John Deere vs Scag Lawn Mowers: Which One Should You Buy?

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Both John Deere and Scag brands manufacture lawn mower models to suit both residential and commercial needs.

But which one is better? Our detailed comparison of the two lawn mowers can help!

In this article, we look at a head-to-head comparison of John Deere vs Scag lawn mowers, paying attention to factors such as design, cost, cutting performance, warranty, and engine power.

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.

Scag Brand Overview

Scag Power Equipment was founded in 1983. Originally, the products from Scag were produced under contract with Metalcraft of Mayville in Mayville, Wisconsin.

Metalcraft purchased Scag Power Equipment in 1986 and this marked the start of a tremendous period of growth for the American-based firm.

The company has become one of the biggest manufacturers of turf/debris management equipment, residential and commercial mowing equipment in the world.

Their lawn mowers and accessories are designed to be user-friendly, with an emphasis on long-life, profitability, high quality, superb performance and ease of maintenance. 

Key Differences Between John Deere and Scag Lawn Mowers

The main difference between them is that Scag mowers have a wider range of deck sizes (21-72 inches) and generate more output (14-40HP).

On the other hand, John Deere mowers have cutting decks that range from 36-62 inches and a horsepower rating that is between 14.5HP to 37.4HP.

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 a 22.5-in cut and sewn seat with armrest, operator presence system, foot lift system, hour meter 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 ComfortGlide 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 helps to 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 648R QuikTrak Stand-On Mower

The John Deere 648R comes with a roll-over protective structure to provide operator protection while mowing.

Its compact design enhances easy hauling and better maneuverability. The stand-on mower is powered by a 22HP (16.4kW) FX691V model to ensure reliable and top-mower performance.

The 48-inch fabricated mower offers efficient mowing on lawns. In addition, this deck is made from 7-gauge steel for reliability.

Its easy-to-use controls enhance operator comfort and productivity while the digital hour meter simplifies routine maintenance tasks.

The stand-on mower has a leaning pad and a large operator platform to ensure maximum comfort while mowing. Furthermore, the mowing machine is easy to maintain.

The mower’s hydrostatic drive system is reliable and easy to use. Its cutting heights can be adjusted from 1.5-5 inches to suit your mowing requirements.

5. John Deere 636M Stand-On Lawn Mower

The John Deere 636M has a compact design for easy maneuverability and hauling. It runs on an 18.5HP FS600V model to ensure reliable and high mower performance.

The 36-inch fabricated cutting deck enhances superb grass-cutting performance on lawns. 

In addition, this deck is made from 7-gauge steel for reliability. Its easy-to-use controls aid operator comfort and productivity.

The stand-on mower has a leaning pad and a large operator platform for maximum comfort while mowing. It comes with a roll-over protective structure to protect the operator.

Its hydrostatic drive system is reliable and easy to use. The gas-powered mower has cutting options that can be adjusted from 1.5-5 inches for excellent cut quality.

Best Scag Lawn Mowers

1. Scag Turf Tiger II STTII-61V-37BVEFI 61-inch Zero-Turn Mower

The gas-powered zero-turn mower runs on a 37 HP Briggs Vanguard engine to provide more power for the toughest mowing tasks.

The suspension system and footplate help to reduce operator fatigue while its roll-over protection system offers improved safety while mowing.

The large tires also enhance better traction and a smoother ride on lawns. It is equipped with a 61-inch cutter deck for super grass-cutting performance on lawns.

2. Scag Cheetah SCZII61V-37BV-EFI Zero-Turn Mowing Machine

The Scag Cheetah model comes with an operator suspension system, quick-fit steering controls and a footplate to reduce operator fatigue.

It runs on a 31HP Briggs EFI engine for a powerful mowing operation. The zero-turn mower has a 61-inch cutting deck that can provide remarkable cutting performance on lawns.

Its cutting heights can be adjusted from 1.25-5 inches to enable you to cut the grass to an ideal height.

The foldable roll-over protection system enhances operator protection while mowing. 

The mowing machine can perform well in tough terrains thanks to its low-center gravity design.

Homeowners can level the cutter deck with just the turn of a bolt via the use of a deck-level adjustment bracket. 

Its high-back bolstered seat provides maximum comfort.

3. Scag Freedom Z SFZ48H-24KT Zero-Turn Riding Mower

The Scag Freedom Z zero-turn mower comes with an adjustable Ogura GT1 PTO clutch brake to provide superb starting and stopping power for the cutter deck.

The adjustable and bolstered high back seat with armrests enhance maximum comfort. Its tubular steel frame offers unmatched strength.

It runs on a 24HP Kohler 7000 Series Pro engine to ensure smooth mowing operation. The mower is designed with an easy foot-pedal deck lift that is spring-assisted to ensure easy raising of the cutter deck.

The zero-turn mower comes with large cooling fans to keep temperatures low and extend component life. It has a 48-inch Hero Cutter deck to ensure excellent cut quality.

It supports a full line of accessories such as a 2-bag grass catcher, stripe kit and light kit, trailer hitch, mulch system and mulch plate.

4. Scag SWZT48H-15FSE 48-inch 15 HP (Kawasaki) Walk-Behind Mower

The Scag walk-behind mower runs on a 15 HP Kawasaki to ensure a smooth mowing operation. 

The ergonomic hand controls are placed at the natural angles of your hands to ensure ultimate comfort.

Its 48-inch fabricated cutter deck enhances efficient mowing on lawns. Its cutting options can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit your mowing needs. 

5. Scag Liberty SZL-42H-22KT Zero-Turn Mower

The Scag Liberty SZL-42H-22KT model runs on a 22HP Kohler 7000 Series PRO engine for a powerful mowing operation.

Its bolstered high back seat with armrests enhances maximum comfort while the tubular steel frame offers unmatched strength.

The zero-turn mower comes with a 42-inch cutting deck that can handle a lot of grass at higher speeds. Other features include dual hydro transaxles, PTO clutch brake and foot-pedal deck lift.

John Deere vs Scag Lawn Mowers

Here is a well-detailed comparison of John Deere vs Scag 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.

On the other hand, Scag walk-behind mowers such as SW36A-14FS and SWZT48H-15FSE models come with an Ogura PTO clutch brake to engage the blades. 

The ergonomic handlebars and controls provide ultimate operator comfort while the drive tires offer stability on uneven terrain.

Scag zero-turn mowers also have features such as a suspension seat, drive tires, Ogura PTO clutch brake and an easy foot-pedal deck lift for excellent mower performance. 

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. 

Scag mowers are powered by Kohler, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Briggs Vanguard, Kubota and Briggs and Stratton engines. Their horsepower ratings range from 14-40HP.

Cutting Performance

John Deere’s lawn mowers come with a deck size that ranges from 36- 62 inches while Scag lawn mowers have deck sizes that range from 30- 72 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.

Scag’s cutter decks are commercial-grade and they offer top-quality cutting performance. 

Both lawn mower brands can side discharge, mulch or bag grass clippings. 

Fuel Capacity

The fuel tank capacity of John Deere mowers ranges from 2.1 to 11.5 gallons. However, Scag mowers have a fuel tank capacity that ranges from 1-15 gallons.

Warranty

John Deere’s mowers offer a better warranty package of 2-4 years.

On the other hand, the generality of Scag lawn mowers is backed by a 2-year commercial warranty, 3-year cutter deck spindle, and engine warranty, and 3-year cutter deck 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.

Scag mowers are relatively easy to use and maintain. A thru-bolt and top-mounted grease zerks ensure easy blade replacement and greasing.

The batteries are easily accessible from various locations on all models. The two easy-open latches enable you to easily change the air filters. 

In addition, the handlebars of their walk-behind models can be easily adjusted to suit different operators. 

Cost

John Deere’s zero-turn mowers are between $2,999- $ 28,019 while the cost of Scag mowers is between $2,719-$23,999. 

Pros and Cons

John Deere Lawn Mowers

Pros:

  • John Deere mowers are reliable and durable.
  • They are built with a good tuff-torq transmission.
  • John Deere 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.

Scag Lawn Mowers

Pros:

  • Scag mowers are strong, durable and flexible.
  • They are easy to use and maintain.
  • Scag mowers have an ergonomic control system to reduce operator fatigue.

Cons

  • They are a bit pricey.

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?

Both John Deere and Scag lawn mowers have durable cutting decks, powerful engines, and innovative designs. They also ensure remarkable cutting results on lawns.

Overall, we recommend Scag lawn mowers because they come with a wider range of cutting decks and fuel tanks.