John Deere 100 VS 300 Series | The Better Deal For You Is?

As of 2022, John Deere will have spent 185 years developing ground-breaking approaches to the agricultural and turf management sectors. You don’t need to look further if you’re scouring the internet for a lawn tractor to meet your requirements. The amazing machinery’s power, performance, and comfort levels are among the best in the business, providing a satisfying overall experience.

John Deere 100 VS 300 Series

And to our readers’ delight, John Deere has updated several of their products in 2021 with different series constituting models offering varying levels of differences for you to choose from. We have picked two series to compare and understand in great detail so that you can be versed with the updated models and decide the series you prefer. This will be a John Deere 100 VS 300 series unbiased comparison to let you know the difference between them and which one you should prefer. 


John Deere 100 VS 300 Series • The Better Deal for You Is?

If you are new to the world of lawn tractors and want a simple, affordable, and user-friendly design, then the 100 series named S100 is the place where you should look. The first range of lawn tractors within the brand can also be your ideal first. An ergonomic design is the star of the show in this series, with a sleek and stylish design, pedal-controlled hydrostatic transmission, a legible fuel gauge, and a 30-second oil change facility for comfortable, hassle-free usage. Several cutting options are also available, with bagging, discharging, and mulching options with suitable attachments that are available and easy to install.

But if you are already into lawn care and have a comprehensive knowledge of the nitty gritty, you would want a more powerful beast. The 300 series, named the X300, can be where you can find a tractor meeting your increased demands. An overall improved performance, including horsepower, transmission, and cutting quality, for a price increase. You can also incorporate different attachments to make your tractor suitable for various tasks and a year-round product. Let us explore different aspects and features of the machine.


Not much can be said about the differences in the build and frame of the series, as John Deere delivers great quality throughout the brand. However, the S100 series has a smaller, more residential-friendly design than the X300. Still, a staple is a welded steel frame, stamped steel deck, molded-in-color hood material to combat dents and reduce sound, and an e-coat paint for a long-lasting finish.  


The S100 series features a Briggs and Stratton engine ranging from 17.5 HP to 24 HP as you move up the ladder, along with single cylinders and v-twin options. This effectively covers basic requirements and varying yard sizes that you intend to work on with different horsepower and number of cylinders. And talking about the user-friendly aspect we mentioned earlier, this series features an easy oil change that claims to do the job within 30 seconds without you requiring to drain your engine oil. It works like a charm and is an exciting feature for people new to gas-powered equipment and fairly concerned with its maintenance.

The X300 series introduces a major shift with the engine brand by mainly using Kawasaki engines in the range, except one Briggs and Stratton. The horsepower output here mainly ranges from 21.5 to 23 HP. A regular oil change and maintenance would be required for smooth functioning, reinforcing the series to be ideal for people with some prior experience.


Both series use the easiest kind of transmission known to human beings called hydrostatic transmission, which essentially employs the principle of moving hydraulic fluid in a closed circuit, and as they are incompressible, we can generate a great amount of force. Now discussing hydrostatic transmission would take quite a long time and would include some fancy science that most people are not very concerned about. But trust us when we say that it makes the operator’s job very easy as you don’t need to manually change any gears, and both the series is capable of forward and reverse mowing.

The S100 series usually employs smaller TLT200 transmissions which are ideal for regular residential properties that are not that demanding and challenging to work with. The top speeds achieved with this series runs at a 5.5 mph forward and a 3.2 mph reverse speed.

The X300 series, on the other hand, uses larger and more powerful transmissions that vary between K46 to K58 type as you step up. The top speeds on both transmissions differ as you can between 5.5 to 6.2 mph forward speed and 3.5 to 4 mph reverse speeds. 


Now, I think we all know the basic operation of a carburetor is mixing air and fuel, and the choke and throttle control allows you to do just that. Not getting into some fancy mechanical engineering here, but these elements control the amount of either substance in the mixture based on whether you want to have more air or gasoline or both in a comparable amount. 

The S100 series keeping things simple, constitutes a single lever choke and throttle along with an electronic fuel gauge. Hence you cannot regulate the amount of air and gas. 

The X300 series, on the other hand, features an independent choke and throttle control and hence you have the freedom of having a gas-rich or air-rich mixture according to your needs. And the display panel is even more detailed with fuel gauge, RPMs, and battery voltage displayed on it. You will also receive service reminders on your X300 models.


The S100 series continuing the theme of simplicity offers manual steering options, which are pretty self-explanatory. These have been replaced by power steering options but still are reliable and less expensive.

The X300 series offers power steering options that employ the engine power for steering and hence take the work off of the operator and absorb shocks on uneven terrains. These features can be attributed to its massive success. 

Cutting Deck

Arguably, the most crucial aspect of a lawn tractor is its cutting deck because it serves the purpose of the machine so it is only natural that we want the best cutting deck in business. There are certainly some commonalities among the series regarding the side discharge, stamped steel deck shell, and a deck washout port; we sure should look at the differences to understand the products better. 

The S100 series constitutes 42, 48, or 54-inch Edge mower decks. Features a spring-assisted hand grip lever as a deck lifting mechanism and one bolt mower wheel adjustment which is fairly easy to understand. This results in 13 different height deck positions and a cutting height range of 1 to 4 inches to accommodate all your requirements for the sake of versatility.

The X300 series also comes in 42, 48, and 54 deck sizes but with the trademarked Accel Deep mower decks. Features two unique deck lifting mechanisms mainly a foot pedal with adjustable spring assist and hydraulic lift both of which provide hand-free access to change your deck height. However, the wheel adjustment may require suitable tools. The cutting height range and the number of positions remain the same, however.


The capacity of a mower to be compatible with several attachments for creating an all-purpose machine is a very relevant discussion. As you would not want to spend some bucks on a machine that is only suited for one job. So let us look at how attachability is incorporated into these series. 

The S100 series showcases a slide-under-tractor attachability with a single belt drive system and one spring clip and two spring clips in the front and rear draft arms respectively. However, it is to be kept in mind that the mower wheels do not rotate.

The X300 series along with the slide-under-tractor also has a roll-under-tractor attachability option. With single or dual belt systems these models use spring pins and quick pull pins in the front and rear draft arms. Also, some models are capable of 90 degrees of wheel rotation for easy removal. 

Operator’s Comfort

Staying comfortable for long hours of mowing is an essential aspect of lawn care equipment. Now both models have nifty storage boxes and cup holders installed so that you can carry your phone and your favorite drink and don’t worry about them falling off. But as these are riding options with seats and floor mats to serve the purpose of comfort and dampening vibrations we must look at the differences that they feature.

The S100 series features open-back seats with heights ranging from 11 to 15 inches and are available in one-piece, two-piece, or two-piece along with being adjustable. The models also come with floor mats that have channels for removing debris, further enhancing the series’ focus on convenience.

The X300 series also offers 15-inch open-back seats for entry-level models before moving up to cut-and-sewn, high-back seats that are 18 inches high. Some models also come with optional armrests for an additional layer of comfort. Rubber is good at dampening vibrations, so the sure-grip rubber floor mats also help you avoid foot fatigue.

Advantages and Disadvantages

S100 series


  • Easy starting.
  • Very easy to use and maintain.
  • Sleek design that is easy to house.
  • 30-second oil change facility.
  • Storage tray and cup holders are integrated.
  • Deck wash-out port.
  • Cost-efficient. 
  • Two years or 120 hours bumper-to-bumper warranty.

  • Many verified buyers have expressed dissatisfaction in terms of performance in mowing long and overgrown grass. 
  • The series features smaller fuel tanks, which may require you to refill frequently if you own a more significant piece of land.

X300 series


  • Powerful and reliable Kawasaki engines.
  • Large fuel tanks for uninterrupted mowing.
  • Power steering.
  • Maintenance reminders will be provided.
  • Will work well on sloped terrains.
  • Foot pedal or hydraulic lift systems.
  • Deck wash-out port.
  • 4 years or 300 hours bumper-to-bumper warranty.

  • A little on the expensive end.
  • Needs regular maintenance to function smoothly.
  • Not ideal for newbies. 

Customer Feedback | John Deere 100 VS 300 Series

The buyers of the S100 series have a variety of feedback, so we decided to include the extremes to give you an idea. This satisfied buyer states, “The john deere S100 is the best riding lawnmower I’ve ever owned; I just bought it about a month ago. Rather than Lowe’s or Home Depot, I purchased it from a local John Deere dealer. Personalized delivery and service. Everything up to this point has impressed me. Excellent steering, riding, and cutting. The price is completely justified for this product of American origin.”

Whereas this other buyer got a bad egg and had this to say, “The S100 is an unsatisfactory model that throws belts and leaks oil. The warranty will not apply if you fail to check your oil and the engine blows. A total waste of money and effort and will probably wind up as junk as I am planning on donating it.”

John Deere 100 VS 300 Series

The X300 series’ buyers are also a mixed bag for product satisfaction, but this buyer seemed especially pleased and said, “The best lawn tractor you can buy is this one, plain and simple. It is extremely well-built and can turn on a dime to fit inside and around objects. It turns superbly and does so without damaging the ground. After I mow the lawn, it resembles a carpet. The X300 is unaffected by even wet grass.

The Kawasaki engine is hushed and smooth. I can’t overstate how quiet this engine is. The seat provides extreme comfort. I can’t wait to use this unit to mow outside once more. If you are considering a lawn tractor, do yourself a favor and purchase the X300. The best lawn tractor money can buy, in a nutshell.”

John Deere 100 VS 300 Series

On the contrary, this buyer had some complaints regarding the same, “Although it had a good appearance, the seat ripped after only six months, and the transmission soon failed. Battery life was one year. Within two years, every belt idler started having issues. If it gets cold, the snow chute cable instantly freezes.

Engine fan recall: I discovered the fan was installed incorrectly in the fall when I removed the engine shroud to clean the cooling fins of debris. The tire sidewalls cracked within two years, and when I brought this up with the service department, I was vehemently accused of lying.”


Which John Deere tractor is right for me?

John Deere makes some of the best lawnmowers. But, there are several things to be considered to choose the right tractor, a few of which are the yard size, your levels of expertise, preferred power source, deck size, ease of usage, and environmental considerations. This can extensively require an article of its own, but we have managed to compare two tractor series for you to dive into the concept better.

Which John Deere tractor is better for hills?

The S160 in the S100 series and the X354 in the X300 series have some precedent of performing well in hilly terrains.

Where are John Deere tractors made?

As of now, John Deere has 15 manufacturing units in the US and 17 across the globe. 

Closure | John Deere 100 VS 300 Series

The John Deere lawn tractor series comes in a variety of engine and deck sizes to meet a range of needs and features an excellent ergonomic design. We have crammed a tonne of information about the S100 and X300 series into this article because they each feature unique design elements that aim to serve slightly different purposes and skill levels.

To help you decide if this mower is the right one for you, we have made an effort to thoroughly outline the range’s successes and failures. As one of the more expensive products, we advise conducting additional research because the selling point for you will likely be minor differences between models. Have a great shopping experience, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

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