Husqvarna RZ3016 Review

Husqvarna RZ3016

11110
(Rated: 4.2 / 5) Review by Frank Lowery
Noise1110.50
Ease of Assembly11110
Maneuverability11110.5
Balance And Handling11111
Cut Quality11110

Sometimes we need a big tool for a big job. If you are a homeowner with between a half an acre and an acre of grass to cut, you are going to need a bigger machine than a walk behind mower in order to finish the job efficiently. At the same time, you do not necessarily need a huge lawn tractor or professional grade zero turn mower – these are going to cost more than they might be worth for medium sized jobs, and they are also going to be taking up a lot more room in your garage than you may be willing to spare. But you may still need a zero turn mower, especially if your lawn is unevenly shaped, or if there are lots of obstacles like trees or garden beds that would be problematic for a less maneuverable garden tractor.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 is a great zero turn mower that is designed with maneuverability, efficiency and convenience in mind. It is equipped with a high quality 500 cubic centimeter engine manufactured by Briggs & Stratton that provides a full 16.5 horsepower. And it has a 30 inch wide cutting deck – enough to make sure that you are able to cut your lawn in fewer passes than you would be able to with a smaller mower. And because it has a zero turn axis, it will be able to handle tight corners and turn efficiently, so you will be able to get much closer to obstacles on your lawn, and all but eliminate the need for edging or trimming after you are done mowing.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Husqvarna RZ3016 has a lot of really great features that make it an ideal zero turn mower for use on a residential property that has more than 1/2 acre but less than a full acre of grass to cut. The fact that it is a zero turn mower means that it will be one of the most maneuverable riding mowers you could ever buy. Zero turn mowers are designed to have the tightest turning radius of any mower available today. If you provide more power to one wheel than the other, the mower will move in a curved line; if you provide more power to one wheel while braking on the other, the mower will spin 360 degrees on its own axis. This means the zero turn mower has the tightest radius and best maneuvering around corners and obstacles than any other mower available today.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has a powerful 500cc Briggs & Stratton manufactured Endurance Series engine that provides 16.5 horsepower to the machine. It has a Hydro Gear made hydrostatic transmission that provides variable power to the rear wheels and a top forward speed of 6.5 mph and a top reverse speed of 3.5 mpg. It has a large 30 inch cutting deck that has Husqvarna’s unique high performance air induction technology that draws air from the top and bottom of the deck. This technology causes the grass to have improved lift for a cleaner, professional looking cut every time you use it. The mower is so productive that it can cut over 1.5 acres in a single hour. The cutting blades on the deck are made from durable fabricated steel, so you can count on it to reliably handle even tougher varieties of grass like St Augustine or Bermuda grass.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has three grass management options: side discharge, bagging for later disposal, or mulching clippings back into the lawn. The mower has six cutting heights between 1.5 and 4 inches, and they are easily changed using a single lever installed in easy reach of the operator on the rear fender. In addition to the the adjustable, comfortably padded seat, the ergonomics and overall design of this zero turn mower make it an extremely convenient mower to operate. It is priced affordably compared to most zero turn mowers.

Specifications

review specificationsThe Husqvarna RZ3016 has a 30 inch cutting deck and overall dimensions of 66.5 x 37.1 x 39.3 inches. It weighs just 395 pounds, which is extremely light for zero turn mower such as this one. It has a gas powered, Briggs & Stratton made 500cc Endurance Series engine that provides the 16.5 horsepower for reliable performance and quality cuts. The Husqvarna has a hydrostatic transmission manufactured by Hydro Gear that provides top forward speed of 6.5 mph and a top reverse speed of 3.5 mph. Its differential drive system is operated via a twin lever setup, in which each of the levers controls how much power is provided to each of the rear wheels. It has six height settings between 1.5 and 4.5 inches that are controlled by a single lever. The deck lift system is a manual hand operated lift.

Dimensions 66.5 x 37.1 x 39.3 inches
Power Gas
Engine Manufacturer Briggs & Stratton
Engine Specs Endurance Series – 500-cc Engine
Transmission Hydro-Gear
Transmission Type Hydrostatic
Gas Tank 3.00 Galons
Starter Key
Deck Size
(cutting swath)
30-inch
Number of Blades 1
Productivity 1.6 Acres / Hour
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge
Drive System Lever-operated
Max Speed 6.5 mph forward / 3.5 mph reverse
Height Adjustment Single lever (6 positions)
Height Settings 1-1/2- to 4-inch
Wheel Size 11×4-inch front / 18×6-inch rear
Weight 395 pounds
Warranty 3 years

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has 18 x 6 inch front wheels and 11 x 4 inch rear wheels. It has a robust frame and casters to make sure it stays durable even with long term use, and to prevent chassis flex. The mower has a low center of gravity that when combined with its zero turn radius means that it will always provide efficient turning and great maneuverability. The mower is equipped to cut up to 1.6 acres in an hour. The mower has three grass clippings management options, including side discharge, bagging and mulching. It comes with a three year consumer warranty.

Description

review descriptionThe Husqvarna RZ3016 is a residential grade zero turn riding mower with a 16.5 horsepower and a 500cc Briggs & Stratton Endurance Series engine. It has a Hydro Gear manufactured hydrostatic transmission that allows the mower to operate at a top forward speed of 6.5 mph and a top rear speed of 3.5 mph.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has a 30 inch cutting deck width. Combined with its top speed of 6.5 mph and very efficient maneuvering, the zero turn mower is big enough to make sure you can finish the job in far fewer passes than with smaller mowers, which means it can cut up to 1.6 acres of grass in just one hour. In addition, even if you have lawn obstacles like trees or garden beds on your property, they will not be a problem: the RZ3016can easily maneuver right up to them. That means you will not have to spend a lot of extra time edging after you have finished mowing. And the mower is so compact that it takes up about the same amount of space in your garage as the average 21 inch mower. That also means you can easily maneuver it through garden gates and along narrow sidewalks as well.

The mower’s 30 inch cutting deck is equipped with Husqvarna’s unique air induction technology. This feature is designed to optimize air flow around the blades, which causes the grass to stand up taller, allowing for a more uniform cut. This innovative technology is not available on other zero turn mowers, so you can be certain that with this Husqvarna model you will be getting one of the best, most professional looking cuts every time you use it.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has a single, large, and durable cutting blade made of fabricated steel that will be able to handle even the toughest grasses, such as St Augustine or Bermuda grass, without breaking down. The mower has six height adjustments ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches that can be easily selected using a single manual lever on the mower’s rear fender and within easy reach while you are in the cockpit. You will not have to dismount the mower in order to switch from one height to the next. It is important to have several height options in order to best maintain the health of your grass.

Lawn care experts stress the importance of never cutting your grass less than 1/3 of its initial height. If you do so, you risk weakening the grass, which can make it less healthy and more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of heat waves and drought, and make it easily invaded by crab grass or weeds. Of course your grass will be at variable heights whenever you cut it, so you will need several options and the ability to easily switch between them. The Husqvarna RZ3016 gives you that.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 has a robust frame and casters intended to reduce chassis flexing and ensure durability over the long term. It is a residential grade zero turn mower, however, which means it will be less durable than commercial zero turn mowers – but it will also be considerably less expensive than higher grade mowers. And it will be tough enough to handle big residential lawn care jobs on a moderate basis while still maintaining its quality and performance capabilities. The mower’s casters are strong enough to protect it from damage in the event of a collision, and in addition to that there is a rear bumper designed with the same purpose in mind. These and other features mean the Husqvarna RZ3016 will be a tough residential grade zero turn mower that will provide high performance for years to come.

Maintenance is made simple with the Husqvarna RZ3016. The Hydro Gear transmission is designed to be totally maintenance free and still provide integrated zero turn performance. And the Briggs & Stratton E Series engine is designed to provide high performance without needing maintenance for years. The foot pan on the mower’s cockpit is removable and made from dimpled steel. This allows easy access to the deck belt and spindles, so cleaning inside the deck has never been easier. That means you will have no trouble keeping your deck clean and in good working order without a hassle.

Overall, the Husqvarna RZ3016 is a great compact zero turn mower for the homeowner with a lawn between 1/2 and 1 acre who wants to mow it quickly and efficiently. From the high quality manufacturing to the ergonomic design and great maneuverability, this mower offers a lot at a relatively inexpensive price.

Pros

review prosWhen you are the owner of a property that has a lawn between 1/2 and 1 acre, you are going to need a riding mower to get the job done right. And a zero turn mower can offer optimal performance and maneuverability to make sure you are able to get the job done in less time and more easily. These machines can spin on their central axis, which means they are literally able to turn on a dime without stopping or even slowing down. That allows the user to maneuver around yard obstacles with ease. There are several features the Husqvarna RZ3016 offers that make it a great compact zero turn mower at a reasonable price. This mower is compact for its deck size. It has larger tires and a bigger caster assembly than other residential grade zero turn mowers. The blade cuts tough and dense grass reliably, and the mower delivers reliable performance. It has three grass management options and great accessories. And this mower has a lot of power.

  1. For its deck size, this mower is compact : It is hard to find a zero turn mower that offers a wide cutting deck size but that is not so big that you will have trouble storing it in your garage. Even with its thirty inch deck width, the Husqvarna RZ3016 still only takes up the same amount of storage space in your garage that a riding mower with a 21 inch deck width would. That not only means that you will have more space in your garage, but it also improves its overall maneuverability. This mower will be able to glide through the average sized garden gate with no trouble, and it will also be easier to maneuver in and out of tight corners and around obstacles on the lawn such as trees or garden beds. Because one of the main reasons to get a zero turn mower is its maneuverability, the fact that you are getting even more of it with the Husqvarna RZ3016 is a huge pro in my book.
  2. Big tires and a heavy duty front caster assembly : The rear tires on the Husqvarna RZ3016 are 18 x 6 inches, and the front tires are 11 x 4 inches. That is pretty big for a residential grade zero turn mower, and it means that this model will have the kind of traction necessary to deal with difficult or uneven terrain without any trouble. In addition the front casters on this mower have the kind of size and toughness that you typically only find on commercial grade zero turn mowers. That means that the Husqvarna RZ3016 is going to be one of the toughest residential grade compact zero turn mowers you can find. The tough casters will hold up to repeated use even on hard to negotiate areas, and you will be able to turn and spin the mower without worrying about wear and tear on the front wheel assembly.
  3. Reliable cutting and overall performance : Husqvarna has a reputation for consistently manufacturing lawn care machines that hold up to repeated use on tough jobs and still deliver reliable performance over the long term. And in this department the Husqvarna RZ3016 is certainly no exception. The cutting blade is made of durable steel and along with the innovative air induction technology on the cutting deck it consistently provides professional grade cuts to the lawn. And because of the high quality parts under the hood and the quality design and manufacturing of the machine as a whole, you can be certain that the Husqvarna RZ3016 will consistently provide great overall performance to your lawn for many years.
  4. Three grass management options and other great accessories : One of the areas that I like to stress as a pro with Husqvarna products in general is the lengths they go to in order to provide great accessories with their products. The Husqvarna RZ3016, like all of their machines I have reviewed, has three grass management options included in the initial price. Many other companies only provide one grass management option on their zero turn mowers, and if you want more, at best you will have to pay extra to get them separately. In addition to three grass management options, this mower has other great accessories such as a cup holder, ergonomic design in the cockpit, and a removable foot pan and water hose hookup to make cleaning the cutting deck easier.
  5. Powerful Briggs & Stratton 500cc engine and hydrostatic transmission : The Husqvarna RZ3016 is equipped with a powerful 500cc Endurance Series Briggs & Stratton engine that has 16.5 horsepower. In addition to all of that power, it has a Hydro Gear twin hydrostatic transmission that is designed to easily shift between different speeds and conveniently turn the mower on its axis so that you can maneuver in tight corners. The transmission is also designed to be maintenance free, as is the engine, and the deck is easily accessed for cleaning. The Husqvarna RZ3016 is a robust zero turn mower and its engine components are designed to make sure they can reliably provide excellent power even with repeated residential use over many years.

When Husqvarna designed and manufactured this mower, a lot of thought went into making sure it provided all of the benefits of a commercial grade residential mower, but packed them into a compact machine that was still easy to store and maneuver. With its compact size, big commercial grade casters and tires, reliable grass cutting and overall performance, three grass management options and powerful Briggs & Stratton engine and Hydro Gear transmission, the Husqvarna RZ3016 has everything you want in a zero turn mower in a small package. This mower can cut a 1.6 acre lawn in an hour, which means that you will be done with your lawn care duties before you know it when you are using it. IN addition it has a three year consumer warranty and a fairly competitive price tag. All of these add up to show why Husqvarna is one of the best names in the business of lawn care products. This is a very good residential grade compact zero turn mower for homes that have between 1/2 and 1 acre of lawn to maintain.

Cons

review consNow there are of course going to be certain areas where any product is lacking; no mower is perfect, and while the Husqvarna RZ3016 is in fact a great compact residential grade zero turn mower, there remain a few areas where it could be a bit better. For example, the mower’s big rear tires consistently make the occasional rut in the lawn. Some maintenance, such as changing the oil or the battery, are a bit difficult to do. The mower is not able to handle hills or sloping terrain easily. The cutting blade engagement handle is somewhat difficult to use. And even at thirty inches, the cutting blade is not as big as one might like on a residential grade zero turn mower. I believe it is important to fully understand the drawbacks a product has before you buy it, so I will go into these in a bit more detail below. Even in light of these cons, you may still decide that this is the right mower for your needs, but it is important to be aware of them first.

  1. The rear tires consistently make ruts in the lawn : This is frankly the most serious problem associated with the Husqvarna RZ3016. The rear tires are big, as I mentioned above, and whether it is due to the torque the Briggs & Stratton engine is providing or the overall weight of the mower, it will occasionally make ruts in your lawn, especially if you are turning it at top speed. This can result in more work for you than you initially bargained for, as patching a rut in the lawn can be a tricky business that takes a lot of time and work. To some degree you can mitigate this problem by slowing down when you are turning the mower, but that creates the drawback of adding time to the overall job. You can also avoid this problem by squaring off trees instead of spinning around them, but takes away from the whole reason for buying a zero turn mower in the first place. This is a con that should be taken very seriously.
  2. Changing the oil and battery can be difficult : While Husqvarna did take steps to ensure that this mower has some of the simplest maintenance needs in terms of cleaning the deck, getting under the foot pan, and minimizing maintenance under the hood, there are still some areas where it is not optimal. Changing the oil is difficult, especially the first time, because the instruction manual is not very clear on this point. And changing the battery – which is something you will have to do if you own this mower for a number of years – is likewise difficult. There is a very specific angle at which the batter has to be pulled out, and there are plenty of wires in place that make this job a bit harder than it has to be. With practice, these maintenance issues do get easier, but if you are not very mechanically inclined, you should keep these in mind when you are considering whether this is the right zero turn mower for your needs.
  3. The mower does not handle hills or sloping terrain well : This can be a rather common drawback when it comes to zero turn mowers: they often do not have the right ratio of power to size, or do not have a low enough center of gravity, to handle hills or sloping terrain well. Because the Husqvarna RZ3016 is so compact, it has a rather high center of gravity, and combined with its 500cc engine and 16.5 horsepower, driving the mower up hills is quite difficult. Now, if you have a lawn that is broad and flat, without any sloping areas or undulating terrain, this simply will not be a problem for you. But if you do live in a hilly area, and your backyard has even a modest grade to it, you may not be looking at the right mower for you in the Husqvarna RZ3016. You do not want to purchase a mower if you think it will not be able to maneuver around your property.
  4. The blade engagement handle is difficult to use : The blade engagement handle is mounted on the rear fender at a right angle to the driver’s seat, and it is rather small. It is also a manual lever, which means the you will have to use your own strength to operate it. This can be problematic for elderly or less strong individuals, especially since you should definitely be turning on the blade engagement only when you are seated in the cockpit. Because of this, the blade engagement handle made it onto the cons list. If you are strong enough that you do not think it will be a problem, then you can skip this con. But if you are an older gardener (like me) or you are not used to dealing with difficult or sticky handles, you should keep this in mind when you are considering whether to purchase the Husqvarna RZ3016.
  5. A bigger cutting blade would certainly be better : The Husqvarna RZ3016 is designed to be a compact residential zero turn mower, and because of that, the cutting deck is only thirty inches. That is quite small as zero turn mowers go, and there are a number of Husqvarna zero turn mowers that have much larger cutting decks – 40 to 46 inches wide – and are not much more expensive than this one. If you do not think you will need a bigger cutting deck, then by all means keep looking at this one. But bear in mind that bigger cutting decks mean you will be able to cut your lawn in fewer passes, and fewer passes means less time. And saving time while you are mowing your lawn is rather the point of purchasing a big zero turn mower. Size is an important aspect of efficiently doing the job.

I urge you to take these cons under advisement and compare them to the pros that I discussed above. That way you can get a good idea if the Husqvarna RZ3016 is the right zero turn mower for your needs. You may find that having a compact zero turn mower is important, and that you do not need a bigger one. Additionally you may have no issues with maintenance or operational difficulties, and if you live on a flat parcel of land, the mower’s ability to handle sloping terrain is not an issue. Keep the first con in mind, though: you do not want to be constantly dealing with ruts in your lawn caused by your zero turn mower. But also remember that there are some workarounds to this issue. Basically you just have to go more slowly and corner less sharply around trees – but as I have mentioned, that sort of takes away from the whole point of owning a zero turn mower. Either way, I recommend you keep both the pros and cons list in mind when you are considering whether to buy this product.

Product Comparison

review comparisonIn addition to taking into account the pros and cons of this mower specifically, it is also very useful to compare it to some similar zero turn mowers. This way you can get a good idea of how the Husqvarna RZ3016 stacks up against its competition. It is always a good policy to do some comparison shopping when you are buying a new product, and that is especially true when you are looking for a product that is priced at four figures and up. In order to give you a good picture of how the Husqvarna RZ3016 compares to similar products, I assembles a table that compares its specifications those of the Husqvarna RZ4621 and the Stanley 54ZS.

  Husqvarna RZ3016Husqvarna
RZ3016
Stanley 54ZSStanley
54ZS
Husqvarna RZ4621Husqvarna
RZ4621
Dimensions 66.5 x 37.1 x 39.3 inches 83.1 x 64.5 x 45.8 inches 75.1 x 56.2 x 39.9 inches
Power Gas Gas Gas
Engine Manufacturer Briggs & Stratton Kawasaki Briggs & Stratton
Engine Specs Endurance Series
500-cc Engine
FR691V
726-cc Engine
Endurance Series
540-cc Engine
Transmission Hydro-Gear Peerless Hydro-Gear
Transmission Type Hydrostatic Hydrostatic Hydrostatic
Gas Tank 3.00 Galons 7.50 Galons 3.50 Galons
Starter Key Key Key
Deck Size(cutting swath) 30-inch 54-inch 46-inch
Number of Blades 1 2 2
Productivity 1.6 Acres / Hour N/A 2.4 Acres / Hour
Mulch/Bag/Discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge Side discharge Mulch, bag, and discharge
Drive System Lever-operated Lever-operated Lever-operated
Max Speed 6.5 mph forward
3.5 mph reverse
10.0 mph forward
10.0 mph reverse
6.5 mph forward
3.5 mph reverse
Height Adjustment Single lever (6 positions) Single lever (8 positions) Single lever (6 positions)
Height Settings 1-1/2- to 4-inch 1-1/2- to 5-inch 1-1/2- to 4-inch
Wheel Size 11×4-inch front
18×6-inch rear
15×6-inch front
22×10-inch rear
11×4-inch front
18×8-inch rear
Weight 395 pounds 1000 pounds 580 pounds
Warranty 3 years Lifetime 3 years

As you can see, the Stanley 54ZS has the biggest dimensions of the three mowers, which means it will be the most difficult to store and may also be more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. But it also has the largest cutting deck width, at a massive 54 inches. The Stanley is the heaviest and has the highest forward and reverse speeds, topping out at 10 mph for both. The Husqvarna RZ3016 has the smallest dimensions of the three, but it also has the smallest cutting deck size and only one cutting blade. The Stanley is closer to a commercial grade zero turn mower than either of the Husqvarnas, which explains its size and power, and you do not necessarily want that for residential use on a moderately sized property. The Husqvarna RZ4621 splits the difference in most categories, including power and deck width.

Conclusion

review conclusionIf you own between 1/2 and a full acre of grass that needs to be taken care of, you will find that it is pretty much a necessity to own a zero turn riding mower. And in the category of riding mowers, it is obvious why zero turn mowers are the most efficient ones money can buy. They have some of the widest cutting decks and fastest speeds out there. And in terms of maneuverability, no other machine even comes close to their capabilities. These machines can cut a lawn faster and more efficiently than lawn tractors or other riding mowers. And in the Husqvarna RZ3016, we have a residential grade zero turn mower that is also very compact, which makes it ideally suited for homeowners who have a big yard but not a lot of space in their garage for storage. Let’s revisit the pros and cons of this mower before we finish the review.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Compact overall size, considering the 30 inch deck width.
  2. Bigger tires and a heavy duty front caster assembly.
  3. Reliable cutting and overall performance.
  4. Three grass management options and great accessories.
  5. Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine.

As you can see, there are a number of significant advantages that the Husqvarna RZ3016 provides to a homeowner with a lot of grass to cut. It has a fairly large 30 inch cutting deck packed into a compact size. It has big tires and heavy duty casters to ensure it can withstand repeated use. It provides excellent reliability in terms of grass cutting and overall performance. It has three grass management options along with lots of high quality accessories to make using it a lot more convenient. And it has a powerful Briggs & Stratton F series 500cc engine and a Hydro Gear hydrostatic transmission that provides a top forward speed of 6.5 mph and has great handling and maneuverability. And it comes with a three year warranty and competitive pricing.

Conclusion Cons

  1. The rear tires consistently make ruts in the lawn.
  2. Changing the oil and the battery is difficult.
  3. The mower does not handle hills or sloping terrain well.
  4. The blade engagement handle is difficult to use.
  5. A bigger cutting blade could be better.

As we discussed earlier, the fact that the rear tires are prone to make ruts in your lawn is a fairly serious problem. While there are workarounds to this problem, it simply takes away from the overall rating for this mower. You want a zero turn mower that you can zip around your lawn without worrying about damaging the grass, and you can’t do that easily with the Husqvarna RZ3016. I addition, the thirty inch cutting blade is small for a zero turn mower, and you can easily find comparably machines that have much bigger cutting decks for not a lot more money. Beyond those issues, the other three are relatively minor – you can get used to changing the oil and using the blade engagement handle, and if you life in a flat area like most of the American Midwest, you will not have to worry too much about hills being a problem.

Final Word

Zero turn mowers are great lawn care machines. They allow you to efficiently cut a large amount of grass in a relatively short amount of time. They are the most maneuverable lawn mowers available today, and they can handle lawn obstacles and tight turns better than any other mower you can find. That means that owning a zero turn mower is one of your best bets if you are a homeowner with more than a half an acre of grass to take care of. They cut down on the amount of time you will spend taking care of your lawn and increase the amount of time you can spend enjoying it instead.

The Husqvarna RZ3016 provides all of the advantages of owning a zero turn mower, and it packs them into a pretty compact size, which makes it ideally suited for homeowners with between 1/2 and a full acre of grass to cut. And on top of that, it is easy to find storage space for it, and you will not have any problems maneuvering it through garden gates or in narrow areas. It is designed with superb craftsmanship and quality parts. This is a great residential grade compact zero turn mower.

Best Price

review pricesThe Husqvarna RZ3016 is designed to be compact and with residential use in mind, and so it will not hold up to the kind of wear and tear you could but a professional grade mower through. But because of that, it also does not have the kind of price tag associated with professional grade mowers. In this machine you are getting all of the advantages of a zero turn mower at a competitive price. At the same time, there are a number of other mowers – especially ones manufactured by Husqvarna – that are quite comparable in every way to the RZ3016, but have much wider cutting deck sizes. These mowers have cutting deck widths of up to 46 inches, but are not much more expensive than the RZ3016, and for that reason, this mower’s competitive price may not be the best you can get for your money.

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