Updated: June 8, 2015

John Deere Lawn Tractor Reviews and Buying Guide:

John Deere tractors are world famous and their lawn mowers are found in households across America. The company was founded in 1837 and has always innovated and engineered new equipment to help residential and commercial users. We will focus on their residential line of products, more specifically their lawn tractors, garden tractors, and lawn mowers. The John Deere X304 Lawn Tractor was rated the highest in a recenty Consumer Reports guide and their gas-powered lawn mowers have always been top sellers. Their latest EZtrak zero turn mowers are leading the industry and the versatility of the John Deere garden tractors sets them apart from the competition. You will find them at John Deere stores as well as home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot. We recently made a trip down to our local Lowes to see which models are the most popular and which ones rate the highest in consumer reviews.
John Deere mowers


Before you step in and buy the biggest lawn tractor available, you will need to consider what jobs you need to accomplish with your yard tractor and how big your lawn is. Most experts agree that your lawn needs to be 1/2 acre or larger to justify the purchase of a lawn tractor or ride on mower. John Deere has exceptional reliability records when it comes to lawn and garden tractors, but their walk behind lawn movers have a less than spectacular record. Big lawns are one thing, but hard to mow spots may require one of their zero turn radius mowers that are excellent at getting those hard to reach areas around planter boxes, shrubs, and trees. When buying a lawn tractor make sure you sit in the model you want to buy since comfort is a big issue when riding on a mower. You want a smooth ride as well, but the seat and back support could be the most important thing. John Deere sells lawn tractors with a variety of horsepower (HP) so you can tackle any size lawn. You should compare John Deere to the other leading brands like Toro, Troy-Bilt, Craftsman, Kubota, Cub Cadet, and Simplicity. Expect to spend at least $400 for a good gas-powered mower and upwards of $2000 for a quality lawn tractor. The zero turn lawn mowers are closer to $3000 or more depending on the model you want. Always talk with a reputable salesperson and check online in all the lawn forums and lawn mower review sites to get a feel of what actual users are saying about the equipment. We went onto Gardenweb.com and into their forums for information and feedback on John Deere mowers. We also found great reviews on Lowes and Home Depot sites and the Consumer Reports article on lawn tractors was very informative. Lastly, check with friends or family to see what their experiences have been with John Deere lawn tractors and mowers for reliability and performance. We have tried to list the best sellers in each category below.

John Deere Lawn Tractor:

The latest Consumer Reports buying guide lists the John Deere X304 ($3499) as the top rated lawn tractor on the market. It features a 42 inch deck and a 17 HP engine providing more than enough power for the average homeowner. This residential lawn tractor performed well in tests done by CR for bagging, ease of use, handling, mulching, and cutting evenness. The turning capability of the X304 was also excellent making it a close alternative to the zero turn mowers. A less expesnive option may be the LA130 Lawn Tractor ($1999) which features a 48-inch mower deck, 21 HP from a Briggs & Stratton engine, electronic ignition, cruise control, automatic transmission, and a comfortable, padded seat. In some online forums we read mixed reviews on the latest John Deere lawn tractors as people are now questioning their craftsmanship and product durability. Their past history on reliability for lawn tractors has been good, but recent comments are leaving the door open for the competition.

John Deere Garden Tractor:

Do you need more versatility from your lawn mower? Perhaps the John Deere X700 Ultimate Tractor ($9499) will do the trick. This garden tractor from John Deere combines versatility, maneuverability, and performance. The 23 HP engine along with mower deck sizes ranging from 48 inches, 54 inches, 60 inches, and 62 inches make this garden tractor perfect for residential or commercial purposes. The internal hydraulic PTO with multi-disk cluth pack provides for a smooth drive. This heavy-duty garden tractor will do much more than just mow your lawn. You can add a loader, generator, plow, snowblower, sprayer, spreader, thatcher, tiller, and aerator to this versatile garden tractor. If you have a need for all these types of applications, then the price makes sense. Kubota offers some really good deals on garden tractors as well that compete on price with John Deere. Look into those models when you are at the dealer.

John Deere Zero Turn Mowers:

Zero turn mowers are the new thing in residential lawn mowers and the Toro TimeCutter is the leader in this field (per Consumer Reports). John Deere has been a little late to the playing field on this type of lawn mower for residential use, but their new EZtrak series zero-turn mowers are finally here. The residential zero turn radius mowers from JD can mow up to 4 acres of lawn and come in 42, 48, and 54-inch Edge mower decks. Great for bagging, mulching, or side-discharging. The John Deere Z225 ($2899) is a great zero turn mower with almost 19 HP from a Briggs & Stratton air-cooled engine. Steering is amazing with this mower and the durable frame tubing mean this machine is built to stick around. The 15-inch (medium back) seat has no armrests but the motion control levels are where your arms will be. There is a 2 year warranty for residential use.

John Deere Lawn Mowers:

If you own a modern house with a small yard, perhaps the more traditional walk behind or self-propelled lawn mowers are your style. No need to spend $1000 or more when you lawn is small and doesn't need much upkeep. John Deere offers some excellent lawn mowers that are gas powered for smaller yards. For less than $400 you can buy the John Deere JS20 which is a great residential walk behind mower with ReadyStart (no choke or prime system), rear-wheel drive, and a single level 7-position heigh adjustment. The 21-inch deck will give you side discharging, mulching or bagging performance. The JS40 Lawn Mower ($499) is slightly larger and more durable than the JS20. Unlike lawn and garden tractors, the John Deere lawn mowers are not as well rated for reliability as compard to the Honda, Toro and Troy-bilt models. Check out reviews online for the newer models from John Deere to see how they are holding up.