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Cutting the grass is simple. Just pull your mower out, crank it up, and cut away. Or it should be that easy, anyway. In reality, there’s a lot more to mowing the lawn, such as which direction you cut the grass, picking the right mower for your yard, and basic maintenance needs for your lawn mower.

Lawn mowers are not one size fits all

A great lawn mower to mow your grass with being used by someone mowing their grass.
Lawn mower cutting grass | Getty Images

If one mower suited everyone’s needs, there would only be one or two options available per brand. However, that’s not the case. From trying to figure out what you can afford, to picking a lawn mower perfect for your property’s unique terrain, there are many factors to consider when you buy a lawn mower.

If you have a large yard, a push mower will leave you tired and sweaty after spending your whole Saturday out in the yard. A riding lawn mower could go a long way toward helping you get it mowed in record time, while also ensuring you still have the energy left to do something fun once it’s all over.

On the other hand, a push mower may be exactly what you need if you have a small yard. It will allow you to get into cramped spaces like the section between your house and the fence, which divides your property line from the neighbors.

Then there’s the budget range. Are you looking for a lawn mower for less than $300, or do you have the money to buy something more expensive? These are questions you need to answer before purchasing a new lawn mower. 

Why do you need to mow your grass in different directions?

Who knew grass could be so needy? You have to water it, plant it in the right place, and keep it trimmed, so it looks its best. According to Tom’s Guide, you also need to make sure you change things up when mowing the lawn by cutting it in different directions. 

The product review site reports, “We all have our mowing technique, but never cut grass in the same direction each time. This will prevent the ‘bending over’ of the grass blades to create that lush and healthier lawn.”

If you notice your grass is laying over horizontally, then running a rake over it before you mow can help bring some pep back to those grass blades.  

Cars aren’t the only motor vehicles that need oil changes

While a lawn mower may not be as high maintenance as your automobile, it still requires a certain amount of upkeep if you want it to last. For example, you’ll need to change the spark plugs, clean the cut deck, and get your mower ready for winter by removing any unused fuel. You also need to change the oil.

So how often do you need to change the oil? You’ll want to change the oil twice a season or every 50 hours of use for push mowers. Riding lawn mowers can go every 100 hours or once a season.

If you’ve never changed the oil in a mower before, you can always hire someone else to do it. Another option is to do it yourself.

You’ll start by letting the mower run for approximately 15 minutes. This is to warm up the engine. Next, disconnect the spark plug wires, and move them away from the mower to prevent a fire. 

If you’re using the siphon method, insert your pump into the dipstick until you feel it hit the engine bottom. Then you’ll place the opposite end of the pump into your oil drain pan and maneuver it so the oil drains out. 

If you prefer the tilt method, you’ll tilt the mower back and put the oil drain pan beneath the dipstick tube. Be sure you don’t tilt it back toward the air filter. Hold this angle until the oil is coming out at a drip.

Changing the oil doesn’t have to be challenging, but it’s a good idea to have someone familiar with this task help you the first couple of times. It’s also recommended that you have someone nearby if you do the tilt method in case of the lawn mower tips over too far.


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