Lawn Mower Side Discharge vs Rear Discharge (Compared!)

If you’re in the market for a lawn mower, you may be wondering whether to choose a model with side discharge or rear discharge. Both options have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast lawn mower side discharge vs rear discharge, so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your needs.

What is lawn mower side discharge vs rear discharge?

Lawn mower side discharge is when the grass clippings are discharged out of the side of the lawn mower, instead of being collected in a bag. Many people prefer side discharge because it is a faster way to mow the lawn and it leaves the grass looking neater. Side discharge also has the advantage of mulching the grass, which can help to fertilize your lawn. However, it is important to be aware that side discharge can also lead to lawn thatch. This is when the grass clippings build up on the surface of the lawn and prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass. As a result, it is important to rake up any clippings after mowing if you are using a side discharge lawn mower.

Lawn mower rear discharge is a process where the grass cuttings and debris are discharged out the back of the mower. This is different from side discharge, where the debris is discharged to the side of the mower.

How do lawn mower side discharge vs rear discharge work?

Most lawn mowers discharge the grass cuttings out the back, but some models have a side discharge chute. How does this work? A side discharge lawn mower has a special blade that lifts the grass up and out the side of the mower deck. The cut grass is then discharged through the chute and onto the lawn. This type of lawn mower is often used in areas where there are obstacles that make it difficult to discharge the grass cuttings out the back. For example, if you have a lot of trees or shrubs in your yard, a side discharge lawn mower can help you avoid damaging them with the discharged grass. Another advantage of a side discharge lawn mower is that it tends to leave a cleaner cut on the lawn since the discharged grass is not recirculated back through the blade. However, one downside of this type of lawn mower is that it can cause you to miss patches of grass if you’re not careful. Overall, a side discharge lawn mower can be a good choice for certain types of yards, but it’s important to consider all the pros and cons before making a purchase.

Pros and cons of lawn mower side discharge vs rear discharge

One important factor to consider when choosing a lawn mower is how the grass will be discharged. Side discharge and rear discharge are the two most common options. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs. Side discharge is the more commonly used method, as it is generally more effective at evenly distributing the clippings. However, it can be difficult to control the direction of the discharge, and clippings can often end up on sidewalks or driveways. Rear discharge is not as popular as side discharge, but it does have some advantages. It allows for a cleaner cut, as there is less chance of the clippings being blown around. It also helps to prevent grass buildup under the mower deck. However, rear discharge can be messy, and it can be difficult to see where you are mowing. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Which option is the best for you

For many people, the decision of whether to side discharge or rear discharge their lawn mower comes down to personal preference. However, there are a few factors that can help to make the decision easier. Side discharge mowers tend to be less expensive and easier to find than rear discharge mowers. They are also typically lighter and more maneuverable. On the other hand, rear discharge mowers offer a number of advantages.

  • First, they tend to throw the grass clippings further away from the mower, making it less likely that you will wind up with clippings on your feet or in your flower beds.
  • Second, rear discharge mowers often produce a better-looking cut because the blades are not obstructed by the grass clippings.
  • Finally, rear discharge mowers tend to be more durable and longer lasting than side discharge mowers.

Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your budget, your lawn care needs, and your personal preferences.


What is the advantage of a rear discharge mower?

A rear discharge mower has several advantages over a front discharge mower.

  • First, it is easier to see the cutting blades, which makes it simpler to avoid rocks and other obstacles.
  • Second, the rear discharge helps to evenly distribute the cut grass, preventing clumping and making it easier to achieve a neat finish.
  • Finally, rear discharge mowers tend to be more lightweight and easier to maneuver than front discharge mowers, making them a good choice for smaller lawns.

Whether you are a professional landscaper or a home gardener, a rear discharge mower can help you achieve a beautiful, well-groomed lawn.

Why do lawn mowers have side discharge?

Lawn mowers have side discharge for a number of reasons.

  • First, it helps to prevent grass clippings from getting tangled in the blades.
  • Second, it prevents clippings from being blown back into the face of the person mowing the lawn.
  • Third, it helps to evenly distribute the clippings over the lawn, which decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
  • Fourth, side discharge helps to prevent scalping, which can damage the grass and make it more susceptible to disease.

Overall, side discharge is an important feature of lawn mowers that helps to improve the health of the lawn.

When should I use mower side discharge?

Side discharge is best used when your lawn is no more than three inches tall and you have a reasonably level lawn. If your lawn has taller grass or areas of high and low spots, you run the risk of scalping the lawn if you use side discharge. You also should avoid using side discharge if there are obstacles in your path such as trees, flower beds, or garden furniture. The reason for this is that the discharged grass can easily be blown back onto these obstacles, ruining their appearance. So, in general, it is best to use side discharge when you have a short, level lawn with no obstacles in your path.

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