The Kioti CK2610 and Kubota L2501 compact utility tractors represent a new subcategory of compact tractors. These tractor share the same chassis size as the more traditional 30-35 horsepower CUT’s but because they have engines rated under 25 horsepower they don’t have much of the Tier 4 emissions equipment their big brothers do.
Both the CK2610 and L2501 models are fairly new to the market, both positioned to serve demand for a compact tractor slightly larger in size than a subcompact but priced well below 30+ horsepower models in both lines. These 25ish horsepower compacts are large enough to safely operate 5′ implements.
While both models compete head to head the Kioti has several advantages over the Kubota.
#1 Kioti CK2610 has 34% more hydraulic flow than Kubota L2501
The Kioti CK2610 is rated at 11.7 gallons of total hydraulic flow while the Kubota L2501 is rated at only 8.3 gpm; a 34% difference.
The additional hydraulic flow means faster loader cycle times, more steering power when doing loader work and extra capacity when operating other attachments such as a grapple or hydraulic top and tilt kits.
#2 Kioti CK2610 has 16% more 3pt lift capacity than Kubota L2501
The Kioti CK2610 has a rated three point hitch lift capacity of 1,631 lbs. at 24″ while the Kubota L2501 is rated at 1,389 lbs.
The 242 lb. advantage of the CK2610 may not seem like much but on a compact tractor that can the difference between the tractor being able to handle an implement safely and overloading the 3pt hitch.
#3 Kioti CK2610 9×3 transmission vs. Kubota L2501 8×4 transmission
At first glance the Kubota 8 forward and 4 reverse gears would seem like an advantage over the 9×3 transmission on the Kioti. In fact you could consider the additional gears available on the Kubota an advantage however the location of the gear shift lever on the Kubota wipes this out.
The Kubota 8×4 gear transmission on the L2501 has a 4 speed gear shift lever in the middle of the platform (between your legs) and a high/low/reverse synchro shuttle on the left fender.
The Kioti CK2610 has a 9×3 gear transmission with a range selector (high/medium/low) and the main transmission gear shift lever on the left fender gives you 3 forward gears and 1 reverse gear (2nd and reverse are synchronized).
While the operation of both gear transmissions is nearly the same the Kioti has the advantage of having both the range and gear shift lever mounted the left of the operator, leaving the platform open for much better aesthetics.
#4 Kioti CK2610 Hydrostatic power steering vs Kubota L2501 steering linkage
The Kioti power steering setup uses hydraulic cylinders coupled directly to the steering knuckles on the front axle. This efficient and robust design is used on both compact and larger utility tractors. It’s a proven design that performs well in all conditions, has few moving parts and is strong.
While Kubota uses a similar system on their larger tractors the 01 series tractors (including the L2501) uses what Kubota calls “integrated type power steering”. It’s basically a shaft with several joints connected to a steering gearbox, which in turn in connected via two more shafts and several joints to the front axle. There is two weak points in this system. First the steering box may require frequent adjustment and over time will require a rebuild. Many older Kubota tractors used the same setup and would fail after many years but with relatively low hours. The second weak point is the steering linkage itself. It’s positioned way out front of the axle and easily damaged if you aren’t very careful in tight spaces or the woods.
The Kioti CK2610 with it’s strong and reliable hydrostatic power steering system is the clear winner here.
#5 Kioti CK2610 integrated loader control vs Kubota L2501 loader joystick
The Kioti loader control is built into the right fender and within easy reach of the operator. The joystick has a contoured knob that feels natural in your hand and is easy to control without reaching.
The Kubota L2501 uses a loader control mounted to the loader itself located to the right of the steering wheel. The control itself is solid but requires reaching to use it.
#6 Kioti CK2610 has 10% more loader lift capacity than Kubota L2501
The Kioti CK2610 has an available KL2610 loader. The KL2610 loader is rated at 1,252 lbs. lift capacity at the pivot pins and 2,110 lbs. of breakout force. The KL2610 comes standard with a 60″ bucket and universal skid steer mounts.
The Kubota L2501 has an available LA525 loader rated at 1,131 lbs. lift at the pivot pins.
Sometimes it’s hard to argue with brute strength and that the case here. The Kioti lift advantage is a real work benefit to anyone doing loader work with their compact tractor.