Ballard x-blade review.

mark123

LawnSite Senior Member
Normally, you don't need any attachments for adding a second blade to your spindle. You just bolt it up and go. However, my new Toro 4000 60" has a hex insert and stacking blades is not possible because the top of the insert (the hex part) has a smaller diameter than the bottom of the insert (the round part).
hexSleeve.jpg


I came across ballard's site and saw they had an X-blade kit. I called and talked to Kory and he told me that I need the hex kit for my mower and assured me it was the correct item for my particular mower. I figured I'd give it a try. I ordered the three blade and x-blade kit with the hex adapter. I figured it would include a new hex insert with a taller round part to accommodate two blades and the unnecessary x-blade adapter. It doesn't. In fact, the hex adapter does not work with my mower. It was ordered from their Toro page but it's for an Exmark and this is one of the few cases where the parts are different.

I called Kory and asked him about this and showed him a video of the slop in the top blade because of the difference in diameter on that part of the insert. You can see the video here:
His response is that once it's tightened down the blades won't move but that's not the issue. The issue is the blade being out of balance due to it not being centered regardless of how tightly it is attached. There is no way those are going on my mower like that. They are simply not going to work and I'm asking to return them. I'll test their customer service in this aspect since I opened the package to the product.

The x-blade adapters have one purpose. Their claim is that the adapters keep the blades at a right angle to keep them balanced. Of course we all know that isn't how balancing works. You can put two blades at 20 degrees or 30 degrees or at any angle and, as long as the individual blades are balanced, your spindles are balanced.

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Next, the blades. I ordered a set of their Razor blades mostly because their Ripper blades have been out of stock since forever. I have only run them on dry grass so I can't give a full review yet. In my short use of them they cut reasonably well but they don't have as much lift as stock blades. This may be good for chopping leaves with the chute blocker down but for dry grass, with the chute blocker up, it throws a row of grass clippings just a few inches more than the previous pass requiring you to go back over it. It doesn't disperse the clippings like the stock blades and it doesn't throw the clippings as far. I do sometimes have to go over clumps with the stock blades but that's never happened in good conditions. I will be able to try wet conditions on Friday to see if they clump or if they just leave the row of clippings. I'll have to report back. As of now, they get a solid "Meh!".
 

Turf Tracer

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Niagra NY
X blade is useless. There has to be a work around for that unit. The newer eXmarks w/the 5/8 hole have an insert and I figured out a solution.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
Toro made a recent change to their spindles which resulted in a blade configuration change and a different hole size. My guess is you have the wrong part.
 
OP
mark123

mark123

LawnSite Senior Member
Toro made a recent change to their spindles which resulted in a blade configuration change and a different hole size. My guess is you have the wrong part.
Congratulations, Sherlock Holmes. You’ve cracked the case. /s

LOL

It’s the correct part according to Ballard. It just beyond rational tolerance for a spinning chunk of steel. At least in my opinion.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
No need to be an ass about it, I only learned of the spinal change myself a few months ago. So glad I decided to post any info I had which could help.
 

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