A true zero-turn mower, the 44-inch Toro TimeCutter ZX440 maneuvers easily around obstacles and leaves no circle of uncut grass at the end of a turn. Users report that it takes only about half an hour to learn to steer with the two levers, after which mowing time is usually cut in half. Although experts warn against using any zero-turn mower on slopes, users report that the Toro TimeCutter slides less than most. Like other zero-turn mowers, the Toro ZX440 is just for mowing; it doesn't accept gardening or snowblowing attachments. The ZX440 bags and mulches well, but these modes require expensive kits. Toro ZX series models use rubber discharge chutes to facilitate mowing close to obstacles without damaging them.
ConsumerReports.org puts nine zero-turn mowers (including three Toro models) through weeks of objective tests before rating and ranking them (along with 22 regular lawn tractors). ConsumerGuide.com reviews and rates zero-turn mowers in more detail, but testing is informal and the mowers aren't ranked. (The review at ConsumerGuide.com covers the Toro TimeCutter ZX480, which has a 48-inch cutting deck.) A forum discussion at LawnCafe.com provides useful comparisons between the ZX440 and a Cub Cadet model.
This review compares the Toro TimeCutter ZX440 with eight zero-turn mowers, as well as with 22 regular lawn tractors. Ratings are based on several weeks of objective mowing tests. The review also compares brand repair histories, based on reader surveys.
Review: Lawn Tractors, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2009
This review covers the similar but larger 48-inch Toro TimeCutter ZX480, giving it average ratings for value, performance and ease of use, and giving above-average ratings for features. The reviewer says the models in the ZX series have a rubber discharge chute, making it easier to mow close to obstacles without damaging them.
Review: Expert Review: Toro TimeCutter ZX480 Zero-Turning-Radius Riding Mower, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, Nov. 21, 2008