John Deere E130 vs S130: Which Model is Best For You?

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Choosing a suitable lawn tractor for you can be a little puzzling if you don’t know exactly how to compare the machines. There are various kinds to select from in the riding mower market, each with how they will apply to you in their distinct ways. That is why it’s important to single out your requirements so that selection can be a lot easier and more effective for you.

John Deere lawn tractors are well-known for their durability and good cutting quality. However, now that you have the JD E130 and S130 to determine from, which of the models will serve you best?

The John Deere S130 will serve you better than the E130 in a few ways. There’s not a strong difference between the two lawn tractors, but as the S series is a slightly upgraded version compared to the E, it does have more convenient features that will contribute to your mowing experience positively– all of which you’ll fully understand in this article.

This well-detailed discussion will help you determine the best John Deere model for you between the E130 and the S130 so that you get the most favorable deals worthy of your money for as long as possible. I will be highlighting their strengths and weaknesses to boost your decision process for a better outcome. Let’s get right into it!

S130 vs E130: 4 Major Differences

The E & S130 are very similar in both build and functionality. Regardless, they have a few differences that you could use to your advantage.

The S130 Has Much Better Seats

Comfort is highly valuable for lawn tractors especially if your lawn features a lot of bumps. The E130 seat is the one-unit saddle that looks like a big “L” literally and figuratively. These seats are my least favorite kind of riding saddles; they offer no support for your lower back or ventilation to the rear area. They also will be a tad small for you if you’re on the large side.

On the other hand, the S130 is narrowly better with the two-piece seat that spotlights an open back and is also a bit taller in comparison offering more support for you to rest on. Although better than the E130, they’re still not the best because suspension is still the same poor quality that will make riding over bumps a sore job. However, if you had to pick between the two models based on a comfortable ride, I strongly advise you to go for the S130.

The best way to avoid the back problems you’ll face after 3-4 hours on the E or S130 lawn tractor is by installing a suspension seat. There are various kinds with assorted qualities so much that even the least qualified suspension seat will do you much, much better than the lawn tractors’. I’ve written a heavily detailed article about the best suspension seats to choose from since you’d be needing one for the long run.

The Power Take-Off (PTO) Switch Is Fancier On The S130

The PTO switch is responsible for the engagement and disengagement of the cutting deck blades and you’ll find them a little different on the two lawn tractors. The E130 model features a PTO lever that you can hold and pull horizontally to start or stop the blades. In comparison, the S130 model comes with a large pop-up bottom that you can pull and push for the same effect.

This is a minuscule difference to state the fact, but it does make operating the S130 a lot more intuitive in case you need to abruptly halt. Following this variation, the S130 will offer you more convenience and confidence during your mowing tasks.

The S130 Has A Tougher Transmission System

The transmission system on the E130 is the Tuff Torq TL200 belt-driven tranny unit that is mostly paired with low-end or beginner residential lawn tractors. Although they perform well enough in adequately challenging situations, they’re not the best for frequent use.

For the S130 model, you have the Kanzaki Tuff Torq double-wheel drive that puts up more of a fight against striving mowing tasks in comparison to the E130. They, too, are not the best for frequent use, but if your lawn is sloped or hilly, the John Deere S130 model will cope better thanks to the stronger transmission.

The E130 Is More Affordable Than The S130

If you are on a tight budget, you should consider the E130 as they usually sell for $2000 – $2200 only in comparison to the S130 which will cost you $2,400 – $2,500, both depending on your dealer. You’ll find the prices to be quite impressive for the worth of the riding mowers especially if you’re acknowledging that lawn tractors are multifunctional machines that could be used through all seasons of the year.

similarities between john deere s130 and e130

6 Standard Similarities & Features Of The E130 And S130

1. Engines And Horsepower

Both models use 22 horsepower V-twin engines to source power through and through which is suitable for residential mowing or other light-weight activities. I strongly advise against using either of the models for commercial use as it will suffer the engines and transmission of the machines which will in turn reflect on the lifespan of your lawn tractor. For a suitable yardstick measurement, each of the models can handle 2 ½ acres thrice a week or 5 acres twice a week fantastically excluding minor activities like towing light carts or easy transport.

2. Tire Sizes

For both the E130 and S130, the front and rear tires are the same in size. You’d get 20×6-6 inches at the front and 20×10-8 tires at the rear of the machine giving rise to good traction and stability. To ensure a better-customized experience, you can tweak the tire pressure a bit. This can manage skid marks and encourage better stability depending on the features of your yard. You can learn how to tweak your lawn tractor’s tire pressure from an article I have carefully written right here: Best Tire Pressure For Zero-Turn Mowers.

3. Measure Of Speed

The E130 and S130 run at a forward speed of 5.5 miles per hour and a reverse speed of 4mph respectively. Although the velocity isn’t quite impressive, it affects the cutting quality positively; more time is spent on a spot to enable the lawn tractor to ruminate on the grass thereby effectively managing the cutting task. In fact, some high-grade riding mowers possess a ‘tow mode’ speed choice that allows them to run as slow as possible for the same quality cut that you’d get on either the E130 or S130.

4. Deck Type And Cutting Quality

The Edge 42-inch 13-gauge steel decks with double anti-scalp wheels are the standard cutting decks for both the E130 and S130 models. You’d find the cutting quality to be superb even though the deck is pretty basic. This is because of the speed that the machines are provided with; they run at just the right velocity for each patch of grass to receive enough attention thereby effectively preventing stragglers and uneven cuts as you whizz by.

5. Fuel Tank Capacity

The E130 and the S130 are both equipped to carry 9.1 L of fuel respectively. Relatively, you can mow up to 3 acres if you fill the tank to the brim. This number may not be a fist of joy in the air, but considering the purpose of each lawn tractor, which is residential mowing, they are adequately paired with the correct fuel capacity to serve you.

6. Warranty

For both models, there is a 2-year/24-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty on both parts and labor so that you can make the best out of each situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about s130 and e130

Do The E130 & S130 Models Come With Other Deck Sizes?

The major deck size for both models is 42 inches. They do not come with other deck sizes apart from 42” nor can you pair other deck sizes to the models. You may try and it may be successful, but the stability of the machine will be highly compromised, reducing its ability to tackle sloped terrain and the durability of the transmission system.

How Long Will The E130 & S130 Models Last?

John Deere tractors are highly durable regardless of the machines being low-end residential models– they will last from 7 to 9 years if taken with proper care. This includes pairing your machine with relative tasks to avoid straining your mower or reducing its lifespan.

Can The E130 & S130 Tow Equipment?

You can tow or push anything in the correct capacity range with both of the models. Anything from aerators, carts, and rollers can be towed with any of the lawn tractors. Added to this, they make good snow plowers! To get the best out of your riding mower during the winter, learn all about snow plowing with your lawn tractor.

What Is The Towing Capacity Of The E130 & S130?

The weight you should pull with the John Deere E130 and S130 should not exceed 400 lbs. This amount is significant to observe if you are striving for your lawn tractor to last to the desired or required number of years.

Final Words

Now that we’re at the end of our discussion, it’s evident that the John Deere S130 is more efficient in comparison to the E130 at a more expensive rate. Although both models are durable and deliver almost the same qualities, if your yard is featured with slopes and bumps, I suggest you purchase the S130 for a tougher transmission and a more comfortable seat.

Otherwise, you can save extra bucks and go for the E130 if you are on a tight budget– after all, they make a good mowing machine too. All in all, there’s no loss if you choose one model or the other; I assure you that you’d be getting a good fortune out of your money if you decide on either of the lawn tractors. Good luck!

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EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Lawn Mower. He is a riding mower enthusiast who enjoys spending more time discussing and covering various ride-on mower topics. He has been active in the industry for years comparing models of different ZTR and lawn tractor brands.