When looking for the best gas lawn mowers, savvy consumers are always on the lookout for an extensive feature list, maneuverability, and a really clean cut. Thankfully, this is exactly what the Craftsman M105 delivers. The mission statement of the Craftsman seems to be a high quality build geared towards maximum ease-of-use. One that we think the Craftsman successfully carries out.
In this Craftsman M105 review, we’ve included everything you need to know about this mower, with features, the good, and the bad all explained below.
Craftsman M105: Price
Costing $399 at the time of writing, Craftsman’s M105 model sits in the center of mid-range gas mower prices. While higher-end products like the Honda HRX217HZA are over twice the price of the Craftsman, the Troy-Bilt TB160, which also offers three-in-one trimming and auto-choke functionality, is over $100 cheaper than the M105.
However, when compared to other, non-budget offerings, like the Toro 21378, the Craftsman is slightly cheaper. The M105 boasts similar features to the Toro but clocks in at a solid $50 cheaper, making it a rather attractive choice.
When you buy the Craftsman M105, you can expect a gas-powered push lawn mower, a bagger accessory, and a measure of engine oil. It’s important to make sure that you add the oil to the engine, as the mower does not come packaged with the oil on board.
The mulching bag is a useful tool for picking up any stray trimmings that would otherwise fly loose across your garden. It works in tandem with the different mulching functions in the mower, but is entirely optional.
Craftsman M105: Features
For the $399 price tag, each of the items on the Craftsman M105’s feature list gears it towards maximal functionality.
The M105’s cutting deck is a full 21 inches. This deck size allows for the easy mowing of wider areas. The Craftsman does not stop with an impressive cut width, the blades also come with a height adjustment of 1.25 to 3.75 inches. There are six different deck positions available on the Craftsman, adjusted using a dual-lever system.
The deck is a convertible three-in-one model, allowing you to use side discharge, a mulch function, or utilize rear bag grass clippings. Included with the mower is a Mulch Kit, one that puts nutrients back into the soil for a healthier lawn as you mow it.
The Craftsman M105 is manufactured in Tupelo Mississippi in collaboration with Global Materials. You can check Craftsman’s website to see exactly where each of the company’s products is made. There are currently fourteen US manufacturing plants.
Craftsman M105: Performance
Craftsman’s M105 uses a 140cc Briggs and Stratton engine, which uses recoil start and auto-choke for maximum user simplicity. This means there is just a simple pull cord to start the engine, and lengths taken to ensure that it will not stop when started. A pull start, however, may be challenging for those with mobility issues, and if you’d prefer something with an electric key start feature, check out the Honda HRX217HZA. While not as powerful as higher end gas mowers (like the Weibang WB537SCV which reaches 196cc), the M105’s engine is fine for the price.
The mower is fully push-propelled, with adjustable handles that help users maneuver around the yard easier. Due to the deck size, the Craftsman M105 is optimized for smaller to medium-sized gardens (up to a quarter acre), and fares much better on flat gardens than hilly lawns. Moving across the garden is made much easier by the zag treading on the 7-inch front and 8-inch rear wheels.
One of the features we like about the M105 model is that it’s not heavy at all. One of its central draws is the 65lb weight, making it particularly light and maneuverable compared to its peers. In comparison, the Cub Cadet SC100HW sits at 79lbs, whereas the Honda HRX217VKA weighs 89lbs.
This is offset in the M105 by the slightly weaker engine than the above examples, but the lower weight makes it a very attractive proposition as a push mower.
As is standard with many lawnmowers, the M105 comes packaged with a two-year warranty. This covers any material defects or problems with construction.
It should be noted that this warranty explicitly does not cover problems with parts that degrade with repeated use. This would include spark plugs and mower blades.
Craftsman M105: User reviews
There is an interesting disparity in online user reviews for the Craftsman M105. On Amazon, the product has 74% five-star reviews (of 946 ratings). Users particularly praise how lightweight the mower is. Alongside the weight, satisfied users also note how quick the mower is to start and how easy it is to operate.
On the other hand, several Amazon ratings criticize the M105’s ease of operation. While the pull cord can be useful for simple engine operation, it is not always “easy”. One reviewer talks of the pull cord making their “heart beat hard and fast” after having to restart the mower. Another specifically talks of the starter cord breaking, with many others agreeing that the start is not as smooth as advertised.
Despite the overwhelming positivity on Amazon, Craftsman’s website paints a rather different picture. On its own website, the M105 sits at an average of 1.4/5 stars, a startlingly low amount. Most of the negative reviews focus on white smoke rising from the mower after a few uses, with the product failing to start afterwards.
This problem did also appear in the more negative Amazon reviews. While a defect like this is undesirable, it should be noted that there are only 18 1 star reviews on the Craftsman site, with a further 65 on Amazon. Compared to the rest of the positive reviews, this number is fairly negligible. Furthermore, these issues appear to be completely covered under the M105’s limited warranty.
Should you buy the Craftsman M105?
If you’re looking for a push mower that emphasizes ease of use and lightness, consider the Craftsman M105. Its low cost, low weight, and numerous ease-of-use options make it a great mid-range choice.
The mower also suits itself well to less-mobile users, as the simple adjustment and easy push-propelling make the product very accessible. For larger lawns, mowers like the Toro 20333 might be better suited, but for medium-sized gardens, the M105 is hard to beat.