How to Start a Craftsman Lawnmower

Craftsman, which introduced the first lawn mower in 1934, manufactures two types of lawn mowers for use by consumers. The push mower, most commonly used for small yards and the riding mower, which is often used by consumers with large plots of land. Craftsman lawn mowers start in one of two ways and determining the correct starting option is very simple.

Push Mower

Step 1

Check the oil level on your Craftsman push lawn mower. The oil cap is located on the top of the engine and is black in color. Untwist the cap and remove it to reveal the dip stick. Look on the dip stick to see where the oil level falls. The dip stick has level markings on it. If the level marking says "Add" you will need to pour additional oil into the oil tank before starting the mower. The type of oil you need is marked on the oil cap.

Step 2

Attach the spark plug wire to the lawn mower's spark plug if you have not done so in the past. The spark plug and spark plug wire are on the front of the engine. Place the metal cap of the wire over the metal tip of the spark plug and ensure that it is on securely.

Step 3

Push the primer button three times or five times in weather below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The primer is located on the left hand side of the engine.

Step 4

Grasp the hold control handle and upper handle firmly in one hand. Hold onto the recoil starter handle located on the right hand side of the mower and slowly pull the rope. Allow the rope to rewind gently. Pull the recoil rope rapidly using a complete, full-arm motion before letting the rope return gently. Repeat pulling the rope rapidly and returning until the lawn mower starts.

Riding Mower

Step 5

Check the oil level in the same way you would a push mower. The oil cap is located under the hood of the riding lawn mower.

Step 6

Insert the riding mower key into the ignition switch. Do not force the key in if it is sticking.

Step 7

Press down on the mower's parking brake. Keep the parking brake depressed while moving the parking brake lever into the "on" position. The brake has to be engaged to turn the mower on, but will have to be disengaged after starting before you can drive the mower.

Step 8

Locate the blade engage lever on the right fender of the riding lawn mower next to the riding seat. Check that the lever is in the "off" position, if not move the lever until the blade is disengaged. The off position is when the lever is as far away from the front of the riding lawn mower as possible.

Step 9

Move the choke control lever into the highest choke position. The choke control lever is located on the right hand side of the lawn mower's dash.

Step 10

Turn the key towards the "Start" position in a clockwise motion. Once the engine has started, release the key so it returns to the "On" position.