Mulching Blades vs. High Lift

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NCGreenWorx, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. NCGreenWorx

    NCGreenWorx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a 48" Lesco walk behind and a 36" Bobcat walk behind. I like mulching to keep the grass clippings on the lawn and have these gator blades. I used them some in the fall when the leaves were down but used the high lift blades last spring. I was thinking that I would leave on the gator blades and mulch all year. What is your experience with mulching blades? Does it leave a cleaner cut or does it clump up on the right side of the deck?


  2. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    Some people on here will tell a completely different story, but I went from using high lifts to gator style blades on my exmarks, and didnt notice one bit of difference at all! Even with the chute blocked and mulching leaves last fall, I thought both types of blades performed exactly the same. but maybe it depends on which mower it is used on?
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    mulching blades don't work as well in thick, damp heavy growth. They will chop up the clipping smaller then a high lift resulting in clumping. Under normal conditions (average growth) they work great. There's a difference between the two.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    depends a lot on your grasses and if you have a lot of dew and or lush growth. Highlifts are the only way to go if you have these conditions, gators will chew up the grass better, but when it's wet you get the deck packed full and a lot less discharge distance = clumps. Gator blades don't have nearly the amount of "lift" as highlifts do so your cut quality may suffer, especially on stringy stuff or weeds that need the suction to pull them up for a clean cut. Without the suction they may just lay over and not be cut fully.

    That's how it is here, and gator blades, for myself personally, are only used in the fall to help shread leaves.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  6. GrassIsGreenerLawnCare

    GrassIsGreenerLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 636

    im also using gator blades on my gravely. havent used it much so i was interested to hear reviews as well. got a pair of reg blades just in case they turn out to be ****
  7. GreenmanCT

    GreenmanCT LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 557

    i ran a mulch kit on my 48 w/b.......if its your only mower, i wouldnt do the mulch kit. It slowed me down alot,

    I prefer the gator blades, it still cuts great, and chops it up just enoough to you dont have the clippings laying on the lawn. and you can bag with them to, so its the best of both worlds.
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I think the gators suck for mulching grass...they just mash it up and make a mess.
  9. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    In FL i used gator blades year round with no problems becuse the blades of grass are flat and course so they cut easier even though the turf is so much thicker. Here in TN the gator blades do a fine job in early spring and in fall but when the grass gets growing quick the high lift seen to be the way to go. It lifts any weeds and low blades and leaves a very nice cut. My mower will through grass clipping about 15', but they are not mulched up so I raise the deck and make like 3 passes and its all gone. The high lift blades will not work good if your chute is blocked.
  10. Manorscape

    Manorscape LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 123

    My experience with gator style blades has not been good. They do not do any one thing great, and do most things average.

    They do not bag that well. They shred average when side discharging. They are terrible with a full mulch kit. They leave stringers more than any other combination I have ever tried.

    They stripe awful for me, too.

    This all includes double blade setups as well. As soon as I add a gator style to the mix I get stringers. I could never figure out what the heck was going on...everyone else seems to love using a gator up top of a medium lift blade.

    The Raptor style designs have been great for me so far, but I am sure it varies from deck to deck. I have all Toro SFS decks meant for discharging or bagging, since there is no front chamber baffle for the blades. They shred nicely, discharge well and not as far as high lifts or any double blade combo, and work GREAT with my mulch kit installed (when conditions of growth allow). They leave a nice stripe and have great lift on par with the bagging blade that is standard on the SFS decks. The problem with them is, when bagging they fill the bag tight as all heck and you dont realize until you finally see a line of shredded grass form when it cant get into the bag anymore. Makes for a heavy and difficult to dump bag. :rolleyes:

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