We’ve all been on the receiving end of a noisy yard maintenance. And if your family or neighbors usually sleep in on the weekends when you finally have the time to mow the lawn, you’ll be waking everybody up.
Not only will you make everyone angry, but you’ll also do so unnecessarily!
In this guide, we tell you how to make a lawn mower quieter so you can keep your yard or garden looking FRESH without worrying about who you might disturb!
How to Make a Lawn Mower Quiet
There are many ways you can make your lawnmower quieter.
Some may be easier than others, but they are all aimed at a sound reduction. Note that majority of the information below will only apply to gas mowers.
Step 1: Check the Muffler of Your Lawn Mower for Damage or Defects
The majority of the noise level from any lawn mower can be traced to its blade or engine. This is even more true for gas-powered lawn mowers.
However, there isn’t much you can do about this unless you plan to invest in a completely new model.
This doesn’t mean, though, that you’re out of a solution to make your lawn mower quieter.
So, what next?
Start by inspecting your lawn mower’s muffler.
This is usually attached to the engine exhaust port. It forces the engine noise through a noise-canceling chamber while providing back pressure for the engine, allowing it to operate at its maximum horsepower.
Over time, the muffler will typically get dirty, the gasket seal between the exhaust pipe can get worn out, or the muffler can even crack altogether.
Having a clean or new muffler will reduce the noise lawn mowers make by 15%.
How to Inspect the Muffler
- First, make sure your engine has cooled down. Don’t let your impatience give you BURNS.
- Second, locate the muffler. You can find it on the exhaust pipe. Unscrew the bolts holding the muffler onto the pipe using a wrench. Then, just pull the pipe off. Yes, it’s that simple.
- Third, check the muffler and the exhaust pipe to see if there are cracks on it and whether it has rusted. If it has, replace it with a new one.
Solving Your Muffler’s Problems
Sometimes, you may just need to clean it.
But that’s NOT always the case…
If it’s cracked, there is an easy fix. If the crack is a bit small, all you need to do is weld the cracked area or cover it using a spray adhesive paint fit for high temperatures.
However, if your muffler is too damaged or you don’t know how to fix it yourself, you can also replace the existing muffler with a new one. Getting a new one is easy and inexpensive.
What’s important is you CHECK the compatibility of the muffler with your particular muffler. Buy a replacement that’s high-quality to ensure it is as silent as possible.
- Certain brands have specific mufflers for their lawn mowers like this one from Oregon.
- Another example you can check is this one from Briggs and Stratton.
- One tip you should consider is that longer mufflers will be quieter than shorter ones. A good example is this one from Evil Energy.
If you’re more ADVENTUROUS and skilled, you can even try making your custom muffler using a tin can and some screws.
However, don’t expect this to last long.
You will likely end up having to replace the muffler all over again, so you might as well save yourself the time and effort and go straight to getting a new muffler.
How to Install a New Muffler
It’s super easy to install your new muffler.
- Just start by peeling off the old gasket from the exhaust port.
- Remove the port and clean it of any debris.
- Then, attach the replacement in the same position as your old muffler on the exhaust port.
- Install the other on the air inlet. After this, you should have both ends of the pipe covered.
- Now return the pipe to tighten the new gasket onto the exhaust port.
And you’re set!
Step 2: Check Your Exhaust Pipe
Just like the muffler, any damage on your exhaust pipe can raise the noise level you usually experience from lawn mowers to an uncomfortable one.
Look out for rust and any holes in the pipe.
If the damage is too extensive, you may need to replace it entirely. In that case, call a professional for help.
Below are some easy ways to patch up small holes in the exhaust pipe. Only do this if you’re comfortable and you know the damage isn’t too extensive.
Prepare the Surface of Your Mower’s Pipe
The first thing you will need to do is to scrub out all the rust, dirt, mud, and everything else using a steel-toothed brush.
Make sure you wear safety goggles for this in case some debris starts flying everywhere.
Next, use sandpaper to smooth out the pipe’s surface and some acetone to wipe off those tiny particles. This will make sure your pipe and whatever you’ll use on it will bond well.
Fixing Fairly Big Holes
If the hole in your pipe is quite big but not large enough to require cutting out some parts of it, you can seal it with a piece of aluminum (like soda or beer cans) and some heat-resistant epoxy.
When using epoxy, use some thick sticks or wooden dowels to mix it up to get ready for application. Remember that you need to work fast once it’s out of the packaging because it will dry quickly.
Apply the epoxy onto the surface you are covering up first, then apply the patch. You can also wrap the aluminum can around the pipe while tightening it with hose clamps.
Then, put epoxy over the patch you just placed, making sure also to cover the edges. Try and keep the layer of epoxy thick so that it will be more durable.
Fixing Smaller Holes
You can also use epoxy to cover up smaller holes. Just follow the same steps. Ensure that the layer of epoxy on and around the hole is thick so it will last longer.
Smaller holes can easily be fixed using repair putty or exhaust tape.
Note that exhaust tape will require you to clean the pipe all around beforehand to ensure it will firmly stick onto all the surfaces.
It may also require you to heat the engine for a few minutes to warm up the pipe. Alternatively, you can keep the tape wet to make it easier to stick onto the surface of the pipe.
Step 3: Quiet the Deck
If replacing or cleaning out the muffler didn’t do the trick for you, DON’T GIVE UP!
The next step is to quiet the deck. This will reduce the amount of noise coming from the blade, rock pings, and vibrations of your lawn mower.
We highly recommend using soundproofing materials like the ones you find on vehicles.
A good recommendation is a mat from Noico or Dynamat.
Noico Sound Deadening Mats
These are great for multiple surfaces that you want to soundproof. Specifically, they are designed for use on cars, but you can use them almost anywhere.
These mats eliminate all general automotive sounds, vibrations, and the rattling of moving cars. Reviews have raved about this and stated they offer unmatched soundproofing for cars.
Similar to Noico, Dynamat will give you excellent soundproofing.
It has the added feature of a permanent self-adhesive that will last for a long time even if your lawn mower vibrates a lot and the temperatures start running high.
This self-adhesive will stay on no matter what you do!
We also love its aluminum coating, enhancing its heat resistance while improving insulation, so your lawn mower doesn’t get too hot.
Despite this material, it is FLEXIBLE enough to cover even the corners and curves of your deck.
How to Choose The Right Soundproofing Mats for Your Lawn Mower
Whatever sound-reducing mat you choose to make your lawn mower quieter, we recommend you look for the following features:
- Good thickness – As with any soundproofing, a lot of the effectiveness will depend on how thick the sound deadening material is. For example, Noico has a thickness of 80 mil, which is efficient at soundproofing vibrations, lawn mower cutting noises, and any other rattling noises on your deck.
- Easy to Install – No one wants to spend unnecessary time trying to install soundproofing to their deck. Choose a mat that has installation indicators and instructions that tell you how to install it properly. Improper installation can result in a reduction in soundproofing, so this is very important.
- Lightweight – Lawn mowers are already generally heavy as it is. You wouldn’t want to make mowing the lawn harder by adding too much weight to it. Choosing sound deadening mats made of lightweight material is essential.
You can make use of the same advantages for your lawn mower deck.
Step 4: Install Engine Silencers
Silencers work the same way as combustion engine mufflers that you can find on the exhaust pipe. This is what we tackled in the earlier section of this guide.
They can reduce the noise your engine produces during combustion.
As a note, check with your mechanic if the muffler silencer is appropriate for the particular lawn mower you have.
There are 3 categories of engine silencers. Each of these will determine the level of noise reduction you can expect.
The reactive silencer needs to be connected by a tube to the engine exhaust.
This type of silencer has three internal chambers. Exhaust noise will bounce between the chambers and reduce the overall noise produced by your gas mower.
This is perfect for reducing low to mid-decibel-level noise.
This comes with E-glass or fiberglass insulation inside its construction. When you connect it to the lawnmower exhaust, it will dampen any vibration and sound produced by your lawn mowers.
These silencers are excellent for reducing high-frequency decibel-level noise.
If you want to have a quieter lawn mower all around, the combination silencer is the one for you.
As the name suggests, this will give you a combination of the design and qualities of the reactive and absorptive silencer.
This will reduce all noise levels, from low to high.
Step 5: Use Ear Protection
Noise-canceling equipment for ear protection such as ear muffs and earplugs is critical whenever you operate noisy machinery like chainsaws and lawn mowers.
The noise coming from your lawn mower can range between 90 to 106 decibels, which can damage your hearing, especially with prolonged exposure.
Even if you manage to reduce the amount of noise coming from your lawn mower, everything will still sound louder when you’re right next to the source of the noise (your lawnmower).
So if you don’t want to be half-deaf or end up with damaged hearing due to the regular use of loud machinery, get ear muffs, earplugs, or any other hearing protection.
Step 6: Buy a New Electric Lawn Mower
If all else fails and you have the money for it, you can always replace your old lawnmower with a quiet electric one.
Like all other machinery, gas-powered versions are more expensive in the long run, are harmful to the environment, and are some of the noisiest models you can get.
Moreover, a basic rule of thumb to remember is that the bigger the motor, the noisier it will be.
If you’re not fond of these methods, getting an electric mower is a good option. It’s also a reliable product without all that excess noise.
Check out this guide on the Best & Quietest Lawn Mowers in the market!
All of these tips and steps will certainly make a lawn mower quieter for many people.
Whether you’re just checking your muffler, installing silencers, or getting a brand new electric mower, there are numerous ways to solve your problem in this guide.
We hope you found the right ways to deal with your lawnmower here!
July 12, 2021 – removed 3 article links, removed 8 product links
July 1, 2021 – fixed and updated article formatting and content, removed some article links