How To Adjust Mower Height How To Adjust Mower Height

What You'll Need
Riding Mower, Push Mower, Or Reel Mower
Tape Measure Or Small Ruler
Owners Manual
Any Tools Specified By Manual

Adjusting the height of your lawn mower is usually a pretty straight forward process. Many lawn mowers today are simple enough that you can tell at a glance exactly how to make the adjustments. However, some are not so simple. Sometimes it isn’t a matter of difficulty, but knowing what height is appropriate for your yard. To properly adjust your mower for your yard, follow these very simple guidelines.

Step 1 – Owners Manual

Regardless of the type of mower you have, the first thing you should always do is check to see what the manufacturer’s manual has to say about raising and lowering the height of your lawn mower. Even on the simplest of designs, adjustments can vary from brand to brand. Even if the proper way to adjust it appears obvious, there may be something that you’re missing and you won’t know it until you’ve read the manual.

Step 2 – Adjust On Flat Surface

To fully see how high or low your mower is, place it on a flat surface like a driveway or cement patio before making any adjustments. Also, if you're working with tools, such as a wrench, you’ll be less likely to lose it on pavement than in the grass.

Step 3 – Measure

When in doubt of how high your mower should be, always start at the top and work your way down. However, to get a more precise cut without the trial and error, you can measure roughly how tall your grass is (keep in mind that you’ll be mowing the top 1/3 of the blades). Then, measure from the surface your mower is on up to the fan blades, or up to the bed knife, in the case of reel mowers. This will give you an idea of how low your mower should be to start cutting.

Step 4 – Making Adjustments

Always make sure that your mower has no chance of starting before you make adjustments. For most gas mowers, there is a safety catch that must be held down in order for it to run, so make sure it is not being pressed by anything. For extra safety, you can always remove the spark plug while making adjustments. For riding mowers, just make sure there isn’t anything to press the clutch and you should be ok.

You can adjust most modern push mowers and even reel mowers by simply moving a lever. Some may require you to adjust each wheel one at a time. If this is the case, make sure you don’t accidentally adjust them to different heights. Also, be aware that it is common to need a screwdriver, wrench, etc. in order to make adjustments to wheel height.

For riding mowers, the mechanisms for raising and lowering the cutting deck tend to vary more. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial to read your manual for information.

For more information on mower height adjustment, refer to your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer.

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