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blade lift

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Neil M, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Neil M

    Neil M LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Why do they make different types of lift for blades. Wouldn't you always want the most lift you can get.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,566

    Good one,i run super high lifts they are the only blade for me.
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    High lifts take alot of power. Not all grass needs to be lifted to be cut. Somtimes you may want to mulch instead of side discharge so different tools for different situations. Here is what Exmark says about blade choice:

    Notched Air Foil
    These are factory blade and best for most applications
    Max. lift and discharge velocity
    Ideal for heavy thick grasses
    Take full advantage of hp

    Solid Air Foil
    Blades reduce flex when mowing
    Blades don’t tend to bend as easily after impact
    Can help in reducing blow out
    Helpful in cutting Bahia shoot, Dandelions, Foxtail, etc.
    Will reduce discharge velocity

    Low Lift
    Used a lot in sandy areas
    Helps reduce build-up on bottom of deck
    Reduces discharge velocity
    Reduces blow out
    Uses less hp to operate
    Lower noise

    Works well with our mulch kit
    Sharp blades are a must for max performance
    Uses maximum hp for best result
    Forces clipping back into turf
    Blades need to be sharpened more often do to increase cutting of clippings
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I try to use the high lifts but you have to be careful on those nice dewy mornings. Nothing like blowing out a hunk of grass 20 feet away.
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Different blades will act and preform differently depending on the brand, deck, etc. An Exmark Ultracut may work well with high lifts while another mower may not. And wet conditions are not the high lifts strong point. I lower my rpms in wet grass to create less lift.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I do agree to a point, I find high lifts are best for high speed applications, while mulching blades do the best job at lower speeds. But like you said, it depends on the machine first and foremost.


    I myself run high lifts always, but then I like the speed and I always double cut (simple fact is, you cut fast means you double cut). But in my first year or two I had a couple of old 52" 4-speed Wb's, and honestly they cut better with mulching blades than high lifts on a single cut (for one they weren't fast enough).

    So that's the thing:
    The high lift creates a TON of turbulence underneath the deck. It's not just lift and blow out, it's more like a swirl with a general upward and outward direction, and this tends to BEND blades of grass at low speed, and the blade misses. Run fast enough, and the grass doesn't have time to bend, so to speak.
    With mulchers, there is considerably less turbulence so you can go slower. But if you go fast with mulchers / lo-lifts, there isn't enough lift available and once again the blade misses.

    That's my interpretation of how it works, yours may differ :)

    p.s.: To find which works best for you, I hated to spend the money but did find the BEST way to do it is buy ONE set of the other blades (so if you have hi's you buy 1 set of mulchers, and if you have mulchers then u buy 1 set of hi's), and run that set for a day (or 3) and see for yourself the difference <- That's how I did it, it's truly the only way to know for sure.
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Tell us what kind of mower you have and what if any problems you are having. I'm sure someone on lawnsite would be able to help if you needed it. Lots of smart dudes here and none are opinionated including yours truly. Ha.:)
  8. indy2tall

    indy2tall LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    I usually run a normal or "mid" lift because I have found no decrease in cut quality (even in wet grass) and there is less clipping discharge. Hi lifts blow it 2 to 3 full rows over and on a mower without an OCDC that can really be a pain.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    They are originally designed for all differnt types of conditions, including grass types, thicknesses, and moisture content, and consistency for different times of the year. However, along with this, what we all have found (and I think everyone will agree), that different decks of different mowers have different dynamics wit different blades. Some blades work better on some decks and some combinations of blades work better than others. For me for instance, interestingly enough, I can't use notched foil high-lifts on the Exmark Ultracut deck (60) because it leaves streaking toward the middle.
  10. Neil M

    Neil M LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I appreciate the response. I have a Ferris 1500 52" 25hp and with wetter thick grass the front tires lay down the grass and the blades don't seem to lift the blades back up, so I thought that hi-lift blades might be the answer.

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