Garden Tractor vs. Lawn Tractor: What's the difference, and which is best for me?

Learn What Each Has to Offer

The time has come for you to purchase or upgrade your riding lawn mower but with so many different brands, features, and capabilities it’s hard to determine which is the best for you. In this article, we will compare the function, size, and power between two popular options: the lawn tractor and the garden tractor. We will compare by three main categories, function, size and power.


When considering a riding lawn mower, think about how you will use it. Simplicity® lawn tractors are built to deliver a consistent, striped cut with their exclusive Free Floating™ mower deck, while Simplicity garden tractors feature those same great features and then some to take on big jobs.

With applicable attachments, garden tractors have the ability to haul material, plow snow, tow equipment, till gardens and much more, all from one machine. While both machines are built to last, garden tractors will feature more heavy duty components to ensure it can handle whatever task you throw at it.

  • Simplicity lawn tractors are excellent at cutting grass and doing small tasks around your lawn
  • Simplicity garden tractors specialize in being your workhorse machinery, cutting grass, plowing snow, tilling the earth, hauling material, and much more with its diverse and powerful assortment of implementing attachments.


The second thing to consider when purchasing a new riding lawn mower is the kind of space you have to use your mower with. Lawn tractors and garden tractors each have their ideal situations in regards to storage and cutting your lawn.

Lawn tractors tend to be more compact while garden tractors tend to take up a larger footprint. Garden tractors need this extra space to account for their larger engines, transmissions, and heavy-duty components that enable them to take on bigger, more demanding jobs. Garden tractors are often used for moving material and towing attachments, therefore weighing more. Lawn tractors, on the other hand, benefit from their compact build and smaller drive tires, making it easier to navigate a tighter lawn and to make the tight turns that the larger garden tractor cannot.

  • Garden tractors are ideal for large areas with ample storage, while lawn tractors can be more suitable for tighter lawns and limited storage space
  • Garden tractors trade in their size and weight for added functionality
  • Lawn tractors compact build makes them great for navigating lawns and straightforward storage


The biggest difference between these two lawn mowers can be found under the hood. Garden tractors often feature higher horsepower engines to support the demands of multiple tasks while lawn tractors typically provide lower horsepower engines since they specialize mainly in lawn mowing.

In addition, garden tractors have other heavy-duty components that set them apart. Features like locking differential help provide traction in even the worst conditions and the hydraulic PTO implementation system makes connecting and controlling an array of attachments easy.

  • Lawn tractors tend to have lower horsepower engines
  • Garden tractors tend to have higher horsepower engines
  • Simplicity garden tractors are equipped with differential locks, hydraulic PTO and other heavy-duty features

Lawn Tractor vs. Garden Tractor

Overall, deciding between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor is dependent on your yard and what you want to accomplish. Garden tractors are excellent machines for taking on big jobs that may include more than just mowing the lawn but are built larger and heavier, While lawn tractors are more nimble and powered to cut a beautiful lawn. Still undecided? Reach out to your local Simplicity dealer to assist in finding the perfect mower for you.