In today’s world, anyone can easily get my hands on a reliable zero-turn lawn mower. But what many might not realize is that not every model out there can handle mowing large properties effectively.
When a regular riding lawn mower just didn’t cut it for me, I turned to the Husqvarna Z246i. Let me share my review on this zero-turn unit, an option offering an elevated mowing game.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Let’s be honest, the first thing that catches your eye when picking out a zero-turn lawn mower is typically its design and build. When it comes to the Husqvarna Z246i, its unique brand identity is unmistakable. The vibrant black and orange color combination is hard to overlook.
Even at first glance, I could immediately tell it’s designed for tougher cutting tasks because of its sturdy guard bumper.
Mowing in a low-light setting wouldn’t be a problem for this zero-turn mower as its design includes LED lights.
Once you hop on the mower, you’ll notice that the deck lift system is just within your reach. Because of this, there won’t be any abrupt interruptions when you need to adjust the cutting deck.
It’s also constructed with a robust and durable steel frame, so running this zero-turn lawn mower over dire lawn conditions won’t damage the unit.
Husqvarna Z246i Features
The engine is crucial in a zero-turn mower. Luckily, the Husqvarna Z246i comes equipped with a dependable Briggs & Stratton  Endurance V-Twin engine. It provides the mower with sufficient power and speed to cover 2.5 acres of land in an hour.
The Husqvarna Z246i also has a 23HP power capacity, which means it can navigate through rough terrains. Plus, the mower can work on hills just fine.
It also has a sizable 3.5-gallon tank. So, I don’t find myself constantly stopping to refill, letting me work for longer stretches without the concern of running dry.
Zero Turn Capacity
Besides its high-powered Briggs & Stratton engine, zero turning radius is among the most notable features of the Husqvarna Z246i zero-turn mower. It’s ideal for those who want precision in every corner of their yard. Unlike many mowers, I don’t find myself going over the same spot twice to get an even cut.
Flexible wheels are highly valued in our industry for their contribution to the zero-turn capability. Thanks to them, this mower glides smoothly, completing cutting tasks in nearly half the expected mowing time.
However, as handy as zero-turn features can be, I’d advise against using them at high speeds if you’re just starting out. As I’ve mentioned before, this mower does have a bit of a learning curve.
For your mower to cut well, it has to draw enough air in its deck. The Husqvarna manufacturers had this in mind when they designed this 46-inch model with vented spindles. Its deck is also capable of different lawn tasks like mulching and bagging. After a season of mowing, I’ve found its side-discharge to be particularly useful.
With its powerful Briggs & Stratton 23 HP engine, this unit can reach an impressive top speed of 6.5 mph. When set in reverse mowing mode, it can still move at a decent speed of around 3.5 miles per hour.
You may not know, but this brand is known for its SmartSwitch technology. For those with no idea how great this feature is, it simply means it has a key-less operation. All you need to do is set up the configurations so that the unit can start in a single touch.
Like most zero-turn mowers, you can adjust its mowing deck. Trust me, there will come a moment when you’ll want to tweak your cutting configurations, whether due to shifting seasons or simply personal preference for your lawn. It’s a plus that this mower can be adjusted up to 4 degrees.
While it’s true that trimming the right length of grass helps you grow a healthy turf, some mowers with rough wheels can ruin your lawn. Luckily, Husqvarna Z246i has anti-scalp wheels that won’t incur damage to the grass path no matter how many times it navigates over the mowing area.
With the combination of speed and power from the zero-turn transmission and the Briggs & Stratton engine, to say I had a smooth mowing experience would be an understatement. Maneuvering over the grass field during the test drive was a breeze, thanks to its dependable wheels.
Overall, this Husqvarna model isn’t as heavy as it looks. After giving it a try, it’s actually light to operate. It must be because it has less mass than the usual heavy-duty mowers from Husqvarna.
Ease of Use
If you ask me, the little things like a digital hour meter make a zero-turn mower easy to use. On top of that, the unit also has a deck wash port! Thanks to this, cleaning and maintaining the mower wouldn’t be complicated. You can even hook its system to a garden hose for better under-deck cleaning action.
Another little feature I appreciated was the mower’s cup holder. Mowing can be time-consuming, so having a spot to keep a drink handy while working on the lawn is a nice touch.
Above all these functions, it’s a real treat if you see a mower with intuitive control levers. Using these advanced gardening tools can be overwhelming, so a reactive mechanism helps in enhancing control and ultimately keeping the user safe including a pregnant one from unprecedented dangers. With just a pull of these levers, the parking brake can disengage and stop the operation.
In a way, the cup holder is also a safety feature. It prevents you from attempting to hold a cup while using the mower and lessens the likeness of fluid spillage over the control panels.
And did you know that this mower’s system can detect uneven surfaces? On top of that, the blades will automatically disengage once it detects if you’re leaning or standing up from the mower seat. No worries, though. It won’t shut down right away, so there’s no hassle with this feature.
We all know that a lawn mower’s machine life is often associated with its build quality material. As this mower will face harsh mowing conditions and you will often mow the lawn every summer, it’s only reasonable that its manufacturer made its construction with durable 13-gauge stamped steel.
Price and Warranty
When comparing this model to mowers of similar size, it’s evident that it sits on the higher end of the price range. But considering Husqvarna’s longstanding reputation as a premium brand, this doesn’t come as a surprise.
Zero-turn lawn mower products like the Husqvarna Z242F are also hot in the market, so the current demand naturally translates to higher pricing.
Husqvarna Z246 vs. Z246i (Upgrade Comparison)
When I tested these models side-by-side, the standout similarity was their air induction design. Both units feature vented spindles, which, upon closer inspection, provide a better grass lift. However, the key-less feature is the biggest upgrade Z246i has that its alternative doesn’t have.
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Review Conclusion: Husqvarna Z246i
There’s no shortage of Husqvarna Z246i reviews available, but what truly matters is your personal experience and understanding of the machine. Its array of features and robust power might initially seem overwhelming, but every piece of machinery has its learning curve.
With time and practice, you’ll not only become proficient but also come to appreciate its capabilities. After all, the right tools can make a world of difference, and with the Husqvarna Z246i on your lawn, I’m convinced you’ll be set for many successful mowing seasons ahead.
Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.
Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.