12 Reason Your Gravely Lawn Mower Cuts Uneven


Your lawn is the envy of your neighbors and you want to keep it that way. However, after mowing this last time you you notice it looks terrible. The mower is giving you a bad and cutting uneven. It is scalping and leaving ridges in the yard.

A Gravely lawn mower has a bad or uneven cut when the mower deck is not level; the spindles are damaged; bearings are worn in the pulleys or spindle housings; the blades are dull or damaged; the belt is worn; or the mower deck is plugged with debris.

Keep reading for more items that can cause your mower to give you a bad cut. Refer to your Gravely owner’s manual for safety precautions that need to be taken when working on your mower deck. This includes removing your ignition key and spark plug wires.

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11 Reasons Your Gravely Lawn Mower Cuts Uneven

Gravely Tire Pressures are Not Correct

Owners often overlook their tires when they have an uneven cutting problem. Before checking any other step for an uneven cut, check your tire pressures. Low tire pressures will cause your deck to sit unleveled and give you an uneven cut.

Make sure your tire pressure readings are equal to that shown on the tire side wall. Skipping this step may cause you to make unnecessary adjustments to your mower deck that will have to be reversed once you realize your tire pressures are incorrect.

Gravely Mower Blade is Worn or Dull

It’s normal for your Gravely mower blade to become worn and dull after extended periods of use. How quickly this happens depends on the mowing conditions. Lawns that allow more dirt to be sucked under the mower deck will wear blades quicker than those that allow less dirt.

For example, thin grass covered lawns expose the mower deck to more dirt than a thick grass covered lawns. There’s not too much you can do about the coverage of your lawn other than wait for the grass to fill in and become a thick blanket of grass.

You may notice the grass tips turn brown a couple of days after you mow your lawn. This is a sign your mower blades are dull. Additionally, blades that are extremely worn and rounded at the ends can leave strips of grass between the blades ends uncut.

It’s important to check your Gravely mower blades regularly to sharpen or replace them when needed.

When inspecting your blades edges for wearing, check the sail on your blades for wearing. This is the high side of the blade. If it is thinner than the center of the blade, you can experience a bad cut. This is because the sail of the blade creates air movement under the deck when rotating at high speeds.

This air movement along with the area under the deck creates a suction that stands the grass tall. The blade then passes over the grass to give it a nice even cut.

Gravely Mower Blade is Gouged or Bent

An uneven cut can be the result of a bent mower blade. A blade becomes bent when it hits a solid or stationary object like a tree root or rock. Take time to look at the blades for damage.

If you find the blades have chips or gouges in the blade edge, you can remove small nicks by sharpening your blades. You may have to replace the blades with new blades when the gouges are too large to remove.

Continue to check for a bent blade. When the bend isn’t significant and hard to visually notice it, follow one of these methods to determine whether the Gravely blade is bent:

Without removing your Gravely mower blade:

  • Park your mower on flat ground
  • Remove the key and spark plug boot to prevent the mower from turning on.
  • Take the measurement from the tip of one end of the blade to the ground. Record the measurement.
  • Turn the blade 180 degrees to measure the opposite end of the blade. Record the measurement.
  • If there is over and 1/8″ variance from one blade end to the other blade end, replace with a new blade.
  • Repeat this step with each blade on your Gravely mower.

By removing your Gravely mower blade:

  • Park your mower on flat ground
  • Remove the key and spark plug boot to prevent the mower from turning on.
  • Gain access to the underside of your deck. Remove the mower blade.
  • Lay the old blade on top of a new blade. If the blades don’t fit together and leave any gaps, you must install a new mower blade.

If you find a bend, you will need to check the spindle bearing for damage. The bearing can fail when there is a significant impact to the blade.

Never attempt to straighten a mower blade. Doing so will compromise the metal and make it more prone to crack. A cracked mower blade is hazardous when spinning at high rates of speed.

Gravely Mower Blades are Installed Incorrectly

The high side of the blade, known as the sail or fin, must point up when installed on your Gravely mower deck. Installing your blades upside down can not only hit the ground and tear up your grass, it can also damage the blade spindle and spindle bearing.

Make sure your blades are balanced before you install them. Unbalanced blades can cause an uneven cut and send a vibration through your mower. Read more about mower blade installation here.

Gravely Mower Deck is Plugged with Debris

Gravely mower decks are designed to use the area under the mower deck, the baffles, and the air movement from the mower blades to create a suction. This suction stands the grass tall while the blade cuts the grass for an even cut.

When the deck is plugged, it can’t create the suction needed for a quality cut. You must check and scrape your deck periodically. You’ll have to scrape it more often when cutting wet grass. Wet grass tends to stick to the mower deck and leave clumps in your yard.

Some Gravely mower owners choose to use a silicone spray meant for mower decks to prevent some of the debris sticking to your deck. This spray helps, but it will not prevent all of the grass from sticking.

Gravely Mower Blade Spindle is Bent

Check the blade spindles for a bent spindle or a damaged bearing. Again, make sure your spark plug boot(s) is removed and the ignition key is removed for safety. With a pair of heavy gloves, grab a hold of each end of your mower blade. Rock the blade up and down and check for movement.

If you feel movement or hear a knock, you have a bad bearing in the spindle housing or a bent spindle. You will need to repair or replace the spindle housing.

Bad Mower Deck Belt or Pulleys on a Gravely Lawn Mower

Turn each pulley on the deck slowly to see if you can feel any resistance or hear any noise. Replace any pulleys that don’t rotate smoothly or you hear a noise coming from the bearing. Make sure your belt is in good condition without cracks and wearing. The belt must run securely around the pulleys.

Gravely Mower Engine Speed is Too Low or Ground Speed is Too Fast

You must run your engine at full throttle whenever you have your mower deck engaged. You must also adjust your ground speed when mowing thick, tall or wet grass. Cutting grass in these types of conditions puts extra work on your engine so slowing your groundspeed will reduce the load on the engine.

When your engine and deck are unable to handle the load on the mower, it may not provide a good cut. Mowing too fast can also cause your mower to not be able to create a good suction and end up pushing over some grass.

Incorrect Overlapping Path with a Gravely Lawn Mower

Sometimes the cutting problem is the fault of the operator. When mowing stripes in your lawn, you need to overlap each pass so you don’t miss any sections of grass and leave strips of grass in the lawn.

Gravely Lawn Mower Deck Shell is Damaged

A deck shell can get tweaked by running your mower into objects like trees, rocks and other hard surfaces. The deck shell is formed to create a suction to give you your good cut. If the deck has been damaged, your cut could also be compromised.

Your Lawn is Uneven

When your lawn is uneven and bumpy, your mower deck can scalp the lawn. For a nice-looking cut, it will help to roll your lawn to smooth it out.

Powered Equipment Team

We're just a guy and a girl obsessed with outdoor power equipment! We are excited to share the knowledge and tips we have learned over our combined 55 years in the power equipment industry. We have both ran equipment dealerships and took pleasure in helping our customers everyday providing equipment repair, parts, purchasing, and business tips to our residential and commercial clients. We hope our blog will help you with your next purchase, repair, or project.

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