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Question on ztr blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bulldogg, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. bulldogg

    bulldogg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I keep hearing bout high lift blades. I asked my dealer and he said that the only they help with is striping. Is that true? What are the best blades to use. I have always had the Gator blades. I was thinking about switching over to a mulching setup on my exmark, what are your thoughts on that as well?
  2. JimQ

    JimQ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,139

    I'm going to speak in generalities here. The truth is, there is no precise answer to your question.

    I call blades "high-lift" when the sail is taller than one inch. The length of the sail also effects the amount of lift. The longer the sail, the more lift.

    High lift blades are good at lifting and cutting "wimpy" or "limp" grass types. That means primarly Northern grass types, Southern grass types tend to support themselves and don't need to be lifted to be cut.

    High lifts generally improve discharge performance in all conditions but at the same time can make blowout worse. They also consume more engine power, that translates to fuel.

    There is a black art to blade selection. The only way you'll ever know how the blade is going to work under your deck is to try it on the properties you maintain.

    Why do you want to mulch? Safety? Customer requirement? Mulching will slow you down and lower your productivity. Side discharge is more productive than mulching.

    If you decide you want/need to mulch, the Micro-Mulch kit for the UltraCut works great. Get the kit, don't settle for a discharge blocker plate and a set of mulching blades. You'll end up with a trail of clippings on the right side of the deck.

    Hope this helps,

  3. bulldogg

    bulldogg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    It does help out. The reason for the mulching is customer requests. I have hd teh large majority of my customers want me to mulch instead of discharge.

    I was told the high lift blades help with striping. I do not have a stripe kit on my mower, it does ok with stripes without it but I want to get a little more definition on my stripes. Maybe I just need to buy the stripe kit.
  4. JimQ

    JimQ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,139

    Well, stripes are just the result of brushing the grass over in the direction the mower is traveling.

    A high lift might change the look of the look of the stripe but I think if you're after stripes, there are better ways.

    When the UltraCut is setup properly, it stripes pretty nicely even without the kit. For discharge, try the notched blades that come standard on the UltraCut and bring the pitch down close to flat. This allows the back edge of the deck to brush the grass forward after it's been cut.

    I've never used a striping roller with a mulch kit. I'd be a little worried that it would gather clippings. I'll bet there is someone out there that can chime in with some real-world experience.

    Good Luck!


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