My Lawnmower Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Craftsman Platinum 190cc 22" Briggs & Stratton Rear Bag Key Start Rear Propelled Lawn Mower -

For years I have been fighting with these cheap lawn mowers from the discount stores. They would run OK for a year or two, but even with oil changes and tune ups, they would always start giving me trouble--hard to start, hard to keep running, hard to push, poorly designed wheels and height adjustments. So in May of 2009, I decided to finally spend the money and get a top-quality self-propelled mower that would last a long time. My first choice was the $329 Craftsman model 37653 which is front-wheel drive. The salesman at Sears said that front-wheel drive is better and that's what he uses at home. I took his advice and got the 37653. After using it twice I found that in my thick grass the front wheels slip quite a bit because they have very little traction. I was having to push the mower almost as much as my old non-propelled model. And as the bag fills with grass, more weight is placed on the rear, decreasing traction on the front wheels even more. Also, due to a design flaw in the 37653, when you pull it backwards, the rubber deflector flap gets chewed up by the blade.

I took it back to Sears and with very little hassle, they exchanged it for the 37436 rear-propelled model. They even gave it to me for the same price even though the RWD version was 10 bucks more. What a difference! Plenty of traction in even the thickest and heaviest part of my lawn, and as the bag fills, the traction increases. My yard has never looked better-the precision cut blade makes for a smooth lawn. The deflector on this model doesn't hit the blade, and there is a nice window in the top of the bag to see when it's full. Also, the battery isn't hidden like it was on the 37653, it's in a little battery box behind the engine. The Briggs & Stratton 700 series Platinum engine has tremendous power--this thing is a beast and never bogs down. The electric key start is amazing. After 1 year I've only tugged the rope a couple of times. Unlike my other mowers, there is no choke, no priming, just turn the key and go. The variable speed is very nice--the harder you squeeze the handle the faster you go. This allows me to finish my yard faster and I don't feel like I'm about to stroke out like I did after pushing my old manual mower around. Emptying the grass bag is easy--the whole thing is well designed and thought out. To empty, stop the mower, flip open the spring loaded door 'til it locks, and lift the bag out. Dump it, lower it back in place, and when you grab the operator bar, the door snaps back down to seal the bag! A turn of the key and you're back to mowing. What a pleasure it is using this machine. I saw where CR magazine gave the non-electric start version of this mower (37435) its Best Buy rating. That will save you $40 but I suggest spending the extra $ and getting the electric start--you'll appreciate it every time you have to stop to remove a limb or empty the bag. Get this mower--you won't be disappointed. Now instead of dreading mowing the lawn, I almost look forward to it. Almost.

Pros: Easy starting, easy to empty bag , powerful engine, plenty of traction, smooth cutting, deck washout port, made by Husqvarna!

Cons: Heavy, could use a padded handle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
My Dad has this Craftsman FWD mower:

http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10...me=Lawn+Mowers&prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=L6

I used it once at his house and like you was not at all impressed with FWD. And with his mower it bagged thick grass rather poorly in that the grass chute would plug long before the bag was full since the grass enters the bag at the very bottom of it.
On the plus side, I will say it was very easy (required little effort) to start and started on the first pull.... but then again a mower less two years old should!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I like rear wheel self propel myself as I have a few hills I mow and the FWD just can't pull itself up. The rear wheel drive does it easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My Dad has this Craftsman FWD mower:

http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10...me=Lawn+Mowers&prdNo=6&blockNo=6&blockType=L6

I used it once at his house and like you was not at all impressed with FWD. And with his mower it bagged thick grass rather poorly in that the grass chute would plug long before the bag was full since the grass enters the bag at the very bottom of it.
On the plus side, I will say it was very easy (required little effort) to start and started on the first pull.... but then again a mower less two years old should!
That's very similar to the 37653 that I first tried. Reading the reviews for your Dad's mower you'll find most of them knocking the drive mechanism and wishing for more traction. Same thing with my son's Troy-Bilt FWD--I used it once and had the same problem. Sure missed the variable speed also!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
I have one close to the 37061 model, but I think it is a 96' I am not sure if that's the right yr. I bought it used for 60 bucks and I have abused it sense I got it. It is front wheel drive with the bagger. It always starts on the second pull after you prime it 8-9times, except when it is cold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I wrote on the other one but I have one similar to that one. But mine is front wheel and is 6.5. Good mowers. Got it for $25 at a yard sale.

Oh and nice mower. I wish I could mow thick grass with a mower that never struggled. No mower likes me though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13 Posts
I had a Craftsman 37855 that did pretty good. Retail was $359 and I bought it on sale for $299.



I bought it for the Honda engine. The deck was steel and heavy, and I was not impressed with the "feel" of the mower. The handle had some play in it. The deck seemed flexible. It didn't have a nice feel when rolling. But it was a competent mid-line mower. When I got the Honda HR215SXA, use of the Craftsman dropped to ZERO. The Honda was simply a much nicer mower.

So I broke the Craftsman down. A buddy of mine had one with a busted transmission. So I took the Honda engine off mine, put his Briggs engine on it, and gave it to him to use. I used the Honda engine on my Lawn-Boy 10330.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I had a Craftsman 37855 that did pretty good. Retail was $359 and I bought it on sale for $299.



I bought it for the Honda engine. The deck was steel and heavy, and I was not impressed with the "feel" of the mower. The handle had some play in it. The deck seemed flexible. It didn't have a nice feel when rolling. But it was a competent mid-line mower. When I got the Honda HR215SXA, use of the Craftsman dropped to ZERO. The Honda was simply a much nicer mower.

So I broke the Craftsman down. A buddy of mine had one with a busted transmission. So I took the Honda engine off mine, put his Briggs engine on it, and gave it to him to use. I used the Honda engine on my Lawn-Boy 10330.
I like it. Now the best craftsman to have is one of the older ones. Not key start but they do real good. I don't think you could have bought that honda engine for that by itself. Good find!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I had a Craftsman 37855 that did pretty good. Retail was $359 and I bought it on sale for $299.



I bought it for the Honda engine. The deck was steel and heavy, and I was not impressed with the "feel" of the mower. The handle had some play in it. The deck seemed flexible. It didn't have a nice feel when rolling. But it was a competent mid-line mower. When I got the Honda HR215SXA, use of the Craftsman dropped to ZERO. The Honda was simply a much nicer mower.

So I broke the Craftsman down. A buddy of mine had one with a busted transmission. So I took the Honda engine off mine, put his Briggs engine on it, and gave it to him to use. I used the Honda engine on my Lawn-Boy 10330.
Nice Craftsman! You don't see many with Hondas, most have Briggs on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I had an FWD mower for a while and everything said here is true. Eventually changed it for RWD and a lot of things worked better. Not to mention that its a lot easier to push down on the rear wheels when traction assist is needed.. better than lifting it with an FWD mower.
 

·
Founding Administrator
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
It seems to be the general consensus amongst us "pros" that FWD is a problem, and RWD is hands down the better choice. I am surprised that FWD is still marketed, even though it is by many manufacturers. I just don't see the benefits, myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It seems to be the general consensus amongst us "pros" that FWD is a problem, and RWD is hands down the better choice. I am surprised that FWD is still marketed, even though it is by many manufacturers. I just don't see the benefits, myself.
The benefits for THEM is it's cheaper to engineer and manufacture FWD because the pulley and belt are on top of the deck rather than below.

Hey, has anyone ever manufactured a 4-wheel-drive walk behind mower?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Wow, a Honda engine...now that's the real thing!
Bought a Craftsman RWD mower couple months ago with a 7hp B&S engine. Unfortunately the engine was blown with scour on the cylinder wall. Happened to have a Honda around so check it up it match! The shaft diameter and the pulley position hole all good. Engine mount holes right on! So the replacement is simple. It work well. The down side is heavy at the front. I think the original engine is the same heavy, so maneuver around is not too good. Craftsman driving wheel is plastic gear hope it last.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
It seems to be the general consensus amongst us "pros" that FWD is a problem, and RWD is hands down the better choice. I am surprised that FWD is still marketed, even though it is by many manufacturers. I just don't see the benefits, myself.
It is relatively cheaper to make a FWD mower deck. It share the same tooling with the push mower while the RWD deck need a separate design and tooling. On the Craftsman both the self propel transmission is the same. Have a Craftsman 6.5 hp FWD with ball bearing wheels move excellent around corners and dead spots. Better than another newer and heavier Craftsman RWD for flat area mulching.
 

Attachments

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top