I have 7 craftsman blowers of all different sizes and have had many in the past . I have 3 of this model I new, and 2 older version, we use them commercially to do condominium complexes sidewalks driveways and parking areas and commercial offices sidewalks and private driveways ! They have been very reliable ! Some stuff on the older ones are wearing out but parts are available. we service them yearly and after each storm if needed. I'm sure we will get quite a few more years out of the older units, but they have handled small snows to Blizzards with no problem ! I have recommended these to many friends it is a good product ! My oldest craftsman Blower is probably 16 years old and still running strong !
I have an older version of this item. It is now in its 4th winter. Design flaws: The good: -It starts on the first or second pull always. The only time I use the electric start is to get it running in the fall after sitting all summer. -It's a good size for a large driveway but still compact enough to fit in the garage between the cars. -It seems pretty easy on gas/has a large tank. I can clear my large driveway 3 or 4 times without refilling. The bad: - The chute blocks the head light. So there's always big shadow in front of you. - Head light is not sealed so water can get in and blow out the bulb. I keep a supply of bulbs handy. - The power steering is utterly useless (it works but it is useless). - All of the forward speeds are useless. I only use the lowest for blowing and the fastest for travel. I never use the others. -Gas leaks out the cap very easily. -I had to replace the cable for the drive clutch. I think it was put together wrong because it just shouldn't have twisted like it did. (I bought the blower already assembled) -When I replaced the drive cable I loosed the bracket for the auger cable. Now I can not tighten the bracket because the holes the self tapping screws go into are too loose for the screws to tighten in. I'm currently trying to figure out how to fix this. Other thoughts: I had a 26 inch MTD for years. It was a tank. I never had any problems with it except I needed the electric start. I never could get it to start without it. I knew the same company that makes craftsman also makes MTD so I thought it was a good bet. Boy was I wrong.
Toggle controls the shute height and direction, a great feature on a feature rich snow thrower
Very excited about my new purchase until...
Arrived off the truck with a broken trigger switch. No problem...after 45 minutes on the phone speaking with multiple folks, I finally found someone who will send me a replacement part. With any luck I should be able to reinstall. Aside from that, I put some fresh gas in, fired it up and voila! It purred like a kitten for a moment then...nothing. After spending the entire evening trying to get it running I decided to give up. Hoping for a mild winter...Good grief!
Seems great ...I bought it because of the electric 4 way chute
My second year of owning the behemoth. Used it once my first year of ownership, no issues. this year, used twice, no issues then the auger belt broke on the third try, no auger power after a start. Makes me wonder what other problems I'm going to run into in the near future. Its a relatively easy fix but not sure I should be seeing this issue this early. Its stored in a garage that doesn't freeze with low humidity. It never really tossed the snow very far either. Not impressed and can't say i'd recommend anyone buying it due to the price and apparent quality issue.
Heavy snow this year with multiple 12" plus storms. The blower was working quite well but it would chirp in deeper/heavier sections of the driveway. The engine is strong and it will throw snow about 35' horizontally. The electric chute and steering work well and are a must for odd shaped driveways. Ultimately, the blower stopped working. The second stage was still spinning but the front gear box failed leaving the first stage inoperable. Sears was quick to send out a service employee for warranty work which was a nice surprise. I told them to bring a gear box or they would be wasting their time. The service technician showed up and quickly confirmed my diagnosis. He didn't bring the part and won't be back for three weeks to fix it. I now have a non-working machine with a 200 ft. driveway for the next three weeks in the middle of winter. So much promise but a major let down. UPDATE! - One year later and it broke again on the first use. Never used it again last year because the repair took soooo long. Front gear again. Major repair. Major delay just like the first time. Used a total of 5 times. Now I've been on hold for an hour. This machine simply can't handle significant snow.