2014 Craftsman T2600 Model 20385 46 in 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Kohler Courage

2014 Craftsman T2600 Model 20385 46 in 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Kohler Courage

Update: As first reported here this Yard tractor does have the new Element V automatic and NOT a hydrostatic as listed on sears.com.  Sears is changing the sales page but it will take a while. Thanks Donald.

Is This Mower The Best For You?

In this review I will go through the new Craftsman T2600 Model 20385. It features a 46 inch deck and a 19 hp Kohler motor and a sleek new look. For the features it offers compared to all the other brands it continues to be the best value mower with a 46 inch deck and will work well for a yard up to 2 acres.  It is one of the best 46 inch tractors under $1600. The motor is a tried and true Kohler full pressure lube engine, a hydrostatic transmission, a great cutting deck, plenty of available attachments and the industry leading Craftsman Turn Tight 6 inch turning radius. Even with more features is priced $100 to $500 less than the competing tractors.

My Opinion: The Craftsman Yard Tractor are arguably the most popular lawn tractors on the market. The combination of features, price and service make them some of the best values around. For 2014 Craftsman kept all the features that make this tractor one of the best and added a sleek, new look! This sleek new look has fixed the biggest complaint previous owners have had. The new hood is designed so it won’t rattle around. It features a new hinge that is stronger and keeps the front from vibrating. There are now cushions at the back of the hood just like you would find on the $6000 tractors. In addition new side panels and air plenum keeps the dirt out the engine compartment and funnels clean air into the engine cooling system. There are other new features like a 48 inch deck and new 8 mph, bulletproof transmissions that I will review later.

This is a comprehensive review and after you are finished reading it you will be able to compare all the other brands. When you are done you will know more about lawn tractors than most dealer sales associates. You may decide this tractor isn’t the right one for you but I know you will be able to make the right decision for you and your lawn. 

This lawn tractor review covers the Model 20385, 19 HP, 46 inch version of the Craftsman Yard Tractor with Turn Tight. There are seven other models in the series: (plus 4 CA-only models)

  1. 2014 Craftsman T2000 Model 20380 42 in Gear Drive 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Briggs Platinum Typical Price $1449.99 Item # 07120380000P  Craftsman 42″ 19HP Tractor 1 Acre and Above
  2. 2014 Craftsman T2200 Model 20381 42 in Hydro 19hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Briggs Platinum Typical Price $1499.99 Item # 07120381000P  Craftsman 19HP 42 Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor Non CA 1 Acre and Above
  3. 2014 Craftsman T2400 Model 20383 46 in Hydrostatic 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Briggs Platinum Typical Price $1569.99 Item # 07120383000P  Craftsman 46″ 19HP Tractor – Non CA 1 Acre and Above
  4. 2014 Craftsman T2600 Model 20385 46 in Hydrostatic 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Kohler Courage Typical Price $1779.99 Item # 07120385000P Craftsman 19HP 46″ KOHLER Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor – Non CA 15″ X 6″ – 6″
  5. 2014 Craftsman T3000 Model 20390 42 in  Fast Tractor 22 hp Yard Tractor Review – 724cc V-Twin Briggs Platinum Typical Price $1699.99 Item # 07120390000P  Craftsman 22HP 42 Turn Tight Fast Yard Tractor 49 States 1 Acre and Above
  6. 2014 Craftsman T3200 Model 20391 48 in  Fast Tractor 22 hp Yard Tractor Review – 724cc V-Twin Briggs Platinum Typical Price $1999.99 Item # 07120391000P Craftsman 22 HP V-Twin 48″ Turn Tight Fast Tractor – Non CA 1 Acre and Above
  7. 2014 Craftsman T3400 Model 20393 54 in Hydrostatic 22 hp Yard Tractor Review – 725cc V-Twin Kohler Elite Typical Price $2299.99 Item # 07120393000P  Craftsman 22HP 54 Kohler Powered Turn Tight Yard Tractor Non CA 1 Acre and Above
Aurora With Her New 2014 Craftsman Yard Tractor

Aurora With Her New 2014 Craftsman Yard Tractor

 Why a Craftsman Yard Tractor?

  • The Craftsman LT and YT series tractors are one of the most popular lawn tractors ever offered to mow your lawn. Just search “Craftsman Lawn Tractor” and you will find millions of pictures and articles of Craftsman Tractor owners proudly showing off their pride and joy. In fact on Google there are more pictures and articles for Craftsman Lawn tractors than John Deere or Cub Cadet.
  • Most of the tractors bought in the late 90’s are still around and mowing lawns every week. Unlike owners of the other makes, Craftsman owners are not complaining about “they don’t make them like they used to.” From my observation many owners of these old lawn tractors come in to Sears today and buy a new tractor not because their old one is wore out.  They are just tired of it and want something new.
  • The design is stable: Using computer terms this “build” has been around for a few years now. This year they added a great new look, but otherwise the tractors are using the same proven designs that made this series so popular. The bugs you normally find with a new product are all fixed and there are no known issues with the T 2000 and T3000 series.  The consumer review magazines continue to like the tractor, the cut and the dependability for the price. Craftsman continues to “tweek” the models by adding features like the Turn-Tight steering but in general this is a proven, reliable platform that will offer years of use….. Just like your old green Craftsman. Craftsman owners are still loyal to the brand because they know the new 2014 tractors are actually better than they used to be. Go here to read about all of the improvements Craftsman has made just for you! 12 Reasons Why Craftsman Lawn Tractors Are Better Today,
  • FYI: The new 2014 Craftsman Yard Tractors are still made right here in the U.S.A. in the same factory where your 1990’s Lawn Tractor was made.  The same quality “craftsmanship” you have come to know and trust.

2014 Craftsman 46 in 19hp T2600 Hydro Model 20385 Yard Tractor

Brand: Craftsman
Manufactured By: Husqvarna
Model/Series: 20385/T2600Yard Tractor
Item Number:  07120385000P (49 State)
See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Craftsman 19HP 46″ KOHLER Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor – Non CA 15″ X 6″ – 6″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.
Street Price: $1575.99  Online Only. Sears wants you to buy online this year. They will have the best deals online this year and your local store is not able to match this price. Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home. Check the Special Offers tab on the product page to get the special deals price and exclusive discounts.
CA Model: None

This is Craftsman’s Best Quality. The Craftsman T1000 is less quality.  This is a direct replacement (upgrade) to your old green Craftsman Lawn Tractor and most of your attachments will fit. If you liked your old Craftsman, you will love this one!

Craftsman calls this a Yard Tractor. It has more features than a lawn tractor but less pulling power than a garden tractor.

Quick Summary Review


  • Fender Control Trans with integral cruise
  • Step-through Platform
  • 6 inch Turning Radius Easy to maneuver.
  • 46 inch deck with spring assisted lift and washout port
  • Disperses clippings evenly in side-discharge mode.
  • Mulches well, fine clippings with little or no clumps.
  • Fills 2 bin bagger to capacity.
  • Easy adjust, comfortable high-back seat.
  • 19 HP Full Pressure Kohler Engine
  • Type: Yard Tractor
  • Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 1.5 acres at 4 MPH
  • Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes, Moderate slopes
  • Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes
  • Will Mow In Reverse? Yes


  • I recommend the 22 HP V-Twin if you want to attach a snow blower.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Craftsman 19HP 46″ KOHLER Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor – Non CA 15″ X 6″ – 6″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

My Full Review:

You know I have been doing this blog for a while now and I have spent hundreds of hours researching, testing, reading reviews, analyzing and listening to you about residential lawn tractors. I know that most of you want to spend less than $2000 on a lawn tractor that will mow, mulch, or bag your yard well, do other yard tasks. You want it to last you a long, long time. This yard tractor gives you the all of those features plus a 6 inch turning radius and a great Kohler engine all for less than $1600!

I know zero-turn mowers are the hot topic today but for most of us residential zero-turns are not the best choice. Yes, they may mow your lawn faster than a conventional lawn tractor but they don’t work on slopes. They are designed just to mow so they don’t pull stuff. They are expensive for what you get.  The Craftsman Yard Tractor Series with Turn Tight continues to be the best choice.

The Craftsman Turn Tight 6 inch turning radius on this yard tractor allows you to quickly get your lawn done without the pitfalls of using a zero-turn mower.  No learning curve to operate it. No divots or scuff marks in your lawn. No worries about mowing the septic mound or slopes. No extra cost for two transmissions. It will pull stuff.  The Craftsman Yard Tractors have the tightest turning radius in the industry and the steering works well. It is the best value riding mower on the market today for most of us. Compared to all the other brands this yard tractor has more of the features you want at a lower price than the competition. It will handle all of the non-ground engaging attachments Sears, Lowes and TheHome Depot sells.

I am not going to TELL you this is the best tractor. There are other tractors with larger motors, bigger decks and heavier transmissions. But for many of you with about a 1 acre lawn this is a great choice.

This lawn tractor will mow in reverse.

If you have a lot of landscape beds and yard stuff to trim around this is a great single cylinder lawn tractor. The Turn-Tight steering allows you to trim as well as a zero-turn.

Owner Reviews: Right now there are no reviews on Sears.com because this is a new model for 2014. The real changes though are a new sporty look and a relabeled engine. The basic tractor is still the one everyone likes.

9 reasons why Craftsman Yard Tractors are a good choice for you!

(Disclaimer: All features listed in the remainder of this article are subject to change and my interpretation of the information available on the sears websites.)

1. Look Better:

203833 I don’t know about you, but I like the new look. I like the modern hood and smooth fenders. The rounded edges of the control console (dash) make it much easier to get on and off. And of course the cup holder is essential. Todays hoods have more metal.  Today’s hood uses less plastic, and the plastic appears to be more flexible to withstand more abuse from your teenagers.

2. Deck: For most of us it’s all about the deck and how it mows. This Deck Cuts Better:

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 46 inch deck on this tractor is one of the best cutting residential decks on the market. It gets high marks by owners for mowing, mulching and bagging.  In fact this is one of the better bagging decks. The longer high lift blades throw grass better than a 42 inch two blade or 48 inch 3 blade deck.  This deck cuts well, mulches well and bags very well.

203834 Better Anti-Scalp: These decks come standard with 4 anti-scalp wheels and a rounded bottom lip.  The deck lift is also spring assisted and that assist also lets the deck go over obstacles better. The anti-scalp system and the spring assist deck lift lets it ride over obstacles easier than the older decks.

These decks have four anti-scalp wheels so it will mow your lawn without gouging or scalping a rough lawn. These wheels allow the deck to ride over tree roots. These wheels do not set the height of the deck. They are just used to protect the deck from obstructions in your turf. The height of the deck is set with a spring assisted lever on the left fender. There is a little red tab on the fender control that you can adjust to remind yourself where to set the cut height you prefer.

The Craftsman 46 inch Precision Cut Mowing System side discharges very well and regularly gets great reviews for evenness of cut.  The wide discharge chute spreads the clippings evenly and doesn’t leave windrows and clumps like some decks. One of the key features of this deck is the vented spindles. The top of the spindles has slots that let air into the deck. This creates a powerful vacuum effect that lifts the grass and allows the blades to cut your lawn evenly. The blades are offset just right so there are no uncut strips when you make a turn.

 The Craftsman 46 inch deck is designed to mulch well with a simple “plug” that snaps into the discharge hole and a set of mulching blades. With the mulch plug installed you can raise the discharge chute out of the way for closer trimming on the right-hand side of the mower. There are two types of mulching blades available. The standard wavy type and premium mulching blades that enhance the mulching for extra thick lawns and leaves. The other review organizations like Consumer Reports all verify that this deck mulches well.

Because the Craftsman 42 inch deck has such good airflow for side discharge mowing, it also bags well. The available 2 and 3 bin baggers are specifically designed to collect all the clippings and fill completely. They have “soft” sided bags that reduce the dust and debris around your neck and back.

Decks are easy to adjust: The deck lift was changed a few years ago but it is almost as great of a change as the Turn Tight Steering.  Your old lever was always in the way. It was hard to use.  Getting on and off the tractor my sweatshirt, coat etc. always got caught on the lever sticking up in the wind.  The new fender mounted lever is out of the way and the spring assisted system requires very little effort to use.

Leveling the deck is easy. The 3-point linkage is easier to adjust than you old 4 point system if the deck gets abused and starts to cut unevenly. One adjustable link levels the deck side to side and one adjustable link levels it front to back .


What’s better – a fabricated or stamped deck? There is always a discussion about fabricated/welded decks and stamped decks over on the tractor forums. The reality is welded decks take more abuse, stamped decks cut better.Welded decks will take more abuse if you are the type to go around and bang your mower into trees, buildings, rocks and other obstructions. If you are mowing fields and properties where you never know what type of stumps, metal debris, rocks and other junk you may find a welded deck is the best choice. But, besides the extra cost of fabricating the deck, welded decks need special, expensive baffles to mulch well. These kits can cost over $150. To install these “mulch kits” you have to remove the deck and bolt the kit into the deck. To switch back you need to again remove the deck and take the kit off.  Most welded decks have poorer airflow and require you to buy a separate blower to use a bagger ($500-750 for the blower) 

The Craftsman 46 inch deck on the T2000 and 3000 Series are stamped decks. These decks are engineered to mow exceptionally well. Because these decks have channels and other stiffeners built into the design making these decks lighter than welded decks but still very strong. They can handle a direct frontal hit from a stump and not bend. The Craftsman decks have better corrosion resistance than the decks of the past. The powder coated finish resists scratches and rust-through so prevalent with decks 20 years ago. This process has been used for the last 12 years or so. I have seen 10 year old decks that have never been cleaned on top and underneath with no rust of flaking of the powdercoat.

Aluminum Spindles. This deck uses cast aluminum vented spindles with sealed bearings.  There is no maintenance or lubrication needed. They will last the life of the mower with proper blade maintenance and cleaning. The venting allows more air into the deck letting the deck lift and cut the grass better.

I have read some reviews where owners complain that they have had to replace the spindles multiple times on their lawn tractor. (Not just this deck, but other brands as well.) Spindles fail for only two reasons, operator abuse and improper maintenance. Lawn tractor decks are designed to mow lawns. They are not designed to mow fields, cut down brush, hit rocks, stumps, concrete, kids toys, water shut-off valves and other debris. If you hit something and you break a spindle be glad it broke. Replacing a $50 spindle is cheap compared to bending the $400 deck housing and having to replace that. You can also break spindles by not balancing your blades when you resharpen them. If one end of the blade is shorter than the other or it is bent out of factory specs the blade will vibrate and eventually wreck the spindle. If you hit something or if you sharpen the blades and the mower has more vibration than it did before, stop and find out what is wrong. If you don’t know how to properly sharpen and balance blades always replace them with new.

 This tractor gets high marks by owners for mowing, mulching and bagging.This lawn tractor will mow in reverse.

What deck size do I need? Besides how large of a lawn you have to mow consider the gates, doors and strips between your landscape beds.  The 42 deck will fit into a standard size pickup bed. With the discharge chute lifted up the Craftsman 42 inch Precision Cut Deck requires 45 inches of side to side clearance. With the chute down, 50 inches.  (The Craftsman 46 inch Precision Cut Deck requires 47.5 inches of clearance. With the chute down, 54 inches. The Craftsman 54 inch Precision Cut Deck requires 57 inches of clearance. With the chute down, 61 inches.)

I have hills and use tire chains: Tire chains will fit on a tractor with a 42 inch 2-blade deck installed but will not fit on a tractor with a 46, 2 bladed deck. This includes the Craftsman, Husqvarna, Poulan Pro and Ariens tractors. I have not checked the MTD built lawn tractors. John Deere does not have a 46 inch deck.

3. Engine: People who buy this yard tractor want a dependable mower with a dependable motor.

Note: This Kohler Courage Plus motor compares to the Briggs & Stratton Platinum and the Kawasaki FR series.  It is better than Briggs & Stratton Gold, Silver, Intek and IC engines found in most lawn tractors.

 Why are These Engines Are Better?

Longer Life Engines: The Kohler Courage Plus is a significant improvement over the engine in the 1990’s Lawn Tractors. Change the oil and filters as suggested in your operators manual and this engine will last the life of the mower.

Better Fuel Economy: Today’s engine offer better fuel economy over the 1990’s version. They are also designed to run on todays fuels that seem to have more additives than gasoline. These engines will runs on 10% ethanol BUT WILL NOT RUN ON THE 15% BLENDED FUEL!

Full Pressure Lube: The Kohler Courage Plus engine has an oil pump and actually pumps oil to the critical engine components. This engine will run on slopes that used to kill the old side-valve, splash lubricated engines. In addition, a long-life filter removes contaminants from the oil and provides less wear on the engine.  This engine uses the long, heavy duty oil filter used on the Professional Series.

More Efficient Air Cleaners:  The air cleaners on the Kohler Courage Plus are significantly better than the old paper or foam filters on your old Craftsman.  Cleaner air into the engine means less wear and longer life.

These Craftsman tractors are assembled at the factory in Orangeburg, S.C. Like all mechanical devices I suggest you take some time and completely go over the machine when new and understand it’s operation. Read the manual completely. After you use your new mower for an hour or so I suggest you look at all the fasteners and check to be sure they are tight. Especially check the bolts that hold the transmission to the frame and the engine-to-frame bolts. Here is an article showing you the most critical bolts to check. 8 Bolts On Your Lawn Tractor You Need To Check Now  I recommend this for all new lawn tractors but I especially recommend it on tractors made by Ariens, Husqvarna, Poulan, Cub Cadet, John Deere and Craftsman. 

4. Automatic Transmission – Simple to use, ideal for all terrain.

ElementV_AutoTransTestData_Chart vmotion-lg For 2014 Craftsman is taking a huge leap forward in transmission technology. Today’s automatic transmissions in Craftsman Yard Tractors are ideal for any type of terrain. Having to buy a manual transmission for hills is a thing of the past.

CVT transmissions will replace hydrostatic transmissions in lawn and yard tractors.

This bulletproof transmission from General Transmissions is designed for high performance and low maintenance. The new Element V™ Automatic transmissions are right for yard tractors.  The V-Motion™ patented technology that is the heart of this transmission is based on a CVT, Continuously Variable Transmission, system. Unlike traditional gear transmissions, V-Motion™ equipped transmissions are infinitely adjustable to match your acceleration needs. Eliminating the need to shift, you won’t lose any of the momentum that can be lost when you shift gears with a conventional transmission.

Unlike Hydrostatic Transmissions there are no pumps, motors or hydraulic oil to wear out.  The transmission is sealed and never needs maintenance. In fact you probably will never have to replace the CVT belt.

Watch this video to see the testing this transmission went through before the first one was sold.

General Transmissions already has over 20 million transmissions installed in lawn & garden equipment around the world. CVT is not new or unproven technology. Conceptualized by Leonardo da Vinci more than 500 years ago, CVT has been used for years in snowmobiles, performance motorcycles, heavy equipment, and is now replacing automatic transmissions in automobiles. Today, over 100 leading cars have drivetrains using CVTs.

The transmission in this yard tractor is sized for it and is a proven and reliable part of the tractor.  This transmission is sealed and never needs maintenance. Just clean the dirt and leaves off the top of the trans every few months. All of the components that make it run are completely enclosed in a sealed case. This transmission is sized to the tractor. It will give you long life for mowing, snow removal and yard work.   Like most transmissions in lawn tractors it does not have posi-traction or differential lock for steep hills (greater than 15%). 

This transmission is designed for mowing and yard work. It is not designed for pulling a food plot cultivator or disk.

The pedal on the left side of the tractor is the parking brake.  You do not need to depress that pedal to shift the tractor.   The forward, reverse speed and braking is controlled one lever on the right side fender.  To go forward move the lever forward.  To stop pull the lever back to the middle position. (The parking brake pedal can also be used to stop the tractor.)  To back the tractor pull the lever back. Because of the way this CVT transmission operates the braking is part of the operation. When you move the lever towards the middle (neutral) the transmission brakes your travel automatically. The brake is internal and never needs replacement. You only need to use the left hand pedal to park the mower or to leave it stopped on a hill.

5. Comfort – If you are going to mow, you might as well be comfortable.

Start with the seat: When comparing this lawn tractor to others sit on the seat and ask yourself these questions. Sit on the seat and envision yourself sitting there for 2 or more hours.

  1. Is it comfortable?
  2. Does it give you good back and lumbar support?
  3. Does it have side supports to help you stay in the seat on slopes and when mowing rough spots?

The seat should be easily adjustable if you have more than one person using your lawn tractor. When you sit on the seat, is it level? (Some tractors have heavy springs under the seat for “suspension” and it feels like you are constantly sliding forward.)

The seat on the T2600 sits level, has a nice high back, good lumbar and side support and slides back and forth easily. There is plenty of seat adjustment so any operator from 5 ft 1 inch to 6 ft 4 in can easily operate this lawn tractor.

203813 The Steering Wheel: The steering wheel on the T2600 is textured so your hands won’t get sweaty and your gloves won’t slide around. Other tractors have smooth steering wheels that cause your hands to sweat in hot weather. When it’s cold out and you are wearing gloves smooth steering wheels are very hard to use. Your hands keep slipping all over the place.

Getting On And Off: Ease of Use: The first thing you will notice when you sit on the T2600 is how easy it is to get on and off. Craftsman has designed this mower with a lot of space between the seat and the steering console to make it as easy as possible to get on and off this tractor. The step through design allows you to get on and off the tractor easier than before.  No more banging your knees trying to get on or off the tractor.

Deluxe high-back seat, easy to use operator controls, good field of view.  This Yard Tractor is very comfortable to operate and drive.

6. Frames Are Just As Strong: 

The frame on the T2600 is a little longer than your old green Craftsman to accommodate the step through design but this longer frame but just as strong.  I never hear about frames cracking with the old machines and the new frames are built just as well.  In fact the frames are built so well they come with a 5 year warranty!

7. Six Inch Turn Tight Steering: Better Steering Box, Axle and Steering System:

One of the major improvements is the steering.  Today’s Craftsman tractors steer easier and the pinion gears don’t wear out. Long gone is the old half-moon system with the plastic pinion gear. If you own a 90’s green Craftsman LT you probably have at least a 1/2 revolution of play in the steering wheel by now.   I have seen Craftsman Turn Tight Yard Tractors with 100’s of hours with no more play in the steering than the day they were purchased.

The steering wheel feels better: The steering wheel is bigger and has a better feel. I see many of the old 1990’s steering wheels cracked and the plastic bracket that’s supports the steering rod on the dash broken.  This doesn’t happen with the new Craftsman Turn Tight Yard Tractors.

Front axles are better: The front axles are now cast iron and have a lifetime warranty. I have yet to see a broken one!

Tighter Steering: The exclusive Turn Tight steering is one of the “wonders” of the YT Series. I personally feel for most homeowners this is a better solution than a zero-turn. With a 6 inch turning radius this tractor is the most maneuverable tractor on the market today.  In most cases you can trim and mow without ever taking your walk-behind mower out of the shed.  It works on slopes, requires no training to use and even your spouse will like to drive it.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has average traction and is similar to all the other lawn tractors from the other retailers. This tractor has better steering than all the other lawn tractors under $4000. I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.

8. Reliability – What do I do if it breaks?

This tractor is serviced by Sears.  Sears service techs come to your home to repair your lawn tractor. You never have to take it anywhere.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears.  There have been very few issues with the build quality. One thing to know – Sears takes the tractor out of the shipping crate but they do not “setup” the tractor. (John Deere dealers are the only retailer who does) You have to put gas in it, and run it for the first time. If there is an assembly problem you call 1-800-469-4663 and a service tech comes out to your home and fixes the issue. The store where you picked it up from or the delivery team does not repair the tractor. If you buy another brand make sure you understand the repair policy if you have a problem.  Many of the other brands make you take the mower to an “authorized service center”

Replacement Parts Are Much Easier To Get: 15 years ago to get Craftsman parts you had to go to the Sears Service Center and order them.  Your local repairman wouldn’t touch your Craftsman because he said that he couldn’t get parts.  (He could, he just had to go to the Service center and order the part himself) The Internet is a wonderful thing and today is very easy to get parts. All you need is the model number from under the seat, go to searspartsdirect.com, order the part and within a few days it arrives at your home. You can even use this link: Shop at Sears PartsDirect and get 10% off your purchase with code: 90055 Searspartsdirect has all of the parts diagrams for your mower, making it very easy to get your part. If you are not really mechanically inclined, all you have to do is write down your model number, go to your local Sears and anyone in the Lawn & Garden Department can help you order the part.  Again, it comes right to your home. By the Way: If you lost your tractor manual, get the model number from under the seat, use the link above and you can view or download a copy there for free!

9. Better Value:

Todays Craftsman tractors continue to be one of the best values around. “In 1975 a Sears Custom with a deck cost about $2300.. That’s $9650 today. That was for 8hp, 3 speed, 38″ steel mowing deck. Electric start, head lights and tail light… and that’s it” (source: http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/relativevalue.php) You can still buy this 2014 lawn tractor with a larger deck and motor for less than $1500.  That’s a much better deal than your last new car!

People who buy this yard tractor know what they are buying and this is just what they want. This is a great tractor with a great cutting deck and may just be the best value for you and your suburban lawn.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Craftsman 19HP 46″ KOHLER Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor – Non CA 15″ X 6″ – 6″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website. Specs subject to change.

Product Specifications

Cutting Deck & Blade:
Blade Material: Steel
Blade Type: 3 in 1
Blade Width (in.): 21.25
Cutting Deck Material: Steel
Cutting Deck Nose Roller: No
Cutting Deck Style: Mulch/Rear Bag/Side Discharge
Cutting Height Adjustment Type: Spring Assisted
Cutting Height Maximum (in.): 4
Cutting Height Minimum (in.): 1
Cutting Positions: 6
Cutting Width (In.): 46
Deckwash System: Yes
Number of Cutting Blades: 2
Controls and Features:
Blade Engagement Type: Manual
Blade Lift: Manual
Speed Control: Fender Control
Overall Item Dimensions: 72.75 x 49.5 x 46
Wheelbase (in.): 48
Product Overview:
Commercial/Residential: Residential
General Warranty: 2 Year / 5 Year Frame & Axle
Recommended Terrain: All Types
Recommended Yard Size: 1 Acre and Above
Terrain Type: Flat, Uneven, Hilly, Steep, Obstacles
Frame Material: Steel
Frame Type: Stamped steel
Front Axle Material: Cast iron
Handling & Operating:
Cruise Control: Yes
Hour Meter: Yes
Drive System:
Maximum Forward Speed (mph): 5.5
Maximum Reverse Speed (mph): 2.9
Mow in Reverse: Yes
Number of Forward Speeds: Infinite
Number of Reverse Speeds: 1
Turning Radius (in.): 6
Turn Tight: Yes
Cooling System Type: Air Cooled
Engine Brand: Kohler(r)
Engine Cycles: 4-cycle
Engine Displacement (cc): 540
Horsepower: 19
Number of Cylinders: 1
Oil Filter Type: Full pressure
Overhead Valve Engine: Yes
Wheels & Tires:
Anti-Scalp Gauge Wheels: Yes
Front Tire Size: 15″ X 6″ – 6″
Rear Tire Size: 20″ X 8″ – 8″
Accessory or Attachment:
Accepts Bagger: Yes
Ground-Engaging Attach: No
Hauling Equipment: No
Snow Blade or Thrower Capable: None
Fuel System:
Fuel Capacity (gal.): 2.5
Fuel Gauge Location: None
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Adjustable Seat: Yes
Cup Holder: Yes
Headlights: Yes
Gauge Accessory:
Gauges: No
Convenience Features:
Power Steering: None
CARB Compliant: Not Compliant with Cali. Air Resource Board
Location: All other
Arm Rests: No
Tractor Grade:Yard Tractor

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Craftsman 19HP 46″ KOHLER Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor – Non CA 15″ X 6″ – 6″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

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32 Comments on "2014 Craftsman T2600 Model 20385 46 in 19 hp Yard Tractor Review – 540cc Single Kohler Courage"

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Hi, from Fairfield, CT. I got the 20385 last Spring and it’s worked out pretty darn well so far. No issues, other than I can’t get the tractor to start with the choke on. I try and start while on choke for about 5-10 seconds, then drop to full throttle and try again and it starts up fine. Not sure why that is. As I said, I’ve been pretty happy. I’m looking to get one of the smaller cyclone rakes and hope I won’t have issues pulling it when it gets filled up. So far so good pulling a full… Read more »
Paul, I live in southwest Virginia. I have tried to purchase the Craftsman model 20385 online. The Sears website says that the mower is not available for store pickup within 50 miles of my location, neither is it deliverable to my location. It has said this for a few weeks now. I have tried entering different zipcodes from across the country and I still get the same response. I entered a chat with a customer service person and she said that this model is out of stock. She assured me that it would be restocked but I’m not sure if… Read more »
Brooke Willson

For $ 100 less, the Husqvarna YTH22V46 gives you a 22 hp twin-cylinder engine (quieter, smoother, more durable), a 46″ cut, and a pedal-mounted hydrostatic transmission so you never have to take your hands off the steering wheel to go, change speeds, reverse, or stop.

But Husqvarna doesn’t advertise on this site does it?


Thanks for the excellent advise. Just got home from buying the 20391 Fast tractor with the 5 year protection plan at Sears. The Sears staff was very knowledgeable and seeing the tractor in person sold the deal. Can’t wait to try it out.

Steve (Hendersonville, NC)
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)

This tractor is $1199 for Black Friday as seen here – http://bfads.net/Black-Friday/Sears/Ad?page=38#viewer.

Is this a better model than the Model # 20381?



@Paul-Sounds good. Do you think it’s wise to get a 3 or 5 year protection plan or unnecessary?

Paul, Thanks for the advice. Thinking we’ll go with the 20391 and hope our old Craftsman triple bagger fits it. If it doesn’t then the money we’ll save from going with the 20391 can go towards a new bagger. Don’t really need all the bells and whistles the 20401 has to offer though they sound impressive. Do you recommend the 3 or 5 year protection agreements? Also, if we order on-line and have it delivered, do we need to grease it right away or does it come ready to go with a manual? Kind of bummed it will take 16-18… Read more »
So, the old Craftsman just died on the lawn. Need a new one pronto to mulch and bag leaves on a 2.5 acre rough lawn (mostly flat with lots of tree roots, and some narrow ditches and slight hills.) before the snow flies. Had a 42″ green craftsman. So tired of it taking 3 hrs to mow the lawn, not including push mower time to go over areas with huge roots. Have no need to haul anything but a 3 bin bagger for grass and leaves. Torn between Craftsman 20385 46″ and craftsman 20391 48″. Want the speed but a… Read more »
Mark Dickson

I’m having a hard time finding this mower on sears.com, this best I could do was to search by the item number and it returns a Model # 28853X. Am I missing something?

David Andreasen -- Rockford, Illinois
David Andreasen -- Rockford, Illinois
Thank you Paul. A follow-up question or two about the CVT. What is the reality of using the tall foot pedal? And does Sears use the fender lever to control the CVT on any of its models? There is very little out there about this transmission in actual use, except for what has been said on this site. I had a chance to sit on one of these machines today and that long pedal is unsettling to say the least. Doesn’t seem very comfortable. There has to be a better design than what Sears is using. Since I didn’t see… Read more »
David Andreasen
Went to Sears today to start my search for a yard tractor, and spent time researching models. Ended up at your site which was very informative. Adding my comment and question here as this model seems appropriate. I have a small yard but a 15-20% grade which might negate the 30-inch mower option. The T2200 is the least expensive Craftsman with the Briggs & Stratton Platinum engine but it has the hydrostatic transmission. The T2600 has the CVT transmission and the Kohler Courage Elite engine. So which is the better engine, the Briggs & Stratton or the Kohler Courage? And… Read more »

Hello from Dover Plains, NY
2 weeks old & blowing white smoke!
Thought the Kohler engine was a better choice but maybe not?
Anyone have any advice? Help?
Think I will be calling Sears to come pick up this “Highly” rated Machine?

Ken C

@Paul Sikkema – Thanks for a great review! I was checking out zero-turn, but this 6″ looks better for me. A question on the CVT:

You said above that not all models have the new Element V. So for the T2600/20385 (46″ – 19HP) I’m looking at – what trans does it have? Is there a significant difference between what it has and the new Element V Auto?

Thanks, Ken C

John Adamski
Hi Paul from John near Roch. NY. I have a 1998 15Hp Kohler EZ3 tractor. I had a single stage snow thrower on the front and the chain drive sprockets gave out last year. I bought it because Sears was known for lifetime support and parts. When trying to get replacement parts I was told they no longer support parts for items over 10 years old. I could not find any on-line replacements so I am looking for a new solution. The tractor has low hours and runs great. It has only had to do driveway snow-blowing for the last… Read more »

Thanks Paul. That helps a lot.
I believe that I will go with the 2014 Craftsman T3000 Model 20390 42 in 22 hp Yard Tractor. It does not have the Kohler engine, but I am assuming that the Briggs & Stratton Platinum engine will hold up. I have a hilly yard with narrow parts and haul dirt and other stuff around a lot. The 20390 seems like a good fit. Thanks again for the information, insight and help. It is appreciated.

Hi from Silverdale, Washington. The great northwest! Thanks for the great review. Very helpful. I had the old green Sears for years and years. It finally gave up. I would like to order the T2600 Model 20385. Just in case they changed things, I wanted to confirm with Sears… your information that this yard tractor does have the new Element V automatic. The local sears store is no help. Sears on-line does not have a manual. I have posted a question to Sears… no response. Do all the Craftsman 2014 yard tractors have the new Element V automatic? Thanks, Ed

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