2011 Ariens 46 in 20 HP Riding Lawn Tractor Model 960460023 Review

Ariens 46 in 20 HP Riding Lawn Tractor Model 960460023 Review

New Ariens or Old Craftsman?

It’s Not The Best Lawn Tractor….It’s The Best Lawn Tractor For You!

I have seen this mower before. It looks like a very popular tractor from the last decade.  It took me a while to figure out exactly where I had seen it, but finally I figured it out.  It has the exact same specs as a 2008 Craftsman.  Right down to the hood, engine type, turning radius and controls. Because of this fact I will change my normal review layout to include a direct comparison of this tractor with the 2011 Craftsman it is competing against.

What a compliment to Sears and their Craftsman tractors.  It’s one thing when someone copies your work because they like it and feel it is the only way to compete.  It’s another when they use your old, outdated technology to say they have a “new” riding mower.

Face it, Craftsman mowers are popular.  They consistantly are the best rated mowers in the industry and eventually you will own one.  They are so popular that it looks like Home Depot is now offering similar (read older) versions of them with Poulan and Ariens names and colors. I spent a few hours comparing the specs of the “new” Ariens mowers at Home Depot and I have come to the conclusion that these Ariens tractors have the same, exact specs that the Craftsman models had in 2008!

Ariens and Home Depot are welcome to contact me and show me the difference!  I’m sure the engines in these mowers have the required EPA changes for 2011 otherwise I can’t tell the difference between these “new” mowers and the 2008 Craftsman lineup.

What do you want to do with your riding mower?

The Ariens does not have the 6 inch Turn Tight Technology the 2011 Craftsman’s have.  In fact the Ariens has a large 16 inch turning radius. The older Craftsman had a 14 inch.

My Review:

My Value/Cost Rating: Yard Tractor: Mows Lawn Well, Mulches, Gets Through Tight Spaces Well.  Great for 1/2 to 2  Acre Lawns, Light Hauling, Light Snow Removal. Accepts Light Attachments & Bagger.

Type: Lawn Tractor. See Tractor Rider Mower Types for a complete explanation.
Engine Type: Good. See Engine Types for a complete explanation.
Transmission Type: Hydrostatic. See Transmission Types for a complete explanation.
Speed Control: Fender Infinite

Accepts Light Duty Attachments

Direct Comparison of this tractor with the 2011 Craftsman it is competing against.

Product Data is taken directly from Home Depot .com and Sears.com at the time of this review. Please check the sites for current info.

  • Brand: Ariens Model 960460023 Craftsman Model 28852
  • Engine Size: Ariens 20 hp Craftsman 21 hp Oil Pump Briggs (Yellow Filter)
  • Cylinder: Ariens 1 Craftsman 1
  • Transmission: Ariens Hydrostatic Craftsman Hydrostatic
  • Cut Width: Ariens 46 in. Craftsman 46 in.
  • Blades: Ariens 2 Craftsman 2
  • Turning Radius: Ariens 16 in. Craftsman 8 in.
  • Frame: Ariens Steel CraftsmanSteel
  • Cutting Positions: Ariens 6 Craftsman 6
  • Forward Speed: Ariens 5-1/2 MPH Craftsman 5-1/2 MPH
  • Gas Tank: Ariens 1.5 gallon Craftsman 1.5 gallon
  • Average Price: Ariens $1299 Craftsman $1495

What I Like!

If you want a mower that will mow 1/2 to 2 acres well, handle a snow blade, and all the non-ground engaging attachments this is a great choice for you.  This tractor is heavy enough to handle moderately hilly and rough lawns.  This lawn tractor is one riding mower that will work well for your suburban lawn.

There are very few negatives with this mower as long as you understand that it is a good quality mid-sized mower designed to mow lawns well.  Take care of it (do the normal maintenance all lawn mowers need) and it will last you a long time.  I like this lawn mower for what it is designed for.

I personally feel the new Turn Tight Technology on the Craftsman yard tractor changes the game though for just about all residential yard owners. For most of you this will mow as quickly as a residential zero-turn.  It is easier to drive, is easier on your lawn and less expensive than the comparable zero-turn models.  There is no “learning curve” like there is with a zero-turn. It will handle slopes that the residential zero-turns won’t.  And………it will pull stuff!

I am confused on the motor.  The Craftsman uses the better B&S engine with an oil pump.  The literature for this Ariens st

Product Description From Home Depot .com

This Ariens riding tractor has premium features found on more expensive tractors such as a powerful Briggs & Stratton 20 HP engine, a hydrostatic automatic transmission, plus a wide 46 in. mowing deck with 4 anti-scalp wheels and a wash out port, all at a value price. Throw in a comfortable high back seat and handy beverage holder and you will find this solid looking riding tractor is all you need to get the job done quickly and easily.

  • Assembled Dimension: 49.5 in. W x 72.75 in. D x 46 in. H
  • Powerful 20 hp Briggs & Stratton pressure lubricated engine
  • Smooth hydrostatic automatic transmission with lever control that allows you to match the speed to the job
  • Wide 46 in. wide mowing deck with wash out-out port, 4 anti-scalp wheels, and spring assisted lift
  • Dual-blade cutting deck design ensures that grass is cut evenly on every pass
  • Tight 16 inch turning radius that allows you to maneuver around obstacles with ease
  • Durable, welded steel frame for long life
  • 6 cutting positions let you cut grass down to as short as 1-1/2 in. and as tall as 5-1/2 in
  • Travels at speeds of up to 5-1/2 MPH forward and 1-1/2 MPH in reverse for efficient mowing
  • Comfortable, adjustable, high-back seat plus a handy beverage holder
  • 1-1/2-gallon fuel capacity minimizes the need for refueling
  • Mulching capability extends the mower’s functionality requires mulching blade, not included
  • Mows in reverse,this feature is not found on comparably priced front engine lawn tractors at other retailers
  • MFG Brand Name : Ariens
  • MFG Model # : 960460023
  • MFG Part # : 960460023
  • Number of Cylinders : Single Cylinder

Ask a question, leave a comment, tell us about your mower below:


  1. Teresa Crawford
    • Paul
  2. mannyk
  3. jackBe
    • Paul Sikkema
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  5. Leonard Bonamo
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      • Leonard Bonam
  6. Leonard Bonamo
    • Paul Sikkema
  7. Jeff
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  8. Keith
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  9. Keith
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