Can You Put a Bigger Deck on Your Mower? (What Experts Say?)
A good mower deck helps to improve the performance of the mower, as well as provides better mulching and cutting capabilities. It can help to extend the life of the mower while reducing the amount of maintenance that needs to be done.
Yes, you can put a bigger deck on your mower. It is generally not recommended to put a larger deck than what is specified by the manufacturer on a mower. Engine power and manufacturer design considerations must be taken into account, however.
Let a garden tool enthusiast with over 25+ years of experimentation and experience suggest when you can and cannot put a bigger deck on your mower.
Can I Put a Bigger Deck on Your Mower?
Yes, you can put a bigger deck on your mower. Depending on the size of the mower, you can generally increase the deck size by 2-4 inches.
A bigger mower deck is necessary in case of a small mower and a large yard. For a large mower and a small yard, a bigger deck may not be necessary.
Increasing the deck size will allow you to cover more ground in less time. A larger deck also provides greater maneuverability, making it easier to get into tight spaces.
With a larger deck, you also have the potential to save up to 20% more fuel, due to an increase in the efficiency of the mower. However, you must consider engine specifications and other factors.
The engine specifications needed for a bigger mower deck depend on the size of the deck and the type of mower you are using.
Additionally, you should look for an engine with high torque. This will help with the acceleration and make it easier to cut thicker grass.
What Should be the Appropriate Size Deck for Different Engine Specifications?
Here’s a table that shows what size of the deck to pick according to the torque and power of the engine:
|Size of Deck (inches)||Torque (ft-lbs)||Horsepower|
|30 inches||4 ft-lbs||Up to 3.5 HP|
|32 inches||5 ft-lbs||5 to 6 HP|
|36 inches||6 ft-lbs||6 HP|
|42 inches||8 ft-lbs||6 to 7 HP|
|46 inches||10 ft-lbs||6 to 7 HP|
|48 inches||11 ft-lbs||7 to 12 HP|
|54 inches||13 ft-lbs||12 to 25 HP|
|60 inches||15 ft-lbs||25 HP|
Which Things To Consider When Switching to a Bigger Deck on the Lawnmower?
You will want to shift to a bigger deck mostly in case you have a smaller lawn mower. For larger mowers, people don’t usually go for a bigger deck. Regardless, there are a few things to consider when making this switch.
Here are the things to consider when switching to a bigger deck on the Lawn Mower:
1. The Size of the Engine
Make sure that the engine on the new deck is compatible with the existing engine of your lawn mower.
Most smaller lawnmowers with a larger deck require an engine size of at least 5 horsepower (HP). It is recommended to use an engine with a higher HP. A 7-8 HP engine will give optimal performance in small lawnmowers with bigger deck.
Additionally, it is important to consider the size of the engine’s cylinder. It is statistically proven that larger engines with a single cylinder perform better than those with multiple cylinders.
2. The Weight of The Deck
Adding too much weight to a mower can cause it to bog down, resulting in poor performance and potentially damaging the engine.
The ideal weight of a deck for a smaller mower is between 90 and 110 pounds. The difference in weight between the bigger vs the old mower should not exceed 10-15 pounds.
|Size of Lawnmower (inches)||Weight of Deck|
|21 inches||25 – 35 lbs|
|22 inches||30 – 45 lbs|
|23 inches||35 – 50 lbs|
|24 inches||40 – 55 lbs|
|25 inches||45 – 60 lbs|
|26 inches||50 – 65 lbs|
|27 inches||55 – 70 lbs|
|28 inches||60 – 75 lbs|
|29 inches||65 – 80 lbs|
|30 inches||70 – 85 lbs|
3. The Height of The Deck
Make sure that the deck is the right height for the type of grass you are mowing. Generally, a deck height of at least 6 inches is recommended for a small lawn mower.
This height allows for a good cutting height and the ability to reach under shrubs and other obstacles. A deck height of 8 inches for a small lawn mower gives better maneuverability. It gives more “even” cutting when tackling hilly terrain.
A riding mower usually should not exceed a deck height of 8-10 inches. While a push mower typically should remain within a height of 6-8 inches.
4. The Side Discharge
Side discharge is the method of discharging grass clippings from the side of the deck. Make sure that the side discharge of the new deck is compatible with the existing mower chute.
The majority of mowers with a side discharge deck are designed to handle up to a 42-inch deck. This size is sufficient for yards up to 1/3 of an acre in size.
For larger yards, a mulching deck is usually recommended. These are best suited for larger areas.
5. The Blade Size
Make sure that the blade size on the new deck is compatible with the existing blades on the mower.
Generally, a blade size of 21 inches is ideal for a small mower with a larger deck. But the size can range from 18 to 24 inches.
Most mowers have a deck measurement printed on the side or top of the mower. And most mower blades have a diameter measurement printed on the side or edge of the blade.
Match the size of the mower deck to the size of the mower blade.
6. The Overall Design
Make sure that the overall design of the deck fits the existing structure of the mower.
You should look for one with a large cutting width that can accommodate the larger deck. Also, the frame should be reinforced and strengthened to be able to handle the extra weight and strain.
Is It Wise To Swap A 42-Inch Mower Deck With A 52-Inch Mower Deck?
Yes, for lawnmower’s above 20 HP power. Otherwise, no.
Swapping a 42-inch mower deck with a larger 52-inch deck in a 16HP mower is not recommended.
The engine may not be powerful enough to support the larger mower deck and could cause the mower to:
- Bog down
- Reduce its cutting efficiency
- A loss of power
- Damage to the mower
For 20-30 HP mowers, it is best to go for a 50-inch deck if you want to get a bigger deck. Briggs & Stratton, Honda, and Kawasaki are popular choices for this.
How Big Is Too Big in Case of Deck Size?
It depends on your yard. For a smaller yard, 48″ to 52″s are best. But use 60 inches with a foot pedal to raise the deck while in motion for a lawn with hills, bumps, and dips.
But starting from the basics, a newbie should use a 42-inch deck for any size and shape of the lawn.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Much Grass Can A Side Discharge Cut At A Time?
The side discharge deck can handle up to 4.5 inches of grass cuttings at a time.
What is the engine displacement in large deck mowers?
Typical engine displacements for large deck mowers range from 190-270cc.
What should be the blade size of lawnmowers?
For larger lawns and thicker grass, a blade size of 21 inches is recommended. For commercial mowers and professional landscapers, a blade size of 24 inches is often recommended.