Cub Cadet vs Craftsman Mowers: Which One Should You Buy?

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Both Cub Cadet and Craftsman lawn mowers are ideal for residential and commercial lawn maintenance thanks to their solid cutting power, innovative design, and engine power.

Trying to decide between the two lawn mowers? Read our Cub Cadet vs Craftsman mowers article to find out.

In this article, we make a comparison of the two lawn mower brands by evaluating metrics such as cutting performance, design, cost, warranty, and fuel tank capacity.

Cub Cadet Brand Overview

Cub Cadet is an American company that was founded in 1960 and has its headquarters situated in Cleveland, Ohio.

It offers a wide range of products such as lawn and garden tractors, push mowers, self-propelled mowers, zero-turn mowers, snow throwers and utility vehicles.

The company is committed to moving outdoor power equipment forward. They are well-known for innovative and durable products.

Cub Cadet lawn mowers stand out with well-designed mowing decks and cutting systems. 

Craftsman Brand Overview

Craftsman manufactures different types of walk-behind mowers, riding, zero-turn mowers and other outdoor tools. 

They were part of a brand called Sears, but they are now completely independent. The trademark of the company was officially registered in 1927. 

Their mowing machines are mainly produced in China while some are also manufactured in Taiwan.  Craftsman mowing machines are durable, reliable and reasonably priced.

Key Differences Between Cub Cadet and Craftsman Lawn Mowers

The main difference between them is that Cub Cadet mowers generate more power output (22HP-35HP) and larger cutting decks (21-60 inches).

On the other hand, Craftsman mower engines have between 10.5-25HP and deck sizes of 20-54 inches. 

Best Cub Cadet Zero-Turn Mowers

1. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 54 Zero-Turn Mower

2. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 54 Zero-Turn Mower

The Cub Cadet ZT1 54 model is a versatile ideal for mowing slight hills with several obstacles up to four acres.  

It runs on a powerful 24 HP Kohler engine for smooth operation. The V-twin cylinders reduce vibration for a smoother ride.

The zero-turn mower is equipped with a high back seat for comfort while mowing. Its dual-LED headlights provide an ultimate vision for mowing in low-light conditions.

The riding mower has 54 in. fabricated deck combines with reinforced leading edges that result in fewer clumps and finer clippings.

It has 15 cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1 to 4.5 inches to ensure precise and even cut.

2. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42 Zero-Turn Mower

3. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42 Zero-Turn Mower

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42 is a durable zero-turn mower suitable for yards that are up to 2-4 acres. 

It comes with an 11-inch front wheel that can pivot 180 degrees without turf damage and 20-inch rear wheels to provide better traction on uneven terrain.

The dual-LED headlights provide an ultimate vision for mowing in low-light conditions. 

The zero-turn mower features a 42-inch steel cutting deck to ensure efficient owing on lawns. 

Its cutting options range from 1-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs,

Other features include a high back seat, electronic fingertip blade engagement PTO, ergonomic hand grips and a removable floor pan for excellent mower performance.

3. Cub Cadet ZT2 50 Zero Turn Mower

3. Cub Cadet ZT2 50 Zero Turn Riding Mower

The gas lawn mower is powered by a 23HP Kawasaki engine for top mower performance.

It is equipped with a 50-inch AeroForce deck with reinforced leading edges that results in fewer clumps, finer clippings and increased evenness. 

The ZT2 50 model has 15 cutting heights that can be adjusted from 1-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs.

The 13-inch and 20-inch rear tires provide improved traction and offer a better ride on uneven grounds. 

Other features include a high back seat, LED headlights and ergonomic hand grips.

4. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Mower

5. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 50 Zero-Turn Mower

The ZT1 50 model runs on a premium 23 HP/726cc Kawasaki FR691V engine to meet the yard’s toughest demands.

It is equipped with a 50-inch AeroForce fabricated deck that offers a nice cut with fewer clumps, finer clippings and increased evenness.

The zero-turn mower has 15 cutting heights that range from 1- 4.5 to suit your mowing requirements.

5. Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60 Zero-Turn Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The Cub Cadet ZTX4-60 model can handle yards that are up to 4-12 acres with slightly rolling hills and several obstacles. 

It comes with a 20-inch high back seat with cushioned armrests to enhance comfort.

Its 13-inch front wheels help to prevent turf damage while the 22-inch premium rear tires offer excellent traction on lawns.

The 60-inch AeroForce cutting deck with smooth arc triple-blades ensures superb grass-cutting performance on lawns. 

The riding mower runs on a 24HP Kohler V-twin engine for a reliable starting.

Best Craftsman Lawn Mowers

1. Craftsman Z525 Zero-Turn Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The Craftsman Z525 runs on a powerful 24HP Kohler twin-cylinder engine to provide an easy and reliable starting. 

Its zero-turn radius allows quick and easy directional changes. It comes with a high-back seat to provide premium support and comfort while mowing.

Its robust steel frame ensures an enhanced mowing experience. 

The zero-turn mower is equipped with a 50-inch cutting deck for efficient mowing on medium and large-sized yards.

2. Craftsman 21-inch 3-in-1 Gas Mower- 196cc OHV Engine

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The gas-powered mower runs on a powerful 196cc OHV engine to deliver maximum mowing performance on lawns.

It comes with a 2.5-bushel dust blocker bag to help reduce debris and in-air dust. Its four-wheel drive feature ensures increased traction on lawns. 

The push lawn mower has side discharge, mulching and bagging capabilities.

3. Craftsman M215 Self-Propelled Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The Craftsman M215 is a durable and sturdy self-propelled mower suitable for small and medium-sized yards. 

The gas engine comes with a recoil and auto choke for easy starting.

Its front-wheel-drive feature enables the mowing machine to maneuver around level terrain with ease. 

It has six cutting heights which can be adjusted from 1.75-3.75 inches to suit your mowing needs.

4. Craftsman M105 Push Lawn Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The Craftsman M105 is powered by a 140cc OHV engine for a smooth mowing operation. 

Its 21-inch cutting deck enables you to trim grass in one quick pass for an easier mowing job.

It has six cutting heights which can be adjusted from 1.75-3.75 inches to suit your mowing needs. 

The front and rear wheels are designed with zag treading to provide more traction while mowing. 

It has side discharge, mulching and bagging capabilities.

5. Craftsman 140cc 21 Inch 2-in-1 Push Lawn Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTX4-60

The push lawn mower is ideal for smaller yards. It comes with 7-inch front and 11-inch rear wheels to provide better maneuverability on any terrain.

It runs on a 1400cc Craftsman engine with primer for a smooth mowing operation. 

The 21-inch cutting deck allows you to mulch for a healthy-looking lawn.

The push lawn mower is lightweight and easy to assemble. 

It has six different cutting positions that can be adjusted from 1.25-3.75 inches to suit your varying needs.

Cub Cadet vs Craftsman Mowers

Here is a well-detailed comparison of Cub Cadet vs Craftsman lawn mowers:

Design

Both lawn mower brands come with innovative features to ensure top-notch mower operation.

Some Cub Cadet walk-behind mowers feature a SmartJack deck wash system that allows you to clean the deck’s underside with ease while the soft-touch foam grip handle ensures maximum user comfort. 

Most Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers come with illuminating dual-LED headlights that provide ultimate vision in low-light conditions. 

Their front and rear wheels prevent turf damage and ensure better traction on lawns.

The high back seat provides maximum comfort while mowing. The electronic fingertip blade engagement PTO ensures the smooth operation of the deck.

Other features include ergonomic lap bar design, parking brake, vibration-dampening soft rubber floor mat and removable floor pan.

On the other hand, Craftsman walk-behind mowers such as Craftsman M215 and M105 models have wheels that are made with zag treading to provide more traction while mowing. 

They also come with an auto choke system for an easy start.

Some Craftsman zero-turn mowers such as Z525 and Z5800 have a high back seat for comfort, a robust steel frame that ensures a pleasant mowing experience. 

The adjustable lap bar ensures efficient mowing while the rubber foot pad provides a smooth ride with less vibration.

Engine Power

Cub Cadet lawn mowers run on Kawasaki, Kohler and Briggs and Stratton engines. The engines have between 22-35 horsepower in different types.

Craftsman lawn mowers are powered by Kohler, Honda and Briggs and Stratton engines. 

The horsepower of their engines ranges between 10.5-25 HP.

This means that some Cub Cadet lawn mowers generate more power output than several Craftsman lawn mowers.

Cutting Performance

The deck sizes of Cub Cadet lawn mowers range from 21 to 60 inches while Craftsman lawn mowers come with a deck size that ranges from 20 to 54 inches. 

Most Cub Cadet walk-behind mowers such as Cub Cadet SC 100H and 100HW models have six adjustment options that range from 1.25-3.75 inches while some of their zero-turn mowers have 15 cutting heights that can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches.

On the other hand, Craftsman walk-behind mowers such as M105 and M230 models have six cutting positions that range from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches.

Their zero-turn mowers like the Craftsman Z525 model have 9 cutting heights that can be adjusted from 1.25- 3.75 inches.

Going by this, most Cub Cadet and Craftsman walk-behind models offer similar cutting flexibility while their riding mower models differ in adjustments.  

Cub Cadet mowers come with three blades while Craftsman lawn mowers have two blades. 

Both lawn mower brands can side discharge, mulch or bag via the 3-in-1 option.

Fuel Capacity

Most Cub Cadet zero-turn mowing machines such as Cub Cadet ZT1 50 and ZT2 50 models have a 3.5-gallon tank.

Similar to Cub Cadet lawn mowers, most Craftsman mowers also have a 3.5-gallon fuel tank.

Warranty

Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers come with a three-year warranty service while Craftsman mowers are backed by a two-year warranty.

Ease of Use

Both Cub Cadet and Craftsman riding mowers come with high back seats to ensure maximum comfort while mowing. 

Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers are comfortable to ride. It doesn’t take too long to get used to the controls of their zero-turn mowers.

Craftsman lawn mowers come with an auto-choke system for easy starting.

Their walk-behind mowers such as M215 and M105 models are easy to use and assemble. 

These models have wheels that are designed with zag treading for easy maneuvering on lawns.

Cost

The cost of Cub Cadet mowers ranges from $379-$23,999 while Craftsman lawn mowers cost between $182 to over $5000.

Pros and Cons

Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

Pros:

  • Cub Cadet lawn mowers are efficient and durable
  • They are easy to control and maneuver.
  • Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers can easily cut around objects such as flower beds and bushes.

Cons

  • They are not fuel-efficient.
  • Their zero-turn mowers do not handle slopes well.

Craftsman Lawn Mowers

Pros:

  • Craftsman lawn mowers are affordable and easy to maintain.
  • They are reliable, flexible and durable.
  • Craftsman mowers are highly maneuverable and comfortable to use.

Cons

  • They have a small gas tank.
  • Parts may fall apart more often than expected.

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?

Both Cub Cadet and Craftsman brands make mowers that offer comfort, reliability and flexibility.

After considering their unique features, engine power and cutting performance, we recommend Cub Cadet mowers over Craftsman mowers because they have larger cutting decks and generate more power output.