The 5 Consumer-Recommended Riding Lawn Mowers Are All John Deere Models

You simply can’t beat a John Deere lawnmower. Well, you can if you’re Mahindra, but for the rest of the lawnmower manufacturers, you probably are. Consumer Reports proved it when John Deere took the top five spots on its most recent list of recommended lawn mowers and tractors.

Is seventh place really that bad?

John Deere | Getty Images

Before we talk about the John Deere models that managed to snuff out the competition, we’ll talk about the only lawn mower that managed to outperform the John Deere S100. It’s the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 in seventh place.

The XT2 SLX50 impressed Consumer Reports with thoughtful features such as a comfortable seat with armrests. It may not seem like much, but it makes a significant difference to your back and arms when cutting grass for hours on end. Other features include the 50 inch deck, which speeds up the process.

While impressive, especially for $2,500, the Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 still couldn’t compete with John Deere.

John Deere proves it’s the best of the best

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John Deere is a force of nature in the lawn and garden industry. From lawn tractors to harvesting equipment, if it’s maintenance around the home or farm, John Deere probably has something to make the job easier.

The John Deere to take the top spot with Consumer Reports was the X354. With a starting price of $4,400, it’s more expensive, but if you have a big lawn to mow, it might be worth it.

In second place is the X350-42. By turning a dial you can adjust the height of the bridge which is a nice feature. Consumer Reports was slightly alarmed that the pedal and brake can easily be confused for drivers unfamiliar with the X350-42, but that is quickly fixed.

Third place goes to the S240-48. It comes with a starting price of $2,900. Consumer Reports was impressed with the side discharge, mulch and bagging performance.

The John Deere S170 took fourth place. It got decent scores, but the review site wasn’t happy with the noise level. The S170 has a starting price of $2,600.

Finally, in fifth place is the S120, with a price tag of $2,300. Like the S170, the noise level helped lower it when it came to scores.

The John Deere S140 took sixth place and the S100 eighth.

Craftsman failed to impress

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Competition is tough in the lawn and garden world, and Craftsman has fallen behind this year. In fact, it wasn’t even on Consumer Reports’ list of recommended lawn mowers and tractors. Even more devastating, the Craftsman T110 came in last on the lawn mower list.

While it’s not a terrible choice, especially if you’re on a budget, it’s not a great choice either. For anyone who takes pride in the appearance of their lawn, the Craftsman T110 probably isn’t for you.

Some of the complaints made by Consumer Reports include a lack of comfortable seating, lackluster mulch, bagging, and handling. For $1,950, it might be a good idea to save a little more and get a John Deere. Knowing you have a quality machine makes up for the price increase. When you’re done, your lawn looks fantastic.

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