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Lawn Tractor vs. Garden Tractor: How to Pick the Perfect One for your Yard

If you’re in the market for a lawnmower, you should be well aware of the bewildering variety on the market. Besides the much popular zero turn mower, you have two additional options: the lawn tractor and the garden tractor. Though it may seem like a battle between lawn tractor vs. garden tractor,  the core functionality of both is exactly the same. What sets these two apart is their other potential uses, their design, build, comfort, features, and, of course, costs. Therefore, it is essential to define your particular needs and choose one or the other accordingly.

Garden Tractor vs. Lawn Tractor

In the following sections, we will outline some key differences between the lawn tractor and the garden tractor to help you decide which of these two is more suitable for your needs.

What Is A Lawn Tractor?

Lawn tractors are used for mowing large open grassy areas. These can either be private land or large public parks. The key difference between a garden tractor and a lawn tractor is the fact that lawn tractors are self-sufficient and come with their own set of implements, making them ideal for commercial use.

What Is A Garden Tractor?

Garden tractors are designed for use in private gardens and are generally smaller than lawn tractors. These are particularly good for limited spaces and uneven terrain because they have more compact builds and are lightweight. This is what makes garden tractors appropriate for both private and professional use, but we will take a closer look at the latter.

Size Comparisons

Lawn tractors are the biggest of the two. Their design is more of a cross between a mower and a small tractor than a mower. These have heavy-duty frames and are manufactured with the sole purpose of mowing the biggest of properties. Garden tractors, on the other hand, are much smaller. These are the best option for small outdoor spaces and gardens. They can also be used for light-duty professional purposes.

Build Comparisons

Lawn tractors are big. Their frame is much more robust than garden tractors. The design of these is more like a traditional tractor than that of a mower, except that they need implements for different functions.

Garden tractors, in comparison, have a lighter build due to their intended use. They are appropriate for use in private homes, not necessarily commercial use. However, some garden tractors can be modified to work as lawn tractors, while retaining their original purpose. Again, this depends on the purchase and need, so always shop around and find the right one for you.

Power Comparisons

Lawn tractors need to be powerful as they are meant to mow large properties and therefore use larger motors with greater horsepower. They normally have between 5 and 12 horsepower. Further boasting features like locking differential, PTO, power steering, and so much more, they can be operated with ease, making them one of the most powerful and versatile to own.

Garden tractors, on the other hand, use a lot less power with around 1.5-4 horsepower. This is perfectly adequate for most home gardens.


Lawn tractors are available at some of the highest prices in the market. A commercial lawn tractor for small-sized properties may cost around $9500. With a high price tag like this, you are bound to get the full spectrum of features.

Garden tractors, meanwhile, are very attractively priced. You can even find them in the $100 to $1000 price range, which is a cost-effective solution to your gardening challenges.

Riding Lawn Mower Vs Tractor

Even though lawn tractor vs. garden tractor presents both in a similar light, the wide differences between them cannot be overlooked. So, if you need to mow your garden but are on a tight budget, you can decide to go for a garden tractor. Unless the lawn fame is too large for your garden tractor, chances are it will fulfill your needs. On the other hand, if you need to mow the large property, your options are more than plentiful. In such cases, you can buy a lawn tractor, which is more expensive but is a durable and considerably easier to use and powerful machine. You can also consider going for the full upgrade and purchasing a riding lawn mower vs tractor. Read our guide regarding the best riding lawn mower.

2 thoughts on “Lawn Tractor vs. Garden Tractor: How to Pick the Perfect One for your Yard”

  1. I think you got this all wrong. A lawn tractor is a glorified riding lawn mower in the configuration of a full size farm tractor (front engine, rear seat, large wheels in rear/smaller in front). The garden tractor is a typically larger (depending on engine size) tractor that not only mows but can handle other tasks such as field plowing, snow plowing, grading, etc and can handle those kinds of attachments. The garden tractor typically has a heavy duty rear end and transmission to handle these tougher jobs and the clue for the HD transmission is the multi-wheel bolts on the rear wheel hubs.

  2. Patrick J Kimber

    I have Cub cadet LT 1046 with 23 hp. engine and a 46 inch deck with no power steering or hyd. lift is this a lawn tractor ?

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