The Scag Liberty Z and Freedom Z are both high-grade zero-turn mowers armored to eat whatever terrain they run over and offer great comfort for the user while at it.
So, you have the Liberty Z ranked as the highest residential grade, and the Freedom Z as the beginner commercial grade with, of course, extra bucks on their name– how do you pick which model is best for you?
You are now tackled with deciding whether slapping down extra money for the Freedom Z is worth it or simmering down to the Liberty Z is the better option. In this case, the best thing to do is reach for the details and compare how each model can apply to your requirements, which thankfully, is the reason for this article.
I will be discussing the differences between the Scag Liberty Z and Freedom Z and how they will both apply to your mowing needs so that you can select the most tailored model for you and your yard. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Scag Liberty Z Vs Freedom Z: Which Mower Should I Buy?
The best way to choose between the Liberty Z and Freedom Z is by highly understanding the features of your lawn and how frequently you seek to mow. Sometimes even climate will determine the best zero-turn mower – or model in this case – for you! I digress:
Engine Types and Horsepower
Zero-turn engine capacity is easily one of the most important aspects of the machine, particularly because the engines power the entire zero-turn mower from the tires to the blades which in turn will determine the efficiency of the machine. To be on the safe side, the first thing you should consider is the engine. The type of engine is solely for preference; a little variation is always welcome.
The Liberty Z features a Kawasaki FR or a Kohler 7000 series engine for you to choose from with minimal residential-grade air filters assigned to the engines, which will surge the mower with 18 to 24 horsepower depending on the size of the deck through and through.
On the other hand, the Freedom Z offers 22 to 26 horsepower also depending on the deck size although they come in only Kohler engines – with a commercial-grade cyclonic air filter structure – in comparison to the Liberty Z with both Kohler and Kawasaki.
If you’re power savvy or your yard features a lot of tough greens and sloping terrain that would need as much power as you can get for a well-done job, I strongly suggest the Scag Freedom Z. Specifically if you mow professionally now and then; perhaps you would like to help a neighbor or earn extra bucks.
Otherwise, if you mow once a week or so, and your yard doesn’t put up much of a fight when you run over it, you’d be properly equipped with the Liberty Z instead. There’d be no need to go extra with the Freedom Z for this reason.
Transmission Systems and Smooth Rides
Transmission systems determine how smoothly or sensitively maneuverable your ride will be. Backed up by a good transmission, all the jerking and slow turning will be nonexistent!
The Scag Liberty Z comes with two different grades of hydro-gear transaxle system; the HG-2800, and the HG-3100 which is only paired with the 61-inch deck. While the HG-2800 is mostly found on the middle to high-grade residential models, the HG-3100 is sometimes even found on commercial-grade zero-turn mowers, so there’s quite a bonus here if you are strongly leaning on residential use but have a yard over 3 acres. You’d be able to save more time and maneuver through obstacles much faster and more smoothly with the HG-3100 and the 61-inch deck it comes with.
In terms of speed, the Liberty Z will run at 7miles per hour in comparison to the Freedom Z with 8 miles per hour difference.
With the Freedom Z, you only find the HG-2800 which is good enough to an extent. To be frank, though, it’d have been a better scenario if the Freedom Z came with an HG-3100 to match the “base commercial-grade” rating and the other specs of this model.
Deck Sizes and Cutting Quality
The deck sizes are the most tailored part of the zero-turn mower. Here you can easily choose which size will fit into your shed, between the obstacles you find on your lawn, and which size will cut through your yard much faster. In this case, variation is highly appreciated.
Both models feature a deep fully welded and fabricated Hero Cutter deck; The Liberty Z will show up to the scene with four different deck sizes; 36, 42, 54, 58, and 61-inch decks respectively and will cut from 1.5 to 5 inches of height, operated by the foot pedal and pin system.
All the decks will be paired with their suitable engines and relative horsepower to ensure that the machine does not get over or underworked. Since deck sizes are more specific to you as a user, I suggest you take advantage of the variation; if you have a lot of trees and flower gardens, the 54-inch and below decks will suit you just fine. If you mow through more than four acres in one sitting, the best deck for you is the 61-inch deck– they also get paired with the 24-hp engine and 3100 transmissions to help you cut through your task faster.
On the other hand, the Freedom Z comes equipped with the 48 and 54-inch deck only and will cut from 1 – 5 inches also operated by foot pedal and pin system. If you are a professional-residential landscaper, the Freedom Z will suit you just fine because of the 26 hp they are braced with. Also, this model’s deck is engineered to be rigorous enough to tackle tough greens and wet cutting conditions. So, if you mow residential scapes professionally, this is the right model for you since they are powered enough to be used frequently in comparison to the Liberty Z.
Traction and Stability
Tires are easily the focal point for good traction, and for the Scag Liberty Z model, you get 20 by 10-8 inches and 20 by 10-10 inches for the 61-inch deck only. On the other hand, you get 20 by 10-10 inches on the Freedom Z as a standard. Though the difference is pretty small, you’d evidently have better traction on the Freedom Z. Differences aside, both models offer good traction and rugged stamina to defeat slopes and slippery terrain.
Tippity tip: if you are dealing with hills that slope viciously, instead of mowing from side to side, it is much safer to go up and down the hill for proper distribution of weight.
Comfort and Seat Features
Comfort is highly significant since you are bound to run through an hour sitting in your zero-turn mower. For both of the Scag models, the seating feature is satisfactory. However, there’s always room for a little competition.
The Liberty Z and the Freedom Z both feature full suspension high-back seats with standard armrests. Although even with the same height measurement, the Freedom Z is much more luscious and well padded in comparison to the Liberty Z. This is a promising feature if you travel from yard to yard on a normal day, especially for the long run.
Added to the comfort of the Freedom Z, the Roll Over Protection bar (ROP) comes standard to offer better security whilst mowing. Especially in those trying times of bumpy and slope-filled landscapes.
Cost of The Models
The prices of both models will roughly depend on the engine type, horsepower, deck size, and your selected dealer. So even though there’s a standard range, your preferences will determine a summarized price tag for the model you seek to buy. For the Liberty Z, you start at $5,500 to $6,000, and with the Freedom Z, you start at $6,000 to end at about $6,500 respectively.
The Liberty Z comes with a 5-year/750 hours non-commercial warranty including parts and labor, while the Freedom Z will show up with a 3-year commercial warranty on both parts and labor. Although we hope not to need the warranty, if you seek for your zero-turn mower to be heavily secured on both parts and labor, the Liberty Z is your best bet.
The Final Ruling
Both of the models – the Scag Liberty Z and Freedom Z – will offer efficient duty if used under the same conditions. The only difference is that while the Scag Liberty will strain under a commercial workload, it will cope superbly under residential conditions. On the other hand, the Freedom Z will handle the weight of professional and frequent duty much better than the Liberty Z.
So if you are only a home-based lawn tender, no matter the size of your yard, you can save your money and go for the Liberty Z instead. Otherwise, if you seek to dig into professional tasks, you’d do much better with the Freedom Z.