Cub Cadet vs. Husqvarna – The Midrange Riding Lawn Mower Showdown

There is not very much that is more “American” than a tractor. Tractor mowers, also known as riding mowers, riding lawn mowers, and garden tractors, have become an iconic symbol of the American way of life. Cub Cadet vs. Husqvarna is a solid head to head comparison of two iconic brands. Which is best for you!

If you’re considering buying a tractor lawn mower, two of the best options out there are the Cub Cadet XT1 LT42​ and the Husqvarna YTA24V48. Each of these machines is a great option for taking care of your larger lawn, but they both have pros and cons.

In this piece, we’ll take a look at the differences between these two riding mowers so you can decide which one is the better option for your lawn.

Last update on 2019-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cub Cadet vs. Husqvarna: Brief Company Histories

Cub Cadet and Husqvarna are two of the more well-known lawn care companies out there and they’ve both been in the tractor mower business for a while.

​Husqvarna is a Swedish company that was founded in 1689 as a military weapons foundry. Its focus has shifted in its 329 years of existence and the company has produced everything from sewing machines to motorcycles.

The Husqvarna that we know today has focused on lawn mowers since 1918 when it acquired Norrahammars Ironworks in Sweden. Since then, it has expanded to also include chainsaws, power cutters, and every other major power tool that you could possibly need. In this time, it has gained international recognition for high-quality and durable products and you can find Husqvarna tools in over 100 countries around the world.

Cub Cadet​ is significantly younger than Husqvarna. It was established in 1961 as a small line of specialty tractors for International Harvester. It is now a subsidiary of MTD Products, another American manufacturer of outdoor power equipment.

Cub Cadet is extremely proud of its American roots and to this day it is still headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It also cares about keeping Americans employed and has local workforces in Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

​​Riding lawn mower tractors are more expensive than your traditional lawn mower, but they are well worth the price if you have a lot of land that needs tending. They speed up the process enormously and make it significantly less work for anyone that has to take care of a yard that is a ½ acre or larger.

Despite their age differences, both Cub Cadet and Husqvarna make tractor mowers that are heavy-duty, durable, and guaranteed to get the mowing done in no time. They have a number of similarities, including adjustable cutting heights from one to four inches, and electric starts that are designed to make turning the machine on and off a breeze. However, they do stack up against each other differently in a lot of ways.

​Cub Cadet XT1 LT42​​  

Last update on 2019-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Cub Cadet tractor mower is best suited for lawns that max out at 1 acre. Its 42-inch cutting deck makes it perfect for this amount of space. The tractor is designed with maintenance in mind and uses electronic fuel injection technology instead of a standard carburetor. This makes it easier to take care of in the off season and reduces the maintenance costs.

Husqvarna YTA2​​​​4V48 ​

Last update on 2019-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Husqvarna tractor mower is better suited for larger yards. Not only is the cutting deck a full 6 inches longer, it also has a bigger engine. This tractor mower is protected by Husqvarna’s 5-year warranty and is produced by one of the most trusted brands in the world. It’s a great option if you’ve got an extra large yard that you want to cut quickly and efficiently.

Head to Head

There are a lot of different factors to consider when you’re buying a lawn tractor And while there are large differences between these two mowing machines, we focus on a few major ones to help you make your decision.

Size

The largest difference between the Cub Cadet and the Husqvarna is the size of the machines themselves.

The Cub Cadet has a 42-inch cut width while the Husqvarna has a larger 48-inch width.

Cut width is important and should be considered based on your lawn size. If your yard is one acre or less, you will probably want to work with a tractor that is anywhere from 30–42 inches long.

This range is perfect for these yards because it still makes the job faster and more comfortable than a traditional push mower, but it doesn’t come at the expense of maneuverability and ease-of-use.

In this case, the Cub Cadet is the mower for you and provides the perfect balance of power with size.

If your yard is one to two acres large, you’ll probably be more interested in the full 48-inches that Husqvarna has to offer.

This mower is still easy to use, but the extra two inches helps get the job done just a little more quickly and easily.

Engine

Both the Husqvarna and the Cub Cadet have three-gallon tanks, so they both hold a good amount of fuel which means fewer stops to refill the tank.

The Husqvarna uses 24 horsepower Briggs & Stratton Intek V-Twin engine.

It has a lot of features that are worth noting, including advance debris management, full-pressure lubrication, and a mechanical compression release. 

All of these things make the machine easy to use and offer more power and convenience.

The Cub Cadet, on the other hand, has a smaller engine. This is because it’s designed for smaller yards than the Husqvarna, so it does deliver a lot of power for its size.

Its 18 horsepower Kohler 5400 Series is unique because it uses electronic fuel injection (EFI) technology rather than a standard carbureted engine.

This makes it roughly 25% more fuel efficient than some of its competitors and also more convenient.

There’s no need to drain the fuel tank during the offseason, it requires fewer oil changes, and it has fewer moving parts that are subject to breaking.

Safety

Safety is the number one concern when operating any piece of heavy machinery, and both Husqvarna and Cub Cadet have taken measures to ensure that the operator is safe while using their tractor mowers.

Both come equipped with high-powered headlights and brakes, and neither has an operating speed that is particularly dangerous.

The Husqvarna is notable for its commitment to safety, however, and it has installed a couple of extra features into the YTA24V48 that push it ahead in this category.

One of these is the safety switch that is under the seat which automatically senses the weight of the operator.

If the driver suddenly leaves the seat, whether it’s to stand up or fall off, the engine and cutting deck are automatically turned off.

The second is their ingenious solution to driving in reverse. When the machine is put into reverse, the cutting blade is automatically disengaged.

This reduces the risk of anything happening while you are driving the tractor backward and have to pay attention to what’s happening both in front of you and behind you!

Comfort and Ease of Use

Finally, if you’re going to be spending some time on a lawn tractor, you want the experience to be comfortable and easy to use.

Both the Husqvarna and the Cub Cadet have some small features like cruise control, an hour meter, a cup holder, and an adjustable seat, all of which make the experience more fun.

It is worth noting, though, that the Cub Cadet model does not have armrests which could be a major comfort issue for you.

You also won’t have to worry about changing gears with either of them—the Husqvarna uses an automatic transmission and the Cub Cadet a hydrostatic one.

Related: Best Zero Turn Mower Guide

Final Thoughts

Overall, both of these machines are fantastic options and your choice will largely depend on the size of your yard.

If you have something that is larger than one acre you will probably be more comfortable with the Husqvarna, but if your yard is any smaller we would recommend the Cub Cadet.

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