The Cub Cadet SC 500Z is part of the Lawn mower & tractor
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Lawn mower & tractor
models like the SC 500Z are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Side discharging: How far and evenly clippings were dispersed from the discharge chute.
Mulching: Reflects how fine the clippings are and how completely the mower distributed its clippings over the lawn's surface.
Bagging: Denotes how much clippings the bag held before it filled or the chute clogged.
Blade brake clutch
Blade brake clutchThis safety feature automatically stops the blade when you release the handle, without shutting off the engine, so you don't have to restart the mower every time you clear debris or empty a grass bag.
Deck height adjustment
Deck height adjustmentMost convenient is a single lever that moves the entire deck up and down. Some models have one lever for the front axle and another for the rear. Least convenient is a lever at each wheel.
Single rear/individual front
Washout portAccepts a hose for cleaning the underside of the deck more easily than from above. Be sure to allow the underside to air-dry before stowing the machine.
Swing-up handle bar
Swing-up handle barAbility to easily fold the handle bar forward to aid in storage.
Upright storageAllows the user to store the lawnmower vertically reducing the storage footprint.
High wheelsLarge rear wheels marketed to handle bumpy terrain better than standard size wheels.
Optional discharge chute
Optional discharge chuteThe rear-mounted side-discharge chute does not come standard with the product and must be obtained separately if you want the side-discharge cutting mode. Some will be provided free when you return the product's warranty card, while others range in price from $15 to $30.
Deck sizeMost models have a deck size, or cutting swath, of 20 to 22 inches. There is no significant advantage from one size to another. A larger deck can cut more grass in a single pass, but in this size range the difference is negligible.
Engine manufacturerStated manufacturer of a gasoline engine. For some mowers the engine manufacturer is not documented and is listed as "self branded."
Engine sizeEngine size in cubic centimeters (cc) provides a rough indication of the engine's power.