How to Tell What Year a Lawn Mower Is?

Are you the proud owner of a trusty lawn mower that’s seen better days? Perhaps you’re considering purchasing a used one to save some money. But before you make a decision, it’s important to know its age. After all, an older mower might need more maintenance, or even have parts that are no longer available. This article will equip you with the knowledge to decipher the cryptic markings on your mower and figure out its year of manufacture. We’ll cover common methods, including deciphering model numbers, identifying serial numbers, and looking for manufacturer-specific clues.

Understanding the Importance of a Lawn Mower’s Age

The year of manufacture provides valuable information for a lawn mower. It helps determine:

  • Maintenance needs: Older mowers might require more frequent servicing and parts replacements.
  • Availability of parts: Parts for older models might be harder to find or more expensive.
  • Safety features: Modern mowers often have enhanced safety features that might be absent in older models.
  • Market value: Knowing the age helps you assess its worth when selling or trading.

Methods to Determine the Year of Your Lawn Mower

There isn’t a single universal method to determine the year of a lawnmower. Different manufacturers use various labeling systems and techniques. However, the following methods are commonly employed:

1. Deciphering the Model Number

Many lawnmower model numbers contain a code that indicates the year of manufacture. Here’s a breakdown of common patterns:

a. Using the Last Digit:

  • Some manufacturers use the last digit of the model number to denote the year. For example, a model number ending in “2” could indicate a 2002 model.

b. Using a Two-Digit Code:

  • Other manufacturers might use two digits to represent the year. For instance, a model number with “18” at the end could be a 2018 model.

c. Using a Letter Code:

  • A few manufacturers employ letters to represent years. It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s documentation or website to understand their specific coding system.

2. Examining the Serial Number

Serial numbers, usually found on a metal plate or sticker attached to the mower, can often provide clues about the year. However, interpreting serial numbers can be challenging.

a. Manufacturer-Specific Codes:

  • Every manufacturer has its own unique serial number system. You may need to contact the manufacturer or consult their website for decoding assistance.

b. Understanding the Format:

  • Many serial numbers follow a specific format, such as a combination of letters and numbers. The position of certain characters within the serial number might reveal the year.

3. Looking for Manufacturer-Specific Clues

Beyond model numbers and serial numbers, manufacturers often leave subtle hints about the year of production.

a. Identifying Model Year Stickers:

  • Some manufacturers include model year stickers on the mower deck, engine, or other components. These stickers typically display the year of manufacture.

b. Examining Engine Information:

  • The engine itself may offer clues about the year. Check the engine model number or serial number. Some engine manufacturers use codes similar to those found on lawnmower models.

c. Searching for Documentation:

  • If you have the original owner’s manual or other documentation, it might contain information about the year of manufacture.

4. Using Online Resources

The internet can be a valuable tool for determining the year of your lawnmower.

a. Manufacturer Websites:

  • Most manufacturers have websites that offer resources and support, including information about model year identification. You can often search by model number or serial number to find the year.

b. Online Forums and Communities:

  • Many online forums and communities dedicated to lawnmowers and gardening can provide valuable insights and assistance. Post a picture of your mower or provide details about the model number and serial number to get help from fellow enthusiasts.

5. Consulting a Local Dealer

If you’re still having trouble, consider reaching out to a local dealer specializing in lawnmowers. They may be able to identify the year of your mower based on the model number, serial number, or even the overall appearance of the machine.

Additional Tips for Identifying the Year

  • Check for visual cues: Older mowers might exhibit signs of wear and tear, such as faded paint, rust, or cracked plastic.
  • Research common features: Look for features common to specific years or models. For example, certain safety features or design elements might indicate the age.


Determining the year of a lawnmower can be a rewarding experience, especially if you’re looking to understand its history or value. By exploring model numbers, serial numbers, and manufacturer-specific clues, you can uncover the year of manufacture. Remember to consult online resources and local dealers for additional assistance.

Equipped with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about maintenance, parts replacement, and the overall care of your trusty lawnmower.


How do I find the year a lawn mower was made?

The most common way to determine a lawn mower’s year of manufacture is by checking the model number. The model number often contains a specific code that indicates the year of production. This code might be a letter, number, or combination of both. You can usually find this code on the mower’s engine or chassis, near the serial number. You can then cross-reference the code with the manufacturer’s website or a resource like the Lawn Mower Encyclopedia.

Another method involves searching for a date code or sticker on the mower. Some manufacturers place a small sticker with the production date on the engine or chassis. This sticker usually contains a code or a specific date format. If you cannot find a sticker, you might find a date stamped into the metal of the mower. This date could be the date the specific part was manufactured, but it might not reflect the date the entire mower was assembled.

Where is the model number on a lawn mower?

The location of the model number varies depending on the manufacturer and model of the lawn mower. However, it is typically located in one of several common areas:

The model number is often found on a sticker or metal plate attached to the engine or chassis of the mower. It might be near the serial number or other identification markings. Check the engine housing, the side of the deck, or the frame for these markings. You may also find it on the side of the gas tank or on the underside of the mower deck. If you can’t find it on the mower itself, check the owner’s manual or any documentation that came with the mower.

What if I don’t know the manufacturer of my lawn mower?

If you don’t know the manufacturer of your lawn mower, it might be challenging to determine its year of manufacture. However, you can still try a few methods.

First, try to identify any markings or logos on the mower. These markings may give you clues about the manufacturer. If you can identify the manufacturer, you can then search online for information on their specific model numbers and dating codes. If you can’t find anything on the mower, you can try contacting a local mower repair shop or a lawn care equipment dealership. They might be able to help identify the manufacturer or at least provide information about the age of the mower based on its features.

What if the model number doesn’t include a year code?

If you cannot find a year code on the lawn mower, you might be able to deduce the year of manufacture by its features and design.

Look for identifying features like the type of engine, the design of the deck, and the presence of any specific safety features. You can then compare these features with lawn mowers from different years. There are online resources like forums and websites dedicated to lawn mower enthusiasts that might help you date your mower. You can post photos and descriptions of your mower to get feedback from others.

How do I tell if a lawn mower is a vintage model?

A vintage lawn mower is typically considered one that was manufactured before the 1980s. These mowers often have a unique design and construction compared to modern mowers.

If your lawn mower has features like a cast-iron engine, a steel chassis, and a manual starting system, it might be a vintage model. You can also look for distinctive design elements like a curved handlebar or a unique blade shape. Many vintage lawn mowers have been well-maintained and preserved by their owners, and they are considered valuable by collectors.

Is there a resource that can help me identify the year of my lawn mower?

There are a few resources that can help you identify the year of your lawn mower:

One helpful resource is the Lawn Mower Encyclopedia, an online database of lawn mower models and information. You can search by manufacturer, model number, or even specific features to find information about your mower’s year of manufacture. You can also consult online forums and communities dedicated to lawn mowers. These forums often have knowledgeable members who can help identify your mower’s year and provide information about its history and value.

How can I keep my lawn mower running well?

Even if your lawn mower is old, it can continue to provide years of service with proper care and maintenance.

To keep your lawn mower running well, you should follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. This includes regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and blade sharpening. It’s also important to store your lawn mower properly during the off-season. Clean the mower, drain the fuel tank, and store it in a dry, sheltered place. By following these simple tips, you can extend the life of your lawn mower and keep it running smoothly.

Leave a Comment