View Full Version : exmark vs. scag

03-05-2001, 02:37 PM
i have got to ask you guys something-
i have had a scag belt driven 48 now for a good 5 years, no real problems or anything. most of the guys around here use only scags, some guys use bobcats, but you really dont see anyone with the exmarks, the dixie choppers, snappers, etc. mostly scags, couple walkers, a lot of lazer z's but even the guys that go with the z's use scag for their walk behinds. the lawnmower shop that i work for, they sell hundreds of scags a year, and only a few exmarks. i asked one of the guys which is better, this guy has been selling lawn mowers for 35 years and told me hands down the scags. i asked him why the exmarks are so popular and he said that they are cheaper and that is why. i have another friend who has a hyrdo walk behind with a floating deck (xmark) and he really wants to sell that and get behind a scag.
so my question to you guys is why do you like exmark so much and at the same time hate the scags? i personally would never buy an exmark and will most likely stick to scags and walkers.

03-05-2001, 02:48 PM
no one in my part of the country has scags, from what i know is that the exmark is considered the best. i have never had a problem with them. not a single one, even with my walk behinds. i have a question for you does your scag make your lawns look like a professional ball field? i know my exmarks do with out a strip attachment.

03-05-2001, 02:53 PM
I think that it comes down to dealers, reduction of downtime, and service.

I know that in our area the Exmark guys could exceed the Scag dealer and thus many began to change over.

I also think that quality of cut is the most important factor. Pricing is a consideration, just not when there are a couple hundred dollars in question.


03-05-2001, 03:01 PM
i dunno... i guess they call this scag country for a reason. because i know most contractors in this area use scags. griffins, labriola, small guys too. but i think in my area scags have established themselves at the top. but also i mean a new scag is like 2,900 before tax, no nothing, no attachments or anything, and that is from a couple of years ago too... 48" 14 kawi. an exmark is like 2,600 without anything, same engine and everything. but just i love my scag and i really dont think i would ever really give the exmarks another thought

03-05-2001, 03:08 PM
Consumer loyalty is what this Industry is all about from the vendors perspective. I prefer the cut of the Exmark, but have found the Scag to be a heavier machine and think it would withstand a lot more abuse than the exmark from mowing crews. I know that I personnaly twirked the handles of our 36 Exmark one time. I was never able to do that with any of the scags we used to own.

This area was pretty much Scag country as well, but most have switched to Exmark as mower of choice when they upgraded from deck mowers to Z-Riders.

Personally, I will not be buying a Z, and am quite satisfied with the results of our decision not to. Why they like the Exmark over the Scag I couldnt begin to tell you.


03-05-2001, 03:09 PM
joshua, i live in cleveland and most scrapers use scags and walkers,probably because the closest exm. dealer is 25miles away,also i think exm.people never tried scags.

03-05-2001, 03:15 PM
The cut quality of the exmark is awesome. Here in the midsouth you almost never see a scag. You do not see many exmarks until the last year or so. They are really taking off in my area. Until recently you saw only buntons and toros. People who see the exmark cut and see the ability of the mulch kit are buying them over anything now.

03-05-2001, 04:47 PM
Can Scag match the Quality of Cut that an Exmark gives with the mulch kit installed????? I don't know, that is why I am asking. I demoed a Turf Tracer HP with a mulch kit and cut grass that was 6-8 inches tall down to 3 inches and it left nothing to speak of. Can a Scag do that? I don't know. I do know that Scags idea of a mulch kit is a steel plate blocking off the discharge chute, I think there is more to a good mulch kit than that.

03-05-2001, 05:22 PM
Down here it is a mixture of Scag and Exmark. Some choppers, but they are mainly used by the county for cutting along the roadways. I choose to use Exmark because of good dealer support. It is also closer for me. Oh and also a very dependable machine so far. That's not to say I would never choose another brand, but for now it's Exmark. I think they are all decent machines, it's more a matter of preference than anything. I feel if you have good luck with a brand of equipment and you are happy with it, then you will probally stick with it.

03-05-2001, 06:55 PM
i really dont want to get into an arguement. however - labriola is a multi million dollar business. they only use scags. griffins is a multi million dollar business. last time i checked griffin had somewhere over 500 lawn accounts. labriola is even bigger than that. and that is all these guys use is scags and walkers. so if you guys can come up with a reason for why they arent using exmarks id love to hear it. i just really dont like exmarks. later

03-05-2001, 07:05 PM
i seen guys with scags and toro's and a few choppers, and all those guys don't have them anymore, they all have exmarks. all the dealers quit carring them because the guys didn't want them. i haven't seen the cut up close of them but from driving by i would say to myself i could cut that lawn better witha push mower and make it look better. but thats my opinion i love the exmark because of its mulching kit and the cut looks like a professional ball field with out a stripping kit. plus great dealer support but my machines haven't broke down in 4 years so could you say that about the scags????

03-05-2001, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by lawnboy82
i dunno... i guess they call this scag country for a reason. because i know most contractors in this area use scags. griffins, labriola, small guys too. but i think in my area scags have established themselves at the top. but also i mean a new scag is like 2,900 before tax, no nothing, no attachments or anything, and that is from a couple of years ago too... 48" 14 kawi. an exmark is like 2,600 without anything, same engine and everything. but just i love my scag and i really dont think i would ever really give the exmarks another thought

hey what kind of deck is it full floating? is it belt driven? i have a metro 48 it started me out 4 years ago. i have never had one problem with it, except it collects dust because i don't use it anymore. it 48in deck, 15hp kolher, bag was free, and they gave me a extra set of blades, only $2800. i seen the exact mower your talking about in a few magizines its not bad looking but i will never switch, it must be that my customers love how their yards look when i leave.

03-05-2001, 07:13 PM
I personally use Scag products. The xmark dealer here is 20 miles away.TheScag dealer is only 5 miles.I personally feel that the Scag is a better mower and as for the mulching system, my mulch kit blocks off each section and it works like a champ. My friend/competitor use Exmark and he likes his product. The mowing (stripping) looks almost the same. Plus I don't consider the "stripe" as a selling factor when I buy a mower, it is the quality of the cut.

03-05-2001, 10:24 PM
I have used scag walkbehinds and riders! I think there quality of cut is pitiful! Yes the blades were sharp! They dont discharge well and clump very easily! Examrk is a much better mower hands down!

03-05-2001, 10:34 PM
which would you choose for quality of cut? a locke or an exmark? rotary vs. reel / exmark or the old buntons?

03-06-2001, 02:11 AM
lawnboy, you keep telling us you do not plan to change, so why do you keep asking us to convince you? Sounds to me like your looking for an excuse to buy an exmark. :cool:

I tried the skanky scag. It is built like a tank. Problem is, it cuts like one too. I want a mower that I can put on very prestigious lawn and look awesome. I do not want a mower that the cut is average or pretty good. I want awesome. I want the customer to say "the guy's mower last year did not cut my lawn that well." And I have had several of these comments. I just took over a client this week for that very reason. Over a 1/2 million dollar piece of property. The guy last year had a walker, and I did his leaves last fall and cut the final time. He said his lawn never looked that good before. He called me 2 days ago to set up for this year.

03-06-2001, 12:03 PM
Its very hard to mess up a yard with a Exmark lazer. The floating deck with the wide anti scalp plate in the center rear of the 5 foot deck makes it nearly impossible to scalp. The deep deck cuts way down on clogging and clumping. The anti scalp wheels lead to a nice even cut. If you cant make a yard look nice with a lazer you in the wrong business. Low maintenence and easy to work on too.

03-06-2001, 12:59 PM
The other thing that you need to consider when you talk about a major corporation is that just like with construction companies, they purchase fleet vehicles based upon price.

When these larger firms send out their specs to the different manufacturers of maintenance equipment, they are looking to see who will give them the best deal. Its called volume. And this volume of pricing does not necessarily mean quality when it comes to how well they cut.

Just my .03

03-06-2001, 02:17 PM
i'm just talking wb's,how does the ex.mulch kit work in springs tall,wet, kentucky blue grass,also only on residentials i have to bag most of the times,how's the ex. on bagging. does the ex. have a 3yr warrenty on its spindles?

03-06-2001, 02:30 PM
ok, now i'm only 18 still a senior in high school, i have it all insurence, lazer z, 2 walk behinds, i pay guys, i pay taxes. ok heres what i don't understand, if the exmark mower is so bad then why do everyone in my neck of the woods have them. oh yea, for the guys that do have scags if you ever come down to the youngstwn area i would love to see the quality they produce (lol), it wouldn't be much of a challange i think, but i am only 18 how good could i really be?

03-06-2001, 02:53 PM
I have used exmark since they were on the market. I have looked at scags from day 1 also. The only real difference I see other than I know personally the beating an exmark can take and has, is the price is alot more for the scag. Kinda like John Deere, your buying the color.

If you have any questions on the exmark (josh) let me know, I know them better than the dealers around here.

[Edited by muxx on 03-06-2001 at 06:58 PM]

03-06-2001, 04:01 PM
muxx, no questions sorry i have been using them for 4 years. i know enough about them.

Richard Martin
03-06-2001, 04:21 PM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with an Exmark. I happen to own one myself. Before I bought mine I looked at a lot of mowers. Bobcat, Scag, Gravely and others. Some reasons I bought the Exmark were:

1: No electric clutch to replace on W/Bs
2: MicroMulch mulching system, it is second to none for grass
3: Superior deck baffling, Scag and others are just starting to catch up to Exmark in this area
4: Easy to adjust brakes and belt tension
5: 2 year warranty even covers the tranny
6: Plenty of dealers around
7: Exmark was the first to use 9 spline tranny (I beleive), the 9 spline tranny outlasts the 30 spline by far
8: Adjustable handlebars
9: 18,500+ blade tip speed
10: No grease spindles
11: Grease fittings in places no-one else bothers to put them, like the brake and clutch linkages

This one is for Bababooie

12: 3 year warranty on spindles

Do you want me to go on? All of these people that say Exmark doesn't build a good mower have probably never even gone and looked at one let alone used one.

Green Finger
03-06-2001, 04:55 PM
Yeah you tell them Richard!

PS: personally I run BobCat. LOL
Go with what you can get until you get what you want.
Come on Spring!

03-06-2001, 05:06 PM
We used to use scag mowers exclusivly untill they came out with the ztr's! We used a 61 inch walk behind with sulky for 12 years and a 48 inch walk behind which we are still using when the z's don't fit. The quality of cut is good and the mowers are industructable!!! these two mowers would cut 85 jobs a week. The larger mower didn't cut as nice as the smaller unit. It was retired three years age and the machine had probably 6 or 7 thousand hours on it!!! Let me tell you are employes beat the **** out of these units water mains curbs , they cut everything imaginable with them!! The 48 inch mower we still use to this day is a tank, we use it to cut down bushes and help with cutting off small stumps!!! after 5 or 6 thousand hours we put a new engine on it and it now looks and still cuts like new!!

03-07-2001, 03:37 PM
i'll shut up martin

SJR Lawncare
03-07-2001, 05:06 PM
Next Wednesday, I am picking up my new Scag 52 Hydro Advantage deck with a 17 Kaw. I hope that I am not making a $5000 mistake. What do you guys think??


03-07-2001, 05:08 PM
A 52" with only a 17 kawi? Can you get a larger motor?

SJR Lawncare
03-07-2001, 06:21 PM
I think I can get a 19-21 HP for considerably more $$$$$$$$


03-07-2001, 06:39 PM
With the hydro, 52 inches, and Advantage deck, 17hp is always going to be right on the line of struggling. Belt drive, I'd say O.K., but with a hydro, you want the 19 at least. If you never mow tall thick grass and you always cut weekly, you will probably be O.K.. It really shouldnt be that much more for the 19, is it? I would be a little concerned when you rack up the hours and that 17hp dips to maybe 15 or so.

03-07-2001, 07:57 PM
Just tuned in.If that is walk behind I cant imagine
it not having enough power.If its z you may be under.
but Id look at it first.Ihad a 5hp kaw w 36inch
if belts were tight it would cut anything.

03-07-2001, 08:02 PM
You should be fine! If i remember correctly the advantage deck is designed much like the toro super flow deck. The grass does not pass from blade to blade but rather cut once then passed through the front of the deck to be discharged. This style of deck requires much less hp than a standard deck. I have yet to find anything that strains my z master in the least bit!

03-07-2001, 08:56 PM

03-08-2001, 12:15 AM
dont get the 17 hp kawi!!!
the dealers i work for do way too much waranty work and other repairs to those engines!!!
you have to clean the air filter every couple of hours or else you will have problems. seriously consider maybe a kohler or something like that. maybe even a briggs / vanguard 18 but dont get a 17 kawi too many problems.


exmark drools

03-08-2001, 03:04 AM
fred 2/12/01 4:29:51PM Re:Ready to Buy
Check out the Lesco Viper or the Cub Cadet Tank. Same mower just different colors. Also the eXmark is about the same.
Here is something that I never thought I would hear ... that the Exmark machines are close to being as sturdy a machine as the lesco. ~~~To each his own I guess.

Speaking of not hearing much. I have rarely if ever heard people talk about the Howard Price mowing units during these discussions.

Does anyone have any formal experience with these machines??

Thanks for the input.

03-08-2001, 10:28 AM
How ya been?
The Advantage deck looks like a copy of the SFS Toros from the top, but actually, the Advantage deck is very similar to an Exmark Deck underneath. http://www.scag.com It has baffles surrounding every blade, and from what I heard from a SCAG rep, the decks tap a little more HP, but cut like a dream. I just wish that they would get rid of the deck strengthening plates UNDER the deck and put them on TOP like everyone else. Its a pain in the a$$ to scrape a SCAG deck clean with all the obstructions from extra plates and bolts.

Bottom Line: You will be happy with this machine, but as Tim Allen always said...MORE POWER...argh....argh....arghh! If you can get a 21 get it. It looks like you can get a 52 Hydro with the OLD deck with a 17kaw, 20Koh, or 21kaw? But when you go with the Advantage deck you are limited to the 17kaw???? Unless you are talking about the ULTIMATE Advantage SWZU (floating) in which case you CAN get the 21kaw! That doesnt make sense!

Oh Well
Carry on....

03-08-2001, 10:53 AM
theres only 1 way to see what mower is the best. to companies need to have a cut off and tell us the results. friendly might i add. does anyone else feel the same as me

03-08-2001, 01:19 PM
SJR Lawncare

Is that with a floating deck? I'm looking at buying
a new SCAG next week and trying to compare prices
here. I was told to stay away from the Advantage deck,
did you hear otherwise?

I'm also looking to buy the 52 inch. Let me know
what prices you were looking at over there.


03-08-2001, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by bilchak
SJR Lawncare

Is that with a floating deck? I'm looking at buying
a new SCAG next week and trying to compare prices
here. I was told to stay away from the Advantage deck,
did you hear otherwise?

I'm also looking to buy the 52 inch. Let me know
what prices you were looking at over there.


john their is a thread in here some where about the advantage deck. is doesn't have enough horse power (alot of the guys are saying) check that out.

SJR Lawncare
03-08-2001, 08:57 PM

It is not the Ultimate floating deck, but it is the advantage deck, I am getting this mower,a grass gobbler bagger, & a sulky for $4900 + tax. This is what my dealer sells & recommends. Besides, their service is awesome.
What prices are you able to get there??


03-14-2001, 01:40 AM
I'm stopping up next week. He is having an open house. I'll let you know on the price.

Anyone else care to post some prices on SKAGS???

Looing for advice on the 52 inch fixed deck hydro.

How hard it is to change the height of the deck
on a fixed deck SKAG??


LScom Addict
03-14-2001, 01:56 AM
I think that if you have an agressive crew that the Scags will hold up the best. If you are looking for the quality of cut I would go with the Ransomes-Bobcat. I have cut next to properties where an eXmark was used and the cuts look the same to me.

03-16-2001, 12:03 AM
I started out with a Scag 48 walk, and now after2 years in the business, im sick of walking and went out and bought a Scagb 61 turf tiger. Scag is "bullet proof" I wouldnt even consider another brand