- Riding Comfort
- Mower Handling and Performance on Hills/Rough Terrain
- Quality of Cut
Craftsman is one of those iconic American brands. Now owned by MTD, are their mowers still any good?
This Craftsman T150 riding mower has a 13″ mid back seat so not the greatest for comfort.
Over rough terrain you can expect the mower to bounce around quite a bit, often jarring the hood out of place.
The most interesting thing about this mower is that there are no pedals to control forward/reverse like on a typical hydrostatically controlled mower. Your forward/reverse speeds are controlled by a lever on the left side. As you move the lever it will stay in place, so you basically just adjust it to where you want it.
There is still a brake pedal on the left floor board that you also use to apply the parking brake. So you can’t completely avoid foot pedals if, for example, you were checking out this mower because of a disability in your legs.
The mower does have a cup holder and a little compartment just under the steering wheel that could hold a cell phone or some other items of that size.
The engine is a 19HP Briggs and Stratton motor with 540cc. I would have liked to have seen the 20 HP version in this mower but I’m sure this will still be enough power for most people.
The Craftsman T150 46″ mower only has a 1.3 gallon gas tank, which I feel is pretty small.
However, with the smaller engine you could probably still mow about 1.5-1.75 acres on one tank of gas (depending on how high the grass is, how fast you’re going, etc.)
Keep in mind there is no gas gauge so you will have to be mindful to check the gas often, which requires getting up and lifting the hood.
Mower Handling and Performance
The mower has a Hydrogear transaxle (Part # T2-CBEE-5X5A-1XX1 if you ever need it) which like most mowers of this size is a sealed unit. Lifespan will greatly depend on how you use the mower and if you are on flat land or more hilly terrain. You should be able to get at least two years out of the transaxle before seeing problems.
This Craftsman T150 riding mower sits on 15″ tires up front and 20″ tires in the rear, quite standard for a mower like this.
It does have an 18″ turning radius which for a riding mower is pretty good.
Max forward speed is 5.5 MPH and max reverse speed is also listed at 5.5 MPH but I believe that is probably a typo and I would guess it is more in the 2.5 MPH range. Manufacturers typically don’t even want you mowing in reverse because of safety and liability issues so there is no way they’d allow 5.5 MPH in reverse.
Quality of Cut
Generally it seems people are pretty pleased with the quality of the cut on this Craftsman T150 46″ mower. I did see a few complaints about the belt breaking but this mostly seems like a few isolated incidents.
The deck is 13 gauge stamped steel with two blades and two anti-scalping wheels.
Deck adjustment is controlled by a lever on your right side, you can select between 5 settings with a max height of 4″ and a minimum cut height of 1.5″.
The blades and blade speed are engaged via a separate lever just to the inside of the deck adjustment lever.
There is a deck wash port so you can hook up a garden hose to clean out the deck at the end of the day.
The Craftsman T150 does come equipped with a standard garden hitch for you to hook up an assortment of attachments like a spreader, sprayer or dump trailer. Keep in mind towing much weight for long periods will greatly reduce the life of your transaxles. This goes for any mower in this range though.
This mower is not too badly priced and generally has favorable reviews. The main thing you need to consider are the controls on this machine. Does the idea of controlling your speed with levers on the left side appeal to you?
This is almost like a hybrid zero turn mower in a way. You still get steering wheel control (not quite 0 radius, 18″ radius in fact) but not much foot pedal action (only the brake pedal is foot controlled) but the price is about $1000 less than a comparable zero turn mower.