John Deere vs Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers: Which Is Better?

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Both lawn mower brands offer high-power output, solid cutting power and innovative design to ensure a smooth lawn mowing experience. 

But which one is better? Read our well-detailed John Deere vs Cub Cadet lawn mowers comparison article to find out.

Ready? Let’s dive right into it:

John Deere Brand Overview

John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company, an American firm that produces heavy equipment, forestry machinery, agricultural machinery, diesel engines and other lawn care equipment.

The company was founded in 1837 and has its headquarters in Moline, Illinois. 

John Deere is well-known for its durability, exceptional mower design and excellent customer service.

With more than fifty years of manufacturing riding lawn mowers, John Deere has sold millions of outdoor equipment and these tools have played an important role in lawn maintenance.

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. 

Key Differences Between John Deere and Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

The main difference between them is that John Deere mowers have larger cutting decks while Cub Cadet mowers are cheaper.

Best John Deere Lawn Mowers

1. John Deere Z530R 24-HP V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 60-inch Zero-Turn Mower

John Deere Z530R 24-HP V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 60-inch Zero-Turn Mower

The John Deere Z530R runs on a 24 HP John Deere Branded Kawasaki V-twin engine for a powerful mowing operation.

The 60-inch triple-blade high-capacity mower deck enhances efficient mowing on medium and large-sized yards. 

It comes with LED headlights to provide ultimate vision in dark and low-light conditions.

Other features include rollover protective structure (ROPS), retractable seat belt, 22.5-in cut and sewn seat with armrest and cup holder.

2. John Deere Z735M ZTrak Zero Turn Mower

The John Deere Z735 model is ideal for medium to large-sized yards. 

It is equipped with a 22.5-inch high back seat with adjustable armrests, springs and ComfortGlibe suspension for comfortable mowing operations.

The mowing machine has a 48/54/60-inch high-capacity PRO mower deck with welded deck reinforcements to ensure exceptional cut quality. 

Its cutting options can be adjusted from 1.5-5 inches to suit your varying needs.

The 3-position, adjustable foot platform can accommodate operators of any size. Its transmission provides speeds up to 9.5 mph to ensure maximum mowing efficiency.

The rollover protective structure (ROPS) ensures operator protection while the mower’s controls are easy to locate and use. 

It runs on a 25HP (18.6kW) 810cc engine for a smooth mowing operation.

3. John Deere Z740R ZTrak Zero-Turn Mower

The Z740R model runs on a 23.5HP (17.5kW) FX series engine for a powerful mowing operation.

Its 24-inch high back seat helps to provide comfort while mowing. 

In addition, the adjustable seat is equipped with a ComfortGlide suspension system to provide a smooth ride on lawns. 

The zero-turn mower features a 48/54 or 60-inch mower deck to enhance excellent cut quality on lawns. 

It has 18 cutting positions that can be adjusted from 1.5-5 inches to enable you to cut the grass to an ideal grass height.

The mower’s transmission offers speeds up to 10 mph to ensure efficient mowing while its airless radial tire technology enhances increased reliability and ride quality.

4. John Deere W36R Commercial Walk-Behind Mower

The W36R model comes with a 36-inch float mower deck for excellent cutting performance on lawns. 

The walk-behind mower is comfortable to use thanks to its easy-to-use controls.

It runs on a 14.5HP FS481V V-twin engine to help deliver smooth operation and maximum power. 

The mower has a compact design with a strong welded frame for increased durability. Its self-propelled drive system offers infinite mowing speeds.

Homeowners can make use of an optional grass catcher to enhance an easy collection of grass and leaves. 

In addition, an optional mulching attachment helps to restore nutrients to the soil.

The hour meter simplifies routine maintenance tasks. Its cutting options range from 1.5-4.5 inches for excellent cut quality.

5. John Deere W48M Commercial Walk-Behind Mower

The walk-behind mower has a self-propelled drive system to provide infinite mowing speeds. Its easy-to-use controls ensure convenient mowing operations.

The W48M model features a 48-inch floating mower deck to ensure excellent cut quality.

You can use an optional grass catcher for easy collection of leaves and grass. It comes with a sturdy welded frame for ultimate durability.

The gas-powered mower has a forward speed of 6.5 mph and a reverse speed of 3 mph. Its cutting heights can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit your varying needs.

It is powered by a 14.5HP FS481V engine to ensure a smooth mowing operation. 

Other features include an hour meter, ergonomic handles and electronic/recoil start.

Best Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

1. 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 for superb grass-cutting performance on medium and large-sized yards.

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 46 Zero-Turn Mower

The Cub Cadet ZT1 46 model runs on a 22HP Kohler 7000 Series V-twin engine which delivers smooth and powerful mower performance.

Its 46-inch AeroForce fabricated deck enhances best-in-class cuts on lawns.

Its 2 x 2 steel frame with automotive-grade corrosion defense systems ensures strength and durability. The seat can be adjusted for comfort and optimal control.

The gas-powered mowing machine has a forward speed of 7 mph and a reverse speed of 3.5 mph. It has 15 cutting heights that range from 1-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs.

Other features include lap bars, parking brake, and rear tow hitch for superb mowing operation.

5. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 54P Zero-Turn Mower

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 54P

The zero-turn mower is equipped with features such as steel fenders, larger rear wheels, a 20-inch high back seat, and a front caster suspension to enable you to mow through tough terrain with optimal comfort.

It is powered by a 23HP/726cc Kawasaki FR691V twin-cylinder engine to meet your yard’s toughest mowing tasks.

The gas mower has a 54-inch AeroForce fabricated deck to provide superb cuts with increased evenness and finer clippings.

The ZT1 54P model has a forward speed of 7 mph and a reverse speed of 3.5 mph. It has 15 cutting heights that range from 1-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs.

It supports a full line of accessories and attachments such as lawn striping kit, mulching kit, hauler, tire chains, hour meter kit and double bagger

John Deere vs Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

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

Design

John Deere commercial walk-behind mowers such as W52R and W61R models have easy-to-use controls for operator comfort and fabricated floating mower decks to ensure a high-quality cut.

The hour meter simplifies routine maintenance tasks while the self-propelled hydrostatic drive system offers infinite mowing speeds.

Their zero-turn mowers come with suspension seats with armrests, and cup holders for comfortable mowing operations. 

They have dual hydrostatic hydro-gear transmissions with 1-inch axles for power and durability.

Some models like John Deere Z545R and Z530R have LED headlights and retractable seat belts for superb mowing operation.

Some Cub Cadet walk-behind mowers have a soft-touch foam grip handle that 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.

Engine Power

John Deere mowers run on John Deere branded engines and branded Kawasaki V-twin engines.

The horsepower ratings of their walk-behind mowers range from 14.5 HP- 25HP while their zero-turn mowers range from 20- 37.4HP. 

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

Cutting Performance

John Deere’s lawn mowers come with cutting decks that range from 36- 62 inches while the deck sizes of Cub Cadet lawn mowers range from 21 to 60 inches

Their zero-turn mowers such as John Deere Z345R and Z355E models have 18 cutting heights that can be adjusted from 1 to 4 inches.

John Deere zero-turn mowers can easily maneuver around level tracks of land, trees, shrubs or flower beds.

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.

Some of their zero-turn mower models have 15 cutting heights that can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches.

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

Fuel Capacity

The fuel tank capacity of John Deere mowers ranges from 2.1 to 11.5 gallons.

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

Warranty

John Deere’s mowers offer a better warranty package of 2-4 years while Cub Cadet mowers have a three-year warranty.

Ease of Use

John Deere’s zero-turn mowers have easy-to-use control panels for easy mowing operations.

The lap bar panels allow users to adjust the speed settings of the mower while its color-coded controls are for easy identification.

Some Cub Cadet push mowers such as SC 100HW and SC 100H models have a  SmartJack deck wash system that allows you to clean the deck’s underside with ease. 

They are also easy to maneuver on lawns.

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.

Cost

John Deere’s zero-turn mowers are between $2,999- $ 28,019 while the cost of Cub Cadet mowers ranges from $379-$23,999.

Pros and Cons

John Deere Zero-Turn Mowers

Pros:

  • John Deere’s zero-turn mowers are reliable and durable.
  • They are built with a good tuff-torq transmission.
  • John Deere zero-turn mowers ensure easy and convenient operation.

Cons

  • They are a bit pricey.
  • Some of their models such as Z345M and Z335E mowers have a small fuel tank.

Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers

Pros:

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

Cons

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

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?

Both John Deere and Cub Cadet mowers are durable, sturdy, and reliable. They also come with ergonomic designs and powerful engines to ensure optimal results on lawns.

Although they are almost tied in terms of quality and performance, we recommend John Deere lawn mowers because they have larger cutting decks.