Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review

Executive Summary: This was Craftsman’s largest tractor.  Unfortunately it has been discontinued and will not be sold in 2013.  It has a 30 hp motor and 54 inch side discharge mower.  The news media that attended the Detroit Auto Show clamoured all over this new tractor. It has a great cutting deck, great engine, and lots of features you didn’t even know you could get on a riding mower. This is a “luxury” riding lawn mower and one that will give you years of service. 

by: Paul Sikkema

Is this the right mower for you?: This is arguably the best two-wheel drive lawn tractor/garden tractor on the market today.  Particularly when you compare the price to similar tractors from John Deere and Simplicity.  If you are looking for the best out there because everything else is built “too cheap” seriously look at this mower. This is Craftsman’s best mower. It has a heavy-duty frame, deck and drive-train.  This tractor will easily mow 2 acres per hour.

This lawn tractor has many great features including power steering, automotive style starting, ground following deck, automatic traction control, differential lock and a transmission capable of pulling anything Sears sells.  If you want to mow your lawn in style and comfort, pick this one. If you want to till the garden and pull firewood out of the timber pick this one.  There is no other mower out there for the price if you want the best.

(Last year this tractor was market tested as the Craftsman Professional  PTG9500, 28985) I’m glad to see Sears is continuing with this great tractor in a Premium package.

Brand/Manufacture: Craftsman / Briggs & Stratton
Model/Series: CTX9500 / Premium
Item Number:  Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.
Buy Here: Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.
Store Pickup: Delivery:  Ship: You can order online, pick it up at your local Sears or have it delivered right to your home. 
Street Price: $6500

Basic Quality: (Cheap, Good, Best, Premium, Don’t Buy)  This is Craftsman’s Premium quality. The GT & YT series are less quality. Craftsman does not have a better series.

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) This is an Estate Tractor  Handles at least 25 attachments including heavy-duty snowblower.
Compare it to: John Deere X530 24hp/54 in, Simplicity Prestige 27 hp/54 in., MTD Cub Cadet GTX 2154LE 23hp/54 in, Kubota T2380 23hp/48 in.

Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Yard Tractor

Power Steering, Tilt Wheel
Hydraulic Lift, Electric Mowing Height
Differential Lock, Traction Control
Quick Change Deck

About 20 inches longer than competition
Attachments while premium grade are expensive
Large 18 inch turning radius

Street Price: $6499.99 Check The Best Sale Price Here: Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.

My Review:

There’s an old saying, “You get what you pay for.” The Craftsman Premium series are a good example of that.  You are going to pay more for this tractor than for a YT or GT Series Craftsman, but what you get is well worth the extra money.

Although not heavy enough for commercial use (40 to 50 hours a week) this tractor is heavier than many of the “commercial” units out on the market today.  A heavy welded steel deck, differential lock, traction control, hydraulic lift.  It has a better lift than the 2000 series Cub Cadet and a better turning radius than the X540 Deere. These new premium tractors are designed to mow well, drive well, and last much longer than the tractors you find at Home Depot or Lowes.  This is the heaviest tractor in the “Estate” class and the best Craftsman offers. 

I call this class of tractor an “estate tractor”  This class of tractor is quieter, easy to use and will last longer than the “lawn tractor” and “garden tractor” class from Craftsman, John Deere, and Cub Cadet.

This article was first published at 

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on this review.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.  This is a great tractor and if you want one to last this should be at the top of your list.

Comfort – Ease of Use:  This is a “real” lawn tractor not a “price point” riding mower.   It drives like your car. Great seat, easy to use operator controls, power steering, good field of view, quiet motor.  If you spend 5 hours on this mower, you will never go back to the 100 Series Deere, the 1000 series Cub Cadet, or the YT series Craftsman.  This is a lot more tractor than the previous Craftsman Professionals (except the 28985.)

Power For Mowing:  The Craftsman CTX9500 (Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.) has more power for mowing than any other lawn, garden or estate tractor on the market. There is a mulch kit available and it is a true baffle kit.  This motor will be able to handle it. Oh, It is proven winner for snow blowing.  Go Here to see it in action  PTG9500, 28985.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears.  Since this is the same tractor as the 28985 I am going to include owner reviews here.  Of the reviews I read only one owner had problems getting his new tractor delivered.  The delivery team broke the electric deck height getting it off a lift gate truck. Remember to always use fresh fuel and it will give you no problems. 

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has the best traction you can get. The Tuff Torq K71 hydrostatic transmission and it 1000 lb weight gives the CTX9500 the best traction you can get with a two-wheel tractor for your suburban yard.  You can use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.  It can handle all ground breaking equipment including the DR Power Grader and the Acrease Till-Ease Model 543.  If you need more traction than this, plan on spending over $10,000 for a 4-wheel drive tractor.

And tilt-wheel, power steering.  By the way, an 18 inch turning radius on this long of tractor is very, very good.  (This tractor is 20 inches longer and 300 lbs heavier than the competitors)

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  This tractor get high marks by owners for cutting, bagging, and mulching.  But, be aware this is a large 54 inch deck so it will not mow quite as even as a 42 inch deck.  This deck was made for big lawns.  This deck will mow faster than your old lawn tractor.  It mows perfectly at 5 MPH but don’t expect it to mow as fast as the tractor will go (7.2MPH) and give you the same results.  With this tractor/deck you set the height using an electric switch on the tractor.  You can raise the deck for transport and when you go to mow the next time, it goes right back to where you set it.  This is great if you have teenagers or other operators who don’t pay attention to the height of cut.  The bagging system is larger than yard tractors and uses a blower so everything you mow goes into the bagger. There is a mulcher available for this deck but it is a semi-permanent set-up.

Deck Height Screw

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website.

Type: Premium Garden Tractor
Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 2.5 acres at 5 MPH
Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes
Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes

Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Brand: Craftsman Premium
Engine Power: 30 hp* 
Displacement: 810 cc. 
Manufacturer: Briggs & Stratton
Cylinders: V-twin, cast-iron liners, Dynamically Balanced Crankshaft
Type: OHV, oil filter, Automotive type oil system for cooler operation and longer life
Charging System: ? amp regulated
Battery: 500 cold-crank amps
Choke/Speed Control: Magnetron® Electronic Ignition, No choke, automotive style starting
Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.6 U.S. gal. 
Transmission: Tuff Torq K71 hydrostatic transmission
Transmission Control:  Twin Foot pedals
Cruise Control: Standard
Forward Speed: 0-7.5 mph
Reverse Speed: 0-4.0 mph
Chassis: Frame Welded heavy-duty/Primer/Paint E-coat/powder
Front Tires: 16×5-8
Rear Tires: 24×12-12
Front Axle: Cast iron
Hood Material: Steel
Hourmeter: Yes
Tool Tray: On fender

Cupholder: Yes
Headlights: Yes
Translucent fuel tank or Fuel gauge: Yes
Deck washout port: No
12-volt outlet: No
Steering: Power steering with tilt
Turning Radius: 18 in.
Uncut Circle Radius: 18 in. 
Spindle Bushings: Metal, replaceable
Seat Back Height: 18 in. open back
Fore-aft Adjustment: 7 in. while seated
Seat Suspension: Two coil springs
Deck Lift System: Hydraulic
Mower Cut Height: 1 in. to 4 in., 
Cut Height Increments: infinite position with deck gauge
Preset Cut Height: Yes
PTO clutch: Electric

Mower Deck

Type: Side discharge
Mower Cutting Width: 54 in.
Mower Deck Material: 10 gauge reinforced
Mower Wheel Adjustment: 4-position, tool required
Mower Level Adjustment: Exact
Mower Drive System: In-line belt, electric PTO
Mower Attachment: Quick attach EZ-Off
Mower Drive: Belt Tension Spring
Mower Wheels Rotate For Deck Removal: No


Wheelbase: 53-in. 
Overall Length: 90-in. 
Width without mower: 42?-in. 
Width with mower: 62-in. 
Width with mower: (deflector raised for storage) 44-in. 
Height: 52-in. 
Weight: 1173 lb with mower, no fuel

U.S. Warranty: 3 year/unlimited hours

Optional Attachments

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62 Comments on "Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review"

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Bob MacDonald
Hi Randy, Sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience and $ loss. Maybe a lemon? I purchased the same mower/tractor in February 2013. It was a brand new floor model from the previous season at a small Sears hardware store. Since the model was discontinued I ended up getting it for $2,850 including the 5 year premium warranty. It was a steal and I have nothing to say but good things about my experience to date. The tractor is a beast! I cut my mow time in half from 3 hours to actually less than 1 1/2 hours. It flies… Read more »

I am so glad I sold my Craftsman CTX9500. It was by far the worst mistake of my life. The worst tractor I have ever owned. I sold it for $2000.00……a $4500.00 loss. Belts kept on breaking, spun 2 pulleys, after just 2 wash’s all the stickers came off. I am now the proud owner of a John Deere X320 and VERY happy.

From…. David, Tyler, TX Hi Paul…..and fellow garden tractor owners. I was fortunate enough to find a nearly new Craftsman CTX 9500, 54 inch, 30hp about two years ago. I was rather new at living in the country and taking care of 5 acres of mini ranch property. Totally destroyed an off the shelf Troy Built mower in my first year here. I have a hilly, sandy, rough, pasture with Bahia mostly that grows rather sparsly. The house is on about an acre and has a couple of very small San Augustine grass lawns usually done with a small walk… Read more »
S Chrystone
Hi. Read all the blogs but I’m concerned that I’d be purchasing a tractor that I won’t be able to service or get parts for. There are a number of these available but a lot of people are saying that Sears really doesn’t step up to the plate on servicing their existing line, even with the purchase of a 5 yr. in home service plan. Other than having a beast of a tractor at a really low price, this just doesn’t make sense to me. If someone has more info about support on these, please let me know.
Bob Mac
Hi S. Chrystone, I can’t comment on Sears service as I’ve never had their home service plan. I have ordered parts for my 15yr old 22hp/48″ Garden Tractor on several occasions w/out issue. It wasn’t until the last couple of years I considered replacing my tractor/mower because I’m starting to see some items in the parts list noted “obsolete”. Around the holidays the CTX “Beast” caught my eye on display at my local Mall Sears, but the price $5,499 blew me away. I started some serious research and came across this blog which eventually lead me to my purchase a… Read more »

@Paul. Do you happen to know if Sears will be selling the ctx9500 54 in 2013. My local Sears store can’t seem to find any info on it. If so, do you konw if there are any changes coming in 2013. Thanks for any info you can provide.


OK Paul, I have this CTX, 30 HP with Electronic Fuel Management (EFM). Usually, for winter storage, with small engines I drain the Fuel Tank and run the engine until it die and the Carburetor is empty.
With EFM, I’m thinking Fuel Injection and running it dry would be a bad thing.
Please, let me know the procedure, if anything different, I should use on this CTX.


Richard HH

I bought a Craftsman Model # 24611, Single Tube Bumper, for my new CTX9500.
The Sears site says that it is made for the CTX, but only 2 of the Bolt Holes matched-up.
What other Craftsman Front Bumpers are “supposed” to fit the CTX 107.25007?

Richard HH
I’ve been using and maintaining a Kubota T1670 w/40″ Deck for the last 11 years. It’s a good, reliable machine. I really started hunting for a Garden Tractor two months ago to cut grass faster and take care of the 1/4 mile gravel road and fix a few ruts the Septic People left me with. After buying 2 tractors and getting buyer’s remorse I cancelled them because of delivery or price problems. I saw a few Tractors on the Sears Outlet site and I was looking at the CTX 9500 model 2506 for $1500 less, but it had been used… Read more »

[…] this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review30 HP Snow BlowerThe owner of this tractor likes to compare the Craftsman to the Simplicity […]


[…] This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review […]

I do have a question about the power steering. When the tractor is running the steering feels perfect, but when the tractor is off the steering wheel turns multiple times to the right before the wheels start to turn right but as soon as I turn the steering wheel left the wheels move to the left right away. No matter what position the steering wheel is in it always the same….turn the wheel left and the tires move left, turn the wheel right and it takes multiple turns of the wheel before the tires move right, unless I stop turning… Read more »

So I get my tractor today and the electric deck lift is somehow broken. I can see that it want to turn the screw on the deck but it doesn’t!!!


It appears that the snow blower attachment has a manual adjustment for the up and down motion of the discharge shute, at least in some pictures. Does anyone know if this is true?


I noticed that the 2 stage snow blower has a shute adjustment for left and right when hooked up but what about an adjustment for up and down??

Best price and getting better. Started out at $6499.99. Paid with Sears credit card and got 5% off plus some $25.00 online garden discount. $6500.00 – $350.00 = $6150.00. Then the tractor went on sale 3 days later for $6175.00 I called and told them that I wanted the same $350.00 off the $6175.00 price but they offered $300.00 so I took it. $6150.00 – $300.00 = $5850.00. Then I noticed that they charged me $70.00 for delivery and it was supposed to be free. So I went to the store and they gave me the $70.00. Now we are… Read more »
Another question on deck height: 1. The hydrolic button raises and lowers the entire deck, couldn’t that in a sense be used to determain deck height off the ground for cutting purposes? 2. Electric cut height….does that acutually control how high or low the blades are INSIDE the deck???? Or does in move the deck up and down as well?? The manual is not very clear. 3. Anti Scalping wheels??? I can see that these wheels will prevent the deck from actually hitting the ground but it seems that I could use these wheels to control cut height as well.… Read more »

Is there a manual anywhere for the CXT9500 that can be seen online? Also what about a manual for the snow blower attachment?


I hope I’m doing the right thing, I have a lot of people telling me that I should have bought a Deere or a Kabota or even a Cub. They say that Craftsman/Simplicity are low end budget models with high prices. It’s not too late for me to cancel my order but for some reason I feel compelled to get this tractor over all the others!!!

I had the same peer pressure…everyone for acres around me has JDs. Over the course of the last few days quite a few of them have arrived at my place, 6-pack in tow, for a gander. All have left impressed after their seat time and considering you can get the unit for just under $6k during recent sales and discounts. For the record, I was having a bit of buyer’s remorse during the long wait to receive my unit. Now that I’ve used it for the last five days (12.3 total hours of use on the clock) I couldn’t be… Read more »

Ok seems easy enough to take the mover deck off but what about putting it back on?


Thanks for the replies to my first post. Now I have another question.

I want to get the snow blower attachment but I don’t know how hard it is to install, and does the whole thing have to be removed to put the mower deck back on?


I have the 2012 CTX9500 30HP tractor being delivered on Wednesday 5/2/2012.

After watching all the vids on the snow Blower and other vids, I am wondering what the difference between the electronic deck adjustment and the hydrolic adjustment is. Do I have both?

I just received my unit three days ago and Mr. Sikkema is correct, but know that the hydraulic lift is rather limited in it’s range. I expected it to raise the deck much higher than it actually does. A bit disappointing, but not a deal breaker in the least. I can measure the exact range this evening and post back. The electric deck height does give ample range. It’s only downfall is that the deck height gauge pointer sets a good amount above the actual gauge so accuracy is effected when viewed from the seating position. Again, it’s a somewhat… Read more »

could be a nice tractor, but must see before buying. How can one but anything without seeing. Sears never has the newer models on display. whould like to see all ctx models at sears to compare like cub cadet or john deere does……rick


[…] read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor ReviewIt’s not which is the best snow thrower.  It is which snow thrower is best for you!I wrote a […]


[…] Reviewed by Paul Sikkema on Oct 27, 2010 This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review […]


[…] Reviewed by Paul Sikkema on Oct 20, 2010 This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review […]


[…] This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Tractor Review […]

[…] This Craftsman Garden Tractor was introduced late 2010 and many of you may not be aware of it.  It is Craftsman’s largest and most rugged tractor ever, but I didn’t give you much of a review because it was brand new.  Well, we have a winter of use so I can now give you a factual review. This tractor is being reintroduced as the 2012 CTX 9500 54 in 30 hp.  Feel free to read this review and then go to my 2012 review to see the latest rendition of this great tractor! 2012 Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp… Read more »

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