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is a scag 48" the worst cutting deck?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lamblawnscaping, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Just wondering what you all think about the scag 48" deck. I know they have a new deck but the one I'm talking about is a few years old. I have a 98 hydro 48" and I just can't use it on most properties because the cut looks like crap. It's an expensive mower with pretty low hours, so I'm not sure what to do with it. Do you think it would be worth getting the newer deck. BTW, how well does the new deck cut?

    Thanks for any input,
    Chris Lamb
    Lamb Lawnscaping
  2. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 935

    Which model do you have. My 1996 SWZ cuts excellent. What do you mean by it cuts like crap? What is it not doing right? The new decks I heard are sweet though. The do a great job of standing up the grass, cutting it and overall giving a great quality cut and stripe. I'm satisfied with mine though. I wouldn't sell it because you would be losing money. I would definitely go for the new 52" deck tough if your engine is strong enough. The extra 4" really do make a difference.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    I have a 48" SCAG WB like you are talking about. I have found that the ideal setup is to leave only one 1/8" spacer on top of the spindle, the rest underneath on top of the blade. This with the deck set on the highest rear bolt setting and 3 under and 1 over on the front casters will yield 3 1/4" cut height with decent cutting performance. Also try BUNTON blades. They are solid foil and the proper length. Great suction and do not drag the HP too much for my 14 Kawi.

    I believe the cut quality on this particular deck is due to a relatively slow blade tip speed, combined with a poor deck baffle design, and a relatively shallow (compared to most) deck height.

    I get by pretty good with the above setup, but no way in heck could this deck cut at the speeds that my Lazer does! Never - EVER!
  4. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Thanks for the response TLS,

    I couldn't have asked for a more helpful response. I will try out that setup. Are the bunton blades more like the exmark blades (higher lift), but the right length for the scag?


    By cutting like crap I mean leaving uneven strips of grass where the blades overlap, and not striping well. It really looks bad next to some grass that was cut with my exmark. Also the deck feels very light compared to my exmark. The exmark deck seems to hug the ground more while the scag deck bounces up and down all the time. I'm usually riding so maybe my weight contributes to the bouncing but I ride the exmark too and no bouncing. I like your idea about the 52" deck. Do you know if the new decks are deeper than the old ones.
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    The BUNTON blade is a Bunton part# PL4205, or a JD Part# M73509. It is 16.5" long, 2.5" wide, .204" thick, and a 5/8" center hole. It is a solid lift foil (NOT Notched like OEM SCAG), high lift blade. They regularly sell for about $8 each through various mail order catalogs The only modification I make is to lengthen the cutting edge a bit more (about 6"). I feel that with my weak 14 hp Kawi, I cant spin the OEM SCAG Hi-Lift Monsters without seeing a marked decrease in RPM's and power. These BUNTON blades cut much better than OEM regular SCAG blades and create more suction.

    What engine is on your 48" hydro?
  6. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I have the regular high lift Scag blades on my Bobat 36" 14 hp kawasaki and the cut is kinda bad in the wet. Their brand new and ive sharpened em once. I have the Landscapers supply catolog, are the Bunton blades in their? What is the name of them?
  7. SJR Lawncare

    SJR Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I have a 2001 Scag hydro 52. This was the worst investment I have made yet. I have to double cut just about every lawn, & I am using double blades. It leaves a real crappy cut & it has the advantage deck (What advantage?) What a waste of $5200.
  8. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165


    I have a kohler 14 on mine and it has to drive the hydros, which I assume would use up more power than a belt drive. You bring up a good point though, maybe my machine is underpowered as well as having a sub-par deck. I can get a new 17 hp kawi for well under a grand, maybe that might be worth it. I guess it wouldn't hurt to have spare engine sitting around if one goes. I am going to get some of the bunton blades and give them a try. The scag blades that I have aren't angled as steeply as the exmark blades that I use on everything else. Maybe with low power though that is a good thing, less resistance.

    Why is it that the blade tip speed is so low. What do you think about changing the blade pulley out with a larger one to spin them faster. I heard from one dealer that alot of people do that but that it often results in a cracked deck.

    Well, I'm going to have to figure something out, my scag has just been sitting in the shop since the second day of the season. It's not making me any money there.

    Messages: 11

    I've been running a 48" Scag Tiger Cub for 2 years now. I just bought a 60" Exmark Lazer with 26efi. Man, I didn't know what I was missing!!! You can't even begin to compare the cut of this machine with the Scag. If you keep the Scag use the Gators or similar type of mulching blades for leaves and use the regular lift blades for grass especially the wet stuff you see in the spring.
    Just get the Exmark.....
  10. Joe W.

    Joe W. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    SJR Lawncare,
    $5200.00 for a mower that won't cut well. This makes me sick, a lawnmower is a simple machine that only has one job, cut grass. I would be beating on Scags door until they could make it do that job.:angry:

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