Lawn mower wheel settings. Getting the Best Lawn Mower Cut Quality

Is your lawn mower at the right height?

If you enjoy having a great-looking yard, the four wheels on your lawn mower can play a big role.

That’s because setting the wheels on the mower to the proper height is one of the most important aspects of having healthy grass throughout the summer.

“Simple steps like setting your lawn mower to the proper height show how easy it is to improve the health of your yard without using more water,” said Austin Krcmarik, water demand and efficiency planner at Denver Water. “We encourage all of our customers to look at their yard and see what steps they can take to use water more efficiently.”

The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, along with landscape experts at Colorado State University’s Extension, recommend Kentucky bluegrass be cut to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches throughout the growing season.

“Mowing to that height may seem high to a lot of people, but it’s what’s best for the health of your grass and the responsible thing to do in the West, where water is a scarce resource,” said Lyle Fair, a landscape expert with the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado.

Benefits of the right height

Mowing to the recommended height of 2.5 to 3 inches means having longer blades of grass that provide several benefits, including:

  • shade, which keeps the soil cooler and allows moisture to remain longer and not dry out as fast.
  • Deeper root development, which will sustain the plants through hot days.
  • Healthy grass is better able to withstand hot, dry weather and fight off diseases and insects.
  • shade makes it harder for weed seeds to get the sunlight needed to sprout.

Too short = too stressed

Many people cut their grass too short. They may not have to mow as often but this practice often leads to unhealthy grass and the potential to kill the grass due to stress.

Remember, the blades of grass are the plant’s leaves, which are needed for the plant to survive and to provide oxygen for YOU.

How to set the mower’s height

Check your owner’s manual for details on how to properly adjust your mower. But in general, it’s simple:

  • Make sure mower is turned off and remove the spark plug to prevent an accidental start.
  • Place the mower on a flat surface, like the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Use a ruler to measure the distance from the sidewalk to the bottom of the mower.
  • Use the levers on the wheels to adjust the height of the deck to 2.5 to 3 inches.
  • Measure the height of the grass after it’s been mowed to double-check the adjustment.

mowing tips!

  • Use a mower that leaves grass clippings on the yard instead of bagging them. The clippings decompose quickly and provide source of nutrients and organic matter.
  • Mowing should be done frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass height is removed during any single mowing.
  • You may need to mow grass every three to four days in the spring when the grass is actively growing, but only once every seven to 10 days in the middle of the summer.
  • Make sure the mower blade is kept sharp to ensure clean cuts.

CSU Extension has additional mowing and lawn care tips.

“Having the correct lawn mower height is a simple fix that improves the health of the grass without using more water,” Fair said. “It helps your grass, saves money on your water bill, and conserves water from our snowpack and mountain streams.”

The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado is the premier professional organization for Colorado’s landscape companies. ALCC promotes the responsible use of water and other natural resources and provides educational and industry certification opportunities to Colorado’s landscape professionals. ALCC’s Sustainable Landscape Management and Community initiative promotes the use of sustainable maintenance practices that reduce water use and loss of plant life.

For more information on ALCC or to find a landscape professional, go to or call 303-757-5611.

About the Author


Water is everything, especially in Colorado and the West. Denver Water’s experts work tirelessly to provide clean drinking water to 1.5 million people in the Denver metro area. We’re bringing you all the water stories, news, photos and videos you never knew you needed.

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Getting the Best Lawn Mower Cut Quality

Cutting the lawn has more purpose than making tall grass short. It’s about crafting landscapes that bring pride, landscapes that host parties and landscapes that literally work for you. By delivering superior cut quality for your clients, your reputation as a sharp landscaper will help retain current clients and be a selling point for new ones.

Read the following tips to learn how to get the sharpest looking landscapes. On a zero turn lawn mower, there are both adjustments and techniques landscapers can make and perform to ensure a smooth, even and appealing result with each mowing.

Adjust lawn mow​​​er deck pitch

Fine tuning a mower deck enables the aerodynamic design of the cutting chamber to lift grass, cut it evenly and discharge it effectively.

What is mowe​​​r deck pitch?

Lawn mower deck pitch, or sometimes referred to as, rake, is the tilt of the mower deck from front to back. Forward deck pitch creates an air seal at the front of the deck when the blades are rotating. This seal limits air entry into the cutting chamber to the rear of the deck, allowing the aerodynamic design of a Gravely lawn mower deck to maximize grass lift and cut evenly. This design results in a superior cut quality and an even discharge that’s less likely to clump.

For most effective results, a lawn mower deck should have a pitch, or height difference of 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch between the front of the deck to the back of the deck. Naturally, this makes the sweet spot about 1/4-inch of pitch, depending on the mower model. In any case, the front of the deck should be pitched lower than the deck rear. Be careful not to pitch too much that you start scalping lawns.

How to adjust l​​awn mower pitch

All Gravely decks are built so their owners can adjust deck pitch quickly and easily. There’s no special tools or mechanical training required to complete this procedure, either. Just a couple wrenches and a few pieces of hardware. Before you begin, park the mower on a flat, level surface, stop the engine, remove the key, check that the tire pressures are equal and grab a tape measure.

Check ​pitch

As directed in the operator’s manual:

  • Raise the mower deck to a cutting height of 3.5 inches.
  • Manually and carefully turn the blades so they’re positioned front to back. When manually turning blades, always grab the dull edge of the blade.
  • Measure:
  • The distances between the front tips of the outer blades and the ground.
  • ​The distances between the rear tips of the outer blades and the ground.
  • If front measurements are lower than the rear measurements by less than 1/8 inch or more than 1/2 inch, adjust pitch.

Adjust pitch

Deck pitch can be adjusted by lowering the front of the deck, raising the rear of the deck or a combination of both. Be sure to make adjustments so that the distances of your final measurements at the front of the deck accurately reflect the cutting height of 3.5 inches that was set earlier.

​​T​​o lower the high side of deck:

  • Loosen jam nuts against deck lift links.
  • Turn adjustment bolts counterclockwise.
  • Retake measurements and continue adjustment, if necessary.
  • Tighten jam nuts against deck lift links.

To raise the low side of deck:

  • Loosen jam nuts against deck lift links.
  • Turn adjustment bolts clockwise.
  • Retake measurements and continue adjustment, if necessary.
  • Tighten jam nuts against deck lift links.​

After pitch adjustment is complete, check deck level.​

lawn, mower, wheel, settings, getting, best

Leveling yo​​ur mower deck

Level the mower deck to ensure grass cutting height is even across the width of the deck. This will help ensure a smooth and seamless side-by-side blend between each row of freshly cut grass.

What is lawn mower deck leveling?

This is easier to understand than deck pitch. Deck leveling is simply making the cutting height on the left side of the deck even with the cutting height on the right side of the deck. In all cases, decks should be level with as little variance between each side of the cutting deck as possible. No variance between the left and right side of the deck is best.​

How to level the mower deck​

Leveling a Gravely lawn mower deck is done the same way as pitching a Gravely mower deck, except it’s adjusting the deck height from side to side, not back to front. Same components and tools with pitching a mower deck, and as before, start with the unit parked on a flat, level surface, inflate the tires to specification and grab a tape measure.​

Check mower deck level​​

As directed in the operator’s manual:

  • Raise the mower deck to a cutting height of 3.5 inches.
  • While wearing thick, sturdy gloves, manually and carefully turn the blades so they’re positioned side to side. When manually turning blades, always grab the dull edge of the blade.
  • Measure:
  • The distance between the left blade’s left cutting edge and the ground.
  • The distance between the right blade’s right cutting edge and the ground.
  • If the distance between the left blade tip and the ground is 3/16 inches greater than or less than the distance between the right blade tip and the ground, level the deck.

How to level your la​wn mower deck

As directed in the operator’s manual

  • Loosen jam nuts against deck lift links.
  • Turn adjustment bolts counterclockwise.
  • Retake measurements and continue adjustment, if necessary.
  • Tighten jam nuts against deck lift links.
  • Loosen jam nuts against deck lift links.
  • Turn adjustment bolts clockwise.
  • Retake measurements and continue adjustment, if necessary.
  • Tighten jam nuts against deck lift links.

How to sharpen lawn ​mower blades

Same as with dull knives or scissors – they don’t cut efficiently and results in duplicate effort. On a mower, dull blades leave behind stragglers and require the terribly inefficient practice of mowing the same rows twice.

Dull blades may require a total replacement, which isn’t bad since new blades are relatively cheap and easy to replace. However, if the blades aren’t worn too far, they can be sharpened without spending money on new blades. Be aware that blades should not be sharpened if more than a half-inch of the blade material is worn away (by previous sharpening or wear) or if the air lift is eroded. If the air lift is eroded, blades can no longer lift grass effectively and cut evenly. Blades that are bent or broken should be discarded.

lawn, mower, wheel, settings, getting, best
  • Read the safety instructions and the procedure instructions in the unit’s operator’s manual.
  • Remove the mower deck according to the instructions in the operator’s manual.
  • Remove the blades according to the instructions in the operator’s manual.
  • File or grind an equal amount of blade material from each cutting edge until sharp. Do not change angle of cutting edge or round the corner of the blade.
  • Slide the blade onto an unthreaded bolt and hold the bolt horizontally. Position the blade horizontally and check for blade balance. This is critical. If the blade moves, sharpen the heavy end until the blade remains balanced in a horizontal position on the unthreaded bolt.
  • When the blade is sharpened and balanced adequately, reinstall it under the mower deck and torque it to the specification listed in the operator’s manual.
  • Reinstall the mower deck.

Cleaning your mo​​wer d​​eck

Mower decks packed with grass clippings, dirt and debris can damage your mower, affect cut quality and hurt lawns. Grass, dirt and debris holds moisture that corrodes bare metal on the spindles and mower blades, weakening them. Additionally, grass-packed cutting decks can harbor fungi and bacteria that can spread to other lawns and damage them.

Grass buildup around the discharge area can prevent clippings from discharging evenly and could lead to clumping. Grass buildup under the deck can also affect the aerodynamics of the cutting chamber, disrupt the air lift under the deck (detailed in What is mower deck pitch?) and affect the cut quality.

Good lawn mo​​​wi​​ng techniques

Sometimes, getting a better cut quality can be achieved by breaking a few bad habits like mowing too fast, mowing in the same pattern and cutting grass too short.

Why you shouldn’t mow t​​oo fast

For busy landscapers, efficiency is important. And while landscapers will find many creative ways to shave time off each job, patience on the jobsite yields better results. Driving faster than the mower blades and deck can process overwhelms the deck and leaves behind stragglers and clumping. Slowing down the drive speed of a mower allows the blades enough time to lift, cut and discharge grass clippings evenly.

Why you should mow ​​in different patterns

After mowing the same properties, landscapers will learn the best way to navigate through their clients’ properties and will sometimes stick to one efficient mowing pattern. However, mowing in the same pattern is bad for lawns.

Grass is like hair. If it’s accustomed to being pushed in the same direction, it learns which way to fall. After mowing in the same paths cut after cut, grass falls to one direction and doesn’t stand straight up, making it more difficult for the mower to lift the grass and cut it evenly.

Additionally, mowing in the same pattern creates ruts. The weight of a mower driving over the same rows with each mowing causes the soil under a mower’s wheels to become compacted. As soil compacts, it restricts water, air and nutrients from reaching grass roots, leading to grass discoloration in those mower tracks.

To avoid these issues, landscapers should mow in a different pattern that crisscrosses the pattern of the previous mowing.

Why you shouldn’t cu​​t grass too short

Grass that’s kept longer grows healthier.

Grass that’s cut too short becomes stressed because it uses its energy re-growing what was just cut instead of growing its root system. Longer grass makes healthier lawns because longer grass has deeper root systems which access moisture and nutrients more effectively. Additionally, longer grass helps prevent the ability for weeds to take hold in the soil and germinate because tall grass blocks sunlight from those weeds.

Landscapers should cut no more than one-third of the length of grass with each mowing.

Best mowers for good cu​​t ​​quality

Performing service and adjustments on any lawn mower makes a big difference in cut quality, but you’ll never get the best cutting quality without having the right equipment. Consumers have numerous choices in a commercial lawn mower, but they’re not built alike.

Gravely commercial lawn mowers are designed for landscapers. Not only is a Gravely durable, reliable and comfortable, but each Gravely is designed to deliver superior cutting results.

Strong de​​ck stability

As opposed to decks that shake excessively when cutting, Gravely decks are sturdy and move with the contours of each landscape, ensuring an even cut.

Cutting deck di​​mensions

The deep depth of a fully fabricated Gravely commercial mower deck processes greater volumes of grass faster with reduced need to compromise speed for quality on the jobsite.

Superior deck aero​​dynamics

Grass is lifted and discharged evenly and effectively, meaning there’s less chance for stragglers and clumping.

Constant belt tension

Gravely’s trademarked constant belt tension, or CBT, applies the same tension to a brand new mower belt than it does to an older, stretched mower belt. This ensures consistent blade tip speed and cutting results throughout the life of the belt, even as it wears.​

Lawn mowe​​​r dealers near me

Ready to learn more about the machines that have been shaping the American landscape for over a century? Stop by your local Gravely dealer to explore Gravely’s full product lineup and to get replacement parts like belts, blades and more. Add a Gravely lawn striper kit this season to enhance each lawn by giving it that professional, finished look.​

How to Adjust Lawn Mower Height (It’s Super Simple)

As there isn’t one cutting height that suits all lawns and all grass types, it’s important that you can adjust the height yourself. Thankfully, residential lawn mowers have super simple cutting height adjustment mechanisms that enable you to adjust the cutting height in a matter of seconds.

Unfortunately, unless you know how to adjust your lawn mower height and how the different mechanisms work, it can be confusing to work it out. So, let’s take a look at the methods used to adjust different types of lawn mowers.

The Different Height Adjustment Systems Found on Mowers

Adjusting the cutting height is done using a selection of different mechanisms depending on the type of lawn mower. Here’s an overview of the different systems lawn mowers use.

How to Adjust Lawn Mower Height (Step By Step)

As you can see, there are many different methods used to adjust the mower cutting height, and what works for one doesn’t mean it will work for another. So, let’s take a look at how to adjust your lawn mower’s height.

Reel Lawn Mowers

There are usually three different methods used to adjust the cutting height on a reel lawn mower. The first is a lever that you click into different slots that are labeled with different cut heights. The second is hidden inside the wheel.

Reel lawn mowers, like the Scott Classic, require you to remove the wheel, make the adjustment, then reinstall the wheel.

Finally, reel mowers, like the American Reel Mower, use an adjustable rear roller that governs the angle at which the mower meets the ground.

Setting a Lever Adjuster

  • Pull the Lever from its Slot
  • Position the Lever at the Required Height
  • Push the Lever into the Slot
  • Repeat the Process on Each Side of the Mower

Setting an In-Wheel Adjuster

  • Remove the Wheel Bolt Cover
  • Remove the Bolt
  • Remove the Wheel
  • Rotate the Height Adjustment Disc to the Required Height
  • Replace the Wheel
  • Replace the Bolt
  • Replace the Wheel Bolt Cover
  • Repeat the Process on Each Side of the Mower

Setting a Rear Roller

  • Remove Both Roller Mounting Bolts
  • Adjust the Roller to the Required Height and Align Bolt Holes
  • Reinstall Both Bolts

Hover Lawn Mower

Hover lawn mowers, like the Flymo Turbo Lite, are very different from any other mower when it comes to adjusting the cutting height. This is because these lawn mowers have no deck or wheels to adjust. To adjust the height of a hover lawn mower, you have to use spacers between the mower and the blade. So, let’s go over how to adjust a hover lawn mower’s height.

Lawn Mower Cut Quality

Steps to Adjust the Blade Height

  • Disconnect the Lawn Mower
  • Flip the Lawn Mower Upside Down
  • Lock the Blade In Place
  • Remove the Center Bolt
  • Remove the Blade
  • Add or Remove Blade Spacers as Required
  • Position the Blade
  • Install the Blade Bolt
  • Remove the Blade Brace
  • Upright the Lawn Mower

Push Lawn Mowers

Walk-behind lawn mowers, both self-propelled and push mowers, usually have height adjusters on each wheel. Again, these have levers that you position into specific slots to select the required cutting height.

An important thing to remember is that you need to slot all four wheels into the same cutting height. If you forget, you will end up getting an unlevel cut.

New push mowers, like the Husqvarna W Series and the Toro Recycler Series, use the same method, but they have opted for a single lever to adjust all four wheels at the same time. The good thing about these mechanisms is that it’s faster to adjust, and there is no chance of accidentally setting the wheels at different heights.

How to Adjust a Push Mower with Individual Levers

How the Pro’s Level a mower deck, Fix steering problems & set Rake for the best cut quality 4k video

  • Pull One Lever from its Slot
  • Position the Lever at the Required Height
  • Push the Lever into the Slot
  • Repeat the Process on Each Wheel of the Mower

How to Adjust a Push Mower with a Single Lever

  • Take Hold of the Height Adjustment Lever
  • Pull the Trigger on the Height Adjustment Lever
  • Push or Lift the Lever While Holding the Trigger and Set the Lawn Mower’s Height
  • Release the Trigger Once the Correct Height is Set

Tractor Lawn Mowers

Tractors mowers, like the John Deere D Series and the Craftsman Turn Tight, use lever systems that fit into height selection slots. So, you pull the lever out of the slot, then either lift or lower the lever to the desired height, then push the lever into the required slot.

This is a very easy and convenient system that you can use even when you are on the go. Now, some people may need to use two hands to adjust the height as the decks can be a bit heavy, but these types of lawn mowers use pressed decks that are usually fairly light.

Setting a Lawn Tractor Cutting Height

  • Take Hold of the Height Adjustment Lever
  • Press/Hold the Safety Trigger on the Lever (If the Lawn Mower has One)
  • Push/Pull the Lever Out of the Cut Height Slot
  • Push/Lift the Lever to the Desired Cut Height
  • Place the Lever Into the Required Cut Height Slot
  • Release the Lever

Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

Once you get to zero-turn lawn mowers, you start to get a bigger range of height adjustment mechanisms. So, to adjust the height on a zero-turn lawn mower, like on a Gravely ProTurn, you use a foot pedal. For mowers like the Husqvarna Z Series, you just have a lever like the ones found in tractor mowers.

A third method used on zero-turn lawn mowers is a combination of both levers and foot pedals. This means you can use both the strength of your leg and arm to lift the deck. This is especially helpful with heavy, fabricated decks.

A fourth method that seems to be a more modern solution to adjust your mower height is a dial instead of a pin. Mowers like the Cub Cadet Ultima use the same pedal setup and process, but instead of using a pin to select the cutting height, you just turn a dial. This means there is no more hunting around for a lost pin.

Zero-Turn Mowers with Cut Height Levers

  • Pull the One Lever from its Slot
  • Position the Lever at the Required Height by Lifting or Lowering the Lever
  • Push the Lever into the Slot

Zero-Turn Mowers with Cut Height Pedals

  • Press the Pedal with your Foot and Lift the Deck
  • Position the Pin in the Desired Cut Height Section Hole
  • Release the Pedal

Zero-Turn Mowers with Cut Height Pedals Levers

lawn, mower, wheel, settings, getting, best
  • Press the Pedal with your Foot and Lift the Deck
  • Position the Lever in the Desired Cut Height Section Position
  • Release the Pedal

Zero-Turn Mowers with Cut Height Pedals Rotary Dial

  • Press the Pedal with Your Foot and Lift the Deck
  • Turn the Dial to the Desired Cut Height
  • Release the Pedal

Standing Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

Standing zero-turn lawn mowers are basically just a zero-turn without a seat. So, instead of sitting down, you stand on a foot plate at the rear of the lawn mower. Because their design is different to regular zero-turns, they use other types of mechanisms to adjust the cutting height.

The majority of standing zero-turn mowers use lever and pin systems that are positioned up on the mower’s dash. So, you set the pin to the required cutting height, then lower the deck.

Steps to Adjust the Cut Height on a Standing Zero-Turn Lawn Mower

  • Pull the Height Adjustment Lever, and Lock in the Deck Store Position
  • Adjust the Cutting Height Pin to the Desired Cut Height
  • Lower the Height Adjustment Lever to Rest on the Pin

Robot Lawn Mower

Robot lawn mowers, like the Husqvarna Automower and the Worx Landroid, have a very simple dial that you just twist to set the height. Yep, that’s it, there’s nothing else to it. Turn the dial, set the height, and off goes the mower. Now, if turning a dial is too much, then manufacturers like LawnBa use digital systems which simply need to be programmed to adjust the cutting height.

Setting a Robot Lawn Mower Cut Height Dial

  • Raise the Dial Cover (If your Lawn Mower Dial is Protected)
  • Push/Pull the Dial (If Required)
  • Twist the Dial to the Required Cut Height Setting
  • Push/Pull the Dial to Lock (If Required)
  • Close the Protective Cover

Setting a Robot Lawn Mower Cut Height Using the Digital Controls

  • If your lawn mower uses a digital display and button to set the cut height, you’ll need to navigate the digital menu to set the required cutting height. This menu navigation varies between different robot lawn mowers.

About Tom Greene

I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the lawn mower guru (hence the site name), but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!

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Setting the Cutting Height on the Mowing Robot Correctly

Before you adjust the cutting height on the mowing robot, the robot must be switched off. On some models, you cannot reach the settings without switching it off. This is important for safety reasons.

When the robotic mower is off, you can open the cover. Depending on the model, you will find either a large adjusting wheel, which allows you to adjust the cutting height mechanically, or you will have to adjust the cutting height electronically via the display.

If you don’t find a dial – it is very large and hard to miss – you probably have a model where you can adjust the settings in the display menu. Most of the time there is a menu button that will take you there. There you can access the cutting height settings.

There are a few models where you need to adjust the cutting height by means of a set screw on the bottom of the machine, such as the Stiga models. On most lawn robots, however, you will find the settings on the top under the control panel cover.

On mowing robots with mechanical adjustment, for example, you will find an orange bar showing the current position of the adjustment. This can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

On devices with electronic adjustment, the current setting of the cutting height is usually very easy to see in the menu.

In this video both ways of adjusting the cutting height are presented.

What Cutting Heights Can Be Set for Mowing Robots?

The cutting height of the mowing robots can usually be adjusted in centimetres or in steps. If you are not sure how many centimetres correspond to a step, it is best to consult the manual. Here is an example of how the steps are usually assigned. However, this may differ for your model.

  • Level 1. 0.8 inches
  • Level 2. 1 inches
  • Level 3. 1.2 inches
  • Level 4. 1.4 inches
  • Level 5. 1.6 inches
  • Level 6. 1.8 inches
  • Level 7. 2 inches
  • Level 8. 2.2 inches
  • Level 9. 2.4 inches

Most robotic mowers offer adjustment possibilities between 0.8 inches and 2.4 inches. Some models even allow a minimum cutting height of 0.6 inches, while others also allow a maximum cutting height of 3.15 inches.

Below, we’ve listed the results of our extensive research of the cutting heights of many popular models.

  • AMBROGIO L200 Carbon Blackline: 0.8 inch. 2.2 inch
  • AMBROGIO L250i Elite GPS: 1 inch. 2.8 inch
  • AMBROGIO L350i Elite GPS: 0.9 inch. 2.5 inch
  • AMBROGIO L400: 1 inch. 3.4 inch
  • AMBROGIO L60 Deluxe: 1.7 inch. 1.9 inch
  • AMBROGIO L60 Elite: 1.7 inch. 1.9 inch
  • AMBROGIO L85 Elite: 1 inch. 2.6 inch
  • Honda Miimo HRM310: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Honda Miimo HRM520: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 115H: 2 inch. 3.6 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 305: 0.8 inch. 2 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 310: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 315: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 315X: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 430X: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 430XH: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD: 1.2 inch. 2.8 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 450X: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 450XH: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 535 AWD: 1.2 inch. 2.8 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 550: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • Husqvarna Automower 550H: 2 inch. 3.5 inch
  • MCCULLOCH ROB R1000: 0.8 inch. 2 inch
  • MCCULLOCH ROB S400: 0.8 inch. 2 inch
  • MCCULLOCH ROB S600: 0.8 inch. 2 inch
  • REDBACK POWER RM18: 0.8 inch. 2.4 inch
  • REDBACK POWER RM24: 1 inch. 2.5 inch
  • ROBOMOW RC306: 0.6 inch. 2.4 inch
  • ROBOMOW RS612: 0.8 inch. 3.5 inch
  • ROBOMOW RS622: 0.8 inch. 3.5 inch
  • ROBOMOW RS630: 0.8 inch. 3.5 inch
  • ROBOMOW RX20: 0.5 inch. 1.8 inch
  • WORX Landroid L 20V WR150: 1.6 inch. 3.9 inch
  • WORX Landroid L 20V WR153: 1.6 inch. 3.9 inch
  • WORX Landroid M 20V WR140: 1.2 inch. 2.4 inch
  • WORX Landroid M 20V WR143: 1.2 inch. 2.4 inch

What is the Correct Cutting Height for the Robotic Mower?

Now you know how to correctly adjust the cutting height on the robotic mower and which adjustment options are available. But before you send your mower off to do its job, you must decide which setting is best for your lawn. Many people do not know that the correct height setting is crucial for the health of the lawn, or that there is more than one “correct” setting. The correct cutting height depends on the type of lawn or its use, the season, weather conditions, and other factors. In the following section, I will show you the different types of lawn and what other factors influence the optimal cutting height.

Practical Lawn

The most common type of lawn is the practical lawn. Here, more robust grass varieties are used, as the lawn is subject to heavy use. It may be used for playing sports, barbecuing or even sunbathing.

The ideal cutting height here is about 1.5 inches, give or take. You can generally choose any height between 1.25 and 2 inches, but be careful to not go any shorter, as then the lawn will no longer be able to withstand the stress.

Display Lawn

The name of this type of lawn, in which mostly the varieties red fescue and ostrich grass are used, already reveals that this is a yard which is mainly used for ornamental purposes. It is therefore under less stress, and can be mowed slightly shorter than a practical lawn. A minimum length of 0.75 inches should only be undercut in exceptional cases.

Shaded Lawn

This can be either a normal, practical lawn that is in the shade, or a special “shade lawn” which is designed to thrive in shady places and stand up to the moss and algae that like to grow there.

Regardless of which one it is, in both cases it is recommended that the lawn should not be mowed shorter than 2 inches. This is because less sunlight reaches the lawn, grass needs a larger blade surface area to be able to absorb sufficient energy. You can even let the lawn grow up to 2.75 inches long.

Deviations from the Recommended Cutting Height

The above-mentioned guide values for cutting heights are a good place to start. However, they may vary depending on the situation. Some examples of these are:

The One-third Rule After Vacation

When you return from a vacation where your robotic mower was not in action during your absence, but was stored inside the house, your lawn will have had enough time to become very long.

If the grass has reached a length that is 0.75 inches or more above the maximum cutting height of the robotic mower, you should first mow it with a conventional lawnmower, as it has become too long for the mowing robot. Not only does this have a negative effect on the mowing process, but it also means that too many cuttings are produced at once, which can cause the grass to begin to grow moldy.

Even if the lawn is still short enough for the robotic mower, you should observe the so-called one-third rule. This rule states that you must never cut more than 1/3 of the length of the grass, otherwise it will be too damaged and have difficulty recovering.

This means that you should not cut to the regular height after returning from a vacation during which you allowed your grass to overgrow, but gradually approach the desired length. For example, if your lawn has grown to 3.5 inches and you want a 1.5 inch high lawn, you should first mow at 2.25 inches, after which you can adjust the cutting height to 1.5 inches with a clear conscience.

Temperature and Season Influence the Ideal Cutting Height

Depending on the temperature and season, there are some important things to consider. For example, if you are approaching several particularly dry and hot days, the cutting height should be set to about 0.5 inches higher than usual. This protects the lawn from drying out and burning. You should also water the lawn during this period. If your lawn is generally very short, you should stop mowing for a while before the heat wave hits, so that the grass has time to grow to a safe length.

Even in Autumn, it makes sense not to cut the lawn below 2 inches. This is for a similar reason as with a shaded lawn. Due to the shorter days and the flatter sunrays, the blades of grass no longer get enough light. A larger blade surface ensures that the grass is supplied with enough solar energy.

Cutting Height for Freshly Seeded Lawn

Freshly seeded lawns generally require special treatment. You should allow them to grow to 3.15 to 4 inches before the first mowing. After this, you can mow the grass down to 1.97 inches. However, a normal lawnmower may be necessary for this, as grass that is 3.94 inches tall is not manageable for most robotic mowers. You should also read up on special care considerations for a freshly-planted lawn.

Cutting height for wintering

If the cold season is approaching, you should trim the lawn to 0.75 – 1.25 inches during the last mowing before the cold hits. This will allow the lawn to winter better.

Further Tips on Cutting Height

To recap: Too short a cut can damage your lawn and encourage weeds to migrate. But mowing too rarely also promotes weed growth. Frequent mowing is generally good, but you should not cut your lawn too short.

This formula also applies: The shorter the lawn, the more often it must be mowed to keep the lawn healthy. However, some are of the opinion that too-frequent mowing damages the lawn, as the grass will begin to grow to the side as a defense mechanism. With robotic mowers, however, it does not seem to do any real damage to the lawn if you mow daily. However, the mower should not necessarily run all day.

If your lawn has a problem with growing strongly to the side, you can straighten it out to counteract the problem. Turf grows between one and two inches per week, with temperature and rainfall being a major factor to the rate of growth. It is best to experiment with the frequency of mowing. With robotic mowers, it has proven to be best for most owners to have them mow every other day. Since they usually do not mow the entire area in one go, this is still relatively gentle on the lawn.

Is the Robotic Mower Allowed to Mow in Wet Conditions?

It is often not advisable to mow lawns when they are wet, as the grass will clump together, causing the mower to not mow properly. However, this does not necessarily apply to mowing robots. Whether you should mow in wet conditions or not depends on your model.

The problem of clumping does not usually arise with mowing robots, as they only ever cut off a very small fraction of the grass. In fact, mowing robots from the manufacturer Husqvarna are said to be able to cut wet lawns even slightly better than dry ones.

On the other hand, your mowing robot can get stuck in the soft moistened ground and its wheels can spin, which can damage the turf. The same applies to steep slopes in wet conditions. Some robotic mowers also get louder when they are mowing wet lawns, and become dirty faster than they do when mowing in dry conditions. This means that especially heavy robotic mowers have their problems when mowing wet lawns.

On the other hand, it is particularly important to mow the lawn regularly during rainy periods. If your lawn robot stops mowing for a longer period of time, because it doesn’t want to mow in the rain (rain sensor) the grass continues to grow uninhibited and, especially with a lot of rain, very quickly.

If your robotic mower is then used again after a long period of rain with no mowing, it must be able to cope with a fairly tall lawn. The grass clippings are then much longer because the lawn has had more time to grow since the last mowing. Unfortunately, the mulching technique does not work well with long grass clippings and can cause the clippings to mat or rot.

In any case, the prerequisite for mowing wet lawns is that the mowing blades are really sharp and that the lawn is not too long, or that the last mowing operation was not too long ago. There is also a special feature for slopes – here there is a risk that the mowing robot loses traction and its wheels spin when it is wet and on a steep gradient. This damages the turf.

What else Should You Consider Before Mowing?

In general it is important that you do not change the blades too seldom. The normal turntable blades must be changed approximately every 150 mowing hours. Some harder models made of titanium will last 220 mowing hours. With mowing robots that use a mowing cross instead of a turntable, as is the case with Robomows, you only need to change the blades once per season.

How often should you end up mowing the lawn? This depends, of course, on the equipment, the size of the lawn and the weather. However, a proven average is every one or two days, or at least three times a week. If the area output of your mowing robot is approximately the same as the size of the lawn, or even larger, this is a good guide. In the article How long does your robot mower take to mow your garden, you will find more information about how often you should mow.

Otherwise, you should observe the usual things – do not leave any objects on the lawn that could damage the robot itself, such as stones, toys, clothing or gardening tools. Thick, protruding tree roots can also be a problem, as can large piles of leaves. So make sure to remove these things from the garden before setting your robot loose.


Adjusting the cutting height on the mowing robot is very easy once you know how to do it. Choosing the correct cutting height can be more difficult, however, because many factors have to be taken into account. Mistakes that are made here can have a massive impact on the quality of the lawn. With the right setting, however, you will have a very healthy and happy lawn.

Related Questions

How often should you change the blades on the mowing robot? Depending on the mowing system, the blades need to be changed at different intervals. If the mowing robot has a knife disc with several small, freely swinging blades, these need to be replaced approximately every 1 to 3 months. If the mowing robot uses larger star knives instead, it is sufficient to replace them once per season.

The Lawnmower: Tips for Managing One Small Patch of Life

Let it dry: Don’t water your lawn for 1-2 days before cutting to get a cleaner cut.

Clear debris: Pick up anything that may damage the mower blade, the engine, or you.

A little off the top: Set the blade height to no more than 1/3 of the top of the grass height. (about 2-4”)

Mow at a steady pace: Too fast and the blades may miss spots.

Overlap each pass: So you don’t miss any patches.

Mix it up: Vary your cutting path so the soil won’t compact and your grass grows straighter.

Mulch it: Only use a grass catcher for the first and last mows of the season.

Mow often: Keeping your lawn the right height keeps it healthier during peak growing season.

Keep blade sharp: A dull blade will tear up your grass.

Mowing Safety Tips

How to Store Your Mower


WARRANTY ADDENDUMIMPORTANT: This addendum defines the start of the warranty period. The applicable Warranty Period will begin on the original date of purchase of the Product or on the date of delivery of the Product, whichever is later.

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