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Are Gator Blades Mulch Blades?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky03, May 20, 2006.

  1. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    I went to the dealer and I told them I needed some good mulching blades since I mulch year around. They sold me Oregon Gator blades. I payed $16 per blade and they said they were mulch blades. I mowed 10 lawns today and I am not that impressed. They clumped about the same as my other, but they left entire rows of stragglers. Are these blades made for mulching? Please let me know.:confused:
  2. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I have two toros, a recycler and a super recycler. The recycler came with an Atomic blade (like the gator) and the super recycler has, I guess a normal blade and I don't notice any difference between the two either mind you I'm bagging. The atomic cut good though. btw when my blades were new they weren't that sharp.
  3. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    I forgot to mention, my mower has a full mulch kit (baffles and cover).
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Gators are mulching blades but they don't have the lift that high lifts do so thats probably why you are having stragglers plus I haven't had much luck with them in the thick lush spring grass that grows so fast. I use them in the fall mostly for leaves. They will shred leaves to a fine dust with a couple of passes. Do some searches about gator blades and you will learn alot but I don't recomend them for spring growth (unless you are using a mulching kit). They do make high lift gator type blades that do better with a side discharge but still won't have the lift of high lift blades that is so improtant to get a smooth cut. Just my opinion.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It all depends on the machine, some do better with high lifts, others do better with gators, and yes, gator = mulching.

    Btw, if you do not notice much of an improvement like you said, try switching back and see if it's all the same thing, run the cheaper blade. The other thing has helped me greatly is deck-to-ground alignment, on my mower it works best if the back wheels are 1 setting lower than the front, I don't know why but I do know if the front is lower than the back that is very bad. Even setting does ok, but lower back for my machine is better.

    Last but not least, raise the deck and lower your blades. What you want is your blades as far down as possible so they are not up inside the deck, technically you want the cutting edge flush even with the skirt so if you stuck your hand under there even with the machine off, you'd likely touch edge.

    Ok so what you do is raise the deck and then use the washers to bring the blades down, try it in 1/4 inch increments now to keep your cut height the same, you raise the deck 1/4 inch and lower the blades as far at the same time.

    Advantage: Much better cut, every time.

    Drawback: Be aware once this has been done, just because the skirt clears an obstacle (root or rock etc) does not mean the blades will !! Yes you will hit a couple of things until you get used to it but once I did, I never went back.
  6. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 273

    gators are no good in the tall wet and sticky spring grass. they will just cause clumping. use them in the mid-late summer when the grass isn't so wet sticky and tall. and definetly in the fall for leaves.
  7. Splicer

    Splicer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    Gators are designed for side discharge NOT full blown mulching...Just a FYI...
  8. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    I run gators all yr round and also I have my deck set the front is a 1/2" higher
    than the rear of the deck, seems to keep the deck cleaner and it leaves nice stripe w/o a stripe kit !! and always keep very sharp blades !!!!
  9. I run Gators year round on my 36" WB. I'm running double blades with the Gators on top, side discharge and usually no chute. It cuts it all up pretty fine.
    I'm in the bluegrass belt like you. I couldn't imaging mulching without discharge in this area in the spring.

  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    FYI here, the rear of the deck should be 1/4 - 1/2'' higher, not the front.

    Oh and you said that he sold you OREGON gator blades, not the same as real gators IIRC.

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