‘Tis the season–to start mowing again. But with mowing comes grass clippings which can have an impact on the health of your yard. You should consider what kind of lawnmower blades you should use throughout the spring and summer. It’s vital to know so that you can make the most out of this weekly chore.
In this article, we’ll discuss the various kinds of blades, their purposes, and why the lift is important in considering which one to use.
A common misconception about lawn mowers is that all blades are the same. This is, in fact, very untrue. You may be surprised to learn that lawn mower blades are created with vast differences. As an example, here are a few of the most common types of lawn mower blades that your lawn mower may have.
Mulching blades generally feature an elongated cutting edge that takes up a majority of the blade’s space. There are a variety of mulching blades available, but as a rule of thumb, each mulching blade serves the same function: chopping grass into small, mulch-like pieces. This style of blade eliminates the need for hauling around heavy bags of clippings.
It even has a positive effect on the earth and environment, as thin layers of clippings are left on the ground to act as fertilizer for grass and greenery in the area. It’s important to note that lawn mowers with mulching blades do not come with bags for bagging clippings.
Most high-lift blades are used in standard lawn mowers of the push and ride varieties. Their unique design maximizes airflow which ultimately means a clean, crisp cut and faster bagging of the cut clippings.
It also means a lower chance of clogging, as the clippings move faster through the chute and into the bag, leaving less time for the chute to become blocked. They can be identified by their rear end, which will usually feature a blade that is angled sharply upward.
Unlike standard and low lift blades, high lift blades are designed to suck up the chopped grass and blow it into a bag. High lift blades are great for mulching purposes. Alternatively, they can be great for when you want your yard to look pristine and to dispose of those grass clippings in another manner.
These blades are more curved than standard and low lift blades in order to maximize lift.
Mulching blades are designed to create a lot of lift as well as chop the grass into smaller pieces. This is so that it can fall to the ground easier rather than dust the top of the cut grass. Manufacturers made them so that you can cut your grass and effectively mulch your yard at the same time.
Low Lift Blades
These blades are recommended for side discharging decks and sandy locations. These blades create a lower amount of lift. This allows grass to still be collected, but lower to the ground.
If you have no intention to collect the cut grass for alternative disposal methods of mulching, this may be a better choice over standard blades.
These blades are well-known, as they are the go-to blade for many basic lawn mower brands. They have horizontal rotations and have slightly curved edges that work to generate a moderate, continuous air flow.
When the grass is cut, these kinds of blades send the clippings flying sideways. You’ve most likely seen in the movies and on TV. Best suited for large areas and long grass, they are also known as deck blades by many lawn mower manufacturers. All in all, they are the most commonplace type of blade.
Most lawnmowers come with standard blades, which are straight blades with very minimal curvature at each end. These blades can get the job done, especially if you’re going to be cutting your grass at regular intervals that there are minimal clippings.
These blades create a moderate level of lift, which means that it will suck the grass clippings from the ground. Then, the blades will discharge them out of the side of the deck. These blades are often referred to as 2-in-1 blades.
Gator blades are a great, 3-in-1 solution. They combine medium lift (both high and low) with mulching technology, making the mower they are attached to capable of various cutting tasks.
Possibly the easiest blade to pick out by eye, they have distinct serrated edges at both ends of the main cutting edge. They’re ideal for all-year use, but each included feature falls short in terms of power, as compromises need to be made to enable each of the three.
Mulching vs Non-Mulching Blades
The most significant difference between mulching and non-mulching blades is how the grass is cut, collected, and then distributed back into the yard or into a bag.
Non-mulching blades pull the grass up and cut it. Then, depending on the level of lift, they spit it out. These blades are also ideal if you’re wanting to collect other yard debris such as leaves, pine needles, and other forms of debris.
Mulching blades, on the other hand, pull the grass up and cut it. Then once it is cut, the lift pulls the clipped grass up where it continues to be chopped a number of times before being distributed back into the yard or into a bag. It is the extra level of chopping that these 3-in-1 blades provide that make it more versatile.
Regardless of blade type, blades should be replaced every one or two years, depending on use frequency and general care and maintenance. Replacement blades can be found online for quite cheap, as well as in many hardware stores. As mentioned, since standard blades are the most common, they are also the easiest to find replacement wise. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the kinds of blades you should look out for.
You can’t go wrong with any of these blades. However, you should carefully consider what you would like happen to all of those grass clippings in order to make the most use out of your electric lawnmower.