Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton 46″ Gas Riding Lawn Mower Review
Craftsman’s line of large lawn tractors with a 19 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine is rather broad. The T225 sits near the top of the line, yet still in the shadow of the T240.
Like many others in the line it features a 46-inch mower deck, which is just the right size for mowing a lawn that’s over an acre in size, yet also has landscaping features to account for. The 20-inch rear wheels and the 15-inch front wheels also give it better maneuverability and nimbleness than you might expect from a lawn tractor this size.
It comes with a hydrostatic transmission system which is efficient and doesn’t bog the motor down when it’s operating at maximum capacity. There is also a run and parking brake built in for extra safety.
Craftsman backs the T225 with a two-year warranty. If you want more protection, there are three, and four-year protection plans available for a relatively reasonable cost. There are some online retailers who offer an “Expert Assembly” service for this lawn tractor, but it’s so easy to put together, you won’t need it.
- Hydrostatic transmission
- Mow in reverse feature
- 19 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine
- Run and parking brake
- Nimble and easy to maneuver
- Easy to assemble
- Ready start enabled
Lawn tractors this size have a reputation for not being very nimble. However, the Craftsman T225’s 20-inch rear wheels and 15-inch front wheels work nicely with the thoughtful steering system to give it a surprising level of maneuverability.
The mow in reverse feature and the hydrostatic transmission also give you superior control. The run and parking brake also give you a little added safety and convenience.
Ease of Use
The 46-inch mower deck is just about right for cutting a lawn that’s over an acre in size, yet also has a few trees and landscaping features that need to be danced around. If you need to cut an area bigger than 3 acres, or you are just mowing large, open stretches of turf, a mower with a larger deck might be called for.
One modest flaw with the T225 is the size, location, and position of the speed control lever. They made it a point to design this lawn tractor with a high back seat and a relatively comfortable steering wheel, then they made it awkward to operate the speed control lever.
You wouldn’t notice the awkwardness of the speed control lever if you are mowing a large, wide open lawn. You just set it to a comfortable speed and then rest back for a reasonably comfortable ride.
The “Ready Start” feature also helps fire up the engine without having to over crank the battery.
If you need to work around inclines and landscaping features, you end up leaning over a lot which eventually gives you a unique backache. If you try to just set one comfortable speed and dance around your landscaping, you will likely be surprised at just how much trouble you can get into at three miles per hour!
Cut Quality & Options
The Craftsman T225’s 46-inch mower deck comes setup for side discharge. However, Craftsman does offer a bagger attachment as an additional accessory. There is no mulching attachment available at this time.
If you have a larger lawn, you should strongly consider reaching a little deeper into your wallet for the bagger attachment. This will help pull up the cut blades of grass to keep them from building up in the upper layers of the turf. Left on the lawn, this “Thatch” can start to choke out the roots of the otherwise healthy grass.
Once this develops you will need to sink more money into renting or contracting an aerator. Taken in this context, the bagger will essentially pay for itself!
If you have a smaller lawn say under an acre in size, and you don’t mind getting a little extra exercise in the spring, you can manually aerate your turf.
The Briggs and Stratton 19 horsepower engine needs the usual maintenance. This includes routine oil changes, cleaning out or replacing the air filter as well as making sure the pulleys and bearings are properly lubricated throughout the summer. If you need to store it for the winter, make sure to put the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank.
One other thing to keep an eye on is the tire pressure. On paper, Craftsman provides the T225 with durable “Turf Saver” tires, which contribute to its improved maneuverability. Yet they do seem to have a knack for losing air pressure over time. This might be due to seasonal temperature changes, or perhaps the overall weight of this large lawn tractor.
Just make sure to check them with a pressure gauge from time to time. Running on low tires can significantly shorten their life.
The Craftsman T225 comes with the standard pressure sensor in the seat. There is also an integrated run-parking brake.
I suspect that the so-called “Mow in Reverse” feature is meant to be pitched as an improved handling feature. In reality, I think this is Craftsman’s approach to a common safety problem with past users modifying their lawn tractor to run in reverse, which leads to safety issues caused by improvised engineering.
The hydrostatic transmission isn’t necessarily standard in this class. Yet you would certainly miss it if it wasn’t there or replaced by a CVT system. The hydrostatic controls go a long way toward making the T225 as nimble as it is.
As was mentioned earlier, if you have a larger lawn over an acre in size, you should really consider buying the bagger attachment. This will pay for itself in saved aeration costs.
- Ready start ignition system
- Mow in reverse
- Superior maneuverability
- 2-year warranty
- Hydrostatic transmission
- Awkward, low-speed control lever
- Bagger is an extra accessory
- The fuel tank is a little hard to read
- Tires can be prone to slow leaks
- Expert assembly not necessary
- Warranty is a little shorter than some competitors