Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Reviews – Is It A Reliable Brand?

Cub Cadet is a brand that many people in the agriculture industry are familiar with. The company makes professional-grade tractors, lawnmowers, snow throwers and other types of outdoor equipment.

The fact that Cub Cadet is well-known in the agriculture industry is a good sign because it means that people who depend on working the earth for their livelihood trust Cub Cadet as a brand.

But does that mean anything for the rest of us who simply have a large lawn to care for? In the following review, we will be taking a look at Cub Cadet as a brand and looking at some of their best lawn mowers so you can make an informed consumer decision.

Is Cub Cadet A Reliable Brand?

Cub Cadet was founded in 1960 so they have been around for a very long time. The company was a subsidiary of International Harvester and Cub Cadet was introduced as a premium line of tractors.

However, Cub Cadet was sold to the MTD corporation in 1981. That was when Cub Cadet started producing lawn mowers and tractors for smaller tasks. One of the things that makes Cub Cadet stand out is that they are still made to professional specifications.

Many of their lawn mower models feature special anti-corrosion coatings and powerful motors that make them useful for large products and keep them functional even in inclement weather.

Their reliability and longevity are just a couple of the aspects that endears Cub Cadet mowers to so many people.

Cub Cadet ZT1 42 – Best Choice

Selling Points:

  • Kohler motor
  • Dual transmission
  • 42 inch cutting deck

This is a riding mower and if you have an acre or more to mow, this would be a great choice for you. The Cub Cadet ZT1 42 features a twin-cylinder 725cc motor. With 22 horsepower and a top speed of 7 MPH (forward) this mower will help you power through large mowing projects.

The twin transmission makes for very easy maneuvering around tight corners. We were also really surprised at how easy it was to operate the Cub Cadet ZT1 42. Even if you have never used a riding mower before, you should be able to get the hang of the Cub Cadet ZT1 42 in very short order.

There are 15 different deck positions so no matter what kind of grass you’re dealing with, this mower can handle it. You can adjust the cutting height between 1” and 4.5”. The Cub Cadet ZT1 42 also features an electric start and a 3.5 gallon gas tank.

Pros:

  • Wide cutting deck
  • Highly adjustable deck
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • It’s loud

Overall Score: 98/100

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Cub Cadet XT1 ST54 – Best Lawn Tractor

Selling Points:

  • Twin cylinder engine
  • 16” turn radius
  • 54” cutting deck

The CubCadet XT1 ST54 is for anyone with 2+ acres of land to mow. This is a no-nonsense, powerful tractor that features a wide 54” cutting deck. That means you will be able to mow more lawn with one pass and save time.

However, it should be noted that the CubCadet XT1 ST54 is meant mostly for flat terrain. If your property has a lot of inclines or hills, this may not be the best option for you. The deck has 3 blades so it cuts very efficiently.

The CubCadet XT1 ST54 features a Kohler 7000 series motor with 24 horsepower. It’s a 725cc engine so it will have more than enough power for regular mowing. The top forward speed is 5.5 mph.

Pros:

  • Great for large properties
  • Hydrostatic drive
  • Tight turning radius

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do well on hills

Overall Score: 96/100

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Cub Cadet CC30E – Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower

Selling Points:

  • 30” cutting deck
  • Recharges quickly
  • Electric motor

If you don’t want to have to keep  up with oil changes and deal with gas cans, the Cub Cadet CC30E would be a solid choice for you. This is an electric riding mower that’s powered by a 56 volt lithium-ion battery.

On a full charge, the Cub Cadet CC30E can run at top speed for about an hour. After an hour, you’ll start to notice some power loss so we would recommend this mower to people who have an acre or less of land to mow.

The Cub Cadet CC30E tops out at 4 mph and has a brushless motor which is great for longevity.

Pros:

  • 2mph reverse speed
  • Digital battery gauge
  • Charges in about 4 hours

Cons:

  • No rear differential lock

Overall Score: 96/100

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Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 – Best Commercial Zero Turn Radius Mower

Selling Points:

  • Triple-blade cutter
  • Zero turn radius
  • 726cc engine

The Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 would be ideal for anyone who needs a mower that works well around many tight corners. The Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 is a commercial-grade zero turn radius mower which means it maneuvers like a dream.

It has a Kawasaki FR series engine which clocks in at 24 horsepower. The Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 also features a wide, 54” cutting deck to help you get your mowing chores done quickly.

Pros:

  • Wide cutting deck
  • Two gauge wheels
  • Cuts efficiently

Cons:

  • It’s pricey

Overall Score: 95/100

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Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 60 – Best for Large Gardens

Selling Points:

  • 726cc engine
  • Zero turn radius
  • 60” cutting deck

The Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 60 is pretty much the same as the last model on our list only with a wider cutting deck. It has a 60” cutting deck as opposed to the 54” cutting deck of the Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 54 model.

We would recommend the Cub Cadet Z-Force SX 60 to anyone 2+ acres to mow and anyone with property with a lot of features that need to be avoided.

Pros:

  • Turns tight
  • Powerful motor
  • 8mph forward speed

Cons:

  • Not very fuel-efficient

Overall Score: 94/100

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Cub Cadet XT2 SLX54 – Best for Hills

Selling Points:

  • Automatic transmission
  • Kohler 7000 series motor
  • 5 mph forward speed

The automatic Tuff Torq K46 transmission is what makes this a great mower for hilly land. You don’t have to bother with shifting and the 23 horsepower engine affords you the power you need to get up inclines.

It has a 3 mph reverse speed which is good for a mower of this size. It has a 46 inch cutting deck that can be adjusted from 1” to 4” high. The transmission is very smooth and the adjustable deck height allows you to tackle any kind of turf.

Pros:

  • 12 deck positions
  • Twin cylinders
  • Performs well on hills

Cons:

  • No fuel gauge

Overall Score: 95/100

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Cub Cadet FAQ’s

Q: What’s The Best Oil For Cub Cadet Riding Mowers?

For most Cub Cadet riding mowers (which typically feature a 4-cycle engine), SAE 10W-30 oil is the best oil to use. You can get SAE 10W-30 engine oil at your local hardware or automotive supply store.

Q: Who builds Cub Cadet mowers?

Recently, Cub Cadet was purchased by Stanley Black + Decker which is a manufacturer that specializes in power tools, home appliances and outdoor equipment. Before the Black + Decker Acquisition, Cub Cadet was a subsidiary of the MTD Corporation.

Q: What’s the difference between a Cub Cadet XT1 and XT2

The Cub Cadet XT1 and XT2 mowers are very popular but many people have trouble distinguishing them from one another. The main reason for the confusion is that the XT1 and XT2 mowers use the same chassis.

However, the XT2 comes with added protection. For instance, the XT2 has an extended front bumper which protects the chassis and the motor from impacts. Another difference is that the XT1 has a single cylinder engine while the XT2 has a twin cylinder engine.

With the beefier engine, the XT2 mower also has more torque. However, you may not require the extra power if you have a smaller lawn to care for. If you have an acre or less, you may want to go with the XT1.

The Cub Cadet XT2 on the other hand will be good for anyone who lives in a cold climate. The battery in the XT2 has been upgraded from the XT1 so that it starts up more reliably in cold weather.

Q: Is Cub Cadet as good as John Deere?

Cub Cadet is often compared to John Deere but at the end of the day, they both make really good, reliable tractors and mowers. John Deere also has a full line of riding mowers and probably, the more recognizable and iconic name.

However, Cub Cadet makes several riding mowers that rival the power and mirror the features of John Deere mowers. In the end, it will be a matter of personal preference and need because both companies make outstanding mowers and outdoor equipment.

Q: What kind of engine does Cub Cadet have?

That will depend on the model. Many popular Cub Cadet mowers feature Kohler 7000 series engines but some have Kawasaki engines. Cub Cadet engines come in various sizes and horsepower capacities. Their battery-operated mowers feature long-lasting brushless engines.