Which Are The
Do you have a lawnmower and want to know the best mower blades for your regular mowing needs but also want to mulch your grass clippings from time to time? So why don’t we talk about the best lawnmower blades for these kinds of tasks? Lawnmower blades are designed to produce a kind of lift while it cuts. So whenever the blades cut there’s also the lifting action that happens thanks to their curvy designs which enable them to cut and vacuum the grass upward so that cutting the grass would be more precise.
There are different types of lawnmower blades which are designed to vary their lifting actions. So if you want your grass clippings to get discharged either on the side or at the back, you have to consider blades that are curvy for a more powerful vacuum and swirling actions with the cut grass. But if you want to just cut the grass and leave the clippings laying on the grass to let it decompose and become organic fertilizer for your grass, there are also blades that are curvier than the regular blades that cannot just lift the grass or discharge but can also cut it and leave the grass on the lawn. We call these blades the “mulching blades”.
In this article, we shall talk about the best mower blades and all the other types of mower blades that are available in today’s market. We want you to have wider options because not only people look for the regular blades and the mulching blades but also unique blades such as the self sharpening mower blades, heavy duty mower blades, best high lift mower blades, and the best mower blades for zero turn. We shall also talk about the qualities of the best aftermarket mower blades which are the cheapest kinds but also reliable and efficient.
Major Types of
There are five major types of lawnmower blades. And though they may differ mainly in their curves, they can have great differences in how they perform. We described these types below and also their uses:
The Standard Blades
We also call this the regular deck blades. Considered as the most common types of mower blades, these are very suitable for wet and dry mowing. Its slight curves on the edge are what generates the continuous flow of air and create a slight sucking and cutting action as the blade spins horizontally.
These blades can discharge grass debris sideways so they are usually preferred by gardeners for this capability. Experts say these are the best mower blades for cutting thick and dense kind of grass but not ideal for lawns with lots of terrains and slopes.
Low Lift Blades
These types of blades have a slight vertical swoop shape with a light lift curve. This shape provides a low sucking power to the grass so it can be lifted but will stay low just right for it to be side-discharged. According to many landscapers, these are some of the best lawnmower blades for the side-discharge action and they prefer these blades for mowing lawns with terrains with soft ground and also on sandy soil.
High Lift Blades
These are what people call the best high lift mower blades because they have a more vertical swoop shape compared to the low lift blades which enable them to create a fan-like suction so these are the best choice for bagging. Their shapes can reduce the potential of the cut grass to clog underneath the mowing deck. These are also the ideal mower blades if you have to deal with tall, compact grass. However, these blades require stronger motors for torque. So before buying your high lift mower blades, make sure you have a strong horsepower engine for more powerful torque.
The new mulching blades are known to be the all-around blades because you can use them to mulch, do side-discharge and bagging. All you need to do is choose a mulching blade that can be accommodated by the size of your lawnmower’s deck and install deflectors if you want to use it solely for mulching.
What makes the mulching blades special is their deeper curved at the back of the blade. This allows the cut grass to be pulled up while the innermost curve of the blade generates air pressure that will make the grass clippings to go up and down the blades before it lands back to the ground in shreds. Mulching blades are also known as 3-in-1 blades because they can be used for bagging, side-discharge and mulching.
3-in-1 Gator Blades
Among the best lawnmower blades that are in the mulching category, these are the most sought after. They actually have the same curves as the regular mulching blades but the backside of the blades has serrated-like teeth thus they are called the “gator blades”.
These types of blades can also do 3-in-1 functions: bagging, side-discharge and mulching. They also do the same lifting motion to the grass. But the most unique thing about them is that they can cut grass clippings in a more shredded form that’s why if grass clumping is a problem, mowers prefer these kinds of blades.
However, some people have second thoughts about buying the gator blades because of their serrated features which as they say look menacingly sharp and accordingly may pose danger if they happen to break loose. But so far, we have not heard of anyone who had an accident using the gator mulching blades.
Self Sharpening Mower Blades – Are They for Real?
A lot of our friends are asking, are there really the kinds of self sharpening mower blades? Well, our answer is yes and they are what some people call in the lawnmower industry the new breeds of lawnmower blades. Accordingly, these blades do not require regular sharpening unlike with regular blades that need to be sharpened about every after 20 hours of use. On actual tests, they can last 60 hours without sharpening and can still cut precisely. So what are the qualities of these blades that make them super tough and require only less sharpening?
These blades, technically speaking, do not sharpen themselves as you imagine but can retain their sharpness because they have additional layers of tough metal blades as a back-up. There are different methods in toughening the blades of the self sharpening mower blades. The first method is the application of the second layer of very hard material underneath the blade. Once the sharp steel part of the blade starts to erode due to continuous mowing, this hard surface which is also sharp begins to expose itself. So the more you continue mowing and the more the steel blade wears out, the more the 2nd layer gets exposed. This second layer of hard metal is more resistant to corrosion, friction and erosion.
The second method in the fabrication of the self sharpening mower blades is the use of laser technology which they call the “laser edge”. There’s no addition of a second layer to toughen up the bottom layer of their blades but the laser itself treats the metal underneath the blades so that when the steel part of the blade erodes, the laser-treated blade comes as a backup. Unlike with other self-sharpening blades made by other manufacturers that have rough surfaces with their toughened metals, the laser-treated blades have more refined and smoother surfaces.
Heavy Duty Mower Blades – How Tough Are These?
The best mower blades should always be tough so that they won’t get damaged easily by hard objects as you mow. In other words, you should only rely on heavy duty mower blades. So how would you know that the blade is of commercial-grade? The so-called heavy duty blades are naturally wear resistant. They don’t require regular and intensive sharpening and they can last much long hours of use compared to their cheaper counterparts.
Commercial or heavy-duty mower blades are extra-ordinary. They are heavily-built, thicker, harder and more resistant to wearing out. To know if you are buying heavy-duty mower blades or just the ordinary types of lawn mower blades, visit the manufacturer’s website and see how they produce their products. You can also rely on the brand of the lawnmower blade. So if the manufacturer is a world-renowned brand and has years of experience in the manufacturing of lawn mower blades, there is a strong probability that you’ll get what you pay for with your mower blades.
The main method in creating heavy-duty blades is by using special heat treatments and tempering processes to harden the metal blades. The more the metal gets tempered, the more probability of making it tough and heavy-duty made and will last longer.
Best High Lift Mower Blades
Why some people prefer to have the best high lift mower blades is because of several reasons. First, they can get the best cut on the grass giving the turf a very neat appearance. This is why these blades are also called the “all-condition blades”. These are designed to produce better suction power and enable the grass to be expelled forcefully either going into the bag or thru the side of the mower.
The design of the high lift blades is high angled at the back of the blade to generate a high amount of air circulation thus can prevent the wet grass clippings to stick underneath the deck even the turf is a bit damp. Compared to the low-lift mower blades which best perform on short, dry grass, the high lift mower blades are also seen as the best lawnmower blades in preventing clogging which can hamper mowing activities.
So what’s the difference between the low-lift and the high-lift mower blades? Initially, they have different degrees in angle particularly on their curves at the back of the blades. That’s why they also create different levels of sucking power from underneath the blades. Low-lift blades, because they only have minimal sucking power, are more preferred for use on dry and short grass. But the high-lift mower blades can also do better both on long and short grass and also on dry and damp grass. With higher airflow, they can produce more forceful sucking and expelling power as they have larger wind wings that increase airflow.
Best Mower Blades for Zero Turn
The zero-turn (ZTR) lawnmowers are said to be more innovative mowing machines than the regular tractor lawnmowers. You can drive it around trees, go to edges and can make sharp U-turns on lawns. Because of their capabilities and their wider deck size, they also require mower blades that are tough, thicker and longer than the regular mower blades.
The best mower blades for zero turn can have lengths from 42 to 61 inches and you have a choice either for the high-lift or the mulching blades. At a length of 61 inches, the zero-turn mower can have a single blade installed. People who own the ZTRs have different opinions in choosing their best mower blades for their machines. Accordingly, the high-lift blade types are better for bagging and discharging especially for side-discharge.
On the other hand, a lot of ZTRs are now installed with mulching blades, particularly the serrated types like the gator blades. Lots of people wanted these for their ZTRs because of their capability to mulch large tracts of lawns and yards. And there’s also called the newest in the lawnmower blade technology which are the self sharpening mower blades. Some of these blades can stay sharp for more than 60 hours because their blades were either layered with additional hardened metals or the other side of the blades were treated with laser technology to make them harder, tougher, and resistant to breakage and corrosion.
Best Aftermarket Mower Blades
Now that we have come to the part on how to find the best aftermarket mower blades, let us explain first what is meant by the term “aftermarket” in relation to mower blades. Aftermarket mower blades are basically replacement parts that were not manufactured by the original manufacturers. These are used as replacement blades but their effectiveness compared to the original blades can be satisfactory. Moreover, the aftermarket mower blades are cheaper to buy and some of them can also perform much like the original products.
Unfortunately, there are no warranties with almost all of the aftermarket mower blades so if you intend to purchase the aftermarket products, make sure you are ready to gamble with their efficiency and durability. Some people call the aftermarket products “fakes” but we want to call them the best imitations you can ever get at very affordable prices. They may not perform and last as the original products or the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products but they are the best choice if you want quick and easy replacements and they are also cheaper and widely available.
You can also prefer to buy the OEM products which are either made by the original manufacturer as replacement parts but most of these products are consigned to other manufacturing companies that bear the brand of the original manufacturers. These products are more reliable than most of the aftermarket mower blades and some of them have warranties but expect that they are more expensive even with the best aftermarket mower blades in the market.
Lawn mower blades are essential parts of our lawnmowers that are made with varying types to provide us with different options. The best mower blades should not, however, be expensive but still reliable even if this is an aftermarket product. Lawnmower blades are expensive pieces of tools but if you know where to find the best aftermarket mower blades, it’s like finding a treasure chest among the unreliable product imitations.
So as a last reminder, before you buy your mower blade for replacement, there are few things you should also consider. Will you need your next blade to be high-lift or the mulching type? Do you regularly mow your grass like once in 5 days or only twice a month? If you are on a regular schedule with your lawn and don’t want to keep your grass long, then consider taking on the mulching blades. These are better for cutting short blades of grass without turning your lawn into a mess.
But if you have an irregular schedule with your mowing task and always wait till your grass grows a few inches more, then there are the 3-in-1 blades that are suitable for bagging, side-discharge and mulching. Moreover, you have to remember that the blades of your mowers should always be maintained sharp and you can do these by using the best mower blade sharpeners which we will discuss in our other article.