Craftsman T150 Hydrostatic 19 HP Briggs & Stratton 46″ Gas Riding Lawn Mower Review
Power and size are key features that a lot of people look for when they are shopping for a new riding lawn mower. Of course, quality and long-term durability also go a long way toward providing you with a reasonable return on your investment.
The Craftsman T150 comes with a 19 Horse Power Briggs & Stratton Gold engine. This central powerplant provides this lawn tractor with enough torque to glide over even rough turf as well as powering the hydrostatic transmission system and the cutting blades.
The T150 also has a specially engineered “Mow in Reverse” feature which is also relatively rare, and emerging feature in the realm of riding lawnmowers. In the past, if you wanted to go in reverse or even power up a steep incline you had to remember to disengage the blades. If you forgot, then you risked the machine bogging out or even stalling. This could leave you in one heck of a precarious position!
The redesigned hydrostatic transmission allows you to back up to get a tough spot, without having to worry about a catastrophic loss of power. Just be mindful that the deck height might need to be raised a little if the trouble spot you are backing toward is on an incline or decline.
The 46-inch mower deck lets you chew up large swaths of grass quickly and efficiently. At a reasonable speed, with the deck height set just right you might be able to finish off a level three-acre stretch of lawn in a little over an hour. There is also an integrated deck wash system which helps clear away lawn debris that can accumulate, causing clogging issues and possibly leading to corrosion issues.
- 19 Horse Power Briggs and Stratton engine
- Hydrostatic transmission
- Backed by a two-year warranty
- Craftsman’s reputation for quality products
- Mow in reverse feature
- Deck washing system
The 19 Horse Power Briggs and Stratton Gold engine produces more power than you would expect. Especially compared to smaller models in their riding lawn tractor line. Where the T-150 stands apart in the field is the mow in reverse feature.
In the past Craftsman lawn tractors and many of the competitors would bog down in reverse, the blades would disengage, and in some cases, the mower could completely stall out. This prompted some people to do a little creative engineering of their own, which also increased the risk of safety problems.
The new mow in reverse feature that you find with the T-150 bypasses these problems, without compromising safety. Still, it’s isn’t the sort of thing you should lean on every time you are mowing. It’s meant more to solve an inconvenience rather than give you a cool new feature to use with every pass along your lawn.
Ease of Use
If you maintain the engine and pulley, then the Craftsman T-150 is relatively easy to use. It rides the way you want it to. The mow in reverse feature allows you to make the most out of the mower’s existing power, and the hydrostatic transmission won’t let you down.
One minor complaint with the T-150 is the awkwardness of the height adjustment lever. It might be a good idea to slow down and adjust the deck height, rather than trying to do it on the fly.
Cut Quality & Options
A 46-inch wide cutting deck is just about the sweet spot for a lawn that’s over an acre in total size. The 20-inch diameter rear wheels and 15-inch front wheels allow this Craftsman mower to move comfortably across level turf, while also being able to handle rough patches of ground. Just remember to adjust the height of the mower deck if there are exposed roots or big bumps in your cutting path.
Like any gas powered lawn tractor, the Craftsman T-150 needs some routine maintenance to extend its lifespan. This calls for seasonal oil changes, using premium fuel, and making sure the pully system is properly lubricated.
The battery that comes with the T-150 is strong enough to power it during its earliest days of life. If you need to store the mower away in the winter, make sure to uninstall the battery, or keep the mower in a heated storage unit. Cold tends to dramatically shorten the life of the battery.
When storing it for the winter, you should also add some fuel stabilizer. This will prevent water separation in the fuel, and can even help reduce long-term debris build up in the fuel tank.
The fact that Craftsman backs this product with a 2-year warranty is a testament to the quality they try to build into their products. Still, some of the competitors offer a five-year warranty for similar models.
The Craftsman T-150 has the standard pressure sensor built into the seat’s suspension system. It’s arguably a little bit on the sensitive side. If you lean forward to say get a better look at something in your path, and just enough of your posterior comes off the seat, you will likely hear the engine start to buffet down.
The mow in reverse feature helps you make corrections while you are on the move, without having to double back to make a second pass. Still, you shouldn’t rely on it with every single pass.
The Craftsman T-150 has the size and power you want to efficiently mow up to three level acres in a little over an hour. Obviously, the more inclined and landscaping features you have to drive around will extend that time.
Just make sure to maintain and service it as necessary, and the T-150 will pay you back with years of reliable service.
- 19 Horsepower engine
- Hydrostatic transmission
- Deck wash feature
- The ability to mow in reverse
- Backed by a 2-year warranty
- Awkward deck height adjustment
- The battery can be short-lived
- Fuel tank prone to tarnish
- The seat safety sensor is sensitive
- Some competitors offer a longer warranty