Bad Boy vs. Gravely: Choosing The Better Zero Turn Mower

Zero-turn mowers aren’t cheap, so choosing one requires thoughtful consideration. Whether you need it for residential or commercial use, the choices often narrow down to two contenders: Bad Boy and Gravely. Both brands manufacture a wide range of riding mowers and accessories. Thus, comparing Bad Boy to Gravely is crucial if you want to find the best zero-turn mower for you.

Bad Boy impresses with innovative features incorporated in each of their zero-turn mowers. Gravely doesn’t boast as many innovative features, but the mowers are made from sturdier materials. This Bad Boy vs. Gravely mower comparison guide will help you choose the right one.

Bad Boy And Gravely Lawn Mowers Overview

What Are Bad Boy Mowers?

Bad Boy is one of the newest names in the lawn and agricultural equipment industry. Based in Batesville, Arkansas, the company built its first mower in 2002, and in the same year, it won the Product of the Year Award at the Lawn and Garden Expo in Louisville, Kentucky

In 2006, Bad Boy introduced the first commercial-grade residential zero-turn mower. The Bad Boy ZT was a true hit – one of the first riding mowers that are truly comfortable and easy to use.

Among the factors that set Bad Boy apart from its competition, we can mention the heavy-gauge, all-steel, formed and welded frame and multiple engine choices for each model. Bad Boy mowers also have an independent front suspension for more comfortable riding and added stability.

What Are Gravely Lawn Mowers?

Based in Brillion, Wisconsin, Gravely is a popular manufacturer of zero-turn mowers and other powered lawn and garden implements. The company was founded in 1916 when Benjamin Franklin Gravely launched a hand-push plow driven by belts and propelled by an auxiliary Indian motorcycle engine. 

Gravely was purchased by AriensCo in 1982 and entered the zero-turn mower market in 2006. Even though it operates as AriensCo’s commercial lawn division, the brand also manufactures a range of residential zero-turn mowers under the Gravely name. 

Although Gravely doesn’t manufacture as many zero-turn mowers as Bad Boy, the brand stands out thanks to its truly compact model (34-inch deck) designed for homeowners. In addition, you can also choose from a selection of larger mowers for residential or commercial use.

Comparing Gravely Vs. Bad Boy: Table Comparison

Choosing the right zero-turn mower is often challenging, but the table below can help you decide between the brands at a glance. For the purpose of this comparison, we’re focusing on the popular Bad Boy ZT Elite and Gravely ZT HD

Bad Boy ZT EliteGravely ZT HD
Suitable for larger lawns, the ZT Elite allows you to choose from three deck sizes: 48”, 54”, or 60”.A smaller deck size of 44” makes it more suitable for residential users. Other deck sizes include 48”, 52”, and 60”.
Engine choices vary from 24hp to 26hp. Gravely also includes entry-level models with 21.5hp and 23hp engines. 
Commercial-grade, 7-gauge welded deck.Residential-grade, 10-gauge deck.
Large 6.5-gallon fuel tank ensures more autonomy.Smaller, 5-gallon fuel tank. 
Bad Boy’s offers a limited, 2-year, or 200 hours (whichever comes first) warranty for residential use. The mower isn’t covered by warranty if it is used for commercial or industrial purposes.Gravely ZT HD is covered by a 4-year or 500 hours (whichever comes first) warranty. The warranty is reduced to one year for commercial use.

Major Differences Between Bad Boy And Gravely 

As highlighted above, there are a few noticeable differences between the Bad Boy and Gravely mowers. Let’s have a more detailed look at them.

Engine and Power

One of the main things people check when buying a vehicle is the type of engine and power it produces, and things are no different when buying a zero-turn mower. 

Bad Boy ZT Elite gives you the possibility to choose from four engine types and three power specifications. As far as the engine is concerned, you can pick from Kohler, Kohler Pro, Kawasaki, and Briggs. Kohler is only available for the 48” deck, whereas the 54” and 60” variants are powered by Kohler Pro. 

If you wish to go for a Kawasaki or Briggs engine, all three mowers will feature the same engine model and power.

Power-wise, Bad Boy ZT Elite can output 24, 25, or 26 horsepower, depending on the type of engine you select.

You may also be wondering if Bad Boy mowers will run on diesel or gas. All ZT Elite mowers use gas, but the brand also manufactures a commercial zero-turn mower that runs on diesel.

Gravely ZT HD is equipped either with a Kohler Pro or a Kawasaki engine. However, you can pick from more power options, including 21.5 and 23 horsepower.

Depending on the type of terrain you have, a weaker power might be preferred. Keep in mind that no brand will sell a zero-turn mower that is underpowered, and more horsepower won’t let you move or mow faster. However, if a light machine is too powerful, it could compromise balance and make it louder.

Cutting Deck Size

When choosing the cutting deck size, you should match it with the size of your lawn. Gravely has a slight advantage here, proposing more cutting deck options. 

The brand’s 44” deck is particularly attractive if you’re looking for a zero-turn mower you can use in a larger but not immense yard. Other options from Gravely include a 48”, 52”, and 60” deck.

Bad Boy could be an excellent choice if you need a 54” deck. Otherwise, you can pick from the brand’s 48” and 60” size of the cutting deck.

Deck Construction and Cut Quality 

Whether you decide to give Bad Boy a chance or go for the Gravely, both mowers produce quick and smooth cuts that deliver exceptional results

Bad Boy features a solid, commercial-grade deck made of 7-gauge steel. The cutting height varies from 1.5” to 4.5”, and you can move the deck easily thanks to the foot-assist manual lift with dial-style height adjustment. Alternatively, you can upgrade your mower with an electric lift. 

Gravely ZT DH comes with a residential-grade deck that is slightly thinner than Bad Boy. The 10-gauge steel is still strong enough to resist whatever you’re throwing at it. An advantage comes with the cutting heights, which vary between 1” and 5”.

Build Quality

Both brands manufacture heavy-duty mowers that are built to last a lifetime. Bad Boy ZT Elite boasts a heavy-gauge, all-steel, all-welded frame made of 2×2 tubular steel. Gravely also has a heavy-duty steel frame made of 1.5×3 tubing. 

The transmission is a Hydro-Gear 3100 on both models, ensuring that both machines are operating with smooth and even pressure. However, Bad Boy boasts a commercial-grade Kevlar belt that lasts longer than Gravely’s. 

Another difference is the Bad Boy’s patented independent front suspension designed for giving control and comfort on bumpier terrains.

Comfort and Safety

As you can expect from brands that respect themselves, Bad Boy and Gravely mowers are equipped with safety systems that prevent the blades from turning or the mower from running if you’re not seated. 

In terms of comfort, Gravely comes with a superior seat covered in plush material. This choice enhances comfort, allowing users to mow without fatigue for a longer time

The standard seat on the ZT Elite offers adequate back support, but it’s not the comfiest option. However, Bad Boy allows you to upgrade the seat with a top-of-the-line Suspension seat (currently only offered as standard on the brand’s Renegade mower) that is fully adjustable to the operator’s weight and height.

If you choose to upgrade the Bad Boy seat, Bad Boy is by far more comfortable than Gravely. 

Price and Warranty

Bad Boy zero-turn mowers attract users with their affordable price tag. For instance, the ZT Elite 54” with a Kawasaki engine costs about $5,500. Comparatively, the Gravely ZT HD 52” with Kawasaki engine costs about $500 more (about $6,000)

But if Bad Boy wins in terms of upfront costs, Gravely’s makes up with the warranty. For residential use, the ZT HD comes with a 4-year or 500 hours warranty, whereas the Bad Boy ZT Elite only has a 2-year or 200 hours warranty. Moreover, only Gravely offers a warranty if you intend to use the mower for commercial applications.

Gravely vs. Bad Boy: Which Is Better?

Choosing a mower that fits you should be your main focus when deciding between Gravely and Bad Boy. Offering a better price and heavier-duty construction, Bad Boy could seem like the best option. However, if your lawn is smaller or you have challenging terrain, Gravely’s 44” or 21.5hp option could be a better choice. Keeping in mind that both of these brands are solid options, we hope this guide can help you pick the best one for you.