.1 gallons of fuel.  There is no gas gauge on this mower, you cannot even see the tank or in it.  The only way to know when it runs out of fuel is when the unit stops from gas starvation. I would liked to have seen at least a clear plastic tank as a sight gauge.

John Deere z235 7

John Deere z235 6

This mower has a warranty of 24 months or 120 hours and has a an available mulching and bagging kit.  Overall you cannot go wrong with the Z235, it is a reliable, quality mower that will last for years and years.  You can’t ever go wrong wrong with a John Deere!


  1. Great Review guys! John Deere and Husqvarna are my favorite mowers, well then there is bad boy mowers……this thing is very compact and fast, I like the new page background guys and no more simple addition!!

  2. Great review. It looks like it would last forever. No problems with any overgrown grass what so ever. Fast like a go cart. And most of all its John Deer reliable.

  3. Dan–Liked the follow-up review this post offers. I don’t recall over the past year that I’ve been reading your reviews that you do that for many products. I find these reviews very helpful. You might even set aside a section, calling it “What it’s like to live with…” for many of the larger pieces of equipment. Follow-up product reviews of chain saws, routers, trailers, etc., would help folks wanting to know how the equipment holds up, maintenance issues, likes/dislikes about the product, would I buy it again, etc., as you’ve done here. Thanks.

  4. Only thing I don’t like about all these mowers is ya have to have both hands
    on the controls at all times. Ya have to stop to get a sip of water from your
    water bottle. Ya need the option of a steering wheel or not.

  5. Does anyone make a zero turn mower with a steering wheel?
    Yes I know about the lawn tractor, but don’t like the lack of visibility in the front.

  6. I owned an Xmark for commercial cutting and loved it….. Nothing beats a skid steer zero turn. I like John Deere as well but they totally fumbled the ball not having 2 gas tanks or at least having a view of the fuel situation. I also wonder if it has 2 pumps, 1 on each side for the skid steer, or does it only have 1 in total. That is important with regards to commercial cutting. It might just be a very good tractor for a home owner, but not necessarily commercial grade. I do like some of what i call ” gadgets” features like being able to attach a hose to the deck and wash it, also the portable wrench and compartment are nice little features.

  7. Sorry guys don’t mean to bud in but zero turn’s that have a skid steer system like this can’t have a steering wheel. You are missing the point of how it operates. Bobcats are skid steers, you need 2 controllers, one controls the left, the other controls the right. At first Bobcats had foot pedals but that is too awkward so they or a competitor like Case switched to hand controls. If a tractor has a steering wheel at it has a tight turning radius or radii, lol, it means it has 2 wheels usually at the back that turn tightly. They are fine, but if a skid steer is let’s say 100% ZERO TURN, a steering wheel style would be 95% ….. Skid steers have 1 drawback, if you’re not careful you can turf up the grass by skidding….. But the deck design is better imho.

  8. Thx Dan, i stand corrected. You learn something new every day. The dealerships near me seem to be Toro/Xmark, Deere, Kubota or Ferris. Haven’t seen any Cub Cadet’s but i know we have them in Ontario. I like the steering wheel, and it looks like it gives a good cut. With any brand you really have to go over it thoroughly to make sure it can do what you need it to do. thx.

  9. Thanks Dan I checked out the web site—NOW THATS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.
    I saw a U-TUBE video a while ago about some company that has made zero turn mowers
    that you stand straight up to drive it, no seat. Can’t recall the company or site.

  10. I’ve seen stand ups that have an auger attachment for post holes! I also saw a stand up motorized fertilizer….man are we a lazy society or what? Lol.

  11. Don’t know about lazy but I have leg problems and it is difficult for me
    to walk very far without my legs and feet cramping up. I try to just keep
    moving as long as my legs work some, just keep on keeping on. Be 67 in a couple
    of months and eventylly my legs won’t work at all, moving even as slow as I move
    keeps me out of wheel chair. So riding mowers etc are a must for my mobility.
    Keeps my brain and smart mouth active also. LOL

  12. Bill, We should all should be so lucky to reach 67 and beyond! I’m sure your as strong as an ox and as sharp as a 31 year old. 🙂

  13. Harold, don’t know about an ox anymore, was when I was younger. Maybe a BIG DOG now.
    Try to keep my brain sharp and active. You have a good day.


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