The Craftsman 42 inch, 20 hp gas powered riding lawn tractor is a mid-range riding lawn mower that is suitable for areas of around 2 acres and accepts a number of useful accessories.
Powered by a Briggs & Stratton 20 hp OHV engine, this Craftsman lawn tractor weighs 520 lbs and features a frame made of 13 gauge steel with steel axles.
Features at a glance
- Engine Size: 550 cc, 20 horsepower
- Engine Make and type: Briggs & Stratton Gold series
- Deck width: 42 in, 107 cm
- Type of transmission: Foot pedal controlled, hydrostatic automatic transmission
The 20hp Briggs & Stratton engine delivers sufficient power for general mowing and, with a fuel system capacity of 1.5 gallons, the Craftsman 20 hp 42″ lawn tractor is a good choice for most households. The engine is also equipped with a cooling fan and a full pressure lubrication system which features an XRD spin on oil filter. It comes with a Die-Hard battery.
With speeds of 0-5.5 MPH forward speed and 0-2.8 MPH reverse speed, the tractor may move a little slow compared with other alternatives on the market. Power is managed by a foot pedal controlled automatic hydrostatic transmission. Brakes are of the disk type.
The 13 gauge steel floating cutting deck has two blades, with manual cutting height adjustment. There are five cutting positions, with a cutting height range of 1 ½ to 4 inches. It cuts swathe 42 inches wide in one pass.
The Craftsman 42-20 has two deck gauge wheels to ensure that the floating cutting deck gives an even cut. The turning radius is 18 inches, giving reasonably good maneuverability in tight spaces. This lawn tractor is not ‘mulch-ready’ but a mulching kit is available as an optional extra.
Attachments and accessories
A variety of accessories and attachments are accepted on the Craftsman 20 hp 42″ lawn tractor. As indicated, a mulch kit is sold separately and the mower accepts a two-bin (but not the three-bin) bagger.
A high speed sweeper allows you to clean leaves, grass clippings and other debris while mowing. You can also tow a rear-mounted de-thatcher to pull up matted layers in the lawn allowing better circulation of air, water and nutrients.
A dual bar tractor bumper provides added protection for the tractor along with stylish looks.
The Craftsman 20 hp 42″ lawn tractor is a good riding mower for most lawns, with adequate precision and a tight turn radius. Handling is good, so you won’t have too many problems with this tractor even in areas that might be a challenge with less agile alternatives.
The cutting system is effective, but the mower may move a little slow for some people. You may also find that the engine is a noisy, although not much more than other tractors in the same price range. On the plus side, the tractor has a powerful engine with good hydrostatic automatic transmission. The foot pedal control is a well appreciated feature.
Online user reviews are generally good – about 70% suggesting that they would recommend this machine. There are, however, one or two complaints about the engine inexplicably cutting out, especially when the blades are engaged. This does not seem to be a universal problem though. Some reviewers also complain that the tires are tubeless and can tend to lose air. Some users add inner tubes to the tires, as a result.
Overall the Craftsman 42 – 20 lawn tractor is not a bad deal for someone looking for a budget mower without too many frills. Definitely not for professional work or large areas that may need more speed and power.
Go to the Craftsman lawn tractor overview page;
Go to the Lawn Tractor Buyers Guide Toolshed Home Page .