What every best Lawn Tractors has:
- Cuts, bags and mulches cleanly and evenly.
- Mows closely around obstacles.
- Offers a comfortable, intuitive ride.
A close, capable cutter. If there's a killer feature in the Craftsman 27042 it's its TurnTight Extreme technology that delivers a 5-inch turning radius -- about the tightest you'll find in a traditional garden tractor, where turn radiuses of 15-inches were previously considered to be superb. That means that the Craftsman 27042 is almost a no-brainer for properties that are something more than flat expanses of grass. Testing shows that the Craftsman tractor excels when mulching and bagging, and it does nearly as well when simply discharging clippings to the side. The 46-inch deck is more than adequate for most suburban properties.
Lots of pluses. Thanks in large part to its tight turning radius, experts praise the easy handling of this Craftsman Pro lawn tractor. It's capable of forward speeds of up to 5.5 mph, 3 mph in reverse, and has an "infinitely variable" automatic transmission. The high-back seat is judged to be comfortable, and the controls are easy to reach. There's a washout port for quick clean ups, and the deck is easy to detach if you want to do a more thorough job or to change blades. The cutting system can be raised or lowered using a spring-assisted lift system that provides 12 cutting positions between 1 inch and 4 inches high. The built-in Bluetooth connectivity and Smart Lawn app compatibility adds a little bit of high-tech jazz to this tractor, but owners and experts find it to be both usable and useful way to stay on top of the tractor's maintenance needs. One concern is that the overall warranty is short at two years, but the front axle is guaranteed for life.
Good safety features. The Craftsman 27042 is built with all of the typical safety features. Those include safety interlocks that prevent the engine from starting if the parking brake is off or the power take off (for providing power to attachments) is engaged. The engine will also turn off if the operator leaves the seat without engaging the parking brake or disengaging the power take off. This tractor can mow in reverse, though that's not recommended, but will not engage the reverse mode unless the operator is seated. This tractor is also not recommended for slopes greater than 15 degrees.
This review provides the results of testing of the Craftsman Pro 27042 lawn tractor at ConsumerReports.org. Ratings are given for various aspects of performance and use, and an overall score is issued that can be compared to similar lawn tractors. However, the full information is only available to subscribers.
In this free article, Paul Hope names the top finishers in ConsumerReports.org's testing of lawn tractors for 2017. He compares it to a John Deere tractor that finishes with the same overall score, but adds that the Craftsman is $1,000 cheaper, mulches better and makes tighter turns.
The Craftsman Pro 27042 garners reviews from more than 70 owners. They give the 27042 an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. Most are very pleased and say it's an excellent tractor, comfortable and powerful, however a handful of durability and assembly complaints are noted.