What Makes a Good Cut?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnyogi, May 2, 2004.

  1. lawnyogi

    lawnyogi LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 73

    What are the main qualities in the machine (mower) that makes the the best cut? Is there ever a significant difference in any of the big name brands?

    (I think this might be percieved as ford vs. chevy type thread - I know we all have opinions - but I would like to know the actual science if you can help.)

  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Deep deck,Flow control baffles, High lift blades and blade speed.


  3. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    The single most important factor is blade sharpness. Other factors like blade tip speed and deck design contribute as well, but sharp blades are the key to a good looking cut.
  4. lawnyogi

    lawnyogi LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 73

    Thanks for the lesson! :D
  5. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Dont forget about the jockey!
    Anybody can ride a lawnmower BUT not everybody can mow a lawn. It's not the machine, it's the operator that counts.
  6. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    The wider the deck the smoother the lawn looks.
    1. you don't have to go back and forth as much.
    2. The larger the deck, the more it smooths out any irregularity's in the lawn.

    Like the other guys said. Sharp high lift blades with a fast tip speed.

    Also the wider the tires the smoother the finished cut looks. Walk behinds with narrow wheels leave wheel marks. ZTR'S or riders with fat tires makes the yard look much better in my opinion.
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Couldn't disagree more with that last post.

    Ask yourself.....

    If big decks give the best cut, why do they bother to make smaller decks? Just to get through gates? And those big decks do "smooth out the irregularities....by scalping the high spots off! I think it's just common sense that if you have a curve radius on a rolling piece of terrain that is small and a large deck you can't cut the grass at an even height accross its entire width. A flat plane survace and a curved arc just don't match up. The bigger the deck, the more that is apparent.

    I WISH what he said was true, but I've had to keep smaller deck mowers around for years to handle turf that really shows the cut flaws from bigger decks. (Bermudagrass)

    Those fat tires will also rip the heck out of the turf if you manage to pivot one in place by accident. A wb's smaller tires and lighter weight tend to be more forgiving of that.

    As for tire size, it's all relative. While a wb may have smaller tires, it also weighs less. GROUND PRESSURE is what you have to go by. Unless you have really small tires, that shouldn't be a factor in cut quality. I don't leave ruts w/ ZTR tires and I don't leave them with realtively small wb tires.

    CHUCK'SLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    what I found is sharp, high lift blades and most importantly pitch on the mower deck. 1/8" to 3/16" forward pitch gives that carpet look cut.

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