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Blade tip speed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sampler, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. sampler

    sampler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I have seen manufacturers blade tip speed ratings from 18,000 to 19,000 fpm.

    Is that significant in how the mower cuts and the lawn looks after mowing?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, not really, at least not on a new mower, and I say I don't think so because they all say that,
    way I see things it's meaningless technical jargon designed to make lookers go 'wow look' which
    then that's supposed to make you reach for your wallet and start throwing money at them.

    Did it work? :p

    Odd, aren't the nerves of the eyes connected to the hand reaching for the wallet?

    And it's not that all specifications are BS but this fps blade tip speed is certainly not one
    of the specifications I care a whole lot about, as one might have gathered.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  3. dbear

    dbear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    Generally speaking, the faster the blade tip speed, the faster the unit's cutting ground speed. Something that seems to be important in this industry. So BTS is not entirely BS.
  4. kenneth meals

    kenneth meals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Blade tip speed has alot to do with the productivity of the mower and quality of cut. Also helps with to distribute clippings more evenly.
  5. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    Like the guys said: higher blade tip speed allows acceptable cut quality and discharge at faster mower speed - equals better productivity. BTS is by no means a substitute for deck design.

    Drawbacks: louder deck noise and poor fuel economy.
  6. Lordtimothy

    Lordtimothy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    Blade tip speed is also a safety thing. ANSI standards require all machines that are certified to be below a certain point. You also have European standards ect ect to follow if you want to sell in other countries.

    Faster you spin the blades more chance of something going horribly wrong so that apparently was decided to be the safety threshold. Not just blades and items coming apart from the deck it also affect rocks and any item you hit.

    More I think about it there maybe a point of diminishing returns on how fast the blade turns. But all in all one thing you can be certain of it is a safety thing. That is why it is limited to 18-19k. Protects the companies from lawsuits due to the industry accepted standard.

  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    Then there are certain conditions that require a lower BTS to perform the given task optimally. I've found leaf mulching to sometimes work best at reduced BTS/throttle...and also in certain moist grass situations.

    There's only so many variables we have control over (clean deck - blade choice/sharpness - discharging/mulching/bagging - etc) and engine speed->effecting BTS is yet another.

    As usual, your mileage WILL vary...but you'll never know if reduced BTS will be a benefit unless actually powering down & trying it.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Like others have said, the faster blade tip speed, the faster the unit can mow (ground speed wise). But you also need to look at the deck. Certain decks have higher capacities and can handle larger amounts of clippings than others can. Decks are designed with a blade tip speed in mind, so the tip speed and the deck are matched together to have the best performance out of the deck.
  9. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Also not mentioned is the faster the blades are turning, the more suction/vacuum that is created, and that means less non-cut grass left behind.
  10. Kutz Lawns

    Kutz Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    You can also put smaller pullies on the spindles for a higher tip speed!

    OH NO, not again!

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