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John Deere S100 Review 2022 Model: Great Riding Lawn Tractor

    Man in blue shirt riding a green John Deere S100 lawn tractor getting ready to mow the green grass.

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    Read our review on the John Deere S100 riding lawn tractor (2022 model) to see if it is right for you. This model has a single cylinder 17.5 hp engine and a 42 inch mower deck cutting system. It is suited for yards up to one acre. For most homeowners, this will be all you need unless you have significant acreage to mow.

    Riding Lawn Tractors For Residential Needs

    A riding lawn mower is the easiest way to get a clean-cut lawn with low effort. The size of your lawn will help determine which type of engine and cutting blade size you will need. John Deere is one of the most reputable brands in the lawn tractor space. While we have not tried out other brands to compare to, the review here will give you a good idea about what the S100 model is capable of and whether it might be a good fit for you.

    Side view of a green and yellow John Deere S100 lawn tractor parked on a black driveway with a white garage and fence, and green trees in the background.

    Key Features Of The 2022 S100 Model

    The 17.5 hp engine has sufficient power for yards around one acre. And the cutting blade size (42 inches) is more than capable of getting a decent sized swath of land mowed. Turning radius gets you around corners quite effortlessly. Top features include a comfortable operator station and controls that are easy to use. Even for amateurs.

    The setup under the hood is convenient for replacing the air filter and performing an oil change. The wash port feature is also excellent for cleaning out grass buildup under the mowing deck.

    The John Deere lawn tractor is an outstanding machine. In addition to the sleek look, power, and cutting ability, it just felt good to ride on. The envious looks you get from neighbors tells you all you need to know.

    John Deere S100 Riding Lawn Mower Exterior And Accessories

    This is a impeccable machine with a great look and finish. The green and yellow trademark John Deere colors glisten and do not disappoint on this model.

    Green and yellow John Deere S100 lawn tractor on a black driveway.

    Fuel Tank, Manual Gauge And Operator Seat

    Seat lifted up to show the fuel tank on a green and black lawn mower.
    Manual fuel gauge on a green and yellow lawn mower.

    The operator seat is cushioned and provides comfort for at least an hour of riding. Which is more than enough time to do an acre of mowing. The seat is adjustable and slides back for taller riders.

    If you lift up the seat you access the fuel tank as shown above (2.4 gallon capacity). The S100 model does not have a digital readout of the fuel level. There is a manual gauge below the seat. It works most of the time but is flimsy and not something to rely on a lot. One minor negative on this model.

    Raise/Lower Mower Deck (Cutting Heights)

    Black blade engagement lever with adjustable cutting heights on a green and yellow lawn tractor.

    There is a spring-assisted lever to raise and lower the cutting deck. Grass heights of one to four inches are supported in increments of a quarter inch. We found this easy to operate and conveniently located on the right of the operator station.


    Front headlights on a John Deere lawn tractor with a white fence and green trees in the background.

    If you are mowing late in the evening, the two incandescent headlights will be handy. You control them from the ignition by turning the key forward. We have not tried them out in the dark so we cannot comment on their effectiveness.

    Wash Port For Cleaning Blades And Mower Deck

    Top view of a yellow mowing deck and scalping wheels of a green riding lawn tractor.

    Wash Port For Garden Hose Connection

    John Deere lawn tractors are one of the few that have the ability to automatically clean out the bottom of the mowing deck. A wash port that fits a standard garden hose is located just above the deck. Remember to clean on a hard surface like asphalt. And to lower the deck (PTO blades engaged) while cleaning.

    Transaxle Release Rod (Manual Pushing) And Rear Hitch

    At the back of the tractor is the rear hitch that connects to a variety of attachments like the dump cart, spreader and rear bagger.

    Above that is an important feature to be aware of — the transaxle release rod. Useful if you run out of fuel or have a mechanical issue and need to push the tractor someplace. Keep pushed in for normal operation. Pulled out lets you manually push the lawn tractor.

    Silver transaxle release switch on the back of a black and yellow tractor.
    Black plastic cup holder and storage compartment on a green riding lawn tractor with a yellow seat.

    Storage Container And Cup Holder

    Next to the seat is a nifty cup holder and storage container, ostensibly for a phone. The S100 model has no cover for the storage compartment but one could be purchased and easily mounted on.

    Under The Hood Of The John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor: Engine And Maintenance

    Opened hood of a green and yellow John Deere S100 hood showing the engine components.

    The green hood opens easily but has no latching system to keep it locked. What you see under it is impressive though. A sleek 17.5, single cylinder engine gives you plenty of power for riding, towing and cutting.

    The best thing about the hood is that it is designed to allow for spacious access to parts involved in routine maintenance. Like the air filter, battery, spark plug, oil and fuel filter, and oil drain knob.

    Replacing Air Filter

    White air filter on a riding lawn tractor

    Air Filter Slides Out

    A plastic lid comes out with just the twist of two hand-turned knobs to give you full access to the air filter. Replacing it couldn’t be easier.

    Oil Changes And Oil Filter Replacement

    Purple and red wiring and oil drain pipe under the hood of a lawn tractor.

    Oil Drain

    Black oil filter and other components of a yellow and green tractor.

    Oil Filter

    No need for any special tools to get the oil changed. A simple drain pipe and accessible oil filter make this a breeze.

    Battery And Spark Plug

    Black battery pack on a lawn mower with red positive connection and black negative.
    Black and sliver components under the hood of a tractor.

    A bit more advanced maintenance would be a spark plug replacement and battery replacement. Both of which would be somewhat easy to do in this setup.

    Operator Station And Operating Features Of The John Deere Riding Lawn Tractor

    Black steering wheel and driving controls on a green lawn tractor.

    Riding the John Deere S100 lawn tractor is a joy. The controls are simple and it takes little time to get used to. Even if you have not used a lawn tractor before. Here’s a quick walkaround of the operator station and driving controls.

    Parking Brake, Ignition And Choke

    Orange parking brake release lever and a black brake pedal on a lawn mower.

    The parking brake is disengaged by pressing down on the brake pedal with your left foot and pushing down the orange plastic lever (press brake pedal and pull orange lever up to engage the parking brake). Startup is easy and the choke has a nice spring back action. As soon as you crank the ignition, the choke automatically comes back to avoid any damage.

    Forward And Reverse Drive Pedals

    Black forward and reverse driving pedals on a riding lawn tractor

    The S100 models before 2021 had a CVT transmission with only one foot pedal. A side-lever was used to change direction of travel which is not intuitive. But now the new S100 models have been upgraded to a true hydrostatic engine. So, there are two separate forward and reverse pedals on the right side to use with your foot.

    Mowing In Reverse (Rear Implement Option Safety Switch)

    If you are mowing with the blades engaged and want to go in reverse, you will need to first press the yellow RIO button. This is a safety feature to make sure you are safe and can mow in reverse without harm. If you don’t press the yellow button and try to reverse, the engine automatically shuts down. It is a reminder that the blades are extremely sharp and you never know if a child or pet has snuck up behind you.

    Yellow and orange control buttons on a black dashboard of a tractor.
    Yellow PTO engagement lever on a green riding lawn mower.

    Blade Engagement (PTO) Lever

    Once the engine is running, the mower deck blades are engaged by turning the yellow PTO engagement lever anti-clockwise. It is a bit of a thud and a jerk but you’ll get used to it. At this point, as you accelerate forward, you are blissfully mowing your lawn.

    Side Discharge Tube

    Black plastic side discharge tube on a green and yellow tractor.

    For the clippings discharge, the standard setup is on the side. The black plastic discharge tube lifts up a bit if you need to mow near tight objects and spaces. This configuration releases the grass clippings to the side and back on your yard. If you need to have them bagged, a rear bagger setup is available as an accessory (approximately $500). This is one add-on you will want to consider strongly.


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    Video Review, Walkaround And Test Of The John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor

    You can watch our full video walkaround and review of the John Deere S100 lawn tractor (2022 model) here. You will get a quick look at what is under the hood and an introductory guide for starting up the lawn tractor. Lastly, see it in action with a demo where we too it for a test run and cut grass on a lawn.

    What’s Good About The John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor

    The John Deere brand is known for its quality and durability. Our interaction with the S100 only served to reinforce that view. All the mechanical parts in this tractor are sturdy and high-quality. The engine has significant power for just a 17.5 hp rating. Ideal for mid-sized yards up to one acre.

    It is real easy to operate and mow lawns with. The driver operations are intuitive and readily accessible. Sometimes you forget you are doing a chore and you may not want to stop.

    The only negatives we found are the noise. With the blades engaged, it can be loud. But not louder than other tractors for sure. Get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling earphones and this issue goes away.

    Final Review Of The John Deere S100 Riding Lawn Tractor

    Side view of a green and yellow John Deere S100 lawn tractor parked on a black driveway with a white garage and fence, and green trees in the background.

    The John Deere brand is known for its quality and durability. Our interaction with the S100 only served to reinforce that view. All the mechanical parts in this tractor are sturdy and high-quality. The engine has significant power for just a 17.5 hp rating. Ideal for mid-sized yards up to one acre. We were highly impressed with this riding lawn mower from John Deere.

    In addition to the sleek look, power, and cutting ability, it just felt good to ride on. The John Deere lawn tractor is an outstanding machine. In the end, the envious looks you get from neighbors will tell you all you need to know.

    John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor Attachments To Make Yardwork Easier

    There are numerous attachments and accessories that fit the S100. The most popular one is the rear bagger system which collects grass clippings and fall leaves. Others that may be of interest are the tow-behind cart, spreader and sweeper.

    Price and Warranty Information

    Depending on where you buy, the S100 sells for $2300 to $2400 at Lowes, Home Depot, or a John Deere dealership (as of this writing).

    A 2 year/120 hour warranty is generally supported by your local John Deere dealership. Remember to register your purchase with them for this to take effect.

    John Deere S100 42 in. 17.5 HP Gas Hydrostatic Riding Lawn Tractor Mulching Capable (Kit Sold Separately)

    Deere & Company (Moline, IL)

    Our Rating:

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

    Product Information: John Deere S100 Lawn Tractor

    NameS100 Lawn Tractor
    ManufacturerJohn Deere
    Manufacturing LocationGreeneville, Tennessee, USA
    Engine Power17.5 hp, 13 kW
    Engine Manufacturer/Model31R977 (M31)
    Transaxle TypeTLT200 hydrostatic, two-wheel drive
    Mower Cutting Width42 in. (107 cm)
    Mower Cut Height13 positions, 1-4 in. (2.5-10.2 cm)
    Mower TypeSide discharge
    Fuel System Type/CapacityGasoline/2.4 U.S. gal. (9.1 L)
    HeadlightsTwo standard, incandescent
    Mower Wash PortYes
    Manufacturer’s DescriptionA 17.5-hp (13.0-kW), single-cylinder engine has plenty of power and torque to handle tough mowing, mulching, and bagging:
    -Electronic ignition for fast starts.
    -Spring-return feature to ensure the operator will not mistakenly leave the throttle lever in the choke position.
    -Cast-iron cylinder liner for long engine life.
    -Overhead valves for excellent power and fuel economy.
    -Anti-vibration system.
    -Full-pressure lubrication and oil filter for cleaner oil, prolonging engine life, and extending the time between oil changes.
    -Large fuel filter for trouble-free operation.

    Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs. He can be reached at [email protected].


    John Deere S100; Lawn Tractor; Riding Lawn Mower; Gas Mower; Video Review

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