View Full Version : Which model to buy?

Sonnie Parker
07-15-2003, 07:56 PM
I'm considering one of your sharpners and a balancer.

I am a homeowner and I cut approximately 7-8 acres of mostly bahia grass each week. I have no choice but to sharpen my blades weekly and it is a royal pain in the ..... using my current 6" bench grinder.

I use 21" Gator blades that have the sharpened curved portion. However, I never sharpen this part of the blade. I only sharpen up to the curve and stop. I really see no purpose in sharpening the center curved portion as it rarely is dull anyway and as I understand it, the outer part of the blade (the part that gets dull) is the part doing all the cutting.

Can I get by with a 9000 model if I'm only going to sharpen the flat part up to the curve?

Also I've read many claims that say the Magna-Matic's will sharpen blades in 60 seconds or less. Doesn't this really depend on how dull they are?

Many thanks!

Sonnie Parker

07-15-2003, 11:19 PM
Hello Sonnie,

The MAG-9000 should have no problem sharpening as you are describing. But i have a question for you, why do you use this type of blade if you do not believe it works - they do have straight/flat gator blades.

Back to your questions. Before we made the MAG-8000 we recommended for people to used the MAG-9000 and sharpen the first 1-2 inches of curved mulching blades because that it what does the majority of the cutting work.

Yes the 60 second time is dependant on how much metal you must remove from the blade to re-create a sharp edge. Or in other words - how dull they are. We base the 60 time on a heavier commercial blade with approx 20 hours of useage on it.

Now this time of 60 seconds can increase or decrease depending on the user - if you really maintain your blades well - this time can get shorter because you will have to take off less steel between sharpenings. If you only sharpen your blades once or twice a year (of course still depending on the amount of hours you cut) it will take longer to sharpen the blade.

What we want people to understand is that no other sharpening method/competitor can beat our machines in METAL REMOVAL RATE.

Let me know if you have anymore questions

Sonnie Parker
07-16-2003, 01:36 AM
Thanks Gerd.

I do have a few more questions.

About the Gator blades I'm using. I guess I didn't really know any better. I ordered the blades from www.jackssmallengines.com/ online. (Btw, I recently found out I paid too much for them.) Last year when I ordered from them I got straight blades. This year, for whatever reason, they sent me the curved ones. They are the Magnum Gators and I didn't seem to get the option of straight.

I have not been very pleased with how these blades this year have held up. The tips are wearing short very quickly versus the straight blades I got last year. Made me wonder if Silver Streak is using a softer steel this year.

It takes me approximately 3.5 to 4.0 hours to cut the 7-8 acres. I always have to sharpen my blades after a cut. If I don't, then I've got bahia stringers galore. This bahia is like wire down here in south Alabama, not to mention the sand and mowing up and down the edge of a rock driveway that's right at 1/4 mile long. I have to cut low and hit a few rocks occasionally. It's a mess really but I have to deal with it.

I wear out a grinding wheel with about 30 blade sharpenings (no where near the 150 to 250 you guys are getting).... albeit I'm probably using the wrong grit. It takes me 10-15 minutes per blade (ridiculous). I purchased 2 sets of blades at the end of March and they are gone. That's only around 15 cuttings this year at a maximum of about 30 hours per set of blades (if I'm doing my math right). That pretty much sounds pitiful in comparison to what I'm reading on this forum.

I'm very curious as to the heavier commercial blade you are referencing with the 60 second time and 20 hours of usage. Geeze, I'm getting only 4 hours of usage. Now I'm really feeling pitiful. What kind of blades are they and how can I order them?

The only reason I've used the Gator's is they have allowed me to cut with one pass (as long as I sharpen them weekly or every 3.5 to 4 hours). Other high lift or medium lift blades I've used left me with stringers unless I cut turtle slow (5.5 to 6 hours). I'm not concerned with the mulching process if I can get a longer lasting blade that will cut good.

I believe I'll go with the 9001, a balancer, and a couple of extra grinding wheels.... and please tell me what and where those blades are that you are referencing.

Do I qualify for the 5% combo discount and is shipping included? Maybe you can throw in a hat too! lol (jk)

Thanks again!

Sonnie Parker

07-16-2003, 01:14 PM
Hello Sonnie,

Well .. it looks like you are really putting those blades thru their paces.

One thing to remember about blades is that they can vary in consistancey - because in general lawnmower blades are made from the cheapest steel, and are a mass produced item - so eventhough they are perhaps the most important component on your mower they do not get the attention they deserve.

The blades/machine we do our testing with is our Kubota F3060 - the blades are factory blades 24" long 1/4" thick. They are NOT mulching blades of any sort.

Did you have problems with the stock blades that came on your mower?

We use 20 hours of cutting as our reference because that is in general the longest people should wait to service their blades. This will help in longer blade life, and grinding wheel life. The more often you sharpen the longer the blade will last. And we test our sharpeners with the 20 hours of wear blades.

You can order a LOT#1 combo at our online store and just send an email noting you would like it upgraded to a MAG-9001 ($10 addition). SHIPPING is free at our online store, and there is a discount on the package. We don't currently have any hats made, so i can't help you there :)

Keep asking if you have questions.

Sonnie Parker
07-16-2003, 08:55 PM
Thanks again Gerd.

The standard blades that came with my mower left me with lots of stringers. The rep for GH advised me that for bahia grass the lift on the stock blades would cause this. Gators don't have that much of a lift being designed the way they are so I suppose that's why they cut better. I may try low lift straight blades and see how they work. They are very cheap and if they will cut good then at least they won't cost near as much.

I spoke with a friend of mine that owns an outdoor equipment shop and store. He stated that most all of his customers are buying the standard Gator's stating that the 1/4 thickness of the Magnum was not doing as well as the standard .203 thickness blades. Hard to believe but I suppose it could be so.

He also said I'd love the sharpener. He has a Wall sharpener but he stated one of his customers had a Magna-Matic and was very happy with it.

I will be ordering that combo tomorrow.

Are the 9001's available for shipping right now?

Sonnie Parker

07-16-2003, 09:57 PM
Hello Sonnie,

I am currently waiting for our order of motors from LEESON ELECTRIC to ship more MAG-9000 series sharpeners. I am getting a shipment in on Friday, but that will only cover my backorders at this point.

NOTE TO ALL who have a MAG-9000 on backorder - i will ship either FRIDAY or MONDAY.

I am waiting on word from LEESON when i will get the rest of my order of motors. My best guess is in approx a week, until it will be shipped. REMEMBER we never charge your credit card until we ship your order. There will also be a wait on the balancer for about a week. This season has been a fantastic for us, but has left us working double time to get sharpeners, balancers, shop exhaust equipment, and etc out the door to fill orders.

Thank you for your questions, and the choice to go with our products - and thank you to all of you that have choosen our products for your blade service needs.

07-16-2003, 09:59 PM
Sonnie -

Also check out this new product of ours for the BALANCER.

It is called the MAG-103 Balancer Stand.

Here is some info from a lawnsite thread where we first released info about it.

Here is the online store link

Thank you,

Sonnie Parker
07-17-2003, 12:44 PM
Am I looking at a couple of weeks then to get the 9001?

Looking at that balancer stand I really don't see a real need for it but I'm not ruling it out yet mainly because I don't really understand how your balancer works.

In all the pics I see it appears to be mounted vertically versus the cheap cone balancer I have now which I mount flat on top of my work bench.

I suppose your balancer is mounted plumb. If it is mounted this way then how does the blade stay on the cone?

If all I need is a plumb place to mount it then I'm good.

Sonnie Parker

07-17-2003, 03:22 PM
Our balancer is mounted to a vertical surface such as a wall (most commonly used.

The balancer stand allows you to mount the balancer to a workbench or approx 2 feet outward from a wall.

I would safely say 2 weeks at this point for a MAG-9001 but i expect it to be only 1 week. If you place your order, we do not charge your credit card until an item ships.

Thank you,

07-17-2003, 04:15 PM

The Magna-matic balancer uses a manget to hold the blade vertically.

It is a fantastic product... I have one and I'm saving my pennies to get their sharpener.

Sonnie Parker
07-17-2003, 04:41 PM
That must be one heck of strong magnet.

I just placed my order online for the combo 1 package.

Thanks for all your help.

07-18-2003, 01:04 AM
You better believe it is a strong magnet, it is our design, and back in 1998 or so we increased the magnet strength by 15% or so.

If you ever see any imitation balancers - knock offs - they have very weak magnets - they are only able to hold up the lightest home owner blades. Stens and Rotary sell these knock-offs.

Thank you for your order Sonnie,

Sonnie Parker
08-06-2003, 08:02 PM
According to tracking I'm supposed to receive my 9000 and the balancer tomorrow.

I'm excited..... especially if my blade sharpening time is going to drastically reduced.

What I'm not excited about is all this rain we are having. I can't remember the last time it didn't rain 3 days straight. For over 3 months now it has nothing but rained almost everyday. Talk about some bahia grass growing quick. Eckkkk!

08-06-2003, 08:09 PM
Remember Sonnie, if you have any questions or are not getting the quick sharpening times... call us for some help.

In WI we have also been getting quite a bit of rain - i think we've had enough as well.

Take Care,

Sonnie Parker
08-07-2003, 06:27 PM
Hey Gerd,

Got the sharpener in today but the balancer wasn't in the box.

Any idea when I'll get it in?



08-07-2003, 11:42 PM
We will try to get it as soon as possible, perhaps late next week.

I apologize for the delay,

What is your impression of your new MAG-9000?

Sonnie Parker
08-08-2003, 01:54 AM
Thanks Gerd.

For now all I've done is take it out of the box and give it a look over. It's quite the heavy duty machine I expected.

I placed a magnum gator blade up on it to kinda see how it would lay as I moved it. I was thinking that I might need to extend the blade platform out a few more inches to enable myself to easily keep the blade flat as I move it back and forth. Even though I only sharpen the outer few inches of the curved blade, when the center part of the blade moves off the platform so that I can sharpen the last inch or two, it turns due to the blade design. I'll be changing to the flat style blade when these wear out so it may be a moot point.

I'll probably give it a first use on Saturday. I plan to sharpen the blade on my 20" push mower as a warm up. It's a flat gator blade so I shouldn't have a problem with it.

I'll let you know what I think of the performance after I test it out. Remember though, I've been using a Craftsmen bench grinder.

Sonnie Parker
08-26-2003, 05:08 PM
Hi Gerd,

Got my balancer in today... thanks!

Question for ya... this vacuum guard is huge. I didn't know they made a shop vac that big until I checked at my local hardware store and sure enough they have some 2 1/2 inch fittings, although no shop vacs that size.

It seems everywhere I go I see the 1 1/4 inch shop vacs.

Bottom line is the vacuum guard is not doing me much good since I can't find anything that will fit it or I can't find anything that will reduce the size down to fit. I did find a reducer but the 2 1/2 end is the exact same size at the vacuum guard and won't slip over or inside of the guard.

Any suggestions short of buying a new shop vac?

Thanks again!

08-26-2003, 05:59 PM
Hello Sonnie,

This is the very shop-vac that we use at expos and in our testing.


You will see that the hose size is 2-1/2" dia

Let me know if you need any more assistance.

What were and are your impressions of the balancer, let some of the other LAWNSITE members know.

Thank you,

Sonnie Parker
08-26-2003, 06:14 PM
In other words there are no suggestions short of purchasing a new shop vac. Oh well. I really don't need a new shop vac as mine does a fine job (except for the sharpener fitting). If nothing else the guard helps divert the metal and grit from flying everywhere.

As far as the balancer I haven't used it yet but will let you know my experiences once I do.

I can say I have used my 9001 sharpener a few times now and I really like it. It is very fast and has saved me a great amount of time in sharpening my blades. I haven't quite got the time down to a minute of less per blade but I'm getting the hang of it. Over time I think I can be there, none the less, it doesn't take me 15 minutes per blade and the grinding wheel is barely worn after 10 blades have been sharpened. I haven't timed it but I'd say I'm at about 2 minutes per blade, remember I'm slow. Still remarkable. As well I no longer stand up to sharpen my blades since I built a nice stand for my 9001. I can actually sit down now while sharpening.

Ultimately I firmly believe it has been a good investment.

08-27-2003, 03:13 PM
Hello Sonnie,

Outside of purchasing a new shop-vac you could make an adapter, or look at some of the SHOP-VAC accessories - they may have a reducer.

Thank you,

Sonnie Parker
08-29-2003, 03:09 PM
Tried out the balancer yesterday. I have to say, that's one handy tool. Very neat! I believe it's a wise investment.

Thanks for all your help Gerd.

Sonnie Parker
09-16-2003, 04:26 PM
One more plug for Magna-Matic.

Now that I've had some time to work with the sharpener and balancer I can say I don't know what I would do without both.

Kinda like what we used to say about fax machines and computers. How can you be without?

To the point: I have become a semi-pro (okay, maybe I'd just like to think I'm a pro for pride sake) at sharpening blades. I can sharpen them almost perfectly in less than 2 minutes. Yes, I could probably do it in less than a minute but I take my time. Sharpen, pop it on the balancer, take a little more off and twala! All done!

I love this setup and am truly thankful life is easier. Best money I've spent in a while. A very good investment.

Thanks again Gerd! It was very pleasant doing business with you folks.

And thanks to Lawnsite.com for having a quality manufacturer rep available... none of this probably would have happened if not for both.

09-16-2003, 08:54 PM
Thank you Sonnie,

We of course greatly appreciate your business and your kind words about our products, we as i think all lawn care pros, take great pride in our work, and strive to make the best product possible.

I also think Lawnsite.com is a fantastic resource, not just as an advertiser, but for the lawn care pro - i think that it has allowed lawn care pros to be very innovative and allow them to share info and get direct contact with manufacturers. This allows everyone involved to become better at what they do.

Thank you again!