Worth it or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    It seems that my capacity is dicated by the 30 days or so before and after the summer solstice.

    We don't have time to double cut lawns at the prices we are charging. We make one pass with the Honda 21's and that is all there is time for. Last year, we were getting a lot of lawns around the solstice that needed to be double cut. Often times a little 1" trail of grass would appear that was about 1/2" taller than the rest of the grass.

    I am thinking a new sharp blade every morning ought to help with this problem. It would cost me about a grand to outfit all the mowers with a fresh blade for each day of the week. Then they could all be sharpened once a week when we change the oil.

    Worth $1,000 to see if this solves the problem? Or do you think a sharp blade will help when the grass is growing that fast?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Yes I think it would that and try and slow down your cutting a bit on each lawn..I know time is money but so is quality.
  3. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,383

    Yes, it is worth it to spend $1000 to fix the problem.

    But I don't think that sharp blades will fix it. The grass is being pushed down by the front wheel and, on one side of the mower, the blade is trying to cut the grass in the same direction that the grass is already laying down. After a little while, the grass stands back up and looks terrible. Because you are mulching, the blade cannot create enough vacuume to stand the grass up as you cut it.


    -Take full cuts - no overlaps - in one direction and 1/2 cuts in the other direction. This allows the blade to hit the layin down grass from the side and greatly helps the problem but is not so time efficient.

    -Bag the grass

    -Discharge the grass

    -Use different mowers - WB

    I had the same problem with my 21" mowers and have not found a really good fix for that problem.
  4. Dallas Turf

    Dallas Turf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I don't see how it will cost you an extra $1000 to keep your blades sharp, we change blades daily. A good blade grinder can be had for $350 and you get an extra box of 20 blades for under $200 and you are set. The blades will last quite a while if taken care of, we cut around 100 houses and have a pile of about 30 blades and I only end up pitching half of them each year. When you get a good blade grinder you can sharpen and balance blades in less than a minute each. Get a fine grit stone on the grinder and it wont chew up the blades.

    Good Luck this season,
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    The Hondas have two blades on each mower. My dealer charges $12.95 for the upper blade and $12.95 for the lower blade.

    He said he'd discount them 10% if I buy this many. For 5 extra sets of blades per mower, I am looking at about $125 per mower.

    Actually, this won't cost me a grand to get set up. But it will be a nice chunk of cash.

    Is there a good place to buy these blades over the internet?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116


    A Walk Behind won't solve the problem either. My Ferris 32 Hydro did this too. Usually, it would show up the worst in the center where the two blades meet. In the center, it had nothing to do with a tire mashing the turf down right before it was cut. When I would sharpen the blades, I would always notice dramatic improvement.

    Next question is, is it worth it to spend the 900 bucks on the magna matic blade sharpener?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  7. Dallas Turf

    Dallas Turf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I would not worry about having extra top blades, maby one extra set per mower, When I used to run hondas the best cut we could get was with a gator mulcher blade. The best thing you can do is sell the hondas and get toro mowers, or buy tj's used ones next year. I was a die hard honda fan until a friend of mine forced me to try toro's for a week. We bought toro mowers at the end of that week. They mulch better, cut smoother and weigh allot less. If you still want to run honda's pm me the part numbers and I will get you a price on blades next week as I will be ordering parts soon and can save you some money.
  8. Dallas Turf

    Dallas Turf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    For the blade grinder I like the one that I have it is an old model from lesco that looks like the oregon grinder that Travis from Landscape supply in Waco used to sell on this forum.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    We only ran one crew this year on my Simply mowing company. Our grasses are similar (except for your bermuda). Using 2 mowers on the crew, we changed blades half way thru the day. That eliminated all such problems.

    If you aren't putting on fresh blades daily, then I would assume that change would make a huge difference.

    This spring we are rolling with 3 mowers, so only one blade might need changed in a day. Here, it isn't the grass it's the sand that kills the blades.

    I have 3 sets of blades per mower and sharpen every other day. I just use an angle grinder and do the sharpening myself. The other trick I use when sharpening a bunch of blades, is light coat the ground edge with spray paint to keep them from dulling in the humidity (getting rusty). The cheaper the paint the better.
  10. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    i too was a die hard honda man till i went to all muching and the honda didnt mulch as well. i use lawnboys and john deere 21,s now and never have to double cut using gator blades

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