Are Mulching Blades better
There are two main types of lawn mower blades and these are the standard and the newer mulching blades. Some people say that the regular lawn mower blades are still better than the mulching types but other people say they prefer to use the best mulching blade type because it offers advantages that regular blades cannot provide. So what is the difference between these two and what are their pros and cons if compared?
First, there are things you should know about the regular lawn mower blades and the lawn mower mulching blades with regards to their differences in designs, usage, and performance. So once we have identified their features and benefits you may realize which of these types could be better used for your lawns.
The standard lawn mower blades are the usual types of blades that most people use because they offer an easy discharge feature for grass clippings. Here, we are referring to bagging and side discharge. The mulching blades, however, are best for cutting up grass into small pieces so that these clippings could serve as mulch and turn into organic fertilizers for the grass. Mulching not only benefits the grass but also the soil microorganisms which help in improving the condition of the soil. Yet, there are certain conditions where you should not use the mulching blades and we shall discuss these further below.
Regular Lawn Mower Bladess
The most obvious difference between the standard lawn mower blades and the mulching blades is their shapes or shall we say their “curvatures”. The standard blades are designed with a high-lift cut to make them more aerodynamic and be able to lift grass after cutting it and throw it out by fanning motion either through side discharge or through the back and directly into the bag. This is why these blades are more often referred to as 2-in-1 blades for the side discharge and bagging features. If you do not want to mulch your grass and want to see a clean-cut mowed grass, these blades are the best options.
Mulching blades are two kinds: the standard mulching blades and the gator (toothed blades). The standard types have a very distinct curved design and can create a whirlwind like suction as it cuts grass into shred. Moreover, these types of blades are not great for bagging and side discharging. The gator mulching blades, on the other hand, are designed like more improved versions of the standard mulching blades so they are known to be the hybrid types and also called the 3-in-1 mulching blades. This is because they can do not only mulching but also side discharging and bagging.
The most distinguishable feature of the gator blades is their raised teeth behind the curved cutting edges. These teeth are raised and a bit twisted to create better sucking power and lifting circulation while keeping the grass clippings stay under the cutting deck. These blades are more preferred for riding lawn mowers and also zero-turn mowers which ordinarily have multiple blades but can also be installed on ordinary push lawn mowers.
What The Best Mulching Lawn Mower
Now that you know the benefits of using the regular lawn mower blades, let’s talk about the benefits you can derive in using the best mulching lawn mower blades. We are stressing the term “best mulching blades” because not all mulching blades are alike. Some aftermarket designs may only intensify clogging your mowing deck as these are not aerodynamically designed for cutting, mulching and circulating the grass unlike with the best mulching blade types.
The design of the best mulching blades has more curves for increased cutting and lifting capability. These curves allow the grass to rise from the top of the grass and circulate under the mowing deck and while that happens the cut grass would pass through the blade several times until it falls back into the ground in shreds. So the difference of the mulching blades from the regular blades is that the mulching blades are designed to suck up the cut grass and whirl it around until it finds an opening and discharges it. The mulching blades will raise the grass many times until the grass finds a weak spot where there’s no lift and it falls back into the grass.
The gator mulching blades are also known as 3-in-1 blades because they can be used to bag, discharge, and mulch grass. However, take note that shifting from regular lawn mower blades to mulching mower blades should take some consideration because not all lawn mower types can fit a mulching blade under it.
Factors to Consider When Planning to
Mulching lawn mower blades have different lengths and center hole designs. So if your mower’s mandrel that supports the blade is circular, you have to buy a blade that has a circular center hole. The same goes for the 5-star mandrels. And another must consideration is the size of your lawn mower’s deck. For example, there are lawn mowers that have smaller deck circumference and low deck profile. What a mulching blade needs is a wider and higher mowing deck to enable it to create a whirlwind-like suction inside and do its shredding process.
Also, the regular lawn mower has back and side discharge windows so if you want to install a mulching blade on your push lawn mower you will need to purchase a mulching kit to cover these exits up. These kits may contain the mulching blade of your choice, mulching baffles, decals, and deflectors to keep the grass inside the deck.
Another consideration according to some experts when opting to use the best mulching blades is knowing the power of your lawn mower. Accordingly, the horsepower of the engine should not be less than five, or the engine may not be able to generate enough torque to cut, raise and shred the clippings properly.
Using the Best Mulching Blades
Mulching is one of the best methods in providing organic nutrients back to the soil so the principle about mulching is that what you have taken from the soil should be coming back to the soil. In lawn mowing, mulching can be a very effective way of breaking down the cut grass into smaller pieces so that it can easily decompose and provide nutrients into the grass and to the soil. Lawn grasses being perennials continuously take nutrients from the soil and these nutrients are stored in their leaves. So if you mulch plants that are rich with organic nutrients, the result would be rich natural fertilizers that can attract more worms and beneficial microorganisms which can enrich the organic components of the soil and provide better aeration.
Mulching is very environment-friendly and there is no other quick way of mulching grass other than lawn mowing using the best mulching lawn mower blades. Mulching can also greatly reduce the use of inorganic fertilizer that is usually the main cause of soil acidity and toxicity of bodies of water coming from large lawns like golf courses. Thus if you have an active mulching habit with your lawn, not only it saves you money but also with your labor and time while helping the environment have a break from toxic chemicals.
So think about mulching to be an effective way of conditioning your lawn naturally. And did you know that landscapers and gardeners need to lay rich organic soil as preparation for lawns before laying the grass? And did you also know that a severely nutrient-depleted lawn soil could take years of topdressing it by using organic soil before turning it into an organically capable lawn again? So if you want naturally grown grass that requires less or no need for chemical fertilizers, using the best mulching blades on your lawn mower can help you achieve this goal.
Where the Use of Mulching Blades May
Unfortunately, the use of mulching blades may not always be necessary on certain conditions and we have identified them below so you know when not to use them.
If the lawn has lots of fallen leaves and sticks from trees, these may not decompose as quickly as the grass clippings leaving your garden looked messed up. But if you are not very particular with the appearance of your lawn, this may not be a problem.
Mowing wet grass even using the best mulching lawn mower blades may not be advisable because of the potential for the wet shredded grass to stick under the mowing deck and also onto the blades while leaving grass clumps around the lawn. Another problem is cleaning stuck up grass clumps from under the deck which can take a lot of time and effort.
If your grass and soil are not healthy and have lots of scalped spots, experts don’t recommend the use of mulching blades because it takes time for the mulched grass to decompose while leaving your lawn with a messier appearance. Let your grass be sustained first with other forms of organic fertilizer like liquid organic fertilizer and do proper irrigation to provide grass the fastest way of recovering. Once the grass spreads its roots and branched out all over the lawn, lawn mower mulching can now be considered.
Avoid using mulching blades on tall grasses because these can only clog up your blade and mess up your mowing deck while leaving clumps of unshredded grass clippings along the way.
If you think you have the best mulching blade types but your grass is full of long unwanted weeds with lots of seeds already, do not attempt to use mulching blades because you will only be recycling the growth of these weeds. So better to bag the grass clippings and throw it away then mow the lawn every 3 to 4 days using mulching blades.
Standard Lawn Mower Blades Vs
Some people will always want to know the pros and cons of using the regular lawn mower blades and the best mulching lawn mower blades in particular. So here are some of our findings:
Using the regular lawn mower blades with the bagging and side discharge features can be done in almost all-weather conditions. Even the grass is a bit wet from the rain, the powerful lifting and fanning actions of the regular blades can throw the grass out with force. However, throwing out the grass like garbage is like wasting the potential materials to enrich your grass and soil.
With the regular lawn mower blades, all the debris that the machine encounters will totally disappear and at the same time you can achieve a more high-quality cut with the regular blades. With mulching blades, you have to choose only the best mulching lawn mower blades to achieve a fine-looking cut.
With the best mulching blade you can do non-stop mowing as there is no need to bag or rake out the whole lawn area with the clippings because your objective is to spread out the cut grass and turn it into organic fertilizer. The only problem with mulching is it can compromise the aesthetic appeal of your lawn and will take time for the grass to decompose if without proper moisture.
Mulching blades can be better preferred if you want to keep a healthy, trimmed grass and have the luxury of mowing your grass every after 3 or 4 days. This way, you won’t be keeping tall lawn grass and can make your lawn look polished without littered clippings.
Using the gator mulching blades which many people consider the best mulching blade types can also offer you the bagging or side discharge option with your grass clippings.
Using the regular lawn mower blades, it allows you to mow your yard non-stop using the side discharge feature of your mower. But the problem is, you have to do some cleanup after your mowing job. But if you install the best mulching lawn mower blades like the gator mulching blade, the shredded grass clippings are more properly distributed and your lawn will still look neat and trimmed.
Finally, using the best mulching blade can let you avoid clumping of the cut grass which you usually achieve when using side discharge with a regular mower blade. So the mulching blades are the best tools in introducing potential cover to your soil to prevent water evaporation during summer while the decomposing grass will be like the potential topsoil that comes from the grass itself.
Here we present to you two of the best and reliable mulching blades which we have found to be among the most popular and favorites with homeowners, landscapers and gardeners.
We chose this one because it is proudly USA-made so we have very high expectations for it. We also consider it as the best universal replacement for 21-inch blades. As a commercial metal grade type, its teeth are fully sharpened for a finer and cleaner cut. If you are after blades with a better cutting surface for increased mulching capability, this one you should try.
Its centrifugal airlift design is made for a more uniformed chopping job that makes it fit as the best mulching blade for more refined cut and more shredded output. That’s why we do recommend this item for all lawn mower users who can fit this blade into their machines. And as a universal replacement blade, it comes with washers of different sizes: 3/8-inch, 7/16-inch, 9/16-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, and 13/16-inch.
Made by Maxpower, this blade can fit almost to any push lawn mower with a 21-inch deck. Its mounting hole can fit mowers with bow-tie shafts and five-point stars and that makes it an easy install. The width is 2 1/4-inch so at this dimension and with a steep lift and aggressively-looking teeth, you may not see those clumps anymore which you usually hate to see when you happen to use low-grade mulching blades.
As we have said, MaxPower blades are made in the USA and if you are looking for a replacement blade for your riding mower with a 46-inch deck and with a 5-star center hole, you must have these mulching blades in your garage as replacements. Each blade has a length of 23 inches and with a width of 2 3/4-inches so you can use them also to any push lawn mower type with 23 inches diameter deck.
You want to switch from OEM blades to tougher American-made blades, these can replace blades with OEM numbers: 405380, 532-405380, PP21011. Why we pick these blades is because of their robustness and jagged edges that are designed to mow your grass faster, more precise and can turn your grass clippings into the smallest shreds that will be perfect for mulching.
Consumers also point out that these blades are made for heavy-duty mulching jobs and it can shred even the toughest leaves, small twigs and weeds with tough stems. So once the blade is secured, you are ready to face the toughest grass you may encounter in any lawn.
The best mulching lawn mower blades are made to make every lawn mowing job easier. You can also fit them to most mowers as long the size of the deck conforms to their lengths. But if you want to achieve better performance with them and have a more refined cut, you can follow our advice on what to install on your lawn mowers to make these blades more efficient.
We chose to review the gator mulching blades better because they have been tested to provide better and more uniformed cut. The grass clippings are also more shredded, well-dispersed throughout and without clumps. However, we would like to remind you that regardless of the best mulching blade you will be using, if the grass is wet, the outcome would surely be lots of grass clumps that are not pretty sights on a beautiful lawn.
Do you want to know what lawn mower with a mulching blade to keep for your yards and lawns well-managed and healthy grass lawns? This we shall be discussing in our other article.