Home >2017 Lawn & Garden >2017 Riding Mowers >2017 Cub Cadet >2017 Cub Cadet XT1 – XT2 Lawn & Garden Tractor Review2017 Cub Cadet XT1 – XT2 Lawn & Garden Tractor Review Paul April 18, 2017 2017 Cub Cadet, 2017 Lawn & Garden, 2017 Riding Mowers Please Share You are currently browsing comments. If you would like to return to the full story, you can read the full entry here: “2017 Cub Cadet XT1 – XT2 Lawn & Garden Tractor Review”. Related Posts 2017 Swisher Ride King Zero-Turn Mower – Yes, You Read it Right! Seven Best Riding Mowers Under $1500 for 2017 Best Zero Turn Mowers Buying Guide 2017 – How To Choose The Right One! The Best Cordless Lawn Garden Tool Systems – One Battery To Rule Them All.About The Author Paul594 Comments« Older CommentsNewer Comments » AM May 22, 2016 I have between 1/2 – 1 acre yard with 7-8 obstcales to mow around. Looking for my first riding mower. Want one that cuts evenly, would mulch well, is reliable and can manuever around the obstacles. Read about many models but I am not that mechanically inclined and do not understand all the ins and outs of what’s better or the best. Would also like to stay under $2k. Appreciate your thoughts and recommendations! Reply Paul May 24, 2016 Hi AM, One that fits all of your requirements is the Craftsman Pro Series 42″ 22 HP V-Twin Kohler Riding Mower with Turn Tight® Extreme Reply Mark Y May 22, 2016 Dear Paul, Great site! I’m looking for the Best 42″ riding lawn mower that has “Superior Mulching”. Also will want to bag at times. My lawn is basically level. My budget is $1800 or less. Reply Paul May 22, 2016 Hi Mark, I’ll be frank. There are no residential mowers that give a Superior Mulching experience. For mulching to work the best you need the deep domed commercial decks. If you mow no more than 1/3 of the grass stalk and mow when it needs it instead of once a week there are a few that will give an acceptable cut. I don’t test the the mowers myself. Consumer Reports is the accepted expert in comparing the side discharge, mulching and bagging ratings and comparing each mower to the others.So, the best mulching tractor is more than $1800. It’s the 46 inch Craftsman Pro 20442. It’s also a very good bagger.The second best mulching tractor is also more than $1800. It’s the 42 inch Craftsman Pro 20440. Check them out here: 2015-2016 Craftsman Pro Series Tractors – The Future Is Here.There are seven other tractors that will give you a superior mulching but only one cost $1800. It’s the John Deere D 125. Reply Jeff May 20, 2016 Hey Paul, that’s funny you cracked me up. 😁 I guess when it comes to mowers as usual I have no idea what I’m talking about lol. I’m guessing the tractors you described for me are out of my price range. Basically I want to find a sturdy GT that has some nerve to it I guess so it can handle some sloping and unevenness without throwing a belt every time I use it. So I guess I need to go 54″ GT in the Husqvarna Probably. I like the Craftsman pro but I’m so far out they won’t deliver to me. The closest service for Cub us in Valdosta which is 45 minutes so not too bad. Did you see my question about the 50″ GT Cub? So I guess I’m fine with any 54″ GT out of those 3? Thanks so much for your help Paul. Jeff Reply Jeff May 20, 2016 Thanks Paul its its impossible to find info like that on a Google search. Can I please ask a follow up question on a prior question you answered for me. I plan to go with a husqvarna, cub or craftsman GT as you recommended. I’d like to get the stronger tranny with a steel housing. I’ve heard that some are aluminum or even plastic housing? Can you recommend one or all three regarding a GT model(s) due to the uneven sloped state of my property. I saw 50″ CC GT but I think you mentioned to go 54″ on a GT. Thanks again for your time and expertise Paul. Regards, Jeff Reply Paul May 20, 2016 Hi Jeff, You were born 30 years too late. There are only two types of tractors that have a steel/cast iron rear ends.1. Sub-Compact tractors. There are about 30 different brands and Mahindra is the fasted growing brand.2. The Cub Cadet XT3. It is the only tractor under $8000 with a cast iron transmission.3. If you really need a tractor with high traction take a look at the X500 series John Deere. There are a few models with locking rear differential and/or 4WD. Sorry they are all aluminum housings.Why do you think you need a steel housing? Unless you are out in the woods going over tree stumps and rocks there is no reason why you need that strength mowing lawns. If you want the weight use fluid in the tires or rear suitcase weights. If you want a strong transmission look for a G730 like the Craftsman, a K66 ground engaging trans. Husqvarna, Simplicity and John Deer have models with the K66. Reply Sev May 18, 2016 Paul – Any updated reviews in the CC XT1 42C with the 547cc engine. I bought one a month ago (my first tractor) and so far so good. Starts and runs fine but wanted to know if yourself or anyone had updated performance information on the engine. When I as buying the tractor I listened to the dealer who said he would recommend the CC 547cc over the Kohler 18hp. However, being new to the tractor world and not much of a mechanic, I never pressed him for why. My internet research says the engine is manufactured by a Chinese firm called Powermore. Not much info on the internet – good or bad. I have about 3/4 and acre with some small slopes and now hope that I have enough power. So far I’ve had no problem tackling the slopes as I only have to go “up” about 4-5 times. But without a ton of information about the 547cc, I worry if I undersized the engine for the long term. The dealer said it should be fine. Any feedback from yourself or others would be appreciated. (All that said – I love the machine and now actually enjoy cutting the lawn) Reply Paul May 18, 2016 Hi Sev, I use a 12.5 hp engine on a 42 inch mower. If your new mower mows at a slow walking speed or faster (2-4 mph) then it has plenty of power. I like the engine because it has EFI (electronic fuel injection) and will run on all of today’s gas including E10 and E15.You won’t get anyone to tell you an actual horsepower becasue Cub Cadet will not release that info. I will tell you that the 420cc PowerMore engine puts out around 14-15 HP so I expect the 540 to put out 2-3 hp more.There is no info on the internet – it’s a brand new engine only sold through Cub Cadet. Reply Sev May 18, 2016 Thanks for the quick reply Paul. I actually have the 547cc on the basic 42″ XT1 so it doesn’t have EFI. However, the tractor definitely goes faster than a slow walking pace up the slopes so it sounds like I’m in good shape. The dealer told me the horsepower on the 547cc was comparable to to the Kohler 18hp so based on your math I’m in that range. As I get more experience (good or bad) with the CC 547cc I will post info for your readers. I like your forum … wish I found it during my initial research. I knew based on my research I wanted to go CC via local dealer (no big box — wanted to establish relationship with local business) but had I found your forum earlier I may have evaluated other options in the XT2 range. Thanks again!! Reply Rob May 16, 2016 I have a quick question. I’m looking at a couple of different GT and have zeroed in on the CC GT50. Just wondering what your thoughts are on that or the Craftsman model 20445 (Pro Series). Both have the K58 tranny that I’m looking for but beyond that I just don’t know about quality or possible limitations on attachments etc…I really like the price of the CC GT50 but then get worried about quality. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Reply Paul May 16, 2016 Hi Rob, There is one major difference and a few very minor for differences. The Craftsman Pro has the 5 inch Turn Tight Steering. It turns almost as tight as a zero-turn.The rest of the differences are minor – bumper, armrests, the Pro has larger air and oil filters.The quality has been great on the Cub Cadet XT1, XT2 and the Craftsman Pro. Reply Andrew May 16, 2016 Hi Paul, great site you have here! In the process of buying my first home in East Longmeadow, MA and with its 1/2 acre of lawn i find myself shopping for a tractor. The yard is flat with no major obstacles. here are my requirements in a tractor 1) cuts well (lawn looks great and i want to keep it that way) 2) Pull an aerator and spreading cart (i’m guessing anything can do that) 3) longevity – this house is a starter house and we plan to upgrade in 5 years or so and i’m sure a larger yard will come along with it (probably not more than an acre though). Want something that will last a long time and be able to keep up with a larger lawn in the future. 4) Toying with snow removal options too – i used to plow my parent’s driveway with their late 90s Gray Craftsman 19hp with wheelweights and chains – it worked well for light snow but anything heavy and once the snow got packed up it was almost useless. With that experience i’m thinking that a plow may not be the answer for me. Would you recommend looking at a mounted snow blower or would you recommend i just get a walk behind?. The driveway is just a straight shot 2 car wide driveway – about 50-60ft long.I’ve been looking at the Xt2 EFI as i really like that it’s more fuel efficient however and my research brought me to your site. I’m not sure i like it’s only a 42″ deck and the first generation of EFI at this price point. Probably looking for a 46″ deck to help with we upsize down the road and after reading your posts i think i want something with the Kohler 7000 🙂One more thing – the old craftsman had a hydro static transmission and i could just push the handle as far forward as it went and the thing took off – it was nice to not have to keep your foot on the pedal while mowing (the pedal was just a break). Not a deal-breaker, but is there anything that would fit the bill that i wouldn’t have to keep my foot jammed down to mow? Reply Paul May 21, 2016 Hi Andrew, I sorry, I am way behind this week. As I read your requirements I also thought of a 46 inch tractor. I’m going to suggest the Model 20442 Craftsman Pro at Sears, the Cub Cadet XT1 LT46 at Home Depot, the Cub Cadet XT2 LX46 at your local dealer and the Cub Cadet XT2 LX46 FAB.The Craftsman Pro has the 5 inch Turn Tight Extreme steering and in-home service. The XT1 has the best price The XT2 46 has the ball bearing front wheels The XT2 46 FAB is a stronger deck but will not cut as well as the other 3.I suggest a walk-behind snow blower. Unless you have 150 feet or longer driveway a tractor is just awkward to use.All of these tractors have cruise control. Just flip up a lever on the dash and you can take your foot off the pedal. Reply Andrew May 21, 2016 Thanks for those recommendations. In trying to stay under budget (and so my wife doesn’t disown me) i probably can’t go for the Craftsman Pro, and i probably don’t need the tight turn anyway. I was leaning towards the XT1 46 but if I did go up to the XT2, i know i get the ball bearing front wheels and also looks like an electronic PTO (which i like) as i’ve never used a manual PTO before. Any thoughts on if the PTO matters. My dad’s craftsman from the 90s had an electronic PTO as does my Brother’s Cub LX 1042 so i’m wondering why Cub is going backwards is putting manual PTOs on these now. Are there any downsides to having manual (other than having to move a lever vs pull out a switch?) I.e – is it something worth paying extra for to go to the Xt2?Thanks Reply Paul May 21, 2016 Hi Andrew, The electric clutch costs $300-500 to replace. It probably costs Cub Cadet $100 to install it on a new tractor. So the biggest advantage of a lever operated is cost.The downside of the lever is you may have to replace the tension spring once, the idler pulley once or replace the belt one more time in the next ten years compared to an electric PTO. Total cost about $75.The downside of the electric clutch is you may have to replace it or the switch. If you have someone do it you can be looking at $500. Reply Jeff Ringley May 14, 2016 Hi Paul, Wow some very awesome articles. I too am finding myself in the market for a new tractor. I had a John Deere LX 266. Had been a great mower until the motor gave up. As in replacement motor. Being the tractor is already 14 years old did not make must since to put that kind of money in it. I have been looking at a Cub Cadet XT2 LX46 with a 24 hp Kohler and. 46″ fab deck and also a Husavarna YT46 LS with the same motor and a re-Inforced deck. Both have the limited slip differential. I have about 3/4 of an acre, flat and inclines. I do a lot of yard work and pull a trailer around quit a bit. I also want to mount a 42″ snow blower on which ever one I decide on. I looked at another Deere but the $3500 price tag steered me away. In your professional opinion which way would you suggest between the Cub or Husq?Thank you,JeffYork, Pennsylvania Reply Paul May 19, 2016 Hi Jeff, I really don’t have a preference with these two mowers. I would look at either one for my 1 acre yard. No one has tested the deck on the Cub Cadet yet so we don’t know how well it mows. The 46 inch Husqvarna deck is one of their better cutting decks. I suggest going and sitting on the mowers and listen to the dealers sales pitch. I would go with the dealer who you like and doesn’t try to tear down the competition. Reply Jonathan Steen May 13, 2016 Paul, Thanks for the informative site. Moving onto 13 acres just southeast of Denver ,CO. About 3-5 acres will need to be mowed. It is hilly with trees and rough. Was thinking about the XT1 with 22 Kohler and 46 deck but now Wondering if I should get a ground hugging deck and a larger transmission for the hills and just ability to do more difficult heavy jobs…towing bigger trailer, etc. Reply Paul May 13, 2016 Hi Jonathan, a 46 inch deck is pretty small for 3-5 acres. You will be out there all day. A 54 inch Garden Tractor will be a better choice. You don’t need a ground hugging deck and Simplicity is the only brand that does use one on tractors. The rest all use floating decks.Take a look at the Husqvarna 960450057 GTH52XLS and Husqvarna GT54LS Reply JT Lawlor May 12, 2016 Hello Paul! Seriously great (of you) information and knowledgeable commonsense discourse and recommendations here in your commentary! Thanks!! So here is my conudrum-situation– From 1975 to 1995 I had very reliable and functional use of Cub 1200 (Kohler 42 in. cut) on multiple country properties, replace that with a used Cub 682 (Kohler 18hp same cut) also handles step hills etc well- but is now experiencing problems yearly – and is to be replaced asap. I am cutting a full suburban acre (1.25 w/house) that is flat – But in the rear there are 2 sizeable (overs-peced) storm-water management hills that have front and rear slopes exceeding the slope of a typical kids sliding board (vertical appx 4 ft to 4 1/2 ft.) Both the IH Cubs above handle this OK (across or straight-on). I CanNot find information on what today’s equipment can actually handle safely, capably.I am looking at the CC X2 with 46 in cut (after 3 years or research and dealer visits forr many alternatives). My back-up choice is a used Walker B18 with 1200 hours which I have tested On my property and is secure and suitable. Could sure use your knowledge and comments. Thank you Kindly! JTL Reply Paul May 12, 2016 Hi JT, All manufactures of residential mowers and specifically tractors don’t recommend any more than 15 degrees. The maximum 15 degrees is listed in the operators manuals and they even offer a chart to help you determine if the hill is too steep.The only tractor that Cub Cadet sells today that will go up your hill like your 682 did is the XT3. It still has the heavy cast iron rear end. The GSX version also has mechanical diff lock.There are two 46 inch decked XT2’s. One may work. Why? Todays tractor use aluminum or poly transmission cases. They barely weigh 100 lbs in the rear. What that means is they have no weight for traction on hills. The only alternative is a locking differential. And the only XT2 tractor Cub Cadet sells that you want is the XT2 LX46″ FAB. The XT2 LX46″ FAB is not designed to mow steeper than 15 degrees but at least it has the best traction.The choice would be very easy for me though. I’ve owned a Walker back in the 90’s, I can do my own maintenance on them and I know if I found a Walker B18 for a price my wife would listen to – it would be the last mower I owned. The center of gravity is the lowest and with a little practice they are the most agile ZTRs. Oh, Did I mention that with the way the deck floats on the ground they are one of the best cutting mowers on the market. I wouldn’t care if the engine was shot or it needed a complete repaint – I know it would last me years. Reply Marvin May 12, 2016 Paul I am 77 years old and find it hard to walk my toro lawn mower around my `1/2 acre lawn. I am looking at a John Deere S240 with a 18 hp Kawasaki engine with 42 inch deck. I am also looking at a Simplicity Regent with a Briggs with a 22hp V twin engine, a 38 deck. My yard is mostly level with a slight slope. Also how should I set the engine speed when engaging the PTO.. Which mower would work the best for me? I really enjoy your comments and fine them helpful in finding the right mower for me.. Thank you. Marv Reply Paul May 12, 2016 Hi Marvin, Sorry, I’ve been busy this week.I feel the Simplicity Regent is way over-priced so I do not recommend that tractor. It has a very good engine but the rest of the tractor is just so-so. The John Deere cuts better and will last longer.I have a few readers who have purchased the John Deere S240 and they really like how easily it steers and how well it mows. For the same price the John Deere S240 is a better machine. Reply Jeff May 11, 2016 Hi Paul, wow, great information on your site. I started reading and looked up to realize I’d been at for a couple of hours. We are getting ready to close on a 17 acres in GA and turn it into a horse property. Most of it is wide open and will be pasture for which I will use our Kubota MX4800 with a flail mower to cut. We plan on leaving about 3 – 5 acres for lawn around the house and pond. While the Kubota is great for certain tasks, close quarters mowing is not one of them. I was thinking ZTR and considering a $2,900 Cub Cadet option from TSC until I read some of your articles. Now I’m thinking a traditional riding mower may be more suitable (yes, the pond is at the bottom of a slight incline and I don’t want to go swimming with my ZTR). Any suggestions on a specific make/model I should consider? Thanks!! Reply Paul May 11, 2016 Hi Jeff, Well, Kubota makes a great zero-turn and they make a great lawn tractor.The T Series Tractors come in a 42 or 48 inch deck. They cost a little more than a Cub Cadet but are actually a better value than many of the X300 John Deere mowers.They also have the GR series with 4WD and a Kubota Diesel engine. The GR will quickly become your lawn mower and the small utility tractor for feeding and cleaning up around the horses.If you would like a ZTR/Tractor I would actually suggest the CUB CADET Z-FORCE 48 IN. S HEAVY-DUTY ZERO-TURN RIDING MOWER. This Zero-turn is quick but easy for anyone to drive. It also does very well on slopes.By the way, most of the time the rear wheel on ZTR’s sinks into the mud around the pond and it rolls over in the water – pinning the operator under it. ALWAYS stay at least two passes away from the embankment. Also walk around the pond after every rain and/or once a month to find washes or gulleys that have formed. Reply David May 11, 2016 Hi. Looking to purchase either a an XT1 or XT2. My yard is about an acre mostly flat except for a shallow ditch that runs across the front and down the side of the yard. I mow the banks of it with my Troy-Bilt. It has been a good mower but I’m looking to get a new one/upgrade. I’m limiting my spending at $1800. If I go XT1, I can get the 46″ deck. If I go XT2 I can get the EFI engine with a 42″ deck. I dont’ know how reliable the Kohler engine is on the XT1. I’m looking for your opinion. Thanks. Reply Paul May 11, 2016 Hi David, The Kohler 7000 on the XT1 Enduro Series LT 46 in. 22 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower is turning out to be one of the best residential engines on the market. The engine was introduced last year and it has had no failures that I am aware of. It’s better on fuel and has a tighter governor so it handles thick grass better than the old Kohler Courage engines.The EFI engine is brand new and is made by the same company that makes all of Cub Cadets snow blower and push mower engines. It is the only engine on the market that will handle E15 and E20 fuels. They won’t list the horsepower but I’m going to guess it’s about 18.If you have a really good lawn with thick grass go with the extra power of the 22 HP Kohler. If you are having problems finding E10 (10% Ethanol Blend) fuels in your area than go with the EFI. Reply Glenn Luttrell May 10, 2016 Hello Paul, I will be mowing about 2 acres outside West Monroe, LA, Its former farmland and woods and mostly sloped about 15-20 degrees that’s rather rough. I have a lot of trees, roots and limbs. I’m wondering about the Cub Cadet 46″ models. The local dealer has the XT2 LX46 LE Fab model and says I need that with the auto locking diff. But for several hundred dollars more than the XT1 LT46 I’m needing a second opinion, from a non-salesman. I’ve read your comments about the stamped deck being better cutting than the fab deck for rough terrain. Is the 2hp difference between XT1 and XT2 that significant? Is the auto locking diff worth the money in my situation? Reply Paul May 10, 2016 Hi Glenn, I’m surprised the dealer is trying to sell you anything. These tractors are all designed to mow on slopes 15 degrees or less. They are too easy to slip/slide/turn over on anything steeper. If you don’t have years of experience it’s even worse because a tree root of dip can make that slope much steeper. That said,Many guys who mow that steep have locking diffs, lug tires, weights and chains. Everyone else uses a rear drive push mower or a walk-behind brush mower.I am going to agree with the dealer on this one. I hope he knows your area well enough that he is selling you a tractor that is safe to use. Reply Dave May 10, 2016 Paul, you are great. I really appreciate your help in making decisions. Reply Jeff May 10, 2016 Hi Paul, Is the Craftsman Pro Series 46″ 24 HP V-Twin Kohler Riding Mower with Turn Tight® Extreme a garden tractor with the heavy duty tranny or is this a yard tractor? Thanks again, Jeff Reply Paul May 10, 2016 Hi Jeff, It’s a yard tractor. No one makes a Garden tractor with the heavy-duty transmission small than 50 inches. Reply Dave May 9, 2016 Hello from Sauk City Wi. Yard is 1/3 acre with slopes and it rough. 1. On 04.06.2016, a commentor wrote.. but then you pointed out that a 46″ deck is easier to edge with than the 42″. Will you please explain? I am thinking the 42 will scalp less than the 46″. 2. And, the six inch radius of Craftsman sounds like it would make mowing around trees and corners very easy. I am worried about maintenance and repair of a Craftsman. Other than Sears, will local shops that sell CC and Husq’s be glad to service Craftsmans – and for that matter, Home Depot bought mowers? 3. You mention the Craftsman at 8 mph will improve snow plowing. Will I need chains on the tires, and will this mark the concrete driveway?At http://todaysmower.com/2015-cub-cadet-xt1-xt2-lawn-garden-tractor-review/ You refer to ground-hugging decks and you mention Craftsman, Poulan, and Husq flexible frames. Could you explain what ground-hugging-decks are and what machines they come on.I really like the idea of a combo – mower and golf/utility cart such as the Raven. Have they resolved the many issues? http://www.drpower.com/power-equipment/lawn-mowers/riding-mowers/raven-46in-lawn-mower-7100-watt-generator.axdAlso, there was a conversation about how Craftsman, Husq, and Poulan were the only brands that handled rough lawns well because CC and the other brands have a stiff frame. Will you comment on this?Thanks for your help. Reply Paul May 10, 2016 Hi Dave, Let’s go through your list.1. the width of most tractors without the deck is the same. Lawn tractors are about 39-40 inches wide measured at the outside of the rear wheels. A 42 inch deck sticks out side this width about an inch or so on each side. A 46 inch deck will stick out farther, say 3 inches. This extra two inches will let you get closer to objects with the edge of the deck when trimming around cured stuff like trees, etc.2. Maintenance and repair is the same for a Craftsman as any other tractor. You need to change the oil, filters and blades regularly. Other maintenance items like belts, batteries and tires will also need to be replaced over the life of the tractor. Most small engine repair shops will do this type of work. Warranty work has to be done at an authorized repair center. For Craftsman they use Sears Repair services (a separate company). Sears Repair is one of the few companies that will come to you house. You never have to take your tractor anywhere. Home Depot and other retailers also use authorized repair centers. For example, John Deere will use a local john Deere repair center. You need to go back to those retailers or to the factory website to find the repair center near you.3. Yes you need weights and chains to plow snow effectively and yes, it will mar a nice cement driveway.4. The mowing decks on todays tractors and zero-turns hing by hangers from the frame of the machine. The four wheels of the tractor/ZTR control the height. On a ground hugging deck the deck is not suspended. it actually rides on the ground. The height of cut is determined by gauge wheels in the front and rear rollers across the back.5. The Raven issues was resolved three years ago. They introduced the Raven 4 years ago – had problems and recalled them all. They went through and determined what needed to be changed and then rebuilt the existing inventory with over 200 changes and improvements. The one I have here has been mowing flawlessly for three years now.6. If you want the best possible cut and you live in a sub division where they used machines to level and seed your lawn the Cub Cadet/Craftsman Pro will give you the best cut. If you have an old rough lawn like mine a red Craftsman, Husqvarna, Poulan Pro will give you the best cut because the frame of the tractor allows the deck to twist and move a little more. Reply Jeff May 18, 2016 Hey Paul, could you please tell me if Poulan Pro and/or red Craftsman make a true GT version? Reply Paul May 20, 2016 Hi Jeff, Poulan Pro dropped the GT this year.Here is the Craftsman: Craftsman 54″ Fast Auto 24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Turn Tight® Garden Tractor. It’s one of my all-time favorite tractors. Reply jeff Wanke May 7, 2016 Hi Paul, Was doing some research on getting a new riding mower for my 2.5 acre lot. Happened upon your site which looks like a great information resource. Had a service do it in the past, but they went out of business so I’ve decided to spend the money on a new mower and do it myself (actually, get the kids to do it). The lot is mostly open with a sloped back yard, estimating about a 6-7% grade (with a short span of around 20% by the septic tank hump). Limited budget so looking for a reasonably priced mower — not anticipating any heavy use other than mowing, maybe pull a cart of dirt or gravel once in a while. In a winter climate, so one day I might consider a snowblower attachment, but now I have a walk-behind that works well.Priced out some local stores and saw two for comparison at the local Home Depot — a Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 vs. a John Deere D170 (54″ deck). Of course, the JD is more expensive ($2800 vs. $2000). Can you provide some advice? First, will these machines be sufficient for my use? Between these two, is the JD worth the extra cost? They look about the same in features. 54″ deck on the JD, 50 on the CC — not sure if that makes much difference in mow time. Guess I’m looking for the best bang for the buck. Also looked at a 54″ Troy Bilt and 54″ Husqvarna at a local farm store.Thanks for any advice you can offer! Reply Paul May 10, 2016 Hi Jeff, Sorry, I’ve gotten behind this week. I’m going to add one other mower to your list. It’s right in the middle price-wise. Here are the links to Home Depot and Sears where you can read more. The Cub Cadet XT1 LT50, John Deere D170 and Craftsman 54 inch lawn tractor Model 20444 all have the same Transmission. Here is the biggest issue. The John Deere works well on a typical farm lawn. Flat open areas to mow. The problem is with the K46 transmission and the larger 22 inch rear tires the transmission has a habit of failing in less that 400 hours if you use it on slopes or pull stuff with it. The trans can handle the other two mowers with the smaller 20 inch tires.The JD has a Briggs based engine, the Cub Cadet uses the new Kohler 7000 and the Craftsman uses the Kohler 7000 Elite. (better filters) The industry likes the Kohler best right now.The JD has a 18 turning radius, the Cub Cadet has 16 and the Craftsman uses 5 inch Turn Tight Extreme. For most people the Craftsman is a better choice than a zero-turn.The JD has the smallest fuel tank and 25 HP, the Cub Cadet has 24 HP and the Craftsman has 26.The Decks on the three tractors are all different. Consumer Reports rates the Craftsman deck as the best cutting large deck and the 50 inch Cub cadet as average. They have not rated the 54 inch Deere deck for quite some time.All three will handle a snow blower.The Troy-Bilt suffers the same problem as the John Deere – too large of rear wheels for the transmission. Husqvarna make so many different tractors with a 54 inch deck that it is hard to comment. If it says LGT24V54 or anything with LGT it too suffers from the too large of tires problem. If your choices get narrowed down to a Husqvarna you really want a GT (garden tractor) version with the big decks. Reply Jeff Wanke May 10, 2016 Thanks, Paul! I was about to pull the trigger on the Cub Cadet (found a local dealer with an XT1 LT54 for $1995), but now I’m leaning toward the Craftsman you mentioned. I especially like the near zero-turn qualities. Any additional advice on comparing the two — Cub Cadet vs. Craftsman? I’m about to make the purchase but when I’m shelling out this kind of money, I want to make sure I make the best long-term decision. Thanks! Reply Paul May 10, 2016 Hi Jeff, the front axle and steering are the biggest positives over the Cub Cadet. Otherwise they are very similar. You can read through this short article so see the high lights: http://todaysmower.com/2015-craftsman-pro-series-tractors-the-future-is-here/ Reply Scott May 7, 2016 2 more quick questions… Which snow plow blade do you recommend and is the additional 3 or 5 year warranty worth it? Reply Paul May 7, 2016 Hi Scott, If you can work on your own equipment – no. But if you don’t know how, don’t have time or just don’t want to the 3-5 year protection plans cover most wear and tear at you home with free labor and trip charges. The only thing you have to is change oil, filters and blades.This is the correct snow blade: Craftsman Lawn Tractor Snow Blade 14″ High Reply Dan May 7, 2016 Hi Paul,First off thanks for having this running “blog”. It has been invaluable to me.I just purchased a house with about 1.2 acres of mostly flat, even and previously well-kept lawn. The house has great curb appeal (thanks previous owners!) and I’m looking to keep it that way. I had an old 1996 Cub Cadet 1405 Hydro with a 38″ deck that I recently sold and I’m looking to upgrade to something larger & beefier with a larger deck. I wanted a ZTR in the worst way but I just think my money is better spent on a conventional tractor. My budget is right around $1500-2000.My research here and elsewhere (owner reviews and factory literature) led me to the new-for-2015 Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series lineup. I know the differences between XT1 and XT2 models (bumper, arm rests, tires, ball bearings). I’ve visited my local Cub Cadet dealer as well as my local “blue store” and my local “orange store”. I’ve tested out John Deeres (D105 up to a D140) and XT1 & XT2 Cubs. The Deere’s in this price range feel nowhere near as well-built as the Cubs, so that made up my mind. Seat of the pants buying!After comparing Cub Cadet models until I was numb, I found the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP50. It retails for $1899 at Lowe’s and currently has a $100 rebate (and another 5% if I get a Lowe’s charge). Knowing that Troy-Bilt is made by the same people who crafted the new XT Series units, I took a hard look at it. First off, it’s head and shoulders above anything else with the words “Troy-Bilt” on it. Second, it bears striking resemblances to the XT Series. I dug deeper…and the only differences I could find between the Super Bronco XP50 and it’s Cub Cadet equivalent (The XT2 LX50) were the following:Tires – The Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 has Carlisle brand tires which, while having the same tread pattern/design as the Troy’s are actually smaller than the Troy’s, but do seem more durable. The XT2 LX50 has the really nice Turf Savers on the front and back which have more tread depth and a more rounded design and unique tread pattern. They do look better. That said, the Troy-Bilt has larger rims and tires than either of the aforesaid Cub models. For some reason, that is visually appealing to me. Problem is they are some no-name brand (probably Chinese) and don’t look as thick and well constructed as the Cub’s tires.Arm Rests – The Troy-Bilt doesn’t have arm rests (although they can be added for around $70 – same part number as the Cub Cadet arm rest kit).LED headlights – The Troy-Bilt doesn’t have LED headlights. It has halogen ones.Styling – The Troy-Bilt lacks that bad mamma-jamma 20’s style tractor front end. Also, it’s not yellow and it doesn’t say “Cub Cadet” on it. However, the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP 50 does come with the front bumper, which is only available standard on Cub XT2 models at a Cub Dealer ($300 more than the XT1 and $400 more than the Super Bronco.Wheel Bearings – The Troy-Bilt Super Bronco looks like it has the sleeve bearings and not the ball bearings.In fact, the Super Bronco compares better with the XT1 GT50 (the garden tractor) better than anything else. And for hundreds less! I’m about ready to pull the trigger on the Super Bronco but I wanted your thoughts and to see if I was missing some glaring deficiency here that keeps people from realizing what an incredible value the Super Bronco 50 is? Have you had a chance to look at one? I’ve compared (literally page-by-page) the parts manuals and user manuals for the Super Bronco and the GT50 and LX50 and confirmed that they are the same under the skin. I’d love to hear from you on this!Marcy, NY (upstate NY between Syracuse and Albany). Reply Paul May 7, 2016 Hi Dan, yes, you are missing one glaring deficiency and because of it I do not recommend the Troy-Bilt. Sorry…The tires and deck are too big for the transmission that is in it. I’ll give you all the details. I’ll then let you decide if it is the right tractor for you.All of the brands make what is called a “light garden tractor.” These tractors have large rear tires, a heavy duty frame, a 48-54 inch deck and a lightweight K46 lawn tractor transmission. It’s a price point tractor designed to take your money.Don’t get me wrong, the K46 transmission is a great tranny – when it is used in the application it was designed for. It was designed for a 500 lb tractor with a 42-46 inch deck. It can handle pulling a yard cart, aerator, lawn sweeper etc. It is not designed to pull heavy loads up hills or push a large deck. If you pull a lawn roller, heavy loads of dirt, or mow slopes the transmission fails. Many owners who have tractors with the large wheels and 48-54 inch decks have not had the transmission last 200 hours. On your lawn that’s about 4 years.There are literally millions of the K46 transmissions out mowing lawns every weekend in the tractors it was designed for. But there are also thousands of them laying in a corner broken because the tractor was too large, the hills too steep, or the loads it was required to pull were too heavy.By the way, the Cub Cadet GT50, GT54, Craftsman Pro GT 50 and 54 all have the heavier K58 transmission. That one will hold up. The XT2 50 and XT1 LT50″ have the K46 trsanny but the smaller tires. They will work just fine.So unless your lawn is perfectly flat, you don’t plan on pulling anything, and you are going to mow slow I don’t recommend the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco. I also don’t recommend the Husqvarna LGT24V54, Craftsman 20444, Cub Cadet XT2 LX54, Cub Cadet XT1 ST54, Poulan Pro 960420189, and John Deere D170. They all use the K46 lawn tractor transmission, big tires and big decks. Reply Dan May 7, 2016 Interesting point Paul, thank you for shedding light on that issue. After reading your comments I researched the K46 tranny and found that the manufacturer (Tuff Torq) recommends a max tire size of 20″ with this tranny. The Cub models using the K46 use a tire no taller than 20″. The Super Bronco has 22″ rear tires. I find it peculiar that MTD would allow a brand new unit to roll out of the factory and into showrooms ALREADY destined to fail. This seems like it’d be a darn good fight in court for someone whose K46 failed on them and who wanted to sue MTD. They are manufacturing a piece of equipment new with internal components that are not properly matched to the machine itself and grossly under rated. Seems willfully negligent to me…Anyway, based on your recommendation I will be thinking harder about this. I guess I will have to take another hard look at those new Cubs.How do you feel about the XT2 LX42 with the single cylinder EFI? They’re selling them for $1699 at my local dealer, but I’m not sure about #1) Being the guinea pig for such a new technology and #2) Using a single cylinder engine. I can get the XT2 LX42 with the V-twin Kohler for the same price or the XT2 LX46 for $1999. Or I can completely cheap out and get the XT1 LT42C for $1499 or the XT1 LT46 for $1699 at the Orange store.So many options. I am even more numb than I was. I thought the Super Bronco was the perfect mix of tough and low price. I’m completely lost. It’s not often I get to spend this much money on a new anything so I want to make sure I get the best I can for the money. What machine would you recommend? Reply Paul May 8, 2016 Hi Dan, Good luck – if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. Reply Dan May 8, 2016 How do you feel about the EFI motor? WOuld you give it a go? Seems like it’s probably around a 16 hp or less motor and the technology isn’t exactly proven. I’m drawn to it but I don’t know if it’s a good idea. Paul May 8, 2016 Hi Dan, The technology is proven. How many years have you been using it in your car? The commercial operators have had it for over 5 years in the expensive ZTRs. They are saving up to 45% on fuel and maintenance costs. The Cub Cadet EFI is the first residential engine that will run on E15 and E20 fuels. Anything else for sale today and every small engine you now own will be ruined if you run these new fuels in them. If you live in one of those states where they are pushing ethanol fuels it may be a good choice. The only negative is that it’s a Cub Cadet Exclusive engine and will never be available in other brands. Herman May 6, 2016 Hi Paul, great site. I’m considering the XT1 LT 42. My local dealer has the “C” version in stock. What are your thoughts on the engine on the “C” version compared to the regular one, in terms of performance / quality / durability? Thanks! Reply Paul May 6, 2016 Hi Herman, The Cub Cdet engine is new so we don’t know how it will perform. It is made by the same company that makes all of their snow blower and lawn mower engines so I expect it to be good. Reply Herman May 7, 2016 Thanks Paul! Well, I went in and plopped down the credit card for the LT42C. I’ll make sure I report any issues here if I run in to any of them.By the way, have you heard of people having issues with the mulch blades on these models? Specifically, it seems like the plug is not a great fit and bits and chunks of grass get stuck there or get thrown out. Have you heard of any DIY mods or fixes to this problem with the mulch plug? Reply Paul May 7, 2016 Hi Herman, that new engine is the only residential lawn tractor engine that will run on E15 and E20 fuel. I can’t wait to hear how it does power-wise.You need the 19A70041100 mulch kit. I think the problem is others are trying to just buy the mulch plug and Cub Cadet does not sell just the plug separately. You have to buy the mulch plug and the blades together to get the right mulch plug.The person that wrote into here had a strange part number for the plug that didn’t fit his deck. Reply Scott May 5, 2016 Yard is a little over 1/2 acre, pretty smooth with a ditch in the back yard that does have grass in it Here are the mowers I have narrowed it down to: Craftsman Pro 22 HP* V-Twin Kohler 42” Riding Mower with Turn Tight® Extreme $1999 #20440 Craftsman Pro 20 HP* V-Twin Kohler 42” Riding Mower $1699 #20438 Craftsman 42 in. Turn Tight® 19 HP riding mower. $1549 #20381 Craftsman 42″ 6-speed 19HP Briggs & Stratton Turn Tight® Riding Mower $1499 #20830 Cub Cadet XT1 LT42″ $1499I have a couple questions: Is the Craftsman Pro really better than a “normal” Craftsman? Is the Turn Tight worth the money and how much extra stress does it put on the mower? Which one will operate better with a plow? Cub Cadet or Craftsman? (Or is there something better that I’m missing) Out of these mowers which one would you recommend? I really wanted to stay around the $1500 mark but if I need to pay a little more for a better mower that is going to last longer I will Thanks for your time and expertise! Reply Paul May 7, 2016 Hi Scott, Sorry, I’ve gotten behind this week.Yes, the 2016 Pro is better but with 1/2 acre you may not need “better.” I think the 2016 Craftsman Model 25581 is the best choice for you. It’s the 2016 version of the 20381 you have listed and actually cheaper. (the 20381 – 2014-2015 version has a nasty habit of breaking the shifter linkage so I don’t recommend it)The Turn-Tight steering does not put additional stress on the yard tractors. The six inch Turn-Tight on the 25581 has been around for quite a while now and it doesn’t affect the frames. By the way the Craftsman Frames on the 25581 are warrantied for five years and the front axle is warrantied to the original owner for life.You stated you want to use a snow blade. The 25581 will go almost 8 mph! The rest of the mowers you selected will only go 5.5 mph. That little difference in top speed will make a big difference plowing snow.Here is a link to get the best deal: Craftsman Model 25581 42″ Fast Auto 19HP Briggs & Stratton Turn Tight® Riding Mower Reply Scott May 7, 2016 I’m 350lbs will the mower you selected still be ok? Reply Paul May 7, 2016 Hi Scott, Welcome to “the club.” Yes, the 25581 will work great. In fact the transmission case in the 25581 will handle up to about 1100 lbs. Reply Scott May 7, 2016 Thank you very much for your help and time! Patrick May 5, 2016 Amazing site and appreciate the info. You are very informative and if you don’t mind, could you clarify your level of expertise i.e., are you a former dealer, mechanic or owner of a landscape company? I live in Ga and being overtaken by the green machine John Deere. While I hear JD are solid machines, I am considering the XT2LX 46 for a 1-1.5 medium variation yard. I see the XT1 will do the job but attracted to XT2. My real dilemma is finding and understanding if a JD is a better machine based on specs of the XT2. I also understand a JD from Loews or Home Depot are powered by Briggs and Stratton and manufactured to a sub contractor?Also, what is the real difference of a stamped vs. fabricated deck or Kawasaki vs. Kohler engine?Thank you Reply Paul May 5, 2016 Hi Patrick, my expertise is all smoke and mirrors – but you can read about it here: http://todaysmower.com/press-kit/.Yes, I can tell you have been to a dealership who wants to get you to buy his mower by “cutting down” everyone else’s.Please give me the models of John Deere you are looking at. There are the 100, 200, 300, 500 and 700 series that all mow lawns but are aimed at different users. The same goes for the XT1, XT2, and XT3 Cub Cadets. So, yes a XT2 GT 50 is a better tractor than a D125 Deere, but a X380 Deere is better than any XT2 Cub Cadet.There is very little difference between and XT1 and XT2. Ball bearing front wheels, arm rests, bumper, different tires.The Kohler 7000 series engine is the latest engine technology. It has the best fuel economy and a new governor that matches the load better. At this point in time I would NOT pay extra for a Kawasaki residential grade engine (FR series)The engine in the 100 series Deere is made for them by Briggs but it is spec’d just for Deere. I never hear of one blowing up.John Deere has at least 3 plants that make lawn tractors and ZTR’s. The Horicon, Wisconsin plant makes the 300 series tractors, the Greenville, Tennessee makes the 100, 200 series and some ZTR’s.Generally, Stamped decks cut better, fabricated decks will last longer. But, that’s not always true because some of the best cutting decks in the industry are the 60 inch fabricated commercial decks like the ExMark Lazer Z. Fabricated decks on lawn tractors are new and no one has had a chance to test them for cutting and long life.Keep asking – I’ll keep answering. Reply Patrick May 5, 2016 Thank you and very gracious of you to share so much expertise. As you can see I am early in the process but interested in either the JD 200/ 300? or XT2.I only steered toward Cub because of what I was told about JD being a “lessor” machine if purchased at a Lowes/Home Depot.Full disclosure: Growing up I cut my grass with Grants lawn tractor and never knew the difference!Thanks again for your time Reply Paul May 8, 2016 Hi Patrick, I’m sorry, I’m running behind this week. So you have been talking to a John Deere Dealer? They are really the only salesmen left who are still promoting the “urban legend” that what they sell is better than what TSC, Lowes and Home Depot sell. Would you please tell me where you live, how much you want to mow and the type of property – slopes, sand, lots of landscaping etc. Reply Jeff May 5, 2016 Hi Paul, This is Jeff in Live Oak, FL. I have a 4 acre lot with a slope in some places steeper than 15% I’m sure. I have a small deep pond at the bottom of a grade and a number of trees but not too many. The front 2 acres are smoother with an almost flat area and then it slopes more sharply away from the house. The rear and bottom acreage gets wetter and is rougher with a steeper slope as well. It was used as a cattle pasture by the previous owner. I’ve been all over the place looking at Cub, Husky, Craftsman, JD. Some tell me go 50″ or more others stay at 46″. Another neighbor said he has slopes and cuts it with a Gravely ZT but that’s over my budget and I don’t think a ZT would work for me? I don’t have a huge budget so looking for some help. 🙂The closest Sears store to me is probably an hour or more away. I have Home Depot and Lowes within 15 miles as well as some dealers the same distance away or closer.Thanks much, Jeff Reply Paul May 8, 2016 Hi Jeff, I’ve gotten behind on answering comments and your lawn has me baffled.First, I’m really nervous about suggesting any riding equipment around ponds. Experienced operators NEVER mow the slope around a pond with a rider. If the slope is shallow they still stay at least 2 mower widths away from the water’s edge. It’s too easy to fall in with a tractor or slide in with a zero-turn. So for the areas and slopes around ponds the experienced people use a walk-behind mower. Either a normal push mower or a brush cutter.Second, Riding mowers are not designed to mow slopes steeper than 15 degrees. If you neighbor is mowing a slope that is steeper with a ZTR you may want to buy life insurance on him.Finally, Rough areas like old pastures are very hard on residential lawn mowers. They just are not designed for the beating that you will give them. Most of the time people use a compact tractor on that type of fields.So, if I had to make a decision I would buy a self-propelled walk-behind mower for the slopes and pond areas. I would then buy a Craftsman, Cub Cadet or Husqvarna Garden Tractor for the rest of it Reply Hunter April 30, 2016 What advantage does the xt3 have? Does it have locking diff? Does the transmission have external filter and reservoir? Does the drive shaft make it better? Reply Paul May 1, 2016 Hi Hunter, The XT3 Cub Cadet is an “old school” style heavy duty garden tractor. The basic design under the hood is the same tractor that made the Cub Cadet name back in the 80’s. No belts for the power train. The transmission uses a cast iron case and is so rugged that they almost never go bad. They are heavy so they will do real ground engaging work like plowing your garden. In my opinion this tractor is comparable to the X500, X700 series John Deeres and Simplicity Prestige – for a lot less money.There is one model, The XT3 GSX GARDEN TRACTOR that has a locking differential. Reply John h April 28, 2016 Hello!Great info here! I’m looking for a mower under the $2000 mark. My yard has a couple decent slopes, my old Troy bilt has never had issues with them. (Just time for it to retire) Yard is far from flat with several dips which makes mowing it always fun. Ive been looking at Craftsman mowers but their selection with Kohler engines is kind of limited. Today I stumbled across these CC mowers. Really liking the XT1 22hp 46″ and now have seen the EFI XT2 CC which has me wandering which one would work best for me. Or should i continue looking at the craftsman brand? Reply Paul April 30, 2016 Hi John, The EFI engine is not a Kohler. The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT 46 in. 22 HP V-Twin Kohler is a tractor that I like. If you want a little more HP and the Craftsman Turn-Tight steering the Craftsman Pro Series 46″ 24 HP V-Twin Kohler Riding Mower with Turn Tight® Extreme uses the same deck. Reply bob edmonson April 28, 2016 which mower would you suggest i am down to twoc oub cadet xt1 or the xt2 lawn about 3/4 acre little bit grade and do they run on regular gas straight from the pump or do they need additives what octane thanks for the reply paul enjoy reading questions an answers . do these mowers have grease fittings Reply Paul April 29, 2016 Hi Bob, You are welcome, The Cub Cadet XT1 and XT2 are the same tractor. One is sold at Home Depot and other retailers. The XT2 is sold at the dealers and just has a few extra features. Todays tractors run on regular gas with 10% ethanol or less (E10) The majority of today’s tractors all have sealed bearing so the only grease fitting are the four on the wheels and front axle.Myself I like the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series LT 46 in. 22 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower. It’s on sale at Home Depot for $1599 right now. Reply Dustin April 28, 2016 I have a litte over a 1/2 acre flat lot in a subdivision. I was looking at purchasing either the Cub Cadet XT1 42″ or the XT2 LX 42″ EFI. My local dealer has the XT2 w/ EFI for $1699. I was wondering if longterm it would be worth the extra $300 for the EFI engine? I also wanted to see if there is another mower you would suggest over the CC Enduro series? Reply Paul April 28, 2016 Hi Dustin, The Cub Cadet EFI is the first residential engine that will run on E15 and E20 fuels. Anything else for sale today and every small engine you now own will be ruined if you run these new fuels in them. If you live in one of those states where they are pushing ethanol fuels it may be a good choice. The only negative is that it’s a Cub Cadet Exclusive engine and will never be available in other brands.I also like the Craftsman Pro Series 42″ Auto 20 HP V-Twin Kohler Riding Mower. It’s the same money (and basically the same mower) but has the new Kohler 7000 V-Twin! Reply Greg yates April 25, 2016 Are the xt1 cub cadets at Home Depot the exact same models as in the tractor stores ( dealers)? Reply Paul April 26, 2016 Hi Greg, Yes, The XT1’s are the same. The dealers also have a XT2 line. It has ball bearing front wheels, arm rests, bumper and a few have fabricated decks. The rest of the tractor is the same as the XT1 Reply Mark April 23, 2016 Thanks Paul. Would the craftsman have anything in a 48 in deck or do I have to go bigger deck wise to get the better tyranny? Reply Paul April 23, 2016 @Mark, This is the smallest deck they have with the garden tractor tranny. Reply Mark April 23, 2016 Went to the local Sear’s store this afternoon to look. They didn’t have the model you mentioned tho I could order it. They did have a #20403 left over from last year. Salesperson stated it has the 1In axle. Just wonder what your thoughts are on this one. Also I looked at a z6600. I liked it for 2 reasons, one it’s easier for me to get on and off of and it looks like the deck goes up higher which may make it easier for getting on/off a trailer. Appreciate your feedback. Reply Paul April 23, 2016 I have a feeling you are at an Independent Hometown store. I’m sorry, I don’t keep track of the sticker on the hood because it’s not always right. I use the model number that’s under the seat.Here is the link where you can order the tractor: Model 20443 Craftsman Pro Series 50″ 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Garden Tractor with Turn Tight® Extreme. Reply Mark April 23, 2016 Hi Paul, My old GT500 is on it’s last legs(tranny is going). I mow 3 different yards which are about 1/3 acre each w/ one having an incline of about 15degrees. The old GT had a 48 in deck which is nice but I can handle a 46. I’m looking at the CC xt2 46 or the Husky YT48xls w/ a 48in fab deck. Budget limits me to about $3000. My real question is, will the k46 tranny that they all have handle my 6 foot 290lb frame and on/off a trailer 2-3 times a week. I have no problems w/ another craftsman as the old GT is almost 13yrs old and hasn’t really given me any problems other then the current tranny issue and a bad sump gasket. Anything you can recommend that’s “Fat Kid Friendly” I would appreciate. Reply Paul April 23, 2016 Hi Mark, To be safe I do have a GT in your price range. It’s the Link: Model 20443 Craftsman Pro Series 50″ 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Garden Tractor with Turn Tight® Extreme.It has the heavier trans and the heavy duty turn-tight front axle. The 50 inch reinforced stamped will cut better than a 48 inch fab deck. (we don’t know how this 48 inch Husqvarna deck cuts)The XT2 46 inch with the stamped deck cuts very well. Again we don’t know if the fabricated deck will cut as well because it has not been tested against the other tractors. Reply John Pugh April 20, 2016 Paul, I am staggered by the number of choices for ride-on mowers. This is my first ride-on mower. I only have about 8,000 sq ft to mow (mostly flat with swales along the front and back. (I cold use my self-propelled for those). I am doing this because I have developed arthritis and I also cannot spend too much time in the sun. I am 67. It’s getting tough, even with the self-propelled and then there is landscaping and bags of much soil etc so I will consider the CC collapsable towable cart ($299). Any feedback on this item? I like that it will store flat against the wall in the shed. I have not been able to find one to examine it.On the mower: I had whittled things down to a Club Cadet XT1 LT46 because 1 cylinder doesn’t sound like it is adequate (I could be wrong). I like cruise control, comfortable seat, electric start, reverse cut, four deck rollers, hydrostatic, deck cleaning nozzle. I understand the sleeve versus the bearing maintenance so that does not concern me as much now.Then your comment about a deck that can float caught my attention and also the EFI model sounded great. I really like the idea of EFI however I worry about a single cylinder working so hard. It doesn’t sound like a good idea. I would appreciate your thoughts.The Poulan deals with Amazon look very good. I was looking at the PP22VH46 ($1,500 after rebate) and everything looks good, especially the price. It has 2-cyls, a floating deck and Hydrostatic drive, a comfortable seat etc and a nice tight turning circle. I do not see cruise control. Would I need to ride the pedal while mowing? Thanks for all your great information.NC, 1800 Sq ft yard, two swales (one in back and one in front) graded lot by builder in a development. No trees, no fences. I sent you another question on the CC mowers re: single cylinder machines. I want to tow a cart for mulch, fertilizer and possible stones or landscaping bricks. Reply Paul April 21, 2016 Hi John, The Cub Cadet XT1 46 is a good choice. The single cylinder will have plenty of power for mowing and towing. It’s also more fuel efficient than the V-Twins.I have the Cub Cadet cart here. I’m trying to get a review written but getting my own yard in shape and answering questions here are keeping me busy:) I like the car. I like the fact it folds flat for storage. It a tough cart and it will last. I also like the handle kit so you can turn it into a wheelbarrow. Reply John Pugh April 21, 2016 Paul, Great timing! The XT1 46 has two cylinders and after reading your various articles I am going to pull the trigger on that. I think the 2-cyl might be smoother and it has plenty of power for not much more money.Also, Home Depot online (Free shipping) has just lowered the price by $100 (Now $1599) and lowered the price on the cart also to $279. Every bit helps!!Thanks for doing all that you do. I think your reviews are terrific. I don’t know how you find the time but thank you very much. Reply Dan April 14, 2016 Hi, I’m in the market for a garden tractor. I want to mow about an acre with lots of trees and some inclines. I also want to maybe plow, pull cart, etc. I’m looking at spending under $3500. The Cub GT50 seems like good option, or I’ve seen (should have bought) some 2007 and 2008 Ingersoll 3020 with plow or snow blower for around $3500 with about 250 hours. I know you can’t really compare the two but, which one would you choose? Reply Paul April 15, 2016 Hi Dan, where would you get parts for the Ingersoll? I’d buy one as a hobby but never as my primary mower because it may take months to find parts for it on eBay. That leaves the Cub GT50 or the Craftsman 20443. ($2799) Craftsman Pro Series 50″ 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Garden Tractor with Turn Tight® Extreme Reply Dan April 16, 2016 Thanks! Is the Craftsman basically the same as a cub? Do you know if the craftsman has locking differential and K58? Reply Paul April 16, 2016 HI Dan, The big difference is the Craftsman Pro Series has the better, stronger, tighter front steering. The Craftsman Pro GT have the K58. None of the Cub Cadet’s, Craftsman’s or Troy-Bilt’s have a locking differential. The ONLY tractor made by MTD that has it is the XT3 GSX. That is a mechanical lock – not the automatic, electronic locking differential like Simplicity and Husqvarna have. Reply Dan April 16, 2016 What about the Simplicity Broadmoor 22hp B&S with K57? How does K57 compare to K58? Paul April 16, 2016 @Dan, Same Tranny, The K57 is an older model. Dale M. April 13, 2016 Hello. I am shopping for a new tractor to be used for snow blowing and carting firewood around my house. We live in the mountains near Alamosa, Colorado. Dirt roads. No lawn mowing. I am debating between the new Cub xt3 and the John Deere x500 series machines. The issues are engine brand, rear-end strength and overall quality. The Cub looks very well built and the Deere maybe a bit less beefy. Opinions of those I talk to vary. I am willing to spend the money but I only want to do this once. Any advice would be helpful. Reply Paul April 13, 2016 Hi Dale, Spending that kind of money I would want a locking differential. The Cub Cadet XT3 GSX with locking diff and 42 inch 3-stage snow blower is about $5000. A Deere X570 with a 2 stage snow blower is about $8000.The Deere has a 1/8 inch steel channel frame. The frame on the Cub is about the same.The Deere has a better name recognition and resale. The Cub Cadet is using the same transmission that gave the Cub Cadet it’s great reputation aback in the 90’s. I would talk to the dealers and base some of the decision on which dealer you like the best. For example, I’ve gone into my Deere dealer four times in the last 5 years. I spent 10 minutes or so outside looking at a couple of mowers and then walking inside and looking at the hand held string trimmers. There were 4 guys in offices staring at computers but not ONCE did someone ever come over to talk. It was very obvious that they were only interested in selling farm equipment. Reply Dale M. April 13, 2016 Thank you for your insight. That green paint can get expensive but Kubota orange is worse, I discovered. Cub dealer access is further than the Deere dealer, but the Cub xt3 kind of impressed the more I compared tractors so the drive seems worth it. The final question I have is regarding the Kohler in the Cub vs. the Kaw. in the Deere. Better, worse, or equal? As I said, I only want to do this once. Thank you so much. Reply Paul April 13, 2016 @Dale, The Kohler Command is a true commercial engine and used on many commercial ZTR’s in the $6-10,000 range. It’s good for 22-2500 hours without any worries.Deere won’t say exactly what the iTorque is. It’s not listed as a commercial engine. Reply Dale M. April 14, 2016 Thank you for your comments. An important question I failed to ask which may THE one to ask is, am I choosing too much or too little tractor for the job? If so, then what would you suggest? Thank you. Paul April 14, 2016 Hi Dale, I think the Cub Cadet XT3 is a good choice both for capabilities and cost. The Cub Cadet has a snow blower available for it but I’m not a big fan of tractor mounted blowers unless you driveway is over 200 feet or so. A good Toro or Ariens walk-behind will clear snow better and throw it farther.If you don’t get a lot of snow an ATV with a blade may be a better all-around choice. A good work-horse ATV or even side-by-side could do the work and a lot more. Andrew April 13, 2016 That answers my question. Thanks. Have a great day! Reply Patrick Jenkins April 13, 2016 Hey Paul, Thanks for taking the time to help answer our questions. The information you’ve provided is great! Basic information about my yard: Mostly level and smooth, about 1.5 acres, located in Athens, Ga. There is one hill that I have which transitions the rear of front yard to the back yard. Lot is a daylight basement lot. Some basement lots in the neighborhood have retaining walls if the slope was too steep where the front and back yard meet, but the builder made mine into a hill… My question is about the K46 transmissions – would you not recommend pulling a cart or an aerator with it? Those would be the only things I’d need to pull. Would you buy a mower with the K58 just for pulling an aerator? Thanks for your advice! Patrick Reply Paul April 14, 2016 Hi Patrick, I would guess you only use your aerator twice a year so yes, the K46 will work just fine. Reply Patrick Jenkins April 14, 2016 Paul, Yes, just twice a year. Thank you for the reply! I read your article about the Poulan Pro mowers, now I need to decide between one of those or a Cub Cadet. Thanks again for all the information you provide! Patrick Reply Andrew April 13, 2016 Hi. First off, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and appreciate them. I have been doing a lot of searching for mowers and even looking at slightly used mowers. I’ve found a Cub Cadet XT-2 LX42KH, which has been discontinued. My question is, why has it been discontinued, and what are the differences between it and the LX42? The only visible differences I can see are cosmetic, (bumper and arm rests). The one I’m looking at has the Kohler 7000 series 22hp engine so I believe it will be a reliable mower and hold up to my needs. Are there any more mechanical differences with the LX42KH, or does it still come with heavier duty components than as any other XT-2? I’m in NE TN, and have a fairly smooth lawn with a few bumps, and obstacles, but a hill in the back yard. I have been using an older hand-me-down Troy Bilt that has been great, even with the hill, but is about ready to be retired. Reply Paul April 13, 2016 Hi Andrew, The 2015 was labeled as the XT2 LX42KH because there was also a Kawasaki engine version that year. The Kaw was dropped for 2016. You do know that there is no component difference between a 2015 XT-2, 2016 XT2 and a 2015-2016 XT1 series. They all use the same basic components. The only real difference is the XT2’s have ball-bearing front wheels, arm rests, push button start and different tires. If a dealer is trying to mislead you into thinking an XT2 is heavier duty ask him to show you the XT1 and XT2 part numbers of the tractor frame, front axle, transmission, deck lift parts, etc. psst…they are the same. Reply Neil April 12, 2016 Hi, I used a Craftsman GT5000 with wheel weights and tire chains for many years to mow up and in reverse on steep hills in my yard. Is there anything comparable now that would give me the confidence to conger my terrain? I noticed a lot of tractors use suitcase weights. Would this be because wheel weights are not available for some? A test drive for my use is not practical. Thanks, Neil Reply Paul April 13, 2016 Hi Neil, The Craftsman Model 20408 54″ Fast Auto 24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Turn Tight® Garden Tractor is the newest version of the GT5000. All your existing attachments will fit on it including the weights.Yes, Many rear rims no long have mounting holes for wheel weights. Reply Robert April 12, 2016 Hi Paul. I’ve decided that once we sell our home and get moved into our new place that a garden tractor is going to be best for me. The yard is about a 15 degree slope but no more than 20. My 3 choices so far are a Husq GT48xlsi, Cub XT3 GSX, and a Cub XT1 GT50. I’m familiar with the trannys in the first 2. Would like your advice on the K58 and it’s capabilities and if it would be up to the task of climbing the slope regularly while mowing and occasionally pulling a cart. Thanks! Love the site! Reply Paul April 13, 2016 Hi Robert, Yes the K58 is a good transmission. It will handle hills well for a long time. Reply Leo April 12, 2016 Hello, I’m looking at buying a quality and reliable mower and i find it a little frustrating trying to do the research online cause all mowers seem to have negative comments. I am looking at the Cub Cadet XT2 series, and Husqvarna. From what I read so far i’m not sure which mower is the better purchase. I have 2-2.5 acres of grass that’s mostly flat with some rough spots and slight hill where the septic is. I have read a lot of comments where the 54″ deck doesn’t give a good gut unless your grass is perfectly flat and some people say a FAB deck is better than the stamped deck and the opposite has been said as well where a stamped deck is better. I currently have a columbia 13hp 36″ deck mower that’s at the end of it’s life that i’m replacing. I still need the ability to pull a small dump cart for making flower beds and other yard duties. I would be interested to see what you would recommend. Would the GX54 be a waste of money for me and should i just stick with the LX50? Reply Paul April 12, 2016 Hi Leo, I’ve been doing this for over 8 years now and I’m guessing that only about .5% of the owners actually write a review. It appears that 80% of the people who have problems write about it in a review. But less than 20% of the people who LOVE their machine will write a review. I also notice that a lot of people who have a problem will write about it on 6-20 sites so the numbers are distorted even worse. In addition bad reviews seem to carry a lot more weight with people reading the review and the info gets repeated and repeated all over the web. So, the actual number of defects or problems is skewed way out of proportion. That means to me even if you read a 100 bad reviews on a particular tractor, transmission or engine in reality that is still a tiny fraction of the actual number of units sold. And this does not take into account the many reviews that are written on the wrong product or the problem actually was operator error or bad fuel.For some reason, not one brand is willing to tell you how many units of each model mower is sold. The actual number of owners who write a review compared to to the actual number of tractors sold is a highly guarded secret with the brands. That said,This is the first time in many years that both Cub Cadet and Husqvarna have fabricated decks on lawn/garden tractors. Stamped decks side discharge, mulch and bag the best, fabricated decks are stronger. Most larger fab decks require an auxiliary blower to bag well. Both Husqvarna and Cub Cadet are selling these fab decks with out aux blowers but don’t expect them to work well on bagging green grass clippings.The GX (garden) tractors have larger front and rear wheels so they tend to ride a little better and will actually mow at 4 inches. The majority of the LX (lawn) tractors have 20 inch wheels and they tend to get stuck quicker and cause the wide decks to dig in and scalp quicker. Also, the GX/GT tractors have heavier-duty transmissions. I don’t usually recommend the LX/LT models with a 54 inch deck because most of them will have transmission issues a lot sooner than the GT’s.A compromise for you is the XT1 GT50. It has the heavier trans with a great cutting 50 inch stamped deck. The XT1 is missing the arm rests, ball bearing front wheels, and the push button electronic start. The XT2 also has different tires but for your yard that’s not something you need. Reply Leo April 12, 2016 Hello Paul, What about the XT2 LX50 instead of the XT1 GT50? I am leaning towards the XT2 GX 54 but i’m not sure if i’m wasting my money and is the XT2 LX50 all I need. I like the otion of having greese fittings so I can do proper maintenance. I want the mower I buy to last a longtime as I take care of my equipment. Reply Paul April 12, 2016 Leo, I should have guessed you are from Canada with the “old Columbia” I don’t know what Cub Cadet is selling up there. By the Way the Columbia’s are the same tractor. No, The LX is not the right tractor. The transmission will give you problems over the years. Reply Leo April 12, 2016 so you recomend the XT1 GT50 or the XT2 GX54? I wonder if the GX54 is wirth the extra money. I dont think the XT1 GT50 has the greese fittings for maintenance Paul April 12, 2016 @Leo, I’ll let you decide if the 50 or 54 inch is the best for you. Either one will work on 2.5 acres. I’m not sure any of the new Cub Cadet decks have grease zerks. Very few people own a grease gun, very few people remember to use it on their deck every 50 hours and today’s sealed bearing are tough enough for residential use. You’ll have to check and see if the deck you will get is greaseable. Leo April 13, 2016 Paul, whats the difference between XT1 GT50 and XT2 LX50? Paul April 13, 2016 Leo, I don’t have any way of finding out what the differences are in the Canadian tractors. Down here the LX versions use the K46 lawn tractor transmission and the GT uses the ground engaging K58 transmission. Paul May 21, 2016 When you wrote “The LX is not the right tractor. The transmission will give you problems over the years.” Why will the transmission give problems with the LX?I am looking for a lawn tractor that allows me to mow and attachments , such as a snow thrower. I live in Minnesota, with 1 acre of land with multiple areas that are sloped, but not rough. The steepest slope is 40 degrees? Paul May 21, 2016 Hi Paul, The manufactures build lawn tractors that only mow 15 degree hills or less. So I need you to take a much closer look at your slopes. 40 degrees is too steep to crawl up on your hands and knees – let alone drive a tractor up. Here is a chart you can print off to check them http://todaysmower.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mowing_slope_chart_right.pdf.The tractor I was discussing with Leo was a 54 inch tractor with the K46 lawn tractor transmission. The tractor/deck is too big and the transmission will fail prematurely. But:That transmission works very well in a 42 or 46 inch lawn tractor. It will also work with a 48 inch deck and 20 inch rear tires.If you don’t mind go out and get a better guess on your slopes. Use the chart or you can download a “slope Indicator” for your phone. Then I will be able to help you find the best tractor. Jim April 9, 2016 Paul, I’m undecided between a CC XT2 GX54 or a Husqvarna GT 52 XLS with the Kawasaki engine. The CC dealer recommends the wheel bearings instead of the bushings on The Husqvarna. The Husqvarna dealer says the Hydro gear transmission is better than the Tuff torq on the cc and that the bushings are fine as long as you keep them greased. I think I would be happy with either, but would you give me your opinion please? 2.5 acres of clay, mostly flat, just a couple of swales, plenty of room between the trees Reply Paul April 10, 2016 Hi Jim, Yes, walking into most lawn tractor dealers and listening to their sales pitch is like walking into a Ford and Chevy pickup and trying to decide which truck is better based on what the salesman tells you.Yes, The G7 transmission in the Husqvarna is a stronger transmission but you will never wear out the K58 Tranny in the Cub Cadet on your lawn. The Husqvarna transmission will go 7 mph. The Cub, 5.5 mph. Neither one will mow well about 4 mph so the top speed doesn’t matter unless you use it to get groceries.You don’t need ball bearing front wheels. If you make sure the Husqvarna’s front wheels are greased when you get it and then put grease in them once a year they will last 20 years.The Kawasaki is not a better engine than the Kohler. In fact Cub Cadet dropped the Kaw this year in favor of the Kohler.The Cub Cadet uses the same frame on all their tractors – the entire XT1 and XT2 line. It’s a very stiff frame and because of that the tractors mows flat, level lawns well.The Husqvarna uses a frame designed just for their high end garden tractors. It’s strong but also has a little “flex” so it mows bumpy, older lawns well. New owners who are not aware of this flex will complain that the hood will move around.I don’t know which deck mows better. Consumer Reports has not tested either one. This 52 inch Husqvarna deck is different than the one you may read about in the negative reviews from a few years ago.The electronic start on the Cub is a $300 problem if it goes bad but does have built in diagnostics. Husqvarna has that on the GT52XLSi.You have 2 other choices if you want: The XT1 GT50 Cub Cadet doesn’t have the electronics, armrests and ball bearing wheels. Everything else is the same. It’s only $2699The Husqvarna GT52XLSi has the bulletproof K66 transmission with electronic locking differential. It also has cast iron deck spindles. It’s $3499 Reply Rick D April 8, 2016 Hey Paul, Fantastic site you have here with a wealth of knowledge that i needed this week. My dads early 80’s Mongomery Wards Orange riding mower is finally getting its well deserved retirement this year. Been trying to decide what to replace it with and doing alot of research this week.I was originally interested in the Craftsman 20390 or the 25581 but after seeing the cheezy setup of the pedals, reading all the horrer story reviews of engine and tranny failures, I was completely turned off. The Pro series pedals are perfect but I didnt want to go over the $2000 price range.Saw the same cheesy pedals on the Huskys and Poulans so they were a no go too. What in the world was Husky thinking about with that setup? What a horrible area to skimp on quality!!After going to 3 sears stores , Lowes and then home depot this week, I saw the XT1’s at HD and came back here to read your reviews on the new CC’s and then checked out CC website. Same pedal setup as the Craftsman Pro series too!Then looked for dealers near me so I could check out the XT2’s and luck would have it that our local lawn mower repair shop just became a CC dealer 3 weeks ago and starting today, was there open house and spring sale to show off their new CC line.I went there pretty much decided that I wanted the XT2 LX42 with the 22HP Kohler but unfortunately that was the only model they didnt recieve yet. Spent a couple hours picking their brains and eating free donuts and coffee and checking out the other riders. They are also a snapper dealer and I hadnt done any research on those but really liked the looks of the Snapper SPX riders. Came back home and saw all the bad reviews of them breaking belts constantly and never really finding any good reviews on them. Started out here but guess they didnt make your cut either since there was no reviews here.Anyway, I called them up and told them I wanted the XT2 LX42 EFI. I just didnt want to wait another week to get the 22 HP version and saw your post above that you would choose the EFI version over the other CC42’s as well.I didnt really give them much of a test drive while there but made my choice. 2 hours later it was delivered free to my house (only 6 miles away) along with a cub cadet hat and polo shirt. Spent the next hour driving it around the yard and driveway to get a feel for it. Have never drove an auto before let alone one with pedals but after 5 minutes I was all smiles. 😉Between the EFI, front bumper, front end bearings, tire upgrade, seat arm rests ( not sure they’ll stay on or not) , push button start and the electrical monitoring system, it was well worth the extra $300 IMO over the XT1 42″ and i’m probably forgetting some other XT2 upgrades.From what ive seen so far, I think the electrical monitoring system might be worth the extra $300 alone!! It was alot more than I expected. Push the button to turn the mower on and it showed the battery voltage and then the hours. Went to start it one time while not in the seat and it flashed SEAT on the screen. went to start it another time with the brake off and it flashed BRAKE. That could come in real handy down the road if a sensor goes out or starts acting up. Just started looking through the manual and dont even see those error codes even mentioned. Wondering what else it might tell me!!. I did read it will let you know of LO BAT or HI BAT to keep you alert if its under charging or over charging. Also lets you know when its time to change the oil and filter (every 50 hours). It also has a LO OIL PRESSURE alert.Anyway….Sorry for rambling on but Im very happy with my purchase and wanted to thank you for what you do here. I havent even cut a blade of grass with it yet (Didnt want to get it dirty 😉 ) But she’ll get a work out tomorrow!!Thanks again, Rick Reply Paul April 9, 2016 Hi Rick, Excellent! Yes, EFI is the way to go. I’m hoping that all tractor and zero-turn engines will switch over in the next few years. I’m glad you explained the new electronic console. Does your model have the bluetooth? Your tractor can use an app on your phone to help you keep track of oil changes and stuff.You will like the way it mows. Compared to the the Monkey Wards you lawn will look like it was cut by R. Lee Ermey’s barber! Reply Rick D April 9, 2016 No my model doesnt have the bluetooth feature. I believe it can be added. it goes in the center of the dash. I read somewhere you can get it for $79. Unfortunately it was old and rainy today so wasnt able to do any cutting today. But did go back to the dealer and purchased a new Stihl FS-56 trimmer they had on sale. They are both getting a work out tomorrow hopefully.I havent really looked over the motor that well yet but am wondering who actually makes this EFI motor and what the HP rating is. Its just listed as a Cub Cadet 547cc EFI. Probably should have found that out before purchasing….lol. Reply Paul April 9, 2016 Who Makes Cub Cadet EFIHi Rick, The engine is made by the same company that makes all of the Cub Cadet/Troy-Bilt walk-behind mower engines and snow blower engines. It’s a true over-head valve, full oil pump, full oil pressure, long life engine. It will handle all of today’s ethanol blended fuels up to E20. You don’t have to drain the gas tank when storing the engine. In fact, you store your engine the way I do, put fuel stabilizer in the fuel and fill the tank.I like it and I expect every other manufacture to have EFI engines down into the $2500 mower range within 2 years. You’ve had it on your car and pickup since the early 90’s – you deserve it on your new lawn tractor.You can go here to read Cub Cadet’s page: THE CUB CADET EFI ENGINE Reply Adam April 8, 2016 Hello,Like many here I am trying to decide on buying a new riding mower. I’m also trying to get the best bang for my buck like every red blooded human on the planet. The problem I’m running into is that every review is geared towards your suburban home owner that may or may not have up to 4 acres of former farm ground to mow, or, it is geared towards people who live out in the country with steep hills and pasture to bush hog.I feel like I fall in the middle. I live in the country and own 8 acres. I mow approximately 3 acres with a considerable amount of road frontage. For the most part, the ditch line isn’t too steep but there is a small section that is. I have a considerable amount of trees and a few raised areas to mow.I don’t really need any ground engaging implements as I have a Ford 4400 for those tasks. However, I would like to be able to pull a 10 cu. ft. wagon, a lawn roller and a sweeper in the fall to pick up leaves. Due to all the reviews and comments I’ve read online, I’ve decided that the k46 is not the proper transmission for me. I’ve been leaning towards the xt2 lx54 w/ a fabricated deck but now I’m thinking I don’t need to spend the extra $600 and will likely go with the xt1 gt50. For the most part (as far as I can tell), they are the same tractor aside from the deck.I have a couple questions.1. Am I missing anything major in the comparrison between these two tractors? 2. With proper maintenance, can I accomplish the tasks I outlined with either of these two tractors and could I expect to get 10 years out of this tractor while accomplishing these tasks? 3. Is the k58 enough transmission?I need to add some info. With the cart, I’ll be hauling mulch, dirt and firewood. I will also be taking. Reply Paul April 11, 2016 Hi Adam, No you are not missing anything and before I read your questions I was going to suggest a garden tractor. Ditches are rough so the larger tires will make it a lot easier to mow. The 50 inch deck won’t dig in and leave ruts. The deck will hold up but don’t be surprised if you bend the lift arms once in a while. The arms are good quality but I mowed enough ditches to know it’s easy to get the deck caught in the bottom of the ditch.The deck is stronger than the older Cub Cadet stamped decks so I expect it to last with a little normal maintenance.Yes, the K58 is enough. It’s a good choice for what you want to mow and what you want to pull. Reply adam April 11, 2016 It appears my comment was either cut short or I forgot to finish my sentence. I tend to lean towards the latter as my adhd caused me to take almost an hour to finish my comment.Anyways, I do have a barn that sits out in a horse pasture and I’ll be using the mower and cart to transport firewood between the barn and house. The ground is tough and almost beats you to death on my old mower. I don’t expect any improvement in the ride with the gt50 but is there anything I should do to help the front end withstand the rough terrain? Reply Paul April 12, 2016 @Adam, The front end of the GT50 is strong. In a few years you may have to replace a tie rod because it has bent but that’s about it. Make sure you grease the wheel and the axle zerks at least once a year. Reply Joe L. April 7, 2016 Jeremey,Trying to decide between the ST54FAB 24 HP riding mower and the XT1 Enduro Series GT 50 in. 25 HP. I understand that the XT1 has roller bearing front wheels along with the heavy duty transmission. Can you define other important features or differences. I also would like to know if there is a difference with the sheet metal area where the dump cart attaches to….is the XT1 hitch area different than the ST54FAB? Tlak to me about the deck difference….one is fabricated and the other is stamped. Onterio, NY 2 acres, slight slopes and smooth Reply Paul April 9, 2016 Hi Joe, The ST54FAB is what I call a “Light” garden tractor. It has the larger wheels, larger deck and a small lawn tractor transmission. If you just mow a flat lawn it may hold up. Consumer Reports compares how well these tractors mow and they have not tested the fabricated decks yet so I don’t know how well it mows. So, with the heavy deck, small transmission and no rating by Consumer Reports on the cut quality I can’t recommend this tractor.In general – stamped decks cut better, fabricated decks take more abuse. So, If you want the best looking lawn buy a lawn tractor with a stamped deck. If you have teenagers using the tractor buy the fab deck.The GT 50 is exactly the same tractor with a heavy duty transmission and a 50 inch stamped deck. The 50 inch deck cuts very well. This tractor will put up with any task you may ask it to do over the years. So the hitch is the same. If you want to strengthen the hitch area to pull heavier stuff buy this: Good Vibrations 170 Hitchin’ Lawn Mower Post Ball Connector.One last thing. The XT2 dealer only tractors have the ball bearing front wheels. If you grease the sleeve bearing front wheels on the XT1 series once a year they will last the life of the mower. Reply MB April 6, 2016 Spokane WA 1/3 acre Very mild slope (3-4 foot drop over a distance of ~90′) My kids are getting older and less available to be taken advantage of, er, asked to mow the lawn, so I’m in the market. I’d use it for mowing as well as getting the plow attachment to scrape snow off the driveway in the winter.I’ve been trying to decide between the XT1 46″ from Home Depot or the XT2 46″ from a local dealer. Unfortunately the local dealer wants to mark up the prices beyond the MSRP from Cub Cadet, making the XT2 46″ $2100, with “free” delivery.I’d prefer to support the local dealer but I can’t see $400 worth of difference between the XT1 and XT2. As far as I can tell you get 2HP more from the engine, an electric PTO instead of lever (which from what I’ve read is just another thing to break), ball bearings in the front wheels instead of sleeve, a few more CCA’s from the battery, a bumper and arm rests that look like they were designed for a 110lb lady.Am I missing something? I was ready to go with the XT2 42″ considering the relatively small yard I have, but then you pointed out that a 46″ deck is easier to edge with than the 42″.Making the decision harder is the Craftsman #20391 48″ with the Briggs Platinum engine just went on sale for $1900. I was favoring the CC/MTD models but as you pointed out the transmission on this model lets you hit 7.5mph and has a stronger transmission than the K46 in the XT1/XT2, making it better for pushing snow with a blade. The online reviews make me nervous however.So, should I just save my money and get the XT1, go “middle of the road” and get the Craftsman, or drop the full monte on the XT2 despite the dealer markup?Thanks for your input! Reply Paul April 9, 2016 Hi MB, Sorry this took so long, I had to go visit my new grand daughter in Chicago! Well, in my opinion you have two choices. 1. Buy the XT1 from Home Depot or 2. Go find a dealer that actually wants to stay in business! If he wants to stiff you right up front I wonder what other excuses he will make up when he wants to charge you double for any work that ever needs to be done.Well, there is no actual reason to get an XT2. The tractor is identical to the XT1 except for the cosmetic differences that you mentioned. You can match up the two tractors part for part on the Illustrated Parts Lists.You like the Cub Cadet – at least the Home Depot money will pay the wages of local people. Reply M.B. April 14, 2016 Thanks for the input. Oddly enough I ended up with the Craftsman 20391. 48″ is a bit more deck than I need, but I managed to get it out the door with some finangling with Sears credit card applications, loyalty cards, etc for $2000 and change including 8.7% sales tax… or about $68 more than I’d have paid for the XT1 46″ at Home Depot after taxes and delivery fees.They got it all back though when I decided to go back and get the 3 year service agreement though. Oh well, at least the kid who sold it to me got a commission I hope, even if he did know less about the mower than I did thanks to your site. 🙂 Reply Paul April 14, 2016 Hi M.B. What’s sad is they have a lot more training than any other sales associate at any of the retail stores. Reply Andy March 30, 2016 I have a xt2 endure gx54 . I was wondering if I could pull an aerator with this ? Reply Paul March 30, 2016 @Andy, Yes, and you can put 2-300 lbs of weight on the aerator if you need to. Reply Andy March 30, 2016 Thank you Paul . I was thinking about buying one .Probably not gonna put no more than 1 or 2 concrete blocks on it . Reply Ryan Johnson March 29, 2016 Hello, Paul.I have never owned a riding lawnmower, and due to suffering a severe ankle sprain recently, combined with the fact that my push mower of 8 years is on its last leg, I am contemplating purchasing a rider for my 1 acre property. The front yard isn’t bad, but the side/back is rough and with a few hills in spots. I am looking at Cub Cadet. Should I go with a slightly better xt2 model over an xt1? Are the ball bearings and fabricated deck of an xt2 necessary for my lawn? Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated!Thank you, Ryan Reply Paul March 30, 2016 Hi Ryan, No, a fabricated deck is not needed for a regular lawn like yours. The stamped decks, especially the 46 and 54 inch cut better than any fabricated deck. Ball Bearing front wheels are an upgrade but if you remember to grease the front wheels on the XT1 series once a year they will never go bad. Reply Ryan Johnson March 30, 2016 Ok. Thank you very much! Reply Jeremey March 29, 2016 Ok, It looks like they are fairly similar. How about maintenance a few years down the road changing belts, spindles etc. Is one easier/more accessible than the other? Is there a big difference in parts cost? I assume at some point the deck will have to come off for maintenance. The CC claims no tools required for that…is the craftsman the same? Reply Paul March 29, 2016 Hi Jeremey, “Under the hood” they are identical. Same “easy change” deck mounts, etc. The parts are the same but the part numbers will be different because of paint color. The blades on a Cub Cadet stamped deck will interchange with the Craftsman. Parts cost are usually identical at searspartsdirect or a Cub Cadet dealer. In another year or two common parts like blades, bearings and belts will also be available through aftermarket suppliers on Amazon and eBay. For example I can put in a part number from a Craftsman made 5-10 years ago into the search box at Amazon and 90% of the time I can buy the part there for about 25% less than searspartsdirect will charge. Reply Paul March 29, 2016 Hi Jeremey, “Under the hood” they are identical except for the features we discussed before. Same “easy change” deck mounts, etc. The parts are the same but the part numbers will be different because of paint color. The blades on a Cub Cadet stamped deck will interchange with the Craftsman. Parts cost are usually identical at searspartsdirect or a Cub Cadet dealer. In another year or two common parts like blades, bearings and belts will also be available through aftermarket suppliers on Amazon and eBay. For example I can put in a part number from a Craftsman made 5-10 years ago into the search box at Amazon and 90% of the time I can buy the part there for about 25% less than searspartsdirect will charge. Reply GT collector March 29, 2016 Personally, if it comes with the k46 rearend, I would never buy it. Very light and cheap, not built for hills or slopes. You would not backup a small camper with it. After you add the weight of you, the rear of tractor, load weight the axle would only carry another 100-200 pounds before it snaps in half. Repaired a lot of k46 and k51’s so I know hands on what they can and can not do. I would rather have gears than the k46. The cubs with the k58 would be a little better but not as good as a k66 or k72. Reply Paul March 29, 2016 @GT collector, We all have our own opinions but if you really want to help people you have to get past those opinions and listen to what the people want to do. It’s up to people like you and I to help those looking to find the right mower – not sell them what we like or happen to have too many of sitting out back. It’s like you making the statement, “We should only own Dodge 1 ton pickups” – even though 95% of the people who read this blog would never, ever use one to it’s full capacity. The manufactures make the different styles for different sizes of lawns and the extra chores we want to do. For example, I don’t have a camper and never will so I won’t ever have to worry about needing a bigger trans on my mower. I’d never use a lawn tractor anyway to move a camper because the hitch on any lawn/garden tractor is not designed for a ball.In other words, if you need a garden tractor now days you should buy a Mahindra or equivalent that can do the work. If you want to mow your average size suburban lawn then you buy one of these tractors.The manufactures also try to match the prices that people expect to pay. If all you made or sold in your store were lawn tractors with K66 or K72 trans you would be lucky to sell one tractor to every 15000 people who walked into your door. I don’t know too many people who are willing to pay $6000 to $9000 for a lawn tractor – especially since a zero-turn at that price can mow three times as much and do it more comfortably. Reply James C. April 2, 2016 Paul: I see both sides of the fence. Yet I do agree with what GT was saying. To many times you see people going into Sears or Lowe’s wanting the best bang for the buck. And the K46 fills this position perfectly. Then they get it home, hook up their 17 cu ft cart, fill it to the brim with dirt, paver’s (like your wife did with your 10 cu ft and “flat tires”) or wood and then wonder why the trans life is either greatly reduced or breaks. People are “cheap” and do not want to spend the money to properly handle the tasks they want to accomplish. I was at my local Simplicity-Husqvarna-Cub Cadet dealer and this exact scenario occurred. The guy bought a Husq YTH22V46 and thought he could pull a stand alone tiller and a 17cu ft cart full of wood. The sales rep at the local big box store told him “no problem”. When the trans was destroyed with in just over a year’s time, he blamed the manufacturer for it. When he was told he should of spent more money for a garden tractor, he cussed worse then a sailor and stormed out. Granted the sales rep was partially at fault for wanting to make the sale (I’ve been told by SEARS employees that there would be no issues with using ground engaging attachments with a K46!) but it was also the gentleman’s fault for spending $1500 to do the work of a $3500+ machine. SO GT definitely has truth to his statement just as you do. I blame sales people for wanting to sell their tractor (and not wanting to lose a sale to their competition) and consumers for not buying the proper equipment for what they want to do. That is why last year I purchased a $7800 Simplicity Prestige! Reply Paul April 2, 2016 Hi James, MY favorite story on sales people was at my local farm supply store just last year. They had a Cub Cadet XT1 Garden Tractor for $2799 (K58), a Husqvarna LGT2654 for $2599 (K46) and Troy-Bilt Super Bronco 54 XP for $1999 (K46). All three of these tractors have the same size rear wheels.I was listening to a sales person tell a customer that the Troy-Bilt was the best Garden Tractor for him. I couldn’t help myself so I jumped in and asked the sales person, “Why would you sell that Troy-Bilt to him? It only has a K46 transmission. He will wreck it in a year pulling heavy loads.” The sales person’s response was, “It’s a Garden Tractor! It has the large rear wheels!”Mahindra and a few other brands are really cutting into the Presige’s market. You can spend just a little more for a sub-compact that has hydraulics, three point, loaders, mow pastures and your lawn. Reply Jeremey March 28, 2016 Hi,I am trying to decide between the Craftsman Pro 26 HP* V-Twin Kohler 50” Garden Tractor and CC XT1 GT50. I recently built a home near Farmington, MN on 2 acres. The yard is mostly flat with some rough spots and I will have some ditches to mow that I will need to climb. I have about 0.75 – 1.0 acre to pick rock, prep, and seed around the house. Will need the tractor to help with those duties and also pull a cart when I start my other landscaping work. Am I looking in the right direction for size, type of tractor? Can I go wrong with either one? Reply Paul March 28, 2016 Hi Jeremy, we must have been typing at the same time. Yes, both are good choices for what you want to do. Reply« Older CommentsNewer Comments »Leave a Reply Cancel reply Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.