As a good budget tractor, reviews recommend the 46-inch Craftsman 28885. This lawn tractor earns reasonably high marks for both performance and handling. It's not as easy to use as more expensive models, despite having automatic transmission; for example, it doesn't mow in reverse. (It moves in reverse but only with the blades disengaged.) You can't gauge the fuel level from the driver's seat, and owners mention that the fuel tank (small at 1.5 gallons) is inconvenient to fill.
The Craftsman 28885 is part of this brand's budget series, built for fairly light mowing, not for hauling or heavy-duty attachments. If you can afford to spend a little more, consider another light-duty lawn tractor, the John Deere D110 (*Est. $1,700), a brand with a better repair record or -- if bagging is a priority -- the Craftsman 28856 (*Est. $1,700).
We found the best review of the Craftsman 28885 lawn tractor at ConsumerReports.org where it's compared with 37 other lawn tractors based on objective tests. Landscape pro and veteran lawn tractor reviewer Paul Sikkema reviews this model in some detail, and about 100 owners rate and review it at Sears.com.
Editors compare the Craftsman 28885 with 37 other lawn tractors based on thorough objective tests in all three cutting modes, plus ratings for handling and ease of use. At the time of our report, a handful of owners also rate and review the Craftsman 28885 here.
Review: Lawn Mowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
According to Paul Sikkema, the Craftsman 28885 is part of a series of lawn tractors that are improved notably from their predecessors, even though the older tractors had "some of the best service records for this class lawn tractor." Addressing the Craftsman 28885 specifically, he calls it one of the best values in its class among all brands. He cautions, however, that it is really only appropriate for those who want to mow but do little else, such as hauling loads of dirt. One negative to this review, however, is that we are not sure if any hands-on testing has been done.
Review: 2011 Craftsman LT Series Lawn Tractors – Improving The Bottom Of The Line, Paul Sikkema, Feb. 4, 2011
About 100 owners review the budget-priced Craftsman 28885 lawn tractor here, giving it a reasonably high rating. Around 75 percent of these reviewers say they'd recommend it to a friend.
Review: Craftsman 46'' 21 hp* Lawn Tractor Non CA Model# 28885, Contributors to Sears.com