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John Deere 265 Tractor Review & Specification

A member of the late 200 series and a compact lawn and garden tractor, John Deere 265 is the ideal tractor for your small garden needs. Small turning angle and good handling, the size of this tractor helps it achieve so much. It is particularly good for small lawns and their operation

It operates with a Sundstrand BDU-21 belt-driven hydrostatic transmission.  It also has a large fuel tank that ensures you carry enough fuel while working so you do need to stop to refuel. Its horsepower is small, but that is expected considering its compact nature and its operation area.

John Deere 256 lawn and garden tractor was manufactured in the John Deere factory in Horicon, Wisconsin, USA from 1987 through to 1994. It was only available as a two-wheel drive tractor.

This is a guide showing a deep dive into the features of John Deere 265 and what sets it apart.

John Deere 265 Tractor Specifications

John Deere 265 Tractor Specifications

General Specifications

ModelJohn Deere 265
Length1,810 mm (71.5 in)
Width1,050 mm (41.5 in)
Height1,110 mm (43.6 in)
Wheel base1,210 mm (47.6 in)
Weight285 kg (630 lbs)
Fuel tank capacity11.4 L (3 gal)
Production year1987-1994
Operator stationOpen operator station


Engine modelKawasaki FC540V
Displacement535 cc (32.65 cu-in)
Bore x stroke89.0 x 86.0 mm (3.5 x 3.39 in)
Power output17.0 HP (12.7 kW) at 3,600 rpm
Starter typeElectric starter
Oil type10W30
Oil capacity1.6 L (1.7 US. qt)
Engine typeFour-stroke, air-cooled, OHV
Compression ratio8.3:1

Transmission and chassis

Chassis4×2 (2WD)
Transmission typeBelt-driven hydrostatic
GearsInfinite forward and reverse
Ground speedForward: up to 11.3 km h (7.0 mph)
Reverse: up to 4.7 km h (2.9 mph)
Transmission oil capacity2.5 L (2.6 qts)
Transmission ModelSundstrand BDU-21
BrakesExpanding mechanical shoe
Steering typeManual enclosed recirculating ball


Mower deck with 3 blades and manual liftMid-mount 46 inch deck
Blade with manual liftFront-mount 46 inch blade
Snow blower with manual liftFront mount 42-inch clearing width


Front tiresLawn/turf: 16×6.50-8
Rear tiresLawn/turf: 23×10.50-12
Ag rear: 23×10.50-12

Features of John Deere 265 Tractor

The features of a tractor are what determines its success or failure. What can it do and how can it help its owner achieve the set goals in the garden?

John Deere 265 Tractor

Physical Specifications

It is compact and small weighing just 285 kg. This size helps its handling and movement around tight edges. It also ensures it takes minimal space in your garden shed.

John Deere 265 has a wheelbase spreading 47.6 inches and a tractor length of 71.3 inches. Its height and width are 43.3 and 41.3 inches respectively. It also sports an open cabin operator station. Its lack of cover or even a ROPS can cause injuries in the event of a rollover.


The engine is the life of a tractor and most times determines what you can do and can’t do with your tractor. The engine used here is a Kawasaki FC540V model. It is a single-cylinder gasoline engine, four-stroke and air-cooled.

The horsepower in this engine is just 17 HP but should cover your small garden needs without issues. It is fitted with an electric starter for quick and easier running of the engine even in adverse temperatures. The spark plug recommended for this engine is either an NGK BPR5ES or Champion RN11YC.

The recommended oil to be used is SAE 10W-30. The oil capacity is typical at 1.8 L. John Deere 265 has a displacement of 0.5 L, a compression ratio of 8.3:1, and a bore and stroke of 3.5 in. × 3.39 in.

Transmission and Chassis

This is a two-wheel drive tractor with chassis of 4×2 2WD while its transmission model is a Sundstrand BDU-21. The tires get to use the engine power through the help of the transmission and this transmission is a belt-driven hydrostatic type with infinite forward and reverse gears.

It has expanding mechanical shoe brakes and uses manual steering enclosed in a recirculating ball. The maximum forward speed is 11.3 km h while the reverse speed is 4.7 km h.


The kind of attachments available will determine what more you can do with your tractor. The John Deere 265 garden tractor has several attachments and that is what this section is about.

  • Mower deck: to ensure you cut grass cleanly and safely without debris flying around, the mower deck is important and this tractor has a mid-mount mower deck attachment. It has 3 blades and a manual lift. Its cutting width is 46”, overall width is 57” and the cutting height is between 1.5 to 4 in. The mower deck weighs 56 kg
  • Blade: this attachment comes with a manual lift and manual angle. It is front-mounted with a width of 46” and a height of 17”. The lift is 5” while the cut height is 3”. Everything weighs 49 kg
  • Snow blower: this is a single-stage snow blower with a manual lift, especially important if you live in a region that receives a lot of snow yearly. The working width is 42” while the total width is 43”. The height at which it can clear is 17” and the total weight of the snow blower is 79 kg

Pros and Cons of John Deere 265

If you’re looking for a clearer understanding of the 265 lawn tractor on what it can do for you and what you should be wary of, you’ll get it all here.


  • Compact: its design and size are compact. It will take up very little space in your garden shed, and serve your lawn needs well
  • Easy to use: the tractor is easy to understand and use
  • Great handling: it can move around tight spaces in your garden while working, which is helped by its compact design
  • Affordable: the price of this tractor is quite affordable making it a great option for gardeners on a budget


  • Not many attachments: the attachment options are limited
  • Expensive attachments: the attachments are expensive to buy


The original price of a John Deere 265 tractor was $1,750. The price of this tractor today ranges from $600 to $1,100. This will depend on the condition and year of manufacture with earlier models typically more affordable.


John Deere 265 tractor is a compact and affordable lawn and garden tractor that can do small garden activities without stress. It would however struggle with bigger tasks as it only has a 17 HP rating.

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