PDA

View Full Version : Best blades for Florida grass


ben fritz
07-03-2012, 03:59 PM
i am mowing with a dixie chopper with dixie blades on it, i am wonder whats the best mulching blade to use or should i stick with the dixie blades, i was just thinking that a mulching blade will cut the clippings a little more then the straight dixie blade, what have you guys learned that helps?

easy-lift guy
07-03-2012, 04:38 PM
I like Gator blades my self.
easy-lift guy

Florida Gardener
07-03-2012, 04:56 PM
What kind of grass? Irrigated yards??
Posted via Mobile Device

Landscape Poet
07-03-2012, 10:53 PM
I have not seen a great difference in the blades myself - in my experience what matters the most is that the blades are sharp. Everything else from gator to med lift, high lift ect has not mattered as much in my experience ensuring that they are sharpened and changed properly for the type of lawns you are mowing.

Example - if you are mowing any sand lot home prior to going to take care of a lush irrigated well fertilized lawn and not changing blades - you are doing yourself and your client a injustice as well as the fert and squirt guy who is putting good product down to make the lawn look good.

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a lawn with shredded blades of turf. You can tell from a distance who takes pride in there work and who does not right after they cut.

Patriot Services
07-03-2012, 10:58 PM
I run Gators without kits just plates during the season. In winter I prefer flats or low lifts to cut down on the dust.
Posted via Mobile Device

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-08-2012, 01:52 PM
I've been sharping my own blades about once a week. Is that enough? I have 28 accounts. They seem to have a decent edge on them still as far as a point but dull of course but the end but not super bad. BUT if I do a lot of extra side work single cuts especially high grass or sand lots they are dull.

I've went through 4 sets of blades already this season. 2 Gator which are ground down so thin they snapped the gator teeth off. And 2 sets of high lift blades that are doing better but they seem to be wearing down now too. I would say 3/4 of my lawns are pathetic half worn bahia grass or sand lots.

For $45 a set of blades either kind. I just don't get why they are wearing down so fast. If I drive on a lawn faster than half speed I have grass that pops back up too. So I crawl about 1/3 speed to mow with a nice look. Any ideas?

With GAS, blades, mower repairs, oil changes, tires, new weed trimmers, line, a vehicle to wear out. I don't see how people are driving around with nice rigs. I have a decent rig with a Dixie Chopper but I got all my stuff used in a super deal. People in this area don't want to pay more than $65 or $75 a month for a lawn. I really don't get it. I'm making it but just barely. With my wife working two part time jobs and my 21 year old son pitching in $300 a month. But its because I have no mower payments, house payments or van payments. I paid cash for everything when we sold our home up north. I used to have a lawn service here before and it was at least decent income. But now I really don't see how people are getting by. I bought a nice new mower seat on Ebay for $105 shipped. It's like a new take off $400 seat from a Ferris. (The Dixie seat pan is rusted in half held together by a chain) I took the Ferris sticker off. Now I have to worry I will have enough fuel to get through the next two weeks until my wife's next check. We don't drink or smoke or waste money. I really don't see how people are buying new equipment and driving $30k trucks around.

Florida Gardener
08-08-2012, 01:56 PM
I've been sharping my own blades about once a week. Is that enough? I have 28 accounts. They seem to have a decent edge on them still. BUT if I do a lot of extra side work single cuts especially high grass or sand lots they are dull.

I've went through 4 sets of blades already this season. 2 Gator which are ground down so thin they snapped the gator teeth off. And 2 sets of high lift blades that are doing better but they seem to be wearing down now too. I would say 3/4 of my lawns are pathetic half worn bahia grass or sand lots.

For $45 a set of blades either kind. I just don't get why they are wearing down so fast. If I drive on a lawn faster than half speed I have grass that pops back up too. So I crawl about 1/3 speed to mow with a nice look. Any ideas?

With gas, blades, mower repairs, oil changes, tires, new weed trimmers, line, a vehicle to wear out. I don't see how people are driving around with nice rigs. I have a decent rig with a Dixie Chopper but I got all my stuff used in a super deal. People in this area don't want to pay more than $65 or $75 a month for a lawn. I really don't get it. I'm making it but just barely. But its because I have no mower payments, house payments or van payments. I paid cash for everything. I really don't see how people are getting by.

Sand will dull blades out VERY fast. Bahia will dull blades out very fast. For 28 accounts, you should probably be changing out 2x/wk....$65-$75/mo for weekly cutting isn't much. For a basic now and go on a 1/4 acre lot at most I would be at $100-$110/mo.
Posted via Mobile Device

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-08-2012, 02:06 PM
Sand will dull blades out VERY fast. Bahia will dull blades out very fast. For 28 accounts, you should probably be changing out 2x/wk....$65-$75/mo for weekly cutting isn't much. For a basic now and go on a 1/4 acre lot at most I would be at $100-$110/mo.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ya I figured it would be like $100 a month for lawns here. That's what I quoted my wife before we moved back down LOL. With the new gas prices and all. in 2003-05 I was getting $55-70 a month. I told her that at $100 a month and I get back to like 50 accounts we would be doing well. But I can't get anyone to pay more than $75 unless I trim bushes and such too for an extra $15-25 a month. It's ridiculous. I wish I could get $100 a month for a 1/4 acre lot lol.

There are signs all over this area. LAWN CUTS $15. I know they can't make but crack money with that price. But I see them every other block with signs on street corners. This one guy drives around with a tied on huge vinyl sign on the back of his trailer. "HOME OF THE $15 CUT." lol.

Florida Gardener
08-08-2012, 02:18 PM
Ya I figured it would be like $100 a month for lawns here. That's what I quoted my wife before we moved back down LOL. With the new gas prices and all. in 2003-05 I was getting $55-70 a month. I told her that at $100 a month and I get back to like 50 accounts we would be doing well. But I can't get anyone to pay more than $75 unless I trim bushes and such too for an extra $15-25 a month. It's ridiculous. I wish I could get $100 a month for a 1/4 acre lot lol.

There are signs all over this area. LAWN CUTS $15. I know they can't make but crack money with that price. But I see them every other block with signs on street corners. This one guy drives around with a tied on huge vinyl sign on the back of his trailer. "HOME OF THE $15 CUT." lol.

Yup, areas are different for sure. $100/mo to include trimming is insane unless it's like 2 bushes...even still.
Posted via Mobile Device

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-08-2012, 02:26 PM
Yup, areas are different for sure. $100/mo to include trimming is insane unless it's like 2 bushes...even still.
Posted via Mobile Device

Oh you wouldn't believe the neighbors I do $40 a month big corner lot up against mine and I don't get to mow it in the winter unless it's $20 a cut. That's like 1984 prices when I lived here as a teen working with my older brother's lawn service. And another neighbor wouldn't even pay me $15 a cut. He wants it cut but won't pay $15 for his huge corner lot. LOL. No joke. Even though he sees me mowing 5 around me and they look beautiful. And I mow them for $20 a cut, with weed trim and edging. I figure it's around my house. Might as well make them look good. He's old and says he can't hardly mow anymore but won't pay $15. He even said he gets $1400 in social security. LOL.

Magna-Matic
08-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Hello All,

The question was asked how often to sharpen lawn mower blades.
The general answer is 8-12 mowing hours.

After that many hours the pointed TIP of the blade becomes rounded, once this happens the blade will tear the grass. Having a consistent angle across all of the blades in the deck with the TIPS square will yield the highest-quality of cut. It is bit of a mis-conception that a lawn mower blade must be sharpened on the cutting edge to the point that it can draw blood.

Another important point about blades is that they are measured diagonally (like a TV) this is because the 2 TIPS of the blade stick out the furthest, so often when you have a mower leaving blades of grass standing between the blades of a multi-blade deck, it is because the ENDS or TIPS of the mower blade are so severly rounded that the blade is now shorter that when the TIPS are ground back to the proper angle.

This neglect of the TIPS and quick grinding on the edge with an angle grinder (and balance is ignored) is often times the reason double cuts are required, and why the mower is not running at it's full performance.

We have some educational info at our site about blade tip geometry and other points, we're also in process of producing more educational videos, so more to come. Here is a link to the info we have up now.
http://www.magna-matic.com/educational-info.html

Thank you,

Ric
08-08-2012, 03:28 PM
.


I haven't cut grass as a business in almost 10 years. But IMHO Gator Blades don't hold an edge Like not Gator Blades. I believe a softer Metal is used in Gator Blades so they can be stamp forged into their famous shape.

When I was in the Grass cutting Business I used Walker mowers with the Double blade mulching set up. These were Factory blades and I believe stayed sharper longer because of Stronger steel used in making them.

.

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-08-2012, 03:54 PM
.


I haven't cut grass as a business in almost 10 years. But IMHO Gator Blades don't hold an edge Like not Gator Blades. I believe a softer Metal is used in Gator Blades so they can be stamp forged into their famous shape.

When I was in the Grass cutting Business I used Walker mowers with the Double blade mulching set up. These were Factory blades and I believe stayed sharper longer because of Stronger steel used in making them.

.

Yes you are probably correct. I have noticed the high lift blades are holding an edge longer and aren't wearing nearly as fast as the gator blades did. I was almost even tempted to cut gator type of notches into my blades. But it would be impossible. They should make like a add on kit to make it mulch better.

A Leaf Above
08-08-2012, 08:26 PM
You have to realize that straight blades are only cutting and discharging where as the gator mulching blades are made to toss the grass upwards so as to cut the grass into smaller pieces ..So if you think about it the gators are cutiing each peice of grass say like 3 times whereas the straight blades are only cutting it once per say ....So the Gators are cutting 3x the amount of grass so they should wear faster ...

Johnagain
08-08-2012, 09:54 PM
Here is a good place to order some blades from. I've been using them for about 4 years and never had a problem with them.

www.expressmowerparts.com

jvanvliet
08-09-2012, 07:03 AM
You have to realize that straight blades are only cutting and discharging where as the gator mulching blades are made to toss the grass upwards so as to cut the grass into smaller pieces ..So if you think about it the gators are cutiing each peice of grass say like 3 times whereas the straight blades are only cutting it once per say ....So the Gators are cutting 3x the amount of grass so they should wear faster ...

I'm not so sure it's the actual grass that causes an accelerated dulling of the blades as much as it is the debris sucked up into the blades, sand for instance.

williams lcm
08-09-2012, 06:26 PM
My JD blades (3) for a 60inch cut are running me $73.At the Deere dealer. Express mower parts about the same once you include shipping. I sharpen daily .
IT only take 5min to sharpen.

Tri-City Outdoors
08-09-2012, 06:54 PM
To us the "best" blades depend on the amount of grass being cut. We use high lift in dense turf & med. or low lift the more dirt we encounter. We always try to buy a thick blade. The lift wing normally thins out 1st for us not the cutting edge. Which is why we vary our lift based on the amount of dirt.

Personally I do not notice a difference in cut regardless of lift size or if it is a notched lift wing. However I do notice a difference if it is a mulching blade. Just today I was think I would never buy gators again and that I would only buy the wavy mulching blade.

Sharp blades are on the mowers each day. Between the two mowers and having nice lawns we are able to provide a sharpe cut to the residentials. we do the HOA retention ponds and whatever on the mower with the dullest blades.

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-09-2012, 07:00 PM
My JD blades (3) for a 60inch cut are running me $73.At the Deere dealer. Express mower parts about the same once you include shipping. I sharpen daily .
IT only take 5min to sharpen.

5 minutes? Jacking up the mower and removing 3 blades and then sharpening each one? Then putting them back on and the mower back in the trailer takes me like 30 minutes. I just bought a new set at the local lawn shop for 17" blades 50" mower for $62 with tax. I should have bought them on Ebay for $40 no tax. Lesson learned. The lawn shop charged $42 for the same set 3 weeks ago. They said they raised the prices. Well the prices of gas and other things keep going up I'm just going to start buying and selling cars again. $65 and $75 a month for lawns in this area is ridiculous. I had a customer drop me today at $25 a cut and trim for another guy that said he would do the same thing for $15 on her corner lot. LOL. Customers won't pay around this area and they are ignorant of the fact of what it cost to run a lawn business and they don't really care. I'm going to take advantage of people's ignorance with car sales instead of suffering for their ignorance with killing myself. I think I will hold out until next June. We shall see.

Florida Gardener
08-09-2012, 07:22 PM
5 minutes? Jacking up the mower and removing 3 blades and then sharpening each one? Then putting them back on and the mower back in the trailer takes me like 30 minutes. I just bought a new set at the local lawn shop for 17" blades 50" mower for $62 with tax. I should have bought them on Ebay for $40 no tax. Lesson learned. The lawn shop charged $42 for the same set 3 weeks ago. They said they raised the prices. Well the prices of gas and other things keep going up I'm just going to start buying and selling cars again. $65 and $75 a month for lawns in this area is ridiculous. I had a customer drop me today at $25 a cut and trim for another guy that said he would do the same thing for $15 on her corner lot. LOL. Customers won't pay around this area and they are ignorant of the fact of what it cost to run a lawn business and they don't really care. I'm going to take advantage of people's ignorance with car sales instead of suffering for their ignorance with killing myself. I think I will hold out until next June. We shall see.

I wouldn't do it either if that is all your able to get and people dropping you like that...not worth it. Better to figure it out now then waste any more time.
Posted via Mobile Device

A Leaf Above
08-09-2012, 08:02 PM
I'm not so sure it's the actual grass that causes an accelerated dulling of the blades as much as it is the debris sucked up into the blades, sand for instance.

Yes ..i could see this happening also ..probally a little of both

Florida's Suncoast Lawn Care
08-09-2012, 08:06 PM
I wouldn't do it either if that is all your able to get and people dropping you like that...not worth it. Better to figure it out now then waste any more time.
Posted via Mobile Device

The sad part is I strive to do a perfect job. Not like i'm in some rush skipping trimming and such like i see some other LCO's doing when they get behind. I've seen one guy skip trimming for like the last 3 months on his lawns behind one of mine. The homeowners are up north though since it's all closed up. But still I can't stand to skip around like that. I always imagine a neighbor calling them or someone coming down for a vacation. I take photos of my lawns if they are up north and Email them the photos. That's how thorough I am. The customers love it.

Patriot Services
08-09-2012, 08:40 PM
I'm running Gators for the season. Once the Bahia goes dormant and things get dry I switch to flats. Fresh blades every day sometimes twice.
Posted via Mobile Device

LGL
08-17-2012, 09:01 PM
Yes you are probably correct. I have noticed the high lift blades are holding an edge longer and aren't wearing nearly as fast as the gator blades did. I was almost even tempted to cut gator type of notches into my blades. But it would be impossible. They should make like a add on kit to make it mulch better.

I agree, I've used both gator and high lift and it seems to me that the high lift blade cuts better longer. Gators are nice in the winter for sure, but have somewhat of a difficult time with moist lawns in my experience.