Since this is a new Mower and there aren't many reviews yet, I figured I'd take the time to write a real review on it for people thinking about purchasing. Bought this mower last week and have only mowed my yard once with it so far. I will update this review if the mower gives me any reliability/durability issues. These are my initial impressions: PROS 1. Easy to assemble out of the box. 2. Comes with an extra blade, which I didn't expect. 3. Is about half as loud as my old mower, which had a Honda engine. 4. After adding oil and fuel, mower started up on the very first pull! Never had that happen before! no need to prime or mess with a choke either. Have cold started it a few times and always starts on the first pull and pull is easier than I am used to. 5. Good power for a 175cc engine. 6. Mulcher cuts nicely and mulches the grass into very fine particles. 7. B&S engine says MADE IN USA if that's important to you. CONS 1. Deck is stamped sheet metal and seems a bit flimsy. Wish they used a slightly thicker gauge sheet metal, even though it would add weight. OR...I would have been willing to pay extra for a cast alloy deck if it were available. 2. Lots of plastic parts. Experience has shown me that plastic parts will sometimes outlast metal, but it remains to be seen how durable all the plastic on this mower is. 3. Deck washer hook-up only works okay and you still need to tip up the deck and shoot it out from below if you want to get the bottom of the deck really clean. 4. Handle is pretty uncomfortable. I will probably wrap it with some padding, but Craftsman should have designed it a little thicker for comfort or added some foam padding. 5. Paint quality seems good on top of deck, but bottom of deck is only about half sprayed. I will probably spray the bottom myself to keep the rust away a little longer. All in all, for price I got this mower for (on sale), it seems like a great value and so far seems like the best mower I've ever owned (my 5th mower so far and the first Craftsman mower) My Dad's Toro Super Recycler is better, but also costs twice as much, so it doesn't seem like a fair comparison. So far I like it a lot better than my old mower that it's replacing, which was a Husqvarna 7021p with a Honda engine, and it only cost me about $40 more than the Husqvarna did.
Preparing this mower for it's first use I noticed the throttle and drive cables rubbed against the rear wheel and thought this is a poor design. About four rows into it's very first mow the engine shut down - turns out the plastic housing that holds the throttle and drive cables broke free from the handle - the small plastic (cheap) fastener broke off making the mower useless! Now I have a mower full of gas and oil and trying to get to Sears (via phone or web) for assistance has been a nightmare. Yes, it was quiet but not as quiet as I saw in other reviews - it's still a lawn mower! Not sure how I'm getting this back to the store yet or how much more time I'll waste but it's going back. By he way, the Shop Your Way easy curb side pickup also failed (due to ":technical difficulties") on a rainy day. I had to park and go inside and help get the mower into my car. All around bad experience.
With it having an 175cc motor you would think it would be more powerful, but I feel like with the quiet engine they have sacrificed some of the power that is there. This mower can not go through tall grass very well without it being chocked out vary often. Even after sharpening the blade it still has the same performance as it did before.
Great Mower. Hard to start.
I bought this mower in August 2015, and after the winter passed by, it won't start. I was asked to bring it to sears by myself, and put 50$ deposit, and wait at least 2 weeks to have it diagnosed ...
Too bad service.