How many decibels does a lawnmower produce? And what lawnmower type is quieter?

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The majority of garden equipment and machinery that has an engine make some noise. Some are bearably hearable; others are very loud. As you probably know, lawnmowers are in the category that makes a lot of noise. But, some mowers are louder than others. A robot mower is by far the quietest type, and some of the older larger riding mowers are among the loudest. A lot of gas mowers are so loud that you should wear ear protection when using them. In this blog, we will look at the sound level for different types of lawnmowers.

How many decibels does a lawnmower produce:

The amount of decibels a lawnmower produces greatly depends on the type. Robot mowers are the most quit types, with a level starting around 55dB to 60dB sound. Reel mowers produce around 60dB to 70dB. Electric mowers are generally quieter than gas mowers, with a level from 70dB to 90 dB. Gas operated mowers can produce a sound level from about 85dB and up. In general, gas mowers make more sound than newer models, and larger models make more sound than smaller models.

To put the numbers in perspective, you should understand that the sound level number can be deceiving. We use decibel (or dB) as the unit for sound intensity, but the scale is logarithmic. This means that a 10dB increase feels like 2 times louder. And a sound above 85dB can already cause hearing loss when you are close to it and experience it for a long time.

How many decibels do lawnmowers make:

1. The noise level of different types of lawnmowers

We have made a handy table that indicates the noise levels of the various lawnmower types. Of course, a specific lawnmower’s real noise level will depend on the brand, type, and maintenance. Several brands have made newer models more quit.

Lawnmower type
Noise Level
Lawnmower type
Noise Level
Robot mowers
55dB – 60dB
Reel mowers
60dB – 70dB
Simple, smaller Electric mower
75dB – 85dB
Self riding electric mower
80dB – 90dB
Simple, smaller gas Lawnmower
85dB – 95dB
Self riding gas Lawnmower
85dB – 100dB
Large gas Ride Lawnmower
85db – 105dB

2. Are Lawnmowers really loud?

A gas-powered engine can produce noise from 85 decibels and up, and an electric model from 75dB and up. This is much louder than a normal conversation between two people, around 50-65 dB. On the other hand, a difference between 65dB and 75dB is only 10dB.

But the dB scale is deciding. A difference of 10 dB does not look like a lot, but it means that the relatively silent electric lawnmower is double the sound level of two people speaking loudly. This is due to the logarithmic scale of dB. The sound intensity doubles after every 10 decibels. This means that a simple and relatively quiet gas Lawnmower (85dB) is twice as loud as a simple and relatively quiet electric lawnmower (75dB). Always keep in mind that a sound level above 85dB and up can result in hearing loss when you are exposed to it for a more extended period. This is why it is essential to use adequate hearing protection.

3. Comparison between electric and gas-powered lawnmowers:

There are two types of engines used in a lawnmower. One is a gas-powered engine that works on fuel, and the other one is an electric engine that works on electricity. These technologies differ a lot, but both are good solutions for a lawnmower. Electric lawnmowers are getting more and more popular as they can be cheaper to use due to no need for gas and less maintenance. They are also more environmentally friendly.

There is also a big difference in the amount of sound they produce. Electric lawnmowers are generally much quieter gas-powered cousins. Comparing the sound levels, an electric lawnmower always wins. It typically produces from 75dB and up, where gas-powered lawnmower products double the amount of sound with 85dB and up.

The sound that a gas-powered lawnmower produces also depends on the condition of the machine. How good is it maintained? A less maintained gas mower will be louder, wherein in the case of an electric model, the influence is way less. Also, the age of the mower matters. The older it is, the more wear and tear the engine has seen, which results in a slightly louder lawnmower. For example, a gas-powered lawnmower can produce 85dB when it is a new model and in ideal condition, but after some years and less than the needed maintenance, it can produce 90dB. 5dB does not sound like a lot, but it is a lot louder due to the logarithmic scale (10dB difference is twice as loud).

4. What is a safe noise level.

According to International Standards, a human ear should not be exposed to sound levels greater than 80 decibels. Up to 80 decibels lies the green zone. From 80-90 decibels, risks arise but only for long term usage. So any level greater than 90 decibels can seriously cause damage (both permanent and critical) to human ears. So, a lawnmower should only be used with the proper precautions like adequate hearing protection so that hearing loss can be avoided.

How can the noise of a lawnmower be reduced?

There are four primary sources of noise from a lawnmower:

  • Engine
  • Exhaust
  • Mechanical Vibrations
  • Blade

There are several ways how you can reduce the sound of your lawnmower:

  1. Tighten the screws of the different engine components. Loose or partly loose screws can make components resonate with the engine vibrations. It also introduces much more wear and tear on the longer run.
  2. Keep a check on the engine. Make sure that the different engine components are well maintained. Regularly check the spark plug and the air filter. A poorly maintained engine has to work harder and will produce more sound. Also, the wear and tear will be less in a well-maintained engine, making it last longer and less noisy in the long run.
  3. Check the muffler. The muffler significantly reduces the engine noise, but the noise produced can increase when it is damaged. For some lawnmowers, you can also exchange the stock muffler for a better version that makes your machine quieter.
  4. Protect your ears. Protect your ears by using adequate hearing protection like earmuffs or earplugs.
  5. Sharpen Lawnmower Blades:  Make sure that you regularly sharpen your lawnmower blades. With sharp blades, the mower needs less power to cur the grass, and such the engine will produce less noise. A well sharpened blade also cuts the grass much better.

Additional concerns:

1. Safety

It would be best if you took care of safety precautions while using any machine. As the sound produced by the lawnmower is relatively high. It can affect a human ear, so it is recommended to take safety precautions before mowing your lawn. As mentioned earlier, a lawn mower’s sound can be much louder than an everyday conversation between two people. This means that safety precautions are critical for your ears. You should use either earplugs or earmuffs and wear them properly. Some models even have functions build in to hear a person’s voice talking to you without taking them off.

2. If noise is a concern, check the use of an Electric Lawnmower

The noise produced by an electric lawnmower is much less than a gas-powered lawnmower. Its noise range starts from 75dB, which is a lot less than a gas machine. Potentially you could even cur your grass without the need for any hearing protection, but this is not recommended. Hearing loss is not something that can be reversed.

Frequently asked questions:

1. My Lawnmower produces a sound louder than usual; what to do?

If your lawnmower is producing a sound louder than usual, you should check its screws. If the screws are loose, tighten them properly. If screws are tight, then probably the sound produced is from its engine. The engine is involved in combustions and high rpm rotary components, which can be a critical factor in producing more than the average level noise, provided, there is a problem. Check them at once. The sound sometimes is also produced by its blades. If the blades produce a loud sound, replace them at once. Use ear protection while using the lawnmower. This will help you hear the person talking to you, which will protect your ear from damage.

2. Which lawnmower is best?

This isn’t easy to answer. Each of the lawnmower types has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for you will greatly depend on your use-case. If you like to have your lawn cut automatically, a robot mower can be the right choice. Gas mowers can be a better option if you have a large area to cover or have a more challenging location. When the tank is empty, you refill it and continue. If your electric lawn mower battery is empty, you have to charge it and wait for quite some time before you can continue. However, a gas-powered lawnmower is louder than an electric lawnmower and need more maintenance. And with an electric lawnmower, it is just a push of a button, and you are ready to go, no complicated starting procedures.

3. Why does my lawnmower produce a high sound?

A gas lawn mower is a machine that contains a small engine. This small engine contains a very small or maybe no mufflers. These cheap mufflers cannot control the level of noise as well as the bigger (more expensive) ones. Gas lawnmowers have an exposed engine with many rotating, sliding parts and produce many different types of sound waves. These small mufflers cannot absorb as many different sound waves compared to a more expensive muffler. Besides the engine, the blade can also produce a high sound. The blades rotate at a high rpm, which means that the blades’ tips have a super high speed. This can result in a high sound.

Final Remarks:

Lawnmowers are loud. The sound is not pleasant for the human ear, so ear protection is recommended. An electrical lawnmower produces less noise but can still be loud. If your lawnmower produces a sound louder than usual, don’t panic; check it at once. A well-maintained lawnmower will be quieter.

Lawnmowers having noise levels around 80-95 decibels are the most common ones. According to International Standards, they lie in the orange zone, so you can use them with no worries with proper safety equipment. For regular users involved in the field of gardening, more precaution is needed.