Husqvarna vs John Deere: Homeowner Comparison Guide


John Deere and Husqvarna are two of the most popular manufacturers of lawn care equipment and riding mowers in the United States. Both brands have a long history of quality and reliability. That can make choosing one difficult, especially for homeowners who are new to lawn care and gardening. This in-depth brand comparison will cover pros and cons of each, feature comparisons, and insights using representative models from each brand, like the Husqvarna TS 142 and the John Deere x500. 

Choosing between a Husqvarna and John Deere riding mower depends on which features you want, budget, and value. Husqvarna is often the best choice for push mowers, because John Deere only has a few push mowers. On the other hand, John Deere normally offers better reliability, warranty, and build quality. 

What is Husqvarna?

Husqvarna is one of the largest brands of outdoor power products including push, lawn, and zero turn mowers. The Swedish brand was founded in 1689 as a firearms manufacturer and is now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power products such as chainsaws, trimmers, and garden tractors. Husqvarna has also sold lawn mowers since 1919, making it one of the oldest brands available on the market. 

Today, Husqvarna offers a range of riding, zero turn, and push mowers. The Swedish manufacturer is also one of the finest brands in the United States but offers both high-end and budget models in each category.

Husqvarna Lawn Mower Features 

If you’re looking at a Husqvarna lawn mower, it’s important to select a specific model and compare features that way. In this case, we’ve selected the Husqvarna riding mower TS 242 XD from the premium line and the YTH24V48 from the standard line. 

Discharge System 

Both of these Husqvarna riding mowers offer basic discharge for the deck. The Husqvarna is set to spread grass out over a wider area, preventing you from having to rake it up. However, you can also add attachments for mulching or collecting grass as you mow it – both of which are available OEM for both mowers. That can save considerable time over having to rake up heavy grass, especially if you’ve let it get long. 

Mowing Deck 

The Husqvarna YTH24V48 comes with a 48” mowing deck while the TS 242XD comes with a 42” mowing deck. Both options feature a single bolt adjustment for side-to-side and a single bolt adjustment for front-to-back leveling. 

The smaller mowing deck is normally better because it handles difficult terrain. However, the wider option is better because it cuts a wide span of area. So, choosing one should depend on whether you’re mowing hills, want a clean cut around corners and obstacles, or prefer to mow a flat lawn more quickly. 

Gas Powered Engines 

Both Husqvarna models are gas powered. However, the YTH24V48 features a 2.5-gallon tank. On the other hand, the TS 242XD offers a 4-gallon tank including the reserve. This gives you more power than most electrical-only engines – while allowing for longer usage, because you won’t have to wait for a charge. 

Here, the YTH24V48 has 2 cylinders, 24 horsepower of output, and generates 16 amps. The engine is a Briggs & Stratton Intek. The TS 242XD engine’s power output is 21.5 horsepower at 15 amps. It’s an FR Series Kawasaki. 

Electronic Extras

Both Husqvarna riding mowers offer digital extras including digital hour meters with pre-programmed service intervals. You also get cruise control. All Husqvarna riding mowers also feature an integrated reverse mode, normally allowing for 2.2-2.5mph speeds in reverse. 

Benefits 

If you’re trying to choose between a Husqvarna and a John Deere, you want to know the benefits of each. Here’s where the Husqvarna excels. 

Attachments 

Husqvarna offers numerous attachments for its mowers. This makes it easy to add-on functionality, such as mulching and collector bags. While these attachments are optional, the option can be very nice for getting the lawn you want. 

Controls 

Husqvarna uses electronic controls with cruise control, dual-pedal control, and plenty of gauges to make it easy to see what the engine is doing. 

Efficiency 

Husqvarna uses Clear Cut decks to make it easier to mow, even with difficult terrain. That’s ideal if you have hills, uneven areas, or often need more versatile cuts. Husqvarna also includes relatively tight turning radius as a standard, making them ideal for even smaller spaces. 

Comfort 

Husqvarna clearly puts thought and attention into comfort. Seats are soft, pedals are well-designed, and gauges make it easy to see what is going on without making other changes. 

Diversity 

Husqvarna offers an impressive range of mowers designed for every surface and preference. You can choose from dozens of push mowers, robo mowers, riding mowers, and zero turn mowers – depending on what meets your needs. John Deere, which specializes less in mowers, does not offer the same range of options. 

Disadvantages

There are also plenty of reasons you might not want to choose a Husqvarna. However, most relate to warranty and build rather than features. 

  • Warranty Length 

Husqvarna offers a standard 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty on most of its riding mowers. That compare well to many John Deere tractors. However, with higher-end John Deere riding mowers like the X300 and X500 select series offering up to 4-year warranties – John Deere is still better. 

  • Scalping 

With just two anti-scalping wheels and standard 48” decks, some Husqvarna models may result in scalping. The single side-to-side adjustment bar might also mean it’s difficult to properly adjust if the deck is riding too low. 

  • Cost

Husqvarna mowers can be expensive – especially compared to some competitors. That can be significant considering build quality is also lower. However, Husqvarna normally offsets this with additional features to make cutting easier or more efficient. 

What is John Deere?

John Deere is probably the most famous manufacturer or tractors of any type. This top-of-the-line American brand currently specializes in agricultural machinery and heavy equipment, with some home and outdoor power equipment. This includes heavy tractors, construction equipment, forestry equipment, and smaller power equipment such as push, riding, and zero turn mowers. The brand dates back to 1836, where it began as a one-man operation, and pioneered the steel plow. 

Today, John Deere controls a significant portion of the global riding and zero turn mower market. Its mowers are popular worldwide for quality and durability. Plus, with only 5 series of riding mowers to choose from, selecting a John Deere mower can be significantly simpler than looking for a Husqvarna model. 

Related: Who Makes John Deere Lawn Mowers?

John Deere Lawn Mower Features 

In most cases, you will purchase your John Deere riding mower based on features. We’ve selected the John Deere e120 and x500 as representative models for this comparison. 

Mowing Deck

John Deere offers mowing decks ranging from 42-60″. While the 100 Series offers a 42”, 48”, or 54” deck option with EdgeTM mower decks. The X500 Select Series offers a 48- or 54-inch Accell Deep TM mower deckTM, meaning both offer different functionality. However, that versatility makes John Deere perfect for everything from mowing slopes and hillsides to getting maximum coverage to trim grasses on a lawn

Multi-Feature

All John Deere mowers come with either built-in functionality or accessories to enable mulching, bagging, and even plowing. The X500, for example, has an integrated mulch control system. The 100 also pairs with attachments to give it equal functionality. 

Engine Power

John Deere is well-known for having some of the most powerful lawn tractors around. ITs 100 Series is its lowest cost option and comes at 17.5-24 HP depending on the specific engine you choose. You also get gas power, a 30-second oil-change system, and a hydrostatic transmission. The X500 is available with a 24-25.5 HP engine, making it ideal to power through tough weeds growing in your yard

Benefits

John Deere offers a lot of benefits to anyone looking for a lawn mower or tractor. However, these do vary somewhat based on model. 

Warranty 

John Deere offers up to a 4-year warranty on its tractors, which is longer than most competitors. However, this varies per model. For example, if you get a 100 series, you will get a 2-year warranty. On the other hand, the X500 comes with a 4-year/500-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty

Build Quality 

John Deere invests in high build-quality, often using powder-coated steel, even on parts where competitors use plastic. That can contribute to increased durability of the machine. For example, John Deere has fewer reported instances of under seat switch issues than some Husqvarna. 

Resale Value 

John Deere tractors maintain value quite well, which makes it easy to invest in a riding mower, sell it at 5,000 hours, and then buy another. Husqvarna often don’t maintain value quite as well, because the demand for them is lower. That can be an extra perk if you might not need the mower for the full duration of 5-15 years. 

Premium Features

John Deere invests in mechanical improvements. For example, it offers a 30-second oil change system. Forward and reverse foot pedals mean you don’t have to use a button to reverse. Integrated mulch buttons simplify mulcher usage. These can be perks, if you need the features. 

Service Partners 

John Deere is one of the largest lawn tractor retailers on the market. Therefore, you can easily find service providers and dealers anywhere. That makes it faster and easier to get service or repairs you might need. 

Engine Power 

John Deere tractors average well over 20 HP per engine, making them one of the most powerful options on the market. While you also need sharp blades, a cutting deck suitable for the grass you’re cutting, etc., engine horsepower can make it easier to cut grass on any surface you need. Despite the engine power, most John Deere also run quieter than some competitors. 

Disadvantages

John Deere tractors often have disadvantages over some competitors.

  • Fuel Tanks 

Many John Deere tractors come with a 2–3-gallon fuel tank. This might mean you have to replace fuel more frequently than you would with the Husqvarna. 

  • Proprietary Repairs

If something goes wrong with your John Deere mower, you’ll have to take it back to a dealer. Making modifications yourself can void the warranty. In addition, if it’s a software issue, you can’t normally fix it yourself. 

Key Differences Between Husqvarna and John Deere Lawn Mowers

Engine and Power

John Deere engines are almost always the more powerful of the two. However, both John Deere and Husqvarna frequently rely on Kawasaki engines. In fact, John Deere iTorque engines are built as a collaboration between John Deere and Kawasaki. So, there might be little difference between similar strong horse power engines. However, nearly all John Deere models feature 21 HP and higher engines while many Husqvarna are under 20. If you don’t need higher horsepower, this is not a consideration. 

Speed and Maneuverability 

Most modern John Deere and Husqvarna use a similar heavy-duty dual hydrostatic transmission. For example, the Husqvarna TS 242XD uses a Tuff Torque K46LD Hydrostatic Transmission and the John Deere X500 uses a Tuff Torque K72B transmission. So maneuverability often is not about the transmission. Instead, you have to look at cutting deck size, reversibility, and other features. Here, the smaller the deck, the more maneuverable the mower is. Here, the Husqvarna offers a 1.1 m p/h reverse speed and the John Deere X500 does up to 5.2. 

Durability and Reliability 

While both John Deere and Husqvarna mowers appear to be similar in quality at first glance, John Deere is, overall, more durable. For example, with metal parts under the seat, welding attaching anti-scalp wheels to the deck, and more powder-coated steel parts, they are likely to last longer. However, Husqvarna mowers are significantly likely to last 2,500-5,000 hours as well, which means both can be quite durable. On the other hand, John Deere are powerful yet quiet with minimal vibration, thanks to anti-vibration technology.

Cutting Efficiency 

Most Husqvarna and John Deere riding mowers are 2-bladed mowers. Some offer deck enhancements and upgrades to offer more blades or more power. All are controlled via electronic clutch, so it’s important the clutch can handle any differences. Instead, you often want to look at how well the deck fits your range of use. For example, John Deere’s floating decks and wide decks can be significantly more versatile than Husqvarna. 

Comfort and Safety 

Both Husqvarna and John Deere mowers offer significant comfort and safety features. For example, Husqvarna often offers cruise control, good padding in the seats, and plenty of management features available from the seat. John Deere focuses on offering a user’s manual instead of more gauges. Both offer significant safety features for the blades and controls. 

Oil Changes 

Husqvarna is at a definite disadvantage compared to John Deere. For example, Husqvarna does not offer the Easy Change 30-second system. However, that doesn’t mean Husqvarna makes it difficult to change the oil. It’s just missing a small convenience. 

Price

John Deere and Husqvarna mowers are often comparable in cost. However, the 21.5 HP Husqvarna 242XD has a 42” deck and an MSRP of $3,199.99. On the other hand, the John Deere S120 has a 22HP engine and a 42” deck for an MSRP of $2,299. So, Husqvarna can be more expensive on a direct comparison. However, the Husqvarna deck is longer. 

Warranty Period 

All Husqvarna mowers come with a 3-year warranty. John Deere mowers come with a 2–4-year warranty, with variable hours. For example, the S120 has a 2-year/120-hour warranty and the X570 has a 4-year/500-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty. So, the 100 series is very comparable to Husqvarna, but all other models offer better warranty. 

Which is Better: John Deere or Husqvarna? 

In most cases, John Deere offers better build quality, better reliability, and a better warranty. Often, you can purchase the John Deere for the same or less money as the Husqvarna. So, with Husqvarna struggling with reliability issues on some models, we recommend the John Deere. 

Questions and Answers

If you still have more questions, this quick FAQ should help. 

How Long Do Husqvarna Riding Mowers Last? 

In most cases, you can expect 2,500-5,000 hours of use out of your Husqvarna mower. That can change depending on usage and regular maintenance. 

What Brand Engine Does John Deere Use? 

John Deere has an ongoing partnership with Kawasaki. Even its “John Deere” branded motors are produced by Kawasaki. 

Is Husqvarna Good Quality?

Yes. Husqvarna is one of the best lawn tractor manufacturers you can buy. 

Bottom Line 

Both Husqvarna and John Deere have a lot to offer. They did not become two of the most-sold lawn mower brands by offering low quality products. However, if you don’t want to choose based on local availability and specific deck and power options, John Deere is normally more reliable. However, you may want one or the other depending on specific needs. 

Husqvarna also uses different build strategies for the pedals, buttons, and controls. It may be a good idea to inspect both in person to see which you prefer. Eventually, both are great quality and durable, so preference should take priority.

Recent Posts