Do Lawn Mower Spindles Come Greased? (Investigated)

Tins of grease next to each other

When you take delivery of a new mower, usually the first thing you want to do is to test it out.

But before you spend too much time using it, there are a few essential checks you should make.

This leads us to the subject of this blog, do lawn mower spindles come greased?

I’ve seen this question asked a few times, so let’s dive in and find out…

Do Lawn Mower Spindles Come Greased? 

Lawn mower spindles should come greased, whether that be from the manufacturer or the dealer, with at least enough grease for a few mows. That isn’t always the case, so it is worth checking. Bear in mind that sealed spindles should not be over-greased as that can blow out the seal entirely.

To Grease or Not to Grease? That is the Question

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to the question, do lawn mower spindles come greased?

In practice, there should be a certain amount of grease added to the spindle when it is assembled in the factory. Even if it is just slathered on the spindle shaft, it should be sufficient for a few mows.

Or the selling dealer should check and fill the spindles with grease before putting the product out.

So between the manufacturer and the dealer, this should be covered.

But it isn’t always the case.

Assuming they are greased, when they might not be, and then running them dry will destroy them in short order.

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So How Often Should You Grease Mower Spindles?

Person in riding mower on grass

The question of how often and how much you should grease your mower spindles is one that provokes quite a bit of debate.

Often the advice is that spindles should be greased until you see the grease pouring back out.

What makes the matter confusing is the fact the spindles usually have a large cavity in them for the grease to be set into.

But on the spindles are small metal fittings called zerks. Usually, these fittings are sealed, meaning that it is very difficult for grease to work its way inside.

In fact, even if you pumped the cavity full of grease, nearly all of it would simply come back out of the shaft without entering the bearing.

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At worst, too much grease could blow out the seal.

That said there is some value in greasing the spindle a couple of times per year with around two or three pumps of grease, and then maybe just before you winterize your mower.

Obviously, this might need to be increased if you have a large garden and/or use your mower regularly to cut other peoples’ lawns.

Either way, I believe it does a job in protecting the bare part of the spindle from rust and keeps moisture out.

So why is the cavity there and why do some manufacturers recommend filling it until grease pours back out?

Maybe it is some kind of marketing ploy and a way to sell more products, but I don’t think there is any point adding a lot of grease to something that isn’t designed to be greased.

If the zerks are not sealed, generally this is the case on things like the suspension, ball joints and axle bushing, then you can add grease until you see the oil pouring back out.

Generally it is this simple, and all you need to do the job is a can of grease and a grease gun.

One sign that your lawn mower spindle needs greasing is if it makes a sharp noise whilst rotating.

Then it is time to get the grease gun out.

The video above provides a good way of prolonging the life of your spindles and shows you how to effectively grease sealed bearings.

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Final Thoughts

Lawn mower spindles should come greased, whether it is done by the manufacturer or the dealer.

But don’t bet on it!

Generally the bearings on most spindles are sealed these days, and that means the value of pumping the cavity on the zerk full of grease is limited.

In fact it could even have a negative effect and blow out the seal of the bearing so be careful.

However moderately greasing the spindles does have a use in protecting them from rust, so it is still worth doing a couple of times a year.

Or you can just watch the video above which shows you how to keep your deck spindles in good shape for years to come!

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