This lawn mower does everything it promises. The 28” deck eats up lawn almost too fast. The 228cc engine is biggest in its class and does not bog down even in tall wet grass. It will go wherever you tell it to and will cut whatever you put in front of it. It takes up 75% less space than a rider plus you get manly satisfaction of actually appearing to push the thing around. I am totally satisfied with this mower in all categories. An unexpected perk is the 2 – 14” blades mulch very well so there is no need to ever bag or side discharge and because you are dealing with smaller blades they don’t suck up every stick and rock in the lawn and turn it into a projectile for your kids to dodge. I can’t wait until next weekend.
Overall, plenty of power but poorly designed. Only option is to use the mypace with no option to manually push or pull. Not able to back the mower up because the black debris flap gets sucked into the blade. The deck is slanted while the associated parts are straight - not sure who thought this was a good idea. The front end has about a foot with no cutting ability which makes it awkward when moving around my yard. I did not like this mower and returned it after one mow.
I just moved and it has taken me anywhere from 2.5 to 3.33 hrs to mow my lawn, using the free ********* 19" mower my mom gave me. At first, I liked the exercise. On one hot day two months ago (when I had to stop and lay down naked on our cool basement concrete!) I realized this was foolish.
I did like the work-out, felt like our yard was too hill and with too many trees to make a relatively cheap tractor feasible. I also didn't want to spend $1k+ on a "cheap" tractor, let alone MORE for a zero-turn!
That led me to the larger push-mowers. One other large(r) offering is a grand (a few hundred more than I paid for this) and had pretty good reviews. Its commercial variant was TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!
1. Started on 2nd pull. I don't mean it started rough or barely started - it literally fired up immediately upon the second pull, a minute after adding the oil and fresh gas. Nice.
2. Rear-Wheel Drive: Works very well! I like that I can move the mower around without having to engage the blades. I've got some areas where it's hard to push the mower (over level rock path, for instance), but seems risky to have the blades engaged.
My previous ********* had its blades always spinning, so the only way to get some help pushing the mower was to engage the wheels WITH the blades turning. Never had a problem, but usually resorted to the more conservative approach of turning the mower off and then lugging it wherever it needed to be.
3. Blade Engagement: I wasn't ready for how much the engine bogged when the clutch engaged. It didn't come close to stalling, but it was evidently a HUGE increase in load on the engine, and it let me know! The lock-out is nice, but easy to use.
Negative: the bar isn't hard to hold, but it's very small, so it's not very comfortable, if you're not wearing gloves. I've got callouses from other things, so I wouldn't consider my hands overly sensitive.
4. Operation: This thing is LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than my little *********. Instead of having to only mow half-width for the heavy stuff, for risk of the ********* stalling, I can simply move at this Craftsman's full speed. Not only that, but the freaking thing mulches like a champ! The CC would leave piles of cut grass, resulting in major thatching issues.
This thing, even in 6+" grass, mid-height, would leave NO piles of cut grass behind. It literally looks like someone came through after I had mowed with my ********* and spent 4 hours blowing it all into the woods or picking it up by hand - huge difference!
E. Fatigue: After many years in my youth "giving someone 20", my wrists are a bit of a weak point for me. I've got plenty of strength, but I have to do push-ups on my knuckles, to keep my wrist straight, as an example. I didn't feel major pain while using this, but the bar design is NOT IDEAL. I wish it was a little wider and a lot thicker. I think this would provide a better grip for moving this bad boy around.
F. Out of space - excellent mower!
Go and look for yourself. The entire front end is plastic and attachment points will break off from flexing and lawnmower will cut horrible uneven.
Stupid design. I found out the hard way.
STAY AWAY ! ! !
If this is your first wide deck mower, be aware that cleaning under the deck takes a lot more time/care that your 21 inch deck. I wish I had a lift kit. And the gas cap vibrates loose. Very sophomoric design. Enough to warrant a recall for a new cap install. Otherwise, a "beast" as called out by another reviewer.