I finally gave up the dream of having any lawn crew keep their scheduled commitment and provide even a decent job on my yard. At $50 a pop for someone to scalp the yard and mow over my shrubs (when they did show), I decided to invest early this year and purchase a mower and weedwacker and do the work myself. I was loathe to go the route of needing gas cans, gas, oils, air filters, etc. So I looked at cordless mowers first. Even those had additional chargers, batteries and pre-planning to make sure batteries are charged and most only last about 30 to 45 minutes on a charge. I wanted freedom from all of that, so I decided to try the electric mower even though I was concerned about the ability of an electric mower to do the job. I rolled the dice and bought this Craftsman electric, as well as a Craftsman electric weedwacker and a 100-foot power cord ($300 total). Today was my first go with the new tools. Both were incredibly simple to assemble. My grass was overgrown from another lawn crew no show, but I went to work. The electric tools worked like a dream, even though I had concerns given my past use and affinity for Toro, Honda and Echo gas-powered commercial class lawn gear. Sure, the power and heft of these Craftsman items aren't on par with those commercial workhorses costing several hundred dollars more per item, but for mowing the font and back yards of a standard sized residential lot every couple of weeks, these Craftsman tools did the job. So, fingers crossed that the Craftsman gear holds up. If I get through this year alone I'll save nearly $600 on lawn maintenance and get a bit of exercise myself. Both the lawn and my body will be better off — not to mention my wallet and decreased irritation from listening to no-show excuses. In the end, these are Craftsman and I expect Sears will stand behind the products even if there are any issues.
I used this for the mowing season of 2015; went to start it up for this year and 20 minutes later, it became a doorstop. As the minutes passed on the first mow, the blade turned slower and slower, which is not good for cutting grass. Luckily, I bought the protection plan and received a full refund.
I'm six months into using this lawnmower and it comes down to this - a bored Craftsman engineer threw this together to reach some sort of year-end design quota. Safety features that make no sense, other measures of safety ignored, and a machine just straight up difficult to use.
What's wrong with the old flip-handle mowers? I've spent so much energy rotating this mower and trying not to trip over the cord that there's no love right off the bat. I've never fought so much with a cord. The wheels are not traction designed, and surprisingly flimsy despite the size, so you'll fight those a bit, too. Oh, and the wheels, being so flimsy and thus offering no shock absorption, you'll feel every bump in your hands later.
Second, the power switch. Many reviews will mention the triggers on either handle having to be pushed with great force. I think it comes down to having great stamina in your forearms; if not, pass this up. My husband has 15" forearms and he's worn down on our 6,000 sq ft. The triggers are touchy, so you let up just a fraction of an inch, the machine powers off. Was this a necessary feature? A simple on/off switch was too simple?
Third, the body is either off balance or the front wheel don't align with the center of gravity. Expect the mower to pull towards a close obstacle, and despite the rotating handles; expect some scraped knuckles.
As for cutting, you best have a no-bump, level yard. The carriage does not create sufficient suction or a vortex, so be prepared to go over long blades of thin grass, or grass over a bumpy spot, a few times.
Lastly, safety - I already mentioned the cord tripping struggles but there's more - there is a half inch gap between the wheels and the body. Just the perfect size for a standard gauge cord to get wrapped up and pulled under. WATCH OUT!
It does mulch. Not great, but it can. Quiet. Easy to clean. The adjustable handles are a really cool feature but is cancelled out as I mention above. The blade came really sharp and is still holding up.
Would not buy again.
Purchased this mower, it would have been the 4th from sears. Worked ok for a while, the handles are hard to squeeze to keep it going, I had read other reviews, decided to try anyway. MISTAKE, DO NOT BUY THIS MOWER, it quit working, after only a few times, blade will not turn and it will not start, nothing blocking the blade, have called and talked to so far, 14 different people, also the computer voice, only two could you understand the english. I even purchased the extra protection on top of the warranty, now I cant even find a place to return it to, we no longer have Sears where I live. Cant tell how many asked if there was a spark plug in it, if I had put gas in, checked the carburator, pulled the cord, this is an electric mower. How can I return it??Who do I talk to that knows something besides giving me another number to call. I just want it returned now.
I have had it for 4 months now and I should have chosen something else.
It's heavier than my previous electric mowers (various B&D models) so harder to push/control on inclines. The dead man switch handles have to be squeezed pretty hard to operate, some people may get tennis elbow. Good that they can be rotated to various positions, but it only helps so much.
I like the bag a lot, it's easy to take off the mower for emptying and to put back on. It's pretty complex though so I suspect replacing it if it wears out could be costly (more on parts below). The way the bag inlet goes into the mower chute seems like a good idea at first, but the fit is not great and grass clippings get between the two. Not a big issue though. The indicator tab on the side of the bag, which I guess is supposed to tell you when to empty the bag, is pretty useless. But I like that you can raise the upper flap and quickly look into the bag.
I am really unhappy with general performance though. It’s OK for bagging, and handles even tall grass reasonably well, if the blade is sharp. The problem is that the blade is poor quality and goes almost dull after an hour of work or so. Even worse, these blades are very hard to come by, Sears (which sold me the mower) does not have them in stock, and Craftsman does not respond to inquiries. And there is only so many times you can re-sharpen the original blade. Because of that I am afraid the lawn mower will be useless after one season. I guess other parts would be even harder to find.
Finally: mulching. This mower ***** at mulching. Unless your grass is very short already and it is semi dry, like hasn’t been watered for a month and there was no rain, forget it. You will spend most of your time flipping the mower to the side and removing huge clumps of barely cut clippings from the underside. You can’t ignore it; if you do, the clippings will slow down the blade, mower will overheat and stop. Even when it seems to manage to go over the grass, it will leave clumps of cut grass behind.
So, if you want a corded electric mower, look elsewhere.
After comparing with HD, Lowe’s, etc. Sears had the best corded electric mower, & in stock! Ordered online, it ready for pick up per alert I got.