Handy Lawn Care Tip: How to Level the Mower Deck

The mower deck is an often-overlooked small engine part. Because it is buried underneath the hood, people often lose sight of the fact that having a leveled mowing deck plays a huge role in getting an even cut. To this end, one of the most basic yet valuable lawn care tips is simply to pay attention to your grass height. If your lawn mower is leaving stripes, you know that it is time to level the mower deck. Below, we offer an introduction to this most basic lawn mower repair process.

First off, different mowers often have specific instructions for leveling the mower deck, so consult your owner’s manual before getting started. Still, the tips offered in this post are general, so if leveling your mower deck isn’t covered in the manual following these tips should serve you just fine.


Obviously, you need to make sure that the ground underneath your mower is level, so that should be taken care of right away. Then, move the deck to the highest position, and check the tire pressure, ensuring that it is uniform across each wheel. After this, check to see that the mower is turned off, that the engine is cool, and that the spark plug is removed.

Leveling the front and rear

On a riding mower you will need to measure the blade tips at there out most position (for instance trim side and discharge side).  Adjust deck until blade tips on opposite sides measure within an 1/8 on an inch.  Then measure the blade tips from the furthest back position on the deck to the furthest forward position on the deck.  The front should be slightly lower than the back.  Aproximately a 1/4 inch.

For a conventional push / self-propelled mower it is measured the same way side-to-side and front-to-back, except there is only one blade to deal with.  The measurements on these mowers should be even.  Most of these mowers have adjustments on each wheel that are numbered of marked.  The mower should be level when all of the wheels are adjusted to the same number or mark.

mower deck

Lawn Mower Deck

Lawn mower maintenance tips that involve going underneath the hood can be intimidating. That said, leveling your mower deck is a vital lawn care task, and following these instructions will give you an even cut every time.

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