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Why Are Lawn Mowers So Loud?

There's no denying that gas-powered lawn mowers are quite loud. Perhaps you're trying to find a solution to quiet your mower in an attempt to be courteous to the neighbors. Or, maybe you've become a disgruntled neighbor after someone else in the neighborhood frequently mows their lawn in the wee hours of the morning. Regardless, you might be wondering why lawn mowers are so loud. We did the research to bring you the answer.

First and foremost, gas-powered lawn mowers have a small engine, and engines are inherently loud due to the internal combustion process. What's more, lawn mowers typically don't have a robust muffler, which means most of the engine noise isn't substantially dampened. Additionally, lawn mower blades spin quite fast, and this also creates noise. And last but certainly not least, loose components can lead to excessive noise.

If you still have some questions about lawn mower noise, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in more detail. We'll also talk about how you can make your lawn mower quieter, how much quieter electric lawn mowers are, and more. Without further ado, let's get into it!

Turning on the lawn mower by gardener, Why Are Lawn Mowers So Loud?

Why Lawn Mowers Are So Loud

It's no mystery that lawn mowers are loud. Whether you're a seasoned lawn mower or a disgruntled neighbor frequently woken up early on weekend mornings, you can attest to the irritating sound output of a gas-powered mower. But what makes them so loud?

Gardener mowing the lawn

The Engine

The engine is the biggest noise culprit with a lawn mower. Engines work by igniting liquid fuel to drive mechanical components, a process that inevitably creates a lot of noise.

And generally speaking, the bigger the engine, the louder the sound output, all things being equal. This means a big riding lawn mower will be even louder than a push mower.

And to effectively cut grass (more on that shortly), a lawn mower engine needs to put out quite a bit of power to achieve the necessary blade speed.

The Muffler

The purpose of a muffler is to dampen the noise created by an engine. Car mufflers, for instance, can be quite effective at dampening engine noise. 

Lawn mower mufflers, on the other hand, are simply not as effective. It's possible that mower manufacturers simply value power output over noise reduction or that they skimp on muffler technology in order to cut costs, or a combination of the two. 

What's more, if the existing muffler is damaged in any way, it won't be as effective at dampening the engine noise. 

Spinning Blades

Lawn mower blade

The spinning blades also create a fair amount of noise. In order to effectively cut grass, lawn mower blades have to spin at approximately 3,000 revolutions per minute. As the blades pass through the air at this speed, noise is an inevitable byproduct. 

Loose Parts

Loose parts on the mower can also be responsible for excessive noise. Any loose components will have some play, and that play will be amplified when the mower is running.

Be sure to thoroughly inspect all seams and attachment points on the mower every so often to ensure that everything is nice and tight. If needed, add some threadlocker where needed to prevent bolts from backing out.

Click here to see this Loctite 242 threadlocker on Amazon.

How Loud Is A Gas-Powered Lawn Mower?

The sound output from gas-powered lawn mowers can range from 80 to 90 decibels, sometimes even more. Push mowers generally fall at the lower end of this range, with riding lawn mowers at the higher end.

To put this in perspective, hearing loss might start to occur at 70 decibels over a prolonged period of time. And permanent hearing loss can occur starting at 80-85 decibels after just two hours. So, it's recommended to use hearing protection when using a gas-powered mower.

Click here to see these earmuffs on Amazon.

How Can I Make My Lawn Mower Quieter?

Now that we've established how loud a lawn mower is and the factors that make them so loud, you're probably wondering if there are things you can do to make your mower quieter. You're in luck because there are a couple of things you can do to make your mower less of a noise nuisance. 

Ensure Your Mower Is Maintained

Repairing lawn mower engine

As with any machine, maintenance is critical. A lack of routine maintenance can cause a lawn mower to run poorly, and a lawn mower that runs poorly is louder. Here are the important lawn mower maintenance items that can affect its sound output:

Change The Oil

Oil is a critical part of the health of any engine. Oil cools and lubricates the engine components. It's important to change it at the interval specified by the manufacturer to keep your mower engine in good working order.

Use Fresh Gasoline

Fresh gasoline is a critical part of small engine health. If a mower engine is being fed bad gasoline, it will have to work harder, which will produce more noise. Always try to use fresh gasoline when you mow. 

Use Fuel Treatment

If fresh gasoline isn't accessible each time you mow or if you simply want to be overly cautious, use a fuel treatment to prolong the shelf life of your gasoline and clean out your small engine's internals.

Click here to see this small engine fuel additive on Amazon.

Change The Spark Plug

The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel that enters the combustion chamber. And just like other engine components, the spark plug experiences wear and will need to be replaced periodically. A faulty spark plug can cause the engine to misfire and not run efficiently. 

Replace The Air Filter

The air filter is responsible for ensuring that the engine has access to fresh, clean air. The air filter will get clogged with dirt and debris with use, so it needs to be replaced periodically. If the filter is dirty, the engine will have to work harder, which will result in more noise.

Tighten The Blade

A loose blade can cause your lawn mower to put out an excessive amount of noise. Periodically check the blade to ensure that it's nice and snug.

Get An Electric Mower

Man putting battery into electric cordless lawn mower

If you're really determined to have a mower that's as quiet as possible, consider replacing your gas-powered mower with an electric one.

We established that the engine is the primary source of noise in a gas-powered mower; since electric mowers don't have an engine, they are quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. But just how much quieter are they?

How Much Quieter Are Electric Lawn Mowers?

Electric lawn mowers are certainly quieter than gas-powered mowers. On average, electric lawn equipment is approximately 10-20 decibels quieter than comparable gas-powered equipment. So, the typical electric mower emits approximately 75 decibels

This means electric mowers are certainly quieter than gas-powered mowers, but the sound output of electric mowers is still above the 70-decibel threshold where hearing loss can potentially occur with prolonged exposure. 

Simply put, the neighbors will definitely appreciate the sound difference between the two types of mowers, but it's still recommended to wear hearing protection while using an electric mower.

How Loud Is The EGO Mower?

One user reported that the EGO Power+ (LM2001) mower emits 70 decibels, which is lower than the average electric mower sound output mentioned previously. 

In Closing

We hope this guide has helped you better understand just how loud lawn mowers are and what makes them noisy. Regardless of which type of lawn mower you use, be sure to wear hearing protection!

Before you go, be sure to take a look at these related guides:

Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke – What To Do?

Which Side Of The Lawn Mower Blade Is Up?

What Angle to Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades