scag liberty z review

Scag Liberty Z Zero Turn Mower Review

The Scag Liberty Z zero turn mower is a residential grade machine that is perfect for the homeowner with a couple acres of grass. It is built with a commercially inspired design and from highly recognized brand. If you are a homeowner and looking to upgrade to a zero turn, the Scag Liberty Z is a good place to start.

In this article, we will be going through a comprehensive Scag liberty z review. It is considered to be a quality mower with a number of features. It has been appreciated by many customers as per the reviews that are available across the internet.

Below we will take a look at the entire Scag Liberty lineup.

Scag Liberty Z Overview

SZL36-18FRSZL48-21FRSZL52-23FRSZL61-26KT
Deck Size36″ deck48″ deck52″ deck61″ deck
Engine18 HP Kawasaki FR60021 HP Kawasaki FR65123 HP Kawasaki FR69126 HP Kohler 7000 Series PRO
Drive SystemHydro-Gear ZT2800Hydro-Gear ZT2800Hydro-Gear ZT2800Hydro-Gear ZT3100
Fuel Capacity3.5 gallons5.5 gallons5.5 gallons5.5 gallons
Speed7 mph7 mph7 mph7 mph
Suspensionn/an/an/an/a
Warranty5 year or 750 hour residential5 year or 750 hour residential5 year or 750 hour residential5 year or 750 hour residential
Price$4,783$5,042$5,249$5,923
*Prices accurate as of November 24, 2020

New 2020 Upgrades

  • Completely new, upgraded look
  • New seat look and design with added armrests
  • Foot operated height of cut lever is redesigned
  • Improved overall comfort of machine
  • Same great specs

Power

This Scag liberty mower is powered by Kohler 7000 series or Kawasaki FR series engine. These engines are reliable brands and proven engines. Both of these will last a homeowner a long time.

This mower comes with the HydroGear ZT2800 (36″, 48″, or 52″) or HydroGear ZT3100 (61″) transaxles. The ZT2800 transaxles are considered residential grade by HydroGear's standards. This is the highest end of residential transaxles they offer. The ZT3100 is the first step into the commercial transaxles in HydroGear's offering.

If a 61″ deck isn't too large for your yard and you can spend the extra money this is a huge reason to make the upgrade. These ZT3100 will outperform and outlast the ZT2800 transaxles in most cases.

The Scag Liberty Z has a forward speed of 7 MPH and 5 MPH reverse. This is pretty good for a residential mower in it's price range. It isn't the faster mower on the market, but definitely better than most riding mowers.

Overall, this mower has a lot of power and will be a great option to maintain your lawn throughout the year.

Cut Quality

The mower has a unique cutter deck and it is designed for delivering those beautiful cuts, use after use. Further, the deck has been designed for durability and longevity.

This deck also features sealed bearings. This is a debatable topic between sealed and greasable bearings. However, on most residential mowers the sealed bearings are just fine. This also helps to lower the amount of time spent on maintenance.

The mower deck is incredibly strong and it has facilities for adjusting cutting heights without getting down from the seat. This has been redesigned from last year and looks better and is a little easier to adjust the height of cut.

This mower has a quality cut for it's price range. It doesn't quite have the cut quality of the slope nosed Velocity deck but it is still a great cutting machine.

scag liberty z deck

Durability

Since the mower has been designed to handle tough and demanding cutting tasks, you can expect it to be durable and long lasting when compared to some other products in its price range. The cutter deck is strong and fully fabricated and the entire frame is very solid. This also could go a long way in enhancing the overall life of the mower considerably.

Comfort

There is no doubt that comfort matters a lot when using a mower and it would be interesting to have a closer look at the comfort characteristics of this mower from Scag Liberty.

It comes with a contoured, padded and high-back seat. This is a huge upgrade over the previous Liberty model. The seat on the old model was a bit lagging. This new model also has armrests.

I can't review a Scag without mentioning the aesthetics of the seat… however you may be surprised with this one. I actually like the design of the new seat on the Scag Liberty Z. It finally has a bit of an eye catching and modern design to it.

Compared to the previous model, the seat (and mower in general) is so much better in terms of appearance and comfort.

scag liberty z new seat

Aesthetics

The overall looks, appearances and ergonomics of the mower again are quite impressive. It certainly is a combination of looks and toughness. The color of the mower is also strikingly attractive.

This is probably going to be the new wave of Scag's design. I think they really hit it out of the park with this one. It is an awesome looking mower and let's be honest… as a homeowner that is something that really matters.

I'm very impressed with the new black colors incorporated into the design. It makes the machine to tough. I love it.

Build Quality

The main frame is made from tubular steel. Hence, users can be sure that it will offer unmatched strength, longevity, and power. You will also like the drive spindles as they are designed for heavy-duty work. They are made from quality aluminum and also have sealed ball bearing. This helps in high-quality performance every season and for many years at a length.

scag liberty z new design

Safety

The Scag Liberty offers excellent stability. This is because of a low center of gravity. Further, the extra wide stance of the mower also contributes to the safety attributes positively.

The mower also has all of the standard safety features found on other mowers. This mower is a safe option.

Our Rating

Performance:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Cut Quality:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Durability:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Comfort:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Overall:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Price

There are four models of Scag liberty z mowers and they are 36 inches, 48 inches, 52 inches and 61 inches. They are priced approximately at $4,785, $5,040, $5,250 and $5,923 respectively.

Overall this is a pretty good price compared to other mowers in this price/spec range. They definitely aren't the cheapest option but they have a quality machine with great specs. It is a pretty good option if your budget can afford it.

Wrapping it up

On the whole, whether it is the design features, ergonomics, looks, performance, cutting prowess, motor power or durability, there are reasons to believe that the Scag Liberty Z zero mower could be the right choice.

It is a solid overall mower than many homeowners will love. If you have about a 2 – 5 acres lawn this will be a perfect zero turn lawn mower for you. Overall, it is a well built machine and will help many people with their lawn maintenance needs.

What Do You Think?

Do you have the new Scag Liberty Z? What is your experience with it? If not, would you be interested in getting this mower? Leave us a comment below. We love hearing from you!

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For more information on this mower check out Scag's official site. To find a dealer near you check out their dealer locator.

Images are from Scag.

17 Replies to “Scag Liberty Z Zero Turn Mower Review

  1. I have a 2018 Liberty z which cuts very good. The only complaint that I have with the mower is the rough ride on a bumpy lawn. I bought a spring cushion that mounts between the seat and the frame. This made a big difference in the ride.

  2. Spring cushion is that a after market item or a scag part? I bought a Liberty Z two years ago. The ride is very bumpy in the middle of summer. I would be interested in getting one. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mike, Scag doesn’t currently offer a suspension seat for the Liberty Z… at least that I’m aware of. There may be aftermarket options that could work… it would probably require some modifications though. These entry commercial mowers usually don’t have suspension seats because they don’t fit within the frame and probably wouldn’t have enough clearance between your legs and the steering levers.

  3. I am so close to buying a 36 or 48 inch Liberty Z. I need to know if you have the mulching blades for the Scag installed and side plate, can you remove the grass shoot so as to keep the width of the machine narrower. If not, probably a 36 inch would get me around obstacles better.

    1. I would check with your local dealer to be sure but, to my knowledge, Scag’s hurricane mulch kit fits all Liberty Z models. If you have a mulch kit on you will be able to remove the deflector.

  4. I have had a Hustler Fastrak Z 44 inch since 2005. Due to the age of the Hydro Gear Pumps, I am looking at the 48 inch Liberty Z. I only have less than 1 acre to cut from April to October, but just not sure I will like it as much as my Hustler. I am looking for the benefits of switching. Comfort, reliability , Ride and longivity. Thanks. Steve

    1. I would say the reliability and longevity of the Scag would be an improvement. The ride and comfort of the Liberty Z is pretty good… I’ve never used a 2005 model Fastrak but I would imagine it is at least as good as the Scag Liberty Z. Thanks!

  5. I bought my skagg liberty z about 3 years ago. Have never had one issue or any trouble I would recommend this mower to anyone! My neighbor has been through 2 mowers from Lowe’s the same amount of time.

  6. After nine years I finally decided to retire my Husqvarna Zero Turn mower. (I have no complaint with the Husqvarna)! I decided to go shopping at Outdoor Power in Sulphur Springs Texas (Great Group of People and Great Customer Service) yes I purchased my first Scag Liberty Z mower yesterday. All I got to say is I Love My Mower.

  7. I bought a Liberty Z yesterday and cut my 2.5 acres with it. The grass hasn’t been cut this year due to my Exmark I’ve had for 20 years being in the shop. The Liberty exceeded my expectations. I bought a 52 inch with a Koehler engine. All the specs are saying it should be a Kawasaki engine.

  8. I moved and my 48” Hustler fastrak was just too big so i purchased a liberty Z36, it seems well built for a homeowner based machine. This is my 3rd ztr and by far the most inferior of all, the deck latch system islosatet so it’s hard to operated, the foot lifting system isn’t positioned so it is easy to lock into place, the unintegrated braking system is just inferior, and the driving arms have to be held all the Time or they will go back to a neutral position ( you have to stop to take a drink or wipe your face, but the worst thing is it doesn’t even mulch my grass into small pieces…..by far the worst mower I have ever used & I wish I would have never bought it.
    Be careful this is just a cheap mower with a pretty seat!

    1. I am surprised on your mower’s issues. Mine bought, at the same time does not retract the driving arms and the deck is easy to adjust with the foot pedal while positioning the pin in the stop plate which is marked in inches in quarter of an inch increments. much better than other mowers even other Scags I have used. One of the best mowers in my opinion, cuts grass into fine pieces with the mulch plate in place. My only issue is the dust generated. I have a more detailed review on this site.
      Suggest you take yours back to the dealer for adjustments…..

  9. Love the Liberty Z, 52″ w/ mulch plate bought in June now with 25 hours on it. Have used many different Scag models over the years
    Great (and a few not so great) points – Plus/Minus
    + Super neat cut very even and easy to get around trees and obstacles and on hills
    + Comfortable seat and controls
    + Precise maneuverability
    + Mulches well with just a mulch plate installed

    – Produces an extreme amount of dust/grass blowout, completely covering the operator while mowing about an acre of residential lawn (worse than any of the Scags I have used in the past, including tiger cat, Vride, walk behind and Cheetah, all with mulch plates). Liberty dust performance is about the same without the mulch plate installed. Recommend you wear a mask and goggles
    – There is a mulch kit which has under deck baffles with mulch blades and a mulch plate, but it is over $300 and I doubt it can improve the mulching much since it already does a good job. Dealer could not determine if this would “clean up” the operation.

    1. Ordered the mulch kit today, not in stock locally – will update the dust issue after I receive and install it. Hoping for vast improvement….

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