Have you ever wondered about giving your turf a nice, elegant cutting pattern just like the ones you see on football fields? Or have you always complained about your mower shaving those blades of grass more than it should? Well, the answer to your problem lies in adjusting your mower’s cutting height. If cutting blades are lowered more than they should, your garden gets a yellowish-white finish as the grass has been trimmed too much, making the soil visible. Luckily, if you’re wondering how to increase the cutting height of your lawnmower, then you might have come to the right place.
How to increase the lawnmower height, step-by-step:
- Step 1: Park your lawnmower on a flat surface. Remove the ignition.
- Step 2: Measure the air pressure inside the tires that should be equal.
- Step 3: For riding lawnmowers, adjust the lift link adjustment nut to lower or raise the mowing deck. For push mowers, use the adjustment lever provided on the tires to raise or lower the tires.
- Step 4: After raising the height, ensure that the lawnmower is perfectly level by checking it from all sides.
Lawnmower blades can be raised or lowered depending on the mechanism provided. For riding mowers, the mowing deck can be adjusted using the lift link adjustment nut. For push behind mowers, the wheels are pressed onto notches with the help of adjustment levers. It should be noted that the lawnmower needs to be leveled from the sides whenever you are changing the cutting height. Otherwise, you might notice a difference in grass patterns in the side-to-side direction.
This blog provides you with in-depth knowledge regarding the height adjustment for various types of mowers and addressing some frequently asked questions.
- 1 Increasing the Cutting Height on Various Lawnmowers:
- 1.1 ● Equipment needed:
- 1.2 ● 1. Riding Lawnmowers:
- 1.3 ● 2. Self-propelled lawnmowers:
- 2 Related Questions:
- 3 Final Remarks:
Increasing the Cutting Height on Various Lawnmowers:
We provide you the step-by-step procedure for increasing and adjusting the height on various lawnmower types.
● Equipment needed:
For performing the height adjustment, you need a wrench set and a ruler. For measuring the tire pressures, a pressure gauge and an air pump are required. As a precautionary measure, we recommend wearing safety gloves while touching the mower blades.
● 1. Riding Lawnmowers:
In riding lawnmowers, the cutting blades are mounted underneath the mowing deck. The mowing deck is a separate attachment to the main body of the mower. Lift link adjustments are used for making height adjustments. The entire procedure is detailed below:
– Step 1: Park the mower on a flat surface:
Before you make the height adjustment, it is better to park the riding lawnmower on a flat surface such as a driveway and set the parking brake. It shall be easier for you to find the screws and nuts that drop on the floor instead of grass.
– Step 2: Take precautionary measures:
You would not want the engine to start during the height adjustment since you deal with the blades and the deck. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remove the ignition key from the switch. It would be even better to remove the spark plug wire as rotating the blades sometimes results in the engine starting up.
– Step 3: Adjust the tire pressure:
Before increasing the height, we want to make sure that all the tires have the same pressure so that the mower isn’t tilted towards any particular side. To do this, you might need to use the tire pressure gauge to measure each tire’s air pressure and then use the air supply to fill up the tires.
The lift link adjustment on the deck lowers or raises the deck from the sides. Each full turn raises or lowers that particular side by 3/16th of an inch. For making the side-to-side adjustment, turn the blade sideways and measure its initial height from the ground using a ruler.
Now, after you’ve achieved your desired level by adjusting the lift link, measure the final height of the blade tip again. Repeat this procedure for the other hand side of the mower deck. You should ensure that on both sides of the deck, the blade tip’s final height should be the same; otherwise, you would experience undesirable cutting patterns due to the cutting blades’ incorrect level.
– Step 5: Raise the deck from front and back using adjustment nut:
Now that we have performed the adjustment front to back, we also need to ensure that the mower’s pitch or rake is within the prescribed limits. For this purpose, align the blade tip in front to back direction or longitudinally. Measure the blade tip’s height from the ground separately from the front and back.
Generally, the front is 1/8th to 1/2 inch lower than the back so that the cutting section doesn’t scatter the grass straws all over the garden. Adjust the level from the front and back using the adjustment nuts provided. Make sure that you always stay within the tolerance values for whatever adjustment you perform as given by the owner’s manual.
● 2. Self-propelled lawnmowers:
In self-propelled lawnmowers, the cutting blades are located underneath the deck. The deck is not a separate component and is part of the main body. Hence, it cannot be lowered or raised, as was the case for riding mowers. The procedure for carrying out the height adjustment is as described under:
– Step 1: Park the mower on a flat surface:
The lawnmower should be placed on a perfectly flat surface so that the height adjustment doesn’t cause an error in the blade’s cutting level. If it’s a gasoline-powered mower, turn the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire.
– Step 2: Locate the height adjustment lever:
For self-propelled mowers, the height can be varied by raising or lowering the tire level using adjustment levers. These levers are provided on the inner side of each tire, where they make contact into notches.
– Step 3: Adjust the mower height using the adjustment lever:
Push the lever forwards or backward to raise or lower the height of that particular wheel, respectively. Since we want to increase the height, we shall turn the lever forward and fit it into one of the notches.
– Step 4: Repeat the procedure for the remaining wheels:
Repeat the third step for the remaining wheels on your lawnmower. All the wheels must have the same level. Otherwise, your lawnmower might create unequal cutting patterns on the opposite sides.
1. How to adjust the height of a reel lawnmower?
- Step 1: Place your mower on a flat surface such as that of a driveway.
- Step 2: A bracket secures the roller assembly to its place. The bracket is connected with the help of nuts externally.
- Step 3: Loosen the nuts of the bracket from each side and pull them out. Pull the roller pin out from its place in the bracket.
- Step 4: Insert the roller pin in a higher hole in the bracket. Place both sides of the roller in a hole at the same level.
- Step 5: Put the nuts back to secure the bracket. Tighten the nuts on each side of the bracket.
2. How high should I set my lawnmower deck?
The highest setting on lawnmowers varies from 3 to 3.5 inches. Generally, it is best to mow your grass at the highest setting. This setting ensures a much greener and denser turf, promotes deep digging roots and prevents grass diseases. The middle setting should be tried for the first and last mow of the season. It gives your shorter cut lawns usually consume more water, are thinner, and have a light color. Such turfs are preferred for golf courses.
3. Should my mower deck be leveled?
The mower deck needs to be at an equal level sideways. There is a height difference often termed as the pitch or rake for lawnmowers from front to back. This pitch provides better aerodynamic performance for the cutting deck and prevents the grass from blowing around the garden.
Typically, the pitch value varies from 1/8th to 1/2 of an inch. A value greater than this would result in short cut grass.
4. Can I leave grass clippings on my lawn?
Yes, it is quite beneficial to leave grass clippings on the lawn as this provides the organic matter for the grass in the form of nutrients. They are mostly composed of water and also stimulate the activity of beneficial microbes. The clippings decompose quite fast, i.e., in about a few hours. As long as you don’t remove 1/3rd of the grass foliage during mowing, the clippings would cause no harm but would instead bring about useful effects on your lawn.
5. Why does my lawnmower leave a row of grass near the blades?
If your lawnmower has been leaving rows of uncut grasses, it is most probably because your blades have become blunt or they have been damaged or broken. Tilt your mowing deck to inspect the condition of the blades. If they don’t seem damaged, try sharpening them using a bench grinder or a file. The blades should always be tightened at the start of the season for better performance.
Increasing the lawnmower’s cutting level is a relatively simple job. Whenever the height adjustment is performed, always ensure that the mower doesn’t tilt sideways due to incorrect level adjustment. You might not want irregular grass patterns all over your garden since that’s the very reason for which you bought a lawnmower. Furthermore, a check should be kept on the mower blades, mainly when they’ve been in service for quite some time. Blunt mower blades can create rough grass patches and thus affect the overall appeal of your garden. We recommend sharpening the mower blades after every 25 hours of use for better mowing performance.