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Author Topic: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?  (Read 603 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« on: May 14, 2022, 09:37:02 AM »
I have a 52" hustler fastrac with a 22hp kawasaki on it. My blades have been sharpened and abused to the point that I keep leaving a strip of unmowed grass under the middle of the deck.

Can anyone help me out with mower blade selection?

I don't mow all that much but what I do most is mostly reclaimed forest. So that gives me lots of roots sticking up that I see to constantly be scalping, and tons and tons of leaves. The trees are primarily Oak and Hickory. But there is a good deal of (believe it or not) living ash still in there. Oh yea, and the maples. So I think I have every type of tree that drops a ton of leaves.

I have been thinking about mulching blades for a while. Not sure if this is a good idea. But I have also wondered if a high lift blade would give me a little more assistance in lifting the leaves and blowing them away so I have less raking to deal with in the fall.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have been putting getting new blades off for about 3 years now. I really need to get some good ones.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 10:10:49 AM »
I would think that @spike60 should be able to give you some direction here.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 10:16:50 AM »
I prefer Jersey blades the best, but Ayshere and Angus will do just as good of a job.   :D  Oh - and they are considered a "composting" blade.   :D
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 11:47:02 AM »
I'm not seeing much difference in how far high lift, or mulching blades throw anything.  The high lift blades probably move it better, but what comes out of the shoot off the mulching blades is shredded so much finer that it makes up for the difference.  There is a Lot of noticeable difference in shredding of leaves, pine cones, and such.  

For my use, I'm sticking with mulching blades.  Go over leaves twice, and there is nothing to blow.  I haven't started the 13hp Billygoat since buying the commercial mower.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 11:47:35 AM »
Mulching blades are not the answer for your needs. They are for well maintained lawns that are mowed frequently, not bush hogging. High lift will be better for what you want to do although raking will still be required.
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Offline 21incher

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 12:13:43 PM »
I switched  to the Oregon G6 fusion blades about  8 years ago. I used to have to sharpen the Kubota blades about  every 3 weeks. With the carbide fused on the bottom wear area I go a whole season without having  to sharpen  them and then touch them up the next spring and get a second season from the pair with  no additional  resharpening.  They are fairly  cheap and I toss them after  the second year. Much better cut then the OEM Kubota  blades and don't  need to buy a new set every year. I only cut grass and don't  think they would  stand up to stones and branches any better than other blades.
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 03:52:52 PM »
I think the only really good use for high lift blades is making really pretty cuts on grass that you cut short like Bermuda, and even then, they need to be kept sharp.  

I like sharp blades.  I probably sharpen every 8 to 10 hours, except in the Fall when it does a lot of cleaning up.  Then I just finish off any blades that aren't good for cutting pretty.


Offline Spike60

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 08:04:34 PM »
Every deck and it's airflow is a little different. Even within the same brand mower, a 52 will be different than a 60. My guess is that you might try "gator" style blades (with the wings cut into 3-4 teeth.) And that's maybe what some guys are referring to as mulchers. Some guys love them, and others hate them on the same exact deck. LOL True mulching blades work best with a baffle kit, but usually don't have enough airflow for good discharge.

21 is correct in that you are semi-brush hogging, which is not a great idea for a lawn mower. Solution for scalping roots ought to be simply raising the deck. If you're all the way up, then you are really taking that mower where it doesn't belong. The unmowed grass could be a shot blade. Or a tweeked deck or spindle. When you put the new set of blades on you should check the tip to tip and see if they are true. :)
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 09:20:16 PM »
The worst part is the crown as the base of the tree is so large that the mower will hit it and lift up till it locks in the up position. half the time I do not notice till I am halfway around. I try to be nice to it but unfortunately its hard to see all the roots under the thick leaves. I just finished mowing that area and have a few more that got a little higher over the winter.

These are the blades I was looking at. Think they will work ok.

Amazon.com : 3PK Oregon 96-318 G3 Gator Blades for 52" Hustler 603848, 603995, 782532 : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Good news is I do have the commercial hustler, so at least it has the 1.125 spindles. as far as I know they are not bent. but the blades are pretty bad.

Thanks for the help. Hopefully the mulching blades will do what they are supposed to and leave me with dust instead of annoying leaf bits that are harder to rake.

Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 08:45:45 AM »
I think you'll like those.  They even shred Pine needles under my mower.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 10:06:47 AM »
I look for Amazon returns first off. Ebay 2nd.  Lots of people buy the wrong blade and send them back and other than in use, they're indestructible, so "used" as they call them is a good deal. I shop the blade number, not any brand names or special lift or mulch types, but I'm not mowing a golf course or showy lawn either.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 10:11:53 AM »
Well, this mower is a 2005 vintage. this may be the second set of blades on it But I think they are the original, so I think I am doing alright :)

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 11:33:33 AM »
Either you are not mowing much or there is little left of them.  :o When I was mowing an acreage the blades were pretty much done after 3 seasons, it was not sandy soil
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 11:45:00 AM »
I have ran Grasshopper mowers on the farm for probably close to thirty years and probably been over twenty years ago I switched over to the Oregon Gator style blades and liked them real well then about five or six years ago the Oregon's seem to not be standing up and the cutting edge rounded over easier that before. I switched over to Copper Head brand of blades they are Gator style also and they are holding up well. I mow around hundred hours a year on the farm.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 12:01:23 PM »
My dad had this mower before me, so maybe it has had more blade sets in it. My blades last quite a while usually. I only sharpen them once a season typically.

Offline Old saw fixer

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 12:36:25 PM »
Like Tom King, I sharpen the blades after about 8 hours use.  48" deck on a 14 hp Wheel Horse 314-8 so it's easier on the Kohler M14 engine.  I use a Magna-Matic Mag 9000 system with their magnetic blade balancer.   The grinder table is built so I can dress saw bars using the side of the stone.  There is also a metal trough on the guard so you can shorten valve stems and clean up punches.
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 12:53:01 PM »
The lifting ring allows me to set the mower up on the big flat back end with the tractor loader.  I back the tractor up a little, and lower the bucket in place to act as a safety.  No bending over, or even getting on the floor.  Clean cardboard keeps scratches off the powder coating.

I take the blades off with an impact wrench, but tighten them with a regular wrench.  If a nut won't easily run all the way back on by hand, I run a die on the spindle threads.  If a spindle thread needs such work, it gets a new nut.

When I took this picture this morning, I had remembered to turn the gas valves off, but one tank cap was not all the way tight, so it leaked a bit.  Tightening the cap stopped the leak.  I doubt I'll forget to check the caps again.

We have a lot of grass that's kept as show.  I want to cut it cleanly, and fast.  Sharp blades are a help, and like this, it's very little trouble to keep them sharp.

I won't be cutting grass today, so it will sit normally and let all the oil drain back down until tomorrow.  No oil drips, but I still don't want to start it soon after doing this.

I don't know what type of blades these are.  I forget.  It's hard to find any kind of 25" blades.  I have at least one sharp pair at hand before I lift the mower, so I can set it back down asap.  I'll sharpen the ones I took off later.



 


Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2022, 01:02:35 PM »
Blade grinder, that I bought off CL, and balancer are mounted on the inside of a shop door.  Opening the door, and hooking it open lets me leave the mess outside.  This type of grinder really makes quick work out of sharpening lawnmower blades.

I not only want them sharp, but I also want them balanced.  With touching them up often, it's easy to keep them balanced.



Offline Crusarius

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2022, 04:18:59 PM »
Is the balancer just a level with a center cone? That would be nice to balance blades.

Offline Tom King

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Re: Lawnmower blades, what to buy?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2022, 06:15:54 PM »
It has a cone on really good, easy turning bearings.  The ring of magnets slides back for you to stick the blade on the cone to center it, and then the magnet mount slides out to grab the blade.  It will detect the least bit out of balance by the heavier end going down.

It came with a rod to check for a bent blade, but mine are straight all the way across, so I can see if one is bent.  I just left that rod off.

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