Why Is My Lawn Mower So Hard to Push?

19 minutes read

There can be several reasons why your lawn mower is hard to push:

  1. Dull Blades: If the blades of your lawn mower are dull, they might struggle to cut through the grass efficiently. This can create resistance and make it harder to push the mower.
  2. Clogged Deck: Grass clippings and other debris can accumulate under the deck, clogging the cutting area. A clogged deck will obstruct the movement of the blades, causing additional strain and making it difficult to push the mower.
  3. Uneven Terrain: If your lawn has uneven or bumpy terrain, it can make the mower harder to push. The wheels might struggle to navigate over obstacles, causing resistance.
  4. Tall or Wet Grass: Mowing tall or wet grass can be challenging for lawn mowers. The excess resistance from long or damp grass can make it harder to push the mower through your lawn.
  5. Mechanical Issues: Certain mechanical problems can cause difficulty in pushing your lawn mower. Issues such as a damaged transmission, faulty drive belt, or inadequate lubrication can all contribute to increased resistance.
  6. Improper Cutting Height: If your mower's cutting height is set too low, it can cause the blades to dig into the ground, creating more resistance and making it harder to push the mower.

Understanding the potential causes of your lawn mower being hard to push can help you diagnose and address the issue to make mowing your lawn an easier task. Regular maintenance, such as sharpening blades, clearing the deck, and ensuring proper cutting height, can prevent many problems and keep your mower running smoothly.

Best Push Lawn Mowers of 2024

YARDMAX 21 in. 170cc 2-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels

Rating is 5 out of 5

YARDMAX 21 in. 170cc 2-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels

  • Single-lever deck adjustment for quickly setting your mow height
  • MAXFlow Deck Technology – volute spiral deck design for better airflow and mulching
  • Heavy-duty, 16-gauge stamped steel deck
  • Durable, one-piece seamless steel deck reduces vibration
  • Seven cutting heights from 1.25″ to 3.75″
  • Double-ball-bearing wheels for easy, smooth mowing with less pushing effort
  • Adjustable, durable 3-position handle height
  • Folds for space-saving storage
  • 7 in. front and 11 in. rear wheels for stability and control
PowerSmart Gas Lawn Mower 21 Inch 2-in-1 with 144CC 4-Stroke Engine, Push Mower Gas Powered DB2321CR

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

PowerSmart Gas Lawn Mower 21 Inch 2-in-1 with 144CC 4-Stroke Engine, Push Mower Gas Powered DB2321CR

  • 144CC OHV ENGINE: reliable engine, recoil starter for easy start, forced air cooling system continuously deliver unbeatable grass cutting effect.
  • 21 INCH CUTTING DECK: patented cutting system with 21 inch cutting deck, wider mowing path helps you trim sizable yard fast.
  • 2-IN-1 PUSH MOWER: side-discharge easily pass thick grasses for quickest mowing, mulching lawn mower minces grass into super-fine bits for recycle.
  • GRASS HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE: 6 positions for adjust cutting height from 1.5" to 3.9", suitable for all kinds of grasses.
BILT HARD Gas Lawn Mower 20 inch, 2 in 1 170cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine Cordless Lawnmower, 8 Adjustable Cutting Heights Push Mowers for Lawn, Yard and Garden

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

BILT HARD Gas Lawn Mower 20 inch, 2 in 1 170cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine Cordless Lawnmower, 8 Adjustable Cutting Heights Push Mowers for Lawn, Yard and Garden

  • Auto Choke Engine - 170cc 4-stroke OHV engine, 6.5 ft.lb torque, 20 inch cutting deck.
  • Cutting Height - 8-position single lever four-wheel synchronized height adjustment from 1.2" to 3.2".
  • Mowing Convenience - 7" rear/6“ front double ball-bearing wheels achieve smooth movement, comfortable foam-wrapped angled grip eliminates grasp fatigue.
  • Durable Cutting Deck: 20" cutting deck and specialized blade delivering a clean, even cut. Enjoy years of high efficient mowing with superior cutting quality
Greenworks 40V 16" Cordless (Push) Lawn Mower (75+ Compatible Tools), 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Included

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Greenworks 40V 16" Cordless (Push) Lawn Mower (75+ Compatible Tools), 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Included

  • CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with Greenworks electric lawn mowers. This 40v push lawn mower provides the power you need with up to 45 minutes of runtime on a fully charged 4.0Ah battery. The battery completely charges in 120 minutes.Brushless motor : No
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, EASY TO USE – A lightweight 16” cutting deck allows for easy maneuvering through small to medium yards (up to ½ acre) more efficiently. Easy push button start and lighter weight make it a great choice for your lawn.
  • VERSATILE – Battery powered lawn mower has a single lever 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range from 1-1/4" to 3-3/8" for the best cut in all environments. The 2-in-1 feature offers versatile use with mulching and rear bagging options.
  • MAINTENANCE FREE – This walk behind lawn mower is virtually maintenance free, with no gas, no oil and no emissions. It starts instantly and is quiet but delivers gas-like power for your toughest projects.
Yard Machines 11A-02BT729 20-in Push Lawn Mower with 125cc Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Engine, Black and Red

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Yard Machines 11A-02BT729 20-in Push Lawn Mower with 125cc Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Engine, Black and Red

  • A 125cc OHV Briggs & Stratton engine delivers reliable power to quickly tackle your yard
  • Push mower ideal for small yards with minimal obstacles
  • 20-in. deck with side discharge to efficiantly spread grass clippings
  • 7-in wheels provide reliable traction to navigate your yard
  • Choose from 3 cutting heights
BLACK+DECKER Electric Lawn Mower, 10-Amp, Corded (BEMW472BH)

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

BLACK+DECKER Electric Lawn Mower, 10-Amp, Corded (BEMW472BH)

  • Lightweight corded electric mower gasless 10 Amp 15 inch electric mower for powering through rough grass.Ideal for 1/8 acre.Voltage : 120 V. Product Application : Cleaning.
  • Comfort grip bike handlebar design reduces friction and enhances maneuverability for small lawns
  • Enhanced clipping collection winged blade yields 30% better clipping collection
  • Push button start no-hassle startup easy-to- use features
  • Adjustable cutting height 6 adjustable cutting heights ranging from 1 inch to 3 inch
CRAFTSMAN Gas Powered Lawn Mower, 21-inch Push Mower, 140cc (M105)

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

CRAFTSMAN Gas Powered Lawn Mower, 21-inch Push Mower, 140cc (M105)

  • POWERFUL ENGINE: 140cc BRIGGS & STRATTON engine with auto-choke
  • MOWING CONVENIENCE: 21 in., 3-in-1 convertible deck lets you side discharge, mulch, or rear bag grass clippings
  • CLIPPING COLLECTION: Rear bag collects grass clippings for easy cleanup or composting
  • HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Dual-lever, 6-position height adjustment makes it easy to change cutting heights from 1.25 in. to 3.75 in. high
  • COMFORT: Adjustable loop handle for comfort while mowing. MULCH KIT: Included to help put nutrients back into soil for a healthy lawn
BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 String Trimmer/Edger & Lawn Mower, 6.5-Amp, 12-Inch, Corded (MTE912) (Power cord not included), Black/Red

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 String Trimmer/Edger & Lawn Mower, 6.5-Amp, 12-Inch, Corded (MTE912) (Power cord not included), Black/Red

  • 3N1 DESIGN – Electric mower easily converts to string trimmer and edger via a built-in foot pedal for versatile use.
  • 6.5 AMP MOTOR – Supplies the ideal amount of power when trimming grass, weeds, and overgrowth.
  • GEAR DRIVE TRANSMISSION – For tackling tougher, thicker grass without getting bogged down.
  • AFS AUTOMATIC FEED SPOOL – Continuously feeds trimmer line without bumping for seamless, uninterrupted trimming.
  • ADJUSTABLE MOWER DECK AND TRIMMER HANDLE – Lawn mower deck and string trimmer handle are adjustable for ideal grass- cutting height and added comfort.
  • CORDED – Corded design offers unlimited runtime for even the biggest jobs.
  • INCLUDES – (1)GH912 trimmer/edger, (1) MTD100 detachable mower deck, (1) AF-100 spool, (1) auxiliary handle, (1) guard.
  • Note: Item requires power cord. Power cord not included

How to identify if the wheels are causing difficulty in pushing the lawn mower?

Here are some steps to identify if the wheels are causing difficulty in pushing the lawn mower:

  1. Inspect the wheels: Check the wheels for any visible signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, flat spots, or looseness. Ensure that they are properly aligned and secured to the axle.
  2. Check the wheel bearings: If the wheels are not spinning freely, it could be due to worn or damaged wheel bearings. Lift the mower and try spinning each wheel individually. If any wheel doesn't spin smoothly or emits grinding or squeaking noises, the wheel bearings may need to be replaced.
  3. Examine the tires: Assess the condition of the tires, including the treads and inflation. If the tires are worn out, bald, or lacking proper air pressure, they may be causing difficulties when pushing the mower. Make sure to inflate the tires to the recommended pressure level.
  4. Clean and lubricate the wheels: If there is excessive dirt, debris, or grass clippings built up around the wheel axles, it can impede smooth wheel movement. Clean the wheels and axles thoroughly, and apply a suitable lubricant to ensure smooth rotation.
  5. Adjust the wheel height: Incorrect wheel height adjustment can make pushing the lawn mower more difficult. Refer to the mower's manual for instructions on properly setting the wheel heights to match your preferred grass cutting height.
  6. Test on different terrains: Push the lawn mower on various surfaces, including flat ground, slopes, or uneven terrain. Observe whether the difficulty in pushing remains consistent or if it worsens on particular terrains, which might indicate wheel-related problems.

If the above steps do not resolve the difficulty in pushing the lawn mower, it might be necessary to consult a professional or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

What is the effect of a clogged mower chute on pushability?

A clogged mower chute can have a significant impact on pushability. When the chute is clogged, it restricts the flow of grass clippings or other debris from being expelled properly, causing them to accumulate in the chute. This build-up can create resistance and obstruct the airflow, making it harder to push the mower forward. The clog ultimately increases the effort required to move the mower, resulting in decreased pushability. Additionally, a clogged chute can also affect the overall cutting performance of the mower, as it may cause uneven distribution of cut grass, clumping, or blockages in the cutting deck.

How to adjust the lawn mower's cutting height to make it easier to push?

To make it easier to push a lawn mower, you can adjust the cutting height by following these steps:

  1. Locate the cutting height adjustment lever or knob: Look for a lever or knob on the lawn mower deck that controls the cutting height. It is usually located on one or more of the wheels or on the main body of the mower.
  2. Understand the cutting height settings: Most lawn mowers have multiple cutting height options, usually ranging from 1 to 4 inches or more. These settings determine how close or high the mower blade will cut the grass.
  3. Set the cutting height to its highest position: To make pushing the lawn mower easier, adjust the cutting height to the highest setting available. This will prevent the mower blade from cutting too low, which can make pushing more difficult.
  4. Adjust the cutting height evenly: If your lawn mower has multiple wheels with individual height adjustments, ensure that all the wheels are set to the same height. This will help maintain an even cutting height across the entire lawn.
  5. Test and make necessary adjustments: Push the lawn mower around a small area of your lawn to see if it feels easier to maneuver. If you still find it challenging, consider raising the cutting height even further. Experiment until you find a height that allows for easy pushing while still maintaining an acceptable grass length.
  6. Regularly maintain the blades: While adjusting the cutting height can make pushing easier, it's also important to maintain sharp mower blades. Dull blades can make the mower more difficult to push, so regularly sharpen or replace them as needed.

By following these steps and adjusting the cutting height accordingly, you should be able to make pushing your lawn mower a less strenuous task.

What is the role of a worn-out drive belt in making a lawn mower hard to push?

A worn-out drive belt can cause a lawn mower to be hard to push because it can result in a loss of power transmission from the engine to the wheels or blades. The drive belt connects the engine to the transmission or cutting blades and enables them to rotate. If the drive belt is worn out or damaged, it may slip or lose tension, reducing the power transfer. As a result, the lawn mower may experience decreased performance, making it difficult to push. This could manifest as reduced speed, weaker cutting ability, or overall sluggishness when trying to move the mower forward.

How to check and adjust the tire pressure on a lawn mower?

To check and adjust the tire pressure on a lawn mower, follow these steps:

  1. Park the lawn mower on a flat, level surface and make sure it is turned off.
  2. Locate the valve stem on each tire. It is usually a small rubber or metal stem poking out from the wheel.
  3. Remove the valve cap from one of the tires by unscrewing it.
  4. Insert a tire pressure gauge into the valve stem and press firmly to obtain a reading. The gauge will display the current pressure in PSI (pounds per square inch).
  5. Check the manufacturer's recommendation for the ideal tire pressure. It is usually listed in the user manual or on a sticker located on the mower itself.
  6. Compare the measured pressure with the recommended pressure. If the measured pressure is too low or too high, adjustments are required.
  7. To add air: If the pressure is too low, attach an air compressor or use a hand pump to inflate the tire. Pump air into the valve stem until you reach the recommended pressure. Keep checking the pressure periodically during the process, as it can increase quickly.
  8. To release air: If the pressure is too high, gently press the valve stem core with a valve stem tool or a small screwdriver to release air. Check the pressure frequently to prevent over-deflation.
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 for each tire.
  10. Once all tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure, reattach the valve caps securely.

By regularly monitoring and adjusting the tire pressure of your lawn mower, you can ensure optimal performance, even cutting, and extend the lifespan of both the tires and the machine.

How to improve the maneuverability of a hard-to-push lawn mower?

Improving the maneuverability of a hard-to-push lawn mower can be achieved by taking a few steps:

  1. Clean and lubricate: Ensure that the mower is clean and free from debris, which can hinder its movement. Regularly remove grass clippings and dirt from the wheels, axles, and other moving parts. Additionally, lubricate the axles and wheels to reduce friction.
  2. Check tire pressure: Make sure the tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Under-inflated tires can make the push mower harder to maneuver. Use a pressure gauge to check and adjust the tire pressure if necessary.
  3. Sharpen the blades: Dull blades create more resistance and make it harder to push the mower. Regularly sharpen the blades to ensure they cut the grass cleanly. This will not only make mowing easier but also help maintain a healthier lawn.
  4. Adjust the cutting height: Set the cutting height of the lawn mower to an appropriate level. Lower cutting heights can increase resistance and make pushing the mower more difficult. Adjust the blade height to a comfortable level that still achieves the desired grass length.
  5. Maintain the engine: A well-maintained engine ensures smooth functioning. Regularly change the oil and air filter, and keep the spark plug clean and in good condition.
  6. Consider the grass condition: Sometimes, difficult maneuverability might be due to the condition of the grass rather than the mower itself. If the grass is too wet, tall, or overgrown, it can make mowing more challenging. Wait for the grass to dry, and if it's excessively tall, consider trimming it with a string trimmer before mowing.
  7. Upgrade to a self-propelled mower: If all else fails or if it's difficult for you to push the mower due to physical limitations, consider investing in a self-propelled lawn mower. These mowers have built-in propulsion systems that make them easier to maneuver and require less effort to push.

Remember to always prioritize safety when working with lawn mowers. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and take proper precautions to avoid any accidents or injuries.

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