I bought this on sale last Fall to replace a 12 year old version of this mower that was showing it's age (rust holes and knocking engine). After using it for a month now, I am quite happy with this unit. [[[PROS]]] [*] This machine is noticeably more quiet than the old one (probably due to the piston slap on the old engine). [*] Drive speed is 50% faster than my old unit. I like to mow at a fast pace, so this is very nice for me. So far, the high drive speed has not bogged down the engine, but I mow every weekend to prevent excessive grass height. [*] Very easy for me to start. I put STABIL in the gas after testing it out last Fall. In the Spring, it started up in 4 pulls with this older gas. Now starts in one pull. MAKE SURE you put STABIL in your gas can! Stale gas is the leading cause of mower failures BY FAR. It's very easy to add to your gas can when filling it up at the gas station. [[[CONS:]]] [*] Having an upper bail (engine control) and lower bail (drive control) on the handle make my hands sore after 30 minutes. The small bars start to really dig in. The new model has a flat plastic cover over the top bail, which I might try to replicate on mine. My old lawnmower had a single bail (engine control) and a locking hand lever (drive control), which did not bother me much. [*] Deck steel thickness (gauge) is a little thinner than the old model. The deck does not flex much (steel is probably a better grade), but I wonder how long until rust eats through it. My old machine had rust holes in the deck, but it's first 10 years were likely harsh from the previous owners. [*] Drive gear box appears to be all plastic. This might not be a problem, but I wonder how robust this will be. The drive wheels on my old AND new mower have plastic gears, and they will fail if you bump the mower head-on into walls/fences/trees while in drive too often. When navigating around tricky spots, let go of the drive bail and push it manually. This tip should make your self propel system last for years.
I bought this less than a year ago. I've used it approx 10 times. Every time I used it, it was harder and harder to start. Today it wouldn't start. Returned it to Sears to have it looked at and hopefully repaired under warranty... They don't cover spark plugs and a few other things... Really, you can't warranty a spark plug for a year? What a joke. I hope it's not that because I pulled it and cleaned it and still no luck. You've been warned... Complete junk... You'll spend more of your time trying to start it and dealing with waranty issues. Plus the grass catcher is a joke. You get lots of blow by and it won't completely empty unless you scoop it out! My last craftsman lawn mower lasted 17 years, never had to repair it and always started. This one is only 8 months old. Sears.... Stop selling ****!!! Get back to quality!!
has run well for years now
This lawn mower has been awful! I have returned it to Sears ever tear for service from the first summer I used it. In the three previous summers it's been in the shop 4 times. This is the 4 th summer I have used it and it's not running again.
just use for 2 summers. engine couldn't be started anymore. sent to Sears for repair. After it got fixed, I only use 4 times since this spring. The engine can't be started again. ##DON"T BUY ##
I bought a mower and it shut off by itself while I was cutting the grass. I tried everything to see whats wrong bout couldnt find anything. I opened the engine and came to know that engine is the problem. Its made by Briggs & Stratton. Crafftsman is the company that uses Brigss and Straton engine and make the mower. Craftsman dont make the engine. Mower is fine, its the engine that has poor quality of make and thus stops working after few uses.
Best for the money that I could find. However, NO ONE has used this for 10 years without replacing the front wheels which contain the plastic gear drive, After one year of use and I had low drive power. Took the front wheels off to find most of the plastic gear teeth (which drives the mower) completely worn off. The biggest surprise was when the parts department told me that this part of the gear drive is considered an "expendable" part which is NOT covered under the warranty. It is a quite dishonest "over site" for the warranty to state that the blade, belts and spark plugs are not covered (as expendable), but neglect to mention that the plastic gears are also considered "expendable" parts which are not covered as well ....!
I've owned my mower for about three years and its been a disappointment and frustration. If you use the side chute it instantly clogs with grass (I have too much lawn to keep changing the rear bag). The front wheel drive system is a poor and ill conceived design - it has a metal gear that drives the wheels via their plastic toothed gears on the inside of the wheels. The plastic teeth get chewed up up faster than a steak in a dog pound. I've had to deal with spark plug replacements too, etc. My prior Craftsmen mowers were decent, but this is a model is a big flop for me.
After owning a different Craftsman mower for more than 10 years that required only normal maintenance, I decided to purchase what I thought would be an upgrade from the older model.
This mower worked for one season, then failed--despite it receiving proper care during the off-season.
I checked the air filter (like new), and changed an oil fouled plug (after one season of use), but the mower would not start.
Although there are plenty of positive reviews, there are too many well documented negative reviews to be able recommend this product.