how to turn off a lawn mower

Whether you have an older lawn mower that doesn’t have an off button, your off switch has broken, or your lawnmower simply doesn’t want to stop, being stuck with a running lawnmower can be pretty stressful. Though this doesn’t seem like an issue everyone would have, there are quite a few times people have struggled with this, so knowing how to turn it off is essential.

The first thing you need to try to turn off your lawnmower is the off switch or kill switch if required. If your lawnmower is still going after that, you need to close the throttle or stop the fuel supply and unplug the sparkplug cable. If you are utilizing an electric mower, you can disconnect it.

Even if it doesn’t do it the usual way, turning off your lawnmower shouldn’t be too hard. However, as we humans often do, some of us can enter a state of panic that can cloud our rational thought on the matter.

For this reason, it is essential to know what to do and the different ways you can shut down a lawnmower that keeps running.

How To Turn Off Your Lawnmower Normally?

Before looking at what to do in an emergency, it is essential to ensure that the standard method does not work.

There are also two different types of traditional lawnmower, the electric and gas variants.

Below are the ways to turn off a lawnmower without using an emergency protocol.

Turning Off An Electric Lawnmower

Most electric lawnmowers have a safety button and lever that need to be held down for the lawnmower to start. This button and lever also function as the off switch for most lawnmowers.

If the lawnmower is on and running, you should be able to control the speed with a throttle handle.

To turn off an electric lawnmower like normal, you need to let go of the throttle lever handle. (Having problem with throttle cable – Fix a Mower Throttle cable).

Once the throttle is disengaged, you can let go of the additional lever that should be holding the safety button in place.

Once the safety button is released, the lawnmower should cut the power supply and shut down.

Turning Off A Gas Lawnmower

Like an electric lawnmower, a gas lawnmower also uses a safety lever as an off switch.

If your lawnmower is running as it should and your choke is disengaged, letting go of the safety lever is usually the way to stop it.

While mowing, the safety lever, which you will usually find on the handlebar, is kept down to ensure that the mower keeps moving.

To stop the lawnmower, you simply have to release this handle lever, and the lawnmower should stop.

How To Turn Off Your Lawnmower In An Emergency?

Though the user manual of your lawnmower might not have instructions for switching off your mower during an emergency, there are still people that have figured out the best ways to do precisely that.

It is essential to appreciate how to safely stop your mower if all else fails since, as with everything else, parts break, and wear and tear can prevent essential mechanical functions.

It is also best to know precisely how to stop your mower if you have had work performed on it in the past, as some methods of making your mower work might mean that it doesn’t stop working.

Emergency Off On An Electric Lawnmower

There are two different electric lawnmowers used today.

The first type is a corded mower, and this lawnmower needs a connection to a power outlet to function as expected.

The second type of electric lawn mower is a battery-powered lawnmower. Battery-powered lawn mowers have become more popular since they do not have a long cord that gets in the way.

Emergency Off For Corded Lawnmower

Since electric lawnmowers that work with a cord need a connection to a power outlet, it is simple to see the easiest way to turn them off if their essential functions fail.

To do this, you merely need to turn off the power outlet and unplug the lawnmower.

Doing this will guarantee no electricity flowing to the lawnmower, which will automatically cause it to shut off.

If this is a problem that has happened more than once, I also recommend getting the mower repaired since this can lead to injury or more significant issues.

Emergency Off For Battery-Powered Lawnmower

Since the easiest way to get an electric lawnmower to stop running is to disconnect it from its power supply, the solution to this is pretty straightforward.

The simplest way to control your battery-powered lawnmower is to disconnect the battery.

Depending on the mower you use, there are a few different ways to do this.

The first is to remove the entire battery pack, and this is usually a unit that you can remove to charge. Removing this unit will stop the motor from running.

Additionally, if your mower works on a battery alone, you might need a spanner to help you unhook the wires from the battery.

Emergency Off On A Gas Lawnmower

Luckily, most gas lawnmowers work similarly, and there are two ways to make them stop if they don’t switch off usually.

The first method is found in most user manuals, though this doesn’t always work. The second method is more intricate but will undoubtedly get the job done.

Stopping Your Gas Mower Using The Killswitch

Most lawn mowers come with a button or switch for emergencies, like when your mower won’t switch off. This button or switch is called the killswitch.

Your lawnmower’s killswitch can be found either on the handle or in the motor box itself and will usually have a label to say what it is.

Engaging the kill switch should theoretically cut the power to your lawnmower’s motor.

Stopping Your Gas Mower If Kill Switch Doesn’t Work

If your lawnmower’s killswitch does not work, there is luckily still a guaranteed method you can try. If your mower is running and won’t stop, ensure that the throttle and choke are disengaged.

If all the systems that supply fuel and power are off and the mower is still running, you can pull out the spark plug wire to completely stop the mower.

Pulling the plug wire will mean that there is no spark to ignite the small combustion engine that runs your mower, and it will stop.


There are many reasons why your lawnmower might keep on running when it should switch off.

Luckily, there are many distinct ways you can stop your mower from running if you need to.

If you are unfortunate and have this happen to you, you must practice caution and get the mower repaired as soon as possible.

Wondering about deck replacement, read our article Step By Step Guide to Mower Deck Replacement.

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