In this video I compare the John Deere Number 5 and Number 38 sickle mowers, as well as a few of the difference between a 1948 and 1951 John Deere Model A tractors. I reference the 48 as a 47, as this tractor was the first one that we got running, and at the time I didn’t know as much about the model A lineup. At the time, the information I found on the SN listed it as a 47 (which I believe which was tractordata, but it shows it correct now), but I later found it to be a 48 model year, but manufactured in July of 47.
Anyway, I apologize for any errors. I’m not an expert, but only draw on what I’ve seen and learned over the years, so please forgive any technical errors I may have said being off script.
For reference, the John Deere Model A was in production from 1934 until 1952. It was then replaced with the John Deere Model 60, 620, then 630. During the production of the model A, it went through three major design changes, with several minor design changes during its lifetime (nearly some minor change for every production year–far too many to list here as there are entire books on the subject). The three major designs can be summarized as the unstyled, early styled (pan seat and battery under the hood for optional electric start models, or hand start for non-electric), and late-styled machines, which featured the battery box under the seat as well as electric starting and lighting as standard features.
The John Deere Number 5 “Power Mower” was one of the earliest and highest-produced sickle mowers for its time. I’m not sure of the exact years or production numbers, but they are very common mowers (especially for yard art and junk piles). They were also a popular mower to be used on other brands. The John Deere Number 38 mower was produced later, I believe during the 30 series two-cylinder and early new generation years (the manual shows it being operated by a 2010). Though they are similar in operation, the 38 is a much simpler and mostly likely more reliable design.
Also seen in the video, but not mentioned, is a John Deere BW and John Deere 5020.