Lawn tractors and garden tractors both cut grass.
The determining factors in your buying decision, though, aren't related to cutting grass. The decision is actually about all the other chores around your yard.
If you're primarily looking to cut grass and perform light yard work, a lawn tractor will serve you well.
If you also want to use your tractor for heavy-duty, earth-moving chores like tilling and cultivating, you'll need a garden tractor.
Lawn TractorsLawn tractors are lighter duty than garden tractors, featuring lower torque transmissions, less horsepower, and smaller rear tires.
Lawn tractors pack enough punch to tow light carts and spreaders. Plus, they can be converted into snow plows or snow blowers in the winter. They're even effective at handling advanced lawn work, such as aerating, dethatching, spraying, and spreading.
For added traction and stability on uneven terrain, you should look for a lawn tractor with locking rear differential. While you won't have the same forward speed, the stability you gain on slopes will be well appreciated.
Garden TractorsGarden tractors are like a beefed-up version of a lawn tractor, capable of more heavy-duty ground engaging jobs. They're capable of tilling, furrowing, and towing heavier cart loads.
Garden tractors all have at least 24 horsepower engines, capable of towing heavy-duty attachments. They also include larger back tires for extra ground clearance. These larger wheels also provide enhanced stability on slopes and inclines. However, if you're using it on slopes greater than 15%, you should consider a tractor with a traction control system or locking rear differential.
Mulch vs. Bag?A popular option is a mulching kit that plugs the discharge chute, keeping grass under the deck and cutting it into fine, nutrient-rich clippings.
Mulching kits come in a variety of size. Compatibility is the key. Just make sure your kit is the same size and brand as your tractor.
Another option for disposing of grass clippings is a bagger. Rear-mounted baggers suck cut grass from the blades, through a chute to the collection bags.
Baggers come in either double-bag or triple-bag styles, depending on the tractor size. Stick with the same brand to ensure compatibility.
Lawn & Garden Tractor Buyer's Guide - Find out How to Pick the Perfect Lawn & Garden Tractor. Our lawn mower how-to library can help you pick the perfect reel lawn mower, push lawn mower, riding lawn mower, zero turn lawn mower, lawn tool or lawn mower accessory.