How Does a Mulching Lawn Mower Work?

One Step Mowing & Mulching

Mulching lawn mowers complete three tasks for gardeners in one activity. They mow the lawn or shear down plants, shred the clippings and either collect them or redistribute them onto the lawn or soil as easily degradable and beneficial mulch. Mulching mowers can also be used to run through piles of leaves and dried plants to create mulch.

Uptake & Shredding

The clippings or materials are cut apart, shredded and spun into smaller pieces by the forward motion of the sharp blades of the mower. Depending on the model and features of your mulching mower, different settings are available for both the size and type of input material as well as the size of the desired mulch output.


The shredded bits are then sucked into the catch and released down to the surface of the lawn or soil as the mower moves forward. Many mulching mowers have the option to collect the clippings for bagging and later use and do not drop anything back onto the lawn or soil surface.

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About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.