How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower

How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower Featured Photo

How have you been cutting your grasses? With a push mower? Why go through that stress when you can use the riding lawnmower and get the job done in less time and with much ease.

Mowing a large property with a push mower can be a tedious and a back-breaking task. Just imagine pushing behind a model through the large expanse of your lawn? Not only is it dull, but it also wastes time, energy, and resources. This is not the case with the riding mower.

It offers crisp, professional cuts while at the same time being energy efficient and requiring little effort. All you need to do is purchase one, sit on it and ride through your field as you watch it do all the work. Or so it seems.

However, getting a riding mower to function effectively requires more than just sitting down and maneuvering the machine, there are things to be considered and put in place first so that the device does not only function effectively but also lasts long in good condition.

If you are looking to purchase a riding mower but don’t know how to go about its operation, then this article is for you. Here, you will learn How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower, how to sharpen the blades and the maintenance procedures to follow amongst other information.

How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower

While using the riding mower for the first time, there are some things you must be aware of in order to get it working efficiently. First, check the oil and fuel level and ensure they are both enough in the machine. Riding a lawn mower without these two essential fluids can lead to knocking off the engine hence it is recommended you check.

Once you are done putting the vital fluids, then sit on the lawnmower and start it. There are two types of riding lawn mower, manual and automatic; for the manual, you may have to press down on the brake and clutch pedal before turning it on. However, most riding lawn mowers come with both options.

Automatic models require you to turn on the mower by hitting the start button then press the gas pedal and just like that you are on the move. But for manual mowers, you will have to change gears from time to time.

They are both synonymous to riding a car; you can drive at your desired speed while using the steering wheel to direct the mower to the area you want it to go.

Once you get to where you want the mower to work on, you have the option of adjusting the lever of the adjustment cutting height, and this is done by pressing the blade engagement switch.

Once done, begin mowing your lawn by driving through the grass, using the steering wheel to direct it in the right path. While mowing, go from one end of the lawn to the other and once at the end, turn your mower around and go again, ensuring it slightly overlaps the first one.

How to Get Stripes in Grass

Do you wish your lawn to have those beautiful stripes you see on football pitches? All you need to do is equip your riding mower with the right instrument. Stripes in grasses are not only appealing to the eyes and add to your outdoor décor, but they are also healthy for your lawn. The effects of stripes in the grass are caused by the reflection of sun rays on the bent grass blades.

Ideally, mower blades are structured to have a dark appearance when they bend towards you while those turning away from you appear light. To get your lawns to have stripes, you will have to obtain a striping kit, one with a roller that can bend the grass as you mow the grass.

Attach the striping kit to the mower and once done, set your grass cut at a height higher than usual. The reason for this is because taller grasses tend to bend more than shorter grasses. Then mow in a straight path, going from one end of the lawn to the other, while driving ensure you are going on a straight path to avoid having a zigzag cut that will ruin the design. As you mow along, the roller automatically bends the grass following your direction.

On getting to the end of the lawn, make a U-turn, adjust your turning radius, and begin the process all again. While doing this, ensure that the reverse mowing slightly overlaps the first one you did in other to ensure you mow tall grasses and leave nothing to chance.

This will also give it a beautiful pattern and avoid uncut grasses that may spoil the design. Using this skill, mow through your entire lawn. In the end you will discover that your lawn has that perfect and well manicured look that can rival what is obtainable in a football pitch or a golf course.

How to Sharpen a Dull Mower Blade

A riding lawn mower comes with a cutting deck which holds up to three cutting blades. These blades are flat and have sharp edges on both ends. However, as a result of constant use or contact with objects such as stones, rocks, trees, or roots, the blades may become dull over time. It is therefore essential that the blades be sharpened from time to time as this will ensure a crisp, even and professional cut and also keep your grasses healthy. Hence, knowing how to sharpen a dull mower blade is essential.

Before you begin sharpening your mower blades, ensure it is parked on a flat surface such as a driveway. After parking, raise the cutting deck to the highest point to get to the blades while at the same time leaving the mower in gear and on the parking brake. As part of safety measures, locate the spark plug and detach the rubber boot off the wire and away from the spark plug’s tip. This is done to prevent the mower from turning on accidentally.

To sharpen the blade, you will have to detach it from the mower but before that ensure to mark out the bottom of the blade. This will help you know which part to fix back into the mower once you are done sharpening, you can mark it out using a wax pencil, chalk or any other material that can be seen easily.

After marking the blade, with the use of a 2×4 lumber, wedge the path between the blade and mower deck. After this, loosen and unscrew the spindle bolt you find at the center of your cutting deck using a socket wrench. Once the bolt has been removed, detach the blade and get it ready to be sharpened.

Before you begin sharpening, clean the blade using a wire brush. This gets rid of dirt, debris, sand, small stones and other particles on the blade. Now place the stainless blade on a flat surface, ensuring that the tip of the blade extends a little beyond the edge of the surface it is placed on, this will help you operate smoothly.

With the use of metal file, begin to sharpen the blade by running the file across the cutting edge back and forth until it is sharp enough to suit your taste. When this is done, turn the blade over and repeat the same process until both edges are sharp enough. Just like that, you have sharpened your blade!

The next thing after this is to place back the blade under the deck. Locate the part you have earlier marked out and place it facing downwards into the mower deck. Screw back the spindle bolt and tighten it (you can use your hand for this).  Place the 2×4 lumber against the mower deck and push the blade against it, then tighten the spindle bolt with the socket wrench. Upon tightening and securing the blade, plug back your rubber boot to the sparkplug. Your blade is sharp and ready for use once again.

Learn more about sharpening reel mower blades if you prefer a more manual mowing task.


Science and technology have made life easy and beautiful for us all. One of the beauties of technologies is the riding lawn mower. Rather than spend so much employing local laborers to help clear your lawn (a process that will still not get the job done perfectly) or using a push lawn mower (a process that is tedious and time consuming) it is only wise to go for the most energy efficient, easy and safe option – a riding lawn mower.

Most often people are deterred by their inability to use the machine. But having addressed the issues amongst others in this article, I’m sure you now know How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower and have come to realize it wasn’t as technical as you thought it would be. So what are you waiting for? Get a riding lawn mower and give your lawn the beautiful cut it deserves.

Here are some of our favorite zero turn mowers for large yards and the best riding mowers for hills.