Field Report: Excaliber Blades..

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AltaLawnCare, May 28, 2002.

  1. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Tried out my Exmark "Excaliber" blades, PN103-1580 over the last week. :cool:
    Like the notched foils, they are very heavy duty looking
    but also have that cool long edge. The foil is about a
    1/8 inch lower than the notched foils, so they won't have
    as much lift.

    1,Light growth (1/3 or less cut from blade), mixed fescue:
    No noticable difference from notched foils.
    2,Thin growth, "stringy" weeds (Wild Garlic/Onion, dandelions):
    No noticable difference.
    3,Med-Heavy Growth, fine Fescues (Lawn Quality):
    Cut seemed cleaner, clippings seemed to be less and chopped
    better.
    4,Dry, bare dirt areas, dust:
    Blow out (dust), lift seemed to be slightly less, but not
    much difference though.
    5,Wet condition, regular fescue, Med growth (1/3 blade cut)
    Because of the weather, it really wasn't very wet. My
    property right after Memorial day Shower of 20 minutes.
    Cut seemed about the same as notched foils, but I believe
    the notched foils will do better in really wegt conditions,
    due to higher lift qualities.

    Other remarks:
    These blades seem to pull a little harder, maybe because of
    holding the clippings under the deck longer??
    After 2 hours of mowing, the edge in about 5 inches didn't
    look like it was cutting any grass. If the outer cut edge
    cuts the grass - or knocks it over, the inner edge won't
    have any grass to cut anyway. Although the inside edge
    won't ware like the outer edge, it will still have to
    be sharpened - so the blade will balance out. Sharpening
    more of the blade means more material
    removed and harder potential to balance.
    Conclusion:
    I will most likely run the notched foils most of the time.
    I can use the excalibers for dry conditions and maybe leaves.
    I think LCOs running the excalibers in really fine blade lawns
    will get more of an advantage, than those of us cutting mostly
    thick grass blades (such as KY31,..)
    ;) ;)
     
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Hey Billy,

    Sorry you weren't all that happy with them :( I am very pleased with them overall. Better cut wet, dry, and best of all no more stringers!

    Here are my measurements taken on my workbench.


    1) Exmark OEM Notched Foil Part# 1-633483 #4 in picture:

    Lift 7/8" off bench all the way across.

    Lift foil length at top 2 1/8" across.

    Sharpened edge 5" long.


    2) Exmark Excalibur Solid Foil Part # 103-1580 # 1 in picture:

    Lift 15/16" at tip, 7/8" right before it starts to dip down flat.

    Lift foil length at top, (before dip) 2" Total lift length --> 3 1/2" ! (Very important!)

    Sharpened edge 9" long.


    The overall lift area is significantly more with the Excalibur Solid Foil, and really stands the grass up straight to be cleanly cut by the 9" long edge.

    blade choices sm.jpg
     
  3. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Thats a very good comparison, TLS. I should have measured them side by side instead of eye-balling them.

    I don't dislike the excalibers, but was expecting a much better cut than the standard notch foils. Seems like I'm seeing more stringers, with the excalibers - I haven't mowed at full speed with these yet either.

    It could be the conditions of the grass, its soo dry the only thing growing are weeds. :(
    Mine seems like it cuts a lot better with the deck "full" of grass...
    when the grass is thin ( with bare spots) is when I leave stringers.
    Beore I mounted the blades, I sharpened the edges, so they would be really sharp.

    I mowed a bi-weekly last Saturday, very thick fine grass. The excalibers did better on that. I doubled mowed one area over the septic tank , and it looked bagged!;) That was the best I had ever left it looking.

    You've tried several differnt blades, which seem togive the best lift?
    Have you tried any in a double configeration?
    :confused:
     
  4. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    I just got into the first few bites of my "Hershey's With Almonds"..:D
    And had a thought.

    TLS, you're running that monster 27 hp Kaw.
    The Excalibers seem to pull mine harder....I might be losing some blade tip speed. :confused:

    The notched foils may be easier to spin for the 23....

    I need to get a tach.

    I'll report back...
     
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Billy,

    Thanks for replying!!! (Cut/Paste :D )

    I have tried many, MANY, M A N Y, different combinations of blades, doubles, singles, Gators, Mulching blades, you name it. :eek:

    If your finding the Excaliburs to be "pulling" the 23 down, dont even think about doubles then!

    I have found that double blades create entirely TOO much blowout, and you will be left with a 6" thick pile of grass at your boots in short time.

    The Lazer 60" deck is designed to cut properly without doubles. Adding them just lowers the blades too low in relationship to the deck baffles and can at times hit sidewalks, etc!! I only use doubles (#7's on top of #6's) for leaf mulching in the fall.

    As for a tach....GET ONE! Chances are your engine is low on RPM's. You should not be bogging with single Excaliburs, and they should cut everything perfectly!

    Thin grass thats real spotty with lots of bare spots are some of the hardest grasses to cut! The "suction" is lost out from the bare areas, and the grasses around these bare areas often grow sideways to try to cover, and thus prevents it from lifting all the way before cutting.

    Those nice lawns that Eric used to mow would be a dream to cut everyday! I only have a few thick ones like his. Makes for a beautiful cut all the time! My lawns vary from a few lush estates, to rough, bare, grassless weed lawns from hell!

    Good Luck!

    Get that TACH!!!
     
  6. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Where do you order your Tach from? Local dealer? web site?

    I would like to have a couple.
     
  7. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    There is a "Northern Tool" store near me. They have them in their small engine section.

    Its a combo hour meter / tach, uses one wire that wraps around the spark plug wire.

    The dealer should have them also. ;)
     
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    The ones from Northern are good. The ones on my old Dixie were the BEST (Tiny Tach) although NO ONE seems to sell them. Not even my DC dealer??? They sell the cheapies with small digits, and every 25 hours it starts blinking O I L C H A N G E over and over it takes 30 seconds till you see your RPM's read out. This "oil chang" "Lube" flash lasts about a full hour!

    I know when to change my oil, I dont need a POS little LCD tach to tell me.

    Every mower should have a digital tach on it IMHO!
     
  9. bridges

    bridges LawnSite Member
    from RI
    Posts: 196

    What did you use to sharpen those blades?
     
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Bridges,

    Only 2 are sharpened, the rest were new, lightly touched up, and run once.

    The #1 is how all my blades are now, fully sharpened, razor sharp.

    Brandlein Machine Fireball 300c is what sharpened these two. Excellent, consistant results!
     

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