How do 21"s get away with short cuts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dashunde, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    Everywhere I look that has been cut with a 21 the grass is very short.
    Now I understand that 21's dont scalp, but other than that, is there an explaination as to why they can go so short without frying the turf?
    Around the midwest right now its drier than a popcorn fart... these short cuts I'm seeing dont figure.
  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    There is a reason they are only cutting with a 21...M O W - J _ _fill in the blanks...21's should be cutting at the same height as everyone else if not higher. 21's leave a better cut on tall grass IMO. Cut grass short with a large mower but not with a small one.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    That is absolutely ridiculous! He didn't even say what size properties he was talking about. And how do you know they are only cutting with 21's? Where does it say that? We use 21's on postage stamp lawns, of course we do, why wouldn't we?
  4. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    There are a lot of people (homeowners mainly) who believe the only good cut is an extremely short cut. Had a customer last year that wanted to see a few places where the blades were cutting dirt, then she knew the cut was the proper height (dropped her). It is what their parents did; they see it as a style thing, and have no awareness that problems arise because of it. They also believe it "stunts" the grass so it grows slower and needs less cutting. I've heard it referred to as a "lasting cut." But the weeds shoot up fast and make that kind of lawn look like crap after a couple days, even a day.

    There are some lots here that were established 30-40 years ago where the whole yard must have had topsoil tilled in, because there is black dirt a foot deep -- but the neighbors have nothing much but sand and red clay. I don't think it would be possible to kill the grass on a lot like that, but it sure is hard on blades cutting super low to please a customer.

    2.5" (actual measurement with a snap gage on a level, smooth concrete floor) is my low limit. If they want lower, I charge a sharpening fee. Most take the 2.5 when they hear that. Some say see ya. That's okay.

    If your next lawn is at 3.5 or 4, you have to change blades after doing a "lasting cut." If you are going to another "lasting cut" lawn you could bolt lengths of 1/4" flat bar to the spindles and it would not make much difference.
  5. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    I gotta agree here....just because someone is using 21's doesnt mean they dont know what they are doing...some lco's philosophy is that 21's are personally, I hate chasing 21's around a yard....:hammerhead:
  6. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    I use a 21" on several of my accounts (postage size) it look great i will post some pics tommorow or tuesday.
  7. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    who says a 21 cant scalp?
  8. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    i think 21's are easier to scalp with than a bigger mower, one wrong angle, and bam, a chunk of grass is taken off if you're mowing low. all i use is 21's right now but 2.5" is the lowest i go. i like the grass to still be green when i'm finished mowing. even cutting a half inch shorter at 2" leaves the grass a yellowish green color.
  9. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I mean they can mow alot lower than a large machine without scalping.
    Particularly a fixed deck wb.
  10. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 806

    We use nothing but 21s and two days per week we average about 10 minutes per yard start to finish. The other days are not far behind.
    This is with a 2 man crew.

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