The following Review is My Opinion!
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. This is not a quality product!
I have less than 2 hours on my new Cub Cadet XT1 and it is not designed as advertised. I hate it and regret buying it. Do not waste your money on the single cylinder engine. Do not waste your money on this poor quality machine!
Now with this said, I always have doubts about negative reviews because the authors rarely post information that backs their comments. (I have the same doubts from positive reviews that lack details.) Well, I am not your average reviewer. I maintain and repair my own equipment and have multiple chainsaws, blowers, *** eaters and lawn equipment in my sheds. I have owned major brands like DeWalt, Ryobi, Craftsman, John Deer, Lawn Boy, Cub Cadet, and know what works and what doesn't. As a rule, I can tell in a short time if a tool is quality and well designed.
In less than two hours, I already know that I made a major mistake purchasing this Cub Cadet 42" XT1 with the Kohler 5400 Series 19 HP Single Cylinder Engine. This product is incapable of providing a quality mulching cut on my 3/4 acre yard and there is no way that this machine will last more than 5 years before I have to make repairs!
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!
First, my old 15 hp Cub Cadet 1525 outperformed the new XT1 with the 19 hp single cylinder Kohler 5400 Series engine. If you have a small, flat yard, then the engine should do okay. Just don't expect a long life from it because your asking a lot from the single cylinder engine. (Tractor Weight + Fuel Weight+ Including Your Weight... from one cylinder?) This is not a good engine and you should ask, "Why does Cub Cadet offer this with a twin cylinder engine? Next, keep in mind that this engine stalled out on me twice. A second cylinder is required for reliable operation. Otherwise, you will just be shortening the life of the starter from the unnecessary restarts. It is a bad engine for the mower - Don't waste your money.
Second, if you mulch, then keep in mind that the XT Series mowers with a duel blade deck is not suitable for mulching. The three blade deck has a lip on the underside (see photo on Cub Cadets Website) that prevents the clippings from being blown out from under and in front of the deck, (also called high lift baffles). All Quality mowers that are used for mulching will have that feature. If it doesn't, then the mulching blades just end up blowing a lot of debris in front of the mower (see photo). All that dust and debris will shorten the life of your air filter and engine, plus you will be breathing it in. This is a major design defect and shows that the XT1 42" can't do the job. Now to prove this, please look at the photo posted that shows the MTD Mulching Kit offered for their other mowers. That lip, or baffles, has to be present for proper mulching - otherwise your just creating a serious dust storm in front of the mower on very dry days as it sprays debris!
Third, the mulching plug is poorly designed and doesn't fit tight (see photo). Cub Cadet told me that it requires having the side discharge chute attached to keep it in place (I was not impressed with Cub Cadet's customer service). Because of the extremely poor fit, it lifts up with grass clippings. The XT1 42" is also horrible at mulching (read the paragraph above!) That's just a bad design. The Cub Cadet Dealership knew that I couldn't have the side discharge chute attached because it can't fit into the shed. I will never purchase a mower from that dealership again!
Fourth, with the side discharge chute installed, it will place stress on the mulching plug - causing it to fail. (The reader should read the negative reviews posted by other owners!) If you’re not going to mulch, then the mower should do okay.
Fifth, I had the dealership install the Cub Cadet Extreme Mulching Blades before delivering it to my home. When I engage the blades, the deck has a vibration that tells me the decks "Spindles" are under a lot of stress. The smaller 42" deck is a bad design that has been outfitted with poor quality pulleys and spindles. This deck is nothing like the photos posted on their website and I consider this to be false advertising!
Six, yes the mower has a sharp turning radius. But the outside edge of the deck will leave a mark in your grass. This is also where the side discharge chute is located - which means that it will also experience stress from sharp turns.
Seventh, I actually read owner’s manuals. If you have a problem with the engine, you might want to call the manufacturer first to see if they will even honor the warranty. (I add this in because of the other reviews that talk about how their mower spends more time in the shop than at the owner’s home. Issues will occur with sub-standard engines and it is the consumer who pays the price!)
Cub Cadet (MTD Corporation) took a lot of shortcuts with this mower. It is not a quality machine. I wish I could return it and strongly regret spending money on the machine.
Would I recommend buying it? NO - not for mulching! Would I buy from the dealer again? Absolutely not! Will I buy another Cub Cadet or MTD product? NO!
I hate this XT1 and do not recommend it!
What a waste of money!
Product or Service Mentioned: Cub Cadet Xt1 Lawn Tractor.