Why are lawnmowers so loud

Why are lawnmowers so loud?

Every wondered why lawnmowers are so loud? Why they can’t make lawnmowers quieter?  Whilst the sound of neighbors, even really distant neighbors, mowing their lawns for hours on end signals long summer days and relaxing afternoons, it also gets fairly irritating.  If you have ever wondered why lawnmowers are so loud you can hear them miles away then read on.

The first thing to have a think about is those mowers which are not so loud.  Electric mowers are often much quieter, and so don’t trouble neighbors, the new automatic electric mowers with docking pods, really quite tolerable once you are a few feet away, you can leave them on all of the time without receiving complaints from everyone who lives in your neighborhood.

The major culprits are engine driven mowers, those are the lawnmowers that are so loud you can get a little irritated at the disturbance.  Ride on mowers or push mowers, anything that is fuel driven can really crank out the noise levels.

How does sound work?  What you are receiving is actually an air vibration, your brain decodes what you are receiving into sound, and presto – a roaring motor mower.  All lawn mowers have engines, often quite small engines, which have either even smaller or non-existent mufflers installed to absorb the sound waves created by the running of the engine.

Why don’t manufacturers stop lawnmowers being so loud?  Firstly, it’s a cost thing – to add a muffler to an engine increases costs, which would, of course, be passed along to you the consumer.  Now no one wants to be first to do this and then price themselves out of the market.  Add to this the disincentive that as consumers we are used to the noise of a mower, it is part of the background to Summer in every neighborhood and is pretty much accepted, even welcomed, as a sign of the season.

Is it a safety issue?  A louder engine means that you are aware of when anyone is cutting in your vicinity.  Less risk of you getting in the way or inadvertently suffering injury from those flying blades.  You can’t fail to notice when someone is mowing, so even if they are distracted you stand a good chance of being able to get out of the way.

Can I modify my mower to be quieter?  Of course.  You can do anything you set your mind to.  Should you?  Is it worth the investment?  Only you can answer that.  You can retro-fit a modified muffler to your machine to deaden the noise further.  These are not always available for every model, but there are some on the market.

If you take away the engine how quiet is it?  Well, there are some amazing electric mowers on the market – some even run on batteries if you can’t get the power cord that far – and they are quieter than an engine mower.  There is still some noise attached to them of course, they have blades to cut and rely on the blower reaction to throw cuttings into the attached collector – none of that can be silent.  However, if you are looking to reduce your audio impact then an electric may be a good machine to consider for your next mower.  They have changed up a lot over recent years and now offer a really powerful cut.

If you really fancy being quiet then you can still buy a push mower – no engine, no electric, just people-powered.  They really though are only a solution if you either have a tiny lawn or an amazing amount of free time.  Most of us want to roar up and down as quickly as possible and then get on with the weekend!

If you are mowing and using a motor-driven machine for anything like a reasonable period of time then it pays to use some ear defender protection.  As with any loud machinery repeated or prolonged exposure can cause you issues, from earplugs, through cans to listening to music anything that blocks the noise from your ear support you in not sustaining damage.

Why are lawnmowers so loud?  They are a fairly primitive, basic engine designed to do exactly the job needed.  The sophistication that would have to be employed to make a quieter lawnmower is now available to manufacturers but why would they use it?  It makes mowers more expensive, and generally no one minds.  As long as you are considerate about when you mow and use ear protection they think it’s likely to not bother you too much.



Author: Kyle Baxter

Kyle Baxter is married with one young son. A very short career in investigative journalism, and a particularly unfortunate experience over the purchase of a major household appliance that took many months to resolve when he could ill-afford the costs led Kyle to his current position as a consumer champion. When not seeking out guidance on the best-on-the-market Kyle enjoys watching baseball and tries to get away from the house long enough to do some off-road cycling.

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