If you live on a big property and have a large yard, maintaining the lawn requires a powerful lawnmower with bigger than average horsepower. Otherwise, it might be tough to keep your lawn beautiful and well-kept throughout the season. Horsepower means the amount of work the mower can handle, so the higher it is, the greater its capacity to do more.
On lawnmowers, just like other types of machinery, the horsepower would vary. A mower with little horsepower will have you spending all day, mowing your lawn. The lawnmower you use should depend on how large and spacious your yard is.
Read on to learn more about how much horsepower you need in your mower. Read this if you’ve been asking the question: how much horsepower does a lawnmower have?
What is horsepower?
Horsepower basically refers to the amount of work the equipment is able to handle. One horsepower equals the capacity to move a 33000 pounds weight of work one foot in one minute. That means with one horsepower, the equipment can complete 33000 pounds of work within a minute. So a higher horsepower will achieve more in less time.
How much horsepower does a push mower have?
It depends on the type of push mower you want. Regular ones that are not expensive come with horsepower ranging between 2.9 – 4.0.
These types of mowers are of low capacity. The user exerts some effort too while using it. So they do not require that much horsepower.
However, it is only suitable if you have the physical strength to handle it, and if your yard is not so big. If not so, in a large yard, mowing will consume a lot of time, even with the strength.
There are self-propelled push mowers too, and their capacities are higher than the regular push. You can find self-propelled push mowers with engines that hold an average of 5.0 – 7.0 horsepower. Being self-propelled, they require less human effort, do more work, and cover more ground in less time than the regular push mower.
If your yard is up to half an acre, this type of mower would be ideal.
How much horsepower does riding mowers have?
If your lawn is larger than half an acre, it would be strenuous to keep it well-maintained with a push mower, even if it’s the self-propelled one. Moving the mower around your yard would be no fun activity. You would spend so much time and energy and would be so tired every time you mow your lawn.
That’s why a riding mower is best for larger yards. Its engine has a much higher capacity at an average of 12.5 – 20.0 horsepower.
There are some mowers with lower horsepower that are equally efficient on smaller lawns and a flat enough ground. But if your yard is up to one acre and sloping, a higher horsepower will work great for you.
How much horsepower does a ‘Surfer’ lawnmower have?.
This is a new type of mower, also called a stand-on mower. The user operates the mower by riding it like a surfer. The mower is a hybrid between the riding and the push lawnmower, but its capacity is quite high.
You can find a surfer mower with an engine that has 23 horsepower. Its price is also comparably lower than the riding mowers.
Factors that can reduce horsepower in a mower
Some factors can cause the equipment to lose horsepower. We outline them below:
- The size of the lawnmower and its engine
- A broken muffler
- The fuel type
- Dirty or damaged air filter
Steps to enjoy more horsepower on your mower’s engine
Most times, the horsepower listed on the body of the engine is less than what the equipment actually runs on. Some things limit its performance and make it operate below the horsepower indicated.
But you can fix this by following these steps:
- Remove the flywheel casing
- Uncover the governor to inspect the engine’s spinning speed
- Check the muffler
- Use high octane gas
- Improve the airflow to the mower
The flywheel casing is above the engine. Use the appropriate wrenches to remove the bolts holding it at the top of the engine.
The governor flap is next to the flywheel. Undo the bolt that holds it there and check how fast the engine spins.
If it spins too fast, the governor flap blows out and covers the carburetor a little. Hence, lowering the engine’s speed and horsepower.
To prevent this, unhook the spring that holds the governor to the carburetor. Then return the flywheel casing on the engine.
The muffler should be properly attached to the exhaust hole on the engine block. If not, the engine loses horsepower when the muffler gives pressure back to it.
Make sure that the muffler is tightly attached to the engine block.
If it is broken or damaged, replace it with a new one. They are low-price, and you can reattach them without the help of a professional.
A lower octane gas burns slower and lowers horsepower. At least 92 octane gas raises the engine power as it burns much faster.
Check your air filter and ensure it is clean and in good condition. If it is worn or dirty, get it cleaned, or replace it completely.
How much horsepower do you need for your lawnmower?
The horsepower you need on your mower depends on some elements of the lawn. Its size, the type of terrain, the cutting width are all primary factors to consider when deciding a suitable mower.
Size of the yard
How large the yard is should determine the capacity of the engine you use. As we have explained, a small yard of perhaps a quarter of an acre can handle a walk-behind mower with a 2.9 – 4.0 engine horsepower.
If the yard is bigger, a higher horsepower would be more appropriate. Larger properties will require more horsepower for efficiency and ease.
The type of terrain
What about the area? Is it hilly, rough, or flat and level?
A smaller property with rough terrain might need a bigger horsepower. Using a small horsepower engine will make mowing tiring and time-consuming.
A self-propelled mower with between 6 to 8 horsepower is a good bet for such property. Riding mowers or lawn tractors are more appropriate for larger yards.
The average horsepower on these is between 12.0 to 20.0 horsepower. These mowers are efficient and can handle slopes and inclines without tiring the user out, or wearing out too quickly.
This is also related to the size of the lawn. The average cutting width for a small lawn of say, half an acre is 40 inches.
A smaller deck mower with low horsepower would be able to do the job. But larger yard would have bigger cutting width between 42 inches to 50 inches.
So a mower with a wider deck will be ideal as it would not require many passes to complete the job.
How much horsepower should your lawnmower have?
Typically, lawnmowers for residential yards below 1-acre use engines with between 2.9 – 9.0 horsepower. While the ones between 1 – 3 acres should have an average of 11 – 20 horsepower. Above 3 acres need a higher capacity of up to 25 horsepower. Though it also depends on the area; how flat the surface is, how rough, etc.
Commercial properties require bigger capacity engines. They are generally larger and require more frequent usage than household lawnmowers.
As we have explained, it all depends on the size of the lawn and the terrain. Bear in mind that mowers with higher horsepowers can do more cutting in less time. The bigger and rougher the yard, the more powerful engine you need.