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Craftsman M430 mower review

The self-propelling Craftsman M430 features a powerful 223cc engine and a host of bonus features.

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

Top Ten Reviews 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.

Pros

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    Great handling

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    Really powerful gas engine

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    2-bushel clipping bag

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Cons

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    Very expensive compared to peers

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    Rather loud

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    Users report a pattern of front axle issues

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Ideal for medium and large lawns, the Craftsman M430 features a 230cc Briggs-Stratton engine that outstrips many other lawn mowers in this price range. It may be a big beast of a lawn mower, but its self-propelling functionality and large wheels mean that it’s easy to maneuver around any lawn, even rough terrains. 

Craftsman M430: Key specs

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 

A 5-position adjustable deck may not be as wide-ranging as some other lawn mowers but it’s certain to suit most gardeners. And a 3-position handle and 5-position height adjustment means that it can be locked into a range of sizes for easy use.

This review takes a closer look at all the features and functionality the Craftsman M430 offers, as well as taking into consideration user reviews from people who have purchased and used the Craftsman M430 in recent months. 

If this lawn mower isn’t the right fit for you and your backyard, then why not take a look at some other options in our buying guide to the best gas lawn mowers (opens in new tab)? From affordable models to high-end machines, you’ll be certain to find the perfect gas-powered mower.  

Craftsman M430: Features

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 balk. 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 require no priming, making this mower a great buy for those who want a no-fuss mowing experience.  

Craftsman M430 review

(Image credit: Lowe's)
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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 (opens in new tab), 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. 

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: Performance

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)
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Craftsman M430: 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?

It may be at the higher end of the price range for lawn mowers, but you get what you pay for with the Craftsman M430. Its powerful engine, triple-function blade deck, and pace control feature set it apart from the crowd, while high-end features such as a roomy 2-bushel bag, and 3-in-1 mulching, bagging and discharge functionality are included.

Ideal for larger lawns, the 28-inch cutting blade cuts large areas of grass quickly and easily, while the self-propelling function means that its bulky 275lb weight is less of a concern. Craftsman’s 2-year manufacturer’s warranty means you also have peace of mind when it comes to maintenance and repairs, with all parts made in the US. 

So, if you have a large garden that needs frequent trimming and tending, you want your mower to be sturdy and reliable, and you’re not prepared to push around a cheaper mower, the Craftsman M430 could be the perfect fit for you. 

If this product isn't for you

For a similar price, motor size and functionality, the self-propelling Honda HRX217HZA (opens in new tab) could be the mower for you. The 200cc motor makes light work of large or hilly lawns while a 4-in-1 Versamow System gets to work bagging, mulching, or discharging as you need it. It also features Rota Stop technology, which allows you to stop the blades without cutting the engine.

Or you could buy a lawn mower that features a Honda motor, without the Honda price tag. The Troy-Bilt TB160 (opens in new tab) packs a 160cc Honda engine under its hood, and it can mulch your clippings too. Although it lacks the self-propelling feature of the Craftsman M430, it weighs just under 70lbs, making it easy to push around your lawn. 

Finally, if it’s a workhorse you’re after, the Weibang WB537SCV-3IN1 (opens in new tab) is a big beast of a mower, equipped with a 196cc shaft-driven engine, and 3-speed gearbox. With precise engineering, well-made parts and fittings, and a generous 5-year residential warranty, you’ll have peace of mind too. 

Martin is a freelance writer, editor, and podcaster specializing in gaming, tech, home and garden content. Writing insightful reviews and features for Top Ten Reviews' Home & Garden section, Martin also worked in China as an English teacher. 

With contributions from