Cub Cadet Walk Behind Lawn Mower SC 900 Emerges as a Smooth Running Shootout Winner
We put 24 lawn mowers, both gas-powered and battery-operated, to the test. And the Cub Cadet SC 900, a top-tier model in its residential class, blew us away with its impressive features. This walk behind mower from Cub Cadet boasts a 23″ blade and a MySpeed self-propelled drive system, making it a true powerhouse.
- Cutting more grass per pass with its 23″ blade
- Adjustable pace self-drive that works in harmony with you
- Excellent fuel efficiency that can cover 3.02 acres per gallon
- Exceptional cutting ability even in harsh conditions
- Mows 1.13 acres of land on just one tank of gasoline
- Lack of a fuel shutoff valve
“We use a variety of tests to reach our conclusions and welcome your comments. However, we know that many of you are looking for quality test data to verify what we say. You can find these details in our lawn mower shootout.”
The speed of the mower’s blade tip is crucial for efficient mowing. When faced with thicker and taller grass, the engine’s ability to maintain tip speed determines its performance. The SC 900 Cub Cadet walk-behind lawn mower achieved a tip speed of 195.3 MPH under light load conditions, simulating normal weekly mowing. Although slightly lower than the leader, this speed is still well within acceptable limits.
Under heavy load, the Cub Cadet’s 196cc engine loses less speed compared to its competitors, averaging at 191.2 MPH. This consistent speed allows you to effortlessly cut through thick grass without slowing down or compromising on width. In our real-world torture test, mowing a section of grass that had grown for 5 weeks, the Cub Cadet SC 900 outperformed every other gas mower, except for the Honda, covering an impressive 54.5 feet. This feat is particularly remarkable considering its 2 inches of additional blade width.
“When cutting the cord is your top priority when it comes to home gas lawn mowers, the Cub Cadet is our pick.”
Refueling can be time-consuming, especially when you’re mowing a large yard. Do you push the mower back to the garage for refueling, or do you continue mowing, emptying the gas and then pushing it back to the garage? With the Cub Cadet SC 900, you don’t have to make that choice.
Thanks to its 23-inch blade and a 48-ounce fuel tank, this walk-behind mower from Cub Cadet covers a significantly larger area on a single tank of gas compared to its competitors. With the self-propelled drive set at 2.5 MPH, you can mow approximately 1.13 acres with just one tank of gasoline. Other mowers in our test group had smaller tanks, covering only 0.83 acres.
“When you’re looking for a mower that can do a lot of cutting on a tank, the Cub Cadet is the clear winner.”
The larger your lawn, the more fuel it takes to maintain it. For professionals who use their lawn mower daily, fuel efficiency is a significant factor in reducing expenses. Similar to a car, the more fuel-efficient the mower, the less money you’ll spend on gas.
The Cub Cadet SC 900 can run for an impressive 5 hours and 15 minutes on a gallon of gasoline. Although its tank capacity is only 48 ounces, you’ll have to refill it a few times. However, it offers a runtime per gallon of gas that matches up to the competition. Only the Husqvarna (5 hrs 30 mpg) outperformed it in the residential group.
It’s essential to note that not all blade sizes are equal. Thanks to the Cub Cadet walk-behind mower’s larger blades, it mows an average of 3.02 acres per gallon of gas, surpassing the Husqvarna’s 2.91 acres.
“In this group of mowers, the Cub Cadet doesn’t seem to do anything wrong, and if fuel efficiency is important to you, it’s an easy recommendation.”
MySpeed Self-Propelled Drive
Among the many gas mowers offering instant adjustable drive speeds, the Cub Cadet stands out with its exceptionally smooth system. To accelerate, push the entire ram forward. This drive system allows you to easily slow down and accelerate naturally while maneuvering corners. Although there are other effective adjustable drives, none are as smooth as this.
As expected, this gas mower from Cub Cadet features a sturdy steel deck. While heavier than plastic, the self-propelled drive system eliminates the challenge of pushing extra weight, ensuring durability and longevity.
Height Adjustment and Range
The Cub Cadet walk-behind mower is the only gas mower we’ve tested with true one-point height adjustment. This convenient feature allows for easy adjustment of the cutting height without the need to adjust each wheel individually. Despite concerns about flimsiness in mowers with this feature, the Cub Cadet’s steel deck ensures a robust frame, making the one-point system a definite win.
The Cub Cadet SC 900 offers the standard three handle positions that most gas mowers provide. These positions are locked to the deck by a spring-loaded pin detent. The middle setting is suitable for most adults, while the other two settings are designed for tall or short individuals seeking enhanced comfort.
Like most home gas lawn mowers, the Cub Cadet comes equipped with everything you need for baling, side discharge, or mulching your lawn.
- Deck washing via hose connection
- SureStart recoil start
“The only feature that seems to be missing is the fuel shutoff valve. When the mowing season starts to slow down, I prefer to have the gas pumped out of the fuel line because my lawn doesn’t need a full tank to mow. I keep Sta-bil in my rig fuel so I don’t worry about what’s in the tank, but I don’t want to leave anything in the carburetor if I can.”
The Cub Cadet SC 900 is priced around $449, depending on where you shop. While there are excellent residential lawn mowers available for under $400, the SC 900’s performance and feature set offer exceptional value at this price point. Additionally, Cub Cadet backs this model with an impressive 4-year warranty, the best among all the gas lawn mowers we’ve tested.
The Bottom Line
The Cub Cadet SC 900 outperformed quality competitors from Craftsman, Husqvarna, and Troy-Bilt by a significant margin in our shootout. This lawn mower has no apparent weaknesses, making it our top recommendation for a home gas lawn mower.
Cub Cadet Walk Behind Mower Manufacturer Specifications
- Model: Cub Cadet SC 900
- Engine: 196cc Cub Cadet OHV
- Engine Start: Recoil with SureStart Guarantee
- Mulch Plug: Included
- Handle/Handle: Foldable adjustable loop with indent and overmolded handle
- Approximate Weight: 100 lbs
- Bagging: 3.1 bushels. rear, dust bag
- Cutting system: Cub Cadet Signature Cut
- Cutting Height: 1.25″ – 3.75″
- Deck Cleaning: Patented SmartJet High-Pressure Deck Cleaning System
- Height adjustment: single lever, 6 positions
- Cutting options: 3-in-1 bag, overlay, side discharge
- Deck: 23″ steel
- Front/Rear Wheels: 9″/9″ Newly Treaded Wheels
- Warranty: 4-year limited warranty
- MSRP: $449
For more information on the Cub Cadet SC 900, visit www.cubcadet.com.