2014 Craftsman 42 inch T1000 Model 20370 Riding Mower Review – Is this mower for you?

Do Not Buy This Lawn Tractor Until You Have Read This Review!

It’s Not What’s Best, It What’s Best For You! Higher Price does not always mean a better mower for you.

The 2014 Craftsman T1000 Model 20370 replaces the 2013 Craftsman Model 28882 and improves it with a great new look.

Think of this lawn tractor as the 2WD Ford Ranger of mowers. The Ford Ranger was a great pickup for many people. The Ranger didn’t haul a lot.  It had small tires. It rode rougher than the F-150. The Ranger was the cheapest Ford truck you could buy. It got the job done but not as fast or as comfortable as the larger trucks.

203703 The 2014 Craftsman T1000 Model 20370 is the same idea for lawn tractors. It’s not for everyone but it is a great, inexpensive riding mower. For many of you it will get the job done for many years. It’s the least expensive Craftsman Lawn Tractor you can buy. The tires do not have as much traction and it rides rougher than it’s better siblings. It will pull a small (8-10 cu. ft.) lawn cart and you can mount the 24019 2 bin bagger, but that’s about it. This lawn tractor compares very well to your old Ranch King, Yard King or Yard Machines but cuts better and has a better engine than you old mower.  With an 18 inch turning radius and a low back seat it is not designed to mow acres at a time, but it will still mow your 1/2 to 1 acre lawn well with the deep 42 inch deck.

Craftsman 10 Cu Ft Poly Dump Cart 13 in. 4.00-6 ribbed tires
Craftsman 42 46 In. Cut 2-Bin Bagger

Every other Craftsman lawn tractor has more features and is easier to use.

Is this mower for you?

Note: This Craftsman has the same turning radius, the same overhead valve, full-pressure lube, oil filter style engine, and the same size deck as the D100 John Deere for $500 less! The D100 has only a 5 speed trans.

  • If you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
  • If you want the cool new Craftsman look.
  • If you don’t have a lot of small landscaping features and trees to mow around.
  • If you just want to mow your lawn and maybe use a bagger to collect the clippings.
  • If you only need a manual transmission (The 7 speed Shift-On-The-Go will handle all types of terrain and is just about bullet-proof)
  • If you want a better engine than the other $1000 lawn tractors offer
  • If you want someone to come to your house to maintain and repair your mower (Sears Repair Service)
  • Standard 2 year warranty on the tractor, a 5 year warranty on the frame and 10 year warranty on the axle. Optional 3 or 5 year at home Protection Plan
  • It is priced at $999.99 which is $100 less than the Yard Machines 13A2775S000 Riding Mower and up to $500 less than the comparable Cub Cadet, John Deere, Troy-Bilt, Ariens or Husqvarna

20370 This is the best and most dependable $1000 Lawn Tractor on the market!

Complete Product Description: Craftsman 420cc 42 Step Through Frame Lawn Tractor Non CA 15″ x 6″

See All Buying Options: Craftsman 420cc 42 Step Through Frame Lawn Tractor Non CA 15″ x 6″

Special Offers: Directly under the Product Description there will be a “Special Offer” tab. Click there to see Special Financing, Delivery and % off deals.

See All Pickup and Delivery Options: Craftsman 420cc 42 Step Through Frame Lawn Tractor Non CA 15″ x 6″

See All Financing Options: Credit, Special Financing, Shop Your Way Rewards Points, Craftsman Club Craftsman 420cc 42 Step Through Frame Lawn Tractor Non CA 15″ x 6″

 California Model: Craftsman 420cc 42 Step Through Frame Lawn Tractor CA Only 15″ x 6″

2014 Craftsman Lawn, Yard and Garden Tractors. You Asked, They Listened!  If you want a new tractor this year it is going to be tough to compete with Craftsman this year. They have taken the best of their line, made the little tweaks that a few  of you found irritating and added a sleek new look. They did all of that while keeping the price the same.

You will have a hard time not buying a Craftsman this year.

Please give your city and state when you comment

  1. I have a T100 2014 model and a LT1500 2013 model. Going to keep one which one should i keep. Both are new. Got one from sears as a warranty item they could not fix my old mower and the 1500 i bought in the midst of them deciding to give me a new one. I think the 1500 mows backwards but i could be wrong. Its model 247.288820 and ca emissions as i look through the manual on the

    • @David, I like the auto trans in the LT1500. It also has a larger engine. I also like the color red better than gray :)

  2. Based on your website and review, I am considering the T1000 for my first rider mower. I have Bermuda grass on just 1/2 acre and other than the minor dips for drainage away from our home foundation my lot is generally level. I looked to see if this model mows in reverse. I think I vaguely saw that the new model does that but the older ones do not. I will use the mower JUST for mowing and will get a bagger attachment for clippings and vacuuming up autumn leaves. I’ve also looked at the other basic riding mowers: Ariens, (Home Depot) Troy-Bilt (Lowes) and Huskee (Tractor Supply) I am still leaning towards the T1000. My son, who has a corner acre lot has used a Craftsman for 10 years and loves his. What do you think?

    • @Jeffery, Just to hit on 2 other tractor to make sure the T1000 is the right choice.

      1. The T1000 is a manual transmission. To change speed you have to step on the clutch. The T1000 does not mow in reverse. Most people opt for the T1400 instead. For $100 more you get an automatic trans (just press the right pedal for ground speed) and it will mow in reverse. 17.5 HP 42” Auto Transmission Riding Mower – non CA

      2. If your son has had a Craftsman for 10 years he has one made by Husqvarna and this tractor is similar (fender control hydro, etc.) If his is a 42 inch, all his attachments will interchange with this one. 19HP 42” Turn Tight® Hydrostatic Riding Mower – Non CA. It is $300 more than the T1000 but has the hydro trans, 6 inch Turn Tight steering, better tires, better engine and a much better seat.

  3. Thanks for the reply, Paul. Even the sign displayed with the T1000 at the store clearly says that it has “Shift on the Go” and goes on to specifically say, “No need to stop or clutch to change speeds”.

    • @Carl S, I spent some time researching this and played around with the shift-on-the-go and here is what I figured out. I tried three 2014 T1000 models, one 2012 model 28881, A Troy-Bilt, a neighborhood rider and a Craftsman 29000 rider.

      You have to depress the clutch to go from park to 1st. You also have to depress the clutch to go from 1st to 2nd. From 2nd to 7th you just need to move the shift lever. In other words you can shift on the go from 2nd to 7th.

      According to the manual – you should use the clutch to down shift. The trans appears to shift just fine though from 7th down to 2nd without using the clutch. Again you have to use the clutch to go from 2nd to 1st and 1st to Park.

  4. I’ve had a craftsman riding mower for at least ten years and am finally to the point of purchasing a new one. Are the blades easy to replace on this model?

    • @Randy, About the same as your old one.

      By the way, The T1000 is made by MTD. Your old tractor was made by Husqvarna. If you want a tractor that compares to your old one look at the manual transmission 20380 or the hydro 20381

  5. Paul, I recently purchased a T1000 for my one-acre lawn, based in part on your review. Thanks for your effort!

    I’ve run into a couple of issues and I wonder if you can help.

    First, the Shift-On-The-Go transmission isn’t really. I understand the design, and that’s one of the reasons I bought the T1000. My last tractor was a hydro and I didn’t like it. But with the T1000, you have to depress the pedal (just a tiny bit) to shift and that’s turning out to be a pain. I’m assuming there’s a mechanical interruptor of some kind. Do you know if it’s adjustable or removable so I can shift without using the “clutch”?

    The other question is that the mower deck has a flat, sort of space ship-shaped plug marked “wash port capable”. I bought a Sears/Husky washout port, type 5324155. It had the proper mounting “ear” to bolt to the deck using the screw for the existing plug, but it was just too large. The “ear” sticks out too far and will not fit. The only other washout port I can find does not have a mounting ear at all and appears to fasten with a nut under the deck. Can you tell me which washout port would be the correct bolt-on for the T1000?

    Thanks! Carl
    Shelton, Connecticut

    • @Carl, Here is the correct Deck Wash Kit for MTD manufactured decks: 490-900-0025 MTD Riding Lawn Mower Deck Wash Kit (Discontinued by Manufacturer).

      I can’t figure out why the clutch has to be depressed by the parts diagrams 28881 Parts. The system is actually geared differential and a variable speed belt. What I can’t tell is the linkage or cable coming from the shift lever to that variable pulley on the transmission. Somewhere in that linkage there must be a “notch” that has to be released by the clutch pedal to change the speed. What’s aggravating to me is I was told that you can shift up in gears without the clutch (that why it’s called shift-on-the-go) and you only have to use the clutch when shifting down. I should have checked it myself. I won’t be able to get an answer on this until after the 7th.

  6. Hello Paul,
    Thanks for the review! Based on your review and the Sears price I recently purchased the Craftsman T1000. It is a great little tractor for my 3/4 acre lot. I have noticed a few areas where scalping has occurred. Can you provide a remedy to prevent scalping? I am considering upgrading to the T2000; will an upgrade to this unit provide better results and limit the scalping?

    Thank you,


    Alexandria, VA

    • @Chris, The T2000 does have 2 anti-scalp wheels on the deck that would help a little but not as much as you want. Here are some ideas.

      1. Raise your height control and mow in the second notch from the top. The grass will thank you for it by staying green longer and you will get fewer weeds.
      2. Fill in the holes in your lawn. I used over 5 yards of dirt to fill in my holes, dips and gulleys that made my yard a nightmare to mow 2 years ago.
      3. If you have mature trees with large trunks you won’t be able to keep from scalping those areas.
      4. Mow with the areas that scalp with the rut or rise. Going over the rise or through the rut will cause you to scalp.

  7. I’m looking to purchase a riding mower for my husband. We’re probably going to buy from Sears, so I’m interested in Craftsman. We have 2.5 acres of property; some is hilly. There’s not a ton of landscaping, but we would like the option to mulch. Is this the right tractor for us? Thanks – Morgan – Castaic, CA

  8. It looks like the 2013 version was able to put a craftsman snow plow, but this one says you cannot. Is this fact true? If the bumper did not change from last to this year why wouldn’t I be able to add the snow blade sears sells (24441). Thanks for your help in advance!

    • @Bob, last years model and the year before, 28881 and 28882 DID NOT accept a snow blade. In fact the bottom 3 models last year and the bottom 3 models this year are not able to handle the snow blade. The least expensive Craftsman last year that would accept a snowblade was the 46 inch LT2500 model 28915.

      So for 2014 these models will not accept a snow blade: T1000 – Model 20370, 20371; T1400 – Model 20373; T1600 – 20374, 20375.
      In other words none of the MTD built Craftsman Lawn Tractors for 2014 will accept a snow blade. If you look under the seat and the model number starts with 247 that tractor will not accept a snow blade.

      Any T2000, T3000 and T5000 series tractor will take a snow blade or snow thrower. Look under the seat and the model number will start with 917.

  9. Who makes the T1000 model 20370? On the sears site there are two non CA grey tractors. One is the LT1500 and this one. Paul, who makes them and whats the difference between them? Recommend one? Thanks

      • Paul, I’ve decided on either the 20380 or 20381. Need your help though. I like the idea of a hydrostatic but worried about buying a low level-quality one which can’t even be serviced such as oil changes. I can’t find out which hydro is in the 20381 and how it reviews.

        Would the hydro in a craftsman 20381 be a light duty? K46 tuff torq? If so how can these sealed units be serviced? The oil within them will become contaminated and breakdown with time. Does the consumer just buy a new unit when it fails?

        Paul, when looking at craftsman yard and lawn tractors with hydrostatic transmissions, which trans is used? I mean if the tractor is a mtd or husqvarna origin. Which is most reliable? Thanks

        • @Anthony, None of the current hydros in lawn tractors below $4000 are serviceable. They can be rebuilt if they ever go bad but you’re right, it’s usually more cost effective to replace the trans.

          The K46 is the current hydro from Tuff Torq that is used in lawn and yard tractors. It is designed for mowing your lawn, pulling a cart, plowing snow and even using a snow blower. The other brand of hydro – Hydro-Gear is just a tough

          What I’m trying to say is, if you are mowing lawn, cleaning up around the yard with a cart, dethatching, plowing snow, etc., Craftsman, John Deere Cub Cadet and Husqvarna have matched the transmissions to the task. If you want to pull a disk, food plot cultivator or your boat then you need to move up to a garden tractor.