Craftsman lawnmower opinions?

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Dixie Chopper is making a Residential Model now. It costs some bucks but it is made to last. It even has a stainless steel deck to stop the rust out problem. I am lucky in the fact the factory is only 20 miles from me and there is dealers everywhere around here.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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Tightwad hit the nail right on the head. WalMart has run all the good little companies out of our area. Sears has gone downhill so bad it is terable. But as for the Honda Motor, If Sears won't do anything I think I would contact Honda. The Honda Co really stands behind the products with that name on it. After you contact Honda Sears might change there mind.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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On Tue, 15 Nov 2005 10:22:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

Not a bad idea. As a strictly legal (i.e., warranty) matter, it might not get me anywhere... but maybe they can point me in the right direction in terms of what's the problem and if/how I can fix it!!!
Sadly, this has suddenly become a pressing issue as my other lawn mower... a smelly, leaky 2-cycle Lawn Boy that is a royal pain in the azz but still mulches leaves and grass like there is no tomorrow... just bit the dust last weekend. :-( Right in the middle of leaf season. :-(
I just can't catch a break here.
Jake
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G wrote:

Consider your mower a long term investment and purchase the best you can afford at the moment.
Craftsman also make mowers that are Honda powered. Honda power is definitely better that B&S.
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On Tue, 15 Nov 2005 21:53:18 -0500, Joe Canuck

Joe - I am experiencing extremely high vibration levels... felt back through the handle and with audible/visual handle chatter... with my new Sears Craftsman lawn mower with the 5.5 HP Honda engine. Can you shed any light on this? After two lengthy visits back to their shop, Sears insists there is nothing currently wrong with it and will not let me try out a different one or give me a refund. So much for buyer satisfaction.
Is it normal for Honda engines to cause handle vibrations so sever that you get blisters pushing it for 30 minutes? I have owned many lawn mowers in my life, most of them from Sears I am sorry to say, but nothing that came close to vibrating and causing blisters like this. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance, Jake
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Jake H. wrote:

Definitely not normal. Was it like this new? Take it back and be firm & polite while insisting they rectify the issue.
If no satisfaction, return it for your money.
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On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 15:04:19 -0500, Joe Canuck

It was like this since day one... or, more specifically, on the first day I started it up and ran it. And no, I never hit any rocks! There was not a single ding visible on the blade.
I could hardly believe how bad it was. I always thought Honda engines were supposed to be so smooth!

I have returned it twice so far. My apparent mistake was not demanding a refund immediately and allowing them to tinker with it... twice... for more than 5 weeks (elapsed time) each visit. I honestly thought they would fix the damn thing. They obviously didn't.
After the second service, they took the position that the mower was running normally and that there was nothing more they could (or would) do for me. At that point I demanded a refund, but they said no way after so many months (5 months to be exact at that point) even though over two months were spent in their shop and it had been run by me a grand total of 4 times. Oddly enough, the only scratches on it at that time were scratches put there by the Sears repair folks. No joke.
Jake
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Does your state have a "Lemon Law". If you can prove that the mower was defective and you tried to have it fixed, and it couldn't be, it might qualify. You might use that tact the next time you go in. You might also call the local TV station with a 'problem solver' segment.
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On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 11:35:34 -0500, "Frank Rosenbaum"

I am still considering my options, including small claims court or some sort of arbitration, but I'm not sure the problems with my Sears mower rise to a level of severity that would interest the Attorney General or a TV station. At the end of the day, it is a major nuisance and a very bad deal... but that's about it so far. While I am certainly pissed (can you tell?), for all I know the mower could last 5 or more years running this way before it explodes. Like folks at work say to me... wrap the damn handle with foam pipe insulation & tape or use some nice thick gloves!!! :-/ It shouldn't have to be that way, but I must admit it: They've got a point.
Jake
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I disagree. It is the 'little guy' vs the 'big guy'. All the TV stations that I have seen with this feature just eat it up. Send it to the consumer's protection board. Sears doesn't want bad publicity.
Maybe if you know a lawyer, ask him to send a "lawyer's letter" to Sears customer service and a cc to the bbb or the state attorney general stating the facts and that you would like a replacement mower. Don't deal with the sales clucks anymore. Go higher. Aim for the dept. mgr then the store mgr then the district or area etc.
A vibration such as you describe sounds dangerous. As a retired firefighter/EMT, I would not trust the mower. The machine might not just fall apart, it could shatter and when it does, you will be behind it and the spinning blade. How much are your feet worth?
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On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 20:51:14 -0500, "Frank Rosenbaum"

Thanks very much for your interest, but I am really not out to publicly embarrass or otherwise try to harm Sears. It is a strange irony (some might even say hypocritical of me) that the single biggest holding in my 401(k) is Sears stock. Almost all of my hand tools are Craftsman and they are great. Same with many of the power tools I own. I also own a 6HP 4-in-1 Craftsman lawn vac that works great (other than that the bag is way too small) and it doesn't vibrate at all.
At the end of the day I just want this crazy vibrating lawn mower fixed, replaced or my money refunded. Yes, my last discussion (after the second service failed) was with the hardware manager. In fairness, he did offer me a trade-up deal, but it made absolutely no economic sense. He's also the one who claimed it was too late for me to get a straight cash refund.
Based on what my lawyer charges, it would be far cheaper for me to dump this lawn mower today and buy two brand new ones before asking her for a single letter. Been there, done that before. It ain't gonna happen.
Some co-workers have suggested that I bring the mower... one last time... to a different Sears store... one about 20 extra miles away, but with a better reputation for small engine service. That is probably going to be my next (and last) step. If that fails: Small Claims Court here I come!!!
Jake
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Jake H. wrote:

outfit back on course. I hate to see what is becoming of a former American Institution. They bought Western Auto, gutted it and sold it to Pep Boys. They bought KMart and are in the process of guttin it. They are bastardizing the Craftsman name and milking the Sears good name til there won't be a "Sears" in a decade. you can no longer buysporting Goods or Firearms from Sears. Their Automotive Department is a joke. They bought NTW and gutted it and sold it Tire Kingdom which is cluster f**k. Service and Warranty from Sears is only as good as the cheapest outfit they can place it with.
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tightwad wrote: >They bought KMart and are in the process >of guttin it.
Actually, just the oppisite. K-Mart bought out Sears (merged, if you will).
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wrote:

Correct. They merged.
Jake
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I agree 100% with tightwad. Sears tools have gone down hill real bad. In 5 to 10 years they will be another Wards. I supose it has to be that way as long as WalMart is a Chinese garadge sale.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 09:49:51 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

My vibrating lawn mower problems aside, I still find their mechanics tools to be the best around... at least within my limited budget. Not perfect... but still quite serviceable. I always buy Craftsman... never Companion. I refuse to buy any imported mechanics tools at any price. I am too old and grumpy to be using tools that don't fit right or break.
Jake
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Everything I have tried from Sears in the say last 5 years has been below standard. Even a wrench set was junk. 6" angle grinder went up in smoke. Fridge pops and cracks all the time. Water softener only lasted 5 years. I am a slow learner.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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Lord knows I share your concerns. No one likes the fact that China and Mexico have taken over virtually all of our manufacturing. How nice it would be to buy something "Made in USA" again... or to get someone in customer support on the phone who is not sitting in Bombay, India. It's practically impossible now. And having the old Sears back would be a great start at reform... but we both know that it isn't going to happen. Welcome to the new reality.
I'm afraid that the extent of holdings in my 401(k)... which is now more like a 101(z)... isn't going to impress anyone. If my calculations are right, I will be able to buy exactly four (4) McDonald's cheeseburgers on the day I retire before my 401(k) is completely exhausted.
So much for 40 years of hard work making other people rich.
Jake
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Jake H. wrote:

Check the bolts that hold on the motor. Twice (over 17 years) I've found the motor on my tractor was being held by about 2 bolts!
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On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 15:38:26 -0500, Stubby

I will do that! Thanks for the tip!
Jake
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