2015 Craftsman Lawn Tractors – My Review

We spend so much time here discussing the Craftsman Yard and Garden Tractors that you may not even know they make a line of inexpensive lawn tractors. In this article I am going to go through each model including the new ones for 2015 with Kohler V-Twin Engines!

Craftsman 22 HP Kohler V-Twin Hydrostatic 46 Riding Mower

Craftsman 22 HP Kohler V-Twin Hydrostatic 46 Riding Mower

They may be cheap – but they are built to Craftsman’s tough quality standards. Even though these lawn tractors start around $1000 they are still Craftsman’s and for many of you they are the best tractor for your lawn.

These lawn tractors are an excellent choice if you are currently using a walk-behind lawn mower and now want to sit down and ride. Any of these mowers will cut your mowing time by two-thirds. All of them will mow well and you have the option of bagging, mulching or pulling a lawn sweeper. You can also pull a yard cart with any model. I don’t recommend them for snow removal but there is a snow blade, weights and chains available.

Please read the entire article before you make your choice. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section at the end.

Common Features of all Craftsman Lawn Tractors:

  • You can buy all of the Craftsman lawn tractors online – click on the link below – pick it up at your nearest Sears – or have it delivered right to your home.
  • All lawn tractors qualify for Special Offers like no interest for 12 month or 5% off with a Sears Card. Based on the time of year other Special Offers may include free delivery and extra 5% off when buying online.
  • All decks cut well and are clones of the best rated decks. Most decks have anti-scalp wheels. The 42 inch and 46 inch decks give you a well-manicured cut.
  • Craftsman lawn tractors accept a 42–46 In. Cut 2-Bin Bagger, 42″ Mulch Kit, 46 inch Mulch Kit and Single Bar Bumper.
  • All Craftsman lawn tractors are easy to use and drive like the automatic in your car. Just put the F-N-R in F and then push on the accelerator pedal.
  • All Craftsman lawn tractors can pull a yard cart, lawn sweeper and aerator.
  • All engines have an oil filter.
  • All Craftsman lawn tractors have a step-thru design that eliminates obstructions beneath the steering column for better, easier access on and off you tractor.
  • All Craftsman lawn tractors have a 2 year defects warranty, 5 Year Frame, Lifetime Front Axle.
  • Parts are always available 24 hours a day through Sears PartsDirect. Use the coupon code 90055 anytime to get 10% off your parts.
  • Sears Repair Services offers in-home warranty repair and maintenance. You can set up an appointment anytime at Sears.com or by calling 1-800-4MY-HOME
  • Sears Protection Plans are available on all lawn tractors for up to 5 years.
  • All Craftsman lawn tractor except the gray version will mow in reverse.

So Which Model Is Best For You. Let’s Start With The Least Expensive

Buy Here at Sears.com Model 20370 Craftsman 420cc 42” Riding Mower

The Craftsman Model 20370 lawn tractor is inexpensive but it really is not cheaply built.  This mower will work well for a small lawn with few obstructions. The engine is a full pressure with oil filter (just like your car) and has plenty of power for the 42 inch, 2 blade deck. It has a shift-on-the-go transmission. You step on the left pedal, put the dash mounted shifter into 1 thru 7 and then release the pedal. You can shift up without using the pedal if you are moving to slow. To slow down you press the pedal and then move the lever into the slower speed. Since many inexperienced owners buy this mower as their first it will not mow in reverse.

A few items to consider before you buy this mower: Do not buy this mower based on price alone. Make sure this mower is suited for the job you want to do. This is a basic mower. It is a good mower for the first time buyer but it is not a replacement mower for your old green Craftsman. If you are replacing an older Craftsman this mower is very different from your old one. You won’t like it! (Your old Craftsman is now the Yard Tractor series) It does not come with anti-scalp wheels and there are none available. The clutch is not like the clutch in your car. When you release it the tractor Goes! There is no feathering like an automotive clutch. It will not coast downhill. When you press the clutch it sets the brake and you stop. I only recommend this tractor if you have a very small lawn with few obstructions.

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20370 at sears.com: Craftsman 420cc 42” Riding Mower

Buy Here at Sears.com Model 20372 New! Craftsman 420cc Automatic 42” Riding Mower

For only $100 more you get the Model 20372 with a very easy to use Automatic Transmission! For the first time-buyer this is a great choice. You get a full-featured lawn tractor at a very good price. In addition you get two anti-scalp wheels ($50 value) on the deck and Craftsman Red paint! The automatic drives just like you car. Put the fender F-N-R selector in F and press on the right pedal. The speed is controlled by how far you press the pedal down.  When you take you foot off the pedal the mower stops moving.

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20372 at sears.com: Craftsman 420cc Automatic 42” Riding Mower

Buy Here at Sears.com Model 20373 Craftsman 17.5 HP Automatic 42” Riding Mower

If you prefer a built in the U.S.A. Briggs & Stratton engine in an inexpensive lawn tractor this is it! Just like the For the first time-buyer this is a great choice. You get a full-featured lawn tractor at a very good price. In addition you get two anti-scalp wheels ($50 value) on the deck and Craftsman Red paint! The automatic drives just like you car. Put the fender F-N-R selector in F and press on the right pedal. The speed is controlled by how far you press the pedal down.  When you take you foot off the pedal the mower stops moving. Overall this mower gets good reviews and has been around for a few years now. It is a great riding mower to replace that walk-behind!

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20373 at sears.com: Craftsman 17.5 HP Automatic 42” Riding Mower

Buy Here at Sears.com Model 20374 Craftsman 19 HP Automatic 46” Riding Mower

If you want to get done just a little faster the 46 inch deck cut your mowing time about 10% over a 42 inch deck.   The 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine gives you a little more power for long grass. A 46 inch deck’s cutting blades are a little longer and that allows them to throw grass into the optional 2-bin bagger better than the 42 inch lawn tractor deck. This mower is a great choice if you have a lot of leaf cleanup in the fall. This mower has an excellent service record and most owners are very happy with it.  The speed is controlled by how far you press the pedal down.  When you take you foot off the pedal the mower stops moving.

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20374 at sears.com: Craftsman 19 HP Automatic 46” Riding Mower

Model 20376 and 20379

Many of you wanted a Kohler engine in your lawn tractor and this is one sweet Kohler.  The V-Twin is very smooth and the new 7000 series is one of the best engines you can get in a lawn tractor. I expect this engine to last you years

The speed is controlled by how far you press the pedal down.  When you take you foot off the pedal the mower stops moving. This is Model is available online ONLY and will be discontinued for 2016! Purchase this mower through the links below. It will be delivered to your local Sears or you can opt to have it delivered right to your home.

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20376 at sears.com: Craftsman 20 HP Kohler V-Twin Automatic 42” Riding Mower

 

Click on this link to learn more about the Model 20379 at sears.com: Craftsman 22 HP Kohler V-Twin Hydrostatic 46″ Riding Mower

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115 Comments on "2015 Craftsman Lawn Tractors – My Review"

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Patrick Fulton
Guest

Hi Paul,
Thanks for the great feedback. Small world. We are just north of laraway! We have a circular driveway in front that is about 15ft wide and 290 feet around. Does the craftsman handle snow plow? Better to get a separate good walk behind snow blower instead of the attachment?
Thanks again for everything. Will probably check out some Memorial Day sales this weekend.

Patrick Fulton
Guest
Hello, Thanks for this fantastic site filled with so much information! I am having a tough time making a decision though – with so much great info, I tend to get decision paralysis. I thought I’d tell you my situation, and take your recommendation. We recently moved to a house in Frankfort, IL (Chicago suburb) with around .7 – .8 acre lot. The front yard does not have a single tree (a couple small stumps), and the back has a few tree rings / flower bed circles. The lot is flat, with normal bumps and dips, and two spots that… Read more »
mandy
Guest

Paul,
Regarding the zoysia… how frustrating in hindsight… we originally had centipede grass when we moved in… when we had a pool put in the yard, we had to replace grass that had been all torn up by the construction process. “landscape” guy recommended zoysia when i told him i was not a fan of the centipede and wanted something with a nicer feel. shame on us for not doing OUR due diligence.

Mandy
Guest

Thanks Paul. Maybe it would be cheaper for us to get new grass that is easier to cut!

mandy
Guest

thanks Paul, regarding the reply on reel mowers and zoysia grass. based on your reply, and no mention of riding mowers, does that mean we likely wont find a solution in riding mowers? best bet is commercial walk behind or used golf course mower? based on price, golf course mower seems out of the question. =)

Mandy
Guest

Paul, Mandy bodnar again, one last question… I recall reading last summer that zoysia grass is best cut with a cylinder or reel type mower to avid the damage and growing we often see with our current push mower. Do you have any information or input on this type of mower? Do they exist in residential riding mowers?

Mandy
Guest
This Mandy from Spanish fort, Alabama. Paul, I discovered your site last summer when considering a riding mower, because it was taking my husband hours to complete our yard. Maybe he is just slow, or maybe it’s our grass, or our push mower is undersized… But That is too much time spent each week! This summer, we are upgrading! We only have about a tenth of an acre to mow, it’s mostly level and wide open in the back yard, while the front is a slope down to the sidewalk (10-15 percent slope). Our back yard is all zoysia grass,… Read more »
Tom Quigney
Guest

Paul , I am looking for a set of mulching blades for a craftsman t 1900. The ones sears sells are “multipurpose” and are not doing a good job. I have seen what look like gator blades at the local store but cant find the right size. the numbers I got online are 942-04268 and 942-04290 . Medium size yard . gradual slope. Tom Q. Allentown,PA

Tom Quigney
Guest

Paul, the model number is 247 203 791 46 inch deck. 22 hp.

Dennis Beckwith
Guest

Hi Paul,

I am looking a replacement for my LT 1000 and like the Craftsman #20380 or the #25581. I am having a hard time deciding which is best? I like the idea of a six-speed manual (20380). We have 3/4 acre lawn with few trees, no slopes the ground is fairly smooth. I will not be using any attachments, maybe a small trailer down the line. Any input you have would be great!

Thanks!

Dennis

Dan O
Guest

Hey Guys,
According to Sears’ “Spring It On Black Friday” ad, the 20379 will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday (April 22-23) for $1099. I had a time finding it locally (Ethridge, TN), and the Sears website wasn’t any help. I found it, of all places, at my local Sears Hometown Store. I purchased it today, and am having them price match it tomorrow. Here is a link to the ad:
http://www.sears.com/deals/black-friday-deals.html
At the bottom right, there is a green “Preview All Savings” button. That will link you to the ad.

Jim S.
Guest
Hi Paul, I love this site! We recently purchased a house with about 1 acre of yard. This would be my first lawn tractor purchase. Im not concerned about turning radius, but we do have a fairly steep, although short, hill on one side of our yard which concerns me. I was looking at the Craftsman lawn tractor model 20374 from sears at $1,300. Do you think that is ok for some hills? Also, I wasnt going to buy the bagger just yet for it, do I need to buy the mulching kit? It says it comes with mulching blades.… Read more »
Andy Le
Guest

Hey Paul,

I am looking at the craftsman 20379, 46 inch, v-twin 22hp kohler. this mower only available online. Sears will be running a 50% off on this mower so the cost would be $1100 plus tax. it sounds like a good deal but is it worth it since they will discontinue this model? My house sit on 0.8 acre. Thank you in advance. Hope you can answer quickly so I can make up my mind.

Andy

Larry Jeffries- Elkhart,In.
Guest
Larry Jeffries- Elkhart,In.
Hello Paul. As usual, you are very responsive to all questions and very knowledgeable in everything you talk about. I purchased a sears model #20390 in August of 2014. The mower cuts very well but I have just 1 problem. The first year it howled slightly when moving in reverse but last year it was howling louder. Is there a problem with this transmission and a fix I do not know of or is it something I am going to have to live with? I purchased the 3 year warranty and would like to have it taken care of before… Read more »
Larry Jeffries- Elkhart,In.
Guest
Larry Jeffries- Elkhart,In.

Thank you so much for your response. I have just one last question. The howling noise it was making the first year was bearable but the noise last year was twice as loud as the year before. Will that transmission noise continue to get twice as loud every year or should I get a tech out to check it before my warranty is up? I don’t want any future problems that I can’t pay for because of rising costs. Could this be a problem that you are not aware of yet?

Rob
Guest
Hi Paul, Great site! I’m trying to decide between the 20440 ($1999) and the 20390 ($1649.99) for a house I’ve just purchased, which is on .84 acres. The lawn seems huge to me, but I’m coming from something much smaller. I’ve probably got 10 or 15 trees (not too many, really) to mow around, and a slight slope in some spots (nothing drastic, I don’t think). I’ll probably want to haul some dirt and branches around as I work on the yard from time to time. Not sure if I’d want to use a plow, but maybe. Do you feel… Read more »
Kelly W.
Guest

2015Jun27 – Your recommendation is an interesting contrast to reviews I have been reading on another site (listed hereunder) that have been posted by dissatisfied Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower owners, so I am intrigued by your faith in that brand. What do you see as being the reason behind these polar extremes of opinion?
http://www.mowersdirect.com/Reviews/Craftsman-28851-Lawn-Mower/rv11045.html

Nancy
Guest

Help, I’m in danger of analysis paralysis. I’m need advice re: a riding mower/light duty lawn tractor. For big mowing I use a 30 hp kubota w/bush hog; for my yard ( not a bit of which is flat) I use a toro push mower. I’d like to purchase a rider for my yard and driveway (also not flat) and would appreciate some advice. I’d prefer $1500 or less, being the cheap Scottish bastard that I am, but would be willing to go up to $2200-ish if necessary for a dependable machine. Any recommendations?

Gary
Guest

Hi Paul – appreciate your insight. Question about the Craftsman 25081. I really dislike the lower-back seats. The craftsman web site shows two views of the 25081 – one with the lower-back seat and another with the higher-back seat. Might you know which it is?

Pastor Paul T. Adams
Guest
Commerce, Oklahoma, Dude, you are awesome, thanks for what you do. I am retired and am on a fixed disability income and money is tight, we bought our first new mower today in 39 years, a 2015 T2400 model 25083. Bought solely on Craftsman brand name and fact that the rep said it was Husqvarna made, have had several of their bikes over the years. I’m 6’2 290 lbs mow 1 acre flat lawn, hoping this will last, only concern was my weight and the auto transmission, I love the fender mount drive control, the pedal model i set on… Read more »
Mike
Guest

Tampa, FL, Paul I’ve got just over a 1/2 acre to mow. The yard is empire zoysia and mostly flat and the substrate is all sand. The back 75 to 90 feet is at anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees. I’ve been looking at a 2005 JD lx280 with 270 hrs for $1500 a 2010 JD x500 with 400 hrs for $3000 or a new husqvarna yt42ls or a craftsman new 42 inch pro. Do I need the locking differential or what would you recommend. Thanks

Elaine
Guest
In October 2013 I purchased a Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor model # 288583. Before purchasing I did a huge amount of research and the Craftsman got great reviews. It is a 26HP 54″ Mower with an Electric Start and Automatic Transmission. The mower runs well and has not been a great deal of trouble but there is a tear in the seat. I got in touch with Sears and the guy told me the mower was still under warranty…then came back on the phone and said the seat is not covered. The cost of a new seat is $150.00, why… Read more »
scottmeyers
Guest
Hi, Paul. Thanks for the effort you put into a very informative website. I think I’m ready for my first riding mower – a 42″ model. My top two candidate are the Craftsman 20376 and 20390. There’s currently about a $300 difference between them. I have about an acre of lawn. It’s mostly flat without obstacles, but for part of it, the ground is somewhat bumpy, and there’s a mild slope to it. We get a lot of rain here, so in the spring and the fall, it’s all but certain that the lawn will be either wet or very… Read more »
Bruce
Guest
Hi Paul. Great website!! We just bought a newer house with approximately a 1/2 acre lot. It’s mostly flat with a few trees/beds. I currently have a Toro Personal Pace 22″ mower. The current owner is leaving behind an older Poulan riding mower. I haven’t seen it yet, but he indicated it needed new blades/some work. I was looking at the Craftsman and Troy Built rear engine riders, and the Craftsman 20373. While I’m not afraid to do minor maintenance, any major maintenance will be done by Sears/a dealer. I won’t be using the riding mower for anything other than… Read more »
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)
Guest
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)

Thanks Paul for your help. I ordered Saturday night online and today received my 20381X. It came with a bumper guard so that was nice (though the photos do not show one). I also ordered the 5-year warranty. Is this ideal? It was $589 but I have no truck or trailer if there are issues. Also ordered the 9CF dump cart but it was damaged in shipping. Thanks again.

Ronnie
Guest

I just wanted to thank you for your help over the years. I just purchased Model #20374 and I was wondering what transmission is in this mower? Thanks again

Paul Smit
Guest
Hi Paul, follow up to a question on 3/20/15 and some prior year discussions with you. I see the (what I believe to be the 2014 version of) the Craftsman Pro 42″ with the 22hp Kohler, now on sale as of today for 1,799.99 and the 20390 on sale for 1,637.99, which brings the price difference to around 150 difference. I planned to add the front bumper to the 20390 if purchased so suddenly the prices of these two is only about $100 difference. Is there a compelling reason to go the Pro or to stick with the 20390? I… Read more »
Nick L.
Guest
Hi Paul. I love your site. I am seriously looking for a new mower and am leaning towards Craftsman and Husqvarna. I wish Husqvarna made a 42″ mower with their k66 trans. That would be ideal for me. I have a 1998 craftsman 46″ 18.5hp Kohler v-twin Yard Tractor with a hydro trans and 3-bin bagger. A real workhorse. I have a fairly steep hill in 1 corner of my 1-acre lot with about 10 gardens to maneuver around and about 15 trees to mow around. I occasionally (10-12 times a year) haul gravel or dirt in a garden trailer.… Read more »
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)
Guest
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)

Hi Paul. Final question before I buy tonight. Hope you can quickly answer. Is the 25081 better than this? http://www.sears.com/craftsman-20.0-hp-kohler-v-twin-automatic-42-8221/p-07120376000P Your review of the 2015 models recommends the Kohler engines. Last year I was under the impression that the Briggs was the best. I do like the higher back see and seeing the fuel level on the Kohler model but I prefer a longer lasting engine over a better seat. The price difference is $75. Over years, that will not matter. Thanks!

Craig (Central, NJ)
Guest
Hi Paul, I’m trying to decide on a mower and i see that Craftsman is having some delivery and finance deals right now. I was leaning towards the 20390, but then I saw you also talking about the 20376. What is the main difference between these two models? I have about a half acre and was looking for something that would let me use some attachments such as the aerator a pull cart for rock/mulch/soil, maybe a sweeper. I want to be able to mulch the grass as we don’t have grass pickup- is the blade easily interchangeable for a… Read more »
Joe
Guest
Hi!! Pls help me out because Im confused as hell,yestarday I went to buy the Craftman Pro series 22hp 42″ but they didnt have it in the store so when they went to get the item # online they told me tha the new 2015 was available so I decided yo go with new 46″ 24hp Pro and I ordered but when Icame home I was checking online the specification and the new its rated residential not as the 2014 that itwas comercial and residential,the max speed now its 5.5mph,no cruise control,the wheel base its 36 now,no hauling,the engine its… Read more »
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)
Guest
Steve (Hendersonville, NC)

Hi Paul.

Last year, I was set on this and then decided to wait until spring. $1499 http://www.sears.com/craftsman-19hp-42-8221-turn-tight-174-hydrostatic-yard-tractor/p-07120381000P

It has great reviews.

This year, I see this for $1424: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-42-in-turn-tight-174-automatic-riding-mower/p-07125081000P

And I also noticed this: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-46-in-turn-tight-174-hydrostatic-riding-mower/p-07125083000P
(Does the 2015 46″ have the same unbalance that you mentioned the 2014 has)?

Which of the two 42″ above do you like best? The 2015 does not have any reviews since it is new.

Do you like the engine in the 2015 better than 2014?

Thanks Paul. When I decide, I’ll be using your link and buying online. Hopefully within the next few days.

Paul Smit
Guest
Hi Paul, You had helped me along last year with some questions about my needs and I was planning to purchase the Craftsman 22HP 42″ 20390. We got busy and I never did anything and winter came etc. so I looked to next season. I have a little under 2 acres but probably 1 acre woods and very downward sloped backyard. Possibly may want to plow snow with a plow or put a snowblower attachment on. Live in NW Indiana. So now I am looking at the Sears website and I don’t yet see the new 20hp 42″ one with… Read more »
Phil L.
Guest
Paul, I need your opinion on lawn sweepers. I have a walk behind lawn sweeper and it gets easily clogged with Pine Needles which we have a lot of. I now have a riding mower I could use to pull a tow behind sweeper but I don’t want to buy one only to find out that it will just clog up with pine needles and stop working. Do you know if there is a specific model of sweeper I could buy to tow behind my riding mower that will process pine needles without constant clogging and would be reliable ?… Read more »

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