How Do I Choose the Best Lawn Mower Wheels?

Andrew Kirmayer

Choosing the best lawn mower wheels requires consideration of the type and brand of lawn mower they are being used for. The size, material, and tread are the main factors to consider and have a direct impact on how the machine performs. Deciding on the necessary wheels is done by measuring the tires that are currently on the mower, and this has to be done when they are fully inflated. Diameter, section width, and rim diameter measurements should be taken to attain the proper size measurement.

Lawn mower wheels should fit a specific model.
Lawn mower wheels should fit a specific model.

Push lawn mower wheels are made of plastic, which is the least expensive material. Plastic is light and makes it easy to maneuver a lawn mower over rough terrain and uneven grass. These wheels are the best choice for a walk-behind mower because the user will encounter the least resistance.

Reel mowers have wheels that are simply to replace.
Reel mowers have wheels that are simply to replace.

Riding lawn mower wheels are typically made of steel. These last longer than plastic wheels, and their strength is beneficial for engine-powered mowers. Steel corrodes and rusts, so this is something to consider when adding steel wheels to any mower. Caster wheels are less commonly used but provide a simpler design choice that doesn’t require an axle. These are another option for push-behind lawn mowers.

Something else to think about when choosing wheels is the type of tread. There are several kinds of tread, and each can be selected based on the density of the grass. Using the right tread for the grass density not only increases the mower’s performance, but also limits the amount of tread marks seen on the grass after it is mowed.

There are three main kinds of lawn mower wheels. Self-propelled, engine-driven mowers require wheels designed with ridges on the inside, which interlock with the drive gear. This process allows for the automated turning of the wheels. Push mowers don’t require these kinds of ridges, and are taken off just by removing a bolt. Replacing wheels is the simplest with push reel mowers which rely solely on human power.

No matter the kind of wheel or mower, it is always important to match the correct size. This can make the difference between not having enough ground clearance for the blades or the wheels being too big for the wheel hub. It’s also important to know whether the wheels need to be from the same manufacturer or can be a generic brand in order to make sure the best lawn mower wheels for the machine are used.

Riding lawn mower wheels are typically made of steel.
Riding lawn mower wheels are typically made of steel.

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Discussion Comments


@Logicfest -- Those big wheels on the back of push mowers are more of a hindrance than a help. Wants some advice? Avoid those things like the plague or by some replacement law mower wheels to match the front ones if you have those big wheels on the back of your mower.

Those big wheels don't give you any advantages at all because the front wheels are still small. They can actually make a mower harder to push and guide through dips, ditches, hills and other features in your yard.


When it comes to lawn mower wheels, here is what I don't understand. I have seen a lot of push mowers where the wheels on the back are much larger than the ones on the front. Is there an advantage there? Do the larger wheels on the back make it easier to push, navigate over terrain or something like that?


@Melonlity -- I think it is a great idea to purchase and install replacement lawn mower wheels when the tread has worn down on them. That is because worn tread is a clear sign the rubber on the wheel is wearing down and the whole thing will need to be replaced unless you want your mower riding on the rims.

Let those wheels wear down enough and you could wind up dropping your entire mowing deck on the ground while mowing your lawn. That is not good.


When it comes to push mowers, treads on the wheels do not make much of a difference unless you are talking about a self propelled mower. There's just not much point of having tread when it is the pushing action of the person mowing the lawn rather than the self powered pushing of the wheels that is moving the mower.

That is important to keep in mind as some people will purchase replacement lawn mower wheels because the tread has worn down. Quite often, that is an expense that could be spared.

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