Why Does My Lawn Mower Mow Better Backwards? 3 Potential Causes


Many people consider lawns to be a crucial component of outdoor spaces. For a healthy and good-looking meadow, it’s best to mow regularly. 

You can use a lawnmower powered by a gasoline-powered motor with a blade to cut grass into clippings and gather them in an attached catcher.

However, this machine may have some problems sometimes. One of the most common issues is cutting backward better. 

Why does my lawn mower mow better backwards? Many reasons cause this problem, and this article will discuss all potential causes.

If you are interested in this topic, it’s time to scroll down. Let’s discover more details! 

Why Does My Lawn Mower Mow Better Backwards?

Lawn mower mowing better backwards may happen mainly due to various causes, including:

  • Faulty machine
  • The height difference between the mower deck and the blade
  • Too much grass

Let’s discuss these issues!

Faulty machine

You should check your mower’s deck to detect any damage when it begins to mow backwards.

It’s a great idea to read the owner’s handbook before using your device and look inside it for any potential issues.

The height difference between the mower deck and the blade

The mower may crush the grass before it reaches the blade if the frontal wheels are adjusted far lower than the rear ones.

When the machine moves backwards, nothing crushes the grass. Hence, it will mow better in reverse. 

Too much grass

Too much grass clippings might clog the mower’s side discharge mechanism and blades. Due to the lack of obstructions, the machine may cut better going backwards. 

Read more: Great States 815-18 Reel Lawn Mower Review

Potential causes

How Do I Know When My Lawn Mower Blade Is Dull?

If the blade of your mower is dull, it may show the following signs:

The grass’s height is uneven.

If the grass height is constantly uneven after mowing, the blade may be too dull and need sharpening. 

The machine mows an area several times.

A dull blade will force you to move around one specific area multiple times to achieve ideal grass height. 

When this case frequently occurs, it’s a sign that your blade is too blunt. It’s time to sharpen it or invest in a new one. 

You must push the machine hard.

Every time you mow the grass, you feel like doing a strenuous workout when you push the machine. If that’s the case, it indicates a dull blade. 

The grass is torn.

You may cut the grass evenly with a sharp blade. Your grass won’t appear tidy if the edge is blunt.

The blade is bent or dented. 

Blades will deteriorate and become damaged with time. Therefore, you should hone or purchase a new one if it appears bent or has significant dents.

The mower is frequently stalling.

The machine can stall for several reasons. A blunt blade is among the causes which make the engine work too hard.

It’s a sign that the blade needs sharpening when your machine stalls when cutting through dense grass.

The blade often pulls dirt or grass up. 

A sharp blade will slice the grass instead of pulling it up. If you notice your machine pulling grass clumps and dirt, it means it’s dull. 

Read more: [Top 5] Best Grit For Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades

Obvious signs

Is It Worth Sharpening Lawn Mower Blades?

The answer is yes! Sharpening the blade regularly allows you to mow the grass more cleanly and quickly. Thus, your lawn will get neater and healthier. 

Consider the differences between using a new blade for your next cut and striving to squeeze out one final shave from an old one.

Your grass looks gorgeous and even and stays healthy with a sharp mowing blade. 

A torn edge instead of a smooth slice will result from smashing the end of the lawn blade with dull or damaged blades.

Typically, this damaged end will leave your grass dark a couple of days after cutting, making it more sensitive to insects and diseases.

Can You Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades With A Stone?

It’s a great idea to use a sharpening stone to sharpen your blade, among various methods. 

You can find several types of sharpening stones you can quickly get in the market. They are similar to tools to hone knives. 

If you have used a file before, you may notice its operation, and a sharpening stone is relatively different. 

You can use a stone in forward and backward strokes. Although it offers some honing, polishing and sanding the blade’s surface is more efficient.

It provides a beautiful finish to the cuttings and cracked metal, ensuring that the slicing-edge geometry is remarkably homogeneous.

How to Sharpen a blade the right way

What Is The Best Tool To Sharpen Mower Blades?

Let’s consider these best tools if you plan to sharpen your blade.

Angle grinder

An angle grinder sharpens a blade rapidly and is typically the preferred tool for professionals.

Angle grinders are convenient, affordable, and generally simple to operate. 

These tools, nevertheless, can shoot small, hot metal fragments into the air that might hurt you, so you should wear safety gloves and goggles.

Hand file

You may manually hone the blade with a hand file that measures approximately 10 inches in length and put it in a vice for safety.

With the aid of this tool, you can maintain better control over the motions and avoid over-sharpening the blade. However, it needs more time and manual labor. 

Rotary tool

You may use these functional tools for your knives and garden shears. Using rotary tools requires additional safety measures, and over-sharpening the blade is always a risk.

If you want more tips to use this tool, you can watch this video:

Can I Sharpen A Mower Blade Without Removing It? 

The short answer is yes! It’s doable to sharpen your blade without disassembling your machine. Here are the quick guides to look through:

  • Disconnect the battery, cable, or spark plug cover on your machine.
  • Tip your machine to one side.
  • Use some scrap wood to brace your machine.
  • Clean the mower blade.
  • Lock the blade.
  • Start sharpening the blade’s one side from the top edge. 
  • Repeat the process on the rest side. 
  • Secure the blade. 

Tips for sharpening the blade

The Bottom Line

Why does my lawn mower mow better backwards? This issue may happen if the machine is faulty, the height between the mower deck and the blade is different, or you cut too much grass. 

While you may find moving in reverse easier to mow the lawn, it may cause various problems related to safety. 

Therefore, you should check your machine carefully and fix it immediately to avoid potential accidents. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

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