Craftsman vs John Deere Riding Mower

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In the world of riding mowers, there are a lot of names. It gets confusing, doesn’t it?

These two names, Craftsman vs John Deere probably make the most noise, and for good reasons. 

They have run the market for a long time, plus they make good mowers. Chances are, you are about to buy one of the two.

It gets even harder when you have to pick between two good options.

So let’s put these two names against each other, and help you decide. This article focuses on Craftsman vs John Deere Riding Mowers, and reveals the pros and cons of choosing either.

What are the Craftsman and John Deere Brands?


Craftsman is an American company that has produced tools and equipment for almost 100 years. Their product lines include the Craftsman, Craftsman industrial, Craftsman professional, and Evolv. 

Craftsman produces different types of entry-level and mid-range mowers (like Craftsman 105 & Craftsman 215) for every lawn size. They have push and self-propelled walk-behind, riding, and zero-turn mowers.

The riding mowers come as 21-horsepower, 42-inch and 26-horsepower, 52-inch models, with Briggs and Stratton platinum engines

This lawn and garden equipment company also supplies a variety of replacement parts such as wheels, blades, and belts.


Quality Build

The Craftsman company is known for quality mower parts.

Variety of Attachments

Craftsman riding mowers have attachments such as a back sweeper, that increase their versatility.

Different Deck Sizes

Craftsman offers deck sizes adaptable to up to 3 acres of lawn.

Powerful Engines

The engines provide enough power to mow demanding terrains and slopes.

Multi-Speed Transmissions

Craftsman’s seven-speed transmission allows you total control over your mowing experience.


  • Cheaper
  • Easily available
  • Easy maintenance
  • Comfortable, with cushioned and adjustable seats.
  • Designed to mow in reverse
  • Easy to start
  • Sold with solid warranty
  • Produced with a safety feature on the mowing deck
  • Good for homeowner use
  • Built with powerful engines


  • Brakes may stick if the mower is left on for a while
  • Parts may fall apart more often than expected
  • They have a loose turning radius
  • They are poor with hills

John Deere

John Deere has been in the business for over 180 years, focusing on easier and more profitable solutions for their customers. The company supplies equipment and machines to work the land as a farmer or lawn keeper.

They manufacture mowers for both personal and commercial use.

Their riding mowers are the 100, X300, X500, X700 lawn tractor series as well as Z200, Z400 and Z600 zero-turn mowers.

The X series have V-twin engines and can accept attachments. The Z series run on Kawasaki and Briggs and Stratton engines and have 42 to 62-inch cutting decks. There are also the L, D and E series.


Innovative Designs

John Deere has launched some of the finest mower designs.

Suitable for Large Lawns

The mowers are designed for large lawns up to 5 acres.

High Speed

John Deere mowers are fast and cut down on lawn care time.

Attachments and Implements

They have attachments and implements which improve the mower’s performance, such as a tiller and a box scraper.


The John Deere company allows buyers to design their products based on their tastes.


  • Life expectancy is up to 20 years, with proper maintenance
  • Effective mowing
  • Self customisation
  • Good fuel economy
  • High machine power


  • Expensive to maintain

Craftsman vs John Deere Riding Mowers: Which Is Better?


We shall consider the john deere vs craftsman zero turn riding mowers using the metrics below.


Craftsman has a wide range of riding mowers that cost less than $3000. The gear-drive model goes for around $1000, while the hydrostatic-drive models cost over $2000.

On the other hand, John Deere mowers are relatively more expensive. John Deere X350, for instance, comes at about $5500. 


You may find Craftsman mowers that do not meet the ANSI safety requirements. John Deere mowers, on the other hand, are generally judged safe.

Working Duration

Riding mowers from both companies have about the same average lifespan of eight to ten years with proper maintenance.


The John Deere riding mower is lighter than its Craftsman counterpart.

Most Craftsman lawn mowers have fairly larger engines and decks than those of John Deere, which contributes to their weight. 

The lightweight nature of John Deere mowers makes for easy handling and a fast mowing process.

Design and Comfort 

Walk behind Craftsman mowers like Craftsman 105 and Craftsman 215 have an excellent build and are very comfortable.

John Deere mowers also have a great outlook and multiple designs. However, some of them do not come with armrests and may be less comfortable.

John Deere product design may be more attractive as they also allow buyers to customize the mower to their taste. You can choose the attachments and implements you want.

Deck Size

The deck sizes of Craftsman riding mowers are larger than those of John Deere.


The main difference between Craftsman and John Deere riding mowers is their speed. Craftsman mowers are faster. For instance, the Craftsman Kohler Powered 54 22HP mows at 9.6km/hr while the John Deere D105 has a speed of 8km/hr. A faster mower allows you to cut the lawn in less time.

Blade Brake

A blade brake allows you to stop the cutting blades without stopping the engine.

This feature is useful when clearing debris from the mower, and when riding across stony or sandy areas. Unlike Craftsman mowers, most John Deere riding mowers do not have blade brakes. 


Both companies offer warranties for the mowers, but John Deere offers more.

Factors to  Consider Before Buying a Riding Mower

Here are a few important factors to consider when shopping for a riding mower:


Set a budget within a reasonable price range and try to stick to it. It might help to make a budget after you have carried out market research on the prices of different riding mowers. 

Machine power

Machine power is another feature you have to consider. This depends largely on your land topography, lawn size, and the amount of mowing you plan to do.  

If your land is hilly with a lot of grass, a powerful motor and a hydrostatic transmission should be important to you.

If you have a piece of land about half a football field, then a 20-horsepower engine might be unnecessary. Consider your lawn size, and terrain type and ensure the machine can handle it.


Seats, pedals and shifters are parts of the mower to check to ensure maximum comfort. 

Many buyers don’t understand how important comfort is until they start riding and realize the seat is uncomfortable or the pedals are placed in awkward places.

So, look out for the accessories and parts that guarantee safety.

Maintenance Requirements

Many people prefer low maintenance mowers. If that is you, then you want to read the maintenance requirements of any mower you’re eyeing.

Some machines require special care when they are not in use. There are high-quality, low-maintenance machines on the market, you should get one.

 Attachments and Accessories

Mower attachments and accessories increase the price they go. Make sure that the mower you are going for has the accessories and attachments that you need. 

There are mowers with tilling tools and fertilizer sprayers. That’s not something every lawn mower needs. You could need those, but the point is, do not pay for overvalued mowers because of attachments you don’t need.

John Deere or Craftsman riding mower: Which One Should You Choose

From our craftsman riding mower vs john deere comparison so far, it is clear that both are solid riding lawn mowers with unique features.

The decision you make should be based on your needs and budget.  John Deere riding mowers are lighter,  offer better warranty plans, and are better suited for challenging mowing.

On the other hand, Craftsman riding mowers are cheaper, safer, and more comfortable.  

If you can afford the extra cash, you could go for John Deere mowers, especially if you carry out heavy-duty work on your lawn. 

However, if you have a small budget and a modest lawn with no hills, Craftsman riding mowers promise a decent experience.