How to Mow a Better Lawn

Heading out to trim those green grasses? Whether you’re a first-time home owner or an old pro, test your smarts with our top tips for safe mowing every time.


Own Your Owner’s Manual. You will be ahead of the game if you take the time to read your owner’s manual and learn how every feature works. It won’t be the most riveting reading, but you may be surprised by what your mower can do. Plus, you already know you'll like the ending: a freshly mowed lawn.

Refuel Right. It’s smart to check your gas levels before you start mowing. To avoid getting burned and prevent wear and tear on your mower, only refuel when the engine is cool.

Better Design. Better Lawn. When selecting a lawn mower, it’s smart to get one with an automatic blade-brake clutch system that enables you to stop the blade from rotating without turning off the engine. That way, you can safely move obstacles like hoses or large sticks out of the way—without getting too close to a rotating blade—and then immediately resume mowing.

Whether or not you have an automatic blade-brake clutch system, it’s a good idea to walk around your lawn and remove objects like sticks, toys, rocks, hoses and other debris before you start mowing. Objects struck by the blade can be thrown out from under the mower and cause injury.

Safe And Smart. It almost goes without saying, but running lawn mowers should never be left unattended.

Looking The Part. It’s advisable to wear long pants, sturdy shoes with sure-grip soles (never open-toe sandals) and safety glasses for protection when you’re mowing.

Waiting For Your Moment. After turning off the engine, wait for the blades to stop rotating before removing the grass catcher or unclogging the discharge chute.

Fire Safety. To prevent a fire, it’s a good idea to use a broom or rake handle to clear accumulated grass and leaves from the muffler, undercarriage and engine.

Hand Safety. If you have to reach under your mower for any reason, remember to disconnect the sparkplug wire to prevent accidental starts.

Mow Savvy. It’s best to only mow in areas where you can clearly see the ground to avoid hitting unseen debris. If you use a riding mower, travel up and down hills and not across the slope, so you’ll stay upright. But if you use a push mower, mow across slopes to prevent the mower from rolling out of control.

Children And Mowers. Children over 12 are generally considered mature enough to handle a push mower, and anyone 16 or over can operate a riding mower. Even if it’s tempting, giving kids rides on riding lawn mowers isn’t safe. While you’re mowing, make sure kids and pets are at a safe distance because mowers can potentially throw debris.

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Related Topics: Home DIY