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.Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 1
Buy Here: Craftsman 54 In. 26hp Kohler Turn Tight Hydrostatic Garden Tractor Non CA 23 x 10.5 x 8 in.Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 1
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 Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 3

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.Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 1

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.Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 1) 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.

Craftsman CTX9500 54 in 30 hp Premium Model 25007 Garden Tractor Review 6

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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