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Most Helpful Reviews
First riding tractor - third Crafstman riding mower product. This is my first with tight turn(3rd 42 inch).Really handles well and the bagger from my retired mower fits, eliminating having to buy another bagger. Maneuvers extremely well and cuts close to trees, fences, etc. Really appreciate the deck upgrade( the attached washer for under the deck to help prevent rusting. Great ride and mower....Grandkids love taking a non mowing ride.
Saint Paul, MN
The problem is the right rear deck suspension arm "Link Asm Lift Fixed" (key #101 in repair manual) is fixed length and so the deck can only adjust for tilt but not increase the height. If you replace it with another "Link Lift Susp Mower Rear" (key #91 [part no. 197984] which is already on the left rear) you can then adjust rear deck height as well as still adjust tilt. Even the repair manual states "key 91 may be substituted for key 101". At the highest setting my brand new tractor deck height was 3" (from the floor) in the rear but I now have it up to 4" with this substitute part (and front went from 3" to 3 1/2"). This is what all the other major lawn tractor brands have (I measured 4 of them). [For some reason the compareable Arien tractor (which is also made by Husqvarna with the identical deck) has part 91 on both sides.] So order part no. 197984 to replace the right rear one so it's the same as the left rear one. Many web sites have this part (not just Sears).
I bought this tractor to replace a 13-year old Craftsman tractor (Transaxle pulley snapped from transaxle). Too bad, because the Kohler Pro engine was running fine. Anyway, I elected to replace rather than repair due to age and bought this model. The end of season sale made the deal too good to pass up. I've used it a couple of times mainly to pick up leaves (bought 3 bin bagger as well). Seat is comfortable, performance is excellent, and although it's early I have not had any of the problems experienced by other reviewers. I'm looking forward to the Spring to test it further, but based upon recent use I think I'm really going to like this mower. Delivery was quick and smooth. No problems.
I ordered this tractor preassembled and set up for immediate use. I advise you do the same unless you have some time on your hands and like to tinker. Everything was set up and ready to go upon delivery. I did have to set the height on the roller wheels, and had to level the mower deck slightly, but both are easy tasks. The setup tech did a good job, all bolts were tight, oil level correct, and everything was greased. After filling with gas(has a huge gas tank) began first mowing of grass and fall leaves. Did a great job, the 21 HP motor is low RPM's but it never faded or stalled in heavy areas. The cut is beautiful, and the turn radius is awesome! The reverse mowing feature came in handy too. have used four times since purchase and I am very happy with tractor. Last use was a cold start, and though it started right up, I had some difficulty with smoothing out the idle.Strange choke set up goes from choke to high RPM's, but it did not stall. just sputtered for a minute until idle smoothed out. Overall though I am happy with this purchase.
Mount Morris, PA
I reciently bought a Craftsman 42 in. hydrostatic turn tight riding mower. Even though it is late in the mowing season where I live, I have used it a few times. Although, backing-up with this machine, is a little slow, it is not a problem in my yard. It has cut the mowing time in half for me. There are several obstickles in my yard to mow around. With the 6 inch radius turning, this cuts down on trimming with a push mower. My lawn looks better then it ever has, it is evenly cut and the clippings are not wind-rowed throughout the yard. With this mower, mowing the lawn is a relaxing enjoyment. For the money this machine is well worth the money. I would have no problem to recommed it to everyone. perhaps, if I had used it all summer, I could have giveni it an excellent rating.
Purchased in Apr 2009. Had a mulching kit installed. First time used cut a 42" trench in my yard. Blades were installed upside down. Had hard time cranking since purchased. To get it to run gas cap has to be real loose. We bounce and slide in seat. On a slope get off and push up slope. Problem is the rear wills spend. Stearing column stays loose. Gas tank filler is almost under top of mower. Need a long spout on gas can to fill. Now engin is locked up. Waiting on an appoitment in 16 days. Also rod that connects deck to front of tractor snapped in half for no reason. This tractor is mainly used by my wife to cut 1/4 acre of lawn. Great mower when running properly.
I've owned this tractor for over three years and I can't say enough good things about it. Lots of power, cuts the yard well, runs great. It gets the job done. Thanks Craftsman.
We have about an acre, with some quick, small elevation changes and a lot of trees, and we have had a great summer with this mower! Transitioning to fall, the bagging attachment has been a lifesaver with the trees, and while sometimes the turning radius isn't quite suited for the tight corners I needed, for the price I paid, I couldn't get much better!
Started with first turn of the key right off the delivery truck. I ordered a mulch kit assuming it would come with cutting blades. It came with the mulching blades installed but didn't mention it on the Sears website or in the specifications. That kind of information would be helpful. Sales clerk said it would be delivered, set up, and configured per my request. He also stated the delivery person would review the how to use the basic features and controls. Not true. It was drop shipped and I had to read much of the manual before I could even move it. I didn't know how to disengage the hydrostatic transmission so that I could free wheel it. That being said, it appears to operate as advertised. I love the tight turning radius and hydrostatic transmission. No need to increase the engine RPM to increase mowing speed. If you do not know how a hydrostatic transmission works . . . It is helpful to search the web for an explanation and recommendations that are not included in the operating manual.
My 15 year old same exact model finally had transmission failure and decided to try new mower. Tried Husqvarna and wound up returning it to *****. Kept stalling. This mower cost less runs better and has a better looking grass cut and didn't stall once. Looks like the choke is missing but it is now integrated into the throttle lever? The blades engage is no longer a button but is now a big red lever has to be turned counterclockwise. Gas tank is under the hood instead of under the seat and the battery was moved from under the hood to under the seat (swapped places with the gas tank apparently). Otherwise this will feel right at home. New feature to go in reverse you need to not just move the shift gear back but also need to switch the key to in between drive and stop to let it know you really meant to go backward - this can cause a stall if you don't do the steps. Guess it is safer that way. Looking forward to enjoying this for many years - got the extended warranty but doubt I will need it.
I got mine to replace a very well used lt1000. I am amazed how the extra tight turn is taking so much time off mowing. I was taking my over 2 hours and with this tractor, I am getting done in close to 90 minutes due to being able to make a fast turn and not do all those 3 points turns I used to do. I really like the hand actuated automatic transmission. I have used a friend's tractor with foot controls and very much prefer the hand controls. The seat is very comfortable but I have found the seat switch to be very sensitive. So far I am very please but after only 3 mows, I am only willing to rate it 4 stars. I hope it stands the test of time!
Highland Mills, NY
Purchased about one month ago I love to cut my grass now. Tractor does a great job. Very easy to operate.Just ordered a hard bagger to help me clean up the leaves this fall.Can't say enough about the tractor plenty of power steers great .
This mower was the worst investment I have ever made. The previous Craftsman riding mower I had lasted 27 years. Finally parts were getting scarce so I decided to buy a new one. I have had this mower for three years and I had three service calls the first year. The last one involved them working on my carburetor. They fixed the problem but I just discovered that when they put the carburetor back on the engine they forgot to hookup the crankcase breather tube to the carburetor so I have been mowing for two months with the carburetor sucking dirty air directly into it. It started to smoke and use lots of oil. It is out of warranty so I took off the cover to see what might be the problem and found the tube unplugged. Now I have to tear the engine down and see how much damage has occurred inside. Sears is not what it use to be, in product or service.
This lawn tractor is great real fast easy to drive mows really fast starts up every time with no problems. can use my previous grass catcher bolted up and fits, last Crafstmen Lawn Tractor lasted me 12 years with no problems till it broke a valve so decide get a new one instead of repairing it, this one has bigger engine with 21 Hp, last one was only 17 Hp and was getting tired, love the features this one has like oil filter on engine, hose connection to clean mower deck underside of grass and Hydrostatic trans and tight turning all of these my previous mower didn't have. Real happy with this mower.
Green Bay, WI
Mc Alpin, FL
dead battery when they delvered it the head light button was left on we called and they said that the end of october is when theyu could come out so just get a ho shot for the battey i have a 5 year policy and this is what i get for my money
This is for model #917-250-221 which is the same as this tractor but with a six speed manual transmission. I had to post the review for this model because it seems that the manual is no longer available even though my replacement was delivered in July 2013.The deck height problem is the same with this unit. Original tractor: jumped off the ground when letting the clutch out and only three of the six cut height adjustments were usable. My previous lawn tractor was a Craftsman LT1000 with a manual transmission and had neither of the above problems. Exchanged tractor: Clutch operates much better. Height adjustments still stink. Maximum of 3 usable height settings. Also the blades on the new unit must have missed the sharpening process because they were extremely dull when the tractor was delivered. The one star rating is because of the height adjustments and the service tech supervisor?s attitude. The service techs were great and told me the deck height on this model is a known issue and a design flaw. Because of the tech supervisors attitude Sears has lost my business forever. My family members also will no longer shop at Sears.
Using this mower to mow approx 2 acres with larger number of oak trees and the tight turn feature is great. Much better than the old mower that it replaced. Mower so far has preformed perfectly. Leaf season is coming up hope it mulches leaves as well as it mowes.