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Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Reviews

Posted by vandtbear1 S. Illinois (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 11, 05 at 16:34

Hello all, my first post!

I just bought the Craftsman 7HP Briggs, rear tine tiller this past week (Sears Model 29427). I looked hard at the Troy-Built and Huskee lines (MTD), but decided this one was more bang for your buck. I have read online of the transmission issues, but I was hoping these were just far and few between.

I had been using my neighbors rear tine Troy-Built tiller for any new ground breaking plots for a couple of years. I would then use my old 5HP Wizard front tine tiller to re-till each spring and/or weed the walk rows there-after.

I must say that they just don't make new tillers near as sturdy as my old Wizard. Heck the tines on my old Wizard are 3 to 4 times as thick as the ones on the new 7 HP Craftsman?

So I unboxed the new beast, attach the handle, check the oil (full from factory), fill with gas and it starts on the second pull. Took about 10 minutes. I head to my first plot for a test run. It was ready to plant, but a rain a couple of days earlier put a slight crust over it. I was pleased with the speed and ease of use.
I then decided to put it to the test. I started on a new plot. A section of never before tilled lawn, behind my pond. I set the depth guide to 1/2, put the drag stick in notch #2 (or in the up position), set the transmission to turn the tines in reverse, but the wheels move forward. I grabbed on firmly expecting the need to man-handle this beast in a straight line, but it just started turning the soil with little operator effort. I made about 15 passes, 125ft long or so. Hit a few large rocks with nothing more then a slight jump of the tiller. I had to stop twice to remove large clumps of grass that were kind of bull dozed between the wheels and tine shield. Started to deep I suppose, but I just wanted to test this new machine I then set the depth guide as deep as it would go. Went over the new plot a second time, still turning the tines in reverse and that's it. A new plot ready in only about 45 minutes. Bring on the sweet corn!!

The reverse tine option is the best thing since butter met bread when breaking new ground for the first time. Even when breaking new ground, it only took one hand to hold the transmission engage lever and lightly assist the direction of the tiller. I was very impressed. My soil conditions are "Normal". Just compacted top-soil with a small amount of clay. I would have been there for 4 or more hours with my old Wizard and been beat to death.

I have used this tiller for about 6 or 7 hours so far, tilling gardens and wild flower rows, etc. I have had no grinding issues with the transmission. It shifts smoothly with a little click between gears. Hopefully mine is the cream of the crop for that production run.

Overall, I could not be happier with this purchase.

Others, please chime in with your experiences with this tiller.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Sent the first one back after 3.3 hours because it jumps out of reverse tine mode into Forward mode.

Second one doesn't do that, but after 6 or so hours, i did come out the next morning to an oil spot on the floor. I'm watching that... and have about 25 hours on it so far.. I'm tilling up an acre to seed to lawn.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I took my Bronco back to Lowes.Lowes took it back with no questions asked. They had told me that no one ever brings them back, but I noticed a Bronco and a Tuffy on display that were used.I got tired of it not moving without lots of help from me.Alot of tire spinning. Seems like the tires and tines works against each other much of the time in my sandy garden.Wish Troy-Bilt offered a FRT for a reasonable price. I looked at this Sears model but those transmission problems scared me away.I will follow the advice of some other members and look for a used older model with FRT unless a better idea comes along. I did see that Sears has this model on sale for 600.00 this week! Tempting.. Rehcips- what is the word on that oil leak?
Vandtbear1- Still running smooth? Please keep us informed about those transmissions. Run the heck out of em :-)

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

The housing below the motor is increasingly covered with an oil/dust mixture. I check it before I go till and it's seemingly still full.. so I till a couple hours..

After I get my lawn seeded, I'm going to clean that all up, blow it off and start watching for where the leak is at. It's no huge problem. If it were a 5 year old tiller, I wouldn't think twice.. It's brand new (about a month old) and probably should not be ooozing at all.... I'll deal with sears after I get the lawn seeded. I'm not in a position for them to take my tiller to some repair joint for a month right now. I'm seeding grass. After that's done, they can have it for a while if they want to fix it.

The belt cover is now making a rattle against the machine. Annoying is about it. I'm not sure if there is a bolt lose or why that started.

I think I have about 26 or 27 hours on this one.

At this point, I've probably tilled between 2 and 3 acres with it... 80,000 to 100,000 sqft... I should have a job at Consumer reports.. :-)

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Rehcips..keep those reports coming! Consumer Reports would be a great job.Imagine getting paid to play with all the toys!

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Yep, need an update. Getting ready to purchase either the 6.5 or the 7.0 before they go off sale at the end of the month.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Took the plunge this afternoon. Just couldn't pass up the 100 bucks off on this tiller. Got it home and fired it up after checking the oil. All I can say is this sucker kicks major hardpan butt. After only two passes, this thing tilled deeper and without chunks than my old dead Huskee would have after a half dozen passes. I got down to soil that I haven't been able to in 4 years. It actually lifted the soil four inches higher after the second pass. Unfortunately I am also finding rocks that I never found before also.

Powerfull as heck. Easy to start. 6 sets of tines makes a big difference in the texture of the tilled soil. Really easy to move around in neutral. Can move the wheels out an additional inch.

As I suspected the handle lock lever is a piece of crap. Wouldn't hold even a light touch, then I tightened it so much I stripped it out. Even in combination with the additional tightening bolt below it, I still pushed the handle down. Fixed that problem by inserting 2 bolts in the slot below the handle lock lever so the handle will have a bottom stop. The shifter is really picky about getting into the exact spot.

As some have indicated, this sucker will run away from you if you try to till hard soil in forward rotating position. After playing around with it, I found that it is best to leave the forward rotating until the very last passes through a row and then the drag bar needs to be all the way down.

All in all I wish I had purchased a tiller this good (so far) several years ago. Me and the old Huskee beat each other to death the first two years in the hard clay which probably lead to it's early demise. I've got about an hour on it now and will give another update when I finish tilling next week. Since I can now get down to a deeper level, I'm going to cross till and diagonal till the entire garden before finishing the rows.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I just got a new one today too... :-) My third one in two months.

Pros: Sears really supports their product. Saturday, I became dead in the water. Apparently the belt went toast and began to run inverted and have zero tilling power.

My options: Wait 2 weeks for it to go through service and have a new belt put on. Or, take it back and get a new one (again).

Not an option: Buy a new belt at sears. Pick up a new belt at the service center.

Given my choices, swapping for a new one seemed like a great thing for me. I'm not sure how great it is for Sears or the manufacturer. It needed a new belt.. I got a new tiller.

Full story and photo's at my site..

Here is a link that might be useful: My website

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Well, I now have approximately 15 hrs on this tiller. I have only one complaint so far. I wish the drag bar was 4 to 6 inches longer with at least one more depth hole setting. When you drop the tiller all the way down and till with the tines rotating forward, it can be a bear at times.

The reverse tines gear still amazes me. So easy to break new ground.. No transmission problems to speak of..

rehcips, sorry to hear of your luck with this tiller so far. At least your local Sears is doing a bang-up job in customer satisfaction! Sounds like you should have bought a small tractor with a pto tiller attachment for the amount of tilling you are doinglol

reeldoc, when you attached the handle to the tiller, did you use the two grooved spacers in the slots where the adjustable handle lock screws in? The spacers were smooth on one side and slot grooved on the other side. They lock together when you tighten the handle lock.

I also agree on how easy it is to move the tiller around in neutral. It's like it just floats while you roll it from the barn to the garden plots.

I have been pretty hard on my handle experimenting with deep front turning tilling. No problems with mine so far.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Handle was already assembled when I picked it up. I don't see why manufacturers don't just give up on these slots and just put 4 or 5 holes for bolted connections on the handle assembly. I have never had a friction connection hang in there more than a row. I am known to put pressure on a tiller but the friction connection just don't cut it.

Tilled some more with it tonight. I think I need to tweak the carb a little. Acts kinda like it has water in the gas but I filled it up with brand new gas. It acts like it wants to choke out for no reason right in the middle of a row. May be some crap in the fuel line system from the factory, or just needs a few more turns on the needle.

The only other complaint I have is that the handle could be a little wider.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I've considered buying the 7 horse unit with the slasher tines myself. They only thing that held me back was the cheesy handle and the way it connects to the unit.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I just picked up one of these buggers used for a song and dance with the trannie not engaging the wheels and was wondering if anyone has had the pleasure of opening one of these trannies up.Was hoping for some experienced assistance

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

We picked up ours about a month ago, after reading through all the reviews, I went for the $600 sale price and spent the $100 I saved on a 3-year cover-all warranty. Just way too good of a deal compared to the others! So far, so good.
Here's my rundown:
1) the oil level came full;
2) the handle(with grooved spacers in place)hasn't slipped once;
3) the motor fired up on the 2nd pull! This thing is sooo easy to start every time!
4) reverse tines rule - we tore up 2 new garden plots - can't imagine doing this w/forward-rotating tines (byo saddle)
5) We have a decent amount of rocks, and over the course of 12-15 hours of use, 2 shear pins have gone. I ordered a buttload of extras from Sears Parts just so I'm covered for the next 20 yrs or so. (note: taking new ground a few inches at a time like the manual says will likely avoid needing to replace these....I admit being a bit too agressive here....)
6) The gears definitely have a bit of play and pop out every once in a while, but no major issues... sometimes you also need to turn the wheels just a hair to get it into your desired gear.
7) every once in a while, the motor cuts out immediately when engaging the handle to start the tines. Seems to be a throttle thing... I just put it into "N", fire her up, engage the handle while in "N", disengage the handle, then shift back to my tilling gear, and engage...seems the "re-boot" theory may have universal applications...

Overall, this is a great piece of equipment for the price!

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

One year report:

Well after a year it is still tilling well (knocking on wood). Start up issues after it sits for a while but that is expected even with shutting the gas line valve off.

Handle slipping really is irritating so I pulled the crappy tightening handle out and put some bolts through the hole to keep it from dropping. The handle even at its highest range is too low. Considering cutting and welding at a more acute angle.

It will tear some dirt up but WILL get away with you tilling in forward till if it hits something hard.

Order several shear pins as indicated above. Experienced the same 'why the heck did you shut down' as posted above.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Wow - I was suprised to see this thread pop up again after so much time has

Well, my 1+ year report goes like this. I have had zero major problems with mine. I did have it jump out of gear a time or two, but that's it. To date, no stalling or eratic engine running issues, no handle problems, no pin issues, etc.

All in all I am very pleased with this tiller. It has proven to be the best value for your buck as far as mid-range priced tillers go.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I just bought the 7 hp tiller yesterday. Got it on sale, plus 10% off of that with a midnight madness promo.
Tiller runs well thus far. One thing that almost stopped me was the funky tiller tine setup. They look like they'll last about one season. The metal is thin and scooped. If you know any info about them, please fill me in.
brett w

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Just used my Craftsman 17" tiller for the first time. Really shrill noise when tilling and grinding noise when pushed in neatural. Tills great but can hardly stand the noise. Any suggestions?

RE: Craftsman 6.5 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller (917.294482 ) - User

This Craftsmen Rear Tine tiller has given 4 years of great tilling in this Virginia clay soil till now. Cannot get the shift lever to change gears, and tried rocking back and forth to no avail. Sears wants over $500 for a new transmission and I would rather invest in another tiller, or tear it down. Has anyone torn it down and rebuild the tranny?

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

I love my tiller but yesturday when I was nearly finished the lever wouldn't engage to any gears at all. It acts as if it has come loose or something. It moves much too freely. Does anyone have a diagram? My tiller is two years old and no longer under a warranty. Thanks

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

It's been a while since this thread has been active, but would anyone have any suggestions on what this particular tiller might go for used? It was bought brand new from Sears for $700, looks nearly brand new, and has literally been used maybe 6 times. We hate to part with it but have hardly any use for it, have little storage for it, and could use the money.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

missrex, if you purchased this in 2005 like I did, I would say somewhere around $450 would be what I would shoot to get. Craftsman only lists a 13 inch model as the largest for sale currently on their web site. It also is selling for what ours brought in 2005. The briggs 7hp engine and larger 17 inch cut should keep the value up a bit on our older models.

Mine looks like new too. Always garage kept and hosed off after every use.

Mine is still running strong. The spring that holds the depth stake pin in place just broke on mine this past weekend. I popped in a roll pin and spring clip to hold the stake in place as a fix. No other problems to report after 5 years of usage.

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

The price of a rear tine tiller just cost USD520 in China.....including shipping freight to USA port....

RE: Craftsman 7 HP 17in. Rear Tine Tiller ( 29427 ) - User Revie

Please help! The shift lever on my unit has come completely loose! A broken pin came out of one of the holes holding the shift lever to the shifter. Does anyone know what that is called? I really need my tiller up and running but can't get it into any gear - it won't even roll on its own. Is there an easier fix than trying to find a pin or has anyone had luck with replacement pins?
The earlier post from adnaw52 is asking the same question. When I search this message board on Google it appears that a pbuckner answered the question but the reply isn't on this thread or in the cached version. Anyone have that information? (Or know why someones helpful post would be deleted?)
Thank you, thank you, for any insight!

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