8 Reasons Your Lawn Mower Is Not Bagging (+Quick Fix)

It can spoil your mood when your lawn mower is not bagging. The last thing you want to see while mowing is grass blades all over your lawn. You are mowing your lawn to make it look healthy and beautiful, and your mower has started spilling grass clips all over the place, which can be frustrating.

The primary reason your mower is not bagging is that the grass catcher is full. There are many other reasons, like blocked grass catcher, clogged grass discharge chute, dull blades, problems in the mower deck, and airflow restriction. Check for the problems one by one and fix them accordingly.

In this article, I will help you understand why your lawn mower is not bagging. I will discuss all the possible reasons for the issue and the quick fixes for each issue. So, get along with me to learn all about the bagging issues of your mower.

Lawn mower

Why my lawn mower is not bagging?

The lawn mower is not bagging can be a common issue if you are not emptying your grass catcher regularly. 

If it is still not bagging after emptying your grass catcher, there might be other issues.

Let us discuss one by one all the reasons why your mower is not bagging.

The Grass Catcher is blocked.

The first and foremost reason your grass catcher is blocked is that it is overloaded.

If you are mowing in the early morning when the grass is wet because of the dew, chances are that wet grass will clog the catcher.

If you are mowing after a long interval where the grass has grown too long, it will be difficult for the catcher to collect it properly.

Too much weed and debris can also cause blockage.

You should also check if the catcher is properly attached to the mower; otherwise, it will not be able to collect the grass.

After you have checked all these possible reasons, you should also refer to the user guide for the mower for cleaning and maintenance.

How to fix it?

Before cleaning the grass catcher, stop the engine and remove the spark plug.

Then remove the catcher and check if any grass clumps or debris obstruct the grass movement through the catcher.

If you see any grass clumps or debris, remove them with the help of a stick or any tool.

Look for any defect or tear in the grass catcher and repair it if required.

Then you can place the grass catcher at its designated spot and check if everything is working properly.

The grass Discharge Chute is clogged.

Lawn Mower grass bag 2

A grass discharge chute determines how the grass will be expelled from the mower after it is cut.

Here also, you will need to check if any grass clippings or grass clump is blocking the way.

Wet grass can easily form into a lump, which can cause build-up and eventually block the passage.

If you mow on an uneven surface, this can also cause blockage by pulling some debris.

A torn or broken chute can also be a reason for grass not being properly thrown out of the chute.

How to fix this?

Check for the build-up of the grass clippings and grass clump formation.

If you see it is blocked due to clump formation, clean the chute and ensure no debris or clumps are inside.

Don’t mow on wet and long grass; instead, let the grass dry under the sun, and when it is completely dried out, you can start mowing.

If the chute is damaged or torn, repair it and ensure that the discharge flap is open after cleaning it before you mow again.

Periodic cleaning and maintenance of the grass chute will ensure no clogging.

So do not underestimate cleaning and maintenance, and read the user guide of your mower before this.

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Engine RPM is low

Lawn mower 1

If the mower’s engine’s RPM(revolutions per minute) is low, the blades will not rotate as fast as they should.

This will cause difficulty in getting proper cutting, and grass lumps can build up.

This will obstruct the bagging of the grass.

Low RPM will also result in low suction power of the bagger.

The bagger will fail to receive the grass due to low suction power.

So, bagging the grass clippings can be a daunting task if the RMP of the mower’s engine is low.

Let us understand why is the RPM of your mower’s engine low:

There can be several reasons why the RPM is low, and below, I have listed all of them for troubleshooting:

  • Stale or old fuel: If the fuel in the mower is old or stale, it can create problems for the carburetor. This can reduce the RPM of the engine.
  • Oil level is low: RMP of the engine can be reduced for lack of lubrication if the oil level is low.
  • Clogged carburetor: RPM can also be compromised if the carburetor is blocked.
  • The fuel filter is dirty or blocked: If it is blocked, yes, you guessed it right, the engine will not receive a sufficient amount of fuel. Hence the RPM will be reduced.
  • The air filter is blocked: Similarly, if the air filter is blocked or dirty, lack of air will reduce the RPM.
  • Damaged or dirty spark plug: A defective spark plug can affect the engine’s performance.

How to fix the low RPM issue?

If the RMP is low, you will need to check all the abovementioned parts to troubleshoot the issue.

Replace the old fuel with fresh fuel.

Clean the clogged carburetor with a cleaning solution.

Also, locate the fuel and air filters and clean them if they are dirty.

Replace them if they are too bad to clean.

Check and clean the spark plug with a wire brush; replace it if you see it is damaged.

Read the user’s manual if required and do periodic servicing of the mower to avoid low RPM issues.

Note: Don’t touch the engine when it is hot and running.

Also read:

The Blades are dull

Lawn mower fixing blade

Dull blades can cause problems in bagging as they will not be able to cut the grass cleanly.

This can cause grass clumps to remain on the lawn, and it will not be bagged properly.

Poor blades will also put extra load on the engine, and the overall performance of the mower will be reduced, which will add to the bagging issue.

If the grass is not cut neatly due to dull blades, the bag will tend to fill up quickly, and you will need to clean it up frequently.

This can be tiring and annoying.

How to fix this?

Keep a check on your mower blades and ensure they remain sharp and well-maintained whenever you start to mow.

Routine servicing and sharpening help maintain the blades’ sharpness and the mower’s overall health.

So, do not ignore the maintenance and servicing part.

Also read:

Grass too Long

overgrown lawn

You have not mowed your lawn for months, and the grass has grown too tall.

While mowing such tall grass, it will be difficult for your mower to bag it efficiently.

Tall grass can get stuck in the chute to block the passage.

The bag can get filled quickly, and then bagging will be hampered.

How to fix this?

Before attempting to bag the grass, you can cut it to shorter lengths.

Periodic mowing will also prevent the grass from growing very tall, and mowing and bagging will become easier.

Also read: How Often Should I Mow My Lawn? (Everyday, Once In A Week & More)

Grass catcher full 

Lawn Mower grass bag

Some mowers have a safety feature that stops bagging the grass when the grass catcher is full.

The mower might not cut the grass properly with a full grass catcher.

Picking up the grass will also be difficult for the mower in this case.

How to fix it?

You will need to empty the grass catcher to ensure proper grass bagging.

Also, ensure no debris and grass clumps are left in the catcher or chute before you start to mow your lawn.

Adjustment problems with the mower deck’s height

If the mower deck height is too high or too low, it will not be able to collect and bag the grass properly.

Setting the height too low will cut the grass very short, and the mower might not be able to collect it.

Setting it too high can cause uneven grass-cutting, and bagging will again be difficult and problematic for the mower.

What should be the correct height for the mower deck?

The height setting recommended for most of the mowers is 2.5 to 3 inches.

Although, it depends on the grass type and mower you use.

So, it is better to refer to the user manual for the height setting. 

Also, check the height appropriate for the grass type you have on your lawn.

Airflow restriction 

Lawn mower bag

There can be many reasons for airflow restriction in a mower, from blockages due to debris and grass clumps to worn-out bags.

This issue can decrease the suction power; as a result, the mower cannot pick up the grass cuttings properly, and the bagging suffers.

It can further damage the bag as well as the machine. 

So it is important to address this issue as soon as possible to make bagging easier.

Lets us understand why the Airflow restriction happens:

  • Wrong bag size: If the bag is too small, the airflow gets restricted, and the suction power is reduced.
  • Clogged filters: Clogged air or fuel filter can also cause a reduction in the suction power and restrict the airflow.
  • Damaged bag or discharge chute: The mower cannot maintain the air suction pressure if the discharge chute or bag is damaged.
  • Engine RPM and performance issue: If the engine performance is not up to the mark for some reason, then bagging is affected.

How to fix this?

You need to select the proper bag size for your mower so that bag does not get filled quickly.

Check if any filters are clogged or not; if you find them to be clogged, clean them and place them again.

Also, check if the bag and chute are damaged or torn; you will need to repair them if you find any issues.

Regular servicing and maintenance are required to maintain the engine’s health.

So, make sure to complete all servicing cycles for your mower.

Final thoughts

In this article, we have discussed all possible reasons why your lawn mower is not bagging, and the reasons can be a blocked grass catcher, grass discharge chute is clogged, low engine RPM, dull blades, too long grass blades, full grass catcher, mower deck’s height and airflow restriction.

To resolve the issue, you can follow all the troubleshooting steps and quick-fix suggestions discussed in this article. But feel free to seek professional help if you are still looking for the correct reason for the issue.

The key to a healthy mower and a healthy lawn is proper maintenance. So, focus on periodic maintenance of your machine as we all know prevention is better than cure.

Also read:

How to fix a lawn mower grass bag?

You will need to use the outdoor fabric repair glue on the damaged part of the bag and apply it inside or outside, depending upon the tear.

Is it better for your lawn to bag?

Environmentalists say you can use the grass clippings as mulch in your garden instead of bagging. But it depends on you how you want to use the grass clipping.

Reference: Lawn Mower Technology, Lawn Mower SafetyLawn MowingLawn CareMowing your lawn.


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

2 thoughts on “8 Reasons Your Lawn Mower Is Not Bagging (+Quick Fix)

  1. What causes the clippings to come out between the chute and the hole in the bagger cover?

    1. Possible causes of grass clippings coming out between the chute and the hole in the bagger cover of a lawnmower are clogged chute, worn or damaged bagger cover, improper installation, and overfilled bagger. To fix this issue, clear any clogs in the chute, check the bagger cover for wear or damage, ensure proper installation of the bagger cover, and empty the bagger more frequently.

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