Tell me about mower blades. Low lift, high lift, gators etc

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by apples017, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. apples017

    apples017 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    So my biggest question is regarding engine hp and or rpm.

    1. If I have a low lift blade will the engine hold it's rev's better in thick grass compared to using high lifts?

    2. Will high lifts cause blow out around the deck, ie on the other side?

    My thinking is that a high lift blade will throw the grass out of the deck better, which will allow the cutting edge to be exposed quicker, therefore you drive faster etc. But I'm now thinking that a low lift blade may have reduced wind drag purely from the tang on the end being smaller with lower lift.

    Would this higher tang part make much difference to engine rpm etc?

    We have had a **** load of rain and the grass is starting to go bonkers. The native couch is really, really thick down the back and the old girl is really bogging down in it.

    My blades are high lifts and I have bend them up even further. Fantastic for throwing the grass into the rear catcher. But I guess every thing is a compromise right.... Because the blades are now really really high lifts, I feel that this has caused a loss in cutting power, and is also causing the blow out of grass.

    What do you all think.

    And what about gator blades.

    What is this double blade talk?

  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,941

    Yes, low lift blades will require less power to drive them. Discharge force will be less, meaning a potential poor clipping distribution, and unable to load bagger.

    However, the quality of cut will most likely be much poorer. In my experience, the lower lift blades leave many stringers. My lawns are cool weather grasses, ones that will grow very well in the Spring. With the heavy growth, the mower will go through the tall growth, but the outcome is unacceptable in terms of quality.

    The higher lift blades will lift the grass better for cutting. This means more of the grass will be cut off, and the final cut surface will be smoother. For me, that is important.

    Mulching blades have a lesser lift, as these blades are intended to recut clippings and have them fall back to the ground. Using a high lift with mulch kit will not work, as the clippings will be kept under the deck too long, being held against the upper surface of the deck. The operation can come to a halt because the deck is too badly clogged with clippings -- not enough debris has been allowed to drop out from under the deck.

    I don't know what mower you are using. I have two hand mowers, an Exmark w/b and John Deere ZTR. I use quad-cut blades on the Honda hand mower, high lift on the Toro Proline hand mower, and high lift blades on the w/b and ZTR for grass. I do use Gator blades on the w/b and ZTR during leaf mulching season in the Fall.

    I'm sure your seasons are much different than mine, mowing starts about April 1, and ends near the end of November, sometimes as early as end of October for poorer lawns. My heavy growth period is between April 15 and June 15 (roughly), but may also have another period in the Fall (Sept 10 to Oct 15), depending upon weather.

    Remember, conditions vary so widely because of type of grass and growth rates that what works for one LCO does not work very well for another. You will have to experiment to learn what works best for your conditions.
  3. exmark user

    exmark user LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 460

    Never use Gator Blades!!!!!!!!

    They cut horrible!!!!!!!!!!
  4. ALC-GregH

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


    I had very different results. I love them on my Scag.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,941

    Statement confirmed in only two posts! Thank you.
  6. exmark user

    exmark user LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 460

    The blades on my scag cut horrible with gators, probaly our type of grass and soil in tn
    (when i had a scag)

    That piece
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I have a 23hp/52" wright sentar. I put on some Extra high lifts and the engine just can hardly handle cutting grass. It's not has bad mowing weekly accounts, but as far as bi-weekly accounts, forget about it.
    Strawbrige Lawn Care likes this.
  8. The high lift G6 Gator blades by Oregon will be the only type of blade that I buy from now on for my Bob-Cat. The cut quality is better with the front mulching baffle in place though.
  9. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I have a Scag walk-behind and a Bob-Cat walk behind, and have always run the stock blades on both. They are high-lifts on the Bob-Cat and medium-lift on the Scag. I have mostly Bermuda lawns here, and I bag a fair amount of grass. They both work well, but I prefer the Bob-Cat with the high-lifts for bagging and making a yard look really clean. I suppose I should play around with other types of blades and see if I like anything else.
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  10. BINKY1902

    BINKY1902 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from South
    Messages: 1,123

    I like high lift gators in early spring when there are still some leaves and weeds. I leave my mulch kit on normally for the first month of the cutting season, because there is more presence of debris. Then I put on regular high-lifts and start discarging. High lifts do require more engine power, but are a must around here to pick up the bahia.

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