Craftsman M215 159cc 21″ 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with Bagger Review

Craftsman lawn mowers is one of the more established names in the tool and lawn care industry. They have built their reputation on providing durable, quality units throughout their broad line. You see this in the basic features of their Craftsman M215, gas-powered lawnmower.

It has a 159 cc gas-powered engine with overhead valves. Craftsman also designed the M215 with an automatic choke and a smooth recoil, which makes it much easier to start than a lot of other gas-powered lawnmowers.

This mower is also self-propelled, with variable speed controls. This lets you set the speed to your natural walking gait, and spares you having to feel like you’re pushing or pulling it on long stretches. The self-propelled system directs power to the front-wheel drive. The 7-inch wheels in the front and 11-inch wheels in the back also help it to navigate smoothly over uneven terrain.

The 21-inch cutting deck has a dual lever height adjustment is easy to operate. It has six distinct cutting heights that let you dial in the length of the grass to the prevailing conditions.

Key Features

  • 159 cc Gas Powered Engine
  • Self-Propelled
  • Automatic Choke
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 3-in-1 Bagger, Mulch, Side Discharge
  • Self-Propelled
  • Dual Lever Height Adjustment
  • 6-Height Settings
  • 21-Inch Cutting Path
  • Variable Speed Adjustment
  • 7-Inch Front Wheels With 11-Inch Rear Wheels
  • 2-Year Warranty


The 159 cc gas-powered engine drives both the cutting blades as well as the self-propulsion system. The front-wheel-drive, 11-inch rear wheels, and variable speed controls make the lawnmower easy to maneuver even on rough terrain.

Ease of Use

The self-propulsion system certainly helps move what might otherwise be considered a heavy lawnmower. However, it’s the automatic choke that perhaps stands as the most appealing functional feature of the Craftsman M215.

Though the handles aren’t padded which can be a little jarring during a long mowing session or if you have to mow over a lot of uneven ground.

Cut Quality & Options

The 21-inch cutting deck lets you clear a lot of grass in a single pass, which makes this a good option for large yards. The adjustable deck height lets you set the height of the grass to the current state of your turf. For example, if things have been increasingly dry, you might want to leave the grass longer to help retain soil moisture. If the next few days are forecasted to be a mix of sunshine and rain, you might want to lower the deck to make sure the length of the grass doesn’t get away from you.

It’s also worth noting that this is a 3-in-1 mower. You can set it up for side discharge, which will simply cut the grass and expel it out the side. If the grass has gotten a little bit longer, you can adjust it for mulching. This essentially cuts the blades into tiny pieces that decompose back into the turf without leaving long strands that could block water saturation.

If you have a compost pile that you’d like to feed with organic matter and nitrogen, you can attach the bagger. Craftsman even designed it with some “Dust Blocking” which makes it more convenient to use if times have been dry.


Like a lot of gas-powered lawnmowers, the Craftsman M215 will need periodic oil changes. This can usually be done in the spring when you are getting it out of winter storage. Though if you are going to be using it a lot or you live somewhere that the grass grows all year long you may need to change the oil more frequently.

The cutting blades under the 21-inch mower deck will need to be sharpened or replaced every two to three years. The blades are very durable but will wear down faster if you occasionally mow over an accidental stick.

Safety Features

The Craftsman M215 has standard safety hand controls. The dust-control of the bagger could also be considered a safety feature, as it reduces dust and pollen that can sometimes rise up out of a bagger to cause eye irritation.

Special Features

The self-propulsion system with the large rear wheels makes it easy to move this mower, even over uneven ground.

The 3-in-1 functionality is also very handy, letting you use it as a bagger, a mulcher or for convenient side discharge.

The automatic choke with smooth recoil makes the Craftsman M215 easier to start than many of its competitors.

Cost Effectiveness

The two-year warranty that comes with the Craftsman M215 is a nice feather in its cap. It ensures that if there is some sort of manufacturer’s defect that it won’t need to be corrected on your dime. Craftsman has also spent decades to develop a reputation for good customer service. Just make sure to register your lawnmower shortly after the initial purchase.

The 3-in-1 functionality also improves the Craftsman M215’s overall cost-effectiveness. Being able to mulch or bag grass clippings prevents long strands of thatch from building up in the upper layers of your turf. Excess thatch can make it hard for your lawn to absorb moisture, which can inhibit growth and even cause stubborn dead spots to appear in your lawn.

Rectifying this often requires aerators, which you can rent or have professionally performed at an additional cost. Fortunately, mulched grass clippings are easily decomposed back into the turf to refeed it or bagged for a garden compost pile.


8 Total Score
Easy to use self-propelled gas mower

  • Self-Propelled With Front Wheel Drive
  • Gas-Powered Mower With Automatic Choke
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • 21-Inch Cutting Deck
  • 6 Adjustable Height Settings
  • Bagger, Mulcher, or Side Discharge
  • Dust Blocking Bagger
  • Durable Materials And Engineering
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Handles Aren’t Padded
  • Heavy Mower
  • Dual Lever Height Adjustment Requires Two Motions
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Craftsman M215 159cc 21″ 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with Bagger Review
Craftsman M215 159cc 21″ 3-in-1 Self-Propelled Gas Powered Lawn Mower with Bagger Review
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