Pros / The Cub Cadet has an adjustable self-propulsion drive that makes it one of the most mobile lawn mowers.
Cons / The handles have a tendency to sink somewhat while this mower is in use.
Verdict / The Cub Cadet is a uniquely designed mower that is ideal for yards with unusual landscapes and obstacles.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Cub Cadet SC 500 HW gas lawn mower offers you so many helpful features, which helped put it in the category of one of our top-ranking mowers. Its responsive variable drive makes it highly maneuverable, so you can easily get into tight spots. It's an excellent mower for yards with unique designs and excess obstacles that the average mower may have a hard time negotiating.
This is one of the most mobile models you can find. We had no problem getting it from one location to another as we did our testing. The noise level is low at just 90 dB, which is one of the quieter mowers in our lineup, so you can use it for long periods without the noise being too bothersome.
The handlebars adjust to three positions for people of different heights. The wheels only adjust to six different positions to cut at heights of 1.25 to 3.75 inches. This is on the low end for mowers in our review. If you need more height settings, consider the Poulan Pro, which has nine cutting positions. It won't be a problem for people who like to set their mower at the height they like and keep it that way, but it may be an issue for others. This mower has a single lever that lifts the rear wheels and another for the front wheels. However, despite the lack of a single lever, you can adjust them easily and you don't have to work hard to get it to the right height. If you anticipate needing to adjust your deck height often, this feature can serve you well.
There are one or two drawbacks to this otherwise excellent lawn mower. One is that the handles tend to sink down a little as you are operating the machine, but the cutting quality of the mower didn’t decrease when we used it for long periods. In addition, there is no blade brake clutch, which is a nice safety feature that lets you stop the blade rotation without turning the engine off.
One valuable characteristic the Cub Cadet includes that you do not see in every brand of gas powered lawn mowers is the wash port, which lets you clean the blade and the area beneath the deck by attaching a garden hose when you're done mowing. If you do this along with other maintenance, it keeps the mower running well for many years. One of the best conveniences the SC 500 HW features is the rechargeable battery starter. With this handy device, you can easily start the mower every time with a simple push of a button instead of potentially hurting your arm using the pull-string.
The rear wheels are a modest 11 inches in diameter, and the front tires are even smaller at 8 inches. This makes it easier to use than many mowers when it comes to traversing diverse terrain for yards as big as a half-acre. Given its extreme mobility and rear-wheel drive, it does not really need the variable wheel size that some mowers rely on. This self-propelled mower weighs in at approximately 90 pounds, which is a bit on the heavy side when compared to other lawn mower brands we reviewed. However, this machine seems lighter than it really is while in operation, which is a great testament to its solid design.
Warranty & Support
In the event that something goes awry with your Cub Cadet SC 500 HW, you get some helpful customer support options including both phone and email, and there is a useful PDF user manual online. If you do run into some problems, the manufacturer of this lawn mower provides a generous three-year limited warranty that could come in handy if significant issues arise. In addition, the Cub Cadet website provides a service center locator in case you need to take the mower to a professional for some in-person assistance or help with maintenance.
The Cub Cadet SC 500 HW is a well-designed and versatile gas lawn mower. It is extremely maneuverable, and you can fit it comfortably in places you may not have been able to reach before. This combined with the rear-wheel drive makes it suitable for a variety of terrains and slopes. The lack of a blade brake clutch is one of the few inconveniences. Overall, this is one of the best lawn mowers on the market and an excellent choice if you own a uniquely landscaped yard.