Craftsman model 917.378500
by Donna Petko
(Plainfield, Illinois, United States)
My review of the Craftsman front wheel drive propelled lawn mower after three seasons has been excellent. The mower features a 21 inch cutting deck and uses the Honda 5.5 horsepower engine claiming to be the quietest and lightest in its class. Some of the other key features include ball bearing wheels, side/rear grass discharge, mulching or grass bagging (all provided) and the EZ Walk multi-speed control system.
Maintaining this mower has been very easy to say the least. After three seasons I have only replaced the spark plug and cutting blade once. Otherwise doing the scheduled seasonal oil and filter changes, and occasional lubrication of parts has provided me with engine starts after only 1 to 2 pulls of the starting cord.
The mower has been very easy to handle especially with the EZ Walk multi-speed control system. The front wheel drive pulls the mower up hills with no problem and also seems to keep the mower on the ground and stops the "wheelie effect" you get from rear wheel drive systems. The mower tracks a straight line when using the drive propel system and cuts good no matter what speed you choose to cut at (grass thickness and wetness taken into consideration). Cutting height adjustment is easily changed with the individual wheel handle adjustment, providing a wide range of cutting heights.
The overall appearance of the mower after three seasons is excellent. No rust or paint chipping and the bag is still in excellent condition with no tears or rotting that I?ve seen with other bags. The drive wheels look like they will go another season or two before needing to be replaced. The hand grips and cables are also in good condition, no cracking or rusting of the cables even with the ever changing weather in the Midwest.
My overall opinion on this mower is excellent. It stands up to the Craftsman name and quality you would expect and the Honda engine also stands up to its reputation in the small engine world. When the time comes to purchase a new mower I will definitely stick with the Craftsman brand.