View Full Version : Gator blades vs. Toro Atomic Mulch
02-26-2008, 10:30 PM
I bought a Toro 36" WB last June and the salesman "threw in" a set of Toro Atomic Mulch blades and I keep hearing about the Gator blades. Is there a big difference in the quality of the cut? I mostly side discharge and when a customers grass is quite long I sometime have to double cut their yard and in some cases I've had to triple cut just to get rid of the clippings(yes, I do cut once per week). Would Gator Blades help eliminate having to double/triple cut? Also, being that I'm cutting all residential lawns (small) would it be worth or possible to invest in a striping kit? I've seen so many pictures on this site and on the internet of lawns that were striped and they are beautiful. The lawns I cut are much less than 1/4 of an acre.
02-27-2008, 12:21 AM
lawnboy i own a hustler hydro 37in. with a mulch kit and gator blades and to be honest i dont know how i ever cut without it... leaves a great cut and never a need to double cut...but that being said i am in southern louisiana our grasses differ from yours so i cant really speak on how it would work there, but my opinion is if your going to mulch gator blades r the way to go!!
02-27-2008, 12:28 AM
Are these what the blades look like? If so those look just like the set of oregon gator blades I bought. I haven't gotten a chance to try my blades out yet because I just got them last week and the grass wont be growing here for a while. My brother always thought that gator blades make the strips less bold but I have never noticed a difference between gators and standard high lift blades. If you want something that will grind up the grass better try running double blades. I tried it on my 32"' Wb and noticed a huge improvement. Check out this link for more info http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=114657&highlight=running+doubles
Or just do a search titled "Running Doubles"
Hope this helps.
02-27-2008, 12:59 AM
lawnboy, the atomics are toros version of the gator blades. both are very similar in design. ive run both on a toro 36'' wb and i couldn't tell a difference between the two. if you are double cutting with the atomics, the gators wont be any different. i'm running gators on my mini z and i still have to double cut some yards in the spring and summer. as far as stripe kits go, yards that are striped really stand out. so i'd say its a good investment. i'm buying a walker in about 3 weeks, hoping for some light stripes, but southern grass doesnt stripe very well.
Atomics are not designed as toothy/aggressive as Gators.
I ran Atomic blades nearly all year in '07 on my Toro 21SR.
Here's my observations of Atomics vs stock hi-lifts:
~ For side-discharging - Atomics definitely chopped-up the grass more.
~ Atomics create less lift than the stock blade...so they don't discharge as far.
~ Atomics also use a bit more fuel...not a lot, but some = 10 minutes less/tank, for me.
~ For leaf mulching - Atomics were a godsend.
I prefer them over the stock blades on my Toro 21SR.
02-27-2008, 09:08 AM
I use Gator blades for my 36" Exmark Viking, and for my John Deere 717A 48" deck -- but only for leaf work in the fall. During the heavy Spring growth in this region, when the clippings are very sappy, heavy-laden with moisture, Gator blades are the last thing to use. They make mush, green slime balls, etc from the clippings. These blades don't have quite as much discharge force as my regular hi-lift blades. My Exmark uses 2-18" blades, and Gators come is standard and hi-lift versions. The standard Gator does not have enough discharge force to bag, the hi-lift ones will work, but not very well.
I also have a Toro ProLine 21" (5.5hp Sizuki) that I have used Toro's Atomic blade. As pointed out earlier, the blades are not as aggressively designed as the typical Gator blade -- teeth are shorter, not sharp. For my use, the blade is worthless. For grass, it doesn't do much differently with regard to mulching. But, it has very little lift, and leaves a horrible quality of cut (stringers abundant). With so little lift, it cannot be used for bagging.
Even in leaves, the Atomic is of little good. It has so little lift, it will skip right over leaves laying in the turf. I tried it again last Fall for leaf mulching, hoping to get some usefulness out of it. I used it for 15 minutes before removing it in favor of a well-worn standard blade.
In short, my experience with the Atomic blade for a 21" hand mower was negative. Perhaps it will work differently on the large, multi-spindle decks.
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