Are Craftsman Mowers Good? (Explained For Beginners)

craftsman mower

Who doesn’t admire that beautiful green lawn? Well beneath all that dashingly maintained lawn is an excellent mower being put to good use. The market is littered with swathes of mower manufacturers. Nevertheless, one brand sits up there among the most reliable, versatile, and innovative mowers. This is the Craftsman mower.

Craftsman mowers have a reputation for engineering excellence. These mowers bring together inventiveness, comfort, reliability, and flexibility. From self-propelled mowers to riding mowers, Craftsman has a befitting mower for every lawn, with enhanced cutting efficiency and maneuverability.

Saying Craftsman mowers are good is not enough. How do you choose the best Craftsman mower for your unique needs? How do you identify the features you need? How about picking the right engine? These are some of the critical questions we will answer in this guide. 

Do you want a walk-behind or riding Craftsman mower?

This is one of the most fundamental decisions you will have to make when choosing a Craftsman mower. This choice is majorly influenced by the lawn size you have to mow, the terrain, and yes, your budget. How about we dive into these criteria?

First, how big is your yard?

I would be very mindful of my yard size when choosing which Craftsman mower to buy. If your yard is lesser than ¾ acres, you are best served with a walk-behind Craftsman mower.

This is optimized to the size of the mower deck. The mower deck, here, the width of grass your Craftsman mower would cut in one pass. If your yard is pretty small, a 20-inch Craftsman walk-behind mower can get the job readily done. 

Should you have a bigger yard and are keen on saving time, just like me, I would advise you to go for a 22-inch Craftsman mower.

What if your yard was more extensive than a ¾-acre lawn? Well, in such a situation, it would be wiser to go for a riding mower, preferably a rear-mounted Craftsman riding mower. 

This choice is ideal considering the maneuverability, mobility, and visibility that mowers with rear-mounted engines provide. Such visibility can be a game-changer if your lawn has a considerable population of flowerbeds and trees. Any Craftsman riding mower within a width spectrum of 28-42 inches would do.

Now should your lawn be bigger – typically for homeowners whose yards run to 3 acres in size –your best choice would be zero-turning Craftsman riders with a minimal mowing deck width of 38 inches.  

How about the topological condition of your yards?

When choosing a Craftsman mower, you must strongly consider the terrain you would mow. If you have a flat yard – which is not too big – you can get your regular walk-behind Craftsman mower. 

If you have a hilly yard or one with a meaningful inclination (or slope), you could struggle to push the aforementioned walk-behind mower. In that case, it is recommended you go for self-propelled walk-behind Craftsman mowers if your lawn is small.

For enhanced maneuverability across rougher terrains, opt for walk-behind Craftsman mowers girded with bigger rear wheels. Indeed, you would not have to worry about propulsion or maneuverability on hilly terrains if you have got a Craftsman riding mower.  

Which features do you need from your Craftsman mower?

To make an informed choice on your Craftsman mower purchase, you have to be candid about the features you are looking for. More optimized and innovative features would make your work less exerting – but could come at a larger budget expectedly. 

Your choice of features wouldn’t be as consequential in more comprehensive mowing exercises (as typical of bigger and more complex yards) as in a straightforward and simple yard. 

It is only natural that the more you have to spend, the higher you get to enjoy features like cutting speed, versatility, durability, and intuitiveness. 

I fancy the innovation that Craftsman invests in their mowers. The collection of mowers they have in the market today present a bevy of cutting-edge sophistication accompanied with a focus on durability. 

Some of the newest features I gush about in Craftsman mowers include the EZ Deck Wash System, Smooth Start Technology, Rear Wheel Drive, Easy Bag Handling, and Easy Glide Height Adjusters.

Craftsman’s EZ Deck Wash System allows for the seamless connection of your garden hose, simplifying the cleaning exercise. This way, the cutting efficiency of the mower is ramped up, reducing the accumulation of grass. 

For someone who has suffered the misery of hard-starting mowers, I admit I was engrossed with the Craftsman’s Smooth Start Technology. Thanks to this facility, it is 20% easier to start your mower.   

Should your lawn be situated in hilly terrains, you would be overjoyed with the Rear Wheel Drive technology in Craftsman mowers. This improves the mower’s traction, adapting it to rougher mowing surfaces. 

More than this, the Easy Glide height adjusters make it seamless to adjust the height of your mower wheels. Lastly, the Easy Bag Handling – courtesy of the Rear-Door Interlock System – cuts the time and effort required for installing and removing the bag. 

How do you pick the befitting Craftsman mower engine?

You need a Craftsman mower with the befitting power to take care of your lawn. For me, this entails being keener on metrics like the mower’s displacement and horsepower ratings. 

For Craftsman mowers, the most popular engine options are Honda and Briggs & Stratton engines. In the mowing industry, the most favored engine is the Briggs & Stratton engine. 

Such preference is validated given the enhanced durability, performance, reliability, and starting ease of these engines. Honda engines are also loved for how quiet they can get when in operation.

Depending on what needs to be mowed, you can choose the engine with the correct torque for your job. If your yard is pretty small, with the grasses finer (characteristic of Fescue grass), you don’t need a Craftsman mower with much torque. For this situation, a Craftsman mower with torque around 5.50 would get the job perfectly executed. 

Correspondingly, if your grass density is high, you don’t need me to remind you to go for Craftsman mowers with higher torque. If your lawn has grasses with an appreciable density like Bermudagrass, St. Augustine, and Zoysia grass, you need a Craftsman mower with a minimum torque of 6.75.

Craftsman mowers warranty strategy

Craftsman lawn mowers come with some of the most reliable warranties in the lawn maintenance space. Provided your Craftsman mower still has valid warranty coverage, all you need to do is take the mower to the vendor or store where you initially acquired it.

Depending on the terms of the warranty coverage, you will get thorough repairs done on the mower or replaced as in the case of severe systemic defects.

Craftsman mowers have a sizable array of warranty packages. The most common are the 7-year limited warranty, 5-year limited warranty, and limited lifetime warranty.   

Craftsman mowers cost range 

Understanding the need for cost flexibility, Craftsman’s mowers spans a broad range of prices, ranging from low-end push mowers to really sophisticated hydrostatic riding lawn mowers (which expectedly come at a top-end cost range).

A typical gas push Craftsman lawn mower – depending on metrics like the size of the mowing deck and engine – could go for around $280. A self-propelled equivalent is a bit stepped up, coming at a cost region of $330-350. 

Given the expanded berth of functionalities and increased comfort riding Craftsman mowers present, they cost significantly more than their self-propelled siblings. More specifically, a manual/gear riding Craftsman lawn mower with mulching capability comes in the price region of $1350. 

Similarly, a hydrostatic Craftsman riding lawn mower with mulching capacity can cost as high as $1800. For Turn-Tight Twin hydrostatic Craftsman riding mowers, you can end up spending above $2500.

Best walk-behind Craftsman mowers in 2021

Craftsman spoils you with choice when it comes to walk-behind mowers. You can pick from push mowers and self-propelled mowers.

Craftsman self-propelled mowers generally fall into two categories. These are the rear-wheel self-propelled and front-wheel self-propelled Craftsman mowers. Rear-wheel self-propelled craftsman mowers are better adapted to thicker grasses on lawns situated in rugged terrains. 

This type of self-propelled craftsman mowers excels in such conditions because of the traction positioning under the rear bag. I am really fanatic about the traction’s consistency and how maneuverable these mowers are on such grounds. Craftsman offers rear-wheel mowers in either single speed or multi-speed capacity.

The front-wheel equivalent is better suited to lawns with short grasses (like bentgrass, Buffalograss, and fescue grass) and flatter surfaces. Just like rear-wheel mowers, front-wheel Craftsman self-propelled mowers are available in single and multiple speeds.

Having established this precept, would you mind me telling you about my favorite walk-behind Craftsman mowers?

CRAFTSMAN M230 Self-Propelled Gas Push Lawn Mower

You wouldn’t blame me for falling head over heels in love with the Craftsman M230, considering the vast gamut of capabilities it presents. Basically, this is a front-wheel self-propelled mower furnished with a powerful 163cc Briggs and Stratton engine.

It is most suitable for smaller lawns, with a 21-inch deck that allows you to do all your rear bagging, mulching, as far as side-discharging your grass clippings – all thanks to its 3-in-1 convertible design. 

This can be further supplemented by the 1.9 bushel Dust Blocker bag, which makes composting (or cleaning) much more straightforward, eliminating debris and aerial dust particles. 

I confess this was a massive addition as I am usually turned off by the discomfiting dust clouds that typically accompany my lawn mowing. 

I admire the one-step starting functionality this mower struts, saving me the need for priming. Mowing rougher terrains was no issue, thanks to the 11-in rear wheels facility this mower possesses. This made it easier to maneuver. 

The adjustability of the cutting height is another feature that got me drooling about this Craftsman mower. It has six positions (typically a height spectrum of 1.25-in. to 3.75-in.) for me to choose from, with a double-lever design.

And when I am done mowing with the Craftsman M230, I would readily connect my garden hose and eradicate the accumulated grass or clippings, big thumbs up to the deck wash port facility.

Overall, I would say I was impressed with the performance and maneuverability of this mower. Yet, I feel Craftsman could have done better with the mulch plug design.

Craftsman V60 cordless self-propelled lawnmower

This is another self-propelled darling offered by Craftsman. The Craftsman V60 is equipped with an audacious 60V motor, lavishing you with sufficient power output. 

This cordless mower is further fitted with a 7.5Ah battery (lithium-ion power source) which has an impressive run time. It has a charge time of 108 minutes.

Comfort was another feature I loved about the V60. Its variable speed self-drive capability and 3-in-1 mower made it really convenient for me to do my mulch, bag, and side discharge.

I was equally impressed with the toughness of the 21-inch metal deck. This was definitely not one of those fragile decks that get damaged in no time.  

Characteristic of the Craftsman, this mower gave me pretty height options. The single lever mechanism allowed for cutting height adjustments (six deck positions) within 2-3.6-in. 

Best riding Craftsman mowers in 2021

Riding mowers are commonly referred to as yard tractors. This is the go-to option for bigger lawns. I couldn’t help my fascination with the stylishness and engineering sophistication Craftsman doused these riding mowers with. 

They beat the pass mark when it comes to overall performance, durability, and strength. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be too far from the reality if I say Craftsman riding mowers are not the cheapest in the market. 

Craftsman YT 3000 21 HP 42″ Yard Tractor

The Craftsman is where engineering meets elegance in lawn maintenance. Boasting a powerful 21 hp Platinum engine from Briggs & Stratton (automatic transmission), this is the mower for tough jobs.

This mower impresses further with a 42 “cutting deck, sufficing for lawns with larger acreages. The implication is a quicker and lesser-demanding mowing experience. But there is much more. 

The Craftsman YT3000 is fortified with four gauge wheels. This made it one of the most maneuverable lawn mowers I have ever mounted. 

This remarkable maneuverability is further attributed to the presence of an 8-inch turn radius. Enhanced with this capability, I found it less strenuous to mow around obstacles like fences, trees, and shrubs. I could also reverse cut with this mower, something I wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

Craftsman T130 Automatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower

It only makes sense that I finish this list with the Craftsman T130. This is a monster mower from Craftsman, boasting an 18.5hp Briggs & Stratton ReadyStart engine. The mower is a joy to rise, thanks to its seamless starting system, which needs no choke or prime. 

It is adapted to larger lawns, with its 42-inch solid reinforced steel deck cutting far in a single move. If, like me, you have been afflicted with mowers with poor maneuverability, this mower could be your savior.

Fitted with an 18-in. turning radius, this baby is all yours to turn just as you desire. The 15×6/20×8 wheels were also firm and lasting enough for rough usage.

The transition in speed was far less jerky than other mowers I have ridden. This is in acknowledgment of an automatic transmission mechanism controlled by a foot pedal. The mid-back seat also means just anyone –regardless of being short or tall – can be comfy riding this mower.

Overview of Craftsman mowers Advantages

Overall, I will say Craftsman mowers are an excellent addition to your repertoire of lawn maintenance tools. I am a massive fan of the maneuverability of these machines. The bulk of Craftsman mowers I have used have impressive turning radius, allowing you to twist through the edges, mowing as extensively as you can.

The adjustability is another feature I couldn’t help drool about in Craftsman mowers. Many of these mowers have decked enhanced with alterable cutting heights. Some come with as far as 6-7 cutting heights from which you can choose from. 

There is no way I would forget to mention that Craftsman mowers are ridiculously easy to use. Just any homeowner – regardless of professional lawn maintenance experience – can handle a Craftsman mower with no fuss. 

I would say the “user-interface” is straightforward. The manuals’ instructions are presented in the simplest terms, aiming for the owner to achieve his desired functionality with minimal exertion or technical expertise.

Craftsman mowers sit at the top of the market for durability. These mowers are comfortably sturdy, with most of the mowing decks made of reinforced steel. 

The bagger design – combined with the signature 3-in-1 capacity – of Craftsman mowers ensures these mowers can both mow, mulch, and side discharge, saving you your precious time and energy.

Overview of Craftsman mowers Overview Disadvantages

I admit it is difficult to nail one downside for all Craftsman mowers holistically. As is common among lawnmower manufacturers, each product comes exclusively with its own deficiencies that may not necessarily apply to another product from that same manufacturer.

Take for example, the CRAFTSMAN T225. While I love the enhanced support the seat gives my back, I have seen some other owners complain bitterly about it. While some find the Craftsman T3000 gas tank portable, I have seen other users lament about it being too small.

But if there is one drawback that applies to all Craftsman mowers across board, I would say it is the premium cost. It goes without saying that Craftstman mowers are not the cheapest in the market. There are indeed more affordable options in the market, but I can’t confidently say such options boast the enviable combo of durability, maneuverability, and sophistication Craftsman mowers possess. 

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