One thing to understand about Craftsman engines. They are not Briggs ripoffs or Honda Clones. These winterized engines are designed and manufactured to specific standards for Craftsman and the North American Snowblower market. They are made by one of the world’s largest engine manufactures, not some fly-by-night garage and tent operation. Parts are readily available through This engine manufacture also works with other brands you know and trust like Harley Davidson, Cub Cadet and MTD to deliver high quality engines and components.
Just like the Bosch starter in your car these motors are licensed from the manufacture so that Sears can put the Craftsman name on it.
I hate to tell you this but all the 2013 snow blower motors are made overseas. The Ariens AX, Husqvarna Snow King, Briggs & Stratton Polar Force, Craftsman, Cub Cadet, and Troy-Bilt are all made in China. That doesn’t mean the engine are junk. It just means that you (85% of the people who buy snow blowers) are not willing to pay the higher cost for a U.S. made engine and to be competitive all the manufactures had to move their production over there. The only engine I’m not sure about is the Honda but I know they have a factory on the same street in China where the Briggs & Stratton snow engines are made. Sorry, it’s an economic decision.
Yes, I am patriotic just like you. I would rather buy “Made in the USA” than made in China. And I do whenever possible. But I am also practical. I know if my favorite snow blower (a Gravely 16 hp Convertible with a 30 inch snow thrower) was still made in the USA I would have to pay over $4ooo for it. Today, I can get a 30 inch Craftsman that will blow my snow just as well for around $1000. As a semi-retired person I don’t want to spend the high dollars it would cost for me to own the Gravely.
So What makes a Craftsman Snow Blower Engine one of the best on the market today?
OHV (overhead valve) design for lower emissions, more power, and reduced fuel consumption. Shielded spark plug boot reduces unwanted electrical interference.
OHV Design with Cross-Flow Cylinder Head: More efficient, cleaner burning engine than conventional side valve engines. Results in lower emissions, more power and reduces your fuel consumption.
Cast Iron Cylinder Sleeve: Automotive style piston and rings riding in a cast iron sleeve cylinder provides longer life while reducing bore wear and oil consumption. Superior to aluminum.
Forged Steel Crankshaft: Better strength/weight ratio than cast iron which means stronger and more durable.
Cast Iron Cam Shaft: Commercial grade cast iron cam shaft provides better durability and longer life than nylon composites. Heavy Duty Crankshaft Ball Bearings Can withstand higher loads and reduces wear caused by oil contamination or low oil conditions.
Induction Discharge Ignition: These solid state ignitions deliver a longer spark duration. This makes the engine easier to start and much more dependable in frigid, sub-zero temperatures.
Simple-to-use controls designed for easy access and mitten operation.
Ergonomic Operator Controls with Oversized Mitten Grip: Oversize and readily accessible controls for convenient operation. Ergonomic oversize mitten grip starter handle for easy starting and accommodates the largest of gloves.
Designed to Run On Todays Fuel: These motors are designed from the ground up to run on fuels containing up to 10% ethanol. Remember, fuel can go bad and separate in as little as month if left untreated. If any of your small engines won’t start because of stale fuel the problem is not the engine, it’s how you are storing your fuel (Please, always use a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam)
Push button 110V electric starter eliminates pull starting. Mitten grip manual pull is provided as a backup.
Electric Starter with Alternator: Push button 110V electric starter UL/CSA 28 inch and larger models have a 20W AC / 20W DC alternator for lights and optional heated hand grips.
Mechanical Compression Release: Minimizes pulling effort for smooth and easy starts.Manual Choke with Primer for fast, easy, reliable starting on those frigid sub-zero days.
Mechanical Governor: Mechanical governors are still the best way to get precise, immediate control of engine speed. This gives you faster engine response and less lugging of the motor when you reach that heavy snow drift.
Electronic Ignition with RFI-EMI: Shielded Plug Boot Induction Discharge Ignition delivers longer spark duration which is required for easy, dependable starting in frigid sub-zero temperatures.
110-Volt Push-Button Electric Starter: Besides the large mitten grip handle on the recoil starter all 2013 Craftsman engines have a push button electric start. Just plug a 3-prong extension cord into the connector on the side of the engine and push the little red button.
Low-Tone Muffler: The muffler has a heat shield to protect you and channel warm air to the carb and significantly reduces exhaust noise. This engine is much quieter than your old snow blower.
Ratchet-style gas cap and removable fuel filter prevents unwanted contaminants. Up to a 5.0 litre fuel tank means less fillings and longer run time.
Fuel Capacity: Up to 5.0 litres (nearly twice industry standard) for less fillings and longer run times.
Automotive-style, oil dipstick allows for easy oil checks both at the start and throughout the season.
Extended Oil Fill and Dipstick: Allows for easy maintenance when filling and checking oil levels.
Extended oil drain for quick and easy oil changes makes ongoing maintenance simple and clean.
The failure rate on Craftsman snow engines is extremely low. In fact the failure rate for all the snow engines listed above is the best it has ever been. There are no base design issues with any of these engines. The return rate and defect rates on all of these engines is smaller than any other production small engine.
Todays Carburetors – I had to change my thinking about starting issues. I’m older than you and I’m sure you can change to! The carburetors today are much more precise and fuel efficient than your old one and any problems you will have with the carburetor is not the carb itself, but today’s fuel.
Throw out that old metal gas can. Always close the vent and put the cap on your gas can. The newest cans from Briggs & Stratton (Briggs & Stratton Enviro-Flo Plus Gas Can, 2+, 1 can)are easy enough to use. Take the fuel you used this summer and last winter and put it in your car. Buy new fuel and I strongly recommend only buy a month’s supply. (I have a 2 gallon can) If you live in an area that has high humidity (anywhere in the U.S.) use a fuel stabilizer with a moisture absorbent. Sea Foam and Marine StaBil are two that come to mind. When you buy fuel do not buy the cheapest fuel. If possible buy unleaded fuel without ethanol. By the way, a fuel filter will not eliminate fuel problems on a snow blower. The current instructions from the engine manufactures is to leave stabilized fuel in the snow blower. Don’t run it dry for storage. If you don’t believe me follow these instructions, go buy a can of premium fuel from Craftsman (Craftsman High Performance Pure 4-Cycle Fuel). Then: 1. Run the engine out of fuel. 2. Put about 1/2 cup of the Craftsman fuel in the tank, Start the engine and run it until it runs out of fuel again. 3. What this does is it replaces any of the old fuel that will varnish and ruin the carb. The Premium Craftsman fuel is safe in your engine for up to 2 years.