I Can’t Pull My Lawnmower Cord Hard Enough – What To Do?

Approx Reading Time: 9 minutes

Getting a lawnmower to start can be hard. Some people don’t have enough strength to pull the cord and get the blades moving. Others aren’t in good physical health, so pulling the cable has become much harder. Sometimes, the mower won’t start even when strong people are pulling on the cord. Luckily, there are many different methods you can use to make it easier for you to pull your lawnmower’s cord and get the machine working.

Along with making sure the mower is in working order, you can also adjust height settings, so it is easier to start. Other than that, making sure that you are using the correct form while pulling the cord is crucial. If all else fails, you can buy a better pull cord handle, or a specialized pull starter tool.

In the remainder of this article, I’ll list and discuss various troubleshooting tips if you can’t pull your mower’s cord or if successfully pulling the cable doesn’t start the mower’s engine. 

If You Can’t Pull Your Mower’s Cord Hard Enough

The following are a few things you can do to easily start your mower if you can’t get your cord to pull hard enough:

Check Out the Mower’s Parts

Sometimes, a lawnmower will become impossible to start after you’ve used it for many years. This quite often occurs because a part of the mower isn’t working correctly

To start the mower, you need to release the flywheel brake; if this part is broken, the mower won’t start. Other parts, such as a chipped blade, can put more stress on the mower, making it harder to use and making the cord harder to pull. 

A small piece not working correctly, such as the recoil spring, can shift the burden onto the cord, requiring large amounts of energy to get the mower going.

Some common issues that can lead to a cord being harder to pull are hydro locking, which usually occurs because of oil spilling into the exhaust area, and a misshapen crankshaft. The misshapen shaft can generally be detected due to the noise it makes.

The off-ness of the shape causes the cord to be hard to pull. In such cases, it is best to replace the crankshaft to make the lawnmower easier to start.

Find Better Cord Handles

Most lawn mowers have cord handles that are in a “T” shape. These handles tend to restrict the amount of energy you can use from your hand; this makes it so that when you pull on the cord, a lot of energy gets wasted.

To make maximum use of your energy from pulling the cable, you need a handle that allows for greater use of the hand. 

A popular choice is a ball or other round design that will fit into the palm of your hand. These handles can be bought at hardware shops or stores that sell lawnmowers. Such handles will make it easier to pull the lawnmower’s cord.

Use Tools for Easier Pull

For those who are suffering from a medical condition and can’t pull the lawnmower cord any harder, special tools can be used to make it easier to pull the cord. Tools like a pull starter make it effortless to pull on lawnmower cords. 

The hand of the cable is attached to the mechanism, which then pulls the cord up and down repeatedly until the lawnmower starts. The device also works for other cord activated machines such as a leaf blower and edger. 

This is the ultimate tool to use if you are unable to pull the cord and don’t see yourself becoming strong enough to pull it anytime soon. The device is also a good pick for those that need to protect their shoulders from injury. However, the tool costs roughly $300, so it is a costlier alternative to pulling on the lawnmower cord or starting it by other means.

Adjust the Height of the Lawn Mower

A typical lawnmower problem that can make it challenging to start the machine with a pulling cord is the height of the mower from the ground. The height of a lawnmower is adjustable, allowing consumers to decide how tall they want their grass to be.

However, if you want your lawn short but start your lawnmower in tall grass, the grass height will get caught in the blades and make it harder to start the mower. 

To make pulling the cord easier, shift the lawnmower height up to start the machine, then lower it back down to your desired grass height to begin cutting.

Use The Correct Form To Start Up Your Mower

Using the correct form to start up your mower can make things a lot easier. 

Here’s a trick I learned over the years: Grab on to the mower’s handle with your off-hand, while holding the cord in your main hand. Now, quickly pull on the cord while at the same time pushing the mower away with your off-hand. 

If done correctly, this can nearly double the amount of force you can put into starting your mower. It takes a bit of practice to get it right, but once you master it things will be much easier.

Ask Someone For Help

When I was younger, me and my mom had a lot of trouble starting up our old lawn mower.

We managed to start it with team effort – she would hold onto the mower’s handle, while I used my full body weight to kinda “jump into” the pulling move, eventually starting up the mower.

This is not optimal by any means, but it can work fine if you are out of ideas.

If All Else Fails—Build Up Your Arm Muscles

If you’re still struggling to pull the lawnmower cord due to strength alone, it could be a good idea to consider building up the arm muscle to pull the cord more easily. You can do this in multiple ways. 

Lots of gyms have specific machines that are designed to build muscle in the same places in the arms that are necessary for pulling a lawnmower cord.

If you can’t make it to the gym, you can just pull out the spark plug in the lawnmower and practice pulling; taking out the spark plug keeps you from wasting gas in starting the mower up.

If Your Mower Still Won’t Start After Pulling the Cord Hard Enough

In some cases, it may be that you are pulling your lawnmower’s cord hard enough—it’s just that something is preventing the machine from starting at all. Here are a few final troubleshooting tips to try in these situations:

Check the Spark Plug

The kind of spark plug you have in your lawnmower can determine whether you can start the mower or not. Spark plugs that are old or don’t function well make it harder for the engine to start.

This usually results in the person using the lawnmower needing extra muscle to get the machine running. 

Make sure that you invest in good spark plugs that will hold up well over time. NGK spark plugs are high quality and perform well in most situations.

Be careful while installing the new spark plug. Plugs that are screwed in too tight don’t work correctly, rendering the lawnmower unusable.

If your spark plugs seem to be in good shape, they may only need to be cleaned of any residue on them that could be preventing a spark from happening. 

Check the Valves

Valves that are not adequately looked after usually lead to problems with starting lawnmowers.

In fact, valves that aren’t set up correctly in the first place will make it nearly impossible to start the machine. The valve usually causing the trouble is the overhead valve

Make Sure There’s Enough Gas

While keeping a full tank of fuel in your lawnmower seems like a given, a lot of people forget to fill the tank after mowing their lawns. For a lawnmower to be able to start, it needs to have fuel for the engine to run on. 

While the addition of fuel is a rather obvious step, it’s essential to recognize that forgetting the fuel can cause lots of problems for the lawnmower. Trying to start a mower without gas multiple times is likely to damage the mower.

In addition, if you’ve been using the same fuel in your mower for months, the problem could be that it simply needs to be replaced with fresh gas.

In Conclusion

A lawn mower’s cord can be difficult to pull for a variety of reasons. If the cable is hard to pull because something is wrong with a lawnmower part, it is best to fix the piece to make pulling the cord easier. If you are unable to pull the cable due to a lack of physical strength, there are multiple ways you can make it easier to pull the cord. 

These ways include adjusting the lawnmower to better suit your needs as well as buying special tools to make starting the lawnmower easier. You can also make starting the mower easier by simply working on becoming stronger.

However, don’t rule out that you could be pulling your mower’s cord hard enough and that there could be something wrong with your mower that’s making it difficult to start at all. By following the above troubleshooting tips, you can get your mower started and going in no time. 

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!