Best all-around blade for eXmark Commercial 21?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by zechstoker, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    Looking for opinions on what the best all-around blade is for the eXmark Commercial 21's. I really liked the one that came stock with the mower. Great for bagging, but didn't do a whole lot of mulching with it to say whether or not it was really great for that as well. When I took the mower into the shop for repairs a couple weeks ago, they put some medium lift blade on it, and it seems decent for mulching, but it causes the mower to clog up frequently when bagging. Also seems to be cutting a tad lower than it did before when the mower is set to its usual height settings.

    For you guys that have experience with these mowers, what type of blades would you recommend? Most the lawns I'm cutting get bagged.
  2. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    Note: Cutting mostly fescue and bermuda lawns.
  3. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Is the blade thicker than the previous blade...or were spacers added? Would explain the lower cut...
    .01 :dizzy:
  4. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    Absolutely nothing. The mower is not made to mulch. It mulches ok when the temp is 100 and the grass is dry. 3rd season with it and it is a great bagging mower.
  5. LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 756

    Blade probably has a different offset, which means the tip is lower from center than the other blade. Most 21" mowers mulch ok but any thick wet stuff and no chance, just put the original blade back on. Here is a pic of a couple Toro blades for my 21" not sure if they are the same or not.

  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I think you have answered your own question. "... best all around blade ..." is not what you want. You want the best blade for mulching, you want the best blade for bagging. You have already learned this from the experiences.

    I don't have that specific mower, but much experience with a Toro. The high-lift is the only good blade for bagging, but will not work at all for mulching. The best blade mulching will hardly put any debris into the bag. The OEM is between, trying to be the "all around blade," but does not work well for either bagging or mulching.

    Organize your work, and make decisions on what you need to do. A blade change is quick and easy. Taking a minute to change the blade is far better than trying to make the wrong blade work for the task at hand, especially trying to bag with a blade that does not bag well.
  7. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    I had to take a 2nd look just to make sure, but I think the quoted above is the best reason for the different cut.

    Here's a pic of the medium lift blade that's currently on there:

    And here's the original (in desperate need of sharpening):

    With the center being at a different height, that may have been the reason why it wasn't scalping like the other one is here and there.
  8. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    As per Roger's suggestion, I may try swapping blades depending on the task at hand. It'd be something new (for me anyway) to try out. Thanks for the tip, Roger.
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,828

    It looks to me like both blades are arched about the same amount in the center, with the only difference being in the length of the arched area. The only real way to know if there is a difference for aure is to lay them both on a nice flat surface and measure from the bench top to the top of the arch on each.

    The one you call a medium lift looks like it might have about as much lift to the sail as the high lift does, but that's really hard to tell from the pic. It does look like it has a longer cutting edge which theoretically should help leave a cleaner cut. IME though, you need all the lift you can get for bagging and nowhere near as much to mulch well.
  10. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    I'll try to get a better side-by-side comparison picture tomorrow after work.

    Far as I know anyway, the one currently on the mower is a medium lift. I don't know my blades all that well, but that's what it was labeled as on the invoice I got from the shop when I picked up the mower last Wednesday. You'll have to excuse my lack of knowledge with all this as I didn't dink around with all this on the Honda that I use to run. I'd just run the stock high lift blades on that all the time since it worked well enough for all the bagging I did with it. Aside from that, I'm partially familiar with Gator blades that I once used some 11 or 12 years ago. That was back when I worked for my brother's business way back when. Anyhow, I guess I'm in the learning process with all this now. Thanks everyone for the feedback.

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