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Tractor Cutter vs. Mower: Which Mows Better?

We want to help you understand the difference between a cutter and mower and which mows better.

And as a quick aside --- we are here to help you purchase a new tractor when the time is right.

Let’s get started.

What’s Best?

What’s the difference between a 3-point-mounted or pull-type finish mower, a mid-mount mower, or a rotary cutter?

Which one is the best for your needs?


A finish mower for a compact tractor is a heavy-duty commercial mower. It is designed for a fine cut on larger areas.

It’s a great implement for those wishing to keep their land nice and neat without spending too much time and effort on lawn mowing.

A mid-mount finish mower does essentially the same job as a mounted or pull-type finish mower, except that it mounts underneath the tractor instead of behind it.

Mid-mount mowers tend to be better for novice operators who may not like adjusting to the tail swing of a rear-mounted finish mower. Mid-mount mowers give a sub-compact tractor the capabilities of a riding lawnmower --- but with built-in tractor strength and durability that surpasses almost any riding mower.

The compact tractor/mower combination is a much more versatile machine that powers a loader, 3‑point attachments, and PTO-powered machines. They accomplish various landscaping, tillage, and vegetation management tasks.

There are a variety of Yanmar finish mowers to help you quickly cross of any mowing jobs that may be on the to-do list. The Yanmar 3-point-mounted finish mower options start at 54 inches and increase to 84 inches in mowing width. Some tractor owners find that a 3-point mounted finish mower is easier and faster to take on and off the tractor than a mid-mount mower.

If your finish mowing job requires more width, ask about the pull-type, flex-wing finish mower options available in a 12.5-foot estate-duty model, and 12-foot, 15-foot, and 17-foot commercial-duty models. How much lawn mower productivity is there in a 17-foot lawn mower? If you average 5.5 miles per hour, that lets you mow more than 10 acres of grass every hour.


When your vegetation management, landscaping, or “mowing” job requires heavy-duty clearing and cutting --- a rotary cutter is the preferred implement. A rotary cutter does not produce as fine of a cut quality as a finish mower. Therefore it should be used where the finish quality and appearance are not as important.

A rotary cutter is what people clip their “back forty” with when they want to keep the land in a pasture/meadow/prairie state and not need to have to turn it into brush land or forest.

Are patches of thistles trying to take over your beef cow pasture? Want to avoid herbicide use? Hit those pasture polluters with a rotary cutter. Very satisfying. Your lawn mowing equipment will thank you and live to mow another day.

Yanmar offers rotary cutters in several cutting widths and machine weights to match the jobs at hand, as well as the available tractor power. The single-spindle, 3-point-mounted cutters range from 42 inches to 84 inches in cutting width.

If this is not wide enough --- Yanmar pull-type flex-wing rotary cutters are here to the rescue.

They let you do what you need to do. Yanmar flex-wing rotary cutters come in 12-foot and 15-foot widths. Those are big rotary cutter widths --- but these machines are designed to be both strong and efficient --- and trim --- to match the capabilities of 47 and 59 horsepower Yanmar YT3 Series compact tractors.

Which Wins?

As you can see, across a wide range of lawn care and vegetation management demands, there is a cutting and mowing implement designed to help you get more done every hour and every day.

Look at the lawns and the land you need to maintain.

Measure the square footage or acreage you need to cover. This number might surprise you.

Decide what needs finish mowing and what needs a rougher form of vegetation management. Factor in the tractor power you have or need to add to the mix. Then you will see which mower or rotary cutter (or both) solutions you need.

Hopefully, this brief article has helped you understand whether you need a mower or cutter.

If you need any further help, or have any questions about mowers, cutters, tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

If you are looking for old, vintage, classic, or new tractor parts, send us a part request.

Team Tractor Ranch - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.

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