How to Mow a Steep Hill With A Handheld or Riding Mower?

Whether you do believe it or not, but the job of mowing steep slopes can be really challenging, to say the least. However, if you can successfully pull off this task, then your lawn will definitely look pretty extravagant and eye-catching.

But, the question is, how can you actually complete the task without making any errors?

Well, that’s easy. All you will need to do in this aspect is to follow some steps of how to mow a steep hill meticulously and, you’ll complete with the mowing mission almost in a jiffy. So, here, we’ll be talking about some of those tips that you will have to follow.

However, don’t fret about it and it does not have to be boring. Wear your headphone, gear up, and let’s get to work!

In this write-up, we will discuss the procedures of both handheld models as well as the riding ones. So, if you do want to know about how to mow a steep hill in a proper manner, then make sure to go through everything thoroughly.

Mowing A Steep Hill With a Handheld Mower

Mowing A Steep Hill With a Handheld Mower

Cutting grass on a steep hill can be pretty dangerous. Hence, before you begin your task, make sure to equip all the precautionary gear to stay safe and secure.

  • 1st Step: Evaluate the Condition of Your Garden Properly

First, you will have to start by assessing the condition of the lawn. Does the ground seem to be too soft? Are the grasses way too wet? If these are included in the over the situation of the steep hill, then it will be better for you not to begin the task.

But why are we saying so?

Well, for starters, wet grasses are generally a lot harder to cut through. Moreover, if you still do continue your job, then the debris might get clogged up in the internal section of your mower. It, in turn, can deliberately damage the device.

  • 2nd Step: Keep the Mower at a Higher Setting

It might sound quite apparent for the veterans, but most newcomers tend to keep their mower for steep banks at a lower setting while doing their job. It, in turn, makes it a lot more challenging for them to move through the slope and cut the grasses appropriately.

However, that’s not all.

If you do keep your mower at a lower setting, then it might scalp out your whole lawn. Hence, as you can understand, it will look pretty weird. Thus, you should always put keep the device high while cutting through a steep hill.

But, are there any other reasons behind this suggestion? Of course, there are!

For starters, keeping the mower at a higher level can help you to move around through the hill a lot more comfortably. Besides, it can also help you in controlling the irrigation of the lawn. Thirdly, it can cut down even the thicker grasses without causing any damage to the device.

Lastly, after you are done with mowing while keeping the steep hill mower high, your lawn will look super-smooth and eye-catching as well.

  • 3rd Step: Start from a Lateral Position

When beginning their task, many people tend to go straight up to the slope. However, it is actually the wrong method. While pushing the mower straight up the hill, you may slip and lose your footing. Hence, if it happens, then you may get injured due to the fall or the mower.

Moreover, the device may also get away from you and bash into a tree or a building. Due to this reason, if you are a beginner, then you should always start mowing crosswise. In this aspect, you will have to push the device from the right side to the left side of the hill.

Now, how good will it do be you?

Well, firstly, you would not have to deal with the risk of slipping up and injuring yourself. Secondly, as you are not going against the flow, you will also be able to keep the mower steady in your hands. It, turn, might aid you in cleaning your lawn more efficiently.

However, to minimize the risks, even more, you can use an upgraded or the self-propelled mower for your purpose. They are a lot easier to maintain or handle. Also, as you do not have to push it by yourself, it can help you to stay on your feet without losing your balance.

Additionally, if the model comes with variable speed options, then your job will become even more convenient than usual.

  • 4th Step: Wear a Baseball Cleat

If you are still feeling worried about slipping up while mowing on a slope, then we would suggest you wear a pair of baseball cleats.

They can help you to put your feet on the ground more steadily and walk through the lawn a lot more stably than before.

Hence, this, in turn, will help you to acquire more traction and handle the device quite comfortably.

  • 5th Step: Pair Your Mower Up with a Trimmer

Mowers are highly efficient in mowing. There is no doubt about it. However, we are not talking about small backyards. We are referring to a fully-fledged steep hill. And, trust us, mowing in these two sections are quite different.

Hence, to keep yourself safe and secure while working, you can always pair your mower up with a trimmer. As you are using the higher settings with the former, you cannot deliberately shorten the size of the grasses.

Thus, after finishing up with them, if you do not really like their looks at all, then you can use the trimmers. They usually do not work well on the longer grasses. So, you can use the trimmers when you have shortened them enough.

In all honesty, the string trimmers would be ideal in this aspect. They are quite lightweight. So, you would not really have to deal with the risk of going out of control. Moreover, they are somewhat affordable, as well.

Mowing A Steep Hill With a Riding Mower

Mowing A Steep Hill With a Riding Mower

In all honesty, the riding mowers are not really considered to be ideal for mowing on steep hills. They generally have the capability of trimming the slopes that are either 15⁰ steeper or a little bit more than that. You can find the calculation of the users’ manual.

So, do you want to know more about how to mow a steep hill with a riding mower in a safe manner? Well, we have jotted down some tips in the below section to help you out in this aspect! Make sure to check them out!

  • Always Go As Slow As Possible

Mowing a slope with a riding mower is, indeed, a challenging task. Thus, to avert the dangerous situation, you should always start your journey slowly and keep following it until you are done with your work. Make sure to use the gear gradually and try not to put too much pressure on the transmission.

Moreover, before starting with your work, you should also check if the brakes of the vehicle are functioning correctly or not. Also, make sure to avoid common mistakes, like stopping abruptly or turning suddenly. It might increase your risk of losing control.

  • Avoid Going Side-to-Side

In the previous section of handheld mowers, we have asked you to go side-by-side while doing your mowing task. Nonetheless, you cannot do the same in this aspect. Here, you will have to follow the notion of going down and up on the hill.

But why should you do so?

Well, the riding mowers generally tend to be quite lightweight, to say the least. Therefore, if you do go sideways with them, then there is a high chance the vehicle would lose its footing. Hence, you both will fall down from the hill and suffer potentially life-threatening damage.

Hence, for your own safety, it is always better to go up and down the hill while mowing.

  • Keep the Lumps on Check

Before you begin your task with the riding mower, make sure to mark the places, which have bumps or lumps. They might increase the risk of your mower getting tipped over. Besides, the edges of an embankment should also be avoided at any cost.

Most times, the ground of these places tends to be pretty wet. Hence, when you are driving through them, the wheel of the riding mower may get stuck. Moreover, the device may also get waterlogged while going through them.

Also, we would ask you not to mow wet grasses in this aspect as well. It will make the blades of the mower somewhat heavy by clogging them up. Furthermore, the wheels of the vehicle might also slip during the process.

Lastly, keep the dump cart attached to your mower so that you can dump the grass immediately.


In essence, there are a lot of strategies that can be made for mowing a steep hill in a proper manner. However, if you are a starter and have no idea about how to mow a steep hill, then you should always start by following the pointers we have mentioned above.

They are quite basic but highly effective as well. Anyways, once you become a professional in this aspect, then you can come up with your own strategies and complete your work a lot more proficiently. Until then, make sure to be safe and stick to the basics of how to mow a steep hill.

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