160cc Vs. 190cc Lawnmower Engines: What Are The Major Differences?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

When it comes to your lawn and the essential upkeep required to keep it looking nice, a lawn mower is an essential tool. It can help keep your grass looking just as you imagined and can save you a whole lot of time in the process, too.

There are generally different options when it comes to the lawnmower engine. When it comes to the 160cc vs 190cc lawn mower engine, there isn’t a ton of difference. The subtle differences in power, torque, and so on can be felt in certain situations that may or may not be applicable to where you live. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything that you need to know about the two and which will work best for you.

Before We Begin: What is CC?

For lawn mower engines, the term “cc” represents cubic centimeters. This measurement entails the swept volume of pistons within a cylinder that is located inside of the engine. It is meant to measure the capacity or volume of that cylinder when the piston is at the bottom.

That swept volume, or engine displacement, is vital as it plays a role in torque on the engine and the horsepower as well. The more “cc” that an engine has, the power that it is capable of producing. And that is just a simple explanation as we will cover more later.

Heavy-duty mowing. When it comes to both the 160cc and 190cc lawn mower engine, they are meant to tackle heavy mowing duties. The one that works best for you will come down to the structure of your lawn and your own individual needs.

Power Comparisons

The good rule of thumb is that the more CC a lawnmower has, the more power it is capable of generating. So, that means that the 190cc mower engine is simply more powerful, right? Well, it’s not that simple.

160cc lawnmower. In most cases, a 160cc lawnmower will do just fine. Even with most heavy-duty lawn areas, where tall grass or inclines are a regular occurrence, the 160cc mower engine should be able to handle the task. The one challenge is wet grass. When mowing a wet lawn, the 160cc engine can struggle and even jam up from time to time.

190cc lawnmower. Though it is capable of producing slightly more power, that isn’t what really separates the 190cc mower from its counterpart in this instance. No, the major difference in power here is that the 190cc mower is better equipped to handle wet grass, mowing through it easily.

Torque Comparison

The torque on your lawnmower engine comes down to a couple of different things, the most important of which is engine displacement. Knowing how much torque the engine can generate is important before you purchase your mower. That is because torque determines how fast and easy that the mowing will be.

160cc lawnmower. As is the case with its power capabilities, the 160cc lawnmower engine will handle enough torque to handle most mowing situations, though it will struggle in others. For smaller lots of land, a 160cc mower is probably fine.

190cc lawnmower. If you want a faster, smoother operation, the 190cc engine is going to do a better job. The 190cc engine can simply generate more torque than its counterpart in this instance. That means that even in a rough mowing setting, you will get a smooth, fast mowing experience.

Fuel Consumption

Of course, power and torque are not everything. More CC might mean more power, but it will generally also mean greater fuel consumption. So, if you think that going with the bigger CC volume is a slam dunk, you will need more fuel to get the job done.

160cc lawnmower. Again, the differences are mostly negligible in terms of performance with a couple of minor differences. The biggest difference is that the 160cc motor can do largely what the 190cc motor can do but with less fuel required to do the job.

190cc lawnmower. With more power and torque comes greater fuel consumption. Though the differences may not be astronomical, they can and will add up over time. So, if you’re getting largely the same level of power and performance out of the 160cc lawnmower, it may be the better investment in the long run as you won’t spend nearly as much on gas.

Run Time Comparison

All of these factors are important in their own way, but they can all be somewhat mitigated or amplified depending on how long it takes to get the job done. Generally speaking, more acceleration, torque, and power will let you get the job done quicker.

160cc lawnmower. While that seems like a pretty simple equation to follow, it is not indicative of all of the factors involved. If you have a smaller lawn, for instance, the 160cc engine can get the job done in a relatively short period of time. It is when you have a larger yard that the difference may be really felt.

190cc lawnmower. For larger swaths of land, the 190cc mower may be the better bet as it can perform faster. And while fuel consumption is important, you can actually cut down on that fuel used by running the lawnmower for less time.

There are so many variables in play here but consider it like this. If you have a small yard, the 160cc mower is probably the better play due to improved fuel efficiency. The larger lawns, however, may be better served going with the more powerful 190cc mower instead.

Bagging or Leaf Mulching

You may be wondering why a mower needs more power if they all cut grass in a similar manner. Well, more power can become particularly effective in the instance of bagging or leaf mulching. The simple fact of the matter is that you need a mower possessing more power if you wish to bag or leaf mulch.

160cc lawnmower. Most 160cc mowers are more than capable of bagging or leaf mulching, but there can be issues when it comes to rougher terrain. The last thing you want is to deal with clogging or stalling because the mower couldn’t handle the rough stuff.

190cc lawnmower. A 190cc lawnmower, meanwhile, can generally handle even the roughest of terrain. You won’t have to worry about clogging or stalling out because the more powerful motors will make short work of even the toughest of jobs.

Maintenance Cost and Buying

While it may seem obvious that the more CC in a mower, the higher the cost, that is not necessarily true. The simple fact of the matter is that there are a variety of factors in play when determining the costs of a lawnmower.

It is hard to give a distinct comparison of the two in that manner. Both may have the same level of maintenance costs involved but even that can differ depending on the model of lawnmower that you buy.

Generally speaking, the 160cc lawnmower engine will cost slightly less to run since it requires less fuel but the differences should be mostly negligible.

The Verdict

In the end, there really isn’t much of a difference when it comes to 160cc lawnmowers vs 190cc lawnmowers. Depending on the terrain and size of your home, one may become more valuable than the other.

It is important to understand your lawn and its mowing needs before you can understand what you want out of a lawnmower. In most cases, you can’t go wrong with either one, and you should generally be more than fine. For more power, the 190cc motor is the way to go. For smaller lawns, the 160cc motor provides better fuel efficiency.

What is a Good CC for a lawnmower?

Generally speaking, walking mowers have engines ranging from 140cc to 190cc. As covered in the sections above, you would want a larger engine if you tend to deal with wetter terrain, leaf mulching, bagging, and other types of heavy-duty mowing.

If your yard generally doesn’t have many obstacles and isn’t overly large, a mower in the 140-160cc range should do just fine for your needs. Moreover, it will likely save you on fuel in the long-run.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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