The 42-inch Craftsman 28856 Turn Tight lawn tractor is built by Husqvarna, which earns high marks in both professional and owner-written reviews. Its 6-inch turning radius makes for outstanding maneuverability and speeds up mowing time, and owners say the 22-horsepower V-twin engine provides plenty of power for hills and tough mowing jobs. Cruise control is another plus.
This Craftsman lawn tractor is considered light-duty but can handle lawns up to about 2 acres. We found a few complaints about quality, but overall, Craftsman lawn tractors made by Husqvarna have earned a good repair record. For California consumers, the similar Craftsman 28866 (*Est. $1,795) is CARB-rated. For a luxury lawn tractor that performs about the same but is easier to use, consider the Snapper NXT2346 (*Est. $2,800), which is CARB-rated but available in other states.
We found the most objective review of the Craftsman 28856 at ConsumerReports.org, where it's ranked and rated in comparison with a total of 51 other lawn tractors and riding mowers based on weeks of mowing tests. Landscape professional Paul Sikemma, who's made himself an expert on Craftsman lawn tractors, provides a detailed review at TodaysMower.com. Only a handful of owners review this model at ConsumerReports.org, but we found almost two dozen owner-written reviews published at Sears.com.
Based on weeks of objective mowing tests, this review ranks the Craftsman 28856 in comparison with 34 other lawn tractors plus 17 riding mowers of other sizes and types. Specific ratings cover handling and ease of use plus performance in all three cutting modes. The overall Craftsman repair record is also compared with that of other brands based on an annual survey of readers. Nearly two dozen owners also rate and review the Craftsman 28856 here.
Review: Tractors and Riders, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2011
Landscape professional Paul Sikkema gives the Craftsman 28856 his "editor's choice" award in this detailed single-product review at a site where he reviews lawn tractors by Craftsman and six other brands. He praises this model's 6-inch turning radius, saying that for most lawns, it's as fast as a zero-turn mower. For mowing on slopes, however, he recommends the more expensive Craftsman 25004 (*Est. $3,000).
Review: 2012 Craftsman 42 in 24 hp YT 4000 Hydro Model 28856 Yard Tractor Review, Paul Sikemma, Jan. 28, 2012
More than 100 owners rate and review the Craftsman 28856 lawn tractor here (where it's called a Yard Tractor to identify it as a model of mid-range build). Most are satisfied with it, praising the tight turning radius and saying the tractor is comfortable, powerful and does a good job. The main complaint is the lack of a fuel gauge. Other complaints include a rattling hood (there's no lock-down latch) and a few poorly assembled tractors that had to be returned.
Review: Craftsman 42" 24hp Turn Tight Hydrostatic Yard Tractor Non CA Model# 28856, Contributors to Sears.com