Pros: Simple to maneuver, powerful, self-propelled, mulching kit, front wheel drive, rear bagger, large rear wheels
Cons: Loud, Need to prime engine before cold starting, no throttle or speed control
Although this mower has not been in retail for a couple years, it remains available as a sale item at many stores. The particular model referred to in this article is the Craftsman 22-inch deck, model 917.377190, commonly referred as the 37719 model. As a former owner of this model, I would like to share my comments.
1. The Craftsman, 37719 model features a hi-output 6.75 horsepower engine.
2. The mower cuts with ease with its 22-inch wide deck. Of course, if your lawn blades are very high, you may need to make more than one pass with the mower. This is common for many smaller mowers. The width of this mower is convenient for the number of passes you make on your lawn. The wider the width of the deck, the less number of passes you make on your lawn.
3. Six different cutting levels are adjustable on the wheels for ease of mowing. The 14-inch rear wheels are larger than the 8-inch front wheels, to assist in the maneuverability of the mower. I had no problems with the operation of the mower with the two different size wheels.
4. Not only does this mower have a hi-output 6.75 powerful engine, but also has the power gear drive, otherwise referred as front wheel drive. The power from the engine and the assistance of the power gear drive helps when cutting on hills or tough areas that need the extra effort. This feature also eliminates the need for having to push the mower yourself, thus eliminating hard pushing of the mower.
5. The rear bagger provides better maneuverability around obstacles. The rear bagger is handy and easy to remove to discharge the grass clippings.
6. Included is a removable mulching system, which easily inserts in the opening of the rear discharge. The mower does a very good job in mulching the grass or leaves.
7. To start the mower, you need to prime it a few times for a cold start. Otherwise, pulling the cord once or twice will generally start the mower.
8. The air filter is easy to remove when servicing the mower.
9. Oil type is SAE 30. An oil dipstick is on the mower for ease of checking oil levels.
1. No speed adjustment on this mower. The mower moves at one speed. However, the mower does move at an easy pace. When using the mower, you may need to move down a hill or steep slope. When the clutch is engaged and there is only one speed, the mower will move at that one speed. The clutch drive does not disengage to allow for a slower speed. If you disengage the clutch, the mower shuts off. You can shutoff the front wheels though. When you start the mower, you have to engage the mower with the clutch. There is also a lever to engage the wheels. If you do not engage the lever, the front wheels will not engage.
2. "One pull start". Sears claims this mower to startup after "one pull". I found this feature to not function after using it every season. Even after having serviced the engine, it would take a few pulls to get the mower running. As long as the engine is serviced yearly, you can save yourself a few pulls to get the mower started.
3. "Two prime start". Sears claims that after two primes, the mower will start. Of course, this would depend on how frequently you service your engine. If there is any carbon built up in the carburetors or you use dirty fuel, this "two prime start" will not function. However, even after my regular maintenance of the mower, changing the spark plug, draining the oil, replacing the air filter, and cleaning the carburetor of carbon buildup, I found this feature to not function as Sears stated it should. It would take a few primes to charge the carb and fuel lines to get the mower started.
4. The sound from the engine is loud. I recommend that when using this mower, you wear both eye protection and hearing protection. The protection will assist in your overall satisfaction and safety of using the mower.
This is a great mower if you are looking for a wide cutting area, ease of use with the power gear drive, and easy maintenance with the Tecumseh engine. This mower is reliable, as long as it is maintained yearly. If you do purchase a new mower from Sears, you may want to look into purchasing the service maintenance plan. Although, any lawn care center will be able to work on this mower.