Ive owned thistiller for 2 years now, and it is being used in a landscaping buissness. I have had no hard starting because of one reason, when i recieved the unit, i immediatly changed out the non brand spark plug, which everyone must do in order to have a clean running reliable machine, the plug was switched out to a champion plug, which insures easy starting, and reliable performance. If you were to leave the plug in, like many people who do not know small engines very well, will have a very hard time keeping it running, and starting it. I have almost 30+ hours of runtime on this tiller, and let me tell you.. Its a great running machine. I encourage anyone who has perchased this tiller, to swap the spark plug out with a champion, NGK, or a bosch spark plug, which will ensure a cleaner running, easier starting, and rugged reliable engine. I have had no troubles with this tiller, it starts every 1st or second pull, and will run for hours on end if i want it to, thanks to the quality spark plug.
I had a 2000 version of this same model that I've used for over a decade with no problems. Today I'm out doing spring gardening, and the tiller throws a gear. No problem. I go down to Sears and proudly announce that I'm buying the same version of the tiller I purchased over a decade ago, and my garden has been faithfully serviced by Craftsman for a long time, and my rows are 10" wide because of it. I get the new one home, unbox, assemble, gas, adjust pants, pull, pull, starts right up. I take over to garden and proceed to start my spring ritual with my shiny new tiller. Runs for about 1 hour. and dies. Can't start, not even close. I've read the warnings about a new spark plug, but I can't imagine the new tillers are sent out with a 1-hour plug? I'm going to start the repair - replacement with Sears tomorrow, I'll update this thread to let you know how it goes. As of now, buy any other tiller but this one. It is a piece of shiat.
Bought this and used it same day. All new gas, used the synthetic oil it comes with. It started and idled fine at first. After using it for half hr at full speed, I released the handle and it died. No idle at all, just a "thunk" and done. Could not get it to restart. Waited till next day, did not start again. Emptied gas and restarted from scratch again. It started and idled. Tried to adjust idle higher but it increased very little. The adjustment screw will not allow much movement for idle pin. Ran another 20 min on high and had same issue. Died right there and wouldn't restart. Returned to store. I suspect that it would overheat and will not catch a spark while hot. Shouldn't have this type of problem being brand new. It also is very loud and in order to run tines sufficiently, it needs to be full blast. Also didn't like the throttle handle design, didn't want it full blast sometimes. Had to let out throttle and I have big hands and it hurt to let it off and hold it with other hand while still trying to maintain control.
mine runs but the gears are binding and the store i got it from went belly up sears doesnt want to replace it so i wont be buying from them again NO WONDER SEARS IS GOIN BROKE
At 67, I can not dig holes for new plants...this little tiller is wonderful !
I am very pleased with this model. Started perfectly and cleared out a section of lawn where I will plant wildflowers. It was fun to use. Remember to use the synthetic oil in the right 1-gallon fresh gas mixture. Perfect and very happy with the performance.
First off I need to stress this important point, The 2 strokes today use a lean fuel oil ratio then from older units. Back in the day they used as rich as 16:1. With that said the reason why so many people have issues like the unit dying after an hour of use or unit will not run at full throttle is most likely because your using gas station fues which CONTAINS ETHANOL!!!!!!! I did the same thing for years and went through units after a couple of gallons of gas. I did research on this and opted to use the pre mixed fuel that you find at **********, sears stores, or a hardware store. Brands such as Tru Fuel, Briggs and Stratton have their own line and ********** has their generic brand which I use with no problems. This fuel has no ETHANOL in it, my machines work fine and start every time. DON'T BLAME CRAFTSMAN BLAME THE FUEL. Trust me I own and operate a successful Landscape company, I would not be in business for long If I had to replace equipment every time I turn around. It's not the spark plug, it's not the brand it's the ethanol in the gas station fuel, ethanol reaks havoc on these engines. Go down and get the tru fuel or some other brand of packaged fuel and save the headache of a failing machine. Now with that said I own a mini tiller and I use this baby for my business everyday, it is dependable, but I ONLY USE PRE PACKAGED FUEL, I also warm it up in the morning as well as do maintenance on it works like a charm!!!!! BTW the pre packaged fuel is less hen $5.00 a quart isn't that worth avoiding the headaches of of a unit that quits on you??????