I usually don't do reviews, but I read a lot of the other reviews on his piece of equipment and I was kind of skeptical about going and purchasing it. I watched a few you tube videos and seen the machine operate as well and decided that I would give it a try because I have a lot of shrubbery that gets piled up with leaves and it is such a pain to clean out the beds every year and with this vacuum having the vac hose on it, I thought it might work well for me. I am a general contractor in Florida, so I deal with a lot of equipment. So I purchased the machine online and did a pick up in the store. It was really fast. I went to the house and it only took a few minutes to put it together, put in the oil, gas and have this thing running. It started on the first pull and my five year old was running it up and down the driveway sucking up all the water oak leaves that were every where and it worked great. We emptied the bag when it got full(very easy) and began vacuuming some more. So then I got into the shrub beds with the vac hose and it worked great. I will say that the small twigs that it picks up will turn sideways in the tube and clog it up occasionally, but for the job it was doing and the speed of picking up the leaves, I was extremely happy that I would not have to drag the leaves out from around all the close shrubs with a rake and then pick them up. I would like to have one with a longer hose, but I will take what I can get. The hose was kinked a little when I took it out of the box, so I just loosened the hose clamps and repositioned the hose on the adapters, so that the kinks were on the outside of the hose and not the inside. So within an hour, I had already emptied the bag three times and had picked up a lot of leaves and mulched them for my back yard beds. If you are hunting a leaf vacuum that takes all the work out of it, then this might not be the right equipment for you and there is more expensive models that will ease the job, but if your hunting a piece of equipment that will help you at at a reasonable price then this is the right one for you. Hope this helps anyone looking to purchase this machine. I look forward to using it tomorrow and if my experience changes, then so will my review. But for now I am happy with it.
After two years, the flexible chuting split and while duct tape helps, it finally failed; which was not all that big a problem because the vacuum hose became plugged with every little twig it sucked up. I finally gave up and just rake the leaves and twigs into a pile and suck them up with the front lawn nozzle. The throttle will not hold a setting unless its wide open or idle...constantly resetting it. Finally, the bag developed holes and the stitching at the connector came apart after 4 years of use. The cost of another bag assembly is nearly half the cost of an entire new yard vac...how stupid. If Sears can't make parts available at a reasonable price, buy this kind of machine elsewhere.
Makes the job a raking your yard easier but not easy. I have used it for 3 seasons so far.
The machine's suction inlet is a narrowish slit. I clogs up when it sucks in twigs or damp leaves. You will have to stop the motor and unclog the innards by hand.
The suction hose is useless. You will never use it.
Pray that you will never need to have this thing repaired. My machine has started vibrating severely. Apparently the rotor has lost its balance. Took it to the Sears repair facility. The estimate for the repair? $480 (!) The bag's seams are coming apart. Replacement bag? $70.
I said forget it; I will just let the motor to shake itself to death. I will stitch the bag's seams myself the best I can. Will begin looking for another vacuum machine -- not this model.
the shoot handle broke I had it replaced it doesn't pick up leaves like it did new the shoot is a problem for 600 and one year of use .that's bad. sears wont get another dime from me .
Nozzle sticker was placed on the Yard Vac Upside Down. Vac works OK, but the gear box is leaking and the Vac will not go into gear. Will have to replace the item.
I found the shredder didn't reduce the leaves as much as expected, more like a ratio of 3 to 1. The chipper did seem to work well with small limbs. I also found that the "front vacuum" didn't pick up the leaves as expected but the hose vacuum works really well and is an excellent tool for picking up leaves. Still, overall, I'm glad I bought the machine, it makes life much easier when dealing with four, 150+ year old water oak trees. It's been easy to start (most times with one pull).
The primary reason I purchased the Craftsman 190cc* 4-N-1 Plus Chipper/Shredder Yard Vacuum was to save time cleaning the leaves from my yard. After several years of using this product I have a fair idea of its strengths and weaknesses. One thing that comes immediately evident is that this product works well when there is a limited amount of leaves on the ground. In this scenario this product works fine, easily eating up leaves in its path. Alas, the Craftsman 190cc starts to falter when there is even a moderate amount of leaf fall. In this scenario one of the first things to happen is that the small vacuum intake gets clogged up and has to be cleared manually. This is especially a problem when the leaves are wet and stick to the intake opening. Sticks and small branches also present problems for the machine. One area where I found this product to excel on is removing leafs form around the swimming pool. This product does well when the surface under the leaves is concrete, since the leaves don?t have a soft ground to attach to.
If I had any suggestion for changes, I would increase the size of the intake so it could handle more leaves. An increase in the machine?s horse power would also be advisable. I like the suction tube attached to the machine, which makes it easy to suck up leaves around hard to negotiate rockwalls. However, like the vacuum the suction tubes frequently becomes clogged when leaf volume increases and are wet. Sometimes the clog is far up the tube and it is difficult to reach and clean out.
In conclusion the Craftsman 190cc* 4-N-1 Plus Chipper/Shredder Yard Vacuum is a good concept that is hindered by a somewhat flawed execution. I advise this product used for light to moderate leaf cleanup only.
We purchased the machine brand new in Oct. 2005. The 2005 version of this machine looks very much like the version Sears now sells. The machine continues to perform very well year after year--shredding leaves, sticks, etc. and grinding up branches. It works best when leaves are dry. I work the machine very, very hard--always at full throttle going after the leaves, etc. I have sewed up holes in bag at least once--normal wear and tear. A new replacement bag is very expensive, so that is why I did the sewing. Drive belt has never needed replacing. Drive functions very well. Ear protection is a must, as machine is very loud. Pull cord requires a strong pull to get engine started. It is helpful to have a systematic way of getting the full bag emptied, as one is working with a big load of leaves. So I empty them into a BIG bag--part of the leaves by hand, the rest just dump in. This machine gets the job done
I bought this so i could vacuum of my concrete from the leaves and that. It does a great job, saves me so much time. Its great for vacuuming the leaves of the grass too! Defiantly recommend!
This product has saved me time, I have a lot of trees in my yard, with pine cones and everything else. I went from 2 people raking and bagging for 4 hours to 1 hour. This is the BEST!!!!!! I would truly recommend this item.
Have 4 Oak trees in my yard. Needed more than a leaf blower. Seems to fit the bill.
Overall this unit works well -- Just plan on disassembling the entire machine if you ever have to replace the drive belt (an item that inevitably will need replacement)! A very POOR design for a machine that otherwise is satisfactory
I got about an hour?s worth of actual run time out the unit before the vacuum nozzle stopped sucking. The vacuum for the hose still worked, but toggling between the vacuum nozzle and the hose did nothing.
Even with the Speed Control set at its? lowest setting you almost have to run to keep up with the unit. The Drive Control only had to be slightly depressed for the unit to roll at full speed.
The bag unit is something that will give users headaches. The tab that contacts the bag chute is flimsy and probably won?t last long. While the bag is a good idea, it is not a good design. This bag obviously was not intended to be emptied into yard waste bags. Its? design and the instructions for emptying it only allows the contents of the bag to be dumped in a pile on the ground. Replacing the bag on the unit after emptying is complicated and is not a user-friendly task. The bag is made of a material that allows good air flow, but traps shredded material on the inside surface. Some of the stitching on the inside seams of the bag was starting to unravel.
The shredder did not shred well, leaving large quantities of leaves un-shredded
This vacuum has been wonderful for cutting our time down from 4 hrs to 2 hrs in the yard blowing and raking leaves. Suction is great! Glad we got it!
Machine is good for about three years. First year,hose will crack in several places. Year two, bag stitching will disintegrate. Year three, recoil cover will split at all bolt on points. Considering cost of parts, this unit is finished. Spend a bit more for a better quality machine.
I have owned one of these for a number of years. I use it to clean out my pool area where the leaf blower is useless (brick wall). I love this vac. It's reliable and lightweight and even sucks up wet leaves. Those bashing it probably have bought it for the wrong application. Highly recommended!
I love it I purchased this unit at a great price, However at the time of pick-up the weather was very bad so I have been unable to use it yet the most important factor is I have the great unit when weather breaks i'll go to town on my lawn with this great machine it has power great power a 190cc engine this unit out-torks the Honda lets see how good this unit will do, This is all I can say for now, And I have mine at 0% .
This lawn vacuum & chipper from Craftsman is JUST type of machine I needed to deal with ALL of the trees that surround our property, PLUS the neighbors leaves that end up in our yard due to the typical wind flow.I have a VERY bad back that makes doing raking (and even leaf blowing) a VERY painful experience.We have a 1/3 of an acre backed by woods that have trees that are 60+ yrs old, which I LOVE but the cleanup each fall was a daily , painful chore for a solid month or more.I tried to suck it up but I couldn't do it no more.I had seen this at Sears a few times and finally decided to go for it.SOOOOOOO Glad I did.This sucks up both wet and dry leaves & twigs with EASE.The bag is the RIGHT size so the average person can remove it and empty it (if it were bigger, most people wouldn't be able to manage it due to awkwardness & weigh depending on leaf wetness.) It starts in 30 degree weather in 3-4 pulls(thanks to a manual choke..A++++) and after it's been started for the 1st time, it's starts the rest of he time in one pull.In warmer weather it, cold starts by the 2nd pull.The machine is easy to maneuver & the self propel mode is nice when the pain level is higher.
My only complaint on this machine is the fact the 2 tabs for emptying the bag came off after 2 weeks. Sears, as usual rectified the situation immediately & painlessly .So JUST MAKE SURE THOSE 2 TWIST TABS ARE TIGHT EACH & EVERY USE!!! Also, the pull start could use a bit more..ommmph so either changing the pull start ratio or making an electric start option / kit to be had would be great.This machine would have gotten 5 stars if it wasn't for the 2 twist tab thing(as it seems to be an issue..maybe offer extra tabs as Craftsman has done on other machines I've had in the past that had wingnuts etc. that were prone to loss due to vibration/ use??)
So if you have a lot of trees on or surrounding your property and either can't or don't want to deal with the daily hassle ..this machine get the job done with EASE..WELL Worth the money just for having less pain & more time to sspend with my 4 yr old : ) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!Thanks Sears for having a machine that other haven't thought of and a great price!A+++++++
The chipper works great on branches up to an inch or so. You will also use about a third of the yard and leaf bags. Started right up for me , but its not like starting a lawn mower. Takes a long pull to get it going which took me a little to get use to.