Reasons Why Riding Mower Cutting Uneven (Problems and Fixes)

Your riding mower is suddenly not providing a perfect lawn as it is cutting unevenly. Due to this, your lawn is being scalped and chopped in a stair-step pattern. But what is wrong with the mower, anyway? How do we solve this issue?

When the tire pressure is not enough, your riding mower cutting uneven, nasty cut. Besides, if the blade is not installed correctly or bent for any reason, inconsistent engine speed and some other reason can cause a skewed result to the lawn. 

Let’s discuss more about this issue in the article.

Riding Mower Cutting Uneven

What Are the Possible Reasons for Riding Mower Cutting Uneven?

Locating the reason behind an uneven surface of your lawn might be easy if you know where to look. There are many possibilities behind your riding mower’s jagged cut. 

It is not only your mower’s fault; it also can be your improper mower riding ability. The issue can be due to:

  • Inefficient tire pressure
  • A tilted or worn deck
  • Congested deck due to grass clippings
  • Dull or broken blade
  • Worn belt
  • Blade is installed improperly
  • Too fast or too slow mowing on an uneven surface
  • Overlapping row mistakes

Inefficient Tire Pressure: 

Uneven pressure in the tire of the wheels of a riding mower can cause uneven grass cutting of your lawn. If only one side of the tire is flat, the other three tires will weigh the flat tire down, automatically creating an uneven deck. 

For this, you should check the flat tire and fix it. If you fail to inflate the tire, you may need to replace it with a new one. I suggest you replace all the tires because they will wear out quickly, as one is already gone.  

A Tilted or Worn Deck: 

The deck is the part of a mower that holds the blade. Can the deck hold the blade properly if it is broken or tilted? It will eventually tilt the blade as well, resulting in an uneven cut. 

That is why if you notice any issue with the size of the grasses after mowing, check the sides of your mower and compare the deck heights. 

An ideal deck is equal on both sides. The deck might be tilted due to clogging of grass clippings as well.

Bent and damaged blade
Bent and damaged blade

Dull or broken Blade: 

Most riding mowers are made of metallic blades. These blades are durable, but they are unable to perform forever. Hard objects lying on your lawn can sometimes break or damage the blade. 

Sometimes, due to excessive use, grasses can bend the blade during the mowing process. As a result, when the sharp side of the blade comes into contact with grass, it cuts it, but the dull side fails to do its job properly, leaving an uneven lawn for you.

Worn Belt: 

A belt-driven shaft rotates the blade to mow in most riding mowers. After a certain amount of time, these belts can wear off. At the beginning of the wearing, the belt starts to get loose. 

The blade cannot do its job hanging on a loosened belt. That’s why the land looks ugly and uneven. In case you face this issue, change the belt right away.

Too Fast or Slow Mowing on Uneven Surfaces: 

Only some lawns are even surfaced. Usually, large lawns are irregular, and many objects lie on the ground. When you intend to mow the land at a high speed, the uneven surface cannot be cut properly.

There’s also a chance of bending the blades from hard objects as you won’t notice when you are going fast. The slow pace of your mower does the same as well. Always ride the mower at an ideal speed so that you can get a good finish.

 Uneven lawn due to overlapping row mistake
Uneven lawn due to overlapping row mistake

Overlapping Row Mistakes: 

In most cases, this issue happens when your lawn is cleaned by an unprofessional. The mower pushes down the grass, and the blades pull it upward. This is how the mower cuts grass.

Now, if you overlap the row that you previously coincided, the grasses are not getting any chance to be cut. The blade is unable to reach the very edge of the deck. Thus, the land does not get an equal finish.

Here Is a Quick Guide to Fix Riding Mower Cutting Uneven:

  1. Always inflate the flat tires, but do not try to push too much.
  2. Fix the damaged or faulty deck. Clean the corners, and sometimes grass clippings clog the deck. 
  3. Replace the dull or broken blade with a new one. 
  4.  Change the worn-out belt.
  5. Install the parts correctly and ask for professional assistance if the case is more complicated.
  6. Do not mow the lawn at a fast or a slow pace. 
  7. Refrain from mowing the lawn while the grass is wet.
  8. Do not skip overlapping each row for a few inches during the mowing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why is my riding lawn mower cutting unevenly?

A bent blade, tilted deck, wet grass, etc., can be the reason behind an unequal lawn. Riding the mower too fast or slow can cause this issue as well.

The deck and blade are correctly installed, but the mowing is uneven; what to do?

An adequately installed blade can only perform well if sharp. A dull blade cannot work well even if it is correctly installed. In this case, check the blade to see if it needs any sharpening. Replace the blade when it is no longer helping, even after sharpening it.

How much overlapping is reasonable?

You should overlap about 3-4 inches to get a good result. More than that or less can cause an unequal finish to your lawn.

Does a balanced deck impact a mower’s performance?

Yes. Always level the mower’s deck on both sides to get a proper finish. About 1/8 inch to ½ inch height difference is needed between the blades.

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