Help - My eXmark cut quality stinks...

Valk

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
KS
IME:
There is no mower on the planet that cuts as well at 4" (or taller) as it cuts at 3.5"...it's a challenging compromise that must be overcome. Even the actual lawn will require a time of transition when cutting this tall has begun. I see it as if the turf is finally allowed to stretch its legs that it never knew it had. Greener, healthier grass that is a bit more better suited for heat/drought tolerance is the result. At least this is what my fescue experiences have been.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
IIRV, Exmark blades are either .203" pr .2-5" thick depemdomh pm yjr exact machine. I have a set of Exmark notched foil blades I run under my JD sometimes. They are the same exact thickness as my G5's.
Wow, what a fat-fingered mess this came out as. It was supposed to say-
IIRC, Exmark blades are either .203" or .205" depending on the exact machine.

I have a set of notched foil Exmark blades I run under my JD that are the same exact thickness as my G5's.
 

Groomer

LawnSite Gold Member
IME:
There is no mower on the planet that cuts as well at 4" (or taller) as it cuts at 3.5"...it's a challenging compromise that must be overcome. Even the actual lawn will require a time of transition when cutting this tall has begun. I see it as if the turf is finally allowed to stretch its legs that it never knew it had. Greener, healthier grass that is a bit more better suited for heat/drought tolerance is the result. At least this is what my fescue experiences have been.

Valk, when you switch to a 4" cut, do the lawns keep a "tidy" appearance in between cuts?

I like the 4" idea for all the reasons you stated, but what happens when rain comes into play and you get a little backed up, does the shag become a little too much to look at, or in the normal summer growth pattern, do you really not see a difference anyway?

I ask because I'm tempted with that route as I'm mainly fescue here in SW ohio.
 

Valk

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
KS
Valk, when you switch to a 4" cut, do the lawns keep a "tidy" appearance in between cuts?

I like the 4" idea for all the reasons you stated, but what happens when rain comes into play and you get a little backed up, does the shag become a little too much to look at, or in the normal summer growth pattern, do you really not see a difference anyway?

I ask because I'm tempted with that route as I'm mainly fescue here in SW ohio.
It depends!! :laugh:
Just like they say that Eskimos have 30+ words for snow to describe the variances, I'd say that turf could easily have 2 or 3 dozen descriptions to take into account the various types/varieties, length, density, humidity, juiciness, yadaX3...weeds, going to seed, etc...

Not sure any lawn looks "tidy" even 2 or 3 days later when there are decent grass growing conditions w/ respect to adequate "rain" and cooler nighttime temps in the 50s/60s.

For the heat of the Summer, my lawns cut at 4" are greener/healthier looking than their neighbors that are cutting their lawns shorter.

Just to reiterate my earlier post, that there is a transitional period for a lawn to look its best when/after raising the cutting height to 4".

I'm 58. The push mowers I grew up with would max out at 3" height of cut. They didn't have enough power to run a blade w/ enough lift to give a decent cut at 3"...so we all cut at 2"-2.5"...and had to bag the clippings to make it look decent.

Enter commercial mowers w/ the power to run high lift blades and we have a winner! Which means that cutting grass taller (3.5"-4") provides even more room for the clippings to fall into...making bagging a thing of the past for this guy. I mulch early-Spring cleanups and Fall/November leaves...and side-discharge all the rest.
 

Groomer

LawnSite Gold Member
It depends!! :laugh:
Just like they say that Eskimos have 30+ words for snow to describe the variances, I'd say that turf could easily have 2 or 3 dozen descriptions to take into account the various types/varieties, length, density, humidity, juiciness, yadaX3...weeds, going to seed, etc...

Not sure any lawn looks "tidy" even 2 or 3 days later when there are decent grass growing conditions w/ respect to adequate "rain" and cooler nighttime temps in the 50s/60s.

For the heat of the Summer, my lawns cut at 4" are greener/healthier looking than their neighbors that are cutting their lawns shorter.

Just to reiterate my earlier post, that there is a transitional period for a lawn to look its best when/after raising the cutting height to 4".

I'm 58. The push mowers I grew up with would max out at 3" height of cut. They didn't have enough power to run a blade w/ enough lift to give a decent cut at 3"...so we all cut at 2"-2.5"...and had to bag the clippings to make it look decent.

Enter commercial mowers w/ the power to run high lift blades and we have a winner! Which means that cutting grass taller (3.5"-4") provides even more room for the clippings to fall into...making bagging a thing of the past for this guy. I mulch early-Spring cleanups and Fall/November leaves...and side-discharge all the rest.

well crafted response.

I resemble those remarks in more ways than one!

we are 3" of rain above norm for June, and when and if this pattern breaks, I think I might go up a notch (or 2) with the decks and see what happens. could only be better for the heat of summer.

I think my decks are at 3.25/3.5 now, so it won't be a major change.

considering which properties for my "test" cuts right now.
 
OP
J

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
So I got a phone call from eXmark today, and they gave me a few pointers on my situation - higher cut lengths, mixed grasses & weeds. They recommended 1/8” or less pitch in the deck for high cut lengths. Said it would help with vacuum. Also that it would give the back of the blade a chance to cut tall stringy weeds that can otherwise get missed if you had a lot of pitch in the deck. So I thought that was interesting.

Anyway, I cut my commercial account today which had been previously troublesome for me. Not designer grass by any means, but it is what it is.

I cut this today at 3-1/2" with the single stock eXmark blades, and I have to say that the cut quality was MUCH improved over last week's 4” cut height with double blades & too much deck pitch. Almost no blowout today which was awesome.

I was able to single cut it, and most of the tall stringy weeds we're cut on that single pass too. THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!

Pictures from one section. Nothing beautiful, but the cut was even & clean. Night & day difference from last week's performance.

The stripes angled toward the right are today's stripes BTW.



Thank you to everyone for their helpful responses.
 

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Integrity-LC

LawnSite Member
Location
West Michigan
I know its been touched on earlier but Im going to bring it up again but RPM makes a difference. I have not been having issues with my mower but since I have a Tiny Tach for tuning my small equipment I decided to check the RPM of my mower and it was almost 400 rpm low! Adjusted it and its noticeably better. For all reading this it might be worth checking your RPM's!
 

JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
I know its been touched on earlier but Im going to bring it up again but RPM makes a difference. I have not been having issues with my mower but since I have a Tiny Tach for tuning my small equipment I decided to check the RPM of my mower and it was almost 400 rpm low! Adjusted it and its noticeably better. For all reading this it might be worth checking your RPM's!

That's totally amazing, 400 RPM's, that's night and day difference. You probably thought you had a different mower.

That's like me running WOT cutting at 3200 rpm's instead of 3600 rpm's.

That's why I'm always trying to encourage people to get a Tiny Tach. If you don't know your RPM's while cutting you're actually clueless to the actual output of the engine at work.
 

Integrity-LC

LawnSite Member
Location
West Michigan
That's totally amazing, 400 RPM's, that's night and day difference. You probably thought you had a different mower.

That's like me running WOT cutting at 3200 rpm's instead of 3600 rpm's.

That's why I'm always trying to encourage people to get a Tiny Tach. If you don't know your RPM's while cutting you're actually clueless to the actual output of the engine at work.

Honestly I never felt it was lacking but yeah, its a noticeable difference. It made me wonder if its always ran low since new or if the governor springs got weaker or something. Thankfully Kawasaki makes it easy to adjust the spring tension to bump the RPM's up a bit.
 

JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
Honestly I never felt it was lacking but yeah, its a noticeable difference. It made me wonder if its always ran low since new or if the governor springs got weaker or something. Thankfully Kawasaki makes it easy to adjust the spring tension to bump the RPM's up a bit.

On my previous Hustler Super Z 60” with KOHLER 28 hp EFI. I checked rpm's after installing Tiny Tach to my surprise were max at 3350 rpm's, after increasing to 3600 under load while mowing I thought I had a new mower.

This is only my opinion for what’s it's worth, but I think a Tach from factory should be standard equipment on all mowers.
 

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