Terms to Know: Lawn Mower Edition

Posted August 6, 2015 by 2 Comments

Do you know the difference between mulching blades and standard blades?

Knowing the terminology associated with lawn mowers will make repairs and maintenance much easier.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with any of the terms you may come across when dealing with lawn mowers, here is a guide to help you!

Bagging: most walk behind mowers have bags built in so that when you mow, the clippings automatically go into the grass bag.

Blade Lock Tool: A tool that keeps the blades from spinning during maintenance.

Carb-Approved: The engine meets specifications that allow carb-approved equipment to be sold in all 50 states.

Crown: The tips of the grass that is cut off while you mow your lawn.

Deck height: The Height of the mower deck, this controls how high or low your grass will be cut.

Deck: The part of the mower that houses the blades and belts.

Dethatch: Removing built up grass, known as thatch, from your lawn.

Fabricated Deck: A deck that is made up of multiple pieces of thick metal welded together. They are usually thicker and more durable.

Gator Blades: Gator blades are a type of mulching blades that have teeth.

High lift blades (standard blades):  Cuts grass cleanly and sharply, known as high lift blades because the create a high lifting air flow for more efficient clipping discharge.

Hydrostatic Transmission: A continuously variable transmission, it does not have set speeds. You accelerate with a pedal or other form of speed selector, there is no need to change gears or use a clutch.



Lawn Tractor: Good for mowing residential lawns, they usually have different attachments.

Mulching: Using mulching blades

Mulching blade: This two-blade set will chop up the blades of grass that you cut into smaller pieces and it will leave them on the soil, they will break down faster and release their nutrients into the soil.

Power Take Off (PTO): When engaged, it provides power to the mower blades.

Primer: Releases a small amount of gas into the carburetor to ensure that the firing continues to get the mower engine going.

Rear Engine Rider:  Riding mower with the engine located in the rear of the mower.

Rear Skirt: The flap on the back of a walk behind mower that prevents grass from coming back at you and helps keep it off of the mower’s deck.

Reel Mower: A push mower that has no engine, just push it to make the blades rotate..

Roll Over Protection System (ROPS): The bar that is over top of most commercial zero turn mowers, designed to help keep the operator safe in case of a roll over.

Scalping: Occurs when you cut the grass too low and you expose the soil of your yard.

Self Propelled Mower: A walk behind mower that has an engine and throttle, by pressing the throttle bar the mower slightly accelerates, you can adjust it to your pace of walking

Stamped Deck: A deck made of one piece of metal

Striping: Mowing your lawn into decorative stripes or other patterns, such as the designs seen on a baseball field.


Tachometer: Tells you how many RPM’S (Rotations Per Minute) your mower is producing.

Walk behind Mower:  A lawn mower that you walk behind instead of driving. These can either be self-propelled or pushed, meaning that they have a throttle and acceleration control (self-propelled) or you use your own power (push).

Wash Out Port:  Some mowers come equipped with a port that allows you to attach a hose and quickly wash out any clippings that may be stuck in the deck.

Zero turn: Riding mower that has a turning radius that goes in a complete circle, ideal for very large mowing jobs.


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  1. Justin Hamilton
    on December 1, 2015 at 5:53 am

    This is a great set of terms to know for the beginner. Do you plan on releasing any guides?

    Reply to this Comment

    • Kimberly Myers
      on January 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Justin!

      I am glad you enjoyed this post!

      We actually have a DIY Blog with tons of guides and how to articles! Please check it out and let us know if there is anything you would like to see!

      Reply to this Comment

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