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Craftsman M430 mower review

The Craftsman M430 is a powerful mower for large lawns that sets itself at your pace with its self-propelling function.

Craftsman M430 mower review
(Image: © Lowe's)

Our Verdict

The Craftsman M430, while a useful tool for mowing larger gardens, does not hold up quite as well as the company’s less expensive offerings. However, it does pack a few features that larger lawns would benefit from, such as a 2 Bushel clippings bag and mulching blades. Overall, it’s a relatively good purchase for big backyards.

For

  • Great handling
  • Really powerful gas engine
  • 2-bushel clipping bag

Against

  • Very expensive compared to peers
  • Rather loud
  • Users report a pattern of front axle issues

The Craftsman M430 is one of the chunkier options from Craftsman’s suite of lawncare products. Its 223cc engine outstrips many others in the category, and while it is quite expensive, it’s ideal for larger lawns. Not only that, but the meaty Briggs-Stratton engine is incredibly reliable as well as powerful, as with many of the best gas lawn mowers.

Whatever terrain your garden contains, the self-propelled movement modes and the large wheels mean the M430 can handle it all. In fact, the dynamic self-propulsion might well make it easier to use than some of the best riding mowers. While its five-position adjustable deck lacks the range of some competitors, it should suit most gardens. Alongside that, it has a three-position handle and further five-position height adjustment means it can be really easy for a wide range of users to handle it. 

Craftsman M430 review: Spec 

  • MSRP: $1,049.00
  • Type: Self-propelled 
  • Engine: 223cc 
  • Cutting width: 28-inches 
  • Minimum cutting height: 1.25 inches 
  • Maximum cutting height: 3.75 inches 
  • Weight: 275 lbs 
  • Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty 

Craftsman M430 review: Overview 

Like most of Craftsman’s mowers, the M430 focuses on a high quality build that makes it last for a long time. This is obviously one of the company’s more premium offerings, with a price tag that would make all but the most dedicated gardener baulk. Of course, this price point does get you a really powerful and reliable mower, but this rather steep cost is well worth noting. The one-step start-up and low maintenance engine requires no priming, making this mower a great buy for those who want a no-fuss mowing experience.  

Craftsman M430 review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

Craftsman M430 review: Design 

Craftsman’s M430 mower uses Global Materials hardware in its production, and is built in Tupelo, Mississippi. All of Craftsman’s products come from this manufacturing plant, and the company proudly asserts that it makes its products in the USA across its website. Like the Craftsman M105, this use of Global Materials makes for a hardy mower that does not break easily. 

One element of this hardware is a 3-in-1 convertible deck, like many of its peers, and this includes a mulching function. There are loads of reasons you should mulch your lawn, and it’s made much easier by the M430. 

The M430 is also designed with easy maneuverability in mind. Alongside the self-propulsion system, the mower has a 3-position height adjustment and a pace control system. For a self-propelled mower this is very important, and has the Craftsman M430 dynamically adjust its movement to match your pace. 

Craftsman M430 review: Features 

In terms of features, the Craftsman M430 does not skimp (as you might expect from its thousand dollar price point). The triple function of its blade deck is very useful, and the two blades themselves make mulching much more efficient. This 3-in-1 functionality allows you to switch between side discharge, mulching, and bagging. Moreover, the two bushel bag is larger than a lot of other competitors, and the mower uses a Dust Blocker bag to cut down on big clouds of dust from the bag 

The M430 is geared for big tasks, and bigger gardens. Its 28 inch cutting deck is most suitable for gardens over an acre. This hefty cutting width is backed up by a roaring, impressive engine. Craftsman have powered this mower with a 223cc Briggs and Stratton engine, which has a 9-liter capacity for longer usage between oil changes. 

Craftsman M430 review: How could it benefit you? 

The Craftsman M430 is most useful in the context of larger lawns. It does not quite have the agility or size for getting around really tight corners in gardens, but it compensates for that by making large lawn mowing really easy. The following are some really attractive benefits of the Craftsman M430 gas mower:

  • Its 28-inch cutting deck makes large swathes of grass easy to cut. 
  • The in-built mulching functionalities improve lawn health. 
  • On top of that, users are given options with regards to side discharge, mulching, and bagging. 
  • It has a lot of ease of use options included in its self-propelling qualities. 

Craftsman M430 mower review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

Craftsman M430 review: User reviews 

At the time of writing, the Craftsman M430 sits at a 3.3 out of five stars overall rating on its website across 90 different reviews. In general, the positive reviews follow a trend of praising the mower’s robust build and relative ease of use for such a large piece of hardware. A lot of these positive reviews acknowledge the higher price point, but ultimately conclude that the hefty cost is worth it. 

Most of the four and five star reviews also comment on the great handling of the mower as well. For example, one reviewer on the Lowe's website not only praised this handling but added that the M430 provided a “beautiful cut” afterwards as well. This is no doubt due to the self-propelled functionality of the mower, and the various options that come with that.

However, the mower’s overall rating is brought down by several one star reviews that are heavily critical of the product. Several report mechanical faults with the mower’s front axle and the associated wheels, which even fell off in some cases. Other negative reviews criticize the handles of the device, saying the texture can lead to blistering. 

Should you buy the Craftsman M430? 

In short, if you are looking for a powerful mower that can handle a larger garden, then the Craftsman M430 is a fantastic choice. If you’re looking to upgrade from a previous mower to one that is more mulch-minded, then the Craftsman is the way to go. 

It is worth remembering that the M430 is quite expensive, but it might well be worth it for the future-proofing a premium product like this one provides. All told, Craftsman products are usually very robust, so this higher price point could well ensure easy mowing for a long time. 

If affordability is essential, then check out our Troy-Bilt TB160 review for an alternative.