Buyers GuideFirst time zero turn buyers read this before you buy!

#4 Cub Cadet RZT-S 42 inch Review 2018



Zero turn mowers may not be the best choice for residential use, especially yards with a lot of slopes. Zero turns are more agile but are designed to mow flat yards and may not be the best choice for pulling stuff. The Cub Cadet RZT S 42 inch also available in 46 and 50 inch decks is a great alternative to conventional zero turns or those that don't like using the traditional lap bar control handles. With the conventional steering wheel there is no learning curve with the Cub Cadet RZT S42. It uses two hydro transmissions that are synchronized with a patented front steering system. This allows you to utilize zero turning without tearing up your yard. Yes there are several other zero turns with bigger decks, engines and transmissions but this is one of the best choices for the average person cutting approximately ½ to 2 acres of grass.


Over the last 20 years there has been many variations of Front Steer zero turns with Steering Wheel. None of them have lasted more than 1 to 2 years. Most of them have been known to tear up lawns, have mechanical problems or were just plain too expensive compared to their traditional lap bar controlled siblings. Cub Cadet came out with the RZT S about 5 years ago and has done a great job. This is the first front-steer steering wheel controlled zero turn that performs like the traditional lap bar controlled ones. Click here to see if a Steering Wheel Controlled Zero Turn is Right for You.


Cub Cadet RZT S 42 inch on slopes zero turn mower
No learning curve with the RZT S. The 4 wheel steering helps maneuverability and gives you control while dealing with slopes. Cub Cadet rates the RZT S for slopes up to 15 degrees. Really you have to decide for yourself whether you feel safe tackling slopes or not. Remember it is a best practice to go up and down slopes rather then side to side.





Cub Cadet RZT-S 42 inch steering wheel zero turn mowerCub Cadet RZT S 42-inch Steering Wheel Zero Turn



Number four on our Top Ten Residential Zero Turn Mower list the RZT-S 42-inch received an overall 4.5 out of 5.0 rating.
Features: 4.6/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Ease of Use: 4.7/5
Value: 4.4/5
This information was gathered from 142 consumer reviews.




Brand: Cub Cadet
Manufactured By: MTD/Cub Cadet
Model:RZT-S 42
MRSP:42 inch 2699.99 / 46 inch 2999.00 / 50 inch 3199.00

Buying Options:

Online on Ebay or Online at or a Local Authorized Dealers


When you buy the Cub Cadet RZT-S from an authorized dealer near you. The dealer will have the item in stock or be shipped the item which they will assemble and perform a complete inspection to ensure operation. At the time of delivery the Certified Professional will teach you on site how to operate and properly maintain the zero turn mower. This is one of the most valuable things for a first time Zero Turn owner.


If there is not a authorized dealer close enough you will have it shipped to you. You will have to take it out of the crate and get it ready to mow yourself. It’s not a big job. You’ll need a wrecking bar or heavy claw hammer to take the crate apart and a few hand tools to install the steering wheel, seat, grass deflector and battery.


Click Here for Cub Cadet RZT S Tractor Supply Pricing and Shipping Details



Cutting Width: 42 inches
Acres per Hour: 1.75 acres at 5mph
Top Speed: 7mph
Weight: 600lbs
Warranty: 3 year/120 hours
Engine brand: Kohler
Horse Power/CC: 22hp/725cc
Height Cutting range: 1.5”-4”
Fuel Capacity: 2.8 gallons
Discharge: Side-discharge, mulching or bagging.
Drive System: Hydro-Gear EZT
Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes Manufacture rates up to 15 degrees.
Mow in Reverse? Blades automatically shut off while going in reverse, however blades will stay on while zero turning.



RZT Bagger for 42/46 inch deck:

The Bagging system available for the RZT is cheaper than most other baggers but it has a reputation for not picking up fresh grass clippings well. It does fine with dry grass or leaves. If you don't want to wait a day to clean up your clippings then it is suggested to get a good quality pull-behind sweeper. The bagger includes two bags with a 6.5 bushel capacity, a hood, chute and weight bar for the front.


RZT Mulching Kit:

The RZT-S 42 inch deck mulches well with a mulching kit. This comes with a set of mulching blades and a plug that goes into the side discharge hole. Unlike the bagger there has not been any complaints reported with the mulching abilities of the RZT.


Other accessories:

There are several other accessories available such as dump carts, sweepers, aerators, rollers, spreaders and more available that will work with the RZT-S. Just remember the EZT 2200 transmissions are not meant for pulling and really shouldn't be used to pull over 250lbs.


-Mower automatically slows down when you start to turn
-22 Horse Power professional grade Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin Engine
-Easily adjustable comfortable high back seat
-Step-through platform
-Mulches great, leaves fine grass clippings with little to no clumping
-Side discharge mode disperses grass clippings evenly
-42 inch deck has spring assisted lift and washout port
-Foot control transmission
-Zero turn steering capability with all four wheels
-Top Speed of 7mph
-3 Year/120 Hour warranty



-Not recommended for pulling over 250lbs
-Poor Bagging



This Signature Cut 42 inch deck also available in 46 or 50 inch is a great option for most residential yards and get high mark from it's owners. It has great mowing, mulching and bagging capability. But don't expect it to perform well running at full speed like the ten thousand dollar commercial grade zero turns. This is not a high speed deck and shouldn't be used at speeds higher than 4-5mph for best results. For safety reasons the deck automatically shuts off while in reverse, it does however still run while zero turning.
(Government regulations limit blade speed on residential mowers which limits how fast you can mow)


Leading consumer magazines have given the Cub Cadet RZT a “Recommended best buy” award in 2013.


There are 8 height positions available to allow you to fine tune your cut ranging from 1.5” to 4”. The deck uses a spring assisted lever located on the left side to make adjusting the height easy. The 3-point linkage makes deck leveling easy. 1 link levels side to side, 1 levels front to back and the other is for removing the deck which makes servicing easier than most other brands.


Cub Cadet RZT-S 42 inch deck Signature Cut zero turn mowerThe 42 inch deck on the RZT-S is stamped. There is forever a debate about which deck is better, welded or stamped. For residential applications stamped decks do the job just fine. Welded decks do take more abuse but have a lot of added costs. On this particular model the welded deck is $900 more, not to mention welded decks airflow is poorer than stamped decks. This means you will need to purchase a separate blower to use with the bagger. This can cost up to an additional $700. The additional $1500.00 in cost is really not beneficial unless you plan on running over stumps, metal debris and other various yard debris. So for most homeowners a stamped deck is the best option. Besides Cub Cadet did a great job engineering their decks. They have strengthened them up with channels and stiffeners built into the design. The powder coated finish helps resist rust and scratches which provides better corrosion resistance.


The aluminum spindles are vented with sealed bearings. This mean no maintenance or lubrication required. With proper blade maintenance and cleaning the spindles will last the life of the mower. There are only two reasons spindles may fail. That is improper blade maintenance or operator abuse.



Everyone wants a dependable mower and a big part of having that is a dependable moter. The Kohler 7000 series is just that, a very dependable V-Twin that delivers 22 horse power in this model. The Kohler 7000 series is comparable to Briggs and Stratton Intek Plus and the Craftsman Platinum Engines.


Press Release from Kohler:
“KOHLER, Wis. – Oct. 23, 2013 – Introducing the all-new KOHLER 7000 Series™ engines. This line of vertical-shaft, V-twin engines was specifically created for consumer applications that require a high-performing engine. The line encompasses six engine models ranging from 20 to 26 hp, all incorporating newly designed, professional-grade cylinder heads, crankshafts, connecting rods, pistons and numerous other enhancements to deliver power and reliability. The 7000 Series also offers responsive starting, utilizing a digital ignition on the 25 and 26 hp models.
Durability features on the 7000 Series include cast-iron cylinder bores, pressure lubrication, and a dual-seal air filter to protect the engine in harsh conditions. Consistent CutTM technology provides more consistent power to the deck, helping end users get the perfect cut. The 26-hp model delivers more power through a higher 747cc displacement.
“We’ve built a lot of extras into the 7000 Series engines to deliver durability and usability for end users,” said Dan Luhman, senior product manager for Kohler Engines. “Simply stated, this new series of engines will make lawn mowing – and maintaining a lawn mower – easier and more enjoyable for consumers everywhere.”
All oil and fuel maintenance points – including the oil dipstick, oil filter, and fuel filter – are now located on the same side of the engine for quick inspection. The engine’s dipstick handle has also been redesigned to be easier to grasp, simplifying regular oil checks. In addition, oil capacity has increased to 2 qt. and a larger oil-fill tube is being utilized to allow oil to flow faster, which minimizes spilling when filling. A top-access air cleaner is also built into the 7000 Series to allow a user to inspect or replace the air filter without the use of tools.“


The Hydro-Gear EZT series is the most popular transmission used in residential zero turns. You will find this transmission in almost all residential zero turns for under $3500. They are easy to use and dependable for the everyday lawn. Though Cub Cadet does rate the RZT to work on 15 degree slopes the EZT transmission is ideal for flat lawns. If you plan on mowing on a steep terrain or pull heavy loads it is recommended to upgrade to a zero turn with a Z-2800 or Z3100 transmission. Such as the Hustler Raptor, Ariens Max Zoom 60 inch, John Deere EZtrak Z235 or Toro TimeCutter SS5000. The RZT is designed to do what most homeowners want to use this mower for, which is to cut grass and pull a cart or leave sweeper around. This is exactly what it's designed to do.



The RZT's steering wheel is textured so your hands wont slip. This means if your hands our sweating or you have gloves on your controllability wont be compromised. Having a steering wheel means there is no learning curve when using this zero turn. Unless of course you have never used a lawn tractor at all. Use the foot control to adjust speed and your steering wheel to steer. It's just like driving your car.





These questions always come to mind, Do I have good back and lumbar support? Can I see myself sitting here for 2 plus hours? Is the seat level and adjustable? What type of suspension is there?
The seat on the RZT S42 sits level with high back support. The lumbar and side supports slide back and forth with ease. There are multiple adjustments available to maximize comfort for the average operator ranging from 5 ft to 6ft 4in person. Getting on and off is easy with a lot of space between the steering console and seat. No worrying about banging your knees. The deluxe seat, great field of vision, and easy to use controls make for a very comfortable ride.



Owners are saying the Cub Cadet RZT S42 is among one of the best most reliable residential zero turns. People say “You never have to take it anywhere”. There have not been any build quality issues reported. The most common servicing would be to balance the blade and deck. Which it is recommended to have a professional do. If you do need service you can take it to any of the thousands of authorized dealers and service centers found on Also when buying this mower you can be “homegrown” proud since Cub Cadet zero turns are made in the USA!

Consumer Reports and Owner Reviews


Consumer Reports states “Cub Cadet has been among the most repair-prone brands for zero-turn-radius riders in our reliability surveys.” This is truly in the past. Current data does not support that comment anymore. It is however common to sometimes have issues with car gas mixed with ethanol. Current reviews show that being an issues of the past.


Click Here to read reviews from Tractor Supply Customers


What Cub Cadet RZT-S Owners are saying


-"cut lawn mowing time by 30-50%."

-"extremely easy to operate."

-"stable on hills."

-"blade shut off in reverse is annoying but easy to disable."

-"cut knee high grass with ease."

-"was tricky to maneuver around tight areas at first."

-"smooth comfortable ride."

-"it's so easy to drive I wish I had gotten one sooner."

-"home depot delivered it to my house and showed me how to use it."

Other Comparable Residential Quality Zero Turn Mowers

Toro TimeCutter SW4200(Steering Wheel ZTR)

John Deere Z235 42 inch

Hustler Raptor 42 inch

Airens Zoom 42 inch

Cub Cadet RZT-L 42 inch

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