Cub Cadet Vs John Deere Vs Husqvarna Lawn Tractor Stand-Off

If you live on a property with vast tracts of lawn, mowing the grass can be a formidable task. However, no one is expecting you to do this manually. Not with the excellent lawn mowing equipment on the market today.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Cub Cadet Vs John Deere Vs Husqvarna, some of the leading brands in riding lawnmowers. We will then compare the pros and cons of each brand.

Don’t worry, I have put together a few FAQs to make things even more transparent, hopefully.

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Best Models of Cub Cadet Vs John Deere Vs Husqvarna

Lawn mower on green grass

I have taken 2 models of each of the 3 brands, which, after a lot of research, I consider to be the best on the market. So, without much further ado, let’s get into the finer details of these brands:

Husqvarna YTH24V48 Lawn Tractor

Size does matter when you are looking at acres of grass, begging to be mowed! This lawn tractor from Husqvarna shows its capability with an ample 48-inch cutting deck.

The 24 hp engine generates powerful torque thanks to the hydrostatic transmission. It also results in smoother operation and better fuel efficiency.

Despite its large engine and wide cutting deck, the mower itself is adequately compact, which ensures easy maneuverability.

It’s a powerful machine at a surprisingly reasonable price, striking a balance between price, power, and size. An added advantage is that it is comfortable to ride.

Cub Cadet CC30H Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower

If you have space constraints, then this riding lawn mower could possibly be what you’re looking for. The mower has a rear engine.

It offers an in-between solution when your lawn is too large to use the walking model but too small for the larger, riding versions.

Understandably, the 382-cc engine of this riding mower from Cub Cadet isn’t as powerful as its larger rivals. However, it converts the engine power into the required torque, through the hydrostatic transmission.

But don’t expect to ride up steep hills on this one. With a cutting deck of just 30 inches, it doesn’t promise to cover vast tracts of lawn very fast.

Nevertheless, this lawn tractor offers significant maneuverability. You can mow up to one acre of lawn, comfortably. Obviously, as it is a smaller vehicle, it falls in the lower price bracket.

John Deere E120 Gas-Powered Lawn Tractor

In the case of engine starting issues in cold regions, this model from John Deere is a suitable option due to its choke-free start. It is a robust machine with a respectable 20 hp engine.

John Deere has left no stone unturned by way of comfort and convenience.

The seat is comfortable, with a higher back. The deck is easily adjustable, allowing you a range from one to four inches of height. With this model, you get lots of accessories like a mulching attachment to ensure that your projects aren’t restricted to only mowing lawns.

The mower also has some convenient features like a tighter turn radius, cruise control, and separate pedals of reverse and forward. Although you’ll be paying more for this lawn tractor, you will be getting more for what you pay as well.

However, if you’re looking for more similar options to chose from, here’s our article on some of the best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain, if your surrounding area is exceptionally rugged.

Husqvarna Z242F Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower

When you have a big lawn but have to deal with tight corners, there’s nothing like a zero-turn riding lawnmower to get the job done.

This model from Husqvarna may not be top-end, but it works. If you have been using a regular riding mower and are considering an upgrade, this could be your choice.

The Kawasaki gasoline engine delivers a respectable 18 hp, and the cutting deck has a width of 42 inches. It has a hydrostatic transmission to provide consistent torque and fuel-efficient operation. The castors are quite robust, so you can be hopeful of more extended periods between maintenance.

This model is a domestic one. For more alternative models, read our article on the best commercial zero-turn mowers.

John Deere Z345R Zero-Turn Gas Riding Lawn Mower

If you are looking for an alternative zero-turn riding mower within the same price bracket, you could go in for this one from John Deere.

The Z345R zero-turn mower has a powerful V-twin engine and is easy to control. The adjustable seat and armrests make for a comfortable drive, and there are even a couple of cup holders provided.

Usually, you shouldn’t expect too much from a zero-turn riding mower on slopes. However, this model puts out enough power to handle itself quite well on hilly slopes. It also helps that the mower has a floating deck, which is well-suited for slopes.

The vehicle is easy to operate and has a fast learning curve for getting acquainted with all its functions.

Cub Cadet XT1 LT42 Gas Powered Lawn Tractor

Again, this model by Cub Cadet uses hydrostatic transmission with an adjustable seat, so you can look forward to a comfortable ride. To add to the comfort is a cup holder, and you get a soft-grip steering wheel, as well.

There are some other optional multi-seasonal attachments, which let you use this versatile lawn tractor all year round.

This lawn tractor is suitable for any lawn space under two acres with its 18 hp gas front engine and the 42-inch mowing deck.

But, anything over two acres, and you should probably look for a bigger tractor. It also has quite a tight turn radius, and there are no starting issues with this one.

The Stand-Off: Cub Cadet vs John Deere vs Husqvarna

Man mowing with Husqvarna mower

Now, having covered the various models of these three brands, it’s time to compare each of them with each other.

I have highlighted the models of these particular brands based on their popularity in the riding lawn mower market. Each one is a good product, but then in different ways, one will always be better than the other.


The first concern you may have about a riding lawn mower is power.

The Cub Cadet models featured in this list are not as powerful as the other two brands. However, these are smaller versions, meant for smaller lawn space.

Hence, if you are looking for a bigger and more powerful machine, you need to go for a Husqvarna or John Deere lawn tractor. This is especially applicable if your surrounding terrain is hilly.

Don’t worry, if the above models didn’t interest you, we’ve put together a separate article on the best lawn mowers for hills.

Price Tag

An essential aspect of any product is its cost.

However, excellent a product may be, we are always interested in how much we need to spend on it. However big your property may be, you will always have budget considerations.

From the budget point of view, I find the Cub Cadet models the most cost-effective. But if money isn’t a constraint, then either of the other brands, Husqvarna or John Deere, fall within a similar price range.

Ease of Use

I feel that this is a tricky issue. The winner here, of course, goes to the Cub Cadet models with their small, compact machines.

The bigger and heavier machines from Husqvarna and John Deere are relatively more challenging to handle.

I must say here, that the John Deere Z345R Zero-Turn lawn tractor is easy to handle due to its lightweight controls and easy maneuverability. Hence if you are looking for a lighter vehicle, either of the Cub Cadet models is easy to use.

However, if you are to get a heavier model, then you would be looking at the John Deere models in terms of ease of use.

Overall Efficiency

Having sifted through the information regarding the performance of the models of these three brands, I chose the John Deere Z345R zero-turn gas riding lawn mower as the clear overall winner.

When you are looking for efficiency, it means that you want the maximum output from the minimum effort you put in. And that is what you get from this model by John Deere.

When you want a machine that gets your work done effortlessly, no matter what volume of work is involved, you don’t look at things like price or size. You need to get the job done fast and efficiently.

Hence, with all its useful features, and a top speed of seven miles per hour, you’ve got a clear winner! This puts the Husqvarna and Cub Cadet models in the second and third place, respectively.


Man mowing football stadium grass

I have tried to cover as many features as possible with these riding lawn mower models. However, after reading all this, you might still have a few questions in light of the information I have provided.

So, here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) should you have them.

Is Husqvarna Better than John Deere?

John Deere has its fair share of complaints. But it has been pointed out that none of these have been consistent and most complaints tend to be minor.

On the other hand, Husqvarna has received a dose of bad publicity about expensive repairs and misleading warranty information. Further, consider the long-term performance of John Deer Vs Husqvarna, after about say, four years.

The percentage of John Deere lawn tractors breaking down is relatively less than that of the Husqvarna machines of the same category.

Is Cub Cadet Better than John Deere?

When it comes to consistent quality, John Deere always wins hands down.

The Cub Cadet riding lawn mowers are quite versatile in their operation, and even slightly cheaper than the John Deere ones in the same class. And, you get a relatively equal cutting performance.

However, if you put both brands side-by-side, John Deere has a lower failure rate.

Does John Deere Make Their Own Engines?

Here, the answer is yes, and no. John Deere makes their own engines of higher-power capacity, like 100 hp and above. They have a diesel engine manufacturing plant in Waterloo, Iowa.

However, for smaller engines of less than 100 hp, the company uses other brands like Kawasaki, Briggs & Stratton, and Yanmar Diesels.

How Many Hours Does a John Deere Lawn Tractor Last?

The durability of any lawn tractor has a lot to do with how you handle the preventive maintenance schedules. If you follow the guidelines provided in the service manual, you can get the most extended life out of your lawn tractor.

However, there is a consensus among users that you can get about 500 hours to 1,000 hours out of the smaller models, and the bigger models will give you from 1,500 hours to 2,000 hours.

But, as long as the spare parts of your lawn tractor are available, it can last almost forever!

How to Deal With a Lawn Tractor That Won’t Start?

There are several reasons for the engine not starting. To begin with, check if there is sufficient fuel in the tank. Now turn the blades manually to check if they are free or if they’ve jammed for any reason.

The most common reason for a lawn tractor to have starting problems is a faulty spark plug. Check to see if the spark plug is fitted tightly enough and that the cables are in place and not damaged.

You can clean the plug or change it if it seems to be damaged. You could also check the choke/cable to see everything is functioning correctly.

If you’ve left your lawn tractor outside and idle in the winter months, then you probably need to replace the fuel.

Why Does a Lawn Tractor Stop Working on Wet Grass?

Wet grass is sticky because it tends to get pulled up by the mower blades along with a considerable quantity of mud. This clogs up the blades and the internal parts.

Also, the soil becomes soft, and the tractor’s wheels start to sink into the dirt, which can cause the cutting deck almost to touch the surface.

Ultimately, the blades get jammed with mud and the engine stalls. This is extremely dangerous for electric-powered machines because unless equipped with an overload protector, the motor could quickly burn out.

How Can You Make a Lawnmower Engine Be Less Noisy?

Since these engines are mostly rather basic, two-stroke engines, they are inherently noisier than their more refined counterparts.

Also, they are air-cooled and not water-cooled. Air-cooled engines are louder. The mufflers of water-cooled engines are covered by a water jacket, which cuts down the noise considerably.

However, you can modify the muffler, but the more you stifle the exhaust, the more chance is there to compromise on the power of the engine.

But, be aware that a poorly-maintained engine is likely to be noisier. So, ensure to maintain your engine regularly and see that it is properly tuned.

What is The Speed of The Blades of a Riding Lawn Mower?

Many factors decide the speed of a riding lawnmower. For example, the engine tends to slow down a bit while the mower is climbing a hill.

However, the average speed of riding lawn mower blades is usually between 2,800 RPM to 3,200 RPM. The rotational speed of the blades at the tips can be between 200 MPH to 250 MPH.

How Can I Sharpen My Lawnmower Blade?

Dismantle the blade carefully noting the location. Hold the blade in a vise and use a file to sharpen the dull edges at a 45-degree angle. Take care not to sharpen excessively.

Once done, replace the blade and repeat with all the other blades.

If you don’t have a file, not to worry, check out this article on the best lawn mower blade sharpeners. Yes, there are other options out there!


I hope that you found this article useful. By now, you should have a better idea about the pros and cons of these three models of riding lawnmowers.

The one thing I think we can take away after looking at these three brands is that there really isn’t a best or worst in these products. Each person has a unique user experience, with their individual requirements.

Hence, if you are looking for a suitable riding lawn mower, you need to be aware of what your needs are and your circumstances. The information in this comparative review of Cub Cadet Vs John Deere Vs Husqvarna should help you make a suitable choice for yourself.

Happy mowing!

About the Author: Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.