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Lawnmower Deck Sizes Explained

Lawnmower Deck Sizes

I was looking for a lawnmower that would fit between these trees, so I knew the deck size had to be less than 60 inches. Manufacturers will indicate the width of the cutting deck, but it is not always clear how broad the mower is with or without the discharge chute. Continue reading to learn more about measuring mower deck size and standard deck sizes.

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What is the deck size on a lawn mower?

Manufacturers of lawnmowers always include deck dimensions on their websites and marketing materials. What is being measured when the width of the mower deck is specified?

The mower deck width manufacturers refer to is the deck's cutting width. The deck cutting width is the actual breadth of grass that is mowed from the outermost blade on one end of the mower deck to the outermost blade on the opposite end of the mower deck.

How Do You Measure the Size of a Lawn Mower Deck?

It is helpful to know the cutting width of the deck, but it is often necessary to know the exact width of the mower deck. If you purchase a 48-inch mower deck and expect it to fit through a 48-inch gate, you will be disappointed. The actual width of a mower deck will be greater than the cutting width of the deck.

When figuring out if your lawnmower will fit through a hole, on a trailer, or in a storage space, you need to take into account how wide the deck shell, discharge chute, and anti-scalp rollers make the deck.

It is also essential to choose a mower deck size that will fit between yard components such as trees and flowerbeds.

You will need to think about the width of the discharge chute when it is down, unless you want to constantly get off your mower and raise the discharge chute to get around obstacles.

Using a tape measure, determine the true size of the mower deck by extending the tape from the widest point on one side to the opposite side. Consider the additional width added by the anti-scalp rollers and discharge chute.

How Wide Are Riding Lawn Mowers?

The width of the ordinary riding lawn mower, also known as a garden tractor, is between 48 and 63 inches while the discharge chute is in the upright position. Add 8 to 15 inches to the width of the discharge chute when it is standing straight up.

How Wide Are Zero-Turn Mowers?

With the discharge chute in the upright position, the average zero-turn mower has a width of between 48 and 79 inches. The most prevalent zero-turn mower cutting deck widths are 42", 48", 52", 54", 60", and 72".

Be sure to measure the width of your zero-turn mower from and to the broadest point of the deck. Using the discharge chute can add up to 15 inches to the width.

These are the most popular sizes for zero-turn mower decks. There are also zero-turns with a 36-inch cutting width and a 96-inch cutting width.

How Wide is a Standard Lawn Mower Deck?

Standard push mowers and self-propelled mowers range in width from 22 to 40 inches, with a cutting deck width of between 21 and 36 inches.

Most manufacturers of lawn mowers provide standard deck dimensions. Here is a chart showing some of the most popular lawn mower brands and the average width of their real mower decks.

Less than 1 acre Push Mower, Self Propelled Walk Behind 18″ – 36″ Deck Width
1 to 3 acres Riding Mower, Zero Turn 36″ – 42″ Deck Width
3 to 4 acres Riding Mower, Zero Turn 42″ – 54″ Deck Width
4 acres and more Zero Turn Mower 60″ – 72″ Deck Width

Before you buy a lawn mower, you should measure the exact width if you need to stay within a certain deck size for shipping, storage, or yard obstacles.

What Mower Deck Size Do You Need for Your Yard Size?

Find a mower with the appropriate cutting width for the amount of grass you need to mow. Other lawnmower elements that will enhance your mowing experience include engine horsepower, the type of mower deck, and other lawnmower functions. Here is a brief chart to help you determine the cutting width of the mower deck that would work best for your yard size.

Do Smaller Mower Decks Cut Better?

Smaller mower decks do not cut better than larger mower decks, although the finished cut may look nicer when a smaller mower deck is used. There are various factors that may alter the overall appearance of the final cut:

Tire Prints On a tiny lawnmower, the tire imprints are hardly noticeable. However, on larger mowers, tire imprints are visible.

number of blades A tiny lawn mower with a single blade, as opposed to numerous blades, will produce a more even cut. The engine horsepower will only allow for approximately 3,600 revolutions per minute. A single-bladed mower has blades that are directly connected to the engine. This gives the blades a lot of speed.

Two or even three blades on a larger deck might provide an inconsistent cut if the deck is not properly adjusted. If one of the blades is bent, the lawn will be cut unevenly.

Follow the contours and undulations. When there are little dips and undulations on the ground, a mower deck with a smaller size will follow the terrain's contours. A larger deck will not always catch those.

When the size of the deck is 20 inches or less, it is easier to place little rolls in the yard. You are able to cut the grass once as opposed to needing to do so twice.

Able to cut it shorter and get a carpet appearance. Most compact lawn mowers have a deck depth of 3 to 4 inches. With its smaller blade, it is able to generate a stronger vacuum off the blade than a bigger format deck.

With a smaller deck, the homeowner will be able to cut the grass shorter without risking scalping the grass. The grass will look better if it is cut short, giving it a carpet-like appearance.

Can You Put a Bigger Deck on Your Mower?

Very few manufacturers produce mower decks that are interchangeable with your lawn tractor. The time and money required to implement the modification will not be worthwhile. If you decide to change and replace the deck on your lawnmower, it will be hard to find replacement parts.

Check with your lawnmower dealer to ensure that the deck you are interested in is compatible with your mower. Before making a purchase, consult with competent dealership staff. A seasoned dealer should be able to provide you with compatibility alternatives and any necessary replacement parts. These parts consist of brand-new belts, pulleys, lift brackets, caster wheels, and lift parts.

Are front-mount deck mowers good?

Front-mounted mowers are advantageous since their maneuverability is superior to that of rear-mounted mowers. For shaping and cutting around trees and split-rail fences, a front-mounted mower is better than a belly mower.

The Benefits of Front-Mount Mower Decks

  • Maneuvrability 
  • Better contouring 
  • Easier to maintain the deck and sharpen blades.
  • Able to mow in a wet area without getting the tractor tires wet 
  • Best to position the mower near a bank of water so the tractor does not need to be close to the water. When climbing a slope, you can slightly raise the deck to transmit weight to the tractor. This will improve the tractor's ability to climb without spinning a tire.

The Drawbacks of Front Mount Mower Decks

  • Harder to change height of cut

Stamped Decks vs. Fabricated Decks

There are two distinct types of lawn mower decks: stamped and manufactured. If you utilize your mower frequently, it is imperative that you have a constructed mower deck. The majority of homeowners who use their mowers for less than two hours each week will be fine with a stamped deck.

Stamped Deck: Mowers with stamped decks are less expensive. Stamped decks are one sheet of steel. The stamped deck's air flow helps it cut well. Steel thickness is a disadvantage. Because the deck is one sheet, the steel is thinner than on a constructed deck. This makes your deck shell vulnerable to hard objects.

A fabricated deck, also called a welded deck, is manufactured from thicker gauge steel. This makes the lawn mower deck stiffer than a stamped deck. They're tougher. Fabricated deck depth improves cut quality.

Blade Tip Speed, Deck Depth, and Mower Blades Affect the Quality of Cut

Blade tip speed, deck depth, and lawn mower blades all have a substantial impact on a mower's cut quality. A constructed deck will produce a better cut than a stamped deck because the depth of a fabricated deck is often greater, allowing for more grass lift.

The depth, along with high-lift blades revolving at approximately 18,500 fpm (foot per minute), is required for optimal cutting results. Heightening the grass are high-lifting blades and the suction caused by the depth of the deck.