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Craftsman mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SJacobs, May 30, 2005.

  1. SJacobs

    SJacobs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am in need of a bag mower very soon. Business is picking up and some lawns that I mow just would look much better if I had a bag mower. I was wondering if anyone thinks Craftsman mowers are any good? Do they mulch up and everything good? I'm thinking about getting a 6.5hp Self propelled bag one for about $260 new. Any suggestions? I have about 4 reg lawns plus whatever I can get a week as of right now. They are all under 1/2 acre lots. Thanks
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Be prepared, you're going to get alot of static on this one. You're new so first welcome to the site! Ok,Craftsman, No. If you can affoard a good commerical mower you will be much happier than with a homeowner mower. The store mowers from Sears, Depot, Lowes are usually thin decks and are not designed for commerical duty. If this is all you can afforad then you may have to, but it will wear out in a hurry. If you want to you can also buy a used commerical ower with a bad engine. As long as catcher is good since that is what you want, and handlebars are in good shape. You can replace plastic wheels with metal ones on most models.
  3. HK45Mark23

    HK45Mark23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    I have a church account that supplies the equipment. They have a 2-3 year old front wheel drive craftsman.

    The bag falls off with out fail, even when it is empty, as soon as you start to mow, the front wheel drive does not pull straight and does not have enough weight in the front for good traction, it is only one speed and that is too fast, if you take you hand off of the control it shuts off and when it is hot does not start back up, (so I pull the cord over 200 times for no reason and ultimately have to get my John Deere of the truck to finish).

    I love my John Deere JX 75. It has a superior Kawasaki motor, rear wheel drive, bags good, mulches good, has 5 speeds so you can pick the speed that is appropriate, it also stops the blades but not the motor so you can stop mowing and pick up trash or what ever and then just reengage the blades. I did add the oil filter kit to my John Deere JX 75.

    The last John Deere mower I has was 15 years old, it ran great, I just decided to upgrade to the new one because the new one had more ponies.

    I would suggest that you get a good commercial quality mower. Even for a 21” machine it is important to get quality. You will find that if you get cheep residential equipment that you will spend more time and money making repairs and ultimately replacing inferior equipment in the long run than if you would have just bought the professional equipment in the first place.
  4. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    I know the craftsman price tag is interesting, but a good suggestion might be to take a look at a snapper mower. I think it will serve you well for these few lawns and they usually bag as good as or better than anything else.

    Welcome to lawnsite....you will find a world of knowledge and experience here. You can find almost any subject by using the search feature. :waving:
  5. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    "quote"Welcome to lawnsite....you will find a world of knowledge and experience here. You can find almost any subject by using the search feature."quote"

    Schools out?

    Use the search feature and type in keyword Crapsman... :realmad: The archive will then spew forth a flood of vile criticism for this product.
  6. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Don't let everyone get you down. When I first started i bought a 6.75 Hp selp propelled craftsman. Used it for six months before I got my W/B. I still use sometimes just for the hell of it. IMO its been a great mower. Bags good when needed. Mulches awesome and it still runs like a champ. I would tell you if thats all you can afford get one. But everyone is right. If you plan on using it alot I would suggest just getting a commercial grade mower. I have been lucky with mine.
  7. green-go

    green-go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Crapsmen mowers are AYP crap. The transmissions they use in them are a joke, most of them use plastic geared drive wheels as a key component of the transmission. They may have a good engine and even a decent deck design, but their transmission and build quality in general is BAD. I've experienced and two relatives have had Crapsmen 21" mowers that had the transmissions fail VERY prematurely. I (not by my choice) had a new Crapsmen just a year ago and the transmission started slipping and only driving with one wheel within THREE YARDS MOWED. No joking. And this was their BEST 21" model they had available. Two relatives have also had 21" Crapsmen mowers with transmission problems in the last 3 years. Did I mention they are junk? :rolleyes:

    Short of getting a commercial Toro, I'd suggest looking into a Toro, Snapper, Ariens, Honda, Lawnboy - new or used. I personally have a couple of older residential Toro recyclers that I bought used for less than $100 apiece, they are great mowers and are pretty durable for non-commercial mowers.

    When using equipment commercially, durability is important. If you can't justify the cost of a commercial mower, I can speak for Toro, Snapper, and Lawnboy as being durably designed mowers.
  8. ProCare Lawn Service

    ProCare Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I have one and it works just fine, although I do not use it a lot. It bags and mulches good. The only problem I have is that the back tires are kind of wobbly. I think they may have left out a peice during assembly. Does not do good mowing across hills. On flat surfaces it is great.
  9. Lawnaholic

    Lawnaholic LawnSite Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 103

    Like all the other's have suggested, try to go with a commercial mower if at all possible. It may cost you more in the beginning, but in the end, it'll last you longer and you'll be much happier with the cut and performance versus a home owner series of mower...
  10. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    SJacobs, I see in your profile that you are 18 and this is your first year in business. Would I be correct in assuming that this is a part-time enterprise for you while you finish your schooling? If so, I commend you for being energetic enough to get out and hustle up some work that can potentially pay you far better than the average 18 year old can make.

    The other opinions about the quality of homeowner equipment vs. commercial are justified--you get what you pay for. But if you are a part-timer who doesn't plan on doing this 40+ hours a week, the price of commercial equipment might be hard to recoup. I have some top-of-the-line commercial equipment, but I also have a very small number of lawns with spaces that I can't mow any way except with a 21" push mower. The total time per week on those spots is about 2 hours. And I might not have those lawns next year. I looked at Toro, then top end Honda, Ariens, and Snapper. Finally while goofing off one day I saw a near new rear bagger MTD push mower at a garage sale, and bought it for $70. It cuts and bags good, mulches fair. I am sure it will last out this season. Then if I have to have a new mower, maybe I will see another bargain at a garage sale.

    But right now in my situation, $400 on up for a higher quality mower would be money wasted. Only you know whether the hours you are mowing justifies a high quality mower.

    As for Craftsman, I think any of the brands made by MTD would be better than Craftsman. Such as Yard Machine, TroyBilt, Bolens, or Cub Cadet. Plus a lot of private label stuff sold by some chain stores.

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