2009 Craftsman 13.5 hp 30 in. Deck, RER Lawn Tractor Review

Craftsman 13.5 hp 30 in. Deck, RER Lawn Tractor Review

Sears item# 07127032000 Mfr. model# 536.270320


2010 UpDate:

Sears has discontinued this great little mower.


Not everyone needs a 42 inch 850 hp lawn tractor to mow their average size lot.  Many of us have less than an acre to mow, with a lot of intricate landscaping.  We are tired of walking, but a regular lawn tractor is just too big for most of the lawn.

Consider the following.

Are you tired of walking, but don’t think your lawn is big enough for a lawn tractor?
Do you have a lot of landscaping?
Do you have a lot of small strips of lawn between plant borders and a walkway?  Or small strips of lawn between the street curb and sidewalk?
Do you have 36 inch gates throughout your yard that you need to go through with your mower?
Would a smaller riding mower fit better in your garage?
Do you have one acre or less?
Do you like to collect your clippings and make compost with them?
Do you want a mower that is compact, yet mulches and bags really well?
Is your lawn really rough?
Do you have hills and berms where a 42 inch or larger deck scalps and tears up your grass?
Do you have a large lawn, a large mower, and are looking for another mower to reduce your trimming time?

The Craftsman 13.5 hp RER lawn Tractor may be just the mower you need.


  • Independent Steering, Floating Front Axle
  • Beverage Holder
  • Deluxe Comfort Grip Steering Wheel
  • Tool-Free Deck Leveling
  • Stamped Steel Cutting Deck
  • 30 in. – 1 Blade System for an Even Strip Free Cut
  • 3-Way Cutting Deck Side Discharge & Mulching Kit Standard – Easy Attach Bagging Kit Optional
  • Compact Design For Easy Maneuverability with an average 12 in. Turning Radius
  • 10 in. Front Wheels with Turf Saver Tires
  • 15 in. Rear Wheels with Turf Saver Tires
  • 13.5 hp Briggs & Stratton I/C Series Motor
  • See below for the bagger attachment for this mower.


Floating front axle.  Goes through dips, ditches and over bumps well.

Built really well.  For the money this is a good value.  It is a simple, well designed mower.   The design has been proven over time as an easy to use, dependable riding lawn mower.

The hydrostatic transmission (not a belt drive or cone drive like other brands) is smooth and easy to use.

The 13.5 hp Briggs full pressure IC motor is a proven, dependable, fuel efficient motor.  No, it’s not the latest design, but it is one of Briggs & Stratton’s best designs.  The motor has plenty of power for mowing, mulching, bagging, and pulling your yard cart around.  Side Note:  The 30 inch Dixon that I use at home only has a 10 hp Briggs & Stratton motor and that has plenty of power to mulch.  The 13.5 hp on this mower is plenty powerful.

Comes with a side-discharge chute and mulching cover.

Will fit through a 36 inch gate.

Sears advertises this as a RER (Rear Engine Rider) but it is actually a mid engine rider.  This is a better design than the rear engine type because it puts the engine in the middle of the yard tractor and is lower than the rear engine mower.  This gives this mower a very low center of gravity.  Some of the old rear engine riding mowers were notorious for pushing (not turning well) and the mid engine design solved that problem.

Very simple design.  Reliable, easy to service and repair.


Higher priced that the gray Craftsman lawn tractors.   You may feel you are paying more than you should because of it’s physical size but this riding mower is built very well.  (To put the price into perspective the 30 inch Dixon I own retailed for over $3200.  Even today they bring $1000 to $1800.  More than the cost of the RER new!)

The RER is a good mulcher and the 30 inch blade has alot of throwing power so it is a very efficient bagger.  The original equipment blade works well but I suggest buying a Gator Blade if you are going to mulch or bag.   The Gator blade shreds and chews up leaves and grass clipping into a fine mulch.  It also takes less power to mulch and does a much better job than the original blade.  I have one on my old Dixon and it makes leaves disappear.  You can buy one here: 30 in. Gator Blade

It is a small lightweight riding lawn mower so it can only pull a light yard trailer.  If you need to plow snow or haul heavy loads this is not the yard tractor for you.

Optional Grass Bagger:

The bagger becomes an integrated part of the mower but you can quickly take it off and convert your mower back to a side-discharge or mulcher when you want to.  To dump the grass catcher just pull the lever on the bagger and the clippings on the ground.  This system works very well for composting.  Just back the rider up to your compost pile and pull the handle.

The optional bagger takes about 45 minutes assemble initially and then goes on and off the mower in 5 minutes or less.  It is easy ro remove the bag and discharge chute and install the mulching plate or side discharge chute.

You can quickly take the bag off and use the hitch to pull you garden cart.
Sears item# 07124981000 Mfr. model# 24981 


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    • Paul Sikkema
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