2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review

Executive Summary: This is Craftsman’s Small Yard Solutions Rider.  I have had a chance to test it and the RER-1000 is a great mower for 1/3 to 3/4 acre lawns. It features a 30 inch 3-in-1 deck and a very tight turning radius for a riding lawn mower.  This mower has the same proven transmission and motor as the LT 1500 series tractors.

Update March 2015. This mower continues to be a great small yard solution.

NOTE: In 2012 the safety switch on the deck discharge chute was improperly designed.  Craftsman changed the design for 2013 and decided to also change the model number for this mower to avoid any confusion. It is still the same mower that got great reviews and the one small issue many owners had with it is fixed.

This rider has a very nimble metal rack and pinion steering. It steers very easily and the turning radius is shorter than the other mowers this size.  I like the tire size on this mower. The tires are sized well for this mower and you will not have the traction issues other small riding mowers have. There is a mulch kit and a bagger for it.

You can adjust the steering wheel height!  This means that short and tall people can comfortably drive this mower!

2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 1
5 foot 2 inch rider with steering down / 6 foot 2 inch rider with steering up

Another First For Craftsman!

No one else has a motor of this quality in this price range! This is the first under $1000 riding mower that has a full pressure lube OHV motor!  If you have a few slopes and ditches to mow a full pressure lube motor has a much better chance of lasting a long time than one with only a splash-lube oil system.  This motor is made by MTD and as you know the MTD motors have developed an excellent reputation for plenty of power and dependability.  This is a major upgrade in this price range because it has a full pressure oil system with oil filter, ball bearing supported crankshaft and automotive style oil filter!

One complaint you will here from your local service shop is they can’t get parts for new engines.  Sears has every part available for this new engine! Right Click Here to see the entire engine breakdown and parts list: Model-4P90HU Engine.

Here is a complete article on the Craftsman 420 cc engine What is, Who Makes the Craftsman 420 cc motor On The LT1500 Model 28882 Lawn Tractor and Model 29000 Rider?

Is this the right mower for you?: If you want a good mower and you have a flat lawn about 1/2 to 3/4 acre put this little rider at the top of your list. This mower will go through a 32 inch gate. This mower is fun, agile and easy to drive, but it is limited to mowing a flat lawn and pulling a small yard cart. If you try to pull heavy loads or use this mower on hills you will not be happy with it.   This tractor will mow up to .75 acres an hour.

This tractor uses the popular and dependable MTD shift-on-the-go transmission. The 30 inch deck is a vented design so it has good lift and evenly cuts the grass.

Compare it to the Troy-Bilt TB30 R Neighborhood Rider The Troy-Bilt has a much smaller 340cc motor.

Buy It Here!  Craftsman 420cc 30″ 6-Speed Rider (49 States) Mid Back2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 2

Brand/Manufacture: Craftsman / MTD

Model/Series: Craftsman 420cc 30″ 6-Speed Rider (49 States) Mid Back2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 2

Type: (Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Yard Tractor, Garden Tractor, Estate Tractor, Sub-Compact, Zero Turn, Stand-On) Riding Mower.  This is considered a rear engine rider even though the motor is in front of the rear axle for better weight distribution.

2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 4
Craftsman 420cc 30 in 6-Speed Riding Mower

Proven Transmission
Tight Turning Radius
EZ on and off
Will Fit Through Most Gates
Full Pressure Lube Motor

For Small Yards
Use for light attachments ONLY
No anti scalp wheels

Retail Price: $1239.99. Regularly on sale for $999 or less.  Check The Best Sale Price Here: Craftsman 420cc 30″ 6-Speed Rider (49 States) Mid Back2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 2

My Review:

There is not a large market for this small of a mower and when Briggs (Simplicity) decided to stop making their 30 inch a few years ago no one wanted to fill the gap right away.

MTD has developed this mower for Craftsman. It features their bulletproof 6 speed shift-on-the-go trans and proven 420 cc motor.

This mower is designed to go through most gates, mow small yards and be inexpensive. ($400-$600 less than other 30 inch mowers)

Customers give this little mower good ratings as long as they use it for it’s intended purpose.

I don’t expect ANY problems with the rider.  This mower uses “standard” technology and won’t give you problems in normal use.  If you have specific questions leave a comment below and myself or the readers will be glad to answer them.

Comfort – Ease of Use:

Power For Mowing:  The motor is more than adequate for side-discharge and bagging. Owners state it has plenty of power for mulching.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears. With the exception of the discharge cover switch (redesigned for 2013) this mower has not had any service issues.

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has a low-effort steering.   I recommend you never use a mower like this on wet or drought-dry slopes.  It is too narrow to work on slopes.

Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 30 inch blade on this mower will cut great, but will tend to scalp your rough lawn.   If you have a rough, uneven lawn be aware of this and just raise the deck up a notch and it will mow fine.

Mower Specs. Go here to see the specifications for this mower: Craftsman 420cc 30″ 6-Speed Rider (49 States) Mid Back2013-2015 Craftsman 30 in 420cc Model 29000 Riding Mower Review 2

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Craftsman R1000 30 in 420cc Model 29000 – purchased new from Sears June 2016.
Lately the engine cuts out after running fine for 15-20 minutes. After the mower sits for 10 minutes or so it will start again however will run for another 4-5 minutes until it shuts own again…..rinse, repeat………
Fresh gas, clean air flow around engine, new oil change (syn 5W-30) 1.8 quarts as per manual.
This riding mower has worked well up until 2 weeks ago.

Gas cap vent?
I’m stumped.

Any help will be greatly received!

Stewart Correll
Stewart Correll

Paul, I am 75 and not a mobile as I once was. I have several acres that I can keep nicely mowed with my Craftsman 42” ZTR and can pick up leaves with my Craftsman 48” Garden Tractor. I also have an electric mobility scooter that goes most anywhere designed to ADA standards, but it is a no go off road. I have researched rough terrain mobility scooters, but they are outrageously expensive ($3000+). I just want something that I can jump on and zip out to the mailbox or ride on to do various tasks around the yard. I… Read more »


Would this mower suitable to drag craftmans aerator?/tow behind plug aerator?


ole Fletch

On the, CRAFTSMAN 30″ RIDING MOWER, who makes this engine? Is it a B &S or what?? Thank you


Has anyone added anti scalping wheels to their 30″ deck? If so where did you get them?


I know you said this mower is not meant for hills but what percent grade do you think this would work at also again I know this mower is not meant for it but if I mcgyver a plow on it do you think it would be able to plow 1-4 in of snow thank you for your time!


Hey Paul
Long day at work.
Okay so mine is a 917.
Do you by chance hAve a link to the schematics of the clutch ?
I’m in deep on this hiccup I believe.

Chris P
Chris P

Hi, I have the 30 in model without the solid foot area, mine has the foot rest between the steering stem only. Recently I was moving on a slight slope and noticed the mower began to “hop” as if it was not engaging the transmission right, I disengaged blade and came to a stop. Now the mower will not move forward or back period. The rear wheels lock when moved in sequence but if rotated counter to each other they spin freely. Also can you give me any information reguarding the type of drive/transmission these units have? I am semi… Read more »

Steve Valente
Steve Valente

Can I add a low watt 12v led head light to my craftsman 29000.

Steve Valente
Steve Valente


I add a low watt 12v Led head light to my Craftsman 29000?

George Soltis
George Soltis

Just got my 30″ rider last week. Had a few questions that I can’t find answers to easily. 1. Rear right wheel is a tiny bit off balanced at very high speed on flat pavement. I don’t even notice it below 5th gear honestly. Not sure if this is a major issue or not? Since I will be on bumpy grass most of the time I have to think a slight wobble will not really be noticed. What do you think? Also does the back right wheel have power or is it just back left? 2. If I wanted to… Read more »

Steve Valente
Steve Valente

Can I add a head light?


does the bagger kit for the sears 30 in fit a troy bilt 30 in mower

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