2015 Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mowers Review | The Best Craftsman Ever!

2015 Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mowers Review | The Best Craftsman Ever!

I’m really excited about the new Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mowers. Finally Craftsman has a line of heavy-duty mowers that are built for the best performance and durability. These new mowers have fabricated decks, welded tube frames and heavy-duty transmissions. Everything you’ve asked for and nothing I want to warn you about.

Craftsman Pro Series ZTR

Craftsman Pro Series ZTR

I’m going to review all three models in this one complete review. They all have many common features – only the engine size and deck sizes are different.  I’ll also help you decide which size is best for you.

60 Inch Craftsman Pro 25 HP V-Twin Kohler 60” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

54 Inch Craftsman Pro 25 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

48 Inch Craftsman Pro 24 HP V-Twin Kohler 48” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

What makes these Craftsman Mower Special?

Ten Features The Pro Series Mower Have In Common.

Kolher 7000 Feature Number One: Pro Series Kohler 7000 V-Twin Engines with Consistent Cut™ Technology. Yes, there are a lot of mowers on the market with the Kohler 7000 engines but Craftsman has upgraded these engines to include the Pro-Performance air, oil and fuel systems. The larger filters provide an extended engine life by using better air, oil and fuel systems parts.

Professional-grade cylinder heads, crankshafts, connecting rods, and pistons to deliver power and reliability. The 7000 Series also offers responsive starting, utilizing a digital ignition on the 25 and 26 hp models.

Durability features on the 7000 Series include cast-iron cylinder bores, pressure lubrication, and a dual-seal air filter to protect the engine in harsh conditions. Consistent CutTM technology provides more consistent power to the deck, helping end users get the perfect cut. The 26-hp model delivers more power through a higher 747cc displacement.

All oil and fuel maintenance points – including the oil dipstick, oil filter, and fuel filter – are now located on the same side of the engine. The engine’s dipstick has been redesigned so it’s easier to grasp, simplifying regular oil checks. In addition, oil capacity has increased to 2 qt. and a larger oil-fill tube is being utilized to allow oil to flow faster, which minimizes spilling. A new top-access air cleaner let’s you inspect or replace the air filter without the use of tools.

Feature Number Two: Fabricated Mowing Decks with EZ Attachment. A real-life fabricated deck on a Craftsman!  This deck is a proven design. All sizes cut very well and offer excellent clippings clearing and discharge. Fabricated decks are stronger than last years stamped, reinforced decks and can take the beating that an inexperienced zero-turn operator will dish out. Look at the picture of the deck and you can see that it is reinforced in all the right places to give you a long-lasting, rugged design.

Craftsman Pro DeckThis deck will give your lawn the professional striping appearance that separates a consumer deck from the pro’s. It will cut well at the 8 mph top speed of the mower! Drop the speed down to around 6 MPH and get that flat-top Marine Drill Sargent perfectly manicured look.

The 54 and 60 inch decks include 3 anti-scalp rollers to lift the deck over obstructions like tree roots and sidewalk edges. The 48 inch has two rollers. This deck uses high-lift blades so there will be an optional bagger available later this spring. If you are the type of owner who keeps their equipment spotless the included deck wash will clean under the deck well after each use.

The deck will come off easily. Roll off the drive belt, remove 2 pins and the deck is ready to slide out.

Baggers will be available later this spring.

Craftsman Pro Series LiftFeature Number Three: 15 Cutting Heights.  1.5 to 4 inches in 1/4 inch increments. Set the deck exactly where you want it for the best height for you and your yard. The deck lift is spring assisted so anyone can easily adjust the height or raise the deck for flying over to the neighbors.

EZT-2800 Transmissions

EZT-2800 Transmissions

Feature Number Four: HydroGear ZT2800 Transmissions. You know how I complain about the EZT transmissions. They are not strong enough to handle slopes and will fade over time. Well, the ZT2800 transmissions don’t have any of the issues of the EZT’s. These transmissions will handle all your terrain. I expect them to last the life of the mower. Plus they have a top speed of 8 mph so you will be able to mow quickly and zip back to the house when you are done.  These transmissions are well worth the extra money you will spend.

Feature Number Five: Speed Up To 8 MPH! These mowers will cut your mowing time in half over a lawn tractor. You can increase the speed to maximum in open areas and still get a good cut. Slow it to 5 MPH or so in your front yard and your lawn will look better than a Marine Sargent’s flat top haircut.

Feature Number Six: Extra High Back Adjustable Seat. Posture on a ZTR is important. The straighter you can sit – the better. The 18 inch high back seat gives you two very important features that make this one of the better riding zero-turns in this price range. First, the seat sits just a little higher than most. It’s more like sitting on a kitchen chair than sitting in a recliner. This allows you to sit straighter and this better posture keeps you from getting a backache. The natural bounce that a zero-turn has is reflected vertically in your back instead of in your lower back on machines that don’t let you sit as straight. Secondly, The taller 18 inch back gives you a higher back support to help you keep your posture over long periods of mowing. Spend 4 hours on last years Pro Model,  PRO Series 54″ 26 hp V-Twin Pro Z7400 Series Zero-Turn Riding Mower Non CA and 4 hours on these new models and you will quickly understand what I mean.

Feature Number Seven: Heavy Duty Frame. The frame on a zero-turn needs to be stiff. This allows you to get the best cut in all conditions. In addition, the higher speeds of these better zero-turn mowers put a lot more stress on the frames.  The frames on the new Pro-Series Craftsman’s are strong and heavy enough so that over time they will not crack and break.

Feature Number Eight: User Friendly Design. Every control is within arms reach. No bending over and reaching between your legs to turn the deck on or change the mowing height. “Old Guys” like me really appreciate the convenient and well laid out controls.

Feature Number Nine: Three Gallon Gas Tank. This is a residential mower so the 3 gallon tank gives you around 3 hours of run-time. That’s enough to mow up to 12 acres with the 48 inch and 21 acres with the 60 inch!

Craftsman Pro Series CasterFeature Number Ten: 13 inch heavy-duty front casters. These new Craftsman Pro’s have the larger front casters that will ride better and not tear up your turf.  I learned early on (back in the 90’s) how important large front casters were for comfort and steering. Comfort: I had different two zero-turns on one crew’s trailer. One had a seat that sat up straight and large 13 inch casters. The other ZTR had a low-back seat and smaller 9 inch front casters. (A 60 inch ExMark Lazer and a 60 inch Great Dane Chariot) The crew would fight over who got the ExMark! Why? The ExMark rode so much better with the larger front casters and high-back seat. In addition you sat about 2 inches higher on the seat of the ExMark. Steering: We mowed a few properties that were sand. The turf was thin and there were always bare spots. The Great Dane with the smaller front castors would always dig into the sand and tear up the turf when you turned. The ExMark would always turn without making a mark – even on dry bare sand. 

What Size Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mower Is Best For You?

Many of you would like to keep your mowing down to 2 hours each time you mow.

The 20420 will mow 5 acres in about 2 hours.

The 20422 will mow 6 acres in about 2 hours.

The 20424 will mow 7 acres in about 2 hours. I’ve always been a big fan of 60 inch decks. They just cut better than the 48-54 inch models and don’t scalp like the 72 inch decks. If your property can handle a 60 inch – always choose it over any other size.

How To Buy the Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mowers:

The best place to buy these new mowers is on Sears.com. They will be stored in central locations around the country and it will take between 3 to 7 days before you get it home.

When you order your new mower through the links below check the Special Offers tab on the Sears.com page.  This will show you the current special online deals like free delivery, extra online savings and special financing offers. It is also worth your time to sign up for the Shop Your Way Rewards program (the sign-up is in the menu at the very top of the page) The SYWR program gives you points from your purchase that you can use to buy other merchandise and additional savings coupons depending on the time of year. 

60 Inch Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mower – Buy Here: Pro 25 HP V-Twin Kohler 60” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

54 Inch Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mower – Buy Here:  25 HP V-Twin Kohler 54” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

48 Inch Craftsman Pro Series Zero-Turn Mower – Buy Here:   24 HP V-Twin Kohler 48” Fabricated Deck Zero Turn Riding Mower

I know you will want to compare these ZTR’s to the other 50 models on the market. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

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dix
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dix

Hi Paul,
Any recommendation for a 46 inch ZTR with ZT 2800 transmission?
Thank you for your answer!

Camille M Quinn
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Camille M Quinn

Hi Paul: Thank you for offering your valuable advice online. We have 20 acres and mow about 6-7 acres of it. It is rough, some inclines, rocks and holes. We bought a Toro 50″ Time Cutter two years ago and have had it in for service twice. The biggest problem is that the deck pops off of the bar and it takes two people and about two hours to get it back on and then leveled. We are extremely disappointed in it. We spent about $4,200 to purchase it, then have spent at least $800 on maintenance. We live in… Read more »

Bruce
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Bruce

hello, I need to get a mower and was looking at the swisher 66 inch zero turn mower, because I have 3 acres mostly flat, but a slope to get from the front yard to the back as the house is a walk out basement. and pretty smooth. I live in prior lake, Minnesota. Do you have a recommendation on a mower or is the swisher OK?

James Stevens
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James Stevens

Hi Paul,
Any thoughts about some of the newer models that have some sort of suspension? I know Ferris has had it a while and Bad Boy has the new Maverick that has some suspension. Our 5 acres is part horse pasture (we keep it mowed closely but it is rough) and part manicured lawn. It can get pretty rough on your back. Do either of these have enough suspension to make it worth the extra money?

Mike Gentner
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Mike Gentner

Hey Paul, Im intrested in picking up a ZTM here pretty soon. I am buying my first house in upstate NY, and should be moving into it within a couple of weeks. Im still very undecided in what to get. Im going to be mowing approx. 7 acres. The plan is to get the ZTM and then a pull behind for offset mowing. Let me know what you think and if you have any recommendations for both units. I am probably looking to keep the total under 7000. There is a decent amount of trees to mow around and the… Read more »

Fred
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Fred

Mt Vernon, Tx…. I wish there would be head to head comparisons between like priced mowers so we can really see which is the best value…. I would like to know if the Craftsman Pro ZTR mowers are a viable option dollar for dollar to the likes of Snapper, Husquavarna, Cub Cadet ETC…..

Jesse
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Jesse

Paul, thanks for the quick response. Let me extend my price range a little further with a range from 4-7k. Obviously you get what you pay for and I want to make sure I get the right unit for the job. So if you have any comparisons in that ranges please let me know. There also a Ariens dealership right up the road, any thoughts on there units?
Thanks Jesse

Jesse
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Jesse

Paul,
I live in north Texas and have 5 acres but only mow about 2.5 to 3 of it. The terrain is very rough in places, no flat areas and hilly, as well as about 15-20 trees to mow around. It is a beautiful park type setting, but very hard work to mow. Can you please recommend 3 different zero turns for me. I am leaning towards the 60 in Craftsman pro 25. I would like to keep the price under 5k or close to that. Thanks for your great reviews and look forward to hearing back. Jesse

Debra
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Debra

Your site is great–very informative! We live in North Texas and have an acre lot with hills. My husband likes to bag the cut grass. What do you suggest?

Josh
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Josh

Hi Paul. Excellent site! It has answers to most of my questions. Can I run another comparison past you for advice? I have a two acre lawn. Not watered but the crested wheatgrass does get thick in the spring. The ground does not have ruts but it wasn’t flattened like a smaller city lawn either. So slightly bumpy in spots. Also no major slopes, just a slight ditch. My 12 year old 42″ Craftsman lawn tractor takes me 3 hours to mow so I am really looking forward to reducing that time. I also am ok with paying extra if… Read more »

travis
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travis

Wilson, NC. Looking a strong reliable prosumer model… leaning toward Hustler Rapter SD and now the 54″ Craftsman. Any reason to go with one or the other? Will be using weekly and would like something reliable enough to take on a few neighborhood yards. I have 2 acres and my neighbors also have 2+ acre lots. Thanks for the great review!

Jon Daffin
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Jon Daffin

Mobile, Al. Is this mower built by MTD or Husqvarna. Thanks.

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