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View Full Version : Buying Magnamatic 9000, is the balancer worth the $?


plc87
06-12-2011, 10:30 PM
Tired of spending time on blades. I figured you spend 11k on a ztr why not spend 600 on something that makes changing and sharpening blades a piece of cake.

Anyone have the balancer and is it worth the money? I currently balance mine on a 5/8 inch bearing. I tried to have them explain to me what the difference between that and their balancer is and their explanation was way over my head. IMO they plan it that way to make them sound super human smart when really it's the same thing!

LaLawnGuy
06-12-2011, 11:02 PM
I have both and the balancer is great. I've only had mine a couple of weeks but it makes a world of difference on my Hustler. My Grasshopper and the Ferris aren't as noticeable on the balancing, but the sharpened blades are daylight and dark difference.
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MOturkey
06-13-2011, 12:02 AM
You'll be happy with your purchase. I've been using mine for 3 or 4 seasons now. One thing, if you mow areas that cause a lot of dings in the blades, like I do, it pays to change the blades before they get too banged up. It only takes a few seconds to bring the edge back on a slightly dulled blade, but can take quite a while if the thing is really banged up.

I normally run mine lightly at a 90 degree angle across a fine grinding wheel to get the edge back behind most of the nicks in the blade, then grind to a sharp edge on the Magnamatic. Don't know if anyone else uses this method, but it works well on blades that have dings in them from rocks and gravel, which mine usually do.

Will P.C.
06-13-2011, 01:16 AM
Does anyone use the conical balancer?
http://www.lawnmowerpartsoutlet.com/Cone-Blade-Balancer-Blade-42-100_p_3302.html

4 dollars

tacoma200
06-13-2011, 01:29 AM
Does anyone use the conical balancer?
http://www.lawnmowerpartsoutlet.com/Cone-Blade-Balancer-Blade-42-100_p_3302.html

4 dollars

It is pretty close to worthless in my opinion.

Will P.C.
06-13-2011, 03:08 AM
What are your thoughts on what it is worthless?

Get Some...
06-13-2011, 05:09 AM
Blade grinder's are a good tool, that one look's like the cadillac of blade grinder's...
Hope you enjoy it.

Darryl G
06-13-2011, 09:42 AM
The balancer is nice. I'm amazed at how many people don't make the effort to properly balance their blades. In fact I'm amazed that they sell brand new machines with grossly unbalanced blades on them.

The only "problem" I've had with mine is that because some of the blade holes aren't exactly made very precisely, you will get a different "reading" on the blade when checking it multiple times. So what I usually do is check it then take it off and check it again...only takes a few seconds. In other words, because the blades holes often aren't perfect, it will mount on the balancer slightly differently each time you put it on....it's a problem with the blades not the balancer though.

A nice feature of the balancer is that you can easily check for bent blades too. I always feel like an idiot when I find a bent blade after I took the time to sharpen it, lol. Check them first!

Mickhippy
06-13-2011, 09:44 AM
Just get the "pack" and dont look back. Im sure your 5/8 bearing works but I bet the Magna balancer is quicker, easier and more accurate.

If you sharpen regularly, say every day or 2 they are very quick and easy to sharpen. Makes it much less of a chore (and for me anyway) and becomes part of the pre load up check over like oil levels, grease, blow down/clean etc.

Those cone balancers are rubbish. You may as well use you elbow!

As far as taking nicks out, I dont bother. Just sharpen till about .5mm blunt edge and nicks will come out over time. Grinding them out lessens the blade life IMO.

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 10:13 AM
Hello All,

Just a point on the table-top cone balancer that was mentioned.

The problem that exists is that the steps in the cone are not the exact size of the blade hole - so if the blade is on the step slightly off center you will bias more weight to that side of the blade.

It becomes very time consuming to try and perfectly "by eye" line up the hole to be perfectly in center on the step of the cone, and if you do not place it on the cone perfect every time your readings will be different.

In short, it is an unreliable measuring tool because it has no way to ensure consistent or proper use to provide a repeatable reading. In general this tool and/or using a nail-in-the-wall as a balancer will cause more harm than good.

See additional info here:
http://www.magna-matic.com/page/nail-wall-not-balancer

Thank you,

Darryl G
06-13-2011, 10:43 AM
Hello All,

Just a point on the table-top cone balancer that was mentioned.

The problem that exists is that the steps in the cone are not the exact size of the blade hole - so if the blade is on the step slightly off center you will bias more weight to that side of the blade.

It becomes very time consuming to try and perfectly "by eye" line up the hole to be perfectly in center on the step of the cone, and if you do not place it on the cone perfect every time your readings will be different.

In short, it is an unreliable measuring tool because it has no way to ensure consistent or proper use to provide a repeatable reading. In general this tool and/or using a nail-in-the-wall as a balancer will cause more harm than good.

See additional info here:
http://www.magna-matic.com/page/nail-wall-not-balancer

Thank you,

That's what I was saving about your balancer too but more because of how the holes in blades are not installed in a very accurate manner. Often times the hole is not vertical at all but tapered so it's possible for it to sit differently depending on exactly how you put it on. Other times the hole isn't even round!

I'm not bashing your product at all, I think it's as good as it can be given the limitations of the blade manufacturing itself. It's not your fault that they can't install a simple hole in a piece of metal properly. But because of this limitation I feel that the accuracy of your unit to detect an out of balance blade actually exceeds the accuracy of being able to mount the blade perfectly. So I could balance my blade perfectly on your unit, take it off and put it back on and it may show as being slighly out of balance. It really depends on the blade. Therefore I don't worry about getting my blades perfectly balanced. If one side slowly drops a little, that's fine with me.

johnnybravo8802
06-13-2011, 10:45 AM
I've been tossing the idea of one of these around for years. I'm sick of the angle grinder and hate sharpening blades because it is such a hassle. However, as I grow, I realize it's important to sharpen blades more often-I need to be sharpening every 2 days, at least. Is it worth getting the 8000 over the 9000? I plan to start using more mulching kits on my mowers because of the apartment complexes I do, the mess, and the liability. Therefore, maybe I should do the 8000.

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 11:03 AM
Hello darryl gesner,

Here is where our balancer's design is able to deal with those inconsistencies.

The smooth cone of our balancer will only contact the edge of the stamped hole centering to the concentric center point of the body of the whole blade. Rather than sitting on a flat step.

Even if the blade's mounting hole is off center our balancer will read it and provide the indication of where to remove material to even correct inconsistent blade manufacture.

Regarding your comment that blades are not made very accurately, please keep in mind that varies from manufacturer, but generally their tolerances are not bade, so i would not go so far to say blades are not made accurately. It's all based on how well their people are trained, upkeep of equipment, and checking of tolerances.

But back to your final point - if you take a blade and balance it on a Magna-Matic balancing instrument - you're readings WILL NOT VARY with the same blade.

The point of inconsistency regarding the table top cone, was because of it's STEPS cause inconsistent readings. Magna-Matic's smooth cone with magnetic chuck provides consistent part holding every time the blade is mounted on the balancer.

Thank you,

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 11:05 AM
Hello johnnybravo8802,

The decision between the MAG-8000 and MAG-9000 has to do with the type of mulching blades, first check if the blades have bends or curves in the cutting edges. This is the determining factor to choose the MAG-8000.

Thank you,

Darryl G
06-13-2011, 11:27 AM
Hello darryl gesner,
But back to your final point - if you take a blade and balance it on a Magna-Matic balancing instrument - you're readings WILL NOT VARY with the same blade.
Thank you,

Well I do get variable readings with my unit sometimes. I have always suspected it was due to the holes in the blade but perhaps it's because I'm not putting the blade on very carefully. If you don't position the blade on straight (so that the flat surface of the blade is parallel to the flat surface of the magnetic holder), when you slide the magnetic holder out to hold, it's possible for it to pull it slightly off center. I know that sometimes it pulls in one side of the blade and then the other, indicating that I didn't have it on straight. In fact I just went down to my shop and mounted the same blade a half dozen times and did get slightly different readings.

Again, I'm not bashing your product. I really like it. But I still feel that the accuracy of your unit exceeds the precision of mounting the blade on your unit. Regardless, I feel confident that my blades are balanced beyond any variabliltiy that would make a difference after using your unit and I would and do recommend it to anyone who asks.

Magna-Matic
06-13-2011, 11:52 AM
Hello darryl gesner

If you get a free moment do the calibration test in the back of our manual, you should not be getting varying readings. Also check that there are no metal shavings in the front or back of the magnet.

Thank you,

cbegap
06-13-2011, 01:15 PM
I really like mine. Makes blade sharpening less painfull. You don't have to clamp it down, take it out and check it, clamp it back down, check it, etc. etc. If you do get one be careful with the blade tips until your stone bevels. It is easy to take the tips off, so just pull straight out and don't try and go both ways at the tip. You'll see what I mean when you start using it. Once the stone angles, it has a lot more area hitting the blade and it makes it easier to use. I thought I had made a big mistake until I figured that out.

Darryl G
06-13-2011, 07:54 PM
Hello darryl gesner

If you get a free moment do the calibration test in the back of our manual, you should not be getting varying readings. Also check that there are no metal shavings in the front or back of the magnet.

Thank you,

I did the calibration test and it did not pass. It has a preferred point that it wants to return to. I guess I need to mail it in for evaluation. Thanks for your help.

Darryl

Mickhippy
06-13-2011, 08:51 PM
The only "problem" I've had with mine is that because some of the blade holes aren't exactly made very precisely, you will get a different "reading" on the blade when checking it multiple times. So what I usually do is check it then take it off and check it again...only takes a few seconds. In other words, because the blades holes often aren't perfect, it will mount on the balancer slightly differently each time you put it on....it's a problem with the blades not the balancer though.

My balancer it very slightly heavy at a given spot. I let find its own balance then used a white marker on the top (light side) for reference.

I'll sharpen a blade and keep that white mark at the top when I attach the blade to the balancer.
If it drops on, say the *right side* I will take blade off, turn blade and re attach so heavy side is on the *left side* of the mark.
If it is still heavy, I will just grind that left side until balanced. I have had no issues doing it this way and is quick and easy.

I agree about new blades. Almost never balanced properly.
In fact, I demoed and new 2011 SZ couple weeks ago. The vibrations coming from the deck were rubbish. I knew straight away what it was, unbalanced blades. Blades were brand new!

Gerd, if you read this, how do you clean the magnet of filings?

LaLawnGuy
06-13-2011, 09:53 PM
Gerd, could you post the info on calibration of the balancer? I bought a used one, but would like to check it. Thanks
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Darryl G
06-13-2011, 10:30 PM
Gerd, could you post the info on calibration of the balancer? I bought a used one, but would like to check it. Thanks
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The calibration info is in the manual that is available through their web site. Here's the link to it. Note that it's on page 13 (item 10) but the pages are not in order in the online manual. http://www.magna-matic.com/pdf/instructions/mag1000_inst.pdf

I took mine off the wall and inspected it and there were some filings but I think my unit is beyond that. Removing the filings didn't correct the problem. It's been located in a damp environment for about 10 years and there is visible rust on part of it, which I'm guessing is throwing off the balance.

I hit it a few times with my BFH (my standard repair method) and it's better now. :laugh:

LaLawnGuy
06-13-2011, 10:36 PM
The calibration info is in the manual that is available through their web site. Here's the link to it. Note that it's on page 13 (item 10) but the pages are not in order in the online manual. http://www.magna-matic.com/pdf/instructions/mag1000_inst.pdf

I took mine off the wall and inspected it and there were some filings but I think my unit is beyond that. Removing the filings didn't correct the problem. It's been located in a damp environment for about 10 years and there is visible rust on part of it, which I'm guessing is throwing off the balance.

I hit it a few times with my BFH (my standard repair method) and it's better now. :laugh:

Thanks
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big_belly4ever
06-13-2011, 11:01 PM
I got both and glad I did. Its fast and less vibrations. Its worth the money i forgot how much i had paid when they lets us do a group buy on lawnsite. its one of those things once you got it you'd buy it again for how fast and accurate you can get the blades yourself.

Two Seasons
06-14-2011, 01:40 AM
When using your Magna-Matic 8000 or 9000, make sure that your Magna-Matic balancer magnet is pushed to the back of the balancer. This will help keep airborne metal particles from getting into the balancer bearings.

Also, we keep a small child's sock over the balancer when the Magna-Matic is not cutting blades. Push the sock over it until is gets over balancer.

plc87
06-14-2011, 09:11 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I ordered the 9000 and the balancer yesterday. Going to be 835 bucks total! I feel sort of crazy for it for only having 35 hours of mowing a week as a solo operator. The representative I talked to was confident that I'll die with the motor still in working condition so I suppose it's a long term investment lol

LaLawnGuy
06-14-2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I ordered the 9000 and the balancer yesterday. Going to be 835 bucks total! I feel sort of crazy for it for only having 35 hours of mowing a week as a solo operator. The representative I talked to was confident that I'll die with the motor still in working condition so I suppose it's a long term investment lol

I was solo with 25 yards about 16 months ago, I wish I'd bought one a lot sooner!
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Magna-Matic
06-14-2011, 12:45 PM
Hello All,

This link has all of our manuals on it.
http://www.magna-matic.com/page/instruction-manuals-magna-matic-products

It is the last page of the balancer manual for the calibration test.

Thank you,

alanauer
07-01-2011, 11:03 AM
If it's way out of balance I use the cheapy cone for a rough indication. Then, as a step up from the "nail in the wall" I mount a drill bit (just under the blade-mounting-hole size) in a vise with the shank out, make sure it's perfectly horizontal, put a drop of oil on it, and spin the blade on it in both directions. More friction than a commercial balancer, but saves hundreds of bucks.

Runner
07-01-2011, 12:35 PM
I've been using a cone balancer for more than 20 years and changed a total of 2 spindles over the course of as much time through 3 mowers. One of which was due to a bent spindle shaft. While the technology I'm sure is wonderful, and I have no doubt it works, for the needed and necessary amount of balancing of a mower blade, the cone works just fine. Between John Deere, Gravely, and Exmark, these blades all cut precisely with no vibration or problems. While I do have a dedicated blade grinder, I used a universal bench grinder for several years, and with practice and proper technique, they work just fine, as well. It's just a matter of cost factor over time. Now, the advantage for ME to have a dedicated blade grinder, was ease of use. My mow-monkeys were able to use it themselves without messing anything up and grinding blades into a piece of scrap steel.