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Meg-mo system review (this oughta bring out the hate)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ridin' Green, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979

    Please read the first paragraph carefully to help avoid alot of unwanted BSfrom being posted in this thread. Thanks.:)

    First, this thread is not to promote, nor to bash the Meg-Mo system. It is a review of it that I told Meg-mo that I would post about his product, good, bad or indifferent. It is about my experience with the Meg-mo system on my current ZTR period. I’d appreciate any input from those who’ve actually used it, and I’d also appreciate it if those who “think” it sucks would just stay out of this thread unless they have a legitimate question. I’ve heard all the negative stuff enough times now, and it won’t serve any purpose to have more of it here. I know that a lot of guys like to make fun of the both the system and the Meg-mo sponsor, and I admit to doing so a bit in the past, mainly because of the way that the Meg-mo sponsor writes and spells when he posts here on LS, and some of their claims for the system have been outrageous IMO, but I won't go into all of that here because it would serve no useful purpose.

    Last fall, very late in the year, Meg-mo offered 20 free sets of his blades to anyone who wanted to try the system after one particular thread where there were a lot of negative posts about the system and him both. I saw the post with the offer almost immediately after he made it, but decided to pass at first after hearing so many people say it wasn’t worth the price, or didn’t work at all. Then about a day and a half later I saw that he had posted that he still had 12 sets left to give away, so I figured why not? The best way to learn is with hands on experience IMO. Besides, free is free. Even the shipping was free. Can’t match, or even find a deal like that very often, and I would be out nothing if I didn’t like them. I called and talked to the guy, and found he is a nice guy to talk to on the phone. I told him what machine I had, and he made up a set and sent them on their way to me almost immediately. I received them within a couple days (the second afternoon after the night a I talked to him IIRC). I say he made up a set, because I have a Deere ZTR, and they have the humped blades, so he had to weld on a couple spacers to make his equal out to mine in height of cut (supposedly, but more on that later).

    They are interesting blades for sure. The replaceable blades are sharpened on both sides, but a sail is bent up into one side which makes reversing them impossible, and then they are attached to the center hub. The blades weren’t razor sharp, but they were as sharp as any other brand I have bought new. Since winter was upon us here in MI, I set them aside in my shop and kind of forgot about them. Since the spring growth rush here was so short, and then the drought hit us, there hasn’t been a lot of mowing this year until lately, so again, they were sort of forgotten about. After the monsoon we had a week or two back, the grass started greening up and growing again. I saw the Meg-Mo blades up on a shelf and thought, why not give them a try now?

    I mounted them to my Z950 60” MOD deck, and started trying them out on my own lawn (which I take pretty good care of and have kept watered all summer) first, before I would ever think about using them on a customer's lawn. The first thing I noticed was the sound was very unique and a bit quieter compared to the high lifts I normally run. The second thing I noticed was that these suckers really send the clippings flying. As I was mowing, I had the sun at my back and I could clearly see the clippings were coming out smaller than any other blade I have ever used had chopped them with the exception of the OEM wavy blades and a full mulch kit. 3-5” clippings were coming out the discharge chute at around ¾”. Pretty impressive IMO. Another thing I noticed was that there weren’t any stringers across the width of the cut- except for one place at the left side of the center blade, which I at first thought may be coming from the left caster, but it didn't line up with anything on the machine, including the left caster. I was getting a strip of only partially cut grass about 8” wide at that point. I say partially, because while it was shorter than the uncut grass, it was still about an inch or so taller than the rest of the swath, and rough looking. I also noticed that there was a little trail of uncut grass at the left side of the deck, apparently from blowout.

    I went and parked back in the shop and lifted the front of the machine and started looking around to see what the heck was going on with the cut. The first thing I noticed was that the spacers he had welded on to the top side of the center disk was causing the blades to ride lower in the deck than any other blade does, which I believed to be causing the left side blowout. The second thing was that the uncut strip was right where I thought it was- between the left and center blades, but mainly the left side of the center blade. I couldn’t see any reason for it other than the way the MOD deck is baffled for all the moving gates it has etc. There are also two small removable baffles under the deck at the rear where each rear skirt comes up to a point between the blades. It seems that the airflow is being disturbed by the four bladed disks enough to cause some sort of turbulence effect and leaving the strip uncut. I had the two baffles already out, so I tried it with them installed and went back and cut some more. It was better, but still not right, and now I was getting some stringers and that annoying tall 8” uncut strip. Back to the shop, and up in the air. I removed the right side baffle, but left the left side baffle in and tried it again. Better, but still not right. It appears that with this deck, and the way it is baffled underneath, the airflow of the Meg-Mo system from the left blade hits the airflow of the center blade about dead center and is causing some sort of turbulence that makes the grass bend down away from the cutting edges at that point. By installing that small baffle on the left side, it forces the airstream to the front of the deck more (which helped some with the uncut strip, but not enough), where it moves towards the right and on out. With both removable baffles under there, it is too tightly baffled with these blades. Though they don’t have near the amount of height of lift that the OEM blades do, the sail is fairly sharply curved upwards, and there are four of them per rotor, so they move the air about equal in volume to the OEM high lifts.

    The next day I went out to the shop and looked at the whole thing again. I decided to try and grind off the spacers which had located the whole unit on the spindle, but first I had to enlarge the center hole which originally came for my unit drilled the same size as the spindle bolt and would not aid in locating the unit without enlarging it, which I did with a hole saw that I had that fit perfectly inside the spacer’s center hole, allowing me to enlarge the center hole of the rotor itself dead center. Then I took out the angle grinder and ground off the spacer welds, and removed the spacers. Next I ground off any remaining welding, and mounted them again. By grinding off the spacers it allowed the blade/rotor assembly to move farther up into the deck and the cutting edges were basically at the same exact height as the OEM cutting edges had been, which should improve suction and eliminate the left side blowout, which it did nicely. If you have another brand of mower, you most likely wouldn’t need, or get the welded on spacers unless your unit has humped blades like the Deere Z’s.

    I started right next to where I had left off before, and there was a marked difference in cut now, but I still had the uncut strip where the left and center blades meet. No stringers or any other issues, just that stupid strip. If it wasn’t for that strip, these things would be on my mower for the remainder of the season (and if I can come up with a solution for the uncut strip, they will be), but if I can’t get the QOC that I need, I’m not going to waste my time. I believe that if I had these things mounted under the std 7 Iron II I had on my Z720 last year, or under an open deck design like the Velocity Plus and maybe even the VX4 they’d perform beautifully. I do have a 60” deck for my CUT that I have stored away, and these will fit on it perfectly. I may get it down and mount them to use for the leaves this fall. Maybe….. we’ll see, since one of the biggest reasons I went with the MOD was for leaves. I have a white birch that is starting to drop leaves already, and when I made a pass over them, they almost completely disappeared. The pieces left behind were so small that they had already dropped down in between the blades of grass by the time I went over to look at them, and were about one sixth the size of the full leaves, and that was with the MOD in the open position, and one pass over them. That was very impressive to me from a side discharge pass that usually doesn’t do more than cut these particular leaves into two or three large pieces on the first pass while they’re still soft like they are right now.

    I won’t tell anyone that these are the best blades you can buy, nor that they do everything that Meg-mo claims ( no vaporization, no hazmat suits required, or anything like that for those who here know about that issue :laugh:), but they do mulch both leaves and grass like crazy, and except for that one spot in between the two blades on my deck, they cut beautifully, and discharge as well as, or better than the OEM high lifts do.

    In the end, on another deck, they may be awesome for all around use, but they aren't worth it under a MOD deck in my experience so far. I think that they'd be worth the selling price for most professional LCO's either, but for a homeowner with an open deck design they are definately worth checking out.

    BTW- I didn't bother with pics, because I couldn't get that strip to show up accurately.
  2. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    Thanks for the thought out post!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    So to sum it all up; you didn't like it on your JD and would probably not recommend it if your using it on a daily basis. Also, It chops clippings into tiny pieces.

    Very good review, thanks for taking the time to write it up!
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979

    You're welcome.
    I told him I would, and I like to keep my word:).
  5. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    Send them on down here, I'll try them on my vx4.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Sounds like the bottom line is you tried your best to get them to work but you just couldn't get a satisfactory cut quality out of them. If you look carefully at the demo video they have on their website you will see the same kind of shaggy appearance that I think you're describing.

    I can't believe you used them without respiratory protection! LOL
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979


    I was think of that the whole time I was trying them. I think I did hold at least one hand over my mouth and nose when I first started cuttting just in case. I was thinking about you and that other thread while typing this review, and chuckling the entire time.:laugh:
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979

    Believe it or not, I had actually thought about that last night when I posted this, since I knew you have a new SZ. I want to see if I can get them to work on my CUT first though. What size center hole does your blades have?
  9. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,429

    Me and 3 of my customers that I deal with on a weekly basis are using them on 61" Bad Boy Outlaws, and so far they are impressive in our southern grasses. They tend to have a little blow out on the front left side that when very dry get you a little dirty when not moving full speed. My Grasshopper rep is putting a set on his 72" Hopper because one of his bigger dealers sells alot on the Grasshoppers so he wanted to see what the hype was about. Full report coming soon I am sure.
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979

    Thanks for the post. Have any of you ever experienced anything even similar to what I am?

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