Mower blade differences

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by unclechan, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. unclechan

    unclechan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I have a couple of simple question (I hope) that I'm sure all of you professionals can help me with. I have a JD LX188 riding mower and I need to replace the blades. My first question is: What is the difference between regular, medium, and high lift blades? I do not bag and am not currently set up to mulch. My second question is: Are aftermarket blades worth the money savings or are OEM blades the only way to go. Thanks in advance for any insights you can give me!!!!!
  2. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    After market blades are fine if you don't buy them from walmart or such..............
    I wouldn't run anything but high lift blades.
    The difference between low and high lift blades is the amount of "lift" or vacuum they create. This is accomplished by steeper angles on the "foils" or wings of the blade.
    High lift blades will also discharge better under most circumstances.
    You may need to experiment a bit though...........some decks are not deep enough which will cause too much vacuum which in turn will give you poor cut quality or blowout.
  3. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Posts: 198

    I'd only add the importance of using a sharp blade. Most homeowners can easily get by with 2 sets o0f blades. Change out in mid-season and have both sets sharpened after it ends. You shouldn't have any problem getting through 3-4 seasons (unless the blade gets bent or damaged). I like using a mulching kit whenever possible and keep my Gators on even when side discharging (or just removing the chute cover in tall grass).

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I've never had a problem with aftermarket blades (aftermarket belts are another story). I'd get a couple sets. Go with the hi-lift, but of course if you mow often enough, you should be just fine with about any kind.
  5. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    High-lift here as well. I tend to disagree a bit with sharpening once or twice per season, though. Remember, a rotary mower tears the top of the grass off more than it cuts it.... why not give your grass the best by keeping hte blade SHARP?

    I just recently mowed my yard down to 1" height, and the blade that was a coupla weeks old kept bogging down. Stopped after two passes and switched to the other, sharp blade, and mowed the whole lawn without another bogging issue.

    Personally, I probably change blades about once a month, on average, just mowing my yard.
  6. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Posts: 198

    Unless you have a lot of turf, monthly blade changes are not necessary for most homeowners. One hour per week over seven months would be about 30 hours. A commercial lco (mowing at close to twice the speed of a typical homeowner, and more likely to endure tougher conditions, including wet turf) would achieve equivalent blade wear in less than 2 days. Therefore, a single mid-season blade change by the homeowner would equal daily blade changes by the lco (who would have to change blades every 2 hours to match a homeowner's monthly changes).
  7. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    welcome to lawnsite unclechan. I have a john deere 188 and I tried a set of aftermarket blades(grass hogs) and I wasnt happy with them. I prefer the oem blades for the jd. I have the 48'' deck with the water cooled 17hp kawasaki
  8. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    While I can in no way dispute your claims as to the increased need for a LCO to sharpen blades, I CAN assure you that in order to have a nice-looking cute, blades at home need to be sharpened more than twice per season.

    If I go for a month without changing blades, I can tell a difference in the mowing. The motor bogs down more, and the grass looks torn/shredded, not cut. Granted, I am probably a tad pickier than the casual homeowner, but since sharpening a blade takes me like 5-10 minutes, and mowing slower on a 12,000' yard takes 30-60 mins more, I simply look at it as time saved.

    Also, I mow every 4-7 days, whereas most homeowners probably go more like 7-14 days. And I can say with assurance that after 2 cuttings, I can look at my blades, and they are rounded already.


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