Cub Cadet vs John Deere: Lawn Tractor Face-Off

Cub Cadet vs John Deere: Lawn Tractor Face-Off

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Lawn tractors or riding mowers make maintaining our lawns easier and faster. There are many models available for this particular equipment. Each offers different features that should suit the needs of any lawn owner. You may have already heard of two popular brands of lawn tractors: Cub Cadet and John Deere. Which one is better?

The two entry-level models of Cub Cadet and John Deere fared equally in terms of price, performance, handling, and comfort. The John Deere D130 edged out Cub Cadet XT1 in reliability and cost of repair. If you are looking for a cheaper choice, in the long run, it might be a good choice to buy your lawn tractor from John Deere.

If you are considering replacing your regular lawnmower with a lawn tractor, these two brands are definitely worth considering. They both have their pros and their cons. In this article, we will look at each brand’s features. We will also look at the benefit and disadvantage of buying either a Cub Cadet or a John Deere. Let’s start.

Cub Cadet Lawn Tractors

Cub Cadet has been manufacturing power equipment for the outdoors for decades now. The company develops and manufactures tractors and mowers for all types of lawns. These products are distributed throughout the world via a network of retail dealers.

Since the very beginning, all Cub Cadet equipment has been built in world-class manufacturing facilities in the US. There are manufacturing sites in Tennessee, Misisipim, and Ohio. The engineers and designers are based in Valley City, Ohio. This is also where the company’s global operations headquarters is located.

For this article, we will look at two of their most popular model: the XT1 LT46, and the XT2 LX42.

Features of the Cub Cadet XT1 LT46

Cub Cadet vs John Deere: Lawn Tractor Face-Off

If you are familiar with the manufacturer’s old 42-inch lawn tractor, then you will notice that this model is fairly similar with one difference – it runs on electricity. The XT1 runs on a 3000 Wh battery that you can recharge using any 115v wall outlet. 

It is powered by a KOHLER 700 series engine. This one has 22-horsepower and twin cylinders.

It features a 12-gauge blade deck that has 12 cutting positions. It also has an optimized steering wheel system.

This model can mow an area of up to two acres without requiring recharging. And should it run out of power, just plug it in and leave it for four hours. You will be able to start mowing again after that short period. 

Unlike other lawn tractors that need to be charged fully before being unplugged, this model can be plugged in for as little as twenty minutes. If you were unable to finish the job before running out of charge, you don’t have to wait a full four hours to complete it.

The XT1 LT46 has a price tag of $1,999.00.

Features of the XT2

One of the main features of the Cub Cadet XT2 is its Kawasaki engine. The new and more powerful engine goes well with the tractor’s new design. It has a standard front bumper. This will protect the rider and the tractor itself should it hit anything.

The model uses turf master tires that give the equipment better traction and higher durability.

It features a 13-gauge blade deck that, like the XT1, has 12 cutting positions. 

The battery is upgraded to provide it with longer life and allow it to start more consistently even in cold weather. Speaking of starting, this model has a push-button start. This one is also designed to cover over 1.5 acres of flat terrain.

As a bonus, Cub Cadet added an armrest and a soft-grip steering wheel to this model. These will make mowing more comfortable especially if you are maintaining a large area. 

The XT2 LX42 has a price tag of $2,599.00.

John Deere Lawn Tractors

John Deere is the manufacturer of a full line of durable, intelligently-designed equipment to help you meet all of your lawn maintenance needs. Its first lawn mower model came out in 1963. Hundreds of other models came after that.

The majority of John Deere tractors are produced in the US. The company has 15 manufacturing facilities, including those in Grovetown, Georgia, and Waterloo, Iowa. The rest of their equipment is produced in their 17 facilities spread throughout the globe. 

For this article, we will look at their D130 and D140 models. These two are in the same price range as the Cub Cadet tractors above.

Features of the John Deere D130

Cub Cadet vs John Deere: Lawn Tractor Face-Off

This model is said to be very versatile. You can use it on your lawn but is strong enough to use on the farm. It is run by a V-twin engine with 22-horsepower. The engine has an electric ignition so it is very easy to start. 

The mower deck of this particular model is 42 inches and has two spindles. The blades are dual-coated to prevent rusting. If you want to adjust the mower, you can do so from an adjustment lever that is accessible even while sitting on the mower.

The transmission on this tractor is a Kanzaki Tuff Torq, giving it sufficient speed. It also makes changing directions easy. The D130 runs on gas. It has a fuel level indicator, so you know if you need to refill.

The frame of the tractor is very sturdy. It is made of 12-gauge steel, giving it a longer life.

As for comfort, the D130 has a wide rest for your feet. This is covered by an anti-vibration and non-slip rubber pad. It even has a beverage holder for days when you know that you are going to take a long time mowing your lawn.

The price tag on the John Deere D130 is $1,900.00.

Features of the John Deere D140

This model is known for having plenty of torque and power. It has mowing, mulching, and bagging capabilities. With its 22-horsepower, twin-engine JD manufactured machine, you can easily cover up to 2 acres of lawn no matter if it is flat or uneven.

It has a 48-inch cutting edge with a deep deck. With this design, you would be able to make even cuts from 1 to 4 inches in height. The adjustment lever can be worked while sitting on the tractor.

Just like the D130, the body of this tractor is constructed from 12-gauge welded steel. You can order a front bumper for this tractor if you wish to.

It is equipped with a hydrostatic transmission. This makes moving forward and in reverse very easy. 

This model has an 11-inch back. The seat is adjustable and heat-resistant. There is also a cup holder just like with the D130.

The price of the D140 is $1,999.00.

Cub Cadet vs John Deere

For this comparison, we will look at the two entry-level tractors from Cub Cadet and John Deere: the Cub Cadet XT1 and the John Deere D130.

Comparison in terms of Cutting 

In terms of cutting, both models were able to cut cleanly and completely. They effectively bagged the cuttings as well. The only noticeable edge in this category goes to the XT1. It was able to churn the clippings into small fragments during the mulching process. 

Comparison in terms of Comfort

When you buy a riding mower, you don’t expect the equipment to be comfortable. However, both the D130 and the XT1 provide comfortable high-back seats and rubber matting on the floor. The only difference is that the D130 also has a beverage holder. Both models feature an automatic drive system. This adjusts the transmission of the tractor. 

Cleaning the underside of the tractors is a breeze as both have washout ports. This makes cleaning under the machine’s cutting edge a breeze using a hose. 

Comparison in terms of handling

The D130 offers a more refined ride when it comes to steering and turning. It also offers a cruise-control feature that is not present in the XT1. However, both models brake smoothly and prove to be stable on uneven terrains. Since the XT1 has a built-in hood, you need not worry about hitting protruding rocks. You can also have a hood installed on the D130, but that would cost extra.

Comparison in terms of Reliability

As for reliability, surveys determined that about 22 percent of the tractor models from Johne Deere break down by their fourth year of use. On the other hand, 37 percent of those produced by Cub Cadet break during the same time frame. The good thing is that for both brands, the average repair cost is just a little over $100.

To sum it up, both the Cub Cadet XT1 and John Deere D130 are great choices if you are considering buying a lawn tractor. Both have a low price compared to other riding mowers. The quality of their performance is similar. Both offer comfort, ease in handling, and stability on flat terrains. If you prefer a good mulcher and a model that can run on electricity, you should opt for the Cub Cadet. If you want a piece of equipment that runs on gas, is easier to maneuver, slightly cheaper, and slightly more reliable, choose the John Deere model.