Are you thinking about getting a zero-turn mower? Let’s take a look at some key differences between two of the most popular mowers, Cub Cadet and Husqvarna zero-turn mowers. Both of these mowers are amazing quality machines, but the Cub Cadet may be better for residential yards, while the Husqvarna has the power and speed to tackle the biggest commercial jobs.
When comparing the Cub Cadet and Husqvarna Zero-Turn mowers, it comes down to individual applications. The Cub Cadet mower is a bit quicker and it’s much more nimble. The Husqvarna zero turn is stronger and more efficient so you’ll be able to take on more jobs.
In this article, we will get in-depth with both of these mowers, go over key points, as well as pros and cons so you can make an informed decision. We’ve done the research and laid it out all here, but the ultimate decision rests on your shoulders.
Brief History and Background of Both Mowers
By a decree of the Swedish Monarch, a rifle company was founded in 1620, which eventually became known as Husqvarna in 1689. They were still producing rifles via hydropower because the factory was located underneath a waterfall. It wasn’t until 1919 when Husqvarna purchased an ironworks facility that they started producing lawnmowers.
The first mowers were the non-motorized reel type lawn equipment that are still manufactured today. It wasn’t until the year 1946 that Husqvarna started putting gas powered engines on their lawnmowers.
Since then, Husqvarna has stood for quality and innovation when it came to outdoor power equipment. It may be a Swedish company, but the name still stands for exceptional quality.
Cub Cadet was a lawn tractor brand created by International Harvester in 1960. This tractor ended up gaining so much traction that Cub Cadet became its own brand. Eventually, MTD gained control over Cub Cadet, and just last year (2021) Stanley Black and Decker purchased MTD and all its products, including Cub Cadet.
Pros and Cons of Cub Cadet and Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower
The pros of the Cub Cadet zero-turn mower include:
- It’s perfect for smaller yards. If you have an acre or two, you’ll have no problem getting everything mowed in a decent time.
- Cub Cadet is a comfortable ride. The seat is plush and fits every body type, and it’s got a very ergonomic feel to everything from the seat to the levers, to where you rest your feet. This mower even has adjustable front wheel shocks that help to reduce rider fatigue and increase comfort even when mowing for hours.
- It’s easy to use and easy to clean. The deck is crafted in a way that grass doesn’t accumulate on top and clog up the belts and pulleys. The Cub Cadet zero-turn is also easy to use, from the cutting deck adjustment to the smooth ride.
The cons related to the Cub Cadet zero-turn mower include these points:
- It can’t handle steep terrain. The Cub Cadet has small tires that are not able to handle anything but the most gentle hills.
- You have to mow slowly. This mower is faster overall than the Husqvarna zero-turn mower, but if you mow at full speed, you’ll have to mow twice or even three times. When grass is tall or thick, you have to slow it way down to get all the grass cut.
The Husqvarna zero-turn mower has these pros associated with it:
- It’s built like a tank. The Husqvarna zero-turn mower is built with thicker steel which makes it heavier, and safer when driving on hilly, uneven terrain.
- Husqvarna handles thick grass. This mower has a more powerful engine and is able to quickly cut thick grass faster than the Cub Cadet. You’ll make quick work of the largest fields when using a Husqvarna zero-turn.
- The engine has an automatic choke. When you turn the key, the engine starts right up. You don’t have to adjust a choke to make sure it starts and runs correctly. With the automatic choke, you only need to turn the key to start it.
Here are the disadvantages of the Husqvarna zero-turn mowers:
- It’s not as maneuverable. It may be built like military equipment, but it handles like military equipment as well. The zero-turn feature works well, it’s just not that smooth and you may spend some time trying to get used to it, or you’ll have to do a little “back and forth” to get very tight areas cut.
- The upper cutting deck gets clogged. While cutting—especially higher or thicker grass—you’ll have to occasionally get off the mower and clean off the top of the mower deck. Grass tends to accumulate there and bog down the blades.
Cub Cadet vs Husqvarna Zero-Turn Mower – Detailed Comparison:
Now let’s look at these mowers in a more side-by-side comparison. We’ll go over the main things you’re looking for in a mower such as cutting performance, efficiency, safety features, power, and warranty.
Engine and Performance
The Cub Cadet zero-turn has a 24-horsepower Kohler twin-cylinder motor behind it. This engine is easily able to tackle your yard with exceptionally smooth and quiet operation. That power is transferred to the mowing capacity.
Whether you’re bagging or mulching your clippings, you won’t get huge chunks of grass as everything is chipped up into small, easy to degrade, or bag pieces.
The Husqvarna zero-turn mower has a more powerful 26-horsepower Kohler V-twin motor. Though it has more power, it’s still a relatively quiet mower, with a smooth as melted butter ride.
One thing about the Husqvarna zero-turn is the added cooling fan. This fan works to blow cool air over the engine to help it run at optimum performance. No matter how long you’re mowing, you won’t have to worry about it overheating.
This makes the Husqvarna zero-turn mower a workhorse when it comes to mowing a lot of acreage or in commercial settings when you have to mow multiple plots of grass daily.
When it comes to maximum speed, the Cub Cadet barely inches out the Husqvarna. The Cub Cadet, even though it has less power, is able to max out at 7 mph forward, and 3.5 mph in reverse.
The heavier, beefier Husqvarna tops out at 6.5 miles per hour forward and has the same reverse speed as the Cub Cadet. That being said, when you’re mowing, it’s a different story.
If you were to mow with the Cub Cadet at full speed, you’d leave behind a ton of uneven grass that would need a second pass. The Husqvarna on the other hand will be mowing lawns much faster because it can cut cleaner at higher speeds.
The Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers give you the option to choose from several cutting widths. You can get decks as small as 42 inches, to as wide as 60 inches. You also have the option to choose from fabricated or stamped decks.
A fabricated deck is usually a more heavy-duty mower deck that is welded together and features a thicker, sturdier frame compared to the rounded stamped mowing deck. The fabricated deck will cost more because of the added labor that goes into it, but it can handle more abuse without rusting as quickly.
Cub Cadet also has up to 15 different cutting lengths ranging from 1 inch high to 4.5 inches.
Husqvarna’s zero-turn mowers only have 6 cutting positions with a 54” cutting deck. You can also choose between stamped metal, or a fabricated, more heavy-duty cutting deck.
The real difference between the two is that Husqvarna has three blades instead of two like the Cub Cadet. This extra blade helps manage the grass faster without leaving behind the annoying stragglers.
Ease of Use
If you’ve never driven a zero-turn mower before you’ll have to spend some time getting used to the dual levers. Both your hands are used to go forward, backward, and to turn. Your feet don’t do anything aside from keeping you stationed in the mower.
That being said, once you have this mode of mowing mastered, both of these machines are easy to drive and a breeze to use. Everything is within arms reach on both of these brands of mowers.
You can adjust the mowing height with the turn of a knob, and the acceleration is smooth and even so you won’t get jostled around. The Cub Cadet may come out ahead when it comes to maintenance though.
It’s just a little bit easier to access the mowing deck when you need to replace the mowing belts. The fuel and oil filters are out in the open, and easy to replace. When keeping up with regular upkeep, you’ll have less of a headache working on the Cub Cadet.
Safety and Additional Features
Safety features of the Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers include an adjustable roll frame. It only takes a few seconds to put the roll cage up or down. If you have to mow under low hanging tree branches, it’s easy to put the roll bar down, and then back up when you need it again.
Cub Cadet also has bright LED lights in the front bumper that come on when you start the mower. Husqvarna has LED lights along the frame as well, but they don’t have forward facing headlights. You can still mow in low light settings, but Cub Cadet is just a little better here.
Cub Cadet has a foot pedal that can raise the mowing deck. This may not sound very substantial, but if you have to go over a stump, up a curb, or other raised areas, it’s so easy to just press the pedal and continue moving.
Husqvarna jumps ahead of the competition with the air induction mowing technology. As the blades turn, air is drawn from the top of the deck as well as the bottom. This helps to keep the grass standing at attention so every blade gets cut with minimal effort.
If you’re looking for better fuel economy, the Cub Cadet barely squeaks ahead of the Husqvarna. This is because it has a slightly lower powered motor. But, you can usually get your mowing done faster with the Husqvarna, so in the end, they are probably closer to even in fuel efficiency.
Grass cutting efficiency definitely goes to Husqvarna. With three blades and the air induction feature in the cutting deck, Husqvarna is an efficient grass cutting beast. You’ll get an even cut much faster without having to make extra passes with the Husqvarna zero-turn mower.
Cub Cadet offers a 3-year limited warranty. It covers defects in material and workmanship for three years but does not cover normal wear and tear parts. This includes belts, blades, tires, oil changes, filters, and other routine maintenance parts.
You can purchase an additional 2-year extended warranty when you purchase the mower for a little bit more peace of mind. This extended warranty covers mechanical and electrical breakdowns. If repairs are needed and they exceed the purchase price, you could receive a new, similar product.
Husqvarna offers the same type of 3-year warranty. They will replace or fix anything not related to normal wear and tear, that is a result of improper workmanship or material defects for three years.
The Husqvarna zero-turn mower shines just a little brighter in this category. It has a slightly more powerful engine than the Cub Cadet. They both use Kohler motors, but Husqvarna has a 26 hp V-twin, air cooled engine, whereas Cub Cadet is slightly lower powered at 24 hp.
Husqvarna didn’t give their mower more speed but instead transferred that extra power to the mowing deck and cutting blades.
Cub Cadet only has 2 fewer horsepower than Husqvarna, but they made their mower half a mile an hour faster at top speed. Though you won’t be able to mow efficiently at this speed, if you’re just trying to get from point A to B, then you might want the slightly quicker Cub Cadet.
Price Comparison Between Cub Cadet and Husqvarna Zero Turn Mowers
Both brands have several options to choose from and many different price points. Husqvarna zero-turn mowers start at $3,300 and go up to $6,300. Cub Cadet has very similar pricing packages as their zero-turn entry mowers start at $3,500 and range up to $6,600.
Now let’s take a look at recalls on both these brands.
Cub Cadet had a recall on some of their zero-turn mowers because the battery cables could get pinched under the seat. This could end up grounding the wires on the mower resulting in fire and shock hazards. The models affected were Pro Z 700s and 900s sold between March 2016 through July 2020.
Other recalls for Cub Cadet include 2011 commercial zero turn mowers that were recalled because fuel could leak from the vent valve grommet on the fuel take which could result in a fire. These models include M54-KH, M60-KH, M60-KW, M72-KW, S6031-KW, S7237-KW, TANK L48 and TANK L60.
The next recall was because the fuel tank neck could crack resulting in fuel leakage and a fire hazard. This recall affected the 2018 RZT SX EFI zero-turn models manufactured between December 2017 and June 2018.
Husqvarna also had a recall that could result in a fire hazard. They had to recall some Briggs and Stratton powered zero-turn mowers that had a fuel line that was routed very close to the right rear tire that could rub the line and cause fuel to leak.
Here are the models affected by this recall; Z242F, Z246, Z246, Z246i, Z248F, Z254, and Z254F. Mowers manufactured between July 1, 2017, and November 7, 2017, were affected.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is Cub Cadet a good brand?
Cub Cadet mowers are popular because of their quality products and reasonable prices. Cub Cadet brands of mowers are a great option to choose from when looking for a long lasting lawn tractor.
Is Husqvarna zero turn a good brand?
Husqvarna zero-turn mowers are heavy-duty mowing machines that are good investments. They may need a little more maintenance than Cub Cadet mowers, but they make up for it in how efficiently they tackle your mowing projects.
How long do Husqvarna mowers last?
With proper maintenance and normal use, a Husqvarna mower should last you between 10 to 15 years. The key is to treat the mower right and don’t try to push it too hard. With all machines, keeping up with regular maintenance will truly extend the life of the mower.
How long do Cub Cadet mowers last?
Like Husqvarna, your Cub Cadet zero-turn mower should last at least 10 to 15 years when it’s properly taken care of. Keep on top of oil changes, don’t use bad fuel, and replace filters and spark plugs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Both Cub Cadet and Husqvarna zero-turn mowers are celebrated brands that produce well thought out yard machines. If you’re looking for a zero-turn mower, you can’t go wrong with either brand. It may come down to mowing preference or cost.
Husqvarna has a few mowers that are just a tad less expensive than Cub Cadet, and they are slightly more efficient when it comes to mowing. Cub Cadet on the other hand is easier to service. It all comes down to the size of your property, and what exactly you’re looking for in a mower because you can’t go wrong with either brand.
Ruben has been doing online marketing for the last 4 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years managing different brick-and-mortar businesses, in the home improvement and logistics industries. Overall, he has 20 years of business experience under his belt. Recently, he added SEO, affiliate marketing, and link building to his business skills.