First off, I gave this machine 4 stars .. the machine, if there were a way to rate Sears, then I would rate them -50 stars. They consistently find ways to be a horrible company. But back to the chipper\vac .. after looking at both this and the cyclone rake, the Craftsman won simply because of price. The Cyclone rake was WAY over priced and their optional attachments are even more over priced and then they have the nerve to charge $200 in shipping and handling to boot ! .. no thanks I ordered the Craftsman on October 11 from Sears.com. The website said it would take 7-14 days to deliver to the store for me to pick up .. it arrived on November 13th .. more than a month. I don't want to get sidetracked too much but I would like to take this opportunity to say that the people hired to chat with you on the Sears.com customer service Chat function .. are earth's stupidest people. Anyway, the machine arrived midweek and in about 1000 pieces (which I did know before I ordered). By the way, I imagine this is the reason this machine costs so much less than other similar products such as the Agrifab - you are saving $100's of dollars by assembling it yourself. The assembly instructions are decent and pretty straight-forward but definitely set aside a good 5-6 hours (or more) of your day to put this thing together. And that is if you have someone helping you .. which I highly recommend because it will be pretty tough tightening many of the bolts without an extra pair of hands (and the engine is heavy). Once put together, the very last step is to fit the boot to your mower deck. They ship you a solid shell of heavy duty hard plastic mower deck boot which YOU have to cut. They provide a template for many popular mowers .. you just have tape the template for your mower to the boot and trace it with some kind of heavy duty marker (I used a silver sharpie). Once traced, I used an angle grinder to slowly and very carefully cut out the section. You definitely need to take your time with this part, if you mess up, you will have to order a new one (which will probably take a couple months to get to you). The hoses that attach to the mower boot and the impeller on the chipper\vac are pretty decent and heavy duty but they are only held there with an 8" hose clamp (or maybe its a 6" .. I don't remember). This is not a good system, they constantly slip off .. which means you have to carry around a screw driver (or power drill) when you're riding the mower. The engine is very decently powered and creates an impressive vacuum. The leaves didn't stand a chance. This was my main concern over buying this unit over the Cyclone rake .. the top CR models have more powerful engines which I thought I needed .. I don't, and neither do you. Keep an eye on the bin capacity, when this fills up .. the hose clogs and clogs are time consuming to fix. Overall, this does make my leaf cleanup a lot easier and I recommend it. I would say more but I'm out of charact
10 million parts to assemble, one wheel didn't fit on axle, axle was not drilled out on both ends to put cotter keys into to hold wheels on. Had to wait for a service man to come, then had to wait for new axle and wheel to be ordered and delivered. Engine comes with no oil, for this amount of money oil could be included. Tongue is extremely heavy to try to lift to attach to mower. Purchased optional accessory hose, bolts and nuts were loose in the box, some were missing. I have not used it yet, it took so long to get the parts to put it together that it snowed before I could use it on the leaves.
Sounds like a full out vacuum truck and works beyond flawlessly. But the trailer itself could use some definate reinforcement.
When this machine works it is a great addition to my yard tools. I bought this in February of 2018 and as of today September 11, 2019 I have had 7 service calls on it and it is not running. The carb float is stuck, which is something they had already fixed once, now Sears won't fix it because it was fixed over 90 days ago and the warranty ran out in February. Sears and Craftsman used to be great products and a great company. I've had a Sears card for over 40 years and today I am officially done with them, apparently most of America is also. The sad part is I won't even buy Craftsman anymore, a once great product is now an unreliable throw away. Do yourself a favor and do not buy this, go buy the agri fab one instead, it's the same one, they just stand behind it.
Second time of using this item and it’s broken. The part that the hose connects to has shattered into several pieces. I new I should have steered clear of this, being a craftsman item.
To remove the grass being wet grass green grass it is very difficult. I have developed the system that works awesome you open up the back hook on chain drive away at all pulls out! Have questions contact me from this app.
IF you can keep the tires inflated (the rim is very sharp around the valve stem and cuts into it). IF you can keep the hose attached to the housing (Warning, I wouldn't run this around kids...if this falls off you expose the rotating blades). IF the wood chipper doesn't jam up with a piece of wood (~1/2 "...this caused the motor to lock so you couldn't use the pull start. After removing the hose and digging around it got worse. Finally, I hoped I wouldn't have to pull the whole housing apart, luckily I thought to take the hose off that goes from the engine section to the bin where I could then look down and see the wood. Took me about 20 minutes to get it out. Oh, in the process I took the feeder to the wood chipper off...that takes about 5 minutes since one bolt is in a really bad place). If you can get over the fact that the motor weights a fair amount and it was put in very close to the worse position possible (They could have moved the wheels forward some rather than have them directly under the bin). Then, yeah, I might buy it again. However, I won't purchase cheaply made products anymore. Unlike stuff my father used to purchase from Craftman, this stuff is junk. It does, when working properly, suck up leaves fairly well. One other thing, to hook this thing up to my lawn tractor (Also a craftman that has a plastic transmission that is broken) you need to use their connector. This came with this chipper/vac. However, you need to try to figure out what template to use (I finally gave up and did what a youtuber did and it worked). However, what you need to realize is you have to take the deck off whenever you want to switch these out. End result...a simple adapter would have made this a whole lot easier...it took me about two hours to get this thing up and running without changing the adapter...