View Full Version : More on double blades, leaf mulching, striping, N stuff

Envy Lawn Service
11-04-2002, 10:34 PM
OK, I've used doubles a lot and I've posted some other info about some problems I was having on another thread. I just wanted to type all the info, get some thoughts ect...

Well I decided to try the popular Gators and highlift combo for the leaves this season instead of factory wave style mulchers and Gators like I've been using. Reason being is it has been a popular thing and the heavy duty highlifts are a much more durable blade than the wave style mulchers.

Everything was fine until the leaves really started falling good and the good big ones were on the ground to catch some air. I had a major blow-out/blow-away problem. Then I realized that it was because these blades were thicker and had a deeper gullwing design that caused them to actually be a hair below the front deck lip. (I will add some pics so you can understand what I mean by gullwing)

So, I was stuck out with no extra blades. The Gators were in too ruff of a shape to be doing the main cutting. So, I removed the Gators and installed the highlifts. They were running under the deck now and most of the problem was solved. So I finished the day running just highlifts and did OK.

Now I don't know if its the big change in weather and temps, but I sure seem to be getting great stripes out of the highlifts. So is there a big relation between blade lift and striping effect???

So anyways, later I'm off to get some new blades. Something in a flatter highlift, something in a flatter mulching blade and some new Gators. I scored everything but the Gators! They're on backorder

So here I sit with 5 different blade styles and some worn out Gators. What I really wanted to try 1st was the flat highlifts and the Gators. But, even though I'd be putting the highlifts on bottom, the Gators still dip down enough to make themselves the main cutting blade. Are these too far gone to salvage? I'd noramlly trash them.

Envy Lawn Service
11-04-2002, 10:37 PM

Envy Lawn Service
11-04-2002, 10:39 PM
Whole gullwing blade view

Envy Lawn Service
11-04-2002, 10:41 PM
I think they are to far gone!

11-04-2002, 11:47 PM
Are you side discharging/catching or are you mulching with block-off plate?
If you are just trying to mulch leaves and not really doing any (or as much) grass cutting, then one set of highlift Gators would be fine for discharge or pickup, but if you are using a mulch kit or cutoff plate over the discharge opening, then one set of regular lift gators would do just fine and greatly reduce your blow out problem.

Also, to reduce the blowout and maintain the same cutting height, drop the front edge of the deck down a spacer and raise the blade up in the deck so it isn't as close to the bottom of the deck. By taking away from one and adding to the other, you basically maintain the same cutting height, the only thing that changes a little is the forward deck pitch.

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 01:30 AM
Yes I'm running a mulch kit. I'm told that these Gators in the pics are not highlifts. I've never seen any made any different from these.

I would try one set of Gators if I could get some!

11-05-2002, 01:45 AM
Well, I know I have read a few of your posts Envy, but I don't recall what kind of machines you have ...
Those look like offset Gators, the ones I usually buy are straight --- no bends except for the lift edge with the inward directed notches. There are other manufacturers that make similar designed blades, but those do look like Gators, just offset.
If they are true Gators, then in the part number you should a three digit number. I use 18" blades on my machines, so the last two numbers will be (*18) in this example.

918 - the original regular lift Gator
718 - Gator Highlift MAGNUM
418 - regular Highlift Gator

note- the difference between the 718 and the 418 is the thickness of the blade overall.
The Magnum is thicker, heavier, and twice as much of a b*tch to get an edge on when it is dull, plus they charge more for it, I do not recomend them, go with either the regular standard lift or regular Highlift Gator. Make sure they have a little pic of an alligator stamped into the blade, then you know it is the real deal.
I also think that Gators are part of Silver Streak, so if you have a Silver Streak aftermarket parts dealer/distributor in your area, you should be able to get them.

11-05-2002, 01:51 AM
BTW, in the last pic, it appears that you still have another month or so on those blades, just keep a sharp set on every morning and keep a spare sharpened set in the truck just in case you bend or break a blade in the field. The more often you sharpen, the less time it will take to actually get a nice sharp edge and your lawns will love you for it.
If you were to be cut in half ... would you rather it be with a razor edged sword or the flat side of a sledge hammer???

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 02:28 AM
Yeah there Gators. I have seen pics of others like Gators in parts books. But Gators are all you'll find in stock in this style. Gators are not a popular blade here. I guess that's because they really don't mulch grass all that well unless there is a bad dry spell where everything gets nice and crispy!

The only place I can get them is the John Deere dealer. I'll call the other one in the morning and see if they happen to have some in stock. I wish I could find a flat set like you're speaking of. That's exactly what I need. A set like I have and a flat set. All the edges would be above the deck skirt.

I was thinking though....there is an advantage to having that gullwing design. A person could sharpen it to the center hole and have the effects of the Gator and a wave style mulching blade at the same time. Sorta like the Raptor blades by Sten.

So you think they can be saved still even with the tip edges worn like they are? I'll atempt to sharpen them up real good. I've been running them on op of a set of doubles for a long time and haven't bothered to do anything to them since the lower blade does the finish cut anyway. That's why they are in such a shape!

John Gamba
11-05-2002, 07:37 AM
Do Your self a favor and Get a set Of RAPTOR Blades. fined a steins dealer And order them. I've Been useing them the last part of the season and i love them so far. to see them Go to www.jsesc.com. scan down the front Page You will see the difference right away. I will Cut the grass first then I will bag the area It seems like i get half Of what i Normally would get.
Good Luck

11-05-2002, 08:27 AM
John,that link didn't work,,is it correct?

11-05-2002, 08:30 AM
ahh , i got it to work,,it was the period at the end

11-05-2002, 08:40 AM
ive never seen a gator like that.
mite cut alrite but uwould need to adjust
hieght 1/2 inch or so. i can see why
some are having trouble with blowout now.

John Gamba
11-05-2002, 01:02 PM
I'm Finding That these Raptor blades are a combo of all the other blades i have. they cut the grass up more they slowed down the discharge and they leave A nice finish. I Have limited Use with doubles On them In grass But you put Double raptors On In Leaves It's Assum. I have had a hard time bagging with the double raptors Becouse the blades are lower than The boot.
I think they have less blow out then the other blades. this winter i will fix the boot problem by lowering it. I do belive that other then a Wet spring these Will be the only blades I get for most of the season. I really think They alow me to Pick up less grass when bagging. about half.

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the info! I think I have found one bad combo for leaves. Raptors & Einsteins. The Einsteins look flat so they should work on bottom.

I know the Rapors have the wave style in them. But are they still flat from the center hole to the tip?

John Gamba
11-05-2002, 03:06 PM
Yes Envy
The Only Problem With Einsteins Is By Them Selves They Don't Lift summer Grass And Do not Pick up Wet leaves. but Thank's for The Tip I Will try them with the Raptors And bagger Tomorrow Or Wedesday.

Envy Lawn Service
11-05-2002, 08:04 PM
Keep me posted on that combo and let me know what you think.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2002, 09:18 PM
I hate to admit it but....

There is just no substitute for GATORS when it come to mulching LEAVES! :cry:

I can't wait until they are back in stock! I put a "flat" set of highlifts on under the other ones. They striped like WAY loud. But thats about it. They pick up and cut the leaves ok. But they don't chop them up. In fact I did better with just the top set alone. I was so suprised to see they did as well as they did before, that I thought adding another set would really set it off until the Gators arrived.

I will be going to Gators and the flat highlifts ASAP.

Envy Lawn Service
11-07-2002, 11:21 PM
I got my new Gators today :blob4:

Just in time too. The wind was been rippin' and there are a ton of leaves on the ground. I sharpened the old Gators up. But I haven't balanced the yet. It might be a chore with the amount of the last tooth that's worn off.

I'll be installing the new ones above the flat highlifts and taking several different styles of blades to mak any needed changes in the field. I did find a Flat Gator that will fit but would only be good for using with doubles. They are just a bit shorter in lenght.

Double Gators...hummm....:blob3: maybe later :D

Anyways, does anyone have a "highlift" Gator laying around they can take a pic of and post it. I've looked at a ton of Gator blades and haven't seen anything that appears to have more lift to it. When I ask about them I get that "deer in the headlights look" from the parts guys.


11-08-2002, 12:59 AM
The difference is subtle, but there is a difference, basically you have to look at the numbers.

Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 08:28 PM

Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 08:32 PM

Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 08:38 PM

Pics ain't posting as clear as they are!!!

Wonder why???

I'll try to see whats the matter

:confused: :angry:

Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 10:37 PM
The original file size on the previous 2 images was ove 2 MB. I guess they got whacked out when the file size was reduced.

Anyways, I'll try 2 more.


Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 10:38 PM

John Gamba
11-09-2002, 06:52 AM
In The bottom pictures Did you bag it? Or did you mulch It?


Envy Lawn Service
11-09-2002, 11:04 PM
Mulched :D