2015-2016 Craftsman Model 25581 / 25081 42 inch 19 HP Yard Tractor Comprehensive Review

Is This Mower The Best For You? 

This Tractor has been updated with a foot control speed control for 2016

In this review I will go through the new Craftsman T2200 Model # Model 25581 / 25081. The 2016 Model 25583 has a 46 inch deck. It features a 42 inch deck and a 19 hp Briggs & Stratton Platinum motor and the new Craftsman styling. This tractor is new this year because Craftsman made one positive change to 2014 Model 20381.  For the features it offers compared to all the other brands it continues to be the best value single cylinder lawn tractor with a 42 inch deck and will work well for a yard up to 1 1/2 acres.  It is one of the best 42 inch tractors under $1600. Features that make it a great choice are the motor has an expected life 25% longer than the motor on other comparable lawn tractors, an easy to use automatic 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 other brands it competes with.

I suggest you use this comprehensive review as your basis for comparing all the other lawn tractors on the market.

If you are looking at new lawn tractors because the engine or transmission on your old one failed, seriously look at this tractor. It features a Craftsman Platinum engine and a CVT transmission that are designed to handle hills and slopes. Your old engine used a splash-lube system oil system, this one uses an oil pump that pumps the oil right to the bearings and other critical internal engine parts.  Your old transmission used a pump and motor, this transmission uses heavy-duty gears.

I suggest you use this review of the Craftsman Yard Tractor Series as your basis for comparing all the other lawn tractors on the market. 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 after reading this article you will be able to make the right decision for you and your lawn.  I apologize to you if you are reading this on your phone. It’s over 6000 words. Settle in to a comfortable spot and enjoy!  

Aurora With Her New 2014 Craftsman Yard Tractor

Can you say #excited!

 Why a Craftsman? 

The Craftsman 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. Search “Craftsman Racing Tractors” on Youtube to see how popular they are.

Most of the tractors bought in the late 90’s are still around and mowing lawns every week. 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 but 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. In 2014 they added a great new look, this year they added an updated transmission, but otherwise this tractor is using the same proven designs that made this series so popular over the last 16 years. 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.  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. The leading consumer review magazine continues to like the tractor, the cut and the dependability for the price. Go here to read about all of the improvement Craftsman has made just for you over the years! 12 Reasons Why Craftsman Lawn Tractors Are Better Today,

FYI: 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.

  • My Opinion: The Craftsman Yard Tractors 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 2015 Craftsman kept all the features that make this tractor one of the best and added a dependable new transmission!
    • This transmission is so dependable that over half of the tractors introduced for 2015 use it!
    • This tractor continues with the improvements made last year.
    • The sleek hood fixed the biggest complaint previous owners had in the past. 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.
    • New side panels and air plenum keeps the dirt out the engine compartment and funnels clean air into the engine cooling system.

The Details: 2015 Craftsman 42 in 19hp T2200 Hydro Model 25081 Yard Tractor

Brand: Craftsman
Manufactured By: Husqvarna
Model/Series: 25081/T2200Yard Tractor
Item Number:  Model # 25581
See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Sears.com Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.
Street Price: $1499.99  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 online discounts.

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.

Compare it to: John Deere Riding Lawn Mower. D110 42 in. 19 HP Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine BG20708 at 1699, Cub Cadet Lawn Mowers XT1 Enduro Series LT 42 in. 18 HP Kohler Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine Riding Mower LT42 at $1499

Parts – Attachments – Accessories Tractors With 42 inch Decks

Quick Summary Review


  • Fender Control Trans with integral cruise
  • Step-through Platform
  • 6 inch Turning Radius Easy to maneuver.
  • 42 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 Briggs & Stratton Platinum Engine
  • Type: Yard Tractor
  • Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 1.4 acres at 4 MPH
  • Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes, Moderate slopes
  • Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes
  • Will Mow In Reverse? Yes


  • Deck is a wide as front wheels!
  • I recommend the 22 HP V-Twin if you want to attach a snow blower.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Sears.com Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

Craftsman Yard Tractors with a 42 inch deck – Parts – Attachments – Accessories

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 and 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 Briggs & Stratton Premium engine all for around $1500!

I know zero-turn mowers are the hot topic today but for most of us residential zero-turns still are not the best choice. Yes, they may mow your lawn faster than a conventional lawn tractor but they don’t work well on slopes. Most 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 has a better motor than other lawn tractors in this price range, an automatic transmission, a great cutting deck, and plenty of available attachments. It will handle all of the non-ground engaging attachments Sears, Lowes and The Home Depot sells.

I am not going to TELL you this is the best tractor. But for many of you reading this article it will be the best lawn tractor for you. There are other tractors with larger motors and heavier transmissions. But this tractor continues to be the best value tractor on the market for your average size suburban yard! In addition Sears has the best nationwide service and repair network. They come right to your home if your ever have a problem with your tractor. You never have to bring your tractor anywhere or arrange for a pickup to have it serviced.

This lawn tractor will mow in reverse.

If you have a lot of landscape beds, trees and yard stuff to trim around this is the best single cylinder lawn tractor for the task. 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 2015. Since the only change is the upgraded transmission I expect even more 5 star reviews than the previous 20381. The basic tractor is still the one everyone likes.

10 reasons why this Craftsman Yard Tractor is 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. It looks great!

203812 The reason why I never even considered a Craftsman back in the 80’s and early 90’s was they were UGLY! I don’t know about you, but I like the new look. I like the modern red 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.  Today’s hood uses less plastic, and the plastic appears to be more flexible to withstand more abuse from your teenagers. Gone is the huge front nose piece of the old 80’s and 90’s hoods that was one big chunk of brittle plastic. 

2. It’s all about the deck and how it mows for most of us. 

42 inch Craftsman Deck

Craftsman – It’s all about the 42 inch Deck

This Deck Cuts Better:

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 42 inch deck on this tractor gets high marks by owners for mowing, mulching and bagging.  But, be aware this is not a “high-speed” deck like you will find on a $10,000 commercial zero-turn.  It mows perfectly at 3-4 MPH but don’t expect it to mow as fast as the tractor will go (5.5MPH) and give you the same results.  With this tractor/deck you set the height of cut using a spring assisted lever on the left tractor fender.

It’s hard to beat a “Best Buy” The leading consumer magazines have given this deck many “Best Buy” and “recommended” awards.  (Last year on the 28856) One of the major reasons why they consistently give this a best buy is the superior cut of the deep, top vented deck.  This deck cuts well, mulches well and bags very well.

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

Decks are easy to adjust: The deck lift 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 new 3-point linkage is easy to adjust 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 .

 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. A welded deck is the best choice if you are mowing fields and properties where you never know what type of stumps, metal debris, rocks and other junk may be hiding in the tall grass . The proper airflow for mulching is designed into the fabricated decks but welded decks need special, expensive baffles to mulch well. These baffle 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.  This stamped deck only needs a cover on the discharge to mulch well. Most welded decks also have poorer airflow and require you to buy a separate blower to use a bagger ($500-750 for the blower)

The Craftsman 42 inch deck on this yard tractor is a stamped deck. This deck is engineered to mow well. This deck has channels and other stiffeners built into the design making it lighter than welded decks but still very strong. It can handle a direct frontal hit from a stump and not bend. This Craftsman deck has 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.

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 Craftsman blades.

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

Side Discharge: The Craftsman 42 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 other 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.

This deck has 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.

Mulching: The Craftsman 42 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. Other review organizations like Consumer Reports all verify that this deck mulches well.

Bagging: 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.

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 single cylinder Briggs & Stratton Platinum motor compares to the new Kohler 7000 Elite.  It is better than Briggs & Stratton Gold, Silver, Intek and IC engines found in cheaper priced lawn tractors.

If you would like a V-Twin check out the Craftsman Model 20390
Craftsman Platinum Engine

Craftsman Platinum Engine

 Why are These Engines Are Better?

Longer Life Engines: The Platinum Series Engine in this Yard Tractor is a significant improvement over the engine in the 1990’s Lawn Tractors. Briggs & Stratton has made over 80 improvements to this engine ranging from efficient Overhead Valve Design to a better oil drain system that uses no tools and doesn’t get used engine oil all over the frame. This engine will handle slopes without failing prematurely.

Better Fuel Economy: Today’s engine offers 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 are designed to run on 10% ethanol BUT WILL NOT RUN ON THE 15% BLENDED FUEL!

Full Pressure Lube: The Platinum engine has an oil pump and actually pumps oil to the critical engine components. These engines 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 same yellow filter found on the Briggs & Stratton Professional Series.

More Efficient Air Cleaners:  The air cleaners on the Platinum Series 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.

MRS Spark Plug: Most Reliable Starting (MRS) spark plug delivers optimized performance and extended service life

 It’s all about the details:  Sears does two things to this motor that really sets it apart from the competition. First they use the high quality yellow Briggs Filter. This gives you the best oil filtration and this engine is designed to make the best use of the filter. Second, is the oil drain.  The Craftsman no-drip drain is the easiest to use. Just unclip the no-drip cap, attach the extension hose, tilt it down to your bucket and push/twist the drain. No drips on your frame no cleaning, no oily film that collects dirt and debris on your tractor!

This Craftsman tractor is assembled at the Husqvarna plant 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 Pro, Cub Cadet, John Deere and Craftsman. 

4. Automatic Transmission

Simple to use, ideal for most terrain. 

CraftsmanTrans Transmissions Are Better:

Today’s automatic transmission in Craftsman Yard Tractors are ideal for any type of terrain. The transmission in this mower is sized for it and has a proven reputation.

Craftsman is not making a big deal about this new transmission, but I feel it is the best improvement in yard tractor transmissions in a long time. This bulletproof transmission is designed for high performance and low maintenance. The new Element V™ Automatic transmissions are the right transmission for yard tractors. The V-Motion™ patented technology that is the heart of this transmission is based on a CVT, Continuously Variable Transmission, desgn. Unlike traditional gear transmissions, V-Motion™ equipped transmissions are infinitely adjustable to match your acceleration needs. Eliminating the need to stop and shift, you won’t lose any of the momentum that is lost when you shift gears with a manual transmission lawn tractor.

RS 800

RS 800 Do you want me to tear this apart to see inside?

Unlike Hydrostatic Transmissions there are no pumps, motors or hydraulic oil to wear out. The transmission is sealed and never needs maintenance. In fact the only wear point on the trans is the CVT belt and I don’t expect you will ever have to replace that during normal use. If you do the belt is only $45! Go here to read more about the new automatics:  CVT Automatic Transmissions

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 and braking is controlled with one lever on the right side fender.  To go forward push the lever forward.  To stop pull it back. The internal parking break automatically locks the transmission.  To back the tractor pull the leaver into the reverse slot . Because of the way an automatic transmission operates the braking is internal and part of the operation. When you move the lever to neutral the transmission brakes your travel automatically. You only need to use the left hand pedal to park the mower or to leave it stopped on a hill.

If you would like a foot control instead of a fender control check out the Craftsman Model 20390

Fender Control

Note:  The fender control looks the same but it does operate differently than your old tractor. You can change your speed faster and with less arm movement. The lever does not move to the end of the slot. Let me explain. The mower manufacturer has been using the same hole in the fender and the same plastic insert since 2002. It works well, doesn’t break and doesn’t fade. They chose not to make a new insert for this transmission. So when you push the lever to go as fast as the tractor will go it will only move about 3/4 of the way down the slot. If you are used to the longer throw from the old hydrostatic transmission lever this change may “throw you off” at first. 

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 envision yourself sitting there for 2 or more hours. Is it comfortable? Does it give you good back and lumbar support? Does it have side supports to help you stay in the seat on slopes and when mowing rough spots? Reach under the right side of the seat and try the sliding adjustment. The seat should easily slide back and forth. This is important 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 T2200 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: Does the steering wheel have a rough texture so it is easy to grip? Smooth steering wheels 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. The steering wheel on the T2200 is textured so your hands won’t get sweaty and your gloves won’t slide around.

Sloping Hood: Some big box stores are still using hoods from 10 years ago on their lawn tractors. They are tall and boxy and you have to look around them to see in front of the tractor. I know this is a minor issue but if you are used to a sloping hood and then use one with the old box style you’ll realize how cumbersome the old hoods are when trimming and getting close to objects.

Getting On And Off: Ease of Use: The first thing potential buyers notice when they sit on the T2200 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 rounded 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 T2200 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 now come with a 5 year warranty! The Craftsman’s frame is not stiff. It flexes so you get better contact with all four wheels on uneven ground. If you are coming to a Craftsman from a Cub Cadet you will have to get used to this worthwhile feature.

7. Better Wiring:

The insulation on older wiring harnesses tends to get brittle and crack over time.  The new polymers that are used in todays wiring insulation will stay flexible longer.  The safety switches are mounted better and I expect them to last longer than your old ones.

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

One of the major improvements is the steering.  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.  Replacing the $4 plastic pinion gear that wears out takes about and hour with power tools and at least two skinned knuckles. Long gone is the old half-moon system with the plastic pinion gear.  Today’s Craftsman tractors steer easier and the pinion gears don’t wear out. 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 Turn Tight steering system on this tractor is strong and does not bend or break.

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.  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.  I personally feel for most homeowners this is a better solution than a zero-turn. It works on slopes, requires no training to use and even your spouse will like to drive it.

9. 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.

People who buy this yard tractor know what they are buying and this is just what they want. That is why you will find so many good reviews on Sears.com.  This is a great tractor with a great cutting deck and may just be the best value for you and your suburban lawn.

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 just call 1-800-469-4663 and a trained 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!

10. Better Value:

It a better deal than your old Craftsman.  “In 1975 a Sears Custom with a 38 inch deck cost about $2300. That’s $9650 today. That’s for 8hp, 3 speed hi/lo, 38″ steel mowing deck. Electric start, head lights and tail light… and that’s it” (source: http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/relativevalue.php) Today You can buy this 2015 lawn tractor with a larger deck and better motor for $700 less!  That’s a much better deal than your last new car!

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  42 in. Turn Tight® Automatic Riding Mower Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

Summary Checklist:

Specifications, Features, Benefits

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here:  Sears.com Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.


Finally, Here are 3 videos showcasing the 1999 Craftsman Tractors. Tractors of this era were extremely popular and are a good reference point to see what has changed over the years.

CRAFTSMAN Lawn & Garden Tractor Use and Maintenance Guide -VHS, 1999 [1 of 3]

CRAFTSMAN Lawn & Garden Tractor Use and Maintenance Guide -VHS, 1999 [2 of 3]

CRAFTSMAN Lawn & Garden Tractor Use and Maintenance Guide -VHS, 1999 [3 of 3]


  1. Al Andersen October 14, 2016
    • Paul October 14, 2016
    • Al Andersen October 16, 2016
  2. Carol at wits end! June 8, 2016
    • Paul June 9, 2016
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    • Paul May 10, 2016
  4. Bob Snider May 8, 2016
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      • Ward March 14, 2016
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