How Often Should You Grease Mower Spindles?

There is no doubt that lawnmowers are essential tools for attaining and maintaining presentable landscapes and yards. However, for your lawnmower to take good care of your needs, you need to take good care of it through proper maintenance and service.

It is important to grease mower spindles once to twice per mowing season for residential mowers allowing for lubrication. For commercial mowers it is best to grease spindles from once per week to once per day depending on the amount of mowing the machine will be doing.

Today, we focus on one aspect of maintenance that is often overlooked: greasing the mower’s spindle. We aim to help you determine how frequently you should grease your mower’s spindles. We will also look at the reasons for doing so, as well as the best greases on the market today. Let’s get started.


Why Should You Grease Mower Spindles?

For many that don’t run a mower every day for professional jobs, it may come as a surprise that greasing mower spindles is a needed maintenance task. But why exactly should we grease them?

Greasing mower spindles is necessary because they are fast moving parts that control the blade spin and leveling. Friction can easy build up and cause premature wear and tear. Using proper grease to lubricate these spindles can prevent mechanical failure and increase mower longevity.

Firstly, let’s get some background information on spindles and how they work in general.

What Are Mower Spindles?

The spindle on a walk-behind or riding lawnmower is a component that holds the blade(s). When the machine is in operation, a system of pulleys drives the clutch, which in turn rotates the spindle and the blades. 

The spindle is usually shaped like a post and it is located within and under the mower deck. Its direct attachment to the clutch is what enables the blades to spin when the mower deck is engaged. When the clutch is disengaged (i.e., disconnected from the machine’s drive system), the spindle and blades remain idle.

Most lawnmowers have one spindle but some bigger machines (such as wide zero-turn mowers) that operate with multiple blades have more spindles. In addition to rotating the blades, spindles are responsible for holding the blades in a balanced manner so they can produce even cuts.

As rapidly moving parts, spindles must always operate smoothly. This is why they require lubrication in the form of grease to ease undue wear and tear as well as friction buildup.

Applying grease to mower spindles is a relatively easy process. All you need is a grease gun, some all-purpose grease, a wrench, screwdriver, gloves, and some rags. You might also require a hydraulic jack if you are working on a riding mower.

Reasons To Grease Mower Spindles

Let’s look at a few reasons greasing spindles can stave off a lot of problems.

To Minimize Friction And Heat

Greasing your mower’s spindle is essential for it to spin freely with minimal friction. Continued exposure to high levels of friction will cause the spindle to wear out quickly, overheat, or even bend. A bent spindle cannot hold blades in a balanced manner so, as a result, you may find your mower producing uneven cuts.

To Protect From Rust And Corrosion

Grease can also protect spindles from rust and corrosion. As we’ve already mentioned, water can easily access the inner parts of a spindle. Grease serves as a buffer between the metal parts and water.

New mowers typically come with pre-greased spindles from the factory. However, over time the grease may lose its lubricative qualities because of elements like dust, debris, and water. Therefore, owners must reapply the grease periodically to prevent the risks outlined above.

Failure to grease your machine’s spindles adequately (and timely) could prove very costly. As far as these parts go, maintenance is far cheaper than replacement and repair.

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How Often Should You Grease Mower Spindles?

Lawnmower spindles must be greased as soon as they start generating substantial levels of friction. Of course, this problem is a bit difficult to identify immediately.

For residential mowers that will be used once per week for smaller tasks during a mowing months, it can be fine to grease spindles one to two times per season. For commercial mowers used regularly, it is advisable to grease spindles once per week to once per day.

Therefore, you should pay close attention to how frequently you use your lawnmower, as this is the biggest factor influencing the frequency of greasing.

Private use lawnmowers and garden tractors can be greased once or twice per mowing season. If, for instance, your yard isn’t too big or if you rarely use your mower, one greasing should cut it (no pun). Naturally, larger yards and more frequent mowing may require you to grease the spindle(s) twice.

The story is a little different for commercial mowers, which may be used to tackle golf courses, parks, and school campuses. 

We recommend that you grease your commercial mower’s spindles before every project. You may even need to grease these behemoths daily! Our practice was to grease them whether they needed it or not at least once per week in mowing seaon.

Can You Over Grease Mower Spindles?

Although greasing your spindles is a straightforward process, some people may get certain things wrong.

One of these things is the volume of grease used. While mower spindles require quite a bit of grease, it is possible to over-grease them.

Luckily, this problem is easy to identify and rectify. A spindle has openings on both ends for this specific issue. With the spindle assembly cover removed, one end is visible from above the mower deck while the other end can be seen from below the deck.

If you pump an excessive amount of grease into the spindle grease fitting, grease will begin to emerge from both of these openings. This is your cue to cease pumping grease.

Excess grease should be wiped off with a cloth or rag or else it will be flung in any direction when the mower is in operation. Grease may also slicken the blades, which may negatively affect their cutting efficiency.

What Is The Best Grease For Lawnmower Spindles?

When it comes to greasing options for your lawnmower’s spindles, you are spoilt for choice as far as brands are concerned. However, you must ensure that you use all-purpose (aka multi-purpose) grease to avoid damaging your machine.

If the mower’s instruction manual recommends another type of grease, you should follow that recommendation.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market today.

Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease

Mobil has been in the lubricant business for a long time now and is a well-trusted brand in private and commercial arenas.

The company’s synthetic grease may be marketed for car and truck maintenance, but it is also a great choice for lawnmower spindles. The grease is designed to provide excellent long-term lubrication, as well as wear protection under extreme loads. Mobil 1 synthetic grease also offers excellent protection against rust and corrosion.

This grease has been awarded the National Lubricating Grease Institute’s highest certification for automotive wheel bearings. Its water wash resistance is a particular highlight.

Lucas Oil Red ‘N’ Tacky Grease

Lucas Oil’s Red ‘N’ Tacky is another excellent multi-purpose grease for your mower spindles.

Using a unique lithium-based formula, Red ‘N’ Tacky is capable of providing long-term lubrication. The grease is also packed with oxidation inhibitors, which minimizes the risk of corrosion and rust significantly.

At the time of writing, this grease is one of Amazon’s best sellers and it continues to earn rave reviews from commercial and private customers.

The Final Touches On Greasing Lawn Mower Spindles…

It is important to grease your spindles if you have open cylinders. If they are closed it may mean that they are maintenance free, but will fail eventually.

When applying the grease with a gun, keep going until you see grease coming out of the ends to ensure enough grease is used.

Using the right grease is also a way to ensure the longevity of your mower. Again, if you take care of it, it will take care of you.

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Mathew Booe

Mathew has worked in landscaping professionally for over 10 years. He is a grandpa and frequently interviews other experienced landscapers and lawn care experts who are also grandpas for these articles.

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