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Craftsman M105 mower review

If you’re looking for an affordable mower that’s easy to move around while giving a thorough lawn trim, the Craftsman M105 is the mower for you.

Craftsman M105 mower review
(Image: © Amazon)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Craftsman M105 offers a great feature set for an even better price. Most notably, a six-position dual-lever 21-inch deck makes it perfect for small to medium gardens, and the lighter weight makes it easy to operate for a wide range of users.

Pros

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    Exceptionally maneuverable

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    Three-in-one discharge capabilities

Cons

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    Changing oil can be difficult

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    Not as powerful as other models

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 When it comes to replacing your old gas lawn mower, or making the switch from an electric mower, you’ll want maneuverability, a high-quality build, and ease of use. The Craftsman  M105 combines all three, giving you a clean cut and a great result for your lawn.  

Craftsman M105: Key specs

Dimensions: L 88.3", W 60.7", H 45.1"

Weight: 65 lbs

Blade length : 21 inches

Engine displacement: 140 cc

Max cutting height: 1.25 inches

Min cutting height: 3.75 inches

Mower type: Gas

Start type: Pull cord

Warranty: 2-year limited 

With an affordable price point, a host of extra features, and a light 65 lb weight, the Craftsman M105 is ideal for smaller yards and gardens. Compared to its peers, it’s easier to push around, and you can adjust the cutting height as you move with a dual-lever 6-position height adjustment.

Our review takes a closer look at all the features of the Craftsman M105, as well as user reviews on performance and ease of use. And if it isn’t the right lawn mower for you and your backyard, there are plenty of other great options in our buying guide to the best gas lawn mowers

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 mower review

(Image credit: Amazon)

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: 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 an affordable gas-powered lawn mower that’s light enough to move around your yard with ease, the Craftsman M105 may be the ideal mower for you. With plenty of extra features, mostly positive user reviews, and a competitive price point, there’s not a lot to criticize.

From what we can see from reviews on the Craftsman website and Amazon, manufacturers are quick to sort out any technical issues that come under the 2-year limited warranty, while people who have trouble with mobility or strength may enjoy how easy the Craftsman M105 is to propel around their yard. The variety of cutting heights that can be adjusted smoothly during use is another nice extra touch for well-manicured lawns. 

However, it may be worth bearing in mind that this is a gas-powered lawn mower for small to medium yards. If you’re looking for something to tackle big areas, you might prefer another option with a bigger motor and a longer cutting blade.

If this product isn't for you

For a more powerful mower at a similar price, you might prefer the Troy-Bilt TB160. With a 160cc Honda motor and 6 different grass-cutting height options, you’ll get more power and a lot of features compared to other more expensive gas-powered lawn mowers. 

If money is no barrier, then why not go for the Honda HRX217HZA? The 200cc motor makes light work of the hilliest lawns while a 4-in-1 Versamow System allows you to bag, mulch, discharge or shred your leaves and cuttings. Plus, you get twin blades and Rota Stop technology, allowing you to stop the blades without cutting the engine. 

If you’ve got an acre or more to tend to, the Craftsman M430 may be the best call. This self-propelling mower features a 223cc engine, a 2-bushel clippings bag, and mulching blades, all of which are ideal for taking care of large gardens and lawns. 

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