Admit it, whether you’re sitting on a riding mower or pushing one, there’s something immensely satisfying about it. Especially with riding mowers, sitting atop your vehicle like royalty, passing judgment on the peasant grass below. And, when you’re finished, you return indoors, knowing that your lawn has never looked better.
There’s also something incredibly relaxing about mowing your lawn. Entirely in control, at peace, the job is fairly redundant, but it’s also another form of meditation.
But apart from the silly roleplaying or intense relaxation you’re doing in your mind, it’s also an important job, and having the right lawn mower belt is going to make a major difference in the quality of work. But how does one determine the right-sized belt?
Depending on the size of your lawn and what kind of mower you have will dictate what kind of belt you need, but there are a few on the market superior to others. Here’s what we found.
List of the Best Lawn Mower Belts
Craftsman 144959 Replacement Deck Belt
When you’re replacing a mower belt, it’s important that you find one that’s not too difficult for you to put inside the machine. Lawn work should be easy, and the last thing you want is to mess around with a manual for 45 minutes before finally turning to youtube to see how to do it correctly.
Meant for mowers with 42, 46 and 50-inch decks, the Craftsman is the kind of replacement belt you always want to be stored in your toolbox. One of the first things that struck us about this belt was how easy it was to install.
It fit perfectly in the mower, as the distance between the two end shafts from the center is completely adjustable. The last thing you want is a belt that won’t fit, so having the ability to adjust makes a world of difference. The tensile strength of the material made it easy to adjust without any concerns about damaging it.
The Craftsman is made of some pretty strong material. It’s made of cotton canvas, strong cushion rubber and strong tension polyester rope. What’s great about the material is that it is resistant to wear, meaning you won’t have to replace it barring an accident any time soon.
But enough about what it’s made of, what matters is how it performed. The material is laser OEM, specifically created for mowing. After setting it up, it cut through grass like it was born to. With little resistance, it went through a large swath of grass without issue, and didn’t miss any along the way.
There has been some news online about the belt being mislabeled, that it doesn’t work in certain machines as advertised. While we had no issues like this, and many others didn’t either, you might want to ensure before purchasing you have a compatible mower.
Maxpower 336351B Deck Drive Belt for 42” MTD/Cub Cadet/Troy-Bilt, Replaces OEM No. 754-04060, 754-04060B, 754-04060C, 954-04060, 954-04060B, 954-04060C
Often, we’ve found that belts are just too difficult to put in the drive. There are some on the market, no matter how many times you go over the manual, the belt just won’t get in right. Even after you think you’ve installed it correctly, something may have been overlooked.
Talk about easy to install – you don’t even have to remove the deck to put it in! With great resistance to frictional heat, there’s little chance of wear, even after mowing 20 acres of lawn. With other lawn belts, the alignment gets thrown off after the pulleys wear down. This can result in your mower turning strangely or making loud noises.
There was no pully misalignment with the Maxpower. It was also stronger than most belts we’ve seen in the past. What looks like the usual cord is actually a design known as Aramid construction, a dual-layer of fabric that won’t easily stretch or break.
Apart from the ease of installation, it performed like a dream, evenly and smoothly leveling the lawn. It was a welcome relief after dealing with so many mowers whose belts had fallen out of alignment, making it incredibly awkward to turn a corner.
There’s nothing worse for a belt than overheating. Heat can cause stretching or eventually cracking. But this wasn’t the case with the Maxpower. When finished, we were pleased to learn the belt hadn’t gotten intensely hot. The only issue some people may have is that the belt may be a few inches shorter than what it’s replacing.
It’s important that you check your mower’s manual prior to purchase to ensure it’ll properly fit your machine. But if it does, expect to be instantly grateful, because there’s no other belt on the market this easy to work with. Other belts fall out of alignment or wind up breaking over time. The Maxpower will likely last longer, cut better and rarely, if ever, cause your mower additional problems.
Toro 91-2258 V-Belt 35″ x 3/8″
If you’re in the market for a top-quality belt with strong, flexible synthetic rubber, look no further. The Toro 35“ x 3/8“ V Belt delivers optimal mowing performance no matter the conditions it’s working under. And that’s the real draw of the Toro – no matter what climate you live in, this belt will be able to endure the worst conditions.
While it’s never advisable to leave a lawn mower out in bad weather, mistakes can happen, and the Toro is there for such an occasion.
The Toro also boasts a unique synthetic rubber fabric that improves its tensile strength. It can very smoothly release, then engage during clutching. One of the other benefits of the Toro is that it is compatible with a long-range of Toro lawn mowers. The belt works with 20784, 20066, 20075, 20655, 20036, 20071 and 20012 models – and that’s only a handful. And it fits perfectly in all of them.
The Toro, like most belts, offers resistance to heat. Synthetic rubber has static properties which reduce the likelihood of fire or sparks. It’s also shock absorbent and extremely durable.
Unfortunately, while the belt fits well in the deck, it can be a little tricky to install it there. But with a manual and steady hands, you should have no problem. There are even youtube videos online to help guide you through the process.
It should also be noted that the Toro offers an extra bit of speed in your mower’s blades that may be unexpected. While it’s nice to get lawn work done quickly, no one wants to do it faster than they want to walk.
John Deere Original Equipment Flat Belt
When you’re shopping for a replacement belt, what’s the most important factor? If you’re anything like us, it’s a long lifespan. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to buy a new belt every few months.
Fortunately, the John Deere offers just the right amount of heat resistance to last for ages. Made for both 42-inch deck mowers and garden tractors, it’s the perfect belt for most large deck drives.
The John Deere already comes made of pretty strong stuff, but reinforces it with the same Aramid construction of the Maxpower. This enhances the mower’s performance. And you can really see the difference after riding over a patch of grass.
One of the first things that struck us was how quiet it was. Normally, mowers of this size are so loud, even earphones can’t completely muffle the noise. But the synthetic fiber runs smooth, never getting unruly.
This is surprising because the horsepower on our mower would normally come with a lot of noise. This was probably the quietest ride available. This is especially nice if you use mowing for its meditative traits. Rather than overwhelm your lawn, scare your animals and irritate the neighbors, this offers a peaceful alternative.
The quiet, we learned, did not affect its performance at all. It performed just as well, if not better, than its noisier competitors.
And never once did it slip off its pulleys. There was one word that aptly described the belt: consistency. In speed, power, durability and heat resistance, the John Deere rated the same across the board.
Unfortunately, you have to own the correct kind of mower for this belt, as it’s not compatible with everything. As usual, check your manual for specifications before purchasing.
Honda Genuine OEM Harmony II Drive V-Belt
There are a lot of belts available for walk-behind mowers as well, however, for the most part, we’ve found them too difficult to install or easy to break. Thankfully, though, Honda has a model that fixes any concerns you may have with such belts.
With double-ply polyester, the Honda Genuine OEM Harmony II is one of the highest-quality belts on the market. Better still, it fits most walk-behind lawn mowers. It offers the same anti-static protection of the Toro, however in this case the name brand matters. As this is a real Honda product, the famous car company, they use the same kind of anti-static they do for their automobiles – and pass the same safety standards.
And the double-ply polyester certainly performed as advertised. There was a smooth efficiency to the way it moved along the grass, keeping everything perfectly uniform.
A defective belt can impact the speed of your lawn mower’s blades. But the Honda fits perfectly in the mowers for which it was designed, ensuring your blades will always perform perfectly. It’s also very easy to install, which is always preferable to searching on youtube for advice.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting belt for walk-behind lawn mowers, you probably aren’t going to find better synthetic material.
Finding the right mower belt for your particular lawn mower should be an easy process. It should be no more difficult than reading the manual, typing in the kind online, or asking at the hardware store. But there is more involved in choosing a lawn mower belt than just compatibility.
It’s equally important that you’re comfortable with your belt, that it provides the right blade speed to keep pace with your movement and that it can handle the weather. And while it may not be a requirement in your book, having one that’s simple to install can make a world of difference to some consumers.
Whatever you’re looking for, or what kind of mower you have, one of these belts will likely serve you well. Just be sure it’s compatible before purchasing.
What To Look for in the Best Lawn Mower Belt
If you’re shopping around for a lawn mower belt and you want to be sure that you’re getting the best product available, there are a few aspects that you should prioritize. Being sure to identify and research these features will allow you to ensure that you get the best possible product instead of a lawn mower belt that will end up being a waste of money.
One of the most crucial things to look for when shopping around for a lawn mower belt is a suitable degree of durability. Replacing a lawn mower belt can be a pain, and no one wants to have to constantly fix their lawn mower just so they can keep it running. Getting the right belt will save you a lot of time in the future.
Carefully consider the material that the lawn mower belt is made out of and ensure that it is designed for a lawn mower like yours. Using an incompatible belt can potentially shorten its lifespan, meaning more frequent belt replacement for you.
You’ll also want to make sure that you get a relatively affordable lawn mower belt. Keep in mind that the best product will often strike a balance between reliability and an affordable price. You’re not looking for a cheaper price when you’re looking for the best lawn mower belt, instead, you’re searching for value for money.
If you can get a top-quality belt at a more affordable price, then you’ll come out on top. Never fail to incorporate the price of a product into the equation of whether it’s worth purchasing or not. You may be surprised to find that more expensive products can often be disappointing.