It’s a well known fact that lawn mowers make a lot of noise, and this is somewhat expected – seeing as they’re a relatively heavy duty piece of mechanical equipment and moving parts.
However, while this fact is understood by many, there are some people – especially in built-up areas – who might have a problem with the amount of noise that your lawn mower generates.
This is why it is important to know just how much sound your mower creates, what the legal limits are, and – should you wish – the methods to ensure your mower is operating as quietly as possible.
So, this begs the question: just how many decibels does a lawn mower generate?
What Is A Decibel?
Before we examine the noise that lawn mowers (generally) produce, it is perhaps best to learn what a decibel actually is.
In terms of sound, a decibel is a unit of measurement – relative to roughly one tenth of a bel (B).
In technical terms, decibels represent the ratio of two power values (of the root power quantity) on a logarithmic scale – that is, one used to handle large amounts of numerical data in the most effective way.
What Is The Human Range For Decibels?
As you might already know, there is also a specific range of decibels within which human beings are capable of hearing.
For most humans, this range is generally between 0 to 140 db – which as you can imagine is open to variation, depending on the hearing capabilities of the human in question.
There are also specific limits associated with our hearing, and this can include the potential for damage and hearing loss if we are exposed to them for long periods of time.
For example, sounds above 85 db have been known to cause hearing loss and damage over prolonged periods of time, and in fact sounds between 85 db and 120 db can cause general discomfort in most people.
As a rule though, these sounds are not usually continuous – such as a lawn mower, which might be used only once a month or so during the summer.
As you might imagine, sounds above the 120 db mark can cause pain and physical damage, much of it permanent and life changing when it occurs regularly enough.
This is the reason why there are distinct laws and regulations in place with regards to machinery and the noises they produce, and why hearing protection is often used by those in heavy industry.
Generally speaking, most human beings operate well with a noise level of around 70 decibels – this is the sweet spot, and generally where we are at our most comfortable.
How Many Decibels Is A Lawn Mower?
When we discuss the decibel levels of a lawn mower, there will obviously be some variation based on the specific make, model, and power of the mower in question.
However, as a general rule of thumb, lawn mowers tend to produce sound at a range of 90-95 decibels.
How Does This Compare To Other Sounds?
On the logarithmic scale of the sounds we are exposed to, the noise a lawn mower produces is considered louder than is comfortable, but not so loud that damage can be caused.
And when compared to other notable loud sounds, it is actually fairly quiet.
Cars & Motorcycles
The sound of a revving motorcycle is roughly at the 115 decibel point, and this can be much more harmful to hearing over time.
The same can be said for cars, which when being revved can reach decibel levels of around 100 decibels.
You might expect this to be higher than a motorcycle, due to the larger engine capacity, however it is the shrillness of the motorcycle that creates the louder noise.
For most of us, the sounds of guns being fired are not commonplace (thankfully). However, aside from the obvious elements of danger that are involved, they can also damage our hearing over time.
This is especially true for those who work in armed law enforcement, those in the military or facing active combat, and those who hunt and target practice regularly – hence why ear protection is often widely used in many of these fields.
Generally speaking, the sound of a gunshot is 150 decibels, which can have detrimental effects on the hearing when used repeatedly over extended periods.
Can You Make A Lawn Mower Quieter?
It is however possible for your lawn mower to be made quieter, and there are many affordable and simple methods you can employ.
Use A Muffler
One of the best ways is to fit a muffler onto the engine. This can be an effective way to cut down the noise of the lawn mower, and make it sound much more sedate during use.
Maintain Sharp Blades
If the blades are as sharp as possible, then they will actually make less noise. This is due to the fact that they generate less wind resistance, and cut through obstacles with greater ease and speed.
Maintain Air Filters
The air filters are also components that can affect the sound, and ensuring these are checked and clean can dramatically reduce decibel levels.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about lawn mowers, and how many decibels they can generally reach.
It’s true that lawn mowers can make a lot of noise, and many people see this as par for the course – an acceptable consequence of the labor saving benefits that they provide.
However, if you are receiving noise complaints, or are just curious about the sound, then you might need to know just how much noise your mower creates.
So if you want to know more about lawn mowers, and what you can do to make them more efficient all round, then why not refer to this guide? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!