step down or formed blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by teach, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. teach

    teach LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I have a Bob-Cat 52" Z with 19 hp. The blades are not straight. They curve downward from the center to the ends. My dealer said that are called step down or formed blades. Why are they made this way? Is there any advantage. Thanks for your info!
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    They are made that way to lower the cutting surface of the blade down lower in the deck than would be possible otherwise. Bob-Cat and a few other brands run these blade types instead of adding spacers, ect, because they use a short spindle assembly.
  3. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    They also seem to throw the clippings better than something like a gator blade. I love the cut from my Bob-Cat.
  4. teach

    teach LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks for your replies. Now I know why my blades are "bent".
  5. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    I have em on my Bunton. By having the cutting surface lower, airflow is increased. Great cut!

    I don't think I could use these on my Exmark Turf Tracer but would love to. Has anyone tried this setup? Does it work or is blow-out too major?
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    If it's a fixed deck, I'm sure you might be able to make them work by removing a spacer or something. But with the regular spindles like the riders have, they would be close, maybe even too low. I tried them on the Yazoo's and they rode as low as possible in the deck without being out of it. But there was more blowout, which didn't matter a lot because those machines could be classified as front discharge without the mulch kit in place anyways.

    With the mulch kit in place, they would clear the L lip at the discharge blocker, but I could tell they were too close to operate under load. They would have flexed down and made contact.

    So I just gave up on them on the Yazoo's and never tried them on the eXmark.
  7. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 953

    Would there be a way to use shorter spindles?
  8. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    John Deere uses step down blades on their 7 iron decks. With the step down blades, I can use a shorter blade on the bottom for my double blade setup that I run on my 7 Iron decks. :)

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