The 42-inch Craftsman 25001 is a budget-priced zero-turn mower that earns high marks in objective tests of mowing in bagging or mulching mode as well as in the standard side-discharge mode. Like all zero-turn mowers, the Craftsman 25001 leaves no circle of uncut grass at the end of a row, maneuvers easily around obstacles and cuts mowing time almost in half compared to a regular lawn tractor. Owners report that it takes a little time to get used to steering with two levers instead of a steering wheel, but that the time savings is well worth it.
This model's 6-mph maximum speed isn't the fastest available in a zero-turn mower, but the main drawback is that it's made by Cub Cadet, an MTD brand that has a poor repair record. If you can afford it, consider stepping up to the faster and wider Toro TimeCutter SS5000 (Est. $3,300). An hour meter is an extra option on the Toro, but the Toro mower earns higher ratings for ease of use.
We found the most objective tests of the Craftsman 25001 at ConsumerReports.org, where it's tested in all three cutting modes and also rated for both handling and overall ease of use. Editors compare it with 16 other zero-turn mowers, ranking each based on an overall rating and recommending specific models as best buys. Landscape pro Paul Sikkema also reviews the Craftsman 25001 in some detail, but without documenting actual testing. At Sears.com, over a dozen owners rate and review this mower.
Editors compare the Craftsman 25001 with 16 other zero-turn mowers, based on thorough objective tests in all three cutting modes, plus ratings for handling and ease of use. At the time of our report, two owners also rate and review the Craftsman 25001 zero-turn mower here.
Review: Lawn Mowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Landscaper and riding mower reviewer Paul Sikkema is not a fan of zero-turn mowers, favoring Craftsman "Turn Tight" lawn tractors as easier to use and more versatile. Many of his criticisms of the Craftsman 25001 seem based on misinformation. The specifications at Sears.com say that this model does mow in reverse (which is indeed essential for zero-turn mower efficiency) and has a deck washout system plus anti-scalping wheels. Sikkema has a long laundry list of other criticisms of the design -- that make the mower hard to clean and maintain -- and predicts poor long-range durability.
Review: 2012 Craftsman 48 in 24 hp Model 25003 Zero-Turn Review – They Almost Got This One Right!, Paul Sikkema, Feb. 18, 2012
The Craftsman 25001 is one of the three top-rated zero-turn mowers sold here, based on owner-written reviews. Over two dozen owners rate the 25001 mower here. Most are satisfied, reporting that it cuts mowing time a great deal and cuts well -- and does so at a very good price. About 25 percent of the reviewers say they would not recommend it to a friend, however. One complains that the tires make ruts on the lawn, another that the ride is stiff and uncomfortable.
Review: Craftsman 42'' 24hp* V-Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower Non CA Model# 25001, Contributors to Sears.com