Craftsman LT1000

The Craftsman LT1000 garden tractor lawn mower is often known by it’s serial number, the Craftsman 27639. Both refer to the same tractor mower. The engine powering the LT 1000 is an Intek model from Briggs and Stratton. This is a two stroke, 1 cylinder model that pumps out 18 hp. The cylinder in this Briggs and Stratton engine has a cast iron cylinder sleeve for an extra long operating life. The engine stay oiled thanks to a fully pressurized lubrication system.

This engine on the Craftsman LT1000 powers the mower deck and the wheels. The mowing deck has a cutting width of 42 inches (it’s total width is a good bit higher than this due to the plastic discharge flap on the side). Inside the deck are 2 blades working together to give a nice smooth, even cut to your lawn. The deck has an operating range of 2.5 inches, from a low of 1.5 inches above the ground to a high of 4 inches above the ground. For dealing with the cut grass clippings, you have 3 choices. Many people just leave the grass clippings to fly out the side of the deck and lay on the grass. Unfortunately this can prove to be rather unsightly, so what some people do is purchase a bagger to collect them or use a mulching kit to turn them into a fast rotting mulch.

Power to the wheels on the Craftsman LT1000 is controlled by a gear shift transmission. This gives the operator 6 different speeds going forwards, while in reverse they just have one speed. The fuel tank that supplies the engine with gasoline can hold up to 4.7 liters (1.25 US gallons). If you have ever owned or operated the LT 1000 garden tractor lawnmower, then please feel free to leave a review of it below, making sure to mention what you like and dislike about it.

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13 Reviews of the “Craftsman LT1000”

  1. Michael Mayfield says:

    My wife bought it for me as a project. She only paid $100 for it because they said the engine was frozen up. They had put a new starter and tires on it.

    I checked – engine not frozen up. I took a big wrench and smacked the starter solenoid under the gas tank about 3 times and it started right up.

    I’ve now been using it for over and year and have only had to replace the belt to the mower deck. I only use NON-ethanol 92 octane gas in it and have had no problems letting it set over the winter – started right up last week.

    Year of Manufacture: 2001
    Pros: Works every time.
    Cons: None so far
    Attachments: 42″ Mower Deck
    Modifications: None

  2. Brad says:

    The most likely culprit is an unbalanced cutting blade (or both). Remove the blades off and put one on a large diameter shaft to check the balance. (A small shaft or nail will get hung up in one of the star-pattern notches and give you a false balance point.)
    Grind off some material on the heavy side to balance it. It should not take much. The other option are new blades, which never hurts and you can get different designs (mulching, lifting, etc.).
    If that does not work, you may need to replace the mandrels as the bearing good bad after years of service. Fortunately, you can get them for about $28 shipped. I had to replace one on mine, so I did both at the same time.
    Hope that helps!

    Year of Manufacture: 2005

  3. Nic D says:

    Very happy I never had to buy another mower… btw never take it to sears to get looked at, they charge you $70 to get it looked at. Find a local that will fix it for you.

    Year of Manufacture: 2001
    Pros: Still runs, drives, shifts, stops, and even cuts after 17 years of service.
    Cons: after 17 years it needed a new seat, battery, and hood hitch… thats all.

    • Bob Butler says:

      This tractor was “free” but had been abused for years. I replaced broken brake system; misaligned mandrels; normal maintenance items (battery, plug, syn oil & filter; fuel filter; valve cover gasket-reset out of spec lash.
      The mower runs great except for the vibration experienced when the blades are engaged. The idler pulleys are firm, with no wobble in their bearings.
      Having spent $230 “rescuing” this otherwise excellent machine, I would love to be able to eliminate the vibration. Suggestions?

      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      Pros: Strong engine; level cut; easy to work on
      Cons: too much vibration when blades are engaged. Mandrel spindles are vibration free, and the blade tips meet straight across.
      Attachments: none
      Modifications: none

  4. Ed McWhorter says:

    Easy to operate, and very dependable.

    Year of Manufacture: 2005
    Pros: 1) 13 years of service! I cut my acre of Paradise at least once a week from April to September, and less frequently leading up to and from the cooler months. Though I’ve never kept track, that has to be at least 30+ times a year, at 2.5 hours a pop. So I guess the LT 1000 has about 1000 hours on it now. The Briggs 31H777-0297-E1 just keeps on trucking.

    2) No gas pedal. My wife’s’ knees are shot, and she is very thankful that she doesn’t have to hold a gas pedal down for a couple hours each week.

    3) Easy to get parts at Sears.

    Cons: 1) The transmission brake/clutch assembly gets clogged with grass and dirt very easily, causing poor braking and shifting.

    2) The mower deck is difficult to keep a level adjustment on it, and has no anti-scalp wheels.

    3) The drag link between the front wheels gets bent very easily, causing poor steering. This is probably caused by operator error, however there are many models out there that have a different design that doesn’t have a drag link crossing the front.

    Attachments: Just a mower deck

  5. daniel myers says:

    Love these mowers enough to trade john deere for the last one

    Year of Manufacture: 2001
    Pros: Bought the 2001 lt 1000 from party that sears told it would take 900 dollars to fix. Repaired it all for 100.00. Traded 175 jd for 2004 both excellent machines. They both handle very well, and the hydros make life easy. I did install the 3.5 gallon fuel tank under the seat, does not run out of fuel any more. Love the cheap way the deck can be repaired. 2001 mounted snowblower and cab. I mow with the 2004. Also have gt 6000 bought new in 1990, has 48 inch dirt & snowblade on it. All three aer workhorses.
    Cons: Original fuel tank too small.
    Attachments: 42 inch snowblower, 42 inch snowblade, 48 inch dirt/snowblade, lawn sprayer, trailer.
    Modifications: Put battery in front, 3.5 gal fuel tank under seat on both lt 1000

  6. Steven says:

    The best mower ever built, Made in USA

    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: I can remember when i was like 2 and 3 bieng one the ole craftsman and when i was about 8 i was mowing and working it hard from mowing to pulling, it never gave a sign of weakness or regret, it chugged along with only a new front end, looks great, great motor, 6 speed overall the best mower ever, beats all new mowers by far. Made in America
    Cons: It needed a new front end and the engine died in early 2016 but is now running good, i put new pushrods gaskets and a end cap on the starter
    Attachments: Bagger, rebel flag
    Modifications: New front end

  7. Brian Picka says:

    I bought this tractor used from the company I had worked for. They used it a handful of times and decided to get a lawn service. It sat for 10 years covered up in a warehouse, and it still looked brand new. I bought a battery and drained the old gas out and replaced it with new gas and to my surprise it fired up. The fuel lines were cracked and leaking and I replaced all of those along with a new gas filter. I changed the fuel filter several times the first season to help flush the old gas out.
    5 years removed from the first day and the tractor is running great. the engine runs smooth and starts every time. I still replace the fuel filter each season to keep the carburetor clean.
    I do the regular maintenance each spring and fall and also clean and wipe it down after each use.
    It will soon be washed and waxed and put away for another winter and will be ready for me in the spring.
    In the end I could have bought a new tractor, a John Deere with a plastic hood or other newer model with thin metal and more plastic parts.
    I’m glad I rescued this old tractor and plan on having it for more years to come.

    Year of Manufacture: 2002
    Pros: Very reliable and easy to get parts for when needed. Hydro-static transmission. 21 hp twin engine lots of power.
    Cons: Turning radius is not very tight. no oil filter. problems keeping the dick level.
    Attachments: 3 bin bagger attachment – love this.
    Modifications: None

  8. Gary says:


    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: None
    Cons: Non
    Attachments: None
    Modifications: None

  9. Tim says:

    No problems what soever.

    Year of Manufacture: 2000
    Pros: I have had the LT1000 since 2000 and never had a problem with it. Always ran good and always cut good.
    Cons: None
    Attachments: None
    Modifications: None

  10. Carl says:

    I bought this tractor in 2004 in a hurry as we had just moved into the new house and lawn, about 1.5 acres, needed to be mowed badly. I already owned a Craftsman push mower that I brought with me from California and had owned other Craftsman push mowers over the years so I went to Sears website and this one was on sale for approximately $800 so I bought it and had it delivered. Mind you this was the first tractor I had ever bought as lawns in California are almost non-existent in size. My only other experience with tractors had been an Allis Chalmers B110 that my Father bought and I used in the 60’s and early 70’s when I lived in New Jersey. While this was a decent tractor with more HP, 17.5, than the Allis Chalmers it was nowhere near the tractor that it was. At first I tried mulching with it but it was not capable of that even with the mulching kit. So then I bought a bagger for it which for the most part worked well except when the grass was wet as I tend to mow my grass high. It always started right up and ran flawlessly up until about 2 years ago. First the return spring for the PTO blade engagement broke so it was difficult to disengage the blades. I replaced that but then it broke again early this year. Last year the mower started scalping the lawn on the slopes and this year the flat areas as well so I figured that it was either time for some heavy duty maintenance or time to replace it. I figured that I would service it after I mowed last week and try to finish out the season with it and replace it next year with a bigger and better Craftsman. Well I didn’t finish mowing with it as the engine let go without warning after I was about half way finished mowing and I had to finish with my 12 year old non-self propelled Craftsman, boy what a work out at my age, fortunately it was a relatively comfortable day with low humidity and it was early evening so the sun had gone down somewhat. Had I to do it over again I would not have bought this machine for the size yard I have but having said that I really cannot say anything bad about it. I got just 1 month over 9 years use out of it and put about 1200 hours on an engine that probably wasn’t designed to last that long so I feel that I got my moneys worth out of it. What did I buy to replace it you might be wondering? I ordered a John Deere D130 from John Deere that I should have in a day or so.

    Year of Manufacture: 2004
    Pros: Reliable starting, easy operation
    Cons: No anti scalp wheels on mower deck, poor mulching ability, small gas tank, no fuel gauge.
    Attachments: Grass catcher, dethatcher, utility trailer, snow blade 1st year only.
    Modifications: None

  11. unk says:

    I was once a mechanic and can make almost anything run a long time. it’s not unusual to drive cars far beyond 200k miles. I can attest that this is one of those creations of which the term “planned obsolescence” was coined. I purchased from first owner in 2010 when it was 6 years old. our yard consists of a bit less than an acre of grass with a few shrubs and trees around which I must maneuver. It gets quite hot here so i only mow in the spring and fall due to hot/drought conditions during the summer. Intent was to only have it for a couple of years before trading up. It seems everything wore out at once. Although we only have to mow a few months per year, i had to replace the following last spring: steering drag link, deck mandrels, deck belt and drive idler. That may not sound like much; however, immediately thereafter the deck engagement cable broke. I replaced all of them thinking it would be OK, but then the transaxle started to fail. I found a used one by some miracle but before i could replace it the fuel tank started to leak. Although it is not that difficult to maintain, the frequency of breakdowns rivals that of the worst equipment I’ve ever seen – mind you I was once a mechanic. The engine runs hotter than anything I’ve ever driven. Even after leaving it set for awhile, the oil is still so hot that i cannot hold the container into which it’s draining.
    Although it was relatively inexpensive, I have spent half again as much as I paid to keep it running.
    I need to convince the wife to let me get a Deere.
    If you get an opportunity to own one – either pass it by or turn it to someone else for a buck.

    Year of Manufacture: 2003
    Pros: Size, parts availability, hydrostatic transmission
    Cons: Noisy, bone-jarrying ride, dependability, rising repair costs, lacked oil filter from factory, runs HOT
    Attachments: Mower deck
    Modifications: wheel spinner, mulching blades, deck chute block, oil filter

  12. Dave says:

    Not pleased

    Year of Manufacture: 2003
    Pros: Good cut quality
    Cons: Started burning oil after only 2 years of use, even with regular oil changes. Bagger chute clogged regularly. Would occasionally die while cutting lawn. One time required a spark plug replacement to get it to restart. This was after performing a full service, including new spark plug, one month earlier. I replaced this with another brand tractor after 4 years of use. By then it was using a quart of oil for every 6 hours of use.
    Attachments: Bagger
    Modifications: None

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