I've had this mower for a bit over a year. I had a drive belt issue shortly after purchase, the belt was originally installed wrong. It was fixed under warranty, and I've had no problems since. Clutch engagement can be grabby if not very careful - I usually drop the revs when starting off to smooth it out. I previously had a hydrostatic drive mower, which helped maneuverability without shifting. The Craftsman is nearly as easy due to the very tight turning circle, and the powerful engine's ability to cut well without being revved to max. I just lower the engine speed when I need to turn tight or limit how far clippings are thrown. This thing will cut a couple inches of thick grass quite well at just over idle in 3rd gear. Love the water clean out for the deck - I have not had the deck off, or even sharpened the blades since I got it....and I cut 1/2 acre every 5 days or so. Nice, even cuts, and decent fuel economy, too. Still a bit early to guess at longevity, but right now, I'm very happy with this mower - made by Husqvarna.
After getting only six years out of a Craftsman riding lawn mower with hydrostatic drive, I opted for this manual transmission unit hoping for a longer life span. Big mistake. This unit did have the gear selector linkage issue as mentioned by another customer. The first time it broke was after about seven mowings. The second time it broke after only four mowings. What I liked about this mower: started and powered through all grass heights: mowed very consistently and dispersed clippings without clumping; had no problem handling the slight incline in terrain that I mow; good fuel economy. What I didn't like: when engaging the blades there was excessive vibration; linkage broke twice within just a months time; clutch engagement was very abrupt. I will say that Sears did stand behind all warranty claims and has agreed to replace the tractor after the last breakdown. Apparently some bolts vibrated out of the transmission mount and broke every single L bracket (which might explain the excess rattling I mentioned). A+ for warranty, D- for quality of mower
This mower replaces an 18 year old Yard Machine and gets the job done. Have only used is twice but am pleased with cut and power. Can't address long term use yet, but you do have to be easy on the brake/clutch pedal.
This is my first craftsman and it has performed flawlessly this whole year. It was delivered ready to go at my home and it has a great turning radius, very tight. Plenty of engine power from the 19HP B&S Platinum. Completely satisfied!
I bought this in October of 2014. For the first year, I was pleased with it. I bought it to replace a nearly 18 year old Murray lawn tractor on which the transmission finally gave out. I have a few slopes and a couple of hills which I know are hard on a transmission. I was content to go with another manual transmission, as the last worked without problem for all those many years. As it turns out, 2014 was in the middle of the transition away from manual transmissions and into the hydrostatic automatics. Some research on those was already hinting at problems when slopes and hills were involved, at least for tractors of the size I wanted (42" deck). So I ruled these out as good choices for my needs. But that left me with a dilemma, as the automatics were the lion's share of the choices. I was quite relieved when I found this mower. It seemed like the perfect fit for me. And for the first year, it was great. The engine and battery were strong. The cut was good. The steering was much easier than my Murray and the 6" turning radius was amazing. But come the second year, the trouble started and with the transmission no less. Letting out the clutch went from smooth to quite jerky over the season and towards the end, the shift link broke (yes, you can read about others who have suffered this fate). I tried jury-rigging this a couple of times, replacing it with new ones twice, and even replacing the drive belt, which also started slipping off the pulley on the transmission. All that failed. I finally resigned myself to live with it for as long as I could and just nurse it along. That got me to mid 2017. After some further inspection, I found that the left and right locations where the transmission bolts onto the chassis had been warped and finally ripped off the chassis. And now I think I know why. At the front of the transmission, there are 2 bolt holes and there are 2 hangers bolted onto the frame that hang down _near_ these holes. Apparently, the holes in the hangers and the ones in the transmission are meant to line up and have a bolt in them. Neither side has a bolt in it on mine though. So the front of the transmission has been unsupported, which placed added stress on the shift link, torqued the chassis where the axle bolted-on to the point of twisting it until it broke, and caused the pulley angle to change enough that the belt would pull off. Based on this discovery, I conclude that if the 2 bolts at the front of the transmission had been there (or hadn't somehow fallen off), I wouldn't have seen any of these other symptoms or incurred the costs, including now a total replacement. Is this analysis flawed? I don't know. It's also possible the transmission itself is defective and precipitated all of this. Regardless, if you have this mower, keep an eye on those bolts and make sure they are tight (a little loctite would probably be a good idea). If you're buying, I offer my experience with this model as a warning.
this has got to be the worst lawnmower ever sold by any company ever!! ! year old and repair service has been out 5 times to repair, I've had 3 new transmissions, and still have on-going issues with the mower. VERY POORLY MADE PRODUCT!!!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THIS!!!!
I just got this mower it is so cheaply made, I know its going to be problems I have tried 2 setting to cut the grass it is doing it poorly there is not much speed when you cutting the grass so that takes longer well guess I will wait and see what I will have to do