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Double Blades (Again, I know!)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by germann, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Am highly considering doubles on our Exmark 48 this year. It does much worse in long, thick grass than the 36 due to shape of deck. On thing-I'm still afraid I will prematurely wear out the spindles, belts, and motor.
    I would appreciate If a long time user would personally convince me.
    Oh-Another scary thing is that from what I remember, Lawn Godfather did not recommend them.
    :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    Not exactly answering your question here, just some input.

    I tried doubles on my 52" HP in a couple types of conditions last year.

    1> Heavy grass growth, my own lawn..... I found the doubles to cut the thick stuff very well, but the final result did not look as good as the OE high lifts, run single.

    2> Mulching Leaves: Gators over high lifts or Double gators (tried both) Even with the Anti-Blowout Baffle, I experienced much blowout. Better results from single gators, with home-made discharge blockoff plate installed.

    My own prferences after trying a couple of different setups:
    Other than extremely overgrown areas, where a second cut would be necessary anyway (could use singles to "clean up" with second cut), I do not see a great advantage to doubles on MY PARTICULAR MACHINE.

    Please note this is just my observations, I know many people have had great experience with doubles, that's why I tried it.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    You say a 48" Exmark.

    What type of 48" Exmark?

    Walkbehind or ZTR?
    If walkbehind, hydro or belt drive?
    Fixed or floating deck?
    Engine HP and brand?
    Type of blades you are currently using?
    Engine RPM's ? <--- Real important!

    Answer those, and a few of us can be of more assistance.
  4. germann

    germann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Sorry guys-
    The mower is a 48 Turf Tracer Hydro with a 17 hp Kaw twin cylinder. The ECS system is irrevelant but we love it. The machine is about two years old with 500 hrs and no problems.
  5. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    I know that after having run them for three seasons on my 52" hydro scag WB with 17HP kawi....I had to replace all the spindles. I also only ran them in the fall to mulch leaves. I am not using them anymore.
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    I guess its a TT "HP" because of the 48" width.

    Anyway,...You have a similar spindle setup as my Lazer. One single blade bolt approx. 3" long that threads into the spindle shaft. NO bolt on top.

    I would NOT advise doubles on this machine. Some will chime in and say go for it, but I believe that it puts the bottom blade one blade thickness (1/4") lower in the deck. Often times leading to a blade that is lower than the deck skirt. This causes a safety issue and a LOT more blowout.

    Your engine should handle doubles just fine though.

    I suggest getting a digital tach and make sure that your RPM's are at LEAST 3750. There is a BIG difference in cut between say the neighborhood of 3600 or a little less and my recomended 3750. Buy a tach, crank up the RPM's and make sure your using OEM Exmark blades. I'm not sure if they offer the "Excalibur" blade in the 48" size, but if they do, Get a set and try them.

    Also make sure you deck pitch is 1/8 to 1/4" positive. May need to check tire pressure and use thin washers on your deck height posts to acheive this.

    In recap, Get a Tach.
    Crank up the RPM's.
    Use proper sharp blades.
    Maintain proper deck pitch.

    These mowers cut EXTREMELY well with single blades. No need to add doubles to an Exmark to acheive great results.

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