2011 John Deere 42 in 21 HP Riding Mower Model D120 Review

This John Deere Lawn Tractor has been replaced with the John Deere D125.

Here is the 2011 John Deere 42 in 21 HP Riding Mower Model D120 available at Home Depot.  This tractor sports a new hood and a free 10-point delivery inspection by certified John Deere technician.  This new inspection program insures your new mower was assembled properly at the factory and the mower is ready to mow.  Be assured this new mower is ready to run!  This riding mower is sized for your suburban lawn.

It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

My Rating of this John Deere Riding Lawn Mower:

John Deere D120 Lawn Tractor

My Value/Cost Rating: Yard Tractor,  Mows Lawn Well, Mulches, Gets Through Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Light Hauling, Light Snow Removal. Accepts Light Duty Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Yard Tractor.
Engine Type: Better.  Full Pressure Lube.
Transmission Type: Hydrostatic.
Speed Control: Pedal (Foot) Infinite
Accepts Light Duty Attachments:

What I Like!

This John Deere Lawn Tractor compares with the Craftsman T 3000 Model 20390. With the exception of the Turn Tight Technology and the higher average price this riding mower is a good alternative.  This is the best John Deere for value, cut, durability and overall satisfaction for your typical suburban yard.  My neighbor has a 2010 version of this tractor and it mows well, bags well and he is very happy with it.

John Deere 42 in 21 HP Riding Mower Model D120

Find the best price here: John Deere Riding Lawn Mower. D125 42 in. 20 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic Front-Engine BG20709

My Review:

Priced at about $400 more than the highly comparable YT 3000 Craftsman and $200 more than the LTX 1042 Cub Cadet, this John Deere lawn tractor is a great mower for the normal suburban yard.  This model features the new John Deere design,  step through operator’s platform, oil pump lube engine with oil filter, and a 42 inch deck.

The D 120 has the foot control hydrostatic transmission.  This transmission is easy to use and will perform well for mowing and medium duty yard tasks.

If you want a mower that will mow 1/2 to 2 acres well, handle a snow blade, and all the non-ground engaging attachments this is a great choice for you.  This tractor is heavy enough to handle gently sloping and smooth lawns.  There are other mowers that will mow faster, or pull more, but this is a great all around mowing machine.  This lawn tractor is one riding mower that will work well for your suburban lawn.

I think this machine does represent a good value.  This is John Deere’s economy line and this model does use The John Deere motor (the dealer version uses a Briggs & Stratton motor) If you take care of of the lawn tractor properly it will last you a long time. My neighbor is very happy with his.

This yard tractor is capable of using all the light duty non-ground engaging attachments John Deere offers including a snow blade.


Craftsman really up’d the ante this year with the introduction of the Turn Tight on their YT 3000 and YT 4000 series mowers.  The new Craftsman’s 8 inch turning radius is so much better than Deere’s 18 inch turning radius that it would be hard for me to go buy the Deere.  The D 120 John Deere is a great riding tractor and is a good choice if you want “green” on your lawn.

The D 120  is heavy enough, but I recommend going to a twin cylinder motor (D 130)  if you want to attach a  snow thrower.   You will wish you had bought a larger engine for snow throwing.

Final Thoughts:

John Deere is a great company and they are one of the largest manufactures of farm equipment in the world.  They have had a great reputation for good quality lawn tractors.  The dealer network is good, though mainly located in rural areas.  If you buy one from Home Depot be sure you understand the service options available including extended warranties and local service options.  If you end up buying a Deere from them and then finding out that you have to haul your lawn tractor 40 miles to get it serviced or repaired …. the John Deere D 120 may not be the best choice for you.

There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality mid-sized mower designed to mow lawns well.  Take care of it (do the normal maintenance all lawn mowers need) and it will last you a long time.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for.

Product Description From: Home Depot

The John Deere 42 in. 21 HP Hydrostatic Front-Engine Riding Mower is equipped with cast iron front axle for added durability and a full length welded steel frame to increase operator comfort. The wide, step-through frame allows easy access on and off the tractor. Hydrostatic transmission and 2 foot control pedals allow you to set your own pace while the overhead valve design offers efficient fuel economy and superior power.

  • 21 HP single-cylinder engine offers powerful performance
  • 2-pedal hydrostatic transmission is easy to use
  • 42 in. cutting swath easily cares for up to a 1-1/2 acre lawn
  • 2-blade edge cutting system provides a precise cut
  • 18 in. turning radius allows maneuverability
  • Wide, step-through frame allows easy access on and off the tractor
  • A wash port is included for your convenience in cleaning the underside of the deck
  • Controls are color coded and at your fingertips
  • 16 positions allow cutting heights from 1 – 4 in.
  • Can travel at speeds up to 5-1/2 MPH for efficient mowing
  • Hour meter helps monitor usage for proper maintenance intervals
  • MFG Brand Name : John Deere
  • MFG Model # : D120 BG20542
  • MFG Part # : D120 BG20542
  • Number of Cylinders : Single Cylinder

Extended Warranty:

I am having difficulty establishing just what extended warranties are available for this tractor through Home Depot.  I went through the check out process but at no time could I find the option to get an extended warranty.

John Deere does offer a plan that extends the normal 2 year warranty by one or two years (defects, not wear & tear.)  Their best maintenance plan is not offered on this mower.

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